Detroit Tigers: Riley Greene set to jump aboard the versatility train

Detroit Tigers center fielder Riley Greene (31) fields a fly ball against the Baltimore Orioles.
Detroit Tigers center fielder Riley Greene (31) fields a fly ball against the Baltimore Orioles. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers outfielder Riley Greene to play some corner outfield.

One thing that A.J. Hinch has made a priority during his time as the Detroit Tigers manager is the importance of players being versatile. Being able to play multiple positions, slot into the lineup in different spots, and possibly even learn a new position.

Not that it's going to be near as tasking a player learning third base as a primary first baseman or something of that nature... Riley Greene is expected to move around the Detroit Tigers outfield. It appears that the versatility train is making a top in centerfield.

I'd like to think most fans would be fine with Riley Greene playing center and batting first or second for the entirety of the 2023 season. But he's likely going to play some corner outfield and possibly even be moved around the lineup to see where they can maximize his output for the Tigers' offense.

It's a move that makes sense; not trying to knock Hinch by any means. Greene is young; he's rangy and athletic, covering a ton of ground in the outfield. He's got the centerfield vibe to him right now, but who knows, in a few years, he might be more of a corner outfield guy, and getting him acclimated now is no surprise.

Do not get it twisted either, Greene will not be moved out of centerfield 100% of the time, but he will get his reps this Spring at all three outfield positions and likely move around the lineup.

Come Opening Day, I'd expect Greene to be leading things off and playing center, but I would not be surprised in the slightest if he's playing right field and batting third a few days later to switch things up and see what happens.

Hinch has already made it clear that Greene will be moved around positionally and in the lineup. This subscriber article from The Detroit News($) discusses that a bit more.

Greene made his debut during the summer of 2022 and settled in nicely. The Oviedo, Fla. product logged 93 games in his first chance with the Tigers. He accumulated 376 at-bats, where he slashed .253/.321/.362 with 18 doubles, four triples, and five home runs while managing 42 RBI.

Expect Greene to be ready for lift-off in his second season with the big-league club. Plus, with changes to the dimensions of Comerica Park, he might even see a bit more pop on balls he rips pull-side.

Time will tell, but all signs point to Greene being a focal point of this offense and giving fans something to be excited about in 2023 with the Tigers.

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