Porcello and Perry make the team

It appears the Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry will be breaking camp with the Tigers. Details are still thin beyond that. I’ll update as more information floats North. Also, Mike Hessman was placed on outright waivers and Ryan Raburn was optioned to Toledo. That leaves 29 players in camp including Scott Williamson, Brent Clevlen, Jeff Larish, Eddie Bonine, Juan Rincon, Zach Miner, and Nate Robertson battling for one spot in the rotation, a couple in the pen, and one on the bench.

UPDATE: Juan Rincon and Eddie Bonine are also in. Dane Sardhina and Scott Williamson were assigned to minor league camp.

UPDATE 2: Clay Rapada was optioned to Toledo and your second lefty in the pen is Nate Robertson. It’s down to Brent Clevlen and Jeff Larish for the last roster spot.

So…the pitching staff looks like this:

Rotation: Verlander/Jackson/Miner/Porcello/Galarraga (I’m guessing on the order to start the season)
Bullpen: Lyon/Rodney/Seay/Rincon/Perry/Bonine/Robertson


  1. Bob

    April 1, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Nice read. According to Mlive its Larish thats getting the last roster spot “Third baseman Mike Hessman, who is out of options, was told he will not make the club.” I was pretty sure this is how it was going to turn out with Porcello/Perry with Bonderman and Zumaya going on the DL.

  2. Bob

    April 1, 2009 at 11:03 am

    woops my fault ^^^ for some odd reason I confused Hessman and Clevlen…

  3. Andre in Chi

    April 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Apparently the Tigers are shopping Rayburn to the Cards and Cubs for pitching…I’d hate to see that package in another uniform.

  4. Chris in Dallas

    April 1, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I still don’t think Porcello is ready for the big time yet. But whatever. Injuries forced their hand a bit, and he did pitch well for most of the Spring. Let’s hope he’s the real deal. I’m not at all surprised Perry made the club. I’m more surprised that he didn’t get called up at all last year.

  5. Anson

    April 1, 2009 at 11:21 am

    So who gets the short straw when Bondo comes back? Does Miner move to the pen and Bonine go down? Plus if we do get a reliever for Raburn where do we put him? Is Robertson forced out?

  6. Vince in MN

    April 1, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I hope the reconfigured offense gets off to a fast start and scores a lot of runs. I fear that with Rodney and Lyon as setup and closer, we may need a nice cushion going into the late innings. The rotation could have us on the edge of our seats a good bit of the time as well. Verlander looks to have turned the corner, but I’m still not sure about Jackson, will Galarraga be able to repeat, and as for the 4-5 slots…….

  7. scotsw

    April 1, 2009 at 11:43 am

    The decision on who to demote when Bonderman and/or Zumaya return will be interesting to watch, and will have to be based on performance. My hunch, reading between the lines of the various reports, is that Dombrowski would rather see Porcello pitching in the minors, so he’ll have to be lights-out in order to stay. You could see a straight up swap of Bondo for Porcello on the roster. Zumaya’s return will cost either Perry, Bonine or Robertson their spot. If Nate (no options) doesn’t show major-league stuff, he could be released outright. If he’s showing decent stuff, Bonine or Perry could get relegated to the minors, depending on their performance.

  8. Vince in MN

    April 1, 2009 at 11:44 am

    They’ll probably hang on to Clevlen until the last minute. With the addition of Anderson to the outfield mix, even having no more options, I think he is more expendable than Larish.

  9. Dave T.

    April 1, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I think they may want to move Porcello and Perry down if Bondo and Zumaya get healthy, but the 2 may force their hand with excellent play and stick in Detroit. Making bonine and or Robertson/Perry the guys to go.

    Too bad for Rapada, I think he pitched well enough to make the team.

    Wonder if Williamson will be in the bigs at some time this year?

    Any guesses for Over/Under on N. Robertson starts this year? I say 6

  10. Mr. X

    April 1, 2009 at 11:53 am

    If Lyon and Rodney can’t hack it, then maybe Rincon and Perry will. With are upgraded defense, I don’t think pitching will be much of a problem.
    Also remember that Pudge and Inge were terrible at calling pitches. Pudge never even gave the pitcher a target to throw at.

    Btw, the Tiger’s pitching has a 3.89 ERA this Spring.

    Here’s something funny- Cliff Lee has a 12.42 ERA this Spring.

  11. Pingback: Tigers Roster Taking Shape |

  12. Chris in Nashville

    April 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Wow…..more surprises here. I like the idea of giving Porcello and Perry a shot at the beginning to see what they can do and a taste of the bigs. As others are saying, it will be interesting to see what happens when Zum and Bondo come back. I think Bonine will be the first out the door and from there, I think it will be all about performance. It will be interesting to see how Nate works in the bullpen, I guess he’s the mop up/long reliever that Miner was going to be.

    Our rotation is all RH now, which I guess isn’t a huge deal, but we had 3 LH SP last season, now 0. I wish we had just one to change things up a bit…but I can’t WAIT to see Porcello with my own 2 eyes.

  13. Chris in Dallas

    April 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Interesting – if billfer’s projected order of the rotation pans out, Porcello would start the home opener, no? Against a lefty-heavy Texas lineup that mashes the ball? Welcome to the show, son.

  14. Mr. X

    April 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    4 games @ Toronto

  15. Scott

    April 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I thought Galaraga was pitching the home opener?

