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Minor League Report...August 4, 2011

Greetings from Bar Harbor, Maine. I haven't had internet access a few days this week and may not again on the weekend. So this will be published a few days early with a five day week. The organization continues to struggle to put together winning weeks, finishing this shortened week at ten games under .500 (9-19). Only Rochester and Elizabethton had winning weeks.

The Twins made the following moves, although I may have missed a couple. They activated Denard Span with Luke Hughes returning to the Red Wings after the briefest stay with the Twins. They also moved Michael Holliman back up to Rochester. New Britain and Ft. Myers swapped relievers, with Andrew Albers moving up to New Britain and Bruce Pugh going back down to the Miracle. I was mistaken last week when I listed Kane Holbrooks as going on the Miracle's disabled list, it was actually the restricted list. The Miracle also returned pitcher Matt Tomashaw to the GCL. Beloit activated shortstop Tyler Grimes.

Last week's Player of the Week was Eddie Rosario, who collected 54% of the votes.

The Red Wings (3-1) are making a statement that this year isn't going to be a repeat of last year as they put together their second consecutive winning week. Kevin Slowey got them off on the right foot in a 6-2 win against Scranton-W/B last Saturday. Slowey pitched eight strong innings with one unearned run, five hits and eight strikeouts. Pitching like the pitcher we have come to know, Kevin didn't walk any batters. Liam Hendriks continued pitching like the organization's top pitching prospect on Sunday. The Wings beat Scranton for a second straight game, 6-3, with Hendriks pitching seven innings with three runs, four strikeouts and no walks. After dropping the opener to Buffalo on Monday, Eric Hacker pitched five strong innings on Tuesday. The Wings won, 7-3, behind Hacker, who allowed only two runs and Rene Tosoni's 4-5 night. Michael Holliman had three multi-hit games (8-16, .500 average) with a double and home run to throw his hat into the ring as this week's Player of the Week. Holliman is hitting .264 average in 72 at bats with the Red Wings.

The Rock Cats (0-4) struggled again as they continue to lose ground with the end of the season only a month off. Blake Martin pitched 5.2 strong innings last Saturday, however, the Cats managed only two hits as they lost 1-0. Joe Benson had both hits and a pair of walks. Five players had two or more hits on Sunday, including Benson, however, Deinys Suarez and Andrew Albers allowed eight runs as the Cats lost 12-8. David Bromberg, who is building his arm strength, pitched four innings with two runs in Wednesday's 3-2 loss. Benson is the Rock Cats Player of the Week (6-15, .400 average) with two doubles as his average moved up to .296 in 284 at bats.

The Miracle (1-3) began their week with a big win over Lakeland, 9-2. Logan Darnell returned to form, pitching seven innings while allowing only one run. Jhon Garcia allowed five runs (only two earned) in Sunday's 9-4 loss with Edgar Ibarra allowing six runs (two earned) in Monday's 11-2 loss. Alex Wimmers pitched four innings of relief on Monday, allowing five runs on five hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Three of his runs were allowed in his fourth inning which is the longest he has pitched since returning to the Miracle in July. Pat Dean was solid on Thursday. He allowed four runs in seven innings, however, didn't get the decision as the Miracle lost 5-4 at Bradenton. Angel Morales was 2-4 with his first home run since joining the Miracle last week. Darnell's excellent outing on Saturday gives him my nod as this week's Miracle Player of the Week. He has a 8-2 record with a 3.39 ERA in 82.1 innings.

The Beloit Snappers (1-4) also had a losing week. B. J. Hermsen had a quality start in their lone win Saturday, 10-5, over Cedar Rapids. Four players had multi-hit games, led by Reggie Williams who was 4-5. Williams was 3-4 on Sunday, however, Adrian Salcedo allowed five runs in five innings as the Snappers lost 6-1. They lost again on Monday, 5-4 in eleven innings with Ryan O'Rourke making a quality start. They dropped two more to Kane County mid-week including Wednesday, 6-1, when A. J. Achter had a quality start. Reggie Williams is this week's Player of the Week with a 10-20 (.500 average) week with five runs scored. Williams is hitting .344 average in 64 at bats since moving down from Ft. Myers.

The Elizabethton Twins (3-2) have a solid hold on second place, four games behind Johnson City. They lost to Danville, 3-2, on Saturday before taking two of three from Johnson City. Derek Christensen pitched four shutout innings against the Cardinals on Monday with Todd Van Steensel making a quality start on Tuesday. Max Kepler had two multi-hit games against the Cardinals. The Twins beat Kingsport, 6-5, last night with Madison Boer picking up his ninth save. Boer has a 2.60 ERA in 17.1 innings with 31 strikeouts and only 2 walks. Top hitter Kennys Vargas was the Twins top player at 11-19 (.578 average) with two doubles. Vargas is hitting .326 in 144 at bats.

The GCL Twins (1-4) are also falling from contention. They are in a three way tie for last place in their four team division, six games out. Their lone win this week was over the Rays on Tuesday, 4-3. Kyle Wahl pitched two no-hit innings of relief to pick up his third win. Luis Nunez picked up his third save with two shutout innings. Jorge Polanco was the Twins hitting star with a 4-5 day. They dropped both ends of a doubleheader against the division leading Orioles yesterday, 3-0 and 5-2. Polanco had another mutli-hit game in the opener, making him the GCL Twins Player of the Week at 7-15 (.466 average) with a double. Known as an outstanding glove man, the eighteen year old Polanco has his average up to .255 in 106 at bats.

The DSL Twins have been battling weather all week. They lost their only game to the Padres on Monday, 10-6.