TigsTown Roundtable: Lacking Depth?

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: Which position do you feel the Tigers are too thin at heading into spring training?

Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
It doesn't seem as if the Tigers have any single position where they're incredibly lacking, however, their lack of depth at the corner infield positions could certainly pop up as a potential issue. Sean Casey and Brandon Inge are solid yet unspectacular, but should someone go down, the backup options are incredibly thin. Chris Shelton will likely be looked upon as the option behind Casey, but after a stellar April, Shelton tailed off badly, not even making it on the Tigers' playoff roster. Meanwhile, the Tigers don't even have an official backup at third base, with a combination of players likely to fill the spot in the event Inge goes down for a lengthy period of time. But any re-shuffling likely means the insertion of Omar Infante or Ramon Santiago into the lineup, neither of whom have proven they can produce in the same capacity as Inge.

Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
Despite the presence of Zumaya, Jones, Rodney, Mesa, Grilli, Miner, Ledezma, Campusano, Colon, and on, and on, I'm still not convinced we've got enough quality depth in the bullpen. Given the inate variability of relievers from one year to the next, you can never have enough of them. Guys like Mesa, Grilli, and Jones are probably more likely to implode on the mound than they are to dominate. Miner, Ledezma, and Rodney are a bit more likely to be valuable bullpen members in 2007, but you still never know; and Zumaya's arm could implode tomorrow, or he could dominate again in '07. Given all that variability, I think there is serious value in having a well stocked cupboard of relievers ready to fill the void.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
If there is one area that the Tigers are rather thin at, it would be the number of solid left-handed options in the bullpen. The Tigers signed Jose Mesa to try and combat Jamie Walker's loss, but outside of Wilfredo Ledezma, the Tigers don't have much to work with. They acquired Edward Campusano in the Rule 5 Draft, and have signed a few journeymen to minor league deals, but no one that really stands out. The Tigers could also turn to Corey Hamman, but he'll have to have a good spring to make the club. With spring training still several weeks out, the Tigers could either make a trade (especially during March, when the scouts will have had a chance to evaluate players), or sign Ron Villone or Scott Schoenweis, but both are looking for sizeable contracts, so it will be interesting to see what the Tigers do-if anything.

Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!


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