West Mich MLN: 'Caps See Good, Bad and Stars

It's been an up and down week for West Michigan this past week.

Starting off June 3rd, they came back and beat Great Lakes 6-4. The win snapped the ‘Caps' four game losing streak. The streak was the longest of the season.

The following night, the ‘Caps had a weird ending to a game against Great Lakes. Brandon Douglas led off with a single. He would then go to second on a wild pitch. After Ronnie Bourquin struck out, Bryan Pounds singled to right to send Douglas to third. After an intentional walk to Jordan Lennerton to load the bases, Ben Guez struck out swinging on a 0-2 pitch that went to the backstop, allowing Douglas to scamper home with the winning run. It was an ugly win, but a win is a win.

Once again, All-Star break is coming under way, and this time six Whitecaps have been named to the team. First baseman Ronnie Bourquin, second baseman Brandon Douglas was the only fielders named from West Michigan. A string of pitchers were named to the team, and it comes as no surprise seeing the likes of Casy Crosby, Jared Gayhard, Mauricio Robles and Tyler Stohr on that list. West Michigan and the Loons lead the Eastern All-Star team with six representatives each.

Bourquin is hitting .320 with a team leading 37 RBI. Last year at this time, the Ohio native was hitting around .250 and playing third base; much has changed for this Whitecap since then.

It's no question that Douglas should be on the all-star team. He's currently hitting .340 and is a monster with runners on-- hitting .308. Douglas started the year hot and has continued to carry that streak today. May was his strongest month, as he had 34 hits and 10 RBI.

On the mound, Crosby leads the team with a 4-1 record, and has provided a powerful punch since Matt Hoffman's departure. With the help of fellow all-stars, Gayhart and Stohr in the bullpen, West Michigan's arsenal of pitchers is a Midwest best.

Unfortunately for Mauricio Robles, the good news of his all-star selection came to an end when the Detroit Tigers placed the southpaw on the disabled list. The Whitecaps will feel the hurt from this one. Robles was tops in the rotation, and led the Midwest League in strikeouts with 70.

For Robles' replacement, the Tigers promoted right-handed pitcher Rob Waite from extended spring training. Waite was a 17th round draft selection in 2008 last season. With the GCL Tigers this season he went 1-3 with 4.67 ERA. Not great numbers, but in 27 innings of work he struck out 25.

Four days later, Detroit activated right-handed pitcher Brayan Villarreal from the disabled list and sent Luis Sanz back to Oneonta. Sanz leaves West Michigan with an 8.64 ERA and 10 strikeouts.

After all the roster moves, West Michigan finished the week, going 4-3. 12 more days until All-Star break and the Whitecaps are looking a little sluggish. It's easy to say it could be injuries, but right now the ‘Caps are trying to maintain good play until the break. Most teams love to finish the first half of the season on a winning streak, because it gives them plenty of firepower entering the second half. The ‘Caps hope to mow through these 12 games against teams, South Bend, Fort Wayne and Dayton.

With the changes in the rotation and the bullpen, will the ‘Caps continue to dominate on the mound in the Midwest? It's going to be interesting to see what Joe DePastino has up his sleeve for the remaining games.


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