Newcomer Anthony Gose ready to get going in Tigers’ outfield
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Gose isn’t known for his bat. He plans to change that this year, his first with the Detroit Tigers.
Gose was acquired in an offseason trade with Toronto. The Tigers want him to take over the center field spot in cavernous Comerica Park from Austin Jackson, who was dealt away last summer.
The 24-year-old Gose batted only .226 in 94 games for the Blue Jays last season. He’s expected to track down flyballs and add some speed to a Tigers team that isn’t known for its running.
Gose stole 15 bases in 20 tries for the Blue Jays in half a season last year, and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has said he’d like his club to run more.
Rajai Davis, picked up from Toronto last season, led the Tigers with 36 steals but might be out of a starting job after Detroit acquired slugger Yoenis Cespedes to take over in left field.
“I want to be the best,” Gose said on a rainy day that cut short practice on Saturday. “I can get to anything out there and I can run. I’m not worried about anything when I am on the field.”
The lefty-swinging Gose has been working closely with Tigers hitting coach Wally Joyner this spring. Gose said he feels a change in his swing and is ready to take over as a leadoff hitter, if necessary.
“He has a swing that certainly can work at the major league level,” Ausmus said. “I know Wally and he are working on some specific things they hope will be beneficial over the course of the season. When it comes to hitting, you get into such habits, such muscle memory, it’s hard to make changes suddenly. It takes time.”
Gose will have a lot of responsibility catching flyballs since he will likely be flanked by Cespedes and J.D. Martinez. Neither are speed demons.
“I feel like I can track down anything,” Gose said.
Ausmus said he has complete confidence in Gose taking over in center. He likes Gose’s speed and defense and, if he can get on, he’s followed in the lineup by big hitters Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Cespedes.
“Gose is going to take time,” Ausmus said. “But he’s working hard and we can do a lot of things when he gets on base.”
NOTES: Rain ended workouts early Saturday morning. With the first exhibition Tuesday, Ausmus said he was happy there haven’t been any reported injuries. “Yes, we have missed some work on fundamentals,” Ausmus said. “But they all know the basics. We have to work on them, but they know what they are doing.” ... Ausmus started a basketball shooting contest last season in the locker room that went over well. This year he’s holding a pingpong tournament to loosen things up.