25 Man Roster

Time to update my thoughts on who is going to make the opening day roster. Not alot of surprises in my mind, but a couple changes from my initial thoughts a couple posts back. First Leyland has said that he is going north with 13 positional players and 12 pitchers, which makes my idea of 2 long-relief pitchers out of the question. So, lets see my updated guess at the team that will be named the Detroit Tigers starting April 5th against the Red Sox.

Positional players:

1st base – Prince Fielder

2nd base – Ryan Raburn

3rd base – Miguel Cabrera

Shortstop – Jhonny Peralta

Catcher – Alex Avila

Left Field – Andy Dirks

Center Field – Austin Jackson

Right Field – Brennan Boesch

Bench:

Catcher – Gerald Laird

IF/OF – Don Kelly

IF – Ramon Santiago

IF – Danny Worth

Yes, I still think Inge is done. His issue at third base was hitting, and it was said with him trying out at second base will be how he hits this spring. The Tigers have given him every chance to make this team, including using him as the DH today so all he has to do is focus on hitting the ball and went 0 for 3. His average is .154 and if the Tigers are serious about putting together the best team, then they will let him go. You argue that we would be paying alot for a player not on the team, but look at what the team did when V-Mart went down. That just says Illitch wants to win, and win NOW. So they will say goodbye to the Brandon Inge era. Dirks makes this team easily over Clete Thomas. Everyone says there is a competition, but there isn’t. Thomas has a better glove, but batting .200 with close to no pop. Dirks is an average fielder, but batting .395, hard to ignore that. Worth gets the nod also even though he has missed time this spring due to injury, but has came on strong and spraying the ball around for a great average this spring. You don’t have to worry about his glove or arm, they are A+ at all three positions he can play (2nd, 3rd, SS) This looks to be an outstanding line-up that is going to get plenty of runs on the board.

Pitching Rotation:

1) Justin Verlander

2) Doug Fister

3) Max Scherzer

4) Rick Porcello

5) Duane Below

Bullpen:

Phil Coke (Mid-Relief/Lefty Specialist/7th)

Daniel Schlereth (Lefty Specialist)

Luis Marte (Mid-Relief)

Colin Balester (Long Relief)

Octavio Dotel (7th/Set-Up)

Jaoquin Benoit (Set-Up)

Jose Valverde (Closer)

Nothing drastic here. I appologize for not including Colin Balester in my first impression on who makes the team the first time. I got a chance to watch him in a game and you have to like his stuff, but can he control it. You can see why the DBacks had him at Triple-A last year even though he is 25 and had a 4.54 ERA there. He can have trouble finding the strike zone with his secondary pitches. The Tigers are going to give him a chance to prove why they traded a former first round pick (Ryan Perry) for him straight up. He seems to have better poise and composure than Perry, but it looks like we gave up one wild righty for another thinking a fresh start will do them better. Now my reasons the Tigers will go with Duane Below as the fifth starter. He has put up solid numbers, including against basically the Yankees starting line-up in his last start. But Drew Smyly has had a great spring also. I think in the end they will go with the fact that Below has some major league experience and Smyly hasn’t pitched above Double-A. Andrew Oliver has had a good srping, then had a horrible outting walking 5 batters and imploding. Jacob Turner had a setback and has already been sent to Triple-A. This sets up a phenominal rotation for the Mud Hens and alot of talent ready to bounce on the chance if Below stumbles. Luis Marte has had a terrific spring and gets the last spot in the bullpen. I don’t know what to do around the All-Star break once Al Alburquerque is ready again. Will have to wait and see how everyone is throwing then.

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