Monday, July 10, 2006
Roger's Minor League Players of the Week
Twins Minor League Report
Good morning everybody! For those that missed it, late on Friday night, I posted a new article chronicling the Major League Debut of Pat Neshek which remains at the bottom of this page. Neshek came into the game with the Twins down 9-4 in the bottom of the 7th. He gave up a leadoff single to Kevin Mench, but he then proceeded to retire the next six batters in order, including a strikeout of Mark DeRosa. So, take a few minutes to read all about Neshek's debut.
Also, on Saturday morning, I listened to my interview on Friday's podcast of the Minnesota Twins Fan Network. I appear midway through Part 2 if you have a chance to listen to it. Joshua of Taylor's Twins Talk was also on the show to discuss the Twins system as well. He just recently started his blog on the Twins. I have checked it out and it is excellent, especially if you are interested in the Twins minor league system.
Next, I wanted to give a quick Chris Coste update. As we enter the All-Star break, Coste is hitting .311. After starting his big league career 0-14, he is now 14-45. In other words, since that start, he is 14-31 or .452! I was able to watch parts of the Phillies three game series against the Pirates thanks to mlb.tv. He was named the Phillies player of the game in both Saturday and Sunday's games. Saturday he went 2-3 with 3 RBI. If you watch ESPN or ESPN2, you saw his name and numbers on their Bottom Line. On Sunday afternoon, he went 2-5 with two more RBI. With Mike Lieberthal likely to come off of the Disabled List after the All-Star break, my assumption is that Carlos Ruiz would be sent back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre. When their backup catcher Sal Fasano comes off the DL, Coste would likely return to his utility role where he may get more at bats at 1B and maybe even 3B as well. There are also rumblings in the Phillies blogging community that Fasano could be released. We shall see!
MLB.com's Phillies beat writer Ken Mandel wrote a wonderful article on Coste with some really great quotes from him and Charlie Manuel about staing in the big leagues. Check it out!
So, let's keep the intro short and sweet, and Have a Great Week! Please feel free to e-mail me or leave Comments below.
Over the weekend, the Twins and Rangers finished out the season's first half with a three game series in Arlington. The Rangers won two out of the three games. Here are some thoughts from the series:
On Friday night, the Twins lost 9-4 to the Rangers. Carlos Silva was lit up and didn't get out of the second inning before leaving the game with a knee injury. The extent of the injury is not known, but it does appear that Silva disappointed Rick Anderson with his lack of toughness. This situation could be interesting to follow.
Willie Eyre came in to replace Silva with the bases loaded and two outs in the second and Mark Teixeira coming to bat. He gave up three straight hits and a 2-0 deficit was suddenly a 6-0 hole to work out of. In his last two outings, Eyre's ERA has jumped from 5.40 to 6.60, and that doesn't even account for the three inherited runners that he allowed to score. I have been saying for several weeks that I think that Eyre needs to be sent down to Rochester to get some innings. I think that when the team needs a 5th starter, Eyre will be sent down with Scott Baker coming back up to the Twins.
Obviously the highlight of the game was the big league debut of Pat Neshek. Again, my take on his debut can be found here, and Pat's take on his exciting couple of days can be found in a two-part series at On the Road with Pat Neshek.
Another positive was that the big three left-handed bats for the Twins each hit a home run. Joe Mauer hit his 7th home run in the 5th. Jason Kubel hit his 7th home run in the 6th inning, and Justin Morneau unloaded for his 23rd home run of the year. Morneau's home run came off of lefty reliever Ron Mahay. It was his 7th home run this year against a lefty. Morneau went 2-3 Friday night and ended the game with a .301 batting average!
Kyle Lohse came in and gave up just a run in 3.2 innings of work. As a starter this year, Lohse went 2-4 with an 8.92 ERA and a WHIP of 1.98 while opponents hit .339 against him. So far, in his eight games as a reliever, he is 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA. His WHIP is 1.29 and opponents are hitting just .266 against him. He has pitched well in six of his eight bullpen appearances, and really poorly in the other two. Maybe, just maybe, some GM will note that he is pitching much better out of the bullpen.
On Saturday, it was again the Night of Francisco. Some seemed worried that Liriano might be disappointed in not making the All-Star game and have a rough outing. But no, Liriano had one of his best outings yet. Pitching in Texas is always difficult, but Liriano dominated the Rangers' hitters. In seven innings of work, he did not allow a run. He gave up just four hits. He walked three and struck out eight. He is now 10-1 with a 1.83 ERA. It is just remarkable to me how easy he makes it look. He throws his three incredible pitches with incredible ease. It almost appears effortless.
Nick Punto has been doing a nice job of late. In his last five games, he is 9-22 (.409). On Saturday night, he was 3-4. However, he was twice thrown out by Gerald Laird trying to steal second. Laird has thrown out over 50% of would-be base stealers on the year. Why would you try to steal twice with Joe Mauer at the plate?
