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Detroit catcher question

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Postby moochman » Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:42 am

There is no reason to waste Vance's time by having him back-up Pudge. He needs to play more to hit affectively and the Tigers can't afford to pretend he doesn't kill them when he plays. It's stupid for them to do this.

Inge is best suited as the back-up catcher. 3B can be covered by Polanco or Guillen on days when they want to give Inge a rest or Pudge a rest by playing Inge a C. Infante can play SS or 2B and hit better than Vance could. This opens up a roster spot for a veteran bat or pitcher, both of which they need.

BTW, Inge is not a good defensive 3B, lots of errors on routine grounders.
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Postby OldEnglishD » Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:33 am

I think Vance was a signing that the Tigers made thinking Pudge was outta here with all the drama last season involving him. Granted, Vance was signed before that stuff went public. Vance is a great ballplayer...and a helluva leader. I see a trade involving one of the two down the road. I dont see Shelton going anywhere.
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Postby stumpak » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:41 am

Moochman, you are missing the point that to most teams having a C that can call a superb game, throw out baserunners, etc is more important than having one who is a good hitter. I would imagine that this is particualrly the case in Detroit, where the pitchign staff is very Young.

I don't think that you would find a single manager in baseball who would want to yank Inge around to play back-up C once a week.

Besides, if Inge is playing C when Rodriguez is out, who do the Tigers have sitting on the bench to plug in a 3B that is so much better than Wilson?
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Postby Dan Lambskin » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:19 am

stumpak wrote:Moochman, you are missing the point that to most teams having a C that can call a superb game, throw out baserunners, etc is more important than having one who is a good hitter. I would imagine that this is particualrly the case in Detroit, where the pitchign staff is very Young.

I don't think that you would find a single manager in baseball who would want to yank Inge around to play back-up C once a week.

Besides, if Inge is playing C when Rodriguez is out, who do the Tigers have sitting on the bench to plug in a 3B that is so much better than Wilson?


Da-Meet-Hook :-D
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Postby moochman » Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:07 pm

stumpak wrote:Moochman, you are missing the point that to most teams having a C that can call a superb game, throw out baserunners, etc is more important than having one who is a good hitter. I would imagine that this is particualrly the case in Detroit, where the pitchign staff is very Young.

I don't think that you would find a single manager in baseball who would want to yank Inge around to play back-up C once a week.

Besides, if Inge is playing C when Rodriguez is out, who do the Tigers have sitting on the bench to plug in a 3B that is so much better than Wilson?


All I ever heard about Inge was what a great defensive C he was and how well he called a game. So I'm thinking he is a better back-up than Vance since he has a stronger arm and can hit more. Inge is nothing more than a mediocre 3B so there is no reason for any manager to fall in love with him at 3B.

I will restate that when Inge plays C they can move Polanco or Guillen to 3B (and give themselves better D there at the same time) and plug in Omar Infante at 2B or SS. Infante can hit better than Vance, who seems to need to play more frequently to be an effective hitter.

Not really a believer in DaMeatHook at 3B, he already has a quad strain and I can't imagine the number of ailments that will befall him if he has to play a position in which he has to move.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:46 pm

My opinion on Inge is that he's too good of an athlete to just be a backup catcher. Utility player, yes, he would be good, because I believe he is capable of playing 2B and SS as well as 3B and he has even shown that he can play some CF due to his athleticism.

As far as his defense goes, it's really shortsighted to base his whole defense on just errors. I saw a player who made plays that even the best might not make and he was excellent in terms of range factor. He also has one of the best infield arms in baseball. He was overworked and would have had at least 3 or so fewer errors with a better defensive 1B. That I say is great for a guy playing his first full year as a starting 3B.

According to Baseball Prospectus, Brandon Inge was tied for 5th in WARP for all MLB third baseman, most of it resulting from his defense. That is just one source, but there are others out there that also buy into Brandon Inge being a very good defensive player. I am not a BP subscriber, but here is a link to the page that should have that article and a table. It's near the middle of the page, but just search for "brandon inge" on that page.
http://www.rotoauthority.com/2005/11/index.html

Still think he's a bad defensive third baseman? As long as Inge is this good with the glove, I hope he never catches again except in an emergency.
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Postby moochman » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:01 am

Sorry, I am not impressed with him at third base. His defence is mediocre and he doesn't hit well enough to occupy a corner infield spot. He is best suited as a super-sub, playing 3B, OF, and C. IMO.
They are not utilizing thier talent to the best of it's ability.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:38 pm

moochman wrote:Sorry, I am not impressed with him at third base. His defence is mediocre and he doesn't hit well enough to occupy a corner infield spot. He is best suited as a super-sub, playing 3B, OF, and C. IMO.
They are not utilizing thier talent to the best of it's ability.
Here is some more support for Inge's defense at 3B, some even saying he was a gold glove caliber player, which I agree with. You might have to search through these pages, but they do mention Inge.

http://www.athomeplate.com/sb110605.shtml
http://www.baseballevolution.com/asher/goldgloves.html
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/2005-gold-gloves/
http://tigers.scout.com/2/495578.html
http://www.tigerblog.net/a/2006/01/12-these_are_both.php

You can question his bat until he can keep his walk rate up consistently, but his defense is very good. If he is bad, that means practically the entire league is bad. I am also a believer that your backup catcher should be primarily just that. It is a difficult task to be expected to stay current with all of the pitchers AND keep your defense elsewhere up to par. Catcher is just too demanding of a position in the major leagues to generally be effective being a backup catcher AND backup to every other fielding position. Inge is a smart guy, maybe he should be the backup catcher, backup infielder, backup outfielder, and while he's at it, the backup manager and pitching coach as well. Haha, let's make him the assistant GM as well.

Haha, Inge is one of my favorite players. I like to have fun with it when someone criticizes his defense. No offense meant. They might be able to do better than him offensively at third, but they would likely lose a bit on defense. I'm hoping he plays more up to his ability this year and they give him a few more days off this year to keep him rested. The amount of work he got over there at third last year was practically the equivalent of 200 games instead of the 160 which he officially played given how high his fielding chances were compared to most other 3B.

But I think the question of this thread got answered. Inge has turned into something other than a catcher, and Shelton was too bad at catcher that they made him into a below average defending first baseman (and possible future DH). It'll take some kind of emergency situation for either of these guys to suit up behind the plate.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:07 pm

I still think Inge should either be traded or be used strictly as a utility player. Clearly to me his greatest asset is his ability to play multiple positions, and players like that are very valuable in MLB. I am sure the Tigers would get a solid return on him if they were to shop him around if they dont want to use him as the utility player he is.

I like Inge, but I tend to agree with Mooch - I dont like him as an everyday 3B at all. Yes he is good enough defensively, but I would just prefer more offense coming out of the corner infield positions. This really is just nitpicking though - if the Tigers dont move him, thats fine - it wouldnt be the end of the world.
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Postby moochman » Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:15 am

Mcq, my unreasonable dislike for Inge's glove at 3rd is probably a residual feeling from watching him make terrible plays over there as he learned the position in the bigs. I have seen him make enough good plays over there, but when he blows an easy chance all the awful errors of the past come back to visit.
And your love if Inge, as unsavory as it is :-b , had been noted.

He could play back-up C because of his history as a starting C, and that coaches routinely call pitches, so the few games he would catch wouldn't be affected that much. That and Wilson history of not being able to hit when he is no more than a spot starter (his role in Detroit) makes the back-up C position a liability instread of the strength it could be.
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