UPDATE: Not only is Delmon Young not playing tonight, but the Tigers have ruled him out for the entire series.
According to Dave Hogg of FOXSportsDetroit.com, Young has been left off the ALCS roster due to his recent oblique injury. Danny Worth will replace him on the roster while Ryan Raburn should get most of the starts in left field.
12:32 PM: Delmon Young exited Game 5 of the ALDS on Thursday with a mild strain of his left oblique. While Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported yesterday that the Tigers thought he would be OK for the ALCS against the Rangers, Young wasn’t nearly as optimistic following a workout yesterday in Arlington, Texas.
Tom Gage of the Detroit News reports that Young is still dealing with soreness, casting his availability for Game 1 in serious doubt.
“Sore. I just tried throwing and I couldn’t throw.”
Young emerged as an unlikely hero for the Tigers during the ALDS, going 6-for-19 with three home runs. If he is unable to go, the Tigers would likely use Ryan Raburn in left field against southpaw C.J. Wilson. As I mentioned during our ALCS preview this morning, Raburn has an .847 career OPS against left-handed pitching, including an .807 OPS this season.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.
That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.
Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.
This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.
I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.