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E-Twins Clinch Playoff Spot; Rock Cats Getting Closer

28 Aug

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

The Twins lost yet again. They are bad.  Oh yeah, I started with that yesterday. Well, it remains true… The story was different for a couple of the Twins minor league affiliates

ELIZABETHTON TWINS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH

Ray Smith has led his Elizabethton team back to the playoffs in 2011. The E-Twins clinched a playoff spot on Saturday with a 5-3 win over Bluefield. Derek Christensen started and gave up just one run on three hits in six innings. He walked three, hit one and struck out five. Justin Parker and Cole Johnson pitched a scoreless inning each. Corey Williams came in for the ninth, but he gave up a hit and walked a batter before Matt Summers was brought in and got the final three outs. The save was Summers’ sixth of the year, and Christensen improved to 5-2.

The E-Twins box scores have become must-see internet! Whenever the team is playing, it’s almost necessary to watch the box score to see what Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano can do next. On Saturday, Rosario went 3-5 with his eighth triple and his 16th and 17th stolen bases. Sano went 2-4 with a walk and his 18th home run. Max Kepler went 2-4 with a walk. Rory Rhodes went 0-1 with three walks.

NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS WIN LATE AGAIN

The Rock Cats had won with some late inning heroics the previous two games. Could they do it again? The Rock Cats jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Joe Benson’s 15th home run, a two-run blast. They added two, but in the bottom of the fourth, Matt Schuld gave up four runs and the game was tied at four. It remained that way until the top of the seventh inning. The Rock Cats loaded the bases for Chris Parmelee who came up with a big two-run single. On the play, there was also an error that allowed Joe Benson to score from first base. The Rock Cats had a 7-4 lead that they were able to hold on to.

Schuld started and gave up those four run on five hits in four innings. He walked none and struck out three. Bret Jacobson threw two scoreless innings, and the Dakota Watts pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th inning for his second AA save. Chris Herrmann went 2-3. Benson was 1-2 with two walks and that big home run.

Hurricane Irene did affect things. The teams were supposed to play two games (they had moved Sunday’s game to Saturday), but the second game was postponed. Looking at where Trenton is and where New Britain is, I can definitely understand why! The Reading Phillies played two games on Saturday and split which means that the Rock Cats currently have a ½ game lead for the wild card spot. The Rock Cats are 2.5 games back of Harrisburg for the division title.

THE REST STILL MATTER

The Ft. Myers Miracle traveled to Charlotte and swept a double header. In game 1, they won 3-0. Edgar Ibarra started and went five shutout innings. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out five. Matt Hauser struck out three in the final two innings for his seventh save. Angel Morales went 2-4 with his sixth double. Anderson Hidalgo was 1-1 with two walks and his sixth home run.

In Game 2, the Miracle won 6-1. Caleb Thielbar started and threw two scoreless innings despite giving up a hit and walking three. Clinton Dempster gave up one run on four hits over the next two innings. Shooter Hunt threw four shutout innings. He gave up no hits, walked four and struck out four. Dan Rohlfing went 2-4 with his second home run. Aaron Hicks went 2-3 with a walk. James Beresford and Reggie Williams each went 2-4. Oswaldo Arcia went 1-3 with a walk, his 14th double and two RBI.

The GCL Twins beat the GCL Red Sox 3-2. Angel Mata went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five. Josue Montanez gave up one run on two hits and a walk. In two innings, he struck out three. Kyle Wahl improved to 5-1. He gave up one run on three hits in three innings. He walked one and struck out three. The Twins had just five hits. Drew Leachman was 1-2 with a walk. Stephen Wickens walked two.

The Rochester Red Wings fell 4-3 to Stephen Strasburg and Syracuse. The hard-throwing right-hander rehabbing from his Tommy John surgery went five innings. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked none and struck out seven. Andy Baldwin was on the mound for the Red Wings. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out six. Cole DeVries gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in his inning. Kyle Waldrop threw a scoreless inning. Ray Chang went 3-5. Toby Gardenhire went 2-3.

Beloit lost 6-2 to Clinton. Ryan O’Rourke started and gave up four runs on eight hits. In six innings, he walked none and struck out nine. Nelvin Fuentes gave up two unearned runs on two hits and two walks. Michael Tonkin threw a scoreless inning. Jairo Perez went 2-5 with his tenth steal. Lance Ray went 2-3 with a walk and his tenth stolen base. Andy Leer and Tobias Streich each hit a double.

Any thoughts? Comment here.

 

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Twins Minors Playoff Push

27 Aug

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

 

The Twins lost yet again. They are bad. The Rochester Red Wings will lose over 90 games this year. The Ft. Myers Miracle have had a bad second half after nearly winning their division title in the first half. The GCL Twins are in second place, but will not make the playoffs in the Gulf Coast League. The Beloit Snappers were competing for a Wild Card spot in the Midwest League until their recent losing streak. However, there are two Twins affiliates that do have a chance to make their league’s playoffs.

ELIZABETHTON TWINS

As they do pretty much every year, the E-Twins will most likely make the playoffs again this year. In fact, it is possibly that the team could clinch a spot today. They will finish in second place behind Johnson City, but the E-Twins are playing really well right now. They are being led by Appalachian League co-MVP Eddie Rosario, who has hit eight home runs in the team’s last ten games.

