Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Inge is Back

The Tigers have announced that Brandon Inge has returned to the team and that Danny Worth has been placed on the disabled list with a bruised left heel.  When Inge was hit by a pitch which broke his hand two weeks ago, the initial estimate from the team was that he would be out four to six weeks.  He's back two weeks earlier than the lower end of that estimate.  In the past, Inge has tried to play through injuries and it hurt the team.  The most prominent example was his trying to play through knee tendinitis the second half of last hear.  Let's hope he's ready this time.

With Inge back on third base, newly acquired Jhonny Peralta will take over the shortstop position.  Rookie Will Rhymes will remain at second base until Carlos Guillen (strained calf) returns next week.  Ramon Santiago will return to his familiar backup role. Inge, Peralta and Guillen are their best offensive options around the infield.  Inge will help their defense but Guillen and Peralta will open up holes in the middle of the infield. 

The pitcher who is likely to be hurt the most by poor infield defense is Rick Porcello (47.6% groundball rate).  Most of their starters - Jeremy Bonderman (41.5% ), Justin Verlander (39.7%), Armando Galarraga (39.4%) - and Max Scherzer (39.1%) - have been predominantly fly ball pitchers this year.  Still, no pitcher benefits from lack of range in the infield.  The hope is that Guillen and Peralta can make up for their defensive deficiencies with their offense.

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