    I agree with the earlier post … Porcello will have to pitch very well to stay. If he starts getting hammered, I’d get him on the first train to Erie. I think Perry is here to stay. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the closer by the All-Star break. I think Lyon is going to be very up and down.

  16. Mr. X

    April 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Porcello = ROY
    Verlander = Cy Young
    Cabrera = MVP
    Tigers = World Series Champs

  17. Brenden

    April 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I believe Galarraga does get the Home Opener, at least, that is what I have seen on most sources. I am not a big fan of putting Nate in the bullpen. I honestly believe he is going to end up released with Sheffield, so I don’t know why were are prolonging it. When Bonderman returns, it should strictly be performanced based. If Porcello is better than Miner, Miner goes back to the pen, and Bonine goes back to the Minors. Once Zumaya is healthy, performance should be all that matters as well. Although, I am thinking Nate will be gone by then. I agree with the idea of Perry being the closer. He has been much more lights out than Lyon as of late.

  18. Chris in Dallas

    April 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for the clarification. I forgot it was a 4 gamer at Toronto. Me stupid.

    EDIT: I wanted to voice my concern about Lyon. He’s been a little too homer-prone for my liking this Spring. Yikes.

  19. Mr. X

    April 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Nate has always been a team chemistry type player. When the team does well, he does well. When the team stinks, he stinks. He’s not going to make or break the club, but he will keep the momentum going in whatever direction it is going.

  20. ron

    April 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Bring it on. Go Tigers!

  21. Brenden

    April 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I have to say that I am not encouraged at all by Verlander’s outing against Atlanta so far today. 6 H 5ER 1BB 0K 1HR….

  22. Chris in Dallas

    April 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Verlander. Ouch. Not the way to wrap up the Spring, fella.

  23. Mark in Chicago

    April 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I think one of the most promising points about the last few days is that the front office and Leyland are doing what they said they would do: that is, performance dictates who makes the team. Sheffield had an awful spring and got released. Bonine had a terrific spring and made the team. Perry and Porcello both earned the spots they were given, and Robertson, while not a great spring, had at least shown signs of life the last few outings. Willis goes on the DL.

    This bodes well for the future, so when Bonderman and Zumaya come back, I believe they are going to have to earn their way back into the mix. My guess is Porcello’s stay is limited unless he really dominates over a number of starts. He probably still needs some seasoning at AA, and with Miner, Robertson and Bonine (and eventually Bonderman), there is no shortage of candidates to pick up those starts.

  24. Andre in Chi

    April 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Don’t worry folks, I’m sure that Verlander thought he threw pretty well and had good stuff. He’s just making some adjustments and trying things out…

    BTW, how far apart on the “entertainment/predictability post-game interview spectrum” are Verlander and Sheffield?

  25. Brenden

    April 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    That’s what makes me nervous….

  26. Erin

    April 1, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Hey, think of it this way: It’s better for Verlander to have the bad outing now than in his next start. I suppose it’s a testament to how well he had been pitching that seven earned runs only pushed his spring ERA up to 3.90.

    Regardless of the score, it’s too bad today’s game wasn’t on TV, cuz watching the players wearing each other’s jerseys would’ve been so stupidly hilarious.

  27. Chris Y.

    April 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    The Braves saw Verlander only five days ago – and he pitched 7 scoreless. Back-to-back starts against the same team during the season won’t happen all that often.

  28. Mike R

    April 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I get that injuries have forced their hand just a little bit, but I am 100% firmly against Rick Porcello opening camp in Detroit. 100% against it. I am prepared to still say this was a bad decision even if he’s dominating by the end of April.

  29. scotsw

    April 1, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Absolutely right, Mike R… I’m still mad about the way they handled that Kaline kid. Rushing him in totally ruined him. I think about what could have been all the time.

  30. Andre in Chi

    April 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t know who this “Kaline kid” is, but knowing scotsw, I sense sarcasm!

  31. Brenden

    April 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Al Kaline, ring a bell?

  32. Andre in Chi

    April 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Knowing me, I was playing dumb (re: Kaline)…but thanks anyways 🙂

  33. Brenden

    April 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Meh, thought I’d give some help, lol.

  34. Pingback: Analysis: Breaking down today’s roster decisions

  35. Coleman

    April 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Al Kaline was beyond phenomenal – he could hit for average and power, run, had a first class arm out in right, and he invented batteries.

  36. rings

    April 1, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    These decisions are another sign that they are doing what they feel is best to put the best possible roster out there, regardless of pay grade.

  37. scotsw

    April 2, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I nominate Coleman for message of the week.

  38. ron

    April 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I second the nomination.

  39. Andre in Chi

    April 2, 2009 at 11:11 am

    “As a show of unity, each Tiger wore a Detroit jersey other than his own. Magglio Ordoñez went 0-for-4 in Al Kaline’s No. 6”

    Make of this what you will…

  40. Coleman

    April 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Al Kaline’s No. 6? Is that smaller than AAA?

    scotsw/ron: I’m touched, nominationally. Additionally it occurred to me that it’s a good plan to continue nominating people for things; because if anything will smoke out Smoking Loon from his hiding place, I bet rumors of message-of-the-week awards up for grabs would be just the thing to do the trick…

  41. Mr. X

    June 2, 2009 at 9:03 am