June 4: Wings and Mud Hens
The Wings open up a four-game home series with the Toledo Mud Hens tonight. The Wings have won two games in a row heading into this series, and there are some positive things happening right now for the Wings.
For starters…the Wings starting pitching has really started to come together. Jeff Manship tossed a nine-inning shutout yesterday in the Wings 9-0 blowout over Norfolk. Glen Perkins has been outstanding now in about three starts in a row. Anthony Swarzak is back off the DL and has allowed only two runs in 11 innings since his return. Plus, Matt Fox has been tremendous two starts in a row. (I’m not counting his last start Wednesday when he got hit in the ankle in the second inning by a comebacker and left the game. No worries though…Matt will be back for his next start.) All told, the Wings pitching staff has allowed four earned runs or less in 11 of the last 12 games.
Another good sign is the emergence of Wilson Ramos. The 22-year-old, who came into the season with much fanfare, had struggled much of the year offensively. He went 5 for 5 yesterday, however, and is starting to hit the ball hard consistently.
We’ll see what happens, but I have a feeling the Wings are in for a good month of June.
In other news…
-Danny Valencia made his big league debut last night for the Twins and got a single in his first MLB at bat off King Felix Hernandez.
-SUNY Brockport’s Dave Trembley was fired by the Orioles today. This has set off a chain reaction in the Orioles system. Juan Samuel is now the interim O’s manager and his spot as the Baltimore third base coach has been taken by Norfolk manager Gary Allenson. That means former Wing Bobby Dickerson will now manage Norfolk for the rest of the season.
-Everybody has heard by now about Detroit’s Armando Galarraga getting robbed of his perfect game Wednesday night. But, did you know, the last Tigers one-hitter was thrown by current Wings lefty Mike Maroth? Mike recently had surgery to remove a bone spur and could be back with the Wings before the end of the season, by the way.
-Major League Baseball’s annual First Year Player Draft starts Monday and it will be interesting to see where Irondequoit High School’s Cito Culver gets picked. Here is an excerpt from Baseball America magazine’s draft coverage on the shortstop:
Hidden away in upstate New York–hardly a baseball hotbed–Culver sticks out like a sore thumb. He is the rare Northeast prep product with a legitimate chance to play shortstop in the major leagues.
Good luck to Cito. I remember seeing him at some batting cages when he was 12 or 13 and thinking “Wow. If that kid keeps getting better. He is really going to be something.”
-Haven’t found it online but the great Joe Posnanski’s article profiling Stephen Strasburg is in the new issue of Sports Illustrated and—believe it or not—Rochester’s Mr. Baseball Joe Altobelli figures prominently in the story. If you don’t subscribe to SI, it would be worth heading to the newstand to pick up a copy. (Speaking of Joe…he will be signing copies of Jim Mandelaro and Scott Pitoniak’s book Silver Seasons: And A New Frontier tonight at the ballpark.)
That’s it for now. Hope to see you at the park at sometime this homestand. If not, all four games will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports Net and on 1280 WHTK and FM 107.3 Rochester’s Sports Talk or online at www.whtk.com.