The road to recovery hasn’t been easy for Andy Dirks. The Tigers outfielder underwent back-surgery in March and has been on the disabled list ever since. The original timetable for Dirks to return to the Tigers roster was mid-june but set-backs along the way have led to that timeline being extended.
Now the thought is that the Andy Dirks could be available to the Tigers in mid-August. That said as long as the Detroit Tigers maintain a comfortable lead in the AL Central, Tigers beat writer Chris Iott speculates, the club could wait until September to call up their left-handed hitting outfielder.
In fact, once Dirks is ready to go, the Tigers could choose to simply option him to Triple-A Toledo until rosters expand on Sept. 1 rather than putting Don Kelly through the waiver process or demoting J.D. Martinez, who has options remaining but has been an important part of the offense this season.
There is an extra outfield slot available after the departure of Austin Jackson at the trade deadline. The spot is currently filled by Ezequiel Carrera whom the Tigers recalled on Friday. But unless Carerra catches fire he will likely return to Toledo once Dirks is ready to go in mid-August.