September 29th, 2011

Looking at Tigers’ postseason clubhouse, er, roster

Looks like this has always been a topic of discussion after the tweets from earlier today, but I wanted to blog on this before calling it a night and before the Tigers make their Division Series roster official Friday morning.

Originally, we were expecting a roster announcement today, but that was premature. They’ll take the extra day they’re allotted before making the announcement.

Most of the decisions became clearer today before the Tigers workout, because the clubhouse was open. Whether or not all the players were there, the lockers were set up, including nameplates for 27 players. One of them was Brennan Boesch, who will not be playing this postseason after undergoing season-ending thumb surgery earlier this month. That leaves 26 nameplates for a 25-man roster.

All five members of the starting rotation from the regular season — Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Brad Penny — were around. So were seven relievers: Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Daniel Schlereth, Ryan Perry and David Pauley. The Tigers will carry 11 pitchers — four starters and seven relievers. So either one of the starters will work out of the bullpen, costing a spot for one reliever, or one starter is here as an insurance option and won’t be on the roster.

On the position side, there were 14 players with lockers. The obvious ones were around, notably Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, Magglio Ordonez, Delmon Young, Ramon Santiago, Ryan Raburn, Wilson Betemit, Brandon Inge. Don Kelly, Andy Dirks and Omir Santos were also in attendance.

Danny Worth was not. He tweeted today that he flew down to Florida to work out and stay fresh in case the Tigers need him for later rounds or for an injury replacement. Will Rhymes was not spotted and did not appear to have a locker.

Again, this is far from an official count. But every indication suggests that the Tigers will keep Santos as an extra catcher rather than rely on another position player as an emergency option or risk using Victor Martinez, which never really seemed like an option in the first place.