Minor League Report.....September 4, 2010

Collecting 43% of 123 votes cast, David Bromberg is the Twinkie Town Player of the Week. With league play ending Monday, we will dedicate the next two weeks to selecting the Twinkie Town Player and Pitcher of the Year.

With only five teams still playing, the organization ekked out a winning week with a record of 18-17. The GCL Twins finished play last Saturday. The four full seasons all will end on Labor Day. Elizabethton's regular season ended Tuesday and they are now battling Johnson City for the league championship.

I can think of only one word when looking at player movement this week....WOW! With the major league rosters expanding, the Twins didn't place anyone on the disabled list. Twins injured during the past few games include Jason Kubel, Danny Valencia and Scott Baker. Officially, the Twins placed Justin Morneau on the 60-day disabled list to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Matt Fox, who was called up by the Twins yesterday. Also joining the Twins yesterday were Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett. Trevor Plouffe and Jose Morales joined the Twins on Wednesday, September 1st. The Twins also sent Loek Van Mil, who had been removed from their 40-man roster last week, to the Angels to complete the Fuentes trade.

Now to the moves in the minors to keep the rosters competitive.....Pitchers Carlos Gutierrez and Steve Hirschfield moved up to Rochester, replacing the Trio who moved up to the Twins. Toby Gardenhire was activated from Rochester's disabled list and will serve as their backup catcher with Morales moving up to the Twins. Rochester also placed Tim Lahey on their DL. The Rock Cats placed Santos Arias on the disabled list, with Steve Blevins, Matt Williams, Dakota Watts and Kane Holbrooks all moving up to New Britain. David Deminsky, Brett Carroll, and Nick Alloway all joined the Miracle from the GCL Twins. The Miracle also activated Michael Tarsi from their DL. The Snappers placed Michael Gonzales on the DL while activating Peter Kennelly. Zach See was promoted from the Snappers to Ft. Myers.

Shortstop Brian Dozier was the lone Miracle making the FSL All-Star team. The Twins also announced their seven assignments to the Arizona Fall League. The following players will join players from the Reds, White Sox, Padres and Rays on this fall's Peoria Saguaros squad: David Bromberg, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Kyle Waldrop, Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee and Ben Revere.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (0-7, 48-93, last place, -37.5 games behind Scranton/WB)

The Red Wings are in the midst of a twelve game losing streak, tying a franchise record established in 1920 and 2002. They will face Syracuse tonight, ironically, the same team against whom they broke both of those old records.

The Wings had three good starts, beginning with Cole DeVries last Saturday. Althougth the Wings lost, 2-0, DeVries pitched 5.1 shutout innings with only three hits and four strikeouts. Chris Province was last night's starter, pitching 6.2 innings with three hits, three runs and his career best twelve strikeouts.

Brandon Roberts continued as the Red Wings best hitter with a 9-25 (.360 Average) week. Roberts is now hitting .331/.389/.417 in 139 at bats for the Red Wings while hitting a combined .326/.406/.414 in 307 at bats for Ft. Myers, New Britain and the Wings. Roberts has also stolen 22 bases in 25 attempts.

Matt Fox was certainly in contention to be this week's Player of the Week candidate from the Red Wings following his start on Monday. Although the Wings lost, 2-1, Fox had a quality start in 6.0 innings with four hits, two runs (one earned) and two strikeouts with two walks. With the International League's fifteenth best ERA (3.95), Fox has been the Red Wings best and most consistant starter with a team high 123.0 innings. Then came the events of the last thirty hours. After returning late from a game in Syracuse, Fox got the call at 1:30am that he had been added to the 40-man roster and was going up to the Twins. Lets assume that he didn't get a lot of sleep. He then traveled much of Friday, arriving at Target Field mid-afternoon...taking the mound last night on three days rest against a first place club with the Twins in the heat of a pennant race. For those who have commented he wasn't that great last night.....lets not rain on the biggest parade in the life of this young man who has battled so hard to become a "Big League Pitcher."

