Detroit — We're not talking about position battles here. For the Tigers, those are pretty clear-cut as we sit here, some three weeks before the start of spring training.
The fiercest battles will be in the bullpen, where Alex Wilson, Josh Zeid, Buck Farmer and Chad Smith are the headliners for the one remaining right-handed reliever spot and Ian Krol and Blaine Hardy fight for the final lefty spot.
Another good one will be the fight to fill the multi-positional shoes of Don Kelly. Presently, Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez are the primary combatants. Tyler Collins will have to show the Tigers there is a need for a true fifth outfielder (not an infield-outfield hybrid) and that he's the guy.
And at catcher, Bryan Holaday will have his work cut out in trying to reclaim his back-up catcher spot with rookie James McCann pressing for a larger, perhaps platoon-type role with Alex Avila.
Other that that, the Tigers should be mostly set when workouts commence in Lakeland on Feb. 19. Funny thing about set rosters in February; they can often look a little different come Opening Day.
So, who are some of the darkhorse candidates who might have that extraordinary spring and steal a spot? Or, guys who might put themselves in a position to be the first man up in the event of an injury?
Check out the gallery above for the five candidates, plus five others to watch.
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