Minor League Report...April 19, 2008

The Twins organization took a big step forward this week.  They began playing like the teams we knew all of last year, finishing the week with a 15-12 record.

There were only two player moves this week.  The Twins activated former major league starter/closer, Danny Graves, who played independant ball in 2007.  Danny began his season on a rehab assignment in the Ft. Myers bullpen.  They also activated Rochester outfielder, Darnell McDonald.

Rochester Red Wings  (AAA) (4-4, 7-9)

Many believe this year's version of the Red Wings should battle for the International League championship.  Following a week when they played .500 ball, the Wings find themselves in fourth place, 4.0 games behind Division leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The star of the starting rotation this week was, Kevin Mulvey, who pitched 5.0 innings in last Saturday's 2-0 loss, with 4 hits, 1 run and 6K/2BB.  On Thursday, he pitched 7.0 innings in a 2-1 Wings win, with 6 hits, 1 run and 9K/0BB.  Mulvey has an early season 1.02ERA and 1.02WHIP to go with 20K/3BB in 17.2 innings.  One of this year's veteran minor league signings was Heath Totten, who also made two starts.  He pitched 3.0 innings in Sunday's 3-2 loss, with 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 3K/0BB.  Last night he pitched 4.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 5K/0BB in the Wings 1-0 win.  Glen  Perkins, was the starter in Wednesday's 5-4 loss, pitching 4.1 innings with 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 5K/3BB.  Perkins has a 5.14ERA, 2.14WHIP and 14K/12BB in 14.0 innings.  Brian Duensing, had the benefit of 9 runs in Monday's win, pitching 5.2 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs and 1K/2BB, and now has a 3.12ERA.  Philip Humber, had a short start in Tuesday's 4-3 win, pitching 3.2 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 4K/4BB.  Humber is 0-2 with a 4.97ERA.  Casey Daigle, made a spot start in Tuesday's double header, pitching 2.2 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 1K/0BB. 

Closer, Bobby Korecky, is off to an excellent start to the 2008 season.  Bobby has appeared in 8 games (11.1 innings) with a 2-1 record and 3 saves with a 0.79ERA with 10K/4BB.  The surprise to many, however, not those of us who saw this big lefty pitch in spring training, is Mario Gomez, a 25 year old minor league free agent from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  Gomez came into Tuesday's game after Humber's short start, pitching 3.1 no-hit innings with 3K/0BB.  Gomez has a 0.87ERA and 0.58WHIP in 7 appearances (10.1 innings) with 11K/2BB.  Ricky Barrett, is also off to an excellent start to his season with a 2.79ERA in 6 games (9.2 innings) with a 1-1 record and 7K/3BB.

Darnell McDonald, came off the disabled list to continue hitting as he did last year.  Darnell was 6 for 18, .333/.368/.500, with a home run and 1 rbi.  Brian Buscher, is hitting like someone who wants to be the next position player recalled by the Twins, .345/.397/.586 with a 11 for 30 week with a double, 2 home runs and 6 rbi.  Jason Pridie, has adjusted to the disappointment of not making the Twins with a 10 for 26 week, raising his average from .179 to .278.  Garrett Jones, has cooled following a 1 for 12 week and Alexi Casilla, continues to struggle, .167/.317/.208 with 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts.  After being one of the top hitters in the league in 2007, Jose Morales, began 2008 in a terrible slump.  He continues to hit only .143/.200/.267, however, had 2 hits last night which hopefully is a sign that he is about to break out of this slump.

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (3-4, 6-7)

The Rock Cats dropped 3 games further behind league leading Portland and now find themselves in 5th place, 4.5 games out.

