Jackson could rejoin Tigers in Cincinnati

Jackson could rejoin Tigers in Cincinnati

DETROIT -- Austin Jackson was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo Thursday night, and could be back in the Tigers' lineup as soon as Saturday in Cincinnati. The bigger question for many is what happens with speedy Quintin Berry once Jackson returns.

By every indication, Berry will be sticking with the Tigers. The role he'll have is unclear. It won't be center field. It could conceivably be a corner spot, though it probably wouldn't be an everyday role.

"Who do you want me to take out? ... You can only play three outfielders," Leyland said.

The fact that the Tigers won't have the designated hitter spot available again until next Friday complicates the issue. If Delmon Young is going to play, and he will, it'll have to be in left field. Brennan Boesch is in right field, but he entered Thursday's series finale against the Indians mired in a 2-for-38 slump.

Leyland said Berry's speed could make him a candidate for a National League-style double switch, entering a game in the field and batting ninth while the starting pitcher gets replaced. He'll start in center field on Friday with Jackson out. Other than that, Leyland wasn't making any definitive statements on Berry's role.

"Don't get me wrong, Quintin Berry's done a good job," Leyland said. "Don't misunderstand me. I'm not downplaying what Quintin Berry has done. I don't want to make light of that."