Matt Fox will make his big league debut for the Twins when they take on the Texas Rangers tonight. He was not on the 40 man roster, so a subsequent move will be needed to be made. Could be putting Justin Morneau on the 60 Day Disabled List. More to come. (Got to admit, I’m thrilled. He is a terrific guy with a great perspective!) He also threw to Drew Butera at Central Florida.
Here is what I wrote about Matt Fox in the Minnesota Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook:
Matthew Fox – RHP – (12/4/82)
Acquired: Supp. 1st round pick in 2004 from U of Central Florida
2009 Team(s): New Britain Rockcats
2009 Stats: 9-9, 3.58 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 151 IP, 56 BB, 120 K
We always want pitchers to come back quickly from Tommy John surgery. Matt Fox gives us an illustration of the need to be patient. Fox had the surgery early in 2005 and missed that season. He came back in 2006 with the E-Twins, in the bullpen. In 2007 and 2008, he began the seasons in the bullpen before being a starter in the second half. In 2009, Fox was a starter for the full season again. He made 26 starts and threw 151 innings, over 33 innings more than the previous season. Fox is a four-pitch pitcher. His fastball is clocked between 88-92 mph, nearly to the level he was at pre-surgery. He has a cut-fastball that he throws between 85-88 mph. He has a very good curveball and continues to work on a changeup. But the cutter and curveball are his big pitches. Reports say that he only throws about 15 fastballs a game. Instead, he has the confidence to throw his cutter in any count. Because of that, he is able to keep the ball off of the meat of a hitter’s bat. Like Mariano Rivera, the cutter is much tougher on left-handed batters. Lefties hit just .246 against Fox in 2009 while righties hit .261. His curveball has proven to be his strikeout pitch. It’s a nice, tight, twelve-to-six bender. The key for Fox over time will be the development of his changeup, a pitch that has been inconsistent to this point. When he has control of it, he can be very good. If there was one other area to potentially improve would be to find a pitch to get inside on right-handed batters. However, Matt Fox has overcome a lot since his surgery. He, and the Twins, have been very patient, and it is paying off. He continues to get in better shape, and regain his arm strength. Fox should be starting in Rochester in 2010, and if he continues to show progress, he could be a big leaguer in the very near future.
He began the 2010 season in the Rochester bullpen and has been moving back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation. He was the Red Wings player of the week just last week and has been the team’s top pitcher of late. Consider that David Bromberg and Kyle Gibson have been shut down, and Fox makes a lot of sense. He last started on Monday, so he is going on just three days rest, so it will be interesting to see if he is on a pitch count.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTEBOOK
Here is a look at the Thursday night’s minor league scores and highlights:
- Rochester 3, Syracuse 7 – Cole DeVries made another start for the Red Wings. In four innings, he gave up five runs (4 earned) on seven hits and two walks. He struck out five. Jose Lugo gave up one run on two hits and a walk in his inning. Glen Perkins threw three innings and gave up only an unearned run on a hit and two walks. He struck out two. Anthony Slama had a walk in a scoreless inning. The Red Wings managed just six hits. Jacque Jones and Danny Lehmann each hit a double.
- New Britain 1, Reading 4 – Mike McCardell has had a rough 2010 season. On this night, he pitched well, a complete game, and still got a loss. In eight innings, he gave up four runs on six hits. He issued no walks and struck out four in eight innings. The Rockcats had seven hits in the game. Ben Revere went 2-4. Juan Portes, Joe Benson and Estarlin de Los Santos each hit a double.
- Ft. Myers 5, Palm Beach 2 – David Deminsky, a 2010 draft pick and St. Cloud State alum, started and gave up two runs on six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out four. Jhon Garcia gave up a hit and a walk but no runs in two innings. Dakota Watts struck out two in two scoreless innings. Angel Morales went 2-4 with a walk and his 11th stolen base. Deibinson Romero and Nate Hanson were each 2-5. Romero hit his 13th and 14th doubles. Nate Hanson hit a walk-off, three run homer for the Miracle win.
- Beloit, Clinton (Suspended in 2nd) – The Snappers are in contention for a playoff spot. This game started, and Aaron Hicks hit a first inning home run, but in the 2nd inning, the game was halted and will be continued.
- Elizabethton 6, Pulaski 2 – Elizabethton advances to the Appalachian League championship series against Johnson City after this win. The game went into extra innings tied at one. The E-Twins scored five to advance. Danny Ortiz, Brian Burke, Andy Leer and Kyle Knudson each went 2-5. Leer had a double and three RBI. Knudson had two doubles. Nate Roberts was 2-4 with a double. BJ Hermsen started and gave up one run on four hits in seven innings. He struck out five and did not walk any. David Gutierrez gets the win thanks to two shutout innings. Jose Gonzalez gave up two runs on two hits (two solo homers) in the bottom of the 10th.
Any thoughts? Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.