Bad news out of Arlington, just hours before the Tigers take on the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series: Delmon Young is not on the Tigers' roster.
Young -- who left Game 5 of the ALDS vs. the Yankees with what I was hoping was just indigestion, but was really a mild left oblique injury -- will not be able to go for the Tigers and, as a result, utility infielder Danny Worth has been added to the roster.
Delmon Young was one of the hottest hitters on the Tigers during the ALDS, smashing three solo homers and hitting .316/.381/1.170. In 43 career games vs. Texas, Young has hit .321/.358/.897 with eight home runs and 36 runs batted in. There's no way of downplaying it, this injury is a setback to the Tigers' lineup..
Luckily, the Tigers do have some depth and there are other right-handed bats that could heat up just as well. Ryan Raburn, who had a torrid second half, hit .423/.464/1.080 in eight games vs. Texas this year and has a career 1.151 OPS vs. them in 22 career games.
The problem with the "Raburn replaces Young" logic is that Raburn would've been inserted into the Tigers' lineup with Young vs. LHPs anyway. As beat writer Chris Iott astutely pointed out on Twitter, Ramon Santiago is the player who will 'replace' Young and he hit .077 (1-for-13) against the Rangers' LHPs this season. Personally, I think it could/should be Worth, who is replacing Young on the roster; he hit .333/.400/.844 with three RBI in four games vs. the Rangers this year. However, Iott posits that Worth will be used primarily as a defensive replacement or a pinch runner.
Left-handed hitter Andy Dirks is another bat that could see some PT as a result of Young's injury. In five games vs. the Rangers this year, he hit .300/.364/.964 with a bomb.