Friday, June 23, 2006
Twins Minor League Reports
Q&A with Pat Neshek
Rochester Red Wings Closer
Good morning to everyone! Apparently the Twins had a big game last night against some right-handed pitcher making his first start of the year last night. I don't know. Maybe you watched it? I do have several thoughts on last night's Twins game, and you can find them below. I did have thoughts of doing a Pitching Analysis on Francisco Liriano and Roger Clemens for today, but I really just wanted to sit down and enjoy watching the game. And, it was a very good game! Also, you will find the minor league reports for the last two days. The two short-season teams have now started so the Minor League Reports will be extended the rest of the season.
But today, we have a different twist on the Q&A format. On this site, there have been quite a few Q&As with Twins minor leaguers. I was able to e-mail them questions and they responded to them. Over the weekend, I had an idea. I e-mailed Pat Neshek and asked if he would mind doing a Q&A with questions directly from the readers of this site. He was very happy to do that, excited to be able to answer questions from fans. So, Monday through Wednesday, readers were able to e-mail me their questions for Pat, and you came up with some really good ones. I sent the questions to Pat late on Wednesday night, and he responded very quickly.
Pat has been a good friend of SethSpeaks.net, and I know that he checks out this site every morning. Obviously that is exciting for me, but I am sure that it is interesting for the minor leaguers to 1.) get a feel for what Twins fans are thinking, and 2.) see how the other minor league affiliates and prospects did. Or, to see what I wrote about them! Scary! Maybe I should be nicer! But, Pat has already done two Q&As for this site. The first Q&A was before Spring Training in 2005. The second Q&A was last November, the week that he found out he had been added to the Twins 40 man roster. He was also one of several Twins minor leaguers to help us get ready for Spring Training this year by answering some questions of what Spring Training meant and what they hoped to do in 2006.
Now, I know that if you come to this site, you likely also read On the Road with Pat Neshek and have it bookmarked (if you don't, be sure you do!). The site is maintained solely by Pat. He discusses many things including the goings on with his team, discussion of a number of baseball topics, autographs and much, much more. The site has brought Pat a lot of attention. A month ago, Pat was featured in an article in Baseball America. He has done several Q&As for newspapers and other media. The site, and his pitching, have made him the top vote getter in AAA fan voting for the All-Star game, something that is truly amazing for a relief pitcher!
And, it is hard to talk about Pat without talking about just how amazing his 2006 season stats are. He truly is ready for the big leagues. Right now, he is just playing the waiting game and hoping for an opportunity, hoping for his first big league call up. Until then, he just continues to dominate AAA batters and wait for that phone call, or for the meeting with his manager where he finds out he has been promoted to the Twins. As a Brooklyn Park native, I can only imagine how much it will mean to don the Twins uniform for an official big league game for the first time. Pat has been to the Metrodome many, many times. He lived just minutes from there. But can you even imagine what it would be for him when he is standing on the pitcher's mound, ready to make his debut? I am getting chills just thinking about that feeling! And yes, I told Pat that I am hoping for a Q&A after he gets called up to the Twins. I am already prepared with my list of questions!
Anyway, Neshek is becoming a well-known pitching prospect now. However, if you check out his minor league numbers, he has been performing well each of his pro seasons. It is great to see him get all of this attention. He deserves it!
But, I am sure you are ready to read Pat's Q&A now, huh? Again, I must thank all of the readers who took the time to send me some questions for Pat. I also must thank Pat Neshek for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope that you will enjoy it too. If you have any comments for me or Mr. Neshek, 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. But also, be sure to fill the Comments today with questions, comments or support for Pat Neshek. Like I said, I am sure that he does read it.
Let Your Questions Begin!
The First Question
"once and for all, how do you pronounce your last name?! " - Sarah from Minneapolis
Pat Neshek: I get that a lot, it's basically Knee-Shack or Sheck…Whatever is easier for people to remember.
