Leyland taking advantage of matchups

Leyland taking advantage of matchups

Leyland taking advantage of matchups
DETROIT -- When Tigers manager Jim Leyland inferred he was going to use matchups, it wasn't just about stacking left-handed hitters against right-handers. He showed that on Saturday, when he returned Delmon Young to the lineup against Indians righty Ubaldo Jimenez.

Young entered the night batting 10-for-23 against Jimenez for his career. Andy Dirks, who essentially started in his place Friday, is 2-for-15 off Jimenez.

"We've got some maneuverability now," Leyland said. "This gives us some options ... and that's the way I like to manage, when you have those options and everybody chipping in. You've got to believe what stuff tells you.

"If you play [Young] or anybody that's hitting .450 against an opposing pitcher, then you might as well never look at any statistics."

Brennan Boesch, however, remained in the fifth spot behind Prince Fielder. Young batted sixth, the same place he hit Wednesday in Boston. Leyland wants him to settle into that spot, given the importance of having a productive bat behind the duo of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera.

Look for some similar decisions on Sunday, when the Indians call up left-hander Chris Seddon from Triple-A. Left-handed hitters in the International League are batting just .194 (20-for-103) off Seddon this year, compared with a .261 (92-for-352) average and 15 homers from right-handed hitters.

Whether that means a start for Ryan Raburn remains to be seen. He has started only one game for the Tigers since July 22, partly because of all the right-handers the Tigers have been facing, mostly because he batted just .149 (7-for-47) in July.