The final full season team awards of the year, find out who stepped up most for the Mud Hens and earned their pitcher and player of the year honors?
Toledo Mud Hens Player of the Year: SS Brent Dlugach
.294/.349/.446, 36 2B, 9 HR, 59 RBI
In many respects, it has been a long and arduous path back to playing everyday for Dlugach. After missing much of the 2007 season after undergoing shoulder surgery, his comeback appeared to be starting last summer before back problems shut him down again and he was forced to miss the remainder of the 2008 season as well. On the field and healthy during spring training 2009, Dlugach was assigned to Triple-A Toledo where he showed offensive skills he had yet to display. In 125 games for Toledo, Dlugach posted a .293/.349/.446 line with 36 doubles, nine home runs, and 59 RBI. Dlugach also flashed his trademark stellar defense as he helped play a steadying role on a Toledo roster that was constantly in flux throughout the season. The Tigers rewarded Brent's fine season with an opportunity to join the team for the stretch run, as one of the few September call-ups the Tigers carried this year.
Toledo Mud Hens Pitcher of the Year: RHP Casey Fien
2-1, 3.41 ERA, 66 K, 15 BB, .237 BAA
Another Toledo player that received time in Detroit in 2009, Fien was a very strong closer for the Hens when he was in the minor leagues. Turning in one of his premier seasons, Fien saved 14 games as part of his 42 appearances for Toledo. With a 2-1 record out of the bullpen, Fien tossed 58 innings with only 51 hits allowed, 15 walks, and a robust 66 strikeouts. International League hitters managed only a .237 batting average against the 25-year old right-hander, making him a stout force at the back end of Manager Larry Parrish's bullpen. Fien took home TigsTown's Toledo Pitcher of the Month award for August, on the heels of a 2.53 ERA in 10 2/3 innings, with only two walks and 15 strikeouts. Though his time in Detroit has been a bit of a roller coaster, Fien's performance at Triple-A in 2009 has shown that he is capable of getting outs at the highest levels, and that he should be a strong contender for a bullpen spot in Detroit to start the 2010 season.