"Those six, it'd be surprising if they weren't on the team," Ausmus said Friday morning. "Something strange would have to happen just based on their performances from the past."
"You're always concerned about injuries," Ausmus said. "I think that's where the depth comes into play, where, if something unexpected comes up, we have a lot of arms we feel like can produce at the major league level. ... If something happens at any time, we feel that we have a quality arm that we can slide right in."
Paxton, who went 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 74 innings pitched in 2014, is building toward throwing a bullpen session and Waits wants to see him get to five innings pitched in the Cactus League.
Happ went 11-11 with a 4.22 ERA in 158 innings pitched in 2014 with 133 strikeouts.
Sabathia had multiple platelet-rich plasma injections in his knee during the offseason and is hopeful to avoid more injections by wearing the brace, reports the New York Daily News.
"You're really not going to know until we get into the season and he's going every fifth day, how his leg is going to do," manager Joe Girardi said. "I've said all along, it’s a concern of mine. The fact that he’s wearing a brace or not wearing a brace doesn't concern me anymore."
Sabathia said the wearing the brace was "nothing out of the ordinary."
Melville will start in an exhibition between the Tigers and college team Florida Southern. Lobstein will start in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles.
"I feel really good, my arm is good and I’m ready for the first day against the Dodgers," Quintana said. "I’m excited for opening day. It’s spring training, but it’s Opening Day, you know?"
The White Sox asked Quintana to delay his throwing program in the hopes of having him stronger and fresher if the team makes the postseason. After throwing 200 innings in each of the last two seasons, he hopes to feel strong long after he has in the past.
"It’s good for your arm because here you throw a lot, eight months throwing and you need a good rest," Quintana said. "I feel really good, better than last year. I hope this year I’m better."
Quintana went 9-11 with a 3.32 ERA and 178:52 K:BB ratio in 200 1/3 innings in 2014.
"We're taking it slow with him, knowing that we don't really think that he's behind and he's got plenty of time," Girardi said. "We're not rushing it because of his knee, and we want to take it step by step."
Giradi also added that he has no issues with Sabathia continuing to wear his knee brace during the season, though he has yet to talk to the team's trainers about it.
"I've said all along, you're really not going to know until we get into the season and he's going every fifth day, how his leg is going to do," Girardi said. "I've said all along, it's a concern of mine. The fact that he's wearing a brace or not wearing a brace doesn't concern me anymore. If [trainers] feel that he'll stay healthier wearing the brace, then I would tell him, wear the brace."
Sabathia was held to just eight starts last season, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA and 48:10 K:BB ratio in 46 innings.
"I'm certainly feeling better, healthier," Danks said. "But I've only been through this once now, so I'm kind of going into it blind a little bit. Like everything they said, it's getting stronger and I'm getting a better feel for things as more time goes on."
Danks had his shoulder checked extensively during his yearly physical as has become customary since his arthroscopic surgery in 2012. He went 11-11 with a 4.74 ERA and 129:74 K:BB ratio in 193 2/3 innings last season.
Rodon, the team's top prospect, will throw innings while progressing as a starter, and he may be tabbed to pitch a "B" game during one of the team's two split-squad days. Pitching coach Don Cooper said he wants the young pitcher to feel comfortable in his first camp.
"In some ways I can almost see him, 'Am I in the right spot?' a little bit. 'I don't want to overstep my bounds,'" said Cooper. "I want him to be himself every day.
"He's got a good fastball that we are trying to see if we can locate better and better, not unlike anybody else. He's got a good slider and we are trying to do the same thing with that pitch. And, oh by the way, we are working on his changeup.
"Sometimes there's a little bit of frustration on his part because he has the bar high and expects himself to be able to do everything well right away. Certainly I understand that. We want the battle to be whatever we are working on. It's not that battle, and oh yeah, my frustration, too. Then there's two battles. We only want one battle. I think he expects a lot of himself."
Rodon threw 24 1/3 innings at three levels after being selected with the third overall pick in the 2014 draft.
While he is throwing bullpen sessions in the Dominican Republic, manager A.J. Hinch said Friday that Hernandez's absence could cost him a chance to earn a spot in the rotation.
"It's going to depend upon him showing up ready to go," Hinch said, per MLB.com. "He is a veteran guy, so I don't sense that he's going to come in unprepared. But once games start, we're starting to get a little bit behind."