Moments after the 4-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced that third baseman Brandon Inge was being recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Outfielder Andy Dirks will be optioned to make room on the active roster.
Inge, who was designated for assignment a little more than three weeks ago, has been hitting well with the Mud Hens since accepting his assignment. The plan had been that he would re-join the team on September 1, but as Leyland noted, the Tigers will face a handful of lefthanders over the next couple of weeks and they want Inge’s bat available to them.
Dirks will see regular playing time with the Mud Hens, something that doesn’t figure to happen in Detroit barring an injury. Inge, on the other hand, will play regularly versus left handed pitching while Wilson Betemit will see action against right handers. Inge, again according to Leyland, will also be used as a defensive replacement for Betemit in game in which the Tigers hold a lead late.
In optioning Dirks, the Tigers had made two distinctions. The first is that Don Kelly‘s role will change significantly from one where he was seeing a good deal of time the third baseman. That role will now be taken by Inge. Kelly essentially replaces Dirks as the team’s fourth outfielder. The biggest sacrifice the Tigers have made with this move, however, is that they are content to go with a 24-man roster. By keeping Magglio Ordonez, that’s essentially what they’ve decided to do.