Eighth-year outfielder Delmon Young hit .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI last season. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Phillies declared Delmon Young their starting right fielder upon signing him in January, but Young may not be ready to play until May, according to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury.
The 27-year-old underwent ankle surgery on Nov. 10 -- weeks after he won ALCS MVP and his Tigers went on to lose in the World Series -- and was at risk of starting the 2013 season on the DL. But a "club insider" told Salisbury that DL stint could last through all of April.
Young can take batting practice and participate in drills, but would not say when he expects to return to the field.
“The ankle is feeling good, but I’m not a doctor,” Young said. “So when the doctor tells me I’m ready, I’ll be out there. I’m not going to put a timetable on it.”
Listed at 6-foot-3, 240-pounds, Young has lost 30 pounds since the postseason ended, according to the report.
His one-year, $750,000 contract includes a weight clause that rewards him for staying under 230-235 pounds. He did not disclose his current weight to reporters at Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Fla.
With Young out, Philadelphia will turn to young outfielders Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf, as well as veterans John Mayberry and Laynce Nix, to fill the corner outfield spots.