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Brandon Inge = the best CURRENT starting 3B in AL Central

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Brandon Inge = the best CURRENT starting 3B in AL Central

Postby mcqfesijiba » Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:10 am

As of this time, Alex Gordon and Andy Marte are not included since neither is likely to be the starter.

Prove to me that any of the following players are better than Brandon Inge as an overall third baseman:

Joe Crede: One-Dimensional on offense, ie. he'll hit 20 HR's but nothing else. Probably the surest thing defensively in the Central, but his range is below Brandon's, but he's also never been worked as hard as Brandon was last year. He *might* get a little better offensively one of these days. Big might.

Aaron Boone: With a major knee injury not all that long ago and his advancing age, I doubt his offensive performance from last year was a fluke, ie. he just isn't that good anymore. Defensively, the best you can hope for him is for him to be as good as Inge is now, without the range. He was never known for his glove.

Tony Batista/Cuddyer: Batista is a notorious hacker who occasionally hits HR's and plays bad defense. If his power has dropped off even a little, he is practically worthless. Cuddyer has some decent offensive upside, but his defense at third base is laughable.

Mark Teahen: Not even close. This guy's upside is probably what Brandon Inge is now...

I guess my point is that Brandon is far from a problem for this team. Rest Brandon more often, get production from the rest of the lineup, maybe teach Infante how to hit something (anything) other than a fastball and I think this team will be fine offensively/defensively. Maybe upgrading over Monroe with a left-handed bat who can play reliable defense would be a plus? Sure having a borderline all-star third baseman with Inge as our utility IF/OF would be awesome, but I think he's due for a solid year as long as they realize he isn't Cal Ripken and put him in the lineup practically every day.
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Postby Dan Lambskin » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:21 pm

eh...the AL Central is the NIT of 3rd baseman. the best of the group is still worse than most others

he needs to be our super-sub and that's it
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Postby moochman » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:08 pm

Dan Lambskin wrote:eh...the AL Central is the NIT of 3rd baseman.


That is too hilarious! And true. mcQ, you are dangerously close to being an Inge apologist! Not that your point isn't correct, but DanLambskin is more correct.

We should have a divisional position by position comparison, eh? The Tigers probably look better on paper than they do on grass.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:12 am

Hey, the Central is the Tigers main competition. These are the teams we are matched up against the most. So it makes perfect logical sense that these are the teams that we should be most compared to. Let's face it. No matter what your impressions of Inge are, if you look comparatively around the league he isn't that bad. Try watching other teams rather than just the Tigers on a station like ESPN. Do you just assume that Inge will be the second half worn-out Inge all year and that every other third baseman in the league puts up a fielding percentage of 97% and above?

Let's face it, Inge is no iron man, but they tried to make him out to be one. His bat got slower as the year went on and defensively he was far more overworked than any other third baseman in baseball. Offensively, you could say Inge was better than Beltre. Defensively Inge was better than David Wright. He's not the best, but Inge is also far from the worst third baseman out there. Is it that people really think Inge is all that bad, or is it more of a case of the reserves aren't as good as they'd like them to be? He's a good solid player we can win with. People talk like Inge has no business starting and should be a reserve, while a case can easily be made that he is better than a large number of other third basemen around the league.

Hey, I wish we had Eric Chavez too, but I'm also glad we don't have Sean Burroughs or Garret Atkins (*coors product who can't play defense*). The Tigers have areas they need improvements in. Every team does (perhaps this team more than most others), however, I don't even put "upgrading" over Inge in the top 5 of those areas. Is it Inge's fault that Magglio and Guillen got hurt or that Pudge went a little crazy last year or that Monroe turned out to be a pretty crappy center fielder or that Infante bombed? No. He was out there practically ever game consistently getting bombed by balls hit by opposing batters off of our soft-tossing staff and trying to lead-off with no one to drive him in, and he slowly faded as the year went on. Inge is a gamer, but I think he is also a guy who needs to sit a couple of games or more out a month.

Maybe it sounds like I'm being an "apologist", but at the same time, have I said anything untrue?
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Postby moochman » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:48 am

I'm sorry McQ, sounds like you totally mistook my tone. I was ribbing you for your love of Inge, not questioning it. Please forgive.

As for assuming he will wear down I can only look at his history to suggest that he will indeed wear down. I can only look at his fielding and see that we're not talking vacuum cleaner: he neither inhales all balls in his path, not does he suck. But he isn't an upper tier 3B.

I think his value to the team would be much more if he were to spell Pudge behind the plate as well as play 3B. That he has the balls to tell people he doesn't want to play there is a by-product of the weak managing that he has been exposed to, methinks. I would not think that for this current group of Tigers that Inge would be a part-time filler type of player, he does hit enough and can field better than most on the team.
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