Olson, Wilson named MWL players of the week

Dayton Dragons RHP Ryan Olson and Kane County Cougars outfielder Marcus Wilson respectively were named the Midwest League pitcher and offensive player of the week for the period of April 6-16.

Olson has made two starts this season — both on the road — and has yet to give up a run. On April 9 he gave up only two hits, walked none, and struck out nine in seven innings. On Friday he pitched a nine-inning shutout, scattering four hits and one walk while striking out three.

Through his first 10 games this season, Wilson is batting .405 (15-for-37) with six extra-base hits (including four homers), 12 runs batted in, 11 runs scored, eight walks, and two stolen bases. He had a two-homer, six-RBI game on Saturday.

Wilson also is one of three Midwest League players named to this season’s first MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week. The other two are Great Lakes Loons teammates Carlos Rincon and Brendon Davis.

Through his first eight games this season, outfielder Rincon is batting .367 with five home runs, 11 runs batted in, seven runs scored, five walks, and one stolen base. He had a two-homer, four-RBI game on Wednesday.

Davis, a shortstop, is batting .444 with five extra-base hits (including three doubles), four runs batted in, six runs scored, eight walks, and one stolen base through nine games this season.

Great Lakes Loons shortstop Brendon Davis hits a triple during Saturday’s game at Dow Diamond. (Photo by Nick King/Midland Daily News)

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Three former Dayton Dragons make MLB debuts

Jesse Winker, seen here batting for the 2013 Dayton Dragons, made his MLB debut Friday for the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Three former Dayton Dragons players recently made their major-league debuts for the Cincinnati Reds.

Outfielder Jesse Winker made his MLB debut Friday, striking out as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning of Cincinnati’s 10-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. On Saturday he collected his first MLB hit, a game-winning double that drove in the go-ahead runs in the Reds’ 7-5 win over the Brewers.

Winker played for the Dragons in 2013, batting .281 with 16 HR and 76 RBI in 112 games.

Winker was sent down to Triple-A on Sunday to make room for RHP Sal Romano, who made his MLB debut in a spot start for the Reds. He lasted only three innings and took the loss after giving up three runs (two earned), three hits and four walks. All three runs scored on back-to-back homers by Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw in the 3rd inning. Romano struck out two and hit one batter.

Romano spent the entire 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Dragons. In 2013, he went 7-11 with a 4.86 ERA, 89 strikeouts and 57 walks in 120.1 innings (25 starts). In 2014, he went 8-11 with a 4.13 ERA, 128 strikeouts and 42 walks in 148.1 innings (28 starts).

Cincinnati Reds prospect Sal Romano made 53 starts for the 2013-14 Dayton Dragons. He made his MLB debut Sunday. (Photo by Marc Pendleton/Dayton Daily News)

Romano is the third starting pitcher to make his MLB debut for the Reds this season. One of the others, LHP Amir Garrett, also is a former Dragon who pitched for the team in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, Garrett went 1-3 with a 6.88 ERA, 15 strikeouts and 16 walks in 34 innings (eight starts). In 2014, he went 7-8 with a 3.64 ERA, 127 strikeouts and 51 walks in 133.1 innings (27 starts).

Garrett has made two starts for the Reds at the major-league level, earning two wins while posting a 1.47 ERA and nine strikeouts while walking two batters in 12.2 innings.

Rookie Reds pitcher Amir Garrett made 35 starts for the 2013-14 Dayton Dragons. (Photo by Emily Jones/MiLB.com)

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Ex-Bees skipper gets 1,000th win as MiLB manager

Longtime minor-league manager Phillip Wellman notched his 1,000th regular-season win Thursday when the San Antonio Missions beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 5-4 in 14 innings.

This is Wellman’s 18th season as a minor-league manager, in a baseball career that included stints in the Midwest League as a player, a coach and a skipper.

Wellman managed the Burlington Bees in 1997 and 1998, leading the team to a 72-68 record and the Midwest League playoffs the first year, and a 63-77 record the second year. The Bees were affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds both years.

Wellman was the hitting coach of the Burlington Braves in 1990. That team finished 78-59 under manager Jim Saul. The team collectively batted .249 that year, with DH/SS/3B Brent McCoy leading hitters with a .304 average in 125 games.

Wellman played in the Midwest League four years earlier, batting .288 with 3 HR and 18 RBI in 45 games with the 1986 Kenosha Twins. That team struggled mightily, posting a 46-92 record over the course of the season. Kenosha was managed by Don Leppert, who was replaced by future Minnesota Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire two years later.

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Two Hot Rods pitchers combine to one-hit TinCaps

Bowling Green Hot Rods pitchers Brock Burke and Roel Ramirez combined efforts to one-hit the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Thursday.

Burke was credited with the win after holding the TinCaps hitless in the first six innings of the game. He walked five and struck out five.

Ramirez gave up one hit, a single to Jack Suwinski with two outs in the top of the 8th inning. He was credited with a save after allowing only that one baserunner in his three innings of work. He struck out three batters.

TinCaps starting pitcher Logan Allen got hung with a hard-luck loss after giving up only one run on three hits and one walk while striking out eight batters in five innings.

The Hot Rods won 3-0. They scored one run on a 4th-inning single by Josh Lowe (his first hit of the season) and two runs on a 7th-inning single by Lucius Fox.

Dragons win 6th straight game

The Dayton Dragons rallied from three runs down to beat the Great Lakes Loons 6-3 Thursday, extending their winning streak to six consecutive games.

T.J. Friedl, Jose Siri and Taylor Trammell each had two hits for the Dragons. Moises Perez had three hits for the Loons.

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Jimenez perfect in MLB debut, sent back to Triple-A afterward

Joe Jimenez posted a 1.47 ERA as the closer for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2015. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Former West Michigan Whitecaps closer Joe Jimenez made his major-league debut for the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, pitching a 1-2-3 9th inning against the Minnesota Twins. He earned his first big-league strikeout when he got Byron Buxton swinging to end the game.

Jimenez didn’t get to celebrate his successful debut long before he learned he was being sent back down to Triple-A. He was told the news when he entered the clubhouse after the game.

The 22-year-old reliever certainly is expected to return to the major-league level — probably before the end of the season — but the Tigers are taking things slow with their possible closer of the future.

Jimenez pitched for the Whitecaps in 2015, going 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA, 17 saves, 61 strikeouts and 11 walks in 43 innings during the regular season. He was on the mound when the Whitecaps won the Midwest League Championship Series that year.

He pitched at three different levels in 2016, cumulatively posting a 1.51 ERA, 30 saves and 78 strikeouts while walking 17 batters in 53.2 innings.

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