Detroit Tigers Minor League Baseball Commentary and Analysis
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The Whitecaps made three errors in the fifth inning in which Cedar Rapids scored all five of their runs in a 5-3 loss. Casey Crosby fell to 8-4 despite a solid start. He gave up four runs (just one earned) on four hits with six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
Alden Carrithers went two for four and he scored two runs. Billy Nowlin tripled and he drove in a run.
Matt Hoffman improved to 3-6 on the season with some solid work out of the pen in the Flying Tigers 5-3 win over St. Lucie. He gave up unearned run on one hit with a strikeout in four solid innings of relief. Brett Jacobson struck out two in a shutout ninth and he picked up his fourth save of the season.
Devin Thomas belted a two run home run in the first inning. Joseph Tucker went two for four with a double, two RBIs and a run.
Giovany Soto improved to 1-0 on the season with a solid start in the GCL Tigers 2-1 win over the GCL Yankees. He gave up just one unearned run on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings. Melvin Mercedes struck out two in a shutout ninth and he picked up his eleventh save of the season.
Eddie Rush was the hitting star in the win. He went two for four with a double, a walk and a run. Jordan Cruz doubled, drove in one and scored.
So recently a report was released, as I am sure everyone is aware of thanks to ESPN’s 24 hour coverage on the matter, that two more top MLB superstars are on a piece of paper with other guys names who’ve reportedly done “bad things.” I won’t mention names, at this point in my career I’m not sure what exactly I’m permitted by the unwritten rules of baseball to say. If one day I go broke and have nothing left, look for memoir on bookshelves where I tear everything down and hopefully hit some kind of reality TV star, quasi-author jackpot. However, seeing as how much attention this matter seems to get every time it’s brought up, I felt like I had to talk about it, even if it is only just scratching the surface. And by the way, if anyone is confused at this point as to the topic I am discussing, then maybe the game of baseball hasn’t quite reared its evil twin to you yet, or you just aren’t a big fan of sports broadcasting. But just to say, this is steroids, PEDs, or whatever other names have surfaced regarding any substance that makes you run faster, hit further and throw harder. The question on every fans’ mind is, why? If you are good enough to be at that level, why then would you take steroids? Here’s where I get to be flakey so I don’t have to eat my words later. To me, I get to see both sides of the spectrum, the fan as well as the player. As stated previously I don’t want to lean towards one side or the other but the only, what I hope isn’t too controversial, thing I will say is that either way, and either side you look at the answer is most likely the same. Money. As a player thinking like a businessman, I get it. It’s a simple risk-reward decision to set yourself and your family up for life. I will end here on that statement, because I could rant all day, trust me I wrote a thirty page paper my senior year of college making the argument for the use of PEDs in sports (don’t judge me yet, everyone else wrote about the other side of the issue so I had to do something that stands out. Which got me an A by the way). But going back to the other side now, as a player who cares about the game of baseball and doing things the right way, it’s hard think about compromising everything you stand for just for a shot at it all. Really this is all a big, complicated, real life version of the classic, you are sitting around bored with friends game, would you rather. Except the consequences are real and even though you may still be a ballplayer, and you may be a great ballplayer, maybe even an All Star, things cannot remain the same. I have always come from the school of thought where the greatest thing you can leave behind is a legacy. So if i cheated and made it to the show, will I be remembered for living my dream and playing at the ultimate level. No. I would go down as a cheater, and no matter how hard I try, that tag is too hard to get lifted. But, you made that money to set you up for other things outside the game. So again back to those who simply don’t care about any of that legacy stuff; the decision is purely financial. But I hold no ill will towards anyone who feels this way because I get it, and I tip my hat and hope for the best, but it’s not a road I think is worth going down. I am a fan of baseball, I always have been and always will be. And I want to see everything that is good about the game come out. Wouldn’t that be a fun report for Baseball Tonight to tackle. Not as eye popping, but over time it may phase all this, for lack of a better word, crap out. I guarantee this will not be the last episode of a baseball “scandal” media blitz. The fact is that this was a period in the game where these things happened and it was how players tried to stay ahead. It’s a phase, like growing up. Eventually you stop wearing that Superman cape you’ve had on for a month straight and your mom washes it and it goes in a box you don’t see for twenty or so years, and you move on towards bigger and better things. This is what I think we all need to do with this, take it in, know what’s going on, know what is truth and what is fiction, and just move on.
Oneonta proved victorious in the first game of their doubleheader with Tri-City. Cory Hamilton had a really nice start and he improved to 3-1. He gave up three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Michael Torrealba struck out the final two batters of the game and he picked up his first save of the season.
Carmelo Jaime went two for three with two RBIs. Alexis Espinoza went one for three with a run and an RBI.
Casey Crosby improved to 8-3 on the season with another nice start in the Whitecaps 4-2 win over Clinton. He gave up a run on just two hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in five innings. Tyler Stohr pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his fourteenth save of the season.
Brent Wyatt had a big day at the plate and he went four for five with a double, a run and an RBI. Avisail Garcia also had a nice game and he went three for four.
