Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tigers Roster Taking Shape

The Tigers are probably not done shaping their roster this off season.  They may still add another starting pitcher, another outfielder or even a second baseman.  With the holidays fast approaching though, it probably won't happen soon.  So, let's take a look at the possible opening day 25-man roster.  First, the starting line-up:

CF Austin Jackson
LF Ryan Raburn
RF Magglio Ordonez
1B Miguel Cabrera
DH Victor Martinez
SS Jhonny Peralta
3B Brandon Inge
2B Scott Sizemore
C Alex Avila

The biggest question is second base. If Carlos Guillen is healthy, he would probably play second base and bat second with Raburn moving to the sixth spot and everyone behind him moving down a spot. If Will Rhymes wins the job, he would also probably bat second.

The bench would look like this:

Ramon Santiago IF
Don Kelly UT
Casper Wells OF
Clete Thomas OF

Some might be wondering why I left Brennan Boesch off the bench, but I think they'd rather have him starting in the minors than sitting on the bench.  They will need a right-handed batter to effectively platoon with Avila.  Against RHP, Avila will be the catcher, Martinez the  designated hitter and Ordonez the right fielder.  Against LHP, it will be Martinez behind the plate, Ordonez at DH and somebody else in RF.  Right now, I'm guessing that somebody will be Wells.

If Guillen is the starting second baseman, he'll need days off, so they would probably carry an extra infielder.  In that Case, Sizemore might back up Guillen and Kelly or Thomas would be out.

Barring another acquisition, there is not much question about the starting staff:

Justin Verlander
Max Scherzer
Rick Porcello
Phil Coke
Armando Galarraga

I do expect them to make a move, although probably not a big one.  Brad Penny? It's also possible that Andy Oliver wins a job with a strong spring, but he probably needs more seasoning.

The bullpen:

Jose Valverde
Joaquin Benoit
Ryan Perry
Joel Zumaya
Brad Thomas
Daniel Schlereth
Alberto Alburquerque

The twelfth spot is really up for grabs. I'm saying Alburquerque because I like his name, but it could just as easily be John Bale, Chris Oxspring or any number of other names.

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