Delmon Young starts in Game 2

Updated: October 10, 2011, 9:52 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Detroit Tigers added Delmon Young to their American League Championship Series roster to replace outfielder Magglio Ordonez, who is out for the season with an ankle injury, the team announced Monday.

Young started in left field and was listed as third in the batting order. He popped out to second in his first plate appearance.

Young had been removed from the Tigers' ALCS roster for the series against the Texas Rangers because of an oblique injury, but the Tigers' lack of alternatives in the minor leagues prompted the team to bring him back in hopes that he might be able to contribute.

"He was tested by the doctors and did all kinds of other workouts and exercised yesterday. I just spoke with him," Leyland said. "We were going to wait. It was going to be like an NFL kind of game-time decision. But we've already made the decison. He's fine, swinging good. And he will play."

Young had been removed from the Tigers' ALCS roster for the series against the Texas Rangers because of an oblique injury, but the Tigers' lack of alternatives in the minor leagues prompted the team to bring him back in hopes that he might be able to contribute.

And further tests showed the oblique might not be the real issue.

"As it turns out, it's better for medical people. It's not really the oblique oblique, it's in here more," Leyland said, pointing to the left side of his body. "It's one they didn't think was real serious to start with, but they didn't want to take any chances."

Leyland had prepared two lineups for Game 2 with Young in one but not the other and was waiting to see Young hit and throw before making his decision.

With Brennan Boesch already out for the season with a thumb injury, Detroit was down to Austin Jackson in center field, Ryan Raburn in left field, and left-handed hitters Don Kelly and Andy Dirks in right.

Clete Thomas had been mentioned as a possibility to replace Ordonez, but he's a left-handed hitter and batted .251 with a .715 OPS in Triple A.

Leyland said he had just spoken to Young, who was felt fine and was "swinging good."

During batting practice on the field about an hour before the game, Young hit a couple of balls into the stands.

Raburn was in right field for Game 2 for Ordonez.

Leyland said Sunday, after Game 2 was postponed because of the threat of more rain, that Ordonez was done for the season.

Young hit .274 with eight homers and 32 RBIs in 40 games for Detroit after being acquired from Minnesota in August. Over five games against the Yankees before coming out of the Game 5 clincher, he was 6 for 19 and the first player in Tigers franchise history with three homers in a single postseason series.

Before the series, Leyland said the decision to keep Young out was because he had never seen "an oblique all right in a day or two."

The Tigers then didn't want to risk hoping Young could maybe be ready for Game 4 or 5 in the ALCS, then have something happen that would cause them to take him off the roster and make him unavailable if the team makes the World Series. Plus, Young had stiffened up after batting practice Friday in Texas.

Everything changed when Ordonez got hurt and there was changed medical outlook for Young.

Leyland said he still wasn't sure how Ordonez re-fractured the ankle that was surgically repaired in July 2010. Ordonez was lifted for a pinch-runner when Game 1 resumed after two rain delays Saturday night.

"Magglio actually told me before, he said it felt a little bit different before the game. It felt like it wasn't exactly right," Leyland said. "He really didn't think that much of it. ... He thought maybe it was because of the weather, it was raining and stuff."

Information from ESPN.com's senior MLB writer Jerry Crasnick, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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