On Thursday, the E-Twins beat Bluefield (the team they could play in the first round of the playoffs) by a score of 17-8. Rosario went 3-5 with a walk and his 18th and 19th home runs. Matt Koch went 3-6 with his fourth and fifth doubles, his second home run and four RBI. AJ Pettersen went 3-4 with two walks. Niko Goodrum was 3-5. Miguel Sano went 2-6. Tyler Koelling went 2-4 with a walk. JD Williams was 2-6 with his third home run. Tyler Jones made his first start and gave up six runs on six hits and two walks in three innings. David Hurlbut came in and gave up just one run on five hits and a walk in five innings. Corey Williams finished the game.

On Friday, the E-Twins picked up an 11-4 win over Bluefield, who decided it wouldn’t let Rosario beat them. He went 0-1 before being walked the next four times he came to the plate, twice intentionally. Miguel Sano made them pay for it. He was 2-5 with his seventh triple, 17th home run and five RBI. Nick Lockwood went 3-5 with a walk and his 11th and 12th doubles. Jairo Rodriguez was 3-5. Niko Goodrum went 2-4 with a walk, his 10th double and eighth stolen base. Max Kepler was 2-4 with a walk. JD Williams was 2-5 with his 11th double. Tim Shibuya, the Appalachian League’s Pitcher of the Year started and gave up just one run on three hits and a walk in six innings. He left with a 4-1 lead, in line for his 9th win. However, Steven Gruver gave up three runs in the seventh inning to create a 4-4 tie. He got two outs in the 8th inning before Steve Evans came in and got the final four outs.

Eddie Rosario is now hitting .317/.384/.635 (1.018 OPS) with nine doubles, seven triples, 19 home runs and 54 RBI. He also has 15 stolen bases, and he plays an incredible centerfield. In his last ten games, he is hitting. 417/.553/1.139 (1.692 OPS) with one triple, eight home runs and 16 RBI. He also has 11 walks with just six strikeouts. Over the same period, Miguel Sano is hitting .318/.388/.659 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 16 RBI. In his last ten games, Niko Goodrum is hitting .459/.545/.649 (1.194 OPS) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and seven walks.  

NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS

Over the last two days the Rock Cats have made up two games in the standing and currently are tied with Reading for a wild card spot in the Eastern League playoffs.

On Thursday night, the Rock Casts grabbed an early 9-2 lead through seven innings when the game was delayed by rain. When they came back, Trenton scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 9-8. However, in the top of the 9th, Chris Cates came through with a two-run single to score Yangervis Solarte and Joe Benson and give the Rock Cats some insurance and an 11-8 win. Spencer Steedley started and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in five innings. Steve Hirschfeld gave up just one hit over two scoreless innings and struck out three. Michael Tarsi came in for the 8th inning and faced five batters. He gave up three hits, and he and Cates each commented an error before Dakota Watts came in. Tarsi was charged with five runs (2 earned). Watts got two outs but gave up another run. Tyler Robertson came in and gave up another hit and walk in the 8th but got out of that inning with the one run lead. He then got all three outs in the 9th for his 16th save. Chris Herrmann went 3-4 with his seventh home run and four RBI. Brian Dozier was 2-5 with his sixth double. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with his 26th double. Evan Bigley was 2-5.

On Friday night, Andrew Albers gave the Rock Cats a chance to win. The lefty started and went the first six innings. He gave up one run on seven hits. Deolis Guerra came in for the 7th inning and gave up a run. So, the Rock Cats were down 2-1, a deficit they faced until the top of the 9th. However, with two runners on, Joe Benson hit a triple that gave the Rock Cats a 3-2 lead. Chris Parmelee came up next and singled in Benson for the 4-2 lead. Deolis Guerra went three innings and gave up just that one run. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out six for the Win. Benson was 1-3 with two walks and that big triple. Yangervis Solarte had two hits. Brian Dozier went 3-4.

The Rock Cats were to play two more games in Trenton over the weekend. However, they decided to move Sunday’s game to Saturday and play a double header. Of course, Hurricane Irene may have something to say about that as they have called a state of emergency in New Jersey for today.

THE REST STILL MATTERS

Hey, just because your favorite team or teams may not be in the playoff hunt doesn’t mean that we stop watching them, right? I mean, who wants to be a fair-weather fan!? Even in bad seasons and bad games, good things can happen.

For instance, the Rochester Red Wings played a double header on Friday against Syracuse, and they threw two of the organization’s best pitching prospects. In the first game, Liam Hendriks (who I expect to make a start for the Twins within the next eight to ten days) started and threw six shutout innings. He allowed five hits, walked none and struck out five. Jim Hoey then pitched a perfect seventh for his 8th save. Sure, the Red Wings managed just three hits, but one of them was a big, two-run home run off the bat of Aaron Bates (his fifth).

In the second game, Tom Stuifbergen made his AAA debut. Not wanting to mess with the New Britain playoff hopes, the Red Wings called down to Ft. Myers and Stuifbergen was summoned. He gave up two runs in the first inning, and that was it. The Dutch right-hander gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits in five innings for his first AAA win. He walked none and struck out five. Chuck James came in and got the final six outs for his first save. He walked three and struck out four. Jair Fernandez went 2-3 with his fifth double and first stolen base. Jeff Bailey was 2-2. Dustin Martin drove in two runs.

