Young replaces Ordonez, in lineup for Game 2
Initially left off ALCS roster, ailing outfielder fills in for slugger
ARLINGTON -- On the day the Tigers officially shelved Magglio Ordonez for the rest of the postseason, they replaced him by welcoming back Delmon Young.
Not only was Young back on the roster for the American League Championship Series after being left off originally with a strained left oblique, he was in the lineup for Game 2, batting third and starting in left field.
It didn't help the Tigers produce runs. Young went 0-for-4, but had a pair of line drives, including a hard-hit liner into the corner.
"I really don't care how I did," Young said after the 7-3 Tigers loss. "We're trying to get a 'W' out here."
Manager Jim Leyland was cautiously optimistic about his slugging left fielder, but guarded on whether Young will be back in the lineup for Game 3 on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
"We're going to wait and see tomorrow," Leyland said. "I think he probably came through it OK, as good as can be expected. But I have to check with the trainers on that."
Young sustained the injury on a swing in Game 5 of the AL Division Series win over the Yankees on Thursday night. He was going to be a gameday decision for the series opener, but the injury worsened while he was sitting around Friday afternoon.
The injury was expected to keep him out for the entire series. Leyland, however, said Monday that it was more around his rib cage than the oblique.
"We never thought it was severe from the beginning," Leyland said. "But we thought rather than take a chance, just go ahead and let him sit this one out."
Sunday's postponement gave Young an extra day to heal and work out. He took pregame batting practice without issue, which the Tigers expected, and was able to throw without too much discomfort.
The throwing, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said, was the issue. At his worst a few days ago, Young was struggling to raise his arm above his head.
His return gives the Tigers a crucial hitter to help recover from the loss of Ordonez.
Ordonez was diagnosed on Sunday with a broken right ankle, a season-ending injury. It's in the same area that ended his 2010 season prematurely and required surgery. Rand said Ordonez felt something during batting practice prior to Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday and thought it was an issue with the damp conditions. He tried to play through it, but felt the soreness worsen.
Doctors examined Ordonez after that and found the fracture in the same area where he broke his ankle last year.
By rule, teams are allowed to replace an injured player on their roster in the middle of a postseason series, but the player replaced is then ineligible for the next series should that team advance. The extent of Ordonez's injury makes that a moot point.
The Tigers were out of healthy position players who had still been playing somewhere to stay fresh for a possible postseason replacement. The one player who had, infielder Danny Worth, made the roster in Young's place prior to the ALCS, but Young was still eligible as an injury replacement.
Carlos Guillen remains in Florida to work out in instructional league games while he recovers from a strained right calf he injured in mid-September. The Tigers could possibly add him as a pinch-hitter for the World Series, should they advance, but he isn't ready yet.