Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Twins Minor League Reports
Q&A with Brian Duensing
Beloit Snappers Pitcher
2005 Twins 3rd Round Draft Pick
Good morning to everyone!
We are going to start out today with another Q&A with a Twins minor league player. If you would like to see what other Twins prospects and more I have had Q&As with, please be sure to look at the end of this Q&A. Today, I need to thank Brian Duensing for taking the time to answer some questions for us!
Brian Duensing was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Nebraska. The lefty started his collegiate career there with a 6-2 record as a freshman in 18 games. The following year, he threw in just four games (and was 3-0) before he needed Tommy John surgery. Because of that, he also missed the entire 2004 season. He came back in 2005 and went 8-0 in 23 games (10 starts). The Twins saw enough in his time to take a shot on him. He went to Elizabethton for last season where they limited him to 50.1 innings in his 12 games (9 starts).
The Twins started Duensing at Beloit this spring. In 6 starts, he is currently 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA. In 37.1 innings, he has 11 walks and 37 strikeouts.
I'm sure you don't want to read any more background. Check out his minor league numbers and other information here. Let's just get to the Q&A already! Thank you to Brian Duensing for taking the time to answer these questions. Again, I think that this is very interesting to read and I hope, and am sure, that you will enjoy it too.
If you have any comments for me or Mr. Garza, please e-mail me, and I will try to answer your questions or forward them on to him and see if we can get you an answer.
Let the Questions Begin!
SethSpeaks: Growing up in Nebraska, who was your favorite team, and who were some of your favorite players to watch and emulate?
Brian Duensing: Actually, growing up I never really watched baseball. But I do like to emulate Tom Glavine.
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little about your high school career. Were you drafted out of high school?
Brian Duensing: During high school I went up the ladder one peg at a time. My best season was the summer of my senior year. I hit .522 and had an ERA of .072. Never got drafted though.
SethSpeaks: Growing up in Omaha, do you have memories of going to Rosenblatt Stadium for the College World Series?
Brian Duensing: Yeah I used to go to a couple of games with my dad. The best memories are just of the atmosphere. The smells, the teams, the tastes and the crowd.
SethSpeaks: How exciting was it to actually play in the College World Series in your hometown?
Brian Duensing: It was amazing. Not a lot of people can say they had the opportunity that I had. I wish I would have preformed better but it was a great time.
SethSpeaks: The Twins took you in the 3rd round last year. Had you talked to the Twins' scouts much, and where were you expecting to be drafted?
Brian Duensing: I had talked to the Twins once prior to the draft. Yeah I was hoping to just go in the top 10 rounds. Being drafted where I was, was not expected by me or anybody really.
SethSpeaks: Who were some of the coaches or people that have helped you get to this point in your career?
Brian Duensing: All of my coaches I have ever had helped me. Family wise my parents and grandparents are the ones who got me to where I am today.
SethSpeaks: How would you describe yourself as a pitcher. What are your strengths, and what areas would you say you most have to improve upon?
Brian Duensing: I would say I am straight forward. I don't get fancy I just try to throw strikes and make the hitters put the ball in play. I would say I have a strong change up but locating it is tough for me right now.
SethSpeaks: What pitches do you throw, and what would you say is your "out" pitch?
Brian Duensing: 4 seam fastball, 2 seam fastball, curveball, circle change and slider. Out pitch is the slider.
SethSpeaks: What was the adjustment to pro baseball like for you?
Brian Duensing: It was tough being away from home. The guys and coaches make it easier but just being away from home.
SethSpeaks: How do you like the weather in Beloit in April?
Brian Duensing: Too cold. My start it was 29 degrees and snowed in the first inning. But it has been warming up and is about perfect right now.
SethSpeaks: What is the best part, so far, about a career in baseball?
Brian Duensing: The teammates and the travel. Meeting new guys is fun. I also get to see a lot of the country I would never have seen without baseball.
SethSpeaks: What is the most difficult part of life in baseball?
