Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse after the Tigers lost Joel Zumaya to a serious elbow injury, valued third baseman Brandon Inge had his hand broken by a wild pitch.
However, the Tigers can’t just simply pout about the situation. Instead, they need to show some confidence in their depth at third base, just as they are in their pitching staff.
The Tigers are in a rough patch, to say the least right now.
They just ended a seven game losing streak last night against the Toronto Blue Jays and are still unsure who is going to step up to fill the void left by Inge at third base.
According to published reports, Inge should be out for four to six weeks. That being said, the Tigers are in desperate need of someone who can provide some fielding expertise and batting proficiency.
Scott Sizemore has been given a chance to prove himself once again. Although Sizemore is naturally a second baseman, he has shown manager Jim Leyland he can also hold his own at third.
As far as batting goes, Sizemore needs to improve. He has a .198 batting average with one home run and eight RBI this season.
Left fielder Don Kelly has also been given a crack at the third base position as well. Kelly has demonstrated an aptitude for adapting to the position, but like Sizemore, he desperately needs to provide a better bat.
This season, Kelly has a .217 batting average with one home run and eight RBI—eerily similar to Sizemore.
The Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers’ AAA affiliate, don’t have any natural third basemen on their roster either, putting the Tigers in an interesting predicament.
Detroiters know that when putting a player in a different position than he is accustomed to playing, you might just find a hidden gem in your club.
For example, look at the Detroit Lions. When they put Mike Furrey, who originally played the strong safety position, at wide receiver, he had the most receptions in the NFL that year.
The Tigers need to find their Mike Furrey, and fast. The American League Central race is not waiting on any team to get its game together.