DETROIT -- The last time the Tigers played without the designated hitter spot, Delmon Young was a hitter going through a power outage at the plate. Manager Jim Leyland started him in left field during every Interleague road game, trying to get his bat sparked at the plate. In fairness, though, they were short an outfielder with Andy Dirks on the disabled list.
The Tigers are at full strength now, with no shortage of outfielders, but Young is also at full production. If there was any question what Leyland was going to do with Young when they open the World Series without the DH, Leyland answered it Saturday.
"The plan right now is to play him in left field for the first game," Leyland said. "I think it's pretty hard to [sit him], the way he's been swinging the bat. He's the MVP of the American League Championship Series, and swinging the bat as well as he is, it would be pretty hard not to play him."
Young went 6-for-17 (.353) in the ALCS with two home runs and six RBIs. He drove in the winning run in all four games.
His presence in left will leave Leyland with a decision to make in right field between left-handed hitters Dirks and Quintin Berry against right-handed starters. Against lefties, Leyland could stick with right-handed-hitting rookie Avisail Garcia or the lefty-hitting Dirks.
The Cardinals do not have a left-hander in their rotation. The Giants have two lefty starters with Barry Zito, who pitched a gem in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, and Madison Bumgarner.