Notes: Young lands on DL
Tigers call up outfielder Alexis Gomez from Triple-A
DETROIT -- The Tigers placed DH/outfielder Dmitri Young on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. How long he'll be there is a question too early for the club to answer.
Young strained the quadriceps muscle in his right leg running the base paths on Friday night as he tried to slow down heading into third. He left the game immediately and, after the game, described the injury as "not good."
Young looked noticeably better walking around the clubhouse Saturday morning and in the dugout during the game. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand saw it as a somewhat encouraging sign, though not nearly a sign of health.
"In some ways, He felt a little better this morning than he thought he was going to feel," Rand said. "Still, making certain moves, he knew he was injured."
At this point, though, nobody knows any sort of timetable on when Young could be back. He also missed two weeks during Spring Training with a strained quadriceps in the other leg, which ended up being less severe than originally expected.
This time, Rand said, "It's too early to tell. We've got to get him pain free. We've got to get his range of motion back, and then address strengthening issues before we even get thinking about any sort of timetable at this point."
Until he's back, that's where manager Jim Leyland is going to leave the topic. As he said during Spring Training, his track record as a manager is to not discuss injured players until they're close to returning. When Young is ready to play, as Leyland put it, he's ready to play.
"That's the way I've always worked," he said. "I'll deal with what I've got. I can't worry about what I don't have right now. I'm going to miss Dmitri, because that's my man, but right now I'm not going to have him."
Gomez called up: To take Young's place on the roster, the Tigers purchased the contract of outfielder Alexis Gomez from Triple-A Toledo. Though Gomez had opened the season with a 4-for-27 start, he had plenty of company in a Mud Hens lineup that has struggled since the start of the season.
Leyland said his decision came down to Hens manager Larry Parrish's recommendation, but other factors worked in his favor. He's a left-handed hitter joining a roster that became even more tilted towards right-handed hitters with the switch-hitting Young out.
"Basically, Larry Parrish said he was probably the closest guy [to ready]," Leyland said. "That's the way we work. A little added bonus on our part is we just felt with the Spring Training this kid had, he could've really made the club. It came down to him and Marcus [Thames], and Marcus made the club, and rightfully so. Gomez could've very easily been on the club, and we felt with everything he did in Spring Training, we felt like we should reward him."
Gomez was rewarded by seeing his name on the lineup card as he walked into the clubhouse around 9:30 a.m., following a 6:20 a.m. flight out of Durham.
"That's what makes me forget about sleep," Gomez said.
As for who would take Young's place in the lineup, Leyland said, "I'll play that by ear. I've got some options."
Saturday's option was Thames, who has played in five of the Tigers' first 11 games. But thanks to some other absences, Gomez and Omar Infante were in the lineup, too.
Tigers honor Robinson: The Tigers celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Saturday by honoring Detroit area middle school students who submitted winning entries in the 10th annual Jackie Robinson Art, Essay and Poetry Contest.
Students were invited to submit poetry, essays and works of art to capture Robinson's spirit and struggles. A local array of artists, writers and educators served as judges to select the winners.
In addition, Robinson was remembered with a video presentation on the stadium scoreboard reflecting upon his career.
Robinson's jersey number was retired across all Major League teams in 1997. His No. 42 is displayed on the brick wall beyond the outfield at Comerica Park.
More injuries: Beyond Young, Saturday's lineup also was missing Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez and Placido Polanco. That meant Detroit's regular second, third, fourth and fifth hitters were all on the bench instead of at the plate.
Unlike Young, the other injury losses were more precautionary. Polanco reported tightness in both of his hamstrings, but said he could've played and his absence was the manager's decision. Rodriguez reported a sore ankle, but he was scheduled to have the day off anyway. Ordonez, Leyland said, reported more soreness in his left knee.
Shelton still sixth: Though Young's injury creates a hole in the fifth spot, don't expect Leyland to bump up Chris Shelton there in the near future, despite his hot start.
"Shelton will hit sixth, period," Leyland said. "End of the conversation, for now."
Shelton has batted sixth in every game this season.
"I'm not the most superstitious person in the world," Leyland said, "but I would consider myself a blooming idiot to move him out of the sixth spot right now."
Coming up: Mike Maroth (1-0, 1.69) makes his first start in eight days Sunday when the Tigers host the Indians for a 1:05 p.m. ET start. Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.97) will start for Cleveland.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.