TigsTown MLN: Roster Moves Could be the Key

2-4. This is not a number West Michigan was hoping to start out with. The ‘Caps are tied for fourth in the Eastern Division with Great Lakes. However, West Michigan has had a lot of roster adjustments since All Star break that could possibly come into it's own soon.

It was reported Monday June 23, that Joe Tucker would be rejoining West Michigan after batting only .167 (3-for-18) with one home run and 2 RBI in just nine games for Double-A Lake Erie. His versatility and plate presence will provide a much needed spark to a lagging ‘Caps second half team. Tucker will be replacing Chris Carlson who was injured in the All Star game last week.

The catcher position is seeing changes, but with familiar faces. Angel Flores is being sent back down from Erie to help behind the plate, while Adrian Casanova is being promoted to the SeaWolves to try is hand at Double-A ball. Interestingly enough, this will be quite a promotion for the Miami native. He has played for not only West Michigan, but Lakeland as well this year.

Signed, sent and delivered, the newly acquired Tiger draft picks were spread throughout the farm this past week, giving the ‘Caps new talent that will come in handy.

Hard throwing right-hander Brett Jacobson is quite the package. His 6'6" 205-pound frame will bring sheer fire to the ‘Caps rotation. Jacobson was a fourth round draft pick out of Vanderbilt University. In the 2007 season for the Commodores he posted a 6-3 record with a 3.15 ERA in 74.1 innings pitched. This season for Vanderbilt the Arizona native went 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA in 20 appearances and four starts. In his first appearance, Jacobson walked one and allowed a run in his lone inning pitched.

Left-hander Andy Dirks was an eighth round pick by the Tigers. Reigning from Wichita University, Dirks, in his senior season, hit a remarkable .388 (97-for-250) with a team high 11 home runs, 62 RBI and 26 stolen bases. Dirks provides a good glove for the ‘Caps as well. In the 65 games he played his senior season with Wichita he had a .993 fielding percentage and committed just one error.

June 24, Dirks was sent to the disabled list with a broken hand. In only three games for West Michigan Dirks was batting .100 (1-for-10). Hayden Parrott rejoins the ‘Caps after being sent down to Oneonta earlier this month. In seven games with the O-Tigers, Parrott was batted .300 with eight RBI.

Providing more depth at catcher, Alex Avila was the last of the three rookies to be assigned to the Whitecaps. He was drafted in the seventh round out of Alabama University. At 21, Avila provides a consistent bat and some familiarity in the Tigers front office. His father, Al Avila, is Detroit's Assistant General Manger. Avila's .343 average in 61 games with Alabama is proof enough why the Tigers drafted him so high. Avila led his Crimson Tide in home runs with 17 and RBI with 62 his last season. In four games Avila his hitting .214 with three hits, two walks and one strikeout.

June 24, against Fort Wayne third baseman Ronnie Bourquin had three RBI—with one being the game tying hit—and Joe Tucker had two doubles, including one that brought the go-ahead run in the eighth inning home to squeak by the Wizards 7-6. Noah Krol struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to earn his sixth straight save, and his ninth of the season.

The Whitecaps are hoping this win can turn them on the right path once again. Although the rookies are starting out slow, there is plenty of season left to play.

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