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The Bullpen Conundrum

As the spring season is winding down, the Tigers are faced with something they haven’t had to deal with in a while. They’re going to have to make some tough choices. First and foremost will be deciding on the eleven pitchers that will come up with the big league squad.

The five starters are pretty much set. Tram seems to be sticking with Jason Johnson despite getting roughed up for most of the preseason. Mike Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman, and Nate Robertson are all givens, but Wilfredo Ledezma’s struggles could mean some time in Toledo. I don’t know where he stands as far as options, but if he has one, it makes the decision a little easier.

Ugueth Urbina, Jamie Walker, Troy Percival, and Kyle Farnsworth are all definites in the pen. Gary Knotts has all but made the team because he’s one of the only pitchers the Tigers have who can fill the long relief/spot starter role. And if Ledezma gets sent down, he could find himself fifth in the rotation.

That leaves one spot for sure, with the outside chance of a second. Franklyn German has thrown well, but he hasn’t been nearly as good as Fernando Rodney. The difference between the two is Rodney has an option. So if one makes it, you’d think they’d send Rodney down, and keep German as opposed to putting him waivers.

Odd man out is Steve Colyer. While it would be nice to have another lefty in the pen, Colyer hasn’t shown anything since joining the Tigers organization. Chances are we’re going to lose him once we put him on waivers.

This all discounts the fact that a trade could or will be made. I have a feeling somethings in the works. Dombrowski has too adamantly denied trade rumors, and when that happens, the opposite is usually true. As much as I’d like to see Urbina on the team, if it means cutting him lose for some top prospects or some help elsewhere, I say we have to take it.

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