MLN: How Sweet It Is for the 'Caps

The West Michigan Whitecaps (27-23) are neck and neck with the Lansing Lugnuts (28-24) in the Eastern Division. Since May 20, the ‘Caps are 5-3 — winning five straight through May 24.

Alfredo Figaro (6-2) is the quintessential ace of the entire Midwest League. He has a 1.38 ERA in 65.0 innings pitched. He's first on the team with strikeouts, having whiffed 59 batters. May 21, Figaro went 7.2 innings and fanned five in his domination over the South Bend Silver Hawks 4-1. Every start he makes he goes the distance, and his teammates have no worries with him taking the hill.

Jonathan Kibler compliments Figaro very well in the rotation. He has a 1.83 ERA and is right behind Figaro in every category. May 24, Kibler went six innings and struck out six, before Noel Krohl picked up the save in a ‘Caps 6-1 win over the Dayton Dragons. His repertoire of pitches leaves batters guessing the whole time.

The ‘Caps have shown great chemistry in the field as well as good wood up at the plate. Roger Tomas has broke out on his own, showing manager Joe DePastino that he should be in the lineup everyday. Tomas is batting .344 and plays brilliantly at third base. He has a solid arm and only has two errors to date. On May 27, Tomas was the fourth consecutive Whitecaps player to be named MWL Player of the Week. Tomas was a no-brainer for the award, having hit .550 (11-for-20) with six runs scored and five RBI in the six games he played that week. May 22, Tomas singled center fielder Kyle Peter home in the top of the ninth for the go ahead 5-4 game winning run over South Bend, and the next night, May 23 at home, Tomas dropped a single to left field to bring in right fielder Casper Wells in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 win over Dayton.

Kyle Peter is doing well in the field and at the plate. With a .265, and rising, average he's been more consistent than ever. He leads the team with 19 stolen bases and 29 walks. Peter seems to be always on base and never upsets.

DePastino is having some trouble with his catcher situation. Though Jordan Newton and Joseph Bowen are each good behind the plate, sometimes their hitting isn't consistent and they leave too many runners on. Newton, being the better hitter, has begun to see more action.

Big hitter Casper Wells' performance at the plate is dropping dramatically this past week. He is only hitting .240 and while he too leaves many runners on, his strikeouts seem to be rising while his average falls.

Newcomer Brandon Hamilton, who was brought up from extended spring training when Ramon Garcia was promoted, has lost in his two starts. DePastino tries to leave the kid on the mound as long has he can—six innings at a time—but Hamilton is still trying to work out the kinks in his game and find what pitches work best for certain batters and situations.

The ‘Caps play home until the end of May before they venture out on a weeklong road trip through June 8. June 9, they arrive home to play a double series against rival first place Lansing and the Fort Wayne Wizards.


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