Tigers announce Opening Day roster, minus a trio of key bullpen arms
Detroit — The Tigers finalized their Opening Day, 28-man roster Wednesday, but it doesn’t have a very permanent feel to it.
“We all race to Opening Day and what the decisions are,” manager AJ Hinch said. “When the reality is, it takes a lot to get through a season. This is just the first check point.”
The Tigers will pass the first check point without three of their best relievers. It was known that both Kyle Funkhouser (lat strain) and Andrew Chafin (groin) would start on the 10-day injured list. What wasn’t known is that Jose Cisnero, a vital late-inning performer last season, will be lost for at least two months.
The Tigers put him on the 60-day IL with a right shoulder strain.
Those injuries, plus an additional two roster spots added for the month of April to compensate for the shortened spring, created opportunities for three non-roster pitchers and another who just last week was reassigned to Double-A Erie.
Coming north with the club are veteran right-handers Drew Hutchison and Jacob Barnes, Will Vest and Elvin Rodriguez, who was just added back to big-league camp on Tuesday.
It’s likely that those players are holding spots for Funkhouser, Chafin, Wily Peralta (who signed late and is staying in Lakeland to build up his arm) and, eventually, Tyler Alexander, who is expected to move to the bullpen when veteran right-hander Michael Pineda is ready.
Pineda is expected to make at least two starts at Triple-A Toledo.
Here are the other moves the Tigers made on Wednesday:
► To the 60-day IL: Catcher Jake Rogers and pitcher Spencer Turnbull, both recovering from Tommy John surgery.
► To the 10-day IL: Center fielder Derek Hill, hamstring.
► To the minor-league IL: Center fielder Riley Greene, broken bone in his right foot.
► Designated for assignment: Left-handed pitcher Miguel Del Pozo.
► Optioned or assigned to Toledo: Right-handed pitcher Chase Anderson and utility player Willi Castro.
Here is the Tigers Opening Day roster:
► STARTING PITCHERS (5): Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP), Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, Tyler Alexander (LHP).
► Coming soon: Michael Pineda
► BULLPEN (10): Closer Gregory Soto (LHP), Michael Fulmer, Alex Lange, Joe Jimenez, Jason Foley, Rony Garcia, Will Vest, Jacob Barnes, Drew Hutchison and Elvin Rodriguez.
► Coming soon: Andrew Chafin (LHP), Kyle Funkhouser, Wily Peralta.
► CATCHERS (3): Tucker Barnhart, Eric Haase, Dustin Garneau.
► INFIELD/DH (6): Miguel Cabrera (DH-IB), Spencer Torkelson (1B), Jonathan Schoop (2B), Javy Baez (SS), Jeimer Candelario (3B), Harold Castro (utility).
► OUTFIELD (4): Robbie Grossman, Akil Baddoo, Austin Meadows, Victor Reyes.
► Coming soon: Derek Hill.