Don't know if it was my computer or the website, but everything froze. So the rest of this report will follow:
Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (4-3, 30-40)
The Wings had their first winning week in awhile and remain in fifth place, 12.0 games behind Scranton/WB.
Danny Graves got the loss on Saturday, 8-2, when he pitched 4.0 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs and 1K/4BB. His second start this week was in Thursday nights 9-4 win, pitching 5.1 innings with 8 hits, 3 runs and 3K/0BB while adding a hit in two at bats. Kevin Mulvey pitched 5.1 innings in Sunday's 5-4 loss, with 7 hits, 4 runs and 3K/1BB. Kevin started last night's game, pitching 4.0 excellent shutout innings with 1 hit and 7K/1BB. Kevin did not come back out after a three hour rain delay. Carmen Cali got the win, pitching 3.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 3K/0BB with Bobby Korecky pitching the last 2.0 perfect innings with 1K/0BB. Brian Duensing was again considered for Player of the Week for his excellent start on Monday when he pitched 7.0 shutout innings with 5 hits and 3K/0BB in the Wings 4-1 win. Francisco Liriano continues to get better, yet the Twins line is that he will stay with the Wings until he dominates the opposition. He was the winner Tuesday, 14-2, pitching 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 7K/1BB. Philip Humber has some soreness and will miss a start or two, thus, Julio DePaula made a spot start in Wednesday's 9-7 loss, pitching 2.2 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 2K/2BB. Tim Lahey has pitched well for the Wings, however, he had a rough night in relief of DePaula...pitching 1.1 inning with 4 hits, 6 runs and 1K/2BB. Carmen Cali was excellent this week with back-to-back 3.0 inning shutout performances on Wednesday and Friday, and now has one of the top ERA's on the staff at 2.73 with a 4-0 record in 33.0 innings. Casey Daigle leads the staff with a 2.63ERA in 37.2 innings while Bobby Korecky (2.96ERA) and Ricky Barrett (2.92ERA) are the other relievers with sub 3.00ERAs.
The Wings top hitter this week was Randy Ruiz who also received serious consideration for Player of the Week after going 9 for 26 (.346Ave) with 6 runs, 6 rbi, 2 walks, 2 doubles (team high 16) and 3 home runs (9). Denard Span was their top hitter with a .327Ave before going on the DL, it will be great to get him back in the next few days. Darnell McDonald continues to shine with a .319Ave in 207 at bats with 9 home runs, 14 doubles, 40 rbi and 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts. Brian Buscher was also hitting .319Ave and is tied with McDonald for the fourth best average in the league (Note: Span does not have enough at bats).
New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (2-4, 30-36)
The Cats were back to their losing habits, however, having Hughes back on the DL takes away one of the top hitters in the minor leagues. They are again six games under .500 and hopefully the influx of new stars from Ft. Myers will be the shot in the arm the team needs to get back on a winning track.
Kyle Aselton has been used more as a reliever than a starter during his five years since being drafted in the 11th round of the 2004 draft. He moved into the rotation this week, getting the loss last Saturday, 3-0, when he pitched 4.0 innings with 3 hits, 3 runs and 1K/0BB. He was better on Wednesday when he got the win, 6-5, pitching 5.0 innings with 6 hits 2 runs and 0K/2BB. It was about this time of the year three years ago when Kyle moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation for Beloit and was one of their top starters the rest of the season. Will he have that same success this season for the Rock Cats? Jay Rainville had made several excellent starts recently, until Sunday when he pitched 1.2 innings with 10 hits and 11 runs in the Cats 17-4 loss. The pitcher we expect to take the hill returned last night, pitching 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 6K/2BB in a 3-2 Cat loss. Errol Simonitsch's last appearance with the Cats was a game they lost, 10-2, on Tuesday. Errol pitched 5.0 innings with 12 hits, 7 runs and 4K/0BB. Ryan Mullins pitched like an Ace in Thursday's 5-1 win, pitching 8.0 innings with 5 hits, 1 run and 1K/2BB. Armando Gabino has an excellent 2.72ERA with 3 saves in 27 appearances (43.0 innings). Zach Ward had pitched better than anyone on the organization until the past several outings. Ward now has a 3.05ERA in 25 appearances (38.1 innings) getting the loss last night when he pitched the tenth inning when he allowed one run on a hit with 1K/1BB. On Tuesday he pitched 2.0 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs with 1K/1BB.
