Minor Leauge Notebook: 8/10

It was a busy day in the Tiger farm system, as all 6 teams had games, and 3 of them played doubleheaders. The Seawolves and Whitecaps continued to roll, while The Mudhens and L-Tigers continue to struggle. Plus, a rather amazing feat was accomplished by the GCL Tigers in their loss to the GCL Phillies.

AAA Toledo 59-59, 2nd place in West division
Toledo's slide continued, as they took another loss on Tuesday, falling to Norfolk 7-1. James Baldwin took the mound and suffered the loss, allowing 6 runs on 13 hits in 6 innings of work. Baldwin may have warranted coming out earlier, but the over-worked bullpen needed rest. The offense again struggled mightily, managing just 3 hits, only one of which went for extra bases (and that was a double by Chad Alexander).

The losing streak is obvious, and right now, the team just doesn't have the players to pull the team out of the slump. They are missing a big portion of what was expected to be their everyday lineup (Nook Logan, Marcus Thames, Joe Vitiello, Jason Smith, Danny Klassen), and in turn the offense is struggling to generate runs of any kind with the organization reluctant to pull up any players from AA Erie who are still developing. It's unfortunate, but it appears that the team that was so hot just 2 weeks ago will probably be crawling to the finish line.

AA Erie 62-52, 2nd place in Southern division
The Seawolves were victorious on Tuesday, beating Reading 11-7. The Seawolves starter, Alex Lontayo, gave up 4 runs in 4 innings, but picked up a no decision in the process. Felix Cuello got the win, his first with Erie, pitching 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. Offense was everywhere with Erie getting 16 hits. Ryan Raburn went 4-for-5 with a Home Run, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI. Curtis Granderson also made his impact felt with a 2-for-5 day and a 2-run Home Run. Juan Tejada also had 3 hits and an RBI, and Chad Meyers hit a Home Run as well.

The Seawolves go as the offense goes - they have quite a few legitimate prospects on offense, and when they are performing, the team wins, and wins big. Ryan Raburn and Curtis Granderson have come alive as of late, and Juan Tejada has hit well all year long. And of course, you can't forget David Espinosa, who might not be hitting as well as he was at the beginning, but is still a very good prospect nonetheless. This group isn't quite as heralded as the group of a few years ago, when Omar Infante, Eric Munson, Mike Rivera and Andres Torres tore apart the Eastern League, but you will definitely see some players from that group elevating themselves to the big league level over the next couple of years.

High-A Lakeland 16-28, 6th place in West division
Lakeland lost again on Tuesday, falling to Tampa once again. Jeremy Johnson took the loss, not pitching terribly though, allowing 4 runs in 5 innings with 4 strikeouts. He did hand out 7 walks though, a number that hopefully won't be repeated. Neil Jenkins had a big game at the plate, but he didn't get enough help to get a victory. Jenkins went 3-for-4 with a Home Run and 2 runs scored. Mike Rabelo also chipped in with a pair of hits and an RBI.

Neil Jenkins is battling right now to keep his major league hopes alive. Jenkins spent a good part of the year with Erie, but wasn't receiving a lot of playing time, and wasn't hitting particularly well. Jenkins will now fight to show the organization he can still become a productive big leaguer, although he appears to be running out of chances. Jenkins is getting up there in age (24 years old), and has plenty of prospects in front of him. His power numbers certainly don't impress (.389 slugging percentage in 72 at bats for Lakeland), meaning Jenkins could be moving on come this winter.

Low-A West Michigan 23-22, tied 3rd place in Eastern division
Toledo and the L-Tigers are reeling, but the Whitecaps are are rolling right along, as they won both of their games on Tuesday, putting them above .500 for their 2nd half record. In the first game (a 9-3 Whitecap win), Virgil Vasquez got the win, pitching 6 innings with 3 earned runs and 5 strikeouts. The Whitecaps had a rare feat, getting more runs (9) than hits (8). Kody Kirkland had 2 of those hits, as well as 2 runs driven in. Juan Francia also had a pair of hits and a pair of runs.

In the second game, Daniel Zell got the 3-0 win as he pitched 5 shutout innings as the starter. Eulogio Delacruz pitched the 7th and final inning for his 16th save, while Brian Santo also pitched a scoreless inning. The Whitecaps managed only 5 hits this time around, but made every one of them count, getting 3 runs out of them. Eric Rodland went 1-for-2 with a run, while Nate Doyle had the team's only RBI.

SS-A Oneonta 25-25, 2nd place in Stedler division
The O-Tigers also had a doubleheader, but they split the two games with Tri-City. In the first game, a 1-0 Oneonta victory, the O-Tigers got a combined shutout from Andrew Kohn, Ed Clelland, Ezequil Perez and Damien Myers. Clelland picked up the win in relief. The lone run in the game came off the bat of Dusty Ryan, a solo Home Run that was one of just two Oneonta hits.

In the second game, Tri-City won 6-1, beating Josh Rainwater, who fell to 0-3 with Oneonta after being moved up from the GCL Tigers. Rainwater did however strike out 7 batters in 4 1/3 innings, and only gave up 2 earned runs. Again not much came from the plate, as again their only run came from a solo Home Run, this time from Bo Flowers.

Rookie GCL Tigers 20-24, 3rd place in Northern division
Another doubleheader for the Tiger organization, but this one didn't turn out well, as the GCL Tigers dropped 2 games to the GCL Phillies. In the first, they lost 1-0, despite a great pitching perfromance from R. Bierd. He gave up a run on 4 hits in 6 innings with 6 strikeouts. There were just 2 hits from the offense though.

In the 2nd game, the team got off to a very bad start and couldn't catch up. O Perdomo gave up 6 runs while making it just 2/3 of an inning. The offense meanwhile accomplished a quite amazing feat, scoring 2 runs without managing a single hit. The wonders of baseball.


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