The Tigers made their final cuts this morning and their 25 man roster is set for opening day. Pitcher Chad Durbin and infielder Neifi Perez beat out first baseman Chris Shelton, infielder Ramon Santiago and pitcher Zach Miner among others fot the final two spots on the roster. Miner, Shelton and Santiago were optioned to Toledo.
In addition, pitchers Bobby Seay, Preston Larrison and Tim Byrdak, catchers Steve Torrealba and Dane Sardinha, infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn and outfielder Timo Perez were assigned to the same club. Felix Heredia was given his unconditional release.
Edward Campusano, Tony Giarratano and Roman Colon have not been cut yet but are likely headed to the disabled list. In fact, Campusano will be on the diabled list for a long time as he will be undergoing Tommy John surgery tomorrow. He won't be pitching anywhere this year but can stay with the Tigers as a Rule 5 player next year. This means they would have to keep him on their active roster for 90 days in 2008. Of course, they might not want to go through all that and could just return him to the Cubs.
I'm a little disappointed with a couple of today's moves but not at all surprised. I'd like to see Shelton on the roster but I knew he didn't have much of a chance with Sean Casey and Marcus Thames ahead of him. Even though, he was batting close to .400 this spring he'll be starting the season in Toledo. Hopefully, he continues hitting and can work his way back onto the roster.
Neifi Perez, who seemed to be all but gone after Jim Leyland openly criticized his play and admitted he was a poor acquisition this winter, played well this spring and will be a backup infielder. I would assume he'll have to show more than last year if he is going to stay around for long. This move was not a surprise only because it had been rumored for the past week that he had the inside track to a job.
The opening day roster is listed below: