The Red Wings offense has fallen on hard times as of late, batting .226 as a team through the team's last ten games. They are getting no power from their big hitters, and top hitter Matt Tolbert has not played since May 18. Jose Morales continues to hit the ball well, but if this team is going to win, they are going to have to help out their stellar starting pitching.
As previously stated, Jose Morales is still stinging the ball for the Red Wings, batting over .630 through his last three games, and is batting over .420 in his last six. Tommy Watkins has played great subbing in for the injured Tolbert, joining Morales as the only other Red Wing batting over .300 over the team's last five contests. Garrett Jones has hit two home runs in his last ten games, but the team has hit only three in their last ten contests. They are in desperate need of some consistent offense to make up for the loss of Tolbert.
Despite an 0-2 record, Matt Garza has been lights out for Rochester lately, allowing only one earned run in his last 14 innings. Though he has walked six in that time, the young right-hander has struck out 11, and has allowed only seven hits. Kevin Slowey has been the constant arm in the Wings' rotation all season long, and has now struck out 13 over his last 15 innings of work. He has been hit hard, allowing 16 knocks, but he has walked only two. Nick Blackburn looked good in his last start, allowing two earned run in five innings of work.
I have been battling this all season long, but I think I am finally ready to agree with the consensus on position player prospects Denard Span and Matthew Moses. Both players are batting under .200 in the team's last ten games, with Span batting only .100. It looked like Moses was springing to life earlier in the month, but he may actually need some more time in the Eastern League. A demotion of both these players could be devastating to their confidence, so it will be interesting to see what management does with them. Doug Deeds has also been rumored to be on his way back to New Britain, as the slugger is also batting below .200 in the team's last ten games. These three were supposed to add some pop to the Rochester lineup, but it has not worked out yet.
Brian Bass has been getting lit up like a Christmas Tree lately, and has now allowed eight earned runs in his last six-plus innings. Bass has been pretty good for Rochester this season, and is likely to stay with the team. The rest of the pitching staff is pitching fairly well so far this season, including newcomer Jose Mijares. Bass will turn it around, he just needs some more innings.
What We Know
Help is not on the way for this offense, as the Double-A team is just as young for the Eastern League as these players are for the International League. The Minnesota Twins farm system has been based on pitching for the past couple of years, and their top young bats are very young. What needs to happen is the players who are with the Red Wings need to realize that they are in Triple-A for a reason, and play with the same kind of vigor that got them this far in the organization. A couple of prospects are playing way above where most believed their ceiling was, and some of the bigger name prospects need to take a page out of guys like Morales and Tolbert's book. Players of Moses and Span's ability do not slump for an entire season.