Minor League Report...April 12, 2008

The organization was 11-15 this week, recovering from a brutal start after losing all eight games played last weekend. 

With the season only nine days old, there already were several transactions.  Francisco Liriano, moved from Ft. Myers to Rochester following his opening day start for the Miracle and the birth of his son on Friday.  Rochester, Minnesota native, Aaron Craig, was activated and joined the Miracle bullpen.  Yesterday, it was announced by Rochester reporter, Jim Mandelaro,  that Rochester outfielder, Doug Deeds, a 2002 9th round pick, was sent to the Cubs as the PTBNL in the Craig Monroe trade.  It was announced yesterday that the Twins have recalled Francisco Liriano, who will start Sunday versus Kansas City.  Starting pitcher, Kevin Slowey, was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 4th.  Rochester is one man under the 24 man limit, thus, another transaction will be made this weekend.  Finally, Rule V pick Tim Lahey was returned to the Twins by the Phillies and has been assigned to EST.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (2-4, 3-5)

The Red Wings are in third place, 2.5 games behind Pawtuckett.

Philip Humber, made two starts this week.  On Saturday he pitched 4.0 innings with 8 hits, 5 runs (3 earned) and 3K/0BB in a 8-2 loss.  He was better on Thursday in the Wings 3-0 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 2K/1BB.  Glen Perkins, had a 2.0 inning relief appearance on Monday when he allowed 1 hit and 1 run with 0K/2BB.  He pitched 4.2 innings in last night's start, with 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 5K/2BB.  Liriano, made one start on Tuesday, pitching 4.0 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs and 3K/3BB.  The best start of the week was by Kevin Mulvey, who pitched 5.2 shutout innings in Monday's 4-1 win, allowing 5 hits with 5K/1BB.  Brian Duensing, pitched 6.0 innings in Wednesday's 7-2 loss, with 6 runs (only 1 earned) and 2K/0BB.  Closer, Bobby Korecky, was perfect in his 4 outings, picking up 1 save in 6.0 innings with 3 hits, 0 runs and 6K/2BB.  Lefty, Ricky Barrett, has an excellent 1.93ERA in 3 appearances with 4.2 innings.  Big lefty, Mario Gomez, has been their LOOGY appearing in 4 games.  He has been credited with a run (4.50ERA), however, has recorded 4 strikeouts in his 2.0 innings.

Garrett Jones, was the hitting star these first few games, .323/.389/.581, with 2 home runs, 6rbi and a surprising 2 stolen bases in 2 attempts.  Matt Macri, had 4 errors in 8 games, however, hit a solid .321/.387/.679, including a home run, 3 doubles and 2 triples.  Unfortunately, Matt struckout 10 times in 28 at bats.  Brian Buscher, hit .321/.367/.571 with 2 home runs with 5rbi.  Randy Ruiz and Jason Pridie, will need to adjust as they led the team these first few games with 11 strikeouts each in 32 and 28 at bats, respectively. 

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (2-4, 3-5)

The Rock Cats are in third place, 1.5 game behind Portland.

The pitching star this week was top prospect, Anthony Swarzak, who made two starts with an early season 0.90ERA and 0.70WHIP.  Last Saturday, Swarzak pitched 5.0 strong innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 4K/1BB in the Cats 2-1 loss.  Yesterday, he again pitched 5.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 4K/0BB in a 3-1 win.  Jay Rainville didn't fare as well in his first outing, giving up 4 hits and 4 runs with 0K/5BB in 3.1 innings.  Oswaldo Sosa, didn't get the win in his first outing that the Cats won (3-2), however, pitched 5.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 5K/2BB.  Ryan Mullins, who was the opening day starter, was Wednesday's starter in the Cats 4-3 win when he went 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) with 5K/1BB.  Mullins now has a 0.82ERA with a 1.00WHIP.  Kyle Aselton, has been excellent in two relief appearances, pitching 4.0 innings with 4K/1BB and 1 hit for a 0.00ERA and 1.25WHIP.  Zach Ward, has also made the most of his move to the bullpen by compiling a 0.00ERA in 3 appearances (4.0 innings). 

Perhaps the top hitter in the organization these first few games is a Rock Cat outfielder...but we will take a better look at him later.  Matt Moses, Jeff Christy, and Luke Hughes, are all tied for the second highest average (.250) on the team.  Last year, Trevor Plouffe, was hot the first month of the season and although he reportedly had a tremendous spring training, hits weren't falling in the first few games as he is hitting .176/.263/.176.  Erik Lis, also is taking a bit of time to adjust to AA pitching, getting only 2 hits in his first 15 at bats.  Catcher, Drew Butera, is building on a solid spring training with the Twins by hitting .231/.286/.231 in his first 4 games of the season.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (4-3, 5-4)

The Miracle, who began this season much better than last year, are tied for 2nd place a game behind Dunedin.       

