The official announcement of the first 18 players invited to Spring Training comes with the reminder that Spring Training isn’t too far away. According to the Tigers official site: The first pitchers and catchers workout in Lakeland will be on February 20, while the first full squad workout will be on February 24.
Here are the 18 invited:
Chris Bootcheck – Last pitched for Pittsburgh in 2009. A disaster with the Angels after a semi-decent 2007 season in relief.
Darin Downs -Career minor leaguer (8 years), pitched in Florida’s system last year. Career ERA of 4.13.
Drew Smyly – Smyly was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft and has posted impressive minor league numbers to this point. A name to know.
Rob Brantly – will be 3rd minor league season. Yet to see above high A ball.
Curt Casali – Will be his first full minor league season.
Bryan Holaday – Will be his second full season. Made it to AA last year at 23 yrs.
Patrick Leyland – Has only hit .220 in rookie and low A ball.
James McCann – Will be his first full minor league season.
Omir Santos - Nabbed 306 PA with the Mets in ’09. Played in 11 games for the Tigers last year.
Nick Castellanos – Clearly the top overall position prospect the Tigers have. Castellanos played his first full year last year in West Michigan A ball. Obviously isn’t ready but will be fun to watch.
Audy Ciriaco – I’ve always been oddly intrigued by Ciriaco even though is BA and OBP numbers flat out stink. He’s only ever plaed SS and 3B, but I want to know if he can play second. And I wonder if the Tigers will try him there at all.
Argenis Diaz – Another Venezuelan who can’t hit but can field decently.
Ryan Strieby - On the fringe of being interesting. Always has been.
Justin Henry – No power, some decent speed, can play any position.
Eric Patterson – Played with 4 major league teams before signing a minor league deal with Detroit earlier this month. Interesting minor league stats but has never put it together.
Quintin Berry – Speed to match his interesting name.
Jerad Head – Career minor league player like Strieby. Played in the Indians organization last year.
Matt Young – More speed. Played in the Braves organization last year.
Further spring training information from tigers.com:
Additionally, the following staff members will be in uniform at major league camp this spring: Kevin Bradshaw, Ray Burris, Basilio Cabrera, George Carlo, Manny Crespo, Joe DePastino, Leon “Bull” Durham, Toby Harrah, Jerry Martin, Phil Nevin, Al Nipper, Dave Owen, Brian Peterson, Gene Roof and A.J. Sager. Additionally, both Willie Horton and Al Kaline will be in uniform this spring. Dustin Campbell, Matt Rankin and Chris McDonald will assist the major league training staff this spring, while Chris Walter and Steve Chase will both once again work with the Tigers strength and conditioning coordinator Javair Gillett.
Most notable on the 18 players is Castellanos, Smyly, and Patterson. Castellanos is just getting experience, but I wonder if Smyly is looked at this year sometime and Patterson is probably an injury away from the big club. The other 15 names are up for pure experience and I’d be surprised if we heard from any of them before next spring training.