TigsTown MLN: The A-Ball Round Up

As the A-ball stops continue to plug along, some teams anxiously await some additional assistance that typically comes around this time each year from the draft. Which team is really in need of some of that assistance? Plus, why a Tiger coach could very well be hurting a number of talented young prospects.

Who is in need of help the most as of now? Well, the answer is obviously the pitching staff of the Oneonta Tigers. For the best example of why, look no further than this past week's series with Brooklyn.

Over the three game series, Oneonta's offense continued to absolutely crush the ball. They were surprisingly consistent as well. Over those three games, they put up 26 runs, and never was there less than eight runs allowed. The bad news? The O-Tigers got swept by Brooklyn!

That's right, despite averaging nearly nine runs per game, Oneonta couldn't pull out a single victory. This really shouldn't come as a surprise though.

It's typical that some of the team's higher draft picks (though not necessarily the very top picks) will head to Oneonta for the summer months before getting ready for full season ball next spring. But because of the need for pitching help at West Michigan, the organization rushed pitchers like Kevin Ardoin and Patrick Finigan straight to Comstock Park, leaving the O-Tigers with a less-than-stellar crop.

What's worse, most of their pitching talent is there not because of inexperience, but because of a lack of production. Collin Mahoney has a rifle for an arm, unfortunately he struggles mightily with command, and has a 10.13 ERA to show for it. Jay Sborz still struggles with the same issues, and has since been shut down at Oneonta.

We told you yesterday in the notebook that Erie may be in danger of losing the SeaWolves, but fear not fans of the ‘Caps and Lakelanders, your teams aren't going anywhere.

Lakeland, being the spring home of the Detroit Tigers, just underwent extensive renovations and will likely be the Tigers home away from home for many years to come, as it has been since all the way back in the 1930's when the Tigers played at old Henley Field (well before the construction of Joker Marchant).

West Michigan is likely just as solid, as the Whitecaps have one of the best run and most popular farm teams in all of minor league baseball, continually drawing among the best crowds in the Midwest League. Their proximity to Detroit also helps, as they have similar weather conditions to the Tigers, allowing their players (many of whom come from southern states and Caribbean nations and aren't used to 40 degree temperatures) to get the feel for playing in the cold at an early age.

This proximity to Detroit helps with one other aspect, and that is that the Whitecaps will actually get to play a game in the parent club's ballpark. On Monday August 22nd, the Whitecaps will host Fort Wayne, only they'll be holding the game at Comerica Park, an excellent opportunity not only for the youngsters to get the chance to play in a big league park, but for the fans as well that are interested in seeing some of the youngsters live. Tickets are $10 and are available through TicketMaster.


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