I was posed the question after one of my posts regarding the topic of pitch counts. Now, there are not any specific rules that apply to this as far as Major League Baseball is concerned. This isn’t little league where the coach (aka the only dad who knows baseball) can potentially forfeit games if one pitcher throws too many pitches in a game, but for the same reasons we have rules for safety reasons as well. Pitch counts are in place at the younger levels to keep kids from damaging their arms, and I am hugely in favor of this mainly because I think too many good players are ruined before they get a chance to hit their prime. However high school starts to see players get abused because they have tremendous talent and coaches want to win so they get overthrown when their bodies haven’t fully developed. I owe a great deal to my high school coach Scott Spada for not burning me out, even though I didn’t see that at the time, and probably pitched myself out of my fair share as well. Back to pitch counts now. So for those who manage to make it out of the amateur ranks with all arm ligaments in tact and still performing well, they will find that pro ball to be a much better system for development. Let me give a brief rundown of how our system works. If you are a pitcher first year out of high school, or anyone first year out of an injury, your max pitch count is 75. Any college player, or anyone beyond two years of experience has roughly 100 to work with given the progress of the game. That’s just starting pitchers. For relievers most max pitch counts sit at 45, and based on how many days they throw in a row says how many days off they get. Now sometimes these counts work against you when you want to try and finish a game or if you’re wanting to get some extra innings in. But, I have grown to accept it and actually think that pitch counts are a good thing. Here is why. First in high school and college you have four years to try to win so some players and coaches will blow it out and put considerations for injury aside. Pro ball is different in that you need to think in terms of a career, whether or not it may happen for ten years, this is taken into account. Also the thing that a pitch count does is force you to be a more effective, efficient pitcher. If you want to last, and still put up good numbers you need to learn to get the most out of your outings. It is not easy at first but you get used to it.
Zach Samuels improved to 1-1 on the season with a really nice start in the GCL Tigers 3-1 win over the GCL Pirates. He gave up one unearned run on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven innings. Melvin Mercedes pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his eighth save of the season.
Jordan Cruz went two for four with two RBIs. Alexander Nunez went three for four with a double and a run.
Erie had plenty of hitting stars in their 16-3 win over the B-Mets but Alex Avila really shined in this one. He went three for five with three home runs and seven RBIs in the win. Brennan Boesch also had a great game and he went four for five with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and three runs.
Thad Weber picked up the win and he improved to 4-2. He gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
The Hens took care of the SWB Yankees 8-7 in a game that saw the two teams combine for 28 hits. Jeff Larish went two for three with two doubles, two walks and three runs. Scott Sizemore went two for five with a solo home run and two runs.
Scott Drucker was lit up for six runs in 4 1/3 but the hitters picked him up. Clay Rapada threw two shutout frames to close out the game and he improved to 2-2.
It’s like the Mud Hens saved it all up for one game. They scored 18 runs on 24 hits including a 10 run third inning as they demolished the Chiefs 18-1. Jeff Frazier went four for six with a home run, six RBIs and two runs. Brent Clevlen had three home runs, all of which were solo shots, and Don Kelly went four for six with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.
Lost in all of the offense was a solid start by Chris Lambert. He improved to 5-7 and he gave up just a run on seven hits without a walk and he struck out six in eight innings.
It’s been a tough season for Brandon Hamilton but he put things together last night in the Whitecaps 4-0 win over Quad Cities. He gave up three hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six shutout innings and the win improved his record to 4-3 on the season.
Ben Guez had the big hit with a three run blast in the first inning. It was his eighth home run of the season. Jordan Lennerton pitched in with three singles and he scored a run.
The Tigers went into the eighth inning down 7-2 and while they made a game of it by scoring four runs in the final four frames, it wasn’t enoughas they fell a run short in the 7-6 loss. Clemente Mendoza took the loss and he fell to 3-2. He gave up three runs on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
John Murrian went three for five wit a triple in the loss. Michael Rockett tripled twice, drove in two and scored two runs.
The bullpen made up for a rough start by Lauren Gagnier in the Flying Tigers 8-6 win over Jupiter. Chad Linder was the star on the mound and he gave up just three hits in three scoreless innings to improve to 3-1. Scott Green pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his eleventh save of the season.
Chris Carlson went two for four with a double, a walk, two RBIs and a run. Michael Bertram went two for five with a double, two runs and an RBI.
A solid start by Brooks Brown went to waste as the Hens fell to the Chiefs 3-2. Brown fell to 3-8 and he gave up three runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts in seven innings.
Brent Dlugach went three for five with two doubles, and a run. Jeff Frazier doubled twice in the loss.
The GCL Tigers had a tough time getting anything going at the plate in their 3-1 loss to the GCL Blue Jays. Jordan Cruz doubled and he drove in the lone run while Alexander Nunez went two for three with a walk.
A solid start by Jose Diaz went to waste. He fell to 1-4 and he gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
Talk about a hard luck loss. The Tigers came back from three down to take a 4-3 and eventually a 6-3 lead only to see the pen implode in the ninth for five runs. Kevan Hess, who was in line for his second win, threw four shutout innings before Kenny Faulk was tagged for four runs in the ninth as he fell to 0-1.
Christpher Sedon went one for four with a triple, two runs and three RBIs. Michael Rockett went two for four with a double and an RBI.
Luke Putkonen fell to 6-6 on the season with a rough start in the Whitecaps 7-4 loss to Kane County. He gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits with three walks and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Billy Nowlin was a perfect three for three with two doubles. Ben Guez went two for four with an RBI and two runs.
Thad Weber had about as good of a start as you could ask as the SeaWolves took care of the B-Mets 5-1. He gave up one run on five hits with three strikeouts in eight solid frames.
Brennan Boesch went two for four with a pair of runs. Casper Wells went two for three with a double and three RBIs.
Eddie Bonine improved to 2-4 on the season with a nice start in the Hens 5-3 win over Buffalo. He gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one strikeout in eight innings. Josh Rainwater pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his second save of the season.
Jeff Larish had a nice day at the plate. He went two for four with a home run and two RBIs. Brent Dlugach went three for four with a double and a run.
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