Torii Hunter did hit his 14th home run. Although he is not on pace for 30 homers, he is on pace for 26 which would not be too bad either. Like so many Twins fans, we all just get a little tired of all of the first-pitch ground outs!
Here is the Justin Morneau Update. With his 1-4 on Sunday, he extended his hitting streak to 16 games. In that time, he is hitting .441 (26-59) with six homers and 16 RBI. The streak started on June 22nd when he was hitting .266. On June 8th, Morneau was hitting .235. He has had hits in 27 of the 28 games since then during which time he is hitting .413 (45-109) with 12 homers and 35 RBI. He enters the All-Star break hitting an even .300.
The numbers three and four hitters for the Twins had a rough weekend. Joe Mauer went just 1 for 12 while Michael Cuddyer was 3-12 but did not come through with runners in scoring position.
Lew Ford has two hits in each of the last three games he has played in. Going 6-11 (545) has increased his average from .215 to .234.
Any other thoughts on the Twins, the AL Central, the Rangers or anything else? E-mail me, or leave some Comments below.
ROGER'S MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Throughout the year, our friend "Roger" is keeping tabs of the Twins minor leaguers. This year, he is coming up with a minor league hitter and pitcher each week. Feel free to comment! And don't forget to check out his weekly minor league update at Twinkie Town.
Player of the Week - David Winfree, Ft. Myers Miracle
David Winfree, who was the 2005 Minor League Player of the Year, was injured when hit by a pitch a few days into this season. He was also rehabbing from off season arm surgery which led to a much publicized leave of absence. In his first week back with the Miracle, Winfree appears to have had no effect from his long absence. While playing a combination of DH, first base and third base, Winfree was 7 for 24 with 2walks, a double, 3 home runs, 6 runs scored and 6 rbi.
2006 Ft. Myers 49ab 3hr 11rbi .306Ave .358OBP .551SLG
2005 Beloit 562ab 16hr 101rbi .294Ave .329OBP .452SLG
2004 Elizabethton 217ab 8hr 37rbi .286Ave .349OBP .433SLG
2003 GCL Twins 172ab 1hr 15rbi .238Ave .330OBP .302SLG
Pitcher of the Week - Ryan Mullins, Beloit Snappers
Ryan Mullins, was one of the stars of last years championship season for the Elizabethton Twins. During this season, he has had outings that were disappointing and others that were good, however, none better than Wednesday when he pitched a complete game shutout in Beloits 4-0 win. In his only start this week, Mullins pitched 9.0 shutout innings with 4 hits and 6K/1BB.
2006 Beloit 89.1ip 2W-3L 4.23era 1.32WHIP 74K/30BB
2005 Elizabethton 53.2ip 3W-0L 2.18era 0.88WHIP 60K/13BB
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Edward Ovalle, Beloit Snappers
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Paul Kelly, Beloit Snappers
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Felix Molina, New Britain Rockcats
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Kevin Slowey, New Britain Rockcats
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Sean Land, Elizabethton Twins
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Oswaldo Sosa, Beloit Snappers
On Sunday, New Britain OF Trent Oeltjen represented himself, the Twins and Australia for the World Team in the annual Futures Game. He led off and played in LF for the first four innings of the game. He flew out to CF off of Team USA's starter Jason Hirsch (from the Astros). In the third inning, he grounded out to first base off of Gio Gonzalez, a left-hander from the Phillies organization.
Here are the weekend updates. If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Friday - Red Wings 2, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 6 - Mike Smith was able to give the Red Wings eight solid innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out four. Beau Kemp then allowed two runs (1 earned) in one inning. Kevin West went 2-3 with his fourth double and two RBI. Jason Tyner was 2-4 with his 14th double.
Saturday - Red Wings 9, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 5 (10) Alex Romero hit a bases clearing triple in the top of the 10th inning that led to the win. Romero was 2-5 on the day. Chris Heintz went 2-4 with his 14th double. Glenn Williams went 2-5. Garrett Jones did not put a ball in play in five plate appearances. He walked three times and struck out twice. Pete Munro started and gave up four runs on five hits over seven innings. He walked none and struck out eight. Matt Ford came in and got two outs, but he allowed a run on a walk and a hit. Bobby Korecky came in and went the final 2 1/3 innings without allowing a run.
Sunday - Red Wings 0, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 6 - In his first start since coming back from the Twins, Boof Bonser gave up five runs in the first inning and the offense was not able to catch up. But Bonser came back and gave up only the five runs over seven innings. He gave up ten hits, but he walked none. Henry Bonilla gave up a run in his inning. The offense could only get five hits. Andres Torres was 2-4. Recently signed (from the Newark Bears) Donaldo Mendez hit a double.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 1, Connecticut While pitching in Ft. Myers, Kevin Slowey's Win-Loss record was not at all indicative of his pitching performances. Such was the case again on this night. Slowey gave up two runs on nine hits in 7.2 innings. He walked none and struck out seven to fall to 1-2. Levale Speigner got the final out. Felix Molina led the offense going 2-3 with a walk and an RBI. Matt Tolbert tripled and then scored the lone run when he barreled over the catcher.
