Minor League Report...July 19, 2008

The AA and AAA teams took their all-star breaks this week and if the organization's record is an indication...all the teams took a break.  The DSL Twins were the only team with a winning record as the organization was 15-21.

With the all-star breaks and a lot of rain in Florida, Mr. Rantz was also inactive with only a couple players being reassigned.  Pitcher Mike Allen moved up to Beloit with recent twenty-first round pick Steven Blevins moving up to Elizabethton from the GCL Twins.  Ramon Santana injured his leg and left Thursday's game, however, has not yet been placed on the DL.  Brian Kirwin is on the 7-day DL at Beloit.  Shooter Hunt was named the Appy League Pitcher of the Week for his 5.0 inning 10 strikeout, no hit outing the previous week.  There have been numerous reports about the frustrations of Francisco Liriano and his agent's request that the union investigate why The Franchise is still in Rochester.  Jim Mandalero spoke with Francisco late this week when he said that he "did wonder why he was still in the minors."  When asked specifically if he was frustrated, he said that he "was not frustrated."

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (2-2, 46-55)

The Wings took a break for the AAA all-star game, in which they were represented by Darnell McDonald.  They remained in fourth place, dropping another 2.0 games behind Pawtuckett whom they now trail by 17.5 games.

Danny Graves made two starts this week, pitching 5.2 innings in Saturday's 9-8 thirteen inning win, with 9 hits, 6 runs (4 earned) and 5K/2BB.  Danny lasted only 1.0 inning in last night's 11-5 loss, with 7 hits, 6 runs and 0K/1BB.  Bobby Korecky had his seventh blown save when he pitched 2.2 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs and 4K/0BB.  Brian Duensing started Sunday's 9-3 loss, pitching 4.0 innings with 6 hits, 4 runs and 4K/4BB.  Francisco Liriano got his 8th win (7-4) on Thursday when he pitched 8.0 innings with 7 hits, 1 run and 8K/0BB.  He now has a 3.34ERA and 1.14WHIP with 94K/28BB in 105.0 innings.  In three July starts, Francisco is 3-0 with a 0.43ERA and 23K/2BB in 21.0 innings.  Ricky Barrett has been excellent this year, yet he allowed 2 hits and 3 runs in 0.2 innings in relief of Liriano.  Barrett has a 2.77ERA with 63K/28BB in 52.0 innings and perhaps more important, Ricky has not been on the DL this year.  Philip Humber, who is now working out of the bullpen, made three appearances this week (4.1 innings) with 2 hits, 1 run and 3K/2BB...dropping his ERA under 6.00 to 5.89.    

Howie Clark was 5 for 12 this week and is now the active leading hitter at .313/.371/.458.  Alejandro Machado is hitting .275/.293/.350 in his first 40 at bats since returning from the DL.  Matt Macri was 3 for 4 last night and is now hitting .270/.340/.454.  Jason Pridie is hitting a disappointing .242/.275/.393, yet leads the Wings with 53 runs scored, 11 triples and 18 stolen bases in 22 attempts. 

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (2-4, 41-57)

The Cats struggles continues this week as they remain in fifth place, dropping another 2.0 games behind Trenton whom they trail by 19.5 games.

Anthony Swarzak made his best start in awhile, yet lost last night, 3-2.  Anthony pitched 7.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 5K/2BB.  Robert Delaney has been very good since his promotion to AA, however, got the loss when he pitched 1.1 innings with 1 hit, 1 run and 2K/2BB.  Delaney now has a 1.76ERA with 18K/3BB in 15.1 innings.  Jay Rainville also had a very good start in Thursday's 15-3 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 4K/3BB.  Jeff Manship struggled on Monday when the Wings lost 9-5...pitching 4.0 innings with 6 hits, 6 runs and 2K/4BB.  Kyle Aselton was very good in Saturday's 2-1 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 2 hits, 2 runs and 5K/2BB.  Yohan Pino is back in the starting rotation and was very good in Sunday's 5-4 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) and 6K/1BB.  Ben Julianel got his system leading 20th save this week to go with a 2.47ERA and 56K/21BB in 51.0 innings.

