Minor League Report...August 2, 2008

For the third consecutive week, the DSL Twins have been a big help to the organization's performance.  This week their 4-1 week enabled their seven teams to break even at 23-23.

There was lots of player movement this week as the major league trading deadline came and went without any moves by the Twins.  Johnny Woodard was activated by the Miracle.  Adam Everett completed his rehab assignment and was activated by the Twins to replace Alexi Casilla who went on the DL with a thumb injury that was similar (but initially reported to be not as severe) to Matt Tolbert.  The Twins signed their 30th round pick, 6'7 high school pitcher Michael Tonkin who is Jason Kubel's brother-in-law.  They also signed 30-year old minor league free agent, pitcher Tom Shearn who replaced Brian Duensing (is in Olympics) on Rochester's staff.  Tyler Robertson's shoulder problem was reported to be similar to Kyle Waldrop's, however, not as severe and physical therapy should be the answer.  He told Dianna that he is hopeful he will return in time for the Miracle's playoff run.  Henry Sanchez has appeared in a few games for the GCL Twins.  Joe Benson is out for the season, however, Dianna reported that he is targeting a return by the Fall Instructional League.  Rene Tosoni continues to take BP, however, his improvement has been slow.  Tommy Watkins was placed on the DL (labrum shoulder surgery) by Rochester.  Angel Morales returned to the ETon Twins lineup.  Luke Hughes was promoted to Rochester.  Darnell McDonald has a broken hand and will miss the remainder of the season.  Anthony Swarzak was promoted to Rochester with New Britain re-activating Brian Dinkelman.  Yesterday, the Twins recalled Francisco Liriano and Randy Ruiz as replacements for Craig Monroe and Livan Hernandez, who were both designated for assignment.  Finally, Jason Pridie was named last week's International Player of the Week. 

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (3-4, 53-62)

Time is running out for the Red Wings chance of battling back to .500.  They lost another full game this week to Pawtuckett and remain in fourth place, 17.5 games out of first.

The Franchise wasn't as good in his last start this week, getting the win (10-5) in a game he pitched 6.0 innings with 8 hits, 4 runs and 9K/1BB.   Carmen Cali was moved into the rotation, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 2K/1BB and 3.0 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs and 2K/1BB.  Anthony Swarzak was very good in his first AAA start, getting the win (8-3) when he pitched 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) and 2K/3BB.  Last night Tom Shearn pitched 5.0 strong innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 5K/2BB.  Shearn is a right handed, minor league veteran who had been released by Louisville where he had a 6-2 record with a 4.53ERA and 31K/15BB in 57.2 innings.  Last year Shearn had a 7-10 record with Louisville with a 4.20ERA in 143.2 innings and 109K/51BB.  He made his major league debut last year with the Reds, pitching in 7 games (6 starts) with a 3-0 record, 4.96ERA and 16K/13BB in 32.2 innings.  Kevin Mulvey had a great start, earning no decision in a 5-3 loss in which he pitched 6.1 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 4K/0BB.  Mulvey now has a very good 3.89ERA with 88K/34BB in 111.0 innings.  Philip Humber had a solid start, pitching 7.2 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs and 10K/2BB in a 7-4 win.  Bobby Korecky picked up 3 saves and his 4th loss this week, pitching 6.2 innings in 5 appearances with 2 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 11K/2BB.

Randy Ruiz was on fire prior to his promotion to the Twins, hitting .320/.366/.536 including 33 doubles, 3 triples, a team high 17 home runs and organization leading 68 rbi.  Last week's Player of the Week, Jason Pridie, may have been better this week with a 12 for 31 week and 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 6 rbi.  Pridie now has his average up to a respectable .262/.294/.439 after hitting .330/.343/.670 in July.  Luke Hughes reported to the Red Wings, getting 3 hits in his first 9 at bats.  Alejandro Machado is hitting .338/.346/.525 in his first 80 at bats since returning from the disabled list.

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (1-5, 44-67)

The Rock Cats slipped into last place, 23.0 games behind Trenton. 

Jeff Manship had another week with one very good start and one that wasn't as good.  Last Saturday Manship pitched 6.0 innings with 7 hits, 6 runs (4 earned) and 4K/2BB in a 8-7 loss.  Thursday he didn't get the win in the Cats 3-2 win, however, pitched 6.0 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 4K/1BB.  Ben Julianel hasn't had a lot of save opportunities, however, he did pick up his system leading 23rd save while making 2 appearances (2.0 innings) with 4 hits, 0 runs and 3K/0BB.  Robert Delaney also made 2 appearances (3.2 innings) with 4 hits, 0 runs and 3K/0BB.  Delaney has an excellent 1.23ERA in 22.0 innings with 26K/3BB.  The move up to AA has been difficult for many pitchers, however, Delaney appears to have taken this step without any drop in his effectiveness which may be an indication that he has the potential to be a solid member of the Twins bullpen.