Saturday - Game 1 - Rockcats 0, Connecticut 1 Reason #852 why looking at Wins and Losses for a pitcher can be very deceiving. Glen Perkins fell to 2-10 because he got zero run support in this game. The lefty went all six inning and gave up just one run on three hits. He walked none and struck out four, but he took the loss. The lack of offense can not be put on Matt Tolbert. He went 2-3 with his eight AA double. Doug Deeds and Scott Whitrock each hit a double.
Saturday - Game 2 - Rockcats 2, Connecticut 1 Matt Moses had not been hitting well at all, and then there was an injury, so I'm sure his 2-3 game had to feel pretty good. Denard Span went 2-4. Jay Sawatski made another start for the Miracle. The lefty went 4.2 innings and gave up just a run on five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Levale Speigner got the win. He went the final 2.1 innings and only gave up a walk.
Sunday - Rockcats 3, Connecticut 6 Felix Molina will be representing the Rockcats in the AA All-Star game and he went 3-3 with two RBI in this game. Doug Deeds went 2-4. Errol Simonitsch started and fell to 5-10. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on seven hits and three walks in six innings. Nick Blackburn gave up two runs in two relief innings.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle Rained Out.
Saturday - Miracle 0, Sarasota 1 - Kyle Aselton returned to the mound after missing over a month of time with injury. He worked two shutout inning, allowed two hits and struck out one. Jose Mijares came in and reminded us all of why he was added to the 40 man roster. In four shutout innings, he struck out nine! Chris Schutt gave up the lone run during his three innings of work to take the loss. Alexi Casilla was an on-base machine. He went 2-2 with two walks. David Winfree had his fourth double.
Sunday - Miracle 0, Sarasota 1 For the second straight game, the Miracle got a great start and the offense could do nothing to help. This time, it was Anthony Swarzak who got no run support. Swarzak went all six innings and gave up only an unearned run. He gave up seven hits, but he did not walk a batter and struck out seven. The offense only had four singles. Alexi Casilla did steal his 31st base. Trevor Plouffe had two more fielding errors. There was supposed to be a second game, but it too was rained out.
Friday - Snappers 8, Peoria 3 Adam Hawes put together a very strong start. In 6.2 innings, he gave up three runs (2 earned) on six hits and three walks. He struck out four. David Shinskie went the final 2.1 innings, allowing just two hits. He struck out three. Edward Ovalle went 3-5 with three RBI and his 10th stolen base. Dwayne White went 2-3 with a walk. Tarrence Patterson stole his 21st base.
Saturday - Snappers 4, Peoria 3 (13) Paul Kelly led the Snappers offense with a big day. The SS went 3-5 with two walks and two RBI. Caleb Moore and Erik Lis were each 2-6 while Eli Tintor went 2-2 after coming in late as a pinch hitter. Alexander Smit put together another very solid start. The Dutch lefty gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over six innings. He also struck out seven. Jose Cordero then threw a shutout inning. Yohan Pino gave up a run over three innings. Frank Mata got the Win to improve to 5-2 with three one-hit innings.
Sunday - Snappers 5, Peoria 2 Oswaldo Sosa just continues to pitch superbly! He recorded his seventh win by giving up just two runs (1 earned) over eight innings. He gave up six hits and two walks, but he struck out six. Danny Vais got the Save with a perfect ninth. Whit Robbins continues to be an offensive machine. He went 1-2 with three walks, his second home run and three RBI. Paul Kelly hit his 19th double and drove in three runs. Drew Thompson was 2-5.
Friday - E-Twins 1, Burlington 7 The E-Twins managed just two hits in this game. Jeff Christy was 1-1 with two walks and his second double. Jose Castillo started and gave up four runs (3 earned) on six hits and three walks. Brandon McConnell gave up three runs on three hits in three innings.
Saturday - E-Twins 5, Bristol 1 (10) Sean Land made a very impressive start. He went seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits and two walks. He added nine strikeouts. Armando Gabino threw a perfect inning. Matt Williams gave up three runs over 1.2 innings on five hits. Matt Fox got his first Save as he came in to get the final out. Greg Yersich led the offense going 2-4 with a walk and his fifth double. The catcher also stole his first base. Jeff Christy went 2-5 with his third double. Josh Dean was 0-1 but walked three times. Garrett Olson was 1-3 with two walks and an RBI.
Sunday - E-Twins 5, Bristol 3 Daniel Berg led the offense by going 3-4 with two doubles. William Luque was 2-3 with a walk. Steve Singleton was 2-3. Young Alex Burnett started and gave up just two runs over seven innings. He gave up six hits and did not walk a batter while striking out six. Aaron Craig got the blown save by giving up a run in an inning, but he also picked up the win as the E-Twins scored the following half inning. Danny Hernandez pitched a scoreless 9th for his third save.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Friday - GCL Twins Rained Out.
Saturday - GCL Twins,GCL Red Sox Rained Out.
Sunday - GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled.
Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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