Lakeland MLN: Playoffs Out of the Picture

The Flying Tigers experienced one of the worst weeks of their season over the past five games, and, unfortunately, their door to the playoffs has slammed shut.

Lakeland, who still had slight playoff hopes in the closely-knit FSL North at the end of last week, finished this week with a dismal 1-4 record. Their second-half record now lies at eight games under.500 –at 23-31—and they're not 8.5 games behind first-place Dunedin.

With only 16 games left in their 2011 season, Lakeland, to the disappointment of players like Tony Plagman and Corey Jones, who foresaw their team making the playoffs, simply don't have enough time.

They seem to be riding the rest of their season on their regular line-up, with the hopes of continued development and with an eye toward a promising 2012.

Jordan Lennerton

Despite the team's struggles, first baseman Jordan Lennerton has been streaking.

In the five games since August 18th, Lennerton is 10-for-18 while depositing two homers over the wall. Both his shots were with no one on base, and the two RBI resulting from the homers were the only two he posted for the week, but Lennerton, along with Plagman, has proven that he has an auspicious future looming.

Lennerton is also considered by TigsTown to be the best defensive first baseman in the organization.

Between his glove, his decent batting average that has steadily grown to .274, and his impressive .396 OBP, Lennerton could very well be promoted to double-A Erie in the offseason.

Lennerton's fellow first baseman (no surprise here), is also someone to look for in the transaction log.

While only sporting a .264 batting average and there being speculation as to whether his bat speed will limit his success in higher levels, there's no ignoring Tony Plagman's production.

Plagman leads the FSL with 90 RBI (11 ahead of runner-up Elevys Gonzalez) and has hit 17 homers. Speculation can only go so far, while numbers don't lie.

Tyler White cruising through the FSL

Since being drafted last year out of the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, relief pitcher Tyler White has experienced some arm problems, and has never really had the chance to fall into a smooth groove on the mound. His problems have also come hand-in-hand with some control problems but, after a year in progress, Tyler White has been utterly dominant for Lakeland since his promotion from the GCL.

In ten appearances for Lakeland, White has allowed one earned run over 18 innings pitched. On top of that, White has held opposing lineups to a .206 batting average.

On an odd note, while White has allowed only one earned run over his 18 innings, he's surrendered another seven unearned.

Looking ahead

Continuing to make-up rainouts from earlier in the season, Lakeland has another two double-headers scheduled for the next week.

On Thursday they play a two at Dunedin, then play four straight in Clearwater, and then host Dunedin for another two on Tuesday.

Making moves

Lakeland acquired a whole lot of players over the past week.

Outfielder Brandon Eckerle was assigned to Lakeland from the GCL Tigers, along with shortstop Brandon Loy.

Ryan Soares was acquired from West Michigan, and Shaun Teufel, who was welcomingly sent up to Toledo, return to Lakeland by the end of the week.

Finally, shortstop William Bergolla, who has been a pleasant surprise for Lakeland, was sent up to Erie, and then sent back to Lakeland.


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