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.


IN

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.