With the news that Magglio Ordonez will miss the remainder of the season because of a fractured ankle, the Detroit Tigers needed to add a replacement to their ALCS roster.
There was speculation that the Tigers might try to add Carlos Guillen or Brennan Boesch. Or dip deeper into the 40-man roster for someone like Clete Thomas. But the Tigers decided to go with the hero of the ALDS victory over the New York Yankees, and added Delmon Young back to the roster.
Will Young be able to play against the Rangers? That remains to be seen, as recovery from oblique injuries is difficult to predict. But Young likely has a better chance of returning than Boesch, whose thumb injury isn’t anywhere near healed.
Boesch set a personal goal of being able to play in the World Series, should the Tigers get there. Yet Boesch hasn’t swung a bat since having surgery on the thumb in early September.
As CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler wrote, the Tigers really didn’t have many options to replace Ordonez. And the fact that they added Young back to the roster shows exactly how few choices were available.
So until Young can play, the Tigers will go with what is essentially a 24-man roster for the ALCS. With no need for bench players to pinch-hit for pitchers, as in the National League, Detroit can probably get by with this. But if Young does recover, they’ll have his bat — which hit three home runs in the ALDS — available, which wouldn’t have been the case, had he been left off the ALCS roster, as originally planned.