The Tigers played the Braves twice over the weekend, and the result is a 2-0 start to spring training.
Game 1 saw a collective no-hitter go into the 8th inning. Everybody pitched clean, which is surprising for early March.
Game 2 displayed the explosive offense that us fans have been looking forward to since the signing of Prince Fielder. 7 players hit homers; Fielder, Raburn, Peralta, Jackson, Young, Avila, and Boesch. They’re all starters, folks.
This is a sign of things to come, of course. Solid pitching and big numbers in the run column. If it can keep up like this heading into the season, and everybody works their kinks out now, it’s going to be one hell of a season.
With Prince Fielder pushing Miguel Cabrera over to third base, and Gerald Laird coming in from St. Louis to back up Avila behind the plate, there doesn’t seem to be any clear roster spot for long time Tiger, Brandon Inge.
Dave Dombrowski (out of respect I think) has asked Leyland to get Inge into the mix for the starting job at second base. Inge plays smart ball, still has a rifle of an arm, and always has had a solid fielding %. Other likely candidates for the 2B job include Ramon Santiago and Ryan Rayburn, both pretty mediocre players.
Even if he does end up starting at 2B, and bats .240, his defense is still solid and makes up for it. The Tigers don’t need another .300 hitter.. they already have like 5 of those. What they need is experience for the playoffs, and Inge has that.
Anything could happen. Remember a couple of years ago when he was in the home run derby? Well, he didn’t hit any home runs and he practically embarrassed himself, but the point is he got there. He’ll get his shot this spring training, and I think he’ll give the young players a run for their money, too.