Minor League Report...July 3, 2010

Collecting 40% of the 105 votes, Oswaldo Arcia is this past week's Twinkie Town Player of the Week.

The organization had a combined 22-26 record as the four full season teams were 8-21.  Only New Britain played .500 ball at 4-4.  The two rookie league teams and DSL Twins had an excellent week with a 14-5 record.

LaValle E. Neal III reported that the Twins signed their second Taiwanese player, pitcher Hung-Yi ChenJose Mijares returned from emergency family leave in Venezuela with Jeff Manship moving back to Rochester.  Closer Chris Province moved back to New Britain with Michael Allen moving to Ft. Myers.  Clay Condrey moved from the GCL to Ft. Myers as he continues his re-hab assignment.  Brad Tippett returned to the Miracle following a brief rehab stay with the GCL Twins.  Jose Gonzalez and Andrei Lobanov both moved to Elizabethton.  Last year's forty-seventh round pick, Richard Calcano was reassigned from the GCL Twins roster to the DSL Twins.  Jesse reported that one of this year's Twins Latin signings is Reyson Zuquier, a lefty from the Dominican Republic.

Dustin Martin and Anthony Slama will represent the Red Wings in the International League-Pacific Coast League all-star game.  Deolis Guerra, Ben Revere and Kyle Gibson were all chosen to the Eastern League all-star game.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (1-7, 30-53, 6th place, -17.0 games behind Syracuse)

Jim Mandelaro reported that the Wings chief executive told him that the Red Wings will stay with the Twins through 2012 with an extension being signed when Jim Rantz visits Rochester later this month.  The Wings, who have been to the playoffs only once in the past twelve years (2006), have been affiliated with the Twins since 2003.

The Wings only win this week was Tuesday at Lehigh Valley when Matt Fox was sharp, pitching 5.1 innings with 4 hits, 2 runs and 9K/1BB.  Fox, who has the best ERA of all starters (3.90), has a 4-6 record with 60K/27BB in 67.0 innings.  Pat Neshek continued working his way back to the Twins with two appearances.  Neshek pitched 2.2 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 1K/1BB.  Pat has a 5.94 ERA in 11 games (16.2 innings).  Tim Lahey continues to pitch very well, making two appearances (2.2 shutout innings) with 3 hits and 3K/2BB as his ERA moved down to 4.70.

Slama and Waldrop Watch.......All-Star closer Anthony Slama made two appearances, pitching 3.0 innings with one hit, four strikeouts, one walk and one save.  Slama is tied for third in the league with 15 saves, however, the two closers ahead of him play for Syracuse and Scranton/WB who have 17 and 16 more wins than the Wings.  Kyle Waldrop made only one appearance, pitching 1.2 innings with no hits, no runs, three strikeouts and one walk. 

Brock Peterson had a huge week with five multi-hit games, hitting .480 Average (12-25).  Peterson has his average up to .274/.354/.496 with a team best 12 home runs.  Shortstop Trevor Plouffe is hitting .264/.326/.440 with 9 home runs, 4 triples and 13 doubles in 273 at bats.  All-Star Dustin Martin is hitting .267/.329/.438 with 18 doubles, 4 triples, 8 home runs and a team best 51 RBI.  Jose Morales is hitting .333/.425/.485 with 5 doubles in his last ten games.  Although he wasn't on the disabled list, Wilson Ramos returned to action Wednesday after missing ten days with an oblique strain.        

Last week Ryan Mullins was my nominee for Twinkie Town Player of the Week.  He will repeat this week after two excellent starts in games the Wings lost, 2-1 in thirteen innings on Saturday and 2-0 at Buffalo on Thursday.  Mullins pitched 5.2 innings with 7 hits, 1 run and 2K/2BB on Saturday.  Thursday, he pitched 6.2 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 7K/1BB. 

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (4-4, 24-57, 6th place, -25.5 games behind Trenton)

At 33 games under .500, there hasn't been a lot to be excited about in New Britain.  Yet, the Rock Cats continue to draw more fans than ever with 14 sell outs.  For the second time this season, they set an all-time franchise weekend attendance record this past weekend (22,282) including their largest crowd ever on Saturday, 8,497.

Carlos Gutierrez lost his sixth game in nine decisions in a 8-2 loss to Trenton on Monday.  Gutierrez allowed five runs (four earned) in a short 3.0 inning start as his ERA moved up to 4.91.  The rap on Gutierrez is that he struggles to put hitters away with two strikes.  The result is extended at bats and elevated pitch counts which leads to negative results.  As has often been the case, he didn't have command of his off speed pitch (slider).  All-Star Kyle Gibson appears to have made the necessary adjustments after a few rough outings with another quality start.  Gibson picked up his fifth win over Trenton, 3-1, pitching 6.2 innings with 5 hits, 1 run and 4K/4BB.  Fellow All-Star Deolis Guerra struggled a bit in Saturday's 8-5 loss, pitching 6.1 innings with 9 hits and 5 runs (4 earned).  He returned with 7.0 shutout innings against New Hampshire in Thursday's 1-0 win.  Guerra allowed only 4 hits with 7K/3BB as his ERA dropped to a team best 2.84.  Tyler Robertson lost his seventh game with only one win on Tuesday.  Robertson pitched 6.0 innings with 6 hits and 2 runs in his third quality start in his last five outings.  Billy Bullock was brutal in his first AA appearance on Sunday, allowing six runs (four earned) in 0.2 innings.  He returned with three excellent appearances, picking up three saves as he pitched 3.2 innings with two hits, one run, six strikeouts and four walks.

