Avisail Garcia's future with the Tigers might still be bright.
But the outlook for the present is looking a little dim.
"I'll put that one as an 'I don't know,'" manager Jim Leyland said about Garcia's status in 2013.
Leyland makes it clear, though, that he thinks Garcia would be better served by playing full time in the minors this season than by gathering dust in the majors.
"Obviously he's not going to be the everyday left fielder," Leyland said. "At least not right now."
Garcia didn't flunk the opportunity to play regularly in the Tigers outfield last year. He hit .319 in 23 games and started in right field during the postseason.
What he did show, however, was that at 21, he was too young for it.
The Tigers feel he's still maturing as a player, especially as a hitter, and that it could be best for him to grow somewhere other than in the majors.
Besides, since last season the Tigers have signed Torii Hunter as their daily right fielder, so the only playing time available to a right-handed hitting outfielder would be on a platoon basis in left.
But it's not as a left fielder that the Tigers seem to envision Garcia. Of the 23 games in which he played last year, only two were in left.
Plus when it comes to hitting left-handed pitchers, Andy Dirks — who figures prominently in the Tigers' plans this season — batted .274 against them last year.
So it's not as if the Tigers are desperate for a right-handed hitter in left that they feel compelled to rush a youngster, whether it's Garcia or Nick Castellanos, who'll turn 21 on March 4.
Garcia was not flown up from Venezuela for last week's caravan that ended Saturday with TigerFest. But his name, and his future, came up often.
As did what he's done this winter.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130131/SPORTS0104/301310364#ixzz2JZ8xB1lC
Tigers' Avisail Garcia might be left out in left field
Detroit News | Jan 31