So far, so good. That is what the Detroit Tigers can say about their decision to have Ian Kinsler at the top of the order while shifting Austin Jackson down to the middle of the lineup.
It might be very early into the 2014 season, but Kinsler and Jackson have flourished thus far in their new positions in the batting order. Kinsler, Detroit’s big offseason acquisition, has gotten five hits in 14 at-bats to start the season, and has already gotten the pressure of hitting his first homer with his new team out of the way, as he went yard on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals.
He put an exclamation point on that game, as the Tigers topped the Royals 2-1 in the 10th thanks to Kinsler’s walk-off RBI single. Having that celebration on the field with his teammates will definitely help the newcomer become even more comfortable with the new squad, and should make him even more productive at the plate.
Jackson has been equally impressive now that he does not have to deal with the extra pressure of batting leadoff. He has five hits as well, but in only 12 at-bats, and has scored three times in Detroit’s three games this season. Also important to note is that he has only struck out twice in those 12 at-bats, and considering he has averaged 153.5 strikeouts per season so far in his MLB career, that is a great sign for the outfielder moving forward.
If these two players can build off of this early season success, the Tigers can truly boast offensive production up and down their lineup.