The A’s have not had a productive third baseman for what feels like an eternity now, but newly acquired Brandon Inge may change that. The A’s are hoping that Inge, who was released by the Tigers in April, can provide some level of stability at a position that has been razor thin for the organization.
Inge, 34, wasn’t producing much in Detroit, but a change of scenery could help solve some of Inge’s struggles. In 8 games so far with the Athletics, Inge is hitting .219/.297/.469 with two home runs and nine RBI. While he likely won’t hit for a high average—he’s a .234 career hitter—Inge could provide some much needed stability at third base for Oakland.
His walk-off grand-slam on Tuesday night was fantastic. It is exactly what the A’s need going forward at third base. The A’s tried going with Eric Sogard and Josh Donaldson at third, but that experiment just didn’t work. The Inge experiment, however, could work.
He could provide some sort of spark on offense for an A’s team that ranks 25th in runs (106), 30th in batting average (.215), and 28th in on-base percentage (.290). He’s provided some power already for the A’s and is seemingly an upgrade so far over the Sogard-Donaldson combination the A’s opened the season with.
If the Inge experiment fails, however, the A’s could find themselves in a tough spot for the remainder of the season. The team hasn’t had much luck in recent years addressing their third base situation and a lackluster Inge could derail the team a bit. What we saw from Sogard and Donaldson doesn’t really put at ease either.
It could really question and put the A’s depth at third base into serious question.
For the sake of remaining hopeful, Inge has looked like an immediate solution to the problems at third base. He’ll provide some offense and some even better defense for the Athletics this year. He’s not the long-term solution, however. The A’s still need to address their long-term plans at third base.