Results tagged ‘ Erie Seawolves ’
The Detroit Tigers announced on Thursday that they will be assigning Jacob Turner, thier first round pick of the 2009 draft (9th overall), to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Low A). The 18-year-old pitched for the Westminster Christian Academy High School in St. Louis last season. Whitecaps CEO and managing partner Lew Chamberlin told the Grand Rapids Press, “Turner represents the future of the Tigers, and I hope people would want to come out here and see him.” He has had an impressive spring training, and can hopefully keep it up at this level. I hope to get a chance to see him pitch before he’s moved up to Lakeland(high A) or even Erie(AA), which is a possibility.
Also, some former Whitecaps have been on the move this weekend as well. Optioned to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens were outfielders Casper Wells, Brennan Boesch, and Ryan Strieby, as well as right handed pitcher Alfredo Figaro. Infielder Audy Ciriaco was been assigned to Double-A Erie Sea Wolves, while short-stop Gustavo Nunez has been sent to Minor League camp and has not been assigned yet.
Good luck this season to Turner and the West Michigan alumi in the Tigers organization. Looks like it will be an exciting year, especially seeing how Scott Sizemore does at the MLB level in Detroit.
Top photo courtesy of Westminster Christian Academy
Bottom photo property of MIB
Tom Brookens took a call from Detroit manager Jim Leyland that maybe seemed like deja vu. It was nearly 30 years ago the Leyland, then coach of the Tigers AAA team in Evansville, called Bookens into his office to tell him he was being promoted to the Tigers. This time, Brookens is being promoted to the Tigers as their new first base coach. He will also be in charge of base-running and the outfielders.
“It’s a little ironic I get a call from him again to say I’m getting the call again to Detroit”, Brookens stated.
He has been coaching in the Tigers system for the last five years. He coached the West Michigan Whitecaps to a Midwest League championship in 2007. The last two seasons he’s been in Erie, PA managing the AA Sea Wolves who had a 71-70 record this season.
I luckily had the opportunity to chat with Brookens during his time with the Whitecaps. The former World Champion Tigers always took time to visit and sign autographs for fans. He was very nice to everyone who came to the ballpark. I wish him luck in Detroit, and would like to see him have nothing but success.
You can read the etire story off of the Tigers website HERE.
Top photo courtesy of the West Michigan Whitecaps
Bottom photo property of MIB
No, the AFL I’m refering to isn’t the spectacular Arena Football League that is currently on hiatus. It is the popular Arizona Fall League, where MLB teams send some of thier top prospects for more conditioning. One prospect the Detroit Tigers are keeping a close eye on is second baseban Scott Sizemore. Playing for the Peoria Javelinas, Sizemore has knocked in nine runs in only 15 at bats. Monday he went 3-4 and drove in four runs. The previous two games he hit three home runs. Sizemore is batting an impressive .375
“It’s been awesome,” Sizemore said of playing in Arizona. “Luckily I’ve kinda been getting the taste of it all. I take it the same way I went this season, take every at bat like it’s my last.”
This season splitting time between the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens and the Double-A Erie Seawolves, he hit a combined .308 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI’s. He also represented the Tigers at this years All-Star Futures game where he had a hit and run scored as a late-inning replacement at DH. Sizemore accomplished all of this while battling a sore left wrist after surgery in 2008.
The reason that the Tigers, specifically GM Dave Dombrowski, is so interested in Sizemore’s progress is simple: second baseman Placido Palonco is a free agent. If Detroit fails to re-sign Palanco, they’ll be losing one of the most reliable second baseman in the league. He rarely makes errors, rarely strikes out, and is one of the very few pure hitters in the Tigers line-up. I do give Dombrowski credit for pulling off the trade in 2005 to bring Palanco to Detroit for a pitcher who is currently doing time. Unfortunately, some not-so-spectacular deals and generous contract extentions have painted the Tigers into a financial corner. Too much money is tied up on players like Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson. Team owner Mike Illitch will have to dig deep into his pockets in order to re-sign Placido for next season.
Even if Palonco does return in 2010, it seems that Sizemore is the Tigers second baseman of the future.
“We think he’s ready to play, ” stated Dombrowski.
For the Tigers sake, and yours, Dave, I hope you’re right.
UPDATE: Sizemore broke his ankle on Thursday turning a double play, and will miss the rest of the AFL Season.
Photos courtesy of TigsTown
The Detroit Tigers named Casey Crosby their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Crosy went 10-4 with a 2.41 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings pitched for the West Michigan Whitecaps this season. In the second half of the season, he went 5-2 with a 0.78 ERA and 49 strikeouts in only 46 innings of work. The 21 year old hurler, had his fastball clocked at 98 mph in this, his first full pro season. Crosby only pitched three games in 2008 before having reconstructive surgery on his left elbow.
“He’s a great kid with a great work ethic, working hard at everything he does,” Whitecaps manager Joe DePastino told the Grand Rapids Press. “He was willing to learn and get better, and he’s very deserving of this award.”
Crosby’s keeping up the Whitecaps tradition of this honor by the Tigers organization. The last four season’s has seen the award handed to a West Michigan pitcher. Jon Kibler won it last season, with Duane Below taking home the honor in 2007 and Burke Badenhop in 2006.
Taking home the award for the Tigers Minor League Player of the Year, is former Whitecap Scott Sizemore (2007). Splitting time between the Erie Seawolves (AA) and Toledo Mud Hens (AAA) he hit .308 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI’s.
Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press
Still In Second: The Whitecaps are still standing in second place in the MWL Eastern Division with a record of 32-24 in the second half. They are just unable to catch the almost unbeatable Fort Wayne TinCaps. who they trail by 8.0 games as of this post.
Hot Bat: Short stop Gustavo Nunez has been hot at the plate since returning to West Michigan. Last week Nunez homered from both sides of the plate (including a grand slam), during a nine-run first inning against the Dayton Dragons, a game the ‘Caps would win 14-2. Over the last 10 games he’s batting .357 with three homers and eight RBI’s.
Ups and Downs: Ronnie Borquin has been reassigned to the Whitecaps from the AA Erie Seawolves. He was sent to Erie right after the MWL All-Star game and hit .228 with five homers and 19 RBI’s during his AA stint. Second basebman Brandon Douglas has been placed on the disabled list. Also a MWL All-Star, Douglas is batting .333 with 34 RBI’s in 74 games so far this season in West Michigan.
Alex Avila: Wow, it seems like just last season when I was watching Avila play in a ‘Caps uniform. Oh, wait, it WAS just last season. Spending most of the 2009 season with the AA Seawolves, he was recently promoted to the Detroit Tigers and is making the most of it, going 2-4 in his MLB debut. As of this post, he’s hitting .370 with three home runs, four doubles, and nine RBI’s in just 10 games with Detroit. The Tigers have had a tough time finding a reliable backup at catcher this season that can do anything productive at the plate.
“I guess that’s the reason they called me up”, Avila stated. “They want to see what you can do and how you can play at this level…Any time you’re in the lineup, you just try to do your job. Then, hopefully, you’ll stick up here.”
In his stint with the Whitecaps last season, he hit .305 with 22 RBI’s in 58 games. He was assigned to West Michigan after being drafted out of the Univ. of Alabama. Being his dad is the Tigers assistant GM, baseball must be in his blood.
“Ever since I was young,” Avila said, “all we did was baseball.”
Photo courtesy of The Detroit News