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.”