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LAKELAND, Fla. — Don Kelly put in years of his Tigers period with the reputation as a Jim Leyland favorite. Its a new era involving leadership in Detroit these days, nevertheless Kelly seems to be making a number of the same impressions on brand-new manager Brad Ausmus.

The thing I didnt know about Don Kelly can be, one, hes got some soccer savvy to him,Inches Ausmus said Thursday. He knows just what hes doing on the angles. We talked about his overall flexibility, but I dont know that I understood what type of outfielder he really was precisely what type of arm he had.

Im undoubtedly learning things about Don Kelly that I didnt know. I understood he was a valuable application guy that you could put in many spots with a left-handed bat, nevertheless so far hes been a lot better than my initial thoughts or forecasts were. And hes a terrific guy, great teammate on top of that. They dont really have ratings that put a number of that.

Whether those impressions earn Kelly any share of the left-field mix on seasons open remains to be seen. As Ausmus looks for a left-handed hitter to plug into remaining field with Andy Dirks out until June, that information is worth noting. It doesnt mean Kelly felix will comprise the lefty half the left-field platoon, but if the Tigers find yourself filling Dirks absence from within, Kelly looks bound to get some begins.

Kelly had Thursday off soon after playing in each of the preceding three games. Hes 9-for-23 that spring and 8-for-19 in March, having hit in every sport hes played this month. He has three doubles, a house run and five RBIs, along with four walks.

Hes swinging the bat well right now,Inch Ausmus said.

Kelly said earlier this full week that hes not trying to make a big impression, but that he has seeing pitches well. He has made a habit of that in Spring Trainings past. Recently, Kelly beat out Quintin Berry and others for a utility spot simply by hitting .320 (16-for-50) with a number of homers and eight RBIs. The spring season before that, he batted .321 (18-for-56). In reality, Kelly has batted .300 as well as better every spring given that 2010.

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