Inge could be back in mix at third come September

The topic came up innocently enough, with Jim Leyland asked about Wilson Betemit’s contributions since the trade and his role going forward.

“Probably the ideal situation for us is to mix and match a bit,” Leyland said.

That’s what he has been doing with Betemit, Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn lately. Once rosters expand in September, that could be what he’s doing with Brandon Inge as well.

When the Tigers designated Inge for assignment and later outrighted his contract to Triple-A Toledo, they did it with the understanding that Inge would be back in Detroit once rosters expand Sept. 1, if not sooner. Inge probably would have opted for free agency without that. What role, if any, he would take in September has been more of a question.

Leyland didn’t set it as the plan, but he said Wednesday he’s considering using Inge in the third-base mix against left-handed pitching, as well as for late-inning defense. That could change, but it’s a sign that he’ll be doing more than watching games in uniform.

Inge entered Wednesday batting .316 for the Mud Hens with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 21 games since being outrighted. Granted, it’s against Triple-A pitching, but it’s a sign of encouragement. The numbers against lefties are particularly so, going 15-for-34 (.441) with three homers and nine RBIs.

91 Comments

look closely at his numbers (offensively) – he’s inconsistent. Get that boy consistent – and then platoon him with Wilson (only) at @3Rd

Chisox finally broke thru the 500 glass barrier on their 4th attempt since April – will be interesting to see whether they can win again tonight and jump the Indians into 2nd.
I was confident our second half 500 baseball would be enough against the Indians who just aren’t good and experienced enough to have two miracle runs in the one season.
Chisox though are a different matter.

I’m right with ya there, Dave. I will say one thing for Cleveland: those boys can play epic extra inning marathons with the best of ‘em.

Well the bizarre thing to me is it almost like JL is reluctant to let Wilson play. Is he afraid he’ll looks so good that it might interfere with Inge’s return?
I, for one, would not be surprised.
Give the guy 5 or 6 straight games against all kind of pitching. Let’s see what happens.

Been a while since I commented. Was out in your neck of the woods Dan. Olympic NP. Strait of Juan de Fuca. Beautiful country, beautiful weather. I never got around to answering your comment Pup. Sorry about that. Yes, seeing Jeter’s 3000th was special. A distant second to Jeter’s hit, but still very cool, was seeing Curtis G. save Rivera’s save by picking one off the wall in center. I actually got 2 quick shots where you can see the shadow of the ball on the wall and then in his glove. Curtis will always be one of my favorites. Never liked that trade though AJ is great and seems to be a class guy. Still young.
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All the wheeling and dealing DD’s done lately to me hasn’t accomplished much. Some here may disagree. I just wish he would be more careful disrupting the chemistry it takes a season to develop. The Betamit trade was good but everything after that I’m not real happy with. Too many new faces. Good players gone. The worst loss is Casper. That one really depressed me. I’ll take him over Young for his potential and his defense. He was one of my favorites and I felt like he would have broken the lineup next year. Gone now. Not a big Delmon fan but maybe he’ll grow on us.
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Santiago is showing signs of wearing down. (sarcasm) He can hardly get around the bases these days. (more sarcasm) No power…..OK I’ll stop. Keep it going Ramon. This guy wants some playing time JL.
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It looks like Justin and Alex are literally going to pull these guys into the playoffs.

The funny thing is Betemit has similar career fielding stats as Kelly at 3B – roughly the same error and range rates. Inge also has a similar error rate but a much better range of the three.
No question Betemit’s fielding stats have gone south with his irregular playing time, and having a skip who obviously doesn’t trust you isn’t helping.
Hard to justify keeping his .316/.355/.474 Tig offensive stats out of the lineup.

Penny put that one on a tee for Thome. Rod was right though Delmon crushed it and it was caught and Thome hits it 30 shorter probably and it is a homer. Something just not far about that?

Great comments Marty about the trades and also feel like the team is being dragged along by a few studs. Miggs is also starting to hit again now Young is here, like he did when Boesch was producing at #3.
Wells had a higher extra base hit % than even Cabs.
Can someone remind me how many all stars came from Chisox and the Indians this year?

Boy did Delmon get robbed again

Pass ball by Avila?? Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite us is the ???

I like Kelly but does he think he is Miguel Cabrera. The last couple of games I have seen him swing at the 1st pitch 3 times.

Through 5 Brad is doing pretty well. If not fo Ben Revere Tigers have a few more runs. Typical Tigers we pitch we don’t hit or if we hit we don’t pitch.

Wow. Penny is throwing very well tonight. If he can pitch like that more often than not it will be a huge help.
Tigers are hitting ball hard anyway. It is about time they get to Pavano. He has been a thorn in the Tigers’ side over the years. Not sure how we’ve done recently against him.

