Leyland tabs Berry for bench role with Jackson back
Once Austin Jackson came back from the disabled list, it was a given that Quintin Berry would be out as the starting center fielder. The question was there was a role for him in another spot, such as the corners.
The answer at this point is no.
“It is what it is. He’s an extra player on the bench,” Leyland said of Berry. “Maybe he’ll pinch-hit to lead off an inning, maybe pinch-run. There’s a role there, but I’m not going to take Boesch out. Hopefully we’ve got him going. I’m not going to take Delmon out, and Jackson’s our center fielder.”
That was the lineup for Saturday — Jackson in center, Brennan Boesch in right and Delmon Young in left. Berry entered in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement in left field.
This was a much better question when Boesch was mired in a 4-for-42 slump. That no longer seems to be the case, the way he was hit the last few days. And though Young looked bad on the Joey Votto fly ball he misplayed into a double in left field, he is hitting.
Obviously, Young returns to designated hitter when the Tigers go back home next weekend and get away from National League rules. Could that be Berry’s opportunity? Not if Andy Dirks is ready to return, Leyland answered.