Could Tigers break camp with four starters?

It sounded like it wasn’t really an idea that interested Jim Leyland earlier this spring when he was first asked about it. Now that Opening Day is less than a week away, and the first game where they need a fifth starter is more than two weeks away, Leyland isn’t ruling out the potential that they could start the season with a four-man rotation and wait until they actually need their fifth starter April 14 before they call him out.

“We could,” he said.

How they would use that spot is another decision. The usual option is to carry an extra reliever. But in theory, the Tigers could carry an extra position player.

“If you decide to go with the one way, you could end up with an extra guy on the team,” Leyland said. “It might not be a pitcher. If you decide to go that way. That’s a big if.”

That question came up about a month ago. At that point, Leyland indicated they planned on taking 12 pitchers, but didn’t rule out the fifth starter staying back for a start in a minor-league game, saying that would be discussed.

“I think we’ll start the season with 12 pitchers,” Leyland said at the time. “I’d like to get everybody settled in.”

7 Comments

As now , the extra position player must be a catcher or able to catch 9 innings

well the 5th starter will have to start out of the pen or as a mud hen…..cuz we don’t need a 5th starter for the first couple times through the rotation

Not a bad idea to have the fifth starter get a game in in Toledo, and hopefully gain some confidence, before coming back up. This could be, too, that Turner has a shot, but I’d still keep him in Triple-A.
–Mike

http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

Wow—Smyly made it even before his next scheduled start tomorrow. I presume he will still be toeing the rubber?
Marte made it as Villareal was optioned along with Below. We will see both of them this year almost certainly.
The mystery of Inge seems less now with the extra spot as Smyly is getting his 1st starts in Toledo. Surprised the club would announce this move as they have avoided committing on these late roster decisions and could have not said anything about Smyly winning the job.

Wow! Quite an honor.

i mentioned the 5th starter might start in leyland and carry an extra positional play etc….a while back.

lol toledo, not leyland. And on another note, who will start the April 4th exibition game against Toledo?

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