TigsTown Notebook: 4/11

You've read the recap, but you still want more: more coverage of the minor league clubs, more information on the Tigers' top prospects. TigsTown.com has you covered, updating you on the latest news and notes out Toledo, Erie, Lakeland and Comstock Park. This entire week will be a free preview of the notebook, just to see the premium info you'll get by upgrading to a Total Access Pass.

Notes: It was obviously too good to be true. Just 2 games after having gotten a present in Marcus Thames, it was taken away by manager Alan Trammell and a bruised thumb to Ramon Martinez. Thames blasted a home run in each of his first 2 games, but then was called up. Not to worry though, as the team got a big bat replacement in Byron Gettis. Gettis then promptly proceeded to blast a solo home run in his first game as a ‘Hen. . . . Besides broadcasting all Mud Hens games from the radio over the internet, the Mud Hens have announced that they will also be showing all 40 live televised games via webcast, making them available to anyone with a high-speed internet connection. For a complete list of the webcast games, go to the Mud Hens' official site, MudHens.com.
TT Stat: Chris Shelton hasn't wasted any time showing the Tigers he's not far away from making an impact in Detroit, blasting 2 home runs while hitting .571 for the ‘Hens. Shelton also has gotten at least 2 hits in each of the team's first 4 games, making for an impressive streak to start the year.

Notes: If someone gains a player like Gettis, that unfortunately means someone else has to lose him, and that team was the Erie SeaWolves. The ‘Wolves are now a bit thin in the outfield, but one man that could help change that problem is Michael Woods. Woods, a second baseman his first three years in the organization, was moved to the outfield this spring, with hopes that he can contribute there. He's battled injuries his three years with the team, but he could become a great asset down the line. . . . Meanwhile both Kyle Sleeth and Humberto Sanchez, expected to be anchors on the team, have both been kept in Lakeland to work through slight injuries. However, neither is considered serious and both should be in Erie by May.
TT Stat: Donald Kelly waited almost a full year to be able to get back on the field, and he's certainly not wasting the opportunity now. Kelly was given the job as the ‘Wolves everyday third baseman, and hasn't disappointed yet, as he leads the team in average(.471), home runs (3), RBI (6) and runs scored (8). Kelly likely won't keep up those numbers all year long, but an impressive line just 4 games for a player sure to have some rust.

Notes: The Lakeland Tigers have had a strong opening to the season, highlighted by the first start of Justin Verlander. Verlander only pitched 3 innings, but it's a big step in the direction of getting him to the Tigers, as last October it appeared as if Verlander wouldn't even sign and would be forced to re-enter the draft. After his father got involved in the negotiations however, a deal was quickly reached.
TT Stat: After a year in which he struggled mightily at the plate, Brent Clevlen has had a good start to the year, a welcome sign from a promising youngster. Clevlen hasn't hit for much power (all 7 hits have been singles), but just solid contact is a welcome sign, and Clevlen's .438 batting average certainly won't bring complaints. Clevlen is also second on the team in runs with 4.

West Michigan
Notes: Andrew Kown, who had a real scare on Saturday night, is recovering nicely. Kown saw a ball ricochet off his glove and jump right up into his face. After being unconscious for approximately 10 minutes, Kown regained consciousness, and was subsequently carted off on a stretcher. After being discharged from the hospital Saturday night, he was hopeful to make his next scheduled start. But, the Whitecaps decided to fall on the side of caution, and placed Kown on the disabled list on Monday. The team however will not add a member to replace him, and will continue with their current rotation . . . while currently not on the roster, 2004 second round pick Eric Beattie is expected to move up to the ‘Caps within the next few weeks, no word yet on who he would potentially replace in the ‘Caps rotation.
TT Stat: Wilkin Ramirez didn't quite have the start he was hoping for in his return. Ramirez is hitting just .200, but more concerning than that, he already has accumulated 4 errors in just 2 games in the field at third base (his other 2 games came at designated hitter).

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