• Twins Minor League Report (5/27): Vantastic

    As Seth broke yesterday, the Twins added C Chris Herrmann to their roster after OF Wilkin Ramirez was lost to an alleged concussion. Which proved to be real when he blew chunks on the team flight to Milwaukee.

    Rochester didn't make a corresponding addition when they announced the move this morning, leading me to believe one wouldn't be made before Trevor Plouffe, who is recovering from his own concussion, is activated on Wednesday and Herrmann was sent back down.

    Tonight, however, Pioneer Press beat writer Mike Berardino tweeted that "it appears C Dan Rohlfing has been promoted to Rochester". That's curious for a few reasons: 1) even without Herrmann, the Red Wings still have Eric Fryer and Daniel Lehmann (and, in a pinch, Jeff Clement. 2) The Rock Cats are left with only Josmil Pinto (unless a another move is made).

    Now, there are three catchers in Fort Myers, so they could easily move one up. It should also be noted that fan-favorite Drew Butera may be ready to return to catching soon.

    Long story longer, it seems like a lot of shuffling around for a move that is only likely to last two more days. Or is there more to it?

    A move that does make sense has happened at the lower levels. After Matthew Tomshaw's promotion to Fort Myers, the need for another pitcher arose in Cedar Rapids. Enter: Hein Robb. Robb pitched in E-Town last year and was on the South African team that appeared in the 2009 WBC.

    I hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day and I hope you enjoy reading about what happened in the Twins minor leagues today.

    Rochester Red Wings 5, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 0
    Box Score

    If you already read this, then my thunder has been stolen. If you haven't, I'll give you the short version: Vance Worley returned to AAA today and LiamHendriks'ed the other team. You know, completely dominated a AAA foe. He pitched a complete game shutout, scattering five hits and four walks while striking out four. It probably wasn't in Worley's best interest to pitch so well in his initial Rochester start. He's going to need to show consistency over six or seven starts before he returns to Minnesota (where, ironically enough, he was very consistent).

    Hey Vance, how happy were you when you made it out of the first inning without giving up any runs? Show me a smile if you were real happy.


    Eric Fryer led the offense with two hits, including a triple, and an RBI. He scored twice. Some other Fryer tidbits, courtesy of their post-game release: Fryer has scored runs in six consecutive games (a Red Wings season high) and he also has a .329 OBP despite a .172 batting average.

    Antoan Richardson went 2-for-3 with a walk. He drove in a run and sports a very nice OBP of .435 in his 14 games as a Red Wing.

    LHP Andrew Albers (2-2, 2.61) will take the ball tomorrow night at Frontier Field against the Iron Pigs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET.

    New Britain Rock Cats 3, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 12
    Box Score

    For as good as the Vanimal pitched today, top prospect Alex Meyer did not. In five innings of work, Meyer walked four, allowed two hits (one a home run) and four earned runs. He struck out five. The loss drops him to 2-3 and raises his ERA to 3.95.

    Edgar Ibarra was the most successful pitcher today for the Rock Cats and he allowed three hits and two walks while recording only four outs and only giving up one run.

    Bruce Pugh was a disaster. After inheriting two runners and not letting them score he came back out for the eighth and, well, struggled. His final line consisted of seven earned runs on four hits and three walks.

    Minnesota's own Nate Hanson left the game after being hit by a pitch in the arm. But according to his wife, he'll be ok, just sore.

    Logan Darnell (4-3, 2.47) takes the ball at 6:35 ET.

    Fort Myers Miracle - DAY OFF

    The Miracle play Bradenton tomorrow night and their scheduled starter is TBD.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 3, Burlington Bees 10 (Game 1)
    Box Score

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 3, Burlington Bees 6 (Game 2)
    Box Score

    The Kernels are in the midst of a tail-spin and have now lost five straight.

    Game one was close for four innings, before Brett Lee couldn't get anyone out in the fifth. He left after allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits and a walk. He struck out five. Manuel Soliman got roughed up for four runs (recording four outs). Alex Muren pitched five out of no-hit ball.

    Byron Buxton went 3-for-3 and stole a base (23). D.J Hicks added two singles and Candido Pimentel also added a single.

