"It's how we prepare," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It starts in Spring Training. You try and get some of your depth guys acclimated in case they're called on. Unfortunately, we've had to call on quite a few of them this early in this young season."
Shortstop Willie Bloomquist and outfielder Adam Eaton started the season on the DL, and outfielder Jason Kubel and second baseman Aaron Hill hit the DL during the season with a strained left quad and broken left hand, respectively.
Cody Ross filled Kubel's spot on the roster and is hitting .389 (7-for-18), while Didi Gregorious took Hill's spot and went 2-for-5 with a homer on the first pitch he saw in his big league debut Thursday night.
"They feel like they belong," Gibson said of the acclimation process paying off. "They understand our philosophy and how we want to attack our opponent, things we want to do and things we don't want to do. They fit right in. All you can try and do is hang on.
"It's an opportunity for them to give something back to their teammates. The older guys give a lot to them when they come up, and we're a team. We don't care who's here. We'll field 25 guys a night and be prepared. We'll feel confident about what the outcomes going to be."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.