Minor League Report...July 12, 2008

As the Twins prepare for their all-star break, the farm teams put up another winning week with a 22-20 record.

There were only a few transactions this week, most notably the signing of their second first round pick, Carlos Gutierrez....who reportedly has been assigned to Ft. Myers.  The GCL Twins added a non drafted free-agent, closer Khol NanneyKyle Edlich led the GCL in ERA in 2005, however, has been injured since and after sticking with him for three years Kyle was released this week.  Spencer Steedley moved up to Ft. Myers, with recently signed seventeenth round pick, Blake Martin moving up to Beloit.  David Coulon (15th round pick) was removed from the ETon roster for what has been reported as a contract problem.  Dianna is reporting that Rene Tosoni's injury is healing slowly and he is not close to a return, however, Johnny Woodard is two to three weeks away.  Whit Robbins was activated and should play today.  Finally, Ace Tyler Robertson was having an MRI today.  Dan Osterbrock was named the Appy League Pitcher of the Week.

With the signing of Gutierrez, the Twins have now signed all of their top fifteen picks (13 rounds), except sixth round pick Brett Hermsen (Iowa high school player who is playing in his summer high school league and has indicated he may attend college).   They have now signed 21 players, not including Coulon.

This week we will take a look at many of the team leaders.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (2-5, 44-53)

The Wings continue to struggle, holding on to fourth place while dropping another half game behind Pawtuckett who they now trail by 15.5 games.

Julio DePaula made two starts this week as he moves out of the bullpen.  He pitched 3.1 innings on Sunday in a 9-1 loss with 6 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and 1K/3BB.  Last night he pitched 3.2 innings in a 2-1 loss with 4 hits, 2 runs and 3K/4BB.  Philip Humber made several relief appearances, struggling on Sunday when he pitched 3.1 innings with 5 hits, 4 runs and 1K/2BB.  On Thursday, Philip pitched 1.1 inning with 0 hits, 0 runs and 1K/1BB.  Bobby Korecky had two good appearances, pitching a shutout inning in each game.  He was not as good on Wednesday when he allowed 3 hits and a run in 1.0 inning.  Brian Duensing is the leader of the staff with 116.0 innings with a 5-9 record and 4.11 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.

Howie Clark and Randy Ruiz are tied for the team lead with .305 batting averages (Jose Morales has a .315Ave, however, has been on the DL for some time and Denard Span was hitting .340Ave when he was called up by the Twins).  Ruiz also leads the team with 108 hits, 24 doubles, 13 home runs and is tied for the team rbi lead with Darnell McDonald, each with 53.  McDonald also leads the team with 17 stolen bases (20 attempts) while Jason Pridie is the triples leader (11) and Garrett Jones has a team high 51 runs scored.

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (2-5, 44-53)

The Rock Cats continue to drop in the standings, remaining in fourth place 15.5 games behind Pawtuckett. 

Jay Rainville is back with the Cats starting rotation.  Jay was the loser last Saturday, 5-0, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs and 0K/2BB.  He got the win, 4-1, Thursday when he pitched 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 4K/2BB.  Anthony Swarzak has struggled of late, including Sunday when he was the loser, 6-5, pitching 6.0 innings with 12 hits, 5 runs and 1K/0BB.  He was better in last night's 4-3 win, pitching 5.2 innings with 8 hits, 3 runs and 3K/2BB.  Jeff Manship wasn't real good in his first start for the Cats, then pitched several very good games.  He wasn't good on Wednesday as the Cats got shut out, 9-0.  Jeff pitched 5.0 innings with 13 hits, 6 runs (only 2 earned) and 2K/2BB.  Zach Ward made a good start but got the loss on Monday, 5-2, when he pitched 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs and 5K/4BB.  Yohan Pino was back in the starting rotation on Tuesday, pitching 5.1 innings in a 4-2 win.  Pino gave up 6 hits, 2 runs and 6K/2BB.  Seth is reporting that Ryan Mullins was in the bullpen after missing some time when he was sick.  He made three excellent appearances this week, pitching 2.1 innings with 1 hit, 1 unearned run and 4K/2BB on Sunday; 2.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 0K/0BB on Wednesday; and 2.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 3K/0BB last night.  Although Seth's report may be accurate, is it possible the Twins are taking a look at whether Mullins may be more suited to the bullpen at the major league level and are making a change?

