Tigers release ALDS roster, including Rajai Davis

Rajai Davis is on the Tigers roster for the American League Division Series. Whether he’s in the lineup for Thursday’s series opener against the Orioles at Camden Yards remains unclear.

Given the choice between having him at all or having the roster spot to fill in for him, the Tigers opted to carry Davis, who has been dealing with a sprained pelvic ligament that forced him out of last Saturday’s game against the Twins. In making that choice, the Tigers at least see enough hope that he can play at some point in this best-of-five series.

The fact that the Tigers need just four starters for the postseason effectively gives them an extra spot on their 25-man roster to use. So if Davis isn’t ready for Game 1, or even Game 2, they still have their usual complement of bench options and a seven-man bullpen.

With Davis iffy, the Tigers will carry September call-up Hernan Perez as an extra infielder, giving them depth if Don Kelly plays extensively in the outfield. Perez made last year’s playoff roster as a late-inning pinch-runner, a role he’ll likely reprise this season, especially if Carrera starts in center.

Though Perez was not on the active roster as of Aug. 31, he was still eligible for the postseason roster as an injury replacement. Detroit’s six players on the 60-day disabled list gave the Tigers the ability to add players, so long as they were in the organization as of Aug. 31.

Davis’ situation was one of two decisions Tigers officials had to make on how to assemble their series roster. The other was their much-scrutinized bullpen, which will have two converted starters. While Anibal Sanchez transitions from past playoff starter to postseason reliever, so will Kyle Lobstein, who filled Sanchez’s rotation spot in September while Sanchez was on the disabled list with a right pectoral muscle strain.

Sanchez enters his third postseason with a 2.95 ERA in six career playoff starts. He won Game 1 of last year’s ALCS at Fenway Park, delivering six no-hit innings with six walks and 12 strikeouts.

Lobstein gives the Tigers two left-handed relievers, but despite a .217 average (10-for-46) against left-handed hitters in his 39 1/3 Major League innings, he’s more likely to be used as a long reliever than a lefty specialist.

Lobstein made the roster over fellow left-hander Blaine Hardy as well as right-hander Jim Johnson, the former Orioles closer who signed with the Tigers in August. Both Hardy and Johnson struggled down the stretch.

Here’s the full roster:

PITCHERS (11)
62 RHP Al Alburquerque
44 RHP Joba Chamberlain
40 LHP Phil Coke
53 LHP Kyle Lobstein
36 RHP Joe Nathan
21 RHP Rick Porcello
14 LHP David Price
19 RHP Anibal Sanchez
37 RHP Max Scherzer
38 RHP Joakim Soria
35 RHP Justin Verlander

CATCHERS (2)
13 Alex Avila
50 Bryan Holaday

INFIELDERS (6)
24 1B Miguel Cabrera
9 3B  Nick Castellanos
3 2B Ian Kinsler
26 INF Hernan Perez
27 INF Andrew Romine
30 INF Eugenio Suarez

OUTFIELDERS (5)
61 OF Ezequiel Carrera
20 OF Rajai Davis
48 OF Torii Hunter
32 INF/OF Don Kelly
28 OF J.D. Martinez

DESIGNATED HITTER (1)
41 Victor Martinez

14 Comments

Bit surprised at Perez over Collins, thought Collins LH power would give him a slight edge as a pinch hitter. Lobstein over Hardy is interesting as well, the ability to go multiple innings must have helped. Not many lefties on the O’s, only De Aza and Markakis really.

Works for me.

OKAY, then there’s this:
Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWP·2 hrs2 hours ago
Tim Hudson on facing the Nats: “Talent can take you a long ways, but what do you have between your legs?”
.
Now THAT is a fine example of playoff baseball, bulletin board material, something for Nats fans to put on signs, and (ahem) jock speak. Jocktober is underway.

well to be fair, the Nats usually choke and the Giants overachieve.
.
Can’t say I have any issues with the 25-man roster.

Under the circumstance it makes good sense. Ironically Rajai’s deployment may be restricted to his bat and not his wheels. Can’t see him running well for another week with the type of injury he has. they can squeeze him into core shorts and hyperbaric chambers but that injury is at least two weeks.
Key moment for Carerra/Kelly.

Kind of what I thought also . They are going to have to be very careful what they let Davis do .

“MLB personalities make ALDS predictions”
Uh………..I think I’ll stick with my own non-personality predictions.

No surprise there, Lobstein as expected.Kelly as 4th OF and Perez to backup Castellanos in a pinch

But why not bring Collins as a Left handed power bat that can play OF. Kelly can spell Nick defensively.

(Some) Experience over a player unable to hold his spot early in the season

Lineup at BAL: Kinsler 4, Hunter 9, Cabrera 3, V. Martinez DH, J. Martinez 7, Avila 2, Castellanos 5, Romine 6, Davis 8. Scherzer starts

Pingback: Despite groin injury, Rajai Davis is on Tigers’ ALDS roster | HardballTalk

Great to hear Rajai “feels” like he can go but I have my doubts. The danger is losing him in his first AB.
If they do Collins will be a versatile and an interesting replacement.
Not sure that having Perez and Suarez is a fantastic idea. There is some redundancy there.
Eugenio is struggling and “feeling it”.
Castellanos is a key to success IMHO. If he can rise to the occasion it will be a huge contribution.

Collins is a wild card here. I think we will hear from him and i think he will become a “Tiger” to be remembered this year.

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