Leyland: “A lot of pins and needles right now”
With Andy Oliver’s option to Toledo Thursday, the Tigers are one step closer to finalizing their roster, with two guys left competing for the starting job, four or five for the bullpen job by manager Jim Leyland’s count, and a few guys left for the final roster spot.
Leyland didn’t say those decisions are imminent — in fact, it’s possible that at least one could go down to the final day of camp — but he didn’t rule out the possibility of a roster move over the couple days while the Tigers are on the road. That in itself says a lot; the team normally prefers to make roster moves while the team’s at home and it’s easier to meet with players in the clubhouse.
“Things could happen,” Leyland said. “We’re close. We’ve still got some things to work out. … The wait’s almost over.”
He later hinted that something could happen after Friday’s game against the Orioles. For what it’s worth, Duane Below — competing for the starting spot along with Drew Smyly — is starting that game.
“It’s a lot of pins and needles right now, to be honest with you,” Leyland said. “Hopefully we’ll be a little closer after tomorrow.”