Minor League Report...July 8th

The system rebounded from their worst week of the year with an excellent record this week, 24-15.  Now that Pat Neshek has been called up to the Twins, we will look at the top closers on each team.


Steven Tolleson was activated from the DL and promoted to Ft. Myers.  David Winfree returned to Ft. Myers following a few games with the GCL Twins.  Dan Leatherman was signed as a free agent out of the University of West Virginia.  Gil Velazquez injured his knee and was placed on the DL.  He is expected to miss four to six weeks.  Boof Bonser was returned to Rochester with Pat Neshek replacing him on the Twins roster.  Rochester also placed J.D. Durbin on the DL.  With Rochester short of infielders, the Twins signed Donaldo Mendez who had been playing for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.

Rochester Red Wings (AAA) (4-3, 50-38, 1st/+3.0)

The Red Wings returned to their winning ways this week with a record of 4-3 and now lead Scranton by 3.0 games.

Jason Tyner continued his hot streak this week with 5 multi hit games.  Jason is the top hitter in the system with a .331Ave.  Rondell White, who is on a 20 game rehab assignment, is 7 for 28 (.250Ave) with 1 home run and 4 rbi.  The "Real Deal", J.D. Durbin, had been pitching very well prior to going on the DL.  Durbin had a record of 4-3 in 16 starts with a 2.33era, 1.31WHIP and 81K/50BB in 89.0 innings.  Lefty Jason Miller has been moved into the starting rotation.  Miller has now started 6 games and has a 2-3 record in 51.0 innings with a 2.47era, 1.33WHIP and 49K/18BB.  Scott Baker has started 7 games with a record of 3-2, 2.92era, 1.26WHIP and 41K/18BB in 49.1 innings.

With Pat Neshek pitching out of the Twins bullpen, the new closer will be chosen from a trio including Beau Kemp, Kevin Cameron, and Bobby Korecky.  Kemp has a 6-1 record (1 save) and 2.37era in 28 games with 21K/19BB in 49.1 innings.  Cameron has a 3-2 record (5 saves) and 2.80era in 23 games with 31K/16BB in 35.1 innings.  Korecky has a 0-1 record (1 save) and 3.60era in 14 games with 11K/4BB in 20.0 innings.  

New Britain (AA) (3-4, 35-48, 6th/-13.5)

The Rock Cats were 3-4, remaining in last place trailing Portland by 13.5 games.

Matt Moses hasn't played in several games which provided an opportunity for Matt Tolbert to play some third base.  Tolbert, who has hit very well since his return from Ft. Myers, leads the team with a .299Ave with 2 home runs and 13 rbi in 97 at bats.  Trent Oeltjen, who will play in the Futures game next week, continues to hit well with a .293Ave.  This speedy outfielder also has 17 stolen bases in 24 attempts.  Each year Doug Deeds has been one of the top hitters on his team.  He began this season in a lengthly slump, likely due to his disappointment by not being promoted to AAA.  Lately he has been hitting like expected and now has a .282Ave with 5 home runs and 32 rbi.  Garrett Guzman has been hitting well since his promotion from Ft. Myers with a .271Ave, 3 home runs and 7 rbi in 59 at bats.

Adam Harben and Nick Blackburn have both moved to the bullpen opening spots for Kevin Slowey and Matt Garza.  Other than two games a few weeks ago, Garza has been one of the best pitchers in the league for which he was rewarded with a spot in the Eastern League All-Star game.  Garza is 6-2 with a 2.51 era, 0.94WHIP and 68K/14BB in 57.1 innings in 10 starts.  Slowey has made only 3 starts including last night's loss, 2-1.  Kevin is 1-2 with a 3.00era, 1.10WHIP and 17K/1BB in 21.0 innings.  

Bobby Korecky had 5 saves prior to moving up to Rochester where he will now battle for the closer spot.  Since his departure, the Rock Cats have used several players in the closer role.  Levale Speigner is leading the group with 6 saves in 29 games with a 3.09era, 1.24WHIP and 28K/9BB in 43.2 innings.  Julio Depaula has been another excellent short reliever, earning 3 saves in 22 games with a 2.73era, 1.42WHIP and 28K/15BB in 33.0 innings.  Aussie Tristan Crawford has also pitched well with a 2-4 record (2 saves) in 26 games with a 4.05era, 1.41WHIP and 55K/21BB in 53.1 innings.

Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi A) (4-2, 7-7, T4th/-1.0)

The Miracle rebounded this week, winning 4 games and now trail Dunedin and Tampa who are tied for first.

Alexi Casilla continues to lead the team with a .319Ave and has 30 stolen bases in 35 attempts.  Casilla, who has played both second and short has 16 errors.  Newly acquired centerfielder Brandon Roberts also stole his 30th base this week, although is only hitting .236Ave as a member of the Miracle.  David Winfree returned from his leave and hit 3 home runs in 24 at bats since his return to go with a .306Ave.  Brock Peterson has struggled defensivley, however, he has a .294Ave with 10 home runs and a team high 36 rbi now that Garrett Guzman (51 rbi) has moved up New Britain.  Trevor Plouffe's average is up to .221, however, he also made his 20th error.

With Garza and Slowey in New Britain, Anthony Swarzak now becomes the team ace.  He had an excellent start this week pitching 6 innings with 4 hits and 1 earned run.  Swarzak has a 4-5 record with a 4.40era, 1.52WHIP and 83K/36BB in 86.0 innings.  Challenging Swarzak for the top spot in the rotation is Brian Duensing who has made 6 starts since his promotion from Beloit.  Brian is 2-4 with a 2.77era, 1.18WHIP and 32K/5BB in 39.0 innings.

The Miracle closer is J.P. Martinez who has earned 11 saves in 30 games with a 3.13era, 1.33WHIP and 52K/21BB in 46.0 innings.  Former catcher Tim Lahey has also performed well in short relief with a 4-0 record (4 saves) in 28 games with a 4.57era, 1.39WHIP and 32K/16BB in 45.1 innings.

Beloit Snappers (A) (4-3, 9-7, 3rd/-1.0)

The Snappers continue to battle early in the second half, trailing Cedar Rapids, Kane County and Peoria who are all tied for first.

Whit Robbins has been their star since signing following the CWS.  Robbins, who has played both first and third, has a .424Ave in 33 at bats with 1 home run and 15 rbi.  Erik Lis continues as one of the top hitters in the system with a .320Ave, 9 home runs and 44rbi, however, he also has 16 errors at first base.  Caleb Moore is likely the top catching prospect in the system with his .285Ave.  The double play combo of Andrew Thompson (.270Ave) and Paul Kelly (.267Ave) both continue to hit very well with Kelly having only 8 errors in 80 games at short.

Kyle Waldrop, who has been the team workhorse, had his first bad game in a long time.  He leads the team with 104.1 innings with a 6-2 record and 3.62era and 1.10WHIP.  Oswaldo Sosa has perhaps been the team's most effective starter with a 6-6 record, 2.61era and 1.22WHIP in 93.0 innings.  Top prospect Eduardo Morlan, who has been placed on the DL, had a 2.60era, 1.16WHIP and 78K/28BB in 65.2 innings.

Several pitchers have pitched short relief with Yohan Pino the most effective.  Pino has a 7-2 record (3 saves) in 30 games with a 1.60era, 0.98WHIP and 56K/12BB in 45.0 innings.  Danny Vais has also been effective with a 2.00era, 1.36WHIP and 43K/13BB in 45.0 innings.  Former GCL closer Frank Mata has a 4-2 record with a 2.76era, 1.33WHIP and 14K/8BB in 29.1 innings.  David Shinskie has a 6-5 record in 33 games with a 2.21era, 1.19WHIP and 46K/12BB in 57.0 innings.  

Elizabethton Twins (Rookie) (5-2, 9-6, 1st/+1.0)

The Twins are doing well in their defense of the championship, leading Kingsport by a game early in the season.

Infielder William Luque is leading the team with a .370Ave/.433OBP in 27 at bats.  Brian Dinkelman has cooled and is now hitting .255Ave with a home run and 11 rbi in 47 at bats.  Outfielder J.W. Wilson is hitting .263Ave and has hit 2 home runs.  Henry Sanchez has also hit a home run, however, is only hitting .220 in 41 at bats.  

Alex Burnett, who was drafted in the 12th round of the 2005 draft won't turn 19 till later this summer.  He didn't allow a run until his third start and has a record of 1-1 with a 2.60era, 1.04WHIP and 15K/3BB in 17.1 innings.  Brian Kirwin was an eleventh round pick in 2005 after dropping from a top selection because of a knee injury his senior season in high school.  He is a top prospect who has a record of 1-2 in 3 starts with a 2.65era, 1.06WHIP and 14K/5BB in 17.0 innings.  Former first round sandwich pick Matt Fox is pitching after missing all of last year.  Fox has a 0.93era in 4 games with a 0.72WHIP and 13K/2BB in 9.2 innings.

Aussie Matt Williams has been effective as their closer.  Williams has 1 save in 5 games with a 3.86era/2.00WHIP and 5K/5BB in 7.0 innings.  Danny Hernandez has also been used in short relief with 2 saves in 5 games with a 7.20era/2.00WHIP and 8K/4BB in 5.0 innings.

GCL Twins (Rookie) (4-1, 9-6, T1st/+2.0)

The Twins are tied with the Pirates early in the GCL season.

Wesley Connor is the leading hitter with a .444AVe in 9 at bats.  Rodolpho Palacios is hitting .353Ave in 34 at bats.  2006 second round pick Joe Benson is hitting .308Ave with 9 rbi in 52 at bats.  The athletic centerfielder also has 3 stolen bases in 6 attempts.  Deibinson Romero is hitting .292Ave with a team leading 14 rbi.

Omar Alcala has a 0-1 record in 3 starts with a 2.57era/1.00WHIP and 8K/6BB in 14.0 innings.  Ludovicus VanMil, who stands 7'1" tall, has no decisons in 3 starts with a 2.03era, 1.28WHIP and 8K/9BB in 13.1 innings.  

Their top closer early in the season is another Aussie, 18 year old Brad Tippett.  Tippett has appeared in 6 games with a 1-1 record (4 saves) and 0.00era, 1.15WHIP and 8K/1BB in 8.2 innings.  

Questin of the Week

When the Twins moves in the starting rotation shake out after the all star break, it is likely that a starter from Rochester will return to Minnesota.  When that happens, will Matt Garza move up to AAA?