Less then two weeks ago, I was writing about how the Tigers were tied atop of the Grapefruit league standings at a 6-3 record. Since then, the Tigers have gone 3-9, and now stand just above the last place Orioles. That’s a steep slide, and I hope the day off yesterday does them some good.
Brandon Inge is slowly making himself more and more valuable. If one guy can cover every spot on the infield like Shane Halter could, it gives your manager a ton of flexibility. Throw in the fact that they’re a gold glove quality catcher, and it’s manager’s dream. Yes, we all know he’s struggled at the plate, but wouldn’t it be cool to see Craig Monroe pinch hit for Mike DeFilice in the seventh. Put Inge in as a defensive replacement, and later in that game have Chris Shelton pinch hit for Inge and finish off the game behind the plate? Inge’s .370 spring is also opening some eyes.
And speaking of Chris Shelton, he’s put together quite a spring. He hasn’t hit any homeruns in going 9 for 19, but he does have two triples, and is making quite a bid to make the team.
Despite only pitching 3 2/3 innings this spring, Fernando Rodney looks like he’s won the closer role pretty much by default. Matt Anderson hasn’t gotten roughed up most times he’s gone out to the mound (13.96 ERA). Franklyn German hasn’t done much better (7.72 ERA).
ESPN has put together some great columns for you baseball history buffs, as they try to rank the best defensive plays at third and first base.
They also talk about the worst play. Bill Bukner’s 1986 play at first base in the World Series won that award. What they have to say about it is simply classic.