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Minor League Report...July 7, 2012

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The seven farm clubs in the organization finished their best week of the year at 29-19, ten games over .500. Fort Myers led the way at 6-1 with New Britain and the DSL Twins both 5-2, Elizabethton, 4-2, and the GCL Twins 4-3. Rochester was a game under .500 at 3-4 with Beloit trailing the pack at 2-5.

In player movement, Cole De Vries joined the Twins as their 26th man for a start in Saturday's doubleheader. He returned to Rochester on Sunday before returning to the Twins in Detroit on Tuesday. The Twins added two Rochester pitchers to their forty man roster, Casey Fien and Sam Deduno, before calling both up to replace Nick Blackburn, Liam Hendriks and Chris Parmelee who were optioned to the Red Wings.

In other moves, David Bromberg completed a rehab assignment with the GCL Twins and joined the New Britain Rock Cats. Adrian Salcedo made two rehab appearances with the GCL Twins. Beloit placed pitcher Tim Shibuya on their seven day disabled list. Rochester placed Deolis Guerra on their disabled list with former St. Paul Saints pitcher Dan Sattler joining the Red Wings as his replacement. Marty Popham moved up to New Britain to replace Sattler with Dan Lehmann activated from the Rock Cats disabled list. Seth Stohs website Twins Daily is reporting that closer Dallas Gallant will be moving up to Beloit. You will see below that I have selected Jairo Perez as the Fort Myers Miracle Player of the Week. After writing this report yesterday, I learned that Perez had been released.

Four New Britain Rock Cats were selected as Eastern League All-Stars, catcher Chris Herrmann and pitchers Andrew Albers, B. J. Hermsen and Daniel Turpen.

DSL Twins starting pitcher Junior Subero was our Player of the Week with thirty-seven percent of the votes. This week's review follows the jump.

The Rochester Red Wings (40-47) remain in last place, eleven games behind Lehigh Valley. With nearly two-thirds of the season completed, the Red Wings are much improved from last year when they finished with 91 losses (thirty-eight games under .500). They closed out their series with a loss at Lehigh Valley Friday, 6-5 in ten innings. The Wings returned home to split two games with the Empire State Yankees, losing Saturday, 6-4, and winning Sunday, 5-3. They then split four with Pawtuckett, losing on Monday, 2-1, and Thursday, 7-4, with a 5-3 win Tuesday and 6-4 win Thursday.

Luke French made a quality start in Friday's loss, pitching seven innings with five hits and two runs (one earned). Sam Deduno had a quality start Monday, pitching seven innings with five hits and two unearned runs. Steve Hirschfeld fell an out short of a quality start Tuesday when he pitched 5.2 innings with three runs. Bobby Lanigan came on to get one out for his first AAA win. Jeff Manship made two four inning starts without allowing any runs.

Casey Fien, who has a 4.30 ERA in forty-six innings, made three appearances. He allowed three runs (two earned) in Friday's loss. He also pitched three shutout innings on Monday and Tuesday without allowing any hits or walks while striking out seven. Deduno has a 1-2 record in nine starts (42.0 innings) with a 2.14 ERA, forty-six strikeouts and twenty-two walks. In his five starts (26.0 innings) since returning from the disabled list, Deduno has allowed only three earned runs. In five appearances (9.1 innings) since joining the Red Wings, Luis Perdomo has allowed only two earned runs while striking out nine.

Danny Valencia had his second two home run game in two weeks on Saturday. Yet, he was only 6-24 this week and has an average of .239 in 197 at bats. Clete Thomas hit his seventh home run Tuesday, but is hitting only .228 average in 189 at bats while striking out fifty-five times. My Player of the Week is a utility player we have gotten to know well, Brian Dinkelman, who was 8-25 (.320 average) with two runs scored, a double and two runs driven in.

By taking the first two games at Trenton on Wednesday, 3-2, and Thursday, 7-1, the New Britain Rock Cats (47-37) moved to within a half game of first place Trenton. They also closed out their last series against Trenton with a 8-4 win last Friday. Between those two series the Rock Cats split four with Bowie, losing Saturday, 9-8, and Monday, 11-2, with a 6-2 win Sunday and a 14-7 win Tuesday when they scored ten runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Logan Darnell continues to be one of the Rock Cats top starters. He was the winner Friday versus Trenton when he allowed four runs in six innings. He allowed only two runs in 6.2 innings Wednesday when the win went to Dakota Watts, who threw 1.1 innings of no-hit ball. Aaron Thompson picked up his third win in five decisions Sunday when he allowed two runs in five innings of work. Watts and Bruce Pugh both pitched two shutout innings of relief. All-Star B. J. Hermsen was very good Thursday when he allowed only one unearned run in seven innings against the Yankees, who have six all-stars. Hermsen leads the starting staff with a 3.27 ERA in twelve starts (77.0 innings). Shairon Martis, who the Twins recently acquired from the Pirates for cash, was not good in his first start. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 4.2 innings on Monday.