Mr. Reliable!!!!!!!

Can I take that back? Bad pitch by Penny. Talk about serving it up.

Dang and just like that its a 3-2 game! :( crap!

You don’t throw the ball up to Canadian hitters!

Brad didn’t give up much today, but what he did it was maximum damage! Crap

BTW—did Leyland notice Ramon going to 3rd on the left-field single early in the game?
Too bad he couldn’t run eh?

What a spot for Elmnon Young. He has been hammering the ball. Just don’t hit it to center Del.

I think down the streach we can expect our starters to bear down similar to how Penny has done tonight. Really, I’d love to see our starters rested a bit more and see Turner and Below worked into the rotation. 3 or 4 home starts as long as we are up on the division against a weaker team. Of course Verlander needs to have 21 or 22 wins for the year at least for the Cy but as a group they need to be rested and focused to make every start special.

I think they are (correctly) close to shutting down Turner. He has been held back twice in Toledo. I can’t see him pitching many more innings this year.
Dark horse for a spot start: Fu Te Ni.

Oooooh, not a good slide BB!!

Boy running into another out at home? Bad lide by Brennen, that head first isn’t good. After tying I up they immediatetly give up a lead off double! Geez :(

Pretty frustrating experience we had with Thome this series.. I know we had the lefty on the hill but I was wondering why we gave anything to hit at all.

Jim Thome hadn’t done squat all year and he has killed us this series. Not sure if this one is in the cards?

Geez Benoit that was too close there!

Tough break on the Cabrera hit. This would sure be a good game to win. But a tough one to be sure.

Tough? It’s gonna kill us if we lose this game.

Would not be surprised to see Magglio PH ifKelly makes it up this inning.
Wow, VMart—what a hitter.

Bags loaded nobody down. Please, do NOT do that peculiar Tiger thing we have seen before this season. You know the one I mean.
Good move with Betemit PHing (I hope) though he is prone to swinging at stuff in the dirt.

WB is a free swinger and will either ding it or earn himself a K.

Come on Tigers!

Okay Betemit tied it up, but we need to go ahead!

At least we got the run but overall a bit disappointing. I really don’t agree with all this 1st pitch swinging by the “ordinary” guys on the team. That should be left for Cabby, VMart late in the game.
JL is proably already wondering about pinch running for Victor. The last time he did that the end results were poor and the game was a long one.

What a freaking waste! Bases loaded no outs and they only manage 1 freaking run!

10 bucks blowing the opportunity the last inning will come back to bite us in the butt! And as I type Valverde botches the bunt by nishioka and betemit just screws that up? Yipie tigers screwing another game up!

Ugly, Ugly Ugly.

Ps revere was out the ump screwed that one up! I love umps!

Dan Dickerson says the guy was clearly out. Should not have been an error. You can see it on the replay. This isn’t looking good to me if we can’t beat the Twins at home.

He was out!

Can Papa do it?
That split finger would look nice for a ground ball.

Heartbreak Hotel.

Drats. The Canadians killed us tonight.
Valverde came close to putting the crowd into a frenzy. We would have won that game if he had been able to get out of it. He has himself to blame with the way he butchered that sac bunt.

again errors and a bad cal by the 1st base ump will probably cost us this game! %$#&*^?!.!%!?@/

Again blowing the opportunities comes back to bite us in the butt! Not to mention Revere bitus in the butt for 3 or so runs.

Oh man—Cabby has been horrible with Nathan. Surprising his numbers are that skewed.

Alex—it’s OK for youu to swing at the 1st pitch here dude!

Crappy ab by Ryan! Its up to you Alex

Son of a ………..! Let’s see you can sum thisone up like this Penny was okay. We got robbed a couple of time by Revere, missed other opportunities had a sloppy play by Valverde a mised call by the ump and here we are. Look bad again! Really unfortunate but predictable, just I thought it would shake out to be Pennys poorly pitched game and it wasnt., he was ok.

I’m guessing by the end of the weekend our lead will be gone or very close to it.

Wow, quite a game. The one run in the bases loaded situation killed us but there were a ton of other opportunities, some lost, some squandered. That blown call at firstbase turned out to be bigger than it looked at the time. That umpire, Hallion, was shaky all night on his calls. A really good ump is a rare thing these days.
So we’ve gotten two of the six good starts I wanted but have already lost my hoped for six game win streak. In total hindsight, I wish he’d pulled Penny after six. I didn’t think that at the time, however. Losing two of three at home to a struggling Minnesota team is no way widen that lead. I’m convinced we won’t win the division in the final week. Someone else will. But then, I predicted 85 wins on opening day. I hate to be right like that. Oh well.

