March 27th, 2014

Thursday: Tigers vs. Braves

Originally, this Tigers lineup was set up to face a left-handed starter, as Alex Wood was slated to pitch for the Braves today. The assignment went to Aaron Harang at some point, but don’t expect any changes.

The lineup is very similar to yesterday’s batting order against Philly’s Cliff Lee, which backs up the notion that Rajai Davis could get some opportunities to bat leadoff against lefties.

TIGERS

  1. Rajai Davis, LF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. Torii Hunter, RF
  6. Austin Jackson, CF
  7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  8. Bryan Holaday, C
  9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

P: Max Scherzer

BRAVES

  1. Jason Heyward, DH
  2. B.J. Upton, CF
  3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  4. Chris Johnson, 3B
  5. Ryan Doumit, RF
  6. Dan Uggla, 2B
  7. Evan Gattis, C
  8. Andrelton Simmons, SS
  9. Jordan Schafer, LF

P: Aaron Harang

Tigers cut Hardy, Marinez, roster seemingly set

Barring a trade or a waiver pickup, the Tigers’ 25-man roster appears to be set. Detroit finalized its bullpen Thursday by assigning non-roster invitees Blaine Hardy and Jhan Marinez to minor-league camp.

The moves mean — again, barring another move — that Evan Reed and Luke Putkonen take the final two spots in the Tigers bullpen.

“We have 25 people, but it’s not the official 25 yet,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “Anything can happen in 48 hours.”

Hardy made a very good case to give the Tigers a third lefty reliever along Phil Coke and Ian Krol, taking the momentum he built from last summer’s stretch run at Triple-A Toledo. He threw nine scoreless innings to start out camp before four unearned runs March 18 against the Jays and three earned runs March 20 against the Nationals put some crooked numbers on his pitching line.

Hardy is expected to open the season with the Mud Hens, working out of the bullpen. Whether he takes a rotation spot, where he thrived down the stretch last year, or a bullpen opening remains to be seen, though the abundance of lefty relievers in Toledo would suggest a starting spot.

Marinez, signed over the winter as a minor-league free agent, gave up 10 runs, seven earned, on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings this spring. He walked seven and struck out six. He had a horrible opening outing, allowing six runs in two-thirds of an inning Feb. 28, a great middle run, then struggled near the end, walking five batters over his final three outings to lead to four runs.

“He actually has a good arm,” Ausmus said. “He has the potential for a wipeout slider.”

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