Minor League Report...May 29, 2010

Kyle Gibson was selected as our Player of the Week for a second time, receiving 51% of the 174 votes cast.

The organization continued to struggle, winning only nine games against ninteen losses for a winning percentage of .321.  Rochester and New Britain played .500 ball while Beloit is currently on a eight game losing streak. 

Ben Revere was named the Eastern League Player of the WeekJeff Manship was returned to Rochester after a brief stay with the Twins in Boston.  Tyler Robertson was returned to New Britain after making one start in Manship's spot in the Red Wing rotation.  Trevor Plouffe returned to Rochester when the Twins activated J. J. Hardy.  Anthony Swarzak was activated from the Red Wing disabled list.  Jose Gonzalez joined the Ft. Myers bullpen from EST with Jonathan Goncalves moving up to the Miracle for a second time this spring.  Jair Fernandez moved up to New Britain after Alan de San Miguel injured a hamstring on the 24th.  de San Miguel, who wasn't placed on the DL, returned to action last night.  Tom Stuifbergen was activated by the Snappers to replace Ben Tootle who was placed on the DL.       

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (3-3, 18-30, 5th place, -11.0 games behind Buffalo)

The Red Wings continue to struggle and need to turn it up a notch very soon if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs.  Jeff Manship was the starter at Norfolk on Sunday, working on two days rest following his relief appearance in Boston.  Manship pitched 4.2 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs and 4K/0BB.  Deolis Guerra made his best AAA start in Monday's 2-1 loss, allowing 6 hits and 2 runs with 5K/2BB in 7.0 innings.  Anthony Swarzak returned to the starting rotation in another 2-1 loss to Norfolk the following evening.  Swarzak pitched 4.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 3K/2BB.  Glen Perkins had his second consecutive solid start in Thursday's 4-3 win at Durham.  Perkins pitched 5.2 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs and 9K/3BB, throwing 61 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

Prior to allowing four earned runs last night, the Red Wing bullpen had allowed only seven runs in their last 38 innings (a 1.65 ERA).  Tim Lahey made two appearances, pitching 2.1 shutout innings with no hits and 0K/2BB, picking up his third win on Sunday, dropping his ERA to 6.68.  Kyle Waldrop made two appearances (4.1 innings), allowing one earned run with five strikeouts and one walk.  Waldrop has a 1.54 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with a 0.92 ERA in his last ten appearances.  Rob Delaney picked up his second loss in seven decisons last night, allowing two runs in 1.2 innings as his ERA moved up to 4.39. 

SLAMA watch.......Anthony Slama made two appearances this week, pitching 2.1 innings with no hits, no runs, three strikeouts and one walk, picking up his ninth save.  Slama has a 1.63 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 23 games (27.2 innings) with 32 strikeouts and 11 walks.  Slama has held opposing hitters to a .110 battting average with right handed batters hitting only .073.  Should Clay Condrey receive bad news from his recent MRI, the Twins can move him to the 60-day disabled list to creat a spot on the 40-man roster for either Slama or Waldrop.     

Jacque Jones, Jason Repko and Danny Valencia all had three multi-hit games this week.  Wilson Ramos, Matt Tolbert and Brian Dinkelman had two multi-hit games.  Jose Morales is the Wings leading hitter with a .319 Average in 47 at bats since returning from the DL.  Jacque Jones is hitting .312/.350/.419 while Dustin Martin (.307 Average), Jason Repko (.306) and Danny Valencia (.302) are all hitting over .300. 

The Red Wings week began at Norfolk when Matt Fox got his fourth win, pitching 6.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 2K/0BB.  Last night Fox returned with his best start of the season in the Wings 4-2 loss at Durham.  Fox pitched 6.0 shutout innings with only 3 hits and 3K/0BB.  Two earned runs in 12.0 innings is clearly the Red Wings best performance this week.

