With the signing of I-Rod, the Tigers' ten-year imitation of the Cleveland Indians of the 60s, 70s and 80s might be coming to an end. How about this new line-up:
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Tigers' projected starting lineup
Detroit News staff reports
Here’s a scouting report on the Tigers’ likely Opening Day batting order, compiled by The Detroit News staff. New players are highlighted.
1. ALEX SANCHEZ: CF
2003 stats: Games: 144 Avg: .282 Runs: 58 Stolen bases: 52
* Started 128 games for the Tigers. Stabilized center field after being acquired in a trade with the Brewers. Lacks arm strength but compensates with speed and range.
2. FERNANDO VINA: 2B
2003 stats: Games: 61 Avg: .251 Home runs: 4 RBI: 23
* Replaces Warren Morris. Hindered by injuries, started 58 games for the Cardinals last season. Solid defensively, a nice top-of-the-order hitter and good guy in the clubhouse.
3. IVAN RODRIGUEZ: C
2003 stats: Games: 144 Avg.: .297 Home runs: 16 RBI: 85
* Replaces Brandon Inge. Started 135 games last season with the Marlins. Says he is not a home-run hitter but a “gapper” hitter, as he calls it. So, Comerica Park is made for him.
4. DMITRI YOUNG: DH
2003 stats: Games: 155 Avg: .297 Home runs: 29 RBI: 85
* Started 148 games last season for the Tigers. An excellent hitter who will benefit from a better lineup in ‘04
5. RONDELL WHITE: LF
2003 stats: Games: 137 Avg: .288 Home runs: 22 RBI: 87
* Replaces Craig Monroe. Started 126 games with the Royals and Padres. Adds a steady, veteran bat to the lineup. Injuries have been a problem throughout his career. Doesn’t have a great arm, but he won’t hurt you defensively.
6. BOBBY HIGGINSON: RF
2003 stats: Games: 130 Avg.: .235 Home runs: 14 RBI: 52
* Started 124 games for the Tigers. Still one of their best hitters, but Monroe could fill his spot more often if he struggles.
7. ERIC MUNSON: 3B
2003 stats: Games: 99 Avg .240 Home runs: 18 RBI: 50
* Started 88 games for the Tigers. Injuries derailed what could have been a solid season. With a better lineup, he could have a breakout season.
8. CARLOS PENA: 1B
2003 stats: Games: 131 Avg.: .248 Home runs: 18 RBI: 50
* Started 125 games for the Tigers. Batting further down in the order will help minimize self-induced pressure.
9. CARLOS GUILLEN: SS
2003 stats: Games: 109 Avg.: .276 Home runs: 7 RBI: 52
* Replaces Ramon Santiago. Started 103 games for the Mariners last season. Provides dependable defense and a solid bat. As a switch hitter could could move up to the No. 2 spot in the order.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!