Minor League Report...May 9, 2009

The Twins organization certainly turned the corner this week.  With last night's four game sweep, the full-season farm clubs had their best week of the year at 18-11.

Last Sunday, Jim Rantz selected New Britain infielder Brian Dinkelman as the Player of the Week.  The Twins also announced that Beloit infielder Ramon Santana was their Player of the Month for April.  Santana, who is currently on the 7-day disabled list, hit .393/.493/.643 during the month.  They also announced that Carlos Gutierrez was their Pitcher of the Month.  Gutierrez had a 0-1 record in 5 games (4 starts), pitching 23.0 innings with 13K/5BB.  The Eastern League selected Rock Cat starter Jeff Manship as their Pitcher of the Week for the week ending May 3rd.

The Red Wings activated Tommy Watkins.  They also released Carmen Pignatiello to make room for Juan Morillo who cleared waivers and was outrighted to Rochester by the Twins.  Jim Rantz announced last Sunday that he had traded outfielder Joe Gaetti to Texas.  This was one of those moves that was done for the benefit of the player who was blocked from advancement.  Rantz didn't reveal what the Twins received, maybe cash or maybe a player in the future when the Rangers have a similar situation.  Rochester placed infielder Alejandro Machado on the disabled list.  Catcher Jeff Christy was sent down to New Britain to make room for Jose Morales who was optioned to Rochester when Jesse Crain was activated by the Twins.  New Britain sent catcher Allan de San Miguel to Beloit who released Minnesota native Eli TintorJuan Richardson was on a rehab assignment in EST.  He was activated this week and assigned to Ft. Myers.  Finally, the Red Wings activated closer Tim Lahey and LaVelle E Neal III reported that Yangervis Solarte is out for the season.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (5-3, 13-13, 4th place, -9.0)

The Wings had a good week moving up a spot to fourth place.  They dropped another game and a half and now trail Scranton/WB, who was 6-1 and is now 23-5, by 9.0 games.   

Philip Humber pitched the first half of Saturday's double header in a make-up game following Friday's rainout.  Humber was excellent in the Wings 5-1 win to earn his first win of the season, pitching 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 3K/0BB.......Humber wasn't as sharp in Thursday's 6-1 loss, getting his first loss while lasting only 3.2 innings with 8 hits, 5 runs and 4K/2BB.......Brian Duensing had a good start last Saturday at Indianapolis, as the Wings lost 3-2 behind Brian's 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 1K/1BB.  Juan Morillo made his first appearance pitching a perfect inning.  Mike Gosling was the loser (3-1) in relief, pitching 1.1 inning with 2 hits, 1 run and 1K/0BB.......Duensing was the winner (2-1) in last night's 7-5 win over Charlotte.  He pitched 5.0 innings with 8 hits, 3 runs and 2K/0BB.  Sean Henn picked up his third save pitching 1.2 shutout innings with 2 hits and 1K/0BB.......Jason Jones picked up his third loss of the season, yet was very good in Sunday's 2-1 loss.  Jones pitched 6.1 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 2K/5BB.......Kevin Mulvey continued his string of good starts in Monday's 4-2 win at Louisville, picking up his first win (1-1) while pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 2K/4BB.  Sean Henn picked up the save behind a 2.0 inning shutout outing with 1 hit and 2K/0BB.......Reid Santos was the starter in Tuesday's 13-9 win, pitching 4.1 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 4K/1BB.  Juan Morillo picked up his first win (1-0) by pitching 2.2 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs and 5K/0BB.......The Wings top starter, Anthony Swarzak, was again very good in Wednesday's 5-2 win as he picked up his second win (2-3).  Swarzak pitched 7.0 innings with 5 hits, 1 run and 6K/2BB. 

Sean Henn was a Minor League free agent signed by the Twins this past off season.  Henn, who was the Yankees 26th round pick in 2000, had a 2-6 record and 7.56ERA in 40 appearances (66.2 innings) with 47K/52BB for the Yankees and Padres over the past four years.  Henn appeared in 4 games (7.2 innings) for Wings this week with 5 hits, 1 run and 7K/1BB as he picked up 2 saves.  For the season, Henn has a 0.95ERA in 12 games (19.0 innings) with 24K/10BB.  Anthony Swarzak leads the Wings with 31.0 innings (5 starts) with a 2.03ERA and 23K/6BB.  Since joining the Wings, Juan Morillo has a 1-0 record with a 6.23ERA in 3 appearances (4.1 innings) with 5K/0BB. 

