Tuesday Night, July 21, 2009
Minor League Update
UPDATE – I fell asleep on the couch in the eighth inning last night. Woke up at about 2:30, checked the box score, saw that Cuddyer knocked in Gomez with a triple (not the other way around!) and the Twins won 3-2 in what was a much, much better game than the night before. I’m not going to really add anything to that, but please feel free to discuss below. Swarzak gave exactly what the team needed last night, and that was innings. He walked one each of the first three innings, but overall, he was solid. Joe Crede back in the lineup with a couple of doubles. Good to see. He also started a couple of very nice, timely double plays. Have a good day, afternoon game today! Live Chat Tonight, so check back for more details.
· As I mentioned last night, I spent some time chatting with Twins 3B prospect Danny Valencia last night and he agreed to doing an interactive Q&A with SethSpeaks.net readers. So, if you would like to ask the future Twin a question (or two, or up to 3), please e-mail me and I will send him the questions. I will accept questions until Wednesday night (around 10:00 p.m.).
· And, of course, as the Trade Deadline is fast approaching, please consider picking up a copy of the TwinsCentric 2009 Trade Deadline Primer for just $9.95.
Rain and a scheduled off day limited the Twins minor league action on Tuesday, and with the Twins game just starting in Oakland, I figured a separate posting for the Twins minor league report made sense. Hopefully tonight’s game won’t be quite as exciting… or at least quite as long! I have learned that sleep is good!
But I thought I would throw in a few (OK, five) Twins minor league topics for you to discuss in the comments section while watching the Twins game.
Untouchable? – In my Star Tribune blog yesterday (Twins Need to Deal), I wrote that the only two Twins minor leaguers that should be untouchable in nearly any trade would be Aaron Hicks and Danny Valencia. Would you add anyone else to that list?
Shut Down? – Since being promoted to AA New Britain, Carlos Gutierrez has thrown 36.1 innings. He has given up 51 hits (including six home runs). He was walked 18 and struck out just 17. He didn’t throw much last season between the University of Miami and Ft. Myers. This year, he did alright at Ft. Myers before struggling with the Rockcats. Since moving to the bullpen, he has given up 15 runs on 19 hits in just 8.1 innings while walking seven and striking out just five. Should he be shut down at this point, maybe given a couple of weeks off, or just keep throwing him out there and working through it?
Arm Chair Psychologists – This is a tough situation because Shooter Hunt clearly is struggling. I have to think that he hit rock bottom with his last outing in which he faced seven batters, walked six of them and hit the other before leaving the game. Hunt as all the talent in the world. I don’t think anyone questions that, but right now, it just isn’t happening. What do you do? Keep throwing him out there? Shut him down? Is there even a right answer?
Pecking Order – Alright, the Twins need a 2B. Alexi Casilla, Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert have all had their chances. So, I’d like to ask you how you would rank the potential Major League impact that the following Twins minor league 2B options could have. Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert, Steve Tolleson, Matt Macri, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dinkelman, and Steve Singleton. Singleton’s .600 start since his recent promotion to New Britain certainly makes you think, doesn’t it? I can’t help but think he may be the guy in the long term.
Upcoming 40 Man Roster Decisions – Every year it is interesting to find out who the Twins add to their 40 man roster. Who needs to be added before the December Rule 5 draft? To keep it general and simple, please drafted out of college in the 2006 draft would have to be added or be potentially lost in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. High school players drafted (and many international players signed when they are 16 or 17) in 2005 would also be eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is a list of several players that will likely have to be added (or at least they will have to consider adding) after this season:
College Players Drafted in 2006:
· 4th Round – 1B Whit Robbins
· 6th Round – C Jeff Christy
· 8th Round – 2B Brian Dinkelman
· 11th Round – 2B Steve Singleton
· 14th Round – RHP Jeff Manship
· 15th Round – OF Mark Dolenc
· 19th Round – 3B Danny Valencia
· 39th Round – RHP Anthony Slama
· Not Drafted – RHP Rob Delaney (signed as free agent right after the draft)
I would say there are a couple of very easy choices here, and a couple of possible adds, and a couple of probably not’s. Now, when you think of the 2005 draft, the Twins drafted Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Brian Duensing and Ryan Mullins in the first three rounds out of college. They did not have as much success (or luck, particularly injury luck) with their early high school picks. Hank Sanchez was really bad and then he served a 50 game suspension for being really bad, and then the Twins released him. Drew Thompson is having a nice comeback after missing two full seasons with injury. Paul Kelly’s knees just have not been able to keep him on the field either. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of 2005 high school draft picks that the Twins will have to strongly consider adding to the 40 man roster:
High School (and a JuCo Guy) Drafted in 2005:
· 12th Round – RHP Alex Burnett
· 32nd Round – RHP David Bromberg
· 36th Round – OF Rene Tosoni (Junior College)
Ever wonder why the Twins have so much minor league depth? They draft very well in the middle and late rounds. There are several very relevant players here. I think that all three of these players have put themselves in a position that they will have to be added. Another player who has performed to a level that he should be considered is RHP Loek Van Mil who is doing great in his comeback from rehabbing his arm. Has David Winfree’s play this year in Rochester earned him a spot on the Twins 40 man roster? Before the season, I think we would have all assumed that Dustin Martin (another 2006 college draftee) would be a lock to be added. Do we still believe that? What about Deolis Guerra? He has struggled, but he signed in July of 2005 and still is just 20 years old and very talented and has done well in his short stint in New Britain. You would think a team like the Nationals would love to take a chance on him.
In other words, the Twins have some difficult decisions ahead of them at the end of the year. Maybe potential deadline trades will help clean up some of the questions, but it certainly is worth thinking about already.
What do you think about any of these topics? What would you do? Leave your comments here.
With that, I’m going to post this. I will be back later with thoughts on Game 2 of this Twins/A’s series.
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Tuesday - SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Daniel Santana, GCL Twins
Tuesday - SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Andrei Lobonov, GCL Twins
Tuesday – Rochester, Pawtucket – Postponed by Rain.
Tuesday – New Britain, Portland – Postponed by Rain.
Tuesday – Ft. Myers 4, Dunedin 6 – Chris Parmelee homered yet again, his 14th on the season, but that was about it for the Miracle offense in this game. Evan Bigley and Nick Romero each doubles. Michael Tarsi took his first FSL loss. He went 6.2 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked four and struck out five. Henry Arias went the final 2.1 innings. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk.
Tuesday – Beloit – No Games Scheduled in the Midwest League.
Tuesday – Elizabethton 2, Princeton 3 – Reggie Williams hit another homer, his third, but it wasn’t enough on this night. Brad Stillings started for the E-Twins and went the first six innings. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks. Edgar Ibarra took the loss by giving up one run on two hits in two innings. Peter Kennelly pitched a scoreless inning. Josmil Pinto went 2-4 with his eighth double.
GCL TWINS THOUGHTS
Tuesday –GCL Twins 10, GCL Red Sox 6 – There was plenty of offense for the GCL Twins in this game. Daniel Santana went 3-6 with his third triple and two stolen bases. Nick Lockwood went 3-5. Jhonatan Arias went 2-4 with a walk, his fourth double and four RBI. Nick Tindall went 2-4 with his third double. Nick Freitas went 2-3 with two walks. Jhon Garcia went the first five innings and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six. Eliecer Cardenas gave up four runs (3 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2.1 innings. He struck out three. Andrei Lobonov had quite the game to record his second save. He pitched to five batters and struck all five of them out.