The GCL Twins lost 6-1 to the GCL Red Sox. Hung-yi Chen started and gave up five runs (4 earned) on seven hits in 1.2 innings. Ricardo Arevalo came in and gave up only an unearned run on two hits in 3.1 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Nick Cicio threw three one-hit, no-run innings. The Twins managed just five hits. Dereck Rodriguez went 2-3 with a walk.

The Ft. Myers Miracle got a nice start from Pat Dean and the offense for a 6-3 win over Charlotte. Dean gave up two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He walked none and struck out five. Ricky Bowen then gave up one run on three hits and a walk in two innings. He struck out three. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-4. Dan Rohlfing went 1-2 with two walks. Reggie Williams was 1-2 with two walks and his first triple. Angel Morales hit his second home run, and Danny Rams hit his 15th double and drove in three runs.

Beloit got a terrific start and some power in their 6-3 win over Burlington. Pedro Guerra started and gave up only an unearned run on four hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out 11. In his 20 innings with the Snappers, he has nine walks and 34 strikeouts! Bart Carter then struck out two in two scoreless innings. Jose Gonzalez struck out three in his one-hit inning. Madison Boer then gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in his inning. He struck out two. Lance Ray went 2-4 with his 33rd and 34th doubles. Nate Roberts was 1-3 with his fourth home run. Andy Leer was 1-2 with a walk and his third home run.  

Care to share any thoughts? Comment here.

Twins Minor League Update

25 Jun

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

I was driving on Thursday night, so here is a quick minor league update for you of the last couple of days in the Twins minor leagues, starting with an injury update:

  • Jeff Manship is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon in the GCL after missing the last month with a shoulder injury.
  • Ray Chang continues to improve, but is still at least a month out after suffering his broken fibula.
  • There is no time table yet for a return for Jeremy Reed from a lower back injury.
  • Brandon Roberts started his rehab assignment on Thursday in the GCL and played on Friday as well. See how well he did down below.
  • David Bromberg is feeling very well but is likely still about a month from returning from breaking his ulna.
  • Spencer Steedley’s elbow has again kept him out of action and there is no time table yet for his return.
  • Allan de San Miguel also was having elbow issues. He is in Ft. Myers rehabbing and is still a few weeks out.
  • Joe Benson had his knee scoped earlier this month and is probably a week to ten days away from a return.
  • Paul Bargas is at his home undergoing treatments for his cancer. He continues to make progress. This ‘injury’ is obviously much, much different than any of the others.
  • Miguel Munoz continues to rehab his elbow and is at least a month from a return.
  • Dan Osterbrock’s shoulder continues to be an issue with no time table for return at this time.
  • Still no time table on Paul Kelly’s return after surgery in April to remove a blood clot from his shoulder area.
  • Oswaldo Arcia started his rehab and played right field after having arthroscopic surgery on his elbow in early May.
  • Angel Morales had the same elbow procedure done in early June, so he is several weeks away from a return.

Twins 33rd round pick Stephen Wickens is signed and ready to play, but visa issues currently have him waiting up in Canada. The shortstop went to school at Florida Gulf Coast University.

And another exciting piece of news for Twins fans is that 2009 supplemental first round pick Matt Bashore is on the Elizabethton roster. He has been working throughout spring training to return from two arm surgeries, including Tommy John surgery over the past 22 months. He has made two appearances for Elizabethton. He is touching 90 mph again, which is certainly a positive. The Twins will definitely be monitoring his every step and his innings throughout the season.

Now that North Carolina and Vanderbilt have been eliminated from the College World Series, the Twins are free to negotiate with 1st round pick Levi Michael and 3rd round pick Corey Williams, just like any other draft picks.

If you have other Twins minor league questions, please feel free to ask, or discuss in the comments section.

Rochester Red Wings

The Red Wings lost a 7-2 decision on Thursday to Charlotte. Eric Hacker started and gave up two runs on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six. Carlos Gutierrez and Kyle Waldrop each threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout. Anthony Slama then struck out two in his perfect ninth. Dustin Martin led off and went 2-4 with a walk and his sixth homer. Jeff Bailey went 2-4 with his second triple. Aaron Bates and Toby Gardenhire each went 2-4.

On Friday night, the Red Wings and Syracuse played just three innings before the game was suspended. The Red Wings were already down 8-1. Ryan Mullins went just 2.1 innings and gave up seven runs on seven hits and a walk.

Following the Twins 4-3 loss on Friday night to the Brewers, the Twins activated Jim Thome and sent Rene Tosoni back to the Red Wings.

New Britain Rock Cats

The Rock Cats game against Bowie was postponed by rain for the second straight day on Thursday. On Friday, the team played against Trenton. Bobby Lanigan started and gave up just one run on five hits. In eight innings, he walked two and struckout nine. Deibinson Romero was 2-4. Mark Dolenc and Dan Rohlfing each knocked a double. And the Rock Cats won 3-2. 

Ft. Myers Miracle

On Thursday night, the Miracle lost 6-5 to Bradenton in 14 innings to start the second half of their season. Logan Darnell started and gave up two runs on four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out two. Shooter Hunt came in and faced five batters. He gave up two runs on a home run and four walks without recording an out. Matt Hauser came in and gave up one run on two hits. He walked none and struck out four. Matt Tone walked two and struck out three in two scoreless frames. Edgar Ibarra threw two shutout innings before allowing a run in the 14th. Nick Romero went 2-6 with his 12th double. Six other Miracle hitters had one hit in the long game.