Pugh continues his streak as he has yet to allow an earned run in twelve appearances (15.1 innings) with twenty-one strikeouts. Watts has allowed one run in four games (7.0 innings). All-Star Daniel Turpen has a 3-2 record with a 4.67 ERA in twenty-eight games (44.1 innings). David Bromberg made two appearances out of the bullpen, allowing one hit in 2.2 shutout innings Monday and one hit in two shutout innings Thursday.

Several hitters had big weeks with Chris Colabello having four multi-hit games. Evan Bigley and Aaron Hicks had three multi-hit games with James Beresford, Chris Herrmann, and Dan Rohlfing each getting two. Although Colabello was 12-28 (.428 average), my player of the week goes to Oswaldo Arcia. After his eleven game hitting streak ended Wednesday, he returned with a 3-5 day on Thursday. Arcia, who also had three multi-hit games, finished his week at 10-25 (.400 average) with eight runs scored, five driven in, two doubles and a triple. In sixty-six at bats since joining the Rock Cats, Arcia is hitting a team best .303 average with a .804 OPS.

After a disappointing first half, Manager Jake Mauer has the Fort Myers Miracle (9-6) in second place a game behind Bradenton. They took two from Charlotte on Friday and Saturday, 5-0 and 7-2. First half champ St. Lucie came to Hammond Stadium Sunday with the Miracle winning the first and last games of the three game series, 4-2 and 11-2, with a 5-2 loss on Monday. The Miracle traveled to Charlotte Wednesday where they took the first two, 7-5 and 8-5.

Since joining the starting rotation, Matt Hauser has been very good. He pitched five shutout innings Friday and four more on Wednesday. After posting a 2.77 ERA in twenty-four relief appearances, Hauser has yet to allow a run in three starts. In his first two starts after coming off the disabled list, Tom Stuifbergen struggled. He was much better this week, allowing two runs in five innings for his first win Saturday. He returned to pitch 5.1 innings Thursday when he allowed three runs (only one earned). Although he still has a 7.69 ERA, Madison Boer had a very good on Sunday. He picked up his fourth win in ten decisions when he pitched six innings with two runs (one earned). Cole Nelson also had a solid start Tuesday when he pitched five innings with two runs for his fourth win.

Michael Tonkin (2.89 ERA in 9.1 innings) and A. J. Achter (1.23 ERA in 7.1 innings) are both adjusting well to the Florida State League. Ricky Bowen saw his ERA climb to 3.49 after allowing five runs in 1.2 innings on July fourth. Nelvin Fuentes continues to be a solid reliever with a 3-0 record and 2.70 ERA in seventeen games (33.1 innings). Prior to moving up to New Britain, former starter Marty Popham did not allow a run in three relief appearances (7.0 innings).

Danny Ortiz had four multi-hit games as his average climbed to .289. He had three doubles, a triple and home run. Josmil Pinto, Daniel Santana, Kyle Knudson and Lance Ray all had two multi-hit games as did Danny Rams. My player of the week however, is Jairo Perez, who also had four multi-hit games. Perez was 11-24 (.458 average) with five runs scored, five driven in, one home run, one walk and four strikeouts. By hitting for a .395 average in his last ten games, Perez closed out his time in the organization with a .265 average and .754 OPS.

The Beloit Snappers (6-8) struggled as they began their week by dropping two to Clinton, 6-3 and 10-5. They took the first two against visiting Cedar Rapids, 4-3 and 6-5, before losing 10-1 on Tuesday. They traveled to Clinton Wednesday where they dropped two more to the LumberKings, 8-6 and 5-3.

Jason Wheeler allowed seven runs (four earned) in three innings Saturday. Matt Summers was solid on Sunday, pitching 5.2 innings with three runs and seven strikeouts. Summers leads the staff with a 3.75 ERA in a team high 96.0 innings. 2011 eleventh round pick Tyler Jones picked up the win with 2.1 shutout innings of relief. Perhaps the Snappers best starter the last month is David Hurlbut. Since moving into the starting rotation, Hurlbut has posted a 1.67 ERA in five starts (27.0 innings). Although he allowed five runs in five innings Monday, none of the runs were earned. Tyler Jones returned to make his fifth start Thursday, allowing one run in five innings. With only one run allowed in 7.1 innings of work, Tyler Jones is my selection as Beloit's Player of the Week. In seven appearances (32.1 innings) with the Snappers, Jones has a 2.51 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.

Tim Atherton had given up only one run in his first nine appearances. On Tuesday he allowed three in 2.1 innings. Ryan O'Rourke pitched three shutout innings Monday for his second win. Clint Dempster made three appearances (3.1 innings), giving up two hits and no runs. In twenty-seven games (34.0 innings), Dempster has a 2-3 record and a 2.38 ERA with twenty-nine strikeouts.

It was looking like Miguel Sano was breaking out of his slump earlier this week. He hit his seventeenth home run on Friday, then was 2-3 with a walk Sunday when he hit the winning home run in the eighth inning. On the negative side, he made three errors Monday bringing his total to thirty-one. He has been battling a thigh injury and was removed from the game in the fifth inning Monday and hasn't played since. Jonathan Goncalves and Steve Liddle were the only two Snappers with two multi-hit games.

