Detroit Tigers: The Toledo Mud Hens win the Midwest Division title

Toledo Mud Hens infielder Isaac Parades fields a ground ball against the Nashville Sounds Tuesday May 4, in Toledo, OH.Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo Mud Hens infielder Isaac Parades fields a ground ball against the Nashville Sounds Tuesday May 4, in Toledo, OH.Toledo Mud Hens /

There was joy in Glass City as the Detroit Tigers Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens, cinched the Midwest Division title.

Heading into the season, the Detroit Tigers Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens were a veteran ballclub that had the potential to make noise under the new alignment in Triple-A.

They did just that, winning the inaugural Triple-A East Midwest Division title with a 5-1 win over Columbus last night.

The Mud Hens were able to handle the steady traffic of callups to Detroit as 13 different pitchers were called up to fill the gaps on the roster.  In addition, Eric Haase, Jake Rogers, Dustin Garneau, and Derek Hill, who all played a role in the Tigers’ offense this season, all saw time in Toledo.

The home run power in Glass City

Aderlin Rodriguez, who hit his 200th career home run this week, has been the catalyst for the Mud Hens in terms of power. He hit .360/.441/.697 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in the month of  July and he chipped in with six more in August. This one last night was a moonshot to remember.

On the season, he has 27 home runs and 84 RBI and heading into tonight, has an OPS of .954 and is now hitting .300 on the season.

The utility play of Kody Clemens after coming back from injury has been a key component as his bat started to hit up. He has seen time not only at his natural position of second but time in right field and even at first base. He has a chance to be the fourth Mud Hens player to hit 20 home runs this season as he sits with 17 heading into tonight.

Christin Stewart, who has been with the Mud Hens all season, has 20 home runs on the season and has been a steady presence in the outfield.  Renato Nunez, who is now with the Brewers, also hit 20 home runs in a Mud Hens uniform.

The newest Mud Hens, Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, and Ryan Kreidler have made a quick impact, as the three have combined for 18 home runs in 28 games. Torkelson leads the trio with seven, Greene with six, and Krielder has five.

Toledo’s pitching contributors

It has been interesting to see how Mark Leiter Jr has faired since he was called up to Triple-A. The veteran righty went 4-0 in the month of July with an ERA of 0.72 only to turn around and go 0-3 in August with an ERA of 11.81.

However, he has bounced back nicely with back-to-back quality starts, with a 14 K performance against Iowa last week and in the clincher,  he pitched 7 innings, allowing one run on four hits and struck out 11.

Ricardo Pinto has led the staff in wins with 10 and the bullpen has been getting a steady performance from Locke St John, who is back with the Tigers organization as he has done five starts from the bullpen and posted an ERA of 2.83.

Credit to manager Tom Prince for balancing the lineups with the frequent callups.

This homestand against Columbus and the series against St.Paul at the end of the month may be the last time you can catch Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson in a Mud Hens uniform.