Monday, April 30, 2007
Good Morning! Well, as you know, I have been away from home since Tuesday afternoon. So, I have not watched a Twins game since last Monday. That is absolutely crazy. It makes me much more disappointed that the Twins have an off day today. Oh well. So anyway, today's entry will primarily be a recap of the weekend. For more Twins information, please check out some of the other Twins blogs linked at the left of this screen. There were also a lot of great minor league performances this weekend. So check those out as well.
This will be another busy week at SethSpeaks. With the end of April and start of May, I will bring back my monthly player grades. How many A's will I give out? Be sure to check for that. Also, I am set to post my first Q&A of the 2007 regular season. I can't tell you who it is with, but the player is rather high on my Top 50 Twins prospects list. I will also say that it is someone who has not done a previous Q&A for this site. So, you can speculate, but I won't tell. Again, you'll have to stop back to find out! Hopefully there will be several more Q&As in the coming weeks. I will also be handing out the SethSpeaks April Awards for the Twins minor league system. Of course, along with that will be the daily Twins Thoughts and reports from the Twins affiliates. So of course, feel free to argue and debate. Send me an e-mail or leave some Comments below.
A Couple of Quick Notes/Thoughts before we get started...
JOSH HANCOCK - First, I am sure you have all read, seen or heard things about the death of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock. The 29 year old reliever died instantly when his vehicle rammed into the back of a tow truck on the highway just west of St. Louis. The team became aware of this early yesterday morning and I can only imagine how shocking and disturbing the news was to hear. Their Sunday night game against the Cubs was immediately postponed, and that was a good decision. I really struggled with this on a couple of counts. First, just the human story, the loss of human life, especially for someone so young, and someone who after struggling for so many years really developed into a quality big leaguer. But think about it from the family aspect. First, his parents and siblings have to be just devastated. But also, his teammates have to be devastated. During the season, these guys spend more time with each other than they do with their families. In reality, during the season, they are family. So, what is the right, proper thing to do in this situation? The team has already traveled to Milwaukee where they are scheduled to start a three game series tonight. Should that game be played? Should the series be played? I guess the answer to that is probably Yes. The baseball field may be the spot where the players are able to most clear their minds. But as Tony Larussa said, "How do you get upset at a player who makes a mental error at this point?" And how long is that the way the situation will be? A few games? A few weeks? I thought it was great the MLB started allowed Bereavement Leave a couple of years ago, but that is just for family. As stated above, teammates are family. Maybe the Cardinals MLB roster should be given the right to use that as a team for three days. My first thought is that the AAA Memphis team could all be moved up and play those three games for them. I realize this would never happen and really would not be the answer. It especially would not be good because it is likely that several members of that team have played on the same team as Hancock.
I know, it is officially clichι, but situations like these really bring back the proper perspective of the game of baseball. This definitely does it. It reminds us that the players are just people, just like us. These players have feelings and get hurt by things. It makes me wish the media would remember that. Anyway, I am sure I am not alone in sending out best wishes and hope for Josh Hancock's family, but also for the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
ADRIAN PETERSON - Wow, the Vikings actually got lucky and did well in the first round of the NFL Draft this weekend. I don't follow it as much as I have in the past, but I still wish that I could have watched the draft. I don't know why I like watching that. Imagine is MLB televised their draft? I would have to take time off from work to watch that! Anyway, back to the Peterson pick. He certainly is a big name and a huge talent at a premium position. From all I have seen and heard of him, he seems prepared for it. He has personality and charisma to go with a whole lot of talent! The only concern with him is his collar bone, but I'm not worried about that. Some didn't think it made sense because the team has Chester Taylor. Well, don't forget that the Patriots had Corey Dillon to go with Laurence Maroney this past year. The two-headed monster thing really works. In the second round, the Vikings took Sidney Rice, a WR from South Carolina. Remember the last time that the Vikings drafted a WR from South Carolina... which was also the last time the Vikings selected 7th? They took Troy Williamson. I have heard that Rice has more size than Williamson (which doesn't take much) and has much better hands (does that say anything really?). They took two other WR in later rounds of the draft. The rest of the picks were used on defense.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the Twins updates from last night, including game reports
of their minor league affiliates.
Friday - Twins 5, Tigers 3 Ramon Ortiz had yet another quality start. Five games, five quality starts. In this one, he gave up just two runs in six innings. He threw a lot of pitches early in the game. One alarming number was his four walks. He had just two going into the game, sox, hopefully that was just a one-time thing. Down 3-0 going into the seventh, Justin Morneau homered to put the Twins on the board. In the eighth, it was Mike Redmond who hit a two run single off the wall in right field off of Joel Zumaya. A couple of batters later, Joe Mauer - who was pinch hitting for Josh Rabe, singled in two more runs to give the final score. Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless eighth, and Joe Nathan recorded the save with a perfect ninth. Michael Cuddyer was the only Twins player with two hits, one of which was a double.
