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Spring training 2017: Tigers release lineup for opening game vs. Florida Southern

Victor Martinez will bat second behind Ian Kinsler in the Tigers’ first game of the 2017 season.

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

After much consternation about who would bat second in the Detroit Tigers’ lineup, we finally have a non-answer. Victor Martinez will bat behind Ian Kinsler and in front of Miguel Cabrera in the Tigers’ first game of the season, the annual exhibition against the Florida Southern Mocs at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Cabrera is followed by right fielder J.D. Martinez, left fielder Justin Upton, and third baseman Nick Castellanos. Catcher James McCann, center fielder Mikie Mahtook, and shortstop Jose Iglesias round out the batting order, while right-handed prospect Myles Jaye will be the starting pitcher.

Or, for aesthetic purposes...

Ian Kinsler, 2B
Victor Martinez, DH
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
J.D. Martinez, RF
Justin Upton, LF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
James McCann, C
Mikie Mahtook, CF
Jose Iglesias, SS

Myles Jaye, SP

While the Florida Southern lineup has been a predictor of the Tigers’ Opening Day batting order in the past, manager Brad Ausmus has hinted that he may tinker with lineups early in spring training. Specifically, Ausmus wants to create more at-bats for players who are participating in the World Baseball Classic. Kinsler, Victor Martinez, and Cabrera all fit that bill, while potential No. 2 hitters like J.D. Martinez and Upton are not slated for WBC action.

One potential hint towards how the lineup will stack up on Opening Day is in center field, where Mikie Mahtook will start over Tyler Collins and JaCoby Jones. Mahtook and Collins are the favorites to land on the Opening Day roster, but Jones has an outside shot if he has a big spring. Collins and corner outfielder Steven Moya are out of minor league options, while Mahtook and Jones can be sent to Triple-A Toledo if needed.