AJ Hinch explains decision to name Grayson Greiner as Tigers backup catcher

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The final roster for the Detroit Tigers for the fast-approaching 2021 season is taking shape, and one order of business has been decided.

One of the key pieces from the Justin Verlander trade will have to wait his turn with the Tigers, as Grayson Greiner has officially won the backup catchers job behind Wilson Ramos. Meanwhile, Jake Rogers has been optioned to Triple A Toledo.

Manager A.J. Hinch stated that it was a case of Greiner simply winning the job with his consistency.

“As much as we talk about Jake and what he did and didn’t do, the focus is really that Greiner won the backup job,” Hinch said. “He was the most consistent and outperformed everybody.

“This was more pro-Greiner than anti any of the other guys.”

However, it’s not goodbye, as Hinch said for Rogers and Isaac Paredes, also optioned to Toledo. Hinch said he expects “both play for us in the big leagues this season when we need them.”

Despite struggling on offense with just three hits at 22 at-bats, Hinch complimented Rogers on his adjustments at the catcher position.

“With Jake behind the plate, I love the adjustments he made this spring,” Hinch said. “I thought he cleaned up his catching and some of his habits back there. He blocked well, he received well and he adapted to our game-calling plan.

“He did everything behind the plate that we asked.”

Of course, the offensive numbers will need to improve.

“We have to find a way for him to contribute offensively and that comes with his swing,” Hinch said. “He knows the strike zone and he generally swings at the right pitches. But his contact rate and his one-dimension style as a hitter — you either have to get really good at it and do damage or you have to find a way to move the ball back into the field of play.”

The Tigers will host the Indians on April 1 at Comerica Park.

– – Chris McCosky of The Detroit News Link – –