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After it was announced on Sunday that he'd been promoted to Double-A, 20-year-old Miguel Sano became the center of attention in the Twins' farm system. That lasted less than 24 hours.
On Monday afternoon, the Cedar Rapids Kernels -- Minnesota's Low-A Midwest League affiliate -- had their game televised on Fox Sports North. Although it was an off day for the Twins and the Kernels have numerous quality prospects on their roster, the real reason for this unusual occurrence was obvious.
The Twins dropped two of three in Washington over the weekend, widening their deficit in the AL Central to 7.5 games. For the big-league club, things are looking rather grim.
That was to be expected, however, and fortunately things are considerably brighter down on the farm, which is where fans should be focusing their attention for signs of positivity this year.
Immediately after slugging his 15th and 16th homers of the season for Ft. Myers
Who IS This Guy?
If you've been paying attention, you already know. Coming off an excellent junior season at Stanford University, Mark Appel was the consensus top pitching talent available in last year's draft, and was widely expected to go to the Houston Astros with the first pick.
The Astros decided to pass rather than facing the contract demands of Appel and his agent, Scott Boras. The Twins, and five other teams, did the same before the right-hander
On Sunday, the Minnesota Twins played their 54th game of the season, meaning that they are now officially one-third of the way through their 2013 schedule. This milestone presents a good opportunity to review what has taken place thus far. How has the season matched up to our expectations, and to the club's stated initiatives?
The most noticeable trait of this team has been the brutal starting pitching. Improving last year's horrendous rotation was frequently
Last year, Scott Diamond emerged from the wreckage of an awful rotation to establish himself as the unit's lone long-term building block. At the conclusion of the season, Terry Ryan was clear in stating that only Diamond was assured a spot among the 2013 starting five.
As it turned out, Diamond would not be a member of the Opening Day rotation this year, as his recovery from offseason elbow surgery stretched a bit longer than expected, but when he rejoined
Chris Parmelee offered Minnesota Twins fans a glimpse of his offensive ability on Monday in Milwaukee, when he launched a majestic, 420-foot home run to center field.
Unfortunately, those glimpses have been entirely too rare for the 25-year-old. The solo shot was just his fourth homer Ė and seventh extra-base hit Ė of the season, leaving him with a .215/.293/.331 hitting line. Thatís miserable production for a plodding right fielder whose value is tied almost
* Vance Worley made his first start for Class-AAA Rochester on Monday after being demoted last week. Facing Lehigh Valley, the Triple-A affiliate for his former organization, Worley delivered a five-hit shutout.
Before we go making proclamations about the Twins' Opening Day starter's ills being miraculously cured, it bears noting that his peripherals were less than stellar; he threw only 74 of 119 pitches for strikes and issued four walks against four strikeouts. Really, the biggest
Even before his three-hit shutout on Sunday, I felt that the time had come to promote Kyle Gibson to major leagues. The Twins seemingly positioned themselves to do so Monday when they announced the removal of Pedro Hernandez from the rotation, opening up Friday's start for the taking. But on Tuesday the club ended any such speculation by informing that Samuel Deduno will be the one to get the nod.
Even as a confirmed Gibsonite, I can't feign to be overly
Who IS This Guy?
He might have the highest ceiling of any pitching prospect in this year's draft class. A few years ago Sean Manaea was a raw high school kid with bad grades and no first-round aspirations, but now at age 21 he's in the conversation to become the first lefty pitcher drafted No. 1 overall since David Price in 2007.
At 6'5" and 230 lbs, Manaea has the ability to reach the mid-90s from the left side, making him a rare specimen. He
Mike Berardino, the excellent new beat writer for the Pioneer Press, linked to a new story on Wednesday with an amusing teaser: "Attention Gibsonites: Kyle Gibson takes a step back at Rochester."
Gibsonites. I like it. And itís a label Iíll proudly wear because, from my view, it seems obvious that Gibson should be on the major-league roster by now.
Yes, it's true. The right-hander had a poor outing on Wednesday. The Twins are of course no strangers
After finishing the month of April ranked near the bottom of the American League in most categories, the Twinsí offense has undergone a stunning turnaround here in May, where they led the league in scoring through Tuesday. Prior to Wednesday's loss to the White Sox, the Twins had averaged 6.2 runs per game this month and had crossed the plate five or more times in eight of their past nine games.
A sleeping beast awakened, indeed.
Can this unit continue to excel and help
Kyle Gibson is anxious to finally reach the big leagues, and he's currently making a strong case in Triple-A with a 3.32 ERA and 1.16 WHIP through seven starts. His most recent outing was his most impressive: a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts, two walks and four hits.
Gibson is on an innings limit this year and has already logged 40 innings in Rochester, increasing the urgency to call him up soon so he can spend time adjusting to the majors,
Like a car engine struggling on an icy day, the Twins' lineup had a tough time revving up during the chilly month of April. Ambitious thoughts about the potential for an offensive core powered by numerous potent bats went wayward as the runs trickled in at a disappointing pace.
The Twins finished the season's first month ranking near the bottom of the league in OPS and runs scored. This, at least for me, was somewhat jarring, because from my standpoint they didn't appear to be overmatched.
You've probably heard the story by now. On the very day that Vance Worley was told by Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that he'd been traded from the Phillies to the Minnesota Twins, the 25-year-old pitcher had been planning to pick up an engagement ring from the jeweler so that he could propose to his girlfriend.
Worley, who had just signed a lease for a new house in South Jersey nearby Philly, suddenly had his entire life uprooted. He would