It finally happened. At long last, the Detroit Tigers have decided to promote a talented young outfield prospect from Advanced-A Lakeland to Double-A Erie, but only after he had proven that there was little more for him to learn at the Single-A level. While this description may fit more than one player in the Tigers’ system, outfielder Michael Gerber is the one getting called up to Erie, according to Tom Reisenweber of the Erie Times-News.
Gerber hit .280/.340/.483 with 14 home runs in 382 plate appearances for the Flying Tigers this season, but even those stellar numbers don’t tell the whole story. After a sluggish start that saw Gerber hit .213/.267/.369 in his first 40 games, he has been the hottest hitter in the system. Over the past two months, Gerber is hitting a scalding .339/.400/.581 with nine home runs and 42 RBI, all in a league where offense is typically hard to come by.
The promotion creates an interesting conundrum for SeaWolves manager Lance Parrish, with five outfielders now on his team’s active roster. However, given Gerber’s standing as one of the organization’s top prospects, expect him to get plenty of playing time.
Buck Farmer had his best outing of the season for the Mud Hens, throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings while striking out nine in a win over the Red Sox. Farmer only allowed four hits and did not walk a batter. Alex Presley had two hits and drove in two runs for the Mud Hens, who led 3-0 until Bobby Parnell gave up a pair of runs in a save situation in the ninth inning. He eventually recorded the final out, notching his 11th save of the season. Reliever Preston Guilmet was far more impressive, with three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings.
Presley: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, SO
McGehee: 2-4, RBI, SO
Valdespin: 2-3, R, SB
Farmer (W): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 9 SO
Coming up next: Warwick Saupold (3-1, 2.57 ERA) will start for the Mud Hens on Thursday as they kick off a road series against the Norfolk Tides. David Hale (1-5, 5.22 ERA) will start for Norfolk.
Erie SeaWolves 8, Harrisburg Senators 2 (box)
The SeaWolves were able to chip away at Harrisburg pitching all game long, scoring in five separate innings on their way to an 8-2 win. Wynton Bernard and Tyler Bortnick had three hits apiece atop the lineup, and Bortnick was a home run away from the cycle. Corey Jones and Jason Krizan did their part in the middle of the lineup, driving in four of Erie’s eight runs. Drew Longley added thump at the bottom of the order with a solo home run. Starter Artie Lewicki struck out six and allowed two runs in five innings to earn the win.
Bernard: 3-5, 2B, 2 R, SO
Bortnick: 3-4, 2B, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB, SB
Jones: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SO
Ficociello: 2-4, SO
Lewicki (W): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
Coming up next: Myles Jaye (4-6, 3.78 ERA) will start against John Means (2-3, 4.66 ERA) as the SeaWolves start a four-game road series against the Bowie Baysox on Thursday.
Lakeland Flying Tigers 13, Fort Myers Miracle 10 (box)
Lakeland was down 7-3 heading into the later innings, but the Flying Tigers offense stormed back with a seven-run eighth to take the lead and eventually win 13-10. Christin Stewart had three hits, including his 21st home run of the season, and scored three times. Ross Kivett also had a three-hit game and drove in three runs. In all, the Flying Tigers offense managed 17 hits. Ben Verlander was the only starter to not record a hit, but he walked twice and scored a run.
Stewart: 3-3, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB
Kivett: 3-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Mattlage: 3-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Simcox: 2-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI, SO
Szkutnik: 3.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
Coming up next: The Flying Tigers will return home to start a four-game weekend series against the St. Lucie Mets.
West Michigan Whitecaps 11, Peoria Chiefs 1 (box)
The Whitecaps jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and padded the margin in the middle innings as they coasted to an easy win over Peoria. West Michigan’s offense collected 15 hits on the game, including three apiece from Will Maddox and Franklin Navarro. Cam Gibson hit a three-run home run in the seventh, his third of the season. Spenser Watkins scattered four hits over seven innings and allowed just one run to earn his third win of the season.
Maddox: 3-5, 2 RBI, SO
Navarro: 3-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI
Azocar: 2-5, SO
Hill: 1-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, SO, 2 SB
Watkins (W): 7.0 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 5 SO
Coming up next: Eudis Idrogo (2-3, 5.87 ERA) will start against Peoria’s Juan Perez (3-2, 3.68 ERA) as the Whitecaps and Chiefs continue their series.
The Connecticut Tigers were off on Wednesday. They will travel to West Virginia to take on the Black Bears, Pittsburgh's New York-Penn League affiliate, on Thursday. Locke St. John (2-3, 2.16 ERA) will start for the Tigers against West Virginia's Danny Beddes (1-1, 3.16 ERA).