Saturday - Twins 11, Tigers 3 Carlos Silva had a quality start in this game as well. It was his third QS in five starts. Silva managed to give up just three runs in six innings despite giving up ten hits and a walk. The Tigers scored two first innings runs off of him, but the rest of the game was dominated by the Twins offense. Justin Morneau led the way. He went 3-4 with his sixth double and sixth home run. Joe Mauer went 3-5 with a walk and his first home run of the year. The Twins top two hitters, Jason Tyner and Nick Punto, combined to reach base five times. Each had two hits, Punto added a walk. Jason Kubel continues to rake. He had two hits and three RBI. Torii Hunter also had two hits. Pat Neshek, Dennys Reyes and Glen Perkins each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Sunday - Twins 4, Tigers 3 Johan Santana pitched as he normally pitches in April. Not great, that's for sure, but also not horrible. Well enough to keep his team in the game. This was a quality start and yet, in his six innings, he gave up three runs on eight hits and three walks. That is a lot of base runners. He gave up home runs to both Magglio Ordonez and Marcus Thames. Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless inning. Then Jesse Crain did as well. However, Brandon Inge led off the bottom of the 9th with a solo homer off of Crain. Torii Hunter went 2-4 with a home runs that was about as long a home run down the LF line as you will ever see. Mike Redmond, Nick Punto and Jason Bartlett each had two hits. Jason Kubel drove in two runs with a long double.
OTHER NOTES -
Luis Castillo missed his 10th straight game due to injury. I know that they don't want to put anyone on the DL if they don't have to, this is ridiculous! I guess he is supposed to be back on Tuesday when the Twins start a series with the Devil Rays, but we shall see. Even in a contract year, I don't expect much from Castillo in terms of effort, either on the field, or in an attempt to get back on it.
Jeff Cirillo could come off of the Disabled List on Tuesday if he is deemed ready. If Castillo can not play on Tuesday, I would put him on it retroactively, of course. That would keep Alexi Casilla on the roster until Friday when Castillo could come off of the DL. It will be very nice to have Cirillo on the bench!
It was good to see Jason Kubel play all three games of the Detroit series, including two games against lefties. Although he was just 3-13 in the series, he drove in five big runs.
Was Alexi Casilla so bad that suddenly he did not get a single start in this series? I don't understand the thinking sometimes.
Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau were both 4-10 in the series. They combined for a double, three walks and three home runs.
The day off will be good for the team. On Tuesday, they will start their series in Tampa. They will be sending Sidney Ponson to the mound on Tuesday in what again could be his final start with the team (see Scott Baker's performance for Rochester this weekend). Boof Bonser will go on Wednesday. Finally on Thursday, it will be Ramon Ortiz going to the mound.
Friday - Red Wings 2, Toledo 6 It is always interesting to see how prospects and others perform when one of the Twins executives shows up at minor league games. Terry Ryan will be spending a week in Rochester watching the Red Wings. On Friday night, he got to see top prospect Matt Garza. The righty showed up. he gave up two runs on five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six. Julio DePaula struggled. He got two outs and gave up three unearned runs on two hits. One of the team's errors was DePaula's. Mike Venafro got a three pitch strikeout to end that inning. Jeremy Cummings then gave up a run in his inning. Garrett Jones led the offense. He went 2-4 with his third home run. Matt Tolbert was 2-3.
Saturday - Red Wings 3, Toledo 1 On Saturday, Scott Baker continued his AAA dominance. In seven innings, he gave up one run on four hits He walked none and struck out seven. He improved to 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA. I still find it comical when people think he is unable to pitch at the big league level. In 2005 he did. Sure, in 2006, he was not very good. But he is still young, and he deserves a shot. It is like those who have now seen Alexi Casilla for two weeks and think that his stock has somehow gone down. Ridiculous! Anyway, Mike Venafro and Bobby Korecky each pitched a scoreless inning. Jose Morales is doing a great job of giving the Twins brass hope that they will be just fine at backup catcher when Mike Redmond is gone. He went 3-4 with two RBI. Garrett Jones had two doubles in three at bats. Matt Tolbert added his second homer.
Sunday - Red Wings 9, Toledo 6 The one Red Wings starter with essentially zero chance of making a start for the Twins, Dave Gassner was the starter in this game. The lefty went six innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out three. Brian Bass came in and gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. Carmen Cali gets the win. He pitched a perfect 8th inning. Bobby Korecky recorded his fourth save with a scoreless, two strikeout inning. The bottom of the team's batting order really helped the team to this win. Jose Morales and Trent Oeltjen both had three doubles! Matt Tolbert had a double and drove in two. Chris Heintz went 2-4. Morales batted sixth, followed by Heintz, then Oeltjen, then Tolbert.
