New Pair in Erie: Outfielder Casper Wells and utility man Joe Tucker are both on their way to Manchester, New Hampshire to join up with the Erie Seawolves. With the promotion of first baseman Ryan Roberson, Erie needed to fill a slot on the roster. It is unclear at this time what other move will be made to accommodate the additional player. Wells was putting his power on display this year in the Midwest League, while also displaying the all-out style and above-average speed and arm he has also become known for. Finally healthy to start this year, Tucker was filling in all over for the ‘Caps, hitting well along the way, and providing valuable leadership.
LFT Duo to DL: Two the top prospects in the Tigers system, Scott Sizemore and James Skelton, have both officially hit the DL. Sizemore, as previously reported, is likely to be out four to six weeks with a wrist injury. Surgery is not out of the question for Sizemore, but that will hinge on how he responds to rehab in the coming weeks. Wrist injuries are always difficult propositions for hitters, often sapping their power and bat control in the immediate timeframe following their return.
Skelton's injured finger was enough to send him to the 7-day DL. Additional details as to what was revealed in yesterday's examination were not immediately available, but the injury is not expected to be a long term problem.
Originally, middle infielder Joaquin Guzman was brought up from extended spring training to replace Sizemore, but that move was reversed yesterday. Instead, Dominican shortstop Gustavo Nunez was tabbed to make his stateside debut for the Flying Tigers. Nunez came stateside this spring after one year in the Dominican Summer League where he posted a .284/.370/.350 line for the Tigers. The 20-year old Nunez has good range at both middle infield positions, an above-average infield arm, excellent contact skills, and a solid understanding of the strike zone. Replacing Skelton on the LFT roster will be 2007 draftee Devin Thomas. Thomas was held back in extended spring training to work on his defensive skills behind the plate, with hopes of improving his footwork and receiving. Devin is a fiery leader on the field with good pop from both sides of the plate.
Toledo Replacements: With Brent Clevlen and Mike Hollimon headed to the show, the Mud Hens need to replace a pair of starters. Those replacements are Erie outfielder Wilkin Ramirez and Erie infielder Max Leon. The 22-year old Ramirez had an imressive first two months with Erie, earning the promotion. While his strikeouts remain high, his .305 average is strong, and his nine home runs and 32 RBI were good for best on the 'Wolves. Leon had shown excellent patience, getting on base at a .431 clip. The only adjustment Leon will have to make is shifting back to shortstop from third base, where he was playing daily for Erie.
And finally, the Whitecaps: Rounding things out, the Whitecaps got Hayden Parrott and Guzman, both from extended spring training.
The Tang Update: The Tigers first foray into the amateur market in the Pacific Rim, Chao-Ting Tang will be coming stateside to make his professional debut. Tang is currently awaiting approval of his work visa, at which time he will report to the Tigers complex in Lakeland for evaluation and assignment to either the Oneonta or GCL Tigers. Tang is unlikely to run into significant hurdles in his visa process, unlike the recently demoted Francisco Cruceta. While he may not be in the State for the start of the short-season leagues, he should be here around mid-summer to begin his professional career.