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Detroit Tigers Getting Ready for the Season

By Jason Berndt

The Detroit Tigers wrapped up Spring training for 2023 with an 11-10 walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.  Now they are ready to bring the entire squad north, or at least west.  The Tigers will begin the regular season on Thursday March 30th in Tampa Bay against those same Rays at 3:10pm.  However, they will take as much time as they can to finalize the roster for the opener.

Normal circumstances would have them traveling to Detroit and designating players to their minor league affiliates in Toledo, Erie, or West Michigan if they haven’t already done so.  Players assigned to single-A Lakeland would of course stay in Florida.  However, knowing they will only have to travel 36 miles down the road to get to Tampa, they will take their time and do their due diligence to make sure they have the best 25 players.  They still as of Monday, have 10 cuts to make.

Tigers President and General Manager Scott Harris is infamous for working the waiver wire.  He could certainly wait to see if there are players that are cut by other MLB teams, to make his final decisions on who to keep and who to send down or cut.  The deadline will be Thursday for Detroit to make their final roster.

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Most of the projections are solidified.  Miguel Cabrera, entering his 21st and final season in major league baseball, will be the Tigers designated hitter.  Eric Hasse and Jake Rogers will most likely be the two catchers.  Your outfielders will include Riley Greene, Austin Meadows, Matt Vierling, and Kerry Carpenter.  Infielders projected are Spencer Torkelson, Jonathan Schoop, Javier Baez, Nick Maton, Caesar Hernandez, and Andy Ibanez.  Utility infielder Tyler Nevin will begin the season on IR, opening an additional spot to start the year.

The pitching rotation will be where you might see some late additions.  Michael Lorenzen will also begin the year on IR, so it is unknown who will be the addition in the Tigers starting rotation.  The opening day starter will be Eduardo Rodriguez, followed by (not in any order) Spencer Turnbull, Matthew Boyd, and Matt Manning.  The bullpen projections as of today are Alex Lange, Jose Cisnero, Jason Foley, Mason Englert, Trey Wingenter, Garrett Hill, Chasen Shreve, and Tyler Alexander; however it’s likely Alexander moves into the starting rotation to replace Lorenzen.

This is not a team filled with household names.  You probably won’t link many of them with the term all-stars.  The Detroit Tigers 2023 season will be one filled with promise and hope, but uncertainty.  We will all wait with fingers crossed that young prospects like Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson find consistent success at the major league level.  The hope is that arms like Matt Manning and Spencer Turnbull can stay healthy and show signs they are pieces for the future.

The Tigers will have an estimated team payroll of 100.4 million entering the year, placing them 20th amongst MLB teams.  Without Miguel Cabrera’s contract of 32 million this year, it would drop to below 70 million which would put them at 26th.  The development of these young players and competitiveness of this ball club will dictate if Detroit decides to increase payroll on talent in the upcoming years.  

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