Monday, April 02, 2012

Some thoughts on Brandon Inge

- If Danny Worth were to make the opening day club instead of Inge, it would be understandable. He can play shortstop and is the Tigers only above-average defender among their infielders. He is more versatile and fits a need for the Tigers better than Inge at this stage. He could share third base with Donald Kelly if third base doesn't work out for Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers could also acquire another version of Wilson Betemit if necessary. If a determination is made that Inge, 34 and about to turn 35, isn't the same player he once was, so be it.

- The blood thirst a growing number of fans and some media have toward Inge's potential demise is unfounded. He had several good seasons for the Tigers. Their view of his performance was skewed by the first half of last season when he was awful. He had an OPS over .700 in 2010 and 2009, and good seasons in the middle of his career in 2004, 2005 and 2006. His career numbers have gone on a curve - a very poor batting average his first couple seasons, and then he hit bottom last year. His career OPS, for example, is considerably higher than that of Ramon Santiago, a player many Tiger fans seem to think is vastly underrated.

- I've heard the term "cancer in clubhouse" in regard to Inge lately. It's just not true. He has often spoken with self-confidence, which I explained in a column I wrote earlier this year but hasn't thrown teammates under the bus or been a problem for his manager or team management in any way.

- I do believe just putting him on the DL would be a mistake. The Tigers need to make a decision here. Either to give him one more chance - and make it clear he is getting another shot if they DL him, or release Inge outright. Replay of this week's live video chat. Lots of Red Wings talk. Also got into Tigers

Video streaming by Ustream


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Brandon Inge booster, not one of the many haters. Last season, his poor plate performance was, in part, due to his bout with mono. I've had this and know that it saps your energy for months. It appears though, that it coincided with father time just catching up with him.


12:18 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, From the other side of the wall - the side where the fans sit - this decision seems to be a no-brainer (except for that Inge-Fringe fanbase)

Batting under .200 - Inge does nothing to make this team better - his absence does not create holes to be filled - even with Laird on the DL if that's what it comes down to - Inges knees don't work like they used to.

I'm pulling for Worth for all he is "worth" and happy to see Smyly (bad pun intended) at the 5 spot as well.

12:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I realize that you like Inge as a ballplayer and person .. that's ok.

But the time has come for Inge to go into the sunset. He's had a good career. But he isn't going to help the team anymore unless he gets on life-support like last year.

Good bye and thanks for the memories.

6:57 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't need to "hate" Inge" to comment on his ineffectiveness, his approuch to hitting never changes, it really gets old watching him struggle. He never adjusts. With 6 million coming to him it's understandable he doesn't choose to retire, but the Tiger's really need to move on. Worth has earned a shot and is a really promising defensive player.

9:15 PM 
Blogger Al said...

I am not an Inge hater. I am no fan of Inge either. If anything I simply am tired of the Inge can do no wrong crowd. It is time for Ilitch to give Brandon a Little Caesars franchise, so he can put those new blacksmith arms to good use tossing pizzas.

Seems funny that Inge's power drought coincided with the crackdown on steroids. Just sayin.....

12:04 AM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Of course Inge's career OPS is higher than Santiago. He's a 3rd baseman. That's expected of him.

Santiago is a MUCH better defender statistically, btw. And he's had a higher WAR than Inge over the last 4 years despite much less playing time. Maybe even a higher OPS over that time too.

2:13 AM 

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