The Detroit Tigers open up their exhibition season on Tuesday with their traditional game against Florida Southern College, and today manager Brad Ausmus shared some of his plans for the game with members of the Detroit media. Chris Iott of MLive reports that Ian Kinsler will lead off for Detroit, and that Austin Jackson will hit fifth.
Ian Kinsler will bat first, followed by Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Austin Jackson. Ausmus said he wouldn’t share the remainder of the lineup because he hadn’t informed all the players of the news. Ausmus did say that Jose Iglesias would start and that most of the starters would get one at-bat before coming out of the game.
It’s a hint that maybe Ausmus is planning to go with Kinsler as his lead off hitter, but I’m sure the decision as to who will bat first on opening day hasn’t yet been made.
But when talking about lineups it’s always important to remember: the particular order of hitters doesn’t really matter all that much. Leading research suggests the difference between the sabermetric optimum and the absolute worst order one could come up with (Cabrera hitting ninth or something) would only cost a team four or so wins in a year.
But we’re fans, and fans have to obsess about something.