TWITTER POST: Hens win 1st 3 games of week over Columbus, lose hot-hitting Eldred to Detroit, then lose 3 straight at home to Gwinnett
THREE THINGS I THINK: 1. Hens fans should not be concerned about the offense. Losing Brad Eldred obviously was a blow, but I think Toledo has enough good hitters to get rolling, and there is both speed and power to produce runs. 2. The Mud Hens need the Tigers to get their pitching in order. All the Detroit pitching moves have scrambled Toledo’s rotation, which also affects bullpen use. Getting things back in order will put less pressure on the offense and help that unit relax. 3. RHP Thad Weber has learned some lessons from last season and is putting them to use. Weber looks to be a different pitcher from the one who went 5-11 with a 5.65 ERA last season. He deserved the promotion to Detroit, and he seems primed for a big season in 2012.
WHO’S HOT: Let’s give one more salute to DH Brad Eldred, who hit .444 with six homers, 17 RBIs and 11 runs scored in his last seven games before getting called up to Detroit. … C Omir Santos has hit .368 in his last five games with four runs scored. … After losing his first two starts, LHP Casey Crosby has won his last two, allowing 12 hits and just three runs in 11 innings, striking out nine and walking four. … RHP Chris Bootcheck has earned saves in his last two appearances, and he hasn’t allowed a hit in his last three (covering 2.2 innings).
WHO’S NOT: While 1B Ryan Strieby has hit just .220 in his last 10 games, he does have two homers, nine RBIs and six runs scored in that span. Strieby begins the week in a 4-for-22 (.182) funk. … IF Eric Patterson has batted just .242 in his last nine games, and he begins this week with just three hits in his last 16 at-bats (.188). … RHP Brooks Brown did win his start at Columbus April 24, but he allowed eight hits and seven runs in five innings. In his last two appearances he has surrendered nine hits and nine runs, eight of which were earned, while walking five and striking out six in 7.2 innings.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The Mud Hens finish their series with Gwinnett with a game at Fifth Third Field Monday, April 30 starting at 6:30 p.m. Toledo then begins a four-game home series against Pawtucket with games Tuesday through Friday, May 1-4. All of those games except the Friday contest start at 6:30 p.m., with Friday a 7 p.m. start. The Hens finish the week with a pair of games against Columbus Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6, with Saturday’s game starting at 7 p.m. and a 2 p.m. start Sunday.
NEWS WORTH NOTING: There will be several interesting pitching appearances this week. RHP Doug Fister is expected to make a rehab start with the Mud Hens Wednesday night, and Boston RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka could start for Pawtucket in Toledo Thursday night. The Mud Hens starter on Friday night has not been announced, but it could be RHP Jacob Turner, Detroit’s top prospect. … Even though the Mud Hens have lost three in a row, they remain in first place in the International League’s West Division, one game ahead of Columbus. … The Hens are 8-2 on the road this season. Every other IL team has at least four road losses this season.
LAST WEEK’S TRANSACTIONS: April 23-LHP Shawn Teufel assigned to Hi-A Lakeland; LHP Daniel Schlereth optioned from Detroit to Toledo; April 27-RHP Thad Weber optioned from Detroit to Toledo; LHP Adam Wilk optioned from Detroit to Toledo; RHP Luke Putkonen had his contract purchased by Detroit; 1B/DH Brad Eldred has his contract purchased by Detroit; RHP Brayan Villarreal was promoted to Detroit; RHP Zach Miner was called up from Double-A Erie; IF Rawley Bishop was called up from Erie; LHP Ramon Garcia was demoted to Erie; April 28-IF Danny Worth was promoted to Detroit; IF Brent Dlugach was called up from Erie; LHP Daniel Schlereth was placed on the disabled list; LHP Fu-Te Ni was activated from the disabled list.