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Roster coming into focus

Assuming this article is accurate and I think it is, there are just a few roster spots still available.

By saying he would prefer to start the season with 12 pitchers, manager Fredi Gonzalez on Wednesday all but signaled the only open spot on the roster for a position player would be fought among three center-field candidates -- Eric Reed, Reggie Abercrombie and Alex Sanchez.

Barring injury between now and the season opener April 2, the other dozen position spots are deemed to be locked up by the following players: Mike Jacobs, Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Miguel Olivo, Matt Treanor, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Joe Borchard, Cody Ross, Aaron Boone and Alfredo Amezaga.

The pitching staff is much less certain, especially in the volatile bullpen, where a host of relievers are in contention for roster spots.

''We'll carry 12,'' Gonzalez said. ``We need to protect those young arms, and I think 12 is a good number.''

Nothing surprising here.  The 12 pitchers will be five starters and seven relievers.  It is safe to say that Dontrelle, Olsen, Nolasco and Sanchez have already made the team.  Which, of course, leaves one other pitcher to make the rotation.  Bet on Mitre if he is able to go.  If not, then Petit.  But then again, we have already covered this.  In the pen, Gregg, Owens, Lindstrom, Pinto and probably Messenger to be sure bets.  Along with the pitchers who are vying for the spot in the rotation.

The pitching spots may be determined more by who can stay healthy than anything else.  If the pitchers keep dropping like flies, then who has options will come into play.