Minor League Report...May 23, 2009

Good morning Twins fans!  After a couple very good weeks, the organization slipped a game under .500 this week with 13 wins in 27 games.

Last Sunday, Jim Rantz selected New Britain first baseman Whit Robbins as the organization's Player of the Week.  Ben Revere was also selected as the FSL Player of the Week.

Beloit activated their top hitter, shortstop Ramon Santana.  The Twins placed Glen Perkins on the disabled list, replacing him with Sean Henn, who was Rochester's closer.  Former Bloomington Blue ace Ben Hendrickson, who signed shortly before spring training, was added to the Rochester roster after a rehab assignment in EST.  Henry Reyes was released by the Beloit Snappers with Shooter Hunt moving to the disabled list and infielder Nicholas Romero moving up to Ft. Myers to replace Estarlin De Los Santos who was placed on the DL.  With three openings on the Snappers roster, the Twins promoted three pitchers who had been on rehab assignments in EST, Michael Tarsi, Blake Martin and Curtis Leavitt.  The Twins waived Craig Breslow to make room on their roster for today's starter, Anthony SwarzakDelmon Young was added to the active roster yesterday, although he will not return to the Twins for another day or two following his mothers funeral later today.  Jose Morales returned to Rochester.  As expected, Allan de San Miguel returned to Ft. Myers with Danny Rams moving back to EST.      


Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (2-4, 20-19, 3rd place, -6.0 games out)

The Red Wings had a tough road trip to the Atlantic coast.  Fortunately, they held on to third place and didn't fall any further behind the division leading Scranton/WB Yankees.

Although he didn't know it, Anthony Swarzak made his last start in Saturday's 4-3 loss at Durham.  Swarzak pitched 7.0 innings with 11 hits, 4 runs and 4K/2BB.  Swarzak has a team high 44.0 innings in 7 starts (4-3) with a 2.25ERA, 1.16WHIP and 32K/11BB.  Juan Morillo pitched a perfect inning with 1K/0BB.........Philip Humber didn't get a decision in Sunday's 3-2 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 4K/4BB.  Mike Gosling picked up his fourth win in five decisions, pitching 2.0 shutout innings with 1 hit, 0 runs and 0K/0BB.  Sean Henn made his last appearance picking up his sixth save by pitching 2.0 shutout innings with 0 hits and 4K/0BB.........Brian Duensing was a hard luck loser in Monday's 1-0 loss.  Duensing pitched 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 run and 5K/1BB.  Duensing has a 2-3 record in 30.0 innings with a 5.10ERA and 16K/9BB.........Jason Jones wasn't sharp in Tuesday's 10-1 loss, pitching 4.2 innings with 8 hits, 7 runs and 2K/2BB as he picked up his fourth loss in four decisions.........Kevin Mulvey came within an out of a complete game in Thursday's 5-4 twelve inning win at Norfolk.  Mulvey pitched 8.2 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 3K/0BB.  Mike Gosling picked up his fifth win, pitching 2.1 shutout innings with 1 hit and 4K/2BB.  Bobby Keppel appears to be the Wings new closer, pitching 1.0 shutout inning with 1 hits and 0K/1BB to pick up his first save.........Reid Santos moved into the open starter spot last night as the Wings lost 4-3.  Santos pitched 4.0 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 2K/3BB.  Juan Morillo got his first loss in three decisions as he pitched 2.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 2K/0BB.

Armando Gabino made two appearances this week, pitching 3.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 0K/2BB as his ERA dropped to 3.81.  Bobby Keppel picked up his first save in 15 appearances (22.2 innings) with a 2.38ERA.  Juan Morillo has a 2.77ERA in 13.0 innings with 17K/5BB.  Prior to his promotion, Henn had a 1.13ERA in 24.0 innings with 32K/10BB with 6 saves.

Alexi Casilla cooled this week, getting 5 hits in 21 at bats and is now hitting .333/.390/.444.  Dustin Martin has also been in a slump with a 2 for 21 week, dropping his average to .270/.331/.338.  Luke Hughes leads the Wings with 28 RBI (second in the organization) and is tied for the organization lead with 6 home runs (tied with teammate David Winfree and New Britain's Rene Tosoni).

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (6-1, 20-20, 3rd place, -2.5 games)

The Cats had another great week as they fought back to .500 picking up 2.5 games and moving up 3 spots in their division.  They now trail Connecticut by only 2.5 games.