On Friday, the Miracle fell 16-5 to Bradenton. Aaron Hicks went 2-4 with a walk and his 18th and 19th home runs. Anderson Hidalgo went 2-5 with his 16th double. Ricky Bowen started and gave up nine runs on nine hits and a walk before being ejected after hitting his second batter of the third inning. Andrew Albers replaced him and  gave up two unearned runs on four hits in 3.1 innings. Shooter Hunt came in and gave up five earned runs on one hit and seven walks in 0.2 innings. Steve Liddle came to the mound and went the final 1.1 innings. He gave up no runs on one hit and one walk. He even struck one out.

Beloit Snappers

The second half of the Snappers season started on Friday night with a 3-2 win over Cedar Rapids on a walk-off squeeze bunt. Ryan O’Rourke started and was terrific again. The left-hander gave up one run on four hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out nine. Manuel Soliman then struck out three in two one-hit innings. Clinton Dempster worked a scoreless innings. Jose Gonzalez gave up a game-tying solo homer in the top of the ninth. After singles by Lance Ray and Tobias Streich, Ray scored on a bunt by Daniel Santana to win the game. Nate Roberts went 2-3 with his first home run of the season. He was also hit by a pitch for the 22nd time this year.

Again, the Snappers are hosting a Twins-related weekend in Beloit with lots of activities involving the Twins who are just down the road in Milwaukee. If you have a chance, head on over and catch a Snappers game and enjoy some of the festivities.   

Elizabethton Twins

On Thursday night, the E-Twins scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to capture a 6-5 win over Bluefield. Nick Lockwood hit a game-tying single before Kennys Vargas drove in the game winner. Jhonatan Arias went 2-3 with his first homer. Roy Larson went 2-4. Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario each went 2-5. Rosario also recorded outfield assists, throwing out runners at third base and home. Cesar Ciurcina started and gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 3.2 innings. He struck out five. Sam Spangler threw 2.1 scoreless innings. Nick Alloway then walked two and gave up one hit but no runs in 0.2 innings. Corey Kimes gave up two walks and a hit in 1.1 innings. Madison Boer made his season-debut with a scoreless, two strikeout ninth.

On Friday night, the E-Twins topped Burlington 8-7. David Hurlbut gave up three runs on three hits in four innings. He walked two and struckout four. Garrett Jewell worked a perfect fifth. Matt Bashore gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in his inning. Bart Carter struckout five in two innings. He gave up one run on three hits. Steven Evans gave up an unearned run on two walks in his two innings. Matej Hejma went 3-4 with a walk. Kennys Vargas was 2-4 with a walk. Miguel Sano and Tyler Koelling each had two hits. AJ Pettersen went 0-2 with three walks and a stolen base.

GCL Twins

The GCL Twins lost 9-2 on Thursday to the Rays. Brandon Roberts made his first rehab appearance and went 2-2. Aderlin Mejia was 2-4. Bobby O’Neill went the first 3.2 innings and gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits. He walked two and struck out three. Nick Cicio also gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits, but in just 1.1 innings. Tyler Herr then struck out two in two scoreless innings. Luis Nunez gave up three runs on five hits in two innings.

Hung-Yi Chen, an 18 year old from Taiwan, made his debut and threw four shutout innings. He gave up just two hits, walked none and struckout six. Cole Johnson threw two scoreless innings. Marcus Limon then gave up a solo home run over his two innings. Matthew Tomshaw struck out two in a perfect ninth of the GCL Twins’ 10-1 win over the GCL Red Sox. Along with Chen’s performance, the big news in this game was the first rehab appearance for Oswaldo Arcia. He batted third and played right field. He was 3-4 with a triple. Aderlin Mejia went 2-3 with a walk. Wander Guillen went 2-4. Brandon Roberts was 1-3 with a walk.     

Any other thoughts or questions on the Twins minor leaguers? Feel free to comment here.

Twins Minor League Weekend

20 Jun

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Here are some notes from the Twins Minor League Weekend. Be sure to join Travis Aune and myself at 10:00 tonight for a new Twins Minor League Weekly. On Monday, the GCL Twins started. On Tuesday, the Elizabethton Twins will play their first game of the season. Here are notes from all four full-season affiliates and short-season notes and rosters.

Rochester Red Wings

On Friday, the Wings won 7-4 over Indianapolis. Andy Baldwin gave up one run on five hits and two walks in six innings. Carlos Gutierrez struck out three in two scoreless innings. Dusty Hughes gave up three runs on four hits in 0.2 innings. Anthony Slama got the final four outs. Aaron Bates went 3-4 with his eighth double. Chase Lambin was 2-2.

On Saturday, the two teams played two games. In the first, the Red Wings lots 7-5. Chase Lambin went 3-4. Steve Holm went 2-3 with a walk and his third and fourth doubles. Dustin Martin went 2-5 with his ninth double. Michael Holliman went 2-4. Trevor Plouffe went 2-4 with a walk, his fifth double and his seventh home run. Eric Hacker gave up five runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks in five innings. Kyle Waldrop gave up two unearned runs on three hits. Chuck James went two scoreless innings.

In the second game, Plouffe again led the offense. He went 3-5 with his sixth doubles, second triple and eighth home run. Steve Holm went 2-4 with his first home. Brian Dinkelman went 2-3 with two walks. Steve Singleton went 2-5. Jeff Bailey hit his fifth home run. Jake Stevens gave up three runs on six hits in 2.2 innings. Cole DeVries gave up one run on five hits in 3.1 innings. Joe Nathan struck out two in a scoreless inning. Carlos Gutierrez then gave up three runs (1 earned) on one hit and a walk in 0.1 innings. Anthony Slama went 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk.

