West Michigan Whitecaps
It was an up-and-down week for the Whitecaps, who had both a three-game winning streak and three-game losing streak. They currently sit at 12-6, a half game behind Lansing (Toronto) in the Midwest League Eastern Division.
Manning’s first outing of 2018 was a mixed bag. The first nine outs the 20-year old recorded were strikeouts, and 10 of his 11 outs were K’s.
In the fourth, things started to unravel. With one out, he gave up a single and a walk. After picking up his 10th strikeout, he loaded the bases with another walk, then gave up a two-run single which ended his night. For the evening, Manning threw 69 pitches, 43 of them (62 percent) for strikes.
The former first rounder took the hill again for West Michigan on Thursday afternoon. Again, he had mixed results. On one hand, Manning did not allow a hit, and struck out six in four innings.
On the other hand, he walked five, and threw just 55 percent of his 86 pitches for strikes. Walks were an issue at times last year for Manning, who posted 4.4 BB/9 in his two stops in 2017. Hopefully, as Manning gets comfortable again following the injury, he starts to pound the strike zone more.
As seems to be the case with many of the Detroit Tigers affiliates, the offense has been a work in progress for West Michigan. Only two Whitecaps are hitting above .250 thus far, shortstop Cole Peterson, and outfielder Luke Burch.
The Whitecaps took their offensive struggles to a new low on Wednesday, as they were no-hit in game one of a doubleheader against Lake County (Cleveland).
Outside of Peterson, whose hot hitting we’ve detailed in each of the first two weeks, the lone bright spot has been Burch.
A ninth round pick last year out of Kent State, Burch leads West Michigan with 11 RBIs. He drove in multiple runs in four straight from April 19-22, including a career-high three on April 21. Hopefully, the rest of the Whitecaps bats warm up with the weather to keep the team in contention.
That’s it for week three of the Minor League Report. Make sure to check back each Friday for the latest news and happenings from around the Detroit Tigers system.