• Twins Minor League Report: Miracle Stay Perfect

    The baseball games tonight give us a chance to clear our minds from the devastating news out of Boston. For those of you living in the nightmare, I think I can speak for everybody at TwinsDaily - creators, writers and readers - that our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

    For as exciting (or depressing) as baseball can be, it's still just a game. But in tonight's game, Twins fans were excited to see Oswaldo Arcia make his major league debut. He didn't disappoint, ripping the second pitch he saw down the right-field line and alertly took second base on Josh Hamilton's error.
    In the 5th, he took a Michael Roth pitch deep to left-center, only to have Mike Trout and his super-powers catch it on the warning track. He also dropped a routine flyball, but, hey, it was his first game. The Twins, who ended their losing streak thanks to a great outing from Kevin Correia tonight, will have an interesting decision to make when the roster needs tinkering again.



    Let's look at what happened on the farm tonight:

    Fort Myers Miracle 4, Palm Beach Cardinals 1
    Box Score

    The Miracle extended their season-opening winning streak to 11 games. I'm starting to get the feeling that Doug Mientkiewicz is the greatest manager in the history of baseball... or he at least has to have the best winning percentage.

    Tonight's win was brought to you buy The Bottom of the Order. Lance Ray, Jonathan Goncalves, Kyle Knudson and Stephen Wickens combined to go 9-for-12 with all four runs, three RBI, and a triple (Goncalves).

    And, of course, a courtesy Miguel Sano mention: 1-for-3 with a walk and strikeout... and his third error of the season.

    Tom Stuifbergen was great - 7.2 innings, four hits, one run and three strikeouts. Corey Williams came in with the tying runner on in the eighth, got the out and then recorded three more for his fourth save of the season.

    One Miracle player, who shall remain nameless, told me after win #10 that the "scary thing is... the team could play better." It's going to continue to be an exciting season.

    Jason Wheeler (1-0, 5.63) gets the afternoon start for the Miracle tomorrow.

    New Britain RockCats 5, New Hampshire FisherCats 3
    Box Score

    The RockCats got a phenomenal start from southpaw Logan Darnell, helping the team climb back over .500 after losing their last two.

    Darnell went 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and only giving up a lone run to pick up his first win of the year. Aaron Thompson made his season debut getting four outs (two on strikeouts) before Bobby Lanigan got roughed up a little in the ninth (allowed two runs and the tying runner to get to the plate).

    Michael Tonkin came in, threw one pitch and got the game's final out on a grounder to the second baseman James Beresford.

    The bats were alive... and full of singles. Only one (Reynaldo Rodriguez, double) of the 11 hits went for extra bases. Luckily, six of those hits came in the sixth inning where the RockCats scored all five of their runs.

    Danny Santana, Nate Hanson, Jason Christian and James Beresford all had two hits.

    Trevor May (0-1, 3.00) will make the start tomorrow night.

    Rochester Red Wings 1, Scranton/WB RailRiders 10
    Box Score

    Rochester dropped to 2-9, which is the franchise's worst start in at least the last 45 years.

    P.J. Walters made it through six innings. He struck out five, but also gave up 13 hits (!) and five earned runs. Michael O'Connor was the only reliever to pitch an inning without giving up a run. Bruce Pugh gave up four runs. Daniel Turpen gave up one.

    Joe Benson was the offense's headliner with three hits and a stolen base. The team scattered ten hits, but were a Twins-like 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. One the season, the Red Wings are 15-for-91 (.164) with RISP. Not quite Hicksian, but disgustingly bad for sure.

    Kyle Gibson (0-1, 5.79) will hope to get the team's third win tomorrow.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 2, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 14
    Box Score

    Well, the ugly stick hit the Kernels tonight on their return to Cedar Rapids.

    Of note, Oswaldo Arcia's brother, Orlando, who plays for Wisconsin went 0-for-6 as the only Timber Rattler without a hit.

    Byron Buxton went 1-for-2 (.441) with his 4th stolen base of the year.

    Adam Walker, who hit 14 home runs last year for Elizabethton, hit his 1st of the year.

    Dalton (D.J.) Hicks, who earlier in the day was named Midwest Player of the Week, homered for his third time of the year.

    David Hurlbut took the loss, giving up three runs in five innings.

    Matt Tomshaw gave up six earned runs and got four outs. Josue Montanez got five outs and gave up five unearned runs.

    The Kernels will play a doubleheader tomorrow and it appears that Taylor Rogers (0-0, 0.00) and Brett Lee (1-0, 0.00 in two bullpen appearances) will get the starting nods.

