Minor League Report...July 11, 2009

Good Morning Twins Fans and it certainly is a better morning than the last few with the Yankees in town.  The Organization needed to win five of seven last night to get back to .500 for the week.  They fell one game short, finishing their week with a 24-26 record.

Jim Rantz named Elizabethton catcher Danny Rams as the organization's Player of the Week last Sunday.  First baseman Justin Huber was named to the International League All-Star team as Anthony Swarzak's replacement.  Luke Hughes and Joe Benson both played a few games with the GCL Twins earlier this week.  Later in the week, Hughes moved up to AA New Britain (where he is playing third base) with Benson moving across the parking lot in his return to the Miracle on Thursday.  The Miracle also activated shortstop Estarlin De Los Santos.  The Beloit Snappers released pitcher Curtiss Leavitt when the Twins moved this year's second round pick, Billy Bullock, up from Elizabethton.  New Britain pitcher Jay Rainville, who had been battling a shoulder problem, was placed on the disabled list.  The Twins moved Miracle starter Deolis Guerra up to New Britain to fill the void in their rotation.  Michael Tarsi moved up to Ft. Myers to replace Guerra with Liam Hendriks moving up to Beloit from Elizabethton.  Seth Stohs reported that GCL centerfielder Wang-Wei Lin has a broken jaw and will likely miss the rest of the season.  Matt Moses is not listed on the New Britain disabled list, however, has not played in a while because of a back problem.  Finally, Sean Henn accepted his assignment and reported to Rochester.  LaVelle E Neal III is reporting this morning that Danny Rams and shortstop, Tyler Ladendorf have been promoted to Beloit.

The Twins signed three more recent draft picks this week, Matt Bashore (#1s), Nick Freitas (#33) and Pete Kennelly (#38).  This brings the total number signed to eighteen.  The only players selected in the top ten rounds that have not signed are Kyle Gibson (#1), Ben Tootle (#3) and Michael Dean (#10).  It was also reported by the Star Tribune that they have signed four International prospects, shortstops Jorge Palanco and Jonatan Ynojoso from the Dominican Republic, pitcher Mark Trau from Australia and outfielder Max Kepler from Germany.  

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (5-2, 43-43, 4th place, -7.0 games)

The Red Wings had one of their better weeks in awhile as they remained in seventh place, 7.0 games behind division leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

With Anthony Swarzak in Minnesota, Armando Gabino made a spot start in Monday's 7-3 win, pitching 4.1 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 0K/1BB.  Gabino, who was added to the Twins 40-man roster last fall, has appeared in 26 games for the Wings with a 3-2 record, 1 save, 3.25ERA, 1.08WHIP and 33K/15BB in 52.2 innings.  Kevin Mulvey pitched an 8.0 inning complete game in Thursday's 2-0 loss, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 4K/1BB to pick up his sixth loss in nine decisions.  Mulvey has a 3.93ERA, 1.43WHIP and 81K/38BB in 103.0 innings.  Philip Humber earned his fourth win against six losses in a 6-3 win last night.  Humber pitched 5.0 innings with 7 hits, 1 run and 4K/2BB.  Humber has a 5.86ERA, 1.57WHIP and 59K/30BB in 73.2 innings. 

Sean Henn returned to the Wings this week.  Henn leads the Wings with 6 saves with a 1.37ERA, 1.22WHIP and 33K/10BB in 26.1 innings.  Jesse Crain has appeared in 9 games since his assignment to Rochester, pitching 12.1 innings with a 3.65ERA, 1.38WHIP and 14K/7BB.  Rob Delaney has a 4.35ERA and 1.21WHIP with a 3-1 record in 14 games (20.2 innings) with 15K/8BB.  Juan Morillo has appeared in 23 games with a 3-3 record, 3 saves, 2.83ERA, 1.29WHIP and 45K/21BB in 35.0 innings.  Tim Lahey has a 7.00ERA and 1.70WHIP in 27.0 innings with 20K/13BB.

Danny Valencia continues to play like someone who wants to join the Twins in September to demonstrate that he can be their third baseman in 2010.  Valencia is hitting .348/.362/.530 in his first 17 games (66 at bats) with 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs scored.  Alexi Casilla has also been hitting very well, .338/.374/.430, in 38 games (151 at bats) with 6 errors.  Steve Tolleson has cooled a bit in his last ten games (.216 Average), however, is hitting a respectable .303/.386/.439 with 10 doubles and 3 home runs in 155 at bats since his promotion in late May.  Justin Huber is headed to the All-Star game, hitting .283/.361/.484.  Huber is also tied for the organization best 11 home runs while leading the Red Wings with 45 RBI.

