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Minor League Report...June 2, 2012

April 20, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Chris Parmelee (27) singles in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
April 20, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Chris Parmelee (27) singles in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The four full-season farm clubs began the week winning only one of eight on Friday and Saturday. They were unable to dig out of that hole, finishing two games under .500 at 12-14. I made the statement last spring that I would be disappointed if at least half of the organization's farm clubs weren't in the playoffs this year. With only a few weeks until the first half is over for Fort Myers and Beloit, two of the four teams are either in first place, New Britain, or a close second, Beloit. Beloit had a winning week, 4-3, while New Britain and Fort Myers were 3-3. Unfortunately, Rochester had another losing week at 2-5.

In player movement, The Twins called up Jeff Manship. Nick Blackburn, who was on the disabled list, was sent to Rochester on a rehab assignment. Jason Marquis cleared waivers and was released. Erik Komatsu also cleared waivers and per Rule 5 draft rules was returned to Washington. The Rochester Red Wings activated Carlos Gutierrez and also received David Bromberg from New Britain. Former Twin Phil Dumatrait, who had been rehabbing in Fort Myers, retired. Fort Myers placed Jhon Garcia on their disabled list while activating Dakota Watts. Beloit placed starter Matt Tomshaw on the disabled list and received reliever Tim Atherton from EST. Kyle Waldrop returned to the Miracle bullpen after a two week absence from his rehab assignment. It was also announced that the Twins signed St. Paul Saints pitcher Dan Sattler.

Next week is an exciting week with the Rule 4 draft beginning Monday and the DSL Twins beginning their season today. Our Player of the Week with thirty-six percent of the votes was New Britain catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann. My review of this week follows the jump.

The Rochester Red Wings (22-31) remain in last place, eleven games behind Pawtuckett. They began their week by dropping three to the Gwinett Braves, 13-8, 4-2 and 1-0. Matt Maloney made his first start Friday, allowing five runs in three innings. Lester Oliveros picked up his first loss by allowing two runs in 1.2 innings. Sean Burroughs, who is hitting .319 average in 72 at bats, had a pair of doubles and four runs driven in. Luke French had the Wings only quality start on Saturday when he allowed two runs in six innings. Deolis Guerra had a rare bad outing, allowing two runs in two innings for his second loss. Burroughs again had a pair of hits while Michael Holliman had three hits including a three run home run. With Jeff Manship called up by the Twins, Brendan Wise was forced to make a spot start on Sunday. He pitched three innings of shutout ball with Carlos Gutierrez pitching two perfect innings with two strikeouts. Casey Fien picked up his fifth loss in five decisions when he allowed the games only run in two innings of work. The Red Wings bats were silent as Burroughs collected two of their three hits against Jair Jurrjens, who was a National League all-star last year.

The Wings moved on to Charlotte where they split a four game series, dropping the opening game Monday, 4-1 and the final game Thursday, 5-1, with a 7-4 win Tuesday and a 11-10 win in ten innings on Wednesday. David Bromberg lost his first AAA start Monday, pitching 5.1 innings with seven hits and four runs. The winner for Charlotte was Terry Doyle who pitched 7.1 one-hit innings. Nick Blackburn allowed four hits and runs in 3.2 innings on Tuesday. Esmerling Vasquez pitched three shutout innings for his third win with Casey Fien picking up his eighth save by pitching 1.2 perfect innings. Liam Hendriks, who had allowed two or less runs in his first four starts, wasn't sharp Wednesday, allowing six runs in five innings as his ERA increased by more than a run to 2.93. Carlos Gutierrez pitched another two shutout innings to pick up the win. Since returning from the disabled list Gutierrez has been very sharp, allowing only one hit in four innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Anthony Slama picked up his ninth save with a perfect inning dropping his ERA to a miniscule 0.40. In 22.1 innings, he has thirty-six strikeouts and twelve walks. Although the Red Wings are in last place, Slama has the league's fourth most saves. Chris Parmelee, who had home runs in three consecutive games, led the Red Wings eighteen hit attack with three hits and the big three run home run that tied the game in the ninth inning. Matt Maloney wasn't sharp Thursday when he gave up two runs on ten hits in 4.2 innings.