How do Kevin Slowey and Matt Garza rank against others of baseball's top prospects that are close to the big leagues?
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 2, Connecticut 5 Jesse Floyd started and fell to 1-3. He gave up three runs (just one earned) on three hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out five. Tim Lahey gave up two runs on a hit and a walk in two innings. He struck out two. Danny Powers pitched a scoreless inning. Trevor Plouffe ended the game with a .360 after his 2-3 (with a walk) day. Brock Peterson also went 2-4.
Saturday - Rockcats 1, Connecticut 6 Despite three hits from both Brian Buscher and Felix Molina, the Rockcats fell again. (Molina had a double) Making his first AA start of the season, Tristan Crawford gave up four runs (3 earned) on three hits and a walk in two innings. Brad Baker went the next five innings. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. JP Martinez gave up two hits and a walk in his inning, but no runs.
Saturday - Rockcats 3, Connecticut 1 It took an excellent start by lefty Brian Duensing to get the team a win for the weekend. The former Cornhusker gave up a run in seven innings. He gave up five hits, but he walked none and struck out five. Jose Mijares picked up his second save with two shutout innings. He struck out four. Felix Molina went 2-4 with a home run, his first of the year, and two RBI. Luke Hughes went 2-4 with a double. Brian Buscher hit his seventh double.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 10, Dunedin 4 On a day when Kyle Waldrop improved to 3-0, it was Eli Tintor that stole the show. The Hibbing (MN) native went 3-5 with his fifth double, a grand slam (his second homer) and five RBI. Juan Portes was also 3-5 with his fourth double. Erik Lis went 3-5 with his ninth double and three RBI. Caleb Moore went 2-4 with a walk. Waldrop started and went the first five innings. He gave up four runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out four. Frank Mata walked one and gave up a hit, but he also struck out two, in his shutout inning. Angel Garcia struck out two in his two innings. Eddie Morlan struck out two in his shutout inning.
Saturday - Miracle 4, Dunedin 6 The Miracle managed just six hits in this game. However, Edward Ovalle went 1-3 with his second home and two RBI against big leaguer John Thomson who is on a rehab assignment. Whit Robbins also had a double. Ryan Mullins started and gave up two runs on three hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out five. Zach Ward then gave up three runs on four hits and a walk, and he got just four outs. David Shinskie then went the next 1.2 innings and gave up a run. Josh Hill pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two.
Sunday - Miracle
0, Clearwater 1
it's always fun to see a nice pitcher's dual, a 1-0 game.
Unfortunately the Miracle were on the wrong side of this one.
Oswaldo Sosa gave up a run on two hits in 4.1 innings. He walked
three and struck out eight. Kyle Aselton then struck out
seven (with no walks) in the final 3.2 innings. The bats just were
not going on this day. The team managed just three hits, and walked
three times as well.
Friday - Snappers 3, Dayton 2 Jose Lugo pitched well and deserved better. In six innings, he gave up only an unearned runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out seven. Danny Hernandez gave up a run in 1.2 innings. He didn't allow a hit but walked two and struck out two. Robert Delaney struck out two in 1.1 innings. The Snappers managed just three hits and two walks yet found a way to win.
Saturday - Snappers 1, Dayton 11 On this day, the Snappers managed just four hits. Brian Dinkelman kept the team from being shutout with a solo homer in the 9th. Johnny Woodard had a double. Cole DeVries took the loss, but he pitched better than it would appear. In four innings, He gave up six runs, but just two of them were earned. He gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out seven. Adam Revelette then gave up three runs (2 earned) on five hits in three innings. Danny Vais then gave up two runs in his two innings.
Sunday - Snappers 5, Dayton 9 Like DeVries, Adam Hawes started and gave up six runs, but just two of them were earned. In 5.1 innings, Hawes gave up five hits. He walked none and struck out four. Armando Gabino went 2.2 shutout frames, striking out two. Dan Leatherman gave up three runs on four hits in the final inning. He did strike out two.
Player of the Day Eli Tintor,
Ft. Myers Miracle
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day Jose Lugo, Beloit Snappers
Player of the Day Felix Molina,
New Britain Rockcats
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day Scott Baker, Rochester Red Wings
Player of the Day Erik Lis,
Ft. Myers Miracle
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day Trent Oeltjen, Jose Morales, Rochester Red Wings
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
That is it for today. Like I said earlier, please check back the rest of the week as I will have much more for you. Have a great day!|
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