Did I write that headline before? Like back in July? Because it sure feels like I wrote it. At that point in time, it was pretty easy speculation. In order to get Inge to accept a demotion to the minor leagues, the Tigers probably had to promise him he'd be back when the rosters expanded, I thought.
John Wagner of the Toledo Blade had a great update on the situation yesterday after talking to Inge and Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin. So one thing that can be confirmed is that Inge will be back in Detroit at some point this year, when the rosters expand on Sept. 1 if not sooner. The Tigers promised Inge that. He also said playing with the Triple-A Mud Hens has allowed him an opportunity to clear his head and let his athletic ability take over.
Inge told Wagner:
"I’ve realized this game isn’t as complicated as a lot of people make it out to be."
Inge said he's just trying to have fun right now, and succeeding. He wants to take that positive attitude hback to Detroit, too.
"No one is going to change my attitude when I get up there — it’s going to be exactly what it is right here," he said. "They’ll like my attitude, but if they don’t, I don’t care.
"I have to figure out what works for me and stick to it. I need to take [that attitude] up there and keep it up there."
Make of those quotes what you will.
Inge is batting .308 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 91 plate appearances. He's walked 13 times, so his OBP is .407. True, Inge is benefiting from a .358 batting average on balls in play, so that helps. But I don't think it's a stretch to say he's batting pretty darn well down there. The walks account for nearly 14% of his plate appearances. (FirstInning.com stats)
Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin told Wagner:
"What I see from Brandon is that his swing is more of a reaction than him having to cheat to get there. I think the weakness from the illness earlier [in the season] forced him to cheat to get to some pitches.
"He can still get to a good fastball. He got the barrel [of the bat] to the ball with a good, short swing. It’s the best swing I’ve seen him take since he’s been here."