Brian Duensing: The hours. We are at the field from 2:30-11:30pm. Then we have to eat late. The routine is just not normal. Aslo the wrap people have on us. They think we are irresponsible, rich and immature. These we aren't. Immature, yes sometimes but the other two we are not for sure. OK so we are immature, but not rich.
SethSpeaks: Favorite baseball movie?
Brian Duensing: The Natural
SethSpeaks: Favorite baseball book?
Brian Duensing: Sometimes You See It Coming
SethSpeaks: Finally, what are your goals heading into the 2006 season?
Brian Duensing: Get stronger and keep moving. Always get better.
SethSpeaks: What do you think it will be like to put on a big league uniform in a regular season game for the first time?
Brian Duensing: Nerve racking, exciting and unbelievable. Hopefully I get the chance someday.
SethSpeaks: Is there anything else that you would like to share with Twins fans around the country about yourself?
Brian Duensing: I am engaged and am getting married Nov. 18, 2006. So send gifts and money if you want to. (just kidding)
Brian, I thank you again very much for taking the time to answer all of these questions so well. During the season, I would imagine free time is at a premium! So thank you!
Do you have any thoughts or questions for Brian Duensing or me? If so, please feel free to e-mail me.
If you would like to read any previous Q&A's, here is a checklist:
5/5/06 - Q&A with Matt Garza (Twins minor league pitcher at Ft. Myers)
5/2/06 - Q&A with Kyle Waldrop (Twins minor league pitcher at Beloit)
4/28/06 - Q&A with David Winfree (Twins minor league infielder at Ft. Myers)
4/25/06 - Q&A with Josh Rabe (Twins minor league outfielder at Rochester)
2/24/06 - Q&A with Tommy Watkins (Twins minor league infielder at New Britain)
2/20/06 - Spring Training Q&A (Part 2) (Several Twins and former Twins answer questions about spring)
1/3/06 - Q&A with Chris Coste (Phillies AAA player and my former college teammate)
11/29/05 - Q&A with Chris Brown (former Twins 1B prospect, spent 2005 in Beloit)
11/25/05 - Q&A with Seth (your questions for me)
11/23/05 - Q&A with Pat Neshek (Twins Relief Pitching Prospect, added to 40 man roster, 2006 in Rochester)
11/15/05 - Q&A with Jeff Dooley (the voice of the New Britain Rock Cats)
11/8/05 - Q&A with David Dorsey (local writer for The News-Press in Ft. Myers, FL)
10/25/05 - Q&A with Mark Sheldon (former Twins Beat Reporter for MLB.com)
10/18/05 - Q&A with Kevin Slowey (another top pitching prospect, Twins 2nd round pick in 2005, 2006 in Ft. Myers)
10/11/05 - Q&A with Wes Holtsclaw (local writer for the Elizabethton Twins)
10/5/05 - Q&A with Eli Tintor (Minnesota-native, catching prospect who played 2005 in E-Town, 2006 in Beloit)
7/28/05 - Q&A with Jim Mandelaro (local writer for the Rochester Red Wings)
2/28/05 - Q&A with Pat Neshek (Minnesota-native, reliever prospect who played 2005 at New Britain)
12/17/04 - Q&A with Alexander Smit (Holland-native, pitching prospect spent 2005 between Beloit and E-Town)
5/28/04 - Q&A with CJ Nitkowski (big league pitcher, spent Spring Training 2005 with the Twins)
One rough start down. Two more to go? Radke was probably the Twins best bet at a semi-decent start against the Rangers, and that didn't go so well. In five innings, he gave up six runs on 11 hits and three walks. Dennys Reyes came in and gave up only a hit in 1.2 innings. Willie Eyre did the same in 1.1 innings.
Torii Hunter remains hot as he went 2-4.
Michael Cuddyer again was 2-4 with another double. I wonder how many multi-hit games he needs to have before he can afford to take an 0-4?
Uggh! Nick Punto started at Shortstop. That's bad enough. But then he had to go 2-3 with a walk! Sure, it meant that we didn't have to watch Juan Castro, but it is still Nick Punto.
