Monday, August 8, 2005
Twins Minor League Report
Good Monday morning everyone! I hope you had a good, relaxing one. Hey, the Twins won two of three against the Red Sox, so that's good. I have a few thoughts on that, as well as some impressive pitching performances in the Twins minor leagues. So, it'll be a quick update today. Thank you for stopping by the site and be sure to tell everyone about it!! :) Thanks!
Before we get started, here are two quick notes I made on Saturday on the site, in case you missed them:
Update2 - About 1:35 on Saturday afternoon, I called in to XM Satellite radio's Baseball Channel (Home Plate). There was a segment featuring Baseball America's John Manuel. My question: "Outside of Felix Hernandez, is Francisco Liriano the best pitching prospect in all of baseball?" He responded that he certainly is the hottest. He commented on things that Buffalo's hitters were saying after Liriano's 7 inning, 1 hit, 13 strikeout performance. He was hitting 96 consistently with the fastball along with 87-88 on the slider and a great changeup. He had him ranked 16 (he thought) in Baseball America's midseason Top 25 prospect update.
Update - I have just received another small shipment of SethSpeaks.net t-shirts, tank tops and caps. If you're at all interested, please check out the SethSpeaks Shop.
Also, I have made a few comments on the Dickie Thon Twins fan forum over the weekend. I would encourage you to check out their site and feel free to participate. It is a very Twins-educated crowd there! I commented in the Minor League Forum on Pat Neshek and Francisco Liriano.
Well, the Twins were able to win a series against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Here are some thoughts from the games.
Friday night, the Twins won 12-0. It was finally a bust out game for the offense after week upon week of little run support. Brad Radke was finally the recipient of the runs, but he earned his win by throwing seven shutout innings against the strong Red Sox lineup. He gave up just four hits and a walk. Brad Radke deserves so much credit and sadly, he does not get all that he deserves!
The Red Sox helped the Twins with seven throwing errors on the weekend.
I was thrilled to see JC Romero give up a couple more runs on Sunday afternoon. He walked two and gave up two hits. Thankfully his own ERA dropped, not another reliever's! He even gave up a home run! Unfortunately, the home run was given up to my least favorite player in all baseball, Manny Ramirez who gave even more reason to dislike him. After connecting on the long home run ball to right, he stood and watched it before walking down the line. It came a pitch after Romero almost drilled him in the head with a fastball. Romero also got on Edgar Renterria who did not score from second base on a Ramirez single. Like Ramirez is someone who should be riding anyone on hustling. At one point, Romero allowed nine straight batters to reach base, over three games. See below for some statistical proof of how horrible he really is, at pitching, that is!
Joe Mauer is awesome! He continues to hit and call great games behind the plate!
Matt Guerrier deserves a lot more credit than he is getting. See below for a look at some more of the reliever's numbers.
Any questions about Michael Cuddyer anymore? Well, besides, is he healthy? He went in for an MRI on his knee. Let's just hope it is not torn!
Friday night, Lew Ford reminded us all of why we are so high on him. 3-5 with a triple at the plate to go with three web gems, including a leaping catch to rob a homer.
Speaking of defense in the outfield, how about Shannon Stewart's mental lapse in the first inning of Sunday's game? He caught a ball along the foul line for the 2nd out of the inning. He thought it was the third out, so he flipped the ball into the stands. Oops! It caused another run to score. That is taught in Little League. You should always know how many outs there are. Always! However, Joe Mays deserved it! Why???
Joe Mays was horrible again on Sunday! Horrible. Right from the start. Somehow, he lasted 4.2 innings, but he gave up eight runs (7 earned) on 13 hits). Did I say, 'In 4.2 innings.' Scott Baker anyone? I'm just saying!
Good to see Jason Bartlett get a couple of hits on Sunday. I'm very glad Gardy has stuck with him.
Why is Nick Punto playing so much? What has he done in the last month to earn it? Why not Luis Rodriguez, who can actually hit and walk, and not strike out looking what seems like every other at bat!?
