The Detroit Tigers announced their rotation order on Tuesday, and we pretty much knew 22 of the 25 names on the roster, but we have officially learned today who has been named to the final three spots.
Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez, Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Omar Infante, Andy Dirks, Jose Iglesias, and Alex Avila were obvious, and Brayan Pena, Don Kelly, and Ramon Santiago were only silightly less obvious. These twelve were hard locks.
After weeks of speculation, a move to the outfield, and three starts in the final series of the season, it became clear that Jhonny Peralta would indeed be included on the postseason roster. And he is.
As far as picthing goes, we know that Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, and Doug Fister are going to be the starters (in that order), and that Joaquin Benoit, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly, Rick Porcello, and Al Alburquerque were going to be the main features in the bullpen, but we were still waiting for final word on two names.
But now we know: Luke Putkonen has earned a spot (based on Bruce Rondon being injured) and will likely serve as a low-leverage righty and/or mop-up long reliever. Jose Alvarez has also been named to the team, he’ll likely be used as a low-leverage LOOGY and/or mop-up long reliever. Basically, we’re hoping neither guy ever has to pitch. Darin Downs was likely considered as a lefty option and Evan Reed was a possibility as a righty, but neither guy really got the job done down the stretch.
Probable Lineup Versus RHP
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Torii Hunter, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Andy Dirks, LF
- Omar Infante, 2B
- Alex Avila, C
- Jose Iglesias, SS
(The A’s don’t have a lefty in their announced ALDS rotation.)
Starting Rotation Order
Game 1: Max Scherzer
Game 2: Justin Verlander
Game 3: Anibal Sanchez
Game 4: Doug Fister
Game 5: Max Scherzer
Probable Bullpen Roles
Closer: Joaquin Benoit (RHP)
8th Inning: Jose Veras (RHP)
7th Inning: Drew Smyly (LHP)
6th inning/matchups: Rick Porcello (RHP)
6th inning/matchups: Al Alburqueque (RHP)
Mop-up Lefty (5th/6th inning): Jose Alvarez (RHP)
Mop-up Righty (5th/6th inning): Luke Putkonen (RHP)
*Inning designations are not hard-and-fast and should be viewed as approximate.
Veras and Smyly could be swapped based on lefty-righty matchups, and Alburquerque and Porcello will probably see seventh inning action as well, based on matchups (Porcello more so when a ground ball is desired and Alburquerque more so when a strikeout is desired).