Matt Tolbert was hitting .260/.324/.375 when he got the call from the Twins.  After a very slow start in April (.194/.289/.284 in 67 at bats), Tolbert hit .414/.414/.586 in 29 May at bats.  In 96 at bats for the Cats, Tolbert had 4 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 12 runs scored, 9 rbi, 9 walks, 14 strikeouts and 4 stolen bases in 8 attempts.  Dustin Martin had one of the best weeks in the organization with 12 hits in 29 at bats.  Martin has a team high .327/.385/.388 with only 15 strikeouts in 98 at bats.  He has also stolen 9 bases in 10 attempts.  Drew Butera is known as one of the organization's best defensive catchers.  He also is hitting the best of his career at .288/.323/.322 in 59 at bats.  Luke Hughes had a big week, 11 for 32, with 3 doubles and 2 home runs.  Hughes is hitting .278/.371/.533 with a team and organization high 20 rbi and 5 home runs in 90 at bats. 

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (4-3, 13-14, tied/3rd, -3.5)

After a brutal first week on the road, the Rock Cats have clawed their way back into the race.  Although they dropped a game further behind New Hampshire, they moved up three spots to a three way tie for for third place. 

Jeff Manship pitched a gem in last Saturday's 7-6 win over Trenton.  With the win, Manship evened his record at 2-2 while pitching 7.0 shutout, 1 hit innings with 5K/1BB.  Anthony Slama picked up his third save while pitching 1.0 inning with 1 hit, 2 runs and 1K/2BB.......Manship, who was the early leader for my Player of the Week, wasn't as good in Thursday's 12-0 loss to New Hampshire.  Jeff pitched 6.1 innings with 8 hits, 5 runs and 6K/0BB as he picked up his third loss (2-3).  Zach Ward pitched an inning of relief, allowing 5 hits, 6 runs and 0K/2BB.......Jay Rainville was very good in Sunday's 3-5 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 3K/2BB.  Jose Lugo got the loss (1-2), pitching 1.2 innings with 1 hit, 3 unearned runs and 3K/2BB.......Rainville was not very good in last night's 12-11 win at Portland.  Rainville allowed 8 hits and 7 runs in 3.2 innings with 3K/2BB.  Anthony Slama got the win (3-0) while pitching 1.2 shutout innings with 1 hit and 4K/1BB.......Ryan Mullins got the start and loss (0-5) in the opener of another series with New Hampshire.  Mullins pitched 3.2 inings with 11 hits, 5 runs and 4K/0BB as New Hampshire beat the Cats 8-3.......Tuesday's rainout was made up as part of a double header on Wednesday.  Cole DeVries, who has again been one of the organization's best starters, got the win (2-1) as the Cats won the opener, 2-0.  DeVries pitched 5.0 shutout innings with 5 hits and 2K/2BB.  Anthony Slama earned his fourth save, pitching 1.0 shutout inning with 1 hit and 1K/0BB.......Matt Fox was the starter in game two as the Cats swept the double header with New Hampshire, 5-3.  Fox pitched 5.1 innings with 2 hits, 2 runs and 4K/3BB.  Jose Lugo got the win (2-2) while pitching 0.2 shutout innings with 0 hits and 0K/0BB.  Anthony Slama earned his fifth save while allowing a run on 2 hits with 1K/1BB in 1.0 inning.    

Cole DeVries leads the starters with a 2.84ERA in 5 games (26.2 innings) with a 2-1 record and 16K/11BB.  Jeff Manship has a 5.29ERA in 6 starts and a team high 32.1 innings.  Rob Delaney has been solid in relief with a 1-1 record and 3.00ERA in 15 appearances (21.0 innings) with 24K/3BB.  Although Anthony Slama has given up runs in several recent appearances, he has an excellent 2.35ERA with a 3-0 record in 13 games (15.1 innings) with 5 saves and 26K/10BBFrank Mata has also been solid out of the Cats bullpen, appearing in 11 games (17.1 inning) with a 3.63ERA and 16K/7BB.

