Detroit Tigers: Kyle Funkhouser dominates and other MiLB notes

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: A detail of a Detroit Tigers hat and glove are seen during warm ups against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: A detail of a Detroit Tigers hat and glove are seen during warm ups against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – JUNE 4: Sandy Baez #62 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Comerica Park on June 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 7-4. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – JUNE 4: Sandy Baez #62 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Comerica Park on June 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 7-4. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Erie SeaWolves

The SeaWolves are riding high, having won four straight, including a four-run 13th Thursday night to win in walk-off fashion. Despite their 5-1 week, Erie’s 24-34 record has them in the basement of the Eastern League Western Division.

Baez Makes MLB Debut

Sandy Baez earned his first promotion to the majors this week, serving as the 26th man for Monday’s doubleheader against the Yankees. Baez relieved Drew VerHagen, who started game one and was promptly knocked around.

The righty hit Greg Bird to begin his outing, but responded by fanning Giancarlo Stanton. All told, Baez worked four and a third innings without allowing a run or a hit. He added four strikeouts, and three walks. Not bad for an MLB debut against one of the league’s top offenses.

Detroit sent Baez back to Erie after the game, and he will return to the SeaWolves rotation this weekend. The Dominican has been incredibly consistent for Erie, allowing more than three earned runs once in 10 starts. In his final start before the promotion, Baez dealt seven strong innings, allowing just a pair of hits while striking out seven.

Funkhouser Dominates

We’ve mentioned the inconsistency of Kyle Funkhouser before. The dominant version of Funkhouser showed up this week. The former fourth rounder fired seven brilliant innings Wednesday night, yielding a run on two hits, with just one walk. Funkhouser also struck out nine, tying his season-high.

There has never been a doubt about his talent, but the control has been the question mark. The righty has as many starts this year with one walk (four), as he does with four or more walks. Outings like this one show how good he can be when on his game. It also makes the starts where the control isn’t there all the more frustrating.

Fortunately, Double-A is a perfect environment for him to learn and improve. Trying to work on that stuff in the majors often fails. This makes Funkhouser a perfect example of why the Tigers shouldn’t be in a hurry to rush him, or any of their top pitching prospects, to the Motor City.

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