2013 Roster Is Set

STARTERS: C Avila, 1B Fielder, 2B Infante, SS Peralta, 3B Cabrera, LF Dirks, CF Jackson, RF Hunter, DH Martinez.

BENCH: C Pena, IF Santiago, IF/OF Kelly, IF/OF Tuiasosopo.

ROTATION: Verlander, Sanchez, Fister, Scherzer, Porcello, RHPs all (the precise order remains undisclosed as far as I know).

BULLPEN: RHPs Dotel, Benoit, Alburquerque, Villareal; LHPs Coke, Downs, Smyly.

To the delight of some and the dismay of others, Quintin Berry was optioned to Toledo and Don Kelly made the team. In news that surprised no one, Bruce Rondon, Luis Marte, and Danny Worth were also sent to Toledo. There’s still a chance Ramon Santiago gets traded soon, but it’s a very slim chance indeed. That slimness is diminished still further by the question: Traded for what and who, exactly? Prospects? A draft pick? The Tigers are set. Until further notice.

The lame duck session of spring training has commenced. Only 2 Grapefruit League games remain to be played. (The Tigers can still get to 20 wins. Woo-hoo!) If there’s anything left to look for or at in them, please tell us what it is. I’m really, really tired of those Jaguar commercials. Is that going to go on all season? (Sorry. I guess that was another Jaguar commercial.)

I’m entirely pleased with the pitching staff selections. (Really happy to see Justin Verlander make the team.) I’m somewhat less than pleased by half of the bench, but must grant that the odds of Kelly hitting respectably are greater than those of Matt Tuiasosopo (one of “my” candidates and an even better feel-good story than Kelly ever was) continuing to rake in limited ABs, not to mention proving in the first place that he can hit MLB pitching when it counts.

It will be “closer by committee” to begin the season, apparently. Think that’s gonna last long? It could, you know, although I don’t think Jim Leyland would be happy with it.

What about the order of the starting rotation? Is that significant to you? Care to speculate?

Here’s a fun one: Guess the first 10 roster moves of the season. Including DL stints. As I go over the more likely DL, sent down, and called up scenarios, the good news is that I can’t think of a single DFA candidate. I suppose that if Santiago had an unfathomably horrid first couple months, he might be designated for assignment, but that is even less likely than a trade.

Are the Detroit Tigers ready? I think the Detroit Tigers are ready. The question is, is the rest of MLB ready for them? Right?


  1. Smoking Loon

    March 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Latest from http://beck.mlblogs.com:

    “Would Tigers sniff at second helping of Big Potato?”

    No. No way. Please, no way.

    • The Strategy Expert

      March 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Well there was a reason that he was here in the first place, and that’s because DD wanted him arguably more than anybody else. Everybody saw his stock go down, but DD might still be operating from the top end of a valuation for him. So if one team were to want to take a chance on him for a decent price while possibly needing a closer, then Detroit is arguably his best fit! If anybody bites on Santiago in the near future, then I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened really quickly. Boras would appreciate being thrown a bone and owe us one too.

      • Smoking Loon

        March 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

        Valverde was great for two seasons and adequate for one more. Detroit might be his best fit, but Valverde no longer fits the Tigers. I think there’s a greater chance that the Tigers coax Todd Jones out of retirement and sign him to a 10-year deal.

        • Smoking Loon

          March 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm

          It’s funny to be thinking about trades again, but how about Santiago to the Cubs (Tigers pick up half the salary) for Barret Loux and Guillermo Moscoso?

          • The Strategy Expert

            March 29, 2013 at 12:18 am

            Well if we did that trade then I would just add those guys to the list of expendable players to try and get some non-pitcher improvements.

            • Smoking Loon

              March 29, 2013 at 12:27 am

              I’m trying to be the shrewd GM adding sleeper pitching depth at the moment. Loux goes to Erie, Moscoso can help Toledo and add a little more RHP starting depth at the AAA level.

              • The Strategy Expert

                March 29, 2013 at 12:39 am

                Yeah that’s interesting. I don’t know much about Loux without reviewing him, but he could be a good sleeper! But I think Santiago has more value to toy with the Yankees later on as more bodies continue to drop.

