Friday, May 6, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
Getting Caught Up
Good morning everybody! I haven't been much of a writer this week, at least not since posting my Grades of April for the Twins players. Being sick is not fun. And well, I'm far from 100% still, but figured I needed to make a better appearance. So, I hope that today gets you all caught up on what has been going on with the Twins and their minor league affiliates the last few days. We've also got the pitching matchups for what should be an interesting weekend series in Tampa Bay.
LOOKING BACK - Well, the Twins won just one of three games against the Cleveland Indians, but there were a number of positives to be taken from the series. Mauer and Morneau, Silva and especially Radke.
Here are a few highlights followed by a few other thoughts:
Tuesday night - Twins 2, Indians 4
Michael Cuddyer 3-4 - Shannon Stewart 2-4, BB, 2 SB - Joe Mauer 2-4, RBI - Justin Morneau 1-3, BB, HR(3), RBI - Joe Mays 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR - Mulholland, Guerrier, Romero, Crain combined for four shutout innings.
Wednesday night - Twins 4, Indians 5
Shannon Stewart 2-5, RBI - Joe Mauer 2-5 - Justin Morneau 2-5, HR (4) - Jacque Jones 2-4, BB - Michael Cuddyer 2-4, 2B, RBI - Carlos Silva 8 IP, 12 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K - JC Romero Loss, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 K -
Thursday afternoon - Twins 9, Indians 0
Torii Hunter 3-5, 2B - Jason Bartlett 2-5, 2 R, HR (2), 2 RBI - Matthew LeCroy 2-4, BB, HR (4), RBI - Lew Ford 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI - Brad Radke CG, 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K
Here are just some random thoughts from the series:
1.) The highlight was most definitely the performance of Brad Radke. The savvy, veteran righty had the Indians hitters fooled all day. I am a little surprised the Radke three 117 pitches, but he was clearly on and not laboring in the least, so it is no problem. I think a start like this proves to even Radke's biggest critics that he is worth the money and definitely deserves the respect of all Twins fans! He is now even at 3-3 and his ERA drops to 3.60.
2.) How is it even possible that Carlos Silva went eight innings and gave up 12 hits and yet still threw just 92 pitches? Seriously, to me, he is as fun to watch pitch as Brad Radke when he's on, and even Johan Santana. As a defensive player, he would be so great to play behind because you would have to be ready on every pitch for the ball to be put in play. Also, did you notice the radar gun readings that night? It had Silva sticking between 94 and 96 mph the whole game. That must be the fast gun, huh?
2.) Isn't it just a treat to have two guys in the middle of the Twins lineup like Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. To see the perfection of Joe Mauer's plate discipline and the beauty of his swing is remarkable. And then I do not want to miss a pitch when Morneau is at bat because it is possible that with every swing you may see the longest home run ball in history. In the series, Mauer went 4-9. Morneau went 3-8 with two home runs, one to the opposite field and one well into the upper deck in right field.
3.) Against CC Sabathia yesterday, the Twins went without both Mauer and Morneau in the lineup. We knew that Mauer wouldn't play because it was a day game after a night game. I was relieved to see that Morneau was also out of the lineup. Remember, Sabathia is the guy that drilled Morneau in the wrist last year that really hampered him the rest of the season. With Morneau still less than a month after being hit in the head by a lefty should not have played against Sabathia, especially with his "hatred" for the Twins. You may think that's crazy, but Sabathia is a young leader of a pitching staff that includes Jason Davis, who just keeps plunking Twins batters.
4.) A lineup without Mauer, Morneau and Jacque Jones (And with Luis Rivas at 2B and not Nick Punto) was able to put up five fifth inning runs against CC Sabathia.
5.) I am thrilled that Terry Tiffee is back up with the Twins. It just allows them so many more options off the bench. One interesting stat though - Terry Tiffee is tied for the team lead in Grounded-Into-Double-Plays with four. He is tied with Michael Cuddyer and Jacque Jones. Of course, Cuddyer (97) and Jones (99) have almost three times the plate appearances as Tiffee (34).
