The Twins, too, may be looking for help both sooner and later. Some of the guys on the doorstep fared well today; others didn’t.
ROCHESTER RED WINGS 5, SYRACUSE CHIEFS 3
The Red Wings got back to their winning ways behind the left arm of Andrew Albers. He threw 91 pitches in 5.1 shutout innings. He struck out four and walked two. Albers collected his 10th win and dropped his ERA to 2.97. (How much longer before he replaces fellow Canadian Scott Diamond in the rotation? Discuss amongst yourselves.)
Edgar Ibarra, making his second AAA appearance pitched 2.1 perfect innings, striking out four. He didn’t allow a ball out of the infield. If the Twins find themselves re-tooling their bullpen, Ibarra adds another lefty to the mix.
Michael Tonkin pitched the ninth and it wasn’t pretty: two hits – including a home run – and a walk resulted in three earned runs. He struck out one.
Oswaldo Arcia continues to make his presence felt. Today he was 3-for-4 with another home run.
Eric Farris doubled in two runs.
Chris Parmelee was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
Logan Darnell starts tomorrow at 7:05 ET.
NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS 3, BINGHAMTON METS 5
The 9th inning rally fell short as Nate Hanson, who was batting as the potentially winning run, grounded into a fielder’s choice with both Danny Santana and Eddie Rosario on base.
Pat Dean continued his consistently up-and-down season. Tonight, he managed only three innings, allowing four runs on five hits. With the Rochester rotation in flux and the trickle-down effect being felt in New Britain, Dean’s rotation spot is probably safe, but a move to the bullpen wouldn’t be surprising.
Daniel Turpen pitched three shutout innings. Ryan O’Rourke gave up a run in 2/3 of an inning. Dakota Watts struck out one in recording four outs. Cole Johnson struck out the side in the 9th.
More of the same offensively tonight: Nate Hanson homered.
Miguel Sano hit another home run today and went 2-for-4. He struck out twice.
Danny Santana had his fourth multi-hit game in his last five games. Eddie Rosario also had two hits and added a stolen base.
D.J. Baxendale and B.J. Hermsen will both get starts in tomorrow’s doubleheader.
FORT MYERS MIRACLE 1, BREVARD COUNTY MANATEES 0
Levi Michael’s RBI single in the top of the 7th was the difference in this rain-affected game.
Aderlin Mejia doubled. Byron Buxton, Jhon Goncalves and J.D. Willams all added singles. Goncalves (8th) and Williams (2nd) both stole bases.
Jason Wheeler pitched the first 5.1 innings before the rain delay. He struck out four while scattering three hits and two walks; he also hit a batter. He retired nine batters by groundout, two by flyout.
Adrian Salcedo pitched the next 2.2 innings. He struck out four and allowed only two hits.
Tyler Jones picked up his first High-A save with two strikeouts in the ninth inning. (This is interesting: Corey Williams hasn’t pitched since July 15, when he gave up five runs and recorded only one out.)
Tyler Duffey looks to continue his stellar season tomorrow night at 6:35 ET.
CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS 2, FORT WAYNE TINCAPS 1
After “cooling off” yesterday – and by that I mean “not homering” - Adam Walker got back on it this afternoon. Hitting a 2-run, sixth-inning home run, Walker's blast accounted for enough runs to get the Kernels the win.
Walker now has 21 home runs and 85 RBI. The 21 home runs lead the MWL by six over five others (including Travis Harrison). The 85 RBI are also league-leading. Former Kernel DJ Hicks had 82; the current second-place RBI man is Beloit 2B Chris Bostick with 70. Walker's slugging is 2nd to only super-prospect Byron Buxton, now at High-A Ft. Myers.
Adam Walker has been swinging such a hot bat, he needs to apply sunscreen to himself.
So why is Walker not a top prospect you ask? Well, the strikeout rate has always been concerning, but this year has been an improvement. He’s athletic enough to hold down a corner outfield position (for now anyway). The biggest factor is he’s of league-average age. What you’re buying in Walker is his power – and no doubt it’s there – probably a 70 tool. The difference between him and his measuring stick, Miguel Sano, is that Sano showed more power in the same league at nearly two years younger than Walker. Walker missed Baseball America’s preseason Top 30 Twins prospects, but was included in their “Plus One” Edition, checking in at 31st. He should be ranked considerably higher coming into next year.
Many folks are wondering when Walker is going to be promoted to Fort Myers. There isn’t a rush. Much like the Twins wanted to see how Kennys Vargas did without Miguel Sano in the lineup, Adam Walker is getting a chance to prove his worth without Byron Buxton and DJ Hicks in the lineup. While moving up yet this season is possible, it makes just as much sense to start Walker in Fort Myers in 2014 and move him up mid-season if the power keeps up. At that point, we’re looking at a 22-year old in AA and knocking on the door the following season (2015) at 23.
Getting back to today’s game, Walker’s college teammate Jonathan Murphy reached base four times (2-for-3, two walks) and Jorge Polanco, Max Keper and Travis Harrison all doubled. The offense, again, was done in by a lack of production with runners in scoring position (0-for-5).
Also of note, Niko Goodrum was injured while covering second base on a stolen base attempt. He left the game with a twisted knee. Joel Licon replaced him at second base, while Polanco got the start at shortstop.
Mason Melotakis got his 8th win of the season, going six innings. He allowed a run on four hits. He struck out six and reports were that he looked good. There is some concern with his four wild pitches, but a 9:3 GO:FO rate is pretty good. Melotakis, who pitched a combined 86 innings last year, is already over 90 for this season. It will be interesting to see how he is handled as the year progresses and the playoffs approach.
David Hurlbut picked up a three-inning save, his sixth, with three perfect innings.
J.O. Berrios will be on the hill at Fort Wayne tomorrow at 6:05 pm.
ELIZABETHTON TWINS 4, DANVILLE BRAVES 5
After E-Town staged a late-inning rally, a ninth-inning run by the Braves gave them a victory over the Twins.
Randy Rosario hit the ground running this season, but has struggled in his last two starts. After giving up four earned runs on July 14, today he lasted only three innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and, more alarmingly, four walks. He struck out three.
The bullpen struck out ten in the final six innings (including Carson Goldsmith, 4 and Andre Martinez, 3). Brandon Peterson took the loss.
Dereck Rodriguez was the standout offensive performer, contributing both a double and a home run while driving in two runs. His batting average is up to .306. Logan Wade also doubled. Stuart Turner and Mitch Garver both drove in a run.
The series continues tomorrow at 7pm ET with Tanner Mendonca the scheduled starter.
GCL TWINS – OFF DAY
Kohl Stewart is scheduled to pitch tomorrow.
Please leave your questions and/or comments below.