Saturday Update - On Saturday, Chris Coste batted in the 9th off of the unhittable Jonathon Papelbon, and got a single. He advanced to 3rd base on a Jimmy Rollins double off the green monster, but on a Chase Utley grounder to shortstop, Coste was thrown out at home plate. In the game, David Ortiz homered to end the game with a Red Sox win.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Roger's Minor League Players of the Week
Twins Minor League Report
Good morning everybody! First of all, I again thank everyone who helped contribute to the Pat Neshek Q&A on Friday. It was excellent, and a lot of fun! Thanks Pat and all readers!
Today, I am going to talk a little about the Twins sweep of the Chicago Cubs, and much more. I will also go over the results and highlights of the Twins minor league affiliates from the weekend. And, of course, Roger is back with his choices for the Twins minor leaguers of the week!
So, let's keep the intro short and sweet, and Have a Great Week! Please feel free to e-mail me or leave Comments below.
Over the weekend, the Twins got another sweep, this time against the Chicago Cubs. It was kind of a scary series for several reasons. First, the Twins had been playing so well, and at some point there has to be a let down, right? In previous seasons, those let downs often happened against lesser teams. The Cubs certainly qualify as a lesser team. In addition to that, the Cubs have several former Twins players like Todd Walker, Henry Blanco and Jacque Jones who no doubt would have loved to have stuck it to their old employers. Mark Prior was making his second start of the year and had to be better. And on Sunday, Derrek Lee made his first start in a long time! So, the making was there for the Twins to struggle, but they came out to play, got great pitching and got the sweep completed!
Here are some thoughts from the series:
The Twins have now won four in a row. They have won 12 of their last 13 games, and 14 of their last 16. That is excellent, no doubt. However, they are not making up much ground. The White Sox lost last night, but before that, they had won nine in a row, and 11 out of 12 games. The Tigers have won 9 of their last 10, and 13 of their last 15 games. So, the Twins are still 11 games out of 1st place and 9.5 out of second!
But, back on the positive side of things... Brad Radke has been great of late. Yesterday, he threw seven shutout innings for his 6th win. Here is a quick look at how he has done throughout phases of the season:
-- His first five starts - 2-3 with an 8.89 ERA
-- His second five starts - 2-3 with a 6.14 ERA
-- His past six starts - 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA
So, for all of those Radke mockers who there who thought he was done, how you like me now???
Luis Rodriguez's last at bat came on June 13th. He stepped to the plate on Sunday in the 8th inning and hit a home run off of Ryan Dempster. I'm not really sure what his role is with the Twins now. I mean, technically, he must be the team's utility infielder since Terry Tiffee and Nick Punto seem to be in a platoon at 3B. However, Punto has been the replacement at SS and 2B in the last ten days, so that really just leaves Rodriguez as insurance.
It was another strong, productive weekend for Justin Morneau. He went 5-11 in the series with a home run and four RBI. Just to update his season projections, he is on pace for 41 home runs and 135 RBI.
Jason Bartlett was 0-4 on Sunday to end his 10 game hitting streak. Hopefully Gardy will keep him in the lineup.
Joe Mauer got a day off again on Sunday against a left-hander, but I also think that is fair. After a June 16 game, Mauer was batting .381. In his past six games, he has gone 5-21 (.238). However, over those six games, he has walked five times, so he is still getting on base at a .385 clip.
The last time Juan Rincon gave up an earned run (charged to him) was May 10th.
Luis Castillo has five hits in his past 28 at bats. That's a .179 batting average.
Nick Punto is two for his last 15. That's .133.
In his last five games, Jason Kubel is 7-17 (.412).
As for those former Twins players in the series... It was good to see Jacque Jones get such a nice reception. No matter what anyone says about his inability to hit lefties, or his erratic throwing arm, he really was an important part of the Twins success for six seasons. In this series, he was 3-11. Todd Walker was 3-6 with two walks. Henry Blanco was 1-10.
