And he can continue to believe that now that Jason Beck of mlb.com has reported that the Tigers have officially placed Brandon Inge on the 15 day disabled list with a left groin strain, retroactive to March 30th. All speculation that he was going to be released after he went 9 for 50 in spring training (.180 batting average) with three doubles, one home run, and two RBI has been basically silenced.
If Inge was going to designate him for assignment, there would certainly be no need for a DL stint.
So come April 14th, when Inge is activated and placed onto the Detroit Tiger roster, Danny Worth will most likely be sent down to Triple-A Toledo, as either Clete Thomas or Andy Dirks will have been sent down for Drew Smyly’s promotion on the 12th.
While Inge says that he will probably be ready to play opening day, the key word is written already. Probably is not definitely, and the lingering doubt initiated the decision.
There has been no official announcement that Inge won the starting second base job just as there has been no announcement that he won a reserve role or that he even made the roster. The disabled list move is a smoke bomb tossed into the decision making room that has clouded the options and cleared a path for an exit out the back door.
However, the lack of a firm choice screams just as loud as an actual one. The Tigers are going to give him a chance to leave the game on his own terms, at least until his offensive liability becomes far too much for even the front office to ignore any longer.
We can criticize or celebrate this until we are all blue in the face. The bottom line is this: when Brandon Inge comes to the plate and digs in, wiggles his bat and flexes his tattoos, I’m going to root for him to succeed, but not expect much of a net return.
Update on Inge’s playing status from Beck’s Blog (yes I’m quoting because I’m out and have very little time):
Manager Jim Leyland said before Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays that once Inge is ready, he’ll be activated from the DL and play most days at second base against left-handed starting pitchers. Ryan Raburn, who will garner most of the playing time at second base against right-handed pitchers, will likely play another position against lefties, either DH or left field, in order to get in Inge or Ramon Santiago for an extra right-handed bat.