"How/when did you pick up your unique pitching delivery?" - Josh Williams from Eagan, MN
"Have you always thrown sidearm? If not, when did you switch and why?" - James M.
"I would like to know how Pat created and developed his unique throwing delivery." - Nathan Pesta from Bismack, ND
Pat Neshek: I actually was drafted by the Twins out of Park Center high school in Brooklyn Park throwing over the top. That same day of the draft I was hit on the forearm by Maple Grove and Minnesota Gopher CJ Woodrow during our last high school game. It hurt so bad throughout the entire summer I was not able to pitch but was able to play shortstop. While playing short the only position the throwing didn't hurt was sidearm. When I attended Butler in the fall I was able to go off a mound again and try to throw. Everything felt excellent and I couldn't believe I was back and able to throw. My coach at Butler Steve Farley couldn't believe how I was throwing and said that he didn't recruit me to throw that way but he liked what he saw. We tried a couple weeks to get back to throwing over the top but it didn't work and I have been that way ever since. The Twins once again liked what I was doing and drafted me again this time throwing from a completely different angle.
The Questions about The Lefties
"RHB's are batting .136 against you with nearly 2 K's per IP. Lefties are batting .267 with just over 1 K per IP. Are there certain types of lefties that give you a lot of trouble?” - James M.
"I'd like to ask Pat about his splits against righties and lefties. What is he doing to get more lefties out lately? He's been so dominant against right handed hitters." - Tony
"What type of pitches do you throw and are you working on anything particular to throw against left-handers?" - Swandog
Pat Neshek: Right now lefties are hitting 16 for 68, which comes out to a .235 average. This question has gotten really old the entire season and is the thing people have dogged me on the entire time. I told a lot of people that it is kind of like kicking someone when they are already down. I think at one point early in the season the average was at .450 and the word on lefties started getting out. Early in the season I was working on a lot of new pitches such as a slider that runs into lefties and a change-up. I would say three fourths of the hits I gave up to lefties were on those pitches. Since then I have scrapped those pitches for the most part and went with my best stuff, letting my fastball go hard and sink in the zone and throwing my slider backdoor. It has worked really well and I get a lot of groundouts now. I really can't remember too many lefty base hits in the last couple months that haven't been broken bat flares or grounders in the hole. I also wanted to comment on the HR's that I gave up to lefties. Early in the season I gave up 4 Home runs to lefties. Two were in blow out games where I was working on those pitches again, change up and inside slider. But the other two were bombs given up to the same guy, Scott Thorman on hard fastballs. The guy flat out beat me and I had to tip my hat to him. Well from there he went on to club a bunch more HR's and was called up last week to jump-start the Atlanta Braves. I don't do anything different to lefties and I actually feel pretty good facing them. By same comparison the Twins have a .307 batting average against as a staff. I have yet to hear anything about them getting out lefties. I understand that there is a difference between AAA and the bigs but I feel I can be a guy they turn to and get a lefty out if needed.
The Rochester Feelings
"How do guys like Bartlett and Kubel and obviously you -- who are all young and supposedly immature -- keep such a positive attitude playing in AAA knowing that you have the skills and talent to play on any Major league team right now? Is there a lot of grumbling behind the scenes? At age 23 I'd have had a meltdown if I felt I was being held back in my life somehow, and you guys are on a very public stage, which must make it worse. How is it now that Bartlett and Kubel have been called up and you are still waiting?" - Steven
"ask Neshek if he or other players get discouraged by the up and down treatment for guys like Cuddyer and Bartlett who never seem to get a fair chance in the bigs." - Aaron Kalina
Pat Neshek: It's tough and there has been a lot of grumbling in the clubhouse since the season started with some of the guys. I was really pleased to see Kubel and Bartlett get back up there, I kind of shook my head when they were down here because our team was so good and couldn't understand why they were holding these guys back. Ever since they got up there it looks like they have turned things around in MN a little. Hopefully they can keep it going. On my website people have heard me use the term "Climbing Mt. Everest with a fork." This basically means I have to work a lot harder to get my name out there and continue to put up numbers to get a shot in the bigs more than other guys on other teams do. It's very tough especially tough when you know you can really help the big league team win games. I know I will get a chance soon, I just hope it will come sooner than later.
