Roster cuts not a surprise

By now, I’m guessing you’ve heard about the roster cuts — Hollimon, Lambert and Wells to Toledo, Simons to Erie, and Iorg and Avila to Minor League camp. All of them were expected to happen at some point in camp. The Wells move likely means that we’re going to see plenty of Raburn, Clevlen and Ramirez until the starting outfielders come back from the World Baseball Classic or until Clete Thomas is cleared to play in games.

One interesting point is the moves that didn’t get made. A lot of relievers are still in camp, including Perry, Ni, Fien, Bonine and Bloom. I would expect Perry to be in camp for at least as long as Zumaya is out. The longer he’s in camp, the more of a chance he gets to make an impression.

Hollimon still shapes up to be the Tigers’ insurance if one of their middle infielders goes down to injury during the season, but he needs to get some playing time. With Adam Everett and Placido Polanco playing regularly and Ramon Santiago playing quite a bit, Hollimon wasn’t going to get it in big league camp. Leyland had hoped to get Hollimon into Sunday’s game, but didn’t get a chance.

If you have a chance to watch this game on TV back home or online wherever you are, you’ll be glad to know that the Cardinals sent a very representative squad up to Lakeland. We’ll have some sort of chatter going on Twitter at

Here are the lineups:


  1. Perez, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Larish, 1B
  5. Raburn, RF
  6. Laird, C
  7. Clevlen, CF
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Everett, SS

PITCHING: Miner, Lyon, Seay, Dolsi, Perry


  1. Skip Schumaker, 2B
  2. Rick Ankiel, DH
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Chris Duncan, LF
  5. Ryan Ludwick, RF
  6. Khalil Greene, SS
  7. Joe Thurston, 3B
  8. Jason LaRue, C
  9. Colby Rasmus, CF

PITCHING: Todd Wellemeyer, Mitchell Boggs, others


Yes, thank you Cardinals for sending a handful of you major league regulars. It should make the game very interesting to watch.

I see where Magglio Ordonez is getting the Gary Sheffield treatment – his own fans are booing him. I can understand the fans not liking him for supporting Hugo Chavez, a communist dictator. Has there been any talk about this around the clubhouse and media in Lakeland? Controversy always makes things interesting. I may be watching that WBC game tonight.

Has anyone else but me seen what Chris Shelton is doing in the Mariners camp? Red is on FIRE. Jason, is it me or did we trade Shelton for a Charlie Dog and a bag of peanuts? How do we let someone who has that kinda talent go for nothing? And wasnt he a catcher?

Just checked the box score on today’s game and Zach continues to disapooint. He’s unlikely to win the 5th spot and I’m wondering if he’s even gonna make the roster. Question: does he have options left?

Here’s the staff as I see it right now:
– Verlander
– Gallaraga
– Bonderman (hoping)
– Jackson
– Robertson

– Lyon
– Rodney
– Seay
– Rincon
– Fien
– Willis (unless he accepts an assignment in the minors)
– Perry

There’s still tons left to figure out including:
– Can Williamson make the team out of the gate? If he can, I think Perry gets sent down.
– Can Willis or Robertson hold down the fifth spot?
– What to do with Miner?
– What to do with Rapada and McBride? They don’t have options left so they could be picked off by other teams.
That’s all– just taking a quick break and trying to figure out the Tiges pitching staff. Ultimately, the starters have me concerned. I like the potential arms in the ‘pen and think that a healthy Zumaya could radically improve the picture. Regardless, it all boils down to Verlander and Bonderman bouncing back, Jackson and Gallaraga repeating last year’s success, and someone proving they can hold down the fifth spot. I’ve purposefully avoided mentioning Porcello as I don’t want to get my hopes up. If he makes the team, I have to believe that Mr. Illitch eats the contracts of Willis and/or Robertson…. just don’t think that’s gonna happen.

I have to disagree on Robertson being the 5th starter…He has been horrid this spring, and has no upside at the age of 31. I say you have to give Willis 4 starts and see what happens. I know his spring has been as bad as Robertson’s, but he is 5 or 6 years younger and throws faster than batting practice. It’s either this or give Porcello the ball…

I’m glad to see that Shelton is doing well with the Mariners. I think we all have cheered for Chris and were upset when he failed to produce in Detroit. Similar to Tampa’s first baseman (whose name eludes me right now), the Tigers wanted Chris to succeed but he wasn’t getting it done at the Major league level. Ideally, he’ll get it turned around in Seattle.
As far as the fifth starter goes, I don’t see any reason to believe that Willis is a major league caliber pitcher right now. I’d love to see him win the job and have expected him to do so all Spring. Unfortunately, he hasn’t pulled it together. There is still time and I’m hoping it turns around but at some point, the guys gotta get somebody out.

Re Chris Shelton: the Mariners have LH hitting Russell Branyan at 1b and are committing to getting him 400-500 ABs. Branyan is terrible against LH pitching, so I think they’ll need a RH hitting backup. Maybe Big Red could get that job, but I’m not holding my breath over it. There aren’t too many clubs who want a firstbaseman that doesn’t hit a lot of homers, witness Sean Casey.
Interesting game today. I brought this up before, but you have to wonder why the Tigers have spent years looking for a LH hitter while Timo Perez patrols the outfield in Toledo. I’d have to say that Timo would be more valuable than Thames at this point. In fact, it may be time to change the guard and move Marcus along to make room for the younger guys like Clevlen and Thomas and Larish. Everybody including me loves Marcus but there comes a time…………..
Ryan Perry looked very sharp. Smooth and sharp. I don’t expect Zumaya to be healthy, ever, so I’m very interested in Perry’s progress. In fact (again), it may be time to begin changing the guard here too. We have a lot of experienced pitchers who aren’t getting the job done.
In case anyone didn’t notice, Santiago should have been out on his bunt single that opened the 9th. The ball hit him. After the replay, the TV guys saw it too. Anyway, it’s fun to see the youngsters and I wish more ST games could be shown on TV. It was also nice to virtually travel back to Lakeland for an afternoon.

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