Dan Schlossberg's Spring Training Report: Detroit Faces Shortstop Dilemma • Latino Sports


Dan Schlossberg’s Spring Training Report: Detroit Faces Shortstop Dilemma


LAKELAND, FL – With spring training dwindling down to less than a dozen days, the Detroit Tigers need a shortstop.

Incumbent Jose Iglesias, who demonstrated strong defensive skills as a freshman last summer, has stress fractures in both legs and is out indefinitely.

With no reliable replacements on the roster, general manager Dave Dombrowski can sign free agent Stephen Drew (most recently with the Red Sox) or trade for Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorious, like Iglesias a 2013 rookie.

Drew is more expensive but also brings a better bat and glove. Gregorious, expected to improve in the field, is only average so far. The same can be said for his bat, which produced a .252 average a year ago.

Without a significant stop-gap, the Tigers could be toppled from the top of the AL Central by the Cleveland Indians, who finished one game out last season, or the onrushing Kansas City Royals, a young team just starting to jell.

Rookie manager Brad Ausmus has a great 1-2 punch at the top of his rotation with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, both owners of Cy Young trophies, and the game’s best hitter in former Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, seeking his third straight MVP award.

Is Miggy enough for the Tigers to repeat?

Is Miggy enough for the Tigers to repeat?

Cleveland and Kansas City don’t have such individual standouts but have the team cohesiveness Detroit lacks.

How the Tigers fill the void will be one of the intriguing mysteries as spring training plays out. There could be dozens of deals, some of them involving big-name players, before the bell rings for real at the end of the month.

Also heard around the camps:

Gus Schlosser, no relation, has an outside chance to jump from no-name invitee to regular starter with the Atlanta Braves, who like the righthander’s unorthodox sidearm delivery . . .

The Yankees, expressing quiet concern that Derek Jeter might not be himself for the full season, are looking for a strong backup shortstop . . .

Little more than a year after acquiring Jose Reyes and R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets in a blockbuster swap, the Toronto Blue Jays may be willing to move both . . .

Is Jose Reyes on the move again?

Is Jose Reyes on the move again?

The Jays believe the key to their success this year is keeping slugger Jose Bautista healthy . . .

Loved the pictures of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw petting a pet kangaroo during the team’s visit to Australia . . .

Dexter Fowler’s arrival in Houston will make the Astros lineup much more dangerous . . .

The New York Mets, still unhappy with Lucas Duda and Ike Davis at first base, may still shift Eric Young, Jr. from left field to second base and Daniel Murphy from second to first . . .

South Florida’s success at attracting two new teams will determine the future of Roger Dean

Roger Dean Stadium hosts two spring training teams in Jupiter, FL

Roger Dean Stadium hosts two spring training teams in Jupiter, FL

Stadium, the only Sunshine State ballpark that hosts two teams (Marlins and Cardinals) . . .

Can’t believe former Mets and Cardinals broadcaster Wayne Hagin, one of the best in the business, remains out of work.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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