Detroit Tigers: Why Does Delmon Young Continue to Play Every Day?

Anthony DinsmoreContributor IIAugust 13, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 28: Delmon Young #21 of the Detroit Tigers scores a run in the 4th inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 28, 2012 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young has been a letdown this year at best.  The fact that manager Jim Leyland still writes him into the lineup on a daily basis is laughable.

The Tigers are in a position where they are fighting for a position in the playoffs.  Currently they sit two games behind the Chicago White Sox for the top spot in the AL Central, and one game behind the second AL wild-card spot.

Most predicted in the offseason that the Tigers would be running away with the division at this point in the season.  You can point to a lot of reasons as to why the Tigers are underachieving this season, and one of the biggest reasons would be Delmon Young.

This guy is awful.  You would think that a guy who has been "protecting" Prince Fielder for most of the season would have some plate discipline.

Nope.  In 401 at-bats this season, Young has managed to walk 16 times. Yes, this is correct. Sixteen times.

I could point to the Tigers' hitting coach for this, but that's an argument for another day.

As I watch the Tigers play Minnesota tonight, Delmon has already done something that would make any observant Tigers fan frustrated.

The Tigers are facing Twins pitcher Sam Deduno, a guy that the Twins signed to a minor league contract in the offseason.  He's already been released by two teams in his career, and didn't make his MLB debut until he was 28.

Deduno walked two batters in the first inning, so he was obviously having some control problems early.  Delmon Young steps up to the plate to lead off the second inning, swings at the first pitch, and records the first out.

Delmon's next at-bat?  Swings at the first pitch, and records an out.

No plate discipline.  None.

Swinging at the first pitch and recording an out has become Young's calling card in his career.

But since the Tigers have Young, they might as well make a use for him.  Therefore, he should ONLY play against left-handed pitchers. 

Batting him against a right-handed pitcher is simply asinine.  His OPS of .639 against RHP speaks for itself.

Yet, Jim Leyland refuses to look at numbers.  He doesn't believe in them.  He only goes off his "gut feeling."

Well, Jim Leyland's "gut feeling" with his lineup decisions is what has put the Tigers in this mess.

Why doesn't Leyland play Quintin Berry against RHP, and Delmon Young against LHP?  I mean, is that such an unpractical solution?

Berry's OPS against RHP is .773, which is over 100 points higher than Delmon's.

Here's another fun fact:  Quintin Berry has six more walks than Delmon Young this year in 175 less at-bats.

That's how bad Delmon Young has been this year.