"That could happen," manager Brad Ausmus said, "but I probably wouldn't do it right now. Haven't really thought about it too much, because as long as we're hitting and scoring runs, that's not something that's crossed my mind."
The Tigers acquired Maybin from Atlanta last November, and soon after, there was debate over the speedy outfielder as a leadoff option. Ausmus said at the time that it was a consideration, depending on his playing time alongside similarly speedy Anthony Gose. Maybin's broken wrist in Spring Training took that out of consideration, but Ausmus had already gone to Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton in the first two spots before then. J.D. Martinez took over the second spot a couple of weeks ago.
Maybin, 12-for-20 with five runs scored and five RBIs entering Monday's series opener against the Phillies, has batted seventh since his return from the disabled list. That puts Maybin at the tail end of Detroit's productive middle of the batting order, but it also puts him in a spot where his speed has arguably, and maybe ironically, had a little more use.
With four stolen bases in five attempts, Maybin has attracted the attention of opposing pitchers when he reaches base. On Saturday, his leadoff single in the seventh provided a distraction for Drew Smyly as James McCann stepped to the plate. Smyly fell behind on McCann before paying for a 3-1 pitch with a go-ahead two-run homer.
McCann had a bloop single with Maybin on base in his previous at-bat. McCann is 3-for-10 in three starts over the past week since Maybin's return.
"In theory, if you're distracting the pitcher, maybe they miss their location, or leave it back over the plate," Ausmus said. "The other thing about hitting Maybin second, is you kind of limit his ability to run, because you don't want to run as much in front of Miggy [Miguel Cabrera] and Victor [Martinez], the run-producing guys, because they have the ability to hit the ball in a gap or over the wall. So if Maybin is at the bottom of the order, there is a lot less risk in him trying to steal a base."
Maybin entered Monday with a .315 career on-base percentage. He has played more games batting seventh in the order (153) than any other spot, though second (148) and leadoff (116) are next on the list. He owns a .305 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot, and .314 batting second.
• Tigers left fielder Justin Upton was scratched from Monday's lineup with left quad tightness. Steven Moya started in his place.
• Tigers great Alan Trammell and longtime talent evaluator Murray Cook will represent the organization at next month's Draft. The first day of the Draft, June 9, will take place at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.