Luke Hughes completed his stay at AA with a .319/.385/.551 and 15 doubles, 3 triples, 15 home runs and 40 rbi in 285 at bats.  Steven Tolleson returned from the DL with a 5 for 24 week, dropping his average to .315/.399/.477.  Danny Valencia is hitting .275/.330/.381 with 11 doubles and 2 home runs...after hitting an excellent .319/.355/.469 in 113 July at bats.  David Winfree was 6 for 12 with 2 rbi's, raising his average to .234/.307/.409.  Erik Lis was 4 for 4 on Monday with Brock Peterson going 3 for 4 on Thursday with 2 home runs and 3 rbi.  Peterson followed that with a 2 for 4 night including his 14th home run last night.   

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (3-4, 18-21)

The Miracle dropped a spot to fifth place, remaining 8.0 games behind Dunedin.

Deolis Guerra leads the Miracle with 10 wins, however, was not solid in Tuesday's 7-6 loss, pitching only 4.0 innings with 9 hits, 7 runs (6 earned) and 4K/1BB.  Cole DeVries also had an off start last Sunday, pitching 5.0 innings with 8 hits, 6 runs (5 earned) and 2K/2BB.  DeVries continues to lead the Miracle staff with a 2.97ERA and 86K/30BB in 115.1 innings.  Matt Fox pitched 5.0 innings with 8 hits, 5 runs and 6K/2BB in last Saturday's 11-6 loss.  He made the Miracle's best start this week when he pitched 6.0 shutout innings with 8 hits and 3K/1BB in last night's 11 inning, 4-0 loss.  First round pick Carlos Gutierrez made 2 appearances this week (4.0 innings) with 3 hits, 1 run and 2K/1BB.  In his first 7 appearances (10.0 innings) since signing, Carlos has allowed 12 hits, 3 runs and 5K/3BB with a 2.70ERA.  Anthony Slama continues to have an excellent 0.92ERA and 0.93WHIP, picking up his 21st save this week in 2 appearances (3.0 innings) with 3 hits, 2 runs and 1K/1BB.   

Steven Singleton had a 9 for 26 week and is leading the Miracle at .289/.375/.441.  Whit Robbins returned recently, going 6 for 18 this week and is hitting a respectable .275/.384/.392.  Eli Tintor also had an excellent week, 8 for 24.  Danny Santiesteban hit his 4th home run in a 8 for 18 week as he raised his average .019 to .230/.273/.333.  Danny also made his second relief appearance on Saturday, pitching 2.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 1K/0BB.

Beloit Snappers (A) (4-4, 21-20)

With a disabled list nearly as long as their lineup card, the Snappers continued to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot this week.  They dropped a spot to fifth place, however, gained a game on division leading Burlington whom they now trail by only 2.5 games.

Shooter Hunt moved up to Beloit, getting his first loss on Saturday (1-0) when he pitched 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 9K/2BB...however, he also had a wild pitch and 1 hit batter.  He didn't get the decision in Thursday's 11 inning win (3-2) after pitching 5.0 shutout innings with 2 hits, 9K/5BB and 1 wild pitch.  Hunt has an excellent 0.90ERA in his first 10.0 innings with 18K/7BB.  Michael McCardell also had 2 excellent starts, pitching 7.0 shutout innings in Sunday's 10 inning win (3-1) with 2 hits and 7K/0BB.  He was the loser last night (3-1) when he pitched 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 10K/0BB.  McCardell is certainly ready for his next challange with a 7-3 record, 2.86ERA and 105K/20BB in 100.2 innings.  Santos Arias (3.38ERA) and Michael Tarsi (5.49ERA) both have moved to the bullpen with Tarsi making 2 appearances this week (3.2 innings) with 3 hits, 0 runs and 3K/2BB. 

Ben Revere injured his ankle a week ago and has now missed 7 games.  He will be needed badly if the Snappers are to make a serious drive for a playoff spot.  Chris Cates was 12 for 27, raising his average to .245/.330/.271 with 37 walks and only 32 strikeouts in 314 at bats.  Rene Leveret was 10 for 31 with 3 doubles and 4 rbi...hitting .282/.324/.369.  Mark Dolenc finished his July with a .330/.378/.456 including 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and 14rbi.

Elizabethton Twins (Advanced Rookie) (4-3, 25-17)

The Twins gained a full game and now lead second-place Kingsport by 2.0 games.

