What Leyland meant wasn't that there were any players who he knew for sure would come north, just that you never know what can happen during spring training.
"What we have to do is to refine some of the decisions we made, such as Miguel Cabrera playing third and giving Brandon Inge a shot at second. We have a lot of work to do, but it's not, per se, coming up with five guys to make this team."
So much depends on how players changing positions do that it's hard to even forecast what the Tigers' need might be. Can Miguel Cabrera play third base? That might change things. Does Brandon Inge earn a roster spot and a share of playing time at second base? That's going to limit the opportunity for another infielder. And what do we make of the outfield?
I think it's too early for me to bother with any of these story lines in depth. You've probably noticed there haven't been a ton of stories on BYB this spring. I want to wait until games are played before even attempting any projections there. And since I don't have an editor breathing down my neck, I don't have to!
What about a surprise for fifth starter? This is hard one to say. Are there really any pitchers we'd consider a big surprise? Certainly Jacob Turner is no surprise. Adam Wilk or Duane Below may not be "sexy" picks, but both have major league experience. I suppose we'd all be surprised of Andy Oliver found his control, but if so his making the team wouldn't blow my mind or anything. Casey Crosby? I guess that'd be a bit of a surprise, but again, he's a name we're all familiar with. Drew Smyly's arrival would be sooner than expected, but I think everyone has him in the running as well. So again, not a big surprise.
So in the end, it's really hard for me to be surprised about anything. I know. I'm rather hard to impress.
But I'll throw one name out at you.
If Clete Thomas makes the team, I'd definitely be surprised. That is nothing against, Clete, mind you. He just strikes me as a long shot compared to Andy Dirks and the rest.
So who are your roster surprises?