Tigers place Inge on DL

Detroit Tigers infielder Brandon Inge will start the season on the 15-day disabled list because of a groin strain.

The move is retroactive to March 30.

Inge was vying for the starting second base job after losing his third base position when Miguel Cabrera moved across the diamond following the offseason acquisition of first baseman Prince Fielder.

The longest-tenured Tiger struggled at the plate this spring with a .180 batting average. He posted just nine hits in 50 at-bats with a homer and three doubles.

Inge is eligible to return April 14.

The 34-year-old veteran made his big league debut with the Tigers in 2001 and has one year remaining on his contract with a club option for 2013. He appeared in 102 games last season, accepting a stint in the minors when the club designated him for assignment, and batted a mere .197 with three homers and 23 runs batted in.

However, he did make the club's postseason roster and hit .318 in 10 playoff games.