Detroit Tigers fans finally see Jackson Jobe in action.
It was the first full week of action for all four Detroit Tigers full-season minor league affiliates, and there’s plenty to talk about, including the usual buffet of strong individual performances and dramatic team wins.
But last week also saw the highly anticipated professional debut of Jackson Jobe, the Detroit Tigers’ top pick in the 2021 draft. Jobe was a somewhat controversial choice at the time, given the general risk of high-school pitchers, and the fact there were highly rated position players still on the board.
But the Detroit Tigers chose Jobe, and his first outing gave fans a decent look why. That said, it was just 20 pitches, in a player’s professional debut, and it came nearly a year after he last saw real competitive action, so drawing any real conclusions would be extremely foolish.
We’ll dig more into Jobe’s numbers later, but first let’s hit the upper levels of the system, beginning with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.
Toledo Mud Hens (3-8) – 9th in International League East
The Mud Hens’ first road trip of the season took them to chilly, damp Iowa, and they returned home with just one win for their trouble. Tuesday’s opener saw a rehabbing Michael Pineda (3.1 IP, 6H, 4ER, 2BB, 3K) dodge trouble for a few innings before collapsing with one out in the 4th with a single-single-single-grand slam sequence. The Hens made it interesting with three runs in the 9th on a Josh Lester double and Jacob Robson home run, but they still lost 8-5. Wednesday was the start of an unfortunate trend of the bullpen blowing leads. Toledo led 2-0 in the 9th, but Drew Carlton allowed three runs in the bottom of the frame and the Mud Hens fell.
Thursday was the club’s only win, and it came after an uneven start from Joey Wentz, whose final line (3.1 IP, 3H, 3HR, 4ER, 2BB, 7K) brought back memories of former Detroit Tigers hurler Matthew Boyd. Recently acquired Jamie Westbrook provided the big knock, with a game-tying solo home run in the top of the 9th, and Toledo went on to win 8-6 thanks to a trio of wild pitches.
Beau Brieske (5IP, 2H, 0ER, 2BB, 5K) was excellent in his second Triple-A outing, but Toledo scored just once, on a Willi Castro single, and the Cubs plated five runs in the 8th to take home the late win last Friday. Saturday’s 3-2 loss was another heartbreaker, as the Mud Hens took an early 2-0 lead, but Iowa tied it in the 8th, and once again bested Carlton the 10th. Sunday’s game was postponed due to poor weather, with a makeup date set for August 3rd.
The Mud Hens just couldn’t muster much offense all week, but they’ll try to get their bats going tonight as they host the St. Paul Saints for six games.