The West Michigan Whitecaps tied the Midwest League record for shutouts pitched in a single season Sunday, and will send the Detroit Tigers’ top prospect to the mound in their first attempt to claim the record for their own Monday.
The Whitecaps split a doubleheader with the Lake County Captains on Sunday, losing the first game 4-0 before winning the second game 9-0 for their pitching staff’s 23rd shutout of the season. That ties the record set by the 1974 Quad City Angels, and the Whitecaps still have just under a month left in the season to break it.
West Michigan’s first shot at breaking the record comes Monday night at Lake County’s Classic Park. The Whitecaps will send RHP Matt Manning to the mound for his Midwest League debut. Drafted No. 9 overall by the Tigers last year, Manning posted a 1.89 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks in 33.1 innings (nine starts) for the short-season Connecticut Tigers this year before his promotion to the Whitecaps on Friday.
To make room for Manning on the Whitecaps roster, the Tigers promoted LHP Gregory Soto to the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers. Soto went 10-1 with a 2.25 ERA, 116 strikeouts and 54 walks in 96 innings (18 starts) for the Whitecaps this season, and pitched in this year’s Midwest League All-Star Game.