Feb 18, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks during a team practice at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
According to the Detroit Free Press (and now also multiple reports), Detroit Tigers left fielder Andy Dirks will have surgery on his back and miss 12 weeks of game time.
12 weeks from today is May 27, so the Tigers will be looking to fill his spot for the first two months of the regular season. Dirks was likely slated as the strong side of the left field platoon – starting against right-handed pitchers – with Rajai Davis getting starts against left handers. Davis could start full-time (or at least most days), but the Tigers will likely be looking for at an additional outfielder to start the season. According to Chris Iott, the search will be internal.
The Tigers already have Don Kelly on the 40-man roster. He was probably going to be the nominal fifth outfielder anyway, but he’s not a good starting option. To be honest, no one in camp really is, but Ezequiel Carrera (non-40 man) and Daniel Fields are both in camp as left-handed outfield options should they be looking for one.