In 2011, the Rochester Red Wings won four more games than the previous year, but that also meant they had ost 90+ games in two consecutive seasons, the first time that had happened since 1903 & 1904. It was time for a change; manager Tom Nieto was let go and Gene Glynn was hired to take the job.
In Glynn's first season as manager, the Red Wings finished with a 72-72 record, their best finish since 2008. They'll try to further improve in 2013 with a mixture of prospects and players working their way back to the majors. Here's what you can expect from the 2013 Red Wings.
Rotation (With 2012 Team & Stats)
P.J. Walters – Rochester: 3-3 4.01 ERA 15 Walks 47 Strikeouts
Minnesota: 2-5 5.69 ERA 22 Walks 42 Strikeouts
Kyle Gibson – GCL Twins: 0-0 2.45 ERA 4 Walks 16 Strikeouts
Fort Myers: 0-0 2.57 ERA 1 Walk 7 Strikeouts
Rochester: 0-2 9.45 ERA 6 Walks 33 Strikeouts
Shairon Martis – Altoona 6-2 4.56 ERA 19 Walks 30 Strikeouts
New Britain: 1-1 5.68 ERA 5 Walks 11 Strikeouts
Indianapolis: 0-0 7.56 ERA 4 Walks 7 Strikeouts
Rochester: 4-3 5.22 ERA 17 Walks 39 Strikeouts
Pedro Hernandez – Birmingham: 7-2 2.75 ERA 18 Walks 37 Strikeouts
Charlotte: 1-0 3.71 ERA 3 Walks 17 Strikeouts
Rochester: 0-2 5.19 ERA 1 Walk 11 Strikeouts
Virgil Vasquez – Southern Maryland: 10-9 4.44 ERA 48 Walks 120 Strikeouts
It’s clear that that Kyle Gibson is the biggest name in the rotation. Currently listed as Baseball America
’s #4 prospect in the Twins system, Gibson is now almost two years removed from his Tommy John surgery. This season will be a true test to see if 2009's first round draft choice is going to be able to live up to expectations.
P.J. Walters will be the Wings opening day starter for the 2nd
year in a row, along with Martis and Vasquez, the 2013 starting rotation is arguably the strongest in the International League. According to manager Gene Glynn the closing role will consist of both Anthony Slama and Luis Perdomo, who each have experience pitching in the later innings.
Starting Lineup (With 2012 Team & Stats)
OF Clete Thomas - Rochester: .232 12 HR 47 RBI 15 SB 4 CS
C Chris Hermann – New Britain: .276 10 HR 61 RBI 91 Runs
OF Oswaldo Arcia – Fort Myers: .309 7 HR 31 RBI 22 Runs
New Britain: .328 10 HR 67 RBI 54 Runs
1B Chris Colabello – New Britain: .284 19 HR 98 RBI 78 Runs
3B Mark Sobolewski – New Hampshire: .262 18 HR 51 RBI 57 Runs
Las Vegas: .188 2 HR 8 RBI 12 Runs
OF Joe Benson – GCL Twins: .375 0 HR 0 RBI 1 Run
Fort Myers: .303 1 HR 8 RBI 7 Runs
New Britain .184 3 HR 20 RBI 13 Runs
Rochester: .179 2 HR 8 RBI 9 Runs
DH Brian Dinkelman – Rochester: .252 4 HR 32 RBI 32 Runs
2B Rey Olmedo – Charlotte - .273 0 HR 19 RBI 9 SB 3 CS
SS Doug Bernier – Scranton: .201 0 HR 10 RBI
The Red Wings currently have 3 catchers on their 25-man roster. Drew Butera is expected to be the starting catcher for opening day, but Chris Hermann should get at least half of the starts behind the plate. Also, on their current roster there is no listed player to play second; Rey Olmedo is my guess for who will be taking that role on a day-to-day basis. The Wings top five batters have a lot of pop in the bats; however 6-9 is where there could be an ongoing issue throughout the season.
The obvious pick would be Oswaldo Arcia, because it is the correct pick. Being the youngest player on the Red Wings squad, Arcia has thrived at every minor league level he’s played in. In 2012 between Fort Myers, and New Britain, Arcia hit .320 with 17 home runs and 98 RBI’s. Arcia drew comparisons of Bobby Abreu from his manager Gene Glynn who also called him, “one of those scary hitters. He deserves to be here, you can tell when he steps up to the plate he believes in himself, doesn’t matter who is pitching.”
The player to watch for out of the rotation though is Pedro Hernandez. With a career 5 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio it’s clear that control is one of the keys to his success. It wouldn’t be a surprise at the end of the season if Hernandez ends up with 12-14 wins with an ERA hovering in the 3.70 range.
If All Goes Well
Assuming there aren’t a lot of injuries, or drastic changes on the team (call-ups, send downs etc.) it would be no surprise to see the Red Wings contending for a wild card spot. Last season they were 7 games out of the wild card spot and 12 games out of the division.
Maybe I’m drinking the kool-aid on this team and the management, but an 80-64 record would not be outside of the realm of possibility and for the first time since 2006 they will be in the post season.
If All Falls Apart
Outside of drastic call ups or devastating injuries, the team is built for success. With Nick Blackburn, Rich Harden, Scott Diamond and Samuel Deduno on the DL to start the year, pitching could be where the Twins system has its most depth. The one flaw may be the offense; there isn’t a lot of speed on this team. There may be games where the hitters don’t hit and they lose 2-1 or 3-2 games, which could be a big concern. If the bats go cold, it doesn’t matter how good your pitching is, you will always need at least one run to win.