Gose shows off new swing, same speed vs. former team

Adjustments paying off at the plate for Tigers outfielder, who again wreaks havoc on bases

Gose shows off new swing, same speed vs. former team

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Anthony Gose faced his former club for the first time Monday. The way his Spring Training has been going, he's in too much of a hurry to look back at the past.

For the third time in a week of Grapefruit League games, Gose made an impact with his legs. This time, the Tigers outfielder made it around the bases with only one ball put in play. And that one barely got out of the infield.

It just happened to come against the Blue Jays, the team that knows his speed better than anyone else, having traded him to Detroit last fall for Devon Travis.

The hit was a comebacker that Gose centered off Jays starter Daniel Norris, who nearly had a catch but instead deflected the ball off of his glove. As the ball fluttered into short left field and Rajai Davis trotted home from third base, Gose picked up speed, sensing the chance at a double.

Gose made it without a slide. He made it the rest of the way without a ball in play.

His route to third was a daring one, taking off on a ball thrown back to Norris from catcher Dioner Navarro. Norris got the ball and hurried a throw to third, sailing it past Munenori Kawasaki.

Given the spot in the order, it was a little aggressive, even by the standards of manager Brad Ausmus' green light for his speedster this spring. In a Spring Training setting, Ausmus will take it.

"Realistically, when you have the heart of our order coming up and no outs, it's probably not the ideal time," the manager said. "If you've got the bottom of the order up and one out, you're a little more willing to take a chance. Really, with [Yoenis] Cespedes up there, I don't want him to not think he can steal a base, but I don't know if that's the way to do it."

The double was Gose's only hit in three at-bats Monday, dropping his Grapefruit League average to .571 (8-for-14). He has reached base safely 10 times and scored six runs while going 3-for-3 stealing bases.

"Right now, I'm not really focused on the hits too much," Gose said recently. "The foundation of it, the mechanics is really what I want to pay attention to right now, just trying to get those down."

Still, for someone from whom scouts wanted to see a quicker bat, it's an encouraging start for the adjustments he has made with hitting coaches Wally Joyner and David Newhan.

"His bat speed's fine," Ausmus said. "Sometimes he's too quick, not in terms of bat speed but in terms of being too quick to the ball, starting too early. Tony Gwynn told me the hardest thing to do is wait on the ball, which sounds counter-intuitive when a guy's throwing 97 [mph]. But when you're geared for a fastball, the hardest thing to do is wait on the offspeed."

Said Gose: "I've made a lot of adjustments. Early in spring, it's been a battle trying to find something that feels comfortable and can be consistent and easy to repeat at the plate. Hopefully things are starting to trend towards the next step in the process."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.