Minor League Report...July 21, 2007

Another great week for the organization as they won 24 games against 13 losses.  The GCL Twins were 5-0 with Ft. Myers and New Britain also getting 5 wins.  Only the Red Wings struggled, losing 5 of 7 as their tailspin continued for another week.

Movement of players hit another level this week beginning with the signing of second round pick Danny Rams, who was assigned to the GCL Twins.  Kevin Harrington came off the DL for the GCL Twins, while ace Nick Blackburn went on the DL in Rochester for what is being reported as a muscle strain in his pitching arm.  Ryan Mullins and reliever Jay Sawatski moved up to Rochester from New Britain with Tristan Crawford coming off the DL for the Rock Cats.  Recent 6th round pick Michael McCardell moved up to Elizabethton while Errol Simonitsch came off the DL in New Britain and was sent to the GCL Twins on a rehab assignment.  Kyle Waldrop was returned to Ft. Myers from New Britain with Yohan Pino and Oswaldo Sosa moving up to New Britain from the Miracle.  The Twins put Michael Cuddyer on the DL, replacing him with Darnell McDonald who was called up from Rochester.  McDonald is the veteran outfielder the Twins recently received from Washington as part of the Lavalle Speigner Rule 5 pick/trade.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (2-5, 51-47)

The Wings lost 5 this week, sliding further into third place and now trail Scranton by 4.5 games and second place Buffalo by 2.0 games.

It seems this week that when they get some runs, the pitching is terrible and when they pitched well they couldn't score...sound familiar?  Nick Blackburn had one start last week Saturday, pitching 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 4 runs and 2K/0BB before going on the DL.  Dave Gassner made two ugly starts giving up 8 hits and 9 runs in a 2.2 inning outing last Sunday and 8 hits and 6 runs (5 earned) in a 4.1 inning outing last night.  Gassner certainly isn't the same pitcher that led the International League with 16 wins just two years ago.  Brian Duensing had another solid start on Wednesday, pitching 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs and 2K/1BB in a 5-4 ten inning loss.  Carmen Cali continues to pitch well in relief with a solid 2.80era and 3-0 record in 23 appearances (35.1 innings).  Bobby Korecky has been solid although he was the culprit in Wednesday's ten inning loss when he gave up the losing run which was unearned.  Korecky now has a 3.73era with 23 saves in 50.2 innings and 39K/22BB.  Brian Bass has pitched well out of the Red Wing pen, with 2 appearances this week in which he allowed 3 hits in 4.0 shutout innings with 4K/0BB...getting his era down to 4.75 in 29 appearances (55.0 innings).  Ryan Mullins had a rude welcome to AAA on Thursday, pitching 3.0 innings with 12 hits, 9 runs and 2K/1BB.  Ryan is a solid pitcher who only recently moved from Ft. Myers to New Britain and was pushed up to Rochester due to their need for starters.

Brian Buscher has cooled in the last week with his average dropping from .348 to .308, however, he has 5 home runs in less than 100 at bats.  Doug Deeds has struggled to keep his average over .200, however, he has been 5 for 9 in the last two games including 2 doubles.  Jose Morales continues to lead the team and organization (not including the rookie teams) in hitting as his average continues to hover around .350.  Matt Tolbert saw his slump end on Wednesday when he was 2 for 4 with a walk, his 4th home run and 3 rbi followed by a 3 for 5 game the next night with a triple, his 5th home run and 2 rbi.  Trent Oeltjen was back playing this week and may be the top base stealer on the team with 13 steals in 18 attempts compared with Alexi Casilla's 19 steals in 31 attempts and Denard Span's 16 steals in 24 attempts.  Oeltjen also had his second home run on Thursday when he was 2 for 4 with 3 rbi...Trent is now hitting .249Ave.

New Britain Rick Cats (AA) (5-1, 47-47)

It has been a battle, but the Rock Cats fought their way back to .500 this week as they remain in 4th place, 12.5 games behind Trenton.

Anthony Swarzak made 2 excellent starts this week to reclaim his status as staff ace.  The Cats lost 3-1 last Saturday with Swarzak going 6.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 6K/2BB.  Last night, Swarzak pitched a 7.0 inning complete game in the opener of a double header.  He gave up 4 hits and 1 run with 5K/2BB in the Cats 7-1 win.  These two outings have gotten Anthony's era down to 3.72 with a 3-3 record in 36.1 innings with 30K/14BB.  Yohan Pino made his first start last night, pitching 3.1 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs and 3K/0BB.  Jose Mijares had four solid appearances this week, pitching 6.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 9K/3BB.  Jose now has a 3.46era with 45K/27BB in 39.0 innings with 6 saves.  All-Star Tim Lahey picked up his 7th save with 2 outings (4.0 innings) with 1 hit, 0 runs and 2K/1BB.  

