After being hot last week, the four full-season teams were back playing close to .500 ball this week. They needed to win all three games last night to finish the week one game over .500 at 14-13.
There were several transactions this week. We all know that Kevin Slowey was called up and made his first start last night. Kevin didn't get the win but we all saw the type of pitcher he is, congratulations Kevin on an excellent first start. To make room for Kevin, the Twins returned reliever Julio DePaula to the Wings. Two catchers hit the DL, Jose Morales at Rochester and Alan de San Miguel at Beloit. The Twins moved catcher Korey Feiner up to Rochester from New Britain and Jeff Christy to New Britain from Ft. Myers. Brian Duensing moved up to Rochester where he had an excellent first start. Ryan Mullins was named a FSL All-Star, however, won't play in the game as he moved up to New Britain to replace Duensing. Ryan also had an excellent first start for the Cats. Reliever Eduardo Morlan was also named to the FSL All-Star team. Jose Lugo and Alexander Smit were activated by the Miracle from the DL. Last year's third round pick, Tyler Robertson moved up to Beloit from EST.
Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (4-3, 27-23)
The Wings were 4-3 and remain in second place, however, they gained a game on Buffalo who they now trail by only 1.5 games. Will they be able to stay in the hunt as they watch several of their top pitchers move up to the Twins?
Matt Garza had two starts this week, pitching 13.0 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs and 14K/8BB. He received a lot of attention with his comments about pitching like he wants versus what the Twins want...but whatever he does he must address 8 walks in 13 innings and 26 walks this season in 62.0 innings. Dave Gassner had his best start of the season last Saturday when he pitched a complete game, 9.0 inning, 4 hit shutout. Unfortunately, he couldn't follow up on Thursday when he went 6.1 innings with 9 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and 0K/3BB. Julio DePaula returned from the Twins getting into 1 game, 1.2 innings with no hits and 3K/0BB. Ricky Barrett continues to say next time you need a lefty, how about me? He pitched in 3 games this week, 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 6K/2BB.
Jose Morales was 4 for 8 with a double and hitting a stellar .350Average before he went on the DL. Garrett Jones had another big week and is giving notice that he wants to return to Minnesota. This week Garrett was 9 for 25 with 4 runs scored, 4 doubles, a home run and 3 rbi. Jones is now hitting .301Average/.518SLG. Garrett leads the system with 31 rbi and also has 13 doubles and 7 home runs. Tommy Watkins was 4 for 12 with a double and 4 rbi. Alexi Casilla was 6 for 26 and is now hitting .246Average. This week Alexi scored 3 runs, had 1 rbi and 2 stolen bases in 5 atempts. Matt Moses hasn't played the last few games as he battles an injury and Matt Tolbert hasn't played in over two weeks due to an injury. Many of us expected Doug Deeds to do very well in AAA, yet he has struggled to keep his average over .200. Doug had a big week this week going 6 for 22 with 3 runs scored, 3 doubles, a home run and 4 rbi raising his average to .219. I look for Doug to continue playing at this level which should give the Wings offense a well needed jolt.
New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (3-4, 26-22)
The Cats remain in second place, however, lost a game and a half and now trail Trenton by 6.0 games.
Brian Duensing had one game before moving up. Brian pitched 7.0 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 8K/0BB. Brian had a 4-1 record with a 2.66 era, 38K/7BB and 1.07WHIP in 50.2 innings before moving on. Reliever Jay Sawatski pitched 4.2 innings in 4 games with 6 hits, 2 runs (0 earned) and 2K/3BB. Tristan Crawford flirted with a no hitter Thursday. He made two excellent starts this week, pitching 12.0 innings with 5 hits and 1 earned run. Kyle Waldrop struggled a bit in his third start, pitching 5.1 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs and 2K/5BB. Ryan Mullins followed up being named last week's Player of the Week with an excellent first start for the Cats. Ryan pitched 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 7K/2BB.
Several Cat hitters were hot, led by former Player of the Week Felix Molina. Felix was 13 for 28 (.464Ave) this week with 5 runs scored, 3 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs and 4 rbi...and is now hitting .297Average and .363OBP. David Winfree was 8 for 30 with 3 runs scored, 5 doubles, a triple and 2 rbi. David now has 18 extra base hits, nearly half of his 39 total hits. Brian Buscher was 8 for 27 with 4 runs scored, 3 doubles and 3 rbi, while Brian's 16 doubles leads the system. Garrett Guzman was 8 for 26 with 4 runs scored, a double, triple and 5 rbi. Former Player of the Week Matt Allegra rebounded from an off week last week, going 8 for 24 week with 6 runs scored, 2 doubles, 3 home runs and 8 rbi. Trevor Plouffe also had a better week at the plate, going 9 for 28 with 5 runs scored, 3 doubles and 6 rbi...raising his average to .257. His offense was offset however by 7 errors and now has 14 which are the most of any player in the system. Speedy Brian Roberts appears to be adjusting to AA following a week when he was 6 for 15 with 3 runs scored, 2 doubles and an rbi.
Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (3-2, 22-31)
The Miracle remained in last place, however gained a game on Sarasota who they now trail by 12.0 games.
The strength of this team is their pitching, even after losing Waldrop and Mullins to New Britain and having Alexander Smit and Yohan Pino miss time with injuries. Oswaldo Sosa had another excellent start this week, pitching 5.2 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) and 5K/2BB, dropping his era to 2.54. Jay Rainville continues his comeback and appears to be getting back to his former form with each start. This week he pitched 6.0 innings in one start with 1 unearned run and 7K/0BB, dropping his era under 3.00 to 2.94. Zach Ward stepped into a staring roll making 2 starts this week with 13.0 innings, 9 hits, 2 runs and 9K/2BB. Zach now has an excellent 2.54era and 1.03WHIP. Alexander Smit returned, pitching 1.1 inning with 1 hit, 0 runs and 2K/0BB in one relief appearance. Closer Eduardo Morlan was named to the FSL All-Star game. This week Eduardo earned 2 saves in 2 games with 3.0 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs and 3K/0BB. His totals this season are 39K/3BB in 27.2 innings (1.4K/ip) with a 1.857DR. He has had a few poor outings which caused his era to go up to 2.60 while he has an excellent 0.76WHIP.
Scoring 16 runs in 5 games means there wasn't a lot of hitting. Top hitter Erik Lis missed several games and was 0 for 6 for the week yet remains amongst the system leaders with 12 doubles and 30 rbi. Outfielder Dwayne White was 5 for 19 with 2 runs scored, a double and 4 rbi. Catcher Caleb Moore was their best hitter this week, going 5 for 10 with a run scored. Edward Ovalle was only 3 for 21 this week, however, he is amongst the system leaders with 27 rbi, 6 home runs and 3 triples.
Beloit Snappers (A) (4-4, 34-19)
The Snappers maintained their hold on first place, increasing their lead over Clinton to 2.5 games.
Jeff Manship made one start, pitching only 2.2 innings before injuring his hamstring. The Snappers will miss Jeff who had a 1.49era, 0.71WHIP and 61K/7BB in 60.1 innings with a 1.419DR. Alex Burnett continues pitching very well, making one start with 6.0 innings, 4 hits, 1 run and 5K/2BB. Cole DeVries continues to pitch well, so well that he actually has a lower era (1.36) than Manship. This week Cole made one start, pitching 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 unearned run and 7K/0BB. Jesus Carnevales continues to see lots of action since his callup from EST. This week he got into 2 games, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 5K/0BB. Brian Kirwin also continues to impress since his promotion from EST. Brian made 1 start this week, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 unearned runs and 3K/2BB. In 10.0 innings Brian has yet to give up his first earned run.
Danny Valencia leads the system with 8 home runs. This week he was 7 for 26 with 5 runs scored, a home run, 3 rbi and now leads the team with a .297Average. Johnny Woodard also continues to hit well (.283Average) following a 9 for 24 week with 4 runs scored, 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 6 rbi. Garrett Olson stepped up this week with 7 hits in 19 at bats, 3 runs, a double, home run and 2 rbi. Top prospect Chris Parmalee was 8 for 23 with 2 runs, 2 doubles, a triple, home run and 5 rbi...raising his average to .234. Joe Benson is tied for the system lead with 4 triples. This week Joe was 5 for 23 with 5 runs, 3 doubles and an rbi.
Featured Player of the Week
Each year following the draft, the Twins sign several players who were undrafted and a few others from the several try out camps they hold at various locations. Last June 19th they signed Robert Delaney out of St. Johns University. How this big right hander was missed by 30 teams drafting 50 rounds is a question that is hard to answer.
Rob began his career in the GCL where he pitched well in 17 appearances (33.0 innings). Rob finished his GCL season with a 1-3 record, 2 saves, 4.64era and 27K/1BB earning a late August promotion to the Miracle. He only made 3 appearances for the Miracle, pitching 5.0 innings with a 5.40era and 3K/0BB.
Rob was as close to perfect this week as one could be. He pitched 6.0 innings in 3 appearances, allowing 1 hit, 0 runs with 7K/0BB while earning 2 saves.
For the season, Rob has a 0.60era and 0.57WHIP while running away with the system save lead with 17. In 30.0 innings, Rob has 35 strikeouts while allowing only 13 hits and 4 walks for an amazing 2.059DR. It is unlikely that Delaney will remain with the Snappers all season, however, with Eduardo Morlan the closer at Ft. Myers he will also need to move up before a spot opens up for Delaney.