By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – First-year Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has revealed his lineup for the Tiger’s unofficial spring training opener against Florida Southern, according to media reports. The lineup looks rather different from the batting order Tigers fans watched throughout most of the 2013 season.
The leadoff spot will be filled by new second baseman Ian Kinsler, while right fielder Torii Hunter and first baseman Miguel Cabrera will hit second and third, respectively, just like they did last season. Batting cleanup will be designated hitter Victor Martinez, who last season hit fifth behind Cabrera and the recently departed Prince Fielder.
Batting sixth will be left fielder Andy Dirks, followed by backup catcher James McCann in seventh. New third baseman Nick Castellanos will hit eighth, and shortstop sensation Jose Iglesias will bat ninth.
Notable changes include Jackson’s move from first in the order to fifth and Martinez’s move up from fifth to fourth. The latter shift had been assumed, since Martinez had a huge hitting surge in the second half of 2013 after struggling early. The leadoff position, though, had been up in the air since Kinsler arrived in the off-season.
Even now, nothing is set in stone, of course.
Pitching Tuesday for the Tigers will be 23-year-old righty Drew VerHagen. Another 23-year-old, McCann, will catch because regular catcher Alex Avila had missed two days with back spasms.
Detroit’s first official spring training game will be Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves.