Alright, it’s almost silly to try to predict what the Tigers roster will look like on Opening Day, but that’s not going to stop me from taking a stab. Keep in mind, this isn’t what I WANT to happen, it’s a prediction and it doesn’t look pretty. Also keep in mind, I have no inside information so this is just speculation. Anyway, let’s take a look at a projected opening day lineup:
1) Ryan Raburn LF – Raburn doesn’t have the OBP you’d want from a leadoff hitter but he landed there in 13 starts last year.
2) Carlos Guillen DH – Guillen moves back to third after Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge are traded to the Angels.
3) Magglio Ordonez RF – Where else, although he’ll be splitting time with Wilkin Ramirez so he doesn’t have a big payday in 2011.
4) Miguel Cabrera 1b
5) Clete Thomas CF – See Guillen above for Granderson’s fate.
6) Bobby Crosby SS – Until he gets hurt and Ramon Santiago gets in there.
7) Scott Sizemore 2b – Future All Star if you believe the hype
8) Brandon Wood 3b – Wood is one of the guys the Tigers get, along with prospects, in their trade with the Angels.
9) Gerald Laird C
The big move will have the Tigers sending Granderson and Inge to the Angels for Wood and a couple or three prospects. And now the pitchers:
1) Justin Verlander – Duh
2) Rick Porcello
3) Armando Galarraga – I think Galarraga will have a bounce back year. Not like 2008, but definitely better then 2009.
4) Nate Robertson – He could be trade bait if he has a good second half. They won’t be able to move him now, so you might as well ride and see if you can get him anything at the deadline if he performs. Plus I’ve always been a fan of Nate’s so there’s some wishful thinking here.
5) Jon Kibler – I have a fondness for Spartans and I think Kibler will be the surprise out of camp. He pitched okay in a hitter’s league on a mediocre Erie team last year.
Edwin Jackson is also traded. My guess is he goes to the Yankees again for prospects. The Yankees have said they want to cut payroll so Jackson would be a low cost plug in rather then spending big money on a guy like Halladay. I think Ryan Perry will be the closer out of camp and Fu-Te Ni will start out as his set up man.
The next question would then be, if I’m right, how many wins does this team end up with?