We’re already less than two weeks away from Opening Day, and it’s time to predict the starting lineup and bench for the Detroit Tigers heading into the 2022 regular season.
When it comes to the defensive lineup, there will be no real surprises heading into Opening Day, but Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch will have to do some tinkering to get the most out of his batting order.
For years and years, the Tigers manager, whoever it was, simply plugged the Future Hall Of Fame first baseman, Miguel Cabrera third in the batting order and constructed the rest of the lineup around quite possibly the best right-handed hitter of his generation.
At times Cabrera would slide down to the cleanup position when the lineup needed a shake-up or if the skipper was looking for a spark. I feel that most Tigers fans understand that those days have long passed, and it’s time to move the once slugging first baseman down the lineup to maximize the team’s offensive production.
Predicting the Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day starting lineup and bench.
Recently, co-expert Tyler Kotila expressed his thoughts on who should be the Tigers’ lead-off hitter for 2022 and made several valid points. Robbie Grossman does a tremendous job at working the pitch count, having seen a team-leading 5.06 pitches per at-bat in 2021, according to Baseball Savant.
Grossman also has decent power at the top of the lineup, having belted 23 home runs last season, plus he was in the top three percent across the league, maintaining a stellar walk rate of 14.6%. And finally, Grossman is a switch-hitter, which helps Hinch keep the outfielder atop the lineup consistently when it comes to righty-lefty matchups.
With all that being said, I’d like to see the Detroit Tigers go in a different direction with their lead-off hitter to begin the 2022 season. Let’s keep in mind, Hinch always has Grossman in his back pocket if my option falters.