Starting lineups for Thursday’s Eastern League game between the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the Erie SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park:
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (46-70): 1. Ryan Goins SS, 2. Jake Marisnick CF, 3. Kevin Howard 1B, 4. Brad Glenn RF, 5. John Tolisano 2B, 6. Sean Ochinko C, 7. Ryan Schimpf LF, 8. Brian Bocock 3B, 9. Brad McElroy DH.
Starting pitcher: RH Deck McGuire (5-12, 5.97 ERA).
Erie SeaWolves (50-66): 1. Daniel Fields LF, 2. Niuman Romero SS, 3. Nick Castellanos RF, 4. Jordan Lennerton 1B, 5. Avisail Garcia CF, 6. Tony Plagman DH, 7. Brandon Douglas 2B, 8. Corey Jones 3B, 9. Luis Sanz C.
Starting pitcher: LH Ramon Garcia (7-8, 4.38 ERA).
– Mike Copper
Erie bids to end its five-game losing streak at the potential expense of a pitcher who’s also statistically suffered, as McGuire’s 12 losses lead in the Eastern League. The right-hander also has allowed the most earned runs (79) this season.
Bowie’s Bobby Bundy (2-11) and Reading’s Trevor May (8-10) were the league’s only other pitchers in double-figure losses going into Thursday.
Chris Cron’s wide-eyed joy for all things baseball was evident once again when the SeaWolves manager spoke of working with Al Kaline during the team’s series against New Hampshire.
And not just of working with the Hall-of-Famer, but talking shop with him.
The Detroit Tigers sent Kaline, a special assistant for the franchise, to work with prize prospect Nick Castellanos during his current transition to the outfield. Castellanos has been playing in right, the same position Kaline, 77, frequently manned during his 22 seasons in the Motor City.
“It’s been a joy,” Cron said with Kaline in earshot. “It’s not every day you’re sharing an office with a Hall of Famer and a legend. The conversations just go a little deeper.”
Kaline left the SeaWolves before Thursday’s game.
Cron didn’t sugarcoat Tyler Clark’s extremely brief appearance for Erie during Wednesday’s game. He spoke of the relief pitcher’s jitters upon making his Double-A debut.
Clark was called up from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) Tuesday to take the roster spot vacated when closer Bruce Rondon was assigned to Triple-A Toledo. The 23-year-old right-hander still awaits his first league strike after eight straight balls in the eighth inning resulted in consecutive walks to the Fisher Cats’ Kevin Howard and Brad Glenn.
Cron immediately pulled Clark after the latter free pass. Clark was later charged with New Hampshire’s fifth run in its eventual 8-3 victory.
“It was the right time to do it when we did,” Cron said. “He’s going to get many, many more chances, and he’s going to do a hell of a lot better than that first (appearance).”
Clark’s performance came the same week that the Tigers cited him as their best minor league pitcher for the month of July. The 2010 draft pick (6-1, nine saves) split time between Lakeland’s starting rotation and bullpen before arriving in Erie.
Around the same time that Clark pitched for Erie, Rondon made his Triple-A debut with Toledo.
Rondon pitched the ninth inning of the Mud Hens’ 8-4 International League victory at Louisville. The 2012 Futures Game participant walked one and struck out two in relief of winning pitcher Adam Wilk.
Former SeaWolves third baseman Bryan Pounds has signed with the Lincoln Salt Dogs of the independent Northern League.
Pounds joined the Nebraska franchise less than a week after the Tigers released him Aug. 2. The move coincided with outfielder Daniel Fields’ promotion from Lakeland to Erie and Rawley Bishop’s shift back to the hot corner.
Detroit selected Pounds, 26, in the 2008 amateur draft. He hit .257 in 201 games for the SeaWolves since 2010.
Lincoln went into Thursday with a 31-46 record in the Northern League’s Central Division.
The SeaWolves are scheduled to play a three-game series at Bowie next week.
When they do, they won’t have to deal with shortstop Manny Machado. The Baltimore Orioles promoted their No. 2 prospect to the parent club Wednesday.
Machado, 20, received his ultimate promotion in the wake of receiving the Eastern League’s latest player of the week award. He hit .266 during his lone Double-A season.