Brandon Roberts was recently activated following another early season trip to the DL.  Roberts was 9 for 16 this week with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 5 runs scored and 8 rbi and is hitting .370/.408/.565.  Brian Dinkelman continues his excellent play, hitting .333/.412/.452 with 10 walks, 9 strikeouts and a team high 17 rbi.  Erik Lis continues to hit well at .329/.402/.397.  Rene Tosoni had another good week at 6 for 19, raising his average to .212/.306/.352. 

Ft. Myers Miracle (Advanced A) (6-1, 18-10, 1st place, +1.0)

The Miracle had their best week of the season including two wins over Charlotte, who they now lead by one game, last weekend. 

David Bromberg got Saturday's win (2-0) over Charlotte, 6-4.  Henry Arias picked up his first save, pitching 2.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 1K/1BB.......Bromberg also was the starter in Thursday's 1-0 win over St. Lucie.  Spencer Steedley picked up his second win (2-0), pitching 1.1 shutout, no hit inning with 3K/0BB.......Tyler Robertson pitched 4.0 innings with 7 hits, 5 runs and 2K/2BB in Sunday's 6-5 win.  Santos Arias pitched 3.0 shutout, no hit innings with 2K/1BB.  Alex Burnett got the win (1-1), pitching 2.0 shutout, no hit innings with 2K/0BB.......Robertson had another great start in last night's 4-3 win, pitching 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 4K/2BB.  Santos Arias got his second win (2-0) while pitching 1.1 shutout inning with 1 hit and 2k/2BB.  Blair Erickson picked up his second save while pitching 1.2 shutout innings with 1 hit and 3K/1BB.......Michael McCardell got his third win of the season (3-2) in Monday's 8-6 win at Sarasota.  McCardell had a quality start, pitching 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 7K/1BB.  Blair Erickson picked up the save with 1.0 inning, 0 hits, 0 runs and 2K/0BB.......Carlos Gutierrez continued to be very good in Tuesday's 10-3 win, pitching 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs and 6K/1BB as he picked up his first win of the season (1-1).......Deolis Guerra wasn't good in the Miracle's only loss of the week Wednesday, 6-5.  Guerra pitched 4.0 innings with 11 hits, 6 runs and 3K/2BB.  Steven Hirschfield had another supurb relief appearance, pitching 3.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 2K/1BB.

Carlos Gutierrez has an excellent 1.50ERA in 6 games (30.0 innings) with 19K/6BB.  Steven Hirschfield has a team best 0.56ERA and 0.69WHIP with a 1-0 record in 9 appearances (16.0 innings) with 9K/5BB.  Spencer Steedley has 14K/3BB in 12 games (14.0 innings) with a 1.29ERA.  Santos Arias has an excellent 1.35ERA with a 2-0 record in 8 games (13.1 innings) with 10K/6BB.  Blair Erickson has a 2.25ERA with 2 saves in 5 games (8.0 innings) with a Slama/Delaney like 13K/4BB.

Joe Mauer hit .400/.444/.533 in 15 at bats for the Miracle while on his rehab assignment.  Rene Leveret had only 8 at bats this week, getting 4 hits as he continues to lead the team in hitting at .368/.482/.500.  Although Chris Parmalee leads the team with 18 rbi, Ben Revere has a surprising second best 17.  Revere also has 20 runs scored with 2 doubles, 0 triples and 1 home run while hitting .307/.378/.351 in 114 at bats.  Revere, who has walked 12 times with only 7 strikeouts, has a league second best 15 stolen bases in 21 attempts.  Revere also has not made any errors in his first 28 games.  It has been reported that Estarlin De Los Santos, who didn't play this week and remains on the Miracle active roster, is undergoing tests for a possible stress fracture.  Prior to his injury, he was off to an excellent start by hitting .300/.340/.400 in 50 at bats.  Mark Dolenc was 8 for 26 this week raising his average to .279/.286/.338.  Joe Benson was one of the better all around athletes when the Twins made him a second round pick in 2006.  The Twins knew this football all-star would be a project which has proven true as he also battled injuries the past few years.  His work appears to be paying off as he is having an excellent spring, hitting .275/.402/.440 in 91 at bats with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 15 runs scored, 13 rbi and 6 stolen bases in 8 attempts.  Although Benson hasn't cut down on his strikeouts (29), he has taken more walks (14) than in the past.

