Results tagged ‘ Brandon Inge ’

Inge out 4-6 weeks with broken bone in left hand

The Tigers lost a key cog in their division hopes Monday, when Brandon Inge suffered a fractured bone in his left hand that is expected to sideline him for 4-6 weeks.
Inge was batting in the third inning with two men on base and two outs when Scott Feldman’s 1-1 fastball rode up and in on him. Inge shook off the injury and remained in the game for the fourth inning before Don Kelly replaced him at third base for the top of the fifth. 
X-rays taken on Inge revealed what the Tigers called a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal — essentially a fractured bone near the base of Inge’s pinky finger.
It’s a potentially big blow to a Tigers ballclub trying to stay close in the three-way race atop the American League Central. Inge tripled and scored in the second inning to raise his average to .263 on the season with six home runs and 40 RBIs. His defense, meanwhile, has been a big part of the Tigers infield since he regained his starting job at third near the end of 2008.
Inge was an All-Star last season but struggled over the final three months with meniscus microtears in both of his knees. He underwent double knee surgery last November and made it back in time for Opening Day, but only in the last month or so have his legs finally felt around full strength.
The Tigers don’t have an obvious replacement at the hot corner in the farm system. Most likely, the duties will fall on Kelly and Ryan Raburn, utilitymen who can count third base among the many positions they can handle. Kelly bats left-handed, while Raburn is a right-handed hitter.

Wednesday: Tigers at Angels

Alex Avila is back in the lineup for the third time in four days against Jered Weaver, who has held Gerald Laird to 1-for-15 in his career. Manager Jim Leyland pointed out the hard line drives Laird hit right at defenders Tuesday, but 1-for-15 is 1-for-15.

Brandon Inge, meanwhile, gets a game off. He’s 2-for-10 against Weaver, though Leyland talked about the cool, rainy conditions among the reasons to give him this night off. Don Kelly is at third.
TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, LF
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Kelly, 3B
  7. Avila, C
  8. Santiago, SS
  9. Sizemore, 2B
P: Jeremy Bonderman
ANGELS
  1. Erick Aybar, SS
  2. Bobby Abreu, RF (8-for-14 off Bonderman)
  3. Torii Hunter, CF (14-for-33 off Bonderman)
  4. Hideki Matsui, DH (12-for-24, 3 HRs off Bonderman)
  5. Kendry Morales, 1B
  6. Juan Rivera, LF
  7. Howie Kendrick, 2B
  8. Mike Napoli, C
  9. Brandon Wood, 3B
P: Jered Weaver

Thursday: Tigers at Royals

Well, if Brandon Inge held out any hope of playing in all 162 games this season, his dreams are in serious jeopardy. Don Kelly gets the start at third base today, while Ryan Raburn starts at second. Carlos Guillen is the left fielder, with Johnny Damon getting a day at DH.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, LF
  6. Raburn, 2B
  7. Kelly, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Willis

Inge feeling good in the field

For all the tests Brandon Inge has been through this spring, his sliding stop and throw at third base Saturday was his first acrobatic play since coming back from surgery on his knees. And he came through it feeling fine, much to his relief.

“When I say I’m 90 percent [certain I'm healthy], it’s stuff like that I’m not sure about,” Inge said Sunday morning.

Inge had Sunday’s game off after playing in 12 games over the previous 15 days. He’ll be back in action Monday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

Inge could rest a little more early in season

Brandon Inge might’ve had one of his first highlight plays of the spring when he went to the dirt to stop Ramiro Pena’s sharp grounder and then throw him out at first. He got up from it fine, but Leyland says highlight plays don’t worry him.

“I think I am concerned more about playing a lot right off the bat [in] cold weather, damp weather, rain delays. I’m more concerned about that than I am about any particular play.” Leyland said.

He’ll take that into account, he said, when he’s making out his lineup cards in April.

“He’s bullheaded, like he always is, and that’s one of the reasons he’s good,” Leyland said. “But I’m also going to watch it, because I can see from time to time. If you really watch close, you can tell it’s not just right, if you really watch close. But it’s good, and he’ll be ready to go. And I don’t want him to start thinking, because he’s swinging good right now. Obviously he’s not going to be a part-time player, but I’ll just use common sense. … He’s not going to want it, but I’m going to do it.”

Asked who his next-best defensive third baseman is, Leyland said, “Probably Belliard, Rafael Belliard.”

Saturday: Tigers split squads vs. Yankees, at Mets

Marchant Stadium.jpgThe Tigers split up today for the first time this spring. Two games, two different parts of the state, two different broadcasts. I’m at the home game against the split-squad Yankees, which is on WXYT in Detroit and MLB Gameday Audio online starting at 1:05. The other game is the 1:10 matchup against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, which is being broadcast in New York. That game is on MLB.TV as well as Gameday Audio.

The home game, as expected, has Brandon Inge in the starting lineup at third base for the first time all spring. Dontrelle Willis will make the start as originally planned before Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson get in their innings that they lost with Friday’s rainout.

