What option should Ausmus pick?
Any one of these three are great options. But the third option could be the best.
There is something special about the sixth spot in the Tigers lineup. Jhonny Peralta exceeded there for years, J.D. Martinez rose to stardom and Yoenis Cespedes was on pace for career highs in almost every statistical category while with the Tigers batting in the sixth spot.
Putting Upton in a situation to come to the plate with guys almost always on base and utilizing his tremendous power could knock teams out of games quickly. Looking at the lineup, there are about five other ways Ausmus could write up the lineup card every day and not be chastised for it.
If Victor Martinez struggles Ausmus could bat Upton or J.D. Martinez behind Cabrera and bump Victor down. If J.D. struggles he could always flip-flop him with Upton. If Kinsler replicates his last two years where he struggled either in the first half or second half of the season, he could put Upton in the two spot and bump Kinsler down.
There’s no wrong answer and it’s a tremendous problem to have. One I’m sure that 25 plus other managers wouldn’t mind carrying the burden of.