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 Tigers hand out 13 Spring Training invites

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PostSubject: Tigers hand out 13 Spring Training invites   Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:15 pm

Tigers hand out 13 Spring Training invites
Larish among smaller-than-usual group headed to camp

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

01/26/10 1:22 PM EST

DETROIT -- Relief prospects Cody Satterwhite and Robbie Weinhardt and recently designated slugger Jeff Larish are among the 13 players given non-roster invitations to Spring Training with the Tigers on Tuesday.

Also invited were fellow pitchers Phil Dumatrait, Enrique Gonzalez and Josh Rainwater; catchers Robinzon Diaz, John Murrian, Mike Rabelo, Eric Roof and Max St. Pierre; and infielders Kory Casto and Gustavo Nunez.

It isn't a big list, especially compared with past years, but it's a list that reflects where the Tigers are going into the 2010 season. They don't have a whole lot of open spots, even with their search for an offensive bump, and their 40-man roster already has 21 pitchers competing to make a 12-man staff. Nor do they have many prospects fighting to crash the roster before they're on the 40-man list, though Nunez has the chance to rise quickly as a speedy shortstop.

Thus, a Spring Training roster that has had well over 60 players in some years stands at 53. It could rise if the Tigers sign one more player in the final days of the offseason and designate another player to make room, but that remains to be seen.

A lot of relievers are taking up those roster spots, making the odds long for Satterwhite and Weinhardt to crack the Opening Day roster quite yet, even if they do have a solid camp. But while they won't have a good chance to make the team, they'll have a decent chance to make an impression. The past few years have shown that makes a difference with manager Jim Leyland when the time comes for midseason callups or injury replacements.

Satterwhite and Weinhardt, both high-round Draft picks from the Tigers' run on relievers in 2008, have the power arsenal to impress and advance quickly. Satterwhite, who turns 23 years old on Wednesday, shared the team lead in saves at Double-A Erie with 12 while striking out 52 batters over 49 1/3 innings last year, his first full pro season. His 27 walks were a concern, but he tempered that with 46 hits allowed.

The 24-year-old Weinhardt eventually joined Satterwhite at Erie for the tail end of the SeaWolves season after dominating at Class A Lakeland. He allowed just three earned runs over 31 2/3 innings with the Flying Tigers, striking out 40 batters and scattering 24 hits, before fanning 32 batters in 31 1/3 innings at Erie. Normally a setup reliever, Weinhardt racked up five saves between his two stops.

Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski raved during TigerFest about Nunez, a 21-year-old switch-hitter who showed hitting acumen and speed at Class A West Michigan. His .315 average included 16 doubles, 10 triples and five home runs over 112 games with the Whitecaps. He swiped 45 bases in 70 attempts. Defensively, he committed 23 errors at West Michigan while turning 69 double plays.

One player to watch could be Casto, a well-traveled infielder who could be in line to get a good amount of time at third base while Brandon Inge works his surgically repaired knees back into game shape. The 28-year-old played 66 games as a versatile utility man with the Nationals in 2008 before spending all of last season at Triple-A Syracuse, where he hit .271 with eight homers and 58 RBIs.

St. Pierre returns for another Spring Training as an extra catcher with the Tigers, for whom he has spent 12 of his 13-year Minor League career. The 29-year-old batted .248 for Triple-A Toledo last year with six homers and 18 RBIs in 45 games.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers hand out 13 Spring Training invites   Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:16 pm

Non-Roster Invitees
Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB


67 Phil Dumatrait
R/L 6-2 205 07/12/81


62 Enrique Gonzalez
R/R 5-10 225 07/14/82


64 Josh Rainwater
R/R 6-1 220 04/09/85


70 Cody Satterwhite
R/R 6-4 205 01/27/87


72 Robbie Weinhardt
R/R 6-2 205 12/08/85
Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB


66 Robinzon Diaz
R/R 5-11 215 09/19/83


74 John Murrian
R/R 6-1 210 06/15/88


71 Mike Rabelo
S/R 6-0 210 01/17/80


75 Eric Roof
L/R 6-5 185 11/15/86


63 Max St. Pierre
R/R 6-0 175 04/17/80
Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB


65 Kory Casto
L/R 6-0 215 12/08/81


19 Jeff Larish
L/R 6-2 200 10/11/82


73 Gustavo Nunez
S/R 5-10 150 02/08/88


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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