Inge could catch a little more

He won’t be doing it today, but Brandon Inge is going to be going behind the plate a little more, according to Jim Leyland. He’d suggested that before, but Inge went to Leyland late last week and told him that he was happy catching and was willing to embrace the spot.

“I think he’ll fall more into the catching mode here shortly,” Leyland said today, “and may start getting more playing time.”

Is it a balancing act with an eye towards 2009?

For today, Inge is at third for lefty Nate Robertson, with Carlos Guillen getting a day at DH. Here’s the full lineup the Tigers will send up against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, DH (he’ll bat right-handed vs. Wakefield oops … never mind)
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Sheffield, LF
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Inge, 3B

For the Red Sox:

  1. Coco Crisp, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Manny Ramirez, LF
  5. Mike Lowell, 3B
  6. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  7. J.D. Drew, RF
  8. Kevin Cash, C
  9. Julio Lugo, SS

16 Comments

Jason, you’re in there with these guys. Don’t you think most or all of the descriptions of Brandon being “livid”or “unhappy” or whatever negative emotion projected upon him is a product of bloggers and certain writers who aren’t close to the Tiger situation? He looks to me like the same fella he always was.
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–Rich

Does anyone know when Wilson is supposed to be back? I would expect that Raburn would get sent down when he comes back unless they unload Inge.
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I noticed that Willis had a start in Toledo and pitched 4 2/3 without giving up a walk. That may be a good sign. Then again we got 10 yesterday which didn’t do much good.
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DD, why don’t you package a deal with Sheffield and Pudge in it and make this team younger? I’m sure there must be a GM out trhere who would love to have those guys and their combined $25 million annual salary. Oh, right there is ONE.
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A stat to chew on: Cabrera and Inge played in a similar number of games last year. Cab had 5 more errors than Brandon but also was involved in 5 more dPs than Brandon.
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I think they have given up on him too soon.
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Some questions that dare to be asked:
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Isn’t it about time one of our starters got a shutout?
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Didn’t Troy Percival work out with the Tigers last year a bit? Anyone notice what he is doing this year?
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Has Todd Jones forgotten what it feels like to close out a meaningful game?
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Does anyone else here secretly feel that a major injury to anyone in the middle of the lineup might actually help the team?
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What does it feel like to be Mike Hessman?

In the central, there is no prototype third basemen, ie..290, 35 HR, and 115 rbi’s. Crede comes the closest. The Twins have used everything from players to banana peels at third base, and they always seem to win enough to hurt us. My point for all of this is that our defense at third and short has really taken a nose dive. I push for Inge so much because he is truly an exceptional fielder. Right now, I believe that we have to strengthen the defense first, in order to help the starting rotation. Inge is never going to be a .320 hitter, but I think he can contribute enough on D to offset the hitting weakness. For the good of this team, Sheffield should sing his swan song. But in reality, even if the team trades Inge, it doesn’t improve the D unless a Hessman or Rayburn, or Renteria moves to third. I do admire Guillen so very much, but his defensive skills have been drastically reduced. And I just don’t see a 6’5″. 250 lb third baseman either. Fix the defense first and everything else will fall into line.

I don’t necessarily think a major injury would help the team…actually I think it might hurt the team, however, i do think that giving more PT to the guys who are here sitting the bench everyday is an excellent idea. It’s hard to say that they won’t do anything better than what any of the starters are doing if they aren’t even given a chance. Ryan Raburn hasn’t played since April 21 other than 1 AB…so perhaps give him, Santiago, and Thames a chance to see what they can do.
Gary Sheffield shouldn’t be deciding where he’s playing–that should be left up to the manager…last year he got hurt playing in the outfield…and playing when you’re not at 100% isn’t really helping the team out. Just saying.

Its funny how nothing has gone as planned for this team. I remember listening to TJones at Tigerfest saying this is the best team he’s ever seen or something to that extent. I definitely wouldn’t have planned on the starting pitching being as bad or that a guy from AAA being our best pitcher. Or that our hitters would forget how to drive in runs or just hit at all. I think a big problem is that nobody on the team seems to be hungry to play hard and win and part of that is because they have their big contracts.
I think you have to start playing Thames more often considering that this team lives and dies by the homerun and he’s going to give you the best shot at that . Also he seems to have a knack for getting the big hit with guys on.
On a positive note, if they do figure things out soon, they’re only 3.5 back right now.

