Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Catching Up With Former (and Current) Tigers

 

CAPE COD ALL-STARS

-Brian Fletcher was named a starter and Kevin Patterson and Hunter Morris participated in the HR contest for the Cape Cod League. Pretty big honors for 3 current Tigers to be, essentially, called the best of the best, in the Summer League.

JOSH DONALDSON

- Part of the deal that sent Rich Harden to the Cubs, The A's aren't sure what to do with Donaldson. They are so hard up for 3B Help (Nomar is not the Answer) that even Donaldson (a catcher) has seen some platoon roles:

The A's continue experimenting with some of their top hitting prospects at third base. Adrian Cardenas, hitting .353 with Double-A Midland entering Sunday, is splitting time between second and third. Catcher Josh Donaldson is also playing some third for Midland. He played third at Auburn before switching to catcher during his junior season.

Speaking of that trade. The New York Daily News recently reexamined it. Jesse Spector called it a bad deal for the Cubs (saying Harden wasn't exactly needed) but mentions this about JD:

As for Donaldson, he's hitting .266 with five homers for Double-A Midland, but has a .393 on-base percentage thanks to a ridiculous 61 walks in 362 plate appearances. The Cubs' first-round pick in 2007, Donaldson needs to show a little more power, but at 23 could have a future.

Finally Glen Dickey, for the San Francisco Examiner, wrote about the Struggling A's and why they need to turn their attention to the youth in their organization. One of those youthful guys is Donaldson. However, just where he will be continues to be a mystery. However, the Catcher Experiment may be over, at least according to Keith Lieppman, the A's longtime director for player development:

Lieppman likes outfielders Travis Buck and Aaron Cunningham, both of whom have been up with the A’s but are in Sacramento now. He thinks Josh Donaldson, now at Midlands, has a shot in the near future. “We signed him as a third baseman and converted him to catcher, but with Kurt Suzuki playing so well, we’ll probably shift him back to third.”

TIM HUDSON

-Looks like we might see Huddy pitch this year after all. However, what that does to the Braves rotation for the second half of the season is still a mystery (my call, as a Braves Fan, is move Kawakami to the bullpen, send Kris Medlen back down to Gwinett to get more starts, and trade Vasquez in the off-season for the Power OF). In Hudson's first start back with High A Myrtle Beach:

Sunday's stats: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
As with so many teams in the National League, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head funny, the Braves are kind of in it, so who couldn't use Tim Hudson? Making his way back from last year's Tommy John surgery, Hudson's 2009 debut was a rousing success, as he threw strikes, sat at average velocity while touching 93 mph and, most importantly, reported no discomfort afterward.

BRETT BUTTS

Speaking of the Braves. Former Tiger Brett Butts is a part of the Mississippi Braves "closer by committee system":

The M-Braves had a closer earlier this season, but since Rafael Cruz (12-for-15 on save opportunities) was promoted to Triple-A Gwinett on May 28, it has been bullpen-by-committee.

Four current members of the pen had at least two saves through Friday, and another was 1-for-1. Brett Butts (2-for-3) had a 3.14 ERA through 36 appearances, and Cory Gearrin (2-for-3 here; 9 saves at Myrtle Beach) had 3.32 through 17.

"We'll go with whoever's available that night and make it work," Wellman said.

CHEZZ MCCANN

Gave back the River Region by participating in the Montgomery Metro Baseball League All Star Game.

CLETE THOMAS

For now, he looks like he's in Detroit for good. Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press is pretty convinced that Clete is a microcosm of the Tiger's Season as a whole.

Clete Thomas is not the most important Tiger, not by a longshot. But he is, to me, a microcosm of this team as it enters the second half of the season.

Thomas is young and athletic. He has shown flashes of major league ability, but we don't know if he is ready yet. He has a chance to play in the postseason, but he could also fade by September.

BRENT SCHOENING

From WLTZ in Columbus come the struggle of former Auburn Pitcher Brent Schoening

 

In a pushpinned post from Rivals and poster "Goods":

If you are in the Houston area please consider donating white cells, or if you know someone in the area, please pass this message along as it could help save a friend's life. He desperately needs help. If you have any questions, or would like more details, please let me know.
Our friend Brent Schoening has been battling Leukemia in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer Center for the past 10 months. The details about his battle and story can be read from the news story and his sister's update below. For the past 10 months, he's endured a bone marrow transplant, heavy chemo, extreme pain, and currently has been fighting a fungus that has attacked his face, because his immune system has been eviscerated. I spoke to his mother a little bit ago. I'm not sure how he's still alive but he's fighting.
For those that don't know Brent, was a pitcher at Auburn in the late 90's. Off the field he was one of the nicest and most mild-mannered friends you could ever have....once on the mound, he was a fierce competitor that didn't like to lose....as shown by his record.
Here is the process for finding out if you can donate, per his sister's message:
If you are in the Houston area, or If you know anyone in the Houston area that can give white cells for Brent please tell them to call (713) 792-7777, Extension 5, and to tell them you are calling to find out about donating white blood cells to Brent Schoening. This is the number for the MD Anderson's blood bank and they will prescreen them to see if they qualify to give. Not everyone will be able to give - that's why we need as many people as possible to call and try and give. Please tell your family, friends, co-workers, etc, to pass this along if they know anyone in the Houston area- or anyone who can be in the Houston area, to help continue saving my brother's life. Once they are prescreened they can let us know and Mom will put them on a schedule to give for Brent.
To sign up for updates and read past updates: http://www.carepages.com/carepages/WeloveyouBrent

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