Detroit Tigers May Have to Face Cleveland Indians Without Hottest Hitter

Omar Infante Detroit Tigers

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Infante was on a tear before being taken out by Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus Wednesday. Infante would have had trouble turning a double-play regardless of Rasmus’ take-out slide, but he made sure of it by launching himself through the Detroit Tigers‘ second-baseman.

Infante called it a dirty play, saying he knows it’s part of the game for players to try to break up the double play, but he believed Rasmus went too far. Rasmus didn’t start his slide until he reached the bag, sliding right through Infante’s legs. He didn’t venture too far from the bag, so baseball’s unwritten rules deem it a clean play, but his intent was clearly to make solid contact with Infante at any cost.

Infante was hitting the cover off the ball before being forced to miss the final game of the series against the Blue Jays. He was hitting .478 over the last week.

Infante’s injury means the Tigers may have to face their division foes, the Cleveland Indians, without one of their hottest hitters for at least the first game or two of the series. The Tribe fell to second place in the American League Central after dropping two of three games to the Kansas City Royals. Infante could possibly return by the end of the four-game series, but his timetable is still up in the air.

The second baseman has been holding down the bottom of the Tigers’ lineup all season.  He’s been the best ninth batter in the MLBgiving the Tigers a true second-lead-off hitter. Ramon Santiago is a decent enough replacement defensively, but it is unlikely he will be able to give the Tigers the same type of offensive threat Infante could.

David Fouty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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