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Tigers' Ausmus: Gose has the ability to be an impact player

John E. Sokolowski / USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has been reserved in placing the same type of high expectations that saddled outfielder Anthony Gose while with the Toronto Blue Jays

"This is a guy that everyone has touted since he was a teenager," Ausmus said on the TigerTalk show. "I don't want to put pressure on him and say, 'impact player,' because he's probably not going to be that for us right away. But he has that type of ability inside him."

Disappointing performances at both the major league and Triple-A level over the past two seasons, combined with the emergency of outfielder Dalton Pompey, made Gose expendable in Toronto. The Blue Jays eventually opted to trade the 24-year-old to the Tigers in November, bringing back much needed second base help in prospect Devon Travis coming in return. 

Gose's struggles came to a head last season - when he failed to capitalize during an opportunity of increased playing time. In 94 games, the former second-round pick hit .226/.311/.293 with a pair of home runs to go with 15 stolen bases and 74 strikeouts. 

"There is a little learning curve to hitting, certainly at the major league level," Ausmus said. "But we're hoping his athleticism and (Tigers hitting coach) Wally Joyner can make him turn that corner."

Gose is likely to begin the season platooning with veteran Rajai Davis, but has the tools to develop into the Tigers starting center fielder if he can improve his career .208 average against lefties.

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