On Wednesday the Tigers announced the names of the 17 players who will receive minor-league invitationals to spring training.
This group of players have either signed minor-league contracts this past off-season or are minor leaguers in the Detroit system.
The most notable name on that list is infielder-outfielder Don Kelly, and it is notable because the signing of Kelly to a minor-league contract had not been previously announced.
Kelly has played for the Mud Hens in all or part of four different seasons -- 2005-06, 2009 and last year. In 20 games for Toledo last season he batted .233 with a home run and 12 RBIs.
Kelly, who turns 32 in February, has played for Detroit in eachof the past four seasons. Last year he hit .186 with a home run and seven RBIs in 75 games (but only 113 at-bats).
Here is the rest of the list of players who received major-league spring-training invitations by Detroit:
Righthanded pitchers: Trevor Bell, Shawn Hill, Michael Morrison
Lefthanded pitchers: Jose Alvarez, Kenny Faulk, Ryan Robowski
Catchers: Curt Casali, Brad Davis, James McCann
Infielders: Argenis Diaz, Eugenio Suarez
Infielders/outfielders: Nick Castellanos, Don Kelly, Kevin Russo, Matt Tuiasosopo
Outfielders: Tyler Collins, Daniel Fields
A few things worth noting:
- If these players do not make the Tigers' roster for Opening Day, a number of them (but not all) will begin the season with the Mud Hens. I think all of the pitchers would be in Toledo if they do not open with Detroit, but the two players listed as "outfielders" (Collins and Fields) probably will begin the season with Double-A Erie, as would catchers Casali and McCann (although, as I think about it, Casali probably will start with Hi-A Lakeland).
- Notice the versatility on this list, as FOUR players are listed as infielders-outfielders (Castellanos, Kelly, Russo and Tuiasosopo). If Castellanos comes to Toledo I would suspect he will play almost exclusively in the outfield, but if the other three are Mud Hens I would guess they would play a variety of positions.