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Roster Projection: Ft. Myers Miracle

25 Mar

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Before we jump into my Ft. Myers (Twins Hi-A affiliate) roster projection, here are a couple of quick notes on some upcoming podcasts:

  • On Wednesday, I was on This Call to the Bullpen, a Kranepool Society podcast. I talked about Mauer, Nathan, Target Field, and much, much more.  
  • Then later on Wednesday night, the Twins Geek and I will joined Fanatic Jack and Topper Anton on Jack’s Twins Talk show.  We discussed/argued the Twins bullpen, the backup catcher spot and much more.
  • There will be an episode of The Show on Thursday night at a special time of 8:00 p.m. The show is already filled with guests.
  1. I will be joined by Twins prospect Trayvone Johnson. The 2009 draft pick was selected as a catcher, but he has been moved to the mound.
  2. Next, JJ Stankevitz from the White Sox Examiner site will come in to talk about the team most of us believe will be the Twins primary competitor in the AL Central.
  3. Finally, Twins 17-year-old outfield prospect Max Kepler will join us for the last part of the show. Listeners to the show have been asking for me to try to get Kepler on the show and it finally appears to work.
  4. During The Show, we will also announce the regularly scheduled night and time for The Show throughout the 2010 season. So be sure to take in that show.

The Ft. Myers Miracle’s season also begins on April 8th with a road game at Bradenton. The following night, the two teams will play in Ft. Myers. The Miracle will be managed this year by Jake Mauer, who has managed the GCL Twins in Ft. Myers the last couple of years, after spending a couple of seasons in the Twins farm system.

So here are my thoughts on the 2010 Opening Day roster of the Ft. Myers Miracle:

The Hitters 

  Ft. Myers
C Danny Rams
1B Jonathan Waltenbury
2B Drew Thompson
3B Deibinson Romero
SS James Beresford
LF Evan Bigley
CF Joe Benson
RF Angel Morales
DH Michael Harrington
Bu C Jair Fernandez
Bu IF Ramon Santana
Bu OF Dominic de la Osa
Bench Nick Romero
DL (Paul Kelly?)
  (Nathan Hanson)

Analysis: If Danny Rams begins the 2010 season in Beloit, it would probably be for the best, but with the catching situation and the higher levels and the depth of catchers at Beloit, he may begin at Ft. Myers. Fellow non-roster invite to Spring Training, Jair Fernandez will likely spend the summer with the Miracle. Jonathan Waltenbury had a disappointing offensive season in Beloit in 2009, and I would anticipate seeing Nick Romero and Nate Hanson playing quite a bit of first base, Hanson against lefties. Hanson and Nick Romero can play around the infield and back up any of the other infielders. It will be good to see what Drew Thompson can do with a full, normal offseason. Deibinson Romero came off of the 40 man roster after a disappointing 2009 season, so I expect him to remain with the Miracle. James Beresford is definitely worth watching at shortstop. Joe Benson and Angel Morales are both high-ceiling prospects. Evan Bigley and Michael Harrington are just good hitters, both should hit a lot of doubles. I put Harrington as the DH because I think they’ll get his bat in the lineup and he will play a lot in the outfield too. Dominic de la Osa was shifted to the outfield from second base during the offseason. Yesterday I mentioned that I thought Rene Tosoni would move from New Britain to Rochester and Joe Benson would be promoted to New Britain. I anticipate that happening six to eight weeks into the season, and at that time, I would project Aaron Hicks to move up to Ft. Myers.   

The Pitchers 

  Ft. Myers
SP Kyle Gibson
SP Bobby Lanigan
SP Brad Tippett
SP Dan Osterbrock
SP Michael Tarsi
CL Billy Bullock
8L Matt Williams
8R Steve Blevins
BP Bruce Pugh
BP Kyle Carr
BP Dan Berlind
BP Michael Allen
  (Blake Martin)
  (Thom Wright)

Analysis: Apparently Kyle Gibson has been impressive already this spring, and the team’s top 2009 pick has a chance to move quickly. I expect him to start at Ft. Myers, spend a couple of months there and then move up to New Britain. There’s even an outside chance he gets to Rochester. Lefty Michael Tarsi missed some time at the start of last season but did adequately. I expect him to spend much of the season here. Bobby Lanigan finished 2009 in Ft. Myers’ bullpen, but I assume he will return to the role of a starter. Dan Osterbrock was disappointed with his 2009 season with the Snappers, but I anticipate him pitching better in 2010 with the Miracle. Finally, Brad Tippett is a guy every Twins fan should know out. He has impeccable control, but he knows how to pitch. I think he’s got a chance to be good. 

Billy Bullock became a closer last year at the University of Florida. He did well in his pro debut, and people are very excited about him. This is also a very strong bullpen. Matt Williams is from Australia and has always done well in the bullpen throughout his career. Steve Blevins had a good year in 2009 in the Snappers bullpen with the exception of struggles against one team. I really expect him to do well in 2010. Bruce Pugh is a guy that several of us have called a sleeper. It will be interesting to see whether he is starting or if he’s going to pitch out of the bullpen. I think this will be another case where he’ll start in the Miracle bullpen and by midseason, he’ll be starting. Kyle Carr needs to be healthy, but the lefty has put up terrific strikeout numbers when healthy. Dan Berlind needs to show something in 2009. It’s also possibly the last chance for Michael Allen, or Blake Martin or Thom Wright.

If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.


