TigsTown MLN: Shortstops on the Shelf

Which two high profile shortstops in the organization that have been on the shelf probably won't be returning to action anytime soon. Plus, Erie gets its All Star selections, which star has been sidelined the past couple days, and what exactly will the loss of Chris Cody mean.

Brent Dlugach went on the disabled list back in May with an injured shoulder, and after attempts at rehab, it appears Dlugach will likely be shelved for the remainder of the season.

It's unfortunate for Dlugach, as well as the Tigers organization. At 24 years of age, Dlugach finally appeared to be filling out and coming into his own. After making strides defensively in 2006, but struggling with the bat, the Tigers were hoping he was in store for a breakout year at the plate, especially given the friendly confines of Jerry Uht Park.

And Dlugach was well on his way. Through 22 games, he was hitting .292 with an .818 OPS. He was driving the ball (eight extra base hits), with the only area still needing improvement being his patience at the plate.

It appears as if now, Dlugach will have to rest and hope to return to form again in 2007, likely once again with Double-A Erie.

Meanwhile Tony Giarratano's 2006 season ended early because of a torn ACL. The hope was that Giarratano would be able to return to the diamond in spring training, and make it back onto the field sometime during the season. But complications with his recovery have left Giarratano still working to recover, and likely could leave him not playing competitive ball this season.

Meanwhile, the Erie SeaWolves placed three of their own on the Eastern League's Southern Division All Star squad; pitchers Dallas Trahern and Jair Jurrjens, and outfielder Jackson Melian.

Dallas Trahern's credentials need little explaining, as he's had one of the hottest starts to the season in all of baseball (only tailing off slightly over the past couple weeks). For the ‘Wolves, Trahern has compiled 10 wins with a 3.53 ERA (would be 2.94 if you take out one bad start against New Hampshire).

And while Jackson Melian may not be a prospect like Trahern and Jurrjens, but he's still had a very productive season for Erie, currently with an OPS of .900 even. Melian's .331/.400/.500 line puts him in the lead for the SeaWolves in all three major categories.

The one surprise that many might have had about the selections was starter Jair Jurrjens, who has had a rather quiet first half to the 2007 season. But just because it hasn't shown up in the numbers, doesn't mean Jurrjens hasn't impressed everyone he has gone up against.

A lack of run support has hurt his win total even though he's allowed four or less earned runs in nine of his last ten starts. This along with a nagging groin injury have limited to Jurrjens to just three wins in 14 starts. However, Jurrjens has still displayed his power fastball, excellent off-speed pitches, and oh, is still just 21 years old.

Meanwhile, as reported by Lakeland Correspondent Kyle Yerkes, Cameron Maybin was out of the lineup for the second straight game, after being pulled from the game on Sunday before taking an at bat. Maybin has a nagging shoulder injury that is not serious, but has sidelined him temporarily. Nothing to be too concerned about though, as the team is not planning on placing Maybin on the disabled list.

Finally, some fans were up in arms when it was announced that the Tigers traded Chris Cody to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for reliever Jose Capellan. Of course, all fans concede that the Tigers were in desperate need of relief help, some were simply upset that the Tigers had moved a prospect that had such a great start to the 2007 campaign.

However, the Tigers knew what they were doing when they moved out Cody. While his sub-two ERA certainly had some fans very impressed, the reality was that Cody was not a high- end prospect. Cody's fastball sat in the mid to high 80's, and he drew many comparisons to Jon Connolly.

Fans remember that the Tigers received quite a few jeers when they traded Connolly for pitcher Felix Sanchez. Of course, the trade turned out to be a wash, as neither pitcher made it to the big leagues, and Connolly is now back with the organization, bouncing between Double-A and Triple-A as needed.

Cody might one day turn out to be a good situational left-hander, but the Tigers believe Capellan has the arm and the potential to become a very good late inning reliever. But even if he's not, losing Cody won't be the great loss some fans are worried it may be.


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