Lakeland MLN: Flying Tigers Falling Fast

After losing six of their last seven games, the Flying Tigers have fallen to (24-25) this season.

Lakeland LOBsters

Getting on base wasn't the problem for Lakeland this past week. The Flying Tigers mustered 49 hits and drew 19 walks over seven games.

Despite the hit parade, Lakeland scored just fourteen runs last week. And, to be fair, seven of those runs came in the last two games.

So, what went wrong?

In a nutshell, poor execution and failure to deliver with runners in scoring position. Over the last week, fifty-one Flying Tigers were left on-base and Lakeland was just 8-for-46 with runners in scoring position.

The Flying Tigers are now nine games back, with just sixteen games to go before the standings reset at the All-Star Break. If they're going to make a move, they'd better do it soon. The break is traditionally the time when promotions occur. Yes, I'm referring to guys like Castellanos, Garcia and Rondon.

Burgos' Struggles Continue

Alex Burgos climbed the prospect rankings after an impressive season with Class-A West Michigan last year. Unfortunately, the 21-year-old southpaw has struggled to pick up where he left off last season.

Burgos, 2-7 with a 5.91 ERA, has allowed 95 base runners in 53 1/3 innings this season (1.70 WHIP). Part of the problem, the former fifth round pick has issued a Florida State League high 40 walks.

Burgos hasn't logged a quality start since April 11th. And, after striking out nearly a batter an inning last season, his strikeouts are down to just six per nine innings.

This past week Burgos' slide continued as he was tagged for ten runs off ten hits and ten walks over 9 2/3 innings in his two starts.

Castellanos Continues to Crush

Third-baseman Nick Castellanos put together another impressive week at the plate. The 20-year-old went 13-for-26 (.500) with two doubles and two walks.

Unfortunately, Castellanos struggled a bit defensively, as he picked up his 9th, 10th and 11th errors this past week.

Still, Castellanos comes into tonight's game with a MiLB best .411 batting average and a .472 on-base percentage. He's also striking out 6% less than last season and walking in almost 10% of his at-bats.

Castellanos--who received a well over-slot bonus of $3.45 million--has put together an impressive first half to his sophomore season.

Closing In On 1,700

Flying Tigers Manager Dave Huppert is closing in on his 1,700th career win. Huppert, brings a 1,696-1,560 record into tonight's games. The former Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers catcher is in his 24th season as a Minor League Manager.

Making Moves

A minor hamstring injury sent outfielder Avisail Garcia to the disabled list. Garcia is batting .304 with 5 doubles, 4 triples, 5 home runs and 23 RBI.

22-year-old right-handed reliever Guido Knudson recently joined Lakeland's bullpen. Knudson spilt time between the Gulf Coast League and Connecticut last season.

Former Florida Southern Moccasin Zach Maggard also joined Lakeland last week. Splitting time behind the plate and in a DH role, the 23-year-old, was 3-for-17 with a solo home run this past week.

After hitting .294 in West Michigan, first-baseman Jeff Holm also earned a promotion to Lakeland this past week. The 23-year-old, Michigander was 2-for-9 over three games.

Looking Forward

Tonight, Lakeland sends Brian Stroud to the hill, in game-two of their critical series against the division leading Dunedin Blue Jays.

Thursday, southpaw Brian Flynn gets the ball in the series finale in Dunedin.

On Friday, the Flying Tigers travel three hours to Jupiter for a four-game series against the Hammerheads.

James R. Chipman is the Lakeland Flying Tigers correspondent for TigsTown. Be sure to follow him on twitter @JAYRC_TigsTown.


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