Alex Curry had a solid start in his first outing, pitching 4.0 innings with 6 hits, 4 runs (1 earned) and 2K/0BB.  He got his first Appy League loss last night, pitching 3.0 innings with 7 hits, 7 runs (6 earned) and 2K/2BB.  Daniel Osterbrock got a win Wednesday (10-4) when he pitched 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 12K/1BB.  Mark Hamburger continues his solid pitching in his closer role, appearing in 3 games (3.0 innings) with 4 hits, 3 runs and 1K/3BB.  Mark picked up his 5th and 6th saves to go with his 4.50ERA.   

Angel Morales is one of the most exciting young players in the Twins organization.  This speedy centerfielder, who will not turn 19 until November 24th, was 6 for 17 with a double upon his return from an injury.  Morales is one of ETon's top hitters at .333/.435/.598 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 7 homes runs and 14 rbi in 117 at bats.  Jon Waltenbury was 10 for 27 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs and 8 rbi...hitting .321/.383/.564 in 165 at bats.  Danny Rams, who has played a few games at first base lately, was 6 for 19 with his 4th and 5th home runs and 3 rbi.

GCL Twins (Rookie) (4-2, 22-14)

The Twins remain in first place, however, lost a half game of their lead and now lead the Pirates by only a half game.

Martire Garcia had their best start of the week last night when he pitched 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 unearned run and 5K/3BB.  Miguel Munoz didn't get a decision in Thursday's 3-2, 10 inning win...when he pitched 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 6K/0BB.  Edgard Ibarra was also solid in Wednesday's 5-3 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs and 4K/3BB.  Agentine native Mauro Schiavoni made 2 appearances this week, picking up his first win and first save.  Schiavoni pitched 6.0 shutout, no hit innings with 7K/0BB.  Schiavoni, who is a 5'8, 21-year old right handed pitcher who was signed this winter, has an excellent 1.66ERA, 0.88WHIP and 21K/6BB in 21.2 innings of work.

Sid Hartmann recently wrote that top pick Aaron Hicks was leading the GCL Twins in hitting.  Hicks is hitting .330/.417/.482 in 112 at bats with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, 19 rbi and 9 stolen bases in 9 attempts.  That is excellent, but Michael Gonzales (.373/.424/.542) and Anderson Hidalgo (.364/.471/.436) are both hitting for higher averages, although Hidalgo has only 55 at bats and Gonzales' 83 at bats are a few short of qualifying for the league leadership...which is currently held by the Phillies Jim Murphy (.363Ave).

DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League) (4-1, 33-20)

The DSL Twins picked up another game on the division leading WhiteSox-1, however, they remain in third place a game and a half back.

Ramon Acosta made another start, pitching 4.0 innings with 1 hit and 1 unearned run.  Acosta continues to be near perfect with a 5-0 record and 0.00ERA in 54.2 innings.  Seventeen year old Adrian Salcedo made his 8th start, pitching 7.0 innings with 7 hits, 1 run and 4K/1BB...dropping his ERA to 1.65 with 27K/5BB in 43.2 innings.  Salcedo is an exciting prospect who we may not see in Florida until 2010.  Edison Alvarez picked up his 11th save to go with his 1.67ERA in 27.0 innings with 26K/4BB.  Renzo Reverol is another 17 year old pitcher who pitched 2.0 innings in his only appearance with 1 hit, 0 runs and 4K/0BB.     

Shortstop Jairo Perez (20 year old) had another good week, 5 for 11 with 2 doubles and 3 rbi.  Perez, who has also been charged with only 1 error in 33 games, leads the Twins at .327/.455/.515 with 10 doubles and 3 home runs.  Oswaldo Arcia is another 17 year old who also had an excellent week at 8 for 21 with 2 doubles, a triple, 1 home run and 7 rbi (his 28 rbi leads the team).       

Player of the Week

Early last season Wilson Ramos was promoted to Beloit from EST and proceded to be one of the top hitters for the Snappers during their run towards a championship that would fall one game short.  Ramos, who hit .291/.345/.438 with 8 home runs and 42 rbi last year, is an excellent defensive catcher who moved towards the top of many prospect lists following his break-out season. 

The 20-year old Ramos was promoted to the FSL Miracle, where he began this season with a tough first month when he hit .203/.292/.316 in 79 April at bats.  His average moved up to .257/.275/.505 in May with another step up in June to .282/.365/.341. 

This week Ramos remained hot with a 12 for 25 week (.480Ave) including 3 doubles, 1 home run, 4 runs scored, and 10 rbi.  Ramos finished July with an excellent .352/.408/.505 in 91 at bats with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 19 rbi.  Ramos, who is hitting .277/.336/.425 in 365 at bats, leads the Miracle with 11 home runs (11th best in FSL) and 64 rbi (5th best in league) and is tied with Danny Valencia (who was promoted to New Britain) for a team high 19 doubles.  

Ramos' performance this year for the Miracle appears to confirm his rise towards the top of most prospect lists and indicate that he is the Twins top catching prospect.

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