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Pitchers and Catchers Report

21 Feb

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

The words we have been waiting for over five months to hear. The Twins are among the last teams to report, but Sunday was reporting day for the Twins. So, spring training is upon us. The Twins hitters will be reporting by the end of the week.

I thought it would be fun to take a look back to the end of last season and see what has happened. Of course, just an hour after the conclusion of the Twins/Yankees ALDS series, the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook was released. And, looking back at it, we are thrilled with how it turned out and how accurate we were (in many cases) throughout the 140+ page document.

  • On November 5th, the Twins traded Carlos Gomez for JJ Hardy. Short thoughts on the deal – Great trade. You take a chance on a guy with Hardy’s track record, especially if it only costs you your fourth outfielder.
  • On November 7th, the Twins picked up the 2011 option for Michael Cuddyer, which despite some dissenting opinions, was an obvious choice at the time that the decision had to be made.

 When the Winter Meetings started in early December, I posted a blog entry saying there were six things that the Twins needed to do. Obviously there are varying degrees of importance in each, but here is the run down.

#1 – Sign Joe Mauer – Well, it is rather well documented that this one is not yet complete. I know many Twins fans are starting to get a little nervous. I’m officially 0.05% nervous. In other words, it’s going to happen. It’s not ‘if’, but ‘when.’ Hopefully it will be by the end of the week. If not, hopefully it will be before Opening Day. If not, Mauer is taking a huge risk. I can’t imagine that his value will be any higher than it is right now. Once the season starts, the risk increases. And what is the gain? He could get $220 million instead of $200 million?  However, if he were to get hurt or something, the amount he could lose would be even more, in both years and dollars. In other words, I still have zero concern that he is going anywhere else. (Let me say this – if you’re looking for any more analysis on potential Mauer contracts. To be honest, I’m bored of the subject. We know that the contract will likely be 8-10 years and somewhere between probably $18-20 million per year. Deferments? No trade clauses? Incentives? I can’t really control what happens, and it’s exhausting to try to keep up with all the rumors which is why I’m not going to (and why I’m really excited to start talking about actual baseball stuff again!). It will happen. I’m not worried.)

#2 – Second Base – Signing Orlando Hudson for one year and $5 million was a great thing. Not only does he fill second base, but he also fits perfectly into the #2 spot in the lineup.

#3 – Add a starting pitcher – They retained Carl Pavano after he accepted arbitration.

#4 – Acquire a True #1/Ace Pitcher – Simply put, there were none available in Free Agency. John Lackey is probably a #2, and he got $80+ million. Josh Johnson signed an extension with the Marlins after they were basically forced to by MLB. Felix Hernandez wasn’t available. The Giants didn’t trade Matt Cain. There weren’t any options available, as would be expected. That said, the reports on Francisco Liriano’s physique, stuff and confidence in the Dominican Republic give Twins fans hope that he can return to a high level of performance.

#5 – Third Base – They signed Brendan Harris for the next two years. Nick Punto has another year left on his contract, plus an option for 2011. Matt Tolbert is still around. And, hopefully Danny Valencia is ready to go by June (if not by Opening Day). Luke Hughes is likely in the picture as well. In other words, there are enough options.

#6 – Veteran Bench for the Bench – I would say that Jim Thome would fit into this category. His track record speaks for itself. It will be intriguing to see how he is used and how much he is used. But for $1.5 million, this is a great signing.

 Add in that the team replaced Bobby Keppel with Clay Condrey, a vast improvement, and that Pat Neshek should be back at some point during the season while guys like Rob Delaney, Anthony Slama, Jose Lugo and Alex Burnett continue to make themselves more big –league ready and this was a terrific offseason. If that Mauer contract gets signed soon, it could be called ‘nearly’ perfect.

Here are a few Twins-related blogs for you to peruse:

 Any other Twins stories or links, include them in the comments. Feel free to leave your comments here.

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A Look Back: 2009

31 Dec

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

If you’re one of the handful of people working today in the office (or if you’re just sitting at home, relaxing on a day off), you’ll want to check out a couple of podcasts from last night. First, I was on the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports podcast, talking Twins, Vikings, Gophers and more. But after that show, I listened to Fanatic Jack’s Twins Talk podcast and it was a great Year in Review, so I definitely recommend listening to it as well.

