West Mich MLN: Gaining Momentum?

Sometimes, all it takes is a small tweak to the system to find success. The West Michigan Whitecaps are starting to think that the aforementioned sentiment may be the case, since, after adding a few new players to their roster, the team is starting to gain momentum going into the All Star break.

However, the 'Caps aren't where they need to be just yet.

After taking two of three from a mediocre Dayton team, West Michigan dropped two of three against the Burlington Bees, who currently sit in last place in the Midwest League. That being said, while consistency still isn't quite there, the team's individual performances may be overshadowing the negatives.

Perhaps the biggest individual play of the week at the plate, maybe even the biggest play of the year for the 'Caps, was RF Alexis Espinoza's game winning walk off home run against the Peoria Chiefs on Sunday, helping West Michigan take two of three from the team.

RF Michael Rockett joined Espinoza in the power hitting category this week, and currently leads a pretty lackluster power hitting lineup with four home runs. The week also saw the first home run from Eastern Michigan University grad and Allen Park, MI, native, SS Jimmy Gulliver. It came in a 9-2 beat down of Burlington in the series finale.

On the mound, it's safe to say that RHP Trevor Feeney (6-3, 3.08) has emerged as the 'Caps workhorse for the season. He leads the team in many major statistical categories, with the exception of ERA, a stat that LHP Giovanny Soto (4-3, 1.99) continues to lead. Feeney is also at the top of the Midwest League in many statistical categories, and even leads the league in starts (12) and innings pitched (79.0). He is also second in the Midwest League in wins, with six on the year.

Along with Gulliver, many of the other newest members of the West Michigan Whitecaps organization are fairing decently. 2B Christopher Sedin is batting .286 in seven games this season, and already has a home run, something that has come at a premium for the Whitecaps this season, as previously mentioned. RHP Jared Wesson (1-0, 2.57) has done well in two starts this season, although his last start could be considered shaky, at best. RHP Zach Samuels (0-0, 3.24) has done fairly well in four relief outings this season, and has yet to give up a lead so far.

Perhaps the most exciting acquisition at the beginning of the season, RHP Jacob Turner (1-3, 4.01) is struggling to live up to the hype he was given. While the chances are starting to look more and more bleak that Turner will move up to Lakeland or Erie at any point during the season, he is showing the flashes of brilliance on the mound that had scouts raving about him back in February.

The Whitecaps are on the road today against Western division-leading Cedar Rapids, the first of a three game series. While the 'Caps currently sit in last place in the division, a good series here could catapult the team over Dayton and Bowling Green. West Michigan then has a three game series against the second best team in the Western division, Quad Cities, before returning home to take on the best team in the Midwest League, the Lake County Captains. Needless to say, the West Michigan Whitecaps have their work cut out for them.

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