Minor League Report...August 9, 2008

After a couple dismal weeks, all minor league teams played at .500 or better with the organization putting up an excellent 29-15 record this week.

There was limited player movement this week.  Dianna is reporting that the Twins have a young French catcher in Ft. Myers, nineteen year old Frederic Hanvi, who has yet to appear in a game.  Paul Kelly returned to action with the Snappers, appearing in 3 games this week.  With his rehab assignment completed, the Twins moved Jose Mijares up to New Britain.  Philip Humber was named the International League Pitcher of the Week last week, while Adan Severino was named the Appalachian League Player of the Week.  Eric Lis' season may be over with a shoulder injury.  Wilmer Guanchez appeared in his first game for the GCL Twins, and by now we all are aware that Michael Cuddyer injured his foot last night while in Rochester on a rehab assignment.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (6-1, 59-63)

In fourth place, 15.0 games behind Scranton/WB, the Red Wings hopes of making the playoffs have been over for some time.  They took a big step this week in getting back to .500 so that they can end the year with a winning record.

Although there has been much talk in Rochester of the Red Wings playing shorthanded several times this year, the real problem has been their starting pitching.  Pitching remained the story this week as their starters collectively had their best week of the year.  It began last Saturday when Philip Humber got the win, 4-1, pitching 8.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 9K/2BB.  Kevin Mulvey continued in Sunday's 5-3 win, with 6.0 innings, 9 hits, 2 runs and 3K/3BB.  Anthony Swarzak held serve in Monday's 4-3 win, pitching 7.0 innings with 8 hits, 2 runs and 5K/1BB.  Recently acquired Tom Shearn had this week's best start in Wednesday's 5-0 win, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 8K/0BB.  Humber had a short start in Thursday's 11-7 loss, pitching 3.1 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs and 3K/1BB.  The loser on Wednesday was former Twin J. D. Durbin.  Durbin, who is now pitching out of the bullpen, has a AAA record of 0-7 in 31.0 innings with an 11.03ERA.  Kevin Mulvey got the Wings back on track with a 3-2 win last night, pitching 6.2 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 7K/3BB.  Bobby Korecky made 4 appearances (4.0 innings), picking up 3 saves (20) with 3 hits, 1 run and 4K/1BB.  Lefty Ricky Barrett made 3 appearances (3.0 shutout innings), picking up his second save while allowing 3 hits with 4K/2BB...Barrett now has a 3.00ERA with 72K/31BB in 60.0 innings.   

With Randy Ruiz up with the Twins and Cuddyer going down with injury, the Wings will again be shorthanded (they are down to 10 position players) until Jim Rantz and company make a couple moves.  Jason Pridie remained hot with a 13 for 27 week including 4 rbi, a double and his league leading fifteenth triple.  Recently promoted Luke Hughes was 8 for 26 including his first home run, 1 double and 1 triple...and is now hitting .314/.351/.514 in 35 at bats.  Trevor Plouffe is settling in nicely at AAA, hitting .206 in 63 June at bats, .273 in 88 July at bats and .320 in 25 at bats this month.

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (4-3, 48-70)

As they approach the end of their season the Rock Cats remain in last place, 24.0 games behind Trenton.  

The starting staff was better this week, however, no starter had a quality start as the Cats disappointing season winds down.  Jay Rainville and Ryan Mullins each made two starts, with Rainville pitching 11.0 innings with 14 hits, 8 runs and 9K/9BB.  Mullins pitched 12.0 innings with 16 hits, 8 runs and 6K/6BB.  Rainville and Mullins now have ERA's of 6.50 and 4.63, respectively.  Yohan Pino made a short start in Monday's 12-4 loss, pitching 3.1 innings with 3 hits, 5 runs and 4K/6BB.  Jeff Manship didn't get the win on Tuesday, when he pitched 6.0 innings with 10 hits, 4 runs and 2K/0BB.  Kyle Aselton has been in a revolving door as he moves between the bullpen and starting staff.  He was the starter in Wednesday's 11-7 win, pitching 3.2 innings iwth 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 2K/5BB.  Zach Ward appeared in 3 games (6.1 innings) with 7 hits, 5 runs and 6K/5BB.  Closer Ben Julianel didn't earn any saves this week as he appeared in only 2 games (2.0 innings) with 4 hits, 3 runs and 2K/0BB...Julianel now has a 2.79ERA with 64K/24BB in 58.0 innings with an organization high 23 saves.  Rob Delaney continues to pitch very well, picking up his second win in his only appearance this week (2.0 innings) with 2 hits, 1 run and 4K/0BB...dropping his ERA to 1.50 with a 0.83WHIP in 24.0 innings with 30K/3BB.  Jose Mijares made his first appearance with the Cats, pitching 2.0 innings with 1 hit, 0 runs and 2K/1BB.       

