Monday, May 21, 2007
Good Monday Morning! Don't you just love Mondays!? But I should say Happy Birthday to Kent Hrbek who turns 47 years old today. I wonder if he is out on a lake today?
If you missed Friday's posting, an interactive Q&A with Kevin Slowey, please check it out now. Slowey pitched on Sunday afternoon and recorded his fifth win. How good are the Twins pitching prospects? Well, Slowey's win was arguably the fourth best start by a starter in the Twins minor leagues on Sunday. You'll definitely want to check that out. The Twins won two of three, and in those games got good starts from youngsters and more power from Torii Hunter.
It is going to be a busy couple of weeks here at SethSpeaks.net. I will have a couple more Q&As. With the MLB Draft coming up June 7th, I hope to do some organizational reports around that time. I also like to do my midseason Top 50 Twins prospects list before the draft so that I don't get swayed by the draft status of players taken this year. And with the end of the month, I will have my May Twins grades and the minor league player and pitcher of the month reports. Of course, you will also be able to get plenty of Twins thoughts and links and all the minor league reports. So, be sure to check back.
The Twins took two out of three in Milwaukee this weekend. They got great pitching from two youngsters, and some timely power hitting from the veteran who has carried the team on his back all season. Friday night, Torii Hunter untied the game by hitting a long grand slam. He hit a first inning two run homer on Saturday night to give the Twins an early lead as well. Here are some other thoughts on the weekend series, and a look ahead to the Texas Rangers as the Twins travel to Arlington to start a three game series tonight.
BAKER'S BACK! - I was so happy to see the final results of Scott Baker's outing on Saturday night. 8.1 innings. Two runs on six hits. He walked none and struck out five. I was hoping that he would just have a good, quality start, something to build upon. Well, he certainly did that. I hope that the Twins will stick with him for months, rather than making start-by-start decisions. There is a reason he was so highly thought of two years ago. In this game, he showed four good pitches. For the most part, he did keep the ball down in the strike zone. When he was pitching high, it was intentional. Through eight innings, he had only thrown 83 pitches. JJ Hardy hit his NL leading 14th homer of the season in the first inning, which made me nervous, but he came back from that and was remarkable. With an out in the ninth inning, Baker tried to come inside to Bill Hall who hit another solo homer. Baker is speaking of a philosophy of not looking beyond the present and enjoying the moment. I agree. He certainly took advantage of the moment on Saturday!
THE BOOF, THE BOOF... - The Boof is on fire! Friday night, Boof Bonser got his second straight win. He went seven innings and gave up just a run on three hits. He walked just one and struck out 11 Brewers hitters. This isn't the Brewers team of 3-4 years ago that consistently led the league in strikeouts.
WHERE'S KUBEL? - Three games in Milwaukee, and Jason Kubel does not get a single at bat. Lew Ford started all three games in left field despite the fact that the Brewers started two right handed pitchers. And, when the team made a double-switch late in the game and Ford was removed, it was Jason Tyner who entered the game. Jason Tyner who, in his last nine games is 2-22 (.091). Jason Kubel had been on a good streak. I completely understand that Lew Ford needs to play after missing so much time. But maybe people can really start comparing this situation to the situation Michael Cuddyer endured from 2003-2005! UPDATE - I see ubelman posted on this topic at SBG's site as well.
WELCOME BACK - In his return to Miller Park, Jeff Cirillo started at 3B on Friday night and went 2-5 with a triple and a home run. I like him playing 3B. It means Nick Punto becomes a role player. Unfortunately, that might mean more time for Punto at shortstop, at least right now. In his last 10 games, Jason Bartlett is 6-34 (.176).
HAPPY FOR HEINTZ - If Chris Heintz is going to be on the roster, let him play! I was happy that he was again in the lineup on Sunday. I was even more happy when he came through with a big two-run single for the team. Also, he had two walks, so good for him!
TWO SIDES OF RAMON - Through five starts, Ramon Ortiz seemed to be a pretty good signing. He was pitching well. Let's just say the last four starts have not gone so well. You have to start wondering when he will head to the bullpen and Kevin Slowey or Matt Garza will be up with the team.
|1st 5 Starts||3-1||2.57||0.97||35.0||28||6||14|
|Last 4 Starts||0-3||11.74||2.22||15.1||30||4||6|
REYES TOO? - Is it time for the Twins to drop Dennys Reyes too? What he did in 2006 was crazy! What he is doing in 2007 is just like he did well, every other year of his career. Through Sunday, Reyes had pitched 12.1 innings. He has given up 18 hits and nine walks. That is a WHIP of 2.19. His ERA is 6.57, but that doesn't even tell the whole story. So what are the options if they were to let go of Reyes? At AAA Rochester, there are three options. In each case, it means making Glen Perkins the primary left-handed reliever. First is Ricky Barrett. He has a strong arm and has experienced success. He just has a hard time staying healthy. Carmen Cali has been solid, but I just don't know if he is a big league option. That said, I can't imagine he would be worse than Reyes. Finally, my choice would be Jason Miller. He has experienced a lot of success the last three years in several roles. He has pitched in short relief and long relief and gets plenty of spot starts. He would not be a bad 12th guy out of the bullpen. Jose Mijares probably has the highest upside of any of the bullpen lefties in the two top minor league levels. The ideal situation probably involves leaving Glen Perkins as the only lefty in the bullpen.
