Young, the Tigers' hard hitting left fielder, was originally left off the roster with a strained stomach muscle.
But when Ordonez was diagnosed with a season-ending broken right ankle on Sunday, the Tigers decided Young was their best option.
It is not clear, though, how soon Young will be able to play in the best-of-seven series against the Texas Rangers.
The two teams were scheduled to play the second game on Monday in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won the opener 3-2.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ed Osmond)