Young to DL; Tosoni Called Up
If you missed yesterday’s blog, scroll down for A Look Back at the Capps/Ramos Trade.
Initially Delmon Young was set to be in the Twins lineup last night, but after being unable to get loose during batting practice, he took himself out of the lineup. Because Jim Thome (oblique) and Jason Repko (Quad) were unable to play for a bit, Gardy and GM Bill Smith had only one option, and that was to put Young on the Disabled List and get another body up here. For last night, the Twins could make do with Jason Kubel in left field. However, it also meant that Michael Cuddyer had to play right field, and that meant the Luke Hughes had to move from 2B to 1B. And that meant that Matt Tolbert had to play 2B. And that meant that Gardy’s bench consisted of… Steve Holm as his only available option.
Just after the game started, I got a message that Rene Tosoni was going to be called up from Rochester. My assumption was that meant Young would go to the Disabled List, but I wasn’t able to confirm that. I tweeted about Tosoni being called up. Many Twins writers in the press box retweeted it. However, they were unable to get any confirmation from Bill Smith or anyone with the Twins. I was very confident and comfortable with my source. However, when Francisco Liriano gave up five hits and four runs before getting an out, I got a little nervous. I tweeted, “Paging Anthony Swarzak! Anthony Swarzak, please report to Target Field.” If Eric Hacker had to be used early in this game, he would not be able to start on Saturday ,and if that’s the case, a pitcher would need to be promoted. Maybe that would alter the plan to promote Tosoni. Thankfully in the bottom of the 3rd inning, the press box was informed that Tosoni was being promoted and Delmon Young had been put on the Disabled List. Uffdah! I was relieved. And soon after, Hacker was entering the game in the 4th inning. Immediately it became clear what the next move was. Hacker would be sent down following the game, and someone would be called up. In the end, it was Anthony Swarzak, who will start the 2nd game on Thursday on just three days of rest. So, he was on short rest, and to make Twins fans feel even better, in Swarzak’s most recent start, he gave up seven runs on eight hits and two walks in just 4.2 innings. We haven’t seen Swarzak with the Twins in the regular season since 2009. It’s good to see him get another chance… even if it is just for a day or two, until Kevin Slowey is activated.
For more information on Rene Tosoni, here is what was written (by Josh Johnson) about him in the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2011 which is still available:
Rene Tosoni – OF – (7/2/86)
Acquired: 36th round pick in 2005 from Chipola JC
2010 Team(s): New Britain Rock Cats
2010 Stats: .270/.369/.422, 8-2B, 4-3B, 4 HR, 24 RBI
Tosoni was drafted by the Twins in the 34th round of the 2004 draft and then again in the 2005 draft. Signed as a draft-and-follow, the Canadian outfielder attended Chipola Junior College before joining the Twins. Visa problems during the 2006 season delayed Tosoni’s debut until 2007. In his first season of pro ball, Tosoni helped lead Elizabethton to an Appalachian League title by hitting .301/.407/.428 with 20 extra-base hits and 13 stolen bases in 63 games. He played in two games for Beloit following Elizabethton’s season, but many figured he’d return to the Midwest League in 2008. But the Twins surprisingly had Tosoni skip Beloit in 2008 and instead he reported to Ft. Myers. He broke his leg in May and was only able to play in 42 games. Tosoni returned for just a handful of games, but he made his presence known. In game one of the 2008 divisional playoff series against Dunedin, Tosoni belted a two-run home run which proved to be the deciding factor in a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays. In the end, Tosoni hit .300/.408/.414 with 11 extra-base hits and was also named to the Florida State League All-Star Roster (but was unable to play).
In 2009, Tosoni spent the entire season roaming the outfield in New Britain. Having had just five home runs heading into 2009, Tosoni belted three times that much in his first taste of the Eastern League. He hit .271/.360/.454 with 44 extra-base hits in 122 games. In July, Tosoni was selected to play in the 2009 Futures Game for the World team. He hit a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh (and final) inning, to give the World team the victory. He then left New Britain in August to play for Team Canada in the World Cup where he hit .357/.446/.714 with five doubles, three triples and three home runs in the tournament. He finally finished off the year by playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. 2010 figured to be a big season for the 24-year-old, but a logjam of outfielders in Rochester meant he’d be returning to the Eastern League. He had a sore shoulder at the beginning of the season and finally had to undergo labrum surgery in June. He spent time in the outfield, but spent the majority of the time as the Rock Cats designated hitter. He played in a total of 52 games in 2010, hitting .270/.369/.422 with 16 extra-base hits. Had he not been injured, he for sure would have finished the season in Rochester or Minnesota.
