Tigers' Jeimer Candelario: Entrenched as starter at 3B
Manager Ron Gardenhire suggested that Candelario could bat seventh regularly this season, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Gardenhire normally admits very little about his regular-season lineup during the spring, but he finally caved and admitted that the lineup he utilized Sunday against the Braves "could be" the regular lineup. In that game, Candelario batted seventh behind James McCann but ahead of Mikie Mahtook and Dixon Machado. Gardenhire said that he'll likely get some tips from the analytics department before settling on a lineup, but he did suggest that Leonys Martin and Miguel Cabrera would be the leadoff and three hole hitters, respectively. Candelario impressed during a short stint in Detroit last season, batting .330 with two homers and 13 RBI in 27 games. His spring showing has been just as impressive, as he's produced a .938 OPS in 13 Grapefruit League contests. Candelario could push his way into a better run-producing spot in the order or even into the two hole (Gardenhire suggested he likes having a switch-hitter in the second spot) as the season rolls along, but it seems like Gardenhire and the Tigers are looking at other options before they give Candelario a shot.
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