Results tagged ‘ Brandon Inge ’
Although the calendar might say that today is March 1st, I would argue that it already is starting to feel like spring. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact I spent part of last week in Florida, or even the fact that baseball if officially back.
Shortly after my birthday, I decided to book a last-minute flight down to Florida. I’ve never been a fan of cold weather, so it sounded like the perfect time to leave for a mini vacation. So I packed my bags and headed south without any real plans.
After landing, my parents picked me up and we headed to visit with a cousin who lived near Tampa. She decided to show us around town, which included driving by Tropicana Field. I was hoping to be able to get at least a tour, but they weren’t doing any while I was in town. We were taken to one of her favorite spots, the St. Pete Pier. The shops weren’t of much interest to me, but the view from the top was pretty breathtaking.
Once we were done with our tour, we headed back to the condo and relaxed by the pool. After all of the running around for the day, that was good enough for me.
The next day included a pit stop at one of my mother’s favorite locations in Florida. If you’re a fan of ridiculously good (not to mention reasonably priced) desserts, look no further than Parksdale Farms. Located in Plant City, it’s a fruit market and dessert stand. Known primarily for their strawberries, they have an entire dessert menu built around just strawberries. I opted for the sundae.
From there, we headed to Lakeland, where I got my first ever opportunity to watch the Tigers play a game in Spring Training. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve been to Lakeland about five times (my favorite memory coming from when I had to chase David Wells to his car to get his autograph), but I’ve only been able to watch them practice.
Of course I didn’t bring any luck to the Tigers, but I did get to watch top prospect Bruce Rondon pitch, and see both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit a home run.
But that wasn’t all of the baseball I got to watch while I was down there. I met up with a few friends that I met through the MLB Fan Cave, and we headed to Bradenton to watch the Pirates host the Atlanta Braves. Although I wasn’t too familiar with most of the prospects, it was fun to watch Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward playing the outfield. Not only that, but I was able to root for ex-Tigers Brandon Inge and Gerald Laird.
On the final night, I met back up with my friends for some bowling. I once again proved that I’m a terrible bowler, but at least I can take pride in the fact my score improved after every game. If they would’ve let me bowl til five in the morning, I might’ve been able to break 200 (I doubt it, but you can’t prove otherwise)!
Tuesday morning meant it was time for me to leave, so I was dropped off at the airport at noon for my 2:05 PM flight. Unfortunately, mechanical issues delayed my departure to 4:05. That later changed to 4:30, which changed to 5:00 and eventually switched to 5:19. Knowing that there was a snowstorm back home, I wasn’t exactly thrilled.
The flight was fine, but the drive home was without a doubt the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced in a car. On the commute home, I witnessed three accidents, a semi truck crash through a guard rail, and a car going the wrong way on the expressway. Even though traffic was going no more than 40 MPH, there was still plenty of crazy stuff going on.
Although the drive lasted more than twice as long as it usually does, I was thankful to finally make it home in one piece. Even though it’s currently 25 degrees here in Michigan, knowing that opening day isn’t too far away, it doesn’t seem so bad.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Tigers released Brandon Inge. Just in case anyone in Detroit forgot about it, Inge gave everyone a reminder about it this weekend.
During the four game series between Oakland and Detroit (Inge did not play today), Inge was 3 for 12 with two home runs, including a grand slam against Collin Balester.
After hitting his grand slam, I saw a lot of people saying on Facebook and Twitter that the Tigers shouldn’t have let him go. So that made me wonder, would the Tigers have been better off by keeping Inge?
It’s easy to overlook the fact that Inge is still only hitting .188 on the year, although that is a dramatic improvement over what he did in Detroit this year. Inge has always stated on record that he considers himself to be a better player when he gets an opportunity to play everyday, and I can’t say that I blame him.
I couldn’t imagine being in a position where I had to worry about whether or not I was doing my job well enough to keep it, and worse yet, having to hear about it everywhere I go. That’s basically what ended up happening to Inge.
