The Pittsburgh Pirates have been talking about this for a few days. It’s finally come to pass. Brandon Inge will be in the Pirates lineup tonight in Philly. Inge will be starting at third base. Alex Presley has been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Bill Brink of the PG reported the news first.
Keep the bottle handy near the broadcast this evening. We are actually a little happy it’s radio only.
We wrote about this Inge situation last week. [He has grown his average .25 points in one week. So he is getting hot…right?]
The Neal Huntington Show is a Sunday staple for us. The quotes are too much for us to pass up, and the Pittsburgh Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager didn’t let us down today.
Brandon Inge was a player that the Pirates play-by-play broadcaster Greg Brown brought up to the Bucs GM. Brown was hammering an article that he “had just seen.” The article he was referencing was this one from The USA Today.
Huntington stated that he hadn’t read it.
The article quotes SABR-savvy Brandon McCarthy about veteran leadership and the importance that Brandon Inge (and Jonny Gomes) brought to the Oakland Athletics. McCarthy spoke at the spring Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference. McCarthy said that if you took Jonny Gomes and Brandon Inge away from the 2012 Athletics, “they would have gone from 94 wins to 70-something wins on the basis of “what happens behind closed doors.” Inge played 74 games for the home of Moneyball and hit .226.
"“I know it sounds really stupid, but it’s kind of like being an artist where the more comfortable you feel, usually your better work comes out, it’s guys that just put out a comfortable atmosphere and they bring guys in. It’s like that in real life, too, where you’re with a group of friends and there are people that you wait for to get to the dinner party because after that everybody loosens up and it turns into a good time.”"
So, with that as a background, Brown and Huntington began to talk about Brandon Inge. Huntington had this to say about the veteran. Seriously.
"“Inge could play left field or center field. He’s a really good athlete.” Neal Huntington"
The Buccos GM laid out a timetable stating, in essence, that the Pirates have some time before they must activate Inge from Triple-A Indianapolis. (21 days from the Opening Day for Indy which was April 4)
It’s especially telling for us that when you look at the numbers Inge has put up for the Indianapolis Indians… what’s the rush? Ten more days could do wonders.
Huntington mentioned that the time in Indy was really Inge going through his version of spring training and raved about his versatility all over the diamond. It sounded like Inge still had another position to play– and God Help Us, that was like 100 angels singing in our ears.
But then, as the game wrapped up late in the eighth or ninth inning and again in the post-game show, Greg Brown said that Inge could be activated as soon as today. Brown said it rather emphatically – which caught us off guard a bit.
So, if we’re to believe that Brown knows what’s up–we took it that Phil Irwin will be shipped back down, and Inge will suit up for the Cardinals game tonight at PNC Park.
Inge was not in the lineup for Indianapolis on Sunday.
We aren’t excited about it, but shit – if Brandon Inge can add that many wins, like McCarthy says, bring it on. Hey, wait… Indy is 7-4 on the season. So, would they be 4-7 without Inge?