Tigers brass makes trip to watch roster hopefuls

Tigers brass makes trip to watch roster hopefuls

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though All-Stars Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera didn't make the long bus ride from Lakeland, Fla., to the Cardinals' Jupiter facility Saturday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland called the weekend matinee an opportune time for players to impress the organization.

"We didn't leave anybody home," Leyland said. "All the brass is here to look at these guys who are fighting for jobs. You always find a way that your job is productive, and I think this is a pretty productive day."

Quintin Berry, who was set back by knee tendinitis during the early part of Grapefruit League action, started in center field. Jeff Kobernus manned the left-field spot, while Avisail Garcia started in right before top prospect Nick Castellanos replaced him in the second inning. Garcia suffered a right heel contusion and will be re-evaluated Sunday.

Non-roster invitees Matt Tuiasosopo and Don Kelly started at first and third, respectively. Even right-hander Shawn Hill -- another non-roster invitee signed as an insurance policy, according to Leyland -- is vying to be a sixth starter.

"I think the fact we're getting to play all these guys fighting for the opportunity -- I think it works out good," Leyland said. "I think that's why you do it when you take a long trip. They've got to go."

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.