Minor League Notebook: 7/27

It was a good day for the Tigers farm system (although not for the big league club) as they were just a GCL win away from having an undefeated day. The Tigers also got a big game out of Kenny Baugh - who after another successful outing, could be considered for a promotion to the Tiger rotation - or maybe even included in a deadline deal trade.

AAA Toledo 57-48, 1st place in West division
The Mudhens pulled out a close one, beating Buffalo by a score of 2-1. They were led by Pat Ahearne on the mound, who allowed just 1 run in 7 2/3 innings of work. He also struck out 4 in the outing which evened his record at 8-8. Franklyn German pitched a perfect 9th to get his 23rd save. The Mudhens didn't have much offense, but a 2-run Home Run from Rich Gomez provided enough offense to give the Mudhens the win, who now have a 2-game lead in the West.

There is no guarantees that the Tigers will make a deal at the deadline, but if they do and it involves a pitcher, there's a chance Ahearne could get a promotion to the big league club. Ahearne has been a workhorse all year for Toledo, and while the Tigers might be hesitant to pull Ahearne from a playoff race in AAA, there's no question he's earned it - even if it would only be a few starts to close out the season.

AA Erie 53-46, 2nd place in Southern division
Kenny Baugh pitched his longest outing of the year, leading the Seawolves to a 9-3 win over Bowie on Tuesday. Baugh pitched 8 innings to get his 7th win of the year, giving up 1 run and striking out 4. At the plate, Kurt Airoso was the star, going 2-for-4 with a Home Run and 5 RBI. 2B Ryan Raburn also went 2-for-4 with a Home Run and 2 RBI, and Max St. Pierre had 3 hits and an RBI while providing his solid defense behind the plate.

Kenny Baugh continues to pitch well in Erie, and people are taking notice. There are trade talks surrounding Tigers starter Mike Maroth, and another Tiger starter - Gary Knotts - has been struggling as of late. The Tigers originally wanted to leave Baugh in the minors all year long, but he's pitched well, and an opening could emerge in Detroit. Baugh's velocity still isn't quite as high as it used to be, but it is back up to around 90, which is adequate for a big league starter. That coupled with 3 other major league caliber pitches and an almost 3-to-1 K:BB ratio could mean a chance in Detroit for Baugh in 2004.

High-A Lakeland 12-20, 6th place in West division
The L-Tigers game on Tuesday was postponed due to rain. They'll make it up with a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Low-A West Michigan 13-18, 5th place in Eastern division
The Whitecaps were victorious as well on Tuesday, beating Quad Cities 5-1. Christhian Martinez got the win, as he continues to pitch well for West Michigan after starting the season off with Oneonta and quickly earning a promotion. Martinez pitched 6 innings, scattering 8 hits with only 1 run and striking out 3. Kelly Hunt awoke at the plate after a long slump, launching a 2-run Home Run. Kody Kirkland also had a pair of hits, while Wilton Reynolds had a solo Home Run.

Wilton Reynolds - after receiving hype because of his incredible tools - is running out of chances with the Tiger farm system. Reynolds struggled in Lakeland, and was sent down to West Michigan to see if he could straighten out his problems there. Thusfar, his Home Run aside, he hasn't done too much, hitting just .167 with a .278 slugging percentage. Reynolds can still draw attention because of his quickness and raw power, but that has yet to translate into any type of consistent production. And if that doesn't happen soon, Reynolds may be seeing his last days in the Tiger organization.

SS-A Oneonta 18-19, 2nd place in Stedler division
Oneonta got a big win on Tuesday, blanking Vermont in 1-0 victory. Dan Konecny got the win, pitching 8 innings of shutout baseball with 9 strikeouts. Collin Mahoney pitched the 9th for his 2nd save (which also helped lower his ERA to 3.86). The O-Tigers lone run came off a Dusty Ryan single in the 1st inning, which proved to be enough for the win.

Rookie GCL Tigers 14-15, 2nd place in Northern division
The GCL Tigers weren't able to complete the sweep for the day, falling to the GCL Phillies 5-1. Jay Sborz got the loss, pitching 6 2/3 innings, but giving up 5 runs. He did strike out 7 batters however. Brandon Timm had 2 hits for the rookie club.

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