Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/21/14
DETROIT -- Leave it to Don Kelly to lighten up the situation. When reporters approached Kelly to ask about his being designated for assignment, Kelly said, "Hey guys, this isn't a funeral." When the Tigers reinstated outfielder Andy Dirks from the 15-day disabled list Friday, they made room on the roster by designating Kelly for assignment. "Donnie Kelly was just a victim of circumstance," manager Jim Leyland said. "Really, he was a victim of Quintin Berry doing very well. That was a tough one because he's one of everybody's favorites." In limited action this season, Kelly was hitting just .175 with one home run and seven RBIs, so Kelly saw the writing on the wall. "When youre not swinging the bat well, obviously, it can happen at any time," Kelly said. "You just come and try to do the best you can, but obviously, I wasnt swinging the bat very well. We needed a little kick, so ... we had to make a move." Kelly, who only had 17 at-bats in July, wasn't blaming his lack of hitting on that. "Thats just the way the game is," Kelly said. "When you go out there and you get an at-bat here or there and then start, its hard not to put pressure on yourself to perform and do well. But that was the role." All of Kelly's teammates came over to say goodbye and give him a hug. "That's a tough one because he's like a brother to all the coaches, myself, teammates," Leyland said. "He's like the perfect brother. But that's the big leagues, that's the way things go." Berry, who is hitting .282 with two home runs and 23 RBIs in 58 games, knew that there was a chance that he could have been the player being sent down to make room for Dirks. While he was happy to stay with the Tigers, Berry wasn't as happy about losing Kelly. "It sucks to see someone go," Berry said. "Its a relief for a little while -- even though it might mean Im here just a little while longer -- but at the same time, its bitter because youre losing a friend and a teammate. "Hes been such a great friend and a mentor to me since Ive been up here." Meanwhile, Dirks, who had been on the DL since May 31 with right achilles tendinitis, was immediately inserted into the lineup, batting sixth and playing right field while Brennan Boesch served as the designated hitter. "It takes some at-bats when you dont play for a couple months," Dirks said. "Got a lot of at-bats, saw a lot of pitches, so I feel good now." In 10 games on his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Toledo, Dirks hit .216 with two home runs and five RBIs. His last two games, however, he went 4-for-8 with a double and a home run. While some fans clamored for the team to designate Ryan Raburn for assignment, it likely came down to the fact that Dirks, Berry, Boesch and Kelly were all left-handed outfielders, while Raburn is right-handed. Even though it's been more than two months since Dirks played in a major league game, he feels he's ready. "Now that Ive played down there, I feel like Im back in the groove, back in the swing of things -- taking my swings every day, playing the outfield, getting my baseball brain working again," Dirks said. Berry knows that Dirks' return might cut down on his playing time, but that doesn't bother him. "Dirks has proven himself," Berry said. "Hes been down and Ive been able to fill in for him. Dude has been great. Hes a great ballplayer. "He played the heck out of the outfield, and he was hitting well before he left. Im pretty sure that when he gets back here, hell jump right back into the role and Ill be here for whenever they need me." In other news, the Tigers transferred the rehabilitation assignment of right-hander Al Alburquerque from Single-A Lakeland to Toledo. With Lakeland, Alburquerque had a 5.40 ERA with nine strikeouts in 3 13 innings since starting his rehabilitation assignment July 24. Alburquerque is recovering from right elbow surgery this past offseason. Finally, left-hander Daniel Schlereth has been assigned to Lakeland to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment.

2014 World Series: Game Three live blog

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed


Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

8 NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

Tigers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.