Mr. Robinzon’s (Diaz) New Neighborhood?

Perhaps the third time may be the charm for the Tigers.

In two previous seasons, Tigers management made a run at a young catcher to add to the team’s depth chart. Following the line of Brad Ausmus, Brandon Inge and Ivan Rodriguez, the name Robinzon Diaz may become a household name shortly as he begins the 2010 season fighting for the backup catcher role with the Tigers.

robinzondiazThe Ryan Doumit/Jason Jaramillo combination for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the conclusion of the 2009 season meant that Diaz would have to be sent down to AAA, and stunt another player’s development, or he would have to be let go.

While in Detroit’s camp, the biggest question has dealt with the readiness of Alex Avila to endure an entire season at the major league level. For many Tigers fans, including myself, there is no questions that Avila should be given the opportunity to wear the Tigers uniform based on his performance in the clutch last season. The 2010 Tigers team lacks lefties at the plate and Diaz is yet another righty in the lineup.

So why are the Tigers so enamored with this young catcher? For a team that flat out lacks solid catching prospects, adding Diaz means the Tigers can juggle their two young guns for the player that has the hot bat. He has a .317 career average in limited playing time and has shown a decent arm behind the plate. Most importantly, his spot on the roster will force Avila and Diaz to work harder this offseason to make the final 25.

Tigers management is hoping that a little competition can lead to a competitive team in 2010.