              • Smoking Loon

                March 29, 2013 at 12:47 am

                Yeah, I haven’t yet looked into what the seriously injured Yankees or the Ramirez-deprived Dodgers might have to offer.

                Santiago could hit as many as 10 HR playing in Yankee Stadium. I don’t see how they could turn him down.

  2. Smoking Loon

    March 29, 2013 at 12:45 am

    7 of Don Kelly’s 17 career HRs have been hit leading off an inning. Interestingly, disappointingly, all 7 were solo shots. See, that’s why he wouldn’t have made my team.

  3. Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert1971

    March 29, 2013 at 12:52 am

    SL: I am confused: re the 1/2 of the bench; are you more concerned about the effectiveness of DK or MT? I am already on the record rooting for MT, but can see DK having a mini comeback… and it just occured to me! 3 weeks from today I will be rocking the old english D at safeco, and if I can count (doubtful!) I may see a Verlander vs. King Felix matchup

    • Smoking Loon

      March 29, 2013 at 1:50 am

      Verlander vs. King Felix would be great. You’ll have to write up a special report on that game experience.

      I’m rooting for MT but have the expected realistic doubts based on his track record. I guess you could say I’m worried about MT because he’s the underdog I’m backing. DK I’m more ambivalent about. I won’t complain if the current bench does great, of course. Can’t root against them. I’d rather have Berry and Worth than Kelly and Santiago because I find the former two more fun to watch, and while there are more objective cases to be made for my preference, I’ll put that aside once the season starts. The funny thing about DK having a mini-comeback is that there’s not much to come back to, but he doesn’t need to do much more than he did in 2010-11 to be of value. However, his career numbers show him to be a very slow starter who essentially thrives only late in the season, so you have to wonder how much patience Leyland will afford him. Might depend on how the season’s going.

  4. William

    March 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    just heard JV signed extension…7 years, 25mm per (I think). outside cutting the grass and listening on my iPod, so I could have gotten the #s wrong.

    terrific news if true

    • William

      March 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      EDIT: CBS is reporting 5 years with a vesting option for 2 more..total package could be just over 200mm.

  5. Coleman

    March 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    BREAKING NEWS! Verlander gets 5-year extension through 2019 with vesting option for 2020. That gives him a total of 7 years for 202 million, which makes him baseballs’s first 200 million dollar pitcher.

    • Coleman

      March 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Looks like William beat me to the punch. This news is worth reading twice though!

      • William

        March 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        definitely. super, super news.

        • Smoking Loon

          March 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

          Wow, great scoop, guys.

          • Only Tiger Fan in Mississppi

            March 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

            Sweet home Alabama!!! Great news to start the 2013 season!

  6. stephen

    March 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Cale Iorg tweeted his own release. The end.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      March 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm


  7. Only Tiger Fan in Mississppi

    March 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Out of curiosity, has there every been any analysis done on the correlation of Spring Training W/L records to season W/L records? Just wondering if you can use such as a prediction tool. Might be manager dependent along with many other variables?

    • Smoking Loon

      March 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Articles of interest (none terribly recent):




      When you consider that playing to win is rather far down the list of ST priorities, I think that any minor correlations between ST and regular season stats, both team and individual, can be thrown out the window as not very instructive or predictive.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        March 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm

        Hi Loon…Thanks…great reads. I agree with you that wins aren’t too important during the Spring so there must be a wide variance with any correlation. However if your team lost every Spring trng game you might want to be worried for the season? I do recall a good Tiger Spring in 2003 when they went on to fall flat on their face.

        Meanwhile it’s been a long dark winter so let’s play some ball!

        Always a Tiger,


  8. Jeff Molby

    March 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Casper Wells was DFA’d. Will we get him?


    • Smoking Loon

      March 31, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      I was interested in Wells during the offseason, and I imagine the Tigers might have had some interest at that time. If there’s room in Toledo, they might still, but I would think someone else will get to him before the Tigers can.