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Tigers debut opening day lineup; Inge's knees give Kelly the edge

Jim Leyland debuted his likely opening day batting order during Saturday's game against the Yankees. And it scored just one run. Oops.

Leyland told MLive's Steve Kornacki:

"That was pretty much the opening day lineup," he said. "But I hope we do better offensively with it."

The lineup:

Austin Jackson, CF (RH)
Johnny Damon, LF (LF)
Magglio Ordonez, RF (RH)
Miguel Cabrera, 1B (RH)
Carlos Guillen, DH (S)
Brandon Inge, 3B (RH)
Gerald Laird, C (RH)
Scott Sizemore, 2B (RH)
Adam Everett, SS (RH)

The obvious complaints are that there are too many right-handed batters in it and that Sizemore bats a bit too low.

I wouldn't spend much time fretting over it, though, because if pattern holds true the Tigers won't use it all that much anyway.

It will get a lot more interesting when you start subbing the left-handed bench members into it. Of course right now, the only one we know about is Ramon Santiago, a switch hitter. Don Kelly appears to be the 25th man (more on that later) and Alex Avila may or may not be the backup catcher.

The final position player on the roster was probably going to come down to how healthy infielders Inge and Sizemore were. if they were ready to go day-in-and-day-out, you could make an argument that Clete Thomas gave the Tigers a nice combination of late-inning defense relief as well as speed and occasional power off the bench.'s Jason Beck reportss Inge will be given his fair share of time off early in the season.

Leyland told Beck:

"I think I am concerned more about playing a lot right off the bat [in] cold weather, damp weather, rain delays. I'm more concerned about that than I am about any particular play." Leyland said.

I think that almost certainly indicates Kelly has made the team.

In other news:

  •'s Jayson Stark reports the Tigers may be shopping lefty reliever Brad Thomas, and could be having cold feet about Sizemore. (via MLB Trade Rumors)
  • A couple more good things from Kornacki: Daniel Schlereth, who was optioned to Triple-A Toledo, will be pitching a few innings at a time, the Tigers say.
  • The Tigers set a Joker Marchant Stadium record Saturday with 10,219 in attendance.
  • Reliever Robby Weinhardt was called a "long shot" by Leyland to make the opening day roster.
  • Tom Gage reports Clete Thomas should be able to play today. He was out a couple games after being hit in the shoulder by a pitch.
  • Samara was very excited about finding Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry in a pack of baseball cards.
  • The Short Season Single-A Connecticut (ne Oneonta) Tigers received approval to move into their new stadium in Norwich.