Minor League Notebook: 7/10

The Tigers won via the long ball on Saturday against the Twins. The Tigers minor league clubs probably could have used a few of those shots, as little offense and some poor pitching resulted in a 2-4 record for the day. But, Toledo continues its hot streak with another win, continuing to push Columbus in AAA ball.

AAA Toledo 49-42, 2nd place in West division
Another big offensive game from the Mudhens plus a solid outing from Shane Loux means another win for Toledo - this one, an 11-6 victory over Syracuse. Loux, who had been struggling mightily for the past month, finally put together a solid outing, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings of work. Loux also struck out 4. Toledo had plenty of notables at the plate, including Nook Logan, who went 3-for-5 with 2 runs and a Stolen Base. Rayner Bautista and Warren Morris also had 3 hits apiece.

Nook Logan is one of the more interesting stories within the Tiger farm system. He was drafted out of community college in South Florida, under the Randy Smith regime which placed a huge premium on speedy Centerfielders. As he's moved up the system, he's showed that he has incredible speed - easily the best in the organization - but little else as far as tools go. Nevertheless, with the injury concerns in Center Field for the Tigers, Logan could see time with the Tigers, even if he's no longer expected to be the Tigers everyday Centerfielder.

AA Erie 45-41, 3rd place in Southern division
The slide continues for the Erie Seawolves, as they fell 7-4 to Akron on Saturday. Matt Roney got the loss, although he certainly didn't pitch poorly, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings. Not much going offensively, Ryan Raburn went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Mike Rabelo also got a hit and an RBI in just his 5th game at AA.

The Seawolves have had a rough go of it as of late, despite their excellent starting rotation - arguably one of the best in all of minor league baseball. The problem hasn't as much been the pitching, but rather the starters haven't stepped up and dominated any games, and the offense has been extremely sluggish. A number of players started off hot, but have since cooled. It was evident yet again on Saturday, the offense up and down just isn't as strong as a number of other AA clubs, showing that the lineup is full of potential big leaguers - but in the Tiger mold, no game breakers.

High-A Lakeland 6-12, 4th place in West division
Lakeland suffered a tough loss on Saturday, as the offense battled to catch up and tie the game in the 8th, only to see it given right back by the bullpen. Andy Baldwin started but only went 4 innings, giving up 3 runs and striking out 4. The loss went to Jorge Cordova in relief. 1B Chris Maples and a 2-run Home Run, and CF Victor Mendez had a solo shot as one of his 3 hits.

Victor Mendez continues to be a player that frustrates the Tigers organization. He's now 24, and continues to show flashes of brilliance, but overall just doesn't produce like one would hope. He's now tied with Chris Maples for the Home Run lead on the team (10), and has been good in the field, when he's played Center (not an error yet this season). But, his batting average continues to be poor, and in turn his OBP and OPS are below average as well. Already behind as a 24 year old in A ball, Mendez will need to start making better contact if he ever wants to be considered a legitimate prospect in the organization.

Low-A West Michigan 7-10, tied 4th in Eastern division
The Whitecaps were pummled by Fort Wayne on Saturday by a score of 9-2. Brian Rogers was on the mound, but, like Baldwin with the L-Tigers, had a very short outing, only going 3 innings. He gave up 4 runs, but did strike out 6. The offense just wasn't clicking though, as they could only manage 4 hits all game, only one of which was an extra base hit (a double, by Kody Kirkland). Both of the Whitecaps runs came off a first inning single by Danilo Sanchez.

Brian Rogers certainly wasn't in top form on Saturday, but has been a steady performer for the Whitecaps in a year where they needed guys to step up. Rogers can't throw especially hard - his fastball rarely gets into the high 80's - but locates it well and has a solid curve to compliment it. Only time will tell if he'll be able to keep getting hitters out as he goes to more advanced levels.

SS-A Oneonta 11-10, 2nd place in Stedler division
Not all was bad for the Tigers on Saturday, as the O-Tigers were winners, beating Vermont 5-0. Nate Bumstead started for Oneonta, but had a short start as well, only going 4 innings. Tony Peralta got the win in relief for his 3 shutout innings. On offense, Jeff Frazier had a hit and an RBI, and SS Brooks Colvin had 2 hits for the O-Tigers.

Rookie GCL Tigers 8-10 The GCL Yankees topped the GCL Tigers 6-2 on Saturday, Adriano Santos got the loss, as he gave up all 6 runs that the Yankees scored in only 3 1/3 innings of work. Cory Middleton had a solo Home Run in the losing effort, and CF Jeramy Laster also drove in a run for the Rookie club at the plate.


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