Anthony Swarzak, had the start of the week in Wednesday's 4-1 win, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and a remarkable 10K/0BBEarly this season, Swarzak has a 0.56ERA and 0.63WHIP with a 2-0 record in 3 starts (16.0 innings).  Ryan Mullins, pitched well in Tuesday's 4-2 loss, pitching 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 2K/1BB.  Yohan Pino, made a sport start in Monday's 7-2 win, pitching 4.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 3K/1BB...and now has a 0.00ERA and 0.75WHIP in 8.0 innings.  Oswaldo Sosa, made two starts, pitching 3.1 innings with 5 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and 1K/6BB in Sunday's 5-1 loss and 4.0 innings with 5 hits, 4 runs and 2K/3BB in last night's 8-4 loss.  Jay Rainville, also made two starts.  Jay pitched 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 2K/0BB in Saturday's 14-5 win and followed that with 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs and 2K/1BB in Thursday's 7-4 loss.

Reliever, Jay Sawatski, had an excellent performance on Sunday, pitching 2.2 shutout innings with 3 hits and 2K/0BB, however, struggled on Thursday with 2.0 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs and 1K/0BB.  Armando Gabino, pitched more like the pitcher who was perfect last season for the Cats.  Gabino appeared in 3 games (3.0 innings) with 1 hit, 0 runs and 3K/0BB...dropping his ERA to 3.60.  Kyle Aselton, continues to impress with his 1.29ERA, although 7 walks in 7.0 innings has inflated his WHIP to 1.57.       

Last week's Player of the Week, Dustin Martin, cooled this week with 7 hits in 25 at bats including a double and 4 rbi.  A teammate, Luke Hughes, was good enough for the weekly recognition had not another player in the organization had a very special week and game.  Hughes was 11 for 27 with 3 doubles, a home run, 6 runs scored, 3 rbi and 3 stolen bases in 3 attempts.  Following his being one of the hitting stars for Australia in last fall's WIBF tournement, Luke has begun his season hitting .340/.456/.489 while playing primarily third base for the Cats.  Catcher, Jeff Christy, saw his average go up to .308/.438/.385 this week, while fellow catcher, Drew Butera, also boosted his average nearly 60 points to .290.  Trevor Plouffe, had 2 doubles, 2 triples and a home run this week as his average rose 57 points to .233.  Brock Peterson's, batting average may be only .200, however, he had 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 12 rbi this week and now leads the Cats with 13 rbi.  Matt Moses, struggled this week and is now hitting .213/.260/.298, while David Winfree's, numbers are similar following a week when he was 6 for 26, .209/.277/.395.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (4-2, 9-6)

What a difference a year makes.  After a dismal start last year, the Miracle are currently tied for first place with Dunedin.

Alex Burnett, is the only pitcher who made two starts this week.  Burnett pitched a strong 5.1 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 4K/1BB in Saturday's 5-4 loss.  He followed that up with another solid outing last night, pitching 4.2 innings with 3 hits, 1 unearned run and 2K/2BB.  Burnett is tied for the team lead with 15.0 innings with a 3.60ERA and 0-1 record.  Deolis Guerra, also has pitched 15.0 innings with a 0.60ERA, 1.13WHIP and 12K/7BB.  Deolis got the start in Wednesday's 4-1 win, pitching 5.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 4K/1BB.  Cole DeVries, had a tough start in Sunday's 9-3 loss, pitching 5.2 innings with 8 hits, 5 runs and 6K/3BB.  Jeff Manship, pitched 4.0 innings with 6 hits and 5 runs (2 earned) and 5K/2BB in Tuesday's 8-5 win...and now has a 4.50ERA in 14.0 innings.  On Thursday, Tyler Robertson, pitched 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 unearned run and 5K/2BB in a 3-2 win, dropping his ERA to 2.57 with 18K/6BB in 14.0 innings.

Closer, Robert Delaney, continues to be nearly perfect with his 5 saves in 6 appearances (10.2 innings).  Delaney has a 0.00ERA, 0.66WHIP and 10K/2BB.  Anthony Slama, also has a 0.00ERA and 0.75WHIP in 5 appearances (8.0 innings) with 13K/4BB.  Danny Vais, was 2-0 this week and now has a 3-0 record in 6 appearances (12.0 innings) with a 0.75ERA, 0.50WHIP and 9K/2BB.