OK, here are those bullpen numbers I wanted to share (From Baseball Prospectus):
ERA InhRun FRA ARP VORP How Underrated
Joe Nathan 2.89 0/2 2.91 9.3 (64) 14.3 0.3
Juan Rincon 2.82 3/18 2.81 11.8 (36) 13.1 4.8
JC Romero 3.27 16/34 5.54 -4.9 (354) 8.2 -8.4
Jesse Crain 2.94 8/29 2.41 14.6 (20) 12.8 7.9
Matt Guerrier 2.84 3/16 2.77 11.1 (42) 13.9 2.7
Terry Mulholland 5.60 5/18 5.66 -3.2 (316) -1.1 3.4
So, what do these numbers tell us? Well, Romero has allowed 47% of inherited runners to score. He is the only one really struggling with that at this point. I don't really know what FRA is, or what it stands for. It is a better look at a reliever's performance because inherited runs hurt them. What it shows is that the other Twins relievers are about where they should be, except Romero. Actually, Jesse Crain is performing even better than his ERA would tell us. ARP is Adjusted Runs Prevented. I just know that the bigger the number, the better. I also included where each pitcher ranks against all pitchers is the entire major leagues. Again, Crain is doing terrific (despite the lack of strikeouts!). Matt Guerrier should be pitching FAR more than he is! Juan Rincon is doing just great! This is another stat showing just how pathetic JC Romero and Terry Mulholland have been. VORP is Value Over Replacement Player is another statistic showing how much better a player is compared to an average replacement player. Again, Joe Nathan, Juan Rincon, Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain are doing great! I am almost surprised with how Guerrier stacks up. They then have another statistic, that I know nothing about, that basically shows how underrated a pitcher is. As you can see, Crain is very underrated and Romero is completely overrated.
I'm not sure why I point out these statistics, other than to prove to people around the world just how bad JC Romero is as well as that Matt Guerrier should be used a bunch more!
Tonight, the Twins will be playing in Seattle against the Mariners in a three game series. We all know how we feel about these west coast trips. Late games in Minnesota. Games that don't start until after nine at night! Uggh! However, that's how it works. If the Twins want any of us to believe that they have any chance left, they really need to sweep the series.
Tonight, Carlos Silva will take on Gil Meche. Meche is 10-8 but his ERA is above 5 and his WHIP is 1.54. Silva has been far better and deserves to have more wins. Sure, John Kruk told us yet again on Baseball Tonight that Wins are the most important statistic for a pitcher, but that is just more proof that John Kruk is an idiot when it comes to it!
I am excited to see the Tuesday night pitching matchup. Well, Kyle Lohse is pitching for the Twins, which is rarely a positive, but Felix Hernandez will be throwing for the Mariners. The fireballing righty turned 19 years old on the third day of the season. He has a big time fastball to go with a great changeup and a slider that the team has only recently started allowing him to use. I look forward to seeing him! I wrote a posting on Hernandez back in February, on whether he should have made the Mariners' opening day roster.
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Red Sox, the Mariners or anything baseball. Feel free to e-mail me.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Roger posted his Weekly Minor League Review over at Twins Territory. He has added a "Feature Player of the Week" for each affiliate which is very interesting to read.
Congratulations to Nick Blackburn. The 23 year old was the Twins 29th round pick in 2001 out of Seminole State College. Coming into this season, Blackburn had been 14-19 in his minor league career. He became an All-Star at Ft. Myers. Spent just a month at AA New Britain where he was 1-3 with a 2.64 ERA, and now he will start for the Red Wings on Tuesday. It is uncertain how long his stay in Rochester will be. Both JD Durbin and Dave Gassner have arm injuries, so it could be just one start, or he could stick around there.
ROCHESTER RED WINGS
Friday - RED WINGS 5, Buffalo 1- Boof Bonser picked up his 10th win of the season (10-6, 4.00 ERA) with a very solid six inning performance. He allowed one run on one hit and a walk. He also increased his International League strikeout lead with nine on the game. Willie Eyre threw two scoreless innings, and Beau Kemp struck out two in a shutout ninth frame. Luis Rivas went 2-4 with his sixth double. Chris Heintz hit his eighth home run and drove in three runs.