New Britain Rock Cats (AA) (3-4, 42-97, last place, -40.0 games behind Trenton)

With one of the worst records in the history of the league, the Rock Cats needed to draw 21,500 in four games this weekend. They got 6,005 last night as they work to have the highest attendance in franchise history (highest was 2009 at 366,682). Ownership and the staff of this franchise must be credited with having a wonderful season!

Tyler Robertson had a 3-12 record when he took the mound on Wednesday. Robertson picked up his fourth win as the Cats beat Reading, 10-7, pitching 7.0 innings with seven hits, four runs (three earned) and five strikeouts. Thursday, Michael McCardell picked up his thirteenth loss in sixteen decisions in a 4-1 loss. McCardell pitched a complete game (8.0 innings) with six hits, four runs and four strikeouts. McCardell was better in Saturday's 6-5 win, pitching 5.0 innings with three hits and only two runs. Carlos Gutierrez made two appearances before moving on to Rochester, pitching 5.1 shutout innings with five hits, six strikeouts and no walks. In his last ten games as a Rock Cat reliever, Gutierrez has a 2.61 ERA, 2-1 record, one save and 18 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

Steve Singleton had a wonderful week with four multi-hit games, going 10-29 (.344 Average) as he raised his average to .269/.327/.414. Joe Benson also had a big week, 8-28 (.287 Average), with three multi-hit games and his twentieth home run. Chris Parmelee continued his hot hitting, 9-29 (.310 Average) as he got his numbers up to .278/.344/.396. Evan Bigley also had three multi-hit games, 12-33 (.363 Average), and is now hitting .330 Average in his first 100 at bats in AA.

The best player this week, however, was Ben Revere. As Revere learned that he got his wish and is off to the AFL, he was 13-31 (.419 average) with five runs scored, two triples, and five stolen bases. Revere is hitting a league second best .305 Average with a tenth best .371 on base percentage and third most steals (36) in 49 attempts.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A) (5-1, 35-31, 2nd place, -1.0 game behind Bradenton)

With three games remaining and a 2.0 game defict, the Miracle entered the weekend needing to sweep St. Lucie while hoping that Brandenton (they hold the tie breaker with the Miracle) would get swept. The Miracle got the job done last night, winning 9-7, while Bradenton lost...can there be a miracle in the future for Jake Mauer's squad?

With all the pitchers moving around this week, the Miracle sent Shooter Hunt to the mound last Sunday. Hunt's problems continued as he lasted only 1.0 inning with three hits, three runs and four walks as the Miracle went on to lose, 10-2. Hunt came on in relief of Michael Tarsi last night, pitching 0.0 inning with no hits, three walks and two runs. Fortunately Tarsi had a great start, pitching 5.0 innings with four hits and two runs in the big Miracle win. Liam Hendriks was back in mid-season form on Wednesday, pitching 5.0 shutout innings with two hits and four strikeouts. Alex Wimmers will likely get the start in the Miracle's final game after a near perfect start in Tuesday's 4-1 win. Wimmers pitched 5.0 no-hit, shutout innings with six strikeouts and a walk. Jhon Garcia got a win and save this week, appearing in three games (7.0 innings) with four hits, no runs and six strikeouts. Garcia has an excellent 2.08 ERA in 26.0 innings since moving up from Beloit earlier this summer.

Angel Morales and Yangervis Solarte both had two multi-hit games while D. J. Romero had three multi-hit games. Romero was 10-24 (.416 Average) and is hitting .270/.390/.403 since the all-star break. The top performance this week, however, has to go to former Gopher Nathan Hanson. Hanson was 7-23 (.304 Average) with back to back games with a three run homer run. Hanson hit a walk-off three run home run in the tenth inning of a 5-2 win Thursay, then another three run home run in last night's 9-7 win. Hanson is hitting .252/.321/.375 in 397 at bats with a team high ten home runs and 46 RBI.

