Tigers Pre-Spring Training Opening Day Lineup prediction offers some surprises

Detroit TigersTigers NotesTigers Pre-Spring Training Opening Day Lineup prediction offers some surprises


This article is part 1 of 4 in the series Detroit Tigers Opening Day Predictions

The Detroit Tigers are a week away from their pitchers and catchers reporting to the bright and sunny Lakeland, Florida, with the full squad set to report by February 20th. As they do, they'll embark on a 2023 campaign under new leadership and a new era in Tigers baseball.

Why it Matters:

spring training detroit tigers opening day

Scott Harris has been very clear in his words and actions since joining the Tigers that there are certain players he's looking to acquire. He's dealt from the wealth of bullpen arms they had and gotten younger, strike zone controlling bats, and created organizational depth. While the outlook for 2023 doesn't necessarily project well, to think this team will be worse than last year's team is just pure negativity.

A Tigers pre-Spring Training Lineup Prediction:

Fangraphs has already released their projection of the Tigers lineup, and it's not terrible. However, there are some concerns: Miguel Cabrera was not in the lineup, the way they slotted players was confusing, and Nick Maton was penciled in at third base, which is an assumption.

Questions about the Tigers' Opening Day lineup:

  • Will Austin Meadows be able to break camp with the MLB club after a lengthy layoff last season?
  • Is there a prospect who is going to make some noise during camp?

Pre-Spring Training Tigers Lineup Prediction:

A week prior to Spring Training everything is speculation. For the purposes of the article, we have to take a cautious approach with Meadows. He only played in 36 games last season and has not seen live pitching in a game since he stepped away from the team for personal reasons. He is entirely a wait-and-see option and we'll have him starting the season in AAA, along with Jake Rogers as a type of rehab assignment.

Here's a prediction for the Opening Day Lineup against the Rays. Most likely they'll be facing the Tampa Bay Rays Shane McClanahan, a lefty, and the lineup will reflect as much.

  1. Riley Greene, CF
  2. Matt Vierling, LF
  3. Javy Baez, SS
  4. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
  5. Eric Haase, C
  6. Spencer Torkelson, 1B
  7. Miguel Cabrera, DH
  8. Kerry Carpenter, RF
  9. Andre Lipcius, 3B

Final Thoughts:

The picture regarding the questions asked above will become clearer as we progress through the spring. As they do, we'll update our projections. As for Andre Lipicus, he's a solid 25-year-old prospect, who spent time in AAA last season. According to MLB's pipeline, he's “showed solid plate discipline…and a good all-fields approach.” Given what Ryan Krieder showed at the end of the season, there's no reason Lipicius can't supplant him to start the season, and has as good a chance as anyone rostered or non-roster invitee to camp.

Series NavigationDetroit Tigers Opening Day Rotation 2023: Predictions and Expectations >>

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