And on Sunday the Red Wings lots 8-3. Trevor Plouffe continued a torrid stretch, going 3-4. Toby Gardenhire went 2-4. Ryan Mullins gave up six runs on 11 hits and two walks in four innings. Dusty Hughes struck out two in two scoreless innings. Kyle Waldrop threw two scoreless frames, allowing two hits. Chuck James then gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in his inning.

Again, be sure to bid on the game-used Red Wings uniforms from this weekend. All proceeds from the auctions will go to terrific causes.

New Britain Rock Cats

Brett  Jacobson was the story for the Rock Cats on Friday night. New Britain beat Reading 6-0 behind the right arm of Jacobson. He threw nine shutout innings, allowing just three hits, walking one and striking out eight to improve to 3-0 with a 1.92 ERA. Mark Dolenc went 3-4 with a walk and his 11th stolen base. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with a walk and his 11th double. Nate Hanson was 2-5 with his second double.  

On Saturday, the Rock Cats topped Reading 2-1. Dennis Suarez started and was terrific again. He went six shutout innings. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out four. Deolis Guerra came in and struck out five in two scoreless innings. Tyler Robertson gave up one run on two hits in 0.2 innings. Bruce Pugh came in to get the final out, a strikeout, for his third save. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with his 12th and 13th doubles. Chris Parmelee and Yangervis Solarte were each 2-4. Evan Bigley knocked his fifth home run.

On Sunday, the Rock Cats completed the sweep of Reading with a 5-3 win. Steve Hirschfeld went 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out seven. Mike Tarsi gave up two hits in 1.1 scoreless innings. Bruce Pugh gave up one run on two hits and a walk in two innings, but he recorded his fourth save. Chris Parmelee went 2-5 with his fifth home run. Chris Herrmann went 1-2 with three walks. Yangervis Solarte went 2-4. Mark Dolenc tripled, his third. Chris Cates and Dan Rohlfing each hit a double.

Be sure to check out Travis’s blog on Twins pitching prospect Liam Hendriks.

Ft. Myers Miracle

The Florida State League hosted its All Star game in Clearwater on Saturday night. Danny Rams caught a couple of innings and went 0-1. Dakota Watts came in and faced two batters. He got both out, one of them on a strikeout. The Miracle play three more games, starting tonight, before the start of the 2nd half of the season.

Beloit Snappers

The Snappers are finishing out their first half. On Friday night, they lost 5-4 in 11 innings to Burlington. Pat Dean started and gave up two runs on five hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out six. Nelvin Fuentes gave up a run in his inning, although he struck out two. Jose Gonzalez gave up only an unearned run in his three innings. Blayne Weller started the bottom of the 11th and gave up a leadoff, walk off home run. Kyle Knudson went 2-4 with his third double. Wang Wei Lin and Jairo Perez each went 2-5. Perez stole two bases.

On Saturday, the Snappers beat Burlington 7-4. Michael Gonzales (who really should be promoted to the Miracle following the Midwest League All-Star game) went 4-5 with a stolen base. Jairo Perez went 2-5 with his third and fourth steals. Wang-Wei Lin went 2-5. Danny Ortiz knocked his 24th double. AJ Achter got the win. He gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Andrei Lobanov gave up three runs on four hits in his inning. Michael Tonkin recorded his second save with a scoreless ninth.

On Sunday, the Snappers got the series win with a 5-1 decision over Burlington. Manuel Soliman gave up one run on four hits and three walks in six innings. He was followed by scoreless frames from Ryan O’Rourke, Ben Tootle and Nelvin Fuentes. Daniel Santana went 3-4. Nate Roberts went 2-4 with his second triple. Danny Ortiz was 2-3 with a walk. Jairo Perez went 2-4.

The Snappers are off tonight. The All Star game is on Tuesday night.

Elizabethton Twins

The Appalachian League gets started on Tuesday night. On Sunday evening, the team and their bus finally arrived in Elizabethton despite some issues well chronicled by Todd Van Steensel.

ROSTER:

  • Pitchers: Nick Alloway, Matt Bashore, Madisor Boer, Bart Carter, Derek Christensen, Cesar Ciurcina, Steven Evans, Steven Gruver, Pedro Guerra, David Hurlbut, Garrett Jewell, Corey Kimes, Justin Parker, Tim Shibuya, Sam Spangler, Todd Van Steensel.
  • Catchers: Jhonatan Arias, Matt Parker
  • Infielders: Niko Goodrum, Roy Larson, Nick Lockwood, AJ Pettersen, Rory Rhodes, Miguel Sano, Kennys Vargas
  • Outfielders: Matej Hejma, Brandon Henderson, Max Kepler, Tyler Koelling, Eddie Rosario, JaDamion Williams

GCL Twins

The Gulf Coast League got started on Monday afternoon. The GCL Twins started with a 2-1 win over the GCL Orioles. Nothing like starting the season with a walk-off. Tied 1-1 going to the bottom of the 9th, Kelvin Silvania doubled. With two outs, 37th round draft pick Drew Leachman singled him in with the winning run. Ricardo Arevalo got the start. He went five innings and gave up an unearned run on three hits, walked three and struck out five. Tyler Herr followed with two scoreless innings. Luis Nunez gets the win. He threw two scoreless innings as well.

