Brandon Inge Makes The Team, But Could Start on the DL

Brandon Inge made the team today.

Brandon Inge made the team today.

After committing to Jonathan Sanchez for the Opening Day roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a commitment to Brandon Inge for a roster spot. The team had until noon today to make a decision on Inge, or allow him to walk as a major league free agent. They didn’t wait that long, with Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington announcing shortly after 9:00 AM that Inge had made the team.

“This is one of those where it’s a body of work,” Huntington said on the reason for adding Inge. He noted that Inge was coming back from shoulder surgery last year, and was recovering well. However, Inge was hit in the shoulder blade with a fastball, and is currently suffering from that. The Pirates will shut Inge down for a few days to be cautious with the injury and allow him to get back to 100 percent. It’s possible that he could open the season on the disabled list.

“It’s still to be determined, but that certainly is an option,” Huntington said. “As we sit here today we want to see how long it takes to get the discomfort and the soreness out of there.”

Just like with Sanchez, the Pirates will eventually have to clear a spot on the 40-man, but that doesn’t have to be today. The team only had to commit a roster spot to Inge today, and won’t have to clear a spot for him until they submit the final roster. The Pirates currently have Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison fighting for bench spots. If Inge is healthy for Opening Day, that wouldn’t leave a spot for either player. If Inge has to start on the disabled list, one of Mercer or Harrison could make the team until Inge is healthy.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Jonathan Sanchez Will Open the Season as the Fourth Starter

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Creating Space on the 40-Man For Sanchez and Inge

  • Wizard of Woz


  • capirate

    I think Inge making the team was pretty much a given from the moment they signed him.

    When I listened to the Rays announcers during yesterday’s game, they seemed to question whether his bat was fast enough to hit Moore’s fastball. I wasn’t listening too closely but I think I heard this right.

  • jg941

    Just……unbelievable. It’s a remarkable message to send to the rest of your team, particularly the young guys, that you can perform this poorly, all around, and still be handed this valuable job.

    • brendansdad

      Apparently Huntingdon has once again forgotten that “the days of being on a scholarship are over.”

  • Wizard of Woz

    Another thought. If they start him on the DL, wouldn’t that just be like delaying the decision? They will have some extra time to decide if they need him, but they won’t lose him automatically. Any opinion on this, Tim?

  • wkkortas

    I’m not gnashing my teeth and rending my garments over this one. In theory, Inge has assets–good glove at third, versatility, a little power. In actuality, he probably has nothing in the tank, and he’ll be long forgotten by June.

  • Lee Young

    “During a Society of American Baseball Research panel earlier this month, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy theorized Inge’s attitude could be worth several wins in a season.”

  • jlease717

    This will be followed at some point with his unconditional release.

    More money wasted.

  • Y2JGQ2

    This is awful. You can’t have McDonald and Inge on the team- you have NO bats now on the bench. What good are defensive replacements when you never have the lead….

  • leadoff

    The weeping and gnashing of teeth is not really necessary, look around baseball at all the teams that have taken on old vets, actually a lot of old Pirate cast offs, guys that could not do much for the Pirates.
    The bench is only as good as the manager that handles it, that is one area that separates managers. If Mercer is on the bench he will not play for Hurdle, if Inge is on the bench he will play, that is the difference in using your bench. Huntington knows his manager, he knows if he keeps kids on the bench Hurdle is not going to use them.

    • wkkortas

      You know, that’s an excellent point. That said, sometimes the GM sometimes has to influence and/or overrule the manager. If I’m NH, and I know this is my make-or-break year, I’d be reluctant to be banking on Inge and McDonald. Still, I think you may have hit the nail on the head in the explanation of why Inge is going north and Mercer is going to Indy.

      • leadoff

        I also wish that NH would use a little more muscle with his manager, but I can understand his reluctance.
        There are not too many GM’s that tell the manager who to play, I think with certain players it is understood they will play, example would be when Alvarez came up, I would not be afraid to bet that it was a mutual agreement that he get lots of playing time.

        • Bryan Graham

          Yeah, BUT, A LOT of the Pirates cast offs actually go on to be productive pieces of other teams for some reason while it never seems to work the other way around. I can see this team doing about as well as last year, or maybe slightly better, but I can more easily see this team losing 100 games. Too many questions that almost all need positive answers for them to contend in my opinion.

  • frsthypocrit

    Inge making the team is a no-win scenario in that, even *if* we’re in Peter Pan’s Neverneverland *and* we believe things like clutch, veteranosity, grittiness, and clubhouse-character exist we *still* have to acknowledge that Inge has some or all of those qualities and, *then*, even if he has those qualities, we won’t be able to place a quantitative value on them and say “we won X more games in 2013 because What’shisfirstnameanywyas Inge was on the bench”. I’d rather they just kept Harrison up as we know he’s willing to hard slide in to catchers and we can count the incidences of that.

  • Alexdesilva

    Taking Inge over youth and maybe alittle more talent is actually a no-brainer. After two seasons of major collapses, maybe a player with more experience is the right way to go at this point. He’s been a part of a winning team before, which most of our current bench hasn’t been. He may not have the ability he once had, but who knows, maybe he’s the reason we don’t have another late season collapse.

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