Although he played in only three games, the Player of the Week has to be Chris Parmelee. He was 7-10 (.700 average) with five runs scored, seven driven in, two doubles and two home runs. Since being sent back to Rochester, Parmelee is hitting .452 average with a 1.414 OPS in nine games with three doubles and three home runs.

The New Britain Rock Cats (31-21) are back in first place, a game and a half ahead of Reading and Trenton. The Rock Cats dropped three of four at Portland, losing two games Saturday by identical 4-3 scores. The first game was the continuation of Friday's game that was suspended after four innings because of fog. Andrew Albers was sharp, allowing only two hits in four shutout innings. Daniel Turpen allowed two runs in two innings for his second loss. In the seven inning nightcap, Steve Hirschfeld made a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings. Luis Perdomo gave up the winning run in 0.2 inning as the Rock Cats managed three runs on only two hits. One was a three run home run by Evan Bigley, unfortunately, they fell a run short. Logan Darnell was sharp in Sunday's 8-5 loss, allowing two runs in 5.2 innings. Bobby Lanigan was charged with the loss when he allowed five runs in 0.2 inning. Bigley and Deibinson Romero both had home runs. The Cats won the getaway game Monday, 3-0. Brett Jacobson made a spot start, pitching four shutout innings with Blake Martin pitching two shutout innings for his second win. Caleb Thielbar pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts for his second save.

The Cats moved on to New Hampshire where they won the first two, 7-2 on Wednesday and 6-5 Thursday. B. J. Hermsen, who is pitching as well as anyone in the organization, missed a complete game by one out Wednesday when he allowed two runs in 8.2 innings. In six starts, Hermsen has a 3-1 record with a 2.68 ERA in 43.2 innings with twenty-three strikeouts and only two walks. After allowing one walk in each of his first two starts, he has not walked a single batter in his last four starts, 30.1 innings. Andrew Albers was equally sharp Thursday, allowing only one run in six innings as he picked up his second win in three starts. Chris Colabello had a double and grand slam as he drove in all six of the Cats runs.

Chris Colabello was only 4-16 (.250 average) this week, however, he had a double and three home runs with six runs scored and ten driven in. For the season, he is hitting .224 average with a .762 OPS in 161 at bats. Colabello shares this week's Player of the Week nomination with Andrew Albers. Albers threw four shutout innings in the fog on Friday and returned Thursday to allow only one run in six innings. In ten innings, he allowed seven hits and one run with seven strikeouts and two walks. He has a 2-1 record in ten starts with a 3.72 ERA. In a team high fifty-eight innings, Albers has forty-four strikeouts and six walks.

The Fort Myers Miracle (21-32) are also in last place, twenty games behind St. Lucie. Fortunately, the first half ends in a few weeks and they get to start over. They dropped a 6-2 loss at Palm Beach Friday before winning 6-5 and 4-1 on Saturday and Sunday. Miguel Munoz allowed three runs in five innings Friday as the offense managed only two hits. Jhon Garcia made his last start Saturday before going on the disabled list, allowing two runs in three innings. Ricky Bowen pitched 2.2 no-hit innings with three strikeouts for his second win in four decisions. Bowen has an excellent 2.59 ERA in nineteen appearances (31.1 innings). Oswaldo Arcia had a pair of doubles with Lance Ray and Michael Gonzales both hitting home runs. Prior to the season, I commented that this was a pivotal year for former third round pick Pat Dean. He has a ton of talent, however, battled injuries much of last year. He allowed only one run in five innings Sunday as he picked up his fourth win versus two losses. In a team high 63.1 innings, the former Boston College lefty has the league's eighth best ERA (2.70) which is only 0.23 runs higher than last year's number one pick, Gerrit Cole. Kyle Waldrop returned to pitch a shutout inning with Bruce Pugh picking up his fourth save with a shutout inning.

