Three days after the Tigers had seemingly ruled Delmon Young out of the ALCS, he is back on their roster, starting in left field and batting third. I thought the Tigers would only be able to use Young in a limited role, but it looks like he’ll be a major contributor, if his oblique injury allows.
Playing Young seems to be a significant risk given the nature of oblique injuries, which typically take baseball players weeks to recover from. The Tigers, though, are confident he can contribute, and they had little choice to gamble after Magglio Ordonez’s broken ankle knocked him out of the series.
“It’s one they didn’t think was real serious to start with, but they didn’t want to take any chances,” Manager Jim Leyland said. “We were going to wait. It was kind of going to be kind of like the NFL, kind of a game-time decision. But we’ve already made the decision. .He’s fine, swinging good, and he will play.”
Young did not take any swings yesterday, but he felt better today. In one round of batting practice this afternoon, Young hit three out of four pitches either over or off the left field fence.
The Tigers have become the underdog, but Leyland bristled at the notion. Many believed Sunday’s rainout (forecastout?) benefited the Rangers, who were able to rest versatile and dominant reliever Alexi Ogando after his two tour-de-force innings in the Rangers’ Game 1 victory. Leyland countered by saying the Tigers could rest Max Scherzer one more day and also allow Young back into the series because of the delay.
“I disagree with everybody that I’ve watched on television this morning that says this is a big advantage for the Rangers, because of their bullpen, Ogando,” Leyland said. “I disagree with that totally. It’s just as much an advantage for us. I think this works in our favor.”