Yes, Penny was OK. He pitched tougher than I’ve seen him pitch. Huge mistake pitch to Tosoni with man on 1st though. Tried to throw it up high thinking he would be bunting.
Nevertheless, If he can keep throwing like he did tonight he might actually help us.
Defense let us down though I hardly consider Valverde as being a qualified as being able to contribute defensively. He certainly is not called upon to provide anything in therms of defense.
Betemit made a good play even if he was tagged with an error on the sac bunt. As mentioned, Revere was out at 1st. Tough play to make to begin with. He may be deficient at 3rd but he did as well as could be expected on that play.
The fact he got an E, will certainly place his butt firmly on the bench as it gives JL the justification he wants to keep doing that.
Tough loss to swallow but let’s face it, this team is not a good all around, cohesive team and it will lose its share of winnable games.

There certianly isn’t any mojo on this team. Very few comeback wins.

That’s an interesting point, Gk. We do make comebacks, but usually earlier in a game, such as Saturday night. When Avila was up in the 9th I imagined what it would be like if he hit a sudden walkoff, but realized we rarely, if ever, have such dramatic strikes. Seems like that’s for the other guys to do.

Well the team won’t win anything if it can’t put together a sustained winning streak that is the result of well played baseball. It doesn’t seem that that is certain to happen, or even probable.
Possible? Maybe.
Things are a little sketchy when you have your manager waiting out the month so he can get Inge back, a 3rd string catcher and a 2nd baseman.

Some folks are going so far as to say that Valverde should NEVER come into a non-save situation. That’s ridiculous. A tie game at home in the 9th is just as big as a save situation and many times it’s more important. So you just leave your top reliever out there to take a nap? Send him home for the night? The fact is, he does do poorly in non-save spots for some reason, but that’s on him, not JL. It’s almost like if it doesn’t end with dancing, Valverde isn’t interested. That’s crazy of course, but that’s how it looks. He’s got to shut them down there, rather than waiting for the bases to be loaded before he starts pitching.
Pinch running for Martinez is another sound move. Victor runs like he’s 60 years old and sometimes you need a run right now. It’s only Tiger luck that assures he’ll be needed for another AB later in a game that should already be over. JL does many things wrong IMO, but these two in-game moves aren’t among them.

Heck Rich, I would have him earning his keep selling peanuts until a save situation comes around. :-)

For those who might like the odd stat or two, and also a good read, don’t miss Tony Paul’s article on Justin and Kirk Gibson.
Ah Kirk, where would we be with him…. Scary thought.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20110818/OPINION03/108180424/According-to-stats–no-one-more-valuable-than-Justin-Verlander

We all know Avila needs a break behind the plate, just as his bat comes on strong again.
Amazing then that 335 AB’s are only 19 more than Raburn hitting .231/.266/.392 to go with a metal glove.
Then again Maggs was trotted out 293 occasions to slug .299, sadly less than his career .308 batting average.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you felt after each trade that we were getting closer to creating the race horse and not the camel.
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We just lose too many games. I’m not counting on the Division title any more. We’ll be lucky to come in third. Haven’t had a serious win streak in ages. Now, the talk is all about Verlander being named CY and MVP. He could be, but I think the talk is all about distracting the fans when we don’t win the division, just like when Magglio won the batting title in ’07.

All those people, mostly national media, who predicted Tigers to win the division based on their “easier” schedule are seeing the folly of their ways after this week. The remainder of the season will be packed with games just….like….last….night’s. But we drew another 30k+ crowd and that’s job #1. The carnival rides, mascot, face painting, promotions, and FSD girls are paying off. Attendance has spiked since Shannon Hogan began doing fan interviews during the games. It’s a successful franchise.
And don’t take this post seriously, at least not the second part.

I think you are spot on Pup. The Detroit sports media is awash of articles re Justin and his MVP type numbers.
This is not the time.
Perhaps we would be firmly esconced in 1st place if the debate were more about whether or not we could award the MVP to a manager!
JL is not having an MVP season.
JL won the Manager of the year in 2006.
Since then in 4 years of voting by 28 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, he has “managed” to get ONE 3rd place vote.
One vote (for 3rd place mind you) out of 112 total ballots. No votes in 2010, 2008 or 2007. In 2009 he came in 6th place among American League managers. The single 3rd place vote he got that year undoubtedly came from one of the 2 voting members from the Detroit press corp of that year.