    If you have any questions, comments or anything else you want to get off of your chest, you can leave a comment below or tweet me @jeremynygaard.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report: Miracle Stay Perfect started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Another excellent report.

      The poor start in Rochester is worrysome. I wonder if the contract will be renewed there if the team keeps losing.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      It's not worrisome from the Twins standpoint. They aren't winning, but development of the few prospects that are on the roster is really all that matters. Arcia, Benson, Gibson. How are they developing? That's what matters. It would sure be nice for the city for the team to win and that's why they sign the veterans, but from a Twins fan perspective, the 2-9 start doesn't bother me at all.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      It's not worrisome from the Twins standpoint. They aren't winning, but development of the few prospects that are on the roster is really all that matters. Arcia, Benson, Gibson. How are they developing? That's what matters. It would sure be nice for the city for the team to win and that's why they sign the veterans, but from a Twins fan perspective, the 2-9 start doesn't bother me at all.
      A major reason Rochester dumped Baltimore after decades was the poor quality of teams the Orioles were giving them in the late 90s and turning the decade. The Twins were consistent winners at the AAA level at the time.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
      A major reason Rochester dumped Baltimore after decades was the poor quality of teams the Orioles were giving them in the late 90s and turning the decade. The Twins were consistent winners at the AAA level at the time.
      Good riddance.

      The Twins do not need Rochester (a town that does not support the major league team) and I wish they switched affiliations last off-season. Rochester is unique among the Twins' affiliate cities (yes, including New Britain) in that the natives have no interest in the big league club. The Twins need to develop their players and Rochester is more of a reserve place than a development place. There are only a handful of players 26 and under on the roster and 2 of them (Hendriks and Robertson) started with the Twins. Not too many "prospects" either. The one thing that it is somewhat different this season vs. some of the past seasons (and I suspect the change in Director of MiLB had a lot to do with this) is that the non-prospects there are in their late 20s vs their 30s and Rochester is right about league average as far as age goes. And it is 2 early. They have only 3 players (Arcia, Thomas, Colabello) with OPS over .706; and if you exclude Boggs (who is the one with that OPS) the next best is in the .550s. Add a team ERA close to 7 and what do you expect? The spring has been too cold this year in the Northeast and I bet all is directly related to that. They will be ok, esp in the second half, when prospects move up from New Britain to make space for the phenoms of Fort Myers.

      Fort Myers is doing great this season and I hope that by mid-year 5-6 of the players there are in New Britain. The biggest surprises this year for me are Kyle Knudson and Angel Morales (who is probably in his last chance, even though he is just at league average age - 23)
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I've noticed that Angel Morales is doing pretty well so far.
      He was high on most prospect lists what, two years ago? Three?
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Stuifbergen was really good last night. He just kept putting zero's up on the board in a tight game. We finally took the lead, and managed to hang on, and padded it in the 8th on a line drive triple by Goncalves that just got over the centerfielders glove by a foot.

      The lone error of course was by Sano. The batter laid down a nice bunt down the 3rd base line and Sano called off the pitcher, and made a barehanded pickup. He then threw 6 feet inside the bag and the ball rolled down the right field line. LOL, why not? The very next pitch the batter bunted again in nearly the same exact spot. Same play but with a strike to 1st this time. The runner taking 3rd and scoring on a sac fly.

      The Miracle lost the bunting competition tonight though. Wickens and Morales both failed on 2 attempts each, but Wickens did deliver an rbi single. Today's game will be hot, about 90 degrees.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      It's not worrisome that there are no prospects there for pitchers other than Gibson? I think that's worrisome, ymmv. The have no infielders there (maybe a backup catcher). They have two OFers. That's it. You listed them, really. I'm not sure how that is not worrisome. Plus, and I know some people don't agree, but fans pay for the game they are going to, not some nebulous parent club (in Rochester's case), or a future that might never come (here in MN).

      Here is hoping the prospects up and down the system continue to make progress.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      It's not worrisome that there are no prospects there for pitchers other than Gibson? I think that's worrisome, ymmv. The have no infielders there (maybe a backup catcher). They have two OFers. That's it. You listed them, really. I'm not sure how that is not worrisome. Plus, and I know some people don't agree, but fans pay for the game they are going to, not some nebulous parent club (in Rochester's case), or a future that might never come (here in MN).

