Detroit Tigers: Final Predictions for the Opening Day 25-Man Roster

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Detroit Tigers: Final Predictions for the Opening Day 25-Man Roster
Tony Medina/Getty Images
Will Andy Dirks make the cut or get squeezed out?

Several final and difficult decisions await Detroit manager Jim Leyland and the rest of the Tigers' organization as they begin prepping for their trip home to Comerica Park for the regular season home opener.

With a half-dozen Grapefruit League games to go, Leyland and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski still need to whittle down the last few roster spots, none of which will be easy and which all will garner plenty of media attention.

In the end it will come down to selecting two or three pitchers, and what is becoming a more intriguing scenario is which utility player is going to get the final nod. Of course, the argument can also be made that there is still more than one utility position up for grabs.

The fifth starter position is still receiving the greatest amount of media hype, particularly after front-runner Jacob Turner was shelved with tendinitis and then shipped to Triple-A Toledo where he will at least begin the 2012 season. Whether he remains there for the summer's entire stretch seems less likely.

Leyland has to pull the trigger on his No. 5 and will most likely do so before next Monday morning. With a bevy of left-handed pitchers to choose from in Duane Below, Drew Smyly and Andy Oliver, his decision will at the very least fill a much-needed strategic position in the righty-laden starting staff.

Will the Tigers opt to go with younger and more promising stars with the likes of Andy Dirks who can both play outfield and serve as a designated hitter option? Or will it be the multi-position infielder Danny Worth who has shown more poise and greater power this spring than in previous camps?

Here's a final prediction on the breakdown of how the Tigers final 25-man roster will shake out.

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