Please check out my StarTribune.com TwinsCentric blog for this week. I looked back at the Twins last 15 years of draft picks to find the hits and misses. It’s hard to believe that the 2010 draft is less than a month away. So take A Look Back at the Twins drafts in recent years.
Also, be sure to join Travis Aune and myself tonight at 10:00 central time for this week’s Twins Minor League Weekly. Each week, Travis and I dive headfirst into the Twins minor league farm system. This week, there will be plenty of transactions to discuss, for sure. But we will also talk about who has been playing well, and upcoming roster decisions. It’s a fun hour of discussion and we certainly welcome your comments and feedback.
SethSpeaks Monday Minor League Hitter of the Day – Steve Liddle – Beloit Snappers
SethSpeaks Monday Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Kyle Gibson – Ft. Myers Miracle
- While you’re reading my Strib article this morning, be sure to check out LaVelle E. Neal’s morning blog. In it, he mentions that Matt Tolbert is on his way to the Twin Cities in case JJ Hardy, who is seeing a hand specialist, needs to be put on the Disabled List. I’ve said several times that I expected that Tolbert would get the promotion if needed just because Gardy absolutely loves the already-28 year old utility guy. I just think this would have been the perfect time to call up Trevor Plouffe, who has played very well this spring at Rochester, and give him a two week tryout. Plouffe earned it on and off the field. The other option would have been to go with Danny Valencia, let him play 3B for two weeks with Nick Punto shifting back to SS. Valencia is hitting over .270 after his slow start and is currently on a 14 game hitting streak. Retreading Tolbert in this situation makes absolutely no sense. Instead, we’ll probably see a lot of Brendan Harris and Alexi Casilla at SS.
- I’ve been trying to keep you updated here over the last 2-3 days on all the transactions in the minor leagues, but LaVelle posted a couple that I wasn’t aware of yet. Loek Van Mil has been activated from the Disabled List and will pitch, at least temporarily, for Ft. Myers. Andrei Lobanov, who had 1 walk and 35 strikeouts at the GCL last year, is also pitching for Ft. Myers. Again, that is likely only temporary and he will probably pitch in Elizabethton later this summer.
- After a horrible two inning outing on Friday, Yoslan Herrera asked for, and was granted his release from the Twins. That is the nice way of saying, he quit. Yesterday, New Britain reliever Henry Arias did the same thing. The Twins put him on the suspended list (so he is not a free agent), and he won’t return to the team.
Red Wings Report
Monday – Rochester 2, Indianapolis 7 – Glen Perkins had what appears to have been another rough start. He gave up seven runs on six hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. However, he actually pitched very well through the first four innings. (Baby steps, right?) Jose Lugo went 2.2 shutout innings in relief, much needed for him and the team. Dustin Martin had two doubles in four at bats. Luke Hughes was 2-4 with his second stolen base.
New Britain Notes
Monday – New Britain 2, Trenton 8 – David Bromberg had his first rough outing in AA. The Twins pitching prospect gave up eight earned runs on 11 hits and four walks in 4.2 innings of work. Michael Allen made a nice AA debut. He threw 2.1 scoreless innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Santos Arias and Matt Williams each threw a scoreless inning. Alexander Soto went 3-4 with his third double. Steve Singleton went 2-5 with his sixth double.
Monday – Ft. Myers 4, Tampa 1 – There is a lot of talk about Kyle Gibson being promoted to AA very soon, maybe even today, but Gibson put that beyond him and pitched another very good game. He went 6.2 innings and gave up one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out a career-high eight batters. He improved to 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA. There were a couple more good stories from this game. Shooter Hunt got his second save with 2.1 shutout innings. He didn’t give up a run or even a hit. He walked one and struck out six. Brandon Roberts went 2-4 with two more stolen bases in his rehab work. Yangervis Solarte went 1-3 with two RBI and his third stolen base. The other great bit of news is that Paul Kelly was back in the Miracle lineup, batting second and playing SS. He went 0-3.
SIDENOTE – I get a lot of questions from people asking what I think they should do with Shooter Hunt. After a rough 2009 season, he is pitching great in the Ft. Myers bullpen. Many want him to be promoted to AA. More want him to move into the Ft. Myers starting rotation. My personal opinion is that they need to just leave him where he is for right now. Let him keep pitching in this role of one to three innings in relief. Let him experience this success and gain more and more confidence. This is one of the truly great people in the organization, and rather than push, push, push, they need to remain cautious. Let’s not forget that he does not need to be added to the 40 man roster until after the 2011 season, and from there, he has three option years. There is absolutely no rush with Shooter Hunt, and I hope the Twins continue with him on this path. Hunt is currently 1-1 with a 4.34 ERA on the season. He has nine walks and 29 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. If you take out his first outing of the year, he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA. He has six walks and 29 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. Even better, in his last seven games, he has two walks and 24 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.
Monday – Beloit 8, Burlington 7 (10) – The Snappers scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game and then won it in the 10th. Down three runs in the 8th inning, Angel Morales came to bat with the bases loaded. He drilled a two run single to left field, and a throwing error scored the third run on the same play. Advance to the bottom of the 10th inning, Josmil Pinto came to the plate with the bases loaded. He was hit by a pitch for the walk off run! Pinto was 2-4 with his fourth double in the game. Angel Morales was 2-4 with his tenth stolen base. Brian Dozier was 2-5 with a walk. Steve Liddle went 2-3 with three walks. Edgar Ibarra started and gave up three runs on two hits and four walks in four innings. He struck out three. Dakota Watts came in and gave up four runs on three hits and two walks in 2.1 innings. Matt Tone entered and threw 1.2 scoreless innings in relief. Kane Holbrooks struck out two in the 9th inning. Eliecer Cardenas struck out two in a scoreless tenth frame to record his first win.
Any questions? Leave your comments here.