Other Rochester Questions
"Now that the two Jason's are back in Minnesota, which Red Wing player or pitcher is most ready for The Show (other than yourself of course)?" -James M.
Pat Neshek: I would say Josh Rabe, I think he would hit the cover off the ball if he got a shot.
"How is Scott Baker taking the demotion? The worst thing that could happen is for that to mess up his confidence." - Nathan Gau
Pat Neshek: He's doing fine and his confidence is not shot at all. He's been pitching awesome and he'll be ready when they call him up again.
"As a collector, what is your favorite baseball card and why?" - Josh Williams from Eagan, MN
Pat Neshek: I like my first card in Elizabethton because it's my rookie card. I always wanted one of those since I was little and when I first saw it I thought it was the coolest thing. Other than that I like a lot of my signed cards nobody in general.
"About how many autographs do you have? Which is your most valuable in value? Which is your most valuable in memories" - from Brockman
Pat Neshek: I would estimate it at around 5000 signed cards. I'm not really sure which one is worth the most, I just try to get one from every player that has ever played the game and I'm nowhere near doing that haha! In terms of memories I would say either my Kirby Puckett ones I got when I was six or a Hank Aaron one I got TTM (through the mail) and returned to me 3 years later!
Who To Face?
"Would you rather face power hitters that strikeout a lot or high average, low power, put-the-ball-in-play guys?" - James M
Pat Neshek: It doesn't really matter. In college I would have said power guys but to tell you the truth if my pitches are on I don't care who is at the plate.
"What current major league hitter do you look least forward to facing and why?" - Josh Williams from Eagan, MN
Pat Neshek: I don't know, I think I would be happy to face anyone up there right now! Probably someone like Ichiro, I don't know.
"If you could pitch to any ball player, alive or dead, who would it be and why?" - Nick H.
Pat Neshek: It would be neat to face some of my older and current coaches. I have to admit that would be pretty cool. It would also be neat to face anyone from the early years of the game. I think it would be neat to see if today's game would dominate the guys who played in the 50's or before.
The Call Up
"I'm sure everyone is asking whether he has heard any info on when he gets called up. I'd think that he currently deserves a shot over one or two of the guys in the Twins pen." - Nathan Gau
Pat Neshek: Every couple days I hear that I'm getting called up and it hasn't been true once. The time will come, just have to have a little patience
"Growing up in Minnesota, did you play hockey, and are you a fan of the sport? Did you attend any of the state hockey tournaments in St. Paul?" - Nick H.
Pat Neshek: Yep, I played up until 10th grade. I never got into the traveling teams because I also played on a traveling basketball team the entire way up and didn't have too much time to do that. I have to say that hockey is the most exciting sport to play and to watch. I always love playing pick up games in the off-season and cannot wait until next year. I'm a big fan and love getting autographs in St. Paul when I have time. I never attended any state hockey games but watched a lot of them every year when they use to broadcast them on UPN 9 in MN.
Minor League Ball
"Minnesotans are fairly removed from the world of minor league baseball since we have no minor league teams here. What is one thing that would surprise us about minor league baseball that we might not think about here in Minnesota?" - Sarah from Minneapolis
Pat Neshek: It's really big and you guys are missing out big time. In the summer the crowds can exceed 12,000 people and it's really fun to come out to a game and watch some good baseball. A lot of people are missing out on autographs, which are a lot easier to get down here than in the Big Leagues. I always wished MN had a minor league team when I was growing up because you can see guys in the organization before they are stars. In college they had a lot of minor league teams nearby and I enjoyed going out to a game every now and then.
