The Tigers cut three more relievers this morning. Freddy Dolsi was optioned to Toledo and Casey Fien and Fu Te Ni were assigned to the minors. The moves reduce the number of players in camp to 42 and make the bullpen picture a little clearer.
I am a little surprised they cut Fien today because he had pitched well this spring. I wasn't really expecting the non-roster invitee to make the opening day roster but I though he might be among the last cuts. Other non-roster players with a chance to make the team are Juan Rincon and Ryan Perry. Both have had strong springs. There is one spot free on the 40 man roster but, if both were to make the team, they would have to open up another spot. Rincon, with his past Major League success seems a good bet to break camp with the team. I'm less sure about Perry.
There are three locks in the bullpen right now - Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney and Bobby Seay. Joel Zumaya would also be a lock but he seems destined to start the season on the disabled list. While he has had a rough spring and has not been guaranteed a spot, I think Zach Miner will make the 25 man roster as well.
That leaves three more spots. I am going to guess that Nate Robertson gets the fifth starter role and that Rick Porcello and Dontrelle Willis start the season in the minors. I also expect Kyle Bloom, who has not had a great spring, to be returned to the Pirates. I think Clay Rapada will be the second lefty out of the pen and that Rincon and Perry will round out the staff.
If I am correct, then the opening day staff would look like this: