Miguel Cabrera arrives in camp as the Tigers trim roster

Bless You Boys

The big news on Tuesday morning involved the big fella himself. Miguel Cabrera has arrived in major league camp and will be working with players all week. After nearly a month in camp, the vibes no doubt needed a boost, and having Cabrera in camp can only help. This is Cabrera’s first appearance as a special assistant to Scott Harris.

Cabrera’s appearance coincides with things starting to get serious in camp. The club did some aggressive roster trimming from major league camp on Tuesday, and while these players may still get some work on the major league side, the cuts signal the point where workloads increase for pitchers and the likely active roster starts taking more ABs per game.

The Tigers had already optioned right-handed reliever Brendan White to Triple-A Toledo and Minor League camp last week. Top prospect pitchers Jackson Jobe, Ty Madden, Brant Hurter, along with RHP Garrett HIll and catcher Eliezer Alfonso were also reassigned to Minor League camp last Friday.

Jobe will still being pitching in the bullpen in Tuesday afternoon’s game against the Minnesota Twins, working in relief of starter Kenta Maeda.

There were a few surprise cuts on Tuesday morning. Infielder Eddys Leonard and utilityman Wenceel Perez were both optioned to Triple-A Toledo, and moved to the Minor League camp roster. Leonard has had a pretty impressive little run this spring, and I thought he might get a little more time. Of course, he can be called back over for Grapefruit Leagues as needed.

On the pitching side, RHP Wilmer Flores has had a great camp so far. The young right-hander dropped a lot in our prospect rankings after a rough 2023 that saw his velocity really crater, but so far this spring he’s been back in the high-90’s consistently with improved mechanics and looks like a new man. He’ll get his shots this season, but for now he’s been optioned to Toledo as expected, along with fellow pitching prospects RHP Keider Montero, who was also pretty impressive in camp, and RHP Mason Englert. Catcher Dillon Dingler, the Tigers top catching prospect, has also been optioned to Toledo.

With them are going RHP Devin Sweet, LHP Sean Guenther, both relief options, along with catcher Donny Sands and outfielder TJ Hopkins. Sweet nor Guenther was a good bet to make the bullpen on Opening Day, so no surprises there. With Dingler and Sands both optioned out of camp, Jake Rogers and Carson Kelly will be ramping up their workload as the two major league catchers.

The Tigers are down to 44 players in Major League camp, and that number will be rapidly trimmed down over the next week as Opening Day looms larger.

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