As reported in the Grand Rapids Press, the West Michigan Whitecaps recieved thier 2007 Midwest League Championship rings on Tuesday in Lakeland, Florida. Most of last seasons squad is currently involved in Spriing Training with the Detroit Tigers.
This was a day that pitcher and Michigan native Duane Below has been looking forward to.
"The former Whitecaps players started talking about getting our championship rings on the first day of spring training," stated Below. "It was a special moment and the first time I've won a championship in any sport I've played in. I hope I can recieve a lot more rings."
Last season Below led the Midwest League in wins with 13 and strikeouts with 160. He was also named the Tigers 2007 minor league pitcher of the year.
So far this season, Duane has pitched 3 1/3 innings in spring training, and has yet to give up a run. He enjoyed his time in West Mighigan, where his family had a chance to watch him play. He will most likely be assigned to Lakeland, but his goal is to be promoted to AA Erie Seawolves and be re-united with last year's 'Caps manager Tom Brookens and pitching coach Ray Burris.
Another player from last season's championship team who is turning heads is infiedler Scott Sizemore. He's is batting .280 in 16 games so far this spring, and has been filling in for Placido Polanco at second base. He slated to start the season at either A Lakeland or AA Erie.
Gorkys Hernandez the Midwest League MVP last season with the 'Caps. He's moved on, unfortunately, to Atlanta in the deal that brought Edgar Renteria to the Tigers. He has one hit in three at bats so far in spring training with the Braves. He's projected to start the season in high A or AA also.