Minor League Notebook: 8/8

It was another dpwn day for the Tigers and their farm system, as the Florida clubs were off, but the other 4 combined to go 1-3 on the day. The Mudhens continue their slide as they couldn't get a win on Sunday, meanwhile the hottest team in the entire system just happens to be the one where you would least expect it.

AAA Toledo 59-57, 2nd place in West division
The Mudhens continue their slide, falling to Richmond on Sunday 10-1. Shane Loux tried to stop the bleeding so-to-speak, but was unsuccessful. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits with 2 walks and a strikeout. The bullpen didn't fare much better, combining to give up another 5 runs. And to top it off, the offense managed just 4 hits - 2 by 1B Andy Barkett.

The Mudhens are reeling, and there seems to be an obvious reason as to why. The Tigers. The changes within the Toledo roster have created a swinging door, with faces changing constantly. Marcus Thames was called up to Detroit, Joe Vitiello went to the Disabled List, Nook Logan was briefly called up to Detroit, Danny Klassen left the team for the Canadian Olympic team, and so on. All this put together has resulted in a team that hasn't been able to put up consistent offensive production. The team, currently 0-for-August, needs to get some more offensive production if it expects to hang with Columbus, who is no 2.5 games ahead of them in the West division standings.

AA Erie 60-52, 2nd place in Southern division
The Seawolves have been on a roll as of late, but that streak didn't continue as they lost in extra innings on Sunday to Reading, 6-5. Kyle Sleeth got the start, lasting until the 8th inning, but lost the lead then. For the game, he went 7 1/3 innings, allowing 5 runs with 6 strikeouts. Mark Woodyard took the loss in the 12th, allowing a run without recording an out. At the plate, David Espinosa, Jack Hannahan, and the newly added Chad Meyers each had a Home Run, with Hannahan having a 2-run Home Run.

While Sleeth walked away with a no decision and 5 earned runs allowed, he certainly did not pitch poorly. He had allowed 3 runs through 7 innings - typically a good place to stop - but he still felt strong and hadn't allowed a run the past 3 innings, so he went back out for the 8th. All in all, a good outing for Sleeth, even if the numbers don't quite indicate it. He's still not as advanced as some had hoped, and any thought of a Detroit call-up has been scratched, but no one is disappointed with Sleeth's progress.

High-A Lakeland 16-26, 6th place in West division
The L-Tigers had a scheduled day off on Sunday, giving them a 2-day break when combined with their rainout on Saturday, a common theme for Lakeland this time of year. They'll face Tampa on Monday.

Low-A West Michigan 20-22, 4th place in Eastern division
The Whitecaps got a win on Sunday, beating Clinton in a close one, 5-4. Brian Rogers started and took a no-decision, with Brian Santo getting the win in relief and Eulogio Delacruz picking up the save. Rogers went 5 innings, allowing 2 runs with 3 strikeouts. At the plate, the Whitecaps got support from the bottom of the lineup, as both Vincent Blue and Jason Knoedler (the 8 and 9 hitters) had 2 hits and combined for 3 runs.

While the L-Tigers and Mudhens continue to falter, the Whitecaps are in the midst of a late season surge, now just 2 games under .500 for the 2nd half of the season. West Michigan has won 6 of its last 7 games, and the key has been the offense - much like Toledo's slide can be attributed to their struggling run production. Over those 7 games, West Michigan is averaging over 7 runs per game, and more importantly, are winning the close ones, getting 3 1-run wins over the span.

SS-A Oneonta 24-23, 2nd place in Stedler division
The O-Tigers lost as well on Sunday, getting beat soundly by Mahooning Valley 10-2. Dan Konecny took the loss, falling to 3-5 on the year, giving up 6 runs in 5 innings. Collin Mahoney, the Tigers 4th round draft pick earlier this summer, had a rough night, giving up 4 runs over an inning and 2/3. More worrisome is the fact that he gave up 4 walks with no strikeouts. His ERA now sits at 5.87. At the plate, Oneonta managed plenty of hits, but just couldn't convert those threats into many runs. Bo Flowers went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Brooks Colvin and Francisco Castro had 2 hits each.

Rookie GCL Tigers 20-21, 3rd place in Northern division
The GCL Tigers were off on Sunday, just like Lakeland. They'll face the Phillies on Monday.

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