Monday August 2, 2004
Twins Prospect Update - Part 1
Twins Prospect Update - Part 2
Twins Prospect Update - Part 3
TWINS TOP SOX OF THE RED VARIETY
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
It was another busy weekend for me. I had planned out all of the projects that I wanted to get accomplished around the house over the weekend. Then, on Friday night, it all changed. I got a call from a friend asking me to play in a mixed/co-ed softball tournament up in Manitoba, Canada. It was one of those cases where she asked and asked and I kept saying, "Seriously, I'd rather not, but if you can't find anyone, sure, I'll play." So, headed up there about 8:45 on Saturday morning. It actually isn't bad. For anyone who has played ball up in Canada, there are some different rules, such as, there are no plays at home. A runner can not actually touch home plate, they must run behind it. All the catcher has to do is be on the plate and catch the ball before the runner crosses behind the plate. It was a 6-4 mixed tournament, meaning six guys and four women on a team. Games were five innings. I like that, because they tend to go rather quickly. We played and won at 10:00. I batted 8th and played SS. I did the same in our 1:00 game. I think I was a combined 2-7 in those two games. I made a few plays at SS, so I was probably the definition of a futility middle infielder, reminiscent of the likes of Alvaro Espinosa, Houston Jimenez, Buddy Biancalana, Rafael Belliard and Steve Jeltz!! We were 2-0 in our pool and playing a team that had last badly to the teams we had already beaten, so it was my turn to sit out that third game of the day, which was fine with me, I should have been benched anyway. We won that game 4-3 meaning we won our pool. So yesterday, we played at noon against the 4th place team in the other pool. That game was not pretty. I mean, we won and by a plenty large margin. I actually got a few hits that game including a homer. In the 2nd game, we played the team we had beaten 4-3 the day before. They had stacked up their team with some new players that hadn't played the day before. I think we were ready knowing that and beat them pretty handily. That set us up in the championship game against another US team that had won the other pool. It was a team that we probably had no right even competing against, but less beating. But we got off to a quick start and it just kept going. We won 19-2. I think I was 11-13 yesterday with 3 or 4 homers and a few doubles. But based on the scores, it was quite the team effort.
So, I got none of the things on my 'To Do' List done, but it ended up being a lot of fun.
A lot happened over the weekend. Again, it was the Trade Deadline at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon. I took a look at all of the trades that happened Friday and Saturday and provided a few thoughts on each of them. Check them out here. Also on Saturday, I completed my update of my Top 30 Twins prospects by looking at those who I ranked #21-30 and three guys that would rank high on my list if I ranked them now. Here are the three parts of that list: Prospects 1-10, Prospects 11-20, Prospects 21-30.
TWINS TAKE 2 OF 3 FROM RED SOX
The Twins swept the White Sox, took a day off and then took on the Boston Red Sox this weekend. Friday night was an ugly loss for the Twins and things were not looking good. But Brad Radke and Johan Santana were yet to take the mound. By late Sunday afternoon, the Twins had sent Doug Mientkiewicz to the visitors locker room (via the Chicago Cubs), had twice beaten the mighty Red Sox, gained another game on the White Sox and look forward to another day off today. Here are the quick recaps of the weekend games.
Friday night - Twins 2, Red Sox 8
Kyle Lohse got the start and saw how strong the Red Sox lineup can be. He went just four innings and gave up seven earned runs on eleven hits and four walks. In short, that's not good. Oh, but you statheads will be happy to know that he was able to strikeout five in those four innings. Of course, his WHIP was almost 4! Joe Roa and Aaron Fultz pitched their customary mop up duties and help the Sox to just one more run over the final five frames. Unfortunately, the Twins bats were unable to muster much of anything off Red Sox righty Bronson Arroyo. They got just eight hits, and three of them came from 1B Doug Mientkiewicz who also had two RBI.
Saturday night - Twins 5, Red Sox 4
Before the game, the teams partook in a monster four team trade that I discussed over the weekend. The Red Sox dealt Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs in part for Doug Mientkiewicz who had earlier been traded to the Cubs for minor league lefty Justin Jones. So again, Mientkiewicz had to get dressed in the visitor's clubhouse. He played that night at 1B and batted sixth. He ended up going 2-4 in the game. Brad Radke had another solid start. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in 6.2 innings. Actually, JC Romero, who they continue to remark has not given up an earned run since his recall, came in with runners on 2nd and 3rd and gave up a two run single which gave the Red Sox the lead. Of course, those runs were charged to Radke. Juan Rincon came in to get the next two outs. In the bottom of the 7th, Michael Cuddyer came up with a big home run to tie the game. Then in the bottom of the 8th, Jacque Jones came up against hard throwing lefty Alan Embree and deposited a fastball into the football seats in right-centerfield to give the Twins the lead and the win. Joe Nathan gave up two hits in the 9th, but held on for his 29th save on the season.
