June 17th, 2011

Friday: Cabrera bats third, Avila plays third

I’m actually not covering the series in Colorado this weekend, but I figured I’d pass along the lineup, because it’s an interesting one. We expected Jim Leyland would start Alex Avila at third, since he had mentioned on Thursday that it was a good chance. What we didn’t see, what we didn’t ask for (my bad), was the after-effect on the lineup.

The result: Miguel Cabrera bats third, Victor Martinez hits cleanup. It’s something Leyland has said all year he didn’t want to do. Cabrera’s last start in the third spot was July 23, 2009. Marcus Thames was the cleanup hitter that day, with Magglio Ordonez batting fifth.

Don Kelly had normally been batting second lately, ever since he became the regular third baseman. But with Avila at third, Kelly is out. Raburn has batted second several times in the past, but, well, you know how his hitting is going. So basically, Leyland chose to move everybody up rather than shift up somebody he doesn’t want hitting second, such as Jhonny Peralta.

The upshot of the move is that there isn’t a long stretch of right-handed hitters at the top of the order. Instead, it’s right, left, right, switch, right, left, then righties.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Brennan Boesch, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, C
  5. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  6. Alex Avila, 3B
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
  9. Rick Porcello, P
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