Toledo MLN: Struggles Continue in Toledo

After another rough week, the Toledo Mud Hens find themselves sitting at the bottom of the International League West standings. A 2-5 week has the Mud Hens sitting at 27-33 on the season, 11 games behind division-leading Columbus and two games behind third place Indianapolis.

Major help

The Mud Hens' offense, struggling to produce consistent offense this season, received help this week from Magglio Ordonez, playing with the team on a rehab assignment.

Playing the last five games of last week, Ordonez, playing three games in right field and two as a designated hitter, was 6-for-21 at the plate (.285) with a run and an RBI. He is once again expected to be in the lineup tonight, as a DH.

In addition to that, the pitching staff received a boost from the big leagues, with Phil Coke making a rehab start on June 3.

In the start, he threw 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks, striking out six.

Turning the corner

After going through a rough stretch of starts that saw his ERA jump over 6 for the season, Thad Weber threw his second consecutive strong start June 6 against Scranton.

He threw seven strong innings, allowing one run on five hits (one home run), striking out six. The homer was by Jorge Vasquez, who has 19 home runs on the season.

Also making strides is the team's bullpen, which has also struggled with consistency this season.

While the ‘pen got off to a rough start to the week, allowing two runs and picking up the loss on June 1 and allowing four runs — albeit in 4 1/3 innings — on June 2, the Mud Hens' relievers allowed only two runs in the team's last five games.

Ryan Perry had a strong week, allowing one run in four innings pitched, picking up two saves in the process.

Lester Oliveros, who allowed five base runners in one inning, picking up the loss on June 3, Jesus Ortega, who allowed four hits and two runs in an inning on June 2 and Robbie Weinhardt, who allowed two runs on two hits and two walks, picking up the loss on June 1 each had remarkably better efforts in their second appearance of the week.

Weinhardt pitched two scoreless innings on June 5, allowing only one hit while striking out two.

Ortega and Oliveros each pitched two scoreless innings on June 7. Ortega allowed one hit while striking out two, while Oliveros allowed two hits while striking out one.

Power still out

The Mud Hens have struggled in hitting the long ball this season, and they did not fare much better with it this past week.

Toledo had only two long balls all week: one by Max St. Pierre — his first of the year —on June 1 and the other by Bryan Pounds — his third — on June 3.

On the season, the Mud Hens have 46 home runs, 10th out of 14 teams in the International League. Only Buffalo, Indianapolis, Rochester and Syracuse have fewer long balls.

Scott Thorman leads the team with nine home runs. However he is hitting only .218 on the season and has gone through hot and cold streaks. He is currently in one of the cold streaks, hitting .200 with no home runs his last 10 games.

Andy Dirks and Ryan Strieby are tied for second on the team with six home runs. Dirks has been in the majors since May 13, while Strieby, like Thorman, is also in a cold streak. He is hitting .194 with no home runs his last 10 games.

Clete Thomas is the only other Mud Hen with at least five home runs. However, he is only hitting .219 his last 10 games. However, he does have one home run in that span.

Coming back

Andrew Oliver, who had a two-start sting with the Tigers, was sent down on June 6 when the Tigers activated the recently acquired David Purcey.

In those two starts, he allowed seven runs in 9 2/3 innings, an ERA of 6.52.

He will certainly be a welcomed addition to the Mud Hens' rotation. In nine starts with the club this season, he has four wins and a 3.31 ERA.

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