March 29th, 2010

Roster decisions imminent

By this time Wednesday, the Tigers’ 25-man roster should be known. Manager Jim Leyland said Monday afternoon that roster moves Tuesday to whittle the roster down to about 26, including a decision on the final position player and the backup catcher.

“By this time tomorrow, we’ll be down to probably one guy [over the limit],” Leyland said. “I think the picture will be almost totally clear for everybody by tomorrow.”

The one decision that will be left will be in the rotation. That, Leyland said, should be decided Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman both start Tuesday — Willis against the Orioles in Sarasota, Bonderman in a minor league game. Nate Robertson is scheduled to start Thursday against the Braves. You can read into that, I suppose, what that means for Robertson’s chances.

Leyland said Sunday he has in his mind what his roster would be, but that it wouldn’t necessarily be the final roster. Dave Dombrowski has the final say on that. So what follows now is a discussion with Dombrowski, Leyland, the coaching staff and other members of the front office on the baseball side.

The final roster spot is essentially down to Don Kelly or Clete Thomas. The backup catching decision essentially comes down to whether the Tigers want Alex Avila catching a couple times a week in Detroit or every day in Toledo for development’s sake, which would most likely put Robinzon Diaz on the team. The fact that roster decisions are coming Tuesday seemingly indicates the Tigers don’t expect to grab another backup catcher on the waiver wire or in a trade.

Tigers vs. Blue Jays: One more time

Technically, the Tigers have already won the best-of-7 Spring Training series against the Blue Jays. But that means nothing when there’s a chance to take a fifth game here in Dunedin today.

The starting outfielders are off of this trip, so the Tigers have an entire outfield of converted infielders. Alex Avila is also at DH to get some more at-bats.

TIGERS

  1. Inge, 3B
  2. Everett, SS
  3. Sizemore, 2B
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Laird, C
  6. Raburn, RF
  7. Kelly, CF
  8. Larish, LF
  9. Avila, DH

BLUE JAYS

  1. Jose Bautista, RF
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Adam Lind, DH
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
  7. Travis Snider, LF
  8. Raul Chavez, C
  9. John McDonald, SS

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