When the Detroit Tigers take the field against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon, Justin Verlander will be making his final spring start before taking the mound on Opening Day in Chicago.
This morning, the Tigers released their lineup for today’s game and manager Brad Ausmus could very well be giving us a preview of what things will look like on Opening Day.
Lineup vs PHI: Kinsler 4, Castellanos 5, Cabrera 3, V. Martinez DH, Upton 7, Mahtook 9, McCann 2, Jones 8, Iglesias 6. Verlander starts.
— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) March 29, 2017
Some interesting things to note include Nicholas Castellanos batting second in the lineup, JaCoby Jones starting in CF and Mikie Mahtook getting the nod in RF.
Ausmus has been tossing the idea around of starting the season with Castellanos down in the lineup to make up for the hole created by the injury to J.D. Martinez, but it seems more likely that Nicholas will hit in the spot he will be slotted for most of the season.
The injury to Martinez also means the Tigers will have to make a decision on who will start in RF. If today’s lineup does match what we will see on Opening Day, then Ausmus has decided to give Jones the start in CF and Mahtook in RF. This would leave Tyler Collins as the odd man out, at least against left-handed pitchers.