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  • Twins Minor League Report (5/2): Diamond's Redemption?

    After a rough, Mother Nature influenced series, in which the Twins were forced to use every one of their pitchers in a double-header vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, they received a valiant effort from their prized off-season acquisition, Ricky Nolasco, on Friday night to stave off a catastrophic pitching predicament moving into the weekend.

    Although Nolasco was able to save the bullpen with a complete game, three earned run effort, it wasn’t enough to save himself from taking a loss, as the Twins weren’t able to muster any offense against the Baltimore Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez, tallying only four hits in a disappointing effort for the first (semi) decent weather game I’ve been able to attend in section 107 at Target Field this year.

    Minnesota’s minor league affiliates were able to fare somewhat better however, going 2-2 on the night, including a familiar extra innings marathon.



    TRANSACTIONS

    The Twins recalled SP Logan Darnell from Rochester before the weekend games kicked off. He is due to make his MLB debut in relief of an overused bullpen. Also, they optioned SP Kris Johnson back to Rochester after his double-header spot start on Thursday.


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 6, Louisville 1
    Box score

    Scott Diamond took the hill for the Red Wings, and after an extremely disappointing start to his season, put together the type of outing Twins fans might remember from his staff-ace stretch of 2012. Diamond lasted 6.2 innings, scattering 6 hits and 2 walks, with only 1 earned run and 6 K’s. He was replaced by A.J. Achter, who finished the final 2.1 innings without surrendering a baserunner and closed out the victory for Rochester.

    The offense was led by the recently on-fire Chris Parmelee, who had a first inning sac fly to score Doug Bernier, and a fifth inning solo blast, his 5th HR of the season, to make the score 4-1 in Rochester’s favor. DH Brad Nelson and 3B Deibinson Romero added RBI doubles to contribute to the offense.

    ROCK CATS REVIEW
    New Britain 4, New Hampshire 2
    Box score

    The pitcher the Twins received from the Atlanta Braves organization in exchange for Ryan Doumit last season put together arguably his best start for his new organization. Sean Gilmartin tossed six innings of one run ball, allowing only three hits and racked up eight K’s to secure the win, although he did surrender four walks. Relievers Daniel Turpen (hold), Lester Oliveros (hold), and Adrian Salcedo (save) all pitched a single inning and helped ensure the victory for the Rock Cats. The trio of relievers added six K’s to the team’s total, three BB’s and only one ER and each allowed one hit. Notable was the rough start for Turpen, who started off the 7th inning with a single and stolen base to advance the runner to 2nd and subsequent wild-pitch that put him on 3rd. But he then proceeded to strike out the next three batters looking to end the threat.

    On the offensive side, DH Kennys Vargas slugged his 5th HR on the season in the sixth inning, plating Kenny Wilson for a 4-1 Rock Cats lead. 2B Tony Thomas and SS (and Twins Daily contributor) A.J. Petterson added doubles to the offense, while Nate Hanson (another Minnesotan) added his second HR of the year in the victory.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 2, Palm Beach 3 (14 innings)
    Box score

    The Miracle attempted to emulate the Twins from Thursday night in a game lasting nearly four hours and into the 14th inning. Unfortunately, the result was the same, a tally in the loss column.

    David Hurlburt started for the Miracle and put together a quality start effort. He pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and two ER’s with no walks and two K’s. He was replaced by lefty Steven Gruver who pitched into the 9th, then Tim Shibuya who tossed a much needed 4.1 innings in the extra effort. Tyler Jones earned the loss after giving up a single and HBP to start the 14th, a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, then a sac fly to plate the walk-off run.

    Fort Myers received multi-hit efforts from leadoff man (and keep-your-eye-on-prospect) 2B Levi Michael (two doubles) and OF Adam Brett Walker II (double) in the extended game, but only four other hitters collected a hit on the evening. Although as a team they walked nine times, they stranded all but one of them.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 12
    Box score

    The pitching staff for the Kernels had a rough night and were unable to limit an early, relentless attack from the Chiefs. Prospect Felix Jorge made the start, but was able to last only three innings. He allowed one BB, but eight hits including one HR, three triples and a double; these resulted in a 5-0 lead for Peoria. He was replaced by Christian Powell who fared even worse, surrendering seven runs (six earned) in 0.2 innings. He was relieved by Todd Van Steesel who allowed every inherited runner to score in the 4th inning before recovering to strike out four through his 2.1 innings. Brandon Bixler then provided the mop-up duty in the last three innings, allowing one walk, with three K’s.