The Cats beat Portland, 4-1, last Saturday behind a spot start by Zach Ward who pitched 3.0 no-hit, shutout innings with 2K/2BB.  Frank Mata evened his record with his first win, pitching 1.2 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 2K/1BB.  Anthony Slama pitched 2.1 no-hit, shutout innings with 3K/2BB to pick up his sixth save.........Cole DeVries had his first poor start of the year in the make-up game earlier Saturday.  Cole pitched 4.2 innings with 10 hits, 5 runs and 3K/2BB, picking up his third loss in five decisions, 5-4.........DeVries was back to normal in last night's 3-1 win over Reading.  DeVries pitched 7.0 innings with 7 hits, 1 run and 4K/0BB to even his record at 3-3.  DeVries leads the staff with 44.0 innings and a 2.86ERA with 29K/14BB.  Slama pitched a perfect ninth inning with 2K/0BB to pick up his fourth save of the week.........Matt Fox picked up his second win in four decisions in Sunday's 4-2 win.  Fox pitched 5.1 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 6K/3BB.  Anthony Slama got his seventh save, pitching 1.0 shutout inning with 0 hits and 0K/2BB.........Jeff Manship got a lot of support in Tuesday's 14-6 win over Reading.  Manship pitched 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 4 runs and 4K/2BB.........Jay Rainville had one of his best outings of the year in Wednesday's 6-4 win, pitching 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 5K/0BB.  Zach Ward got his second win with no losses, pitching 0.2 no-hit innings with 1K/0BB.  Slama picked up his third save of the week, pitching 1.0 shutout inning with 1 hit and 2K/0BB.........Ryan Mullins has been pitching very well of late as his ERA moved down to 4.38.  Mullins got his second win in seven decisions in Thursday's 7-1 win, pitching 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 1 run and 4K/1BB. 

Zach Ward saw his ERA drop to 6.63 this week with 3.2 no-hit, shutout innings in two appearances.  Rob Delaney appeared in four games (6.0 innings) with 5 hits, 1 unearned run and 7K/1BB.  Anthony Slama had four saves in four games (5.1  scoreless innings) with 1 hit and 7K/4BB.

The Rock Cats have six regular starters hitting over .300:  Brian Dinkelman (.336/.408/.500 in 134 at bats with an organization high 29 RBI); Danny Valencia (.322/.405/.600 in 115 at bats); Erik Lis (.315/.389/.441 in 111 at bats); Juan Portes (.315/.385/.478 in 92 at bats and tied with an organization high 10 doubles); Whit Robbins (.306/.376/.508 in 124 at bats); and Brandon Roberts (.302/.358/.448 in 96 at bats).  Add Rene Tosoni, who has been one of their hottest hitters this month (.345/.457/.552 in 58 May at bats with 3 home runs and 10 RBI), and you have a line-up that has been scoring a lot of runs.  With two of the best short relievers in the organization, the Rock Cats have a real shot at battling for a championship this summer if their starters can continue to pitch like they have the past few weeks.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (4-3, 26-14, 1st place, +3.5 games)

The Miracle lost a half game and now lead second place Charlotte by 3.5 games.

Carlos Gutierrez was very good in last Saturday's 11-9, thirteen inning win over St. Lucie.  Gutierrez pitched 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 4 unearned runs and 3K/3BB.  Kyle Waldrop got his second win in four decisions, allowing 4 hits and 1 run in 3.0 innings of relief with 2K/1BB.  Santos Arias earned his first save with a perfect inning with 1K/0BB.........Gutierrez was back in last night's 3-1 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 unearned run and 4K/4BB.  Gutierrez lowered his ERA to 0.98 with a 0.89WHIP in a team high 46.0 innings with 29K/16BB.  Spencer Steedley has been as good as any reliever in the organization (0.83ERA with 22K/4BB in 21.2 innings).  He picked up his third win without any losses, pitching 2.2 shutout innings with 1 hit and 2K/0BB.  Blair Erickson earned his fifth save by pitching 1.1 shutout inning with 1 hit and 2K/2BB.........Deolis Guerra pitched very well in Sunday's 3-2 loss, going 5.1 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 4K/1BB.........Monday's rainout was made up Tuesday, with David Bromberg getting his third win in three decisions as the Miracle beat Jupiter, 5-1.  Bromberg pitched 6.2 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 3K/3BB.........Steven Hirschfield made a spot start in the second game, pitching 3.0 innings with 2 hits and 1 unearned run with 4K/0BB.  Hirschfield, who has been excellent out of the bullpen with a 0.84ERA, 0.70WHIP and 15K/5BB in 21.1 innings, picked up his first loss in two decisions as the Miracle lost 7-0.........Tyler Robertson got his first loss in three decisions in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to St. Lucie.  Robertson pitched 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 3K/3BB.........Michael McCardell pitched 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 7K/3BB in Thursday's 2-1 win.  Alex Burnett pitched 3.0 innings of shutout relief with 1 hit and 2K/1BB to pick up his second win against one loss.  Burnett has a 2.21ERA with a 0.93WHIP in 20.1 innings with 24K/7BB and 3 saves.

