Minor League Report...January 29, 2011

The only player movement in the organization this week was the Twins claiming left handed reliever Dusty Hughes from Kansas City. To make room for Hughes on their 40-man roster, the Twins designated Rob Delaney for assignment. The Tampa Bay Rays claimed Delaney from the Twins.

Hughes is a 28 year old who was 1-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 57 games (56.1 innings) for Kansas City in 2010. Hughes struck out 34 batters while walking 24. Hughes pitched for San Juan in the Puerto Rican League this winter where he made six starts (28.1 innings) with a 6.99 ERA. He is not your typical lefty as right handed hitters hit for a .293 average against him with lefties hitting for a .361 average against him this winter.

I will talk about the playoffs in the Winter Leagues after the jump. I will also include a poll in which you can voice your opinions as to which of the many starting pitchers at Rochester will have the greatest impact on the the Twins in 2011.

The Perth Heat finished their season a half game behind Sydney. The first round of the Australian Winter League playoffs began on Thursday with the second place Perth Heat playing first place Sydney. Perth won the first two games (4-2 and 6-0) of the best of three series and will now be idle next week as Sydney plays the winner (Adelaide) of the game between the third and fourth place teams. The championship series will be played in two weeks between Perth and the winner of the Sydney-Adelaide series. Allan de San Miguel was 2-7 for the Heat in their two games with two runs scored, a walk and a triple. Luke Hughes was also 2-7 with two doubles, three runs batted in and a run scored.

Adelaide also took their first two from Melbourne. James Beresford was 3-10 for Melbourne while Justin Huber was 1-7.

Aragua is playing Caribes in the best of seven championship series in Venezuela. Caribes won the first two games with Aragua winning games three and four. Yorman Bazardo was a minor league free agent signed by the Twins this winter who will be one of many in the hunt for a spot in the Twins bullpen. Bazardo made two relief appearances for Aragua, pitching 2.0 innings with two hits, one run, two strikeouts and no walks. Cesar Ciurcina is a young pitcher who recently turned 20, yet finds himself pitching in this series against a level of competition that should be well beyond his abilities. Ciurcina came on in relief of the starter in the critical game three to pitch 3.1 shutout innings with one hit, three strikeouts and no walks. This type of experience should enable Ciurcina to be one of the top starters at either Elizabethton or Beloit this spring.

A few weeks ago I asked which of the many starters you thought would join Kyle Gibson and David Bromberg in the Rochester starting rotation. Today's question is which of the many candidates for starting jobs at Rochester will have the biggest impact on the Twins in 2011. It is understood that this impact may be either as a reliever or a starter.

The starters are: 1) Andrew Baldwin, 28, signed as minor league free agent this winter; 2) Yorman Bazardo, 26, signed as a minor league free agent this winter; 3) David Bromberg; 23; 4) Kyle Gibson, 23; 5) Eric Hacker, 28, was signed as a minor league free agent this winter; 6) Steve Hirschfeld, 23; 7) Chuck James, 29, former Braves starter signed as a minor league free agent this winter; 8) Jeff Manship, 26; 9) Ryan Mullins, 27; and 10) Anthony Swarzk, 25.

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