Pitching was Tuesday's topic as Jim Leyland leased the visiting manager's office at Bright House Field, where the Tigers thrashed the Phillies, 10-6.

Starting pitching. Relief pitching. Depth. Numbers. Decisions.

Leyland spoke first of the baby-steps approach with closer candidate Bruce Rondon, which could make Rondon, a rookie, part of a back-end bullpen mix if he is judged to be ready for the majors when the team breaks camp in 17 days.

"It's possible, yes," Leyland said before Tuesday's game. "That's a good question. And a very good answer. But it only means 'possible.'"

Leyland also spoke about his starters. Specifically, the depth — or lack thereof, which isn't a point the Tigers manager will make but numbers at least suggest.

The Tigers used 12 starters in 2012. Teams overall averaged 10 pitchers making at least one start.

And unless the Tigers believe their probable Triple A staff will bail them out in the event of an injury or a slump, a loud group of fans believes they should think twice about trading one of the six pitchers fighting for five rotation spots.

"It's a good situation to be in," Leyland said after the Tigers raked the Phillies, thanks in great part to Ramon Santiago's grand slam and Don Kelly's two-run homer, both off Roy Halladay. "We've got six capable starters.

"If things play out normal, teams usually use 10 during the season. It's nice to have six definites."