Steve Tolleson remains the team average leader (.335) and on the DL.  Luke Hughes is the active leader at .328.  Hughes also leads the team with 47 runs scored and 15 home runs.  Erik Lis has the most doubles (31) while Dustin Martin leads the Cats with 5 triples and 14 stolen bases (23 attempts).  Although hitting only .220Ave (.263 RISP), David Winfree leads the team with 55 rbi.  Brock Peterson has a team high 32 walks along with a team high 77 strikeouts.  After a slow start, Danny Valencia has his average up to .250. 

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (3-4, 12-10)

After going undefeated last week, the Miracle came back to earth this week.  They dropped to third place, losing another 1.5 games to division leading Dunedin who they now trail by 3.0 games.

Alex Burnett had been one of their top starters the first half, however, he has struggled since the break.  Alex pitched 6.2 innings with 10 hits, 4 runs and 3K/4BB in Saturday's 7-6 loss.  Thursday, Burnett was the loser (12-1) when he pitched only 3.0 innings with 8 hits, 7 runs (3 earned) and 0K/0BB.  Deolis Guerra pitched 5.0 innings in Sunday's 7-6 loss with 4 hits, 5 runs and 1K/5BB.  Guerra was much better last night when he started the Miracle's 1-0 win...pitching 6.1 shutout innings with 5 hits and 3K/2BB as he stretched his record to a team best 9-5.  Tyler Robertson is getting an MRI after losing Monday's game, 5-2, when he pitched 4.0 innings with 5 hits, 5 runs (1 earned) and 3K/1BB.  Cole DeVries is the staff leader with 99.1 innings and a 2.45ERA.  Cole was the winner Wednesday, 6-1, when he pitched a complete game (9.0 innings) with 4 hits, 1 run and 6K/1BB.  Danny Santiesteban pitched an inning of relief on Monday with 0 hits, 0 runs and 2K/0BB.  Is there a change in Danny's future?  Anthony Slama got his team high 19th save last night and now has a 0.73ERA and 0.87WHIP in 34 appearances (49.1 innings) with 80K/14BB. 

 With several of their top hitters moving up to New Britain including the FSL leader, Danny Valencia, Edward Ovalle has taken over as the team leader (Rene Tosoni was hitting .325Ave when he went on the DL earlier this spring) with a .296Ave.  Ovalle also leads the Miracle with 9 triples, 10 stolen bases (17 attempts) and 90 hits.  Juan Portes leads with 46 runs scored while Portes and Wilson Ramos are tied for the team lead with 15 doubles (Valencia had 19 before his promotion) while Ramos leads the team with 52 rbi.

Beloit Snappers (A) (4-1, 14-7)

The Snappers truly are having a remarkable second half.  A 14-7 record with Joe Benson, Jair Fernandez and Chris Parmalee all on the DL!  The Snappers remain in contention in second place only a half game behind Peoria.

David Bromberg has not pitched like the pitcher who was the Appy League Pitcher of the Year last year, with to many games like Sunday (the Snappers won 6-5) when he pitched 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs and 7K/2BB.  Last night Bromberg stepped up a level in a 13-2 win, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 9K/1BB.  Bromberg is the staff leader with 107 strikeouts in 96.2 innings.  Mike McCardell had one of the better games in the system this week in a 6-1 win on Thursday, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 9K/1BB.  Santos Arias started Sunday's 11 inning win (12-11), pitching 5.1 innings with 7 hits, 5 runs and 3K/0BB.  MIchael Tarsi, who leads the team with 100.1 innings, wasn't the pitcher of record in Wednesday's 7-6 loss...pitching 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 3K/3BB.  With Spencer Steedley moving up to Ft. Myers, Loek VanMil leads the team with 3 saves, however, Charles Nolte leads the team with a 1.87ERA.

