Results tagged ‘ Daniel Fields ’

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (8-12) vs. Toledo Mud Hens (9-10)

Pitching probables

Thurs: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (0-1, 6.23 ERA) vs. LHP Mike Belfiore (0-3, 7.05 ERA)

Fri: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-3, 2.08 ERA) vs. RHP Buck Farmer (3-0, 3.00 ERA)

Sat: LHP Manny Banuelos (1-0, 4.43 ERA) vs. LHP Kyle Ryan (0-2, 4.43 ERA)

Sun: RHP Williams Perez (2-0, 1.57 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Melville (1-2, 3.80 ERA)

Cedric Hunter

Cedric Hunter (Taylor Botta)

The Gwinnett Braves continue their seven-game homestand with four contests against the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The Mud Hens enter the series third in the four-team International League West Division after they dropped two of three road games to the Charlotte Knights on the first leg of their road trip. The G-Braves and Mud Hens split their four-game series at Coolray Field in 2014, but Gwinnett took the season series 5-3. Gwinnett has never lost a season series to Toledo, and the only year the G-Braves dropped a home series to the Mud Hens was in 2010 when Toledo won three of four games.

Pitching: While Gwinnett holds a 3.57 ERA and is tied for second in the league with 168 strikeouts, the Mud Hens enter the series with a 4.73 team ERA that ranks 13th in the 14-team league and has the second-most walks with 83 against 125 strikeouts (Gwinnett pitchers have 70 combined walks).

Perez is the only G-Braves pitcher to garner a victory in his last start. His 1.57 ERA is also tied for the ninth-lowest among qualifying starters in the league. Foltynewicz, meanwhile, leads the league with 30 strikeouts through his first four starts of the year.

Farmer leads the Toledo starting rotation in wins (three), ERA (3.00) and strikeouts (28). His strikeout total is also second in the league behind Foltynewicz, and his .173 opponent batting average is the fifth-lowest in the league.

Hitting: Toledo holds the statistical advantage on offense. The Mud Hens have the third-highest team batting average at .267 and have scored the second-most runs (91) in the league, four behind the Pawtucket Red Sox. They are also tied for the league lead in doubles with 40 but have hit five home runs, one more than Gwinnett and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The G-Braves twice tied their season-high hit total with 13 Monday and Wednesday against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Also, outfielder Cedric Hunter launched the team’s first home run of the season at Coolray Field in walk-off fashion to win the series opener Monday, 6-5. The G-Braves are up to sixth in the league with a .256 team batting average and continue to lead the league with 26 stolen bases.

Outfielder Daniel Fields leads Toledo with a .349 batting average that ranks seventh in the league. He leads the league with five triples, and his 11 extra-base hits are good for second. Mud Hens third baseman Jefry Marte is also tied for third in RBIs with 14.

G-Bites: Gwinnett took two of three games from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin the homestand…The G-Braves each of the first two games by one run (6-5 and 3-2) before the RailRiders topped them 8-5 Wednesday…Outfielder Todd Cunningham begins the series on a team-best, nine-game hitting streak, and infielder Sean Kazmar is riding an eight-game streak…Outfielder Eury Perez leads the league in stolen bases with 12 after swiping two in the series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre…Left-handed reliever Donnie Veal leads the league with 10 appearances and five holds, while right-hander Aaron Kurcz is tied for second in the league with five saves.

After the series with Toledo, the G-Braves will have an off day Monday before they begin a six-game road trip that includes three games at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre followed by three at Lehigh Valley. They will return home to face the Syracuse Chiefs at 6:35 p.m. Monday, May 11.


IL Preview: Toledo MudHens

Toledo is ready to start the 2014 season after a poor showing in 2013. The MudHens finished the 2013 campaign with a 61-83 mark and last in the West Division.

Promotions of Nick Castellanos and the trade of Avisail Garcia will leave the MudHens thin at various positions, but they will have some veteran leadership leading them in 2014.

Pitching: The rotation will be thin. With the trade of Jose Alvarez to the Angels and Doug Fister to the Nationals, the Tigers need help at the major league level. Falling into place will be top pitching prospect Drew VerHagen. The former 4th rounder out of Vanderbilt in 2012 has watched his stock rise in the last two years. Last season, he went 2-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 starts for Double-A Erie. He has promising stuff, hurling a mid 90’s fastball, hard sinker and a curveball. He has great dip on his sinker, as his 6-foot, 6-inch frame allows for trajectory on his pitches. Tigers want to keep him in the rotation, but his fastball-sinker combo may be better suited in the bullpen.

One of the bullpen arms that the MudHens will rely on is Melvin Mercedes. With Bruce Rondon out for the season with a torn UCL, Mercedes is the front-runner to close out games for the MudHens. Mercedes tallied 23 saves in 2013 across two different levels, while tossing 50 IP and striking out 36 batters. Mercedes has a high-90’s fastball and mid 80’s slider. He works both pitches on both sides of the plate, but tends to use his fastball up in the zone for the strikeout.

Infield: James McCann and Jordan Lennerton will lead the infield bats. McCann hit .277 (122-for-441) with 30 doubles, one triple, eight homers and 54 RBIs at Double- A Erie, while Lennerton hit .278 (143-for-514) with 25 doubles, one triple, 17 homers and 57 RBIs for Triple-A Toledo. They will be rellied on to supply most of the offense around the horn, as they will be joined by light-hitting Eugenio Suarez and Hernan Perez in the middle of the diamond. Despite their limitations offensively, they both can play solid defense and will help the MudHens pitching staff.

Outfield: The outfielders will have a true leadoff hitter in Ezequiel Carrera. The former Columbus Clipper stole 43 bases in 2013, and has 248 career stolen bases.

Tyler Collins and Daniel Fields will join Carrera in the outfield. Collins, the No. 20 prospect in the Tigers organization is coming off of a solid year in Double-A Erie. He batted .240 (112-for-466) with 29 doubles, 21 homers and 79 RBIs. His homerun output in 2013 surpassed his minor league total for his first two seasons combined. His strikeout percentage increased in 2013, so he will have some work to do in 2014.

Fields doesn’t feature the pop that Collins does, but has a great approach at the plate. He hit .284 (130-for-457) with 27 doubles, six triples, 10 homers and 58 RBIs. He is the No.22 ranked prospect in the Tigers system and can play all three outfield spots.

Schedule: The G-Braves go to Toledo from April 26-29 and Toledo comes to Coolray Field from June 24 through 27.

Projected Depth Chart:

(Depth chart is not official, based on projections.)

(Depth chart is not official, based on projections.)