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Posted on Wed. Jul. 23, 2014 - 12:30 am EDT

New players liven up TinCaps

Have 40 games remaining to make playoff push

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TinCaps

vs. Beloit

When: 7:05 p.m. today

TV: Xfinity Channel 81

Radio: 1380 AM

Tickets: $12.50, $10, $9, $8, $5 (lawn)

Information: TinCaps.com or 482-6400

FORT WAYNE — The TinCaps don’t need an incredible run to make the Midwest League playoffs.

A jog, maybe.

Aside from West Michigan and South Bend, which have clinched two of the four postseason berths, the rest of the Eastern Division is something of a mess.

The TinCaps enter today’s series opener with Beloit just four games back in the wild-card race.

And their schedule favors their ability to make a run.

Of Fort Wayne’s final 40 games, 25 are at home and 15 are on the road.

That is good news, since the TinCaps are 24-21 at home and 17-37 on the road.

Plus, in the final 40 games, 27 are against the teams ahead of them in the second-half pennant race.

There is a sudden confidence about Fort Wayne that was absent during its record-setting 13-game losing streak.

The TinCaps have won six of their past nine, and they have a chance of reaching the postseason for the sixth straight season.

One of the reasons why may be the emergence of midseason newcomers.

Here are three players finding instant success.

Trea Turner

In his eight games as a TinCap, Turner has 12 hits, five walks, four RBI and four stolen bases.

If Turner were to continue at that pace over 140 games, he would finish with a .375 average, 70 RBI and 70 stolen bases in a season.

The lineup is improved with Turner, a 2014 first-round draft pick, at the top.

And it is deeper, TinCaps manager Michael Collins said, with Ronnie Richardson now batting sixth or seventh.

Coincidence or not, Turner’s addition correlates with the team’s turnaround.

“Winning’s fun,” the shortstop said. “Having a good game is fun, individually or when your team does. We want to keep this thing rolling.”

Nick Schulz

Schulz was preparing to play for the Schaumburg Boomers of the independent Frontier League before the Padres signed him May 7.

Promoted from short-season Eugene on June 27, Schulz has become an everyday player, hitting .299 in 18 games for Fort Wayne.

“I’m blessed to be here,” Schulz said. “I try to hit the ball hard, good swings.”

The outfielder is from Mountain View, California, a small town near the Bay Area.

“It is very pretty,” Schulz said. “A lot of trees. Right by the ocean. I like it.”

Jeffery Enloe

The way Enloe has pitched thus far is like a No. 2 starter. Considering he had been almost exclusively a reliever since turning pro in 2013, the left-hander joined Fort Wayne’s rotation July 3 to little fanfare. He’s made plenty of noise since.

After working 5 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday, Enloe’s ERA as a starter is 2.08, and in four starts, he is averaging 5 1/3 innings.

“You can’t put too much thought into it,” Enloe said. “Pitching is pitching.”

Collins appreciated the length of Enloe’s outings.

“It’s always a tough thing when you get a guy out of the pen, trying to build up,” Collins said. “That’s been great to see.”

cgoff@jg.net


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