Inge finishes rehab stint in ToledoWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After battling an early season injury, Detroit Tigers infielder Brandon Inge returned to the Mud Hens for a series against Louisville this week as part of his rehab stint.
In three games of action for Toledo, the 12-year veteran went 1 for 9 at the plate with one run and three walks.
“I just needed to test my injury to make sure that I could cover anything that could be thrown at me in the big leagues,” Inge said. “Everything that possibly could have happened happened here, so that was perfect.”
Inge was placed on the 15-day disabled list after an injury on March 30 after suffering a strained left groin in the preseason. He used the time in Toledo to help test his injury before returning to Detroit’s roster on April 14.
“It felt great,” Inge said. “Injury is pretty much healed. I maybe feel it a little bit but nothing that can keep me from playing.”
The Mud Hens had lost three of their first four games of the season before Inge arrived, but despite his lack of offensive production, the team’s fortunes changed. Toledo won all three games Inge played in and has moved to second place in the International League West at 4-3.
“That [winning streak] is good,” Inge said. “That’s a good atmosphere for the boys here and hopefully they can run with it.”
Inge was the designated hitter in his first game before moving to second base in his last two, where he is expected to play in Detroit. After the Tigers’ acquisition of prized free agent first baseman Prince Fielder in the offseason, Inge’s spot at third base was taken due to former first baseman Miguel Cabrera’s move to third.
Detroit is off to a 5-1 start and is 1.5 games ahead of second place Chicago in the American League Central Division. The Tigers are just one of three teams in baseball with one loss or less and the only team from the American League.
“I just play hard and have fun,” Inge said. “That’s all you can do. Just give the best effort you can every single day so that win, lose or draw you know that you put your best effort out there. That’s what I bring every day, and it seems like that’s what they are doing as well, too.”