The Detroit Tigers will feature a group of new faces for the casual Tigers fan, as two of the top three were not in the organization last season. The catchers on the expanded rosters for this season include Austin Romine, Grayson Greiner, Eric Haase, and Jake Rogers. Austin Romine and Grayson Greiner will more than likely platoon to start the season with the hotter bat seeing more time. Eric Haase and Jake Rogers will serve as depth and will likely see some time due to injury or other health related issues. Below we will breakdown each player and what to expect from each.
Austin Romine has spent his entire eight year career in the majors in the New York Yankees system. While Romine has mainly served as a backup to more highly touted players, when given the chance he has but up better than average numbers. 2019 was Romine’s best season as a pro putting up a .281 AVG/.310 OBP/.439 SLUG stat line in 72 games. If Romine puts up similar numbers, he will be a big improvement to a Tigers team that really struggled to get production out of the position last year.
Grayson Greiner is entering his third season in the majors, all of them coming with the Detroit Tigers. Greiner is a good defensive catcher that has struggled at the plate in his limited at-bats at the major league level. In 88 games Greiner has averaged only .207 with 10 extra base hits, 5 of them being home runs. In order to get more action Greiner will have to improve at the plate or the platoon will turn into backup role.
Eric Haase will begin the season as depth and part of he new “taxi squad” that debuts this season. Haase is kind of a wild card, as he has shown power in the minors hitting 75 home runs the last three years in the Indians system. At the major league level, Haase has only seen 32 at-bats so, we haven’t been able to see if the power transfers to the majors. Haase could be the type of player you need to get lucky with to rebuild a team, when you lack talent at the position.
Jake Rogers has been tabbed as the catcher of the future since he was traded to the Tigers as part of the Justin Verlander trade. While its not too late for Rogers to develop into the catcher Detroit expects him to be, he does need his minor league numbers to transfer to the majors. He has hit 31 home runs over the last two years, but in his first action in the majors last season he struggled to put the ball into play. Rogers stuck out 51 times in 112 at-bats while playing for the Tigers, which can’t happen if he plans on being the Tigers future catcher.