Detroit — Manager Brad Ausmus said before Tuesday's game that, yes, he has thought about moving Jose Iglesias up higher in the batting order, possibly up to the No. 2 hole. But, no, he's not ready to make that move.
"I have considered it many times," Ausmus said. "But there's always that question: Is the guy hitting what he's hitting because of where he's hitting? And would he change if you moved him."
Iglesias, hitting mostly in the eighth or ninth spots, carried a .330 batting average with a .384 on-base percentage. Ausmus put him in the No. 2 spot for four games earlier this season and he went 5 for 17 with a home run and a triple.
But that was when Victor Martinez was on the DL and Ian Kinsler was moved down to the No. 5 hole.
"You have to get the most out of Jose Iglesias," Ausmus said. "Do you take a chance that he'll be OK if you move him, or do you say he's doing well here (at the bottom of the order) and let sleeping dogs lie?"
Ausmus said he believes there are advantages to hitting at the bottom of the order.
"There is no question, especially once you get through the heart of our lineup, certain pitchers will feel like, 'All right, I got through the tough part of the order, let's just get these guys out,' and they do let their foot off the gas a little bit," Ausmus said.
That, he said, was part of the reason he kept Nick Castellanos in the lower third of the order last year.
"The closer you are to the heart of the lineup, the hotter the light on you," he said.
Ausmus took heat for pinch-running for Martinez in the ninth inning of a tie game against the White Sox Friday. On Sunday, he left Martinez at second base in the eighth inning after his one-out double tied the game.
Ausmus explained why he managed those two situations differently.
"When you pinch-run for a guy, you have to know how many outs there are," he said. "With Victor on second and only one out, you have to go through at least two more hitters, and if they intentionally walk either Yoenis Cespedes or J.D. Martinez, now you are three hitters past Victor.
"Now (his spot in the order) comes into play in the next inning. You have to think about that."
When he pulled Victor Martinez on Friday, there were two outs in the ninth. Martinez's spot in the order would was eight spots away after he was pulled.
Ausmus said he didn't give a second thought to the confusion that occurred Sunday when David Price mistakenly thought he'd been pulled from the game after six innings.
"Honestly, it's no big deal," he said. "It's like anything. Me and my wife could be talking about our daughter about something and she misunderstands what I was saying and I misunderstand what she was saying. It happens.
"There was no grand secret. I thought he was still in the game and he thought he was done. He reacted like he was finished and went up (to the clubhouse) and I reacted like he was still in the game."
Ausmus said he typically will shake hands and tell a pitcher directly his day is over, but Price, after allowing two runs in the sixth inning, walked directly into the tunnel.