Down on the Farm: AAA Report
The Red Wings played seven games this week and, unfortunately, didn't get a lot of support from the starting pitchers. Kevin Mulvey opened the week for the Red Wings last Monday, going 5.2 scoreless innings and giving up 5 hits and a walk while striking out 5 in picking up the win. Things would go downhill from there. Mulvey's second start of the week actually wasn't bad -- he went 5 innings, giving up an earned run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6 -- but he got no run support and ended up taking the loss. Can't blame Mulvey for that one. Philip Humber's start mid-week was alright -- he went 5 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 2 -- but the offense let him down too, and he took the loss.
Most of the rest of the week was rough: Brian Duensing took the loss in a 6.0 inning, 6 run performance (although just one of those runs was earned -- like the offense, the defense for the Red Wings hasn't been great this year); Glen Perkins went just 4.2 innings in his lone start of the week, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and walks while striking out 5; and Heath Totten finally made his first Red Wings start, lasting just 3.0 innings and allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits while striking out 3. Of course, the most notable start of the week was from a pitcher no longer with the Red Wings -- Francisco Liriano stopped by for a 4.0 inning, 3 run performance in which he allowed 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3. Twins fans have since see him make his less-than-triumphant return to the big leagues.
Bobby Korecky continued to put up solid performances this week, making three appearances and going a total of 5.0 scoreless innings while allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 batters. Korecky technically blew a save in his last appearance of the week, but just to show how charmed he's been this year, he later got the win when the Red Wings came back. Mariano Gomez wasn't far behind Korecky in terms of success this week -- he came in twice to get one batter, striking that batter out each time, and then came in for a 3.0 inning appearance in which he allowed just a hit and a walk while striking out 3 batters. Most everybody else in the bullpen was at least reasonably solid: Julio DePaula went 5.0 innings and allowed just 1 earned run; Ricky Barrett went 4.2 innings and allowed 2 earned runs; and Carmen Cali went 4.0 innings and allowed 2 earned runs. Only Casey Daigle really struggled this week, making three appearances and going just 2.0 innings while allowing 3 earned runs, including a performance where he failed to get an out while allowing a hit, a walk, and an earned run. Incidentally, starters Glen Perkins and Heath Totten also each got a relief appearance this week, with Totten getting an out in 1/3 of an inning, and Perkins going 2.0 innings, allowing an earned run on a hit and two walks.
Things are not good in catcher-ville for the Red Wings. Promising starter Jose Morales went just 1-for-19 on the week and is hitting a horrendous .107 on the season, while veteran backup Eli Whiteside went 0-6 with three K's in his two starts. I really have nothing more to say on this subject, other than it's early and I'm sure Morales will figure out his swing.
The theme of not hitting carries over throughout the team this week, and looking at some of the season batting averages for regular players is enough to make a fan faint -- check it out: Randy Ruiz (.225); Howie Clark (.188); Chris Basak (.176); Alexi Casilla (.172); Tommy Watkins (.000). In fact, only Brian Buscher, with his .314 average, is doing much of anything offensively for the entire Red Wings team. Buscher split his time primarily between first base and DH this week, starting three games at each and adding a start at 3B for good measure. For the week, he went 9-for-27 with a homer and a double, and without question paced the offense.
Elsewhere in the infield, Alexi Casilla split time between 2B and SS, with Howie Clark and Chris Basak getting the starts at those positions, respectively, when Casilla was on the other side. Meanwhile, Matt Macri once again was the primary third-baseman, and went 7-for-25 on the week with three doubles, a triple, and a homer. He also continued to strike out a bunch, but with 7 K's this week he at least cut it down a bit from when he was seemingly striking out every other time at the plate. In fact, at this point Macri's five errors are the biggest concern with his performance for the Red Wings.
If the infielders were bad, the outfielders were terrible this week. Garrett Jones came into the week having gone 6-for-12 in the first few games of the year, but this week he fell back to Earth by going 4-for-26 (including an 0-for-15 stretch over the last four games of the week). Jones started every game in right field this week. The primary left fielder for the week was, as expected, Jon Knott -- and Knott went 5-for-21 (a good performance for this outfield, as it turned out). Tommy Watkins, meanwhile, did indeed get a start in the left, as I predicted last week. Sadly, he went 0-for-6 on the week and still doesn't have a hit this season. Finally, Jason Pridie finds himself hitting just .182 on the season, including a 4-for-22 performance this week.