TigsTown MLN: The Next Pitcher Down

When you have so many young arms, injuries are inevitable, and the Tigers have already experienced a few to start the year. But now it appears as if another may be down and out awhile, as he currently awaits the results of an MRI. Plus, which recently acquired reliever isn't turning many heads, and which reliever that has been around is disappointing as well?

Toledo
Notes: One particular pitcher that the Tigers had high hopes for coming into this season was Mark Woodyard. The team had so much confidence in him that they sent him to the Arizona Fall League, and even mentioned him casually as a potential darkhorse for the Tigers' bullpen this season. Unfortunately, Woodyard's ERA is over 10 through six appearances, and is making those that have faith in him wonder if he's really the guy they were hoping he'd be.
TT Stat: Last night, Curtis Granderson fell a home run short of the cycle, which likely is making those within the front office smile as they continue to hope to place Granderson at the top of their lineup come 2006. After a slow start, Granderson has brought his average up to .310, and is second on the team in runs scored with 12. The only concern remains his lack of walks, as he's taken just four for the season, and hasn't taken one since April 19th.

Erie
Notes: The Tigers claimed Adam Peterson off waivers with hopes that he could become a serviceable reliever down the road, but despite his promise, he has yet to gain the trust of manager Duffy Dyer. Peterson has made three appearances, but hasn't impressed in any of them, and will likely have to pitch better if he hopes to move into favor with the organization.
TT Stat: Maxim St. Pierre has never been known for his offense, but he certainly isn't off to a bad start while sharing time with Mike Rabelo. In 12 games (39 at bats), St. Pierre is hitting .333 with an OPS over .800 (.819). Nevertheless, the Tigers didn't have enough confidence in St. Pierre to promote him to Toledo, which isn't a good sign for St. Pierre as he's been stuck in AA- ball for quite some time.

Lakeland
Notes: Earlier this week, the L-Tigers placed righty Cristhian Martinez on the disabled list, and called up righty Jermy Rodriguez, who was in extended spring training at the time. This should help alleviate the logjam temporarily, but there are still more pitchers in need of innings than innings available to go around. No details yet on Martinez; he's currently undergoing an MRI and the team should have more details soon.
TT Stat: The L-Tigers were starving for pitching last year, but this year they have more pitchers emerging as the ace than they ever thought possible. In fact, the pitching has been so good, the ERA leader among the rotation seems to rotate daily; whoever had his last outing seems to hop the group and move on top. Jordan Tata, while just having a 1-0 record, had another strong start last night, and currently carries an ERA of just 1.59. He also has an impressive WHIP of 1.19, and could be just one of many pitchers looking for a promotion to Erie, even if there isn't much time available there either.

West Michigan
Notes: Manager Matt Walbeck is seeing a problem become a nightmare; he can't find a catcher that can hit. Despite having two promising youngsters in Dusty Ryan and Andrew Graham, the two have a combined .150 average with just three RBI. The hope is that it's just a slow start for both, and they'll awake with time.
TT Stat: Collin Mahoney was full of question marks coming into 2005 as many weren't sure if he'd be able to teach himself how to truly pitch and not simple rifle fastballs toward the plate. But so far, so good, as Mahoney has allowed just one earned run in eight appearances, including four saves. He'll still have to improve his strikeout-to-walk ratio (which stands now at one), but a solid start to the year nonetheless.


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