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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Young questionable to start ALCS

ARLINGTON, Texas — If you were picking an MVP for the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series win over the Yankees, bet that Delmon Young makes the short list of candidates.

The slugger, who hit eight home runs in the 40 games he played with the team after he was acquired by trade, hit three more in the five-game ALDS win over the Yankees, becoming the first in franchise history to ever slug three in a series.

With the Tigers facing a lefty-heavy rotation for the Rangers in the AL Championship Series, Young should be a huge factor — if he can play.

Young left Thursday’s Game 5 with a strain of an oblique muscle in his left side.
“He’s being evaluated right now. ... We’ll see if they have to take any further steps than an evaluation. We’re hoping not. He actually felt better last night, later,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before Friday’s workout.

Young was going to try to take batting practice, but did not. If he cannot go, the Tigers staff will likely switch up the playoff roster.

“We really haven’t discussed that yet. We do have — I will say plans B, not plan B. We have plans B,” said Leyland, who was going to discuss the issue with the coaching staff and GM Dave Dombrowski after the workout.

Young was immediately plugged into the lineup in the No. 3 spot, in front of Miguel Cabrera, the minute he was acquired, and sat just two games down the stretch. Despite being nearly impossible to walk (five in 178 plate appearances), Young has gotten plenty of strikes to swing at, given who comes up behind him.

“That was the first thing he told me when he got here. I told him he was going to hit third. I said, ‘Are you OK with that?’ He said, ‘Yeah, are you kidding me? Hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera? I’m really happy with that.’ It’s worked well for us. He extended our lineup a little bit,” Leyland said.

The first option to replace Young would probably be Ryan Raburn, who is a sure bet to be in the lineup, either in left field, or at second base. Magglio Ordonez, who hit .385 in the 19 games he played after the Young trade, would likely move back into his old slot in the No. 3 spot.

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