Brandon Inge's strained oblique has recently put a cramp (oh, that was almost such a great pun) in Jim Leyland's plans to alternate his catchers every other game. (That plan seemed to be working quite well, by the way, judging from Pudge Rodriguez's recent success with the bat.) With Inge only being able to play twice (along with a pinch-hitting appearance) over the past week, the Tigers probably had to do something if they wanted to keep Pudge's workload down.
And so Detroit put Inge on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon, while Dane Sardinha was called up from Triple-A Toledo to fill the catcher's understudy role. (Thanks to Billfer for tapping me on the shoulder with this news via instant message. Something always happens when I'm away from the computer, dagnabbit.) Given Sardinha's lack of batting prowess (.206/.246/.364 this season), Leyland's alternating catchers scheme is likely getting shelved until Inge returns from the DL. But he'll get some starts, with only one off-day before the All-Star break and a few day games after night games.
Should the Tigers have shut Inge down last week, considering that he wasn't able to play and looking at the schedule for the next two weeks? Yes, probably. But I'm sure the coaching staff and Inge all hoped the oblique injury would get better. Those things tend to linger, however.
[Thanks to Samara Pearlstein's magical camera for providing the Inge photo.]