It’s going to be interesting to see how the battle for playing time in center field plays out over the course of the season for the Detroit Tigers. Mikie Mahtook saw time at all three outfield positions last season, but 67 of his 105 games last season were spent in center. He’s slated to be the team’s starting left fielder this season. JaCoby Jones will battle Leonys Martin for playing time in center. Martin recently signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal. Martin could also play in left. “He’s a good fit for us because we needed a left-handed bat in the outfield,” Tigers general manager Al Avila said Monday at the Winter Meetings held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. “The main thing is he’s also an excellent defender. Our reports show he would be a really good defensive centerfielder in our ballpark. So that was a big part of it. Being a guy that can hit left-handed is also an important part of it. We felt he was a good fit. “The playing time will come down to performance really at the end of the day.” Avila said he expects Martin, 29, to “bounce back” and be a better hitter than he was last season. Martin began his major league career with the Rangers in 2011. He batted .172 in 49 games last season — 34 with the Mariners in the American League and 15 with the Cubs in the National League.
Who will get bulk of playing time in center for Detroit Tigers?
Detroit Free Press | Dec 12