As we sit here on New Years Eve, we really have two things to do. First, it is important to look back at the year 2009. Second, you have to look forward to 2010. So, my first blog of the day will be a look back at the past 365 days. Later in the day, I will post something looking forward to 2010, so be sure to check back.

Looking back one year, the Twins were coming off of a tough 1-0 loss in Game 163 against the Twins, but the offseason was a pretty quiet one. For the first time in quite some time, the Twins did not go out and sign a veteran starter. Instead, we were all excited about the starting five of Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins all performed well enough in 2008 for the team to feel confident going into 2009 with the five youngsters. The bullpen had its struggles in 2008, and the Twins countered by signing Luis Ayala. They also offered arbitration to Matt Guerrier despite his rough final two months in 2008. Names like Eric Gagne, Joe Nelson, Russ Springer and Juan Cruz were discussed ad nauseum. The lineup was pretty solid. The team resigned Nick Punto to a two year, $8.5 million contract following a solid 2008 season. That created plenty of discussion, but I was of the opinion that it was a fair-market signing. There was a lot of discussion about Joe Crede. His agent, Scott Boras, wanted to get his agent $7 million base salary plus incentives. Well, Bill Smith wisely did not give in, and in the end, he beat Scott Boras. Crede signed late for a $2.5 million base with incentives.

In early April, the Twins opened their season without Joe Mauer. He had an injury that was mis-diagnosed, so he missed all of spring training and all of April. When he came back on May 1st, he homered on his first swing and then doubles on his second swing. He just continued to hit the entire season. As you all know, he led the league in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage. He won his third batting title, his third silver slugger, his second gold glove and his very first American League MVP. As much adoration and adulation as Mauer deserves, he was not the only story for the Twins in 2009.

Justin Morneau was a legitimate MVP candidate through the first half of the season. Power, batting average, driving runs in. In reality, he was just being Justin Morneau. But he struggled the last six weeks of the season, and in mid-September he was shut down when it was determined that he had a stress fracture in his back. On that day, Michael Cuddyer moved in to first base, and he dominated over the season’s final three weeks. He provided power, clutch hits and solid defense and really catapulted the Twins into the playoffs. He hit 32 homers and came up just shy of 100 RBI. Jason Kubel hit two three run home runs in Game 162 for the Twins and ended the season by hitting .300 with 102 RBI and finally showed all of his potential. Denard Span proved that 2009 was not a fluke at all. He hit .315 and got on base nearly 39% of the time.

Scott Baker missed his first start of the season and really struggled at the start of the season. Some were worried that he let his big contract affect is play. But he came on great after the first six weeks and won 15 games. Nick Blackburn was an All-Star candidate and the team’s top pitcher the first half of the season. After a bad start to the second half, he came on again in September with big start after big start. Kevin Slowey was the first pitcher in the Major Leagues to ten wins before bone chips in his wrist had to be surgically removed. Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins had their struggles, but the Twins were able to replace that over time. Joe Nathan had another amazing season and set the Twins record for Saves in a season. Matt Guerrier was as good as any set up man in baseball. But the bullpen really struggled in the middle of the season.

But the Twins front office came through with some very good deals. Of course, there was also the failed signing of Mark Grudzielanek, but that was just a minor league deal, so no big loss. At the July 31st deadline, the team acquired SS Orlando Cabrera in exchange for minor league SS Tyler Ladendorf. Cabrera got off to a good start with the Twins, then was horrible offensively and defensively, but he came up big down the stretch. A few days later, the team acquired RHP Carl Pavano for a Player to be Named Later. The player ended up being Yohan Pino. Pavano was big in all but two or three of his starts with the Twins and pitched great in the Game 3 loss to the Yankees. Late in August, Bill Smith bolstered the bullpen by adding Jon Rauch for a PTBNL that turned out to be Kevin Mulvey, who the Diamondbacks claimed from the Twins who knew that Arizona was the first team able to claim him. They also added lefty Ron Mahay who had been released by the Royals a couple of weeks earlier.

