CB will probably shred this but, with Opening Day of the MLB season is now 20 days out.. with that in mind, I am projected the opening day lineup and the 25 man roster, at the very bottom o this post, I have my comments.
1. Austin Jackson - CF
2. Brennan Boesch - RF
3. Miguel Cabrera - 3B
4. Prince Fielder - 1B
5. Delmon Young - DH
6. Alex Avila - C
7. Jhonny Peralta - SS
8. Andy Dirks - LF
9. Ramon Santiago - 2B
Opening Day Starter: Justin Verlander (RHP)
SP2. Doug Fister (RHP)
SP3. Max Scherzer (RHP)
SP4. Rick Porcello (RHP)
SP5. Duane Below (LHP)
RP1. Jose Valverde (Closer)
RP2. Joaquin Benoit (Setup)
RP3. Octavio Dotel (RHP)
RP4. Phil Coke (LHP)
RP5. Daniel Schlereth (LHP)
RP6. Collin Balester (RHP)
RP7. Andy Oliver (LHP)
B21. Ryan Raburn (2B, OF, 3B)
B22. Quinton Berry (OF)
B23. Danny Worth (3B, 2B, OF)
B24. Don Kelly (OF, 3B, 1B)
B25. Gerald Laird (C)
Inge gets cut, with his contract, he'll clear waivers and end up "learning" more 2B in Toledo... if someone claims him, Detroit will be happy to clear the contract.
Santiago & Raburn will split 2B duties. You might think that Raburn as the right handed hitter would face LHP, and Santiago as a switch hitter would face the RHP. But Santiago is much better against LHP, and Raburn hits RHP about the same as LHP, so it will be interesting to see how they split up the starts.
Don Kelly is out of options, won't clear waivers, that is why he is kept and Inge is let go. Numbers game.
Quinton Berry was a non-roster invite who can't be optioned without clearing waivers, I don't think he will. So Detroit keeps him on the roster as Austin Jackson insurance. AJ has 3 options left, so if he fizzles at the beginning of the season, he can be sent down.
Danny Worth has one option left, he'll be kept and Clete Thomas will get waived. Clete just can't hit at the MLB level. If he clears waivers, he'll go to Toledo, if not, oh well. Worth will sit on the bench and not play with his option in tact in case Detroit needs to make an injury related roster move or bring up another pitcher without exposing a pitcher to being sent down.
Balester is also out of options, he gets a spot in the pen because they can't send him down and there isn't that big of difference between him and the guys they can send down.
Andy Oliver vs Adam Wilk - Oliver has one option left, Wilk two. Below has two. The guy they think can do long relief and still start if need be gets the job as the back up to Below. (or if Oliver is the starter five, back up to him)
Tigers win the Central, they will have 2nd best record in AL, they will go to the ALCS.. after that.. we'll have to see..
"Number 43 added Four Trillion Dollars by his lonesome. That's irresponsible. Its unpatriotic." Barack Obama
I don't have the knowledge to say much about your analysis, but I do know that you have 26 on the 25 man roster
Besides that, to me it would make more sense to give Andy Oliver the first crack @ SP5, and let Below pitch out of the bullpen like last year- Below seemed to perform OK in that role last year IMO.
Plus I think Ilitch loves Inge too much to not give him a shot to start- if it doesn't work out, then he would probably get the boot again mid-season...
Last edited by SportsFromA2; 03-17-2012 at 03:47 PM.
I don't know what Brandon's hitting numbers are so far this spring but unless he is hitting under .177 I just don't see them cutting ties with him yet
Nothing to really shred there Rick, I think you have most of it spot on. However, I don't see Berry making the team (if they keep a non-roster invitee like that I'd figure it to be Eric Patterson), and I think we'll see Inge in the 2B/3B/OF role you have set aside for Worth. I agree that Clete Thomas will get cut loose. I think you have the right 12 pitchers, but I agree with SFA2 that Oliver will probably get first crack at the starting gig and Below will be more of a long-reliever, mop-up guy.
I really like Berry and Patterson, and would be happy to see either make the team, guess that makes this the post of persuasive thinking (you know, because Leyland and Dom check this daily) but I realize that more then likely, neither goes north, question becomes, will they clear waivers and go to the minors. Where would they likely end up? Patterson in Toledo, Berry in Erie ?
"Number 43 added Four Trillion Dollars by his lonesome. That's irresponsible. Its unpatriotic." Barack Obama
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...ws|text|SportsPaying back their beloved rivals, the Twins, had been an obsession for the Tigers even before they lost their landmark 2009 playoff game at Minnesota.
The Tigers might have obtained their revenge.
He arrived at Comerica Park last August, on the heels of a waiver-wire deal that cost the Tigers two replaceable minor-league pitchers. He helped the Tiers to a division championship. And now, it appears, he is helping himself to regular work in left field, if not some kind of Grapefruit League batting record.
