Friday, August 03, 2012

Andy Dirks Back, Don Kelly Out

The Tigers have reinstated outfielder Andy Dirks from the disabled list effective for tonight's game versus the Indians.  To make room, the Tigers have designated utility man Don Kelly for assignment.  The Tigers now have ten days to either place Kelly on Waivers, trade him or release him. 

The left-handed Kelly was batting just .175 with a .510 OPS in limited duty for the Tigers this year, so it's not a surprising move.  In four years with the Tigers, the versatile Kelly batted .234/.282/.353 while playing every position on the field.  That includes one game as a pitcher and one as a catcher.

There was some thought that Ryan Raburn might be the one to go when Dirks was ready, but the Tigers have apparently decided  that a right-handed batter is a better fit for them at the moment.  With outfielders Quintin Berry, Brennan Boesch and Dirks all being left handed, they have more of a need for a right-handed bat off the bench.

More important than who Dirks replaces on the roster is who he replaces in the line-up.  Tonight's line-up features Dirks in right field, Boesch at designated hitter and Delmon Young on the Bench.  Those are all the right moves.  They improve the team both offensively (Dirks over Young) and defensively (Dirks over Boesch).

With Dirks back on the team, there is no need for the right-handed hitting Young to face another right-handed starter.  Young has a career OPS of .822 versus lefties, but only .711 versus righties.  So, not only is Young out of the fifth spot, he has now lost a regular job.  That is probably the most significant outcome of today's move. 

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