Tiger talk: Lefty bats, youth, Aaron and more

The bitter cold across Michigan these days makes it difficult to think of spring and baseball, but they are quickly sneaking up. Spring Training is scheduled to begin in less than a month in Lakeland, Fla., and if it’s anything like Summer Camp 2020 in Detroit, the prospects will be

The bitter cold across Michigan these days makes it difficult to think of spring and baseball, but they are quickly sneaking up. Spring Training is scheduled to begin in less than a month in Lakeland, Fla., and if it’s anything like Summer Camp 2020 in Detroit, the prospects will be the story, and the future should look a little closer.

Here are a few thoughts before the mind turns to pitchers and catchers reporting:

Lefty bats dwindling
Manager A.J. Hinch made it clear during an interview with former general managers Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Tigers want to fix their struggles against right-handed pitchers. Detroit posted a .655 OPS off right-handers last year, third-lowest in the Majors, and an American League-low .673 and .666 OPS versus righties in 2019 and ’18, respectively. The team hasn’t been better than 25th in the Majors in OPS off righties since ’16, when J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton were still in the lineup and the Tigers had their last winning season.

Detroit has had a righty-heavy lineup for years — including in 2016, when switch-hitting Victor…

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