There were high hopes for the Red Wings coming into the 2009 season, but after a 7-10 start in the month of April, a lot of critics have come out of the woodwork. The team batted only .244 collectively in April, and some of the better prospects on the roster failed to produce. However, you cannot judge a team by one month’s work, and they have a good enough collection of players to turn in around in a hurry.
Not one player batted .300 for the Red Wings during the month of April, but some prospects had a very productive month. David Winfree got plenty of clutch hits during April, and batted a respectable .286. The slugger hit two home runs, drove in eight, and smacked a team-high six doubles. Though he only batted .255, Luke Hughes drove in a team-high 14 runs, and tied for the team lead with three home runs.
Matt Macri was the other Red Wings batter who hit three home runs, and he also had five doubles. Though he only batted .250, Macri had a .517 slugging percentage, and he drove in seven. Dustin Martin also had a decent month, batting .281, and he also drove in seven. Martin also tied for the team lead with four stolen bases, and he led the team with 14 runs scored.
Anthony Swarzak and Kevin Mulvey led the way on the mound for the Red Wings, as Swarzak was one of the better starters in all of Minor League Baseball. The right-handed fireballer posted a 1.59 earned run average in the month, though he lost all three of his starts. Mulvey, who nearly made the Twins out of spring training, posted a 3.26 earned run average, and struck out better than a batter per inning.
Two starters really struggled, as Brian Duensing and Reid Santos both had earned run averages over 7.50. Carmen Pignatiello had a bloated 14.14 earned run average in his four appearances, including one start, and Ben Julianel had a 7.56 mark in six games. Mike Gosling was pretty effective in his nine appearances, and Sean Henn (0.79) was almost unhittable at times.
The bullpen took a hit when Jose Mijares was promoted to the big league club, but hard-throwing Juan Morillo should be able to fill his void, although he pitches from the right side. Armando Gabino should find his command, and Duensing is much better than he showed in April.
Top Prospect Watch: After drawing praise from Minnesota Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire out of spring training, shortstop Trevor Plouffe had struggled out of the gate for Rochester. In 16 games, Plouffe is batting only .228, though he has shown the ability to drive the ball all over the field. If a couple of his hits drop, his average could easily be close to .300, which is where I feel he will be very soon.