Rene Leveret has been the Miracle's best hitter this spring, hitting .371/.482/.500 in 70 at bats.  Although he didn't go on the disabled list, Leveret missed several games before returning to action last night.  Ben Revere was 7 for 25 this week and is now hitting .325/.389/.377 in 151 at bats with an organization second best 27 runs scored, 20 RBI and an organization high 18 stolen bases in 27 attempts.  Chris Parmalee had a big week, 9 for 22, with 5 runs scored, a double and 2 RBI.  In his brief stay with the Miracle, former second round pick Danny Rams was 4 for 13 (.308/.357/.462) with 2 doubles and 3 RBI.      

Beloit Snappers (A) (2-5, 15-25, 8th place, -9.5 games)

The Snappers lost another game to first place Kane County as they dropped to last place in their eight team division.

Danny Berlind was solid in Saturday's 6-5 loss to Peoria, pitching 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 6K/1BB.  Joe Testa picked up his first loss, pitching 1.1 inning with 1 hit, 2 runs and 2K/1BB.........Berlind picked up his third loss in four decisions in Thursday's 7-5 loss to Ft. Wayne.  Berlind pitched 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 7K/1BB.  Berlind, who recently moved into the starting rotation, has a 3.68ERA, 1.19WHIP and 28K/7BB in 29.1 innings.........Daniel Osterbrock got his second win in six decisions in Sunday's 9-6 win.  Osterbrock pitched 5.1 innings with 9 hits, 6 runs and 4K/0BB.  Danny Rondon earned his first save, pitching a perfect inning with 2K/0BB.........Osterbrock was tagged with his fifth loss in last night's 13-7 loss to Ft. Wayne.  Osterbrock pitched only 2.1 innings with 5 hits, 8 runs (only 1 earned) and 2K/2BB as his ERA moved up to 7.07.........Robert Lanigan had another poor start in Monday's 10-6 loss, pitching 4.0 innings with 10 hits, 8 runs and 1K/0BB.........The Miracle's top starter, Brad Tippett, wasn't sharp in Tuesday's 9-1 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 8 hits, 4 runs and 3K/3BB as he picked up his first loss in four decisions.  Closer Matt Williams appeared in 3 games (4.1 innings) with 6 hits, 2 runs and 3K/1BB.

Ramon Santana returned to the Snappers with a 7 for 14 week including 4 runs, 2 doubles, a home run and 7 RBI.  Santana leads the team at .414/.512/.686 in 70 at bats with 7 doubles and 4 home runs.  Ozzie Lewis continues to hit well, 8 for 25 this week, and is now hitting .302/393/.443.  Australian James Beresford took advantage of Santana's absence with a 11 for 30 week, raising his average to .300/.382/.311.  Catcher Alexander Soto was 7 for 16 with a double, 2 home runs and 6 RBI to get his average up to .291/.337/.494.  With a .172/.200/.328 start in 58 April at bats, many questioned whether or not Angel Morales was really one of the top prospects in the organization.  As May nears its end, Morales has begun playing more like the player we expected, hitting .308 Average with three home runs in his last ten games and .257/.349/.486 in 74 at bats this month.  Morales, who is tied for the second most home runs in the organization with five, has also began cutting down on his strikeouts with 22 strikeouts (30% compared with 31% in April and 39% last year at Elizabethton) and 8 walks this month.  

Player of the Week

Steve Tolleson was one of the top players in the organization last year, hitting .300/.382/.466 in 343 at bats for the Rock Cats with 28 doubles, a triple, 9 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 18 attempts.  Tolleson moved on to be one of the top hitters in the prestigious Arizona Fall League where he hit .383/.449/.543 in 94 at bats while playing with many of the top prospects in baseball. 

With Trevor Plouffe and Matt Tolbert beginning the year in Rochester, there wasn't room on the Red Wing roster for another middle infielder that needs to play every day.  Thus, Tolleson returned to New Britain for another year and it appears that his disappointment affected his play as he hit .169/.234/.203 in 59 at bats in April.

With April behind him, Tolleson began playing like the player Twins fans have come to know with a 10-23 week (.435 Average) with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs, 8 runs scored, 6 RBI, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts and a stolen base.  In 73 at bats this month, Tolleson is hitting .301/.407/.521 with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 16 runs scored, 9 RBI, 4 stolen bases in 5 attempts, 11 walks and 8 strikeouts.    

Steve Tolleson is again making a statement that he deserves a promotion to Rochester.

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