Jupiter, Fla. — One way or another, they are going to find one.
When the Tigers leave spring training in two weeks, they will have a right-handed hitting outfielder on their bench.
Count on it.
It's what they've wanted. It's the way they've intended to go the entire spring. But never has it been as certain as when manager Jim Leyland said on Saturday that it is.
"We want a right-handed hitter. You can take that to the bank," he said. "I think we're going to have it.
"I can't say it's 100 percent, but it's 99.9 percent. We're going to have a right-handed hitter to play out there sometimes."
That's good news, of course, for Jeff Kobernus, the speedy Rule 5 pick the Tigers have been looking at this spring. But he's not hit much this spring, so it's not as if he has the job locked up.
It could be good news as well for Matt Tuiasosopo, who hit his second home run in three days on Saturday in the Tigers' 3-0 victory over St. Louis.
"He smoked it," Leyland said. "It wasn't as loud as the one he hit the other day, but it was loud."
What Leyland's statement about 99.9 percent means, however, is that someone who's assessed his chances of making the team as being fair to good must now re-adjust.
That player could be Quintin Berry, who's a left-hand hitting outfielder, of course, but not impactful enough to supplant Andy Dirks.
Or it could be the versatile Don Kelly.
But the Tigers will have a right-handed hitting outfielder to play in left whenever Leyland considers it advisable to sit Dirks.
That could signal a forthcoming trade — or a late pickup. But however they do it, they're going to end up with one.
Leyland, however, wasn't as forthcoming about the order of his starting rotation.
It's been known all spring Justin Verlander will start the season opener on April 1 in Minnesota, but the order in which the other starters will start after that hasn't yet been announced.
And that means the starter for the home opener (fourth game of the season) isn't known, either. Leyland views it as a plum assignment, though, so it wouldn't be surprising if he saves it for Max Scherzer, who won 16 games for the Tigers last year.
"The home opener is a happening in Detroit," Leyland said. "We'll arrange our rotation accordingly."
Batting sixth and playing right field: Brennan Boesch.
Not for the visiting Tigers against the Cardinals on Saturday, though.
Boesch was in the starting lineup for the first time with his new team, the Yankees, for their home game in Tampa against the Phillies.
He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and two groundouts.
Upon arriving in the Yankees' clubhouse, Boesch told reporters the Tigers "did me a favor" when they released him. "It goes without saying that I'm thankful for them to have done that."
The so-called favor refers to the fact the Tigers made their decision early enough for him to land on his feet with another team. Boesch signed a $1.5 million contract with the Yankees that also included incentives for $600,000 based on plate appearances
Putting on a new uniform, especially one with pinstripes, had to be somewhat of a surprise to Boesch, though.
"I've been in Detroit since 2006," he said to the New York media. "It's all I know. But sometimes obviously it comes to an end.
"I couldn't be in a better place to land after Detroit. What a great organization."
Right fielder Avisail Garcia had to leave Saturday's game after bruising his right ankle when he hit first base too hard with a long stride.
He said he was glad there was no fracture, and while Garcia didn't need crutches as he left the clubhouse, he wasn't applying any weight to his right foot.
So he hopped to a golf cart that took him to an awaiting car for an early ride back to Lakeland.
The Tigers ace stayed back in Lakeland — where he allowed two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out six in 4-1/3 innings of a Triple A game.