Hard-throwing reliever Joe Jimenez, one of the top prospects in the Detroit Tigers' farm system, has been promoted from High-A Lakeland to Double-A Erie. While the move has not been confirmed by the parent club or the SeaWolves' official Twitter account, Jimenez tweeted the good news on his personal account late Thursday evening.
Considered by many to be the Tigers' closer of the future, Jimenez was utterly dominant in his short time with the Flying Tigers. He did not allow a run in 16 1/3 innings of work, and struck out 26 of the 59 batters he faced. Jimenez only allowed five hits and four walks during that stretch, a WHIP of 0.55. This performance came on the heels of an incredible season at Single-A West Michigan in 2015, where Jimenez allowed a 1.47 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 43 innings with the Whitecaps.
Still only 21 years old, Jimenez is already on the fast track to the major leagues. He has overpowering stuff, including a mid-to-high 90s fastball, yet has not sacrificed his control for premium velocity. A 2016 major league debut may be aggressive for a player one year removed from Single-A ball, but it would not be a huge surprise at this point.
Toledo Mud Hens 5, Durham Bulls 4 (box)
Spot starter Matt Crouse only worked four innings, but he out-pitched Tampa Bay Rays top prospect Blake Snell, who the Mud Hens roughed up for five runs in 5 1/3 innings. Chad Huffman kicked off the scoring with a two-run homer in the first, his sixth of the season. Argenis Diaz also drove in a pair of runs, and was the only Toledo player with two hits. After the bullpen allowed a pair of runs, Bobby Parnell and Bruce Rondon tossed back-to-back scoreless innings to clinch the win.
Diaz: 2-3, 2 RBI, SO
Huffman: 1-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SO
Gose: 1-4, 2B, R, 3 SO
Collins: 1-4, RBI, SO
Crouse: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 SO
Coming up next: Daniel Norris (1-4, 6.91 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Mud Hens as they kick off a three-game home series against the Buffalo Bisons.
Reading Fightin' Phils 7, Erie SeaWolves 4 (box)
The SeaWolves got a trio of hits from No. 9 hitter Austin Green, but the top four players in their lineup combined to go 1-for-17 with two walks in a road loss. JaCoby Jones had the lone hit in that group and drove in three runs, but also struck out twice. SeaWolves starter Josh Turley wasn't much better, allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings of work. Reliever Santiago Garrido made things worse by allowing three runs in the eighth, stretching Reading's lead to 7-2 at the time.
A. Green: 3-4, SO
J. Jones: 1-4, 3 RBI, 2 SO
Bortnick: 2-4, SO
Turley (L): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 SO
Coming up next: Cory Riordan (3-3, 4.44 ERA) will start for Erie as they return home for a four-game holiday weekend series against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Lakeland starter Endrys Briceno got rocked, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks in just 1 2/3 innings. The poor outing was Briceno's third loss of the season, and ballooned his ERA up to 7.23 on the season. The early 6-0 hole was too much for the Flying Tigers offense to dig out of, as they sputtered to three runs on seven hits. Kade Scivicque and Michael Gerber both had two-hit games.
Gerber: 2-3, 2 RBI, BB
Stewart: 0-3, R
Briceno (L): 1.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB
Coming up next: Tyler Alexander (4-3, 1.68 ERA) goes for his fifth win of the season against Tyler Viza (5-2, 2.87 ERA) and the Clearwater Threshers on Friday evening.
West Michigan Whitecaps 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 4 (box)
The Whitecaps won what was supposed to be the first half of a Thursday afternoon doubleheader -- the second game was rained out -- collecting six runs on eight hits against the Hot Rods. Will Allen and Shane Zeile did the heavy lifting, with five hits and six RBI between them. Zeile's two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning broke a 4-4 tie, and Gerson Moreno vultured the win after blowing a save opportunity in the previous frame.
Allen: 3-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
Zeile: 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, SO
Maddox: 1-4, 3B, R, SO
Hill: 0-4, SO
Hall: 5.0 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 BB, 7 SO
Coming up next: The Whitecaps return home to Fifth Third Ballpark for a four-game series with the Dayton Dragons. Trent Szkutnik (1-0, 1.99 ERA) will start for West Michigan on Friday evening. No makeup date has been set to make up their rainout with Bowling Green.