Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers at White Sox
For the first time this season, manager Brad Ausmus has tweaked the middle of the Tigers lineup. It was a minor shuffle, flip-flopping J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes in the batting order, but it was nonetheless significant.
It was a sign of Ausmus starting to make some moves to try to spark an offense that was held to two runs or less in four of seven games on the current road trip entering Wednesday night’s game against the White Sox.
Martinez has scuffled through most of those games after hitting six home runs with an .813 OPS in April. He entered Wednesday’s game in a 1-for-18, 12-strikeout funk, and 2-for-25 with 16 strikeouts since last Tuesday. He entered Wednesday ranked fourth among American League hitters with 36 strikeouts on the season.
“He’s just chasing pitches,” Brad Ausmus said of Martinez Tuesday night. “I personally think he’s thinking a little bit too much, a combination of not picking up the ball and thinking too much. His swing is fine.”
Ausmus can deal with the strikeouts. With Cespedes batting .316 (16-for-57) over Detroit’s last 16 games, though, Ausmus decided to try to get more RBI opportunities for the hits.
“Just mix those two up,” Ausmus said on the reasoning. “J.D. has scuffled a little bit here lately, so we’ll try to really just put Cespedes in front of him and get a more productive bat there, and hopefully J.D. there in the six hole finds his stroke again.”
Asked if more batting order changes were under consideration, Ausmus said, “I wouldn’t say that. Even if I had considered it, I wouldn’t tell you. … If I feel something’s necessary to make the team more productive, I would make a lineup change.”
- Rajai Davis, CF (6-for-15, 2 doubles, walk)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (6-for-25, 2 HR, 4 walks, 4 K’s)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (7-for-32, 2 HR, 7 walks, 12 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (15-for-32, 3 doubles, 3 HR, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF (3-for-12, walk, 6 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (6-for-19, 2 doubles, HR, 9 K’s)
- Nick Castellanos, 3B (1-for-10, walk, 7 K’s)
- James McCann, C (0-for-2)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (3-for-8, K)
P: Alfredo Simon
- Adam Eaton, CF
- Melky Cabrera, LF (1-for-4, double)
- Jose Abreu, 1B
- Adam LaRoche, DH (2-for-6, double, 2 walks, K)
- Avisail Garcia, RF
- Conor Gillaspie, 3B
- Alexei Ramirez, SS (1-for-3, K)
- Tyler Flowers, C
- Micah Johnson, 2B
P: Chris Sale