Detroit Tigers: Kansas City Royals Series Preview

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May 22, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Alex Wilson (30) and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) celebrate a win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park. The Tigers defeated the Rays 9-4. Mandatory Credit: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports
May 22, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Alex Wilson (30) and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) celebrate a win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park. The Tigers defeated the Rays 9-4. Mandatory Credit: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Sep 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante (14) steals second base ahead outfield the tag by Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) in the seventh inning at Comerica Park. Detroit won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Key Performers and Notable Absences

If Detroit wants to find success in Kansas City, the Tigers will have to be careful with Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer. The duo rank first and second on the Royals in RBI, doubles and home runs.

While Perez and Hosmer pose a definite threat, it will be a very different Kansas City team that Detroit encounters. Mike Moustakas is out for the year due to a torn ACL, while Alex Gordon and Kris Medlen are also on the disabled list.

What’s more, former Tiger Omar Infante is no longer with the team, having recently been designated for assignment. Despite the Infante not being with the team, the Royals still manage to field two different former Tigers on the team in relievers Joakim Soria and Brian Flynn.

Soria arrived in Detroit for the stretch run in 2014, and stayed with the team until last season’s trade deadline when he was dealt to the Pirates for JaCoby Jones. Flynn was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 draft by the Tigers and was dealt alongside Rob Brantly and Jacob Turner to Miami for Anibal Sanchez and—incidentally—Omar Infante.

Next: 60 Games in, Upton or Cespedes?

Because of all the injuries, not to mention the loss of Infante, Kansas City will start Whit Merrifield, Cheslor Cuthbert and Brett Eibner on Thursday night. The Royals have solid depth, but hopefully the Tigers can take advantage of the absences and come away with a series victory to wrap up the road trip.

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