Al Avila says Detroit Tigers Opening Day roster has not been finalized

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Opening Day is just over a week away, as the Detroit Tigers are set to take on the division rival Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on April 1.

And with just under a week remaining in Spring Training, there still remains plenty of decisions from team management as to what the final roster will look like.

During an interview this afternoon on MLB Network Radio, Tigers GM Al Avila

“We haven’t made any final decisions,” Avila explained Tuesday. “We’re going to discuss the position players (at the meeting) and how that’s going to pan out. We have not made any decisions yet, as far as our infield.

“Our outfield is pretty much, in the last week here, we have to make a couple of decisions because we got the Rule 5 (draft pick) in Akil Baddoo. Do we carry five outfielders, or do we option one guy back (to Toledo)?”

Detroit’s outfield appears set with JaCoby Jones and the newly signed Robbie Grossman and Nomar Maraza, whom Avila saw upside in when he inked him to a contract.

“We’re counting on him to recapture some of that power,” Avila said about Mazara. “At his age (25), there’s still plenty of upside to hope for. That’s why we brought him in. Expect him to play right field, for the most part. His playing time will be determined on his performance.”

In regards to the infield, Renato Nunez and Isaac Paredes will be battling it out for a spot, and it’s unlikely the roster will include both names.

“We have to determine if Nunez makes the club,” Avila said. “If he does, how does that look? If he doesn’t, how does that look? I think AJ is learning toward having first base as an open base, where you can shuffle players through there as needed, day-to-day. But we really haven’t made any final decisions yet.”

New skipper A.J. Hinch stated Monday that he routinely speaks with Avila regarding team personnel decisions.

“Al and I talk just under 100 times per day about things,” Hinch said Monday. “Yes, of course, there are scenarios in play, where I think it’s a roundabout way of like, ‘Are there guys with (minor-league) options in the outfield that may not be on the team?’ Listen, I think all options are possibilities. They’re not all strong options.

“I can see a team with five outfielders. I can see a team with four outfielders. I can see a lot changing in the last seven days in camp that doesn’t involve the outfielders.”

– – Quotes via Evan Petzold of The Detroit Free Press Link – –