1. Austin Jackson
2. Johnny Damon
3. Magglio Ordonez
4. Miguel Cabrera
5. Carlos Guillen
6. Scott Sizemore
7. Brandon Inge
8. Gerald Laird
9. Adam Everett
Well, here’s my projected starting lineup for the Tigers this year. Obviously this will fluctuate quite a bit this season with players shuffling in and out of the outfield lineup. Some lineups will have Sizemore hitting farther up in the order, but I doubt that Leyland will hit the two rookies too close together and he already likes Jackson as a 1 or 2 hitter. You could also make an argument for Damon as leadoff, but I think he’s better suited at 2, or farther down near 5 or 6 if he struggles a bit. The rest of the order should be pretty obvious at this point unless Magglio struggles again like last year and you could see him dropped in the order or splitting more time with either Ryan Raburn or Clete Thomas
Speaking of other players, here are the other non-pitchers who should see significant playing time this year. Ramon Santiago will fill in at various roles in the infield. He will most likely spell Everett at SS most often, and take some time at 2B when Sizemore needs a break. He also has a chance at significant time at 2B if Sizemore has a disastrous start. In addition to this possibility, if Inge’s knees act up after offseason surgery, Santiago could fill in there. The fact that he is a switch hitter also helps his playing chances in a righty dominated lineup.
Don Kelly also has a chance to make the roster as a reserve. The attraction in him is due to his versatility in the field. He can play any base, or either of the corner outfield positions. Also, like Santiago, he gives the Tigers a left-handed bat to insert into the lineup or pinch hit if the situation calls for it. He hasn’t shown much promise in the major leagues with his bat yet. He also hasn’t been particularly stellar in the minors with the bat either though, so his value lies in his defensive versatility.
With that being said, here’s my prediction of hitter stats for the lineup (Avg/Runs/HRs/RBI/SB). Admittedly they are probably more liberal than most experts.
1. Austin Jackson .272/65/5/42/18
2. Johnny Damon .280/85/14/75/15
3. Magglio Ordonez .302/78/16/87/3
4. Miguel Cabrera .315/98/35/108/2
5. Carlos Guillen .270/65/15/70/4
6. Scott Sizemore .275/70/15/75/13
7. Brandon Inge .240/62/23/75/3
8. Gerald Laird .250/40/5/45/1
9. Adam Everett .245/52/4/55/7
And because I think they’ll get significant playing time, here are some predictions about a couple reserve players.
R. Ramon Santiago .255/25/6/30/3
R. Ryan Raburn .270/45/12/55/8
R. Alex Avila .275/30/8/35/2
I’ll work on some predictions for pitchers over the next week or two.