Toledo MLN: Despite Call-Ups, Hens Shine

It's been a week of transition for Toledo, as the injuries that have decimated the big league club have filtered down to Toledo, where much of the Hens starting infield was called up to Detroit. But despite the roster shuffling, the Mud Hens put together a 6-1 week as they returned to .500.

Typically, when a Triple-A club loses a player to the big league team it's a blow – after all, if he's good enough to earn the call up to the majors, he probably was a pretty good performer at the Triple-A level. So for the Mud Hens to continue on without missing a beat despite losing three of their regular infielders over the course of the week, someone must have stepped up.

One of those someone's was Alfredo Figaro, who put together two excellent starts for the Hens. Figaro went 2-0 over his two starts, giving up just one run in 13 2/3 innings. He allowed just eight hits while striking out 16 and walked just two as he's put himself in line for pitcher of the week type honors.

For the month, Figaro has been striking out more than a batter per inning while sporting a 2.22 ERA in 28 1/3 innings of work. This comes after a very inconsistent first half of the season, including a very tough month of June.

The emergence of Figaro over the last month coupled with Andy Oliver's struggles in Detroit likely means if the need for a starter comes up over the next two months, Figaro will be the guy the Tigers turn to. This could become needed as only Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander have made it through the first three and a half months without being removed from the rotation, and if the Tigers decide to be sellers at the deadline, Bonderman could be a coveted trade chip.

But it wasn't just pitching that helped the club to that record, as the club put up 45 runs over the seven games, including a pair of double digit run showings.

While neither Jeff Frazier or Ryan Strieby posted a very attractive batting average, both brought their power sticks this week. The two combined for three doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI.

One player who showed signs of heating up was Wilkin Ramirez, who got off to a very cold start after being called up from Erie. However, Ramirez managed a .344 on-base percentage for the Hens over the last week, highlighted by three walks, a notable step for a player that has notoriously struggled in being patient at the plate.

The Mud Hens will continue to ride their win streak with five more games at Fifth Third Field in Toledo before hitting the road again to face Gwinnett and Charlotte. The Hens will wrap up their series with Buffalo on Monday before hosting Pawtucket (who they just took three of four from) for four more games.


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