When Justin Morneau went down in mid-September, the Twins were down a bunch, and Twins fans were ready to throw in the towel. There were several more times that Twins fans threw in the towel. And yet somehow, some way, the Twins found a way to tie the Tigers after 161 games. Both teams won on the final Sunday to end their regular regular seasons tied. The Twins celebrated their final game in the Metrodome with an incredible program, introducing the current Twins roster and many former players including players from the 1987 and 1991 World Series teams.  Of course, it wasn’t the final game after all. The Twins won the season series against the Tigers which gave them the home field advantage in Game 163 (after MLB learned the previous year that a coin flip is not the best, most fair home field determinant).  Game 163 had enough ups and downs and one of the great games. The Twins would lose to the eventual World Series champion New York Yankees in three games, but it was really another terrific season for the Twins.

There were plenty of other stories from the 2009 year for the Twins that are worth mentioning.

Kyle Gibson fell to the Twins with the 22nd overall pick because of concerns about his forearm. Negotiations went right up until the 11 ½ hour. But the two sides agreed to a $1.85 million signing bonus. That was way over MLB’s slot recommendation. The team’s first four picks were college pitchers, something the Twins have had success drafting this decade. They then selected Gophers 2B Derek McCallum in the 4th round. The next two picks were college catchers. The Twins have had terrific success drafting high school bats and college arms in the last dozen years.

Bill Smith also told TwinsCentric that the organization has been working for the last decade on developing their international scouting department. 2009 was a huge year for the Twins in that market. In July, they signed “the best prospect ever to come out of Europe,” Max Kepler to a $775,000 signing bonus. Kepler is very raw, but has a ton of tools. Jorge Polanco has a very good glove at shortstop. He was ranked by Baseball America as the #23 player from Latin America. And of course, the big news was the late September signing of Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano to a $3.15 million signing bonus. The 6-foot-3, 190 pound shortstop is compared physically to Hanley Ramirez, with quick hands and a bat like Albert Pujols. Of course, he is 16-years-old with a long way to go, but the bigger story here is that the Twins now have a strong presence in the Dominican Republic. They have gained strong credibility. They have created in-roads around the globe, in Europe, in Australia, in the Far East and everywhere in between. This bodes well for the future.

The Twins had a strong presence in both the World Baseball Classic and the World Cup following the season. In the WBC, Tom Stuifbergen became a big name when he threw four shutout innings for The Netherlands in the elimination game against the Dominican Republic. Justin Morneau and Jesse Crain played for Canada. Nick Punto played for Italy. James Beresford and Luke Hughes were key contributors for Australia. Trevor Plouffe was the starting shortstop and second hitter for Team USA in the World Cup tournament in Europe after the season. Plouffe was a key contributor in the USA’s gold medal performance. Stuifbergen was one of the best pitchers in the tournament. Luke Hughes and Canada’s Rene Tosoni were two of the top hitters. Speaking of Tosoni, he also represented the Twins and Canada on the World Team of the Futures Game. Tosoni was named the game’s MVP.

Following the World Series, the Twins traded their fourth outfielder, Carlos Gomez, to the Milwaukee Brewers for JJ Hardy, who will hopefully be their shortstop for the next couple of years.

2009 was a very interesting and exciting year for the Minnesota Twins and their fans. Another very good baseball season, and signs that the Twins may be willing to spend more as they enter their new ballpark in 2010. As a fan, that’s really all you can ask for when you aren’t the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets or Angels!

Thank you very much to everyone for making SethSpeaks.net one of your daily (or weekly) stops. As I’ve mentioned before, it is the reader comments and interaction that make it all worthwhile.  Hopefully on at least a few of those days it was worth your time to stop here!

I want to also thank all of the other Twins bloggers. I need to thank the TwinsCentric crew (John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman) for all the work and fun that it has been to put those books together and the projects that we have in the works. But the Twins blogosphere is pretty special and great to be a part of. We are all very supportive of each other and that makes it a lot of fun.

I will be back either later tonight or tomorrow morning with a look ahead to 2010, so be sure to stop by if you have a minute.

