After a couple weeks of playing .500 ball, the system took a big step forward this week with Beloit leading the way with a 6-1 record. The four full-season teams had a 19-10 record while no teams had losing records.
As the Twins saw their bullpen decimated with injuries, there again was a lot of movement within the system. Glen Perkins and Dennys Reyes were both placed on the disabled list. They were replaced by Carmen Cali and Jason Miller, who were both added to the 40-man roster. An extra spot opened up on the 40-man roster when the Twins moved Alejandro Machado to the 60-day disabled list. Other moves in the system included moving reliever Armando Gabino up a level to Ft. Myers while former first round (sandwich) pick Matt Fox moved from EST to Beloit as did Brian Kirwin. The Miracle activated pitcher Alexander Smit from disabled list.
Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (4-4, 23-20)
The Wings slipped a spot to third place, losing another 1.0 game to first place Buffalo who they now trail by 2.5 games.
Kevin Slowey actually gave up 3 runs in 7.0 innings last Sunday (must be the Player of the Week jinx), however, came back strong last night with 8 shutout innings in the Wings 3-0 win. For the week, Kevin pitched 15.0 innings with 16 hits, 3 runs and 13K/2BB. He leads the team and all starters in the system with 64.1 innings and a 1.54era. He also has a 0.81WHIP and 57K/5BB. Matt Garza pitched 7.0 innings in 1 start this week with 3 hits, 2 runs and 4K/2BB. Matt's 2 runs were originally unearned due to a call of obstruction on Alexi Casilla, however, they were later reclassified as earned. Matt's performance dropped his era over a half run to 3.49 and he now has 46K/18BB in 48 innings. Jason Miller had pitched 25.1 innings with a 2.84era and 10K/9BB before his callup. Carmen Cali pitched 16.2 innings with a 2.70era and 5K/6BB before he joined the Twins. Closer Bobby Korecky is beginning to settle into his role with the Wings. He appeared in 4 games this week, pitching 7.2 innings with 3 hits, 1 run, 7K/3BB and 2 saves.
One of the top hitters in the International League is Matt Tolbert who is hitting .356Average. The Wings have had trouble scoring recently, in part due to Matt not being in the lineup all week due to an injury. Jose Morales continues to be one of the most pleasant surprises in the entire organization with his current .341Average. Morales was 5 for 13 this week with 2 runs scored and 1 rbi. Trent Oeltjen must get more playing time in centerfield as he is now hitting .326Average after a week when he was 6 for 12 with 1 rbi and 2 stolen bases in 2 attempts. Regular centerfielder Denard Span was 1 for 24 this week dropping his Average to .218. Josh Rabe is in Rochester for a rehab assignment, going 3 for 13 with a double and 3 rbi. Garrett Jones also returned to the Wings following his brief stay in Minnesota, going 5 for 23 with a home run, 5 rbi and 3 runs scored. Jones is now hitting .291Average with a .496SLG. Veteran minor leaguer Glenn Williams got hot this week when he was 10 for 25 with 3 doubles, 2 rbi and 3 runs scored...and is now hitting .282Average. Alexi Casilla is struggling with a .250Average following a week when he was 4 for 22 with a double, 5 runs scored, 3 stolen bases in 3 attempts and 4 walks while striking out only 1 time. Matt Moses continues to struggle in AAA, going 4 for 24 with a double, 4 rbi and 1 walk while striking out 5 times. Matt also committed 3 errors this week and leads the team with 9 errors in 38 games. Fan favorite Matt LeCroy was 5 for 16 this week with a home run, 3 rbi, 1 run scored and 3 walks with 0 strikeouts...raising his Average to .205.
New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (5-2, 23-18)
The Cats moved up a spot to second place, however, continue to trail Trenton by 4.5 games.
Jesse Floyd has been one of the staff's top starters, with 7.0 innings in 1 game this week with 4 hits, 2 runs and 5K/1BB. Brian Duensing also pitched a gem, going 7.1 shutout innings with 3 hits and 3K/2BB...dropping his era to 2.47. Brian Forystek has a 3.46era following a spot start, pitching 4.0 innings with 4 hits, 0 runs and 4K/1BB. Kyle Waldrop made his second start for the Cats, pitching 6.0 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs and 3K/1BB. Prior to moving up to AAA, Jose Mijares had a 3.00era with 22K/8BB and 6 saves in 21.0 innings. J.P. Martinez pitched 19.2 innings in 11 appearances with a 1.37era and 14K/11BB prior to his move to AAA.
Kyle Geiger continues to battle Morales for the top average of any catcher in the system. Geiger was 5 for 16 this week with a double, home run, 2 rbi and 3 runs scored and is now hitting .348Average. Luke Hughes was 4 for 14 with a double and triple and is now hitting .304Average. Top prospect David Winfree was 6 for 19 with a home run, 2 rbi, 3 runs scored to go with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. Winfree is hitting .292Average and has only 3 errors as he alternates between third, first and DH. The big hitter this week was former 49th round pick Brock Peterson who was 11 for 26 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 rbi and 5 runs scored. Brock struck out 8 times, however, is adjusting to AA pitching as his Average is now up to .275. Garrett Guzman also heated up a bit with 6 hits in 17 at bats along with 3 rbi and 2 runs scored...and is now hitting .263Average. Recent Player of the Week Matt Allegra cooled this week at 2 for 16. Top prospect Trevor Plouffe also continued his slide with a 4 for 22 week dropping his Average to .245.
Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (4-3, 19-29)
The Miracle broke out this week with their first winning week of the year, another week when their staff allowed only 14 runs in 7 games. They remain in last however, losing another game to Sarasota who they now trail by 13.0 games.
Oswaldo Sosa was again fantastic this week and likely the second best starter on the team in his 2 starts...with 12.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 11K/5BB and now has a 2.65era. Jay Rainville threw 5 shutout innings before running out of gas in the sixth when he gave up 3 runs. Rainville continues to fight his way back from last year's injury and now has a 3.35era following his 6.0 inning performance with 7 hits, 3 runs and 5K/2BB. Zach Ward is making the best of his opportunity to start getting into 1 game this week with 7.0 innings, 8 hits, 3 runs and 5K/0BB. Closer Eduardo Morlan had 1 save after pitching in 2 games with 4.0 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 6K/0BB...dropping his era to 2.92. Yohan Pino also made 1 start this week, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 5K/1BB getting his first win of the season.
The Twins signed former big leaguer Luis Ugueto this winter and he is with the Miracle as a player/coach. He was 8 for 22 this week with a home run, 4rbi and 3 runs and is leading the team with a .279Average. Erik Lis saw his Average stay flat at .275 following a week when he was 6 for 21 with 3 rbi and a run scored. Juan Portes is hitting .250Average following a week when he was 4 for 18 with a home run, 1 rbi and 2 runs scored. Toby Gardenhire raised his average .035 to .211 following a week when he was 5 for 10 with 2 doubles. Even though he is no longer below .200Average, the Miracle still have 6 players hitting less than .200.
Beloit Snappers (A) (6-1, 30-15)
The Snappers were the hot team this week stetching their lead over second place Clinton to 2.0 games. Like the Miracle, the were led by their excellent pitching staff that allowed only 14 runs in 7 games.
The Snappers got a great first start from Brian Kirwin who joined the team this week from EST. Kirwin went 5.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 5K/1BB. Everyone's top prospect Jeff Manship had another routine start, pitching 7.0 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 6K/2BB. Manship now has a 1.56era and 0.75WHIP with 60K/7BB in 57.2 innings. Nineteen year old Alex Burnett also had 1 start, pitching 7.0 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs and 3K/0BB. Cole DeVries appears to be another fantastic free agent find by the Twins scouting department. The Eden Prairie native made 2 starts this week with 14.0 innings, 13 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 8K/2BB...dropping his era to a touch under Manship's at 1.53. Last Week's Twins Player of the week, Robert Delaney, got into 3 games with 3.2 innings with 0 hits, 0 runs and 4K/0BB with 3 more saves for his system leading 15 to go with his sterling 0.69era and 0.62WHIP.
Danny Valencia is hitting more like earlier this year, going 6 for 17 with 2 doubles, 3 rbi, 4 runs scored and 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Brian Dinkelman had a huge week at 6 for 18 with a double, triple, 2 home runs, 3 rbi and 6 runs scored. Future slugger Chris Parmalee was only 3 for 18, however, his 3 hits were a double and 2 home runs which generated 5 rbi and 2 runs scored. He continues cutting down on strikeouts with only 4 this week in his 18 at bats.
Featured Player of the Week
The Twins selected two of the top pitchers in all of minor league baseball in the first two rounds of the 2005 draft, Matt Garza and Kevin Slowey. They also took a big high school slugger as a sandwich pick and a couple high school middle infielders in the second round.
In the third round they returned to college pitchers, selecting Brian Duensing out of the University of Nebraska and Ryan Mullins from Vanderbilt. Duensing has moved rapidly up to New Britain where he is the team ace. Mullins is arguably the Miracle team ace and it shouldn't be long before this tall lefty joins Duensing in New Britain.
Following a year in which Mullins was named a second team All-American by Baseball America and first team All-SEC, many were surprised when he slipped to the third round. This Nashville native had an incident off the field during his last year at Vandy which may have led to his dropping to where the Twins were able to select him as their second third round pick.
Ryan began his career in the Appalachian League, where he was selected as the 18th best prospect by Baseball America following a year when he was 3-0 wih a 2.18era with 60 strikeouts and 13 walks in 53.2 innings. Ryan got the start in the deciding game three of the championship series versus the Danville Braves, which Elizabethton won behind his amazing 5 innings that included 13 strikeouts.
Last season Mullins moved up to Beloit where he compiled a 5-8 record, 3.86era, 139 strikeouts and 53 walks in 156.1 innings. This season Ryan moved up to Ft. Myers where he started relatively slow in April with a 0-2 record, 3.47era and 27K/6BB in 5 games with 23.1 innings. He has been lights out in May, when he was 3-1 in 5 starts with 29K/6BB and 0.86era in 31.1 innings.
This week, Ryan pitched 13.1 innings in 2 starts, allowing 10 hits and 1 run with 9K/3BB. Ryan earned a win in both starts and should soon be moving up to join Brian Duensing in New Britain.