Chris Parmalee is the team leader with 14 home runs, 49 rbi, 83 strikeouts and 52 walks.  Ben Revere was 3 for 5 last night putting his Average back over .400 at .402.  Ben leads the team, organization, and MidWest League in hitting while also leading the Snappers with 94 hits, 8 triples and 27 stolen bases (38 attempts).  Joe Benson leads the team with 16 doubles.  It has been reported that the Twins were not happy with Rene Leveret's condition when he reported this spring, thus, he began the year in EST before returning to Elizabethton to start their season.  When the Snappers were hit with their recent injuries, Leveret moved up to Beloit where he is hitting much like he did last year for Elizabethton.  In 12 games (48 at bats), Leveret is hitting .333Ave with 3 doubles, 1 home run and 12 rbi.  It also should be noted that catcher Allan de San Miguel is hitting .302Ave for the Snappers since moving down from Ft. Myers.  Although he has been in the organization for a long time, this excellent defensive catcher is only 20 years old and the fact that he is hitting well for the first time in his career is encouraging.   

Elizabethton Twins (Advanced Rookie) (3-1, 17-5)

The Twins lost a few games this week to weather, however, picked up another 2.0 games and now lead second place Bristol by 5 full games.

Dan Osterbrock had another excellent start on Saturday, a 6-3 win, when he pitched a 9.0 inning complete game with 3 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) and 9K/0BB.  Shooter Hunt made his second start last night in a game the Twins lost 4-3 in 15 innings.  Hunt pitched 5.0 shutout, no-hit innings with 10K/2BB.  In his first 8.0 innings with the Twins, Hunt has a 0.00ERA with 0 hits and 16K/2BB.  Seth talked at length this week about a chain of moves the Twins need to make beginning with DeVries moving up to New Britain and ending with Hunt moving to Beloit.  Was last night Hunt's last game in Elizabethton?  Brad Tippett also had an excellent start in Wednesday's 3-1 win...pitching 7.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 4K/0BB.  Tippett leads the Twins with a 4-1 record while Osterbrock leads with a 1.57ERA (not including Hunt's 0.00).  Mark Hamburger is the save leader with 3 to go with a 3.00ERA in 18.0 innings.   

Alexander Soto leads with a .417/.432/1.028 with Nick Papason and Angel Morales close behind at .389/.405/.556 and .353/.421/.676, respectively.  Soto also leads the team with 6 home runs with Morales and Michael Harrington both with 5 home runs.  Jon Waltenbury leads with 31 hits, 20 runs scored, 9 doubles and 2 triples while Harrington is the leader with 19 rbi.  Morales leads with 27 strikeouts (only 3 walks) while Harrington has 11 walks (18 strikeouts). 

GCL Twins (Rookie) (5-1, 14-5)

The Elizabethton Twins are in contention for a league championship every year.  This year the Gulf Coast League Twins are determined to equal their sister rookie team.  The Twins extended their first place lead to 4.0 games this week, with the Reds and Red Sox tied for second.

Miguel Munoz had two wins this week, pitching 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 3K/1BB in Saturday's 11-5 win.  He backed it up last night in a 8-2 win when he again pitched 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 6K/0BB.  Munoz leads the staff with a 3-1 record.  Martire Garcia pitched 6.0 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 8K/1BB in Sunday's 4-2 win.  Alex Curry got 12 runs of support on Monday, 12-1, as he pitched 6.0 shutout innings with only 1 hit and 5K/1BB.  Curry leads the staff with a 1.15ERA and 0.70WHIP.  Edgar Ibarra wasn't the pitcher of record in Wednesday's 7-4 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 5K/3BB.  Angelo Sanchez leads the staff with 19.2 innings after getting the win on Thursday, 7-4, when he pitched 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 2K/1BB.  Sanchez also has an excellent 1.83ERA.  Kelvin Mota leads the team with 4 saves (8.2 innings) with a perfect 0.00ERA.  Jose Morales has now pitched in 5 games (7.0 innings) with 6 hits, 12K/1BB and a 0.00ERA.    

