I believe the Tigers will take 11 pitchers to the playoffs. These 10 are locks: Verlander, Porcello, Fister, Scherzer, Valverde, Benoit, Coke, Perry, Alburquerque, and Sclereth.
Avilla, Cabrera, Santiago, Peralta, Betemit, Inge, Martinez make up infield, catcher and DH and the six outfielders are Dirks, Ordonez, Jackson, Raburn, Kelly and Young.
Decisions for final 2 spots are in my opinion from these playoff eligible players: Brad Penny, Duane Below, David Pauley, Jacob Turner, Luis Marte on the pitching side and position players Carlos Guillen, Omar Santos, Will Rhymes, and Danny Worth.
Turner, Marte, Worth and Rhymes are simply September call ups and have no chance barring injury. so it comes down to:
Penny, Below and Pauley as the final pitcher and Guillen, and Santos on the position side of things. I could make a strong case for keeping Santos as back up catcher like Leyland did with Shortstop Neffi Perez in 06. But switch hitting, power guy Carlos Guillen makes more sense, and remember with possibly no DH in 4 World Series games Leyland will play National League Manager and may goof around with that double switch thing. Guillen CAN play 4 positions, albeit none well anymore. Also the Tigers did not have a true back up catcher for 140 games, why start in the playoffs.
For the final pitching spot, Penny would be the easiest to leave off the roster given his numbers and the Tigers likely 4 man rotation. Below has shown he can pitch long fairly effective long relief when needed and has proved valuble but David Pauley has been almost MIA after a few bad outings. I would take lefty Below.
But Jim Leyland is a loyal to veterans, players manager, and my guess he keeps Brad Penny and Carlos Guillen on the roster for the playoffs.
Whadda Ya All think?
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bless You Boys writing staff.