ROSTER:

  • Pitchers: Ricardo Arevalo, Tim Atherton, Hung Yi Chen, Nick Cicio, Nathan Fawbush, Tyler Herr, Cole Johnson, John Krogstad, Marcus Limon, Angel Mata, Luis Nunez, Bobby O’Neill, Hein Robb, Markus Solbach, Matthew Tomshaw, Mark Trau, Kyle Wahl.
  • Catchers: Phillip Chapman, Kelly Cross, Michael Quesada, Jairo Rodriguez
  • Infielders: Wander Guillen, Josh Hendricks, Aderlin Mejia, Jorge Polanco, Kelvin Silvania, Stephen Wickens, Jacob Younis
  • Outfielders: Drew Leachman, Kelvin Mention (DL), Kelvin Ortiz, Candido Pimentel.

Any other thoughts or questions on the Twins minor leaguers? Feel free to comment here.

Twins Podcast and Minor League Updates

11 May

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

The Twins lost 10-2 on Tuesday night to the Detroit Tigers. They had a 64 minute rain delay that turned into a hail delay.  The best part of the night was the first Major League home run by Rene Tosoni. There will be many.more. The next-best thing was watching Alexi Casilla and Luke Hughes and Trevor Plouffe and other players trying to catch the hail. Casilla said he had never seen anything like it. Those clouds were scary and tornado watches were all over the Twin Cities metro, but they did push through and finish the game.

Frankly, it has become difficult to write about the Twins because it’s the same story every day. It’s the same story. Too many guys are injured. Too many other guys are struggling. Some of the guys playing would normally only play once a week and now they’re playing 5-6 times a week. Other guys are close but not quite ready yet but are being pushed. The hitting is bad. The defense is questionable at times. The pitching is sporadic. But I will continue to do so, trying to find positives in all the negative. Have I given up? Not at all. Like I’ve said, get the full lineup together for awhile and see what happens. When will that happen? Who knows?! Will it be too late? I hope not, but maybe. Either way, I’m going to enjoy the 162 game schedule even if a handful of readers want to do everything in their power to make it bigger than it is. There’s always something good, and right now, that is Jason Kubel.

Last night’s SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast was a lot of fun. I was joined by Donna Shell to start the show. She lives in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and during the Appalachian League season, she and her husband are host-parents for some of the Elizabethton Twins. Last year, she housed Adrian Salcedo, Martire Garcia, Manuel Soliman, Oswaldo Arcia and Danny Ortiz. She’s been doing this for the past four years, so it was interesting to hear from her. Later, our friend Hugo called and we discussed Twins-related topics for the next 10-15 minutes. So, all-in-all, it was a really fun show. Check it out here.   

Minor League Notes

It wasn’t a very good day for most of the Tw

Monday SethSpeaks.net Minor League Hitter of the DayMatt Brown, Rochester Red Wings 

Monday SethSpeaks.net Minor League Pitcher of the DayMatt Schuld, Ft. Myers Miracle

Tuesday SethSpeaks.net Minor League Hitter of the DayAaron Bates, Rochester Red Wings 

Tuesday SethSpeaks.net Minor League Pitcher of the DayAnthony Swarzak, Rochester Red Wings

Red Wings Ramblings

Monday – Red Wings 7, Louisville 6 (18 innings) – The game was much anticipated because the Red Wings were going to get to face former NL Rookie of the Year Dontrelle Willis. Willis went 5.2 innings and gave up five runs (3 earned) on eight hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. He struck out five. In an 18 inning game, you would expect that a lot of pitchers would get used, and they were. Andy Baldwin started and gave up four runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. Kyle Waldrop gave up two runs in two innings. Phil Dumatrait got the final two outs of the 8th inning. Anthony Slama struck out two in two scoreless innings. Dusty Hughes threw two scoreless innings. Carlos Gutierrez didn’t allow a run in his three innings. Yorman Bazardo struck out three in his two scoreless innings. Chuck James got the win after throwing a scoreless top of the 18th. Matt Brown went 3-8 with a doubles and his third home run. Brian Dinkelman went 3-8 with a walk. Dustin Martin was 3-7 with a walk. Jeff Bailey went 2-6 with two walks in a triple. Ray Chang went 2-8 and drove in the game-winning run with a single.

Tuesday – Red Wings 8, Louisville 1 – After such a long game the night before, Anthony Swarzak provided the Red Wings with exactly what they needed. The right-hander gave the team 6.2 innings. He gave up just one run on seven this and a walk while striking out five. Jeff Manship went 2.1 scoreless innings to finish the game and allow all those that pitched on Monday to rest on Tuesday. Aaron Bates was signed this weekend, and he debuted with the Red Wings in this game. He went 3-4 with a walk and his first home run. Danny Lehmann went 3-4. 

Rock Cats Report

Monday – Rock Cats 8, Binghamton 5 – Brett Jacobson made his first start of the year for the Rock Cats. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. Spencer Steedley got the win. He gave up a run on four hits in three innings. Cole DeVries gave up two runs, his first two earned runs of the season. He struck out four in two innings. Chris Parmelee and Deibinson Romero went 3-5. Evan Bigley went 2-4 with a walk and his eighth double. Chris Cates went 1-2 with two walks.

