Minor League Notebook: 7/8

Thursday was on the whole an off day for the Tigers minor leaguers. Toledo and the GCL Tigers never had their game, Erie and Oneonta were on off days, leaving just the full season class A teams - of which they combined for 1-2 record, with Lakeland splitting a doubleheader to make up a rainout from Wednesday.

AAA Toledo 48-40, 2nd place in West division
Toledo's game Thursday was rained out, they'll make it up as part of a doubleheader on Friday.

AA Erie 44-40, 3rd place in Southern division
Erie had an off day on Thursday. They start up a 3-game set Friday night against Akron with Kenny Baugh taking the mound.

High-A Lakeland 6-10, 4th place in West division
Lakeland split their doubleheader with Vero Beach on Thursday. In the opener, the L-Tigers got the victory by a score of 2-0. Corey Hamman got the win, going 6 innings with only 3 hits and 3 strikeouts. Tony Giarratano had 2 hits for Lakeland, and Scott Moore launched a solo Home Run. Mike Kobow also pitched a perfect 7th (last) inning for his 7th save. The second game was another tight one, but Joel Zumaya couldn't shut out Vero Beach like Hamman did, giving up 3 runs in 4 1/3 innings before being pulled. Giarratano also had 2 more hits in the 2nd game.

Zumaya's outing certainly wasn't spectacular, but it was good for him to be back on the field, after being out for a short period of time with a mystery injury. No one within the organization will confirm the cause or extent of the injury, but rumor has it the injury came as a result of some incident in the clubhouse - involving a chair (take that for what you will). Zumaya certainly didn't have his best stuff, but being back on the field is a plus, and the fact that he only walked 1 batter compared to 4 strikeouts is another plus, as Zumaya's biggest issues have been his control (as well as fatigue as he goes deeper into games). His K:BB ratio still isn't spectacular (1.65), but every outing like this one, even with a loss, helps his future.

Low-A West Michigan 6-9, 5th place in Eastern division
The Whitecaps got shut out on Thursday by Fort Wayne, only losing it in the end on a3-run Home Run allowed by reliever Kenon Ronz. Christhian Martinez started for the Whitecaps, going 7 innings without a run allowed, walking 2 and striking out 5. SS Juan Francia had 3 hits at the top of the order in the losing effort for the Whitecaps.

Christhian Martinez has come out of nowhere to emerge as a solid pitcher in the Tiger organization. After an unimpressive season last year with the GCL Tigers, Martinez had an excellent start to the Oneonta season before being bumped up to West Michigan. In his 3 starts in the Midwest League, Martinez is 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA, including 15 strikeouts to only 3 walks. Martinez is certainly not young for the level he's pitching at, but those numbers are good enough to make anyone turn around and take notice. Due to his age it's tough to call him a prospect, but he may very well be the best pitcher on the team, from what he's displayed thusfar.

SS-A Oneonta 9-10, 2nd place in Stedler division
Oneonta was also off on Thursday, they start a 3-game set with Vermont on Friday.

Rookie GCL Tigers 8-7, 2nd place in Northern division
Surprisingly enough, it appears no game was played by the GCL Tigers on Thursday, although they were scheduled to face the GCL Braves.

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