Last spots

Durbin gets the open relief spot. Neifi gets last spot on bench. Santiago cleared waivers and is optioned to Toledo with Shelton and Miner. Heredia was released. Everyone else sent to minor league camp.

14 Comments

It does all boil down to money though a performance-based case can be made to justify these final roster decisions. Perez and Durbin would have cost the club if they were sent down. Perez in terms of his guaranteed contract and Durbin because he was out of options and they faced losing him rather than getting something for him.

We better hope that the starters regularly get themselves through 6 or even 7 innings because Grilli and Durbin are not going to be able to fortify the staff consistently in the middle/long reliever roles.

That area is certainly the one weak spot that will hurt us this year- that and an absence of a power LHB.

I agree with you Rich on Shelton being a first baseman-no question that he handles the bag better than adequately. My point was that he is too good of a hitter to leave languishing in Toledo. Casey will go thru some tough times with the stick this year and is one of the guys who are more likely to go down to injury because of his body style, physical condition/age. I was just thinking that if you want to keep him (Shelton) around you could get him a few extra AB if he were able to fill in as an outfielder particularly if Thames were gone.

Maybe it is best to have him getting regular ABs in Toledo but somehow I just don’t see that he sees it that way either. Maybe he needs to learn to hit from the left side of the plate!!?

After reading Shelton’s comments, it appears he’s in the same position as last August. Obviously, he needs to put it aside and concentrate on a good performance at Toledo, but that may be asking a lot. Wow, tough one. I know we discuss this a lot but it’s the biggest roster story all the time.

I haven’t heard anything on the Thames firstbase experiment in quite some time. Is that a go for the season? If not, I have to wonder if Shelton isn’t the better option. He can DH while Sheffield takes a turn in the outfield. Between Thames and Shelton, Chris is the better hitter, but there’s that option thing again. What a business. When they do bring him up, he’s going to feel he’s auditioning yet again.

Dan, don’t forget Jose Mesa in the bullpen. You can play a number of games and never even get to Grilli or Durbin.

Hi Rich. No, I had him in mind all along. It’s just that Rodney and Zoom can’t go every game. I expect we’ll see the 3 of them kind of rotating in the set-up and pre set-up roles. Ledezma won’t be able to man the fort on his own and I just don’t think Grilli and Durbin are gonna cut it. I am pretty sure we’ll see one or both of them replaced this year.

The thing that really troubles me though is Shelton. He is young, he is good, and he is getting distressed with the way management is handling his situation. They run the risk of distancing themselves from this kid if they keep putting him off and justifying it with innuendo about performance and character. I think he has been mishandled and I hope we don’t lose him to someone else. He will likely be a plus .300 hitter with 100 RBIs in this league and I hope it is with the Tigers.

I’m still not convinced that Shelton is the Tiger’s first baseman of the future. Fine he had a great start last year, but first base is an easily filled position.

Also the Tiger’s still need to figure out what position Guillen is going to be playing next year. If they re-sign him will it be that he plays short or first? I look at Guillen’s situation as a lot like Nomar’s with the Dodgers. If you take away the grind on his body playing shortstop and put him at first, He will stay healthier equalling better production.

Now it will come down to what Dave see’s as the best fit for the team and if they can re-sign Guillen, but Guillen at first base is a better fit then Shelton.

Shelton still is unproven and shows signs of not being mentally strong enough to handle the pressure. If they can get Guillen re-signed look for Shelton to get traded.

How is firstbase an easily filled position? I don’t think Guillen wants to be a regular firstbaseman. I think if given the choice he’d rather play third than first, and this will factor into the re-signing.

I look at Grilli as being about as good as any other long/short/innings eater type pitcher in the league. Sure, I’d like to see him be more dominant, but there aren’t many dominant pitchers these days. Besides, JL likes him.

Shelton might get traded, but I don’t think Guillen’s contract relates to it. If the Tigers re-up Guillen, they’ll keep him at short at least through next year. And the Tigers can go year to year with Shelton if they so choose. He’s not eligible for arbitration yet.

Wow– glad to see everyone’s back. I’m not as upset as others about Shelton and here’s why: if he can hit, he’ll prove it in the Minors. The likelihood of Casey making it all year without getting hurt is not very high. Even if it does happen, he’s only signed for a year. In short, I think sending Shelton down was difficult but was the right decision. Furthermore, I’m not bothered that Shelton is upset: if I was him, I’d be pissed off too. Here’s hoping that he can ride that anger streak a la Kobe…

On a separate note, I can understand why the kept Neifi but don’t like, not one bit. I’m hoping he proves me wrong or that Dombrowski is willing to bite the bullet and dump him if he struggles early on.

Finally, I like Miner and Seay’s chances this year as I’m not sold on Grilli or Durbin. It seems like Seay hasn’t been given a fair shake yet but I’ve gotta believe he’ll get a chance this year to show that he belongs. That being said, Durbin flat out earned his spot in the pen this Spring and Leyland is comfortable with Grilli– that’s gotta count for something.

Go Tigers

It’s hard to watch Miner and Shelton go down, as they were important parts of the team last year, and that team did pretty good, ya know?

It’s a business, though.