I wish you all a very happy New Year. Be safe! Don’t drink and drive!

If you have any questions or comments, Please feel free to discuss here.

Twins Acquire JJ Hardy for C Gomez

6 Nov

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

The Twins just acquired JJ Hardy from the Milwaukee Brewers in exhance for Carlos Gomez. More details are sure to come!

What Would YOU Do? Gomez/Young Edition

12 Oct

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

With the 2009 season in the rearview mirror, it is likely that the Twins front office will soon turn their attention to the 2010 season. There are a ton of decisions that GM Bill Smith and his staff need to make this offseason. In conjunction with TwinsCentric.com and its Offseason GM Handbook, we are look at a series of What Would YOU Do blog entries. We have considered what to do with Orlando Cabrera, Joe Nathan, and Carl Pavano.

I am completely exhausted, so today I’m going to post a quick article on a couple of players that I know everyone has an opinion on, Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez. It’s interesting to me that you very rarely find someone who doesn’t have an opinion on this topic. The general idea we can assume is the Michael Cuddyer will be in RF next year for the Twins and that Denard Span will be the team’s every day leadoff hitter. But will Span play CF every day or LF? That is a question that will likely be answered this offseason. So, what do you think:

Offense – They both swing at everything, so no real advantage there. That said, Young seems to have much more power, and given more playing time late in the season, he showed some of that with three home runs on the final weekend. Gomez seemed to try to take more pitches, but I’m not certain that was successful either. Gomez also quit bunting for hits, which was one of his best weapons his first month as a Twin.

Base Running – Carlos Gomez is clearly much faster. However, he is not a good base runner at all. He has been afraid to steal bases since about May of 2008. He can fly around the bases, but he makes a lot of mistakes. Although not a speedy runner, Young seems to be a smart base runner, and can occasionally steal a base.

Defense – Carlos Gomez is statistically one of the better CF in baseball, but I don’t think he’s a great outfielder yet. He still takes some bad angles to baseballs, he’s just so fast he’s able to make up for it. He’s got a strong arm, but uses it inconsistently. Young is clearly not a real strong LF. He looks shaky and uncertain, but he makes very few errors, so most of the time, he gets the job done.

The Twins used Jason Kubel a lot in the outfield late in the season, and Carlos Gomez was the 4th outfielder. At this point, I’m not convinced that he is really more than that. That said, it’s hard to know that until he gets every day playing time for a year. But the same can be said for Delmon Young. Therein lies the problem. They both need the daily playing time, but there isn’t a way to do that. So, there must be a trade. Does either of them have value at this point? Which would be a better #4 option if they don’t trade either?

So what do you think? First, who has the bigger upside? Who do you think could contribute more to the Twins if playing time for each was every day? What would you do with playing time, or what would you expect to get back if either is traded? If you would like to share your thoughts, please click here.

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This is another of many, many decisions that the Twins General Manager Bill Smith will have to make now that the Twins playoff run is complete. John Bonnes (Twins Geek), Parker Hageman (Over the Baggy), Nick Nelson (Nick’s Twins blog) and myself have put together the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook. In its pages, we will put the reader in the role of Twins GM. The four of us will act as advisers. We will provide you with 137 pages worth of information to help you work through your offseason. We discuss the Twins internal free agents, look at the 40 man roster and options to be added, possible trade targets and free agent options. We will review the Joe Mauer contract situation, the #2 spot in the order, and all of the Twins potential arbitration scenarios. Finally, we will each present you with a blueprint, our own recommendation of eight to ten ideas to improve the Twins in 2010. Darren “Doogie” Wolfson wrote the foreword for us. If you are at all interested in this, be sure to go to www.TwinsCentric.com where you can purchase an electronic book (all 137 pages) for just $9.95. If you’re even just a little bit intrigued, still check out that web site where you can also receive a Free Sample of approximately 1/3 the book. Of course, if you have any questions or comments, you can e-mail me, or e-mail TwinsCentric@gmail.com.

Twins Win AL Central! Amazing!