Tuesday – Rock Cats 2, Binghamton 5 – Steve Hirschfeld took a no-hitter into the 5th inning, and gave up just one hit through six innings. He gave up two runs in the 7th before being replaced by Jake Stevens who gave up three runs in the 8th. The Rock Cats managed just five hits.   

Miracle Matters

Monday – Miracle 5, Jupiter 3 – Matt Schuld improved to 2-0 with five shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked two and struckout three. Matt Tone gave up a run in two innings. Jhon Garcia gave up two runs on two hits and three walks in 1.1 innings. Dakota Watts came in and got the final two outs. Aaron Hicks went 2-5 with his fourth double. Nick Romero went 2-5. Josmil Pinto and Brian Dozier each hit a double.

Tuesday – Miracle 2, Dunedin 6 – Kane Holbrooks saw his ERA increase to 2.21 on the season when he gave up three runs (2 earned) on seven hits and three walks in five innings. Blake Martin gave up two hits in two scoreless innings. Bruce Pugh then gave up three runs (1 earned) on three hits in his two innings. He struck out four. Danny Rams continues to hit well! He was 2-3 with a walk and his second home run. Brian Dozier was 2-3 with his seventh double. Aaron Hicks was 2-5.   

Snappers Bites

Monday – Snappers 5, Cedar Rapids 4 (10 innings) – Adrian Salcedo started and gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. He struck out four. His ERA for the season dropped to 2.50. In this game, he got 13 groundball outs to just one fly ball out. Clinton Dempster went the next 2.2 innings and did not give up a run. Matt Hauser pitched a scoreless inning for his fifth save. Nate Roberts went 3-4 with two stolen bases. Wang-Wei Lin went 3-4. Michael Gonzales went 2-4. Lance Ray was 2-5. Daniel Santana hit his second home run. 

Tuesday – Snappers 4, Cedar Rapids 8 – The Andrei Lobanov as a starter experiment has not gone terribly well. After dominating at each level up to Ft. Myers the last couple of years, he has struggled as a starter in Beloit. In this game, he gave up six runs (3 earned) on nine hits and a walk in just 3.2 innings. Martire Garcia came in and gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in three innings. Michael Tonkin struck out three of the four batters he got out. Danny Ortiz went 3-5 with his seventh home run. Danny Santana hit his third home run, his second in as many days.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

Roster Projections: Beloit Snappers

26 Mar

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Before we jump into my Beloit Snappers (Twins Low-A affiliate) roster projection, here are a couple of quick updates:

  • Last night was one of my favorite episodes of The Show.
  1. The first guest was Twins prospect Trayvone Johnson. This was one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done. The 2009 draft pick was selected as a catcher, but he has been moved to the mound. He was drafted out of high school, and explained why he had not played organized baseball for three years before the Twins drafted him last June. He is just a really good guy and I was very happy with the interview.
  2. Next, JJ Stankevitz from the White Sox Examiner came on and we talked about the White Sox. We spent time talking about their starting rotation. I also asked for his thoughts on Gordon Beckham and how his name keeps popping up in rumors about Adrian Gonzalez. I asked for his thoughts on Carlos Quentin, Alex Rios, Paul Konerko, AJ Pierzynski, Bobby Jenks and more.  
  3. Finally, Twins 17-year-old outfield prospect Max Kepler spent about 15 minutes answering questions. He is currently sidelined by some tendonitis in his shoulder, but talked about how his first spring training is going. We talked about his early baseball days in Germany and the reasons he signed with the Twins. He corrected me on some German pronunciations. It was a lot of fun.  So be sure to listen to The Show.
  4. We also noted that the planned time for The Show throughout the season will be 9 p.m. central time on Sunday nights. I think it’s a good time. Generally, the Twins will play Sunday afternoon games (with a couple of exceptions). They will have ended a weekend series and will be about to start a new series. Hopefully that will mean more major league and minor league interviews can be done. Although I am working on adding other guests, Pat Neshek has already confirmed that he will be on The Show

 

The Beloit Snappers’ season also begins on April 8th with a road series at Cedar Rapids. Starting on April 11th, the Snappers begin their home schedule with games against Peoria. The Snappers will be again managed this year by Nelson Prada. Tommy Watkins begins his full-time coaching career as the Snappers hitting coach.

So here are my thoughts on the 2010 Opening Day roster of the Beloit Snappers:

The Hitters

  Beloit
C Tobias Streich
1B Michael Gonzales
2B Derek McCallum
3B Anderson Hidalgo
SS Brian Dozier
LF Chris Herrmann ( C)
CF Aaron Hicks
RF Steve Liddle
DH Josmil Pinto
Bu C Buddy Munroe
Bu IF Matt Gaski
Bu OF Reggie Williams
Bench Jonathan Goncalves
DL (Dan Rohlfing)
  (Adan Severino)