"One question would be whether or not he feels he loses something after two innings the few times he has been asked to go 3 innings? " - Roger Dehring
Pat Neshek: I actually feel I get stronger as I go. In college when I was a started that was the case with me. Innings 2 and 3 were always my toughest and from there I would cruise. I guess the thing now that is tough is that my role is closer yet each night I don't know if I'm going to go 2 or 3 innings. It's tough to prepare when you call yourself a closer yet have had only a handful of outings where I went one inning or less. It would be nice to go one inning like most closers in this league but it doesn't bother me and gets me ready for the big leagues.
"There's was much made of 'pre-hab' in "Moneyball", where pitchers would perform various exercises to limit the possibility of injury. Oakland would also send its prospects down to Dr James Andrews's clinic in Alabama to have their mechanics evaluated for the same reason. Do the Twins promote 'pre-hab' in any form?" - Charles Frenkel
Pat Neshek: In spring training and the lower levels they have guys do Dr. Jobe arm exercises. The exercises have been shown to strengthen the rotator cuffs, which would help lower the chances of getting hurt. At the higher levels guys do what they feel they have to do. I do these exercises about 2 times a week.
Real Winter Ball
"Another question would be whether or not he got anything positive out of the "winter" middle of the night games he played in the old Arlington Dome?" - Roger Dehring
Pat Neshek: Yep, it fulfilled my love to play the game at all hours of the year. I think playing at the dome during the winter really help me get ready for the season and strengthened my arm. There were numerous times I remember skipping out of school early so we could get to the dome at the right time and have it all to ourselves and take BP. I also remember driving (45 mins away) to that place after school four out of the five days of the week after winter (Jan-March) with teammate Steve Krueger just so we could play long toss. It really helped me out big time and I wish other high school guys could experience that today.
Pat, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions so well. Hopefully fans will understand just how busy the players are during the season. Also, on the road, you just don't know if you'll have wireless internet access in the hotel rooms. But as you can see from Pat's terrific website, he really takes the time to keep his fans informed and entertained. So, thank you!
Do you have any thoughts or questions for Pat Neshek 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:
I didn't watch all of the games over the weekend, but did note a few things. I am sure there are others, so please feel free to e-mail me or leave some Comments below.
the talk heading into last night's game was about the return of
Roger Clemens, one of the best pitchers in baseball history. And
really, it is all deserved and I don't have a problem with it.
However, I was also really excited about it as a Twins fan, and I
wrote the following e-mail to MLB.com radio the other day:
"I think it is great that Roger Clemens is coming back and getting a lot of attention. As a Twins fan, I am really excited. It is exciting for me to know that Francisco Liriano will get to pitch in a game where the other pitcher is getting all the attention. He will open the eyes of viewers across the nation. But I am also excited for the country to get to see more of Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel, and Justin Morneau and Jason Bartlett. I feel that, as it is Clemens' first start, these hitters could all do well and get noticed."
Now, Roger Clemens was fine. In five innings, he gave up just two runs on on six hits and two walks. Clearly, he wasn't at 100% yet. He threw 100 pitches in that time, and had two innings in which he threw more than 30 pitches. That will just take another start or two.
As much as I like to give grief to Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven for some of the things they say, I enjoyed one particular discussion they had. Roger Clemens throws a split-fingered fastball. That was a pitch that made a lot of pitchers great in the 80s and early 90s, and now very few pitchers even throw it. My first thought is that maybe it is hard on a pitcher's arm and increased the odds of injury. But then, Roger Clemens is still throwing it at 42 years old and he has really never had a major injury. To me, it really seems like a tough pitch to hit as it comes in looking like a fastball, but then drops off the table. Can you even name any other pitchers who throws a split-finger or a fastball?