THE PITCHING MATCHUPS -
Monday night - 7:05 p.m. - Carlos Silva (2-4, 3.56, 1.42, .286) vs Vicente Padilla (1-6, 5.77, 1.58, .285)
Tuesday night - 7:05 p.m. - Johan Santana (4-4, 3.26, 1.12, .228) vs Kameron Loe (1-3, 6.21, 1.52, .301)
Wednesday afternoon - 1:05 p.m. - Boof Bonser (2-1, 3.91, 1.44, .246) vs Robinson Tejeda (4-3, 4.53, 1.31, .249)
Mark Teixeira broke a two-game, 0-8 streak by going 4-6 with two homers yesterday. He is hitting .299 with eight homers right now, a much better start than the horrific first half he had last year.
Michael Young is the surprise in this lineup. The SS is hitting just .228. In his last six games, he is 4-25 (.160).
The ageless Kenny Lofton is hitting just .246, but he has at least one hit in 11 of the past 12 games. He also has seven walks in that time frame.
2B Ian Kinsler got off to a fast start, particularly in terms of home runs. He has 10 on the year. On April 29th, he was hitting .309 with nine homers. Three weeks later, he is hitting .239 with ten homers.
As you know, I have always been a big Sammy Sosa fan, so as you can imagine, I am very happy to see him playing well for the Rangers. He has nine home runs and 32 RBI.
I know I have heard Twins fans mention Hank Blalock's name the last couple of years as a guy that the team should try to trade for. Well, first, he hasn't been too good the last couple of years, and second, he is now likely out for about three months with thoracic outlet syndrome. He is having surgery to remove a rib that is causing pain on the nerve that connects the chest and the neck. Sounds painful.
Any other thoughts on the Twins, the Brewers, the Rangers or anything? E-mail me or leave Comments below.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the Twins updates from last night, including game reports of their minor league affiliates. As a preview, I will be coming up with my Top 50 Twins prospects list before the June draft which is in early June, so be sure to look for that.
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Danny Valencia, Beloit Snappers
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Kyle Waldrop, New Britain Rockcats
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Javi Sanchez, Ft. Myers Miracle
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Cole DeVries, Beloit Snappers
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Brock Peterson, New Britain Rockcats
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Oswaldo Sosa, Ft. Myers Miracle/Brian Duensing, New Britain Rockcats
Friday - Red Wings 0, Richmond 4 – Nick Blackburn made his first AAA start in two seasons and did fairly well. He gave up four runs on eight his in 7.1 innings. He walked just one and struckout just two. Carmen Cali got the final two outs. Jose Morales led the offense with a 3-4 day. Matt Moses went 2-4.
Saturday - Red Wings 4, Norfolk 10 – Dave Gassner has to be about on his last leg with the Red Wings. He was again lit up in a short outing. The lefty went four innings and gave up five runs on five hits and a walk. He allowed two homers, one to former teammate Terry Tiffee. JP Martinez made his AAA debut and it didn't go too well. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in just two innings. Carmen Cali gave up a run on three hits and a walk in one inning. Brian Bass then pitched a scoreless frame. Tommy Watkins continues to defy the odds. He went 2-4 with his tenth double. Alexi Casilla went 2-5 with his fourth double. Glenn Williams and Gil Velazquez both went 2-4. Velazquez drove in two runs. Denard Span was 0-3 before being lifted for Trent Oeltjen who went 1-1 and was hit by a pitch.
Sunday - Game 1 - Red Wings 6, Norfolk 3 – Kevin Slowey made another start and this time he got some run support. Slowey went all seven innings and gave up three runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out six to improve to 5-2. Matthew Lecroy had the big hit, a three run homer in the team's five run fifth inning. Lecroy went 2-3 with those three RBI. Glenn Williams went 2-3 with a double and an RBI.
Sunday - Game 2 - Red Wings 1, Norfolk 3 – In game two, the Red Wings managed just three hits. Denard Span hit his 8th double, and Matt Moses drove him in with a single. Jason Miller started and gave up two runs on six hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out two. Bobby Korecky gave up a run in two innings.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 1, Connecticut 2 – Kyle Waldrop made his first AA start and he picked up right where he left off with the Miracle. Unfortunately he did not get the run support and took the loss. He gave up two runs, but just one was earned. The first run came on a play with two errors. In seven innings, he gave up the two runs on just five hits. He walked none and struck out two. Jose Mijares struck out four in two shutout innings. Rashad Eldridge led the offense with a 2-3 day, with a walk. The team had just six total hits.