Dustin Martin isn't often mentioned when talking about center field depth in the organization, but he should be.  Martin has only 1 error while he has his average up to .290/.360/.436 following a week in which he was 10 for 30 with 3 doubles (27), 1 home run (8), 7 rbi (60), and 4 runs scored (54).  With Rochester again shorthanded with only two outfielders on their roster (Jason Pridie and Garrett Jones), will Martin get the call and take his final step before joining the Twins?  Martin's 27 doubles are tied for sixth best in the league, however, teammate Erik Lis was leading the league with 36 before his injury this week.  Lis was hitting .277/.318/.462 with 3 triples, 11 home runs, and 51 rbi in 405 at bats.  Danny Valencia was 7 for 22, raising his average to .280, while Steve Tolleson was 7 for 24 and is now hitting .313/.398/.460.  Brian Dinkelman was 8 for 20 this week, raising his average to .264/.322/.400.  David Winfree's average is slowly moving up to .241/.311/.419 following a week when he was 9 for 27 with a double, triple, home run and 8 rbi.  His 70 rbi are tied for fourth best in the league and best in the Twins organization.  

Ft Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (4-2, 22-23)

The Miracle, who are already in the playoffs, moved up two spots this week and are now in third palce, 9.0 games behind Dunedin.

Cole DeVries continues to pitch as well as anyone in the organization.  Cole got the win last Saturday, 5-4, when he pitched 6.0 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs and 9K/1BB.  Thursday, Cole picked up his ninth win (9-8) when he pitched 5.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 1K/ a 1-0 Miracle win.  Cole now has a 2.85ERA in a team high 126.1 innings with 96K/35BB.  Alex Burnett had an excellent start, yet got the loss Sunday, 3-0, when he pitched 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 3K/0BB.  Deolis Guerra started in Monday's 3-2 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 1K/6BB...Guerra leads the staff with a 10-6 record, however, has 57 walks with only 58 strikeouts in 113.2 innings.  Spencer Steedley got a start of a game Wednesday that would be shortened by a power outage against the Yankees in Tampa.  Steedley pitched 3.0 shutout innings with 1 hits and 2K/0BB.  Matt Fox came on in relief the next day to get the win, pitching 5.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 4K/0BB...Fox now has a 6-6 record with a 3.84ERA in 93.2 innings with 80K/26BB.  Anthony Slama has his ERA down to 0.89 following 2 appearances this week (2.0 innings) with 0 hits, 0 runs and 2K/2BB.  Slama now has 92K/21BB in 61.0 innings with a 0.93WHIP.  Brian Erickson has a record for the Miracle with a 1.36ERA and 41K/13BB in 33.0 innings.  Brian appeared in 3 games this week (3.1 innings) with 0 hits, 0 runs and 6K/2BB.   

Brandon Roberts, who was 8 for 18 while on his rehab assignment, appears ready to return to New Britain to replace Dustin Martin who should move up to Rochester this week.  Steven Singleton was only 3 for 16 this week as his average slipped to .280/.359/.417.  Edward Ovalle has quietly been one of the Miracle's top hitters this season...hitting .285/.351/.407 with 16 stolen bases in 25 attempts.  Last week's Player of the Week, Wilson Ramos, was 3 for 11 this week with a double and his team leading twelfth home run.  Ramos also had 2 rbi for a team high 66.

