How Tigers batting order shapes up with Upton
How manager Brad Ausmus works new man Justin Upton into the Tigers order in 2016 is of serious interest to armchair skippers.
Upton, 28, reportedly agreed Monday to a six-year, $132-million deal with Detroit and is likely to become the team’s regular left-fielder. His career on-base percentage of .352, which is very good by big-league standards, suggests Ausmus will want him no deeper than his No. 2 hitter.
Ausmus, of course, could avail himself of several platoon or substitute choices on a given day.
Browse a gallery of Lynn Henning's projected Tigers batting order above. Mobile users can click here.
Cameron Maybin, a right-handed hitter, could play center field or left field against left-handers, or spell either Upton or Anthony Gose in any brand of match-up.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Tigers likely new back-up catcher, is a left-handed hitter who could give James McCann a break and offer an important counter-punch off the bench to right-handed pitching.
Andrew Romine, a switch-hitter and utility man, also figures to be of benefit not only as a super-sub, but as a limited percentage edge against right-handers.
Tyler Collins, an outfielder and left-handed bat, could also be vital as a left-handed hitter, even in an otherwise congested Tigers outfield that in recent years has been crying for bench strength.