Jim Leyland has always said he'll take talent over experience (or salary), and that was backed up with this morning's roster moves. Pitchers Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry can now officially call themselves major leaguers, as both of them were named to the team. (Thanks to Billfer, who passed along the news via Twitter, and Peazgrl for breaking the story in a FanPost.)
Two other pitchers who were fighting for a job and made the cut were Eddie Bonine and Juan Rincon. Bonine should take that long relief role, while Rincon joins Perry in setting up Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney in the late innings. (Or will we have a closer-by-committee, with Rodney currently Leyland's favored choice to get the call in the ninth?)
With Porcello joining the starting staff, the other remaining spot in the rotation will go to Zach Miner. Miner keeps a seat warm for the injured Jeremy Bonderman. And once Dondo's shoulder heals up and he's ready to join the team, Miner will likely head back to relieving, pushing Bonine back to Triple-A Toledo. So Nate Robertson loses out, and ends up as the second left-hander in the bullpen. (That, in turn, sends Clay Rapada to the Mud Hens.) Scott Williamson was also assigned to minor league camp. (And as I've said, I hope he agrees to go to Toledo.)
How about on the position player side of the roster? Infielder Ryan Raburn and catcher Dane Sardinha were both optioned to Toledo, while Mike Hessman was told he'll be placed on waivers. If he clears waivers, Hessman says he'd like to return to Toledo. However, he'll also look for opportunities to play in Japan. (Raburn, meanwhile, could be on his way to the St. Louis Cardinals, if they can work out a deal with the Tigers.)
But that last bench spot still remains open, with Jeff Larish and Brent Clevlen left to duke it out. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Larish will get the nod, as he was already playing well enough to make the team, and Josh Anderson took the outfield spot that could've gone to Clevlen. Three more days of Thunderdome - two men enter, one man leaves - for those two.
So I think I know the answer, but will ask anyway. Are you happy with these moves? And if, in fact, the Tigers intend to rotate that closer's job among two or three pitchers, how do you feel about that? You guys already got a head start this morning, but take it away.