TWITTER POST: Hens lose 4 straight to C-bus -- 2 there, 2 here -- then lose twice at home to Louisville before snapping 9-game loss streak with win Sunday
THREE THINGS I THINK: 1. I like the move of Enrique Gonzalez back to the bullpen. As a reliever, Gonzalez is 1-1 with six saves and a 3.86 ERA; in two starts he was 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA. If you want him to pitch multiple innings to prepare him with a role in Detroit, that’s a compromise I can live with. 2. Clete Thomas is showing signs of breaking out of his hitting woes. Thomas was 6-for-15 (.400) before an 0-for-5 day Monday, and those six hits included a double and two homers. He’s starting to hit the ball with more authority, although he needs to cut down on the 75 strikeouts. 3. The first-half bullpen MVP is RHP Brendan Wise. He’s got a 1.62 ERA in 28 appearances, but his value goes beyond those numbers. He currently has 11 appearances where he has covered more than one inning, which is a lifesaver for a Triple-A bullpen.
WHO’S HOT: 1B Ryan Strieby has hit .314 in his last nine games with a home run, five RBI and three runs scored. … 3B Danny Worth has batted .313 with a homer and two RBI in the four games since his return from Detroit. … LHP Fu-Te Ni has given up just one earned run in his last 14.2 innings, a span of six relief appearances.
WHO’S NOT: The Mud Hens have hit just .220 as a team in their last 10 games, scoring just 31 runs. … Four Hens have batting averages below the Mendoza Line in that span, including SS Cale Iorg (.120), C Omir Santos (.167), C Max St-Pierre (.154) and 1B-OF Scott Thorman (.138). … In his last three appearances, RHP Enrique Gonzalez has allowed eight hits and eight walks that produced six earned runs in just 8.1 innings. … RHP Brayan Villarreal has lost his last five starts, surrendering 26 hits and 16 walks in 25.2 innings. He has allowed 15 earned runs (5.26) and has struck out just 14.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The Mud Hens won at home Monday against Louisville, then begin a brief two-game road trip at Columbus Tuesday-Wednesday, June 28-29 before returning to Fifth Third Field to host the Clippers Thursday-Friday, June 30-July 1. Then the Hens host Indianapolis at Fifth Third Field Saturday-Sunday, July 2-3.
NEWS WORTH NOTING: The Mud Hens are 12-29 at Fifth Third Field this season, which no longer is the fewest home wins in professional baseball. The Clinton Lumberkings of the Midwest League have just 11 home wins. … Detroit LHP Brad Thomas will continue his rehab assignment with the Mud Hens by throwing an inning at Columbus Tuesday. His status will be evaluated after that performance. … Detroit 2B Carlos Guillen began a rehab assignment with Hi-A Lakeland Monday and may join the Mud Hens in the next week.
LAST WEEK’S TRANSACTIONS: June 23-3B Brandon Inge returned to Detroit after completing major-league rehab; IF Danny Worth was optioned to Toledo; 3B Bryan Pounds was demoted to Double-A Erie. June 24-RHP Ryan Perry was promoted to Detroit; LHP Adam Wilk was optioned to Toledo; June 25-OF Timo Perez returned from the temporary inactive list; OF Deik Scram was demoted to Double-A Erie.