Toledo MLN: Cooling Off at Fifth Third

After a scorching hot July that carried over into early August, the success of the Toledo Mud Hens has stagnated over the last couple of weeks, as they continue to fluctuate between five and 10 games below .500. The Mud Hens put up a 4-3 record this past week, and are 7-8 in the month of August.

At 59-66, the Mud Hens are five games behind third-place Louisville, and six games behind second place Indianapolis in the International League West Division. This week, they finish a four game set at Buffalo before taking on Louisville in a four game home-and-home series.

Wacky weather

Weather difficulties through Lehigh Valley caused complications with the Mud Hens schedule this past week.

Their game Saturday, Aug. 13, was postponed mid-game and finished as part of a doubleheader Sunday. The second game Sunday, which was only scheduled to go seven innings, was also postponed mid-game and made up as part of a doubleheader Monday.

Because of that, Monday's second game was also only scheduled for seven innings.

While the Mud Hens have had several game starts delayed by weather this year, Mother Nature has generally been very cooperative since a wet April. The Mud Hens only had one rainout since May, after have three of them in April.

However, unlike these two instances, none of those four games were continuations, they were just postponed games.

Debut

Much of the hype around the Mud Hens this week was for the Triple-A debut of Jacob Turner, who TigsTown.com has rated as the No. 1 prospect in the Tigers organization. He started last Thursday, August 11 against Louisville.

Much like his big league debut, Turner showed flashes of dominance, but also struggled at times. He finished the night throwing 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks, striking out six.

He threw 88 pitches, 55 for strikes, and allowed a home run. He picked up a no decision, but the Mud Hens won the game in the 11th on a walk-off single by Argenis Diaz.

Roster shuffling

The Mud Hens have dealt with the movement of some of its players over the last couple of days.

First, David Purcey was outrighted to Toledo after being designated for assignment back on Aug 2. He made one appearance in his first week with the team, allowing a run on three hits and two walks in two innings pitched back on Aug. 13 against Lehigh Valley. Ryan Perry was recalled by the Tigers Aug. 13 after Al Alburquerque sustained a concussion from getting hit in the head with a batted ball during batting practice.

The same day, Carlos Guillen was placed on the disabled list with a sore left wrist, allowing Mud Hens' All Star Will Rhymes to make his return to the big leagues on Aug. 14. However, his stint was short-lived, as the Tigers acquired Delmon Young from Minnesota the next day, with Rhymes being optioned back to Toledo to make room for him on the roster.

Finally, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, the Tigers sent Lester Oliveros to the Twins to complete the Young trade. Oliveros had last pitched for the Mud Hens Aug. 10, when he allowed three runs in 1/3 of an inning. In 28 innings with the Mud Hens this year, he had a 6.43 ERA.

Quick Hits

-Adam Wilk picked up two wins on the week to give him eight for the year. That number is good for second on the team (first amongst current Mud Hens) while his 3.15 ERA is good for tops among current Mud Hens starters.

-Brandon Inge hit two more home runs this week, giving him seven with the Mud Hens. He is hitting .307 at Triple-A this season.

-The doubleheaders and rain delays cause the bullpen to have to pick up some slack this week. On Aug. 13 and 14, the bullpen pitched a combined 10 innings in those two games, one of them being a seven inning game.


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