6.) Less than a week ago, Michael Cuddyer was hitting below .200. After his 2-4 game on Wednesday, he was up to .250.
7.) Kyle Lohse appears to be healthy and will be starting for the Twins on Saturday. That is really unfortunate for the Twins and their fans. I think that most baseball people would assume a better likelihood of success with Scott Baker on the mound. An added bonus for baseball fans would have been a Scott Baker versus Scott Kazmir pitching matchup!
8.) Former Twin Casey Blake and North Dakota native Travis Hafner both seem to just eat up Twins pitching. Both went 0-3 against Brad Radke yesterday. However, Hafner was 3-8 with two doubles and a homer in the first two games. Blake was 3-6 with three walks, two homers and three RBI.
Tonight the Twins will start a three game series weekend series at Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Rays just came off of beating the New York Yankees three out of four games. They are a young team that should not compete in the AL East. But the have some serious talent in the names of Carl Crawford, Aubrey Huff, Jorge Cantu and Scott Kazmir. The future looks bright with Rocco Baldelli hopefully coming back in the second half of the season. Joey Gathright, BJ Upton and Delmon Young waiting in the wings. Here are the pitching matchups for the series:
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Before I get into the minor league summaries, I need to send a very serious thank you to "Art in Fort Myers" who was kind enough to send me some picture of Miracle players Glen Perkins and Matt Moses. He said I could use them on this site and I certainly do appreciate it! Art has taken some incredible pictures. You may have seen a number of them on Bat-girl's site during Spring Training. Anyway, thank you again Art!
Tuesday - REDWINGS 5, Pawtucket 6 - Terry Tiffee was 2-5 and hit is first AAA home run and was then called back up to the Twins where he should have been all along. Garrett Jones and Todd Dunwoody each hit a double. JD Durbin made another start. He went four innings and gave up two earned runs on four hits and four walks. He did strike out six. Trey Hodges got two outs and gave up a run on four walks. Ricky Barrett made his AAA debut and struck out the two batters he faced. Willie Eyre followed and gave up three runs in 1 2/3 inning.
By the way, JD Durbin has a blog of his own that he will post on from time to time.
Wednesday - REDWINGS 7, Pawtucket 1 - David Gassner improved to 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA. He gave up one unearned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out two. Travis Bowyer pitched the final two innings and gave up just one hit. The offense came through as well. Luis Rodriguez and Todd Dunwoody were each 3-4. Jason Tyner, Michael Ryan and Glenn Williams were each 2-5. Garrett Jones was 2-4 with a double.
Thursday - REDWINGS 2, Syracuse 9 - Not a good day for starter Henry Bonilla. The righty allowed six earned runs on eight hits and three walks in four innings. Bud Smith made his Redwings debut with two perfect innings. Trey Hodges pitched two innings and gave up three runs on four hits and a walk. Jason Tyner went 3-4 with a walk. Rob Bowen was 2-3 with a walk. Luis Rodriguez went 2-4 with a double and a walk.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Tuesday - ROCKCATS 5, Portland 3 - Levale Speigner had a very strong start. In 7 2/3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out five. Brian Wolfe grabbed the win. He pitched one inning and walked two. Jason Miller came in for the final out. Tommy Watkins went 2-4 with a double. Luis Jimenez was 2-4 with an RBI. The big hitter was Alex Romero who went 2-4 with his third home run and 3 RBI.
Wednesday - ROCKCATS 0, Portland 5 - Francisco Liriano was incredible. He started and went seven innings. He gave up no runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out nine. And for what? A no decision. Jan Granado came in for the 8th. He gave up four earned runs on four hits in an inning and a third. Jim Abbott got one out and gave up a run on two hits. The Rockcats had just four hits. Luis Jimenez and Doug Deeds each had a double.