It is so much “news” who does, and who does not, make the opening day roster. As we saw last year, changes are made soon enough in the season. It’s good to have ones foot in the door, but a couple of bad outtings, or a .185 April(can you say Nefarious???), and one of those sent down will be back soon enough.

Lakeland would be a good spot to spend about a month, no? You’d get to watch both Miller and Maybin play………….

Second that Scratch. Maybin and Miller would be fun to watch, especially at the Joker.

On Shelton, I was ready for this decision and I’m STILL disappointed for him. That’s a tough pill to swallow. I hope he can stay focused and continue to believe that he WILL get his chance. Guess I’m just too emotionally attached to his plight. He did a pretty good job finishing up the 2005 season. Then last year’s start was pretty impressive.

Two things worked to seal his fate last year. 1.Too good a start which hurt his focus and raised everyone’s expectations. Imagine that. Too fast a start working against you. Even though he had slowly begun to turn things around, the Tigers by mid season were not going to take the chance (lacked faith) that he would regain his early season productivity. So they acquired Casey. And 2.The fateful game saving catch by Polanco in which his injury led to the Perez deal. I remember the Tigers needed that game but I’m sure we would gladly have taken a no catch and the loss if Placido could have been spared the injury. The first deal sent Chris to the minors and the second ultimately lost him a position on the World Series roster. Anybody out there take this in stride if it happened to them?

The Casey deal actually was a very good one. How can you not like Sean? He’s a great addition to any team because of his outstanding character as well as his reliable play. Obviously these are the characteristics JL likes in a player. My respect for JL continues to grow, having seen how he works with the players and especially how he treats the fans. He’s a true gentleman and good people as they say. The real deal. The Tigers will continue to do well with him at the helm. It’s just this Shelton issue I have a problem with….

Anyway I ramble and I apologize for that. A lot of you guys out there are much more knowledgeable about this game than I. It’s humbling. Will continue to enjoy your insights. A lot of my comments can be a bit tedious (I take the long road to drive a point home.) But like a good Christmas stocking, you got to have some filler.

Last thought, I’ll up the ante and say that the Tigers will end up using closer to 40 players in the course of the season, which is almost here….

Marty– I like your analysis a lot. The one other factor that played into the “Shelton scenario” was that the Tigers decided last year that they had to have another left handed bat. In hindsight, it didn’t make much sense as their lineup was solid all year despite the lack of a left handed bat. Given Shelton’s struggles and the lack of a clear spot to plug in a left handed bat, the Tigers decided that Casey would help address their left handed issue.

Lets just hope that the Tigers get out to another great start this year and then we can all start saying “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” and hopefully we’ll avoid trades for nefarious types and/or pick up beer leaguers that happen to be left-handed…

Brent, good pull on the “Beer Leaguer”………is Matt Stairs still in the show? Forgot all about him.

I would argue with the Tigers lineup being “solid all year”. I recall some weeks where runs were scarce, and Shelton suffered from the fall out of those lean times. It got to the point, he couldn’t be carried any longer, and the middle of a pennant race is nowhere to “find” your swing.

JL must know how to handle players. I was wondering how long it was going to take for someone like Santiago or Shelton or Miner to ask for a trade, but not a peep so far. Thames, despite being on the 25 man, surprises me that he hasn’t asked out. There’s a LOT of money to be made by just having one or two good seasons, and all 4 players mentioned seem capable of doing just that.

I wonder if there is ANY hangover left from the W.S.? I doesn’t seem so………..another sign of JL’s expert handling of his players.

With the Sox starting pitching having a terrible spring, and with the Indians still unsure of who will fill the 4th and 5th spots, a good start by our Tigers just might force those teams to panic a little, and force a trade. When a competitor is forced into those deals, it is always good for the home team in the future(think Alexander for Smoltz). A fast start is never a bad thing(just call me “master of the obvious”), but this year it could be particularly advantageous.

My wife was sooooooooo sad, when she found out the “Ticket” was no longer available on our cable system. Yeah, she cried herself to sleep that night, lemme tell ya. She immediately went out and bought herself another pair of shoes with the money saved(well, the ducats saved for the “Ticket” buys half a pair of her kinda shoes, go figure), and is already making schedules based on having me around and coherent these coming summer evenings.

Another sad story brought on by the unbelievably terrible deal MLB signed with Direct TV. Can you say: Class action lawsuit? A jury of my peers would side with me, no doubt.

Funny scratch– my wife was bummed that I can’t get the ticket and sit around staring at the tv– now she’ll have to be bothered by me. I haven’t made the purchase yet– need to soon– but I think I’m gonna go with XM radio. I have the Dish so I can’t get the ticket and living in DC, I don’t have any other options. I do like listening to the Tigers announcers so that’s fun– I think my wife might forget what I look like without earphones on– she’s not a baseball fan (go figure, she cheers for the yankees in the playoffs) so listening to the stereo won’t be an option.

As far as Stairs is concerned, last time I checked, he was signed with Toronto but I don’t think he made it.

My wife was more excited to hear Mario and Rod than I was.

I have one of those sports packs that includes all the regional networks. I’ve been getting the spring games on FSN Detroit. I can’t believe that would be the case during the regular season, though. Guess I’ll find out next Monday.

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