Happy to be Home
After a glorious Midwest League-wide off day yesterday, the TinCaps are back in action this morning from Parkview Field. Entering today’s play Fort Wayne is 16-13, putting them third in the Eastern Division behind South Bend and Bowling Green, respectively.
The last series was a difficult one for the TinCaps, as they were swept in a three-game set by the Peoria Chiefs, and only scored two runs in 27 innings. Overall, though, the outlook remains positive for a TinCaps team that is hitting .264, which is fifth-best in the 16-team Midwest League. That sweep at the hands of the Chiefs was the first time Fort Wayne had been swept in a three-game road series since July 7-9, 2012, at South Bend.
A day of rest was much needed after a 4:45 a.m. arrival back at Parkview Field on Tuesday morning. The TinCaps went 2-3 on their six-day road trip, which included a rainout on Friday in Burlington. Now the rotation starts fresh, with Joe Ross taking the bump today in search of his fourth win of the season. Max Fried and Justin Hancock round out the trio of pitchers scheduled to throw in this set against Great Lakes. Being back home at Parkview Field is a small blessing for the TinCaps after being swept, considering they’re 10-3 at home, and only Cedar Rapids (11-2) has fewer home losses.
The Loons are 12-18, and come into Parkview Field on a five-game losing streak, having lost eight of their last 10 games. One interesting name on their roster is Jesmuel Valentin, the son of TinCaps Manager Jose Valentin. Jesse, as he’s known for the sake of easy pronunciation among those without fluent Spanish tongues, was selected by the Dodgers 51st overall in last year’s draft, and because of surgery to his hamate bone, missed out on making the Loons’ opening day roster. Just like his dad, Jesse is a switch-hitting shortstop. Through 12 games, the younger Valentin is hitting .297 (11-37) and has two stolen bases. That’s a father-son matchup we in the press box will have our eyes on for the next three days.
LIFE ON THE ROAD
Here’s a snapshot I took during batting practice on Monday in Peoria.
To hear my pre-game chat from Monday with Morgan Burkhart, during which we discuss his transition from the coaching ranks of independent baseball into affiliated baseball, and the early season success of Alberth Martinez and Corey Adamson, listen below:
Lana Del Rey…take it away!