James Schmehl at MLive recently posed the question that Andy Dirks' job could be in jeopardy when the Tigers need a starting pitcher on Thursday. When Anibal Sanchez went on the disabled list, instead of recalling a pitcher right away, the Tigers elected to call up Avisail Garcia again. This is indication that the Tigers might at least be thinking about sending Dirks down to AAA; they currently have 11 pitchers on their roster and Leyland normally keeps 12. If Andy Dirks does become the odd man out, there are 3 viable candidates to take his place, Matt Tuiasosopo, Avisail Garcia and Nick Castellanos - all have their positives and negatives.
Why he shouldn't be the everyday LF: Before this year, Tuiasosopo was a career .176/.234/.306 hitter and hadn't seen ML pitching since 2010. At age 27 it's hard to believe that he's all of a sudden figured everything out. Some of his stats do suggest a regression. His BABIP is at an unsustainable .417 as it's hard to believe he can keep a 29.4% LD rate. His HR/FB ratio is at 21.4% but his career rate is only 13.1%.
Why he shouldn't be the everyday LF: There is one stat that stands out that needs improving with Garcia - his walk rate. It's at 5.5% so far this year and it was regularly in the 3-4% range all through the minors. At 22 years old, he needs to play everyday as he continues to mature as a hitter and Leyland has been criticized for playing Don Kelly more over Garcia. If Garcia isn't getting the playing time in the majors, then he needs to get them in the minors.
Why he shouldn't be the everyday LF: He has no ML experience. That could be dangerous, giving a rookie an everyday role in the middle of a playoff race who has been known to struggle after getting promoted after every step in the minors. The Tigers might not want to take the risk of having him lose confidence and like Garcia, Castellanos should be getting everyday playing time as he matures as a hitter.
It's very likely that the Tigers will send down Avisail Garcia to make room for Jose Alvarez on Thursday. At the very least, Dirks might lose some playing time to Matt Tuiasosopo without him actually taking over the position. As bad as Dirks has been on the hitting side, advanced stats show that Dirks has been excellent on defense so far this year as Patrick O'Kennedy of Bless You Boys has pointed out. This has given Dirks a 0.8 fWAR and a 0.9 rWAR, which means he's on pace for about a 1.5 WAR. While that's below average, it doesn't really warrant a trip to AAA either.
Besides, the Tigers have more pressing needs, such as the bullpen and the Jose Valverde situation.
Update: Avisail Garica has indeed been sent back to AAA to make room for Jose Alvarez.