Yesterday Jim Leyland dropped some hints as to what his preferred 25 man roster would be when the team breaks camp this week. Actually he’s been dropping hints all along but he certainly helped to remove some doubt yesterday. It appears that Don Kelly will be the last position player on the roster.
Leyland offered reporters up this nugget:
I’ll give you one hint: ‘If Larish could play center field, his chances would be better.’
Which certainly hurts Jeff Larish’s chances of making the team. And I read it like Lee does that the preferred candidate be able to play both infield and outfield. This likely becomes more important as Leyland states his intention of resting Brandon Inge early in the season and the team’s questioned (and answered) level of comfort in Scott Sizemore.
Dave Dombrowski has input (or final say) into the roster as well, but a Kelly selection wouldn’t raise any contractual red flags. Clete Thomas has an option left and Jeff Larish isn’t on the 40 man roster (though Kelly would have to be removed if he is cut and Larish would slide into that spot). Kelly is out of options and the team would risk losing him.
At this point it is much ado about the 25th spot, a spot that will likely have many inhabitants as the season progresses. Thomas, Larish, and a host of others will likely spend time on the big league roster this season. But in March it’s something to talk about at least.
In other roster-ish news Joel Zumaya appears to have secured a role in the bullpen.
Photo Credit: lakelandlocal on Flickr