By releasing Inge, the Tigers have to pay him approximately five and a half million dollars over the next two years. I wish someone would pay me that kind of money to work, but that’s not the point. The Tigers felt that Inge didn’t fit in their long term plans at third or second base, so they gave him an opportunity to seek playing time somewhere else.
Brandon Inge will always be the same player he is everywhere he goes. He’s energetic, enthusiastic, dedicated and hardworking. You’d love to have a team of guys with his passion, but unfortunately his talent isn’t what it once was. For the amount of money Inge was due to be paid, the Tigers should be able to find a better offensive option either via trade or free agency.
I do wish Inge nothing but the best in Oakland, as he was always a class act while here in Detroit. Whether you loved or hated him, I’m sure there’s at least a part of you that misses him, too.
It’s not often that a city will love and hate a player as much as they did Brandon Inge, so I’m sure the announcement of his release will be talked about quite a bit in the next few days. Seeing as I’m from Michigan, I thought it was only right that I should chime in and say a few words about it.
For the record, I have always defended Brandon Inge, and I will always continue to do so. Although there’s certainly questions of his ability to perform offensively, the Tigers knew fully well what they were getting themselves into when they signed last signed Inge.
Inge has never hit for average, so it is hard to understand why exactly everyone was suddenly so upset by the fact he has hit .227 over the course of the last three years when he’s only has a .234 career average. That’s also not taking into account the fact that he had and played with mononucleosis during a good portion of the 2011 season.
If you’re interpreting this to mean that I think his performance on the field warranted him every day playing time, or me attempting to justify that he deserved to be paid 5.5 million dollars this year, then you’re mistaken.
The biggest issue I have is why people seem to be unwilling to root for Brandon Inge. He’s been made out to be the bad guy on the Tigers and unjustifiably has been given more then his fair share of blame for Detroit’s recent struggles. The Tigers weren’t losing because of Brandon Inge–but they’re definitely going to suffer from losing him.
I’d think it’s fair to guess that there were few players who were more looked up to in the Tigers organization than Inge. You often heard stories of Inge taking rookies under his wing and doing things like buying them a bottle of champagne when they hit their first Major League home run. From reading the reactions from the team, you can tell how much the players respected and appreciated him.
He was a guy that was forced to change his position and swing on numerous occasions, but still always managed to work hard and find a way to get playing time. For the people who criticized him when he mentioned that he wanted to play everyday, I simply don’t get it. Would you rather have a guy on your team who is content with sitting on the bench collecting a paycheck, or a guy who is working everyday to prove that deserves to be there? I don’t think that should even be a debate.
I think the biggest loss in all of this may very well be all the non-profit organizations that Inge was involved with. Countless times during the course of the year you’d hear stories of Inge visiting kids at a children’s hospital, or volunteering his time somewhere in the community. It’s not often that you find professional athletes continually going out of their way to try to make a difference in the world, but Inge always seemed more than willing to do his part.
If you want to say that Brandon Inge was an underperformer on the field, that’s one thing, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t like or support him as a person. Whether you loved him or hated him, there’s no doubt you’ll miss him.
After having two incredible starts to start the season, Justin Verlander still had nothing to show for it.
Despite pitching eight scoreless innings on opening day, Verlander was only able to come away with a no decision. He was equally dominant for the first eight innings of his second start, only to blow the lead in the final inning, giving him a hard-luck loss.
Needless to say that when Verlander entered the 9th inning today, everyone in Detroit sat on the edge of their seat hoping to see him get his first victory of the season. It wasn’t exactly stress free, despite loading the bases with two outs and throwing over 130 pitches in the game, Verlander was able to get the complete game and victory.
It was a quiet day offensively for both teams, as Royals pitcher Danny Duffy kept the Tigers off balance all night, featuring a mid 90s fastball, and commanding his off-speed pitches. I’d imagine people in Kansas City are excited about this kid, and if tonight proved anything, they should be.
The only offensive production the Tigers received was via two home runs, a leadoff home run by Austin Jackson, and a two-run shot in the 5th inning by Brandon Inge.
For all of the people who constantly criticize and doubt Inge, I think it’s safe to say that everyone in Detroit is glad he’s on our team, at least for tonight.