Tonight, the Twins start a three-game inter-league series against the LA Dodgers who come into the series with a 40-35 record. It should be a fun series for those of us who really are into prospects. The Dodgers have had several who have been key contributors to the team's success this year. They are obviously all keys to their long-term success as well. Very possibly, none of the prospects are as important as tonight's starting pitcher, Chad Billingsley. Now, don't put him into the Francisco Liriano category, but he is up on that next level. By the way, could this be another 'last chance' for Carlos Silva? Here are the pitching matchups for the series:
- Monday - 7:10 - Carlos Silva (3-8, 6.87, 1.61, .343) vs Chad Billingsley (0-0, 3.48, 1.65, .289)
- Tuesday - 7:10 - Francisco Liriano (7-1, 2.17, 1.06, .215) vs Derek Lowe (6-3, 2.90, 1.15, .226)
- Wednesday - 1:10 - Johan Santana (8-4, 2.75, 0.98, .223) vs Brett Tomko (6-6, 5.12, 1.39, .286)
The Dodgers have an interesting combination of really young and really old. Veterans such as Kenny Lofton (.295 with 14 SBs), Sandy Alomar and Jeff Kent still play. However, youth is really an important part of what they do.
Nomar Garciaparra is probably the biggest surprise to me. In part, it is just that he has managed to remain healthy most of the year. He is hitting .362 on the year with nine home runs. His homer yesterday was the 200th of his career. He is currently on a nine game hitting streak during which he is 15-36 (.417). Oh, and he is doing a very nice job at 1B.
Cesar Izturis is now back. The Gold Glove shortstop has missed the last year and a half following Tommy John surgery. He has played in six games and is hitting .471 while playing 3B, 2B and SS. That has to be good for a guy with shoulder concerns to be throwing from those different angles! I know there are several Twins fans who think that the Twins should make a deal for Izturis, but why? He is making about $3 million this year, is an injury concern and as good as he is defensively, he is not a strong hitter. No thanks!
JD Drew is 6-12 over his last three games. However, in the six games before that, he was 1-22.
Russell Martin, their catcher, was 0-4 yesterday to break up a seven game hitting streak during which he was 11-25 (.440). He is hitting .307 on the year.
Matt Kemp, a rookie OF who was a big basketball prospect, is eight for his last 26 (.308) to drop his average to .333!
Another rookie OF, Andre Ethier, who came to the Dodgers in the Milton Bradley trade, is 9-13 in his last four games.
Any other thoughts on the Twins, the AL Central, the Dodgers or anything else? E-mail me, or leave some Comments below.
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 is coming up with a minor league hitter and pitcher each week. Feel free to comment! And don't forget to check out his weekly minor league update at Twinkie Town.
Player of the Week - Drew Thompson, Beloit Snappers
Drew Thompson is a second baseman drafted in the second round of the 2005 draft from Jupiter, Florida. Drew, who is former big leaguer Robbie Thompson's son, took a break this week to play in the Midwest League all-star game. For the week, Drew was 8 for 17 with a double, home run and 3 rbi. Drew also stole one base in two attempts and did not have any strike outs or walks.
2006 Beloit 54g 200ab 30r 9-2b 5-3b 3hr 13rbi 16bb 40so
2005 GCL Twins 35g 109ab 22r 4-2b 1-3b 2hr 20rbi 22bb 22so
2005 Ft. Myers 4g 13ab 2r 1-2b 0-3b 0-hr 1rbi 1bb 4so
Pitcher of the Week - Kevin Slowey, New Britain Rockcats
Isn't it great seeing Kevin Slowey as a member of the AA Rock Cats. Kevin began the week as the starting pitcher for the West squad in the Florida State all-star game. Kevin threw one inning, recording 3 strikeouts on 9 pitches. With the championship on the line, Kevin started the Miracle's must win game on Wednesday night. Slowey threw a gem, pitching 7.2 innings allowing only 2 unearned runs in the 8th inning with 7K/2BB. Following the game Kevin was called into the Manager's office and informed that he was joining Garrett Guzman and Matt Tolbert on the trip north to the Rock Cats. Kevin was named the Pitcher of the Game in the all-star game, did all he could possibly do in Wednesday's loss and was promoted to AA...what a week!
