Things are not looking awesome for the Tigers in the center field department.
While Ron Gardenhire was quick to tell reporters on Tuesday that he saw JaCoby Jones as the Tigers every day center fielder going into 2020 spring training, the fact is there are still two months of games to be played in 2019, and someone will need to replace Jones in the interim.
After Tuesday’s game, where we watched a collision between Brandon Dixon and Niko Goodrum result in a bounced-out three-run home run, it was pretty clear that Goodrum — usually an infielder — was not likely to be the Tigers’ go-to guy.
“Guys are trying to do too much,” Gardenhire lamented after the game.
Oy vey, what is happening in the outfield tonight? I've made Niko comparisons to Ryan Raburn, but this is not what I meant. pic.twitter.com/ebUemmzn4k— Adam Dubbin (@AdamDubbin) August 14, 2019
Who are the Tigers options?
Throughout the 2019 season they have used seven different players in the position: Jones obviously took the bulk of those games, but they also used Victor Reyes, Mikie Mahtook, Niko Goodrum, Harold Castro, and Dustin Peterson.
Peterson is currently on the seven-day injured list in Toledo, but Mahtook, Daz Cameron, and Jacob Robson are all available from the Mud Hens and have played the position.
It’s worth noting that of the players who have been used, only Goodrum, Peterson, and Reyes are on the current 40-man roster. If they wanted to bring up Cameron, Mahtook, or Robson, the Tigers would need to make room in the 40-man roster first. Travis Demeritte is also available, but has never played centerfield, though limited experience hasn’t stopped the Tigers from experimenting in the past.