Saturday - RED WINGS 4, Ottawa 10 - Henry Bonilla got another spot start and went five innings. He gave up three runs on nine hits and a walk. After that, the bullpen (Brent Schoening, Ricky Barrett and Jason Miller) gave up seven runs in just three innings. Brian Buchanan picked up his first two hits for the team, and a walk. Garrett Jones went 2-4. Jason Tyner was 2-5.
Sunday - RED WINGS 12, Ottawa 11 - Travis Bowyer has been dominant all season, but even he needed some help on this day to preserve a Twins win. Scott Baker started and gave up four runs (3 earned) on nine hits, a walk and two hit batters in 6.2 innings. He improves to 5-6 with a 2.83 ERA. Beau Kemp came in and gave up 3 runs in 1.1 innings. Bowyer then came in for an inning of work in the ninth, but he gave up four runs on five hits in 2/3 of an inning. Willie Eyre came in to get the last out and hit 6th save. Luis Maza led the offense with a 3-5 day. He hit his sixth double, his fourth and fifth home runs and drove in four runs. Brian Buchanan was 2-4 with a double, a homer and 2 RBI. Garrett Jones was 2-5 with his 18th double and 3 RBI. Brent Abernathy was 2-4 to increase his average to .327. Kevin West was 2-5 with his 24th double. Corky Miller was 1-2 with a walk and his 8th home run.
NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS
Friday - ROCKCATS 9, Trenton 7 - The bats definitely showed up for the Rockcats and the bullpen did a nice job to preserve a win. Jim Abbott started and gave up seven runs on six hits and two walks in just five innings. Daylon Childress gave up a hit and a walk, but no runs, in 2.2 innings. Kevin Cameron got the final out of the 8th, the Rockcats came back and he got the win. Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless ninth for his 17th save.
Saturday - ROCKCATS 4, Trenton 7 - Glen Perkins' AA experience has been quite the roller coaster. It seems that he alternates good starts with poor starts. This was one of the poor starts. In four innings, he allowed six runs (5 earned) on seven hits and three walks to fall to 2-3. Matt Yeatman came in and allowed a couple of Perkins' runners to score, but he went three innings and gave up just a run. John Thomas pitched a scoreless inning. Then Jannio Gutierrez came up from Ft. Myers and he pitched a scoreless ninth inning which included two strikeouts.
Sunday - ROCKCATS 2, Trenton 4 - The offense just didn't show up as they were able to muster just four hits. Tommy Watkins went 1-3 with the two RBI. Justin Olson falls to 8-8 as he gave up four runs (3 earned) in four innings. He gave up five hits and two walks, but he did strike out seven. Kevin Cameron then struck out seven in his four innings of two-hit ball. Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
FT MYERS MIRACLE
Friday - Game 1 - MIRACLE 4, Jupiter 2 - Jay Rainville, I think it's fair to say, has separated himself from the rest of the 2004 drafted pitchers. On this day, he worked a complete game (7 innings because of the doubleheader). He gave up two runs on seven hits for his third Miracle win and his 11th overall of the season. Offensively, the highlight was Scott Whitrock who went 2-3 with his 12th homer.
Friday - Game 2 - MIRACLE 3, Jupiter 0 - In Game 2, the story was pitching again. Scott Tyler was coming off the disabled list and threw three 1-hit innings. Tristan Crawford then pitched four perfect innings to finish the shutout. For the offense, Angelo Fermin went 3-3 with two doubles. Jose Leger was 1-2 with two RBI.
Saturday - MIRACLE 4, Dunedin 3 - My man Trent Oeltjen led the offense with a 4-5 day. He had a double and 3 RBI and is now hitting .284 on the year. Ron Perodin went 3-3. Jose Leger went 2-4 with a double. Justin Jones had his first off-start since his return from injury. He gave up three runs on six hits and four walks in 4.2 innings. He did strikeout five. Josh Gray pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, and Julio DePaula went two scoreless frames.
