UPDATE (9 p.m.): It was pointed out that I neglected to include a couple of prominent players on the following list. That has since been corrected, and I certainly apologize if that led to any confusion or caused anyone to think that somehow Edgar Renteria or Marcus Thames hadn't made the Opening Day roster. Not only should I learn to count, but proofread, as well. Thanks for bringing attention to my mistakes, folks. I clearly need a bit more Spring Training.
Late last night (shortly after crushing the Houston Astros, 10-0) the Detroit Tigers announced that their Opening Day roster was now set. Though there was talk of a surprise addition to the final 25-man crew, with the rise of reliever Casey Fien, the Tigers eventually decided to fill their last two bullpen spots with familiar faces.
After releasing Tim Byrdak on Wednesday, it was believed Detroit might try to acquire another left-hander to accompany Bobby Seay among the relief corps, but Yorman Bazardo and Aquilino Lopez will take the two openings that remained. With the Tigers' being such a point of agony over the past few weeks, it's reassuring that Jim Leyland was impressed enough by one of the organization's young relievers to consider bringing him north. We'll probably see Fien at some point this season.
And on the position player side, Clete Thomas becomes the surprise of the spring, getting the final roster spot that was left open by Curtis Granderson's injury. My head's still spinning a bit from how fast things can change. Freddy Guzman looked to be Granderson's replacement, but Leyland was ultimately just too impressed by Thomas. What a story.
So here's the roster you'll be standing and cheering for when the Tigers open the 2008 season on Monday afternoon (weather permitting):
That's quite a team we'll see lined up down the third-base line while the national anthem is performed. The waiting and anticipation is almost over, Tiger Town.