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (4-4, 14-33, 6th place, -15.5 games behind New Hampshire)

The Rock Cats are beginning to put their terrible start behind them, playing .500 ball a week after their first winning week of the season.  What is surprising is the support they are receiving from their fans.  Their three straight sellouts last weekend with 21,362 fans was the most to ever attend a three-game weekend series in Rock Cat history.

Santos Arias had what manager Jeff Smith said was his best stuff of the season last Saturday, pitching 4.2 innings with 3 hits and 2 runs in a 3-1 loss against Binghamton.  The Cats won two of five against divison leading New Hampshire, winning 8-7 in ten innings on Monday behind a solid start by Michael McCardell who pitched 7.1 innings with 6 hits, 4 runs and 5K/2BB.  Their top start this week was from a young man who is rapidly becomming their Ace, Kyle Gibson.  Gibson pitched a seven inning, 2-1 complete game win against New Hampshire when he allowed one unearned run with four strikeouts and no walks.   

Although Michael Allen got the loss Thursday when he allowed three runs (two earned), he has been excellent since his promotion early this month.  Allen has appeared in six games (10.1 innings) with a 2.61 ERA and 9K/4BB.  Joe Testa has been better of late with a 4.15 ERA in his last ten appearances (13.0 innings) with 12K/5BB.  Chris Province, who leads the Cats with four saves, also has been better in his last ten games (14.1 innings) with a 3.77 ERA.

Alan de San Miguel is hitting an excellent .321/.441/.429 in his first 28 at bats since joining the Cats.  Yangervis Solarte continues to hit AA pitching very well, hitting .297/.303/.469 in 64 at bats.  Rene Tosoni is hitting .291/.374/.437, while Erik Lis has four home runs and 12 RBI in twelve games since his demotion from Rochester. 

Two players were exceptional this week, so both will be nominated as candidates for this week's Twinkie Town Player of the Week.  Ben Revere had four multi-hit games, going 13-33 (.393 Average) with 4 runs scored, 2 doubles, 2 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 5 attempts.  Revere struck out only once while walking three times.  For the season, Revere is now the sixth best hitter in the league (.320 Average) with the league's eighth best OBP (.393) and second most stolen bases, 17 in 22 attempts.  Revere has also walked more often (18) than striking out (17).  Carlos Gutierrez leads the Rock Cats with 56.2 innings pitched with a 2-3 record and staff best 3.65 ERA (not including Gibson's 0.84 ERA in three starts).  Gutierrez made two starts this week, beating Binghamton 5-2 on Sunday in the Rock Cats' longest start of the season, 7.2 innings with 7 hits, 2 runs and 4K/1BB.  Gutierrez got his second win in five decisions in last night's 3-2 win at Portland when he pitched 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 6K/2BB.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (2-5, 20-28, 5th place, -9.0 games behind Bradenton)

As the first half nears its end, Manager Jake Mauer needs to begin looking at what changes he can make to make a playoff run during the season's second half.  Daniel Osterbrock wasn't sharp in his start last Sunday, pitching 5.1 innings with 10 hits and 7 runs (5 earned) in the Miracle's 9-7 loss to Daytona.  Osterbrock returned with his best start in last night's 6-0 win at Brevard County.  Osterbrock allowed only 1 hit and no runs in 6.2 innings to pick up his first win in five decisions.  Jose Gonzalez (making his second appearance since joining the Miracle from EST) pitched 2.1 innings of no hit relief to give the miracle their second one-hitter of the season.  Liam Hendriks had his first poor start for the Miracle on Saturday, allowing 8 hits and 4 runs in 4.0 innings.  Hendriks didn't get a decision in Thursday's 4-3 loss at Brevard County, however, was excellent as he pitched 6.0 shutout innings with 7K/2BB.  After a so-so first start, Adrian Salcedo picked up his first Miracle win Monday, 12-3, against division leading Bradenton.  Salcedo pitched 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) and 3K/3BB. 

Billy Bullock has a 2.49 ERA in 18 games (25.1 innings), however, has allowed only one earned run in his last ten appearances (15.0 innings) with 22 strikeouts and 8 walks.  Steven Blevins has a 3.75 ERA in 7 appearances since his promotion from Beloit.  Andrei Lobanov has a 2.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 7 appearances since moving across the parking lot from EST.   