After a tough loss yesterday, the Tigers will turn to Adam Wilk today in hopes of getting them back in their winning ways. I figure a lot of you may not be familiar with Wilk, so I wanted to give you a crash course of him before the game.
Wilk started 18 games in triple-A Toledo last year, posting a 8-6 record with a 3.24 ERA. Eventually he was called up to the Tigers for a brief while, pitching five games for Detroit (all out of the bullpen). It’s going to be interesting to see how Wilk can do in his first Major League start.
Some pitchers never truly feel comfortable pitching out of the bullpen, and I wonder if that was the case for Wilk. For a pitcher coming out of the bullpen, you never know when you’re going to get called into a game, but when you’re a starting pitcher, it’s much easier to get into a good warm up routine.
Although it’s very likely that Wilk will only remain in the Tigers rotation until Doug Fister returns, there’s still a chance he could stick with the team if he can have a few strong outings over the next couple of weeks.
The other big news story for the Tigers today is that Brandon Inge will also be returning with the Tigers today, after finishing his rehab assignment in Toledo. Inge is expected to be the second baseman against left-handed pitchers, while occasionally serving as a defensive replacement and a super-utility player. I’ll go ahead and say it now, I’m excited to see him back.
All that matters today is getting a tally in the win column, and hopefully Adam Wilk and the Tigers can do just that.
Today the Tigers caught an unfortunate break, when Miguel Cabrera took a one hopper right in the eye. You can click HERE to watch the video, and see it for yourself. Hunter Pence scorched a ball that took a tricky hop, giving Cabrera minimal time to react.
Although you can see that Cabrera was bleeding after the play, it appears that the cut was caused from the direct impact off his sunglasses. I would imagine that this isn’t going to be a serious injury, at least in terms of missing any significant playing time, but I do think the Tigers are going to have to take a longer look as to how much playing time Cabrera should have at third base.
I stand by my previous comments that I think Cabrera will be fine overall at third base, but I still find it hard to believe he’ll play more than half of the year at third. So in the meantime, the state of Michigan will be holding their breath as we wait for the results of the precautionary X-rays.
If the injury proves to be serious, I’d imagine a rotation with Don Kelly and Brandon Inge would be most likely, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
So if you wanted to ask me who the Detroit Tigers second baseman will be on opening day, I could give you at least four different options that make sense. The Tigers have quite the rotation system in order for second base, and I’m not sure how good of a thing that is.
I can’t think of too many major league teams that are still actively unsure of their situation at second base, but the Tigers have more options than a kid in a candy store. Sure, the options aren’t necessarily that of an all-star caliber, but they all certainly provide a lot of good things to the table.
You have Ramon Santiago, the switch hitter. Santiago has been consistent, and it was rumored that he turned down a starting position offer from a few teams in order to come back to Detroit. There’s been questions about his durability (not his talent), otherwise he would certainly would have been able to find more offers as a free agent. Although Santiago offers the least amount of offensive power out of the group, he may very well be the most consistent offensive producer.
Another strong possibility for the opening day starter goes to left-handed hitting Don Kelly. Kelly has proven to be the true super-utility player, doing everything from pitching to catching in 2011 for Detroit. It wouldn’t necessarily shock me if Kelly gets slotted in on opening day (assuming Boston pitches the right-handed Josh Beckett), but only if Kelly can put up solid offensive numbers during Spring Training.
Then there’s Ryan Raburn. Simply put, unless opening day comes after July 31st, I don’t think Raburn is going to be nearly good enough offensively or defensively to give him the nod. Truth be told, it also wouldn’t shock me to see Raburn get traded prior to opening day. Despite his defensive limitations, he provides a strong right-handed bat which a lot of teams may be interested in, especially for such a low cost.
Every offseason usually provides some sort of story that has captured the attention of Detroit fans. I can’t think of a better example of that than with the story of Brandon Inge attempting to become the second baseman for Detroit. I’ve gone on record many times saying I love the fact that Inge is willing to do whatever he has to do to get playing time. I don’t get the people crying and complaining about the fact Inge is doing everything he can to get playing time. If you’re a coach, you want 25 people on your team with that competitive drive. After the Tigers signed Prince Fielder and decided to move Miguel Cabrera to third base, Inge found himself without a position.
