Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Who Leaves When J.D. Martinez Returns?

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Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) swings at strike three to end the fourth inning during a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) swings at strike three to end the fourth inning during a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Apr 7, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Mikie Mahtook (15) hits an RBI double in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The last outfielder in the platoon system is Mikie Mahtook. Like JaCoby Jones, Mahtook has not spent much time in the Major Leagues. Unlike Jones and the other two players in this list, Mahtook has not had much playing time at all. In fact, he has only had four complete games. In his 17 plate appearances, he has a .133/.235/.200 slash with an OPS of .435. He is one of very few Tigers who has yet to hit a home run along with Victor Martinez and Dixon Machado.

Despite his small amount of playing time, he has made an impact. On April 7 against the Boston Red Sox, he came in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and hit a double that scored the tying run. Other than that, he crossed home plate once, after being hit by a pitch and later batted in.

In the few games that Mahtook has appeared, he has spent the majority of his time in right field. While he is quick in the corners of the outfield, he has yet to be tested in the sprawl that is the center field at Comerica Park. But, when Martinez returns, Collins and Romine both can take good care of the corners and center. And so can Jones.

Because of his limited playing time in these early games and the fact that he could be sent to Toledo is a plus for the Tigers. Mahtook is on a one-year contract and he has yet to enter into arbitration. If I were to make a bet on who is going to Toledo, my money would be on Mahtook.

Next: Two Closing Candidates Besides K-Rod

No matter what happens when J.D. Martinez returns, these players have done well in their newly acquired positions.

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