One more cut took place today with outfield bench candidate Freddy Guzman being passed through waivers and outrighted to Erie. That leaves two players competing for the last bench spot (assuming that Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago make the team). Will it be back-up catcher Dane Sardinha or will Clete Thomas make the jump from AA Erie?
It definitely sounds like Thomas is the favorite to make the roster. At least if Jim Leyland suggesting that Thomas get a sport coat for traveling on the team plane is any indication.
To call him a long shot to make the team would have been generous at the start of camp. That’s not to say he wasn’t a prospect. Baseball Prospectus thought enough of him to run him through PECOTA which pegged him for a .239/.296/.356 line.
While the projection certainly isn’t overwhelming, I like the move. Thomas isn’t going to be relied upon to be an offensive force. He’s there to pack up centerfield for a couple weeks and perhaps be a pinch runner/defensive replacement. Thomas can handle both those duties because he sports some wheels and a very strong outfield arm. Plus, quite frankly I like the watching prospects make their debuts.