The Detroit Tigers have finalized their roster as Spring Training comes to a close. Non-roster invitee Renato Núñez was informed that he did not make the club and was free to exercise his opt-out to pursue other opportunities.
Núñez offers a good amount of pop in his swing and could have brought some power back to Comerica Park when the Detroit Tigers do not have much of it. However, the team decided to go in a different direction and let Núnez go.
As Spring Training officially comes to a close, the Tigers have rounded out their roster, and with Núñez not claiming a spot on the roster, it leaves some questions as to who will get the bulk of the opportunities.
Two of the players who will benefit the most from Núñez’s departure from the Tigers are Miguel Cabrera and Niko Goodrum. Each of these guys will see some benefits with a less crowded first base group so let’s take a look at how each of these players benefits.
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera benefits without Renato Núñez on the roster.
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The reason that Cabrera is benefitting from Núñez being cut should be pretty self-explanatory. Earlier this offseason, Cabrera made it pretty clear that he wanted to see more time in the field; he made it clear that he was going to advocate for this with new manager A.J. Hinch.
Cabrera seems like he is past his fielding days, and to avoid another injury, it seems like leaving him in the designated hitter spot is the best move.
But, Núñez being cut means that there is an even higher chance Cabrera is back over at first base most games in 2021, barring injury.
This season will be huge for Cabrera to get away from the negative veteran narrative and try to be a leader for the young talent that will start coming through the Tigers roster, even at the big-league level.
As one of the greatest big-league hitters of all-time, Cabrera should be passing on any and every piece of advice that he could to these youngsters. With Núñez being cut, maybe Cabrera can finally embody this helpful veteran/teacher role the organization has hoped for.
Cabrera will get what he wants and find himself back in the infield at first base like he wants. He should benefit a lot from this from the simple fact that he is getting what he wants and will be playing first base a bunch during the 2021 season.
Detroit Tigers’ first baseman Niko Goodrum is also going to benefit from Renato Núñez being cut.
On the other side of the spectrum, Goodrum should be more than excited that Núñez was relieved of his position with the Tigers organization. Goodrum was horrifyingly bad in 2020 over the 43 games that he played where he hit .184/.263/.335 while being punched out 69 times on the year.
Goodrum was supposed to be “breaking out” and making strides but did not in 2020. Without Núñez to take up time over at first base, Goodrum is likely to see playing time in 2021 more than he would have with Núñez around.
With Cabrera likely to get the starting gig, Goodrum will be serving as his backup and a utility role. He is likely going to be plugged into games more than was originally anticipated, which benefits him as he will have to fight to prove he deserves to be kept around or kept in the lineup.
Núñez would have been a great addition to the team’s lineup in terms of pop as well as bringing a new face in to split time over at first with Cabrera, who was going to get time over there under Hinch. But now, Cabrera and Goodrum are each going to benefit in their own way.
It will be interesting to see how Cabrera performs back over at first base in 2021 and to see if Goodrum can bounce back this year as well.