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Magglio Ordonez headed to DL, Andy Dirks to Detroit

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The Tigers announced this afternoon they are placing outfielder Magglio Ordonez on the disabled list retroactive to May 11, and purchasing the contract of outfielder Andy Dirks from Toledo. (Another way of saying: they're adding him to the 40 man roster and bringing him to Detroit).

Via the Official Tigers Twitter:

Tigers have placed Ordonez on 15-day DL retro to 5/11 with right ankle weakness. Tigers will purchase contract of Dirks from Toledo.

MLB.com's Jason Beck gives us the impression this roster move was not something the Tigers had planned upon.

Via Beck's Twitter:

Magglio's DL move must've caught #Tigers off guard. Usually they hold game notes if move is planned. Dirks should get here during game.

My first reaction is that short-term this makes the Tigers a better club. They'll need to get something out of Ordonez this season but until he's healthy he isn't doing much for the club. Dirks will be an upgrade both with the bat and the glove.

It had become obvious something needed to be done, as Ordonez had become a liability on both offense and defense. His mobility has been severely limited, his defense questionable at best, and good at bats have been few and far between.

But this move brings up questions. Is a DL stint just the Tigers believing a couple of weeks rest will get the 37 year old right fielder back on track, or is Ordonez's ankle more injured than has been let on by the team? Is this something new, or a lingering problem from his 2010 season ending injury? Will the ankle be an issue all of 2011? Calling it "Right ankle weakness" isn't telling us much.

Dirks is a 25 year old outfielder who forced himself into the Tigers' future plans with a very impressive spring training. He was raking in Toledo to the tune of .375/.527/.902, leading the Mud Hens with 25 R, 43 H, 6 HR and 20 RBI in 34 games.

Dirks has proven to be the most major league ready outfielder in the Tigers' system. He's an excellent defender, and his bat has blossomed over the past two minor league seasons. We'll soon see if Dirks' International League performance translates to the bigs.

As Dirks won't be in Detroit in time for the first pitch, and Casper Wells apparently welded to the bench, Don Kelly gets the outfield start tonight.