The Detroit Tigers have announced a roster move, one we've expected all weekend long. Starting left fielder Andy Dirks has been placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 31st, with right Achilles tendinitis. To replace Dirks, the Tigers have finally purchased the contract of 29 year old OF/IF Matt Young. Young will be on the Tigers' bench this afternoon.
With the rash of injuries on the 25 man roster, we knew it was only a matter of time before the Tigers were left no choice but to make a roster move for a healthy body. Having to go with a bench of Ramon Santiago and...well, just Santiago, on Saturday night forced the Tigers hand.
Young joining the Tigers has been rumored since Friday night, when he was pulled early on from the Mud Hens game and was receiving congratulations from teammates. But according to Jim Leyland, circumstances changed during the Tigers' 9-4 loss to the Yankees, and withdrew the call up.
When asked about the Tigers reneging on the call up by Mud Hens beat writer John Wagner, Young was all class:
Someone mentioned to Young that what happened to him was "unfair." He was quick to say, "No, there's a lot of stuff going on in the world that's unfair." Good perspective. And a good guy ... actually he's one of a number of good people in the Toledo clubhouse this season.
Obviously, circumstances have changed again, this time in Young's favor.
Here's the scoop on Young:
Young is a 29 year old minor leaguer who had spent his entire career the Braves' system, getting 2 cup of coffee stints with the big club in 2011. Young hit .208 with slash stats of .269/.229/.498 in his short time with the Braves.
This season, his fourth in Triple A and first with the Tigers organization, Young has played 43 games in right field, 6 at 2nd base and 1 game each in center and as a DH for the Mud Hens. Young is a player in the same mold as Quintin Berry. He has a knack for getting on base (.431 OBP in 2012, 2nd in the International League.390 career) but has little to no power (.354 SLG this year, .380 career, .769 OPS in 8 seasons).
Young is also a threat on the base path. He led the Double-A Southern League with 42 steals in 2009 and the International League with 29 steals in 2010.
Dirks was hitting .328, slash stats of .379/.515/.894, with 4 home runs and 16 RBI. He had greatly solidified defense in left field and had become a fixture at the top of the order, replacinga slumping Brennan Boesch in the number 2 slot. Dirks has been battling injuries all season long, a balky hamstring slowing him down earlier in the season, now his Achilles.
The Tigers are missing 2/3 of the their starting outfield, with Dirks joining Austin Jackson on the 15-day DL.