Being committed to talking about Tigers prospects as much as possible, I will try and do these updates as frequently as possible, and maybe some features, scouting reports, and mid-season rankings along the way. It appears right now the big club is going to be borrowing pretty steadily from the Mud Hens, so it should be fun to keep up with what they are doing, as well as everyone else.
The Tigers minor league affiliates went 3-1 on the night, with their best club Lakeland losing its second in a row.
Toledo 3 Louisville 1
The Mud Hens were led on the night by the unheralded Thad Weber, who had probably the best start of the season for the Mud Hens thus far. Weber went 6 shutout innings for the Hens, giving up just 3 hits and walking just 1. He also struck out 8 Louisville batters on his way to his first win of the season. Weber has rather pedestrian stuff, so he isn’t a guy to necessarily get excited about, but he could get some time in the majors at some point if things bounce right for him. Matt Hoffman came on in relief and gave up an unearned run to Louisville, while Chris Bootcheck came on to get the save.
The offense was stymied for the most part, as Jeff Francis took the mound for the Cincinnati affiliate. I’m sure everyone will be watching Brandon Inge on his rehab assignment, and he went 1 for 3 tonight with a walk. Audy Ciriaco is only 2 for 17 on the season thus far, but both of his hits have been home runs, as he went solo again tonight for the Mud Hens.
Toledo is 2-3 on the season so far.
Star of the night: Gotta be Weber
Erie 6 Binghamton 1
Look out Eastern League! Here come the Seawolves! Well, I kid, but mainly because there isn’t a lot of top prospects to keep track of on the Erie squad, but they have enough vets, it might help them have a respectable record. The starting pitcher, James Avery, was added this off-season as a minor league free agent to add a veteran presence, and he had a good night tonight. He went 5 scoreless while striking out 3 batters. He gave way in the sixth to Jared Gayhart who was wild tonight, giving up a run and walking 4 in one inning of work. Kenny Faulk went two scoreless, and Mike Morrison finished the game off in the ninth scoreless as well.
The middle of the order Bryan Pounds, John Murrian, and Tony Plagman provided much of the offense tonight, driving in 5 on 7 hits. Tony Plagman led the way with 3 hits in 5 at-bats, while Bryan Pounds provided the thunder hitting 2 home runs.
Erie is now 2-3 on the season as well.
Star of the night: Bryan Pounds
Brevard County 4 Lakeland 3
Even when Lakeland loses, its a close game. However, that isn’t the biggest news from this game. It appears that Nick Castellanos was removed from the game in the 5th inning. I have tried to get information on what it was, but have been unsuccessful to this point. I’m sure at some point today we might get a better idea why he was pulled from the game. In other injury news, apparently Jacob Turner is still working his way back, or more injured than was originally thought. The Tigers are being tight lipped on this one, but if he was ready to go he would have started tonight. Instead, Shawn Teufel got the start and didn’t pitch that well. He went 4 innings giving up all 4 runs. Tyler Clark and Matt Crouse sparkled in relief going a combined 5 shutout innings.
Lakeland is now 3-2 on the season.
Star of the night: Wade Gaynor 2 for 4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored.
West Michigan 4 Bowling Green 3
The Tigers affiliate topped the Rays affiliate today just like the big club. The pitching staff was led by Wilsen Palacios who started for the ‘Caps and went 6 strong innings giving up just one run to the talented Hot Rods club. Jade Todd came on in relief and pitched 2 scoreless before giving way to the struggling closer Daniel Bennett. Bennett gave up 2 runs in the ninth blowing his 2nd save already this season. He did earn the victory when the ‘Caps offense scored in the 9th to take the victory.
Offensively the ‘Caps were led by slugger Dean Green, who is off to a fantastic start this season. Green went 4 for 4 on the night, but didn’t score any runs or drive any in. Eugenio Suarez, Aaron Westlake, and Brandon Loy had the ribbies on the evening until the 9th, when Colin Kaline drove in the fourth and final run with a walk off single.
West Michigan is 3-2 on the season.
Star of the night: Kaline. 1 for 3 with an RBI, but it’s a game winner.
Around the League:
*Diamondbacks top prospect Trevor Bauer went 5.2 innings and struck out 11. He has been impressive so far, and probably isn’t far away from contributing in the bigs.
*Rockies prospect Christian Friedrich went 7.1 innings and only gave up 2 hits to a good hitting Tacoma squad. He struck out 6 as well. Friedrich is trying to get himself back on the map and is off to a strong start this season.
*Angels top pick from last season, C.J. Cron went 5 for 5 with a home run.
*Rangers Justin Grimm is off to a great start, posting an ERA of just 0.77 in his first 2 starts.
*19 year old Manny Machado is holding his own in AA for the Orioles, hitting .333 so far on the season with a couple of homers.