Monday, May 9, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
Good Monday morning everybody! Last week was a rough one for me physically. I was sick all week. Went home for the weekend, just got away from here and the computer, and actually slept a lot. Still not 100%, but as close as I have been in a LONG time! Thanks to all of those who sent well wishes! I do appreciate it a lot! Today's entry will be fairly brief as well. I got back and figured I should get a few things done around the house as well. So, for today, it will pretty much be just an update on the Twins weekend series against Tampa Bay and the minor league updates.
Oh, and be sure to check out this story about life in the Northern League. FM Redhawks pitcher Mike Peschel had a great year last year. He wants to continue pitching this season, but he also had a job at a mortgage company in the Twin Cities. So, how will he make it work? Read the article to find out. Gotta love the independent leagues!
Have a great day and week, and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me.
The Twins headed into St Petersburg to take on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the weekend. The Rays were coming off of winning three out of four from the NY Yankees, so the Twins had to be ready. And I think it would be accurate to say that they were as they swept the three games over the weekend. The bats showed up, scoring 24 runs, and the pitching was excellent. Just a great weekend for the Twins!
Here are a few highlights followed by a couple of other thoughts:
Friday night - Twins 7, Devil Rays 1
Johan Santana CG, 9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Joe Mauer 4-5, 3RBI, HR (3), SB (2) - Shannon Stewart 2-4, BB, RBI - Nick Punto 2-5, 2B - Jacque Jones 2-5, 2B - Justin Morneau 1-5, HR (5), 2 RBI)
Saturday night - Twins 8, Devil Rays 1
Torii Hunter 2-5, 2B - Mike Redmond 2-4, 2B, RBI - Jason Bartlett 2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB - Lew Ford bases-loaded, 2 Run 2B, Justin Morneau PH HR (6) off LHP Trever Miller, Kyle Lohse W, 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K - Scott Baker MLB Debut, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K - JC Romero, Jesse Crain, Joe Nathan combined 3 scoreless IP
Sunday afternoon - Twins 9, Devil Rays 6
Justin Morneau 4-4, BB, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI - Joe Mauer 2-4, BB, HR (4), RBI - Matthew LeCroy 2-5, HR (5), 3 RBI - Joe Mays W, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K - Jesse Crain, Joe Nathan combined 1.2 scoreless IP
Here are just some random thoughts from the series:
1.) The M&M Boys nickname is becoming more and more appropriate for Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Both are absolutely mashing the ball at this point and really creating a buzz around baseball and most importantly, in the Twins lineup. In this series, Mauer was 6-9 with two home runs and four RBI. Morneau went 6-10 with a double, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. On the season, Mauer is now hitting .356 with four homers, and Morneau is hitting .429 with five homers.
2.) Oh, and in Mauer's game off, his backup, Mike Redmond, went 2-4 with a double!
3.) Jason Bartlett was moved from the #2 spot in the order down to the #9 position before Friday's game to help him relax. Well, in the two games in the nine-hole, Bartlett was 2-5 with three walks.
4.) Torii Hunter has now been caught stealing twice in a row. In both cases, he was picked off of first base and thrown out at 2B. Looks like the league finally figured out what he does. Now we'll find out if he really remembers how to steal bases or not.
5.) Everyone that reads this knows that I am a huge Scott Baker supporter. I've certainly mentioned that I would like to see him in the rotation in the place of Kyle Lohse. I wonder, however, if the Twins brass regrets calling up Baker as a replacement for the suspended Juan Rincon. I think that they called up Baker thinking that Lohse would be unable to start his game on Saturday because of an arm injury. However, he was deemed able to start, relegating Baker to the bullpen. Had the Twins known that Lohse would make his start, I would hope they would have called up Travis Bowyer as a temporary replacement for Rincon. The reasons? Well, by the time Baker gets sent back to Rochester, he will have missed two starts. Bowyer is a relief pitcher who could have come in to fill a role. Just a random thought.
6.) How to minimize the loss of Juan Rincon in the bullpen? Way #1 - have your 'aces' throw back-to-back shutouts. CHECK. Way #2 - Rely on Jesse Crain in those late inning situations and trust him and his stuff. CHECK.
WHAT'S NEXT?? Tonight the Twins will start a three game series weekend series at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The O's boast one of the most, if not the most, intimidating lineups in baseball this year. The lineup is led by perennial MVP candidate Miguel Tejada. Melvin Mora is having his third straight "Fluke" season. I'm starting to detect a pattern! After hitting 50 doubles a year ago, Brian Roberts has been the most complete hitter in baseball through the seasons first five weeks. 500 HR Club Members Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmiero are in the middle of the lineup, although Palmiero doesn't do much any more. Javy Lopez is arguably the best hitting catcher in baseball again this year. And the "weak" spots in the lineup are Luis Matos, Larry Bigbie and Jay Gibbons. This is a good offense. The question mark as far as whether this team can continue to play like they have is the pitching staff. So far, they have been adequate. Of course, check out Sidney Ponson's ERA compared to his record and again see why the "Win" statistic is incredibly overrated. The O's are 20-10 and two and a half games ahead of the Boston Red Sox on top of the AL East. This is a very good team. Hopefully the Twins are up for the challenge. Here are the pitching matchups for the series:
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Friday - REDWINGS 7, Pawtucket 5 - Boof Bonser improved to 3-0 with his six strong innings. He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Ricky Barrett gave up a run on a hit in an inning. Beau Kemp gave up a run and three hits and got just one out. But Travis Bowyer came in and got the final five outs to record his third save. He struck out three. Josh Rabe led the offense, going 3-4 with 3 runs and an RBI. Michael Ryan went 2-5 with an RBI double. Glenn Williams was 2-4 with his second homer and four RBI.