Luke Hughes was one of the stars in the Eastern League All-Star game when he hit a 3 run home run in a 5-3 win.  Hughes continues as the Cats leading hitter with a .323/.394/.574 with 15 home runs.  Toby Gardenhire is now hitting .309/.388/.352 following a 8 for 20 week.  Following a slow start after his promotion from Ft. Myers, Danny Valencia (9 for 28 this week) is hitting .319/.333/.449 in 69 at bats in July.  Brian Dinkelman is hitting .247/.301/.318 since his promotion (.289Ave in July).  Erik Lis had another 2 doubles this week (33) as he continues to lead the Eastern League and organization...Lis is hitting .274/.313/.471 with 10 home runs and 49 rbi.  Dustin Martin was 10 for 24 and is hitting .289/.359/.434 with a team high 16 stolen bases in 24 attempts. 

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (2-3, 14-13)

The Miracle dropped another 2.5 games behind Dunedin and are now in third place, 5.5 games out.

Deolis Guerra has the highest ERA of all starters (4.42ERA), yet leads the organization with a 10-4 record.  Guerra was the winner last night, 10-4, when he pitched 5.0 innings with 8 hits, 4 runs and 1K/0BB.  It can be argued that Cole DeVries is the staff Ace, however, he had a not so good outing on Monday when the Miracle lost 8-4 with Cole pitching 4.0 innings with 9 hits, 5 runs and 5K/3BB.  DeVries now has an excellent 2.79ERA, 1.26WHIP and 76K/27BB in 103.1 innings.  Alex Burnett leads the team with 104.2 innings.  He pitched 7.0 innings with 4 hits, 4 runs and 7K/1BB in Wednesday's 4-2 loss.  Matt Fox was very good on Sunday when he got the loss after pitching 6.0 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs and 5K/0BB.  Spencer Steedley is adjusting to the FSL since his recent promotion.  He relieved Fox in a close game with a line of 0.0 innings, 4 hits, 6 runs and 0K/2BB.  He was much better last night when he pitched a 1.0 shutout inning with 0 hits and 1K/1BB.  Carlos Gutierrez made his first two appearances with the Miracle.  The recent first round pick pitched 2.0 innings with 3 hits, 0 runs and 2K/0BB. 

Steven Singleton has quickly adjusted to FSL pitching and is now hitting .290/.371/.470 with only 10 strikeouts and 14 walks in 100 at bats.  Wilson Ramos' average continues to move up (.258) with a .306/.333/.449 July.  Adam Everett was 2 for 8 in his 2 games with the Miracle on his rehab assignment.  Danny Berg was 4 for 13 this week and is now hitting a respectable .266/.386/.413.       

Beloit Snappers (A) (2-4, 16-11)

The Snappers dropped 2.0 games to the division leading Peoria and remain in second place, 2.5 games out.

Henry Reyes started Saturday's game that was finished the following day, a 8-7 loss.  Reyes pitched 4.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 5K/2BB.  Michael Tarsi got the loss on Monday, 5-4, when he pitched 6.0 innings with 10 hits, 5 runs and 6K/1BB.  Tarsi leads the staff with 106.1 innings with a 5.50ERA and 92K/27BB.  Santos Arias was the winner, 5-3, on Wednesday, pitching 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 9K/2BB.  It was a AAA night for the Snappers as Arias was relieved by Michael Allen (2.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 2K/0BB) and Chris Anderson, who got his second save after pitching 1.0 inning with 2 hits, 1 run and 2K/0BB.  Michael McCardell won on Thursday, 11-7, pitching 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 5 runs and 7K/2BB.  McCardell has an excellent 3.08ERA and 88K/19BB in 87.2 innings.  David Bromberg pitched 6.0 innings with 6K/2BB, 6 hits and 1 run in a 4-3 loss last night.  Loek Van Mil got the loss when he allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in 1.0 innin with 1 hit and 1K/1BB.  Loek had an excellent 2.0 inning outing on Monday with 1 hit, 0 runs and 2K/0BB.  Steven Hirschfield was the loser on Sunday, 4-3, when he pitched 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 3K/3BB.  