Think Roger Clemens is in Torii Hunter's head? He was 0-23 against Clemens coming into the game, and after the game he was 0-25 against Clemens. But, really, this is just another case of Torii being Torii. Clemens was struggling quite a bit in the game. The young hitters were able to take pitches. They seemed to be able to recognize his pitches. Why couldn't Torii? Against Clemens, he just hacked at everything. He gave so much credit to Shannon Stewart in 2003 for making him better just by watching the type of at bats the Stewart had (had because Stewart has not put together good at bats in two years). Does Hunter just not watch Joe Mauer? Does he not see what Jason Kubel does at the plate? Is he not seeing that Justin Morneau has taken better at bats and now look what he is doing? In an interview on SportsCenter before the game, someone asked if he would try to bunt for a hit off of Clemens. Torii laughed and said "No, that is weak, that is the weak way out. I'm going to try to hit doubles." Well, you're 0-25. It isn't about being proud. It's about getting on base, right? Just another example of Torii not being the leader that so many want to think he is.
By the way, it might be time for Joe Vavra to start getting a lot of accolades for what he has done. Justin Morneau has turned things around. Joe Mauer has actually gotten better in his second full season, something that just did not happen in the Scotty Ullger era. Nick Punto has actually improved some. Michael Cuddyer is having a breakout season. Of course, Vavra isn't a former big leaguer, so Torii Hunter doesn't have to listen to him, right?
OK, there is no way this should be the sixth bullet point, but Francisco Liriano was incredible again last night. it is a recurring theme in all of Liriano's starts. Dominance. Control. Poise. Velocity. Movement. He has got it all. He went a career high eight innings last night. He gave up a two run homer to Jason Lane in the 8th inning, but that was it. He gave up just four hits and walked two. He struck out seven. At what point is it fair to start asking if he is as good, or even better, than Johan Santana? I know he has to do this over more time, like three or four years as Santana has. But right now, who would you consider the Twins best starting pitcher?
And then where does Joe Nathan fit into that conversation. No, I am not putting a one or two inning guy in the same category as the two dominant starters. However, Nathan has multiple pitches that he can dominate hitters with. He throws his fastball in the upper nineties, and he has some sharp breaking off-speed pitches that freeze hitter. Having a guy like that at the end of games is really quite a weapon!
Justin Morneau went 3-3 last night with a walk. He had a single, a double and a homer run. So, one game after ending his 11 game hitting streak, Morneau may have started a new one! Just to keep the Morneau Pace updated, he is on pace to hit 39 homers and drive in 132 runs.
Jason Kubel had a really great at bat in the third inning. Yes, he hit the long double to score Luis Castillo for the Twins first run. That's great. That's the result of the at bat. But, he took some fairly close pitches for balls, and he fouled off some very tough pitcher's pitches. Kubel went 2-5 last night and just looks very smooth and comfortable with the bat. His defense is also greatly improved.
It is good to hear that when Shannon Stewart returns to the lineup (probably in a week or so), it will be Stewart who allegedly will be the DH. That is good news, however, I am not overly excited about it only because I will believe it when I see it. Stewart seems to have some sort of control over Gardy. Stewart has said that he doesn't want to DH, so we will see what really happens.
By the way, it might just be a small bullet point today, but the Twins signed their first round pick, Chris Parmalee yesterday. It was apparently an easy negotiation. It may be a small note now, but hopefully it is a huge point for the Twins future!
Jason Bartlett had a single off of Roger Clemens. He was 1-4. He is hitting .414 and has at least one hit in all eight of his big league games this season. He has also been the starting shortstop in all eight games that he has been up which is very good! Of course, maybe I shouldn't mention that he struck out in each of his three other at bats.
Tonight, the Twins come home and start a three game set against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are not good. They are 28-43 right now. Here are the pitching matchups for the series, followed by some notes heading into the series:
Friday - 7:10 - Johan Santana (7-4, 2.87, 1.00, .227) vs Carlos Marmol (1-1, 2.81, 1.06, .214)
Saturday - 6:10 - Boof Bonser (1-1, 5.81, 1.44, .291) vs Mark Prior (0-1, 17.18, 2.18, .389)
Sunday - 12:10 - Brad Radke (5-7, 5.84, 1.69, .344) vs Sean Marshall (4-5, 4.97, 1.39, .247)
Prior's numbers look horrible, and they are. Of course, those numbers are the result of one bad start. He gave up 8 runs (7 earned) in just 3.2 innings. He should be better than that. But, does anyone really want to see Joe Mauer get a few knocks off of him, maybe even a homer or two?
