Tigers place Inge on 15-day DL (updated)

After all the speculation this spring about Brandon Inge’s future with the Tigers, the longest-tenured Tiger will open the season on the disabled list. The Tigers placed Inge on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.

The move, coupled with the fact that Drew Smyly will start the season at Triple-A Toledo, essentially completes the Tigers’ 25-man Opening Day roster. Infielder Danny Worth and outfielders Andy Dirks and Clete Thomas all make the team, though the Tigers will have to make another roster move to make room for Smyly in time for his scheduled Major League debut April 12. They’ll also have another roster move when Inge is ready to come off the disabled list.

The one formality left is for the Tigers to place reliever Al Alburquerque on the disabled list. He’s recovering from offseason elbow surgery, and though he should be cleared to begin a throwing program in the coming days, he isn’t expected to be ready to pitch until the All-Star break.

As for Inge, the move is retroactive to last Friday, March 30. He’ll be eligible to be activated on April 14 for the second game of their first road series at the White Sox. Inge fully expects to be ready by that point, and the Tigers fully expect to activate and use him.

Manager Jim Leyland said before Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays that once Inge is ready, he’ll be activated from the DL and play most days at second base against left-handed starting pitchers. Ryan Raburn, who will garner most of the playing time at second base against right-handed pitchers, will likely play another position against lefties, either DH or left field, in order to get in Inge or Ramon Santiago for an extra right-handed bat.

For his part, Inge expected to be ready for Opening Day in two days, but he couldn’t guarantee it.

“I don’t have a doubt that in two days, this [strain] is going to be out of here,” Inge said. “But they wanted to see me play in today’s game.”

Inge understood why. To make that choice, he said, “They would have to go by chance [that he would ready], and I understand where they’re coming from. I could probably be ready, and that’s the key word: Probably.”

Thus ends, for now, what had been a bubbling issue in public surrounding Inge’s status. Bottom line, Inge has made the squad.

Inge came to camp six weeks ago given the chance to compete for the starting job at second base, trying to fit his way into the mix of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago while Miguel Cabrera took over at third.

Defensively, Inge handled the move better than the Tigers could’ve expected, but the long-running question of whether Inge could hit lingered. He struggled at the plate with a .180 batting average (9-for-50), three doubles, a home run and two RBIs.

Asked Tuesday how he would evaluate his spring, Inge sounded some signs for encouragement.

“A lot of good things,” he said. “I can’t aim it after I hit it. I hit it hard. I played second well. That’s what they wanted to see. I’m fine with it. Nothing I can do about anything else. All decisions are out of my hands.”

Tigers officials echoed the belief that Inge made better contact than the stats would suggest, noting that the strikeout rate was down, albeit in a small sample size compared with regular-season stats from the previous few years.

The combination of Inge’s offensive struggles and encouraging springs from Raburn as well as utility infielder Worth led to speculation about Inge’s status for the past two weeks. He’s in the last year of his contract, with a $5.5 million salary and a $500,000 buyout of his option year for 2013, but the Tigers had shown a willingness to absorb that when they designated him for assignment last July before he agreed to take a stint at Triple-A Toledo.

Any trade speculation died quickly when the Phillies decided to go in another direction to fill their second-base void in the wake of All-Star Chase Utley’s injury.

In the end, however, Leyland and the Tigers see a role for Inge on this club. The question surrounding Inge over the final stages of camp involved was more how he would be used rather than whether he would make the team.

“I think he can be very effective against left-handed pitching,” Leyland said.

Inge said he has handled the situation “same as normal. Just playing the game. I’m just doing what I always do. But it’s part of it. I’m just going to make the most of whatever.”

37 Comments

So everybody is in: Thomas, Dirks, Worth.Until april the 13 th.

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as we expected – and I would think an optimal situation for all players involved.
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Anyone going to the Tigers Mudhens game tomorrow?

J Worn hit it on the head: “The disabled list move is a smoke bomb tossed into the decision making room that has clouded the options and cleared a path for an exit out the back door.”