Sunday afternoon- Twins 4, Red Sox 3
I wish I could have stayed home and watched this pitching matchup. The AL's best pitcher, Johan Santana, against the AL's best pitcher over the last 6+ years, Pedro Martinez. Santana gave up a solo homer to Orlando Cabrera, in his first Red Sox at bat in the first, and later to Manny Ramirez, who seemed to really admire it. I mention them because those were the only two hits and Santana gave up in 8 innings. He gave up three runs (2 earned). He walked one and struck out 12. Pedro was good too. He went seven innings and gave up two runs, striking out 11. Down 3-2, the Twins had Cristian Guzman on second and Lew Ford on first. Justin Morneau came to bat and the Twins pulled off a double-steal, putting both runners in scoring position. Morneau drilled a long fly ball to CF where it was caught on the warning track. Guzman scored to tie the game, but Orlando Cabrera (a Gold Glove SS), booted the relay throw which allowed Lew Ford to score from 2nd and give the Twins the win. Guzman led the Twins going 3-4. Matthew LeCroy and Torii Hunter each had RBI singles. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 30th save (in 31 attempts). His ERA is now 0.92. Johan Santana improves to 10-6 with a 3.30 ERA.
Here are the up-to-date standings in the AL Central:
American League Central Standings
Minnesota Twins 59-45 .567 ---
Chicago White Sox 53-49 .525 5.0
Cleveland Indians 53-52 .505 6.5
Detroit Tigers 50-55 . 476 9.5
Kansas City Royals 37-66 .350 21.5
Again, for some quick analysis on the Doug Mientkiewicz trade, check out all my trade analysis from this weekend here.
It might not be a bad idea to check out the prospects at the left side of this screen from time to time. Justin Morneau is now in the big leagues. Jason Bartlett was called up last Wednesday to the Twins. Of course, they haven't played him yet, which makes me wonder why they chose to bring him up. If he was just going to sit the bench anyway, he should be at Rochester getting at bats every day. The Twins could have called up Alex Prieto to sit the bench. Jesse Crain was called up in time for the game today, giving the Twins three Canadian-born players on their current major league roster! Rochester's primary closer this season could have made the Twins out of training camp, but has spent the entire season pitching well at AAA. It will be fun to watch him throw, and really, it is about time this move was made. JD Durbin was then promoted from New Britain to Rochester to start. When Mientkiewicz was traded, Torii Hunter made the comment that he wants to see "The Real Deal" (Durbin) get called up. He says that he isn't afraid to throw strikes. Durbin has not joined Scott Baker at Rochester. Baker pitched great yesterday in his outing (see below). Finally, Jason Kubel had a big day yesterday, really just continuing his big season. Prospect watching is SO fun!!
Oh, and if you remember my joy for watching the Tampa Bay Devil Rays... well, yesterday, they purchased the contract of the #1 overall pick in the 2002 draft, SS BJ Upton. I am excited to see what he can do in the season's final two months.
After a day off today, the Twins will host the Anaheim Angels before the Oakland A's come to town.
OK, so now what are your thoughts on the Twins? What do you think of the Doug Mientkiewicz trade? Did they get enough? E-mail me.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
Friday - Redwings 5, Ottawa 3 - Seth Griesinger improves to 4-3 (5.59 ERA) with a solid six inning performance. He allowed a run on eight hits and a walk. Brent Schoening came in and gave up two runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. Kevin Hodge notched his 4th save with a one-walk, no-run ninth inning. Brandon Marsters led with a 3-3 day. He had a double and an RBI. Todd Dunwoody hit his four homer and drove in two runs.
Saturday - Redwings 1, Syracuse 3 - Willie Eyre is just 6-5 on the season, but has a respectable 4.06 ERA. In 6.2 innings, he allowed a run on eight hits and three walks. Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless inning before Beau Kemp got the final four outs. The Redwings managed just six hits. Todd Dunwoody, Terry Tiffee and Alex Prieto each had a double.
Sunday - Redwings 7, Syracuse 9 - Scott Baker got the start in this game, and by looking at the final score, you couldn't help but think that he got rough up. However, Baker was great. He went seven innings and allowed just a run on four hits and a walk. Adam Johnson started the struggling. He gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits, without getting any outs. But, Brent Schoening got the loss by given up three earned runs on four hits and two walks in an inning. Beau Kemp didn't give up a run in the last innings. Augie Ojeda went 3-5. Chris Heintz was 2-5 with a double. Jason Kubel had two home runs in four at bats, and drove in six. He now had nine home runs on the season. Juan Diaz hit his 11th homer, and he didn't play the first couple of months of the season.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Friday - Rockcats 3, Binghamton 8 - Colby Miller continues to struggle with AA. He gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks in 4.2 innings. The loss brings him to 2-5 with a 4.66 ERA. Victor Moreno went the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing just a hit. Erik Lohse (just called up from Ft. Myers) gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits and a walk in two innings. Luis Maza went 2-4 with a double. Garrett Jones was 2-4 with two doubles. Jake Mauer went 2-3.