After taking Memorial Day off, the Miracle moved to Bradenton where they lost one run games, 5-4 Tuesday and 2-1 in ten innings Thursday, with a 4-3 win on Wednesday. Madison Boer picked up his sixth straight loss Tuesday when he allowed five runs in five innings. Dakota Watts returned from the disabled list with a no-hit inning. Home runs by Danny Ortiz and Levi Michael weren't enough to offset another disappointing start by Boer. Miguel Munoz pitched five innings with one run Wednesday with Nelvin Fuentes pitching 2.1 innings for his second win even though he allowed two runs. Bruce Pugh picked up his sixth save with 1.2 no-hit innings with four strikeouts. Pugh is healthier this year as confirmed by his 2.60 ERA with twenty-four strikeouts in 27.2 innings. The offense was again led by Arcia who was 4-4 with his fifth home run and Daniel Santana who was 3-4 with a double and triple. Although the Miracle got eight hits Thursday, they managed only one run in a ten inning loss. Cole Nelson, who recently joined the starting rotation, pitched four shutout innings with five strikeouts. Matt Hauser allowed one run on no hits and two walks in 2.1 innings and was charged with the loss.

Oswaldo Arcia is the seventh best hitter in the pitching rich Florida State League with a .313 average and .868 OPS. He has the leagues ninth most doubles (13) and thirteenth most triples (3) along with five home runs. This week he was 11-23 (.478 average) with three runs scored, four driven in, two doubles and two home runs. Should Arcia continue to hit like this through the all-star break, this week's Player of the Week appears to be ready for that big move up to AA.

The Beloit Snappers (32-22) are in second place, two games behind first place Wisconsin. With the end of the first half approaching, the Snappers will play Wisconsin six times in the next ten days beginning with a three game series at home today. They began this week by dropping two against Cedar Rapids, 5-4 in twelve innings Friday and 5-1 Saturday. Tim Shibuya allowed three runs (only one earned) in five innings Friday. Michael Tonkin was sharp in relief, pitching two no-hit innings. Clint Dempster was charged with his second loss when he allowed a run in the twelfth inning after pitching two shutout innings. Steven Gruver allowed five runs (only one earned) in three innings Saturday. Tim Atherton was very sharp in his first outing for the Snappers, pitching three no-hit innings with four strikeouts.

The Snappers traveled to Kane County Sunday where Jason Wheeler did what Aces do, stopped the short losing streak with a quality start. Wheeler pitched eight innings with only two runs for his sixth win in seven decisions. Five Snappers hitters had multi-hit games led by Adam Bryant, Tyler Grimes and Jonathan Goncalves who all had three hits in the Snappers 7-2 win. The Snappers won again Monday, 15-9 in twelve innings. Matt Summers allowed four runs (only one earned) in five innings. Corey Williams picked up his second win with two shutout innings. Seven Snappers hitters had multi-hit games with JaDamion Williams, A. J. Pettersen, Matt Koch, and Tyler Grimes all getting three hits. Although he got only one hit, Miguel Sano had a big three run home run in the top of the twelfth inning when the Snappers put the game away. The Snappers swept Kane County with another extra inning win Tuesday, 5-4. Tyler Jones made his first start, pitching four innings while allowing one run. Tim Atherton pitched three no-hit innings with David Hurlbut picking up his second win with two shutout innings. Three Snappers had multi-hit games with Nate Roberts, Eddie Rosario and Sano all hitting home runs.

The Snappers traveled to the Quad Cities Wednesday, losing 20-3 before winning 8-1 Thursday. Tim Shibuya was more than not sharp Wednesday, allowing ten hits and twelve runs while getting only two outs which were both strikeouts. Several relievers allowed eight more runs before versatile infielder A. J. Pettersen shut Quad Cities down with a no-hit eighth inning. As Quad Cities hitters hit nearly everything thrown at them, Snappers hitters managed only five hits. Steven Gruver pitched his best game of the year Thursday, allowing only one run and five hits in 8.1 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Eddie Rosario had two hits including his sixth home run. Adam Bryant also had two hits and Matt Koch hit his third home run.

Adam Bryant was drafted as a shortstop in the ninth round of last year's draft out of Troy University. With several shortstops on Beloit's roster and their only first baseman serving a 50-game suspension, he has seen a lot of time at first base. Bryant had a big week with three multi-hit games, going 11-32 (.343 average) with five runs scored, three driven in, three doubles, three walks and five strikeouts. Bryant, who is my Player of the Week at Beloit, is currently tied with Matt Koch for the Snappers' second highest batting average (.288) in 191 at bats with a .330 on base percentage and .670 OPS.