Ben Revere continues to lead the league and organization (not including rookie teams) at .394/.449/.525.  Ben also has 8 triples and 31 stolen bases in 42 attempts (4 for 4 this week).  Rene Leveret is hitting .297/.357/.391 in 64 at bats with 1 home run and 12 rbi.  Ramon Santana is hitting .287/.357/.391 and Mark Dolenc is hitting .270/.353/.345 following his 9 for 21 week.  After a slow start, Mark hit .255Ave in 55 at bats in June and a sizzling .407 in 54 at bats this month.  D.J. Romero is high on many top prospect lists, yet was a disappointment to some early this season.  The fact is that D.J. was battling an injury and missed all of May on the DL.  Since returning, Romero has gotten his stroke back and is hitting .327/.386/.481 in 52 at bats this month.  Joe Benson, Chris Parmalee and Jair Fernandez remain on the DL with no signs that any will be returning soon!

Elizabethton Twins (Advanced Rookie) (2-4, 19-9)

The Twins had a very unusual losing record and remain in a battle for their division with a 3.5 games lead (lost 1.5 games this week) over Bristol.

Shooter Hunt have up his first run and his first earned run in Wednesday's 6-4 loss.  In the first inning he gave up a ground ball to shortstop James Beresford who allowed the batter to get on base with a throwing error.  The runner stole second, then stole third and scored on a throwing error by catcher Jeff that's an unearned run!  He would later give up his first earned run as he finished his night with a line of 6.0 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 12K/0BB.  With a 0.64ERA, 0.29WHIP and 28K/2BB in 14.0 innings, Hunt's days in Elizabethton have to be ending very soon as his numbers resemble those of Kevin Slowey when he began his professional career at Elizabethton with a 1.17ERA and 15K/0BB in 7.2 innings.  Brad Tippett had another excellent start in Monday's 5-3 win, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with 6 hits and 8K/1BB...Brad has a 1.66ERA with a 5-1 record and a team high 38.0 innings with 34K/4BB.  After getting league honors recently, Daniel Osterbrock had two less than stellar starts this week.  He was the loser on Saturday, 16-3, when he pitched 4.1 innings with 8 hits, 8 runs (6 earned) and 6K/2BB.  He lost again Thursday, 4-3, when he pitched 6.0 innings with 8 hits, 4 runs and 10K/0BB.  Osterbrock has a respectable 3.78ERA in 33.1 innings with 40K/3BB.  Bobby Lanigan pitched 7.0 shutout innings last night in a 9-0 win with 3 hits and 8K/0BB.  Lanigan has a very good 2.74ERA in 23.0 innings with 24K/4BB.  Danny Berlind pitched 3.2 innings in Tuesday's 8-7 loss with 5 hits, 5 runs and 5K/3BB.  Curtis Leavitt had two excellent relief appearances, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 4K/2BB. 

Alexander Soto was 4 for 11 and continues to lead the Twins with a .404/.462/.979 in 47 at bats with a team high 7 home runs.  Nick Papason is second at .389/.405/.556, however, Nick didn't play this week.  Angel Morales is hitting .360/.433/.674 after another great week, 7 for 18.  Evan Bigley was the Twins 10th round pick this year out of Dallas Baptist University.  Bigley, who is hitting .306/.346/.569, was 7 for 17 this week with 3 doubles, a home run and 5 rbi.  Michael Harrington is another recent draft pick (13th round out of College of Charleston) who is hitting very well, .305/.388/.505 with 6 home runs and a team high 25 rbi (third in league).

GCL Twins (Rookie) (1-2, 15-7)

This week the Twins biggest opponent was the weather as they lost several games to rain.  They had their first place lead shaved by 1.5 games and now lead their cross town rival Red Sox by only 1.5 games.

