Time For Inge To Go (Part 2)

Back in January, shortly after the surprise signing of Prince Fielder, I suggested that Brandon Inge should ultimately part ways with the Detroit Tigers organization, mostly because I assumed that his attitude toward losing his job at third base would leave him sulking around the team clubhouse, while not really contributing at all to the success of the upcoming season that us fans are very much looking forward to.

If I thought he had to go just for that, it’ll be that much easier to let him loose just based on his play alone this spring.

For a guy who needs to be putting up some decent offensive numbers (even if it is spring training baseball), he’s not exactly doing his job. In 13 games this spring, he’s batting .200 in 35 AB’s, has only 1 HR (a solo shot, because he has only 1 RBI to go with it), 7 total hits with 3 total extra base hits (2 doubles)… and with 2 walks, his OBP is an unhealthy .243. Even if we have to resign ourselves to the horror that could be, the team’s defense this season, there’s no real reason to keep Inge and his awful bat around this season.

As talk may have it, Danny Worth may be the guy who’s possibly on the flip side of the coin on who stays with the big club come time for the final 25-man roster.

Of course, if I have to choose from either player, I’m going to take Worth. He’s having a better spring at the plate, batting .292 (.370 OBP). But for realism purposes, neither player would be starting at 2nd base, and Worth isn’t much of a defensive liability either. Each has 1 error this spring, but that will likely mean nothing in this new found offense first, defense later kind of lineup the Tigers currently have.

Danny Worth

And never mind the contract either. Inge is making $5.5MM this season, and will likely make the $500,000 buyout for next season. But really, the money owed to him is of no matter, as the Tigers designated Inge for assignment last year, essentially telling him and the rest of the world, that they’ll be happy cutting him the rest of his paychecks as long as no one has to watch him hit a lazy pop up into foul territory. But let’s face it: Inge has never been the complete player he showed us to be during his all-star season of 2009, a season which after that appearance, he was putrid at the plate. It was revealed that he was playing on two shredded knees, and his offense… whatever that was in the past, was certainly no more.

Inge will be 35 in May, and it’s likely that unless he puts his ego in check and accepts what will likely be a minor league career for the rest of his baseball playing days, his career as a Tiger should be over. Even putting him deep on the bench only to come in for defensive purposes seems unfair to the youth that could come in and take his place and be more useful on both sides of the field. Let him go, and transition to the future, and quit living in the past with Brandon Inge.

Topics: Brandon Inge, Danny Worth, Detroit Tigers, Spring Training

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  • ChrisHannum

    I don’t see the point in cutting Inge (or anyone else) just because someone else could do his job equally well. Danny Worth projects to. 230/.289/.330 in 2012, Inge to. 226/.305/.358. For both that’s worse than weak-hitting Santiago, so neither one should see much playing time. For a right-handed pinch hitter and late-inning defensive replacement, Inge will do.

    • Bob1951

       @ChrisHannum I don’t pretend to be as omniscient as you Chris, but I ‘project’ that Inge will suck this year (if he makes the team) just as he has for the last few years running, and that conclusion is based on the hard facts of seasons past, not on some mystical clairvoyance that I do not possess.

      • ChrisHannum

         @Bob1951 I’m not going from any mystical clairvoyance of my own, only the mystical clairvoyance of experts out there who do this for a living.  Everyone projects that Brandon Inge will suck this year, Bob.  The only point I’m trying to get across is that they also project that Danny Worth will suck – and they think that because his minor league track record mostly sucks.

        • Bob1951

           @ChrisHannum Ah yes, those infallible experts. Like those who told us WMD’s were in Iraq and that the war would be over in 3 months, the ones who couldn’t predict the greatest economic collapse since 1929, etc. Experts all. I think you need something stronger to base your projections on than ‘experts’ Chris.

        • jgorosh

           @Bob1951 couldnt be more unrelated. I’m all for Worth over Inge, but the argument comparing WMD’s and economic collapses have nothing to do with baseball. If you go look at player projections as an aggregate, you’ll see that they do a pretty good job.

        • ChrisHannum

           @Bob1951 Experts are all I’ve got, fallible or in.

        • jgorosh

           @ChrisHannum  @Bob1951 Plus, the examples listed are just speculation. These projections use historical and empirical data. 

  • Bob1951

    Finally someone talking sense on this site about the abominable Inge. Even if all the Inge apologists on this site are correct and Worth projects only slightly better than Inge, the fact remains that he has youthful exuberance and the drive to improve on his side, whereas Inge is in his mid 30′s and has been on a steady decline for the last few years and his career is winding down. Pure unadulterated logic indicates Worth as a clear cut choice to make the roster, while Inge finds his place on the unemployment line with all the other has-beens and never-weres who no longer cut the mustard.

  • Al Kaline

    I agree Chris. If both Worth and Inge project the same, you might as well keep Inge because you’re on the hook for $5.5 million and you might as well get what you can on jersey sales before you have to put them on the 50 percent off rack. While the Inge haters want him gone, there is no use getting rid of him if he and Worth project the same for the season. This is Inge’s swansong.

    • ChrisHannum

      @Al Kaline Are Inge jerseys still selling for full price?

    • Tiger fan

      @Al Kaline

    • Tiger fan

      @Al Kaline This is a world of what have u done for me lately.brandon had some very great hits last year as a tiger.he took his lumps and kept his head high he deserves to make the team on pure guts if he can’t cut the musterd send him down. For god sake he was an alstar and was with them thru the bad years. Courage that’s what he’s got courage!!!!!!!

  • http://displacedtigerfan.blogspot.com/ bmcraves

    People may “project” the Tigers to win the World Series this season. Doesn’t mean they will. My point is, just because Worth is “projected” to hit .230, doesn’t mean he will. Nothing wrong w/ bringing in the youth movement.

    • ChrisHannum

       @bmcraves That cuts both ways – Worth could be worse than that, too.  Or Inge could hit .247 and shock us all, who knows.  As for the youth movement – you’ve got to bear in mind that we’re talking about the last bench spot here.  I’m not sure you’d rather have ‘youthful exuberance’ not-playing as opposed to ‘veteran presence’ not-playing.  If either one of these guys gets more than 50 at bats this season, it will be a bad thing.

    • jgorosh

       @bmcraves Worth could be 40, and I’d like him more than Inge. He hits similarly, is a better defender, and plays more positions. He’s also less annoying.

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  • garretkc

    An interesting note on Inge (please, no one take this as some sort of glowing endorsement): in 16 spring at bats against lefties, his line is actually a decent .250/.294/.500. Presumably, he’ll only be playing against lefties except on rare occasions.

    • jgorosh

       @garretkc spring stats matter about as much as… well… they just don’t matter. ask jake fox.

      • ChrisHannum

         @jgorosh  @garretkc He even did OK (not great, but not shamefully bad) against lefties last season.

  • Bob1951

    As we near the end of spring training, the worthless one is down to  a .184 avg. Pitchers are barely trying yet and the SOB still can’t hit. He’s a friggin’ joke.

  • Tiger fan

    Give Brandon one more year he will prove y he is a TIGER!!!!!!!!!!! U hav already seen he can b ther if Miguel needs a break or gets hurt if he doesn’t do well then let him go he won’t cry cause he is a TIGER!!!!

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