TigsTown Fall Notebook: Rabelo Makes Debut

Action continues to heat up in the American Southwest and throughout Latin America. With the departure of several players from the organization, the fall notebook has been streamlined to continue highlighting those players still looking to contribute to the Tigers organization in 2008.

Starting off in Venezuela, infielder Omar Infante continues to hit well in the off-season, much as he has done the last several years. His 9-for-25 week included two doubles, four RBI, and six runs scored, bringing his season line to a nifty .309/.389/.346 in 21 games. Also taking the field for Caribes, former Tiger prospect Gorkys Hernandez continues to struggle against more advanced competition. In limited duty, Hernandez went 0-for-2 with an RBI and run scored, while coming in as a defensive replacement at first base in one game. Pitching for Caracas, hard-throwing Guillermo Moscoso is still have trouble getting outs consistently, allowing another run in one inning of work, yielding two hits and two walks.

Catcher Mike Rabelo has joined Azucareros del Este in the Dominican Winter League, managing a 4-for-12 week with a double and three runs driven in through his first four games. Also making their DWL debut, Eulogio de la Cruz tossed two-thirds of an inning, allowing a hit and a walk for Estrellas de Oriente. Despite the expected ease that comes with a new contract, Erick Almonte can't string any hits together for Gigantes; going 1-for-15 on the week, including an 0-for-4, four strikeout performance. Reliever Jose Capellan – working out of the Gigantes rotation – tossed five one-hit innings this week, walking two and striking out five to pick up his first win of the winter season. Coming back strong after an abysmal season debut, reliever Aquilino Lopez allowed only two hits and struck out five in three innings of flawless work on the mound this week. Also toeing the rubber for Gigantes, Top 15 prospect Jordan Tata managed 2-2/3 innings with only one run allowed and three strikeouts.

A new addition to the fall update, minor leaguer Pedro Cotto has joined the Caguas roster in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but he has yet to take the field. Working with Culiacan in the Mexican Pacific League, infielder Max Leon has finally started to see some consistent action, going 3-for-10 on the week while splitting his time between second and third base.

Out in the Pacific, the North Shore Honu continue their torrid pace with a 20-8 record, six games better than any league opponents. With the Honu, catcher Dusty Ryan is swinging the hot stick among Tiger prospects; going 4-for-9 on the week with two doubles and an RBI. With his high strikeout totals, Manager Kevin Bradshaw has been forced to cut back the playing time of outfielder Jeramy Laster, limiting him to one appearance last week, though Laster did manage a 2-for-3 effort.

Wrapping things up in the Arizona Fall League, Scott Sizemore continues his hot hitting; notching a 10-for-27 week with six runs driven in and four walks. Sizemore's nice week has raised his line to .417/.481/.646 in eleven games. Also swinging a hot stick is top prospect Jeff Larish. After scuffling his way through the AFL's first couple of weeks, Larish drove in eight runs last week, on the back of a 7-for-19 performance that included a home run and three doubles. Right-hander Dallas Trahern picked up the win in one of Team USA's final tune-up games with the AFL crews, going a strong four innings, allowing only one run on three hits.

Quick Hits: Noah Krol is finding out what life is like in the offense-enhancing AFL, giving up four runs in just three innings of work last week……Mike Hollimon continues to display his versatility in the field, having now played second base, shortstop, third base, and left field for Team USA……The return of Cameron Maybin to the AFL is looking less and less likely; as his sore shoulder continues to give him problems……neither Jason Perry or Mike Hernandez received any at-bats in the Dominican Winter League last week, as both try and break out of early season slumps.

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