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Brandon Inge

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Charles Brandon Inge (Template:Pron-en "inj")[1] (born May 19, 1977 in Lynchburg, Virginia) is a Major League Baseball third baseman currently playing for the Detroit Tigers. He bats and throws right-handed.

Sportswriter Jayson Stark described Inge as a "super-utility dervish."[2] In 2006, his diving stop and subsequent throw from his knees to put out Gary Bennett in an interleague game, on June 25 against the St. Louis Cardinals earned him the ESPN defensive play of the year for a third baseman.[3]

Inge played baseball at Brookville High School in Lynchburg, then attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was a shortstop and relief pitcher. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1998.

2001-2007 seasonsEdit

Initially assigned as a catcher, Inge struggled offensively in his first three seasons. After the Tigers signed free-agent Iván Rodríguez in 2004, Inge played in the outfield, catcher and at third base, batting .287 with 13 home runs that season.

He started 159 games at third base in 2005, and led all AL third basemen in errors (23), assists (378) and double plays (42).[4] In 2006, Inge exceeded his 2005 totals with 398 assists.[1] That number broke the Detroit Tigers single season record for assists by a 3rd basemen (previously 389 by Aurelio Rodriguez in 1974) and was only 14 short of the all time MLB record for assists by a third basemen (set by Graig Nettles in 1971). Only five third basemen (including Graig Nettles, Brooks Robinson, and Mike Schmidt) have collected more assists in a season than Inge.

In 2006, Inge showed a lot of power during the first half, his 17 home runs tied for the team lead, but batted for an average of only .221. His slugging percentage was .463 and he also placed third on the Tigers with 47 RBIs. After the All-Star Break, he raised his average to .253 and finished with 27 home runs.

2008 seasonEdit

Inge became expendable at third base after the Tigers acquired Miguel Cabrera in a blockbuster trade with the Florida Marlins.[citation needed] Inge asked management to trade him to a team where he would have a chance to be an everyday player. However, a deal was never made, and the team stated that he would be used as a utility player for the 2008 season.[citation needed] Inge reported to spring training early with the pitchers and catchers. He was named the opening day center fielder after Curtis Granderson was placed on the disabled list.

With the absence of backup catcher Vance Wilson, Inge began alternating catching duties with 13-time Gold Glove winner Iván Rodríguez. On June 26, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list. On July 7, he made his rehab assignment in AAA Toledo. On July 10, he was activated from the DL.

Inge took over the catching position full-time after Iván Rodríguez was traded to the New York Yankees on July 30, 2008.[5]

On September 27, Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced that he would move Inge back to third base for the 2009 season.[6]

2009 seasonEdit

Inge opened the 2009 season as the starting third baseman for the Detroit Tigers. He started the season by successfully reaching base 24 games in a row, the longest such streak for the Tigers since 1976.[7] Through the first half of the 2009 season, Inge led the team in home runs, successfully hitting 21.

Having received 11.8 million votes in the Final Vote, Inge was selected to his first All Star Game, joining teammates Curtis Granderson, Justin Verlander, and Edwin Jackson on the American League squad. Inge participated in the Home Run Derby and became the eighth player in the history of the Derby to not hit a single home run.[8]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Detroit Tigers roster navbox

Preceded by:
Orlando Palmeiro
Last out of the World Series (struck out)
2006
Succeeded by:
Seth Smith

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