While younger brother Delmon has shined since his call-up to Tampa Bay, Dmitri Young’s tenure in Motown came to an unceremonious end last night after last night’s 5-4 defeat to Seattle. From the Detroit News’ Tom Gage.
“It was strictly performance-related,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “He’s been struggling. We just felt it would be best for the ball club.”
Making matters mysterious, however, was the fact that Young (above) started and hit third — often the spot reserved for a team’s best hitter — in a 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
Plus, to clear room on the 40-man roster for Mike Maroth’s return, the Tigers announced that they had designated another player, pitcher Chris Spurling, for assignment.
They didn’t need Young’s roster spot for another incoming player.
There was no indication, in other words, that he was about to become a former Tiger. As for his performance, he’d gone hitless in two games after three hits last Friday against the Angels.
Those were his only hits in his last 23 at-bats, however.
ESPN’s Buster Olney finds the move curious, to say the least.
The circumstances don’t make sense: Young is a veteran left-handed hitter, for a team that needs veteran left-handed hitters; the Tigers didn’t need his roster spot. And you wonder if something happened after Young was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game. The man who replaced him was rookie Kevin Hooper, who has all of five at-bats in the majors and was inserted to bunt. After that half inning, there was a lengthy rain delay, and who knows what transpired in the clubhouse after the somewhat surprising pinch-hitting situation arose.