After losing all four last night, the Twins minor league teams closed out their week at less than .500 for the first time this season, with a record of 12-13 (57-48).
Dennys Reyes was called up by the Twins after Ruben Sierra was placed on the DL. Following a winter injury to his thumb, Juan Portes was added to the Beloit roster, replacing Yancarlos Ortiz who was returned to Extended Spring Training. Pitchers Chris Schutt and Julio DePaula exchanged spots with Schutt going to Ft. Myers and DePaula moving up to New Britain. Infielder Gil Velazquez moved up to Rochester filling the spot from when Reyes joined the Twins. Ft. Myers released 2005 minor league Rule 5 pick Alexander Farfan who had a 14.81era. He was replaced by Ryan Callahan, who had briefly left the team to return home for his father's funeral. Our best wishes and prayers go out to Ryan and his family during this difficult period. The Miracle placed Angel Garcia on the DL, replacing him with Beloit's top reliever Dan Powers. Ft. Myers also placed outfielder Erold Andrus on the DL. Matt Tolbert was returned to Ft. Myers from New Britain, thus getting New Britain's roster down to the required 23 man limit. In a related matter the minor league umpires negotiating committee agreed to a new agreement, however, the agreement failed to receive approval of the umpires and the strike will continue.
Quote of the Week
Both Terry Ryan and Jim Rantz arrive in Rochester today for a six day stay. Jim Mandelaro of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported, "Wings catcher Shawn Wooten told me tonight that the players won't be extra excited-nervous-pumped up with Ryan/Rantz in attendance. Human nature tells me they may be. I mean, if your boss was looking over your shoulder, wouldn't you turn it up a notch?"
Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (3-4, 16-10, 2nd/-1.5)
The Red Wings won three of their first four this week before being swept by Ottawa and are now in second place...1.5 games behind league leading Scranton. After being swept, it will be interesting to see if the appearance of Rantz and Ryan will get this club back on another winning streak.
Top hitter Josh Rabe was 8 for 29 this week including a double and 3 rbi. Rabe continues to lead the team with a .360Ave. Catcher Chris Heintz has a .354Ave after a 5 for 11 week prior to missing a few games with an injured finger. Outfielder Andres Torres is hitting .339Ave after a 12 for 27 week, including 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and 6 rbi.
Jason Bartlett is hitting .291 following a week of 8 for 28 with 3 doubles and 3 rbi. Jason Kubel is hitting .271 (59ab) after a week of 8 for 31. Terry Tiffee was 9 for 30 with a home run and 7 rbi.
Ace Boof Bonser received no decision in his only start (7.0ip, 2h, 1er and 7K/1BB) and now has a 1.47era and 0.95WHIP. Former top prospect JD Durbin had no decisions in two starts (12.0ip, 9h, 4er and 8K/6BB), lowering his era to 4.24. Reliever Beau Kemp appeared in 3 games (6.2ip, 8h, 1er and 2K/1BB). Closer Pat Neshek got over his two home runs to Scott Thurman with 3 excellent outings including 1 win (6.0ip, 3h, 0er and 12K/3BB). Neshek now has a 2.00era and 36K/7BB in 18.0ip.
New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (3-3, 10-14, 4th/-4.5)
The Rock Cats maintained their 4.5 game deficit behind Portland with their .500 week.
Former first pick Denard Span is hitting .323 after a week of 8 for 28 with 3 runs, a double and stolen base in one attempt. Matt Moses continued his hot play with 11 for 26 including a double, home run and 3 rbi and is now hitting .349Ave/.409OBP/.554SLG. Slugger Danny Matienzo had a great week of 9 for 29 with 2 doubles and 7 rbi, raising his average to .258. Alex Romero's average rose to .256 with a week of 7 for 24 including a double, triple and home run. In the Rock Cat's crowded outfield, Trent Oeltjen didn't get a lot of at bats, however, had a great week of 6 for 12 with a triple and 2 rbi.
