Brandon Inge's Heroics a Flash in the Pan: Oakland Athletics Need a 3rd Baseman

Rudy TarkusContributor IIMay 9, 2012

Is Inge's arrival in Oakland a long or short-term fix?
Is Inge's arrival in Oakland a long or short-term fix?Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Before A's fans start celebrating, they should take a look at some sobering numbers and consider the consequences.

In 11 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Brandon Inge batted .234. Last year was his worst season when he put up a slash line of .197/.265/.283. At 34 years old, history tells us he won't become a better hitter, or suddenly "figure it out."

He provides occasional pop, having two seasons with 27 home runs ('06, '09), but his strikeout counts in those two years are remarkably different. Inge struck out only 72 times in '06; three years later, he struck out 170 times.

Before the Tigers released Inge, he had two hits in 20 at-bats.

While Inge might be providing a plug for Oakland's current hot-corner situation, time is likely to show that Inge is still an inadequate hitter. 

His defensive capability is the upside, but at 34, Inge may be facing the twilight of his career, given his inability to consistently produce at the plate.

For the time being, the Oakland Athletics have a solution. Inge has nine RBI in the past three games, and he seems to be bringing a spark to the young Oakland dugout. 

Manny Ramirez is set to join the Oakland lineup on May 30th, which also happens to be his 40th birthday. If Inge can keep exhibiting the rejuvenation of a "change of scenery" and Ramirez can hit for average and provide occasional power, the Oakland lineup might generate some buzz in the AL West.

It's unlikely, though, that Inge will continue at his current pace, and eventually Billy Beane will have to look somewhere else for his lightning in a bottle.