A couple of days ago, I put together an "unofficial" Mud Hens roster for Opening Day. Here are a few updates ...
First, that roster now is official. Click here to review the roster for the start of the 2011 season.
Here are a few random notes, corrections and updates to that roster:
- Currently there are 25 men on the roster, which means the Mud Hens will need to make a move to get down to the 24-man limit mandated by the International League. The question is at catcher, as I had guessed: Omir Santos suffered a toe injury in spring training. If he isn't ready, John Murrian will take his place. If Santos can play, Murrian will be sent to Double-A.
- The Mud Hens five starters are expected to be left-handers Andrew Oliver, Duane Below, Charlie Furbush and Adam Wilk along with right-hander Thad Weber. This will be a young rotation -- Weber is 26, Below is 25, Furbush is 24 and both Oliver and Wilk are 23.
- I was surprised that right-hander L.J. Gagnier didn't make the staff after a solid performance for the Hens last season. He will start the season in Double-A Erie's rotation, and I would be shocked if we did not see him in Toledo at some point this season. BTW, Erie's rotation also includes top prospect Jacob Turner, a right-hander who will turn 20 on May 21, and Casey Crosby, a lefty who has battled elbow problems but begins the year as Detroit's sixth-best prospect.
- On the infield, look for Danny Worth to get much of the playing time at third base. I believe the Tigers also want Worth to stay sharp at second base and shortstop, though, so any number of other players to spent time there -- Argenis Diaz, Scott Sizemore and Scott Thorman all have played the position professionally.
- In the outfield, I just can't believe Timo Perez will see a lot of playing time there. Between being 35 years old and somewhat suspect on defense, I would have to believe he's a DH. Look for Clete Thomas to get most of the time in centerfield, Andy Dirks to start in left and Clay Timpner to begin the year in right.
- The Mud Hens will begin the season with two pitchers on the disabled list, right-handers Brooks Brown and Luis Marte.
Make sure you vote in the poll on the left-side nav bar to predict how the Mud Hens will do this season!