Tigers Announce Lineup for Exhibition Opener


The Tigers officially open their 75th year in Lakeland, Fla. with their traditional exhibition game versus Florida Southern, a college located in Lakeland.

If you want to see the regulars, you’d better not be late to the game, because as he has done in the past, Jim Leyland says that each starter will take just one at bat before leaving the contest. The lineup (and talk of the starting rotation) is after the jump.

Leyland stated that Ryan Raburn would succeed Martinez at DH. Even without Carlos Guillen, who won’t be ready to play in games for at least a couple more weeks, and Miguel Cabrera, who has yet to report to camp, this lineup really isn’t bad. That Cabrera could be missing and Detroit can still put a dangerous middle of the order out there is a testament to why the signing of VMart was so important to the Tigers this winter.

Left hander Andy Oliver will get the start and he’ll be followed to the mound by Jacob Turner and a string of others.

Tigers to Use Four Starters to Open Season

Jim Leyland discussed his plans on how he’ll use his starters when the season opens in New York on March 31. We already knew that Justin Verlander was given the Opening day assignment and that Max Scherzer would start the third game, so he would be in line to start the home opener as well. Leyland announced today that Rick Porcello would start the fourth game of the year, the opener in Baltimore. That leaves the question of who will make the start in the season’s second game.

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Whomever Leyland decides to use in New York, be it Brad Penny or Phil Coke, the other hurler will begin the year in bullpen as the Tigers won’t need a fifth starter until April 10. Of course, weather could cause a postponed game, so Leyland say he won’t leave his extra starter behind. That pitcher will just work out of the ‘pen until their turn comes up for the first time this season.

As Jason Beck notes, Coke obviously has more history as a reliever than Penny does, but if Leyland prefers a southpaw starter in New York and Baltimore Coke would be the guy.

Ultimately, this discussion probably doesn’t matter a whole lot. It’s just nice to have real actual baseball things to talk about again. I can already hear the voice of the turtle on the horizon…

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