Matt Moses continues to hit very well (.313Ave) now that he is back at AA.  He was 6 for 18 this week including 3 doubles, 1 home run and 3 rbi.  Luke Hughes was 5 for 14 and Trevor Plouffe got his average up to .285 with a 7 for 22 week including his 25th double of the season.  Garrett Guzman is hitting a respectable .278Ave and also had his 10th and 11th home runs and another 5 rbi to give him 58 for the season which ties him with Garrett Jones.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (5-2, 14-15)

The Miracle moved up a spot to 5th place, 6.0 games behind Tampa.  

Oswaldo Sosa and Yohan Pino both departed yesterday for New Britain.  Sosa finished his Miracle season with a 5-5 record in 19 starts, a 2.23era, 1.24WHIP and 94 hits, 30 runs (26 earned) and 82K/36BB in 105.0 innings.  Pino finished with a 4-3 record in 19 games (9 starts), a 1.73era, 0.95WHIP and 47 hits, 14 runs (13 earned) and 64K/17BB in 67.2 innings.  Glen Perkins made one rehab start this week, lasting only 1.0 inning before experiencing pain in his left shoulder.  Robert Delaney appeared in 2 games, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs in 4.0 innings with 7K/0BB.  Jeff Manship had another solid start, pitching 8.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 8K/1BB...and now has a 4-1 record with 2.90era in 31.0 innings.  Jay Rainville had two very good outings this week, pitching 11.2 innings with 11 hits, 3 runs and 10K/3BB...getting his era down to 3.62.  Eduardo Morlan struggled a bit this week, making 3 appearances, while earning his 12th and 13th saves, however, allowing 3 runs in 3.1 innings.

When the Miracle got three of Beloit's top hitters, the lineup began scoring more runs which has enabled their strong pitching staff to turn their second half around.  Brian Dinkelman continues to lead the team with a .330Ave after another solid week when he was 12 for 27 with 3 doubles and 2 home runs.  Danny Valencia also had 2 home runs giving him 4 for the Miracle and a total of 15 which continues to lead the organization.  Valencia is hitting .324Ave following a 14 for 30 week when he also had 3 doubles, a triple and 10 rbi.  Steve Tolleson got his organization leading 21st stolen base (29 attempts) during a week when he was 11 for 34 with 2 home runs (4 total).  Eric Lis saw his average begin moving back up with a 10 for 31 week including 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run and 9 rbi.  Juan Portes was 7 for 20 with his average up to .255.  Johnny Woodard continues to struggle since his promotion, hitting only .179 for the Miracle in 78 at bats.

Beloit Snappers (A) (4-2, 15-11)

The Snappers remain tied for second, 1.5 games behind Peoria.

The Snappers lost a lot of offense when Valencia, Dinkelman and Woodard moved up to the Miracle.  They also lost Hawes, Manship and Delaney, yet, they merely restocked and continue to get excellent starting pitching from a rotation consisting of Tyler Robertson, Alex Burnett, Matt Fox, Cole DeVries and Brian Kirwin.  This week Robertson earned strong consideration for Player of the Week with two excellent starts.  Last Saturday he pitched 7.2 shutout innings with 4 hits and 5K/3BB in the Snappers 2-1 eleven inning loss to West Michigan.  Last night the Snappers won 2-0 behind Robertson's excellent 7.0 inning start with 5 hits, 0 runs and 10K/1BB.  Robertson now has a 4-2 record, 1.71era, 1.16WHIP and 64K/19BB in 58.0 innings.  Cole DeVries is headed in the right direction again after a brief rough spot, pitching 8.0 innings with 11 hits, 2 runs and 9K/0BB in his only start this week.  Brian Kirwin's only start was interrupted with a rain delay, yet he pitched 4.0 innings with 2 hits, 0 runs and 3K/1BB.  Alex Burnett, who leads the team with 108.0 innings, also had a very good start in which he pitched 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 6K/1BB.  Matt Fox also got back on track following his last outing with a 5.0 inning start in which he gave up 5 hits and 2 runs with 4K/1BB.  Anthony Slama appeared in 3 games, picking up 2 saves with 2.1 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs and 4K/1BB.  Jesus Carnevales saw his era drop to 3.63 during a week in which he made 3 appearances (3.2 innings) with 5 hits, 1 unearned run and 2K.1BB.  

