Detroit Tigers

(American League, North Division)

The Olde English “D” has flown in Detroit (di-TROIT, not DEE-troit) since 1901, and the Tigers have celebrated 11 pennants and 4 titles with stars like Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline & Justin Verlander.

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Pre-season Game #01 – Los Angeles Angels at the Detroit Tigers

ACES WILD AS TIGERS MAUL ANGELS 10-6 Eternal Baseball DETROIT – The Tigers and Angels sent their aces to the mound on the first day of Spring Training and both walked off a little shell-shocked. On a day when Detroit’s Ed Killian surrendered six runs in five innings...

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Active 26 Man Roster

Catchers & Infielders:

  • C – Mickey Tettleton
  • C – Bill Freehan
  • 1B – Hank Greenberg
  • 2B – Charlie Gehringer
  • SS – Alan Trammell
  • 3B – Miguel Cabrera (1B)
  • MI – Carlos Guillen (2B/SS/3B/LF)
  • CI – Norm Cash (1B)


  • LF – Harry Heilmann (1B/RF)
  • CF – Ty Cobb (RF)
  • RF – Al Kaline (LF/CF)
  • OF – Nick Castellanos (LF/3B)
  • 1B/CF/RF – Sam Crawford
  • RF – Kirk Gibson (LF)

Starting Pitchers:

  • SP – Ed Killian
  • SP – Bill Donovan
  • SP – George Mullin
  • SP – Hal Newhouser
  • SP – Justin Verlander
  • SP – Jim Bunning

Relief Pitchers:

  • CL – John Hiller
  • SU – Mike Henneman
  • RP – Willie Hernandez
  • RP – Denny McLain
  • RP – Mickey Lolich
  • RP – Tommy Bridges

On the Farm

Catchers & Infielders:

  • 1B – Cecil Fielder
  • 1B – Rudy York
  • 3B – George Kell
  • C – Lance Parrish
  • 2B – Lou Whitaker
  • SS/3B – Travis Fryman


  • CF – Curtis Granderson
  • LF – Bobby Veach


  • P – Jack Morris
  • P – Hooks Dauss
  • P – Frank Lary
  • P – Todd Jones
  • P – Virgil Trucks
  • P – Dizzy Trout

Building the Roster: Detroit Tigers

With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster.

Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections.

As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.

The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame gives us a good start here. Cooperstown gives Detroit Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Alan Trammell, Harry Heilmann, Ty Cobb, Al Kaline, Sam Crawford, Hal Newhouser, Jim Bunning, Jack Morris, and George Kell.

The Hall of Fame gives us 11 of our 40-man roster, and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us with the rest.

We get lots of help here, as in order we find: Lou Whitaker, Norm Cash, Miguel Cabrera, Bobby Veach, Bill Freehan, Donie Bush, Dick McAuliffe, Chet Lemon, Lance Parrish, Rudy York, Kirk Gibson, Travis Fryman, Billy Rogell, Willie Horton, Tony Phillips, Bobby Higginson, Jim Northrup, Johnny Bassler, and Curtis Granderson.

Every team needs at least three catchers, so Matt Nokes and Mickey Tettleton get consideration as well.

Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:

CATCHER: Bill Freehan, Mickey Tettleton
FIRST BASE: Hank Greenberg, Miguel Cabrera (sometimes)
SECOND BASE: Charlie Gehringer, Lou Whitaker
SHORTSTOP: Alan Trammell
THIRD BASE: Miguel Cabrera
LEFT FIELD: Al Kaline, Nick Castellanos
CENTER FIELD: Ty Cobb, Al Kaline
RIGHT FIELD: Harry Heilmann, Sam Crawford

Detroit will use the designated hitter in most games, so Norm Cash, Mickey Tettleton and Sam Crawford will nab some at-bats there as well. That leaves inactive roster options for Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, Cecil Fielder, Bobby Veach, Travis Fryman, George Kell, Lance Parrish, Rudy York and Kirk Gibson.

If Detroit gets to the World Series, they might wanna activate Kirk Gibson. Just a hunch…

For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive.

Hall of Famers automatically belong, so we have three spots reserved for Hal Newhouser, Jim Bunning, and Jack Morris. With the 22 players on the total roster we have room for 15 more pitchers.

Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as Tigers) we came up with: Justin Verlander, Tommy Bridges, Mickey Lolich, Dizzy Trout, Hooks Dauss, Bill Donovan, George Mullin, Frank Lary, Virgil Trucks, Earl Whitehill, Ed Killian, Schoolboy Rowe, and Denny McLain. Relievers Todd Jones, Mike Henneman, Willie Hernandez, and John Hiller are candidates as well.

We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:

STARTING ROTATION: Ed Killian, Bill Donovan, George Mullin, Hal Newhouser, Justin Verlander, Jim Bunning
RELIEVERS: Hooks Dauss, Dizzy Trout, Denny McLain, Willie Hernandez
SET-UP: Mike Henneman
CLOSER: John Hiller

Not many teams have a 31-game winner in the BULLPEN! The inactive pitcher options are Jack Morris, Tommy Bridges, Frank Lary, Todd Jones, Virgil Trucks and Mickey Lolich.

So how did we do?

Should Travis Fryman replace Lou Whitaker for more versatility?

Can you stomach Jack Morris not being on the active roster?

Is Nick Castellanos’ dominance over left-handed pitching enough to earn him a main roster spot?

What batting order would you suggest versus lefties and righties?

Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Tigers for Eternal Baseball.

Visit Our Detroit Tigers Discussion Board

Give your 2 cents on the composition of the roster!

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