Sunday - MIRACLE 2, Dunedin 5 - Anthony Swarzak came back with a very nice start after somewhat struggling of late. In six innings, he gave up just a run on seven hits. Jan Granado took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in two innings. Peter Tautor pitched a perfect ninth. The Miracle bats did not work this day as they had just six singles.
Friday - SNAPPERS 3, West Michigan 2 - Beloit had nine hits to West Michigan's two, but walks do come back to haunt. Kyle Aselton pitched six innings and gave up the three runs (2 earned) on just one hit. He struck out nine. The problem is that he also walked five hitters. Jeremy Pickrel, Trevor Plouffe and Johnny Woodard each went 2-4.
Saturday - SNAPPERS 7, West Michigan 0 - Kevin Slowey was the Twins 2nd round pick in June. You have to wonder why he went so late after seeing his performance to start his pro career. Last night was the best start of the year, almost Liriano-like. Slowey got the first 26 batters out, only to see a bloop single with two outs in the bottom of the 9th end his no-hit bid. He struck out the next batter and ended with a one-hit complete game shutout. He struck out ten batters and walked none. Offensively, Deacon Burns went 2-4 with a walk and his ninth homer of the year. He drove in three runs. Dwayne White went 1-2 with two walks.
Sunday - SNAPPERS 0, West Michigan - Kyle Waldrop's struggles continue. In five innings, he gave up four runs on ten hits. Of course, he walked none. John Williams then gave up an unearned run in two innings. Kevin Culpepper struck out two in a perfect ninth frame. Javi Sanchez and Landon Burt were each 2-4.
Friday - E-Twins 5, Kingsport 4 - Alexander Smit improves to 5-1 with a 2.70 ERA by pitching three relief innings without allowing a run and striking out six. Adam Hawes had started and gave up two runs over six innings. He walked none and struck out eight. Tim Lahey then came in for his 12th save, despite allowing two runs (1 earned) in his inning. Juan Portes went 2-4 with a triple and five RBI. Yancarlos Ortiz went 2-5. Mark Robinson went 2-4 with a walk. Edward Ovalle went 2-4 with his ninth double.
Saturday - E-Twins 9, Pulaski 6 - The offense came to play again on this night. Edward Ovalle led by going 3-4 with a walk and his sixth homer. Yancarlos Ortiz went 2-5 with a double. Nathan Bensko was 2-5 with his second homer. Juan Portes and Toby Gardenhire were both 2-4, while Travis Kalin was 2-5. Brian Duensing improved to 2-2. He gave up three runs on six hits and three walks in just five innings. He struck out five. Armando Gabino and Ryan Gehring each gave up a run in an inning. Joe Gault came back from injury and walked one guy, hit another and threw two wild pitches. Then he was removed. Danny Powers pitched the final two innings without allowing a run for his third save.
Sunday - E-Twins 6, Pulaski 2 - Yohan Pino improves to 7-1 with six strong innings. He gave up one run on seven hits and four walks (5 strikeouts). Yancarlos Ortiz went 2-5. Jilmer Arratia went 2-2 with his first homer of the season. Matt Betsill went 2-4.
GULF COAST TWINS
Friday - GCL Twins 0, GCL Reds 1 - Not much offense for the GCL Twins in this one. But on the positive side, they got some excellent pitching. Another 2004 draft pick, Jeff Schoenbachler, gave up no runs on two hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out nine. John Williams, another 2004 draft pick, struck out two without allowing a run in his inning. Jose Cordero gave up the lone run in the ninth.
Saturday - GCL Twins 1, GCL Reds 5 - Another game with little offense, only Paul Kelly and Marion Knowles had a hit. Kyle Edlich took his first loss by giving up three runs (just one earned) on five hits and a walk. Aaron Craig then gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits. He struck out four. Pat Bryant struck out three of the four batters he faced, and got out.
Sunday - GCL Twins - No Gulf Coast League games scheduled on Sundays.
On that note, I am going to call it a day! I hope everyone has a great week! As always, please feel free to e-mail me your thoughts on the Twins, the minor leagues, or anything you would like to discuss.
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