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RedRamage

Inge or Rivera?

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I think that both catchers have a future in the majors, and I also think that both have promising enough of a future that it makes sense to move one of them. We need help in other areas so it makes sense to move one to fill other needs if we can.

The question of course, is who?

Rivera had a hot spring and was tearing this up in early April, but as shortly after becoming the "regular" guy, he cooled off considerable. Add to this a less than stellar minor league career and the fact that he's only so-so defensively. Off hand, he seem like the reasonable one to drop. But remember that he did have a lot of pop in his bat of the SeaWolves last year (30+ homers I think) and while he may never become a superb defensive catcher, he can work on foot placement and ball blocking skills to improve to a higher level in this reguard.

Inge on the other hand had a horrible spring. Combined with his dismall sub-.200 average last year and it looked like Inge could quickly become a career backup catcher. A catcher used in late innings to defend a one or two run lead. He's great behind the plate, but if he can't contribute to the offense he wasn't going anywhere. I'd already written him off during Rivera's great playing. But suddenly Inge comes back to the Tig's after Meluskey's injuried again. And he comes back ripped. Heck, Inge looks like a whole new player. True, his swing still is ugly, but who can argue with the results? He's hitting .375 with 2 dingers in very limited action.

But, before we sign, seal, and deliver the full time job to Inge, bear in mind his track record: He's dislocated his shoulder 4 times in the last year! Not a comforting thought... Is he just one big hit away from gone for the year? He's said he'll under go surgery to tighten his shoulder during the off season, but how will that effect his swing? And speaking of swinging, he's batting extremely well so far this year, but he hasn't appeared in more than 10 games so far this year. Who's to say he'll continue on this trend? Who's to say that the next 10 games doesn't show uis the sub-.200 Inge?

So, if you had to pick now, who would it be? Inge or Rivera? Well, thankfully we DON'T have to pick right now.

I think Dombrowski/Pujols best move would be to alternate them regularly as they did Meluskey/Rivera during the beginning of the year. See who pans out as the better catcher, and show case the other for potential trades later in the year.

Still, if I had to pick now... I guess I'd go with Inge. Here's why: First, Inge is younger than Rivera (who dispite being a rookie is 25 years old). Second, Inge is a gamer, more so than I originally thought. He argued with the staff to let him back in...heck he tried to pop his shoulder back in fast enough that no one would notice. He truely wants to play. Third, he's shown the ability to adapt. Granted, we've seen very little of him so far, but he's altered his swing, he's hit the weight room, he's come back ready to play ball.

Well, if you're still with me, who would you pick and why?

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I think they need at least this entire year to evaluate both of them. Inge's offense is a huge question and one good month won't answer that question. Rivera seems to be pushing too much to hit for power. He tries to pull the ball and I've read his strength is going to right. I think Rivera will become a good run producer before the year is over.

Watching the Tigers this year has really proved how important defense is. Most starting pitchers have several unearned runs already. Obviously Rivera is much weaker defensively but he can still learn.

If I had to pick now, I'd choose Rivera. I just don't think Inge is going to hit at the major league level. Hopefully he can prove me wrong.

I think it would be a mistake to trade either one so soon. Let them play this year and see how they do. Neither one has much value right now anyway.

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We should get this out of our heads that Inge is a good defensive catcher. At best, he's average, and that's being generous. And now he's got a twice-injured left shoulder. He throws well and that's ALL he does well as a defensive catcher. He does seem to communicate well with the pitchers so that's a plus.

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Just to clarify one point - Riviera is 3rd in the AL in throwing runners out.

He is also first in passed balls, so I think that pretty much evens things out.

We should get this out of our heads that Inge is a good defensive catcher. At best, he's average, and that's being generous. And now he's got a twice-injured left shoulder. He throws well and that's ALL he does well as a defensive catcher. He does seem to communicate well with the pitchers so that's a plus.

Why should we get this idea out of our heads? Are the rest of us idiots or blind? I've seen him play and he is the best defensive catcher I have watched. He is only 23 or 24 and has plenty of time to improve. From what I've seen so far this year, he has gained strength from workin in the offseason and looks better at the plate. Ive always liked him and I'm staying with my choice

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I'd prefer Meluskey or Fick. Rivera was rushed, and should be in AAA. Inge still hasn't shown he can hit anywhere for more than a week at a time, and personally I'd prefer if he at least proved he could hit AA pitching before we hand him the major league job and annoint him catcher of the future.

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It shall be Rivera. The Injury God has spoken, and in his might has smitten Inge to the 15 day DL. Fear his wrath, mortals!!!

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Melusky? That guy's an injury waiting to happen. He's missed all of two of the last three seasons, and he's on his way to missing just about all of this one, too. He was put on the 60 day DL today.

The best that can happen with Melusky is for him some day to get healthy enough to play, get hot, and get traded. His plate discipline isn't worth squat where he spends most of his time.

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Right, that's why I had him listed as third choice.

I keep hearing about Meluskey's bat, but I've seen nothing. Maybe we should continue to hype him up and trade him based on reputation. Think anyone would bite? (besides Randy Smith?)

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We cant sit and wait for guys to get healthy because if we do then we are just screwin ourselves over big time. If and when they do get healthy, we'll give them a shot and see if they can help out, but until that happens, pretend they are not there and let someone else do the job...especially when you have Inge and Rivera. Now I know Inge is on the DL right now, but its only the 15 day which is no big deal. I did not think they should call him up, but since they did I guess I can live with it, as long as he doesnt suck horribly.

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Brandon Inge, I think, has a chance to be a star catcher for years to come. If his offensive game comes around, he has a chance to be a superstar. He has all the physical tools. He seems to be on the verge of putting it all together.

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Who the pitchers feel comfortable with, and that man is: Matt Walbeck. In other words, they never should have gotten rid of Ausmus. On a contender you need a catcher who can also hit, but this ain't no contender kids. This staff needs a catcher who already knows what he's doing behind the plate. The other guys are still learning the game.

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Walbeck should be the backup. Rivera probably needs to go back down to Toledo. Meluskey shouldn't even be in the picture.

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Meluskey shouldn't even be in the picture?

I'm fine with sending Rivera to Toledo but Inge better go to Erie!

Get this right - Inge is at the bottom of the list... just because he's a nice guy off the field everyone thinks he's great on the field - get that delusion out of your head.

When Meluskey comes back, I wouldn't mind seeing him as everyday catcher with Walbeck as the back-up. But there is no way Inge should be placed before Meluskey, Rivera, or even Fick or Walbeck for that matter. Inge is not some prodigy child behind the plate - why the heck are people making him out to be one?

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He has to prove he can play every day before I'd say he needs to be the starting anything. We get rid of one hypochadriac in Clark and now we got this train wreck.

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