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (4-4, 45-42, 2nd place, -7.0 games)

The Rock Cats had a big four game series with division leading Connecticut this week.  After losing the first game of the series which was their eleventh straight loss to the Defenders, they split a double header on Wednesday with Deolis Guerra getting his first AA win (pitching 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 4K/1BB) and Luke Hughes getting 4 hits in 4 at bats.  Unfortunately, they lost the last game with Connecticut leaving town having won 3 of 4 to maintain their 7.0 game lead over the second place Rock Cats.

Frank Mata made a spot start in Tuesday's 3-0 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 1K/1BB.  Yohan Pino recently stepped into the starting rotation with an excellent start in Monday's 5-1 win, pitching 5.1 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 5K/1BB.  Pino has a 3-1 record in 30 games (51.0 innings) with a 3.53ERA, 1.25WHIP and 54K/13BB.  Ryan Mullins was in line for recognition as Player of the Week following his start in Sunday's 5-0 win when he pitched 8.0 shutout innings with 5 hits and 7K/0BB.  Unfortunately, last night Mullins lasted only 3.2 innings with 8 hits, 6 runs (5 earned) and 5K/1BB. 

Carlos Gutierrez moved into the bullpen this week, appearing in 2 games, pitching 3.0 innings with 7 hits, 4 earned runs and 3K/2BB.  Gutierrez has a 6.10ERA in 31.0 innings with the Rock Cats.  Anthony Slama leads the Rock Cats and organization with 19 saves in 40 games.  Slama has a 4-2 record, 2.44ERA, 1.16WHIP and 72K/22BB in 51.2 innings.  Jose Lugo was a Rule V pick this year who was eventually returned to the Twins.  Lugo has a 4-2 record, 4.07ERA, 1.48WHIP and 47K/23BB in 48.2 innings.  Frank Mata had 2 saves in 30 relief appearances with a 4.41ERA, 1.61WHIP and 38K/25BB in 49.0 innings.  Alex Burnett continues to impress since his promotion from Ft. Myers.  Burnett has a 1-2 record and 1 save in 19 games (27.0 innings) with a 2.00ERA, 0.96WHIP and 23K/10BB.  Kyle Waldrop also has excelled out of the Rock Cat bullpen, compiling a 1-1 record, 1.72ERA, 1.09WHIP and 7K/2BB in 15.2 innings.    

Erik Lis had two four hit games this week including last night when he was 4-4 with 4 runs scored, his seventh home run, 1 RBI and a walk.  Lis leads the Cats, hitting .309/.379/.449.  New Britain Herald writer Ken Lipshez recently referred to Rene Tosoni as a man with a rifle arm.  Tosoni also leads the Cats with 10 home runs and 45 runs scored while leading the organization with 51 RBI.  Tosoni heads to the Futures All-Star game this week, hitting .278/.387/.480 with 19 doubles and 6 stolen bases in 11 attempts.  Lipshez also has written that Whit Robbins, who is hitting .291/.360/.432, plays defense as well as he hits.  Lipshez went on to state that Yancarlos Ortiz, hitting .228/.316/.265, plays shortstop as well as former Rock Cats Jason Bartlett and Christian GuzmanBrian Dinkelman is another middle infielder who may battle for a future role with the Twins.  Dinkelman, who saw his league leading 15-game hitting streak end on Tuesday, is hitting .297/.384/.427 in 293 at bats with 37 runs scored, 43 RBI, a team leading 22 doubles, 2 triples and 4 home runs.  It is also worth a mention that catcher Allan de San Miguel has thrown out over 50% of runners attempting to steal. 

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (3-4, 8-7, Tied/1st place)

The Miracle are not alone in first place since early this spring as they lost 1.5 games in the standings and slipped into a tie with Charlotte this week.

Michael Tarsi made his first start for the Miracle last night, pitching 6.0 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 7K/2BB as the Miracle won 6-3.  David Bromberg was strong in Sunday's 8-4 win, pitching 5.2 innings with 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 4K/2BB.  Bromberg has a 7-0 record, 2.71ERA, 1.29WHIP and 76K/37BB in 86.1 innings.  Michael McCardell got his ninth win against five losses in Tuesday's 7-5 win.  McCardell pitched 7.0 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 3K/0BB.  McCardell leads the Miracle with 87.0 innings with a 4.03ERA, 1.20WHIP and 69K/16BB.