Young clouted a three-run home run, and added a double and a walk in three plate visits during yet another Tigers rout, this one a 10-3 drubbing of the Cardinals witnessed by a record Marchant Stadium crowd of 10,024.
Young is batting .519 in 11 Grapefruit League games. He has a mind-spinning 1.000 slugging percentage. His on-base percentage: .533, for a stratospheric OPS of 1.533.
"He looks good, he's feeling good, he's swinging good," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, after the Tigers pushed their crazy March record to 11-1-3. "I think he's on a mission."
The mission, of course, would be to help the Tigers win a championship. It could also involve a certain status Young achieves this autumn: free agency. At age 26, and with hitting skills that might now be flourishing, Young could become a wealthy man come November.
Or, it might be that Young is simply caught up in the Tigers' own version of March Madness.
They had their customary game of kick-tail Saturday as the hitters went to work to the tune of 13 hits. Young was joined by Ryan Raburn, who hit his fifth homer of the Grapefruit season, and who also singled. Prince Fielder had three hits, including a hard-sprinting triple down the right-field line. Miguel Cabrera had two singles, while Austin Jackson added a double.
But it is Young — much sleeker in 2012 — who has been relentless in the pre-season's early weeks.
"He's running better, he's throwing better, he's playing the outfield better," Leyland said, "and he's in great shape."
Leyland's quest to find a fifth starter continues. And it just might continue until a day before the team charter departs Lakeland in 2 ½ weeks.
No one won, or lost, the job Saturday, although Andy Oliver and Drew Smyly showed that their repertoires might be tough for Leyland to turn down.
Oliver pitched two innings, allowing a hit, striking out one, and walking none. Smyly upped the ante with a four-inning, no-hit, two-walk, four-strikeout stint.
Adam Wilk started as the first of Leyland's left-handers Saturday and, at least in the manager's view, didn't disqualify himself: three innings, six hits, three runs, two walks, one strikeout, and one home run, a two-run blast by Matt Holliday in the first.
"I thought they all did fine," Leyland said on a sunny St. Patrick's Day that brought an overflow crowd to Marchant, and a sellout crowd of sun-bathers on the grassy left-field berm.
Oliver, 24, is trying to keep his two-pitch power package under control. His fastball consistently cruised at 93-95 mph, and his slider was sharp.
"We're trying to get him to have more confidence in throwing his fastball for a strike," Leyland said. "He sometimes has more confidence in his slider."
Smyly, 22, is a different brand of pitcher. His fastball tops out at 93 mph. He relies as much on secondary pitches that can run the gamut: cutter, slider, change-up, and even a slider-curve "slurve" arrangement.
Leyland marveled at Smyly's adjustment Saturday.
"He's up (in the strike zone) a little bit, and then all of a sudden he's in synch," Leyland said. "He threw a couple of outstanding breaking balls. And he has good composure.
"He looks like a pretty cool customer."
The bullpen has so far been in step with Leyland's hitters and starting pitchers. There hasn't been much to complain about.
But the manager isn't content. He knows what happens during that six-month gauntlet known as the regular season.
"Spring training's fine, but there's a lot on my mind," he said. "It's going to be a pressure-cooker to find that fifth starter and that other reliever and that final roster player."
The bullpen contenders have at least encouraged a skipper who must have seven dependable helpers on hand.
Jose Ortega , Luis Marte , and Brayan Villarreal are among the young guns shooting for a job.
"Ortega and Villarreal have really thrown the ball well this spring," Leyland said. "Villarreal looks like a totally different guy. He's just more under control.
"Marte is probably a little ahead on pitchability because of his age (26)."
Leyland likes Marte's slider-fastball combination, even if Marte's fastball doesn't hit the high-90s heights Villarreal reaches. Ortega commands his fastball and faithfully throws strikes.
As with the fifth-starter sweepstakes, Leyland figures he and the staff will take their time, as well, making a bullpen decision.
ok so that article got me thinking-
What's Delmon Young's future? IF he starts the season on a tear (like he's been performing in ST), is he a "sell high" candidate for the Tigers this year? Or would he be too important to the Tigers to sell off, given the expectations..
OR if he's just plain good, is he the "long-term" answer @ LF (given that Victor will be the DH for 2 more years, it makes sense) - even though it'll probably cost the Tigers a lot of $$ to keep him (safe to assume he can probably get AT LEAST $10Mil/season in free agency?)
I'm tempted to just unload him, even if it's just for prospects/to restock the farm system (ideally you could get an everyday-type 2nd baseman or something, but that's easier said than done, probably)
"People who drink light "beer" don't like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot."
Lynn Henning discusses the roster battles:
first off, Inge: "Inge has moved to second base with utter wizardry," GTFOH HenningWith 16 or so days remaining until Leyland names his northbound 25, a look at how the battles are evolving:
With a jerk of his head, Leyland said something revelatory last week. Something words couldn't have expressed as well.
