The Mud Hens saw Indianapolis score three times in the eighth inning and claim a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Toledo at Fifth Third Field Monday.
Here are a few notes and numbers from the game, starting with a warning ...
- Consider yourselves warned, Brandon Inge haters. There will be a story about Inge in Tuesday's Blade.
Inge's numbers for the day: He was 1-for-4 at the plate in the contest with an RBI double high off the wall in int he first inning (nearly a home run). He walked in the third, then struck out three times -- once by Pat Misch, once by Evan Reed and once by Bruce Rondon.
On the season Inge is hitting .139 for Indianapolis. But that number is somewhat misleading, because Inge missed a portion of spring training because of a fractured scapula.
- With the struggles of Brayan Villarreal and the potential of an injury to Octavio Dotel, I've had several people ask me who the most-likely call-up is to replace one, the other or both. Before I reply, let me start with a disclaimer: At this point, there's no indication that a move is happening. OK?
So what I'm about to answer is the question, "IF the Tigers decided to make a move, who is most likely to be called up?" First, I would think it would be someone on the 40-man roster, which leaves six possibilities: LHPs Duane Below and Casey Crosby and RHPs Jose Ortega, Luke Putkonen, Evan Reed and Bruce Rondon.
Here are some numbers for each with the Hens ... Below has started twice and is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA, having allowed six hits and one walk while fanning nine in 12.1 innings. Crosby has started twice and is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA, having given up seven hits and eight walks while striking out nine in 7.0 innings. I'd say Below is a candidate, and Crosby is not at this point.
Among the four relievers, Ortega is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in five appearances, having given up three hits and two walks while striking out six in 6.2 innings. Putkonen is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four appearances, having given up six hits and four walks while fanning eight in 8.1 innings. Reed is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA in five appearances, giving up four hits and five walks with eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings. And Rondon is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in five appearances, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out seven in 5.2 innings. I'd say Ortega is clearly the strongest of the four candidates, and Reed is the weakest of the four candidates.
Something else to consider ... Putkonen went 1.1 innings Monday (and threw 25 pitches), Reed got one out Monday (on 14 pitches) and Rondon went 1.2 innings (and threw 32 pitches). All three will need at least one day off before they can pitch. Crosby is Tuesday's scheduled starter, Below would start Wednesday.
As for other options ... First, a reminder that Luis Marte is on the disabled list. As for non-roster candidates, Shawn Hill pitched Sunday and Pat Misch pitched Monday. Among the non-roster relievers, Kenny Faulk has allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight in 4.1 innings in three games -- his first above the Double-A level. Matt Hoffman has given up two hits and one walk with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings. And Jess Todd, who does have major-league experience, has given up three hits but no walks with three strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
Remember, if a player who isn't on the 40-man roster has his contract purchased by the Tigers, Detroit must make room for him on the 40-man roster (and potentially lose a player). That makes it tougher for non-roster players to get called up.
Summary: I'd say Ortega or Below are the top options. Do you need a righty (Ortega) or a lefty (Below)? Do you need innings (Below) or a quick burst (Ortega)? Those are the criteria to decide.
- Saw Rondon pitch for the first time on Monday, and he was OK. But only OK, as he gave up three hits in 1.2 innings. He did strike out four, but he came in with three inherited runners -- and all three scored.
Rondon's pitch count was 32 pitches, 19 of which were strikes. He threw 18 fastballs (12 for strikes), and 14 breaking pitches, seven for strikes. Unfortunately, I'm about to start guessing -- remember, I'm charting pitches from the press box -- that five of those pitches were change-ups (two for strikes) and nine were sliders (five for strikes).
The fastball sat at 97-98 mph (five at 97, six at 98) and touched 99 twice, 100 three times and 101 once (there also was one at 95). The fastball produced two singles, one strikeout and one flyout. The change-up sat at 87-89 mph (two at 87, one at 88 and two at 89) and produced one strikeout. The slider sat at 84-86 mph (two at 84, four at 85, three at 86) and produced two strikeouts.
If you have comments and/or questions, leave them in the "post a comment" area below. I'm heading home momentarily ... I promise to respond Tuesday!