Blair Erickson leads the Miracle with 9 saves in 24 appearances.  Erickson has a 1-3 record with a 2.83ERA, 1.26WHIP and 40K/10BB.  Spencer Steedley may be one of the top relievers in all of minor league baseball.  Steedley has appeared in 31 games (43.0 innings) with a 4-0 record, 5 saves, 0.84ERA, 1.02WHIP and 44K/13BB.  Santos Arias also has a 4-0 record with 3 saves in 26 games (45.2 innings) with a 2.17ERA, 1.18WHIP and 34K/10BB.  Loek Van Mil picked up his first save last night.  Van Mil has an excellent 1.23ERA, 1.00WHIP and 15K/9BB in 22.0 innings.  Joe Testa has yet to allow an earned run in his first four appearances (7.1 innings) since the MidWest League All-Star was promoted to Ft. Myers while striking out 12 with only 2 walks.

Chris Parmalee is tied for the organization lead with 11 home runs while leading the Miracle with 45 RBI.  Parmalee is hitting .255/.347/.446 while playing some right field but mostly first base.  Joe Benson returned to the Miracle from the DL with a 1-2 night with a walk on Thursday and a 2-2 night with a double and 2 walks last night.  Benson, who is hitting .311/.438/.466 in 103 at bats, is a welcome addition as the Miracle make their run for the championship that eluded them last year.  Ben Revere is hitting .305/.371/.370 with and organization high 49 runs scored and 31 stolen bases in 45 attempts.  D.J. Romero is hitting .242/.317/.343, however, he leads the team with 17 doubles.    

Beloit Snappers (A) (3-4, 5-10, 8th place, -5.0 games)

The Snappers begin the second half where they ended the first half, in last place.  They already are 5.0 games behind Cedar Rapids and need to build on their three win week if they are to get back into the second half race.

Brad Tippett continues to be the team Ace, picking up his sixth and seventh wins this week with three losses.  Tippett pitched 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 5K/1BB in Sunday's 4-2 win.  Last night Tippett again pitched 7.0 innings with 5 hits, No runs and 5K/2BB.  Tippett leads the Snappers with a 2.63ERA, 1.07WHIP and 70K/17BB in 85.2 innings.  Curtis Leavitt was the loser on Tuesday, 7-3, in his last appearance as a Snapper, pitching 3.0 innings with 5 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and 2K/4BB.  Bobby Lanigan has a 7-5 record in 17 starts (92.1 inning) with a 4.48ERA, 1.30WHIP and 72K/20BB.  Liam Hendriks was very good in his first start in Thursday's 6-5 loss.  Hendriks pitched 5.2 innings with 8 hits, 6 runs (only 1 earned) and 4K/2BB. 

This year's second round pick, Billy Bullock, moved up to the Snappers this week pitching 1.0 shutout inning in his first appearance last night with 2 hits and 0K/0BB.  Matt Williams leads the Snappers with 6 saves to go with his 1-1 record, 2.06ERA, 1.26WHIP and 32K/13BB in 35.0 innings.  Blake Martin has a 3.06ERA and 1.70WHIP in 14 games (17.2 innings) with 25K/14BB.  Bruce Pugh has a 4.15ERA and 1.59WHIP with a 2-2 record in 23 games (39.0 innings).  Steven Blevins, who had a 6.00ERA in April, has a 2-4 record, 4.04ERA, 1.46WHIP and 35K/15BB in 42.1 innings.

Ramon Santana continues to lead the Snappers, hitting .294/.376/.447 with a team high 42 RBI and 16 doubles in 235 at bats.  James Beresford and Angel Morales are tied for the team lead with 8 stolen bases.  Beresford is hitting a respectable .289/.364/.301 in 256 at bats.  Morales missed some time in late June as he battled an injury, however, also leads the Snappers with 7 home runs and 36 runs scored with 26 RBI while hitting .221/.287/.377 in 231 at bats.  Last year's top pick Aaron Hicks is hitting .241/.384/.345 in 58 at bats with 14 walks and 13 strike outs.  Michael Harrington leads the Snappers and organizaiton with 23 doubles while hitting .233/.283/.368 in 253 at bats.

Elizabethton Twins (Rookie) (4-3, 14-4, 1st place, +3.0 games)

The Twins maintained their 3 game lead over second place Johnson City.