He was talking about the vacancy in his starting rotation and how it would be decided.
"When someone makes you do that," he said, slipping into his double-take impression. "I don't know how you write that, but that's what we're looking for."
The pitchers who come closest to pinching a neck nerve are Andy Oliver and Drew Smyly. If it happens that Oliver makes the team, he is not to be confused with a fifth starter. Oliver has a fastball-slider combination closer to a No. 2 pitcher.
His challenge is control: 80 walks in 147 innings last season at Triple A Toledo. He and a couple of Tigers pitching coaches — Jeff Jones as well as Toledo's A.J. Sager — went to work with Oliver last autumn on his delivery. They settled his hands. Oliver believed even before spring camp that his adjustment would be a difference-maker.
So far, advantage Oliver. He threw two scoreless innings Saturday, which is the only kind of innings he has pitched in three games this spring.
Smyly's fastball is a couple of mph lower (92-93) than Oliver's. But he has four pitches — cutter, slider, change-up, four-seam fastball — that tend to miss the meat of a bat.
Although he is on the green side, by the end of spring camp Smyly might be Leyland's man. He looks in any case as if he could be pitching in the big leagues no later than mid-season.
If neither Oliver nor Smyly becomes this spring's whiz kid, Duane Below probably wins the job by virtue of maturity (26) and consistency (throws strikes, has three adequate pitches, etc.).
Adam Wilk, who started Saturday's game, a 10-3 victory over the Cardinals at Marchant Stadium (record crowd: 10,024), figures to be a better option in long relief.
Leyland can take his time evaluating. What's clear is that a couple of pitchers with at least a shot at making the rotation have jolted Leyland and Co: And that is Oliver, a second-round steal in 2009 who had been viewed a year earlier as a likely early first-round pick, and Smyly, another second-rounder who was nabbed in 2010 from the University of Arkansas.
Brandon Inge will win an infield job unless he shows he can't match Danny Worth's offense. But will Worth play enough to show supremacy there?
Inge is under contract into 2013. By itself, it is no big deal. The Tigers can always write a $6 million check to Inge and get on with their lives. He has tenure. He was an insurance policy. He isn't a lifetime appointee.
But because Inge has moved to second base with utter wizardry, and because he can always fill in deftly at third base, and because he is under contract — and, in typical Inge fashion, will probably hit some kind of storybook home run in 2012 — he will probably make the team.
It is easy to see Leyland agreeing to a consortium at second base: Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago, and Inge. All three play multiple positions. All three can be of use when Leyland figures to jostle his designated hitters.
Worth has a minor-league option remaining. He can incubate a bit at Toledo as he develops hitting skills that — from this vantage point — definitely appear to be growing.
Clete Thomas or Andy Dirks?
It would be surprising if this didn't come down to simple math: Thomas is out of options and has next-to-no trade value because of his position. The Tigers don't like sending players of his age (28) and skills (good glove, arm, and can hit with power) to the waiver wire.
Dirks has options remaining. He is 26 and has more upside as a hitter. These issues are anything but permanent. Dirks, if he doesn't make it, could be back in Detroit in a matter of days.
But in a couple of weeks it would seem likely the Tigers would decide to hang onto Thomas and his versatility and allow Dirks a tad more time at Toledo. The Mud Hens, remember, are a one-hour drive from Comerica Park. And that's as long as it takes to re-shuffle this deck.
Two weeks ago, it was Luis Marte. Last week it was Jose Ortega. This week has been all Brayan Villarreal.
It's probably a duel among three right-handers, all of them young, all with the right brand of fastball, all with a secondary pitch (Marte, especially, with his slider), and all capable of throwing strikes with enough zing on the ball to give Leyland assurance as he battles to do what all managers regard as their single biggest challenge: keeping a bullpen fresh and effective.
It's doubtful Leyland is losing sleep over any of these matters. The candidates aren't perfect. Each of them has flaws. But each of them has talent sufficient to challenge for a spot on a 25-man roster that will be the best stem-to-stern roster Leyland will have managed since he arrived in Detroit.
And while he won't say it, those who suggest this might be the best bunch he has ever managed — including that 1997 World Series team in Florida — might have a very good case.
Smyly's an interesting option for the 5th starter- they really seem to be talking him up this spring.
Hennings seems to think Clete gets a spot over Dirks because of options- I guess that makes sense
Lynn didn't mention what a great spring Ryan Raburn has had- of course it's only spring training, but given the way he's hit, wouldn't he have to be the default starting 2nd baseman until he proves otherwise (major ****up @ 2b or his bat goes cold)?
But, if he's raking the ball, like you said, you can't just unload him I guess- how do they determine which free agents get the draft pick compensation? If they let him walk after the season, if the Tigers get a couple of draft picks out of it, that's not necessarily a bad option