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    by 08-23-2012, 10:42 PM

    Scott Diamond had a rough first inning (33 pitches) before getting through a scoreless second. After Joe Mauer was plunked by Roy Oswalt, Diamond threw over Josh Hamilton’s head and was immediately ejected. Ron Gardenhire was also ejected.

    This put the Twins in a bad place. Anthony Swarzak got through the fifth and also gave up a few runs. Jeff Gray struck out two in two scoreless innings. Jared Burton came into a tie game in the 8th and promptly gave up the lead… and then the wheels fell off.
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    by 08-23-2012, 07:12 AM

    I was at the Rock Cats game this evening. It wasn't a great game for New Britain -- not nearly enough offense, and our pitchers had some trouble keeping the ball down. Terry Ryan was in attendance. I spoke to him for a few minutes, and it sounds like he plans to follow the team through its upcoming weekend series in New Hampshire, as we get closer to the date when a few players on this team might get a call-up to Minnesota (or, if the Rock Cats make the playoffs, after their playoff stint ends). Ryan was scoring the game and taking furious notes, but he was very nice in person and willing to chat between innings. Here's a rundown of tonight's minor league action:
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    by 08-23-2012, 03:16 AM
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    The Twins organization is filled with players from all over the globe. They scout the entire country, Canada and Puerto Rico for the draft. They’ve done a nice job signing international players in recent years. The Twins do a great job in Australia. They have players from Europe and talent from Taiwan. They have players from Central and South America, but also from South Africa.

    The last couple of seasons, the Twins have gone in a direction that is likely most rare. In the last two seasons, the Twins have signed four players out of the independent leagues. To this point, none of them have made it to the big leagues, and often, these players are not signed to get to the big leagues.
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    by 08-22-2012, 06:36 AM

    Brett Andersen made his first start in just over a year since he had Tommy John surgery, and the lefty was back in fine form. He gave up just one run on four hits and no walks in seven innings. Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect eighth. Then former Twins reliever Grant Balfour recorded his 12th save with a perfect ninth. In other words, the Twins offense just did not show up. Trevor Plouffe was again 0-4 and is now 2-29 in eight games since his return from the DL. Jamey Carroll was 0-3, and he now has one hit in his last 22 at bats over six games. Ryan Doumit is 3-22 in his last six games (yet still is hitting .290).
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    by 08-21-2012, 03:10 AM

    The Twins got big offense from their nine through four hitters and came away with a nice 7-1 win over the Oakland A’s, one of baseball’s hottest teams. Of course, the biggest story was the performance of Brian Duensing. The lefty gave up two runs (1 earned) in six innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven. Quite the improvement over his mid-July start against the A’s when he gave up six runs on seven hits (3 HR) in just two innings. Casey Fien pitched two scoreless innings in relief, followed by a scoreless ninth by Alex Burnett.

    As for the offense, #9 hitter Pedro Florimon went 3-3 with a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored. Leadoff man Ben Revere went 2-5. 2-hitter Darin Mastroianni was 2-3 with a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, two runs and two RBI. He also stole his 15th base. Joe Mauer went 3-5 with two RBI. Josh Willingham went 3-5 with a double and two RBI.
    Before the game was over, the team’s learned that the A’s had traded for Diamondbacks’ shortstop Stephen Drew who will improve the A’s.
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    by 08-19-2012, 09:46 PM

    The Twins fell to 50-70 on the season after a weekend sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners. On Sunday, Sam Deduno gave the Twins another Quality Start despite doing his best Deduno impersonation. The effectively wild righty gave up just two runs despite allowing five hits and walking six batters. He walked in the tying run and the go-ahead run scored on a double play. Jeff Gray pitched in the seventh inning and gave up three runs to put the game out of reach. Glen Perkins came in and struck out the side in the 8th inning. Ryan Doumit was the only played with two hits. Josh Willingham and Pedro Florimon each hit doubles.

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Sunday:
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    by 08-19-2012, 08:11 AM

    The new guys continued to impress in their second games with the Twins, and Scott Diamond put in another quality start, but on this night, there wasn’t enough offense and the team lost in walk-off fashion in the ninth.

