I guess you could say these aren’t real surprises. Neifi Perez seems to have walked his way onto the roster as the final infielder, while Chad Durbin, a righty, made the cut for the final relief role that all spring long everyone expected would go to a left-handed.
That means infielders Chris Shelton and Ramon Santiago were sent to Toledo, as were lefty reliever Bobby Seay (on a minor league contract) and righty starter Zach Miner. Felix Heredia was released.
Analysis? Perez, of course, is not going to be a popular choice with Tigers fans. He doesn’t hit particularly well. Doesn’t field particularly well. But he’s a Jim Leyland pick. That, and Ramon Santiago could be sent to the minors for one last time, making him a bit more disposable from that perspective. I think we can fully expect to see Santiago sooner or later. I just hope Perez being the final infielder to make the team means Omar Infante is ahead of him on the substitution list for when a guy needs a day off. With Leyland, I don’t know if we can read too much into that.
I know some people wanted to see Chris Shelton, too. Shelton is a good player. Realistically, as soon as Sean Casey was re-signed this offseason, 2007 became a year Shelton would work on stuff at Toledo. He’s still young and needs his daily swings. This does make me cringe a bit the for first time I see Marcus Thames playing first in a real good. Hope the best for him.
Chad Durbin is a voyageur who spent a lot of time in the minors after making the Royals several years back. His spring stats — you know the disclosure — have been good. He pitched well in Toledo last year and looks to be a guy who has figured it out. I assume he’ll be used as a long reliever. It does leave a bit of a pile-up in the righty reliever depth chart, especially if Jason Grilli is going to be fine. I assume Jose Mesa will be used to give Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya a day of of short relief. (By the way, I do have this fear that if anyone happens to Jones, Mesa will be used as a closer, because that’s the way Leyland works).
Dombrowski quoted by Jason Beck:
“I don’t really look at it as a 25-man roster,” president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “I really look at it as a 30- or 32-man roster with the depth we need as an organization. So when you look at it this way … I’d rather keep the depth if we’re close [on two players].”
In all, it gives everyone a little something to bicker with, but from a management standpoint with waivers and playing time for younger players, I do think you can make an argument for the moves they made. Fortunately if there’s stumbles, all these guys are available to make the move to Detroit.
And my fellow bloggers: Detroit Tigers Weblog
Here’s the 25-man roster:
Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez
1st base: Sean Casey
2nd base: Placido Polanco
3rd base: Brandon Inge
shortstop: Carlos Guillen
C backup: Vance Wilson
IF backup: Omar Infante
IF backup: Neifi Perez
OF: Craig Monroe
OF: Curtis Granderson
OF: Magglio Ordonez
OF backup: Marcus Thames (and some 1st base)
DH: Gary Sheffield
SP1: Jeremy Bonderman
SP2: Kenny Rogers
SP3: Justin Verlander
SP4: Nate Robertson
SP5: Mike Maroth
RH relief: Chad Durbin, Jason Grilli, Jose Mesa
LH relief: Wil Ledezma
setup: Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney
Closer: Todd Jones