Miguel Cabrera’s planned shift across the diamond means Brandon Inge is no longer the Tigers’ starting third baseman, but manager Jim Leyland said today that the team will give him an opportunity to compete for the job at second base.
Inge is 34 years old and has played 1,800 professional games without logging even one inning at second base. On the other hand, in theory at least an excellent defensive third baseman could be reasonably decent at second base and … well, when a team is already committed to using Cabrera every day at third base what’s another infielder playing out of position?
Inge’s primary competition at second base is Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn, so it might not take much to snag the gig. Of course, Inge hit .197 last year to earn a midseason demotion to Triple-A and hasn’t had an OPS above .725 since 2006. He’s under contract for $5.5 million.
For the first time in a month and a half, Aaron Judge went an entire game without striking out, ending his record streak at 37 games. Judge had an RBI single and three walks in Tuesday night’s 13-4 victory over the Tigers.
Judge went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and zero strikeouts in a 9-4 loss to the Brewers on July 7. Between July 8 and August 20, Judge would strike out in all 37 games, breaking the record previously held by Adam Dunn, who struck out in the first 32 games of the 2012 season. If one counted streaks extending into multiple seasons, Dunn held the record at 36 games as he struck out in his final four games in 2011 as well.
After Tuesday’s performance, Judge is now hitting .284/.417/.594 with 37 home runs, 81 RBI, and 93 runs scored in 525 plate appearances on the season. He’s had a particularly rough second half, as he entered Tuesday with a .684 OPS since the All-Star break, a far cry from his 1.139 OPS before the break.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was able to get a ground ball past Pirates first baseman Josh Bell for a double leading off the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s game. He would come around to score later in the inning on a Corey Seager single, breaking a 1-1 tie.
The double gave Gonzalez 2,000 hits for his career. He is the 282nd player in baseball history and the 11th active player to reach 2,000 career hits. Gonzalez also has 300 home runs, making him one of 94 players with at least 300 dingers and 2,000 hits.
Gonzalez, who was recently activated from the disabled list, entered Tuesday’s action hitting .247/.295/.330 with one home run and 25 RBI in 201 plate appearances on the season.