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Detroit Tigers news: Hurricane Irma impacts Lakeland, Tigers

The Category 4 storm arrived in Florida on Sunday, and the Tigers’ lent a hand to those in need

Powerful Hurricane Irma Slams Into Florida Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Hurricane Irma hits Florida, Tigers take action

That photo above isn’t the Tigers’ facility at Joker Marchant Stadium, but it is a scene from Lakeland, Fla., on Monday, as Hurricane Irma continued to batter Florida as it slowly moved north.

The Tigers did their part by turning the stadium into a shelter by those escaping the storm. Per Lynn Henning, writing before Irma struck:

The 84-acre Tigertown complex’s dormitories and cafeterias will be a local headquarters for emergency personnel in Lakeland and Polk County.

“We’re on the front lines, and we’re prepared,” said Ron Myers, director of Florida operations for the Tigers, speaking by phone Sunday morning from his office in a building that was completed only last winter as part of a $40-million-plus Tigertown renovation.

Jason Beck reported on Twitter Monday:

Irma also affected Jose Iglesias, who was in Florida on paternity leave while his wife gave birth. He’s expected to be back with the team on Wednesday, but was forced out of Miami due to evacuations last week.

Evan Woodbury noted:

Iglesias and his family evacuated inland from their home in Miami and were unharmed by the storm. He wants to get power restored to his home before heading back.

"He's trying to get his new baby, son and wife into the house and set up," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who recently spoke with Iglesias.

Flying Tigers’ attendance soars

This one shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but the Lakeland Flying Tigers’ saw their attendance rise by 156 percent this season, Baseball America noted. The main reason? Joker Marchant Stadium was undergoing renovations last year, so the team had to play elsewhere. This season the Flying Tigers returned home and the fans followed. Sorta. The team brought 815 fans in per game, compared to 334 last year.

The SeaWolves (2.1%) and Mud Hens (0.2%) both saw minor gains, while the WhiteCaps saw an insignificant dip of -0.6%. The short-season Connecticut Tigers dropped 11 percent, however.

Matt Hall grabs’ Baseball America’s attention

Baseball America began naming its classification all-star teams, noting: “We slant our coverage of the minors toward player development, and as such we reward the best performances by prospects on our all-star teams. That way, we look back at the 2017 season with one eye—and forward to the future with the other.” The Tigers had no represenative at Triple-A, surprising no one. But they did get one in High-A: Pitcher Matt Hall.

The 23-year-old starter had a 2.44 ERA and 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

Around the horn

Fangraphs discusses how one team — the Indians in this case — integrates analytics into player development. ... The Dodgers are awful right now. ... It’s a good thing the All-Star Game no longer decides home field advantage, because suddenly we have some standings to watch. ... LOOK OUT FOR THE CARDINALS ... Marlins Park had minor roof damage but was otherwise fine.

Baseball is ... awesome?