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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:50 pm

TinCaps confident despite struggles

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras is confident that his team's talent and strength will show through once the initial beginning-of-the-season kinks get worked out.

The team had a quick turnaround between the Tuesday night loss to South Bend and the 11:05 a.m. start of Wednesday's game, a 4-2 loss to the Cubs.

"This is our first one and who knows," Contreras said. "They looked a little tired when they got here but it's just part of professional baseball. They just have to get used to that. The other team, on the other side, had the same turnover.

"They didn't make any excuses. They got up here, got their swings in. They played well. Just some minor flaws that hurt us and I think they'll be fine in the future."

The players are confident in their own abilities, too.

"We have everything," shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. said. "We have power, speed, we have good defense. Now, we just have to fix the puzzle."

For left-fielder Jack Suwinski, he believes once things tighten up on the defensive end, the offense will pick it up, as well.

"I think it'll get a lot better," he said. "Quicker innings on defense will lead to more, longer innings on offense, being able to be more productive on offense, score more runs, keep the other team from scoring runs, being less on base.

"Just that offensive approach, hitting the ball hard, scoring runs early and even later in the game, keeping that momentum going and staying tight and focused through the whole game."

It's an ongoing process that's just gaining momentum in the early stages of the season. Weaknesses are being addressed daily and improvements are being made to what Contreras believes is an already strong team.

"We have meetings everyday about our fundamentals that we have to tighten up," Contreras said. "It's just the little things for us, the small details that people take for granted sometimes. This group is talented enough that if they can minimize those little mistakes, they can be in every single ball game with the talent and hitters that we have, they'll be in a good spot.

"It's a learning experience for these guys as young as they are, there's still five months in the season. Nobody's panicking."