Playoff Roster Set

Listening to the post game show on the way home from the game it sounds like Ramon Santiago is in over Chris Shelton and Zach Miner is in over Andrew Miller.

The Miller/Miner decision seemed pretty clear cut, even with Miner’s debacle on Saturday night. Miller hadn’t been that effective that he would warrant a spot over the other guys in the bullpen.

As for the last position player, I think this move is foolish yet understandable. Chris Shelton was given a few pinch hitting opportunities in the last week and he looked awful. If he does something, or anything positive in those at-bats and he makes the roster. Instead the Tigers take the Perez/Infante/Santiago trio of back-up infielders.

So the squad is as follows:

Infielders: Casey, Polanco, Guillen, Inge, Infante, Perez, Santiago
Outfielders: Monroe, Granderson, Ordonez, Gomez, Thames
Catchers: Rodriguez, Wilson
Starting Pitchers: Robertson, Verlander, Rogers, Bonderman
Relief Pitchers: Jones, Rodney, Zumaya, Walker, Ledezma, Grilli, Miner

It was also announced that Nate Robertson would start game 1 and Justin Verlander would start game 2. Interestingly, Nate Robertson was warming up and looked to be next in line if the game continued. And with Verlander starting game 2, I won’t have to finish that Rick Ankiel article I was writing.

23 thoughts on “Playoff Roster Set”

  1. Agree with your assessment of the Shelton/Santiago decision–foolish but understandable. At some point, Leyland will probably have to pinch run for Casey late in a game. Now they’ll have to move Guillen to 1B and play one of the three back-up middle infielders at SS. Should have brought Shelton purely as a defensive player.

    All-time great sports euphamism: ESPN ticker says, “Tigers clinch AL Wild Card.” But the playoffs are the playoffs, baby! There are plenty of fans in Chicago and Boston who’d be happy to have their team traveling to New York tomorrow morning.

    Serious question: Is there any sabermetric research out there on whether teams with poor records in the last month or two of the season tend to play poorly in the playoffs?

  2. Just do what I do when you have a question like that, Kyle. Crack open and start digging. I’d just start looking at every world series winner in the past 10 years or 15 years and see if there’s a pattern or if nothing is evident. Then report back 😛

    Here’s a hardball times article to read too

  3. OK,

    How about some perspective.

    I’ve had season tix since 1998. I have been to Spring Training 3 of the last 4 years.

    When the Kitty’s started off 18-9, WDFN was talking on the morning show having people call in on how many wins the Tigers would have.

    Most people said they would be happy with over .500.

    I called and said I predicted 82 to 90 wins in spring training and that if everything went well, they would win 95.

    The co-hosts on WDFN could not stop laughing. They wanted to know what I was smoking. To those guys: KMA


  4. What’s the point of having 3 backup infielders, including 2 who aren’t viable candidates to pinch-hit (Santiago and Perez).

  5. *** including 2 who aren’t viable candidates to pinch-hit (Santiago and Perez). ***

    Neifi was viable enough to pinch-hit for Stairs today. A guy with a career OBP of .298 being put in to lead off an inning in which the Tigers desperately needed a baserunner.

    Neifi must have some compromising photos of somebody in the organization.

  6. I think if we all had our choice, Perez would’ve been the infielder that was left off the roster. That clearly wasn’t going to be the case.

  7. Sam I’m not sure if that was sarcastic, but I think Clevlen is the other choice. Moreover, he’s been playing more than Gomez in September, so why does Gomez get the nod for the playoffs?

    I would have selected Clevlen and Shelton over Neifi and Gomez.

    Despite the way they’ve limped in, it’s nice to be able to debate playoff rosters.

  8. And I think this will be unpopular on this blog, but I would’ve picked Miller over Miner. Miner can be an innings guy, but we shouldn’t need that in the playoffs, at least not anymore than Ledezma and Grilli. And if we do, we’re in trouble anyway.

    Miller on the other hand, despite his wildness, is a candidate to come in early where a strikeout is needed, i.e. runner on third and less than 2 outs.

  9. Miller on the other hand, despite his wildness, is a candidate to come in early where a strikeout is needed, i.e. runner on third and less than 2 outs.

    True. Even if he doesn’t get the strikeout, atleast he’ll walk a couple guys so Walker can come in to get the doubleplay ball. 🙂

  10. I take Neifi over Santiago. Sorry, he’s not that great, but he’s a backup and not all that indistinguishable from Santiago. Look it up, Santiago just isn’t all that good either. As this is the postseason, I doubt we’d see much of either. I do fail to see why we should have both.

    I probably take Shelton over Santiago… but only as a defensive replacement because he should not swing a bat again this season in the MLB. I hope Shelton fixes it in the offseason. He put his mind to becoming a good defensive player and did it, hopefully he can do that to get his bat working again too.

    Clevlen was hot for awhile, but cooled off and his main spot would also be defense or a little pinch runner speed. I don’t think I’d like Clevlen to pinch hit in key moments. But the Tigers would prefer he play everyday in the Arizona Fall League and continue to develop rather than sit on the bench for a few weeks. Given I doubt many of us believe in a miracle right about now either, and we see some potential for a future starting outfielder, I don’t think that’s a bad decision. Certainly you can debate whether he should be taken. But I don’t think it’s a cut-and-dry issue to say the Tigers are making a mistake.

