Monday, May 1, 2006
Roger's Minor League Players of the Week
Twins Minor League Notes
Tigers 33, Twins 1
Good Monday morning everyone! It will be a quick entry today. I know you're probably hear to read about the debacle that was the weekend series in Detroit, and there is plenty on that. I'll also discuss the minor league weekend. But be sure to check out the site the rest of the week. We have a couple more Q&As set up, and you'll definitely want to stop by on Monday for my April Grades for all of the Twins players and pitchers. As always, I really appreciate you stopping by the site every day. It means a lot. Please feel free to participate and leave Comments any time.
Twins fans... it is a new day and a new week!! There is no way that it can get any worse for Twins fans than this weekend was. Can we say Hello to 4th place in the division? Clearly, there is a continental divide between the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals. Until the Twins pitching comes along, there is no way that they can be considered in the same class as the top three teams. And, the fact that the Twins pitchers allowed 33 runs in three games may have helped hide the fact that the Twins offense scored just 1 run in three games. Let me restate... the Twins were only able to score one run against the Tigers pitching, and they didn't even face their top two pitchers (Jeremy Bonderman and Mike Maroth). Here is the not-so-pretty look at how the Twins hitters (ahem...) performed over the three games in Detroit:
Shannon Stewart (2-11, K)
Luis Castillo (3-10, BB, 2B, RBI)
Mike Redmond (1-3)
Rondell White (0-8)
Torii Hunter (1-8, BB, 2 K)
Luis Rodriguez (0-4, BB, K)
Lew Ford (0-9, K)
Tony Batista (3-8, 2B, 2 K)
Michael Cuddyer (2-8, K)
Juan Castro (0-10, 2 K)
Joe Mauer (2-6, BB, K)
Ruben Sierra (0-4, 2 K, injured and put on the DL)
Justin Morneau (1-5, 2 BB, 2 K)
Ick! Is that the right word? There is nothing of note in there? As has been the case, the top of the order has been fine. Stewart, Castillo and Mauer have done alright, but they have received nothing from the middle three. And not much from the bottom three! Here are some more thoughts and numbers from the series:
The three Twins starting pitchers (Brad Radke, Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse) combined to give this line: 10.2 Innings Pitched, 26 hits, 21 earned runs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts and 6 home runs. That would be an ERA of 17.72, and a WHIP of 2.72!
Give Lohse credit. His 5.2 innings pitched in his start was more than Silva and Radke put together (5 innings).
I also have to give Lohse credit for one other thing in his line... THREE HIT BATTERS! If you watched the first two games, the Tigers hitters were able to swing as recklessly and aggressively as they wanted. They were hardly even pitched inside. All I kept thinking was that some Twins pitcher needed to drill a Tigers batter, right in the ribs. And then when that guy went down to first base, they should have hit the next guy in the ribs too. Back them off the plate. Make them feel uncomfortable. The control that the Twins pitching staff shows is absolutely incredible... almost as incredible as the batting average and slugging percentages that their opponents are hitting against them!
Everyone knows that I am as big a Lew Ford fan as their is, and I am happy for him getting all this playing time. However, all this talk about Lew hitting so well late is a bit much. We have heard it from Gardy and we have heard it from Terry Ryan. Yes, he came into this series with a six game hitting streak. However, in those six games he was just 6-25 (.240) with one walk, one homer and one RBI. To hear that Ford is hitting well right now from people is laughable because if you look back at his last 10 games, he had hit 6-38 (.158).
Torii Hunter broke his 19 at bat hitless streak yesterday with a single. However, he is just 4 for his last 36 (.111).
Not much bugs me more than saying that someone broke out of an 0-19 slump with a home run. On Thursday, Justin Morneau broke an 0-19 streak with a home run, so that is what many of the headlines said. My point is simply that even with the home run, he is still just 1-20, and that isn't much to write home about. It takes more than one at bat to get into a slump and more than one at bat to break out of it. After a 1-3 day yesterday, Morneau is 3-30 in his last nine games.
Rondell White is 1-17 in his past five games played. However, can you really call that a slump when you're hitting just .136 for the season?
The worst may be Juan Castro who is now 1-24 in his past nine games. If you go back ten games, he is 2-29! Yay! But he is a good leader for that defense, isn't he?
Just so you don't think I'm completely negative, I need to point out that in his last six games, Joe Mauer is 9-20 (.450) with two walks, a double and a homer.
In his last eight games, Michael Cuddyer is 8-22 (.364) with three doubles and homers.
The Twins series MVP was probably Dennys Reyes who proved 2.1 one-hit innings in relief Sunday afternoon. That is just what the Twins bullpen needed.