6 Oct

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Honestly, I’ll have to write more later. This is the most proud I have ever been of being a Twins fan. I am speechless right now. Hopefully I can come up with words before 10:00 when I will host the SethSpeaks.net NIGHTLY Minnesota Twins podcast. We will take you calls, questions, comments. I don’t even want to think about the Yankees yet. I don’t care. I’ve always said, I’m about the 162 game season… or make that 163 games! Whatever it takes!

Twins Win 6-5 in the 12th inning on a single by Alexi Casilla that scores Carlos Gomez, who had singled to lead off the inning. If that doesn’t exemplify what a crazy season this has been for the Twins, I don’t know what was. This was one of the best games I can ever remember watching. There was the game against the White Sox in the dome near the end of last year, and obviously Games 6 and 7 of the 1991 World Series count too. But this game had everything. Great defense, bad defense. Clutch hitting, and Clutch pitching.

Feel free to leave your comments. I just don’t have anything more right now… This is amazing! Congratulations to the Minnesota Twins, the players, coaches, the manager, GM, the front office and the ownership, and also to all the fans who, not matter how small a chance there was, never stopped watching, and never stopped caring! We witnessed something tonight we will never forget!

If you have any questions, comments or predictions, leave them in the Comments section.

In-Weekend Updates

19 Jul

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

I thought a mid-weekend update would make a lot of sense. As the next couple of weeks will be consumed with trade rumors, determining whether teams are buyers or sellers and then finally the deadline, I thought it appropriate not to get too far behind. So, here is a quick Notes and Game Recap edition, be sure to leave your comments below. Again, as the Trade Deadline is now less than two weeks away, please consider picking up a copy of the TwinsCentric 2009 Trade Deadline Primer for just $9.95.

TWINS WIN TWO IN TEXAS

The Twins won the first two games of their series in Arlington against the Rangers. They completed the Texas two step and on Friday will go for the sweep.

On Friday night, the Twins won 5-3. Glen Perkins went five innings for the win. Bobby Keppel again pitched well for two innings. Jose Mijares and Matt Guerrier completed the eighth inning before Joe Nathan recorded his 24th save. Jason Kubel knocked his 15th home run of the season in the game. It was a three run homer that scored Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Carlos Gomez went 2-3 and drove in the two other runs with a triple. Joe Crede joined Gomez, Morneau and Kubel with two hits in the game.

On Saturday night, the Twins won 4-1. It was all about Scott Baker and Michael Cuddyer. Baker went eight strong innings. He gave up a just one run on six hits and two walks. He struck out eight for his 8th win of the year. Joe Nathan struck out two in the ninth for his 25th save. Cuddyer hit a run-scoring double in the 2nd inning, and later came around to score on a Carlos Gomez single. In the 5th inning, Cuddyer hit his 15th home run of the season. Cuddyer, Morneau and Gomez each had two hits.

TWINS NOTES

  • Over the Baggy asks, Do the Twins Need Julio Lugo?
  • First of all, congratulations to Stick & Ball Guy whose terrific site (so terrific, in fact, that it is The World’s Greatest Online Magazine!) recently celebrated its 5th Birthday!
  • Another exciting note from Stick & Ball Guy. He will be hosting the 3rd Annual SBG Convention on August 1st. It will again be at Minnehaha Falls, in the park. I went last year and it was a great time. I currently plan to be there again this year, so if you’re able to make it, it’s always fun, so check here for details.
  • Jesse from Twinkie Town participated in an AL Central Roundtable with other SB Nation bloggers in the division.
  • It seems like the Twins have turned and hit into a lot of double plays this season. But Coffeyville Whirlwind reminds us of a game in 1990 when the Twins and Red Sox combined for the most double plays in a single game.
  • Apparently Miguel Angel Sano passed a pretty important test. MLB had been investigating if he was actually 16 years old, and their report indicates that he is 16 years old. With that announcement, Sano is free to sign. Now, the Twins were rumored to have offered him a deal pending this investigation, but in recent weeks, the rumor became that the Twins were kind of taking themselves out of the running. However, now it is suggested that Twins Director of Player Personnel, Mike Radcliff, traveled to the Dominican Republic himself to check on Sano. So, will they re-enter the negotiations, or will they stay out of it. Well, we shall see.   

