How Will The Detroit Tigers Lineup Look Next Season?


The off-season for the Detroit Tigers has been a rather productive one. They resigned Victor Martinez and traded for Yoenis Cespedes. They traded for Anthony Gose to platoon in center field with Rajai Davis. In short, the Tigers have been rather busy.

But how will all these new acquisitions affect the team? Specifically the lineup?

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Soon after the trade, Tigers fans had thoughts of a Cabrera-Martinez-Martinez-Cespedes murder row to strike fear into the hearts of pitchers. But how is that going to be implemented into the lineup?

As of now the Detroit Tigers seem to have all the spots filled up on-field. The infield seems to be a finished product along with the outfield. After some questions about the state of the outfield the Tigers and GM Dave Dombrowski seem to have patched up that hole with Cespedes.

Then there’s the lineup situation.

First off, how is the top of the lineup going to look? Ian Kinsler last year primarily hit either lead-off or second so he should seem some time in either place. But what about the other top spot?

Is it possible for Miguel Cabrera to see some time in the 2 hole and the rest of the lineup follows? Based on Cabrera’s high OBP numbers that may not be such a bad idea seeing the two Martinez’s and Cespedes following him. Manager Brad Ausmus may not be too much of a fan of that however.

Sep 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at bat against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Another idea is that Cespedes hit #2. Except his OBP hasn’t beeen too stellar in the last two seasons. His .298 OBP from 2013-2014 shouldn’t see the top of the lineup anywhere soon. Which makes hitting Cabrera in the 2 spot that much more enticing.

Maybe Ausmus might plug-in speedsters like Davis and Gose up there depending on the opposing starting pitcher. The Tigers may see some solid results from this platoon as long as both players don’t see too much playing time against the wrong-handed pitcher.

Except this lineup has a few questions marks going into the season just like the rotation.

How will Cabrera bounce back after an injury-riddle 2014? Will J.D. Martinez be able to duplicate his breakout season from last year? Can Victor Martinez have the same power (and career year) from 2014? How is the platoon of Davis and Gose look? Can Kinsler bounce back from his poor 2nd half?

Just like any other lineup in the Majors there are many questions surrounding the bats of the Detroit Tigers. It’s hard to bet against the 2012 and 2013 MVP in Cabrera though. J.D. Martinez also adjusted rather well after a sour stretch in June. Victor may never replicate his career year he’ll still be a very reliable hitter throughout the course of a Major League season.

Though the Tigers lineup do have some concerns it’s safe to say there are still professional, above-average hitters in this lineup.

The development of some hitters will be exciting to watch (Nick Castellanos, Jose Iglesias) while watching a future Hall-of-Famer in Cabrera will be a nightly treat.

Brad Ausmus now has a hard job to build his lineup.  It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the many bats in the current order. If someone like Cespedes or J.D. start to struggle, how will Ausmus move around his power bats? Will he play around with these lineups during Spring Training or during the regular season?

Except along with question marks near the top of the order he has to deal with the bottom of the order too.

Sep 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) hits a home run in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Castellanos had a solid rookie season but will he be able to overcome the dreaded sophomore slump? What about Alex Avila and his inability to hit left handers (.226/.287/.302)? Is Jose Iglesias able to be healthy and how will he produce after his rookie slashline of .303/.348/.386 in 2013?

Sure there are plenty of question marks about the Tigers lineup and how they will do in the 2015 campaign. But just like previously stated that’s for every lineup ever.

Fans may not be uber-confident with the addition of the likes of Cespedes but this is the same team that scored 757 runs which ranked 2nd in the American League.

Though there are plenty of other teams in the AL Central vying for the division crown these Tigers seem to still have a solid lineup to compliment their starting rotation.

Now, your thoughts. How do you think the Tigers lineup will look next season? Do you like the lineup or think the Tigers should add another bat or two? Or should they just focus on other areas of like the bullpen?

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