Lakeland MLN: Stumbling in Month Two

When recapping the Flying Tigers week of activities, last week it was so succinctly stated, "With a 6-2 record at home, where the LFT fell a little short last week on the road, this week could see a dramatic turnaround. So, expect some wins this week in Lakeland."

One 3-4 week from the Flying Tigers later, and all that can be said is that the club COULD see a dramatic turnaround. Guess the crystal ball was broken last week . . .

On the verge of the first full month of peanuts and cracker jacks, the Flying Tigers, so far, have taken a combined 3-2 from Daytona (third game of their second three game stand tonight), and the club went incredibly cold when they were swept by Dunedin earlier in the week.

Highlights at the plate, Rawley Bishop continued to prove himself as one of Lakeland's hottest hitters by clubbing 11 hits and 7 RBI (including his third home run of the season) to maintain his .361 average. And it's not just making contact that Bishop is doing well, but his ISO is nearly .2 as he continues to pound the ball around the diamond. Bishop is second in the Florida State League in average and third in OPS, providing the power production that many were expecting prized prospect Billy Nowlin to supply. Bishop also remains the only everyday player on the LFT roster with an OPS over .800.

Gustavo Nunez began to pave the way for the offense, going 10-for-28 over the last week. He also worked to silence those critics concerned with his ability to hit for power, belting three doubles and a triple in the week. Coming into the week, Nunez had just two extra base hits, so in a span of seven games, he tripled his extra base hit output, a promising sign that the Tigers hope to see continue.

Kody Kaiser hitt his second home run of the season Wednesday night against Daytona, however he posted just a .230 average for the week as he's slowly been trending downward statistically over the past couple weeks.

The bats however really lost what sizzle they had over the weekend when Dunedin swept LFT by holding them to a total of 4 runs over the three games. The lack of production at the plate in turn handed losses to Tyler Conn, Mark Sorensen, and Brayan Villarreal.

Pitching staff saw plenty of flex this week as the team continued to proceed with caution over their prized prospect Casey Crosby, who remains on the disabled list as he has been there since the season opened.

Michael Morrison, John Murrian, and Austin Wood also hit the list this week, while Lester Oliveros was re-activated, with re-assignments coming from Miguel Mejia and Julio Rodriguez. The return of Wood to the DL is cause for concern as it appears that something is not right, and a return so soon after being activated could spell a much longer stay this go around.

Wednesday evening, the Flying Tigers complete their three game home stand against Daytona before heading to Dunedin for three, and then it's back home for four against Charlotte. This week looks to be tough as fourth place Lakeland challenges two second place teams in their respective divisions – Dunedin on their own home turf (5-6 at home), and Charlotte back in Lakeland (8-4 on the road).

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