    The way I see it, no guy who missed the playoff roster made a great argument for being there. Our bench isn’t as deep as we’d like to believe.I wouldn’t have minded seeing Miller, frankly, but he didn’t make a great argument either and the pen would have been lefty-heavy.

  11. Billfer, is 118 comments about one game some kind of record? And not a single one from me! Well, today was a good day to be in LA, where I couldn’t see the game. I talked to my brother, who was at the game, and he sounded really depressed. It’s hard to be happy about anything relating to this team right now, but I still can’t wait for Tuesday night. I can’t wait to see the Tigers on the national stage against the most storied franchise in the history of the sport. We are a huge underdog in this series, and rightfully so, but anything can happen. The Yankees pitchers are all hittable (except Rivera), and our pitchers are all capable of shutting a team down, even a good offensive team like the Yankees. (OK, a great offensive team.) Anything can happen. I’m over today’s game. Yeah, it helps that I didn’t watch it. But I’m over the whole regular season. It was great for a while, then bad, and now it’s over, and we are in the playoffs for the first time in 19 years. Let’s look forward instead of back. It’s the playoffs. We are 0-0, and so are the Twins, and so are the Yankees, and so are the White Sox. (Oh, wait, the White Sox aren’t even in the playoffs!)


  12. This relates moreso to the game post, but I also want to say something about people who say that the Tigers don’t deserve to make the playoffs. (I’m assuming “don’t deserve” means lucky. Dmitri Young possibly didn’t deserve it for moral reasons, but that’s for another day.)

    The notion that they don’t deserve it is preposterous. The Tigers still have one of the best run differentials in the league. They outscored AND allowed fewer runs than Minnesota and Oakland, two “deserving” playoff teams.

    What’s happening is they’re entering the playoffs on a sour stretch. Over 162 games, every team has bad stretches. They didn’t get 40 games nearly 3/4 of the way through by luck or accident. The Tigers’ timing is just extremely bad.

    And I don’t mean to suggest that it isn’t cause for concern. It is. Momentum is a powerful (albeit hard to quantify) thing, and we’re entering the playoffs with none.

    They’re struggling right now, but they’re still a good and deserving team overall (as shown by the run differential, even including September). The first step to discussing a problem is to correctly identify the problem–I guess that’s my point.

  13. The biggest problem I see with the Tigers playoff roster is we really have to hope we don’t need anyone to pinch hit late in the game. We need to jump on starting pitching early because the Yankees will be able to pick and choose their matchups after the 6th inning.

  14. Good link, Kurt. Encouraging quote:

    “Each World Champions from 1997 through 2000 had a worse record in September than the season as a whole. In fact, two of those teams had September records below .500. The 1997 Marlins made it to the postseason through the Wild Card slot and became the first Wild Card team to win it all. However, you can’t really say they had momentum on their side, as they played only .444 ball in September, the second-lowest September record of any World Series winner in the past 35 years.”

  15. Sam,

    With all due respect, they weren’t terribly off base to laugh at you. You couldn’t have known the staff would be this good and Verlander would come out and win ROY. Fact is, there was nothing saying this team was a 90+ win team coming out of Spring Training even with everything going well. I think .500 (or 2-3 games above) was the “going well” rate out of spring. Granted, I had the highest hopes, but I would never suggest that I predicted the kind of dream season we experienced. In the end, you get the last laugh, but that’s by chance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely happy that you were right and we ended with almost 100 wins, but nothing outside of blind optimism caused you to make that statement in March.

  16. Ok, its a new day, and we are in the playoffs! Lets sit back and enjoy it and try not to break anything.

  17. a friend described the royals sunday game as a 4.5 hr dry heave. man, i’m so glad i’m out of the country. the point of the 06 collapse isn’t whether the tigers deserves the playoffs, but the very real possibility they could go back to being 78-84 territory next year. (19-31 averages out to a 100 loss season). it is the crushing of hope that the franchise has turned the corner. (you can go thru the history of mediocre franchises and find excellent 100 game stretches, it doesn’t necessarily mean a franchise is fixed) alas, i feel like the possibilty of the tigers getting swept in three by a run differential of 34-7 is much greater than them winning the series.
    nevertheless, i’m going to gawk at topless women on the beach in barcelona and hope for the best.

  18. I’m worried more about the impact on the team’s chances of advancing in the postseason than I am about next year. The main reason to be optimistic about the future is the young pitching. Verlander faded down the stretch, but that was to be expected for someone who’s never pitched more than 130 innings down the stretch (I will concede Bonderman’s performance is a concern). And we have plenty of other young arms to choose from: Ledezma, Miner, Sanchez, Miller. Plus the two older starters (really old: Rogers; just oldER: Robertson) held up quite well down the stretch.

    On the hitting side, I think Illitch will be willing to invest more in the lineup during the offseason. He’s seen the financial benefits of a contending team. Adding a big bat at 1B, 3B, and/or DH should help prevent future extended losing stretches.

  19. I say, who cares about the regular season, or next year, complain all you want about the last half of the season but in the end it doesnt matter how the tigers played. its all about how they will play. so lets sit back and enjoy the PLAYOFFS! the key to winning is thinking one game at a time. on to NY

  20. Personally I feel it is a real shame that Chris Shelton got overlooked since he was a major part of the Tigers early Success this year.. He helped set the tone.. Also when he went to Toledo the Tigers lost more games without him than with him, HELLO!!!
    I hope the Tigers do well but feel strongly that they are going to miss that Shelton Swing..

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