Moving Dirks to DL, Tigers gain flexibility

Moving Dirks to DL, Tigers gain flexibility

Moving Dirks to DL, Tigers gain flexibility
DETROIT -- The Tigers entered Sunday's series finale against the Yankees short-handed, but manager Jim Leyland had a little more flexibility with his lineup, as outfielder Andy Dirks was placed on the 15-day disabled list and outfielder Matt Young's contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo.

Dirks had been dealing with right Achilles tendinitis since Detroit's series at Boston and had missed four consecutive games. The 26-year-old underwent an MRI exam and X-rays on Friday, and the results revealed bursitis and tendinitis, which Dirks said was nothing unexpected. Dirks had been feeling better the past two days, but the tendon apparently wasn't healing quickly enough.

After Dirks was evaluated on Sunday morning, the outfielder and Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand walked into Leyland's office, where the decision was likely made.

Young, who is batting .259 with 16 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 51 games for the Mud Hens, was removed from Friday night's game and was reportedly seen hugging teammates.

Although the Tigers lose a hitter in Dirks who was batting .328, the move at least gives Leyland two players available off the bench and prevents the skipper from having to do anything drastic, like put Danny Worth in the outfield.

With Ramon Santiago pinch-hitting for Don Kelly in the bottom of the ninth inning during Saturday night's 4-3 walk-off win, Worth was preparing to start the 10th inning in left field, where he hasn't roamed since playing eight games there during his freshman year at Pepperdine.

"Coach told me, 'I've got to get you in the lineup somehow,'" Worth said. "I might go out in BP now for fly balls once a week. That's going to be in the back of my mind now."