Notes: While Fernando Rodney is slowly making progress and will be making his way to Toledo in the next couple weeks, Ramon Martinez is healed for the most part, and will start his rehabilitation assignment with the Mud Hens on Tuesday, likely shifting around the lineup for the next few days. This of course means that Martinez is close to returning, and manager Alan Trammell will again have to make a decision between either Jason Smith, Marcus Thames or Bobby Higginson.
TT Stat: Gookie Dawkins has never been much of a power hitter – he has just 46 home runs in his eight-year minor league career thus far. But, despite that seemingly unimpressive power stat, Dawkins is now second on the team in home runs after he launched his third of the year on Monday night. Dawkins is also slugging an impressive .518 so far in this young season, which is good for third on the team. Dawkins might lose some playing time over the next week with Ramon Martinez coming aboard for a few days, but Dawkins is off to an impressive start nonetheless.
Notes: Yesterday we updated you on the progress of Humberto Sanchez in his working back from a lat strain, today we'll look at Kyle Sleeth. Sleeth isn't as far along as Sanchez is, having just now begun to throw off flat ground, while Sanchez has already pitched batting practice and will be moving to bullpen sessions soon. Sleeth, who suffered an injury to his right forearm, has no set timetable, but is at least a few weeks away from returning to live action.
TT Stat: After a first shaky game back, Tony Giarratano appears to be right back on track. Over his last three games, Giarratano has gone 5-for-10, including four extra base hits (two doubles, one triple, one home run). Giarratano has also driven in three runs and scored three himself. After a tough first couple weeks and a scare with his shoulder, one of the Tigers' top prospects looks to be getting back on track.
Notes: Over the weekend, the Tigers decided to cut bait with infielder Anthony Schifano. Schifano, who had spent the first part of the season on the inactive list, was signed to provide depth, but it turns out he wasn't needed. The 30-year old has made stops all over the place, and still could very well find some place to catch on in the coming weeks.
TT Stat: Brent Clevlen continued his assault Florida State League pitching with another 2-for-4 game on Monday, including his sixth home run. If that number seems significant, it's because it is – Clevlen hit six home runs all of last season for the L-Tigers, now he's matched that total in just 17 games. Clevlen now finds himself atop the Florida State League leaderboard in RBI (with 22) and is tied for second in home runs (with 6). He's also third in slugging percentage with a spectacular .721 percentage. Don't look now, but Clevlen may have overcome his '04 struggles.
Notes: In the midst of the Whitecaps four-game, 24-hour marathon over Monday and Tuesday, the Whitecaps made time to present OF Bo Flowers with his Midwest League championship ring. Flowers, who was traded in the off-season as a part of the package for Kyle Farnsworth, spent most of '04 with the Oneonta Tigers, but was a late season call-up for the ‘Caps. Flowers thanked the team by blasting a 4th inning solo home run.
TT Stat: When the season started, Tigers' fans heard the names of Jeff Frazier, Wilkin Ramirez, Dusty Ryan and Stephen Young as those to watch for from the Whitecaps this upcoming year. Who would have thought, three weeks in, the top three hitters would be Justin Justice, Matt Parrish, and Brooks Colvin? Certainly not many, but that's exactly how it has played out so far, as all three have OPS's over .800, with Justice and Parrish hitting well above .300 and Colvin doing solid as well at .286. It's hard to see any of the three keeping up their current pace, but it has nonetheless been an explosive start from three players that it wasn't expected from.