Beloit Snappers (A) (3-3, 24-23)

The Snappers lost another 2.0 games to division leading Burlington, yet moved up a spot into a three team tied for fourth, 4.5 games out.  If the Snappers are to make a run for the playoffs, they will have to make a move next week as their season begins to wind down.

David Bromberg had another disappointing start last Saturday, allowing 10 hits, 8 runs (7 earned) with 4K/1BB in only 3.1 innings.  He followed that with his first excellent start in some time, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with 5 hits and 8K/4BB.  Bromberg leads the staff with 123.1 innings with a 5.04ERA and 139K/44BB.  Steven Hirschfield followed Bromberg with a dismal start in Sunday's 11-8 loss, pitching 4.0 innngs with 10 hits, 9 runs (8 earned) and 2K/2BB.  Henry Reyes made an excellent start in Tuesday's 5-1 win, pitching 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 4K/1BB...Reyes has a 2-0 record with a 3.53ERA and 31K/16BB in 35.2 innings.  MIchael McCardell had an excellent start on Thursday, getting the win with 8.0 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 7K/1BB.  McCardell has an excellent 2.82ERA with 112K/21BB in 108.2 innings.  Shooter Hunt wasn't good in Wednesday's 8-1 loss, pitching 3.1 innings with 4 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), 3K/5BB, 1 wild pitch and 2 hit appears that the reports questioning Hunt's control are accurate and Hunt has a lot of work to do if he is to become a top starter for the organization.

Ben Revere returned to the lineup this week, getting 3 hits in 21 at bats...dropping his average to .382/.434/.507, which leads all minor leagues .  Revere also had 3 stolen bases in 3 attempts and now has 37 in 49 attempts.  Paul Kelly also returned with 2 hits in 12 at bats.  Rene Leveret didn't make the Snappers out of spring training, however, has been an excellent replacement for the injured Chris Parmalee.  Leveret was 10 for 21 this week with a double, home run 6 rbi and 4 runs scored...and is now hitting .315/.368/.419 in 124 at bats.  Catcher Allan de San Miguel was 4 for 12 and is hitting .253/.389/.352 in 91 at bats since moving down from Ft. Myers.  Shortstop Estarlin De Los Santos was 6 for 16 with his ninth stolen base in thirteen attempts.       

Elizabethton Twins (Advanced Rookie) (5-2, 30-19)

The Twins were 5-2 this week as they stetched their lead over second place Kingsport to 2.5 games.

Bobby Lanigan made two excellent starts this week getting wins on Saturday and Thursday, games the Twins won 5-3 and 3-1.  Lanigan pitched 7.0 innings on Saturday with 8 hits, 3 runs and 4K/0BB, following that with 8.0 innings on Thursday with 4 hits, 1 run and 5K/1BB.  Brad Tippett also made two starts, allowing 6 unearned runs in Sunday's 14-9 win when he pitched 4.0 innings with 4 hits and 2K/2BB.  Tippett was very good in last night's 11-3 win, pitching 7.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 5K/0BB.  Dan Osterbrock was very good in Monday's 6-5 loss, pitching 7 hits with 3 runs (1 earned) and 8K/1BB.  Osterbrock now has 72K/7BB in 53.1 innings with a 3.04ERA and 0.99WHIP.  Steve Hamburger continues to pitch well in the closer role, appearing in 3 games this week (4.0 innings) with 3 hits, 0 runs and 4K/0BB.  Curtis Leavitt and Alex Curry weren't as good in their starts as they allowed 6 and 7 runs, respectively.   

Seth Stohs had an excellent link this week to a piece done about Angel Morales, who continues to lead the Twins with a .324/.432/.634.  Morales was 7 for 25 this week with a double, 4 home runs (tied with Evan Bigley for the team and league lead with 11) and 8 rbi (22).  The article talks about Morales swing and his high rate of strike outs.  Morales struck out 8 times this week, however, also had 4 walks and now has 56 strike outs and 18 walks in 142 at bats.  Jon Waltenbury was 9 for 29 with a double (team high and league second best at 17), 2 home runs and 7 rbi (32).  Bigley has 32 rbi to go with his 11 home runs.  This week Bigley was 11 for 29 with 3 home runs and 11 rbi...and is now hitting .308/.368/.630.  This year's eleventh round pick out of Vanderbilt, Dominic De La Osa, was 9 for 31 this week, raising his average to .247/.377/.359.        