    Game two, was crappy too. Hudson Boyd gave up six runs in the first two innings, but did his team (and bullpen) a favor by getting it together enough to last through the sixth.

    David Hurlbut pitched a no-hit ninth.

    The bats managed only four hits in this one - Tyler Grimes had a two-run line-drive home run. Hicks had a double. Travis Harrison and Jorge Polanco each added a single.

    Mason Melotakis (3-2, 3.89) looks to right the ship tomorrow at 6:35 CT on Perfect Game Field.
    ---

    If you're interested in listening to yesterday's Gleeman and the Geek radio show where we talked about the draft, it's always within three clicks of any webpage. I'll be talking more draft with Cody and Eric on the Talk2Contact podcast this weekend and I may be chatting with Fanatic Jack (by phone, me from my chair, him from a ledge) at 10 pm tonight. Listen live here.

    Questions, comments, hints, allegations or things left unsaid to be discussed below. (Sorry, a little Collective Soul time warp during typing apparently.)
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (5/27): Vantastic started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      The Rohlfing move is very curious. I guess he is Herrmann like in that he can also play OF. Koch should move up to NB anyway. But does this mean something weird involving Herrmann?
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      A million dollar question...

      Or Butera?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      A million dollar question...

      Or Butera?
      Well, Gardy reinstalled the battling 2nd Baseman with the .197 BA and .500 OPS back in the lineup in the 2-hole today.. Apparently, the .867 OPS in that spot was the main cause of the losing streak. Now, if Gardy can just get his "real" 3rd catcher back off the DL and onto the 25-man so that Doumit can play more RF, all will be well in Gardy-World.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I really don't like the Rohfling move. I was hoping Pinto would be boosted to AAA this year, but as the only New Britain catcher and with a surplus in AAA already, it looks bleak. The Twins continually go about not rewarding performance. Vanimal's smile is adorable.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Bruce Pugh is becoming a big bummer. I thought he would put together a good year this year and I was optimistic he would find himself in the Big League Bullpen.
      Just shows that Relief pitchers do not grow on trees
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Pinto
      They rewarded him by being on the 40 man roster. Wait a bit.
      Its only a few months of the season. And lets face it, why would any young kid want to be at Rochester.
      That is a bad team with a bad roster and likely a pissed off fan base. Better to stay in NB and try to turn around the season.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Rochester is, and always has been a disaster. Any chance that Las Vegas is still available, possibly for purchase, and they could move the franchise to Sioux Falls, or especially, St Paul?
    1. Ncgo4's Avatar
      Ncgo4 -
      Most of the statistics gurus that I have read contend that OBP is THE single most important statistic in baseball and the most over looked. A guy that hits 275 and has enough walks to bring that number up to 400 is more valuable than a 325 hitter that strikes out 25% of the time. He mentioned Richardson's 425 OBP, last year he was over 400 for the entire year. These are Buxton-like numbers. Who is this guy, I've never heard of him?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      One pitcher in the entire system that looks ready for next year.....one. What is Ryan going to do to fix this?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      I really don't like the Rohfling move. I was hoping Pinto would be boosted to AAA this year, but as the only New Britain catcher and with a surplus in AAA already, it looks bleak. The Twins continually go about not rewarding performance. Vanimal's smile is adorable.

      Pinto is a prospect. he's got to play every day, not split time with 2 other people.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Pinto is a prospect. he's got to play every day, not split time with 2 other people.
      The argument that Arcia and Hicks need to spend time in AAA, by you and others, belies the argument that it is ok to keep guys in AA, they can always be promoted from there, doesn't it?

