"I'm going to get him away from it," manager Jim Leyland told reporters before the Tigers game at St. Louis on Thursday.
Leyland said, "indefinitely," when asked how long Ordonez would be out of the lineup.
Ryan Raburn started in right field in the series finale against the Cardinals.
The 35-year-old Ordonez's numbers are in conflict with his resume: a six-time American League All-Star with a .312 career average and seven 100-RBI seasons, plus an AL batting title with a .363 average in 2007. Batting primarily third, he was hitting .273 with two homers and 22 RBIs.
Manager Jim Leyland said he talked to Ordonez about the outfielder's declining production a few weeks ago, so the benching shouldn't come as a total surprise. Leyland felt he had to make a move with the offense in a tailspin, scoring three or fewer runs in seven straight games.
"Right now he's beating himself up," Leyland said. "Just let him breathe a little bit and see what happens. I really feel bad for him, but I've got to do something. That's just the way it is."
Leyland said Ordonez didn't know what was wrong with his stroke.
"I think he's just befuddled right now," the manager said. "I don't think he can figure it out, I don't think anybody can figure it out right now. If anybody can, I'm open for suggestions."
Ordonez didn't want to discuss his situation after the Tigers beat the Cardinals 6-3 without him Thursday night.
"No, nothing," he said. "I've got nothing to say."
Leyland said he'd try to avoid using Ordonez even as a pinch hitter for a while.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.