BOSTON -- The anticipation over top prospect Nick Castellanos' first Major League start might not last much longer. Tigers manager Jim Leyland strongly hinted that he could start Castellanos in left field this coming weekend in Kansas City.
"That's a possibility," Leyland said Wednesday.
The Tigers are scheduled to face consecutive left-handed starters over the weekend -- Danny Duffy on Saturday, Bruce Chen on Sunday. Leyland said he plans on starting Dirks against Chen, who is allowing a much higher batting average (.265) and OPS (.790) to left-handed hitters than right-handed batters (.214, .580).
Dirks is 6-for-17 lifetime off Chen, including a single and two deep flyouts Aug. 18 at Comerica Park.
Leyland's usual choice in left field against lefties, Matt Tuiasosopo, struck out three times against Boston's Jon Lester on Tuesday to deepen his second-half struggles. Tuiasosopo's batting .194 (12-for-62) with seven walks and 22 strikeouts since the All-Star break, including 7-for-49 with five walks and 20 strikeouts against left-handers.
The Tigers have tried to temper expectations for Castellanos, added to the Tigers roster as a September callup on Sunday. His lone at-bat so far has been a pinch-hit appearance Sunday against the Indians.