Adam Everett was 3 for 5 in 2 games this week while on his re-hab assignment.  Michael Gonzales is the leader at .474/.512/.711 in 38 at bats.  Gonzales is also tied with Andres Diaz with 2 home runs.  Herbert Lara leads the Twins with 16 runs scored while Reggie Williams leads with 5 doubles with Daniel Ortiz in the lead with 3 triples.  Lara and catcher Jae-Hyung Jang both have .333 batting averages while top pick Aaron Hicks and Anderson Hidalgo are both hitting .313.

DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League) (2-5, 21-15)

The DSL Twins dropped two spots to fourth place, 5.5 games behind the White Sox-1. 

Ramon Acosta (21 years old) remains the staff leader with a 5-0 record, 0.00ERA, 0.58WHIP and 1 complete game shutout in 7 starts (46.2 innings).  Eliecer Cardenas (20 years old) has a 3-1 record in 8 games (5 starts) with a 1.58ERA and 44K/6BB in 40.0 innings.  Pedro Guerra (18 years old) is also 3-1 in 7 starts (36.1 innings) with a 2.72ERA.  Reliever Jose Gonzalez (18 years old) has 29K/6BB in 14 games of relief (23.0 innings) with a 2.35ERA and 3 saves.  Closer Edison Alvarez (19 years old) has appeared in 12 games (15.1 innings) with a 0.59ERA, 0.72WHIP and 15K/3BB.  Orlando Villaroe (18 years old) has a 1-3 record in 5 starts (23.0 innings) with a 1.96ERA and 19K/13BB.  Adrian Salcedo is a 17-year old with a 1-3 record in 5 starts (24.2 innings) with a 2.55ERA, 0.85WHIP and 15K/3BB. 

Jairo Perez (20 years old) has taken the team lead with a .329/.457/.571.  Perez also leads with 3 home runs and 20 rbi.  Wilfy Gil (18 years old) is hitting .318/.457/.571 with 13 walks and 12 strikeouts.  Gil leads the team with 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts.  Eliel Sierra (22 years old) leads with 19 runs scored and 10 doubles while Daniel Santana, who is 17 years old, leads with 3 triples while having a second best 7 stolen bases in 10 attempts while hitting .272/.355/.383.         

Player of the Week

While Francisco Liriano may have been the second most talked about Twin this past winter, his season began with a clear indication of the uphill battle he was facing as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery.  After a shortened spring training, Liriano began the season in Rochester, however, also had a short stay with the Twins in which he made 3 starts...pitching 10.1 innings with a 11.32ERA, 0-3 record and only 7 strikeouts with 13 walks.  Liriano was only a little better at Rochester where he made 2 April starts (8.1 innings) with a 0-1 record and 7.58ERA with 6K/8BB.

Liriano took a step forward in May when he again had a 0-1 record in 6 starts (39.0 innings) with a 3.46ERA, 1.15WHIP and 27K/10BB.  All indications are that The Franchise turned the corner in June when he made 6 starts (36.2 innings) with a 5-0 record, 3.93ERA, 1.45WHIP and 38K/8BB.

This week Liriano made 2 excellent starts.  On Saturday he got the win, 2-0, when he pitched 6.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 7K/1BB.  On Thursday, the Wings won 14-1 behind Liriano's 7.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 8K/ Francisco a week in which he pitched 13.0 shutout innings with 15 strikeouts and only 2 walks.   

The Twins will take their all-star break Sunday, returning for what should be a drive for the playoffs.  It is likely Liriano will make a few more starts at Rochester, then join the Twins some time before the end of July.  What moves the Twins make to open a spot in their rotation should be interesting for fans to speculate about.  

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