Sure, Justin will get his 20 wins and probable get the CY. But watch those crowds wither up and die if we get swept by the Indians, lose to Tampa and then face the Twins again in Minny without dominating performances. MVP’s go to players who get you to the WS or at least close to it. He can’t do it by himself.

Sorry that should read 56 voting members ( 2 from each major league city)

So that is 224 ballots and one 3rd place vote.

Yes, I am retired.

Attendance will drop anyway once school starts and the weather turns.
Regarding Verlander and MVP, no way that happens. That’s going to Gonzalez or one of the other Red Sox or Yankees. Justin should win the Cy however. He’s hands down the best pitcher in the AL.
Wanted to expand on something I said earlier. If the Tigers are to win the division, they will have to win it by 5 to 7 games. If they go into that final week needing to win those games, they won’t get it done. That’s my take on it, for what it’s worth.
The precedent is the final days of 2009 when just about the only games we won were the Verlander starts, not counting that miracle performance by Eddie Bonine against the Twins. Here in 2011, we’re already starting to fall into that rut of only being a good team when JV toes the rubber. In other words, these games NOW are terribly important, IMO.

I was sorta being sarcastic the other day when I implied Leyland is just going through the motions with Betemit until he gets his favorite son Inge back…but now he has admitted as much.

Favoritism to washed-up vets and to his own bizarre hunches =

This team will never win a division with Jim Leyland as manager.

Betimit isn’t batting THAT well – Inge’s Defense is highly superior and if his bat is just as hot as Betimit….then you play Inge

Inge’s bat is just as hot as Betemits. If only we could convince our opposition to bring up AAA pitchers to face him then it would be a valid comment. Inge’s major league average this year is what forced the Tigers to trade for a journeyman 3B.
Also, Inge’s defense, while better than Betemit and Kelly, has diminished with his age. Inge can no longer secure a roster spot with defense alone. There are plenty of slick fielding infielders thoughout the minor leagues.

fair enough but Inge could come back and bat at betimit’s level….but after rich’s calculations (see below) i doubt it. point taken.

Danny Worth

The offensive numbers on Betemit since he’s joined the Tigers, breaking it out to a full season for relative value:
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AB 568
H 162
2B 28
HR 18
RBI 108
BA .316
OBP .349
SLG .474
and
226 Ks and amazingly………..
28 runs scored. That would be 28 runs scored for an entire season with the above numbers! Somebody isn’t knocking him in……………

Inge’s bat being “hot” in 2011 in the actual MLB is an oxymoron. It hasn’t happened all year, and I’d a bet a beer or two, it will not happen all year.

was he or was he not an all star a while back?

Brandon has cooled a bit lately with the Hens. That could be very normal though. Everyone falls into periods of excess and definciency.
Overall he has performed bettre at the the plate than I though he would.

Pup, that’s really a very good article. If you don’t mind I will post it here so that folks who don’t like to link out can see it. This puts the “S” in SOC for sure:
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“How Jim Leyland is hurting the Tigers
August, 18, 2011
Aug 1811:19AM ETEmailPrintComments252By David SchoenfieldWednesday night’s Tigers lineup, including each player’s on-base percentage.

Andy Dirks, .301
Brennan Boesch, .346
Delmon Young, .309
Miguel Cabrera, .427
Victor Martinez, .375
Alex Avila, .391
Jhonny Peralta, .356

You can use whatever metric you prefer — wOBA or true average or EqA. No matter how you slice it, Detroit’s best hitters have been, in order: Cabrera, Avila, Peralta, Martinez, Boesch and then a big drop to Dirks and regular leadoff hitter Austin Jackson. So with several good lineup options, Jim Leyland has instead chosen to bat two players with poor on-base percentages in front of his best hitter. And he continues to bat his second- and third-best hitters sixth and seventh.

As we’ve mentioned before, batting order isn’t that important; but it has some importance, even if it’s just 10 runs over the course of a season. Guys lower in the batting order do receive fewer at-bats and that adds up over a season. Take last night: the Tigers lost 6-5, and Peralta received one fewer plate appearance than the inferior Dirks and Young. Would that one plate appearance have made a difference?

Look at where the Tigers rank in the AL in OBP by batting order position:

No. 1: 11th (.306)
No. 2: 10th (.318)
No. 3: 13th (.323)
No. 4: 1st (.426)
No. 5: 6th (.342)
No. 6: 1st (.350)
No. 7: 2nd (.326)
No. 8: 5th (.323)
No. 9: 11th (.278)

The Tigers continue to have some of the worst production in the league from the top three positions. Young, owner of a .323 career OBP, is not the solution. Jackson does not get on base enough to warrant batting leadoff on a playoff contender. Speed is nice, but getting on base is nicer.”

