I told myself I wasn’t going to write yet another “bench Brandon Inge” post. I wasn’t going to remind everyone how he hasn’t had a hit in 16 days, or how he’s 0 for his last 24 or even how he was boo’d by Tiger fans after popping up when they were WINNING 8-3 Tuesday night. Carlos Guillen hadn’t played major league baseball in a year, but he has as many hits in 3 games as Brandon Inge has had in the last month and a half.
Think about this…remember how bad Gerald Laird was? In 2009 Laird finished the season batting .225 and was thought as an automatic out in the lineup by Tigers’ fans. He batted .048 higher than Inge is hitting right now. Making matters worse is Inge’s stance toward the season long slump. To him it’s merely a fluke. It’s not a fluke when he consistently misses curve balls by six inches. Inge isn’t even hitting the ball hard. Jim Leyland pulled the plug much sooner on guys with major league credentials like Adam Everett and Jacque Jones, so it’s amazing that Inge is still getting so many chances. He must have Leyland’s cigarettes hidden in his locker.
Tuesday’s game gave an indication of what can be an exciting lineup. They’re a team that can break it open quick when they get hot. Brennan Boesch (who I’m guessing eventually replaces Inge as the fan favorite) roping doubles down the line and beating out infield hits, Austin Jackson hitting the ball hard in his return, Carlos Guillen fitting back into the lineup perfectly, the steadily heating up Magglio Ordonez, the MVP-worthy efforts of Miguel Cabrera and the excellent contributions coming from Alex Avila, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta. Lost in the offensive effort is the awful at-bat that Inge had with two on in a scoreless game, overmatched and striking out meekly to end the second inning.
It’s time to do something. If you want to play Don Kelly, I’m fine with that. Call up Argenis Diaz, even better. Don’t break the bank on a trade, but give up a couple of mid-level prospects for someone who can hit .250…sure. But please, do something. Adding Carlos Guillen to an already productive lineup only makes the Tigers even more scary to their AL Central companions. I’m sure they just hope it’s Brandon Inge up against them when the game is on the line.