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.