Tigers notes: Tuesday lineup revealed

BY foxsports • February 24, 2014

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The rest of the Tigers' lineup for Tuesday's game against Florida Southern has been revealed.

Manager Brad Ausmus had already said the first five in the lineup would be:

1) Ian Kinsler, 2B

2) Torii Hunter, RF

3) Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4) Victor Martinez, DH

5) Austin Jackson, CF

On Monday, he gave out the rest:

6) Andy Dirks, LF

7) James McCann, C

8) Nick Castellanos, 3B

9) Jose Iglesias, SS

Normally, Alex Avila would be the starting catcher but Avila just returned after missing two days with back spasms.

"I told him not to run the bases, that was my call," Ausmus said. "He took infield and hit. He looked fine. Didn't look like he was holding back. We just thought there's no reason to throw Alex out there after he's missed a couple of days with the back."

Ausmus said he was leaning against starting Avila at catcher Wednesday at Kissimmee against the Atlanta Braves and was more likely to have him go Thursday at home against the Braves.

Ausmus reiterated that the regulars would each get just one at-bat. Dirks and Castellanos might get more than one, depending on when their first at-bats are. 

McCann will play longer than that.

Drew VerHagen will start the game and Robbie Ray will follow him. Ausmus said he wasn't sure about the other pitchers.

"It was a light day," Ausmus said. "We stretched, ran the bases, took an infield or two, then hit off coaches, and that was it."

The Tigers have also been working on baserunning before the 9:30 a.m. meeting. The team is divided into three groups. One went Saturday, another Monday and the final group will go Tuesday.

"I threw a light one," Below said. "Everything went good."

Below said he expects to throw another bullpen before resuming live batting practice.

The rule states: "A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball ).

"Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe."

The umpire has to determine whether the runner made an effort to touch the plate and whether "he lowered his shoulders or pushed through with his hands, elbows or arms when veering toward the catcher."

The rule does not state that the runner always has to slide and that the catcher can never block the plate, but runners who slide and catchers who give the runner a pathway to reach the plate cannot be called for violating the rule.

Replay review does apply to these plays.

The Dominican team eliminated them Monday morning.

Miguel Cabrera came into Ausmus' office Monday and said, "What happened?"

"I don't want to talk about it," Ausmus said.

Al Alburquerque said Luis Marte, who compared himself Sunday to LeBron James, was the best shooter against the staff.

Torii Hunter, who had to pick a team from the leftovers, lost some of his players. The catchers claimed Craig Albernaz and the infielders took Steve Lombardozzi, Jr.

"Whatever Miggy wants, Miggy gets," Hunter said.

Hunter said he still has defensive coordinator Matt Martin and added assistant athletic trainer Matt Rankin and Below.

"I got the pure shooters," Hunter declared. "I got the John Paxtons and Steve Kerrs."

Hunter said he would be the Ray Allen of his team.

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