Tigers' outfielders green on park's new sod

Tigers' outfielders green on park's new sod

DETROIT -- If the sight of green grass wasn't enough salvation for Tigers fans after a winter of frozen tundra, the sight of an outfield without different-colored patches was a head-turner. The 15th Opening Day at Comerica Park was the club's first with new sod since 2007.

The opener provided the first real test for the new surface, which was laid down about a week and a half ago. The Tigers and Royals worked out on it Sunday, and Austin Jackson said he wanted to check it out and see how it felt. However, it was difficult to simulate the quick cuts needed by outfielders in game action.

"You definitely want to get your feet on it a little bit and see," Jackson said. "When you put cleats on, you want to see how it is. You have to get a good feel for it."

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said they checked out the infield during the workout on Sunday.

"The field looks great, actually," Ausmus said. "We had a quick infield in batting practice yesterday. Everything went well."

The new sod is Kentucky bluegrass trucked in from a sod farm in Colorado. The Tigers will have similar replacement sod ready for repair work at a sod farm in Michigan.

"It actually looks pretty good," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "I saw the photos a week ago. It didn't look good."

Hunter told reporters after the Tigers' 4-3 walk-off win that the footing was fine, though Jackson seemingly struggled to get a good jump on an Eric Hosmer first-inning double to right-center.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.