Good Morning Twins Fans. This report will be a bit different and also shorter as I am writing from the Marriott Rennaissance Hotel at Baltimore's Harbor Place (where the Twins stay). Didn't get here in time to see last night's game, but did watch the last few good innings from the hotel bar. My Son, who flew down from Boston, and I will see the games tonight and tommorrow.
As for the minor league teams, several teams who were in the hunt for playoff spots a few weeks ago are in major slumps. The entire organization had one of its few losing records for the entire summer, 16-22, which isn't good with only a few games left in their seasons.
Player movement was limited. Kory Feiner was sent from Rochester to Ft. Myers after Chris Heintz came off the DL. Shortstop Ramon Santana moved from the GCL Twins to Beloit. Last week I missed Danny Powers, who was sent from New Britain to Ft. Myers. Danny Vais went on the DL in Beloit. And the Twins Sent Luis Rodriguez to Rochester with Julio DePaula returning to the Twins. They also put Tommy Watkins on the DL with Brian Buscher activated off the DL from his rehab assignment in Rochester. Eric Lis was the FSL Player of the Week for the second straight week and D.J. Romero was the Appy League Player of the Week.
The Wings were 3-4 this week, not they type of week needed to stay in the playoff hunt. Unfortunately, they are getting very good pitching and scoring very few runs...scoring 2 or less in four of their seven games this week. With 10 games remaining, the Wings are out of the division race and trail Richmond by 2.0 games in the Wild Card race.
Nick Blackburn is back, pitching 5.1 innings with 1 run on Saturday and 7.0 innings with 3 runs on Thursday. Kevin Slowey has a 1.73ERA which leads the IL with Gavin Floyd a distant second with a 3.12ERA. This week Kevin lost a heartbreaker, 1-0, in which he pitched 6.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 4K/0BB. Bobby Korecky has been overused and is erratic at best. Brian Bass pitched two very good games this week, totalling 14.0 innings, 10 hits, 3 runs and 7K/2BB. David Gassner also had a very good game in a 3-1 win, pitching 6.1 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 4K/2BB. After struggling earlier this season, Gassner has been very good for the last month or so.
Jose Morales is back in the lead for the IL batting championship by a couple points, at .322Average. Matt Tolbert has watched his average slide all the way down to .294. Perhaps the best news is that Denard Span is hitting .322Average in August with his average now up to .261.
The Cats had another winning week at 5-3, unfortunately, their chances of making the playoffs ended a long time ago.
Ryan Mullins had a great start on Sunday, pitching 7.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 4K/4BB. Anthony Swarzak is back in the upper echelons of the Twins pitching prospects. On Tuesday, Anthony pitched 8.1 shutout innings with 6 hits and 8K/1BB. Glen Perkins pitched 3.0 innings in another rehab start, allowing 2 hits and 2 runs with 3K/4BB. After being promoted from Ft. Myers (began the season in Beloit), Armando Gabino has been perfect for the Cats, pitching 9.0 innings without allowing an earned run (0.00ERA).
David Winfree is hitting .329Average in August with his average now up to .259. Garrett Guzman is currently 8th in the league with a .305Average. Last week's Player of the Week, Brock Peterson began this week with a 5 for 7 day in a double header last Saturday...but has cooled since.
Well, their 12 game winning streak ended last Saturday and they went back to losing, with a 2-4 record this week.
Jay Rainville was barely ok last Saturday, 4.2 innings with 7 hits, 5 runs (2 earned) and 5K/2BB. He followed with perhaps his best game of the season on Thursday, pitching 6.2 innings with 5 hits, 1 run and 7K/0BB. His 3.17ERA is currently 7th in the pitching rich FSL...with Oswaldo Sosa having the best ERA before leaving for New Britain (2.23). Eduardo Morlan pitched in two games, 4.1 innings with 2 hits, 0 runs and 4K/0BB...earning his 18th save.
Erik Lis continues to pound the ball with 3 multi-hit games and his 91rbi lead the league. Juan Portes was also very good this week, going 6 for 14 with 2 home runs (11).
The Snappers are in the Playoffs because they were the first half champs. They have not played well for awhile, 1-5 this week, and certainly need to find something positive if they want to play more than two games in the playoffs.
Their once very good young pitchers have struggled recently as the long season may have gotten to these young pitchers. Their only great start this week was from Tyler Robertson who got the loss on Thursday, 2-0, when he pitched 7.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 unearned runs and 11K/1BB. Matt Fox was ok last night when he pitched 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 1K/1BB, however, he was excellent in long relief on Monday when he pitched 3.0 innings with 1 hit, 0 runs and 3K/1BB. Aaron Craig has been excellent out of their pen...pitching 1.1 innings on Thursday when he gave up 1 hit while all 4 of his outs were strikeouts.
The hitters are young and doing little to impress as their season draws to an end. The brightest star continues to be cathcer Wilson Ramos who would have the 6th best average (.295) in the league if he had enough at bats. Chris Parmalee is tied for 7th with 15 home runs...which is excellent for a 19 year old.
The Twins wrapped up their division championship last week, settling in to a 3-2 record this week.
Mike McCardell continues to be a strikeout machine...getting 9, with 1 walk, on Sunday when he pitched 6.0 innings with 5 hits and 4 runs (3 earned). Henry Reyes had a nice start with 5.0 shutout innings, 3 hits and 5K/0BB...dropping his ERA to 2.87. Brad Tippett continues to amaze with another 3.0 inning shutout performance with 3 hits and 4K/0BB...dropping his ERA to 0.99.
The E-Ton hitters continue to hit the ball all over the league. Ozzie Lewis is second in the league with a .335Average. Greg Yersich is 4th at .318 with D.J. Romero 7th at .319 and Rene Leveret 8th at .307.
Entering yesterday's game, their magic number was 2 over the Orioles who they play in their last game. With 3 games remaining it is now down to 1 as the O's lost yesterday...unfortunately, so did the Twins with their ace, Liam Hendriks on the mound. Liam gave up 5 runs in 4.0 innings with 8 hits. Earlier in the week, Hendriks pitched one of the better games of the season when he threw 6.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 11K/1BB. His ERA is now up to 2.05 following yesterday's outing. Danny Berlind had a good start with 6.0 innings, 5 hits, 1 run and 1K/1BB while lefty Winston Marquis also pitched well with a 5.0 inning outing in which he allowed 5 hits, 2 runs and 3K/3BB.
Ben Revere is currently 9th in the league in hitting with a .319Average. He is 2nd with 19 stolen bases while he is 1st with 10 triples and 42 runs scored.
Featured Player of the Week
The Twins drafted U of Miami star Danny Valencia last year in the 19th round. He was better known than some at that part of the draft due to his excellent play for Miami in their run to the CWS. He soon was playing so well for the E-Ton Twins that many of us scratched our heads when thinking about why he was still available in the 19th round.
Danny has continued playing very well since his promotion from Beloit to Ft. Myers. His 17 home runs (6 at Ft. Myers) are amongst the Twins system leaders and his .296Average in Ft. Myers is a clear indication that the jump in level of play did not affect his hitting as it has others.
This week Danny was as good as anyone in the organization with 9 hits in 19 at bats with 1 walk, his 6th home run for the Miracle, 2 runs scored and 4 rbi. More important, his play for the Miracle is an indication that this young man should have an excellent future as he moves up another level next year.