"You feel pretty comfortable as a manager if you can run, in any order you want, Verlander, [Max] Scherzer, [Doug] Fister and [Anibal] Sanchez," Leyland said. "That's pretty good. I mean, you certainly don't feel like you're behind the 8-ball."
The names aren't exactly a surprise. The four were the key cogs to a Detroit rotation that posted a collective 2.46 ERA in September, best in the Majors by nearly half a run. The other options, lefty Drew Smyly and right-hander Rick Porcello, appear likely to end up in the bullpen.
Leyland said the Tigers will have a seven-man relief corps to go with their four starters. If the Tigers go with Smyly and Phil Coke as their left-handed relievers, they'll have to make a choice among Porcello and high-strikeout pitchers Al Alburquerque and Brayan Villarreal.