Saturday Night Lights

17 May

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Be sure to tune in live to tonight’s podcast. The Twins Geek will be hosting the show tonight. I will not be on the show as I am taking a couple of days away from blogging, unless of course, there is any breaking news. There will also not be a new Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast on Monday night. During Saturday afternoon’s Twins telecast on FSN, I hosted a Live Chat. There weren’t a ton of questions, which is fine, but you can read the transcript by clicking here.

By the way, I did go to see Angels & Demons on Saturday night. I don’t know if it was quite as good as The Da Vinci Code, but obviously Tom Hanks was excellent, and it was very good and interesting.

TWINS 4, YANKEES 6 (11 Innings)

For the second straight game, the Twins lost to the Yankees on the Bombers’ final at bat. Friday night is was Melky Cabrera with a well-place soft line drive. On Saturday afternoon, it was an A-Bomb, from A-Rod. Rodriguez hit it high and he hit one far, a two run homer off of Craig Breslow with nobody out in the bottom of the 11th inning. Here are some other notes:

  • Nick Blackburn was excellent. If not for Mark Teixeira, his day would have been wonderful. In 7.2 innings, Blackburn gave up four runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out four. Then remember that Teixeira went 4-4 against him with four RBI, three on a home run, and see just how good Blackburn was against everyone else.
  • Gardy decided to leave him out there for the 8th inning. It was absolutely the right decision. Gardy decided to let him pitch to Teixeira with a runner on third and two outs that inning. It probably was the right move. I mean, you could walk him and have him pitch to A-Rod. There just really isn’t a right answer in that situation.
  • Denard Span and Brendan Harris, the team’s top two hitters on the day, combined to go 0-11.
  • #3 hitter, Joe Mauer, had a hit and a walk. The hit was a long home run, his sixth of the year already. He has five home runs in his last seven games.
  • #4 hitter, Justin Morneau, went 2-3 with two walks. One of his hits was a home run, his 12th of the year. He has six home runs in his last eight games.
  • #5 hitter, Jason Kubel, went 2-5. He has now had four straight multi-hit games. He is 10-19 in his last five games to raise his average to .341 on the season.
  • Matt Guerrier finally got a day off on Friday, but he was right back in there on Saturday afternoon. So, he has now pitched in six out of seven games. He threw two hitless innings, walked one and struck out two.
  • Craig Breslow got the final out of the 10th inning, coaxing a pop up out of Johnny Damon. He was about the only option to pitch the 11th, and it was really an impossible situation for him. He walked Teixeira before serving up the game-winning homer to Alex Rodriguez.
  • Sunday, Kevin Slowey gets his opportunity against the Yankees on Sunday afternoon when he faces off against AJ Burnett.  


Saturday – Hitter of the Day – Juan Portes, New Britain Rockcats

Saturday – Pitcher of the Day – Dan Berlind, Beloit Snappers


Saturday –Rochester 3, Durham 4 – Anthony Swarzak threw a lot of strikes in this game. 70 of his 106 pitches were strikes. Unfortunately, many of those strikes were hit well. Swarzak gave up four runs on 11 hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out four. Juan Morillo then struck out one in a perfect inning. David Winfree went 2-4 with his tenth double. Jason Pridie was 2-5 with his tenth stolen base.       


Saturday – Game 1 – New Britain 4, Portland 5 Cole Devries started this game and gave up five runs on ten hits (2 HR) and two walks. Jose Lugo then got the next four outs. Rob Delaney struck out two in a perfect relief inning. Juan Portes went 2-2 with a walk and his third stolen base. Steve Tolleson went 1-2 with a walk.  

Saturday – Game 2 – New Britain 4, Portland 1 Juan Portes had a second good game on this day. In this game, he was 2-2 with a walk. Rene Tosoni was also 2-2 with a walk. Zach Ward made the start for the Rockcats. He threw three no-hit innings. He walked two and struck out two. Frank Mata came in and gave up a run on two hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. He struck out two. Anthony Slama recorded his sixth save with 2.1 no-hit innings. He walked two and struck out three.  


Saturday –Ft. Myers 11, St. Lucie 9 (13 innings)Carlos Gutierrez started this game and gave up four runs in five innings. None of the runs were earned. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out three. David Bromberg entered in relief and gave up three runs (1 earned) on a hit and a walk in just 0.2 innings. Steve Hirschfeld gave up a run on two hits in 1.1 innings. Henry Arias came in and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Kyle Waldrop gave up a run to blow the save, but in all, he went three innings and gave up just the one run. Santos Arias struck one out in his inning. Danny Berg went 3-6. Danny Rams made his first start and it went quite well. He went 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Late in the game, Ben Revere pinch hit for him and stayed in the game. He went 2-2 with a walk. Evan Bigley went 2-5 with two walks and his first double. Steve Singleton was 2-5. Juan Richardson went 2-7, but his two run single in the 13th gave the Miracle the win.     


Saturday – Beloit 5, Peoria 6 Angel Morales keeps giving glimpses that he is ready to bust out. In this game, the young outfielder went 2-3 with a walk and two doubles. Ozzie Lewis went 2-5. Dan Berlind made the start. In six innings, he gave up four hits and one walk while striking out six. Bruce Pugh gave up two runs on two hits and a walk and got just one out. Joe Testa came in and gave up two runs on a hit and a walk in 1.1 innings. He struck out two. Matt Williams allowed the losing runs to score in the 8th. He gave up two hits in 1.1 innings.   

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