Beloit Snappers (A) (3-4, 10-17, tied/6th place, -7.5)

The Snappers finally had a winning week as their starting pitching improved.  They kind of moved up a spot to a three-way tie for sixth in an eight team league as they continue to trail Kane County by 7.5 games.

The week began with another bad loss to Great Lakes, 18-6, behing Daniel Osterbrock.  Osterbrock got his third loss of the season (0-3) as he lasted only 2.1 innings with 9 hits, 9 runs and 2K/2BB.......Osterbrock rebounded to pitch his best game of the year, yet picked up his fourth loss Thursday to West Michigan, 2-0.  Osterbrock pitched 6.2 innings with 5 hits, 1 run and 6K/1BB.......Bobby Lanigan pitched 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 6 runs and 5K/1BB in Sunday's 6-5 loss as he picked up his first loss, 2-1.  Joe Testa was excellent in relief, pitching 3.0 shutout innings with 1 hit and 4K/0BB.......Lanigan had one of the Snappers better starts in last night's 8-6 win at Lansing.  Lanning pitched 8.0 innings with 9 hits, 3 runs and 3K/2BB moving him to 3-1.......Brad Tippett had a sterling start in Monday's 5-1 win, pitching 7.0 innings with 5 hits, 1 run and 8K/0BB improving his record to 2-0.  Michael Allen was the starter in Tuesday's 9-3 win over West Michigan.  Allen pitched 4.1 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs and 5K/2BB.  Bruce Pugh picked up the win (1-1) with a 2.1 inning outing as he allowed 1 hit, 1 unearned run with 2K/1BB.......Wednesday was Shooter Hunt's turn in the rotation.  It appears he has been moved to the bullpen (he has yet to make a relief appearance) as Danny Berlind made the start in a 3-0 loss.  Berlind pitched 4.2 innings with 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 3K/2BB as he picked up his second loss in three decisions.        

The Beloit pitching staff hasn't had a lot of bright spots, yet, Joe Testa has an excellent 1.93ERA in 9 games (18.2 innings) with 1 save and 24K/11BB.  Unfortunately, many of Testa's excellent relief appearances have been in games that were out of reach when he came into the game.  Brad Tippett is the only starter with a sub 4.00 ERA. Tippett has a 2-0 record in 4 starts (20.1 innings) with a 3.10ERA and 17K/3BB.

Allan de San Miguel may have been sent down two levels to Beloit in an attempt to solidify the struggling pitching staff.  He also had a good week at the plate, picking up 3 hits in his first 8 at bats with a double and 2 rbi.  Ozzie Lewis was 6 for 16 this week with 3 doubles and a home run as he is the leading active hitter in the lineup at .345/.433/.517 in 58 at bats.  Evan Bigley also had a good week, 10 for 26, with 2 doubles and a home run and is now hitting .308/.344/.462.  Drew Thompson is hitting .250/.375/.500 in his first 20 at bats in nearly three years.  Angel Morales had another good week, 6 for 24, with a double, triple, and 4 runs scored as he got his average up to nearly .200 (.195/.237/.368). 

Player of the Week

Last year David Bromberg led all minor leagues with 177 strikeouts in 150.0 innings while pitching at Beloit.  He finished his first full season with a 9-10 record, 4.44 ERA and 54 walks in 27 starts.

Bromberg was promoted a level to Ft. Myers this spring where he takes a regular turn in their starting rotation every fifth game.  He has been solid prior to this week with a 1-0 record, 2.70ERA, 1.35WHIP and 15K/9BB in 4 starts (20.0 innings).  Bromberg took a step forward this week and is now pitching better than any other Miracle starter except Carlos Gutierrez who was the Twins April Pitcher of the Month.  

David began this week getting his second win (2-0) with an excellent start in the Miracle's 6-4 win over first place Charlotte.  He pitched 5.0 inings with 4 hits, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts and 4 walks.  David followed that performance with one of the organization's best starts this season, pitching 7.2 shutout innings with only one hit, 5 strikeouts and 4 walks in Thursday's 1-0 win over St. Lucie. 

Bromberg improved his numbers this week to a 2.20ERA, 1.22WHIP and 23K/17BB in 6 starts (32.2 innings).         


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