Any other Twins thoughts or stories? If you see a Twins-related story that you think readers would be interested in, please e-mail me the link. Let us know what you think.

MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

Friday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Steve Singleton, New Britain Rockcats

Friday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Edgar Ibarra, Elizabethton Twins

Saturday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Brandon Roberts, New Britain Rockcats

Saturday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Blayne Weller, GCL Twins  

MINOR LEAGUE NOTES AND TRANSACTIONS

  • LaVelle informed us yesterday that Yohan Pino had been promoted to AAA Rochester. Also some interesting stuff on Max Kepler coming to America from Germany with his mom to scout out high schools in Ft. Myers.
  • I learned later in the day that Michael McCardell has been promoted to AA New Britain to take Pino’s spot.
  • Heard a little later that Jeff Christy has been sent back to New Britain, but I have not heard if there have been any further catcher transactions. Currently in New Britain include Danny Lehmann and Allan de San Miguel.
  • On Friday, Josh Johnson posted another excellent interview. Be sure to check out his Q&A with David Bromberg.
  • Be sure to check out Roger’s Minor League Update from yesterday. Who was his player of the week?
  • Jesse also asked the question, Who is Joe Testa?

ROCHESTER REPORT

Friday – Rochester, Lehigh Valley – Game postponed by Rain.

Saturday – Game 1 – Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 7 – Philip Humber started this game and gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks in 3.2 innings. All six runs scored against him in the fourth inning. Jesse Crain struck out two and got four outs. Juan Morillo gave up a run on two hits in his inning. He walked none and struck out two. Matt Macri went 2-3. Danny Valencia hit his fourth home run. David Winfree hit his 11th homer.

Saturday – Game 2 – Rochester 3, Lehigh Valley 6 – The second game was almost a copy cat of the first game. Jason Jones started and threw three shutout innings before he gave up six runs in the fourth inning. Tim Lahey and Sean Henn each pitched a scoreless inning. The offense came from the same two people as well. Danny Valencia hit a two run homer, his fifth of the season. David Winfree came to the plate next and hit his 12th homer.     

ROCKCAT RECAP

Friday – New Britain 6, Reading 4 – Steve Singleton was strong again in his second AA game. The 2B went 3-4 with his third double and first triple. Matt Moses went 2-4 with his 10th double and first triple. Erik Lis hit his 11th home run. Cole Devries picked up his sixth win. In five innings, he gave up three runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out five. Frank Mata gave up two hits and a walk in an inning, but no runs scored. Carlos Gutierrez gave up two hits and a walk in 1.1 innings, but no runs scored. Jose Lugo gave up a run in 2/3 of an inning. Alex Burnett came in for the ninth and recorded his second save.  

Saturday – New Britain 11, Reading 3 – Deolis Guerra improved to 2-0 with a win in this game. In 6.1 innings, he gave up three runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out three. Kyle Waldrop threw 2.2 scoreless innings. Brandon Roberts went 4-6 with his 14th double. Steve Singleton went 3-5 (so his batting average dropped!) with his fourth double and first stolen base. Toby Gardenhire went 2-4 with a walk and his seventh double. Juan Portes went 1-3 with three walks and his fifth home run. Erik Lis was 1-2 with two walks and his 12th home run.     

MIRACLE MEMOS

Friday – Ft. Myers 2, Sarasota 3 David Bromberg took a loss for the first time this season. He is now 7-1 (with a 2.97 ERA) after giving up three runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six. Santos Arias and Henry Arias each pitched a scoreless inning. Mark Dolenc went 2-3 with a walk, his 13th double and third home run. Rene Leveret went 2-4 with a triple.

Saturday – Ft. Myers 2, Dunedin 4 Chris Parmelee went 2-4 with his 13th home run, but it wasn’t enough. Tyler Robertson took the loss. He gave up four runs on four hits and four walks over seven innings. He struck out five. Joe Testa struck out three in two scoreless frames. Evan Bigley went 3-4 on the night. Ben Revere went 2-5.       

