• Twins Minor League Report (7/3): Red Wings and Miracle Fireworks

    Two of the Twins minor league affiliates celebrated Independence Day early with offensive explosions. The Red Wings and the Miracle had men up and down their line-ups knock in runs to help their clubs emerge victorious.

    There was some minor league news to report on Wednesday afternoon. Catcher Danny Lehmann was released by the club after spending time on the disabled list this season. He had only played 18 games this season and he was a career .229/.317/.301 hitter.

    It was also announced that Chris Colabello and Andrew Albers will represent the Red Wings at the Triple-A All-Star Game. Colabello was the overall leader in the online fan balloting and he will start at first base for the International League squad.

    Rochester Red Wings 11, Buffalo Bisons 1
    Box Scores
    The Red Wings had some fireworks on the field the day before the Fourth of July. Brian Dinkelman, Chris Colabello, and Deibinson Romero all hit home runs. Every batter in the Rochester line-up recorded a hit and some had six chances at the plate.

    Doug Bernier had the most hits as he went 3-for-6. Chris Herrmann had a very good game by collecting two hits in four trips to the plate. He had his ninth double and his third triple. Colabello continued his remarkable season by knocking his 21st home run.

    In one of his best pitching performances of the year, Andrew Albers tossed seven strong frames. He allowed one solo home run but that was the only run scored against him. The Bisons had five hits and Albers struck out six.

    New Britain Rock Cats 1, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6
    Box Score
    The struggles continued for Miguel Sano at the Double-A level. He went 0-for-4 on this night, striking out three times. The defensive side of the ball wasn't much better as he committed his sixth error since his promotion. It wasn't only Sano who was unproductive on Wednesday night; the rest of the offense struggled as well.

    Danny Santana was the lone Rock Cats with two hits. Nate Hanson hit his 14th double of the season and scored a run. Daniel Ortiz continued his powerful season by knocking his 22nd double. The team went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and there were nine runners left on base.

    Virgil Vasquez was making his second start at Double-A since being demoted from Rochester. He tossed six innings and gave up four earned runs. AJ Achter did a good job in relief by tossing a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout.

    Fort Myers Miracle 11, Bradenton Marauders 5
    Box Score
    The Miracle pounded out 21 hits and the club had no problem coming out victorious. Fort Myers scored three runs in the sixth inning and they topped that in the seventh with six runs. It's hard to know where to start with the offensive explosion.

    Byron Buxton went 3-for-5 with a double but he did strikeout two times. The three hit game raised his batting average to .400 since being promoted to Fort Myers. Every batter in the Miracle line-up had a double except for Kennys Vargas. Jhon Goncalves, Mike Kvasnicka, and Candido Pimentel all went 3-for-5.

    On the mound,Taylor Rogers benefited from the offensive explosion. He pitched into the seventh inning and limited the Marauders to three runs on nine hits. He struck out three and gave up one walk. Corey Williams recorded the final four outs of the game and collected three strikeouts.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 2, Beloit Snappers 8
    Box Score
    Beloit, the former Twins affiliate, has become a tough team for the current Twins affiliate to beat. Cedar Rapids fell again to the Snappers and there wasn't much offense for the Kernels. Beloit scored runs in five different innings to come out with an easy win.

    Max Kepler continued his hot start by going 2-for-4 with an RBI. JD Williams had the only extra base hit with his 11th double of the year. Jorge Polanco scored a run and had two hits. The club went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position so offensive opportunities were missed.

    Christian Powell started and pitched 5.2 innings. He gave up 10 hits and six earned runs. Allowing two home runs didn't help him on the way to his second loss of the year. Hudson Boyd and Caleb Brewer gave up one earned run on four hits in the last 2.1 innings. They combined to strike out three.

    Elizabethton Twins --, Johnson City Cardinals --
    Inclement weather might have been the only thing that could have stopped the E-Twins from winning. Their game with the Johnson City Cardinals got postponed due to some weather issues- rain. The club has a 10-2 record and they will look to continue their winnings ways over the holiday weekend.

    GCL Twins 8, GCL Rays 2 (6 Innings-Rain)
    Box Score
    Nick Blackburn returned to the mound for the first time and got some decent results. He threw four innings and scattered seven hits. The Rays scored both their runs off Blackburn and he had one strikeout. Leonel Zazueta pitched the fifth inning and he struck out two.

    Joel Polanco lead the offense with a 2-for-3 day. He hit his first double of the season and knocked in two runs. Amaurys Minier was 1-4 and knocked in three runs to help stretch the lead. Adonis Pacheco added his second double of the season.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (7/3): Red Wings and Miracle Fireworks started by Cody Christie
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      This was actually Blackburn's 2nd start. He's gone 4 innings both starts. In low-Rookie League. I guess it just goes to show that $5.5M doesn't go as far as it used to.

      I wonder if they will give Blackie a Nishi-type promotion in August after he's stretched out?

