The Tigers have added Scott Sizemore, Ryan Strieby, Brennan Boesch, and Audy Ciriaco to the 40 man roster, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft. The roster was at 42, but with the 6 free agents off the roster, and the addition of these 4 players it is now full at 40.
The additions of Sizemore and Strieby are not the least bit surprising. Strieby was one of the best hitters in the Eastern League last year while he was healthy. He’s seemingly blocked at first base and will see increased work in the outfield, but regardless he is too good of a hitter to let walk. Sizemore of course is the heir apparent at second base with the likely departure of Placido Polanco.
After those two though there was a larger pool of players on the bubble. The Tigers decided to stick with the toolsy (and hopefully starting to translate to production) Ciriaco and the power of Brennan Boesch. Ciriaco finally started to tie those tools into some production late last year where he got his line drive rate up to the teens from June forward. And despite Boesch’s struggles controlling the plate (127 K’s and 34 BB’s last year) he did slug at a .510 clip. It’s interesting though that as Dave Dombrowski talks about improving plate discipline throughout the organization they protected two players who have the strike out and walk rates that Ciriaco and Boesch do.
Among those left off the roster were a handful of pitchers including Luis Marte, Bryan Villarreal, Scot Drucker, and Brett Jensen. I’m not necessarily surprised by the absence of any one of those pitchers, but that none were protected is a little surprising.
Things are likely to change yet as trade rumors swirl and the Tigers have to decide on a shortstop.