Dirks has been bothered by tendinitis in his right Achilles tendon. With catchers Alex Avila and Gerald Laird also ailing but not on the DL, the Tigers were down to one available position player on the bench.
Dirks has hit .328 in 37 games this year, giving a boost to an inconsistent Detroit offence.
The Tigers signed the 29-year-old Young to a minor league deal in the off-season. He hit .208 in 20 games for the Atlanta Braves last year.