Saturday, October 08, 2011

Delmon Young Out of Championship Series

The Tigers announced today that they have lost their hottest hitter for the second round of the playoffs. Outfielder Delmon Young is unable to play due to a strained oblique muscle and has been replaced n the roster by infielder Danny Worth.  This is bad news for the Tigers because Young batted .316 and belted three homers in the first round of the playoffs.  His solo homers in games three and five were instrumental in Tigers victories and he was one of the few Tigers to contribute consistent offensive versus the Yankees.

The good news is that they have utility man Ryan Raburn ready to take over the left field job.  Raburn has only five at bats in the playoffs with two hits and three strikeouts.  However, he batted a sterling .341/.393/.574 after the all star break.  Raburn also hit lefties well  posting a solid .807 OPS for the season.  That is important because the Rangers will be using three left-handed starters in the series - CJ Wilson, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland.

Some may not agree but Raburn should also be a defensive upgrade over Young.  While Raburn is erratic on routine plays, he has superior range to Young which allows him to get to more balls.  So, unless he makes one of his epic errors in a crucial spot, Raburn will be more useful in left than the lumbering Young.  Overall, Raburn should be a very capable replacement for Young.  The main loss might be depth off the bench. 

The roster move also means that veteran infielder Ramon Santiago will probably play every day at second.  If he needs a break the light-hitting but sure fielding Danny Worth should be an adequate replacement.

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