Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Previewing the 2018 lineup

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers as he crosses the plate in front of catcher Rob Brantly #44 of the Chicago White Sox after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers as he crosses the plate in front of catcher Rob Brantly #44 of the Chicago White Sox after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 18: Dixon Machado #49 of the Detroit Tigers gets the game winning single in the twelfth inning and celebrate as he rounds the bases during the game against the Kansas City Royals on September 18, 2015 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Royals 5-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 18: Dixon Machado #49 of the Detroit Tigers gets the game winning single in the twelfth inning and celebrate as he rounds the bases during the game against the Kansas City Royals on September 18, 2015 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Royals 5-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Batting Eighth: Second Baseman Dixon Machado

Ian Kinsler won’t play second for the Tigers this season. His replacement will likely be Dixon Machado, a former prospect / minor-league hand that will enter his first season playing every day.

Dixon Machado wasn’t too bad at the plate in 2017. He hit what you’d expect a middle infielder to. His stat line was .259/.302/.621, with one home run and 11 RBIs in 181 plate appearances.

This year, Machado is projected to hit .257/.322/.697. It’s slightly better than last season. Machado is still young, at 26 years old, and is yet to reach the peak of his career. He’s likely to have a better performance in 2018.

The reason: more experience at the major-league level. While he had a significant time in Detroit, he went down to the minors a decent amount last season. Minor league pitching is different than the big leagues. Sometimes, it could take time to get used to the major leagues.

Another reason: Machado performed better at the plate, while playing second. In 19 games at second, Machado hit .294/.351/.743.

It’ll be interesting to see if those numbers can be repeated consistently in 2018. They more than likely won’t, because 19 games is still a small sample size.

Defensively, Machado wasn’t bad at 2nd. In 118.1 innings, the Venezuelan turned 12 double-plays, and had 51 assists and 23 putouts. Machado only committed two errors at second.

Conceivably, though, Machado and Iglesias could be switched. Middle-infield positions are similar. The places in the batting order, however, will likely remain the same, unless something drastic happens.

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