      Here is hoping the prospects up and down the system continue to make progress.
      I'm just saying that that win-loss record isn't worrisome. I do agree that the lack of prospects there is worrisome, though I think we knew that. There aren't a lot of prospects in New Britain either, frankly. The Twins hope and best prospects are in those lower levels. Arcia, Meyer, Hicks, Benson, May - those are the guys in the upper levels.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      I've noticed that Angel Morales is doing pretty well so far.
      He was high on most prospect lists what, two years ago? Three?
      My history of pre-season Top 30s have included Angel Morales, and they serve as a precautionary tale in my mind when guys put up tremendous numbers in Elizabethton, even at a young age.

      Pre-2009 -> #3
      Pre-2010 -> #4
      Pre-2011 -> #7
      Pre-2012 -> #14
      Pre-2013 -> Not Ranked

      That said, he is still young. There's no questioning his athleticism and even most of his tools. But he does have to put up some numbers this year. He can become a minor league free agent after the season. it is a big year for him.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Fort Myers is doing great this season and I hope that by mid-year 5-6 of the players there are in New Britain. The biggest surprises this year for me are Kyle Knudson and Angel Morales (who is probably in his last chance, even though he is just at league average age - 23)
      Knudson is older than the league average. He went to the U of MN for four years before the Twins drafted him. However, he is healthy this season for the first time since the Twins drafted him. Upside is a backup catcher, so I'm not worried about the age at all.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Fair enough. For the Twins, it probably isn't an issue. For Rochester, I think it is an issue. And, it might be an issue for finding a new affiliate if they move on....
    1. Pitz's Avatar
      Pitz -
      I wouldn't think that the Twins would have too much trouble finding a new AAA affiliate. While their recent history has been poor, I would think a potential affiliate would be excited about the number of quality prospects (and some very noteworthy prospects) the Twins have in the lower levels that should be spending some time in AAA in the not too distant future.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      I believe there is historically very little movement of AAA affiliations. Last fall, I think it essentially came down to the Twins either getting Rochester to sign on for 2 more years or ending up in Las Vegas, which, by most accounts, is just about the last place you want as your AAA affiliate. Rochester re-signed with the Twins not so much because they love being a Twins affiliate, but because they, too, had no better options.

      Those running minor league teams understand their roles as developers of talent. But they also have to at least break even financially and that means they need a product to market to fans. So, yes, fielding a competitive team matters. It also wouldn't hurt to have players in the minors become accustomed to winning so they aren't satisfied with less when they reach Minnesota.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      It was nice to see Dalton Hicks continue his extra base hit streak. He is seeing every pitch well this short season. He has always walked alot and shown excellent plate discipline. When he strikes out - he strikes out on true strikes swinging.

      It was nice to see Adam Brett Walker II hit his first HR of the season. I heard it was on a 95 MPH fastball off batters eye. Nice to see. Walker has been hitting the ball much better this short season (contact), but just at people. Strike out rate down to 18% so far. Three hard hits yesterday, but 2 at CFer and one over the fence. When Kepler shows up - Kernels should only increase their power numbers. Can't wiat.

      I am chalking yesterday's loss up to 5 games in 48 hours. Hopefully they re-charge their motors for todays double header, and get a sweep out of it. Defense has to pick up and mental focus must improve young Kernels.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Fair enough. For the Twins, it probably isn't an issue. For Rochester, I think it is an issue. And, it might be an issue for finding a new affiliate if they move on....
      There would be no problem finding an affiliate at this point. Obviously the contract with Rochester goes out a couple of years anyway, but the Twins prospects are eventually going to get there.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      There would be no problem finding an affiliate at this point. Obviously the contract with Rochester goes out a couple of years anyway, but the Twins prospects are eventually going to get there.
      I am surprised at how cavalier you are regarding the poor AAA club and the poor roster the Twins cconstructed. It's really a terrible team. I think the contract ends in 2014. I hope the Twins don't end up in the pacific coast league. I like Rochester. The players get used to playing in the cold, the park is neutral and the competition is tough.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      The Red Wings were competitive last year and their roster was far worse than it is this year. Their pitching staff will probably be some combination of Gibson, Hendriks, De Vries, Deduno, Walters and (eventually) May (and other AAAA-types), which will be a more than respectable AAA staff. Their lineup consists mostly of journeymen, but so do most other AAA teams. I think they'll be a .500 team.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      No reason to get worked up about two weeks of AAA performance, especially minus several pitchers (Deduno, DeVries/Hernandez, Hendriks, Perez, Harden, Oliveros, Guerra, Blackburn).

      The upper minors might be 8-14 right now, but the lower minors are 18-3. Rochester ain't going nowhere.
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