Toledo actually improved its record from last season, jumping up to a .424 winning percentage at the end of the 2013 season. Still, the Mud Hens finished this season bringing up the rear in the West Division of the International League and struggled mightily for much of the season. That being said, there were many silver linings on this year's roster.
Jose Alvarez had a pretty strong campaign with the Mud Hens in 2013, going 8-6 with a strong 2.80 ERA. Even more impressive was his command, as Alvarez tallied 115 strikeouts compared to just 25 walks. Alvarez's success with Toledo earned the lefty a few spot starts with the Tigers, where he is 1-4 this season.
Blaine Hardy finished the season strong after being promoted to Toledo from Erie, posting a 6-1 record and 1.69 ERA after being promoted to Toledo. Hardy didn't allow a run in his last three starts, helping the lefty end the season on a high note.
Casey Crosby continued to struggle with the injury bug this season with his last start lasting one inning on June 17. Crosby ultimately finished the season at 2-5 with a 4.84 ERA after many returns to the disabled list with lingering shoulder issues.
Bruce Rondon earned 14 saves at the back end of Toledo's bullpen earlier in the season before being called up to Detroit. Rondon is widely considered to be the next-best prospect behind Nick Castellanos and has certainly shown signs of improvement over the season, performing exceptionally well against International League hitting and showing steady improvement at the Major League level.
Many of the top prospects within the organization stepped up to the plate at some point for Toledo this season. Nick Castellanos—the player universally regarded as Detroit's top prospect—had a solid season, hitting for a .278 average with 18 home runs and 76 runs driven in. Castellanos is hovering around the same mark in limited time with the Tigers, hitting for a .273 average in 11 at bats since being called up to Detroit at the beginning of September.
Jordan Lennerton was nearly unstoppable at the plate in the first few months of the season, hitting well over a .300 average through the month of June. After the All Star break, though, Lennerton's numbers began to drop and the first baseman ended the 2013 season with a .278 average. Lennerton finished the season with 17 home runs and 57 runs driven in, a solid season but a far cry from the pace he set early in his 2013 campaign.
Avisail Garcia hit the ball really well in 41 games with the Mud Hens, hitting for a .374 average in Toledo with six home runs and 32 runs driven in before being traded to the Chicago White Sox. Garcia was part of the three-way trade that sent the outfielder to the White Sox and brought Jose Iglesias to Detroit from Boston.
Danny Dorn quietly had a very strong season for the Mud Hens, leading the team in both home runs and runs driven in with 25 and 82, respectively. Dorn also earned an All Star spot this season, replacing teammate Nick Castellanos.
While Toledo has struggled for the last few seasons, next season could prove to be a bit more successful. The farm system has a lot of talent and a decent amount of that talent should be in Toledo next year. One stop below in Erie, the SeaWolves just completed a playoff run, so the Mud Hens could be in line to receive a good amount of the players that produced a postseason club.