Tuesday, June 05, 2012

It's turning out Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn weren't the Detroit Tigers problem after all

I think the Tigers made the right move by releasing Brandon Inge when they did. He wasn't going to play third base for them, and it was evident he couldn't play second base at remotely the major league level. Third base is closed because of the Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder situation. Inge can only play third athletically at this stage because of age and injury issues. Oakland is the perfect place for him - a non-contending team that had no third baseman. That he had another 4-RBI game Monday with the A's is noteworthy, though. Why? The reasons were brought to the forefront by my friend Danny Knobler from CBSsports.com. This is what he tweeted Monday night (@DKnobler on Twitter) about Inge:
- "Most 4+ RBI games this year, MLB: Brandon Inge 5, Carlos Gonzalez 4."
- "He has 20 RBI in 17 games, and you're worried about his batting average?" (Inge is hitting .212 for Oakland).
- "And just because you can never get enough Inge: 5th 4-RBI game in 17 games for A's, had 10 in 1,408 games for Tigers."
Inge has had his moments with the A's, including an excellent series against the Tigers. Yet, he has been anything but a model of consistency for the A's. He has had four RBI in five games, and just one RBI total in 12 others for the A's.. He was 2-for-19 with no RBI in his previous five games after coming off the disabled list before Monday.
My point about Inge is: How were the Tigers going to use him? His release didn't matter, one or another. It was moot. It neither helped the team nor hurt it. It was a case of the Tigers trying to fit a square peg into a round hole after they signed Fielder and moved Cabrera to third. At Oakland, at least Inge has a shot to have a big game now and then because he is playing every day. Even with five four RBI games out of 17 with Oakland his OPS is just .763 for the A's. Counting his time with the Tigers this season, he is hitting .186.
After Inge was released by the Tigers, he was followed on the hate bandwagon by many Tiger fans by Ryan Raburn. I agreed with the Tigers moving Raburn to Toledo. He was hitting .146. That is not earning your keep after two months. But both moves didn't cure what was ailing the Tigers. They have continued to play bad baseball.
The Tigers slump wasn't about their fringe regulars. It's more about their every day players, who haven't come remotely close to their track records of the past (see the column below).
Good for Brandon Inge, but he and Ryan Raburn were not the player the who were going to make or break the Tigers this season.
This is the Oakland Press News at Noon Broadcast for Tuesday June 5. It focuses on the K2 issue in Oakland County. I have a commentary at the end about the Tigers series against Cleveland which starts tonight.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it up, Pat, who cares about Brandon Inge?

Why don't you write some blogs about minor sports?

For example, Tiger's 73rd PGA victory to tie Nicklaus and pursue Sam Snead's 82nd?

Or the Belmont? Could be the first Triple Crown victory in 34 years.

11:40 AM 

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