Yesterday was one of the better days the Twins organization has experienced in the last year. They followed that up with a day that ranks somewhere near the bottom.
The Twins, attempting to sweep the Brewers in Milwaukee for the first time in over thirty years, fell flat on their face, mostly thanks to the right arm of Jason Marquis. While Mauer collecting four hits and Butera impressing in a relief appearance were both silver linings, many of us are left wondering: What is the next (or correct) step to take with Marquis? Suffice it to say that not only is Marquis’ rotation spot in jeopardy, but so is his roster spot… and, to be honest, his future as a major league baseball player.
Unfortunately, the farm system experienced an equally dismal day.
A quick spin around Sunday’s action:
ROCHESTER 1, GWINNETT 2
Luke French battled through 5 1/3, allowing six hits, two earned runs, a walk and two strikeouts. Lester Oliveros – who was recently promoted after dominating in New Britain– accounted for two outs (one strikeout). Matt Maloney finished the game with three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. It was believed that Maloney would eventually join Rochester’s rotation, so this appears to be the first step of stretching him out.
Wilkin Ramirez is gaining a lot of notice as he continues to swing a hot bat after his promotion. After going 2-for-4 with a double today, he has hit safely in all six of his AAA games, including four multi-hit games. Ramirez is still relatively young (26), so as the Twins continue to look towards the future, there is a good chance Ramirez will be given a chance to prove his worth.
Danny Valencia, Clete Thomas and Matt Carson each added one hit.
NEW BRITAIN 4, READING 10
Brad Thompson made his first Double-A start since 2004 and it was a forgettable one. In 2 1/3 innings, Thompson allowed seven hits, five runs (four earned) without striking out any. Brett Jacobson entered in the third and put up similar numbers – six hits, five runs (three earned) – but lasted 3 1/3 innings and struck out three, walking one. Blake Martin pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, scattering three hits and a walk, but not allowing any runs while striking out one.
The bats didn’t offer much support. Deibinson Romero and Evan Bigley each had two hits.
A couple of things worth noting:
Joe Benson has not played since homering Friday night. No word on injury or otherwise.
Aaron Hicks went 1-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, driving in two runs, but was lifted in-between innings after his double. No word on Hicks either.
Former Red Wing/Twin Juan Morillo pitched against the Rockcats in relief today. He was up to his old tricks – he struck out one and walked two. He now has eight Ks in eight innings, to go with his seven hits and 23(!) walks.
FT. MYERS 2, BREVARD COUNTY 13
Another report; another loss. The Miracle took one on the chin this afternoon to the tune of 13-2. They only managed three hits: doubles by Danny Ortiz and Oswaldo Arcia and an Anderson Hidalgo single.
Levi Michael is 3-for-24 (.125) over his last seven games. Lance Ray is 2-for-27 (.074) since being named FSL’s player of the week last week. Angel Morales is 4-for-38 (.105) with 15 Ks over his last ten games. The bats, as they say, have gone cold.
Miguel Munoz started and lasted three innings. He gave up six hits, four earned runs, two walks and a strikeout. Cole Nelson relieved him and went 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and five earned runs. He did manage to strike out six batters though. Bruce Pugh allowed two unearned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Ricky Bowen struck out two in a perfect eighth.
BELOIT 0, BURLINGTON 12
…and the worst for last.
The Snappers were blanked by the Bees and it was gut-wrenching ugly. Tim Shibuya (7 ER, 4.1 IP), David Hurlbut (2 UER, 1.2 IP) and Bart Carter (2 ER, 2 IP) were all bad.
The bats were just as bad (if not worse): Miguel Sano (0-4, 3 K) and Eddie Rosario (1-3, 2 K) contributed very little to a 5-hit attack (J.D. Williams had two hits). The Snappers only had one batter reach second base… and that happened in the first inning.
And as bad as both the pitching and hitting was, the defense may have been worse! Sano (12), Tyler Grimes (11), Rosario (9) and Drew Leachman (2) all added to their already-high number of errors.
Players of the Day for Sunday, May 20, 2012
Pitcher of the Day – Matt Maloney
Hitter of the Day – Aaron Hicks
A Look Ahead – Monday, May 21, 2012 Schedule
Rochester vs Gwinnett – RHP Jeff Manship (3-1, 3.48)
New Britain at Reading - RHP Steve Hirschfeld (2-4, 3.28) *assumed, no listed starter
Ft. Myers at Brevard County – RHP Jhon Garcia (0-5, 4.01) *assumed, no listed starter
Beloit at Burlington – LHP Jason Wheeler (4-1, 2.86)
If you have any questions on the Twins minor league system, players, teams, etc., leave them in the Comments and we’ll try to answer them! Comments also welcome.