Davis back at leadoff with slew of lefties on deck
DETROIT -- Rajai Davis' tenure hitting leadoff in Detroit appeared to be on hiatus when the Tigers returned home and regained the designated hitter spot. A few days later, it's back on.
"I've kind of had that in mind against lefties, to have Rajai and Ian [Kinsler] at the top," manager Brad Ausmus said of batting Davis atop the order against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson on Saturday.
With five left-handed starters awaiting the Tigers in a six-day stretch, it could be a trend.
The purpose is two-fold. First, hitting left-handed pitching was a primary purpose for bringing in Davis back in December, along with his speed. He has become more of an everyday left fielder with Andy Dirks out until June and Tyler Collins now back at Triple-A Toledo, and he's 12-for-39 against righties, but his strength remains hitting lefties.
Second, by batting Davis leadoff and moving Kinsler to the second spot, Ausmus frees up Torii Hunter to bat fifth. That's a thought Ausmus has had since Spring Training, stretching out the middle of the order while still keeping two table-setters at the top.
"In Spring Training, I had actually talked to Torii about hitting fifth against left-handed pitchers," Ausmus said.