MCB Roundtable–Possible 2015 Detroit Tigers Lineups

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Sep 10, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Anthony Gose (8) singles in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Zahari  posted last week about his choice to bat Aliva second against righties and expands on two different lineups he feels will lead to success next season.

For what it’s worth, ESPN’s lineup for the Tigers is this as a result from 2014

  1. Kinsler
  2. Kinsler
  3. Cabrera
  4. Victor Martinez
  5. J.D. Martinez
  6. Castellanos
  7. Castellanos
  8. Avila
  9. Davis

My order against right handed pitching is

  1. Kinsler – 4
  2. Avila – 2
  3. Cabrera – 3
  4. Martinez – DH
  5. J.D. Martinez – 9
  6. Cespedes – 7
  7. Castellanos – 5
  8. Gose – 8
  9. Iglesias – 6

My lineup against left handed pitching:

  1. Davis – 8
  2. Kinsler – 4
  3. Cabrera – 3
  4. Martinez – DH
  5. J.D. Martinez – 9
  6. Cespedes – 7
  7. Castellanos – 5
  8. McCann – 2
  9. Iglesias – 6

The lineup card from 3-7 was very easy to fill out and I think it will look very similar to what the Tigers use unless Ausmus decides to bump someone up to the 2nd spot in the lineup. The top and bottom spots were an adventure and there will be a lot of debate over these spots. We know Kinsler will hit 1-2 every game, but the other three spots are an unknown.

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I believe Jose Iglesias will be a number 2 hitter at some point in his career, and it could be as soon as 2015. He handles the bat very well, but I do not know if he’s going to be ready to hit 2nd by Opening Day. No one knowns what Iglesias will be this year coming off of his injury and how far he will come back to earth after his 2013 season which he had a .356 BABIP. Steamer projects Iglesias to hit .257/.304/.341 in 2015 for what it’s worth. If Iglesias is healthy and produces, I would love to bump him to number 2 in the order and pray he becomes something like Placido Polanco was when he was with the Tigers.

Against right handed pitching, Alex Avila should hit second. In his career against right handed pitching, Avila has a .256/.358/.434 split. Let me say that again: Avila has a career .358 OBP against right handed pitching. Avila tracks right handed pitching very well and you need men on base with the middle of the order coming up. Avila should not see the field against left handed pitching; James McCann should come in and hit lower in the lineup with Rajai Davis hitting at the top of the order (or flip flopped with Kinsler). Anthony Gose is also an unknown entering the year and I’ve slotted him at 8 against right handed pitching. Realistically, he could go 8 or 9 if you want to try to do the “2 leadoff hitters batting 9th and 1st in the order” routine.