ALCS: How Delmon Young Being Left Off Roster Spells Trouble for Detroit Tigers

David Gelt@@biggeltContributor IIOctober 8, 2011

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Delmon Young #21 of the Detroit Tigers swings and gets a base hit during a MLB game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on September 27, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

On August 15, the Minnesota Twins traded then-struggling outfielder Delmon Young to the Detroit Tigers for two minor-league prospects. The change of scenery proved to make a big difference.

In 84 games as a member of the Twins this season, Young batted .266 with four home runs and 32 RBI. In only 40 games as a Tiger, he hit .274 with eight bombs and equaled his RBI tally. This production became something the Tigers and manager Jim Leyland grew used to while making their run to the playoffs.

In September, Young finished third in RBI for the club and tied with Miguel Cabrera for the club lead in home runs.

With all that said, Detroit will have to find a way to win without his bat in the lineup if they are going to beat the Texas Rangers and advance to the World Series. Young is out of the AL Championship Series because of an oblique injury suffered during Thursday's win in New York.

Hitting third in the order during all five AL Division Series games against the Yankees, Young hit .316 with three solo home runs for all three of his RBI. He scored once outside of his home runs, and those numbers will be difficult to recreate.

In the ALDS, Leyland had the luxury of playing either Magglio Ordoñez or Don Kelly. In the ALCS, both will likely have to play. Against the Yankees, Ordoñez swung a hot bat—hitting .455—however scored only one run and did not drive any batters in. Meanwhile, Kelly hit .364 in the series with one home run, two RBI while scoring three times.

Neither of these two really can replicate the production that the Tigers got when Young occupied the third spot in their order. If they expect to win the ALCS, their star players are going to have to step up.

In the ALDS, their top run producers from the regular season, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Alex Avila struggled, combining for two home runs, seven RBI and a .163 batting average. Without Young, all three of these players are going to have to pick up the slack immensely.

Justin Verlander and Doug Fister cannot win the series for Detroit. The lineup is going to have find a way to score runs without one of their best hitters. Tiger fans better hope someone steps up, because if no one does, Detroit's days are numbered.