      And if the other guys aren't prospects, demote them, and move up the guys that are legit.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Well, Gardy reinstalled the battling 2nd Baseman with the .197 BA and .500 OPS back in the lineup in the 2-hole today.. Apparently, the .867 OPS in that spot was the main cause of the losing streak. Now, if Gardy can just get his "real" 3rd catcher back off the DL and onto the 25-man so that Doumit can play more RF, all will be well in Gardy-World.
      I just threw up in my mouth a little. So true...
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Well, Gardy reinstalled the battling 2nd Baseman with the .197 BA and .500 OPS back in the lineup in the 2-hole today.. Apparently, the .867 OPS in that spot was the main cause of the losing streak. Now, if Gardy can just get his "real" 3rd catcher back off the DL and onto the 25-man so that Doumit can play more RF, all will be well in Gardy-World.
      Just about every response in this thread so far is worthy of a response, so I will start with this one. I was dismayed to see Dozier there--trying that out with Florimon is ONE thing (I wouldn't like that anyway, but I could see Gardy going that route), but a .230 OBP in the two-hole is disgusting. Let's just hope he doesn't do that again tonight.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      I really don't like the Rohfling move. I was hoping Pinto would be boosted to AAA this year, but as the only New Britain catcher and with a surplus in AAA already, it looks bleak. The Twins continually go about not rewarding performance. Vanimal's smile is adorable.
      Well it is hard to say what the hell is going on here. Rohlfing is someone who can just be moved around levels and play multiple positions including catcher. Let's not forget that the Twins just threw away Benson for nothing. With Herrmann's few day recall, Rochester was down an OF and a catcher.

      I would say that after the draft and short season starts, moves can be made from bottom to top at the C spot. Release Fryer, make Butera and Lehmann coaches (haha!), and just have real players like Herrmann, Pinto, and Rohlfing at AAA. That won't happen, of course, but one can dream.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Bruce Pugh is becoming a big bummer. I thought he would put together a good year this year and I was optimistic he would find himself in the Big League Bullpen.
      Just shows that Relief pitchers do not grow on trees
      Yeah, I looked for Pugh and Watts to step up and compete for the big league 'pen. I don't trust Roenicke or Swarzak, and Fien is really on the edge right now (in fact, I wonder if the Twins are returning to 12 pitchers and Fien will be sent down instead of Herrmann when Plouffe comes back???).
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Rochester is, and always has been a disaster. Any chance that Las Vegas is still available, possibly for purchase, and they could move the franchise to Sioux Falls, or especially, St Paul?
      It is almost completely filler. "Veterans" as they are called by some. Yeah, veterans of the minor leagues with no chance of making it (or making it again). Some say that Rochester "wants to compete" and so the best way to do that is to put oldsters there instead of prospects. That isn't working for EITHER Rochester's W-L record OR Twins prospects, is it?

      I view Rochester as a place for actual real part-time fill-ins for the Twins or as the last stop for prospects. Not . . . just some dudes. I will put Richardson in the former camp because he could fill-in adequately for the Twins in Hicks' time of need. Herrmann and Colabello are with the Twins, they decided to throw away Benson, so what is left? I will let Romero still be at the margins right now. Eric Farris, Clete Thomas (mastered AAA pitching, don't let it fool you), Jeff Clement (disappointment), Brian Dinkelman, Ray Olmedo, Doug Bernier, Eric Fryer, etc.

      Good god.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      The argument that Arcia and Hicks need to spend time in AAA, by you and others, belies the argument that it is ok to keep guys in AA, they can always be promoted from there, doesn't it?

      And if the other guys aren't prospects, demote them, and move up the guys that are legit.
      I see two guys in the entire system who could jump from AA to MLB, with Arcia being the borderline third case. I don't want to get in that "value of AAA vs. AA" argument again, though the evidence seems pretty clear.

      What I really don't like seeing is promotion to MLB from AA, then a struggle there, and a demotion to AAA (where the player has either never been or barely been) to "work on things" when they don't even have proper AAA experience in the first damn place.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Not sure what the complaint is about how the Twins "use" AAA. It's no different than anyone else-Toledo (Detroit), Charlotte (Chicago), Columbus (Cleveland) for example. Every team occasionally promotes a real talent from AA. Every team occasionally demotes the same to AAA if he struggles. Every team "uses" AAA to shuttle AAAA players up as temporary replacements. Every team makes decisions about who stays in AA, who goes to AAA, etc. that seem arbitrary or misguided to fans like us. It's probably not arbitrary or misguided though. Could be we just aren't privy to what variables were considered.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The one thing I don't like about how they use AAA......they don't shuttle RP up and down enough in an attempt to limit the innings by the bad starters.....other than that, not sure it matters to me.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I wouldn't be surprised if Herrmann is up for the duration of Wilkin's DL stint and a relief pitcher (Fien) goes down when Plouffe comes back.
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