On Thursday, recent seventh round pick Brad Stillings stepped into the starting spot vacated by Liam Hendriks.  Stillings didn't get a decision in a 6-5, 10-inning win, pitching 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 5 runs and 3K/3BB.  Tom Stuifbergen wasn't as sharp as recent outings in Wednesday's 10-7 loss, pitching 6.0 innings with 10 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 3K/1BB.  Martire Garcia had the most effective start of the week in Sunday's 5-2 win, pitching 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 4K/5BB.  Garcia has a 2-0 record with a 3.00ERA in 3 starts (12.0 innings) with 7K/14BB.  Recent fourteenth round pick Matt Tone has a 1-2 record with a 1.23ERA, 1.50WHIP and 12K/5BB in 7.1 innings.   

This year's sixth round pick, outfielder Chris Herrmann was 13-30 this week with 2 doubles and a home run.  Herrmann is hitting .388/.475/.582 in 67 at bats early this season.  Tyler Ladendorf leads the team, hitting .410/.500/.721 in 61 at bats with 4 home runs.  Danny Rams, who is splitting time between catcher and first base, leads Elizabethton and the Appy League with 6 home runs and 23 RBI while hitting .355/.444/.790 in 62 at bats.  Third baseman Anderson Hidalgo is hitting .357/.420/.500 in 42 at bats. 

GCL Twins (Rookie League) (1-7, 6-8, 4th place, -2.5 games)

The GCL Twins had a week that began by losing two double headers on Saturday and Monday.  In first place a week ago, the Twins dropped 3.5 games in the standings and trail the cross town Red Sox by 2.5 games.  The good news is that isn't a lot of ground to make up, but they will have to start hitting better as yesterday's box score shows a team with six starters hitting .200 Average or less.

B.J. Hermsen pitck up his first loss on Thursday, however, pitched a solid 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs and 3K/1BB.  Adrian Salcedo continues to be a bright spot for the Twins, with a 1-0 record and 0.64ERA and 0.86WHIP in 3 games (14.0 innings) with 17K/0BB.  This young 18 year old from the Dominican Republic allowed only 1 unearned run in 5.0 innings of this week's only win, 6-4 on Wednesday, with 3 hits and 7K/0BB.  Jhon Garcia had a great start on Sunday, pitching 6.1 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 5K/1BB.  Jose Gonzalez has a 1-0 record and 0.00ERA in 4 relief appearances (6.2 innings) with 4K/0BB.  Andrei Lobanov also has a 0.00ERA with a ridiculous 0.38WHIP in 3 games (5.0 innings) with 9K/0BB.

Wang-Wei Lin is a huge loss as the young center fielder was hitting .364/.432/.545 in 33 at bats before his injury.  Kennys Vargas is the only other hitter over .300 Average this year, hitting .310/.412/.586 in 29 at bats.  First baseman Jairo Perez is hitting .286/.375/.333 in 21 at bats.

DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League) (4-2, 22-13, 2nd place, -1.0 games)

The DSL Twins moved into a tie for second this week, as they also picked up a game and a half on the division leading White Sox.

Pedro Guerra (19) continued his string of near perfect starts on Monday, pitching the DSL Twins to a 3-0 victory behind his 7.0 shutout innings with 5 hits and 8K/0BB.  Guerra maintained his perfect 4-0 record, 0.00ERA, 0.68WHIP and 38K/5BB in 38.0 innings.  Manuel Soliman (19) got his third win in four decisions in Tuesday's 11-3 win, pitching 6.0 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs and 4K/0BB.  Soliman has a 2.78ERA, 1.24WHIP and 26K/10BB in 32.1 innings.  Cesar Ciucina (18) was the tough luck loser last night, 2-1.  Ciurcina pitched 7.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 unearned runs and 0K/0BB.  Ciurcina has a 4-1 record with a 1.73ERA, 0.74WHIP and 27K/4BB in 41.2 innings.

 Shortstop Pedro Estaba (17) is hitting .286/388/.333 while left fielder Romy Trinidad (18) is hitting .284/.417/.330.  Third baseman Yorby Martinez (20), who had two multi hit games this week, is hitting .275/.367/.314.

Player of the Week

Jason Pridie returned from his brief stay with the Twins with a fire in his belly.  Pridie went on a streak this week at 14-35 (.400 Average) with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 9 runs scored, 9 RBI and 1 stolen base in 2 attempts.

For the season, Pridie is hitting .263/.291/.379 in 327 at bats with 49 runs scored, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs and 29 RBI with a team high 17 stolen bases in 22 attempts.   

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