a) You want to have a little fun before breaking camp;
b) You want to showcase a disgruntled player's versatility in order to increase his trade value; or
c) You just realized that your starting shortstop missed 37 games last year and ain't getting any younger.
I hope this isn't a one-time thing and that Inge can actually handle the position, because I can't think of anyone other than one-game gimmicks like Jose Oquendo who actually played catcher and shortstop.
Inge did play an awesome third base last season, so here's hopin' . . .
Update: ShysterBall readers, as always, come through. Check the comments for the full discussion, but for a glimpse into how rare the air Inge could be breathing really is, I turn things over to Roger Moore in comment 10 below:
Poking around with the Lahman database, it looks as though there have indeed been very few players to put in significant time at both catcher and short. There are only two players who put together as many as 100 games at each position: Jack Rowe and Bobby Bragan. Fewer than a dozen had as many as 50 games at each position, and most of those were 19th Century guys. Bragan and Mo Berg are the only players who debuted after 1900 to get even 50 games at both positions.I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm lucky to have the bestest readers on the Interwebs.
Even if you relax the standard to 10 games at each position, you can only extend the list to 12 post-1900 players. Noteworthy names in addition to Bragan and Berg are Don Zimmer (mentioned by mr. thursday) and Jamie Quirk. The pre-1900 list is much more distinguished. It includes 4 HOFers: Orator O'Rourke, King Kelly, Ned Williamson, and Buck Ewing. Those 19th Century guys were obviously forced to be more flexible than today's players.