Minor League Notebook: Hot/Not - 5/10

After the first installment of the season long Hot & Not series, there are some interesting occurrences throughout the Tiger's minor league system. Some players that started out hot have really cooled off, while others still, have begun to really tear it up. Let's take a look at how some of the Tigers farm hands have faired over the last 3 weeks.

HOT – Kyle Sleeth – SP – Lakeland Tigers
After some minor struggles with the adjustment to professional baseball, Sleeth has really turned it on in his last three starts. Sporting a nifty 1.71 ERA over his last 21 innings, Sleeth is setting himself up nicely for a promotion to Double-A Erie. A promotion that will likely come when the whether warms up in most Eastern League locations.

NOT – Kody Kirkland – 3B – West Michigan Whitecaps
He started out ice cold, and that trend has continued. Kirkland is mired in a 3 for 37 slump over his last nine games, as he appears to be overmatched by Midwest League pitching. Things have gotten so bad for Kody, that he has been reduced to splitting time with Nick McIntyre at third. Batting .155 on the season, Kirkland needs to get rolling soon.

HOT – Anderson Hernandez – SS – Erie Seawolves
Three weeks ago, I said he couldn't hit. Since then, he has promptly gone on a torrid streak to show me up. Batting .419 and scoring 10 runs in his last 11 games, Hernandez has bumped his season average to .298, while still maintaining his stellar defense. As a result of this hot streak, Hernandez was just promoted to Double-A Erie.

NOT – Mike Howell – RP – Lakeland Tigers
After a solid start to the season, Howell has been hit hard in his last three relief outings. Posting an ERA over 11.00 and a WHIP over 2.00, Howell has seen his time on the mound decrease. Hopefully he can regain the form that earned him his promotion from West Michigan during the offseason.

HOT – Kenny Baugh – SP – Erie Seawolves
Now fully healthy, Baugh is displaying the ability that made him a first-round draft choice. In his last two starts, Kenny has walked three and struck out 17 over 13 innings. Having lowered his ERA to 3.86 over 5 starts on the year, Baugh is making a strong push for a promotion of his own.

NOT – Scott Tousa – INF – Erie Seawolves
After posting decent numbers last season in Erie, Tousa has struggled mightily this season. Over the last three weeks, Scott has found himself in the midst of a cold streak that has him batting .115 over that time. Batting only .083 for the season, Tousa has seen his playing time decrease, and unless his offense resurfaces, that isn't going to change any time soon.

HOT – Pat Ahearne – SP – Toledo Mudhens
A career minor leaguer who has bounced around over the course of the last decade, Pat is putting together a nice season in Triple-A Toledo. In his last two starts against International League competition, Ahearne has an ERA below 3.00, while only allowing a single walk and 13 hits in 16 innings. The rumbles are beginning to get louder that Ahearne should get a shot in a struggling Detroit rotation.

NOT – Matt Anderson – RP – Toledo Mudhens
The rocking he received while in Detroit has not stopped with a demotion to Toledo. Anderson has been a consistently poor pitcher so far this season. His last 5 outings have resulted in an ERA of 7.71, while allowing 4 walks and 6 hits in a little under 5 innings of work. It's becoming quite apparent that Anderson's career as a member of the Tiger's organization could quickly be coming to an end if he can't learn how to pitch without his 100 mph heat.

HOT – Nook Logan – CF – Toledo Mudhens
Another player that promptly went out and put together a solid three weeks to show up my comments from the last edition. Logan has hit .306, while driving in 10 runs and stealing five bases in six attempts, over his last 14 games. Tiger fans can only hope a performance like this isn't a fluke.

NOT – Scott Moore – 3B – Lakeland Tigers
After racing out of the gates, Moore has come back to earth in a big way. Batting only .205 in his last 13 games, Moore needs to find the magic he had in the first two weeks. Despite his hitting woes, Moore has maintained his patience; drawing 7 walks over those 13 games. Even though he is only batting .235 for the year, Moore still has a .409 OBP.

HOT – Marcus Thames – OF – Toledo Mudhens
This former Yankee prospect has destroyed AAA pitching for the last three weeks. In 13 games, Thames has hit .404 while scoring 15 runs, driving in 16, and hitting 7 homeruns. His incredible three-week run has included two performances where he went 4 for 5, as well as a 3-homerun game. Thames is beating down the door to Detroit, and should see time in the big leagues later this year.


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