Beloit Snappers (A) (5-2, 34-30, 5th place, -7.0 games behind Quad Cities)

The Snappers also are in a playoff chase with three games remaining. Much like the Miracle, the Snappers are 2.0 games behind Kane County with three games remaining. They hold the tie breaker and need to win two more games than Kane County, who has won their last two while the Snappers split a double header yesterday.

Brad Stillings had a quality start in last Saturday's 5-4 win, pitching 6.0 innings with nine hits, two strikeouts and three runs. Edgar Ibarra also had a quality start in Wednesday's 4-2 win, pitching 6.0 innings with six hits, three runs and eight strikeouts. Martire Garcia and Pedro Guerra both were winners on Sunday and Monday. Guerra pitched 5.0 innings with six hits and three runs. Garcia pitched 5.0 innings with four hits and two runs. Stillings got the start in Thursday's suspended game, pitching 1.0 shutout inning, then returning yesterday to start the scheduled game when he pitched 4.0 innings with two hits and one run.

Josmil Pinto had two multi-hit games with two home runs and seven runs batted in. Aaron Hicks had a big week with three multi-hit games, 10-21 (.476 Average), with a home run to get his average up to .282/.402/.427. The player of the Week was Steve Liddle who was 9-27 (.333 Average) with two home runs, five runs scored and 10 RBI. Liddle is hitting .251/.329/.390 with a team second best 14 home runs and a team high 67 RBI.

Elizabethton Twins (Appalachian Rookie League) (2-2, 41-25, 2nd place, 1.0 game behind Johnson City)

For the first time in recent memory, the Twins did not win their division. A bigger surprise is that the Danville Braves tied Burlington for second place in their division and the team that the Twins faced for the championship the last five years did not make the playoffs. The Twins proceded to beat the East Division champion Pulaski two straight in a best of three series. They advanced to the championship series against Johnson City, losing the opener at home last night, 7-2.

The Twins beat Pulaski, 7-4, behind Manuel Soliman. Soliman pitched 6.2 innings with five hits, four runs (three earned) and eight strikeouts. Michael Tonkin pitched 2.0 innings of no-hit relief to pick up the win. Nate Roberts, Andy Leer, Jhonatan Arias and Gunner Glad all had two hits while Daniel Ortiz had three.

B. J. Hermsen got the start on Thursday as the Twins put Pulaski away, 6-3. Hermsen pitched 7.0 innings with four hits, one run and five strikeouts. David Gutierrez pitched 2.0 innings of shutout relief to pick up the win. Nate Roberts, Brian Burke, Daniel Ortiz, Andy Leer and Kyle Knudson all had two hits.

Pat Dean got the start against Johnson City last night, pitching 6.0 innings with seven hits, two runs and eight strikeouts. He had a quality start, yet got the loss as the bullpen allowed five runs. Jamaal Hawkins and Gunner Glad had two hits while Nate Roberts had a home run.

After battling an injury in mid-August, Oswaldo Arcia went into his first slump of the year. Arcia finished hitting .375/.424/.672, leading the league in all three categories while also having the league most at bats (259), hits (97), and RBI (51). Arcia had the second most home runs (14), triples (tied at 7) and third most doubles (21). As a ninteen year old, will Baseball America rank Arcia as the top prospect in the Appy League?

Nate Roberts finished his season as the Twins second best hitter at .336/.444/.547 in 128 at bats. Roberts was 5-11 (.454 Average) in the Twins three playoff games with two walks, two doubles and a home run.

GCL Twins (Gulf Coast Rookie League) (1-0, 29-31, 3rd place, -5.0 games behind the Rays)

The Twins beat the Red Sox in their final game on Saturday, 3-0. Derek Christensen pitched 5.0 innings owth shutout ball with two hits to pick up his third win. Christensen finished his season with a 3-0 record and 0.66 ERA in seven games (one start). The forty-third round pick out of Salt Lake Community College appears to have a bright future.

Rory Rhodes and Jairo Rodriguez had two hits, while Max Kepler-Rozycki had a three hit game with a double. Kepler-Rozycki finished his rookie season hitting .286/.346/.343.

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