GCL Twins (Rookie) (3-2, 25-16)

The GCL Twins lost to the Pirates last night, 5-2, dropping into second place a game behind the league leading Pirates.

Jean Mijares made two excellent starts this week (he had only one start prior to this week) in the Twins 3-2 win on Sunday and their 5-2 loss last night to the Pirates.  On Sunday Mijares pitched 4.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 3K/2BB.  Last night he pitched 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 3K/1BB.  Edgar Ibarra was also excellent in Monday's 5-3 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 7K/1BB.  The excellent performances by Twins starters included Miguel Munoz' 4.0 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs and 5K/3BB and Angelo Sanchez 6.0 innings with 3 runs (2 earned) and 3K/0BB.  Andrei Lobanov got the win Wednesday, 9-3, when he pitched 2.0 shutout innings of relief with 1 hit and 3K/0BB...and now has a 3-1 record with 3.54ERA.  Kelvin Mota picked up his ninth save to go with a 0.93ERA. 

Anderson Hidalgo moved into the team lead at .365/.461/.429 following a 3 for 8 week.  Josmil Pinto is hitting .333/.647/.556 in 69 at bats following a 6 for 12 week with 2 doubles, a triple and 1 home run.  Top pick Aaron Hicks was 3 for 14, dropping his average to .317/.417/.492.  Hicks also has 10 stolen bases in 10 attempts.  The Asian law firm of Jang, Choi and Choi also had an excellent week.  Catcher Jae-Hyeong Jang was 3 for 4 and is now hitting .300/.324/.433 in 30 at bats.  First baseman Hyeong-rok Choi was 3 for 9....290/.364/.391 in 69 at bats.  Outfielder Hyun-wook Choi was 3 for 8....279/.319/.372.

DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League) (4-2, 37-22)

The Twins moved up a spot into a 3-way tie for second (with Cubs-1 and Yankees-2), 1.5 games behins the league leading White Sox-1.  With only 13 games remaining, the Twins are in position to make a run for a championship as they play two games against the White Sox-1 and Yankees-2 with one against the Cubs-1.

Adrian Salcedo is a seventeen year old that we need to watch.  Salcedo his third win (3-4) this week when he pitched 7.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 8K/1BB...dropping his ERA to 1.40 with a 0.76WHIP in 57.2 innings with 39K/6BB.  Ramon Acosta didn't pitch this week, thus, his record remains at 5-0 with a 0.00ERA.  Pedro Guerra also had an excellent start (7.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 unearned runs and 7K/0BB) improving his team leading record to 7-2 with a 2.04ERA and 0.94WHIP in a team high 70.1 innings.  Guerra is eighteen years old and will likely move up to the GCL Twins next season. 

Shortstop Jairo Perez (20 years old) continued his excellent hitting with a 9 for 21 week including 2 doubles and 6 now hitting a team high .344/.458/.516.  Daniel Santana is a seventeen year old infielder who was 6 for 16 this week and is now hitting .272/.353/.391 in 151 at bats.  Santana also has 14 stolen bases in 18 attempts.          

Player of the Week

The Twins selected switch hitting shortstop Alejandro Machado in the 2006 Rule V draft.  He was placed on the disabled list during spring training and missed the entire 2007 season.  Machado, who had appeared in 10 games with the Red Sox in 2005, hit .300Ave for Pawtuckett of the International League in 2005 and .260Ave with Pawtuckett in 2007. 

The 26 year old Machado again spent the early part of this season on the disabled list, returning to the Red Wings in June when he hit .269/.296/.385 in 26 at bats.  This week Machado was 12 for 25 (.480Ave) with 5 doubles, 5 rbi and 6 runs scored.  Machado hit .360/.360/.520 in 50 July at bats and is another candidate for a callup to the Twins in September.     

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