Brandon Inge rejoins A’s after two weeks on disabled list

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Brandon Inge is back with the A’s after missing 14 games with a groin injury, as Oakland activated the veteran third baseman from the disabled list and optioned Anthony Recker to Triple-A.

Inge signed with the A’s after being released by the Tigers and provided an unexpected spark for the lineup, smacking four homers and driving in 17 runs in just 11 games following years of being a terrible hitter.

Josh Donaldson started all 14 games at third base in his absence, but hit just .180 with one homer and a .516 OPS to continue his season-long struggles. Inge is playing third base and batting fifth this afternoon against Minnesota.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.