February 21st, 2013

Tigers Opening Day lineup pretty well set, too

Those projections you’ve been seeing for a potential Tigers Opening Day lineup were pretty well on, assuming they face a right-handed pitcher on April 1 in Minnesota.

Jim Leyland confirmed his plans Thursday, the day before the Tigers begin their Spring Training games and just hours after Leyland announced his lineup for Friday’s Spring Training opener against the Braves. That’s really early to be announcing an Opening Day lineup, but considering how few positional battles they have, Leyland figured he’d get it out of the way now.

If the Tigers face a right-hander April 1 at Target Field, their batting order will look like this:

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Torii Hunter, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Andy Dirks, LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Omar Infante, 2B

Again, it’s nothing that goes against what had already been projected.

“I even saw a few fans [online] who agreed with me on that,” Leyland joked.

If the Twins open with a lefty, such as Scott Diamond, Leyland will have a decision to make in left field, where he has been talking about looking for a right-handed hitting option. However, he could still end up starting Dirks.

Tigers lineup set for Spring Training opener

Even Jim Leyland is getting bored about workouts and live batting practice, because his lineup for Friday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Braves is set. It doesn’t have all the regulars, but it has the middle of the order. It includes Victor Martinez, who will play in a game for the first time since the 2011 ALCS in Texas.

Here’s the lineup:

  1. Quintin Berry, CF
  2. Omar Infante, 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  7. Brayan Pena, C
  8. Avisail Garcia, RF
  9. Nick Castellanos, LF

P: Rick Porcello

Bruce Rondon will not make the trip. Relievers scheduled to go include Darin Downs, Luis Marte, Melvin Mercedes, Michael Morrison, Jose Ortega, Luke Putkonen, Jose Alvarez and Kenny Faulk.

The game won’t be televised, but it’ll be on radio at 97.1 FM in Detroit and online at MLB Gameday Audio.