Jacque Jones is the subject of trade talks to the Yankees. We'll see. On the season, he is hitting .296/.328/.517 with 12 doubles, 13 homers and 36 RBI. He is hitting .321/.356/.558 against right-handers. He is hitting just .231/.254/.415 against left-handers this season. However, in June, Jones is hitting a robust .329/.351/.562.
Todd Walker, another former Twins player, plays a lot of 1B and 2B for the Cubs, but he does play other places as well. He is hitting .288 on the season. He is 4-19 (.211) over his past five games.
There is another former Twins player on the Cubs roster. On May 22nd, Henry Blanco was hitting .051/.156/.051. Since then, the backup catcher now has a nine game hitting streak. During that time, he has gone 16-32 (.500) with four doubles, three homers and 12 RBI. He is now hitting .254/.304/.437 for the season. Of course, he is not really the backup catcher right now as Michael Barrett is serving his 10-game suspension for his altercation with another former Twin, AJ Pierzynski, last month.
I give Shannon Stewart a hard time for being the worst leadoff hitter in the American League. But Juan Pierre is probably the worst, and most overrated, leadoff hitter in all of baseball. The speedy CF is hitting just .242/.290/.306 this year. Yes, he is 24/30 in stolen base attempts, but no leadoff hitter at any level should only get on base just 29% of the time!
Aramis Ramirez is currently on a six game hitting streak during which time he is 9-23 (.391). On the other end of the spectrum, rookie SS Ronny Cedeno is four for his last 26 (.154). OF Matt Murton is just three for his last 21 (.143).
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Astros, the Cubs, or anything else? If so, send me an e-mail, or post some Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Paul Kelly, Beloit Snappers
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - David Shinskie, Beloit Snappers
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Wednesday - Red Wings – No Game Scheduled
Thursday - Red Wings 10, Louisville 2 – It was a good day for the Red Wings offense. Josh Rabe led the way by going 4-5 with three runs scored and two driven in. Garrett Jones went 2-5 with his 15th double and four RBI. Chris Heintz and Luis Maza were each 2-4. Mike Smith was the beneficiary of the run support. He improved to 5-3 by going the first 7.2 innings. He gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out five. Matt Ford got the final four outs.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday - Rockcats 8, Bowie 7 – Matt Garza is human after all! Garza finally had what would be classified as a bad start. The righty went just two innings. He gave up seven runs (6 earned) on six hits and four walks. He struck out none. Jay Sawatski came in and went five shutout innings. He allowed three hits and struck out six. Justin Olson got the win by throwing two shutout innings and striking out three. Trent Oeltjen continues to lead the Rockcats offense. He went 3-4 with his seventh double and two RBI. Denard Span went 2-4 with a walk and a double. Doug Deeds was 2-4. JR Taylor went 1-2 with two walks.
Thursday - Rockcats 2, Bowie 3 – Glen Perkins had another good start, and for it he got a no decision. The southpaw went seven innings and gave up just two runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out nine. Tristan Crawford took the loss. He final 1.1 innings and gave up the winning run. He struck out three. Matt Tolbert got the start at 2B and went 2-4 with two doubles in his return to New Britain. Denard Span and Matt Moses each had a double. Trent Oeltjen hit his first homer.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday - Miracle 1, Lakeland 2 - Well, the Miracle got it to the final game, and Dunedin lost its third straight game meaning that the Miracle would be the division's first-half winner with a win. And they had their best pitcher on the hill. Kevin Slowey has been all-world for the Miracle in the first half. And he was excellent again on this night. He gave up two unearned runs in the 8th inning and took the loss. In 7.2 innings, he gave up four hits and two walks, and he struck out seven. Unfortunately, the Miracle could only manage three hits. Trevor Plouffe had a double.
