May 25th, 2010
Cellar Dwellers: Yes, ‘Caps fans, it’s true. As of last night West Michigan is in last place of the Midwest League East Division with a record of 20-31. This young team is just way too inconsistant at bat and on the field to get the job done. Manager Joe DePastino better set the ship right, or the ‘Caps will be making a rare absence from the playoffs.
Solid on the Hill: One bright spot for the Whitecaps this season has been the pitching. Trevor Feeney was named the MWL Pitcher of the Week ending 5/17. On the 10th of the month, Feeney hurled a complete game against the South Bend Silver Hawks in route to a 3-1 WM victory. The one run scored was unearned, as he struck out seven and issued only one walk. He only threw 107 pitches in the game and gave up six hits. In his eight starts this season he’s 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA. Also steady on the mound is nineteen-year-old Giovanni Soto. Last week facing the first place Lake County Captains, he struck out two and only walked one batter in a 3-1 victory. This season Soto is 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA, which is in the top ten of the Midwest League.
Pitching In: On May 13, Whitecaps players and staff participed in the second Whitecaps Day of Service with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. The players and staff painted a large house in Grand Rapids for a single mother of six children. Helping out on the project were Billy Alvino, Mike Gosse, Kenny Faulk, and Jacob Turner(pictured). The Whitecaps players volunteer their time all season long for various engagements such as visinting kids in children hospitals and schools.
Tigers GM in GR: Detroit Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski was in town to visit the Class A Affiliate and check out the prospects. The good news for Whitecaps fans is that it looks like Turner is staying in Grand Rapids for the time being. Dombrowski told the Grand Rapids Press: “There are no immediate plans to move him. I don’t know about later in the year, but at this point, this is a good place for development perposes. Right now, I think our thought process would be to keep him here and let him continue to develop and get the ball every five days. Will things change as the year goes on? Perhaps. But it won’t be in the near future.” The eighteen-year-old Turner is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in 26 IP so far this season. Domrowski continued: “We like what we’ver heard and our people like what they’ve seen. We’re very happy with him, and he’s going to be a very good pitcher for us in the future.” He also commented on the young ‘Caps team struggles: “It’s a younger team than in the past, but we like a lot of the players here. I think it’s the type of club that will get better as the year continues because you look for younger players to improve. They have a good work ethic and a good staff.”
Alumni Up and Downs: Outfielder Brennan Boesch continues to contrubute to the Tigers, who are trying to keep pace the Twins in the AL Central. In 25 games Boesch is batting .340 with 22 RBI’s and a .617 Slugging Pct. He was also named MLB Rookie of the Month for May. Due to his performance, second baseball Scott Sizemore has been sent back to the Toledo Mud Hens for more conditioning. He’s batting .250 with four doubles and two RBI’s in his seven games of Triple-A ball. Dombrowski also commented on Sizemore: “It’s tough to break into the big league level. Many very good players come up to the big leagues that (struggle) and are optioned out and come back to be real good players. It’s an adjustment up there.” Also making his Major League debut with the Tigers this month was Casper Wells. In four games he’s hitting .222 with one double and a pair of RBI’s. Wells was a MWL Mid-Season All-Star with the Whitecaps in 2008 before being promoted to Double-A Erie. He set a Midwest League recond on May 2 of that year by getting hit by a pitch four times by Quad Cities. He’s a native of Grand Rapids, MI, and it’s a proven fact that great men are born in GR.
Roster Moves: Memorial Day weekend will be kicking off with a new look roster for the Whitecaps. With there current record, some knew changes would be coming, with four players joining the team and five being removed. Joining the team from extended Spring Training are second baseman Chris Sedon and shortstop Jimmy Gulliver, both 2009 draft picks. Sedon played college ball for Pitt and was named to four different All-American teams, including the Louisville Slugger First Team and Baseball America Second Team. Gulliver is a product of Eastern Michigan, was born in Detroit, and grew up in Allen Park, MI. His father Glenn was drafted by the Tigers in 1976. Also Joining the team are pitchers Jared Wesson and Zach Samuels. Both were signed by the Tiges after going undrafted last summer. The lefty Wesson made a solid impact in his first outing over the weekend. He threw six shut-out innings and gave up only three hits in a 7-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons. Wesson told the Grand Rapids Press how excited he was: “Playing in front of a crowd was great and they were really energetic. I like the home fans, and I’m just trying to help the ball club as much as I can.” He played college ball for Mississippi State and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005. Leaving the ‘Caps for extended Spring Training are infielders Luis Plalacios and Elvin Soto, and pitchers Melvin Mercedes and Luis Sanz. Mike Gosse was given his release from the Tigers organizantion.
Photos courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press