Brock Peterson had a good week and with the Cats shorthanded until replacements arrive from Ft. Myers, played left field last night. Peterson is hitting .254Ave with 21 doubles, 6 home runs and 41 rbi. David Winfree continues to lead the team with 44 rbi (which is tied for the organization lead with Danny Valencia), although is hitting only .224, however, is hitting .279Ave with runners in scoring position. Winfree also has 14 doubles and 11 home runs. Dustin Martin has been back in centerfield the last few games, although his average is down to .290. Martin also leads the team with 14 stolen bases in 21 attempts. Luke Hughes was hitting a team high .335/.407/.618 with 13 home runs and 34 rbi before going on the DL a second time.
Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (4-1, 44-22)
Congratulations to the championship Ft. Myers Miracle, who with just one more win in their last three games of the first half...they will become the winningest team since the franchise began. The Miracle were 4-1 this week and gained another 2.0 games to lead the Tampa Yankees by 8.0 games.
Cole DeVries had another start worthy of recognition, getting the win Saturday when he pitched 8.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 5K/0BB. Cole has the second most innings on the staff (72.1) and now has his ERA down to 3.11. Jeff Manship was solid in what will be his last start in Sunday's 5-0 loss, pitching 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 3K/0BB. He leads the team with 78.2 innings with a 7-3 record, 2.86ERA, 1.12WHIP adnd 63K/20BB. Deolis Guerra left the team to visit his ailing Grandmother following Monday's 6-4 win when he pitched 6.1 innings with 9 hits, 3 runs and 2K/1BB. Guerra has the best record amongst all starters, 7-2, with a 4.83ERA in 63.1 innings with 34K/30BB. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Deolis and his family while he is home with his family. Alex Burnett was the starter in Tuesday's 6-2 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 2K/0BB. Burnett also has an excellent 3.36ERA with a 1.33WHIP in 69.2 innings. Brian Erickson picked up his first win in relief and has a 2.16ERA, 0.84WHIP with 10K/1BB in 8.1 innings since joining the Miracle bullpen. While with Beloit, Brian appeared in 16 games (18.2ip) with a 1-3 record, 3.38ERA and 26K/8BB. Frank Mata had an excellent 1.93ERA, 1.00WHIP with 15K/4BB in 11 games (14.0ip) before moving up to New Britain. Anthony Slama goes into the all-star game with 24 appearances (36.0ip) with a 2-0 record, 12 saves, 0.50ERA, 0.89WHIP and 59K/12BB. Teammate Robert Delaney is also at the game with an excellent 1.42ERA, 0.88EHIP and 34K/4BB in 23 appearances (31.2ip) with a 1-2 record and 13 saves. One will be moving on after the game with the other taking the sole closer role for the Miracle.
Juan Portes has been having an excellent spring for the Miracle. He is hitting .285Ave with 12 doubles, and 29 rbi. Juan got his fifth home run of the season Tuesday, a walk-off grand slam to give the Miracle a 6-2 win the day after they clinched their championship. Danny Valencia will move up to New Britain after leading the FSL in hitting the first half of the season with a .336Average. Danny is second in OBP (.402) and rbi (44, which is tied for the organization lead), while having the fifth most hits (74) and doubles (19). Valencia has struck out 43 times with 27 walks in 220 at bats. Brian Dinkelman also moves up following the all-star game. Brian is hitting .293/.399/.414 and is tied for the league's most runs scored (44), fourth most walks (33, compared to 28 strikeouts in 232 at bats), and sixth most doubles (18). Wilson Ramos is tied with the fourth most home runs (8) as his average has moved up to .242/.297/.410 while hitting .279/.354/.349 in June.
Beloit Snappers (A) (2-4, 35-32)
The Snappers struggled this week, however, picked up a game and a half and are now tied for third, 6.5 games behind Clinton who has clinched the first half championship.
Santos Arias made two starts, pitching 6.0 innings with 9 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) and 6K/0BB in Saturday's 5-4 loss. He got the loss last night, 5-4, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 unearned run and 4K/0BB. Arias has an excellent 2.22ERA with a 1.10WHIP in his 9 starts (52.2ip) with 49K/12BB. David Bromberg was the loser Sunday (4-3) when he pitched 7.0 innings with 5 hits, 4 runs and 5K/2BB. Michael Tarsi pitched 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 7K/3BB in Monday's 6-5 win. Michael McCardell was the winner Tuesday, 4-2, when he pitched a game worthy of recognition with 8.0 shutout innings, 5 hits and 9K/1BB. Michael has an excellent 3.15ERA, 1.18/WHIP and 50K/14BB in 45.2 innings. Brian Kirwin was the loser on Wednesday, 4-0, pitching 4.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 2K/2BB. Brian leds the team with 78 strikeouts in 62.2 innings. Spencer Steedley was again excellent in relief (2.36ERA in 34.1 innings with 47K/13BB) as has Matt Williams (1.88ERA in 38.1 innings with 42K/12BB) and Steven Hirschfield (1.62ERA in 33.1 innings with 25K/13BB).
