DETROIT, MI: Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Just three years ago, Brandon Inge was a key member of the Detroit Tigers; in 2009, he started 157 games at third base and punched his All-Star ticket. Inge played well in 2010, too. But his hitting fell off so badly in 2011 that he spent a month back in the minors and didn't regain his every-day job upon returning to the majors in August. He did see significant playing time in the Tigers' postseason run, and played well. But Inge's opportunity for more playing time in 2012 essentially died when the Tigers signed Prince Fielder and shifted Miguel Cabrera to third base.
Sure, he tried to play second base; the Tigers seemed to have a hole at second base. But Inge isn't really a second baseman, and his cause wasn't helped by a spring-training groin injury that landed him on the Disabled List. He did come off the DL on April 14, and got his first start at second base on the 16th.
That went well! Inge hit a two-run homer!
He hasn't homered since. Or driven in a run. Sitting with a .100 batting average after Wednesday night's game, his sixth start at second base, Inge has drawn his release from the Tigers after 12 seasons.
Filling Inge's roster spot: 31-year-old slugger Brad Eldred, who's hit 13 home runs in 20 triple-A games this month.