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when the player, formerly known as the starting 3b for the Tigers, is ready to come off the DL, fully expect for Worth to be optioned. it’s such a curiosity to me that much attention is directed toward a veteran reserve player in the twilight of his career.
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the real games need to begin to help dilute this fixation on one or two spots at the end of the roster.

Glad to see the boys are about ready for the season. The roster situation will work itself out in a couple of weeks. I’m heading to the hens/tigers tomorrow hopefully see a few balls launched onto Monroe street. I’ll be at the big opening day Thursday as well upper deck right behind the plate, I’ll be the guy in a tigers hat ;-) Lets go Tigers

Thank God, a voice of reason. How Brandon Inge became the potential undoing of a championship-caliber team is beyond me. Luis Marte’s injury is a much bigger situation than Inge or Worth. Nationally, nobody cares about this.

At least we finally know what the intitial roster will be.
I don’t buy the Oliver Stone-ish “fake injury” business, but it does convenienty give management a chance to deal him. If he’s deal-able.

Robertson was “traded”. Milton Bradley was traded, once and again. Vernon Wells too. And Alex Rios.
Hey, Ugueth Urbina was traded …and for Polanco.
There is a GM born every minute…

Amazing how much press Brandon is getting. Whatever his fate with the team is, I hope this doesn’t linger past DL. Not an Inge fan, but I feel for him. This can’t be easy after all these years with a team he clearly loves.

Tigers – grow up – Inge wont help you – time to cut the cord – offer him a coaching job in the organization if he is truly loyal to this team, he will accept it.

maybe he can be the person in the PAWS suit…..he’s got the moves…..

even more reason to hate PAWS

I’m thinking they’ll send him for a rehab assignment. If he hits they bring him up. if not they cut him.

damn Miggy is a BAD bad bad mamajama

It is unreal to me to see how negative everyone is about Inge. In every profession there is always the younger, newer, fresher group that people flock to like cattle. What a shame; experience and seniority in anything (yes even baseball) should ALWAYS count for something and should count even more with an all around great athlete like Inge; shame on u traitors that bail so easily, maybe you will find yourselves in your own jobs replaced by someone just because of them being the cool new and young one.

Experience and seniority do count for something in baseball. After a player can no longer get it done physically, they go into coaching, front office, media, etc. Or do you think Jim Leyland should be the Tigers’ catcher?

This is my absolute last comment regarding BI. Of course experience and seniority count for something. I was in a union for 30 years, but I had to perform. I took college classes, taught a computer class, learned how to use a computer and took required computer training courses. Some refused to do so. After 30 years, my skills were top-notch. I left at the top of my game, so to speak. I wasn’t a drag on my boss or department. I would be now, however (at least, in some offices). My brain isn’t quite as quick and my hands get shaky sometimes. I’d be slow. There are other jobs I can perform very well alongside some cool new and younger employees (50% of them ignore customers and text constantly). And, when I can’t do my job at the level I expect from myself, I’ll resign. Go Tigers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If your job guaranteed you $6 million, would you resign?

I don’t know. Jim Leland did in Colorado. Left the $$$ on the table. He’s guaranteed the money even if he gets “fired.”

He..,..meaning BI would still get 6 mil, not JL.

Kelley this is Baseball.
It has nothing to do with cool, new, and young.
It has to do with Inge being a horrendous hitter.
He’s a career .235 hitter! That in no way deserves a spot on this roster. He has no potential and no upside. He is what he is. Stats don’t lie.
Santiago has a .249 career average and is a great infielder. He has just as much seniority as Inge. Does that mean he should start?
Danny Worth is a career .259 hitter and has upside and potential and plays 3 IF positions very well.
Before the Fielder signing Inge said he’s not going to be a nice guy any more.
That’s Class! That’s leadership! That’s what the Tigers need! (sarcasm)
I would have cut him right there and then.
That’s why I can’t stand Inge.
As a season ticket holder I enjoy watching the young guys. Not egotistical poor ballplayers like Inge.

