Delmon Young was removed from Detroit’s playoff roster after straining his oblique muscle in Game 5 of the ALDS, but Magglio Ordonez’s fractured ankle and a lack of other outfield options has convinced the Tigers to re-add him to the ALCS roster.
Young missed nearly a month with an oblique strain earlier this season and every indication was that he’d be iffy for the World Series if the Tigers advanced that far, so his availability seems likely to be limited at best.
Young had a big impact in the ALDS, homering three times in five games, but the Tigers opting for a banged-up guy who hit .268 with a .695 OPS this season shows how little faith they had in other outfield options with Ordonez and Brennan Boesch both out of the picture. Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly finished Game 1 in the outfield corners.
UPDATE: So much for limited availability. Young is starting in left field and batting third in Game 2.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.