Ben Revere is headed to the Eastern League All-Star game with the league's seventh best batting average (.307), ninth best on base percentage (.380), and third most stolen bases (24).  Revere is again out as he hasn't played in the last few games after injuring his leg and is listed as day-to-day.  Mark Dolenc has the team's second best batting average of active players, .266/.319/.343.  Joe Benson is tied with the fifteenth most home runs in the league (10), even though he spent nearly a month in Ft. Myers.          

David Bromberg is the lone Rock Cats starter with a winning record, 5-4.  Bromberg didn't get a decision in Sunday's 9-5 loss, pitching 5.0 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 3K/0BB.  Bromberg was the winner last night at New Hampshire, 6-5.  Bromberg had a quality start, pitching 6.0 innings with 6 hits, 1 run and 3K/1BB.  Although he isn't striking out as many batters as in previous seasons, Bromberg has an excellent 3.47 ERA with 54K/35BB in 85.2 innings.   

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A, 1-5, 3-5, 5th place, -2.5 games behind St. Lucie)

The Miracle haven't gotten off to a great start to their second half, however, are only a couple games out and are positioned to be competitive with a solid starting five.  Bobby Lanigan returned from the disabled list with a quality start in the opener of yesterday's double header, pitching 6.0 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs and 4K/0BB.  Lanigan has a 2-1 record with an excellent 2.55 ERA.  Liam Hendriks, who leads the Miracle with a 5-2 record and 1.86 ERA, didn't have his usual quality start in Saturday's 5-4 win, pitching 7.1 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs and 5K/0BB.  Clay Condrey made his first re-hab appearance yesterday, pitching 3.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 1K/0BB.  Michael Tarsi recently moved to the bullpen, yet continues to lead the Miracle with 67.2 innings.  Tarsi has a 3-8 record with a 5.45 ERA.  Andrei Lobanov had a 2.03 ERA in 14 appearances with a 2-0 record and 22K/5BB before moving back to Elizabethton.    

Brian Dozier is hitting .425/.442/.525 in his last ten games as he continues to be one of the most impressive players in the organization this season.  Angel Morales was 7-21 (.333 Average) this week, raising his average to .273 since joining the Miracle earlier this month.  More encouraging, Morales struck out only nine times in his last ten games (36 at bats) as he has been the Miracle's regular center fielder.  Yesterday, Morales had the opportunity to play against a fellow Puerto Rican to whom he is often compared, Carlos Beltran, who was with St. Lucie on a rehab assignment......with each getting two hits.   

If the Miracle are to make a run at the second half title, they will need to continue getting starting peformances from Danny Osterbrock like his start Sunday.  In a game they would lose 7-6 at Bradenton, Osterbrock pitched 6.0 shutout innings with two hits, eight strikeouts and only one walk.  Osterbrock has only a 3-6 record, however, his 2.69 ERA compares favorably with the league leader (2.61 ERA).  Like Hendriks however, Osterbrock doesn't have enough innings to qualify for the league lead. 

Beloit Snappers (A) (2-5, 3-5, Tied for 6th place, -3.0 games behind Quad Cities)

Like the Miracle, the Snappers' bats have gone silent as they have fallen a few games back to start the second half of their season.  B. J. Hermsen had a couple rough starts, allowing 4 runs in a 6-1 loss on Saturday and 5 runs in a 5-1 loss on Thursday.  Hermsen now has a 4.01 ERA in 58.1 innings in his first exposure in a full season league.  Closer Kane Holbrooks made three appearances, pitching 5.0 innings with five hits, one unearned run, ten strikeouts and no walks.  Holbrooks leads the staff with 9 saves with an excellent 1.47 ERA.  Eliecer Cardenas is a 22 year old reliever from the Dominican Republic.  Moving up to Beloit from the GCL last year, Cardenas has a 2-0 record with a 2.05 ERA in 16 games (30.2 innings) with 30K/19BB.  Dakota Watts made two appearances this week (3.2 shutout innings) with three hits, five strikeouts and two walks....dropping his ERA to 2.22.

The top hitters on the club are Anderson Hidalgo (.316/.358/.437, fifth best average in the league) and James Beresford (.278/.331/.326).  After hitting only .164 Average in April, Beresford hit .291 in May and .337 in June.  Derek McCallum, who returned from nearly a season long stay on the disabled list, is hitting .294/.385/.412 in his last ten games.  Michael Gonzales leads the Snappers with nine home runs which is tied for tenth best in the league.  Hidalgo and Aaron Hicks are tied with a team best 20 doubles.      

Brad Stillings had another excellent start in Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Cedar Rapids.  Stillings allowed one run in 6.0 innings with five hits and 2K/1BB.  Stillings leads the staff with seven wins, against four losses, and 78.0 innings pitched with a 2.58 ERA.

Elizabethton Twins (Appalachian Rookie League) (5-2, 7-4, Tied for first place with Greeneville)

The Twins aren't dominating the Appy League like in previous years, yet, appear to be one of the top teams who should be in the hunt for another playoff spot.  Adrian Salcedo struggled some while with the Miracle, however, made a statement on Sunday that he doesn't belong in a rookie league.  Salcedo beat Kingsport, 8-0, while pitching 7.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 9 strikeouts.  He didn't fare as well last night in a 4-3 loss to Johnson City, allowing 4 runs in 6.0 innings with 8 strkeouts.  In three starts early this season, Salcedo has 21 strikeouts and only 3 walks in 20.0 innings with a 2.25 ERA.  Martire Garcia has a stingy 1.50 ERA in 12.0 innings.  Nelvin Fuentes, who was very good as a left-handed specialist in Puerto Rico last winter, has an excellent 1.13 ERA in four games (8.0 innings).

Oswaldo Arcia has cooled a bit, but continues to lead the team at .400/.460/.778 with four home runs in 45 at bats.  Recent twenty-fifth round pick, Andy Leer was 10-28 (.357 Average) with a home run and seven RBI.  Daniel Ortiz has six extra base hits in a total of nine hits in forty at bats.  Former Gopher Kyle Knudson is hitting .270 Average in 37 at bats.    

Although he wasn't as well known as the DSL Twins big two starters last year (Guerra and Ciurcina), some predicted that Manuel Soliman had the highest ceiling.  He is the only member of last year's division champion DSL Twins to skip the Gulf Coast League, moving directly to Elizabethton.  Soliman threw 7.0 innings of no-hit, shutout ball in Wednesday's 1-0 win when he struck out five with two walks.

GCL Twins (GCL Rookie League) (3-2, 4-6, 3rd place, -4.0 games behind the Red Sox)

It will be interesting to see how this year's team competes as they have several very young players playing regularly.  Seventeen year olds Max Kepler-Rozycki and Wander Guillen are hitting for averages of .226 and .136, respectively, as they get valuable playing time.  Centerfielder Candido Pimentel moved up from the DSL to hit .371/.405/.486 early in the GCL season.  Eddie Rosario is another recent draft pick from Puerto Rico who is opening eyes, hitting .357/.419/.714 with a team high two home runs.  First baseman Kennys Vargas, a Puerto Rican who is in his second season with the GCL Twins, is hitting .355/.400/.516.  Second baseman Nick Lockwood is hitting .300/.344/.367.       

Pedro Guerra has a 1.93 ERA in 14.0 innings while Cesar Ciurcina has a 1.64 ERA in 11.0 innings.  On Monday Ciurcina came on in relief of Clay Condrey, who was making a rehab start.  Ciurcina pitched 5.0 shutout innings with only one hit.  This month's thirty-third round pick, Justin Parker, pitched 5.0 innings of shutout ball on Wednesday to pick up his first professional win.  Australian Mark Trau, who turned 19 last week, has made two relief appearances, pitching 2.0 shutout innings with only one hit and three strikeouts. 

The GCL Twins leading hitter is South Korean In Kyun Kang, who returns to the GCL for a second season.  The twenty-one year old Kang is hitting .421/.455/.526 in 19 at bats.

DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League) (6-1, 16-10, Tied for 2nd Place, -4.0 games behind the Cubs 1)

Angel Mata (17 years old) made two starts this week, pitching 9.1 innings with 10 hits and 2 runs in two wins, 8-0 and 6-5.  Mata has a 0-1 record, 3.51 ERA and 20K/5BB in 16.1 innings.  Ezequiel Zarzuela (19) had another excellent start in Wednesday's 3-1 win, pitching 5.2 innings with 7 hits and 1 run as he won his fifth game without a loss.  Jose Jimenez (18) won his first game in the second half of Wednesday's double header, pitching 5.0 innings with 3 hits, 1 run and 5K/0BB in a 2-1 win. 

Outfielder Adonis Pacheco (18) was 9-17 (.529 Average) this week with two doubles.  Kelvin Ortiz (18) is hitting .373/.467/.569 in 51 at bats.  Miguel Sano is hitting .344/.461/.557 in 61 at bats with two doubles, a triple and team high three home runs.  Shortstop Jorge Polanco is hitting .246/.297/.281 in 57 at bats.

Twenty year old Orlando Villaroel was as good as one could hope for this week.  Villaroel had a no decision in Monday's 1-0 loss to the Rockies when he pitched 6.0 shutout innings with only one hit, two strikeouts and no walks.  He picked up his third win in four decisions last night in a 12-4 win over the Orioles, pitching 5.0 innings with two hits, one run, six strikeouts and no walks.  For the season, Villaroel has a 2.64 ERA in 30.2 innings.

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