On Monday, Feb. 29, the Tigers play their first spring training game against Florida Southern College, because easing into things is the best approach, and the local church softball team wasn't available. Yes, everyone knows this game really doesn't count for jack or squat, but it's still what we've been waiting for: an actual game, with actual innings, a final score, the first sprouting of spring training stats.
After months of having nothing baseball-related to talk about except trades, signings, payroll, and new rules, we finally have something concrete to discuss: the Tigers have released their intended lineup for the game.
A few quick thoughts:
1. Ian Kinsler - 2B
At least it's not Gose leading off, amirite?
2. Justin Upton - LF
If he doesn't go 4-for-4 with six dingers, the signing was a failure.
3. Miguel Cabrera - 1B
You're a pitcher for Florida Southern College. You've had some success, things are going well, and you've finally allowed yourself to hope that maybe you'll get scouted and signed soon. And then you have to pitch to Miguel Cabrera. This is where hopes and dreams go to die.
4. Victor Martinez - DH
Personally, if I had to pitch the VMart at this point, I'd just throw fastballs at his knees. Not at knee-level, actually at his knees. It's a solid strategy.
5. J.D. Martinez - RF
As a lover of chaos, I kinda hope J.D. has a horrible spring training just to troll us.
6. Nick Castellanos - 3B
This is it, Nick. This is your gold glove year. Don't let us down.
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C
The fact that James McCann isn't starting this game is a clear sign that the Tigers don't trust him. Discuss.
8. Jose Iglesias - SS
This is it, Jose. This is the year you hit .400. Don't let us down.
9. Anthony Gose - CF
At least Gose isn't leading off, amirite?
If I were you, I would draw some long-term conclusions about this lineup and what it means for the 2016 season. Lots of exclamation points and bold font are encouraged.