You can keep Brandon Inge out for a while, but you cannot keep the man down. The Detroit Tigers activated Inge from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. He’d been out for the past 20 games while recovering from mononucleosis.
To clear a spot on the active roster for Inge, infielder Danny Worth was sent down to Triple-A Toledo.
Inge has struggled all season, batting .211/.279/.286 with one home run and 12 RBIs while also showing lesser range on defense at third base. Did the mono contribute to his lackluster performance? We won’t quite know until seeing how Inge plays after his DL stint, but that certainly couldn’t have helped.
The Tigers didn’t really miss much at third base with Inge out, as Don Kelly filled in capably at the plate and on the field. (And really, Kelly had nowhere to go but up, given how little Inge has produced this season.) Worth and Alex Avila also saw time at the hot corner, but having Inge back will likely provide some stability back to the lineup. At least in terms of everyone knowing where he’s going to play each night.
Worth batted .310/.355/.379 in 29 at-bats for the Tigers. But his role was strictly that of a utility infielder who could help out at second and third base with his superior glove. That’s not to say he couldn’t return later this season, especially if Ryan Raburn continues to struggle at second. (Perhaps that could apply to Inge, as well.)