The most notable names missing from the 40 man roster are probably Juan Tejeda and David Espinosa. Espinosa is now eligible for the rule 5 draft but a team would have to keep him on the major league roster all season long in order to keep him and I don't know if any team will want do that. The Tigers would have had to keep Espinosa on the 25 man roster anyway since he is out of options so there was not much advantage of placing him on the 40 man roster. Tejeda was allowed to become a minor league free agent and can now sign with any team.
Looking at the roster, I'd say that it probably has more depth than any Tiger 40 man roster in the last 15 years or so. Past rosters have been filled with career minor leaguers and various failed prospects. There is not much of that on this year's roster. It's an indication that they may finally be building a little depth in their system.
Winter ball Notes
MLB.Com has a winter ball update on Curtis Granderson and Omar Infante. Here are some ot the highlights:
Before Leyland took over the Tigers, the front office and previous coaching regime wanted Granderson to play this winter and see more live pitching in preparation for regular play and a possible leadoff role. The Tigers wanted him to work counts and lower his strikeout total after tallying 129 in 445 at-bats at Triple-A Toledo this past summer and 43 strikeouts in 143 at-bats in the big leagues.
That hasn't changed with Leyland, who said Friday he plans to use Granderson and Nook Logan in the leadoff spot to take advantage of their speed. Placido Polanco, who hit leadoff for much of the season's second half, will hit second.
So far, Granderson has had his share of limited success for the Licey Tigers. He entered Friday batting .212 with a double, home run, eight RBIs and nine runs scored. He has about as many walks as strikeouts and as many strikeouts as hits.
Granderson isn't the only Tiger in Winter Ball with something to prove. Omar Infante returned to his native Venezuela to play this winter, as he does every winter. He entered Wednesday batting .288 (21-for-73) for Oriente with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs, 11 RBIs and 13 runs scored.
Hopefully, Granderson finishes strong in the Dominican League. It's interesting that Leyland plans to use Granderson and Logan in the leadoff spot. I'm not sure that's a good idea since neither got on base much in the majors last year. I don't think Logan will ever be a leadoff hitter or even a regular but Leyland seems to like him. I like Granderson's chances a lot better but I wonder if he might be better off hitting lower in the order until he gains more plate discipline. I don't mind seeing Logan gets at bats early in the season against lefties. If he doesn't hit and continues to get at bats because he's a speedster, that would be a bad sign.