2006 Ft. Myers 4W-2L 89.1ip 14g 52h 10er 9bb 99k 1.01era 0.68WHIP
2005 Elizabethton 0W-0L 7.2ip 4g 2h 1er 0bb 15k 1.17era 0.26WHIP
Beloit 3W-2L 64.1ip 13g 42h 16er 8bb 69k 2.24era 0.77WHIP
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Matt Tolbert, New Britain Rockcats
Saturday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - JW Wilson, Elizabethton Twins
Sunday SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Kyle Geiger, Ft. Myers Miracle
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Levale Speigner, New Britain Rockcats
Saturday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Justin Olson, New Britain Rockcats
Sunday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - David Shinskie, Beloit Snappers
Here are the weekend updates. If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Friday - Red Wings 1, Louisville 4 - Peter Munro started and lost to fall to 5-7. He gave up three runs (1 earned) on seven hits and four walks. Henry Bonilla went 2.1 innings and gave up a run on four hits and a walk. Bobby Korecky got the final two outs.
Saturday - Red Wings 1, Louisville 2 – JD Durbin pitched well, but still took the loss to fall to 4-3 (2.37 ERA). In seven innings, he gave up two runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out eight. Pat Neshek threw a scoreless inning and had a strikeout. Jason Tyner went 2-4. Gil Valezquez had a double. Shannon Stewart, in his first rehab game, was 0-2 with a walk and the RBI.
Sunday - Red Wings 1, Louisville 2 - Scott Baker was the recipient of little run support and despite a complete game, he took the loss. The righty went all eight innings and gave up two runs on eight hits. He walked four and struck out just one. Shannon Stewart was 1-4 with two strikeouts. Garrett Jones hit a double.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 7, Bowie 5 – Matt Tolbert is really making the best of his recall to New Britain. On this night, he went 3-3 with a walk and an RBI. Jose Morales was 2-4 with an RBI double. Matt Moses was 2-4. Felix Molina knocked his seventh homer. Nick Blackburn got the win to improve to 5-7. He gave up five runs in 5.1 innings. He allowed six hits and walked three. Julio DePaula went 1.2 innings and gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs. Levale Speigner threw two perfect innings.
Saturday - Game 1 - Rockcats 3, Reading 7 – Matt Tolbert led the way going 2-3 with a walk. Danny Matienzo was 2-4. Doug Deeds went 1-1 with a walk and his fifth homer. Errol Simonitsch gave up seven runs (4 earned) on nine hits and a walk over five innings.
Saturday - Game 2 - Rockcats 3, Reading 1 – Justin Olson came out of the bullpen and got his fourth win. He went five innings and gave up a run on five hits and two walks. He struck out six. Tristan Crawford got the Save with two shutout innings. The Rockcats managed just four hits. Matt Tolbert and Jose Morales each had a double.
Sunday - Rockcats 2, Reading 14 – Matt Garza had another rough start. In 3.2 innings, he gave up seven runs (5 earned) on seven hits. He walked none and struck out five. John Thomas went the next 2.1 innings. He gave up five runs (2 earned) on seven hits and a walk. Adam Harben gave up two runs over the final two innings on two hits and two walks. The Rockcats had seven hits. Matt Tolbert hit a home run, his first. Danny Matienzo hit his ninth of the year.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 7, Clearwater 3 – Josh Hill is now in the Miracle rotation and made his first start. In 4.2 innings, he gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out five. Ryan Callahan got the win as he went 2.1 shutout innings. He struck out three and allowed three hits and a walk. JP Martinez threw two shutout innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. Alexi Casilla was 2-5 with his fifth triple. Brandon Roberts went 2-5 with an RBI and his 25th stolen base. Justin Arneson and Korey Feiner each had a double.