NOTE - After the game, Slowey, Matt Tolbert and Garrett Guzman were promoted to New Britain.
Thursday - Miracle 4, Clearwater 3 (12) - Brandon Roberts singled in Luke Hughes with the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 14th inning. Anthony Swarzak started and went five innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and four walks. He did strike out six. Jose Mijares continued to pitch well out of the bullpen. He threw two shutout innings. Chris Schutt gave up a run over the next three innings. Tim Lahey pitched the final two innings to improve to 4-0 on the season. The Miracle offense managed just seven hits on the game. No one had more than one hit. Justin Arneson had a triple. Trevor Plouffe hit a double. Alexi Casilla stole his 24th base.
Wednesday - Snappers – No Game Scheduled, returning from the All-Star break.
Thursday - Snappers 4, Lansing 3 – Drew Thompson and Paul Kelly have been the real deal for the Snappers this season. Thompson went 2-4 with two RBI. Kelly was 2-4 as well. Adam Hawes started and went four innings. He gave up three runs on three hits and three walks. You guessed it, he struck out three! Alexander Smit came in and threw two shutout innings, striking out three. Jose Cordero, Frank Mata and Yohan Pino each threw one shutout inning of relief. Mata picked up his fourth win, and Pino got his third save.
Wednesday - E-Town Twins 6, Bluefield 5 (13) – Henry Sanchez was sent back to E-Town and hit a homer in his first game. He was 2-6. Greg Yersich was 2-4 with a double. Alex Burnett made the season-opening start and was excellent. In six innings, he gave up no runs on just two hits. He walked none and struck out six. Matt Williams gave up three runs on two hits and three walks in his two innings. Danny Hernandez then gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits and a walk. He struck out five. Minnesota native Aaron Craig threw two shutout innings. Brandon McConnell got the Win with one shutout inning. He struck out three, but he allowed a hit and a walk.
Thursday - E-Town Twins 6, Bluefield 11– The E-Town offense managed to get nine hits and seven walks in the game, but the pitching just did not come through. 2B Brian Dinkelman went 2-4 with a walk. He was the only player with more than one hit. 3B Garrett Olson went 1-2 with two walks. Jose Lugo started and went the first five innings. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk, and he struck out seven. When Patrick Bryant came in, the score was still in reach, but he got just one out and gave up six earned runs on four hits and a walk. I wonder if he is second guessing his decision not to play football? But the highlight of the game may have been the performance of Matt Fox. The 2004 supplemental first round pick has been hurt most of his career and had a couple of surgeries. He went the final 1.2 innings without giving up a run. He gave up two hits and walked just one.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Wednesday - GCL Twins 6, GCL Reds 3 – Ludovicus "Loek" Van Mil, the 7-1 southpaw from The Netherlands made the first start of the year for the GCL Twins. He was very good. In 4.2 innings, he gave up two runs (1 earned) on just one hit. He walked four and struck out one. They say he is surprisingly coordinated for such a tall man, but I would imagine that finding that release point could be a difficulty, but it exciting to see such success from him in his first start. Joan Ortiz came in and got the Win by going 2.1 innings and allowing just one run. He gave up three hits and walked one. Brad Tippett got the save by throwing two shutout innings. Joe Benson, playing CF, went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Wesley Connor was 2-4 with two RBI.
Thursday - GCL Twins 8, GCL Pirates 2 – Wilson Ramos led the offense going 2-4 with his second double and three RBI. Joe Benson was 2-4 with a walk and an RBI. 3B Juan Delgado was 2-4 with a walk, a triple and two RBI. Curtis Leavitt started and went the first four innings. He did not give up a run. He allowed three hits, but he walked none and struck out five. Carlos Garcia got the Win. He went three shutout innings and gave up just one hit. He walked none and struck out two. Luis Carreras gave up two runs on three hits. Jakob Toufar threw one shutout inning.
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.
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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