SNAPPERS SNIPPETS

Friday – Beloit 9, Burlington 3 Dan Berlind improved to 3-9 with five innings in this game. He gave up three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three. Michael Allen and Steve Blevins each two scoreless innings. Tyler Ladendorf went 3-5. Drew Thompson went 2-4 with a walk and his 11th double. Ramon Santana went 2-5 with his second triple.

Saturday – Beloit 4, Dayton 6 Aaron Hicks hit his first home run of the season. Drew Thompson went 2-4 with his third stolen base. Ramon Santana was 2-3 with a walk and his seventh home run. Dan Osterbrock gave up five runs (4 earned) on seven hits and two walks in 6.1 innings. He struck out six. Bruce Pugh gave up a run on two hits and a walk in 1.2 innings.  

E-TWINS EXTRAS

Friday – Elizabethton 4, Danville 5 – As is tradition, Danville brings a team that matches up well with the E-Twins. In this game, Miguel Munoz made the start. He gave up five runs (4 earned) on eight hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out five. Edgar Ibarra came in and threw three shutout innings. Dan Rohlfing went 2-3 with a walk. Brian Dozier was 2-4 with his third double. Josmil Pinto went 1-2 with three walks. Derek McCallum went 1-3 with two walks.   

Saturday – Elizabethton 4, Burlington 3 Martire Garcia made his best start of the season. The young lefty gave up two runs on four hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out four. Matt Bashore came in and gave up three hits, but no runs, in two innings. He struck out two. Kyle Carr gave up an unearned run on one hit in two innings. He struck out two. Derek McCallum went 2-3 with a walk and his seventh double. Jonathan Goncalves hit his second home run and stole his fourth and fifth bases. Tobias Streich hit his fifth home run.     

GCL TWINS THOUGHTS

Saturday –GCL Twins 6, GCL Rays 1 Blayne Weller had another very strong start. He threw seven shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five. Jean Mijares gave up an unearned run on a hit and a walk in his inning. Kelvin Mota gave up two hits, but no runs, in his inning. Jhonatan Arias went 2-4 with his second and third doubles. Daniel Santana went 2-5 with his third double.

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.

First Complete Organization Game Reports

24 Jun

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

It was Opening Day for the Twins two short-season affiliates, so for the first time this year, we have a very full game report. The Twins and six minor league affiliates are now in their season. So we will get to that.

ANOTHER TRANSACTION – For the second straight night, I was able to announce a promotion to Rochester. Monday night, it was Danny Valencia heading to AAA. Last night, It was Jeff Manship that received the news that he was headed to the Red Wings. Congratulations to both!

Also, be sure to listen to last night’s episode of the SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast. The show was co-hosted by Travis from Travis Talks. We talked about a lot of Twins topics, and went through each minor league level. A lot of information was shared. We got a few questions in the chat room that we were able to answer. At the very end, we talked about the Joe Mauer contract situation, including our thoughts on years and dollars. So be sure to listen to it all. We were joined for a segment in the middle by Daniel Shoptaw of C70 At the Bat, a St. Louis Cardinals blog. With him, we talked about this weekend’s series in Busch Stadium.

In one of the worst ball games to watch ever, the Twins got a 7-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. I don’t know how the Twins defense made any plays behind Francisco Liriano. Liriano threw almost 120 pitches in just five innings. I think I may have fallen asleep on the field if I was out there. But Liriano was the recipient of plenty of run support and with the Twins 7-3 win, Liriano got a win for the first time in six weeks. R.A. Dickey came in and threw two shutout innings. Matt Guerrier and Joe Nathan each pitched an inning as well. Carlos Gomez had hits in his first three at bats. Joe Crede was 2-5 including a three run double in the top of the first frame. It came after Michael Cuddyer struck out on a horrible pitch in the dirt that got away from the catcher and allowed the inning to continue. Justin Morneau went 2-4 with a walk.

Did you notice? Joe Mauer went 0-5, and is now hitting “JUST” .395!   

