DETROIT -- Twins manager Paul Molitor already has a feel for what he wants to be his regular lineup to open the season, and he is sticking with that batting order on Opening Day against the Tigers on Monday at Comerica Park.
Given that it's his first year managing at any level, Molitor used the last week of Spring Training as almost a practice test for the regular season. He found a batting order he liked and said he's going to stick with it despite the fact the Tigers are going with left-hander David Price in the opener.
Shortstop Danny Santana will lead off and will be followed by second baseman Brian Dozier, first baseman Joe Mauer, right fielder Torii Hunter, designated hitter Kennys Vargas, third baseman Trevor Plouffe, left fielder Oswaldo Arcia, catcher Kurt Suzuki and center fielder Jordan Schafer. Right-hander Phil Hughes is set to make his first career Opening Day start.
Molitor notably stuck with Arcia and Schafer -- two left-handed hitters -- as well as the switch-hitting Vargas, who struggled against lefties in his two-month stint in the Majors last year. Fellow switch-hitter Eduardo Escobar, who was the club's best hitter in the spring, opens up on the bench despite being a career .313/.347/.477 hitter against lefties, including 3-for-8 in his career against Price.
"I guess people could say we should use other people because they've got Price pitching, but for me, we're not afraid of anybody," Molitor said at Sunday's optional workout at Comerica Park. "So the guys who have earned a shot to be out there Opening Day, they're going to be out there."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.