May 1st, 2012

Dirks leaves with tight left hamstring

Andy Dirks left Tuesday’s game against the Royals in the fourth inning with left hamstring tightness, the same injury that sidelined him earlier this month.

Dirks is listed as day-to-day.

Dirks initially strained his left hamstring trying to score from second base on a hit at Kansas City a couple weeks ago. He missed about eight days before returning to action last week. The aggravation, replay suggested, happened as he was accelerating out of the batters box on a pop-up to left field.

Dirks had to speed up when left fielder Alex Gordon overran the ball, hustling in on a double. He was clearly hobbling after that, prompting head athletic trainer Kevin Rand to jog out from the dugout. Brad Eldred, the 6-foot-6, 270-pound designated hitter the Tigers called up last week, pinch-ran for Dirks — who started as the designated hitter Tuesday — and scored on Jhonny Peralta’s single.

Dirks and Don Kelly had been sharing left-field duties the past few days while Delmon Young has been out. Young is scheduled to return from his suspension on Friday, though manager Jim Leyland said he will not be in the starting lineup that night against the White Sox.

Leyland: Delmon will not start on Friday

Delmon Young will be back on the Tigers’ active roster when he’s eligible to return from his seven-day suspension, president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday night, but he left the decision on whether Young plays to his manager. Jim Leyland’s answer came Tuesday.

“He will not play Friday,” Leyland said, “because he needs to get back into a routine a little bit, get out on the field, taking fly balls, BP on the field,  all that kind of stuff. So it’s very unlikely he’d play Friday.

“Now, would I put him in the game if I needed to? Sure, but he won’t start Friday’s game. And that’s the only reason, only because he needs to get back, get some BP, run around the outfield a little bit, stuff like that.”

Asked when Young will start, Leyland said, “I think he’ll be back in there very shortly.”

Young hasn’t taken batting practice on the field with the team or taken fly balls since last Thursday, the finale of the Tigers’ last homestand. He spent Friday at a midtown Manhattan police station and later a Manhattan court being arraigned and eventually released on bail for his aggravated harassment charge. Once he was placed on Major League Baseball’s restricted list, he wasn’t seen around Yankee Stadium all weekend.

Young can’t be in the clubhouse or on the field with the team during his suspension.

Tuesday: Tigers vs. Royals

Same Tigers lineup as they had Monday, but the batting order has a slight tweak. Ramon Santiago bats eighth, with Don Kelly moved down to ninth. Jim Leyland said a little bit ago that he decided to get the switch-hitting bat further up.

There’s a line showers in Indiana and Ohio right now that looks like it’s headed this way. How much it dampens downtown and how long it lasts remains to be seen.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Brennan Boesch, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Andy Dirks, DH
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Ramon Santiago, 2B
  9. Don Kelly, LF

P: Rick Porcello


  1. Jarrod Dyson, CF
  2. Alex Gordon, LF
  3. Billy Butler, DH
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  7. Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B
  8. Humberto Quintero, C
  9. Alcides Escobar, SS

P: Luke Hochevar