LAKELAND, Fla. -- All of the familiar faces will start Thursday against Florida Southern in the Tigers' first game of Spring Training.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler will lead off, followed by designated hitter Victor Martinez, first baseman Miguel Cabrera, right fielder J.D. Martinez, left fielder Justin Upton, third baseman Nick Castellanos, catcher James McCann, newly acquired center fielder Mikie Mahtook and shortstop Jose Iglesias. Right-hander Myles Jaye, who split last season between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, will be Detroit's starting pitcher.
Spring Training will be a month-long tinkering process for the lineup, and with multiple regulars away from camp for the World Baseball Classic, reading anything into when hitters bat during Grapefruit League play would be a mistake, manager Brad Ausmus said.
"Nothing is going to happen in the first month of this Spring Training that's going to indicate how the lineup's going to shape up," Ausmus said. "J.D. could be an option for second; Nick could be an option for second. If J.D. hits second, Nick could hit fifth."
But based on Upton's turnaround late last season, Ausmus said the likelihood of Upton moving from the sixth spot in the batting order would be quite low. He also said Cabrera likely would retain the third spot, with Victor Martinez batting cleanup and J.D. Martinez following, but February is far too early to sweat it.
"I love that people get so enthralled with lineups," Ausmus said. "Unless you really do something [major] with the lineups, the impact isn't really that great over a 162 games. … Unless I hit Miggy ninth, the impact isn't great."
Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.