      I don't wonder if the Twins will pick up his $8M team option for 2014.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      I don't think there's even a spark of hope having anything to do with Blackburn (such as hoping he might have a good start and a team relieves them of his contract), so I think they're just doing him a favor and going through the motions with him until the contract is up, or they decline whatever option there is. Being good to a player they'd just as soon release will help their reputation.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      To be fair, first rehab starts are almost always limited by a pitch count.
    1. nowheresville's Avatar
      nowheresville -
      Is Nico Goodrum's defense as horrific all season as it has been during his games in Beloit? He made another error last night, forgetting to touch second base and then badly misfiring on the throw to first, getting no outs on what should have been a double play ball. That came after he badly booted two pretty routine grounders the night before. From my memory, he had some pretty bad defensive mistakes in the other games I've seen, and it seems like he would have no chance of sticking as a middle infielder, but I'm also dealing with a small sample size of the half dozen or so games I've seen.

      Travis Harrison has become one of my favorite players to watch on the Kernals, but he had a pretty bad night last night too. He would have had an error, throwing the ball into right field on a double play, had Polanco not made a pretty amazing grab to catch his throw at 2nd base. He also made a pretty unforgivable mistake on the basepaths. He got doubled off first, on a fly ball to right field, even though the throw back to first was overthrown! The Snappers RF made a pretty remarkable catch, and Travis basically gave up on the play and didn't run back to first. The cut-off man's throw sailed over the 1st baseman's head, and then he started running, but the catcher still had time to pick up the ball and throw it back to first for the 9-4-2-3 putout.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Those are the kinds of things that we don't see in the box score that explain why players remain at their current level.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Our family made it to the Rochester-Buffalo game, with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Fireworks to follow. The postgame festivities were rain delayed, as we were soaked by a ten minute cloudburst.

      No worries, the Red Wings provided plenty of fireworks early, scoring 11 runs on 15 hits, including three homers and four doubles.

      A few highlights:

      1) Albers was awesome! Kevin Pillar's home run was a nice piece of hitting on a pitch low in the zone, and away. Pillar dropped the head of the bat down and connected. Pillar finished the game hitting .382, after going 2 for 4, which means that Albers made a quality pitch to a quality hitter. Nice matchup between two talented players. We should eventually enjoy watching them face each other again, and again, in the big show.

      2) Deibinson Romero's homer was a monster moonshot. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle obviously did not send a writer to the game, as the byline on their article reads "Staff Reports." The article offers this understatement: "Debinson Romero put the Wings up 1-0 with a solo homerun that landed just inside the left-field foul pole to lead off the top of the second inning." What the staff reports fail to mention is that the shot, while just inside the foul pole, was a cloud-seeding shot that might have brought the later rain. The Bisons have erected a Mesh Monster screen over the left field fence to keep batting practice shots from landing on the I-190 on-ramp. Attachment 4690The Monster is a good fifty to seventy feet above the twelve foot fence measured at 325 feet at the foul pole. Romero's shot easily cleared the Mesh Monster, and probably dinged a homeward bound commuter who stayed late at work. Proving once again that hard work does not necessarily pay off, or, no good deed goes unpunished...
      http://www.democratandchronicle.com/...nclick_check=1

      3. Chris Herrmann bailed out James Beresford on a nifty backup of first base. Kevin Pillar reached first on a Beresford error. Next, the Bison's #2 hitter, Ryan Goins hit a hard shot to Doug Bernier, the Red Wings shortstop. He flipped the ball to Beresford, who threw another bullet past Chris Colabello at first. Fortunately, Herrmann was backing up the play as Goins tried to take second. Goins came into the bag standing up as Hermann whirled and threw a pea into Beresford's open glove. Bang, bang. Albers struck out Mauro Gomez, the Bison's #3 hitter, and the Red Wings were in the dugout.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      The struggles continued for Miguel Sano at the Double-A level.
      That's not fair by any means... Even with the small sample size and the 0 for 4 yesterday, his OPS is .843 . Just wish that every Twins' player "struggled" like that...
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by IdahoPilgrim View Post
      To be fair, first rehab starts are almost always limited by a pitch count.
      And 2nd rehab starts, sometimes, too:

      Nick Blackburn Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights | MiLB.com Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
      I don't think there's even a spark of hope having anything to do with Blackburn (such as hoping he might have a good start and a team relieves them of his contract), so I think they're just doing him a favor and going through the motions with him until the contract is up, or they decline whatever option there is. Being good to a player they'd just as soon release will help their reputation.
      Yeah, that's what I meant by the Nishi-like promotion...
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      That's not fair by any means... Even with the small sample size and the 0 for 4 yesterday, his OPS is .843 . Just wish that every Twins' player "struggled" like that...
      I'd also highly contest that he's "struggling".
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      I'd also highly contest that he's "struggling".
      Agreed. Sano was one of the youngest players in high A, turned 20 in May, and just made the hardest jump in the minors to AA. 82 plate appearances is nothing.
    1. chopper0080's Avatar
      chopper0080 -
      Is it just me or does it seem like Buxton should have been promoted to AA? Hi-A just doesn't seem like the leap to him that is can be to others.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Sano has certainly impressed at AS with his power production, but his strikeout rate is very high. It is something that needs to be worked on, but that was known. That is the one thing that could keep him from being great in the big leagues. (See Brandon Wood) However, he's so young and does work at his game, so it's hopefully just time and plate appearances. I'm not at all worried, but he needs do reduce his K rate to keep moving up or he won't be as great as we hope in the big leagues.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      His K rate dropped in FTM, did it not? I suspect more than anything that he's pressing a bit and swinging for the fences. I wouldn't be surprised if he started out next year in AA and got off to a similar start as Fort Meyers.
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