Tigers minor-league report: Mud Hens mowing them down

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
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Triple-A Toledo

Who’s hot …

Jim Adduci, OF: Because it sometimes seems as if the Tigers have a 40-man roster of outfielders, people tend to overlook Adduci, who last week turned 33. He continues to do what Adduci has done since the Tigers signed him 17 months ago as a minor-league free agent. He keeps hitting: .325 in his last 10 games, .304 on the year, with five home runs and a heavy .884 OPS. Adduci, of course, is a left-handed hitter and has 90 games of big-league experience, 29 of which came with the Tigers in 2017.

Christin Stewart, OF: Still batting .304 on the year, with 11 homers and a .993 OPS. He’s handling his apprenticeship marvelously and will be in Detroit no later than September.

Ronny Rodriguez, 3B: Nice offseason pick-up the Tigers made when Rodriguez, who can play an array of positions, was signed as a minor-league free agent and refugee from the Indians system. Rodriguez, who is only 26, is swinging at a .421 clip the past 10 games. On the season: .290, with an .809 OPS. He bats right-handed and grew up in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

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Drew VerHagen, RH reliever: How he cleared waivers isn’t exactly known, but the Tigers are happy. Since he was designated for assignment and was outrighted to the Mud Hens, VerHagen has been incinerating Triple A batters: 26 strikeouts in four games and 14.1 innings, five walks, nine hits. VerHagen, of course, is 27 and was a fourth-round Tigers pick in 2012 (Vanderbilt).

A.J. Ladwig, RH starter: He very likely is pitching his way into one of those spot-duty starts for the Tigers as one of the farm system’s more consistent, and most improved, pitchers maintains his mastery: 5-0 in six games and four starts, 2.43 ERA, 0.96 WHIP. He’s not a fireballer, but that .215 opposing average tells you plenty. Ladwig, 25, was an 11th-round pick in 2014 (Wichita St.).

Kevin Comer, RH reliever: Another likely car trip from Toledo to Detroit could be made in 2018 by Comer, 25, who in his last 10 games has a 1.38 ERA, with 15 strikeouts, nine hits, and four walks spanning 13 innings. He was a one-time first-round pick (compensation round) by the Blue Jays and last November was sold by the Tigers on signing as a minor-league free agent. On the season (15 games), Comer has a 2.21 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.

Philippe Aumont, RH reliever: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Tigers sign minor-league free agent who is playing wonderfully at Toledo. That’s the Aumont story, as well, which isn’t a total surprise, given that he once was a first-round pick (11th overall, 2007) by the Mariners. He is a bullpen Paul Bunyan at 6-feet-7, 240 pounds who doesn’t throw as hard as he did in a previous era. But his stuff stays down, and it moves. In his last 10 games, Aumont has a 1.08 ERA. On the year (12 games, 21.1 innings): 2.08, with a .187 opponent batting average, 18 strikeouts, and seven walks. He is 29 and grew up in Gatineau, Quebec.

... and who’s not

Kody Eaves, 3B: You will hear few complaints about Eaves from Mud Hens manager Doug Mientkiewicz, who knows Eaves hustles and pays attention to the game’s details. But that hasn’t been helping his bat of late: .147 in his last 10 games.

Double-A Erie

Who’s hot …

Will Maddox, 2B: Having quite the May — .405 in his last 10 games, and .358 in 14 games this season. Maddox, who bats left-handed, was an 18th-round pick out of the University of Tennessee in 2014.

Zac Houston, RH reliever: Only three earned runs in his last 13 innings, with 18 strikeouts, and five hits. Houston had a big 2017 at West Michigan and Lakeland and seems fixed on Detroit. He’s 6-5, 250, and was an 11th-round pick in 2016 (Mississippi State).

Mark Ecker, RH reliever: So steady. Ecker, a fifth-rounder in 2016 (Texas A&M), is spinning a 2.76 ERA in his last 10 games, with 19 strikeouts, three walks, and 14 hits in 16.1 innings. On the year: 1.08 WHIP.

Jake Rogers, C: Tigers are working, hard, to get Rogers out of his 2018 nosedive. He’s batting .163 in 29 games, with 37 strikeouts. In his last 10, Rogers is hitting .143. He was a one-time, third-round grab by the Astros (Tulane) and one of the three prospects the Tigers got from the Astros in last August’s trade involving a guy named Justin Verlander.

Single-A Lakeland

Who’s hot …

Chad Sedio, 2B: He played at Miami (Ohio) and was a 27th-round pick by the Tigers in 2016. Nice spring for Sedio: .400 in his last 10 games and .324 on the year. He bats left-handed, is 6-3, 200.

Daz Cameron, OF: Picking up, steadily: .294 in his last 10 games. Cameron was another from the bounty the Tigers received last August in their Verlander trade with the Astros.

Austin Sodderts, LH starter: 2.33 ERA in his last three starts, spanning 19,1 innings. Sodders is 23, is 6-4, 205, and in 2016 was a seventh-rounder from Cal-Riverside.

... and who’s not

Isaac Paredes, SS: Surprisingly cool month for Paredes, who, as most Tigers farm followers know, is only 19. He’s batting .154 in his last 10 games and .218 on the year.

Single-A West Michigan

Who’s hot …

Luke Burch, CF: The Tigers drafted him in the ninth round last June (Kent State). He’s a left-handed batter, 6-2, 185, and in his last 10 games is batting .350.

Wladimir Pinto, RH reliever: News bulletin: Pinto no longer pitches for West Michigan. He got promoted during the weekend to Single A Lakeland after making it abundantly clear there was little left for a 20-year-old to do at low Single A. There he worked 11 games for the Whitecaps, not allowing a run in 16.2 innings, while striking out 30.

Burris Warner, RH reliever: He grew up in Auburndale, across Lake Parker, which borders the Tigers’ complex in Lakeland, Fla. And he’s doing fine a couple of years after the Tigers made him a 22nd-round pick out of Marshall: 1.32 in his last 10 games, with 31 strikeouts and six walks in 27.1 innings.

... and who’s not

Jordan Pearce, 1B: Tough spring for Pearce, a 21st-round grab by the Tigers last June (Nevada): .172 in his last 10, and .191 for 2018.


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