Last Friday marked Opening Day for the Connecticut Tigers, the Detroit Tigers short-season affiliate in the New York-Penn League. Connecticut is off to a 2-5 start in the Stedler Division.
Hernandez and O’Loughlin Debut
A pair of prospects made their Tigers affiliate debuts for Connecticut this week in Wilkel Hernandez and Jack O’Loughlin. Acquired in the Ian Kinsler trade last offseason, Hernandez took the ball for Connecticut on Thursday. It was an interesting debut to say the least.
Hernandez lasted just an inning and two-thirds, giving up three runs, although only one was earned. He also allowed two hits and three walks, but struck out six. Hernandez struck out four in the first inning, thanks to a passed ball on a third strike that allowed the batter to reach. That gives him a strikeout rate of 32.4/9. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he doesn’t keep that up.
The Detroit Tigers signed O’Loughlin as an international free agent out of Australia in July of 2016. He pitched for Adelaide in the Australian League for two seasons, and made his debut for Connecticut on Tuesday.
The southpaw spun four nearly perfect innings, striking out five, with a hit batter the lone blemish. O’Loughlin, Billy Lescher, and Aaron Fernandez were working on a combined no-hitter against Vermont (Oakland), but the Lake Monsters lone hit of the game turned out to be a walk-off single.
The Tigers Gulf Coast League affiliates began their 2018 seasons this week as well. GCL Tigers West started the season 3-0, and sit in first place in the GCL Northwest. The East squad is 2-1, a half game out of first in the GCL Northeast.
By now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the incredible pro debut of Brock Deatherage. This year’s 10th round pick of the Tigers hit three homers and scored four times in his first professional outing for GCL Tigers West Monday. He followed that up with a grand slam the following day, and earned a quick promotion to West Michigan.
A pair of pitchers made excellent professional debuts for GCL Tigers East on Wednesday. Wayne State product Jared Tobey started, and allowed just a pair of base runners while striking out three in four scoreless innings. 35th rounder Chavez Fernander worked the next four, surrendering one hit and fanning four. The duo combined with Ronaldo Lopez on a two-hit shutout.
East’s Offensive Eruption
On Tuesday, GCL Tigers East put up an astonishing 24 runs on 18 hits, while drawing 13 walks. The outburst included three innings of five runs or more, including an eight-run fourth and nine-run seventh. The game was also called early due to rain, so the Tigers did all of that in eight innings.
That’ll do it for this week’s Detroit Tigers Minor League Report. Make sure to check back each Friday during the season for the latest news and updates from around the system.