Tigers' outfield/DH math: How does six go into four?

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland has a good problem: too many good choices to play the outfield and be the designated hitter.
The acquisition of Jeff Baker from the Cubs and return of Andy Dirks from the disabled list gives Detroit six players from whom to choose daily for those four spots.
"I told them, 'I can play four of the six every day, but I can't play all of you every day,'" Leyland said. "I explained it to them so everybody knows their situation and everybody knows that they might not be in the lineup every day, with the exception, for the most part, of (Austin) Jackson."
Jackson gets the call in center nearly every day. If he needs a rest, Quintin Berry is the likely choice, or maybe Dirks.
Brennan Boesch is the de facto regular in right, but Dirks and Berry could also play there. Boesch has hit well behind cleanup man Prince Fielder, so he will get a lot of playing time.
Baker made his debut with the Tigers on Wednesday night, playing left against a left-handed starter. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a two-run single in the Tigers' 12-8 loss to the New York Yankees.
Leyland chose to pinch-hit Dirks for him when New York brought in a right-handed reliever.
Berry will start Thursday in a day game.
Young has seen the most time in the DH spot, but with good left-handed options, Leyland can be expected to go that route on occasion.
"Everybody knows pretty much what they're going to be doing, and you just ask everybody to be on board with it and be patient with it," Leyland said. "I'm happy with all the outfielders, but I can only play three in the outfield and one DH. That's four. We've got six.
"We've got a bunch of good guys, and I think they're all willing to make a little sacrifice so that everybody gets to play. You try to keep everybody fresh, and you pick your spots."

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