Thursday, July 6, 2006
Twins Minor League Reports
Good morning, ya'll! Today is going to be another quick one. Lots going on. I recorded my interview with the Minnesota Twins Fan Network. The podcast will be posted late on Friday evening, so it should be there when you wake up on Saturday morning! Please stop by the site and check out some of the previous shows.
Today, I just have a few Twins thoughts followed by the evening in the Twins minor league system. If you have any thoughts, please feel free to e-mail me or leave some Comments below. Also, if you have any questions for me, ask them in the Comments over via e-mail and I will try to respond to you in a semi-timely manner.
The Twins will have another off-day today before heading down to Texas to play three games against the Rangers.
So, what do we make of the Twins losing two out of three to the Royals? I think it says a couple of things. First, we can not make too much of it. As I have said before, The Twins will lose games. They can't keep winning 19 out of 21 all season. Also, the Royals are going to win games. They have already won 29 games, and they will win more. However, remember how the Twins made up just a game or so during their winning stretch? Well, they have now fallen back 1.5 games over the last two days. I think that with the Twins being such a young team, there will be struggles, especially when pressure builds. They're be fine though. Any time that Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano or Brad Radke is starting, they will have a shot to win.
Obviously the big news was that Boof Bonser was sent down to Rochester. The big decision that needs to be made before Friday's game is who the team will recall from Rochester to take his spot. Here are some thoughts:
Option #1 - Scott Baker is throwing very well down at Rochester. After his Win last night, he is now 3-2 with a 2.92 ERA at Rochester.
Option #2 - The Twins could put Kyle Lohse back in the starting rotation and recall a reliever, namely Pat Neshek. The Twins would do so in the hopes that Lohse would have two or three good starts before the July 31st trade deadline and they could trade him. After throwing three perfect innings last night for his 14th save of the year, Neshek's ERA is at 1.95. In 60 AAA innings, he has 14 walks and 87 strikeouts. He should have been recalled long ago.
Option #3 - With the All-Star break and off-days, the Twins say they will not need their fifth starting pitcher until July 17th. It is possible that they could decide to call up an additional hitter for the next ten days. I don't think this is a realistic option.
Which option would I pick? I would go with Option #4. I would keep Lohse in the bullpen and demote Willie Eyre to AAA. I would then recall both Scott Baker (to start) and Pat Neshek (for the bullpen).
I thought that Jason Bartlett was supposed to be a liability at SS. Last night, he had at least three Web Gems! On one play, he ranged far to his right for a ball and threw a perfect strike to 1B for the out. A couple of batters later, he went far up the middle and dove to keep a ball in the infield to save a run. An inning later, he ranged far to his left, dove, got up and threw a rocket to 1B to record the out. Oh, he was also 2-3 with a walk.
Hey, if you're looking for another way to tell us that Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel have been the Twins top hitters, check out Stick & Ball Guy's Base Runs stat.
Last night, Matt Garza threw eight shutout innings against New Hampshire, the AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. He allowed five singles. In his first AA outing, Garza went 7.2 shutout innings against New Hampshire. So, that is 15.2 shutout innings against them. Not too shabby!
I am certain that Joe Mauer is the best defensive catcher in baseball. He calls a good game, sets up well and blocks most balls in the dirt. Last night was not his best defensive performance. In the first inning, Jason Kubel threw a perfect one-hopper to Mauer at home which would easily beat the runner, but it got by Mauer. In the 7th inning, with the score tied, he did not get down and block a fastball in the dirt that allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Mauer's two-run single to tie the score at three was one of the strangest things I have seen. Mauer does not go out of of the strike zone very often. However, he fouled off a ball on the previous 3-2 pitch, and then his single came on a pitch that may have bounced before it got to the catcher. In seeing the replay, it was very much an Ichiro swing.
Would you trade Kyle Lohse to the Brewers, a team in need of a back of the rotation starter, straight up for Corey Hart? I definitely would, but I don't think that the Brewers would be willing to do that. That could help solve the Twins 3B problems for the next several seasons.
Brad Weiss of scout.com wrote a very nice piece on JD Durbin naming him as one of the Top Twins Minor League stories of the season so far.
By the way, keep voting for Francisco Liriano for the final AL All-Star roster spot!
The Sporting News named its Midseason All Stars and FOUR Twins made the roster. Check it out because I think that two of them will really surprise you.
Last night, Joe Mauer was 1-3 with a walk. He now has an eight game hitting streak during which time he is 17-31 (.548).
Justin Morneau had a double in four at bats to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. He is hitting .458 (22-48).
Since going 4-4 last Friday in his first game back with the Twins, Shannon Stewart has gone 2 for 14 (.143).
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Royals, or anything else? If so, send me an e-mail, or post some Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Matt Tolbert, New Britain Rockcats
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Matt Garza, New Britain Rockcats
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Wednesday - Red Wings 5, Pawtucket 3 – If this is the final AAA appearance for either Scott Baker or Pat Neshek, they went out very well. Scott Baker started and went six innings. He gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out four. But Neshek was as dominant as ever. He went three perfect innings, striking out four for his 14th save. He threw just 38 pitches, and 26 of them went for strikes. On offense, Rondell White went 2-4 with his first home run of the season. Jason Tyner went 2-3 with his fifth triple. Garrett Jones was 2-4 with his 19th double.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday - Rockcats 7, New Hampshire 0 – Matt Garza owns New Hampshire. On this day, he scattered five singles over eight shutout innings. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter. Levale Speigner gave up a hit in his shutout frame. Matt Tolbert, the organization's choice for Minor League Player of the Month, went 3-4 with a walk, a double and two RBI. Danny Matienzo went 2-5 with his 10th homer and two RBI. Trent Oeltjen was 2-5 with his ninth double and 17th stolen base.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday - Miracle 4, Tampa 10 - Justin Jones had a very nice start, but it was all for naught thanks to his bullpen. Jones started and gave up two runs (just one earned) on six hits and a walk in six innings. Danny Powers came in and got just one out. He gave up four runs on four hits. Ryan Callahan went the final 1.2 innings, and he gave up four runs on six hits and a walk. Brock Peterson and Deacon Burns were both 2-4. Burns stole his 13th base. Brandon Roberts was 2-5 with his ninth double and two RBI. He stole his 29th base of the year. Alexi Casilla was 1-3 with two walks and his 29th steal. David Winfree was 1-3 but hit his third homer.
Wednesday - Snappers 4, South Bend 0 – Ryan Mullins put together a start that I thought we would see more of this season. The tall lefty went all nine innings. He threw a four hit shutout. He walked one and struck out six to improve to 2-3 on the year. Eli Tintor went 2-4 with his ninth double and an RBI. Mark Robinson was 2-4. Whit Robbins was 1-3 with his fifth double and a walk.
Wednesday - E-Twins 8, Burlington 7 – Jose Lugo went six strong innings to improve to 2-1 on the year. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on five hits and two walks. He struck out six. Matt Fox went the next two innings and gave up a run on three hits. With a four run lead, Danny Hernandez came in for the ninth. He gave up two hits and walked two without recording an out. Two runs scored. Matt Williams got the final three outs. Jeff Christy went 2-5 with three RBI. JW Wilson and Danny Santiesteban were each 2-5 as well. Santiesteban had a double.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Wednesday - GCL Twins, GCL Reds – No Box Score Available.
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.
Let me know what you think. Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here. That is it for today!|
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