Errol Simonitsch had a loss in his two starts (11.0ip, 15h, 6er and 9K/6BB), raising his era to 4.00. Top starter Adam Harben had no decision in his only start (6.1ip, 5h, 0er and 3K/2BB), lowering his era to 0.42 with a 0.98WHIP. Lefty Glen Perkins had no decision in his only start (6.0ip, 4h, 5er and 8K/3BB). Following several difficult starts, Nick Blackburn won his only start of the week (5.0ip, 4h, 1er and 5K/3BB). Reliever Jay Sawatski appeared in 3 games (3.1ip, 1h, 1er and 1K/1BB).
Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi A) (3-4, 16-12, 1st/+1.0)
The Miracle maintained a one game lead over Sarasota.
Infielder Jose Leger was added to their roster a few weeks ago from EST. Leger is hitting .318Ave after a great week of 6 for 12. Top prospect Alexi Casilla is hitting .316Ave following a week of 9 for 24 with a double, 2 rbi and leads the system with 9 stolen bases with 4 steals in 5 attempts this week. First baseman Brock Peterson will be playing more following a week of 7 for 22 with 2 home runs and 3 rbi. Former top pick Trevor Plouffe had a good week defensively with no errors, however, his average continued it's slide to .232.
Anthony Swarzak had a loss in two solid starts (11.0ip, 10h, 4er and 12K/6BB), lowering his era to 3.86. Perhaps the top pitcher in the system this year, Matt Garza won his only start (7.0ip, 3h, 1er and 6K/0BB) and now has a 0.86era and 0.77WHIP. His closest competition for top pitcher is teammate and fellow 2005 pick Kevin Slowey. Kevin, who was the Florida State League's Pitcher of the Week last week, was 1-1 in his two starts (12.0ip, 5h, 1er and 15K/0BB) and now has a 1.53era and 0.65WHIP. Kevin won his start versus Dunedin allowing 2 hits and 0 earned runs on Sunday, then lost yesterday pitching 6 innings with 3 hits, 1 earned run and 10K/0BB. Jose Mijares appeared in 2 games (3.2ip, 5h, 1er and 1K/3BB).
Beloit Snappers (A) (3-2, 15-12, 2nd/-0.5)
Beloit had terrible weather last weekend with 3 rainouts including a double header that included a make up of one of the lost games. This very young team was 3-2 this week and is now in second place a half game behind Kane County.
Erik Lis is now hitting .318 following a great week of 7 for 14 with a double, home run and 3 rbi. Top hitter Caleb Moore was 2 for 12, however, still leads the team with a .325Ave. Power hitting first baseman Henry Sanchez was 4 for 10 with 2 doubles and 3 rbi. Juan Portes joined the team from EST following rehab on his injured thumb. Juan appeared in 4 games with 1 game each at 3B, 2B, LF and DH.
Brian Duensing who is becomming the ace of this staff had no decision in his only start (7.0ip, 9h, 1er and 8K/2BB) and now has a 2.41era and 1.21WHIP. Workhorse Kyle Waldrop won his only start (7.0ip, 3h, 1er and 3K/1BB).
FEATURED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dan Powers was selected in the 8th round of the 2005 draft out of Central Missouri State. After a solid start to his career at Elizabethton, he is becomming one of the organization's better relief pitchers. After allowing only 1 earned run in 21 innings of relief at Beloit, Dan was promoted to Ft. Myers this week when Angel Garcia went on the DL.
2005 Elizabethton 42.2ip 3-3 2.53era 47K/20BB
2006 Beloit 21.0ip 1-0 0.43era 40K/4BB
2006 Ft. Myers 2.0ip 0-0 0.00era 2K/0BB
Questions of the Week
With Jim Rantz and Terry Ryan spending most of the next week in Rochester, are callups likely to follow? Who will be first, Jason Kubel or Jason Bartlett? Or will they take a long look at leading hitter Josh Rabe? As Lohse continues to struggle, will they send Liriano down to Rochester to stretch out as a starter? If so, with two strikeouts per inning are they looking at Pat Neshek as a replacement for the Twins pen? They also will be very interested in seeing Boof Bonser who gets his next start on Sunday.