Sunday - Game 1 - Rockcats 2, Binghamton 4 - Saturday's game was postponed, so New Britain played two seven inning games yesterday. In game one, Henry Bonilla started and went just four innings to fall to 8-7. He gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks. Kevin Cameron even gave up an earned run in his two inning stint. His ERA is now 0.75. 3B Ryan Owens had two of the team's five hits. Gabby Torres added an RBI double.
Sunday - Game 2 - Rockcats 5, Binghamton 6 - In Game 2, Jon Pridie started. he gave up five runs on three hits and five walks in 3.1 innings. He did strikeout 7. Travis Bowyer pitched two innings and gave up a run on a hit and three walks. Jason Miller got the final two outs. Garrett Jones went 3-3 with two homers and four RBI. He now has 20 homers on the season.
FT. MYERS MIRACLE
Friday - Miracle 8, Jupiter 5 - Garrett Guzman led the Miracle by going 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI. Alex Romero went 2-5 with a double. Doug Deeds was 2-4. Felix Molina went 2-2 with two walks. Francisco Liriano started and gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 9 hits and a walk. He struck out 7 in 5.1 innings. Levale Speigner went 2.2 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out four. Pat Neshek got his fifth save.
Saturday - Miracle 2, Jupiter 1 - Nick Blackburn improved to 2-0 with hit strong six inning effort. He gave up just a run on four hits and walked none while striking out four. The offense could only muster seven hits. Only CF Ron Perodin went 2-4.
Sunday - Miracle vs Clearwater - It was raining in the 5th inning. The game was postponed and will be finished tonight.
SWING OF THE QUAD CITIES
Swing 10, Burlington 5 - Scott Tyler started and threw the first five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Julio DePaula gave up an unearned run in his two innings. Peter Tautor the got just one out before walking four hitters and giving up 2 earned runs. Tristan Crawford got the final five outs. Kyle Phillips went 4-6 with a double. Kyle Geiger went 3-5 with a triple and 2 RBI. RF Scott Whitrock went 3-5 with two doubles and three RBI. JR Taylor went 2-4 with his 2nd homer. Ryan Spataro was 2-5.
Swing 7, Burlington 2 - Chris Schutt picked up his 6th win of the year which six solid innings. He gave up two runs (1 earned). He gave up seven hits and two walks and struck out four. Jay Sawatski pitched the next two innings, striking out three. Eric Brandon pitched a shutout 9th inning. Justin Arneson went 2-5 with a double. Paul Rutgers went 2-4 with a double.
Swing 3, Burlington 5 - Billy Mauer made the start for the Swing. He lasted three innings and gave up three earned runs. He gave up six hits but walked none. Matthew Hines gave up a run on two hits and two walks in the next three innings. Peter Tautor then pitched the last two innings and gave up a run on three hits. Kyle Geiger, Scott Whitrock and Alex Garcia each went 2-4. Garcia hit his first homer. Justin Arneson was 1-5, but hit his third homer.
E-Twins 6, Burlingon 8 - David Winfree went 2-4. Johnny Woodard was 2-2 with a walk and two RBI. Matt Tolbert connected for his second home run. Steven Duguay started on the mound. He went three innings and gave up 5 runs (2 earned). John WIlliams walked three and got just two outs, giving up two runs. Jeff Mousser didn't allow a run in his two innings despite giving up two hits and walking two. He did strike out four. Kevin Culpepper took the loss. He gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in 2 innings.
E-Twins 11, Burlingon 4 - Javier Sanchez was 3-5 with two doubles. Landon Burt was 3-5 with a double. Deacon Burns went 3-5 with his 7th homer and four RBI. Jeremy Pickrel was 2-4 with his second homer, and three RBI. Javier Lopez was 2-4. David Shinskie started and was able to go five innings. He gave up three runs, but just one was earned. He gave up five hits and three walks. Jason Bowlin pitched two scoreless innings before Frank Mata gave up a run in his two innings.
E-Twins 1, Greeneville 0 - The E-Twins won a pitcher's duel. Javier Martinez pitched six innings and gave up two hits and three walks. Jonathon Martinez pitched the final three scoreless innings. Tarrance Patterson was 2-4 with a triple. Those were two of just six hits for the E-Twins. SS Trevor Plouffe had a hit to extend his 20 game hitting streak.
Thank you very much for stopping by this website and please continue to do so. The hit counts are continuing to go up and I appreciate that!! If you ever have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me. Have a great day!
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