Last night I flipped on MLB network to check on scores and the guys were talking about some pitcher whose name I don’t recall. Like I said, just checking on scores. Then someone remarked about a certain player (not a Tiger) being rested. Oh, man you should have hear them. Charlie Manual isn’t resting anybody. No way! Not in a stretch runl He wants guys that want the ball, he wants guys who want the ball in October etc.,etc., etc. I had to chuckle.

keep your players healthy until you need to mash on the gas pedal. we are in first right now, and pretty healthy. The time to only play your best players may be soon however.

Big article on Valverde at the Tigers MLB website. The guy has been so good in save situations this year. BUT, The “SOC” continues to put him into games that are non-save situations whre is record and performance is decidedly different. Hence the poor Won-Loss. His ERA in non-save situations is very high. Yet, JL has this baseball axiom in his head that you pitch your closer at home in a tie game.
It would seem to me that our manager SHOULD be aware of these things:
In save situations: 35-35, 0.51 ERA, 0.971 WHIP;
In non-save situations: 21G, 2-4, 17R, 14ER, 6.88 ERA, 1.80 WHIP

I’m going to put that on Valverde himself. He needs to be effective in any important situation, not just saves. It can’t be only “get a big cheer when I run onto the field and dance at the end.” I think the axiom is a fairly solid one, that is, use your supposedly best reliever since there won’t be a save in that game anyway. That said, JL could have sent Benoit back out for the 9th on Wednesday night.
Also, there are two kinds of non-save situations. One is where the closer just needs some work. Most closers don’t do well there. The other is the tie game scenario. Any closer worth his salt should do well there. If Valverde can’t handle that (and I have no proof one way or the other), we need a better closer.
It’s rare when I back JL up on his decisions because I think he’s no longer close to being a good manager, if he ever was in the first place. But that’s nothing new. He should step down at season’s end rather than make DD fire him.

Well my contention is that we have a manager that loses more games than he wins. Is there a WAR for managers?!
He repeats mistakes repeatedly, over and over again repetitously reiterating and rehashing and regurgitating a reprise.
The team needs needs more than a players’ manager. It needs a brilliant baseball strategist, one that every much a possible part of a positive outcome as one of his players.
One who sees the realitiess and flaws in his team and corrects or compensates for them, not beating them like a dead horse.
The Tigers are close but a flawed team under the direction of a flawed manager really is pushing a boulder uphill.

er, make that 35/35 saves.

…but is it right to continue to insert Valverde into that situation after 21 appearances and expect a different result? True, Valverde might have an issue when approaching non-saves – but there’s still a choice of whether to put him into that position. Dan’s stats speak for themselves – and I think that 33/33 saves is awesome. Anything after that is a bonus… a SUPER bonus.

is it OK to put valverde in if you’re trying to get him some work cuz he hasn’t pitched in 4 days?

There are many baseball “rules” that JL follows that drive me crazy. Lefty – righty, etc. But bringing Papa into a tie game in the 9th or extra innings at home is not one of them. That is a save situation in my mind even though it wont count in the stat book as one. His team needs him to shut it down so they can have a shot at a walkoff win. He needs to have the same frame of mind and get it done. I also agree with saving the closer on the road in extra inning games until we take the lead in the top of the inning.
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There are many other decisions that JL makes every game that show me is not a great manager. We have documented them to death so there is no need to rehash them now.
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Big weekend. Once again, what I think will happen and what I expect are two different things. Please surprise me.
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Go Tigers.
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— Bob

There are two issues here (getting a closer some work is not one of them).
The first is does JL make bad moves on a chronic basis? Absolutely. It’s to the point where we think everything he does is wrong even when it might not be. But usually the moves that are commented on range from bad to terrible.
The second issue is using a closer in the top of the ninth or after in a tied home game. Normally that’s exactly what you do. In this case, we’d need Valverde’s track record in these situations only before deciding whether he should be used that way. Is there any way to obtain that?
Is this a cry for help to the man with the big “S” on his chest, Stat Dave? Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s………just a bunch of numbers? ;-)

It’s all about awareness. How aware is JL of things he doesn’t want to hear? Boesch batting 3rd vs 2nd, AJ leading off, Betemit, Raburn, Santiago, Coke, Guillen, Ordonez.
It alwasys take too long for the guy to finally do the right thing..
Enough about JL, we have enough troubles of our own to deal with on the ball field

I’m looking forward to a prompt reply.The answer is zero.I beg your pardon.I’ll furnish my house with furniture.See you.I have a large collection of CDs.I have a large collection of CDs.Come on.After you.We reached London this afternoon.

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