Brandon Inge Activated and What it Means for Don Kelly
By John Parent
In addition to the move announced last night, the Tigers today have activated third baseman Brandon Inge from the 15-day disabled list and optioned infielder Danny Worth to Triple-A Toledo, this according to Jason Beck.
With the return of Ryan Perry last night and Inge’s return today, the Tigers have what should be their best possible team at this point in the year, with only Carlos Guillen remaining on the shelf (assuming he has any hope of returning this year at all).
Inge, who had struggled through his first four games at Toledo, has gone 4-for-11 with two walks and a pair of home runs in his last three games. Maybe more impressive is that in those games he didn’t strikeout even once.
Inge had been battling mononucleosis, which saps the strength of those inflicted. The two long balls he’s connected with in his past three games represent twice as many as he’s hit with the Tigers this year. While his average is slightly lower than you would expect, even from Inge, its the lack of extra-base pop that has been the most disconcerting to Tigers fans this year. In 181 at bats this year, Inge has collected just nine extra-base hits and driven in only 12 runs. His slugging percentage rests at a paltry .286. That said, if he’s healthy again, his numbers can only go up.
Inge’s return means the end of the Don Kelly era as the Tigers (semi) regular third baseman. Kelly has performed pretty well in the role, especially lately, hitting .267/.313/.400 this month and .438/.471/.750 over his last five games going 7-for-16 with a homer, a triple, and three RBI.
The good news for the few Kelly fans out there is that he is capable of playing second base, at least as well as Ryan Raburn has, so we could see Jim Leyland’s favorite two-hitter slotted in at second. The bad news for everyone else is that we may see Kelly in the lineup instead of Raburn. See what I did there? In all honesty, the way Raburn is going this year, Kelly would be an upgrade.
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