Detroit Tigers: Grayson Greiner missing time leaves room for Jake Rogers

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers will be without catcher Grayson Greiner at Spring Training for at least the next week. It was announced that after getting hit by a pitch in the face, Greiner had sustained a broken nose.

He will miss a week and then return to Spring Training in Lakeland, where he will be battling for the backup catcher position. The Tigers brought in veteran backstop Wilson Ramos this offseason on a one-year contract.

That leaves the backup job up for the taking. It is Dustin Garneau, Eric Haase, and Jake Rogers who are competing for this backup role. Being pretty frank and honest, Garneau and Haase are likely to find themselves in the minor leagues, with Garneau having some minute upside to nab the backup role.

Greiner was probably going to be best-fit for the role (and still very well could be) based on the fact that he has been on the big league roster in each of the past three seasons. However, Jake Rogers will be gunning for his chance to make the Tigers roster, and this injury to Greiner might have bred an opportunity for him.

The Detroit Tigers catching battle might have just gotten opened up for Jake Rogers.

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If Rogers can make the most out of this opportunity, he could use this week to try and make a push and separate himself from the other catchers vying for the backup position.

Rogers has not been able to prove he will hit at the big league level.

It has been clear to the coaching staff and even fans that Rogers’s defensive abilities are good and can make up for his lack of hitting, to an extent. That is the issue; Rogers’s hitting was putrid at the big league level.

In 2019, Rogers made his big league debut, playing in 35 games where he registered 128 plate appearances.

He hit .125/.222/.259 with four home runs and eight RBI while being punched out 51 times, nearly half of his total at-bats.

In 2020, Rogers did not see the big leagues and was at the alternate training site in Toledo. With Rogers’s absence from the big league roster, he does not have any 2020 registered stats. That being said, the hope is that Rogers was able to figure some things out offensively and that he will settle in at the plate comfortably.

This week will be crucial for Rogers if he wants to make the big league club out of Spring Training as the backup catcher. A.J. Hinch is looking for Rogers to show that he is more of a complete overall player now, and if he can prove this, he might be able to make that jump.

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While I wish the best for Greiner and personally think Rogers is not going to adjust to hit at the big-league level as well as was originally thought, hopefully, both of them can get their chances in 2021.