Thursday - MIRACLE 10, Portland 6 - John Thomas got the start and improved to 2-1. He went five innings and gave up three runs on six hits and three walks and didn't strike out a batter. Brian Wolfe pitched the next 2 1/3 innings. He gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. Jason Miller got one out and walked two. Pat Neshek came in and got the final four outs without giving up a run, for his fourth save. James Tomlin led the offense going 3-5 with three RBI. Gil Velazquez went 2-3 with a double and 2 RBI. Bryan Kennedy went 2-3 with a walk.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Tuesday - MIRACLE 9, Tampa 4 - Bats were the story for the Miracle on this day. Trent Oeltjen went 2-4 with a walk and an RBI. Matt Moses was 2-4 with a walk, an RBI and his 6th stolen base. Ben Pattee went 2-3 with a walk. Ron Perodin was 2-4. Nick Blackburn got the win by going six innings. He allowed four runs on nine hits and a walk, striking out three. Julio Depaula pitched two scoreless frames and then Jay Sawatski pitched one shutout inning.
Wednesday - MIRACLE 5, Tampa 3 - Glen Perkins made another start. He pitched five innings and picked up his first win of the year. He gave up one run on three hits and two walks. He struck out five. You have to credit the team for continuing to give Peter Tautor chances. This time, he faced two batters. One walked and the other was hit by a pitch. Both runners scored. Josh Gray pitched two shutout innings. Chris Schutt and Jay Sawatski each pitched scoreless innings to protect the lead. Felix Molina went 2-4.
Thursday - MIRACLE 4, Tampa 2 - Errol Simonitsch continues to look like a "Twins Pitcher" with this start. He went seven innings and gave up one run on eight hits. He walked none and struck out six. He improved to 3-1. Tristan Crawford gave up a run on a walk in an inning. Jay Sawatski got the final three outs without allowing a run to record his 4th save. Scott Whitrock led the offense going 2-3 with his 3rd homer. Kyle Phillips went 2-4.
Tuesday - SNAPPERS 10, Cedar Rapids 3 - Anthony Swarzak won his second game of the year. He pitched six shutout innings. He gave up two hits and walked two, but struck out ten hitters. Kevin Culpepper came in and gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in three innings. Ironically, he struck out... three. Jeremy Pickrel went 3-3 with a walk and his second homer. Terrance Patterson went 2-5 with a double, a walk, 2 RBI and his fifth stolen base. Deacon Burns went 2-4 with a walk, a double and two RBI. Dwayne White went 2-3 with two walks, two RBI and his first homer.
Wednesday - SNAPPERS 5, Cedar Rapids 8 - Kyle Waldrop fell to 1-3 with another loss. In 5 1/3 innings, he gave up six runs (5 earned) on nine hits and a walk. He struck out four. Jonathon Martinez came in and gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. Deacon Burns went 2-4 with his third triple. David Winfree went 2-4 with a walk and an RBI. Trevor Plouffe went 2-3 with a walk and two RBI. Mitchell Zamojc was 1-5, but his his fourth homer.
Thursday - SNAPPERS 10, Cedar Rapids 5 - The bats led the way again, giving plenty of support to starter Jay Rainville. Rainville went the first 6 1/3 innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Kyle Aselton pitched the next 1 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits. Steven Duguay pitched a scoreless ninth and struck out one. David Winfree was 3-5. Dwayne White went 3-5 with a double and two RBI. Angelo Fermin went 2-4 with two walks. Jeremy Pickrel went 2-4 with a triple and an impressive FIVE RBI.
Just a few articles I have read over the weekend that I though people might enjoy:
If you're ever looking for some fun, interesting music to listen to at work or on your home computer, be sure to check out this site!
Minnesota Public Radio has its own Twins blog. Check it out.
Bud Selig. A Baseball Hero. Really. . . . Really??? An interesting Slate article.
Paula-Tics as Usual - Slate's TV critic Dana Stevens discusses some of the interesting sub-topics of American Idol.
Check out Stick and Ball Guy today for a very interesting Pepper! Greatest Hits segment!
The Baseball Savant has so much incredible reading that I don't even know where to start with describing it. What does a team's performance in April mean for their season success? Plenty of Twins talk too!
On that note, I am going to call it a day and a week, and I'm going to get some sleep. Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
Back to Archives Home