Leyland knows Inge's stats will come

Leyland knows Inge's stats will come

DETROIT -- Jim Leyland has spent a lot of time over the past week or so repeating his belief that Magglio Ordonez will hit this season. The veteran's track record says he'll produce.

On Thursday, Leyland said much the same about Brandon Inge. It's a different track record, no question, but the steady run production of someone Leyland called a "spurt guy" gives the Tigers' manager the expectation that Inge will heat up. To make his point, Leyland recited Inge's numbers, year after year.

In other words, Inge will get his numbers, but they'll most likely come in bunches. His average per 162 games is 17 home runs and 70 RBIs, though those stats come with a .236 average, a .698 OPS and 139 strikeouts.

"It's kind of mind-boggling at times," Leyland said. "Sometimes he looks like he's [struggling], but those are his numbers. Think about that, hitting ninth. That's a pretty good ninth hitter. It comes in spurts sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't look as pretty, but ...

"He's struggling right now, there's no question about that."