Clete Thomas needs a tailor

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.

Tiger Tales and Mack Avenue Tigers have already profiled Thomas.

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.

6 thoughts on “Clete Thomas needs a tailor”

  1. I like it. I like the fact that he bats from the hook side, he plays good defense and will take a walk. It is nothing more than a cup of coffee for now, but a taste of MLB experience can go along way towards motivating a guy to get back for good.


  2. What a great baseball name. I’m with you Billfer, it’s exciting to see a player come out of nowhere to make the roster. I’m intrigued to see his defensive contrtibutions. His bat shouldn’t be needed in this lineup.

  3. The irony is that this probably means Cameron Maybin would have broken camp with the Tigers — whereas the Marlins sent him down.

  4. The battle for the last roster spot is an annual rite of spring. It’s something to talk about when the ST games get really boring, but it doesn’t really mean anything. These days, baseball teams really have about a 30-man roster; it’s just that five of the guys happen to be playing in Triple-A. (That’s one of the reasons why it’s become standard practice to site your Triple-A team close to your major league city: you can call up a player in an hour if need be.) To fairly grade a team’s “bench,” you also have to consider whether they have stockpiled useful insurance players in the high minors.

    Clete starts the season in Detroit only because of Granderson’s injury. When Grandy comes back, Clete goes down and the Tigers promote somebody else — whoever they happen to need at the time. And so it goes.

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