Wilson Ramos continues to lead the team in hitting with a .280Ave following a 3 for 19 week.  Steve Singleton was 4 for 12 and also had 2 stolen bases in 2 attempts.  Chris Parmalee saw his average go up another 5 points to .244, with a 6 for 19 week including 2 doubles, his 12th home run and 4 rbi.  Joe Benson's average went up 7 points to .233 with a 6 for 18 week including 2 doubles, 5 runs scored and a team high 12th and 13th stolen bases (22 attempts).  

Elizabethton Twins (Rookie) (4-3, 23-6)

Believe it or not, but the Twins opened their week with a three game losing streak, however, turned it around to have a winning week and actually extending their lead over Kingsport to 9.5 games.  Their bats also began to re-heat with 11 and 14 runs in two of their last three games.

Mike Allen continues as the team ace with two starts, pitching 12.0 innings with 8 hits, 3 runs and 13K/4BB, yet his era actually went up to 1.75 to go along with a 0.94WHIP in 36.0 innings.  Since his promotion, Michael McCardell made one start, pitching 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 9K/1BB.  Will this strikeout machine whom the Twins selected in the 6th round out of Kutztown U be this year's college pitcher to watch?  The Twins also recently signed closer Blair Erickson following his excellent performance with UC-Irvine in the CWS.  In his first four outings, Erickson has a 0.00era in 4.0 innings with 3 saves, 3 hits and 5K/1BB.  Anthony Slama finished his stay with the Twins with a 2.45era, 4 saves and 10K/1BB in 7.1 innings.  Brad Tippett got another win (4-0), pitching 2.2 innings with 1 hit, 0 runs and 2K/0BB as his era dropped to 0.66 in 13.2 innings.

Ozzie Lewis is an outfielder who was selected in the 21st round of this year's draft out of Fresno State.  He has a .337Ave with 10 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs and 22 rbi in 89 at bats.  Catcher Dan Lehman joined the Twins this week following his performance in the CWS with Rice University.  In his first 9 at bats, Lehman had 3 hits with a grand slam home run last night for a total of 6 rbi.  Rene Tosoni was 10 for 23 this week including 2 doubles, a home run and 4 rbi.  D.J. Romero had his 5th home run and another 3 rbi while Rene Leveret had his team leading 6th home run and 4 rbi for a team leading 36.  

Gulf Coast League Twins (Rookie) (5-0, 19-6)

The Twins are on a streak, extending their hold on first place to 3.5 games over the Orioles.

Starter Dan Berlind gave up his first 2 earned runs of the season in his 5.0 inning outing.  Berlind now has a 0.72 era with a 3-0 record and 29K/14BB in 25.0 innings.  Santos Arias also had a solid 5.0 inning outing, giving up 8 hits with 3 runs (1 earned) as his era went down to 3.00.  Jarrad Eacott appeared in one game, 2.0 innings with 1 hit, 0 runs and 2K/2BB...dropping his era to 0.61 in 14.2 innings.  Danny Rondon appeared in one game, getting his 6th save with 1.0 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs and 0K/2BB.  

Danny Rams is another catcher who recently signed.  Rams, this year's second round pick, is hitting .526 in his first 19 at bats including 3 runs, 1 double, 1 triple and 6 rbi.  Ramos, Yersich, Petsch (Edit. who was promoted to Beloit earlier today), Lehman and Rams gives the Twins five young catchers whom all appear to have very good hitting potential.  Ben Revere was 7 for 19 as his average moved up to .308.  Revere also has 2 doubles, 6 triples, 16 rbi and 19 runs scored in 91 at bats.  Jeanfred Brito continues to be the team's top hitter with a .330Ave.  Johnathan Waltenbury is a big Canadian first baseman who has his average up to .315 while third baseman Juan Richardson is hitting .297Ave.  

Featured Player of the Week

After a brilliant start to the season in the Rochester starting rotation, Kevin Slowey appeared to be destined to a wonderful career with the Twins.  After several starts with the Twins that ranged from solid to disappointing, Slowey was sent back to Rochester to work on placement of his off speed pitches and speed differential between his various pitches.  

Kevin's his first start back in Rochester was ok, pitching 6.0 innings with 8 hits, 3 runs and 5K/0BB.  This week he was back in form as he led the Wings to a 1-0 victory as he pitched a 9.0 inning, complete game shutout.  Kevin gave up only 3 hits while striking out 8 with 1 walk.

Kevin is a very sharp young man who will work hard to fine tune his game so that when he returns he will likely take a spot in the Twins rotation for many years.  

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