LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) The Detroit Tigers have a cool plan to open another week of spring training, hit the baseball and then hit the links.
Manager Brad Ausmus has chosen to change things up at Tigers' camp on Monday. He said instead of the usual spring training opener against Florida Southern, the tentative starters will bat once, then head off to a golf course. The minor league team will take their place and the game against the Moccasins will carry on.
''The guys are getting tired of mandatory drills,'' Ausmus said Sunday. ''They can get an at-bat and that's enough.''
Ausmus isn't bringing out any of his new pitchers acquired during the offseason, such as Jordan Zimmerman (Nationals) and free agent Mike Pelfrey, who struggled last year in Minnesota. Non-roster pitcher Kevin Ziomek will start the spring for the Tigers.
Ausmus also said there will be some tinkering with the batting order throughout the spring. The heart of the order, Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez, will pretty much stay intact, but he's still figuring out the top on the lineup.
Newcomer Cameron Maybin, who batted .267 for the Atlanta Braves last season is possibly the front-runner for the leadoff spot.
The second spot has belonged to Kinsler, but on the lineup card for the Florida Southern game on Monday, it simply said ''New Guy.'' Ausmus confessed ''New Guy'' is new left fielder Justin Upton, who batted .251 for San Diego last season. He'll compete with incumbent Anthony Gose, who batted .254 in 140 games last season.
Ausmus said he simply is ready to get on with the season.
''We have a lot of split squads and early games coming up,'' he said. ''I just want the guys to get out on the field and start playing for real.''
NOTES: RHP Anibal Sanchez, who went 10-10 for the Tigers last season, will pitch a bullpen session on Monday. He is suffering from soreness in his right forearm. . RHP Justin Verlander looked sharp in a batting practice session and is set to start Thursday against the Atlanta Braves. . Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is expected to coach first base on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Wolverines are holding spring camp in Bradenton and Harbaugh is a huge Tigers fan. He's also expected to change jerseys in the fifth inning with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who grew up a Tigers fan. Major League Baseball has to approve the arrangement.