Saturday - Rockcats 2, Connecticut 1 – Tristan Crawford had a very nice start to improve to 4-2. In 5.2 innings, he gave up a run on five hits. He walked three and struck out four. Jay Sawatski went the next 1.2 innings, not allowing a run. Frank Mata made his AA debut in this game and he got the final five outs to record the save. He walked one and struck out two. Brock Peterson went 2-4 with his eighth double. Kyle Geiger had an RBI double, his sixth double of the season.
Sunday - Rockcats 2, Connecticut 1 – After a rough start, Brian Duensing returned to the mound and put together arguably his best start of the year. The lefty improved to 4-1 as he went 7.1 shutout innings. He gave up three hits, two walks and struck out three. Jose Mijares came in for his sixth save by getting the final five outs. He gave up a run on three hits and a walk. He struck out three. Brock Peterson was certainly the hitting hero. He hit a solo home run, his third, to give the team the 1-0 lead. He later hit an RBI double (9). Luke Hughes went 2-4 with a double. Garrett Guzman went 2-4.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 1, Tampa 2 – Erik Lis got his fifteen minutes of fame, and he did it in style. In Roger Clemens' first start in his comeback, Lis stole the show with his first inning home run. It was his third of the season, and he became a household name in Minnesota, New York and Boston. Toby Gardenhire took a fastball away and hit a double down the right field line off of The Rocket. Dwayne White blooped a single down the left field line off of Clemens. Clemens went four innings and gave up one run on three hits. He walked none and struck out two. Unfortunately, the Miracle managed just three more hits after Clemens left. Juan Portes had two of them. Yohan Pino made his first start of the year. In five innings, he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out five. Kyle Aselton went three shutout innings, allowing just two walks and striking out two.
Saturday - Miracle 8, Tampa 3 – Ryan Mullins continued to pitch well, and this time he got some run support. The lefty gave up one run in 5.1 innings. He gave up seven hits, two walks and struck out three. David Shinskie gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings. He didn't give up a hit, walked one and struck out two. Eddie Morlan went the final two innings. He gave up a run on three hits, and he struck out three. Like so many big league teams, the Miracle hit Kei Igawa a little bit. That said, the lefty gave up just two unearned runs on three hits and two walks in four innings. Javi Sanchez went 3-4. Edward Ovalle went 2-4 with a walk and a triple. Toby Gardenhire went 2-4 with a double. Matt Betsill and Erik Lis went 2-5.
- Miracle 2, Palm Beach 1
– Oswaldo Sosa had another excellent start and recorded his
first win of the year. The righty went six shutouts innings and gave
up just one hit. He walked three and struck out nine. Angel
Garcia recorded the Save with three innings of work. He gave up
one run on one hit. He walked one and struck out three.
Luis Ugueto went 3-4.
Whit Robbins and Dwayne White each went 2-4. Steve
Tolleson went 0-1 but had three walks.
Friday - Snappers 4, Peoria 2 – The Snappers displayed some power in this game and came up with a win against Ryne Sandberg's Peoria team. Danny Valencia went 2-3 with a walk and his seventh home run. Johnny Woodard went 2-3 with a walk and his fourth homer. Joe Benson went 2-4 with his sixth and seventh stolen bases. Danny Vais made a spot start and went five innings. He gave up just one run despite giving up eight hits and walking one. He struck out five. Jesus Carnevales struck out two in two perfect innings. Aaron Craig came in and recorded his second save. He gave up a run and struck out two in two innings.
Saturday - Snappers 4, Peoria 1 – Cole DeVries was not drafted by any of the 30 big league teams last summer. The Twins signed him after the season so I was a little surprised that they had him start this season with Beloit. He has shown that he belongs. The righty went seven shutout innings to improve to 4-1 with a 1.35 ERA. He gave up six hits, walked none and struck out five. Dan Leatherman, another non-drafted free agent, gave up a run in his inning. Robert Delaney, another non-drafted free agent, struck out the side in the 9th to record his 13th save. Danny Valencia again led the offense. He went 2-4 with an RBI. Danny Santiesteban went 2-4 with with his third stolen base. Chris Parmalee went 1-2 with a walk and a big, two-run double. It was his seventh double. HOFer Ryne Sandberg was ejected in the 7th inning.
Sunday - Snappers 4, Peoria 2 – Robert Delaney got the final five outs to record his league-leading 14th save. He saved the game for starter Adam Hawes. Hawes gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits and a walk in 7.1 innings. He struckout three. The offense was led by Brian Dinkelman who went 2-3 with a walk and his ninth double. He also stole his 6th base. Chris Parmalee got things started with his third home run.
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. Have a great day!|
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