I can’t stand Robertson. He just can’t seem to get LHB out and his continuing episodic novel entitled “Nate and the One Bad Inning” is getting very tiring. He also gives up way too many 2 strike hits..
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Both LHB he faced so far today have gotten on.
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Leyland needs to tear a strip of this club as nothing else seems to be working.

well 3 runs isn’t so bad…i mean the Twins came back from a 6 run deficit on sunday ;)
i’m sure the Tigs can do it as long as Robertson only has one bad inning.

I think Inge’s emotions have been up and down. He was very hesitant about catching again, but I think he forgot how much he enjoyed how much impact he could have on a well-pitched game. I certainly think he wasn’t happy about Guillen moving to third, but he’s trying to make the best of it and help out the team. Any idea of him being a clubhouse cancer is just not true. Still, I think he has come around to the idea that he’s here and that any position where he can get playing time is a good spot for him. And if catching part-time this year in hopes of maybe taking over at catcher next season — in Detroit or elsewhere — is the way to get playing time, he’ll do it.

Vance Wilson is back to catching bullpen sessions, but he’s still working back from the plantar fasciitis. He’s on a jogging program right now, according to head athletic trainer Kevin Rand, and he’ll be close to game action once he can run at full speed.

So far Wakefield has them looking pretty feeble. I suppose (and hope) that Robertson now shuts the door for the next 3 innings as per his book.
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We seem to be getting back into that mindset that it is going to be impossible to win (kinda like the beginning of the year).
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Ahhhh NY–the good old days. Where have they gone?

Well the Tigers sure are playing “polite” baseball again. They have absolutely no edge to them whatsoever. Maybe We need a good old fashioned beaning and brawl to snap them out of the doldrums.
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It’s hard to believe we were once so excited to get the season underway.
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By the way things are going for our starters this year one of them may break Mike Maroth’s record in ’03.
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What is Inge doing playing so far back on Lugo.
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I think the book will close on Nate when he no longer can keep the opponents to ‘ONE bad inning. When that starts happening thye had better remove him from the rotation.

The Beat(in) goes on.
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I would not have scored that Ramirez liner to Inge a hit. He dropped the ball–gotta be an error.
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I hope we see some of these guys (Granderson and Polanco excepted) start to look like they actually give a damn.

Apparently Sheffield is not embarassed with his play. He may not be embarassed but the bigger question is when is his manager going to be?
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These guys are in a bloody coma at the plate. What is scary about it is that it can happen so dramatically after scoring well in NY. Then nothing. They are a joke right now.

They will never learn how to score a single well thought out run Dan. So we wait for the big inning which ain’t happening lately.

Jason, you do a great job of writing, owning a clear and concise journalistic style, never going over the top, always with an economy of words, unlike like other people like…well…me. Then of course there’s Dan, and Rich, and…..
I know you’re probably not allowed to editorialize, as it’s not your job to……but….in 100 words or less, could you please tell us why Marcus Thames isn’t starting. Or maybe why he doesn’t even play very much. Or why he was left off the 2006 World Series roster(well now I seem to remember he was on it but never played an inning)….Either way, is he doing penance or something? Did he hurt somebody’s feelings or something. Does he ask to sit the bench because he feels he doesn’t get paid as much as some of the other fellows? We just gotta know Jason. If the Tigers never win another game, and if Mike out there in California accidently kills his landlord for tresspassing on his own property, we just gotta know…

We’re begging you for the skinny…….And Jason, please forgive my feeble effort at a little humor in these troubled times. “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”….sung to the tune of “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”.

Yeah I’ve always wondered that too about Marcus whether he ticked somebody off or what the deal is? I was at the game last July against the Red Sox when he hit one off the top of the centerfield wall up by the TV cameras. All I know is he has the ability on any given night to change the course of a game with one swing. I’d like to know the answer to that question too.

I was at a game with my family, last July , Tigs..& Twins, Bondo, and it was a 1-1 tie.. and guess who come up to hit in the eigth? !! Marcus! Bam! HOME Run babee! My kid was thrilled… and rollercoaster Jones in the ninth.. 1-2-3.. what a game.. and what a memory! But more to the point..
I wonder that too. Marcus has that special clutch hit, slugger ability.. why won’t they play him more?

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