The Elizabethton Twins (11-5) are right where we expect them to be, first place a game and a half ahead of Greeneville. They split two at home against Pulaski, losing on Friday, 9-1, then beating the Mariners 6-4 the next day. They traveled to Princeton Sunday, losing 6-4 before taking the next two, 13-1 and 7-2. They returned to Joe O'Brien Field Wednesday, beating Kingsport 8-1.

Their opening day starter Hudson Boyd was cruising through four last Friday before the wheels came off. With two outs in the fifth inning, the Twins committed back-to-back errors that led to seven unearned runs as Boyd was charged with his third loss. He would pick up his first win Wednesday when he pitched six innings while allowing only one unearned run. Angel Mata pitched 3.2 innings Monday, allowing one run. Josh Burris, who has a 0.82 ERA in eleven innings, earned his third win in relief with 2.1 no-hit innings. Taylor Rogers allowed two runs in four innings on Tuesday when Tyler Herr would pick up the win with two shutout innings of relief. Zach Jones hasn't allowed any runs in four appearances (4.0 innings) while Dallas Gallant, who is moving up to Beloit, also hasn't allowed any runs in five appearances (6.0 innings).

Niko Goodrum had a night to remember Saturday when he hit for the cycle, going 4-5 with four runs driven in. In only fourteen games, Goodrum leads the league with six triples which is double that of anyone else in the league. Romy Jimenez had four consecutive multi-hit games and continues to lead the league with both a .449 average and 1.410 OPS. The second best hitter in the league is Rory Rhodes at .397 average and 1.110 OPS. After a slow start (7-54), recent third round pick Adam Walker had two hits in each of his last three games.

After beginning his second season at Elizabethton by going 1-17, Max Kepler got hot and is hitting .361 average in his last ten games. With a double, two triples, nine walks and only four strikeouts in that span, Kepler is my selection as Elizabethton's Player of the Week.

The GCL Twins (8-7) are in a three way tie for first in their four team division. They split two with the Red Sox on Friday and Saturday, losing 5-2 and winning 4-3. Saturday's game felt a lot like they were playing the Boston Red Sox as the Sox lineup included Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford. They split two with the Rays, losing 1-0 in ten innings Monday and winning 3-2 the next day. They closed out their week by taking two of three from the Orioles, losing 6-4 in one game of a doubleheader Wednesday and winning the second game, 5-0. They would beat the Orioles again Thursday by the same score, 5-0.

Recent supplemental round pick Jose Berrios made his first appearance out of the bullpen Friday, allowing two hits and a run in one inning. He returned to earn a save on Tuesday when he pitched a no-hit inning. David Bromberg started Saturday's game against the Red Sox, allowing two runs in an inning of work. Adrian Salcedo next pitched a no-hit inning with two strikeouts. Austin Malinowski earned the win by pitching three innings with one unearned run.

Kuo Hua Lo, who is my Player of the Week, pitched five no-hit innings in Monday's pitchers duel with five strikeouts. In three games (12.0 innings), Lo has a 0.75 ERA and 0.42 WHIP with eleven strikeouts and no walks. Adrian Salcedo got the start Tuesday, pitching two innings with two hits and two unearned runs. Yorman Landa pitched 3.2 shutout innings with Chris Mazza coming on to get the win with 2.1 shutout innings. Felix Jorge pitched three shutout innings on Wednesday with Markus Solbach getting his first win with two shutout innings of relief. Sam Gibbons nearly matched Lo's performance on Thursday. He pitched five shutout innings with three hits, three strikeouts and no walks.

Joe Benson made his second rehab appearance on Thursday, getting two hits in three at bats with a walk. Dereck Rodriguez, who is hitting .390 average with a 1.124 OPS, had three multi-hit games as did Aderlin Meija. Recent top pick Byron Buxton, who went hitless in his first three games, had his first multi-hit game on July 4th and has hit safely in his last three.

The DSL Twins (14-15) are in a four way tie for fourth place, four games behind the Reds. They beat the Rockies Friday, 5-2, then split two with the Diamondbacks, winning Saturday, 8-3, and losing Monday, 4-3. They took two from the Padres Tuesday, 7-3 and 21-13, before beating them again Wednesday, 15-4. They closed out their week by losing to the Orioles, 6-4.

Last week's Player of the Week, Junior Subero, was very good on Friday when he threw seven shutout innings for his second win. Subero returned Thursday to pitch five innings with one run before Reudis Reyes gave up two runs and was charged with the loss. Damian Defrank also had a solid start in Saturday's win, pitching four innings with two hits and one run.

The Twins leading hitter, Adonis Pacheco, had two mutli-hit games. Pacheco, who is my Player of the Week, hit safely in six of this week's seven games. He was one for two on Wednesday with two walks and his first home run. He was one for two again on Thursday with three walks and his second home run. Pacheco, who is hitting .333 average in 93 at bats, was 8-24 (.333 average) with ten runs scored, seven driven in, two doubles, two triples and two home runs. He also walked and struck out seven times while stealing two bases.