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The Twins got Verlander’d on Thursday night. There isn’t really a better way to say it. The Tigers Talented right-hander was on his game in this one and really shut down the Twins through eight innings. Any time the Twins did get something going, Verlander got tough and generally got strikeouts. It started in the 2nd inning when Michael Cuddyer led off with a triple off the scoreboard in right center field. Verlander struck out Jim Thome and Danny Valencia before getting Delmon Young to ground out. The Tigers have some good bats as well. Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez are essentially givens while Jhonny Peralta is putting together his best year. This is a very good team that will likely remain at or near the top of the AL Central the rest of the way.
The Twins fell to six games behind the Tigers in the AL Central with the loss. After the game, the Twins activated Jason Kubel from the Disabled List and optioned Scott Diamond to Rochester. I figured Diamond would be optioned this week, but figured they might wait until they are certain that Scott Baker will be activated before Saturday’s game and make his start. I kind of thought that Chuck James would be optioned tonight and Diamond could be used as the long reliever until Baker was activated since Anthony Swarzak would be needed for Baker’s start if he couldn’t make it. Either way, assuming Baker comes back, it was clear that James and Diamond are the two that would be sent down.
Also, the Twins activated Kevin Slowey from the Disabled List as his rehab timeline has come to an end. No surprise that he was immediately optioned to Rochester where he will continue to make starts for the Red Wings until a point in which he is traded. He started on Wednesday night and gave up five runs in seven innings of work. All five runs came in the 3rd inning when he gave up a grand slam and a solo home run. There were several scouts there to see him including the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rockies and several other teams. I fully expect that he will be traded by the July 31 deadline. I hope the fact that there are several teams scouting him would mean that they wouldn’t have to sell him for pennies on the dollar and could get at least a few nickels!
Minor League Updates
Be sure to listen to last night’s Twins Minor League Weekly episode.
Rochester Red Wings
It was a rough Thursday afternoon game for the Rochester Red Wings. Specifically, it was a rough start for Duluth’s Andy Baldwin. The right-hander gave up ten earned runs on eight hits in two innings. Five of those hits were home runs. He walked two and struck out three. Jake Stevens came in and gave up six runs on six hits and two walks in 2.1 innings. Cole DeVries came in and threw 2.2 scoreless innings. Dusty Hughes gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in one inning. Then, Toby Gardenhire pitched a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit. Chase Lambin led the offense with a 2-4 day. Jason Kubel was 1-3 with a walk. Denard Span went 0-3.
New Britain Rock Cats
Dennys Suarez had a no-hitter through four innings against Altoona, but then things went bad and the Rock Cats fell 8-4. Suarez gave up seven runs (4 earned) on four hits and four walks in 5.2 innings. He struck out five. Dakota Watts gave up a run on two hits in 1.1 innings. Brett Jacobson pitched a scoreless inning. Chris Herrmann went 3-4 with a walk and his ninth double. Joe Benson was 2-4 with a walk and his 20th double. Michael Holliman went 2-3 with his ninth double. Chris Parmelee hit his tenth home run.
Ft. Myers Miracle
Jhon Garcia gave up a two run homer to Phillies top prospect Jonathan Singleton in the first inning, and that was all he would give up in seven innings. The Miracle lost 2-1 to Clearwater. Garcia gave up those two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out seven. Matt Tone gave up one hit in two scoreless innings. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-4 with a triple.
Through seven innings, the Snappers held a 5-0 lead. Ryan O’Rourke started and threw 5.1 shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four. Michael Tonkin then maintained the shutout for another 1.2 innings. However, he started the eighth and gave up three runs. Jose Gonzalez came in and got out of the 8th. He started the ninth and let a couple of base runners on. Bart Carter came in and gave up a walk-off home run, giving Great Lakes a 6-5 win. Daniel Ortiz went 2-4 with his 28th double and fourth triple. Jairo Perez knocked his ninth home run. Derek McCallum hit his first homer of the season. Lance Ray hit his 27th double while Michael Gonzales hit his 17th double.
For the third straight game, the E-Twins gave up a ton of runs. In this game, the E-Twins lost 12-3 to Princeton. Tim Shibuya (who threw seven no-hit innings in his last start) gave up six runs (3 earned) on seven hits and a walk in four innings. Cole Johnson, just up that day from GCL, gave up five runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks in 2.2 innings. Justin Parker gave up one run on two hits and recorded just one out. Nick Alloway pitched one scoreless inning, and walked one. Miguel Sano went 2-3 with a walk and his 9th and 10th doubles. Eddie Rosario hit his ninth home run.
The GCL Twins topped the Rays 7-5. Angel Mata started and gave up only an unearned run on two hits in three innings. He walked none and struck out two. David Bromberg made his second rehab appearance. He gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in two innings. Miguel Munoz continued his rehab. He gave up one run on one hit in three innings. He walked three and threw two wild pitches. Luis Nunez struck out two in a scoreless inning. Josh Hendricks went 2-5 with his fourth double. Michael Quesada went 2-3 with a walk and his fourth double. Romy Trinidad went 2-5 with a double. Jorge Polanco went 2-4 to raise his average to .200 on the season. Kelvin Ortiz hit his fourth double.
And, the exciting news of the day in the Twins system, Angel Morales made his 2011 debut with the GCL Twins. He started and played in left field just six weeks after his elbow was scoped. He batted second in the lineup and went 1-3 with a double. He told me later that he was as excited to be in the lineup for the GCL today as he was when he made his GCL debut in 2007! He said the elbow is still a work-in-progress but improving. He was expecting to have Tommy John surgery but when they went in, he was glad to learn that they only had to scope it.
By the way, I’ve already looked at ticket prices to Ft. Myers for a couple of weeks from now. Why? How much fun would it be to watch a potential Ft. Myers Miracle outfield consisting of Angel Morales in left field, Aaron Hicks in center field and Oswaldo Arcia in right field. That is three of my top 3 Twins prospects, in the same outfield.
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