West Mich MLN: Changes in Comstock Park

The West Michigan Whitecaps have seen their fair share of excitement in the past week, be it in the form of career achievements, roster movement, or hot streaks on the mound and at the plate.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the week was the release of 2B Mike Gosse. While Gosse has played in most of the team's games this season, he was pretty lackluster at the plate, batting only .226 with no home runs and 13 RBI in 37 games prior to his release.

To fill the gap left by Gosse's departure, the Detroit Tigers sent up 2B Christopher Sedon from extended spring training. In his early career with the 'Caps, Sedon is batting .200 with three RBI. In addition to Sedon, West Michigan has also seen new additions in the form of SS Jimmy Gulliver, LHP Jared Wesson (1-0, 0.00) and RHP Zach Samuels (0-0, 9.00).

One of the Tigers' best prospects, Whitecaps RHP Jacob Turner (1-2, 4.02) picked up the first win of his early professional career, a 4-2 defeat of the Lansing Lugnuts. Wesson was also stellar in his Whitecaps debut, throwing six innings of shutout baseball in a 7-4 win over the Dayton Dragons. Wesson allowed three hits while striking out four in the winning effort.

Pitching continues to be consistent from RHP Trevor Feeney (5-3, 3.00) and LHP Giovanny Soto (4-3, 1.81) who both managed to find ways to win this week. Feeney and Soto rank one and two in nearly every major statistical category on the 'Caps starting staff.

At the plate, the Whitecaps are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for first baseman Jordan Lennerton. Lennerton, who started the season off in unexpectedly poor fashion, is now proving to be a leader in the clubhouse from a statistical standpoint. He leads the team in average (.307), home runs (3), and doubles (11).

For the past couple of weeks, it has seemed that center fielder Jamie Johnson has been going in the opposite direction. After starting the season with an average well over .300, Johnson started to see his stats slip, as the leadoff hitter seemed to have been figured out by most Midwest League pitchers. However, Johnson may be nearing the end of this slump, as his average is back to .290.

Fortunately, in the midst of this slump, right fielder Alexis Espinoza has stepped up in a big way. He is currently batting .299 with two home runs and 16 RBI.

Despite multiple solid individual performances, the Whitecaps cannot seem to translate this success into wins. The team continues to hold last place in their division at 20-31, 13 games behind league-leading Lake County. With less than three weeks until the All-Star break, the 'Caps are running out of opportunities to gain momentum and make a run at a playoff spot, or at least a .500 record.

Achieving this, however, will not be easy. While the team gets to play a proverbial cupcake in the form of the 17-34 Burlington Bees, the series is followed by a three game home set against 28-23 Peoria, before the 'Caps go on the road to face the two best teams in the Western Division, starting with 33-18 Cedar Rapids, followed by 31-20 Quad Cities.

Notes:

Former Detroit Tigers ace Jack Morris will be in Comstock Park on Friday to watch the Whitecaps, and the team is offering bobble heads in his likeness to the first 1,000 fans.


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