Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson and Dillon Dingler head to Erie

Erie SeaWolves baserunner Riley Greene stole second base in the first inning against the Somerset Patriots on June 9, 2021, at UPMC Park in Erie.P4seawolves060921
Erie SeaWolves baserunner Riley Greene stole second base in the first inning against the Somerset Patriots on June 9, 2021, at UPMC Park in Erie.P4seawolves060921 /
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Double-A Erie SeaWolves (23-12) 2.5 GB Double-A Northeast-Southwest Division

Erie lost 2-0 as Max Green in a bullpen start, tossed three scoreless innings, and Yaya Chentouf, off to a good start since being promoted from West Michigan, also threw two scoreless innings. He has not allowed a run so far in five innings of work.

On the week, Erie went 4-2 against Somerset.  John Valente continues his good month of June as in nine games, he is batting .382/.400/.618 with an OPS of 1.018. In the series against the Patriots, he went 6-for-15 and had 8 total bases.

Riley Green and Dylan Rosa both finished 1-for-3.  Erie with Torkelson and Dingler in tow will start the series against Altoona tomorrow evening. 

The best Double-A team since 1976-77?

As far as position player talent is concerned, there are two teams that come to mind.  The 1976  and 1977 Montgomery Rebels teams had the following on their roster that were regular contributors to the 1984 Detroit Tigers squad:

  • Jack Morris
  • Alan Trammell
  • Lou Whitaker
  • Tom Brookins
  • Dave Rozema
  • Lance Parrish
  • Steve Kemp (traded to Chicago White Sox for Chet Lemon)

So what about in the context of modern-day minor league teams? The 2004 Erie SeaWolves roster was pretty talented, led by Curtis Granderson, who hit 21 home runs and drove in 93 while batting .303. Ryan Raburn hit 16 home runs and batted .293 and Jack Hannahan, who would be a regular in Oakland.  Wil Ledezma was the staff leader in wins with 10 and Joey Zumaya saw some action too.

The names above from the Rebels roster, two of which are in the Hall of Fame. While that is not what I am implying, it is worth noting that many times throughout the history of the farm system since the Tigers won the World Series in 1984, there has not been a core of players at one place at one time with the type of pedigrees that are forming in Erie.

The core of the 1984 team was built out of a strong farm system. While we have seen the Tigers depth tested in the last week with the rash of injuries, fans are seeing the progress of multiple players at once having solid seasons in the minors versus the occasional call-up like Bobby Higginson, Travis Fryman, Tony Clark, Curtis Granderson, and others.

The expectations are there to succeed. Just hoping for the execution at Double-A, where Dingler and Torkelson will be tested.

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