Blog Entry

Ordonez breaks ankle, Tigers in trouble

Posted on: October 9, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 7:13 pm
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Tigers have lost another outfielder, and this one's bad.

Magglio Ordonez is out for the rest of the postseason, after fracturing the same right ankle he broke in July 2010. Given how much trouble Ordonez had coming back the first time, and given his age (he'll be 38 in January), this injury could well be career-ending.

The Tigers at first announced only that Ordonez had reinjured the ankle, but later confirmed that X-rays and a CT scan showed a break. According to a source, Ordonez hurt the ankle before Saturday's game, tried to play, then was pulled from the game after the second rain delay.

While the Tigers can and will replace Ordonez on their postseason roster, they're already short on right-handed hitters, after losing Delmon Young to an oblique strain in Game 5 of the Division Series against the Yankees.

That's two right-handed hitting outfielders, and two middle-of-the-order hitters, lost for the Tigers in just two days. Worse yet, the Rangers are starting three left-handed pitchers in this American League Championship Series, and the Tigers have few right-handed options to replace Ordonez.

Ordonez was 5-for-11 in the Division Series, and he said last week that he finally felt healthy, after nearly a year trying to recover from the initial injury. Ordonez said that the recovery was so slow and so difficult that he seriously considered retiring a couple of months ago.

"It's like a car with a flat tire," Ordonez said then. "Now the tire has a lot of air."

Or it did, until Saturday.

Ordonez had three plate appearances in Game 1, a 3-2 Tiger loss. He grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the first inning, in probably the biggest at-bat of the entire game. He struck out looking in the fourth, then was intentionally walked in the fifth. At that point, Don Kelly pinch-ran for Ordonez.

Ordonez has played 15 seasons in the big leagues, and has a .309 career average and 294 home runs. He made six All-Star teams, and finished second in the American League MVP voting in 2007.

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