Rene Tosoni, continues to lead the Miracle with a .333/.431/.429 following a 6 for 19 week.  Danny Berg, didn't play this week but also has a .333 Average, although in only 6 at bats.  Toby Gardenhire, saw his average drop 155 points to .300 following a week in which he was 1 for 9.  Juan Portes, was 6 for 17 this week and is now hitting .244/.333/.293.  Johnny Woodard, had a big week with 8 hits in 24 at bats with a double, 2 home runs and 3 rbi.  Danny Valencia, had a home run and 3 rbi, however, saw his average dip to .231.  Danny Santiesteban, also had a home run and 5 rbi during a week in which he was 5 for 18.

Beloit Snappers (A) (4-2, 6-9)

The Snappers had a good week following their terrible start, climbing out of the cellar into a 6th place tie, 8.0 games behind Kane County.

Brian Kirwin, made two starts, pitching 5.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 5K/4BB in Sunday's 6-1 win.  He followed that up with a start in last night's rain shortened 5-3 win, pitching 4.2 innings with 8 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 2K/2BB.  Brian has an excellent 1.76ERA with a 1.17WHIP in 15.1 innings with 11K/7BB.  Michael McCardell, got the start in Tuesday's 8-6 win with 7.0 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs and 9K/0BB.  McCardell leads the team with 16.1 innings, compliling a 2.76ERA, 1.22WHIP and 19K/3BB.  David Bromberg, had a good start in a game that the Snappers bullpen eventually would lose 10-4.  Bromberg pitched 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 7K/4BB.  Dan Berlind, was not the pitcher of record in Sunday's second game 8-3 win, pitching 3.0 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs and 3K/5BB.  Michael Tarsi, had a rough start in Wednesday's 9-2 loss, pitching 4.1 innings with 11 hits, 8 runs and 3K/2BB. 

Charles Nolte, continues to impress out of the Snapper bullpen, having now appeared in 5 games (9.2 innings) with a 0.00ERA, 1.34WHIP and 12K/5BB.  Steven Hirschfield, also has a 0.00ERA in 4 appearances (8.2 innings) with 3K/5BB.  Dominique Rodgers, has an excellent 2.35ERA with a 1.04WHIP in 7.2 innings while, Matt Williams, has a 2.38ERA with a 1.24WHIP in 11.1 innings with 11K/5BB. 

The Twins received catcher, Jair Fermandez, from Seattle as compensation related to the Seahawk's taking R.A. Dickey in the Rule V draft.  Fernandez was 3 for 4 this week and is now hitting .444/.444/.667 in his first 9 at bats.  Steve Singleton, is hitting .391/.440/.500 following a week in which he was 8 for 19 with 8 runs, 1 double, 1 home run and 2 rbi.  Garrett Olson, was 7 for 21 this week with a double, 4 runs and 4 rbi...and is now hitting a respectable .265/.296/.469.  Joe Benson, was 1 for 2 last night with a walk and his first home run of the season.  Benson's average is up to .239 following his 6 for 16 week with 3 walks and only 4 strikeouts.  Mark Dolenc, had a big game on Sunday when he was 3 for 3 with a double and 2 runs scored.

Player of the Week

We all saw that Chris Parmalee, stuck out all five times he stepped to the plate on opening night.  He has however, struck out only 5 more times in his next 32 at bats and now has 8 walks and 10 strikeouts in 37 at bats.  This week Chris was 6 for 14 (.429Ave) with 5 runs scored, 10 rbi, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 5 walks with 3 strikeouts...raising his hitting numbers to .351/.457/.838.  The highlite of the week was Tuesday's 8-6 win in which he was 3 for 5 with a run scored, double, his fourth home run and 7 runs batted in. 

Just as we had to remember that his first game did not make a season, neither do the first two weeks.  But maybe Chris will be the hitter we all hoped for when the Twins selected him in the first round of the 2006 draft.  Now we all need to be patient and not call for the Twins to immediately move him up to Ft. Myers.  Lets allow this young man the opportunity to enjoy some success and spend at least half the season at Beloit.        



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