When third baseman Brandon Inge was designated for assignment by the Detroit Tigers last month, he was hitting just .170 with one home run and 17 RBI on the season. Inge, who cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Toledo, has been told that he will return to the Tigers when rosters expand on September 1, if not sooner. The way he’s been raking with the Mud Hens, it’s clear that Inge plans on being back as soon as the Tigers will have him.
The Toledo Blade’s John Wagner does a tremendous job covering the Hens and he wrote up a great story on Inge and his time with Toledo. Inge talks about his early-season bout with mono and how his demotion has been a blessing for him, allowing him to clear his head and get back to basics.
“I’ve realized this game isn’t as complicated as a lot of people make it out to be.”
Inge didn’t elaborate on that comment, so it’s unclear who the “people” are that he referenced. It would be reasonable to assume, however, that Inge might have been suffering from information overload from coaches trying to fix his issues at the plate. It sounds as if Inge has benefited from his time working with ‘Hens manager Phil Nevin and hitting coach Leon Durham quite a bit. A more relaxed atmosphere certainly can’t hurt, either.
Inge has been driving the ball since being demoted, connecting with five home runs and reaching base safely in all 13 games he’s played since going down. His attitude has helped to get him back on track.
"“Some times a change, whether it’s good or bad — and obviously it was bad for me — can be a good thing,” Inge said. “This has been good for me. The change in scenery allowed me to step back and take a look at what I’ve been doing.“Some people would feel they were demoted and have to psyche themselves up. I put myself in this situation, and I’ve played long enough to realize what’s productive and what is not. Moping around here is not productive.”"
The best news in Wagner’s piece is the glowing review given my Nevin. “What I see from Brandon is that his swing is more of a reaction than him having to cheat to get there,” Nevin said. “I think the weakness from the illness earlier [in the season] forced him to cheat to get to some pitches.
The Tigers have confirmed that Inge will be recalled no later than September . He was removed from the 40-man roster during the waiver process, so in order to make good on their promise to him, he’ll have to be re-added. The roster currently stands at 39, with two players on the 60-day DL, neither of whom are expected back this year. An additional spot will open as well once Chance Ruffin is dealt to Seattle to complete the Fister trade.