Saturday - REDWINGS 11, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3 - Todd Dunwoody went 3-6 with a double, triple, RBI and three runs scored. Garrett Jones went 3-3 with two walks and two RBI. Jason Tyner was 2-5 with a walk. Kevin West went 2-5 with his second homer and three RBI. Augie Ojeda had a double and three RBI.
Sunday - REDWINGS 5, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3 - JD Durbin finally had a JD Durbin start that we had all hoped for. He went 7 2/3 innings and gave up three runs (2 earned) on just three hits and most importantly, just one walk. He struck out four. Ricky Barrett got an out to end the 8th. Travis Bowyer then pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save. Glenn Williams led the offense against Phillies top pitching prospect Gavin Floyd. He went 3-4 with a double, his third homer and 3 RBI. Kevin West went 2-4. Garrett Jones hit his 7th home run.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Friday - ROCKCATS 3, New Hampshire 7 - Selwin Langaigne went 2-3 a walk and a double. Alex Romero hit his fourth homer and drove in two runs. Justin Olson took the loss to fall to 2-3. He went five innings. He gave up six earned runs on seven hits and two walks. He did strike out five. Jim Abbott gave up one run over the final three innings.
Saturday - Rained Out
Sunday - Game 1 - ROCKCATS 0, New Hampshire 4 - Colby Miller now has a loss to his record. He did pitch all six innings which means he allowed all four runs. He gave up seven hits and walked two. He struck out three. Bryan Kennedy went 2-3. Doug Deeds and Gil Velazquez each had a double.
Sunday - Game 2 - ROCKCATS 0, New Hampshire 4 - In Game 2, the Rockcats had just six hits. Gabby Torres and Tommy Watkins each had a double. Levale Speigner falls to 0-4. He went five innings. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on nine hit. He walked none and struck out four. Brian Wolfe pitched a scoreless inning.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Friday - MIRACLE 4, Palm Beach 0 - Scott Tyler picked up his second win with an excellent outing. He started and went six shutout innings. He gave up just two hits and two walks, and he struck out six. Chris Schutt and Julio Depaula combined for three more shutout innings. Trent Oeltjen went 2-4 with a double. JR Taylor went 2-3 with a double. Omar Burgos went 2-3 with a walk and a double.
Saturday - MIRACLE 0, Palm Beach 4 - Adam Harben falls to 2-3 with this performance. He gave up four runs on four hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out three. Tim Henkenjohann made his first 2005 appearance and did well. He pitched two shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk, and striking out two. Josh Gray pitched a scoreless inning as well. JR Taylor went 2-4.
Sunday - MIRACLE 5, Palm Beach 1 - Nick Blackburn improved to 4-1 with a great game. He went seven innings and gave up just one unearned run. He gave up four hits and he walked none. He struck out three. Tristan Crawford pitched the final two innings and struck out three. Kyle Geiger went 2-4. Trent Oeltjen hit a double.
Friday - SNAPPERS 2, Fort Wayne 6 - Alexander Smit started and went the first 5 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out five. The problem was that he gave up four home runs. Dwayne White led the offense with a 3-4 day. Deacon Burns hit his fourth triple.
Saturday - SNAPPERS 13, Fort Wayne 3 - Deacon Burns continued to hit on Saturday. He went 3-5 with a double, his fifth triple and three RBI. Tarrence Patterson went 2-5 and stole his 8th base. Jeremy Pickrel went 2-4 with a double and his third homer. He also had a walk and drove in three runs. Josh Hill went the first four innings. He gave up two runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out five. Kevin Culpepper went the next three innings without giving up a run .He gave up just two hits and struck out five. Kyle Aselton pitched the last two and gave up an unearned run on two hits. He walked none and struck out two.
Sunday - SNAPPERS 5, Fort Wayne 1 - Anthony Swarzak won his third game. He gave up just one hit and no runs over six innings. He struck out and walked a surprising three hitters. Jonathon Martinez gave up an unearned run in two innings. Steven Duguay pitched a perfect inning. Deacon Burns went 2-3 with a walk and his 8th double of the year. Mitchell Zamojc had a two run double.
On that note, I am going to call it a day. I hope you have a great week! Thanks again for stopping by this site. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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