Wilk Breaks Through For Tigers With Soft Touch





DETROIT In an organization that prizes power arms, Adam Wilk remains an exception.

But that hasn't kept the 24-year-old lefty, who rarely touches 90 mph with his fastball, from opening some eyes with a strong showing at Triple-A Toledo this year.

Wilk finished with a deceiving 7-11 record for the Mud Hens, but his other numbers gave a better indication of how well he pitched this year. He finished fourth in the International League with a 2.77 ERA, and was sixth in the league with his 128 strikeouts.

He also led IL starters by allowing just 9.08 baserunners per nine innings and was fourth with a .221 opponents average.

A midseason tweak helped Wilk post a 4-2, 1.61 record in his last 11 starts.

"We moved him over to the (third-base) side of the rubber," Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said. "We think that'll help him at the next level, give him a different eye level. It's a different look for hitters. He can reach certain parts of the plate better with his stuff."

Wilk, who has good command of a fastball, cutter, changeup and curve, saw his defense give up 15 unearned runs in his 24 starts. And during a string of seven losses in May and June, his teammates scored a total of 12 runs.

"Ultimately, I have to control what I can control," he said. "I don't hit, and I understand it's a tough aspect of the game, hitting against Triple-A pitchers.

"Ultimately my job is to keep the team in the game."

TIGER TALES

• High Class A Lakeland won the Florida State League title for the first time since 1992. The Flying Tigers posted three shutouts in seven playoff games and also claimed a 15-inning victory for the title.

• Detroit's instructional league roster does not include the team's top choice in this year's draft, righthander Jake Thompson, but does include 23 signees from this year, including third-rounder Austin Schotts. Other notables include outfielder Danry Vasquez, lefthander Alex Burgos, infielder Brandon Loy and outfielder Tyler Gibson.