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Tigers spring training non-roster invitees you need to know about

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The Tigers will bring 17 extra players to spring training this year. Here's what you need to know about them.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Last month, the Detroit Tigers announced that they extended spring training invites to 17 players not already on their 40-man roster. You may have already read about them. If so, congratulations! You have a borderline unhealthy obsession with this team.

For those that aren't already in the know, you have come to the right place. Not only are the players listed below, they're grouped into categories based on their chances of making the team (or something). It's like high school, except with fewer swirlies. They still do swirlies in high school, right? We might need to bring those back.

And before you ask, all of the players already on the Tigers' 40-man roster will also be in spring training. Steven Moya and Wynton Bernard are not listed here because they're on the 40-man. Save your hate mail for Kurt's next Detroit News column.

The pitchers

LHP Drake Britton
RHP Lendy Castillo
RHP Preston Guilmet
RHP Logan Kensing

One thing is for certain: there is no Joel Hanrahan in this group this year. I'm still not even certain Guilmet isn't a French chef posing as a baseball player for the time being.

Kidding aside, Kensing is the only pitcher in this group with more than 25 major league innings under his belt. A 33-year-old righthander, he spent six years with the Marlins before bouncing through the Nationals', Rockies', and Mariners' organizations. He made 19 appearances for the Mariners last season, allowing a 5.29 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings.

The other names on this list have only gotten brief call-ups to the majors. Britton is a lefthander who made his big league debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. He sports a fastball in the 93-94 mile-per-hour range with a slider in the low 80s. While this sounds impressive at first glance, he only struck out 45 hitters in 83 1/3 innings at Triple-A Iowa last season.

Castillo has a similar arsenal from the right side, but generates a few more strikeouts. He made 13 appearances for the Chicago Cubs in 2012, but has never pitched above Double-A in the minor leagues. Guilmet is primarily a sinker-splitter pitcher, with the fastball topping out around 90 miles per hour. He has pitched for the Indians, Orioles, Rays, and Brewers in his career, and has an 8.22 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 23 career innings.

The hitters

IF Thomas Field
OF Jason Krizan
OF John Mayberry, Jr.
OF Nate Schierholtz

The outfielders, namely Mayberry Jr. and Schierholtz, had a much better chance at cracking the 25-man roster prior to the Justin Upton signing last month. Mayberry is a career lefty-masher who would have fit nicely in a platoon with someone like Tyler Collins. Schierholtz is a left-handed bat who has fallen off recently, but is a capable fourth outfielder with a few productive seasons in the rearview mirror. Krizan has been a productive hitter at the Double-A level for the past couple seasons, but struggled in a 20-game stint at Triple-A Toledo last season. He was a non-roster invite to spring training in 2015 as well.

Field faces even longer odds of making the big league roster. A career .214/.264/.275 hitter at the major league level, the 28-year-old is a utility infielder who will primarily serve as infield depth in the minor leagues. There is a chance he could fill the Josh Wilson-sized void on the roster if injury strikes, but players like Mike Aviles and Dixon Machado are likely to get playing time ahead of him before he is called up.

The prospects

RHP Joe Jimenez
LHP Kevin Ziomek
1B Dominic Ficociello
IF/OF JaCoby Jones
OF Michael Gerber

Every year, the Tigers invite a handful of their top prospects to major league spring training before sending them back to minor league camp. Last season's list was quite limited -- lefty Joe Mantiply and catcher Grayson Greiner were the only non-roster "prospects" in camp -- but the Tigers are bringing several interesting names this season. Jimenez and Gerber starred for Single-A West Michigan en route to their Midwest League championship, while Ziomek posted an excellent 4.21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 154 2/3 innings at Advanced-A Lakeland.

The other two names are closer to the major league level. Jones made waves this offseason when he was suspended 50 games for a failed drug test. He is allowed to participate in all spring training activities, though, and should get his fair share of at-bats in the meantime. Ficociello made a successful jump to Double-A Erie in the middle of 2015, but struggled his way to a .651 OPS in 78 plate appearances during the Arizona Fall League. Scouts are mixed on his ability to cover other positions, and the Tigers are set at first base for a long time ahead.

The catchers

Miguel Gonzalez
Austin Green
Raffy Lopez
Kade Scivicque

The catchers are only around so that all of the pitchers in camp can get extra work. We should not read too far into who is here (Scivicque) and who is not (Grayson Greiner). That would be foolish, since the catchers are only around so that all of the pitchers in camp can get extra work.

It would be sweet to see Scivicque hit some bombs, though.

The verdict

With only one or two roster spots truly up for grabs this spring, the Tigers are not likely to bring any of their non-roster invitees north -- or south, technically -- when they break camp for Opening Day. Depending on what happens with catcher Bryan Holaday, who is out of minor league options, there may be space on the 40-man roster should anyone impress, but we probably won't see many surprises once the final 25-man roster is announced.