Minor League Report...May 8, 2010

The organization was having its best week of this young season until losing all four games last night to finish at 14-14.  Beloit again led the way with a 5-3 week with Ft. Myers also a game over .500.

There was lots of movement this week, beginning with Pat Neshek going on the disabled list with Wilson Ramos joining the Twins last weekend.  The Twins also activated Nick Blackburn from Family Emergency Leave, returning Jeff Manship to Rochester.  After playing without a backup catcher much of the week, the Twins promoted Jair Fernandez from Ft. Myers to Rochester.  Jose Mijares joined the Rock Cats on a rehab assignment yesterday.  Rock Cats catcher Danny Lehmann, who was injured in a collision at the plate last Sunday, was placed on the disabled list with Danny Rams moving up from Beloit as his replacement.  Whit Robbins injured his shoulder and is likely out for the season.  Steve Hirschfield was activated from the New Britain DL to fill his spot.  Dan Osterbrock was promoted to Ft. Myers following his being named the Midwest League's Pitcher of the Week for a second consecutive week.  Pitchers Jhon Garcia and Eliecer Cardenas joined Beloit from EST to fill the vacant spots on their roster.   

I will be doing something different beginning this week.  Rather than having a Player of the Week, I will be featuring a player from each team with a poll attached to allow you, the readers of Twinkie Town to select each Player of the Week.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (3-3, 12-16, 4th place, -5.0 games behind Syracuse)

The Wings began their week splitting a four game series with Durham.  Matt Fox made a spot start for Jeff Manship on Saturday, pitching 5.0 shutout innings with only 2 hits and 5K/1BB.  Fox's excellent start earned him the Salvatore's/Donuts Delite POTW award.  Yoslan Herrera was the starter in Sunday's 7-6 win, allowing 5 hits and 5 runs in a 6.0 innings.  Rob Delaney got the win, however, Tim Lahey was the star of the game with a 4.0 inning shutout outing with no hits and 2K/2BB.  Glen Perkins was the starter in Tuesday's 10-7 loss, lasting only 2.1 innings with 8 hits, 6 runs, 3K/2BB and 2 home runs.  Jeff Manship returned with the start in Thursday's 8-5 win at Louisville, pitching 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned) and 5K/2BB.

Ryan Mullins continues to lead the staff with 29.2 innings.  Mullins has a 2-1 record and 4.55 ERA following only one relief appearance this week when he allowed 2 runs in 3.1 innings.  Mullins has struggled as a reliever (10.80 ERA in 3 appearances (6.2 innings), while being excellent in his four starts with a 2.74 ERA.  Rob Delaney appeared in three games this week, pitching 4.0 innings with 1 run and 1K/0BB...dropping his ERA to 3.57 in 17. 2 innings with 19 strikeouts and 5 walks.  Jose Lugo was very good as a left handed specialist this past winter.  That has not been the case for the Wings as Lugo has a 13.50 ERA with a .394 Average in 6.2 innings against left handed hitters.  The Wings would be a more competitive team if they kept Mullins and Fox in the starting rotation as they lost three of four games started by Charlie Zink, Yoslan Herrera and Glen Perkins who collectively allowed 22 runs (21 earned) in 15.1 innings this week.      

Slama Watch.....Slama made three appearances this week, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs in 4.0 innings with 5K/2BB.  The only game of his last ten appearances in which he allowed a run was Tuesday when he gave up 2 hits, 2 walks and a home run in a 2.0 inning appearance in the Wings 10-7 loss to Durham.  Anthony now has a 1.86 ERA in 15 games (19.1 innings) with 24 strikeouts and 9 walks. 

Trevor Plouffe had three multi-hit games this week, as did Brian Dinkelman and Matt Macri.  Plouffe was 8-21 (.381 Average), raising his average to .301/.371/.485 in 103 at bats with 7 doubles and a team best 3 triples.  Brian Dinkelman is hitting .314/.400/.419 in 105 at bats.  Dustin Martin, who has a team high five home runs, which is the same as he had all of last year, is hitting .326/.408/.581 with a league fifth best 24 RBI.

Rochester's top player this week was Matt Macri who recently returned from the disabled list.  Macri was 5-16(.313/.353/.750) with a double, 2 home runs and 4 RBI.  For the season, Macri is hitting .333/.450/.636 in 33 at bats since coming off the disabled list on April 24th.       

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (2-5, 6-21, 6th place, -12.5 games behind New Hampshire)

The Rock Cats broke their ten game losing streak Wednesday when they beat division leading New Hampshire behind an effective start by David Bromberg who threw 4.0 innings with 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 2K/5BB.  Joe Testa had one of his best outings of the year when he pitched 2.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 3K/0BB to get his first win in four decisions.  Carlos Gutierrez made two strong starts this week, however, didn't get any decisions.  Gutierrez allowed 3 hits and a run in 6.0 innings in Saturday's 4-1 loss at Portland.  He returned on Thursday when the Cats beat New Hampshire, 3-2, pitching 5.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 4K/4BB.  Tyler Robertson had an excellent start against Portland last night, pitching 6.1 innings with 7 hits, 1 run and 5K/3BB.  Santos Arias came in for 2.1 innings of relief, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks to give up 3 runs in the ninth inning for a 4-2 loss.

Bromberg has been the Ace of the rotation early this season as he has a 1.61 ERA in 5 starts (28.0 innings) with 21K/11BB.  Gutierrez has a 2.45 ERA in two starts this month, however, it will take awhile for him to get his 5.10 ERA down after a 4.0 outing on April 24th when he allowed 8 runs.  Eden Prairie's Cole DeVries has made 10 appearances this spring (22.1 innings), with a 4.43 ERA and 22K/8BB.  Spencer Steedley has been the one pitcher the Cats could count on this spring.  Steedley, who has not allowed a run in 7 of 9 appearances (17.2 innings), has a 2.55 ERA with 18K/7BB.

Steve Singleton, Alexander Soto and Chris Parmelee all had three multi-hit games this week.  Joe Benson had two multi hit games (7-24 for a .292 Average) with 3 home runs and 4 RBI.  Yancarlos Ortiz has the Cats highest average at .357/.419/.393, however, has only 28 at bats.

Coming off two consecutive seasons as the Twins Player of the Year, Ben Revere hit for only a .274 Average in his first month at AA.  This week Revere looked more like the player we have come to know, going 10-28 (.357 Average) with 4 runs scored, 1 double, 5 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 5 attempts.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (4-3, 12-16, 4th place, -5.5 games behind Palm Beach)

The Miracle's week began by splitting two games at St. Lucie.  Bobby Lanigan was the winner on Saturday, 8-7, allowing 6 hits and 5 runs in 6.0 innings with 5K/0BB to pick up his second win with one loss.  Bruce Pugh and Kyle Gibson picked up wins against Jupiter on Monday and Tuesday, 5-3 and 4-2.  Pugh pitched 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 5K/1BB.  Gibson came off his near perfect game to pitch 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 4K/2BB.  Lanigan returned on Thursday, lasting only 2.0 innings with 4 hits and 3K/0BB in a 9-7 win against St. Lucie.  Matt Williams pitched 3.0 shutout innings with 2K/0BB to pick up his second win to go with a 2.30 ERA.  Daniel Osterbrock made his first start with the Miracle last night, pitching 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 5 runs (only 2 earned) and 6K/1BB.

Gibson leads the staff with 36.2 innings and a 1.96 ERA with 32K/9BB.  Lanigan has 28K/4BB in 30.1 innings with a 2.67 ERA.  Billy Bullock appeared in three games this week, pitching 3.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 3K/0BB.  Bullock has 6 saves in 11 games (13.1 innings) with 15K/5BB and a 4.05 ERA which is the result of two bad outings when he allowed all six of his earned runs this season.

Paul Kelly, who continues to recover from a sprained ankle, hasn't played since April 20.  D. J. Romero had three multi-hit games and is hitting .320 Average this month after hitting only .177/.271/.226 in 62 April at bats.  Brandon Roberts is 6-19 in a rehab assignment while Jonathan Goncalves is hitting .290/.303/.355 since joining the team from EST late last month.  By skipping Beloit, the Twins have shown that they are very high on Chris Herrmann who has been catching while also playing a lot of centerfield with one game this week in left field.  Herrmann is hitting .263/.317/.382 in 76 at bats with 6 doubles, 1 home run and 6 RBI.  

Yangervis Solarte is the Miracle's leading hitter (not including Kelly who is hitting .400 Average in only 20 at bats) at .341/.411/.482 with 6 doubles, 2 home runs and 7 RBI in 85 at bats.  Solarte was 9-22 this week (.409 Average) with 2 home runs and 3 RBI.

Beloit Snappers (A) (5-3, 17-11, 2nd place, -1.5 games behing Peoria)

The Snappers won a double header against Wisconsin last Saturday, behind two great pitching performances.  Liam Hendriks won the nightcap, 5-1, in seven innings.  Hendriks allowed 1 run in 6.0 innings with 5 hits and 6K/1BB to pick up his second win of the season.  Tom Stuifbergen and Edgar Ibarra were both excellent as the Snapper took the first two at Clinton, 2-0 and 5-2.  Stuifbergen pitched 6.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 9K/1BB.  Ibarra pitched 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 3K/0BB.

Dakota Watts made three appearances this week, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with 5 hits and 6K/4BB.  In 19.0 innings this season, Watts has a 1.42 ERA and 20K/11BB.  Stuifbergen and Hendriks are two of the top four pitchers in the league with 1.13 and 1.32 ERA's, respectively.  Kane Holbrooks has a 2-1 record and 1.17 ERA with 1 save in 11 games (15.1 innings) with 17K/3BB.  Steve Blevins has 6 saves in 12 games to go with a 2-0 record and 3.86 ERA.   

Anderson Hidalgo leads the Snappers in hitting at .323/.333/.452 in 62 at bats following a 7-21 week.  Aaron Hicks is hitting for a .323 Average in May, bringing his average up to .306/.424/.459 with 28 strikeouts and 20 walks in 98 at bats.  Steve Liddle leads the Snappers with 4 home runs, while hitting .272/.327/.446 in 92 at bats.

The top performance for the Snappers this week has to be Daniel Osterbrock who pitched a 7.0 inning complete game no hitter on Saturday.  Osterbrock faced the minimum 21 batters as he struck out 7 with 1 walk in Beloit's first no-hitter since July 26, 1996.  Osterbrock's no-hitter earned him a second consecutive Midwest Pitcher of the Week award and a promotion to Ft. Myers where he made his first start last night.  

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