Okay, so you may be wondering why I am doing a Lakeland Flying Tigers recap. With the Tigers having the day off on Monday, awaiting the Seattle series to begin on Tuesday, the focus of the organization and a large part of the fans’ as well, was shifted to Lakeland, Florida. That’s because the Tigers currently anointed top prospect Jacob Turner was pitching for the first time in 2012 after suffering through a tired arm in spring training.
The results and the reports were positive.
Turner went four innings tonight for Lakeland, not allowing a hit and walking two batters. Word is that his fastball sat in the low 90′s most of the night and touched the mid 90′s on occasion. He did mix in some curve balls and change ups, and reportedly those weren’t as sharp, which can be expected with a little bit of the layoff. Turner didn’t strike out any batters, but generate 7 ground balls in those four innings before giving way to Flying Tigers reliever Matt Little.
Lakeland went on to win the game 7-2, with the Tigers good pitching getting support from a strong batting order. The hitting heroes on the night for Lakeland were catcher James McCann (3-4), and 2B Hernan Perez (2-3 with 3 runs scored). Lakeland OF Avisail Garcia contributed 2 hits as well to raise his season average to .357. Daniel Fields tripled in a couple of runs as well, and he now has 11 RBI on the season.
Lakeland is now 7-8 on the season.
Other minor league games:
Toledo 5 Columbus 3
The Mud Hens stayed hot Monday night, defeating the Cleveland Indians minor league affiliate Columbus. The game for the Mud Hens was started by Andy Oliver, and while Oliver held the Clippers in check on the scoreboard, Oliver once again struggled with command, walking 5 batters in 6 innings. Oliver did strike out 7, and only allowed two hits and 2 runs, lowering his ERA on the season to 5.31.
The offense was led once again by the duo of Ryan Strieby and Brad Eldred, who are damaging baseballs, and pitchers, for one of the more impressive 3 and 4 hole hitting tandems in the minors (numbers wise). Both Strieby and Eldred homered, giving Strieby 3 on the season, but he has 17 RBI to go with that. Eldred is leading the International League in homers with 9, and has 27 RBI, which is tops as well.
West Michigan 6 Beloit 1
West Michigan has performed pretty well early in the 2012 season, but one player that kind of struggled out of the gate has been lefty starter Kyle Ryan. Ryan pitched well tonight however, leading the Whitecaps to an easy victory over the Twins minor league affiliate. Beloit has two quality every day prospects in Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, so this is a good test for any pitching staff. Ryan went 6 strong innings on the night, giving up just 3 hits and one walk, lowering his season ERA to 4.37.
The offense was led by the top of the order tonight, with the first three hitters in the order each collecting a pair of hits on the night. Chad Wright, Eugenio Suarez, and Aaron Westlake all contributed, but Westlake led the way with two doubles and two RBI. Dean Green also contributed with his 5th home run of the season, a solo shot late in the game against the strong arm of Corey Williams.
The Whitecaps are now 9-9 on the season.
Other minor league news:
*Cody Buckel of the Rangers continues to dominate in high A Myrtle Beach. Last night Buckel went 6.1 innings of baseball while striking out eight. For the year, Buckel has gone 21.1 innings, allowing only 2 runs and striking out 29.
*Adam Conley of the Marlins, who the Tigers reportedly liked, has made 4 starts on the season, going 20 innings and only allowing two runs this season. He has struck out 23 as well.
*After a strong season last year, White Sox prospect Rangel Ravelo may soon become more of a household name. Ravelo is hitting .391 so far in low A, and turns just 20 years old today.
*While the Royals have had some prospects take a step back the past couple seasons, a few have stepped forward, namely Jason Adam and Jorge Bonifacio. Adam had a good start again last night, going five innings, striking out five and not allowing a run. On the season, Adam is sporting an ERA of 0.40, allowing just one earned run in 22.2 innings.