Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tigers Playoff Roster Speculation

Since the Tigers have actually clinched the AL Central, I finally feel comfortable talking about the playoff roster. People have been speculating for weeks on who will make the 25 man squad or not, but I’ve been trying to put it off. Jinxes are a bitch, you know.

So for the first time for myself, I thought I’d take a look at who I think is in and where some decisions need to be made.


1. Alex Avila, Catcher
2. Miguel Cabrera, First Base
3. Ramon Santiago, Second Base
4. Wilson Betemit, Third Base
5. Jhonny Peralta, Shortstop
6. Delmon Young, Left Field
7. Austin Jackson, Center Field
8. Magglio Ordonez, Right Field
9. Victor Martinez, Designated Hitter
10. Don Kelly, Utility
11. Ryan Raburn, Utility
12. Brandon Inge, Third Base
13. Andy Dirks, Outfield
14. Justin Verlander, Starting Pitcher
15. Doug Fister, Stating Pitcher
16. Max Scherzer, Starting Pitcher
17. Rick Porcello, Starting Pitcher
18. Jose Valverde, Closer
19. Joaquin Benoit, Relief Pitcher
20. Phil Coke, Relief Pitcher
21. Al Alburquerque, Relief Pitcher
22. Daniel Schlereth, LH Relief Pitcher

Three spots to go. One of them will probably go to a long reliever in case the evil Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello show up in October. That would either be Brad Penny, moving to the bullpen for the playoffs, or Duane Below. Personally, Below would be my choice as he’s at least as effective as Penny on the mound, he’s used to coming out of the pen, and he’s left-handed. But I think Leyland is loyal to his veterans, thus…

23. Brad Penny, Long Relief

We’re down to two spots left. Let’s see who the candidates are for bench spots.

Omir Santos, Carlos Guillen, Will Rhymes, and Danny Worth.

Is Victor able to catch in a pinch yet? If so, adios, Omir. Either way, it’s probably adios, Omir. Looking at the other three, I think the team goes with Guillen. He’s a veteran, he’s been there before, and he isn’t Will Rhymes or Danny Worth. So…

24. Carlos Guillen, Second Base

We have one spot left. You could take Will or Worth for late-inning defense or pinch running. Or do you need a seventh reliever?

Below, David Pauley, Ryan Perry, and Luis Marte are still around. If Alburquerque still isn’t healthy enough in two weeks, one of these guys is already in. Knowing Leyland, it would be Perry, though I’d prefer Pauley. So for that reason, I’m going Perry here. Jim likes his pen options.

25. Ryan Perry, Relief Pitcher

And there’s your 25.

What do you think? Does Pauley make it in? Does another position player take that last spot? (Did I forget someone, as I’m writing this with my son yelling in my ear?) Someone’s feelings are going to get hurt.

No matter what happens, I’m liking our chances more and more every day.


tigerdog said...

Agree with the 22 if they're all healthy. Carlos is also a lock, IMO. If Penny is kept and another reliever is not cut to make room, that makes 8 guys in the pen.  Too many.  Penny should be kept in reserve in case of an injury to a starting pitcher.  I would not be surprised if he was kept just because of experience, and that hurts Below's chances.     Santos is not a consideration.  Al Al has a spot IF he's healthy, and that would be Perry's spot.  Schlereth should be cut but won't be.   I'd keep Pauley too, but Leyland probably won't do that, given how rarely he pitches. 

jihadist john said...

santos is a non-factor...inge will be the designated emergency post-season catcher...since he's eligible (via brad thomas' roster spot) shouldn't you at least speculate on the intrigue of bringing turner along?...he's obviously gonna get a spot start or two in lieu of clinching...if he's lights out, it's not too crazy to envision a david price 2.0 scenario

SRogo said...

I did overlook Turner, but I still don't think he has a chance. Jim Leyland is no Joe Maddon. Leyland likes his veterans, is loyal to them, and I don't see him taking Turner to the playoffs over Perry, Pauley, or even the rookie Below who he's had most of the season.

Jay Hathaway said...

I just have to say that I'm thrilled about our chances with J.V. and  Mr. Fister coming out of the gates with a 1-2 punch.  Getting a 2-0 lead in a playoff series, especially the first round, is huuuuuuge.

Pregaminglife said...

Now that they've clinched, why not give Turner a shot in Penny's spot in the rotation, then give Penny some work out of the pen, since that is where he will likely be used in the post season. This might answer a lot of questions before October, instead of possibly throwing Penny straight into the fire once it starts. Who knows, he might be good just throwing one or two innings if his mind is right, and if nothing else, you give Turner extended time in live MLB games to prepare him for next year. I don't know if there's much downside to this plan: It's not like Penny is lighting it up to give reason to keep him in the rotation for the rest of the year... and it's not like he'll be back next year if you hurt his feelings by pulling him. Thoughts?

rings said...

I'm curious about their plan for Victor in NL parks, should we make it that far. If he can catch, then AA to 3B or LF? If he can't catch, then Miggy to 3B? Or does he sit?

Sabre Paws said...

I would keep Pauley - still have not figured out why he does not get much action. I would drop Penny - if an SP is injured, I believe, we could then replace him with Penny

Tim S said...

What makes you think Turner is anywhere close to being ready.

Tim S said...

Maddon wouldn't bring Turner.

Tim S said...

Pauley,Perry and Guillen. Leyland loves Carlos, Two more relievers. Porcello or Scherzer, one starts and one long relieves. Playoffs only need three starters. 

Tim S said...

That could be four games. AA to third and keep Miggy at first. Thats if he can catch, lord help us.

Jay Hathaway said...

 Hard to argue with that logic.

birdy said...

My predictions:
Guillen's injured.  He's out.
Perry's bad.  He's out.
Penny brings nothing to the table that we'll need.
Pauley's completely in.  He's better than most think.  He'll be valuable in the playoffs.
Below is in.  As good or better than Penny but a lefty that can do long relief.
Danny Worth is in unless they think they need the Santos insurance.

Michael Wilson said...

Unfortunately, there is an argument against it.

Turner pitched 118 innings last year, and is at 140.1 this year.  They might let him get one more start (my guess is it would be to push Verlander back a day to get on the proper playoff schedule) but no more than that before they shut him down for the year.  That would put him on track for about 170-180 innings next year.

They are going to be very careful on the stress they put on his arm and will take their time stretching him out to get to the 200+ inning a year guy.

Ingemania333 said...

Victor or Miggy sitting will never be an option, don't be daft

Ingemania333 said...

More like AA to second

Epalicki said...

They had a 4-man rotation in 2006. Is there any reason to believe Leyland will do things differently this year?