It was supposed to be a transition from the Gulf Coast League to the Midwest League for Bowling Green outfielder Cody Rogers
. It's been more like an explosion.
Batting leadoff, Rogers homered twice in his Hot Rods debut July 5 and has been producing ever since. In 20 Class A games, he has 11 extra-base hits -- seven homers, two triples and two doubles -- to go along with 18 runs scored, 16 RBIs, six steals and a .252 average.
"I've always been at the top of my team in home runs, but recently I've really started hitting for more power," said Rogers. "I think as you advance in baseball, the level of focus goes through the roof. I concentrate a lot more than I did in high school or college."
Rogers, who had six homers in 52 Appalachian League games last season and one longball in nine GCL contests, said he hasn't made any adjustments to account for his upswing in power numbers.
"I've pretty much had the same swing since college," said Rogers, a seventh-round pick of the Rays in 2009 out of Panola Junior College (Texas). "I've made a few tweaks, but not much. I try not to do too much. If you stay within yourself, good things can happen."
Rogers said he doesn't have a home run hitter's approach.
"I'm 165 pounds," he said. "I'm not going to swing for the fences. I think being a student of the game and concentrating, I understand the pitches I can handle and the pitches I can't handle, and I swing in tune with my body.
"I don't think about hitting home runs. I think about my other at-bats, or if have an 0-fer game, I think back to where I felt good and focus on that. I look for the positive. You can't get too up or too down in baseball."
Away from the diamond, Rogers works as a prosthetic technician tn the offseason, primarily building artificial legs.
"I needed a job my junior year in high school and I started working with prosthetics," he said. "I really enjoy it. It helps me not take things for granted. It's wonderful to see the smile on somebody's face when they are able to walk."
Holding pattern: Tyler Skaggs is a pitcher for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, but then again, he isn't. Skaggs, the "player to be named later" in last month's Dan Haren trade, is supposed to stay in the Midwest League and report to Arizona's South Bend affiliate, but he has been snagged by Major League Baseball rules. Skaggs is not allowed to join the D-backs until he has been in pro ball for one year, and since he didn't sign his contract until Aug. 7, 2009, he can't yet reported to the Silver Hawks. As a result, he hasn't been able to get into a game for nearly two weeks.
More trade winds: Right-hander Brett Wallach was involved in the deal that sent Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot from the Cubs to the Dodgers. Wallach, who was 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA and 92 strikeouts for the Great Lakes Loons, was assigned to the Peoria Chiefs, the Cubs' affiliate in the Midwest League. In his first start for Peoria, Wallach took the loss. The Chiefs committed five errors in his debut.
The real thing: Earlier this year, West Michigan hosted Brandon Inge Bobblehead Night, handing out souvenirs that depicted Inge making a diving catch. Now the Tigers' star is showing up at the Whitecaps' Fifth Third Ballpark in person as part of a rehab assignment. Inge, who suffered a broken bone in his left hand July 19 when was plunked by Sam Feldman of the Texas Rangers, went 2-for-5 for West Michigan on Tuesday. Inge played for West Michigan in 1999 and hit .244 with nine homers and 46 RBIs. He also rehabbed with the Whitecaps in 2001 after suffering a dislocated left shoulder during his rookie season with the Tigers.
Finally!: Dayton ended an 11-game losing streak Monday when Didi Gregorius snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to help the Dragons knock off the Whitecaps, 2-1. Doug Salinas struck out five batters over two perfect innings to earn the save.