Here are the remaining pitching matchups for the next two games in Milwaukee:

  • Wednesday – 7:05 – Nick Blackburn (6-2, 3.09, 1.25, .258) vs Braden Looper (5-4, 5.21, 1.39, .281)
  • Thursday – 1:05 – Scott Baker (4-6, 5.22, 1.12, .249) vs Dave Bush (3-4, 5.67, 1.35, .272)

MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

Tuesday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Steve Singleton, Ft. Myers Miracle – Tyler Ladendorf/Danny Rams, Elizabethton Twins

Tuesday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Tom Stuifbergen, Elizabethton Twins

NOTES

ROCHESTER REPORT

Tuesday –Rochester 7, Toledo 8 (10 innings) – Danny Valencia drove from New Britain, CT, to Rochester, NY, on Tuesday morning. He was in the lineup for the Red Wings on Tuesday night. He went 3-5 with a double. Not a bad debut! Dustin Martin and Steve Tolleson were also 3-5. Martin hit his third triple while Tolleson knocked his second home run. Anthony Swarzak got the start. He gave up just one run on five hits and no walks in the first seven innings. In the 8th, he got an out, gave up a single and a walk, and was replaced by Rob Delaney. Delaney gave up a bloop single, got a fielder’s choice and then gave up an infield single. None of those balls were hit hard. However, he then gave up a two run homer followed by a solo home run by Andy Marte before getting the final out. Delaney threw just 16 pitches, and 12 of them were strikes. But in that short time, he allowed two inherited runners to score, and four runs of his own. Juan Morillo pitched a scoreless ninth, but then in the 10th inning, he gave up a run and the Wolves lost.

ROCKCAT RECAP

Tuesday –New Britain 5, Harrisburg 4 (13 innings) – Matt Fox had his first rough start of the season. In just 4.1 innings, he gave up 11 hits, and yet somehow gave up just four runs. Jay Rainville came out of the bullpen and struck out two in 1.2 perfect innings. Kyle Waldrop threw a scoreless inning for New Britain in his first appearance for the Rockcats sine 2007. Alex Burnett and Anthony Slama each threw two shutout innings. Yohan Pino got the win after striking out five in three perfect innings. Erik Lis led the offense by going 3-6 with his first triple. Matt Moses entered the game as a pinch hitter, but he went 2-4 including the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 13th. Rene Tosoni went 2-5 with his fourth stolen base. Brian Dinkelman went 2-6 with his 17th double.  

MIRACLE MEMOS

Tuesday – Ft. Myers 7, Jupiter 6 Deolis Guerra recorded his fifth win of the year. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on six hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out three. Loek Van Mil gave up a run for the first time this season. He gave up a run on a hit and three walks in his inning. Spencer Steedley recorded his third save. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits and a walk in two innings. Steve Singleton led the offense. He went 4-5 with his 12th double and fourth home run. Rene Leveret went 2-2 with two walks. Chris Parmelee, who won the FSL All Star Home Run Derby, hit his ninth home run. Ben Revere hit his second home run. Of the three home runs, Revere was clearly the longest, and he also flew out to the fence in right in another at bat.  

SNAPPERS SNIPPETS

Tuesday – Beloit Joe Testa pitched in the Midwest League All Star game on Tuesday night. He faced two batters and got them both out.

E-TWINS EXTRAS

Tuesday – Elizabethton 8, Bluefield 2 Tom Stuifbergen got the Opening Night nod and pitched quite well. In six innings, he gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits. He walked none and struck out ten. Kyle Carr got the save by striking out four in three perfect innings. Tyler Ladendorf went 4-4 with a walk and stolen base. Danny Rams went 3-3 with a walk and two doubles. Josmil Pinto hit a home run.  

GCL TWINS THOUGHTS

Tuesday – GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 1 Adrian Salcedo proved in this outing how good he can be. The 18 year old threw four shutout innings. He gave up just two hits and no walks while striking out five. Jose Gonzalez gave up an unearned run over the next three innings. Andrei Lobanoz struck out five in two perfect innings for his first save of the year. Daniel Santana went 2-4 with his first double and stolen base. Wang-Wei Lin was 2-4 with a home run. Matej Hejma was 2-4. Oswaldo Arcia hit a triple. Rory Rhodes hit a double.

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