Ben Revere had a disappointing week, going 10 for 25 (.400Average) as he watched his average slip to .411. Ben leads the league with his .411 Average and .459OBP and although he has played in only 43 games, Ben has the third most stolen bases (22) in 33 attempts. Ben also has the second most doubles (12) and most triples (6) on the team. Steve Singleton continues to demonstrate surprising power with 6 home runs to go along with his .306/.347/.427. Chris Parmalee saw his streak of 3 games with home runs end on Sunday, and now has a team high and second most home runs in the league (12). Parmalee also has a team high 39 rbi and is leading the team with 46 walks (76 strikeouts in 197 at bats) which are second most in the league. Chris Cates had an excellent week following his appearance on ESPN with Loek VanMil (tallest and shortest players in baseball)...hitting .262/.342/.293 for the Snappers this season. Ramon Santana was hitting .283/.358/.453 in 159 at bats before going on the DL.
DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League)
With all the uncertainties in Venezuela, the VSL has only 8 teams participating this year. Last season the Twins and Cubs shared a team, however, both teams chose to forego participation this year. As a result, the Dominican Summer League has grown to 37 teams with seveal teams (including the Cubs) fielding two teams.
The DSL Twins began their season with a 7-5 record and are in third place, 2.5 games behind the Cubs-1 in their division (the league has a total of 5 divisions). The team is comprised of players from both the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
The top pitchers to watch after these first few games are Ramon Acosta, who is a 21 year old who was 4-5 with a 2.48ERA in 83.1 innings in the DSL in 2007. Acosta has a 2-0 record with a 2.00ERA and 0.55WHIP in 3 starts, 20.0 innings. Eliecer Cardenas has a 2.00ERA in 3 starts, 9.0 innings. Cardenas is 20 years old and had a 2.08ERA in 52.0 innings with in the DSL last year. Cesar Ciurcina is a 17 year old Venezuelan who has a 6.48ERA in 8.1 innings with 10K/1BB in his first few games of professional ball. Edison Alvarez is a 19 year old reliever who has appeared in 5 games (7.0 innings) with a 0.00ERA, 0.71WHIP and 9K/2BB. Alvarez was also excellent last year when he had a 0.78ERA and 5-1 record in 26 games (58.0 innings) with 48K/11BB. Adrian Salcedo is also playing his first professional ball, having turned 17 just two months ago. Salcedo has a 0-2 record in 2 starts (9.2 innings) with a 3.72ERA, 1.03WHIP and 6K/2BB.
Jean Carlos Mercedes leads the team with a .400/.500/.733 in 15 at bats. Mercedes is a 20 year old outfielder who hit .056Ave in 71 at bats last year. Juan Blanco is a second baseman who is hitting .368/.368/.368 in 19 at bats. Blanco is a 19 year old Venezuelan who hit .261 for the VSL Twins in 2007. Jairo Perez is a 19 year old shortstop who is hitting .313/.478/.656 in 32 at bats with 3 of the team's 6 home runs and a team high 13 rbi. Last year Perez, a native of Venezuela, hit .091Ave in 33 at bats for the DSL Twins.
Player of the Week
The Twins drafted Erik Lis in the ninth round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Evansville. Lis immediately became a hitter to watch as he hit .315Ave with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 41 rbi in 168 at bats for the Elizabethton Twins. Erik was even better in his first full season when he hit .326Ave with 37 doubles, 16 home runs and 70 rbi in 411 at bats for the Beloit Snappers in 2006. Erik's average was down last year at Ft. Myers (.274Ave), however his production was not as he had 34 doubles, 18 home runs and 97 rbi in 492 at bats.
This season Erik moved up another level to the Class AA New Britain Rock Cats. The Twins have worked with this former first baseman to find the best fit to keep his bat moving towards the parent team. This season Erik spent most of his time in either left field or at DH, until recently when he has played several games at first base. Erik is hitting .301/.346/.496 in 226 at bats with 25 runs scored, a team high 27 doubles (leads Eastern League), 1 triple, 5 home runs, 28 rbi and 17 walks with 46 strikeouts. Erik hit .360/.405/.600 in May following a terrible April when he hit .202/.264/.321 in 84 at bats in April. Erik has continued his hot streak, hitting .357/.364/.595 in June.
This week, Erik was 10 for 23 (.435 Average) with 5 runs scored, 6 doubles, his fifth home run, 5 rbi and 1 walk. After a slow start Erik continues to turn heads with his bat as he continues his march towards a day when he will step onto the field in Minnesota. It appears that the only question that remains is whether it will be at the Dome or the new stadium in 2010?