Martire Garcia was the loser on Saturday, 3-2, pitching 5.1 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 2K/2BB.   Alex Curry didn't get the loss on Monday, 2-1, when he made an excellent start with 6.0 innings, 2 hits, 1 run and 4K/0BB.  Jose Mijares had his only bad outing while with the GCL Twins on his rehab assignment, getting the loss after pitching 2.0 innings with 3 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) and 1K/0BB.  Angelo Sanchez didn't get the win on Thursday, 3-1, when he pitched 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 5K/3BB.  Jose Mijares got the win as he forgot about Monday and pitched 2.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 3K/0BB.  Mijares now has a 0.82ERA in 7 appearances (11.0 innings) with 16K/1BB.  Kelvin Mota got his fifth save as he kept his perfect 0.00ERA with a solid 2.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 1K/0BB.  Mota is a 20 year old from the Domincan Republic who had a 4-0 record in 25.2 innings with a 1.40ERA with the DSL Twins last year.

MIchael Gonzales is a player we need to become more familiar with.  Gonzales is a 6'6" first baseman who the Twins selected in the ninth round of this year's draft.  Gonzales, who hit .377/.510/.808 with 18 home runs and 50 rbi in 151 at bats this spring at California's Diablo Valley College, was 4 for 12 this week and is hitting .440/.482/.660 with 2 home runs.  Top pick Aaron Hicks is hitting .306/.398/.403 with 13 rbi.  Daniel Ortiz (this year's fourth round pick out of Puerto Rico) leads the team with 14 rbi, hitting .253/.310/.373 with 3 doubles and 3 triples in 75 at bats.           

DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League) (4-2, 25-17)

The Twins moved up a spot to third place while losing another game to the White Sox-1 who they now trail by 6.5 games.

Ramon Acosta (21) didn't pitch this week, thus he continues with his perfect 5-0 record and 0.00ERA.  Eliecer Cardenas (20) got another win and now has a 4-1 record with a 1.57ERA with 46K/9BB in 46.0 innings.  Pedro Guerra (18) had another excellent start when he pitched 7.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 7K/1BB.  Edison Alvarez (19) dropped his ERA to 0.49 with 2 appearances (3.0 innings), earning his ninth save.  Adrian Salcedo (17 year old) made one start (6.0 shutout innings) with 4 hits and 3K/1BB.  Salcedo now has a 2.05ERA in 30.2 innings. 

Jairo Perez (20) didn't play this week, however, continues to lead the team with a .329/.457/.571.  Wilfy Gil (18) was 6 for 22 dropping his average to .303/.453/.333.  Catcher Jhonatan Arias (19) was 5 for 18 and is now hitting .239/.330/.284.  Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia (17) was 7 for 22 and his hitting .281/.324/.359.  Catcher Randy Pina, who is also only 17, has only 9 at bats but is hitting .333Ave.   

Player of the Week

This past winter the Twins signed Randy Ruiz as a 30 year old minor league free agent.  Ruiz, who was signed by the Reds as a non-drafted free agent in 1999, played with four different teams in 2007 (Altoona, Reading and Connecticut in the Eastern League (AA) and Ottawa of the AAA International League), hitting .293/.359/.511 with 22 home runs and 80 rbi in 474 at bats.  Ruiz has no major league service time and must be viewed as a veteran signed to provide depth on their AAA roster. 

Ruiz began his career with the Twins organization with two solid months as he hit .278/.320/.433 in April and .266/.293/.385 in May with a total of 3 home runs.  In June, Ruiz turned on his after burners and was named Seth Stohs "Hitter of the Month" with a .360/.437/.658 with 8 home runs and 22 rbi in 111 at bats.  He has been nearly as good in July, hitting .339/.381/.593 with 3 home runs and 7 rbi in 59 at bats.

This week Ruiz was 6 for 15 with 3 doubles, 1 home run, 4 runs scored and 3 rbi in a week shortened by the IL All-Star game.  Ruiz leads the Red Wings with 56 rbi, 114 hits, 14 home runs and is close to the top hitters with a .309/.358/.512 (Jose Morales was hitting .315 when he went out with what may be a season ending injury and Howie Clark who is hitting .313).   

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