MLN: Blue Skies Brighten ‘Caps' Eyes

With the arrival of Curtis Granderson this past week the Whitecaps have fought their way up the standings from third to a tie with the Lansing Lugnuts for first place.

To what seemed as a tank running on empty the ‘Caps dug deep and won key games fueling their way to a pair of impressive extra inning wins against the Burlington Bees and dueling talked about pitchers to close, but impressive victories over Peoria and Beliot.

Praised southpaw Ramon Garcia seems to be finding his touch again. He improved his ERA to 3.08. He also leads the Midwest League with 26.1 innings pitched and 23 strikeouts.

Another pitcher that is lighting up hitters is Alfredo Figaro. He is 3-0 on the year with a 0.75 ERA. He is second on the team with 20 strikeouts and has only walked nine. This kid has been deadly in the rotation as of late and can go the long haul. He is second on the team as well in innings pitched with 24.

Manager Joe DePastino has found a possible solution to his bullpen. Pitchers Rudy Darrow and Santo Mieses are showing strong outings every time they're called upon.

With the April 22nd brilliant performance in the ninth RHP Noah Kroll earned his third save of the year and his second in as many games.

Offensively they are not perfect, but are taking advantage of good pitches and getting some wood on the ball, with earning 49 hits in a six game stretch. This due in part to infielder Roger Tomas who has been nothing but a hitting stud as of late. Tomas, who's now batting .379, has 7 hits in the last three games. The 'Caps now see themselves third in runs scored in the Midwest League with 92.

Casper Wells has seen himself go up and down in the lineup from the 3-5 spot. With a few bad games behind him, he seems to be taking advantage of good pitches. On April 20th, against Burlington, he scored the winning run, and April 22nd he was named player of the game having went 3-3 with 2 RBIs and a stolen base.

Some weak points to take note on are their base running. The ‘Caps aren't a particularly fast team and have been caught stealing eight times this season. To date they only have 17 stolen bases. Justin Henry, Kyle Peter and Wells being the leaders with 3.

Another weakness is their errors as of late. Shortstop Audy Ciriaco has a big arm, but leads his team with errors on the season with 6.

Since their bad luck with rain almost two weeks ago, the Whitecaps have played in nothing but beautiful weather averaging 74 degrees a game and has seen 16,701 fans since Granderson's appearances in West Michigan.

Before the game, during batting and infield practice, smiles seem to be spread throughout the team, making the average fan realize that the ‘Caps have finally become comfortable with each other and have sparked a certain momentum in good play.

Newcomer Adrain Casanova is a heartbreaker behind the plate. He called good games and has kept pitchers frustrated at times. In his four games with the club he as gathered five hits in 13 at bats and is hitting .385.

Granderson came to town and in his 11 at bats he has racked up four hits-- two on which were triples-- and two strikeouts. His outfield persona kept the fielders a strong force defensively and they pulled out two wins in his three appearances with the club.

Hoping to carry the momentum, the ‘Caps play Wednesday night against the Beliot Snappers and then are off for a six game road trip against the Cedar Rapids Kernels (9-9) and Wisconsin Timberrattlers (6-9).

Starting for the ‘Caps Wednesday is LHP Manny Miguelez (0-1, 6.75).

News and Notes:

Gabriel Benitez was placed on the disabled list at Lakeland, his status at the moment is still unknown.

Also, just a technical note, Jordan Tata is now on Lakeland's active roster, he is not on a rehab assignment from the Tigers.

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