THREE THINGS I THINK: 1. Jordan Lennerton has been a bright spot for an otherwise dismal offense. Lennerton is batting a solid .294 and solid power as well as an ability to hit to the opposite field. He also has a “plus” glove that has helped limit the errors by the Toledo infield. 2. LHP Jose Alvarez is for real. The 23-year-old has a misleading 2-2 record and a 1.50 ERA that better reflects how well he has pitched this season. He ranks second in the International League in ERA, third in strikeouts (41) and second in baserunners per nine innings (8.79). 3. Toledo needs to find a way to grind out wins in close games. The Hens have played 18 one-run games, second-most in the IL, but their 4-14 record in those games (.222 winning percentage) is easily the league’s worst mark. If a team is going to play close games, it has to find a way to win them.
WHO’S HOT: OF Avisail Garcia hit .432 in his eight games with Toledo before his promotion to Detroit, collecting a home run, four RBIs and four runs scored. … SS Argenis Diaz has batted .310 in his last nine games. … 1B Jordan Lennerton has hit .333 in his last 10 contests with a home run, four RBIs and five runs scored. … LHP Ramon Garcia has been effective in his four starts for Toledo, allowing just 16 hits and three walks while fanning 12 in 21 innings for a 3.86 ERA. … LHP Matt Hoffman has not allowed a run in his last seven outings, giving up just four hits and one walk in five innings. His ERA has dropped to 1.69 for the season.
WHO’S NOT: The Toledo offense has posted a .231 batting average in its last 10 games, producing just 34 runs. … OF Quintin Berry has hit just .133 in his last six games and is hitting just .185 this season. … OF Nick Castellanos has hit just .200 in his last 10 games, although he has produced six RBIs while scoring five times. … OF Ben Guez had hit just .059 in eight games prior to going 2-for-2 with a home run against Indianapolis Monday. … LHP Kenny Faulk has given up at least one run in three of his last four outings, surrendering seven hits and four walks in 6.1 innings. … LHP Casey Crosby has received a loss or no-decision in his last four starts, giving up 24 hits and 14 walks in 17.2 innings. For the season Crosby is 1-5 with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The Mud Hens will start an eight-game homestand Tuesday with four games against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and four versus Syracuse. Toledo will host the RailRiders Tuesday-Friday, May 14-17; the games Tuesday and Thurday start at 6:30 p.m., while the Wednesday game is a 10:30 a.m. School Celebration Day start and Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m. Then the Hens host Syracuse for four games Saturday-Tuesday, May 18-21; Saturday’s game start at 7 p.m., Sunday’s game is a 2 p.m. start, and the games Monday and Tuesday are both School Celebration Day games beginning at 10:30 a.m.
SCOUTING SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE: The RailRiders are 20-15 overall and are third in the IL’s North Division. The pitching staff has led the way, posting a 3.10 ERA that is second-best in the league. Former Mud Hen Chris Bootcheck is 4-0 with a IL-best 1.25 ERA, while former big leaguer Chien-Ming Wang is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA. The offense is led by IF Corban Joseph (.270-4-10) and former IL MVP Dan Johnson (.198-3-15). Look for OF Brennan Boesch to join the team after he was demoted by the Yankees Monday.
SCOUTING SYRACUSE: The Chiefs are 14-22 overall and are in sixth place in the IL’s North Division. Syracuse has had some success on offense, where its .266 team batting average is third-best in the league – but its 152 runs score rank only seventh. IF Jeff Kobernus ranks third in the IL with a .356 batting average and is second in the league with 14 stolen bases, while OF Eury Perez is hitting .346, fifth-best in the league. SS Zach Walters is tied for second with eight home runs. The pitching staff is led by LHP Daniel Rosenbaum, who is 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA.
NEWS WORTH NOTING: The Mud Hens begin this week in fourth place in the International League’s West Division, 16 games behind first-place Indianapolis (after just 39 games – it doesn’t help that Indy’s 27-12 mark is the best in the IL). Toledo is 10.5 games behind second-place Columbus, and 7.5 games behind Louisville in third. … The Hens are 12.5 games behind Durham and Pawtucket, the leaders in the Wild Card chase. … The Mud Hens’ 11-28 record is the worst in the IL. The team begins this homestand three games behind both Charlotte and Gwinnett, the two teams with the next-worst record in the league … RHP Joba Chamberlin is expected to start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against the Hens Tuesday as part of a rehab assignment from a right oblique strain.
LAST WEEK’S TRANSACTIONS: May 6-LHP Phil Coke sent to Mud Hens on rehab assignment. May 11-Tigers recall LHP Phil Coke from his rehab assignment; RHP Luke Putkonen optioned to Toledo from Detroit; RHP Robbie Weinhardt reassigned from Toledo to Double-A Erie. May 13-OF Avisail Garcia promoted to Detroit.