Tigers option Thomas, set 25-man roster

The Tigers set their 25-man roster Wednesday by optioning outfielder Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo, thus making utilityman Don Kelly their final position player.

The move came after an MRI exam on Thomas’ injured right shoulder showed no serious damage. He’s expected to be ready in time for the start of the Mud Hens season opener. He hasn’t played since taking a pitch off his shoulder last week, causing a deep bone bruise on his shoulder blade.

Essentially, the choice had come down to Kelly or Thomas for at least the final week of camp. In the end, Kelly’s ability to play infield and outfield offered more to the Tigers, who have third baseman Brandon Inge and second baseman Scott Sizemore back from offseason surgeries.

With Kelly and Ryan Raburn, the Tigers have two superutility players who can play most positions on the field except for shortstop, catcher and pitcher. Kelly bats left-handed, while Raburn is a right-handed hitter. Both played all over the field in Spring Training.

“His versatility was a factor,” manager Jim Leyland said of Kelly.

Thomas can play all three outfield spots well, but does not play the infield.

12 Comments

Well everything is set now. In a week results will speak for themselves and we won’t have to swallow the spin from JL and DD about stuff like Bonderman outpitching Nate or Everett hitting the ball well even though his stats (.075) don’t show it. Tiger fans are generally too knowledgeable to fal for that crap.
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Bondo has allowed 20 hits in 13 IP with and ERA that was about double of what Nate’s was. Bonine is almost certain to be part of the rotation with one of either Dontrelle or Bondo not being able to come back from their difficulties. (Hopefully, not both.)
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Guillen is concerning me already this year. He has been largely ineffective and actually just got pulled from the game in the 3rd inning with a hamstring issue. He really has to hit around..280 with 20 + homers this year in order for the middle of the lineup to be dangerous.
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Congrats to Don Kelly for his spring and making the team. I think he will give us far better results than Josh Anderson did last year.
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I guess I missed the part about Guillen being taken out with his hamstring. Well, at least we know we’ve got some options at AAA to bring up if need be.

My God, Adam Everett just took a walk. Oh, happy day.

Looks like Verlander got lit up again. I didn’t see the game obviously it isn’t on here, but 9 hits in 4 innings YIKES

I’m a little bit concerned about Justin, but I wonder if it’s just the ST thing or if he’s still working on things. I definitely agree with the skipper that he works too hard and throws too many pitches. I have to believe he’ll be OK, though. We expect him to be our best and he expects it of himself. Gotta believe he’ll work it out. The Tigers have been hitting good lately, but the real test will be against good pitching.
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The announcers keep saying how nice the weather is at the park in Florida. I say this with a chuckle but it’s just as nice here in Michigan. Pure heaven at the end of March!

Guillen with a hamstring issue already. No way he should have been playing leftfield. How do you get that fact through management’s thick skulls?
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–Rich

Maybe it’s Guillen’s thick skull that needs to be reminded of that fact. This ought to remind him.

Not disagreeing with you, Rich. But you know Carlos thinks he can probably still play. Maybe the skipper is letting him find out for himself. That’s all.

JL does respect his veterans. Perhaps to a fault. When Sheffield was obviously done he was permitted to call his own shots. Remember the absurd situation where he said he wasn’t hitting becasues he needed to play in the field?
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Guillen understandably wants to play in the field. The problem is that he is not very good out there and is physically vulnerable to injury. He has been fragile for years now and the truth is he should only be a DH. And he should only be a DH if he produces in the role.
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Nice to see the newcomers (Damon, AJ and Sizemore) hitting the ball. Crucial. Sizemore is starting to come around.
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Ramon should be getting a lot more playing time this year. No way can JL or DD justify Everett in the lineup if he can’t hit his weight. I know it’s spring and all but at theis rate if he gets his 345 ABs he got last year he won’t even end up with 40 hits! I don’t care what kind of rep he has as a fielder (IMO, he is only a bit better than average anyway), the club needs production out of their shortstop. This is not a club that could carry an Oyler with the likes of Kaline, Cash, Horton, Northrup, Freehan, McAuliffe etc.
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This Guillen thing may work out. If this becomes an ongoing problem, he can go on the DL and Raburn can get regular at bats to continue his hot hitting. Then, by the time Guillen is ready to come back, we will know more about AJax, whether Mags is actually hitting and with any power, whether Sizemore is hacking it, and then Carlos can be fit back into a team that has a better idea of where he can actually help.

All true, but Guillen is one of our few LH hitters. That makes him being on the DL all the more disastrous. If Clete even gets to Toledo, he won’t be there long.
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–Rich

I think this team could be good but it is relying on alot of “if’s” for that to happen. If Verlander has a bad year the team will too. If Valverde blows a bunch of saves is another one.

I’m excited about what the younger players might bring to the team and also wonder how long they’ll let Everett struggle. And with the way Avila is hitting hopefully it will light a fire under Laird to produce offensively.

I can’t say I understand why Nate was the odd man out considering his competition. To be fair I didn’t have much faith in any of the 3 involved but at least keep Nate around for when Bondo and D-Train implode. I wonder how many other teams have ate as many contracts as the Tigers in the last 3 years. I’d be interested to know.

Funny thing about the Nate trade with Florida picking him up on the minimum salary. If anyone had said a month ago Nate would lead ST strike outs on 19, a 3.66 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP and be cut for little return, I would have said give up whatever your taking.
Bondo is still not back totally and with Miner not available, I would have started with both lefties in the rotation with Eddie at Toledo as a readily available insurance starter. When you finally have a roster where you are not scratching around to make up the 25, the players should be utilised.
Nate did his share of pouting last year and it seems they did not want to possibly upset the new found team chemistry.
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I am really glad Brad Thomas made the side, a fellow city native. He sure took some risks initially dropping money and burning a few bridges with Japanese teams. The allure of making it in MLB is amazingly strong worldwide. I have a feeling he is now ready for his second chance.

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