Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dmitri Young's Injury Underscores Shallow Bench

The placement of Dmitri Young on the DL points up a critical lack of depth on the Tigers bench, bereft as it is of left-handed batters not to mention anyone who can swing a bat. None of manager Jim Leyland's options is likely to bat anything close to .300 and none for power. The one possibility to bat left, switchhitter Nook Logan, is apparently regarded so lowly that he was passed over for Alexis Gomez, who hit .310 for the Mudhens last year but was batting .148 when he was called up. Marcus Thames, another right-handed batter who likely will get a good deal of the playing time at DH, is batting .375 currently but is a .233 lifetime hitter. Other options are barely worth mentioning. Worse, Young's injury comes at time when Magglio Ordonez, Placido Polanco and Ivan Rodriguez are needing rest due to various minor ailments. It was very foreseeable that the injury prone Young, 32, who has been unable to play a full season in three years, was as likely to miss time as any player in the league. Yet GM David Dombrowski seems to have made little preparation for such a likelihood. Look for Tigers pitchers records to suffer as a result, and the team's ranking to fall.