ST. PETERSBURG -- Contrary to conspiracy theories, the Tigers didn't bring back Brandon Inge from Triple-A Toledo last weekend to serve as a backup catcher with Victor Martinez unable to catch. But now that he's here, he's an option.
According to Tigers manager Jim Leyland, he would be the first option in an emergency if Alex Avila was unable to catch.
"He would be the No. 1 guy," Leyland said, "so that gives you less worries. Basically, you're only talking about emergency situations."
Inge hasn't caught in a game since 2008, when he briefly took over as Ivan Rodriguez's successor down the stretch. Once the Tigers signed Gerald Laird and Matt Treanor that offseason, Inge went back to third base full-time. A year later, he underwent surgery on both knees, which rendered him unable to catch for anything more than a spot occasion.