By Matt Snyder
Delmon Young had just four home runs in 325 plate appearances for the Twins before being traded in August. He was waiver-wire fodder at the time. The Tigers picked him up and immediately started batting him third, even as many in the baseball world scratched their heads over the placement. But with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez behind him, Young would hit eight home runs in just 168 at-bats after the trade in the regular season. And in the ALDS win over the Yankees, Young was a star.
In the five ALDS games, Young hit .316 with three home runs four RBI and he even walked as many times as he struck out. That's an insane movement from a guy who has struck out 514 times and walked just 125 in his career in the regular season.
|Tigers 3, Yankees 2|
Now, the question turns to Young's status. He left Game 5 with an injured oblique and that is bad news. The Tigers will be crossing their fingers it's a very mild oblique issue, because he could be lost for the postseason if it's a significant strain. Evan Longoria of the Rays missed a month with an oblique strain earlier this season, for example.
If Young is healthy enough to play, he'll remain in the three-hole, with that nice protection behind him. And if he continues to see strikes, he'll continue to produce for the Tigers. Even if he's not a conventional three-hole hitter.
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