Honestly, I'm sure I, and any of the rest of the Twins bloggers, could go on and on about the Tigers series. There could be stat after stat thrown out to tell us just how bad the Twins played. We could ponder just how bad the team is. We can talk about all of the personnel moves that they could or maybe should make. But, we can do that on another day. In reality, the Twins now come home for two games against the Mariners followed by two against the Royals. Maybe they win four in a row and get to face the Tigers next weekend at home with a little different mind set... and Johan Santana and Scott Baker! No, I'm not naive. I think that this is a 4th place team right now. I also think that a lot of hitters are doing really bad, and all of the pitchers are doing really bad (except the one that you want to get the ball to with a league). I have full confidence in a few of them. I think that Scott Baker, Brad Radke and Johan Santana will turn it around. I do think that Juan Rincon and Jesse Crain will be just fine. I also think that Torii Hunter will be better, and think that Rondell White will have a good month of May. Although I am leery of both being anywhere near as good as I thought that they might be. Count Justin Morneau into that category. I have little hope for guys like Juan Castro, Tony Batista, Carlos Silva or Kyle Lohse though. And, I think that if things continue to progress this way, deals will be made. Contracts will be dealt, and they should be. The key is to make this a contending team as quickly as possible while remaining competitive for the future. In other words, maybe there is a deal out there that will help the Twins for 2006 and won't hurt the future of the team. But maybe the quickest way to a competitive team is to find a deal to make them competitive in 2007.
By the way, be sure to check out Stick & Ball Guy's new Eight Pack to see which Twins are hot and which are not!
One final thing, tonight, Scott Baker will face off against the Mariners' Joel Pineiro who is finally coming close to what people have thought he could be for about five years now. On Tuesday, it will be a battle of left-handers as Johan Santana goes against Wisconsin-native Jarrod Washburn.
So, if you have any thoughts on the Twins, what they should do, anything, leave some Comments below, and let's discuss it. Who knows... maybe some of the Twins family will join the discussion.
ROGER'S MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Throughout the year, our friend "Roger" will be keeping tabs of the Twins minor leaguers again. This year, he will be coming up with a minor league hitter and pitcher each week. Feel free to comment!
Player of the Week - Erold Andrus, Ft. Myers Miracle
…Erold Andrus was selected in the December, 2005 minor league Rule 5 draft out of the Yankee organization. Andrus is an outfielder who was 2 for 5 with a double, home run, run scored and 3 rbi in Saturday’s 9-1 win over Lakeland to begin the week. He ended it Friday going 3 for 4 with a triple, run scored and rbi in the Miracle’s 4-2 win over Clearwater after going 2 for 3 with a double, triple, run scored and 2 rbi in Thursday’s 8-6 win over Clearwater. For the week, Andrus was 7 for 22 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, a home run and 7 rbi.
Runner-up is Beloit’s young catcher Allan de San Miguel, who has one of the best arms in this or any organization and is considered by many to be one of the best defensive catchers in all of the minor leagues. Beginning this season in A ball at the age of 18 years, 2 months, this young Aussie is destined to become one of the top prospects in the system. Allan began the season in a terrible slump, hitting only .042Ave in his first 24 at bats through last week. Allan had two multi hit games this week including a 3 for 5 game last night with a double and 4 rbi. For the week, de San Miguel was 5 for 15 with 2 doubles and 4 rbi raising his average to .154.
Pitcher of the Week - Dan Powers, Beloit Snappers
…Dan Powers, who was an 8th round selection in the 2005 draft, is rapidly becoming the top reliever in the Beloit bullpen. Powers had 3 relief appearances this week including throwing 5 shutout innings in Sunday’s 17 inning 3-4 loss to Lansing. For the week, Powers allowed 8 hits, 0 earned runs with 8K/0BB in 9.0 innings of work…lowering his era to 0.43 with a 0.95WHIP.
Runner up is top prospect, Matt Garza, who was 1-0 in two starts for the Miracle. Garza got a victory in Saturday’s 9-1 win over Lakeland, pitching 6.2 innings allowing 2 hits, 1 run (unearned) with 9K/2BB. He did not get a decision in Friday night’s 4-2 win over Clearwater when he pitched 6.0 innings allowing 6 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) with 7K/3BB. For the season, Garza is 3-0 with a 0.74era and 0.86WHIP in 24.1 innings with 34K/6BB (1.397K/ip).
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Erik Lis, Beloit Snappers
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Matt Moses, New Britain Rockcats
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Jose Leger, Ft. Myers Miracle
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Justin Jones, New Britain Rockcats
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - JD Durbin, Rochester Red Wings
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Adam Harben, New Britain Rockcats
Here are the weekend updates. If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Friday - Red Wings 1, Richmond 4 – Henry Bonilla pitched well and deserved better. In six innings, he gave up a run on three hits and three walks. Ricky Barrett came in and gave up three runs (1 earned) on three hits and two walks in two innings. The offense only managed five hits. Luis Maza had an RBI double.
