Updating the Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day Roster Projection

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Mar 11, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Don Kelly (32) is congratulated by center fielder Austin Jackson (14) after he hit a 2-run home run during the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Left Field

With Andy Dirks on the shelf for the first two months (or more), and Rajai Davis still apparently penciled in for a platoon-only role, Don Kelly has become the favorite to fill in as the other half of the platoon. Maybe we’ll see an occasional start by Steve Lombardozzi as well. Brad Ausmus is apparently taking one last long-hard look at Tyler Collins (he’s getting the start on both Saturday and Sunday), but his making the team would mean someone else gets bumped off (probably either Kelly or Worth). I’m sticking with a projection of Kelly for now, but it’s possible Collins still hits his way onto the team

Center Field

Austin Jackson has the position locked down hard. He’ll be backed up on the depth chart by Don Kelly and Rajai Davis in whatever order you choose.

Right Field

The ageless Torii Hunter, obviously, will take almost all of the playing time in right field. Don Kelly, again, appears to be the primary backup.

Designated Hitter

Victor Martinez will be here for most of the games with Cabrera getting a handful of starts as well (with Martinez playing first base). it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing a meaningful number of games at DH for the Tigers this season.