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Position players arrive early before Tuesday's workout

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Detroit's position players aren't scheduled to report until Monday, and their first full-squad workout isn't until Tuesday. But the Tigers clubhouse was already full of hitters Sunday.

Ian Kinsler, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, Rajai Davis and Steve Lombardozzi were among the crowd of position players that rolled into Joker Marchant Stadium on Sunday, a growing group that "really impressed" manager Brad Ausmus.

They'll get into the batter's box quickly, too, as Ausmus said he plans to begin live batting practice Tuesday during the first full workout.

At this early stage of Spring Training, the drill is mostly about helping pitchers get used to seeing a hitter at the plate. Some hitters will swing, while most will just track pitches into the catcher's mitt.

"It's something that, really, 95 percent of hitters don't enjoy," Ausmus said. "You don't enjoy getting in there against your own pitchers, especially if it's [Bruce] Rondon or somebody like that throwing 95 or 100 [mph.] ... As a position player, you don't really love those days."

To illustrate that point, Ausmus recalled a time during Rockies camp that he took a 95-mph fastball right to the ribs. No pitcher wants to be the guy who accidentally beans Miguel Cabrera or Victor Martinez, either.

"I don't think [pitchers] love it," Ausmus said. "I think it's one of those necessary evils."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
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