The Detroit Tigers need a right-handed hitter to share time in left field with Andy Dirks.

Avisail Garcia hits right-handed. He's on the 40-man roster. He played well after being called up to the Tigers late last season.

Nick Castellanos hits right-handed. He is the top prospect in the organization.

But there is no guarantee that either Garcia or Castellanos will be with the Tigers when the season begins. Why is that the case?

The Tigers might decide at the end of spring training that neither is quite ready to play in the majors, at least not at the start of the season. But even if the Tigers deem one or both of them able to contribute right away, they might feel that a heavy dose of at-bats early in the season will prepare Garcia and Castellanos to make an even bigger impact later in the 2013 season … and beyond.
As the roster stands, the Tigers don't have any strong candidates to platoon in left with Dirks. It seems doubtful that the Tigers would use Jeff Kobernus or Danny Worth regularly against left-handed pitchers.

But the Tigers could still make a trade for a right-handed hitter prior to the start of the season. Or they could play Dirks almost every day -- his numbers are basically the same against right-handers and left-handers -- and start someone like Kobernus or Worth in left on occasion. Depending on how things developed, the Tigers could make a trade or call up Garcia or Castellanos later in the season.