Spring training is all about jobs. Rosters, rotations and reserves are identified and solidified during seven weeks of camp that for the Tigers begins Monday when pitchers and catchers report to the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla.
Accompanying the spring training jobs fair are issues and debates that will follow the Tigers deep into March as their 2013 team takes on its final contours ahead of Opening Day.
There are pitching matters to resolve. Jim Leyland, the Tigers manager, must decide on his precise batting order and bench cast. Meanwhile, the front office will be busy assessing personnel and pondering possible trades. All of which generates dialogue, within the club and its fan base, about how certain questions and mysteries might play out between now and March 30, when the Tigers board their charter jet for Minneapolis and the start of a highly anticipated season.
How will an excess of catchers shake out?
The Tigers will accept this hassle. Any time. It was only four years ago when Detroit was so hard up for catchers it had to make a heavy deal with Texas simply to land a backup, Gerald Laird, and install him as Jim Leyland's starter.
Now, the cupboard is loaded. Alex Avila starts. Brayan Pena is his replacement. In the minors are Bryan Holaday, who spent much of 2012 with the Tigers. Behind him are James McCann, Curt Casali and Ramon Cabrera. Adolfo Reina surfaced in 2012 and is also in line.
Expect at least one of the above to become part of a trade.
Catchers are indispensable as help or trade bait.
The Tigers only wish their up-the-middle infield strength was as deep and as combat-ready as their arsenal of catchers.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130208/SPORTS0104/302080332#ixzz2KJs7QHj3
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