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Ausmus: Tigers will be 'faster overall' than last year

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — The question was posed to manager Brad Ausmus Saturday morning: With Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, the addition of Yoenis Cespedes, along with Nick Castellanos, Ian Kinsler and Alex Avila, might the Tigers be more of a power-oriented club this season?

"I don't know about that," Ausmus said. "We added (Jose) Iglesias to the mix. We added (Anthony) Gose to the mix. And after watching Cespedes run the bases yesterday, he's not slow. I think we will be a faster team overall than we were a year ago."

Speed and athleticism are traits that Ausmus has been trying to instill in the Tigers since taking over for Jim Leyland in 2014. But don't misunderstand, the goal is not necessarily to be a base stealing team.

"Rajai Davis can steal bases and Gose can steal bases," Ausmus said. "But I am not saying we're going to steal more bases. But it's just putting more pressure on the defense across the board."

The Tigers left too many potential runs on the bases last year.

According to Baseball Reference, the Tigers made 60 outs on base running plays last season, not including pickoffs or being caught stealing. The Tigers had 20 runners thrown out at the plate and were successful on just 40 percent of their attempts to take an additional base on a single or double.