Five Whitecaps on the Move; Cody, Rainwater, Castro Sent to Lakeland
June 20th, 2007
COMSTOCK PARK, MI — The West Michigan Whitecaps, in conjunction with the Detroit Tigers, announced today a flurry of roster moves to begin the second half of the Midwest League season. LHP Chris Cody, RHP Josh Rainwater and RHP Angel Castro were transferred to Single-A Lakeland while RHP Jose Fragoso was sent to short-season Oneonta and catcher Jeff Kunkel moves to the disabled list.
Filling the void in the Whitecaps roster will be RHP Matt O’Brien, LHP Ramon Garcia, RHP Derek Witt and LHP Zach Piccola. O’Brien and Witt spent the first half of the season with Lakeland while Garcia and Piccola were sent from extended spring training.
Cody emerged as one of the top pitchers in the Midwest League with his 1.77 ERA while leading the league in the first half in strikeouts (92) and innings pitched (91.1). He was recently named to the MWL All-Star team.
Rainwater put things together in his third stint at West Michigan, posting a 7-2 record with 2.32 ERA while switching between a reliever and starter making four starts and 12 appearances out of the bullpen.
Castro made the jump from the Dominican Summer League to the Midwest League and became one of the Whitecaps’ most reliable starters, going 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 12 starts. Fragoso spent a brief time with the Whitecaps after being called up when RHP Phil Napolitan landed on the DL. In just six games, Fragoso went 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in 12.2 innings.
Kunkel is the first position player for the Whitecaps to lose this season as he heads to the DL retroactive to June 11. The former Michigan Wolverine hit .230 with two doubles, four RBIs and six runs scored in 29 games this season.
O’Brien returns to West Michigan after going 0-3 with a 7.59 ERA in seven games (six starts) at Lakeland. He spent the tail end of the 2006 season with the Whitecaps, going 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA including a start and win in the playoffs.
Witt is making his first appearance on a Whitecaps roster after being sent from Lakeland. He went 1-0 with a 4.17 ERA in 21 games out of the bullpen this season with the Flying Tigers.
Garcia returns to the Whitecaps almost a year after his stellar 2006 season was cut short due to a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the rest of the season. The southpaw from Yamasa, D.R. went on the D.L. last year on June 28 and had surgery in the offseason to repair a bone spur in his left shoulder. Garcia was 7-2 with a 1.92 ERA, including two complete game shutouts in his 12 games with West Michigan and was selected as one of the Whitecaps three Midwest League All-Stars in 2006 before being shut down for the season.
Piccola is in his second year of professional baseball and will be reunited with Whitecaps Manager Tom Brookens after pitching for him in Oneonta last year. The ninth round pick by the Tigers in 2006 went 1-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 14 appearances (13 starts) in 62.1 innings pitched with Oneonta. He is making his first appearance on a Whitecaps roster.
The Whitecaps active roster remains at 24 with one player on the disabled list.