It’s no secret that the Detroit Tigers are in the midst of a painful rebuild. Their 114 losses in 2019 were good for dead last in the majors, and aren’t projected to do much better in 2020.
However, fans can start to catch a glimpse of should be some healthy competition this campaign. One particular position up for grabs is 3rd base, where Jeimer Candelario and Dawel Lugo will do battle.
Of course, for skipper Ron Gardenhire, the competition will be good for everyone.
“We have competition now,” he explained. “That’s really important, and that was the goal going into the winter meetings — put some players in here and add some competition.”
With Austin Romine set to be the team’s starting catcher, Grayson Greiner, Jake Rogers and Eric Haase will be competing for the backup position. Meanwhile, right field is up for grabs with Victor Reyes, Travis Demeritte and prospects Jorge Bonifacio, Daz Cameron and Derek Hill.
“You can sit there and say, ‘Well, you’re going to play, because you’re a young kid coming up and you’re still learning,’” Gardenhire said. “Yeah, that’s good, that’s fine, it’s good and fine, but you still have to go out there and play, you have to get it done, you have to start getting it done and that’s what we want to see — we want to see development getting it done on the field and earn their way through this thing rather than just be gifted to it.
“I’m talking about going out and doing the work and earning it, rather than just, ‘We don’t have any choices.’ We have choices now, so they’re going to have to be a part of it. … There’s good competition here. It’s going to be fun to watch — that’s what baseball is all about, people earning things — and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
– – Quotes courtesy of Anthony Fenech of The Detroit Free Press Link – –