Saturday - Miracle - Rained Out.
Sunday - Miracle 4, Dunedin 22 – Ouch, huh?! Let's start with the positive. Kyle Geiger was 2-4 with his first home run. It was his first of the year, and it was a grand slam. Alexi Casilla and Deacon Burns were each 2-4. Justin Jones got the start and went just two innings. He gave up seven runs on eight hits and two walks. Colby Miller finished the third and went two more innings. He gave up six runs on six hits and a walk. Jose Mijares then gave up six runs (3 earned) on three hits and a walk. He gave up three home runs. Tim Lahey gave up two runs in his inning. Even Korey Feiner gave up a run on two hits in his inning.
Friday - Snappers 0, Lansing 5 – Eduardo Morlan gave up a run over 2.2 innings before leaving the game with an arm injury. Reports are that it is not serious, but it is worth watching. He struck out five. Danny Vais allowed three unearned runs over three innings. He struck out five. JM Cline made his first Snappers appearance and gave up an unearned run on no hits and a walk. He struck out three in his 2.1 innings. Jose Cordero pitched a perfect inning. The offense managed just two hits, singles from Paul Kelly and Erik Lis.
Saturday - Snappers 4, Lansing 3 (10) – Drew Thompson singled in the game-winning run in the 10th inning. He had two RBI on the day. Toby Gardenhire went 2-3. Oswaldo Sosa started for the Snappers and in seven innings, he gave up three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Alexander Smit struck out five over the next two innings. Yohan Pino got his sixth win with a two strikeout, shutout inning.
Sunday - Snappers 4, Lansing 8 – Ryan Mullins started and gave up four runs (3 earned) on seven hits and four walks in 3.2 innings. He struck out four. David Shinskie came in and allowed only a walk in 2.1 innings. He struck out four. Frank Mata went two innings and gave up a run. Jose Cordero then gave up three runs in his inning. Erik Lis and Edward Ovalle each went 2-3 with a walk. Toby Gardenhire and Juan Portes were each 2-4.
Friday - E-Twins, Bluefield – Rained Out.
Saturday - E-Twins 3, Pulaski 14 – JW Wilson led the way for the Twins going 3-4 with a homer and two RBI. Brian Dinkelman went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Josh Dean was 2-4. Brian Kirwin made his first start and went five innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out four. Then things went downhill. Aaron Craig came in and in 1.2 innings, he allowed seven runs (6 earned) on five hits and a walk. Brandon McConnell got out of that inning with one out. Walter Patton came in and gave up a hit and three walks, and all four scored without him getting an out. Patrick Bryant pitched an inning and gave up a run on two hits and two walks.
Sunday - E-Twins/Pulaski – Rained Out.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Friday - GCL Twins 2, GCL Pirates 5 – 1B Rodolfo Palacios had two of the Twins four hits on the game. He was 2-3 with a walk. Wilson Ramos hit a double. David Bromberg got the loss. He went two innings and gave up four runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out two. Bruno Sanchez went 2.2 innings and gave up an unearned run on four hits and two walks. Luis Carreras went 2.1 innings without giving up a run. Delaney struck out three over the final two innings.
Saturday - GCL Twins 2, GCL Red Sox 1 – Tyler Robertson started for the Twins and gave up just a run on four hits and a walk over four innings. He struck out four. Brad Tippett went the next four innings for the win. He gave up five hits, but no runs, and struck out four. Carlos Garcia went the final inning for the Save. He gave up a hit and walked two, but did not allow a run. Wilson Ramos went 2-3 with his fourth double and a triple. He is hitting .375/.375/.750 in the early goings. Joe Benson went 2-4 and is hitting .368.
Sunday - GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled.
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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