Finally ready to take the next step on his road to rejoining the Tigers, injured Detroit outfielder Andy Dirks was assigned to Triple-A Toledo on Sunday to begin his rehab assignment:
The Tigers today have assigned Andy Dirks to Toledo to begin an injury rehab assignment. #tigers— Brian Britten (@BBritten_Tigers) July 22, 2012
After a few delays in his recovery process slowed down his timetable, it is expected that Dirks will play with the Mud Hens for a decent amount of time to get his feet back under him. Because with No. 2 hitter Quintin Berry still finding numerous ways to contribute both offensively and defensively in Dirks' absence, it doesn't appear necessary for the Tigers to rush Dirks back to the big leagues unless he's both 100 percent and contributing at a high level.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland has already stated that he expects his young outfielder to spend "quite a while" in the minors, but it's good to see that the 26-year-old budding talent appears to be pretty much over the Achilles injury that forced him to the shelf. Even if he is indeed able to regain his stroke from the plate, it's likely that the Tigers will wait until Dirks looks flawless on the basepaths before calling him back up.