So, I was talking this out in my head yesterday afternoon. I know that many believe that there is something wrong with Joe Mauer because of his lack of RBIs this year. We keep hearing that a third hitter should be driving in runs. I wrote an article on this late last year. Well, first, at this stage of his career, he is not a home run hitter. He does not drive in himself. So that is one point. I know that many point out that both Shannon Stewart and Luis Castillo are getting on base at good rates. However, let's just say that they both get on 40% of the time (which they don't), well, they odds that both of them get on is just 16% That is the only way to ensure that there is even a runner on 2B. Now, Mauer is getting on base at nearly a 40% clip as well. When the top three all get on base at that rate, there is more frequency that two runners would be on base for the #4 and #5 hitters which would explain why those hitters will and should have more runners to drive in. I am sure that there is a really difficult mathematical formula for all of this, but I am just going to, for today, write about this in theory. I would love to hear your thoughts.
The reason I was thinking about this is that, it is common knowledge that a team should have its best overall hitter batting third. I think that is Joe Mauer. You can take more power and more strikeouts in those fourth and fifth spots, and that is where we find Hunter and Cuddyer.
I suppose there are some out there who, after Hank Blalock's 4-4 night, were thinking that the Twins should have traded Scott Baker or even Francisco Liriano for the Rangers 3B. Ummmm... No thanks! He's a good ball player, but I will continue to agree that you just do not trade pitchers with that much potential who are this close to the major leagues for a 'good' hitter.
Here are the pitching matchups for the rest of the three game series in Texas:
Tuesday - 7:05 - Carlos Silva (1-5, 8.59, 1.61, .350) vs Kevin Millwood (3-2, 3.52, 1.28, .276)
Wednesday - 1:05 - Kyle Lohse (1-3, 9.71, 1.99, .346) vs Vicente Padilla (3-2, 4.58, 1.53, .263)
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Tigers, the AL Central or anything else? If so, send me an e-mail, or post some Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Jason Bartlett, Rochester Red Wings
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Matt Garza, Ft. Myers Miracle
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Monday - Red Wings 9, Pawtucket 4 – Henry Bonilla was the recipient of some excellent run support. The righty went 5.1 innings and gave up four runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out four. Ricky Barrett went 2.2 shutout innings and gave up just a hit and a walk. Then Pat Neshek came in and struck out the side in his inning. Jason Bartlett was the offensive star. He went 4-4 with a walk, a triple, three runs scored and an RBI. Garrett Jones went 2-4 iwth a walk, his fourth homer and five RBI. Jason Kubel went 2-4 with a walk, his second homer, two runs and two RBI.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Monday - Rockcats 4, Bowie 4 – OK, I have to just admit. I'm tired. This game is tied at 4 going into the 14th inning. I will try to wake up early in the morning to post this update. I can tell you that Nick Blackburn started. I can also tell you that Danny Matienzo has three hits including a homer. There's much more, but I just don't know how long this game will go. Check back in a few hours to see how it went.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Monday - Miracle 4, St. Lucie 1 – Matt Garza started. You probably knew that, huh? He or Kevin Slowey. Well, last night it was Garza and he was excellent once more. In a season high eight innings, he gave up a run on four hits (a home run), a walk and a hit batter. He struck out nine. Garza improves to 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA. JP Martinez recorded his fifth save. Deacon Burns went 2-4 with an RBI. Justin Arneson was 2-3. Garrett Guzman and Luke Hughes each hit doubles. Matt Tolbert his his first homer of the year. And, Tolbert played 2B with Trevor Plouffe at SS.
Monday - Snappers 1, Southwest Michigan 2 – The Snappers lost with one out in the bottom of the ninth. David Shinskie got one out but gave up a run on two hits and two walks for the loss. Oswaldo Sosa started and gave up just a run on three hits and four walks. He struck out five. Yohan Pino went two shutout innings. Eli Tintor went 2-4, and Erik Lis had his 12th double.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? I would love any input, or ideas to make it better. Thanks! E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
How is this for a challenge? The Brockton Rox of the independent CanAm League think that they can win more games this year than the Kansas City Royals... and the Rox play just 92 games in their full season.
Let me know what you think. Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here. That is it for today!|
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