Advertisements

Below’s Above Average Debut; Cruz Cruises Across The Field

Duane Below makes MLB debut with the Tigers

Duane Below with the Whitecaps in 2007

Everyone loves a ‘local boy makes good’ story, so this should make some readers ecstatic. Britton, Michigan native Duane Below made his Major League debut Wednesday night against the Oakland A’s at Comerica Park, about an hour away from his home town. The Tigers lost 7-5, but Below pitched well in his first game and gave his team a chance to win. He threw five innings, giving up three runs on five hits, but only one run was earned. He also had two strike outs in the game. Below seemed pleased with his performance, though.

“It’s nice, it’s exciting,” Below told MLB.com. “[I was] just trying to continue to feel it out and feel what I have to do to get better. I’m still kind of nervous a little bit, I’m still excited, not sure how to take it, because it’s still settling in. It’s a dream. Hopefully I can continue to stay here and help the team win.”

I love it when players sound like little kids when their dreams come true. We were lucky enough to see Below pitch when he was with the Whitecaps back in 2007. The game was a sell-out at the time, with a local boy on the mound, and the ‘Caps picking up an 8-4 win over visiting Fort Wayne. Below also pitched five innings in that game and gave up one run. He posted a 2.97 ERA with West Michigan in 2007, and had a record of 13-5. He was named the Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the Year and the Whitecaps Pitcher of the Year after leading the Midwest League in strikeouts with 160 in 2007. I was able to scrounge up a couple of pics from that game before my MLBlog days, but nothing real good of Below.

West Michigan beats Fort Wayne 8-4 with Duane Below on the mound

Cruz traded to Kansas City Royals

Now-former Whitecaps pitcher Antonio Cruz was traded to the Kansas City Royals yesterday, in a deal that brought infielder Wilson Betemit to the Tigers. Lucky for Cruz, the Whitecaps were hosting KC affiliate Kane County Cougars, so he just walked across the field to his new dugout and team. He first joined the ‘Caps as an 18-yr-old in 2010, going 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA during ten late season relief appearances. This season, the left-handed hurler was 2-6 with a 3.11 ERA. At the beginning of the season he was a starter, but was moved to the bullpen to limit his innings pitched.

With the acquisition of Betemit, former Whitecap and Tigers staple third baseman Brandon Inge has been designated for assignment and has reported to the Triple A Toledo MudHens. He needs to clear waivers next Monday, but Inge can’t really picture himself playing anywhere but Detroit.

“I could’ve made the decision not to accept the assignment, and maybe get picked up by another team,” Inge stated. “But i live here, my kids go to school around here, I’ve made this home. I still feel, no matter what happens–and no matter what will ever happen–that this is home for me. I’ve spent so many years here, and still plan on spending a lot more here. Everyone goes through rough patches in their career. This is definitely on of them. But I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and I opted not to push them into making a decision where they could release me.”

Inge is a fan favorite, and one of my favorites, but this had to be done. I wish him the best, and hope he can turn things around.

Antonio Cruz traded to the Kansas City Royals

Below photo courtesy of Joel Dinda/mwlguide

Whitecaps game photo property of M.I.B.

Cruz photo courtesy of Emily Jones/MiLB

Advertisements

3 responses

  1. Thanks for sharing. So many of your posts include stories I wouldn’t be able to read anywhere else.

    Ron

  2. Wow, I remember when Brandon Inge was, as you said, a staple of the Tigers. I really admire him for his loyalty to the franchise though. That’s somewhat of a rare breed in MLB, and I hope his perseverance pays off.
    Catherine

  3. Ron-thanks for the props. I try to do something different on here.
    Catherine-Loyalty is very rare in todays sports world, from either a player or franchise. Glad to see him sticking it out.
    Thanks for checking in-
    –Mike

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Redleg Nation

The home for obsessive fans of Cincinnati Reds baseball, since 2005

Brian's Cubs Blog

Thoughts from a Cubs fan in southwest Michigan.

Better Off Red

Jamie Ramsey gives you an all-access pass into the world of the Cincinnati Reds

MLB Reports

Baseball Analysis (Audio + Written), MLB DFS For FanDuel + DraftKings, Tommy John Surgery, MLB Scheduling, MLB Interleague + The Every Day "Chucker" Podcast & Sully Baseball Podcast

Greetings From Michigan

Jerseys, Promotions and Logos of the MiLB

Musings of a Displaced Tigers Fan

Long-distance relationships are hard.

Ben's Biz Blog

The Greatest Minor League Baseball Blog of All Time

BakerBoys&Baseball

A Boy and his Dad's Adventures in Baseball

All Things Ed

Celebrating more innocent times of childhood memories, which seem to revovle around baseball. Minor league games, baseball trivia, and a hint of nostalgia.. Enjoy!

Sons of '84

The place for Tigers fans, baseball die hards, fantasy baseball enthusiast, and baseball card geeks

Indy Ball Island

Writing and sharing stories about Independent Baseball.

The Baseball Bloggess

Loves the 4-6-3 and the Serial Comma.

Flashin' Leather

"God I love baseball." Roy Hobbs | The Natural

BBST

BBST brings you all the latest MLB news & analysis with a slight West Coast bias & an Oaktown twist

The Ballpark Guide

This is the travel blog for Malcolm MacMillan, founder of TheBallparkGuide.com. Visit the website for comprehensive guides to Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball stadiums.

MiLB Snap Shots

As a freelancer, Tom Priddy has been photographing Minor League Baseball for more than 18 years. These are his photos and the stories behind them.

The Canuck Cubbie

The Unofficial Blogger of the Chicago Cubs in Canada

HardballTalk

Baseball. Baseball. And then a bit more baseball.

Beck's Blog

Tracking the Tigers with MLB.com beat writer Jason Beck.

%d bloggers like this: