Minor League Report...August 7, 2010

With 49% of 121 votes, Chris Parmelee is Twinkie Town's Player of the Week. After the minor league season is over next month, we will use a similar process to select the Twinkie Town Player and Pitcher of the Year.

The organization again had a .500 record heading into yesterday. Unfortunately, they lost five of eight to finish another sub-.500 week at 21-23. Elizabethton led the way at 5-1. Beloit was 5-2 while New Britain and the GCL Twins were even at 3-3.

The big news this week was the signing of first round pick Alex Wimmers who will report to Ft. Myers. The Twins also signed twenty-third round pick, pitcher Dallas Gallant out of Sam Houston State University. Gallant, who had been with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks this summer, will report to Elizabethton where the college starter will become a short reliever. With nine days remaining until the signing deadline, the Twins have signed 27 of their 50 draft picks including all of their top ten. Two very talented high school picks remain unsigned, eleventh round first baseman Tyler Kuresa and fourteenth round pitcher/outfielder DeAndre Smelter. Will they sign either of them or anyone else before August 16th? The Twins also signed seventeen year old Dubal Baez who reported to the DSL Twins.

The Twins signed minor league veteran catcher Jeff Howell and assigned him to New Britain when Jair Fernandez moved up to Rochester. Yangervis Solarte reported to the GCL Twins on a rehab assignment while Ramon Santana completed his rehab assignment with the GCL Twins and reported to the Ft. Myers Miracle. Jhon Garcia also moved up to the Miracle. Ben Revere was hit with a pitch, breaking the orbital bone below his right eye in two places. He will be out for the season.

Beloit placed pitchers Brad Stillings, Pete Kennelly and leading hitter Anderson Hidalgo on the disabled list. Clint Dempster, Zach See, Martire Garcia and Pedro Guerra all moved up to Beloit. Estarlin De Los Santos returned to the Rock Cats who also activated Steve Hirschfield from the disabled list. Catcher Toby Streich joined the Miracle who put lefty Michael Tarsi on the disabled list. This spring's third round pick out of Boston College, left handed pitcher Pat Dean, moved up to Elizabethton.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (1-5, 40-74, last place, -26.5 games behind Scranton/WB)

The Red Wings are closing in on their first back-to-back losing seasons since they had six straight losing seasons (1998 to 2003) which resulted in dropping their affiliation with Baltimore. The losing continued this week as they found a different way to lose nearly every game.

Last Saturday at Charlotte, Glen Perkins was in top form as they led 7-2 going into the sixth inning. After three singles and an error by Toby Gardenhire, Charlotte was on their way to a 8-7 win. Tim Lahey got the loss on Sunday, 7-6, allowing two runs in 1.1 innings in a game Matt Fox started. On Monday, Nick Blackburn pitched 5.0 shutout innings with three hits, yet they scored only one run in a 2-1 loss. On Tuesday, David Bromberg pitched 5.1 innings while allowing only one earned run, however, an error by Dustin Martin allowed four unearned runs in an eventual 12-10 win. On Thursday, Anthony Swarzak self-destructed by allowing eight runs in 4.0 innings. Perkins returned last night with another quality start, pitching 6.2 innings with two runs in a game they would lose 4-3 in thirteen innings.

Last week we saw that the Wings' starting staff hasn't performed as expected. The result is a bullpen that has been overworked and more often than not, ineffective. Last winter Jose Lugo was effective as a lefty specialist. He has pitched 72.2 innings in 46 games, resulting in a 6.19 ERA. Tim Lahey has appeared in 40 games (70.0 innings) with a 5-3 record and 5.40 ERA. Prior to his callup, Anthony Slama had appeared in 43 games (52.2 innings) with 17 saves, a 1.71 ERA and 64K/24BB. Rob Delaney has appeared in 50 games (66.2 innings) with a 7-6 record, 4.86 ERA and 78K/18BB. When Slama moved on to the Twins, Delaney moved into the closer's role. In his last ten appearances, 12.1 innings, Delaney has a 0.73 ERA with 17 strikeouts and no walks. Will that type of pitching soon have him flipping places with Slama who continues to struggle with his control? Alex Burnett has a 7.00 ERA in six appearances since moving down from the Twins.

Waldrop and Neshek watch.....Kyle Waldrop has an excellent 4-3 record and 2.57 ERA in 48 appearances, 70.0 innings. With ERA's of 2.20, 0.84 and 0.00 in April, May and June, Waldrop was pitching as well as anyone in the International League. As the workload built for this young man who missed the entire 2008 season, he hasn't been as sharp. Waldrop has allowed only 20 earned runs all season, with six coming in a 0.2 inning outing on July 10th and another five in a 0.2 inning outing on Tuesday. In his other 46 appearances (68.2 innings), Waldrop allowed a total of nine earned runs. Pat Neshek has a 4-0 record and 4.15 ERA since being optioned to the Wings following another stint on the disabled list. The good news is that Pat has a 3-0 record and 1.08 ERA in his last ten appearances (8.1 innings) with 4K/3BB. It appears that Neshek is on track to help the Twins in September, if not sooner.

Brian Dinkelman is a solid utility player who may have a future with the Twins. Dinkelman was 7-23 (.304 Average) this week with three multi-hit games, a double, home run, five runs scored and one RBI. Dinkelman is now hitting .269/.342/.398 in 417 at bats with 26 doubles, 2 triples, 8 home runs, 46 runs scored and 41 RBI.

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (3-3, 33-80, last place, -34.0 games behind Trenton)

Mark Dolenc replaced Ben Revere in the first inning Wednesday after Revere was hit in the face with a pitch. Dolenc was 2-3 with a home run as the Cats beat Erie, 6-3, behind another great start by Kyle Gibson. On Wednesday they won 13-6 in a game that centerfielder Joe Benson threw out a runner trying to stretch a double into a triple with a throw local beat write Ken Lipshez described as "stunning." Last Saturday, the Cats won 3-1 behind a very good start by Michael McCardell who threw 5.0 innings with three hits and one run. It was McCardell's first win of the year in thirteen decisions.

Ben Revere had what must be described as a disappointing season as he was forced out of action five times. The first was a hamstring injury; second when he was kneed in the eye while breaking up a double play; third when he turned an ankle when stepping on a bat; fourth when spiked sliding into home and now the eye injury. He will finish his season hitting .297/.365/.349 in 327 at bats with 39 runs scored, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run and 31 stolen bases in 43 attempts. Revere walked 30 times while striking out only 36 times. His .297 Average is eighth best in the league, his .365 OBP fourteenth best and his 31 stolen bases are second best.

The Rock Cat bullpen has struggled all season. Perhaps their two top relievers coming into the season were Spencer Steedley and Steven Hirschfield. Steedley appeared in 10 games (18.0 innings) with a 3.00 ERA before going on the disabled list for the season. Hirschfield pitched 3.2 innings in three early April appearances before also going on the DL. Hirschfield recently completed a rehab assignment and returned to the Cats this week, pitching 2.0 shutout innings with four strikeouts in his first appearance.

Chris Province leads with five saves, a 5-4 record and a 4.88 ERA in 42 games (66.1 inning). Loek VanMil, who is on the 40-man roster, missed the first two months of the season with another injury. Since returning, Van Mil has a 8.10 ERA in 19 games (23.1 innings) with 15 strikeouts and 15 walks. Cole DeVries has spent his season in the bullpen, appearing in 36 games (61.2 innings) with a 1-4 record, 5.40 ERA and 58K/23BB. Matt Williams had a 6.53 ERA in 30.1 innings and Michael Allen a 7.84 ERA in 20.2 innings before both moved back to Ft. Myers.

Tony Davis has been their top reliever since joining the Cats in late June. Davis has a 1.69 ERA in 19 games (26.2 innings) with 19 strikeouts and 17 walks. Billy Bullock has 8 saves in 17 games (19.2 innings) with a 4.12 ERA and 1-3 record. With 33 strikeouts for the Cats, Bullock has 78 strikeouts in 57.0 innings at Ft. Myers and New Britain.

The top performance this week was by Kyle Gibson who pitched 7.0 innings in Tuesday's 6-3 win with five hits, one run, seven strikeouts and no walks. Gibson's record improved to 6-5 with a 3.61 ERA.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A), (1-6, 17-23, 5th place, -5.0 games behind Bradenton)

A week ago the Miracle were within striking distance of first place. Unfortunately, they went on a seven game losing streak and with the season's end approaching now need a long winning streak to get back into contention. Daniel Osterbrock pitched 5.0 shutout innings with one hit in last Sunday's suspended game they would lose 1-0 in twelve innings. Osterbrock returned last night to break their losing streak, 7-6 in ten innings, by pitching 6.0 innings with four hits, two runs, three strikeouts and a walk.

Billy Bullock led the team with 14 saves before moving on to New Britain. Bullock had a 3.62 ERA in 28 games (37.1 innings) with 45K/19BB. Shooter Hunt has a 6.18 ERA and 1-4 record in 34 games (6 starts, 62.2 innings) with 73 strikeouts and 63 walks. Blake Martin has a 4-3 record, 4.92 ERA and 45K/25BB in 53.0 innings. Steven Blevins has a 4.91 ERA, 2-4 record, 3 saves and 32K/17BB in 47.2 innings. Joe Testa had a 3.30 ERA in 15 games (30.0 innings) with 29K/12BB before being traded to Washington in the Matt Capps trade. Dakota Watts has a 4.15 ERA in his first 9 games (17.1 innings) since moving up from Beloit. On a team that normally has a couple relievers with dominating numbers, this year is the exception.

Angel Morales was 9-31 this week with a double, triple, home run, 5 runs scored, 3 RBI and 6 strikeouts in 30 at bats. The Miracle's Player of the Week however, was Evan Bigley who like Morales had four multi-hit games. Bigley was 12-25 (.480 Average) with 7 runs scored, 3 doubles, a triple, home run and 4 RBI.

Beloit Snappers (A) (5-2, 20-18, 5th place, -3.0 games behind Quad Cities)

The Snappers remain in the hunt for first place and are only a half game behind Clinton for a second half playoff spot. The Snappers got four excellent starts this week from Miguel Munoz (6.2 innings with 1 run), Edgar Ibarra (7.0 innings with 1 run), Tom Stuifbergen (6.1 innings with 2 runs), and Clint Dempster (6.1 shutout innings).

Kane Holbrooks was leading the Snappers with 9 saves and a 1.67 ERA before moving on to Ft. Myers last month. Eliecer Cardenas picked up his fourth win without a loss last night, pitching 1.1 shutout inning. Cardenas has 5 saves and a 3.04 ERA in 50.1 innings. Peter Kennelly had a 7.35 ERA in 45.1 innings before going on the disabled list. Jhon Garcia had a 3.35 ERA in 22 games (43.0 innings) before moving up to Ft. Myers. Andrei Lobanov has a 3.44 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 7 walks in 18.1 innings with 2 saves. Chris Anderson had a 0-1 record and 18.00 ERA before his release a few weeks ago. Zach See had a perfect 5-0 record with a 1.37 ERA for Elizabethton with 25K/5BB in 19.2 innings. See has allowed five earned runs in his first six innings since joining the Snappers a week ago.

Anderson Hidalgo was the third best hitter in the league when he went on the disabled list, hitting .316/.375/.443. Michael Gonzales is currently tied for the tenth most home runs (13) in the league. Gonzales had a huge week with home runs on three consecutive nights. For the week, Gonzales was 7-22 (.318 Average) with 8 runs scored, 4 doubles, 3 home runs, 6 RBI and 6 walks. Yes, all seven of his hits were either doubles or home runs. The twenty-two year old first baseman is hitting .230/.329/.450 in 269 at bats with 44 RBI.

Elizabethton Twins (Appalachian Rookie League) (5-1, 29-15, 1st place, +2.0 games ahead of Johnson City)

The Twins completed their sweep at Johnson City on Saturday, putting themselves back into first place as we entered the last month of play. B. J. Hermsen and Manuel Soliman both allowed only one run in their starts on Sunday and Monday, games the Twins would win 6-2 and 4-2. Martire Garcia made his last start in a 3-2 win on Tuesday, pitching 7.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs and 9K/1BB. Garcia moved on to Beloit with a 6-0 record, 1.75 ERA and 63K/15BB in 46.1 innings.

David Gutierrez has a 1-1 record, 3 saves, 2.74 ERA and 23K/7BB in 23.0 innings. Jean Mijares has a 2.04 ERA in 17.2 innings with 22K/12BB. Jose Gonzalez joined the Twins last month, moving down from Ft. Myers. Gonzalez has a 1-0 record and 15K/4BB in 9 games (11.0 innings) without allowing a run.

Oswaldo Arcia's week...Arcia was 12-24 (.500 Average) with 4 runs scored, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 8 RBI and 2 stolen bases. His .392 Average, .434 OBP, 17 doubles and 5 triples aren't good enough for the league lead as he is second in all three categories. He does lead the league with 38 runs scored, 71 hits, 14 home runs, 40 RBI and .773 Slugging Percentage.

The top performance other than Arcia this week was by Blayne Weller who picked up two wins. Weller pitched 7.0 shutout innings in last Saturday's 5-0 win with four hits and 4K/1BB. He returned in last night's 5-3 win, pitching 5.0 innings with five hits, two runs and 8K/2BB. Weller has a 3-3 record with a 3.64 ERA in 9 starts (47.0 innings) with 39K/11BB.

GCL Twins (Gulf Coast League Rookie League) (2-4, 24-31, 3rd place, -4.0 games behind the Red Sox)

With seven of their remaining nineteen games against the cross town Red Sox, the Twins continue to hold onto hope they can win their division. Cesar Ciurcina had one of his best starts of the season in Monday's 6-2 win, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 6K/0BB. Ciurcina has a 2-4 record with a 2.63 ERA. Pedro Guerra had a 2.84 ERA in 38.0 innings before moving up to Beloit. David Deminsy leads the staff with 42.1 innings with a 3-2 record and 2.34 ERA. Eddie Ahorrio, a late round pick in 2009, has 4 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 12 appearances (16.2 innings).

Miguel Sano was 3-3 last night with two doubles and a walk. For the week, Sano was 6-19 as he got his average back to .299/.340/.494. The Player of the Week however, was Max Kepler-Rozycki who was 8-15 (.533 Average). Kepler-Rozycki scored three runs with two doubles, a RBI and walk.

DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League) (2-4, 24-31, 5th place, -17.0 games behind Cubs-1)

Juan Blanco had three multi-hit games as the twenty-one year old second baseman raised his average to .308/.374/.391. Last year's lone position all-star, Romy Trinidad is hitting .308/.366/.440. Nineteen year old corner outfielder Ernesto Ciprian, had two mutli hit games and is hitting .323 Average in his last ten games.

Sterling Bonilla threw 6.0 innings in Saturday's 5-4 win, allowing five hits and one run. Bonilla returned to pick up his second loss on Wednesday, 1-0, when he allowed one run and two hits in 6.0 innings. The performance of the week however, was Tuesday's start by seventeen year old Angel Mata. Mata pitched 6.0 shutout innings of one hit ball with eight strikeouts and one walk.

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