Hey Inge haters, did you ever hear of a guy named Tom Brookins. You know dummies the guy who is the Tiger’s First Base Coach. He was a defensive specialist, couldn’t hit a lick. I realize you can’t recognize it but Inge is (or was) one of the best defensive Third Baseman in the league. He still would be but then DD and JL really don’t give a damn about defense just like the Inge haters. You with short memories, recall last season when DD went after Wilson Betimet and sent Inge down. All hit and no defense. They had to bring Inge back. Its about time you open your eyes, the key to winnig is great pitching, great defense and good offense. Of course not in the world of DD and JL.

I don’t hate Inge. However Brookens was a much better hitter than Inge. Inge, even in the BEST case scenario, is not the defender at 2B that Santiago is, and is nowhere the hitter Raburn is. That is why he should be waived. Also, Don Kelly is the backup 3B, not Inge. Lastly, Worth in 2012 is a better defensive 3B than Inge. It is that simple.

5 years ago, Inge was an incredible defensive 3B and a hot and cold power hitter. Today, well, I just don’t see it.

I’ve enjoyed watching Inge play through years and have respected his competitiveness. His stats indicate that he has lost his ability to sustain play at the major league level. If he really wishes the Tigers to succeed, he should retire and spare the organization the trouble of going through the motions for him. Go out like a pro and all will wish you well :)

Do you want to compare the defensive skills of Cabrera with Inge? Of course not. Even Leyland isn’t that blind, so he makes the statement that he will not pull Cabrera from 3rd Base even in late innings in a close game. Inge is still excellent at 3rd and apparently 2nd Bases.

Inge is an aging veteran with very limited offensive skills. His defense can be spectacular but does not warrant a full or part-time job when you compare him to his mates. Best case scenario is for someone needing a RHB 3rd baseman with minimal priority on offensive production. I would like to see Brandon go out with dignity and respect. 3rd base for another team is his best option for that.

Tom Brokens shared 3b with Bárbaro Garvey ( who was under supervision of MLB for accusations of fixing games back in Cuba) until his Ba went down.Darrel Evans who was not able to play 1b for 9 innings. Howard Jhonson who hated Detroit and wanted to go out asap.Marty Castillo the backup catcher who made the last out of the WS .
Why?Because Sparky tought that 3b was for a power hitter. He wanted Mike Schmidt or Bob Horner. They developed HoJO for that but the ended with Brokens because they saw HoJo will never play well for them and traded him for Terrell.

I never knew that about Barbaro Garvey. He was one of my favorites. One of the great names for baseball, I can still hear Ernie calling his name when coming to the batters box.

http://baseballhistoryblog.com/2150/barbaro-garbey/

The photo in the post shows him with Aguilas del Zulia. He was the batting coach last season here in Maracaibo.
He was allowed to left Cuba during the Mariel crisis because of that

Uh……..people………..Opening Day? Tigers favored to win it all? Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera? All-everything Justin Verlander? Why in the bleep do we keep talking about Inge????? Why should anyone care???

Thank God, another voice of reason. Thanks, Rich.

Inge has been talking bad luck. Hit the ball hard? Thats really comical. Doesn’t he know people do watch and listen. If Leyland and Dombrowsky send Worth down they really will disgust many fans……maybe some Tiger players. And it appears Dirks is in the same situation. Both he and Worth are no-brainers.

Its a no-brainer!!! Inge and Thomas have proven they DO NOT belong in the TIger Dug-out !!!

I can only surmise that Inge has video of DD & Smoky performing with a Shetland pony and has threatened to go public with it should they release him. If there’s another reason why he’s still around, it eludes me.

Poor Bob, he has never heard of a guy named Illich. You know Bob, the guy who actually owns the Tigers? Oh I admit DD and Smoky are not geniuses but they do know who writes their checks. Mike loves Inge because he’s a real athlete and loyal. You may recall that Inge has been there in the good times and the bad times and has been forced to play many positions to help the team. You do know Bob that baseball is a Team game and Inge has been the ultimate team player. Oh by the way Inge is one hell of a good defensive player. Miggy already has one error in one game, want to bet that he ends up with at least 30+ errors and costs the Tigers at least 6 games. Recall the Tigers tried him at 3rd B before. He’s not good. Of course he will win many games with his bat.

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