TigsTown Notebook: 4/14

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 of Toledo, Erie, Lakeland and Comstock Park. This entire week will be a preview of the notebook, just to see the premium info you'll get by upgrading to a Total Access Pass.

Toledo
Notes: The Mud Hens were off to a real strong start, unfortunately, they found a new enemy, and it had nothing to do with a great bat or a devastating curve. Ol' Mother Nature has rained on the Mud Hens' parade, raining out the 'Hens last two games. They'll now try and catch up with a doubleheader against Charlotte on Thursday night.
TT Stat: Without any games, there have been no new stats to monitor. But the doubleheader on Thursday should provide plenty after an extended layoff for the team.

Erie
Notes: So far so good for Rob Henkel. After undergoing season ending surgery last May to repair a torn labrum, Henkel once again finds himself in AA-ball, trying to get up to the big leagues. Henkel's numbers are good, but more importantly, he's throwing with no pain, and once again has confidence in his ability on the mound. Henkel's stuff is still dangerous, and if he does indeed stay healthy, he could shoot back up the prospect charts.
TT Stat: Joel Zumaya has continued to display impressive stuff, but has had struggles with his control. Zumaya again was only able to make it 3 1/3 innings on Wednesday before being pulled, largely due to walking 4 as well as allowing 3 hits. Zumaya has now struck out 10 in just 6 2/3 innings, but the Tigers still hope to see him cut down his pitch totals to allow him to work further into games.

Lakeland
Notes: At the end of last season, the L-Tigers were searching for anyone they could find to throw into the rotation as they were struggling with pitchers. Now, they have a surplus. Justin Verlander, Nate Bumstead, Jordan Tata, Cristhian Martinez and Virgil Vasquez are all in the rotation. They then have Brian Rogers, Andy Baldwin and Daniel Zell, all who have starting experience, and Eulogio DeLa Cruz, who will now tandem start in an attempt to get him more innings to develop his off-speed pitches. Manager Mike Rojas now has the problem of trying to find innings for everyone.
TT Stat: Brent Clevlen has continued his strong start, blasting 2 home runs on Wednesday. Clevlen had a strong year offensively in '03, then fell hard and regressed across the board. Currently, Clevlen is slugging .655. The only concern is Clevlen's lack of patience, as he's walked just once in 7 games. Hopefully as the season continues, the strong hitting will remain, while the patience will improve.

West Michigan
Notes: The Tigers drafted a pair of shortstops in the draft last year in hopes of adding depth to the position, and now the two are sharing time on the same team. Brooks Colvin and Brent Dlugach are both natural shortstops, though Colvin has been moving around more. Nonetheless, both are producing offensively and providing strong defense for the young 'Caps (Dlugach has 1 error, Colvin 0, and both are slugging close to .600).
TT Stat: With Wilkin Ramirez still needing time at designated hitter, Jody Roughton and Josh Lee are forced to split time at first base. It's unfortunate for Lee, who has great power potential, and even as has displayed some of it in just 3 games so far, with a home run and 4 RBI, which is tied for the team lead despite having all of 11 at bats.


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