Saturday - Red Wings 3, Norfolk 4 (11 innings) – Yes, the Red Wings lost in extra frames, but at least a couple of very positive things can be taken from this game. First, JD Durbin had a very nice start. He went six innings and gave up just two runs (only one earned) on four hits. He struck out four, but most importantly, he did not issue even one walk. Kevin Cameron went the seventh inning and gave up a run on a hit and two walks. Then, after two rough outings, Pat Neshek went three scoreless innings with six strikeouts. That had to be a good feeling! Beau Kemp then took the loss. He got two outs in the 11th, but then the winning run scored. For the offense, both Jason Kubel and Terry Tiffee went 2-5 with an RBI. Tiffee had a double.
Sunday - Red Wings 8, Norfolk 4 - With Dennys Reyes called up to the Twins, someone had to start. Mike Smith was the pitcher of choice, and he came through with a very nice start. He went five shutout innings, allowing just two hits to go with four walks. He struck out four. Matt Ford came in and gave up two runs over three innings. Jason Miller continues to struggle a little bit. He gave up two runs in an inning. Jason Kubel went 3-5. Chris Heintz was 3-4 with a double. Jason Bartlett went 2-5 with a double and an RBI. Luis Maza was 2-4. Andres Torres was 2-4 with a triple and two RBI. Terry Tiffee hit a home run.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 0, Trenton 6 – The Rockcats had just five hits, but they also had seven walks. Yet still, they had no runs. Alex Romero went 1-3 with two walks and a stolen base. Doug Deeds had a triple. Justin Jones fell to 2-1, but he pitched well. In six innings, he gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. Chris Schutt gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in two innings.
Saturday - Rockcats 2, Trenton 4 – Errol Simonitsch gave up seven hits and two walks in five innings, but just two runs. He struck out four. Levale Speigner threw three shutout innings. Justin Olson took the loss. He gave up a two run homer to Shelley Duncan with a runner on in the bottom of the 9th to end the game. Matt Moses led the offense with a 3-4 day. He also had a walk. Trent Oeltjen went 2-4.
Sunday - Rockcats 2, Trenton 3 – Adam Harben continued his impressive start to the season. He dropped his ERA to 0.42 with 6.1 more shutout innings. He gave up five hits and walked two while striking out three. Jay Sawatski got two outs. Bobby Korecky gave up two unearned runs in two innings to blow the save for Harben. Tristan Crawford took the loss. In just 1/3 of an inning, he gave up three walks and a hit to allow the winning run. Denard Span and Alex Romero each had three hits. Scott Whitrock was 2-4 with a double and a stolen base. Steve Lomanskey hit his first homer.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 4, Clearwater 2 – Roger's Player of the Week Erold Andrus went 3-4 with a triple and an RBI. Luke Hughes went 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Matt Garza got a no-decision. In six innings, he gave up two runs (just one earned) on six hits and three walks. He struck out seven. Julio DePaula got the win. He went the next two innings without giving up a run. JP Martinez recorded his fourth save with a perfect ninth.
Saturday - Miracle 3, Dunedin 7 – It was good to see Anthony Swarzak have another good start. After a few rough outings, he gave up just a run in six innings. He walked too many (four), but he gave up just three hits. He left with a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, Angel Garcia came in and walked four straight hitters, and all four scored. Tim Lahey got out of the innings, but allowed inherited runners to score on two hits. Alexander Farfan came in for the final frame and gave up two runs on a walk and a hit. Korey Feiner went 2-3 with a walk and an RBI. Luke Hughes went 2-4. Trevor Plouffe had an RBI double.
Sunday - Miracle 6, Dunedin 2 – Not a good game a
Friday - Snappers 11, Quad Cities 6 – Erik Lis showed exactly what kind of hitter he is capable of being. The lefty went 4-4 with a walk, two doubles, a homer, three runs and two RBI. Eli Tintor went 3-4 with an RBI. Allan de San Miguel went 3-5 with a double and four RBI. Steven Tolleson had two doubles in five at bats. Brian Duensing got the start and recorded his first win. He went seven innings and gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out six. Frank Mata gave up two runs in his two innings.
Saturday - Snappers – Rained Out.
Sunday - Snappers – Rained Out.
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.
The Vikings made a bunch of draft choices over the weekend. I don't mind watching the NFL Draft on TV, if I watch the whole thing to catch the drama. But, the fact is that I don't really care about it that much. In reality, although I'm a fan of the NFL and fantasy football, there is not much more boring to me than discussing the offseason moves in the NFL. Sounds weird for a guy who absolutely loves the Hot Stove League. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that the Twins Cities media finds the NFL Draft more important than the Twins. Anyway, apparently the Vikings took Linebacker Chad Greenway from Iowa with their first pick. The Gophers' Laurence Maroney went at #21 to the New England Patriots. Then the Vikings made a few 2nd round picks and a bunch more trades. If you want talk on the draft, be sure to check out the BrentNet Forums.
Hey... did you know that both the NBA and NHL playoffs are going? OK, I did, but do you care any more than I do?
Welp, that is it for today. If you have any thoughts, opinions, comments, critiques, or ideas on anything, please e-mail me, or let's get a discussion going in the Comments.|
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