Brian Dozier had three multi-hit games and is hitting .348/.516/.435 in 23 at bats since his promotion from Beloit.  Neither Paul Kelly nor Andrew Thompson played again this week, although neither appears on their disabled list on the MiLB website.  Joe Benson cooled this week, 5-30, following his torrid first few games.  After a very good season at the plate last year at Beloit, Ramon Santana is hitting .216/.266/.343 in 102 at bats for the Miracle.  D. J. Romero is hitting .203/.266/.275 in 153 at bats.  Michael Harrington was hitting .145/.211/.169 before his recent 50-game suspension. 

After going 1-9 in his first three games following his demotion from New Britain, Chris Parmelee was 12-29 (.413 Average) this week with 5 runs scored, 1 triple, 2 home runs and 8 RBI.  Parmelee is hitting .326/.415/.500 in 46 at bats for the Miracle after hitting .186/.241/.333 in AA as he attempts to re-start his season. 

Beloit Snappers (A) (0-7, 25-24, 5th place, -5.5 games behind Cedar Rapids)

A week ago Friday, Cedar Rapids came to Beloit for a four game series trailing the first place Snappers by a game and a half.  After being swept by Cedar Rapids followed by three losses at Quad Cities and another loss last night at Peoria, a first half championship is now a long shot.  Even with several of the organization's top prospects in their lineup, the Snappers have struggled to score runs.  Their championship run was built on the strong arms of their starting rotation, namely Liam Hendriks, Daniel Osterbrock and Tom Stuifbergen.  The goal of an organization is to develop players and players are constantly working to take that next step up the ladder to the big leagues.  Unfortunately, when Stuifbergen went on the disabled list and Hendriks and Osterbrock got the call from Ft. Myers earlier this month, the Snappers' dreams of a first half championship went into the tank.

In a week when the Snappers lost all seven, their best outing was Thursday at Quad Cities when Michael Tonkin was solid in a 2-0 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 7 hits and 2 runs.  Tonkin was also solid Saturday, when he pitched 5.1 innings with 8 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) in an eleven inning, 7-5 loss.  B. J. Hermsen pitched 5.0 innings with 7 hits and 7 runs (6 earned) in Tuesday's 13-7 loss to Cedar Rapids.  His line is a bit deceptive however, as he allowed four runs in the sixth inning after returning to the mound following a rain delay. 

Eliecer Cardenas made two relief appearances, pitching 4.0 innings with two hits and one unearned run.  In his first seven appearances with the Snappers, Cardenas has a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings with 16 strikeouts and seven walks.  Kane Holbrooks continues to be one of the top closers in the organization with five saves in 20 appearances.  He also has an excellent 1.27 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 28.1 innings with 41 strikeouts and only 7 walks.  Tom Stuifbergen returned Thursday, pitching one inning of relief.

Four players had two multi-hit games, Aaron Hicks, Josmil Pinto, Anderson Hidalgo and Angel Morales.  Hidalgo is the teams leading hitter at .339/.370/.480, ranking as the third best hitter in the league.  Morales is the second best hitter on the team, hitting .255/.344/.408 in 157 at bats with 3 home runs, a team best 23 RBI and 4 triples and the league's eleventh most stolen bases, 14 in 19 attempts.  Morales, who is hitting .290 Average in his last ten games, has walked 14 times while striking out 47 times which is a slightly higher percentage than last year.  Aaron Hicks is hitting .247/.361/.376 in 170 at bats with 6 stolen bases in 12 attempt, 31 walks and 54 strikeouts.

The Snappers' top player this week was reliever, Dakota Watts.  Watts appeared in three games, pitching 5.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 unearned run, 10 strikeouts and 2 walks.  For the season, Watts has a 1-1 record in 18 appearances (31.1 innings) with a 2.01 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 35 strikeouts and 19 walks.

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