He approached Tigers manager Jim Leyland and General Manager Dave Dombrowski and said he wanted a chance to be the second baseman. Since then, Dombrowski has made comments saying Inge looks like a natural who has been playing the position for over a decade. This says a lot about the athleticism of Brandon Inge, and if he can put up any sort of offensive numbers, I think it’s safe to say he’ll get a good share of playing time at second. Also take into consideration that the Tigers would have to eat six million dollars to cut him, it has to make you believe that they’re going to be at least willing to give him a shot.
For what it’s worth, I got my money on Inge. Who do you think will get the nod?
As I mentioned in my last blog, the Tigers needed to look at this series against Cleveland with basically a playoff mindset. The Tigers weren’t going to win two out of three games, (especially without Verlander pitching at least one) by playing anything other than playoff caliber baseball. After the first two games of the series, the Tigers have now expanded their lead in the American League Central to 3.5 games, by beating the Indians two games in a row.
There’s a lot of things to mention, such as Scherzer and Fister both having quality starts, while being under a great deal of pressure. Brandon Inge made his return to Detroit, and made an impact rather quickly, hitting a home run to left field in his first at bat since being recalled. I know that there’s a lot of love and hate for Brandon Inge, but I think a lot of people fail to realize all of the positive things he does, that fail to get attention. He’s been very actively involved in the community, regularly making visits to children hospitals throughout the state. He’s been a great teammate, is still an above average defensive player, (he did have the highest fielding percentage of all American League third basemen last year, and arguably should have won his first gold glove) has a quality clubhouse presence (both in Detroit, as well as both of his stints in Toled0) and is actually the only Tiger who makes Michigan his home year round. Is he the greatest third baseman in baseball? No, but he’s definitely a positive contributor, even when he struggles on the field.
Overall, things have been going well the last two days for Detroit, and if they can continue to go that way, the Tigers have a chance to do a lot of damage not only through the end of the regular season, but into October. For now, we’ll have to wait and see if Porcello can keep it going, so we can sweep the Indians out of Detroit, and hopefully out of playoff contention.
Word from Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck is that the Tigers have just announced that the Tigers will be placing Brandon Inge on the 15-day disabled list with mono. In the meantime, the Tigers will be calling up catcher Omir Santos from Toledo, who will likely be sent back down once (and if) Magglio Ordonez makes his return to the Tigers which could be as soon as next week Monday. In all likelihood, it would appear that Danny Worth and Don Kelly will split the extra playing time at third base until Inge returns.
For those of you out there who don’t know what the Mendoza Line is, or refers to, I’ll fill you in. The Mendoza Line is from Mario Mendoza, a former major league baseball player who had a .215 career batting average. Through inflation, deflation, or whatever you want to call it, a player is said to have fallen below the Mendoza Line when their batting average has dipped below .200. By doing so, that player is said to have officially become a liability to his team, regardless of how good he may be defensively. Usually a team doesn’t have a player that hits .200 or worse on their team (unless you count pitchers, but that just seems silly) after they’ve played more than 40 games and have almost 150 at bats, let alone have them be one of their starters, but lo and behold, my beloved Detroit Tigers do!
Now, this isn’t an attack against Ryan Raburn (maybe it is even, I’m not sure), but why would a manager continue to trot someone out there as an everyday starter for you, if they are still only hitting .196 after 153 at bats? Is it because he’s a defensive specialist? As you can see here, it looks like Miguel Olivo is the only person benefiting from his defense.
All kidding aside, I don’t think Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers can continue to let Raburn get nearly as many starts right now, as he’s really just not helping the team win. Whether this means he needs to start platooning, become a bench player, sent to Toledo or the Tigers need to trade for a new second baseman, something needs to happen soon.
And no, I didn’t forget to mention Brandon Inge. He provides a gold-glove caliber defense, and displays great veteran leadership both on and off the field. Besides, he’s only a career .236 hitter, so you really shouldn’t expect that much out of him.
Until next time…