Tosoni has a very good approach at the plate and gets on-base a lot. He has a smooth left-handed swing that has good gap power. He’s not the fastest outfielder, but what he lacks in range he makes up for with a strong arm. He doesn’t hit left-handed pitchers very well, but he has a history of success against right-handers. He has a future in the major leagues, but with the Twins having a crowded outfield it might be hard for him to stick in Minnesota. JJ
As it is, Tosoni may only be with the Twins until next Wednesday when Young is eligible to come off of the Disabled List. Unless there is another injury, Tosoni will head back to Rochester where he is currently hitting .286/.329/.500 with six doubles, three homers and 16 RBI. For instance, if Jason Repko’s quad does not improve by then, he could be put on the DL.
Just to give you a little more, here is part of what I wrote about Tosoni in the 2010 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook:
Tosoni is most often referred to as a very complete player. Defensively, he has good range and a very strong, very accurate throwing arm. He has primarily played right field in his career, but he has done well when he has played centerfield as well. He has played just a handful of games in his career in left field, although it may make sense for him to get more time out there in 2010. Offensively, he will have the ability to hit for average as well as potentially being a 12-15 home run type of hitter. He is a very patient hitter, taking a lot of walks and consistently getting on base in nearly 10% of his plate appearances. He is a very good base runner despite not stealing a lot of bases. There is really just one negative to the game of Rene Tosoni to this point in his still-young career. He has not hit well against southpaws. For his career, he has hit .302/.387/.473 against right-handed pitching, but against lefties, he has hit just .231/.346/.343. In 2009, he hit .303/.386/.503 against righties. He hit just .183/.285/.302 against left-handers. Unless this trend is quickly corrected, Tosoni may be a lefty-hitting platoon option for the Twins, but if he can gain some confidence and do anything against left-handed pitching, he could be a very good performer across the board for the Twins. Clearly the Twins like him very much, enough to invite him to big league spring training.
Tosoni’s Prospect Ranking
Tosoni has certainly been a prospect since signing with the Twins. Here is where I ranked him each of the past four years:
· 2008 – 29
· 2009 – 15
· 2010 – 9
· 2011 – 32
I think it is safe to say that I factored Tosoni’s injury and surgery in 2010, along with his age. I also assumed that the lost time would mean that he would return to New Britain rather than move up to Rochester to start the season.
So hopefully with all of that, you have plenty of information on Rene Tosoni for his five or six days in the big leagues for now. Don’t worry, though, he will be around for a long time.
Minor League Report
SethSpeaks.net Minor League Hitter of the Day– Steve Singleton, New Britain Rock Cats
SethSpeaks.net Minor League Pitcher of the Day – BJ Hermsen, Beloit Snappers
Red Wings Ramblings
Wednesday – Red Wings 3, Buffalo 2 – Scott Diamond recorded the win with a very good start. The lefty went the first six innings and gave up two runs on two hits. He walked one and struck out three. Anthony Slama came in and gave up three hits and a walk, but no runs, in 1.1 innings. Phil Dumatrait pitched an inning, and then Alex Burnett got the final two outs for the save. Both came via the strikeout. Matt Brown went 2-4 with his third double and second home run. Brandon Roberts went 2-5 with his first double. Dustin Martin was 1-2 with two walks. Ben Revere went 2-3 with a walk and his fifth stolen base.
Rock Cats Report
Wednesday – Rock Cats 5, New Hampshire 11 – Deolis Guerra had a rough one. He gave up nine runs on nine hits and three walks in 3.2 innings. He struck out two. Three of the hits were home runs. Brett Jacobson went 2.1 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and two walks. Michael Tarsi gave up a solo homer in his inning, but he struck out two. Santos Arias gave up a run on two hits and a walk. Steve Singleton went 3-5 with his eighth double, second home run, and he is now hitting .313. Allan de San Miguel went 2-4. Mark Dolenc hit a triple.
Wednesday – Miracle 4, Charlotte 3 – Matt Schuld went five innings in this start. He gave up three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. Andrew Albers threw two scoreless innings. Bruce Pugh got the first five batters out. He struck out three. But with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, he gave up a walk-off home run. Danny Rams again led the offense. He went 2-4 with his fourth double. He is now hitting .367. The team had just five hits. Anderson Hidalgo went 1-3 with a walk.
Wednesday – Snappers 10, Burlington 2 – BJ Hermsen picked up his first win of the year. He went seven innings and gave up just one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out seven. Michael Tonkin then gave up a run on a hit in his inning. Martire Garcia walked two, but didn’t give up a run in his inning. There were lots of contributions from the offense. Wang-Wei Lin was 2-4 with his second double, first home run and three RBI. Oswaldo Arcia was 2-4 with a walk and his fourth home run (3rd in last two games). Danny Santana was 2-4 with a walk and his third triple. Derek McCallum hit his first two doubles. Jamaal Hawkins was 2-3. Danny Ortiz was 2-4 with a walk and his seventh double.
Feel free to leave your thoughts, questions or comments.