Analysis: The Twins have some quality catching depth in these low levels. In fact, yesterday I pushed Danny Rams up to Ft. Myers, in part, due to the number of catchers that could (or should) be in Beloit. Tobias Streich was the best defensive catcher in the 2009 draft, so he should be here. Buddy Munroe was drafted last year as well and is another defensive catcher. Josmil Pinto has a very strong arm, but he is not known for his defense. However, he has a tremendous bat. Chris Herrmann was drafted as a catcher last year, but he played only outfield in 2009. He moved to catcher in Instructional league, but with his bat, he needs to be in Beloit and needs to be in the lineup. I think that Aaron Hicks will go back to Beloit for at least six weeks. Steve Liddle signed quite late last year, but he’s an advanced hitter, from Vanderbilt, and should play here. The infield has some quality prospects as well. Michael Gonzales is a large man, but he can hit. He had a strong run last year for a few weeks at Elizabethton. Former Gopher standout Derek McCallum will be the primary second baseman. Fellow 2009 draftee Brian Dozier will play a lot at shortstop. Anderson Hidalgo will be at 3B. Reggie Williams is likely to play a lot, but he is a tremendous athlete and should be able to play the infield and outfield positions and be in the lineup most days. Matt Gaski is about the glove. Jonathan Goncalves is another solid athlete who will get plenty of playing time in the outfield. Its’ hard to find a place for Dan Rohlfing even after he was moved to the outfield from behind the plate last year. Also, Adan Severino was hurt most of 2009, so this will be a big year for him.    

The Pitchers

 

  Beloit
SP Liam Hendriks
SP Tom Stuifbergen
SP Edgar Ibarra
SP Miguel Munoz
SP Brad Stillings
   
CL Zach See
8L Nelvin Fuentes
8R Dakota Watts
BP Matt Tone
BP Kane Holbrooks
BP Ben Tootle
BP Tony Davis
   
  (Matt Bashore)
  (Shooter Hunt)
  (Brian Kirwan)

 

 

Analysis: This gets a little bit tricky here. There are still a lot of good pitching prospects, but here are my thoughts. Liam Hendriks missed all of 2008 and last year started with Elizabethton before moving up to Beloit. I think he starts here again, but he could move up quickly. Tom Stuifbergen just knows how to pitch. He’s still very young, but he will do well. He was E-town’s top pitcher last season. However, toward the end of the year, Edgar Ibarra certainly put himself into consideration as well. Miguel Munoz is up and down, but he is probably the hardest thrower and working on other pitches. Brad Stillings was selected in 2009 and started with E-Town. He came up to Beloit but pitched out of the bullpen, so I would suspect that he will be a starter here to start the season at least.

Zach See signed as an undrafted free agent last year and pitched very well, good strikeout numbers. The three lefties that I have on this roster are all capable of dominating. Nelvin Fuentes also missed all of 2008. He pitched well in 2009, especially for Puerto Rico in the World Cup. Matt Tone and Tony Davis were both drafted in 2009. Tone dominated Appy League hitters. At one point, he went over 15 innings without giving up a hit, and over 18 innings without allowing a run. Tony Davis played for a couple of teams, but he ended the season on the New Britain playoff roster. Ben Tootle, when healthy, can approach 100 mph with his fastball. That’s how you get drafted in the third round. Hopefully he is fully healthy and strong in 2010. Dakota Watts was drafted in 2009 as well and played for three affiliates. Kane Holbrooks was a college All-American last year and the Twins got him after the 20th round. He had always started but feels that he is probably better suited for relief work.

If Matt Bashore is healthy, he will definitely be starting somewhere, maybe even in Ft. Myers. It’s hard to tell what the Twins will do with Shooter Hunt. And Brian Kirwan will be back after missing all of 2009 with shoulder surgery.

So, who isn’t here? Who did I not put on a full-season roster?

Those top three pitchers at the GCL last year will probably all have a chance to pitch for Beloit at some point this season. On Tuesday night’s podcast, Adam Foster said that Adrian Salcedo was turning eyes. The 18 year old was hitting 93 mph with a sharp curveball and a very good changeup. BJ Hermsen also put up silly numbers last year in the GCL. Blayne Weller often gets overlooked because of those first two, but his numbers are right on par. All three could be with the Snappers by June, and if any of them go to Elizabethton, I would consider them favorites for Appy League Pitcher of the Year. Michael Tonkin is likely going to E-town, and I think that Martire Garcia may repeat at E-Town. Relief Pitcher Andrei Lobanov had an incredible 2009 in the GCL as well (1 BB, 35 K in 22 IP!), but I think he will go to E-Town too.

The young’ns (Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler) will all likely play for the GCL Twins. Sano and Polanco may go to the Dominican Summer League and play during Extended Spring Training.

ELIZABETHTON

It’s impossible to project the Elizabethton or GCL Twins rosters because they will also contain players drafted in the 2010 draft. The college draftees will mainly play in E-Town. But just to try to send a reminder of some of the other players in the Twins system, here are some Elizabethton “projections.”

  Elizabethton
C Jhonatan Arias
1B Kennys Vargas
2B Daniel Santana
3B Rory Rhodes
SS Jairo Perez
LF Matej Hejma
CF Oswaldo Arcia
RF Daniel Ortiz
DH Wang-Wei Lin
Bu C Nick Freitas
Bu IF Hyeon-rok Choi
Bu OF Brian Bistagne
Bench Fred Hanvi
   
  Elizabethton
SP Martire Garcia
SP BJ Hermsen
SP Adrian Salcedo
SP Blayne Weller
SP Michael Tonkin
   
CL Andrei Lobanov
8L Jose Gonzalez
8R Jan Rehacek
BP Peter Kennelly
BP Jhon Garcia
BP Jean Mijares
BP Eliecer Cardenas
BP Trayvone Johnson

I hope everyone has enjoyed this series of Roster Projections. Of course, I don’t have any inside information into these rosters, so they are just what they are, projections. I like to think that they may be fairly close, but we shall see in less than two weeks.            

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