January 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Tom Gage

Surprised Tigers' Andy Dirks is back?

Despite speculation he wouldn't, it appears Andy Dirks will again get the most at-bats this season as the Tigers' left fielder. (Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News)

Gage’s 140 (words, not characters)

This won’t make your day.

It might not even make his.

But Andy Dirks turns 28 today.

That said, how many of you thought he’d go into 2014 as prominent in the Tigers’ plans as he still is?

Despite speculation he wouldn’t, it appears Dirks will again get the most at-bats this season as the Tigers’ left fielder.

Instead of losing his job, he’s merely being asked to share it with newcomer Rajai Davis.

I can’t promise it’ll be a productive combo, although with Davis’ speed, and Dirks’ swing that I still believe is solid, it has a chance to be.

But the point is that Dirks’ 28th birthday has become a crossroads.

He will get the chance to play a lot.

How he handles the chance will dictate whether he’ll still be with the Tigers when he turns 29.

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