August 1st, 2009

Former Whitecaps Traded at Deadline

french.jpgToday the Seattle Mariners traded left-handed pitcher Jarrod Washburn to the Detroit Tigers for former Whitecap pitchers Luke French and Mauricio Robles.

“We had an opportunity to acquire two starting left-handed pitchers under the age of 23, including one with Major League experience”, Seattle general manager Jack Zdurienecik said in a statement.

French has mostly played with Detroit’s AAA farm club Toledo Mud Hens this season, but has had five starts with the Tigers. He is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in those games for Detroit. In a game against Seattle on July 23, he limited the Mariners to just two hits in 5 1/3 innings. Playing for West Michigan in 2006 and part of 2007, he was crucial in helping the ‘Caps winning back to back Midwest League titles. He was named MWL Pitcher of the Week on 07/23/06. French was an eighth round pick of the Tigers in 2004, coming out of high school in Colorado. The 6’4″, 220 pound lefty, basically hurls three pitches. His fastball is ‘Reagan Era’ at 86-88, but can hit 90 at times. He can also toss a 76-78 mph slider and a sinking change up at around 74-76.

Robles pitched for West Michigan in 2008, and pat of this season before being promoted to High-A Lakeland. His 2008 totals are 5-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 23 games. He only gave up two home runs and struck out 79. This season in only 11 games with the ‘Caps, he was 4-4 with a 4.23 ERA, and struck out 71. Robles is a bit more of an unknown, as he didn’t focus on pitching until after he was signed by Detoit as a free agent out of Venezuela. His fast ball averages 91-94 and has peaked at 96. Unfortunately, it goes down to 89-90 from time to time. His arm noticably slows down and flattens during while throwing his curce, so that’s something he’ll have to adjust in the Minors.

Good luck to both Luke and Mauricio in this new chapter of their careers. All the best in Seattle, and we appreciate your time and efforts in the Tigers organization. Seems like ‘win-win’ for both teams on this one. Detroit’s hold on the AL Central is hanging by a string, so hopfully Washburn and keep runs off the board, as the Tigers are having trouble scoring them.

Photo courtesy of Farm1.Flickr

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