    Scott Diamond started and gave up two runs on nine hits over 6.2 innings to keep his ERA below 3 (2.95). Alex Burnett got him out of the 7th, and Jared Burton worked a scoreless eighth frame. Tyler Robertson came out to start the ninth inning. He gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases. Casey Fien came in to try to get out of it, but John Jaso hit a sacrifice fly to end the game.
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    by 08-18-2012, 12:08 AM

    The Twins fell behind the Mariners early thanks to some more bad pitching by Nick Blackburn. John Jaso hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Miguel Olivo hit a hanging curveball. The Twins’ bats didn’t do much early either. After Felix Hernandez’s perfect game on Thursday, Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma was perfect through the first four innings. In the fifth frame, Justin Morneau led off with a double. A couple of batters later, Matt Carson came up and singled in Morneau to put the Twins on the board. Unfortunately, the Twins went behind 5-1 behind Blackburn which put the game out of reach. In the 8th inning, they still tried. Joe Mauer hit his eighth homer of the year to dead center. Josh Willingham came up next and drilled his 31st homer of the year to cut the lead to 5-3. However, that was it for the scoring and the Mariners picked up the win.

    The Twins played without the services of outfielders
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    by 08-16-2012, 07:13 AM

    It feels like almost every Wednesday night when I write this, the Twins have lost, or are in the process of losing. I didn't watch or follow today's game. It looked from the highlights like Max Scherzer had a pretty good day. Oh well. Let's take a look at tonight's minor league action.

    ROCHESTER 6, INDIANAPOLIS 2
    Esmerling Vasquez had a great game tonight, going 7 innings, allowing only 4 hits, striking out 10 and walking 2. Deolis Guerra pitched the remaining 2 innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. Guerra struck out 4 and allowed a home run.
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    by 08-16-2012, 03:28 AM
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    Despite being the Twins 1st round pick in the 2006 draft out of his school, it took until September of 2011 for his to become a household name among many Twins fans. After five seasons in the minor leagues, Parmelee was promoted directly from Double-A New Britain when the Rock Cats season ended just short of a playoff berth. Parmelee had put together a very strong second half for the Rock Cats, but no one could have imagined how well he played in September. He played nearly every day, 21 games in all, and hit .355/.443/.592 with six doubles, four homers and 14 RBI. In 88 plate appearances, he walked twice and struckout 13 times.

    Parmelee gives us a glimpse into why minor league numbers and statistics are secondary to player development.
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    by 08-15-2012, 10:46 PM

    Note: This is the last in a series of blog entries detailing my game experiences on a road trip to see all the Twins minor league affiliates in their home parks. For those interested, links to previous entries are listed at the end in chronological order.

    After a quiet day visiting one of the local state parks and catching a matinee I head out to Frontier Field again. This time it is a beautiful night for baseball and while I am sad that this is the last game of the trip I can’t think
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    by 08-14-2012, 10:18 PM

    Brian Duensing put the Twins in an early hole by giving up two runs in each of the first two innings but the Twins were able to make a game of it versus the Tigers. A big bottom of the third inning helped to even the score with Josh Willingham providing most of the damage with a 3-run home run, his 30th of the season. It is a new career high for Willingham and it breaks the previous record that he set last season with Oakland. Unfortunately, the Twins woudn't score again and the Tigers would come out on top in this game.

    Most of the minor league teams fared better than the Twins so let's take a trip through the minors on a Tuesday night.
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    by 08-14-2012, 01:39 PM

    In my fourth annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, which became available in January, I posted my Top 30 Twins Prospect list as well as my annual rankings back five or six years. I enjoy looking at those lists for a couple of reasons. First, it is humbling. No one will likely ever produce a top 10 list that is 100% accurate. Second, it’s a fun reminder of some of the names from the past that didn’t stick around or make it. Third, it’s just fun to review to see what I have learned since then.

    Today, I would like to take a look at my top 20 Twins prospects from before the season started and provide a quick update on how they’re doing. Some will move up, others will (or have) moved down. In parentheses, you will see where I ranked that player when I did an updated ranking before the June draft. In the comments, please feel free to discuss, but also feel free to post your updated Top 10 list as of now.
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    by 08-13-2012, 10:11 PM

    The beauty of baseball is many-fold. On any given night. You just never know. Teams need stars to play well over the course of a season to be successful. But on any given night, anyone can step up when you least expect it and help you to a win. On Monday night, Samuel Deduno was wild as ever, but he somehow managed to pitch into the 8th inning and gave the Twins offense an opportunity to work without being behind. Darin Mastroianni was in the lineup as Denard Span and his shoulder are day-to-day. He came through with a solo home run that gave the Twins a 2-1 lead. Later, he had a big two-run single that broke the game open. It was Ryan Doumit who put it out of reach when he blasted a three-run homer, his 13th of the year.

    It was a quiet night in the Twins farm system. New Britain, Ft. Myers and Eizabethton had scheduled nights off. The GCL Twins were rained out. There was some thunder in Beloit, but fortunately it was off the bats of two of their big boppers. And the Red Wings game came right down to the last at bat, an at bat by the guy that the Red Wings would want in that position. Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Monday night:

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