The top of the batting order looks funny for two reasons. First, Jim Leyland talked a couple days ago about moving Scott Sizemore higher up in the order to get him the chance at an extra at-bat without wearing him down and overtaxing his ankle. Second, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen are with the other split squad today.

TIGERS

  1. Sizemore, 2B
  2. Damon, DH (clean-shaven, looks like the beard isn’t happening)
  3. Jackson, CF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Thomas, RF
  6. Raburn, LF
  7. Laird, C
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Everett, SS

P: Dontrelle Willis, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson

YANKEES

  1. Derek Jeter, SS
  2. Nick Swisher, RF
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  5. Marcus Thames, LF
  6. Francisco Cervelli, C
  7. Jamie Hoffman, CF
  8. David Winfree, DH
  9. Eduardo Nunez, 2B

P: Chad Gaudin

No return to Lakeland today for Curtis Granderson. He’s with the Yankees’ other split squad back in Tampa to face the Orioles.

Inge to play Saturday

Just announced today on a rainy day in Clearwater: Brandon Inge will get his first start in Saturday’s split-squad game against the Yankees and play three innings. That’s more than a week ahead of the original timetable, but it’s something Inge had clearly been pushing for.

Inge said a couple days ago that he felt like he could play by the end of the week, and that he’d be in the lineup already if this was the regular season. Leyland said a day or two ago that Inge would be back at some point in the next 10 days.

Inge ahead of schedule (surprise)

Nobody can really be surprised that Brandon Inge is trying to beat the timetable that would have him and his surgically repaired knees playing in Spring Training games by mid-March. He’s just that kind of athlete, and he gets that bored sitting around.

What might be surprising, though, are the reports that he’s hitting well. The bad habits he developed at the plate down the stretch last year to compensate for his knees were relatively easy to shake, Inge said, because they all involved his lower body rather than his hands.

He might get a chance to practice that hitting sooner than his fielding. Manager Jim Leyland said there’s a chance Inge could get some games at DH before he plays at third base.

“He has that foundation and everything. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue,” Leyland said of any bad habits in Inge’s hitting mechanics.

Inge agreed. He said he fought off an inside pitch that would’ve troubled him late last year, and he knew then that his lower body strength was back.

Leyland is already dreading the question over how many games Inge will play once the regular season arrives. His knees beg the debate over how often to rest him, but as Leyland readily points out, Inge wants to play every game.

“I can tell you he’s not going to play every game,” Leyland said, “but he goes bananas when he doesn’t play.”

More from today:

  • Interesting that Leyland says they have three starters set, rather than four, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the fourth spot is up for grabs. If Jeremy Bonderman remains healthy and has even a decent spring, that slot is his. Of all the high-contract, low-production starters, he’s in a little different position than Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis.
  • Rain forced the Tigers to work out indoors Saturday morning. That meant no live BP, with hitters swinging in the cages instead. Pitchers still got in their scheduled throwing work.
  • Leyland said he’s still debating what kind of lineup to trot out against Florida Southern in their annual exhibition next Tuesday. He usually has started his regulars and gotten them an at-bat before taking them out. But don’t expect Leyland to hold out Scott Sizemore for injury reasons. If he can’t play against Florida Southern, Leyland said, then he can’t play against Toronto the next day.
  • Jose Valverde will out of camp for a few days due to a death in his family.
  • Leyland said Justin Verlander has not paid up from their friendly PFP competition. “Nah, I’ll let him off the hook,” Leyland said. “He’s hurting a little bit for money now.”

Inge expects to play full games by camp's end

Brandon Inge most likely isn’t going to be at 100 percent strength when Spring Training opens next month. He might not even be able to play much when Spring Training games begin at the start of March.

“Even if I am, I don’t think they would let me start playing games right away,” Inge said.

If he keeps on this rehab track, though, he should be fully ready by the end of camp.

“The initial projection was that I’m playing in full games by the last two weeks of spring,” Inge said. “And I talked to the doctor today, and he said it looks like I’m ahead of schedule.”

That schedule now has him cleared to start doing baseball activities, which is huge news for Inge.

The All-Star third baseman underwent surgery in October to repair torn meniscus in both knees, injuries which hobbled him for the season’s second half and turned a promising start into a helpless finish. The recovery process has been excruciating for him.

A year ago at this time, Inge was working on a revamped swing with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, making the adjustments that set up that fast start. Not only has he not been able to swing, he hasn’t been able to run.

Only now has he been able to do light jogging.

Right after the surgery, Inge said, “I had braces from my ankles all the way up to my thighs. It was two weeks of hell, that’s for sure. And to be able to at least walk around and jog around and do some baseball activities now, that’s exciting.”

The Tigers will be more excited once he’s able to play full games. That’ll be his last hurdle to being ready for Opening Day.

Inge to have surgery on both knees

Just got confirmation from the Tigers, who say Inge will have surgery on both knees, which Inge did not confirm Wednesday night. He’s still expected to be ready for the start of spring training. Team physician Dr. Stephen Lemos will perform the surgery Nov. 3 at Detroit Medical Center.

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