Deolis Guerra, made two starts this week.  He pitched 5.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 6K/1BB in last Saturday's 5-1 loss.  On Thursday, he pitched 5.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 2K/5BB.  Tyler Robertson, also made two starts.  On Sunday he pitched 5.0 inngs with 4 hits, 2 runs and 6K/2BB in the Miracle's rain shortened 3-0 loss.  Last night he pitched 4.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 7K/2BB in a 3-2 win.  Alex Burnett, had a tough start, pitching 4.0 innngs with 12 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and 3K/2BB in a 7-4 loss.  Jeff Manship, had an excellent start in Wednesday's 9-3 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 4K/1BB.  Cole DeVries, stepped into the open starting spot in the rotation after Liriano moved up to Rochester.  He pitched 6.0 innings in a 2-1 win with 4 hits, 1 run and 3K/0BB.  Robert Delaney, has made three appearances this season, earning 3 saves,  Delaney pitched 6.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 3K/1BB for a 0.00ERA and 0.67WHIP.  Not to be outdone, Anthony Slama, has appeared in 3 games, pitching 5.0 innings with 2 hits, 0 runs and an amazing 8K/2BB for a 0.00ERA and 0.80WHIP.  Danny Vais, got into four games (6.2 innings) with 3 hits and 5K/1BB for a 0.00ERA and 0.60WHIP.

The top hitter the first week was, Toby Gardenhire, who is hitting .455/.500/.455 in his first 11 at bats.  Rene Tosoni, is making the most of his jump from Elizabethton to the pitching rich Florida State League.  In his first 23 at bats, Tosoni is hitting .348/.423/.435 with a triple.  Veteran, Brian Dinkelman, is hitting .344/.400/.594 with 5 doubles, a home run and 3 rbi.  Top prospect, Danny Valencia, is hitting.286/.400/.429 with a home run and 7rbi in 28 at bats.  Catcher, Alan de San Miguel, is hitting .222/.250/.333 as he returns from missing much of last year with an injury. 

Beloit Snappers (A) (2-6, 2-7)

The Snappers are loaded, well at least on paper.  With many of the stars of last year's championship Elizabethton Twins together with the return of top prospects Joe Benson and Chris Parmalee, everyone expects the Snappers to be in contention for this year's MidWest League championship.  Unfortunately, they are digging an early hole and find themselves in last place (8th), 6.5 games behind Kane County.

The most serious problem early this year has been their starting pitching.  Michael Tarsi, made two starts this week including last Saturday when he gave up 9 hits, 6 runs (4 earned) with 5K/1BB in 5.0 innings in a 6-3 loss.  Last night he lasted only 2.0 innings with 8 hits, 9 runs and 1K/1BB in the Snappers 11-1 loss.  Michael McCardell, pitched 4.0 solid innings in the first game of last Saturday's double header, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs (2 earned) with 4K/1BB...and now has an excellent 1.93ERA with 10K/3BB in 9.1 innings.  On Thursday, he pitched 5.1 innings with 5 hits and 1 unearned run with 6K/2BB in another solid start.  MidWest League veteran, Brian Kirwin, pitched 5.2 shutout innings in a 8-0 win on Monday, with 1 hit and 4K/1BB.  Daniel Berlind, made a start last Sunday, pitching 3.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 4K/2BB.  David Bromberg, got the start in Wednesday's 4-1 loss, pitching 3.1 innings with 4 hits, 4 runs and 4K/1BB.  Bromberg, who was the Appy League Pitcher of the Year in 2007, has started this season with a 10.13ERA in his first two starts.  Steve Hirschfield, made a spot start in a makeup game on Wednesday, pitching 5.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 3K/2BB.  Loek VanMil, has been excellent out of the bullpen, with 3 appearances (4.2 innings), 1 hit, 1 run and 6K/0BB for a 1.93ERA and 0.21WHIP.  Matt Williams, has also pitched well in relief, pitching 6.1 innings in 3 games with 5 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) adn 7K/4BB for a 1.42ERA.  Charles Nolte, has pitched very well with only 4 hits, 1 unearned run and 9K/2BB in 3 games with 6.2 innings.  Spencer Steedley, has also pitched as well as anyone, appearing in 3 games (6.1 innings) with 3 hits, 2 unearned runs and 8K/1BB.  Dominique Rodgers, also has a 0.00ERA with a 0.43WHIP in 4.2 innings with 4K/1BB.       

Steve Singleton, leads the team hitting .370/.370/.407 with a double and 5rbi.  After striking out in all 5 at bats on opening night, Chris Parmalee, has struck out only twice in his next 18 at bats.  Parmalee also has hit 3 home runs and is now hitting .304/.385/.739 with 4 rbi.  Ramon Santana, is hitting .280/.400/.320, however, top prospect, Joe Benson, is hitting only .167/.278/.267 with 13 strikeouts in 30 at bats.  Two of the top hitters at Elizabethton last year, Ozzie Lewis and D.J. Romero, are hitting .143/.172/.250 and .233/.273/.300, respectively.  Utility man, Garrett Olson, is hitting only .214Ave, however, has 2 home runs for a .464SLG. 

Featured Player of the Week

Many Twins fans were less than thrilled when the Twins traded Luis Castillo to the Mets last July for two relatively unknown minor league players, Drew Butera and Dustin Martin.  Martin is an outfielder with the speed and defensive ability to play centerfield, however, may also be a strong enough hitter to be play a corner outfield position.  After joining the Ft. Myers Miracle at mid-season, Martin hit .294/.366/.437 with 3 home runs, 19 rbi and 5 stolen bases in 32 games. 

This season, Dustin is hitting a torrid .563/.579/.813 in 16 at bats in his first 5 games with 4 doubles, 5 rbi and a stolen base.  Although the season is very young, Martin may very well be another in the long line of players who became solid members of the Twins after being identified by their scouts while playing with other organizations in the lower minor leagues.



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