    The offense was stymied to the tune of 14 K’s from the Peoria pitchers, though they were able to collect ten hits. They were led by 2B Logan Wade who went 3-5 with two doubles and an RBI, CF Jason Kanzler who went 2-5 with a run scored and 3B Bryan Haar who went 2-4.

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Scott Diamond, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Logan Wade, Cedar Rapids Kernels

    SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Louisville @ Rochester (12:05 PM CST) – Yohan Pino (Listen)
    New Hampshire @ New Britain (5:35 PM CST) – Pat Dean (Listen)
    Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:35 CST) – Alex Wimmers (Listen)
    Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – Aaron Slegers (Listen)
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I'm more encouraged that Parmelee seems to have rediscovered his swing.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I'd be more excited about Gilmartin's than Diamond's performance. Diamond has fallen behind Johnson and Darnell at the LHSP chart for a good reason.
    1. kdrupp09's Avatar
      kdrupp09 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I'd be more excited about Gilmartin's than Diamond's performance. Diamond has fallen behind Johnson and Darnell at the LHSP chart for a good reason.
      Agreed! At this point, Diamond is AAA filler to make sure that Rochester has a couple stable pitchers while Darnell/Johnson/May/Meyer potentially get called up.
    1. Pitz's Avatar
      Pitz -
      Vargas has some very impressive numbers over the last 10 games:
      .419/.514/.806 with 3 doubles and 3 homeruns.
      Pretty good BB and K rates so far at AA as well.
      One of the few bright spots for the Rock Cats so far this season.
      I've been fairly skeptical of Vargas, but his early AA numbers are encouraging.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I'd be more excited about Gilmartin's than Diamond's performance. Diamond has fallen behind Johnson and Darnell at the LHSP chart for a good reason.
      I don't disagree with any of that. But I'll still take the stable 1-run performance over the schizophrenic one. Diamond could have pitched through the 8th with his pitch count (ended with 85, 56 for strikes). Gilmartin wasn't going any longer than 6 (96 pitches, 58 for strikes).
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Agree, regardless of how you feel each pitcher is performing on the season or where they fit in the organization's pecking order, Diamond had the better performance and earned the pitcher of the day.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I'd be more excited about Gilmartin's than Diamond's performance. Diamond has fallen behind Johnson and Darnell at the LHSP chart for a good reason.
      While I agree with that also and am not excited by Diamond's performance its not like he has a ceiling of AAA filler. His ceiling was weak #1 or very strong #2 because that is how he performed for an entire season. He may not reach that ceiling again and his position may be behind several guys in the depth charts and deservedly so but if he pitches his way up the ladder again, more power to him.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      We need to remember that Diamond had surgery after his very good 2012 season. Who can say how long it takes for the body and mind to heal after they have been broken. The same goes for Pelfrey. Lets hope that Diamond (and Pelfrey) have a full recovery. Let us also hope that the Twins will profit from their patience.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      While I agree with that also and am not excited by Diamond's performance its not like he has a ceiling of AAA filler. His ceiling was weak #1 or very strong #2 because that is how he performed for an entire season.
      That entire season, two seasons ago, he performed as a weak number 4, strong number 5 for a contending team. Not like a top of a rotation pitcher. How many Cy Young award votes did he get? How many number one pitchers do you know who strike out 4.5 per 9 and have FIP around 4? Regardless what DickNBert called Diamond back then ("The Twins' Ace") and the illusions of the Twins' General Manager that one should build a staff around him, he is just that: a filler.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      No proof there. How many Cy Young votes do most weak #1's or strong #2's get? That is hardly an indication that he does not qualify and neither do strikeouts. He was 14th in the American League in ERA with at least 160 innings right behind Jamie Shields and since there were only 14 teams maybe you can do the math to figure out why I said weak #1. He had an ERA of 3.54 which was better than Scherzer, Wilson, Darvish, Lester and Santana. If you do the math a weak # 4 would be the 64th best. As far as I can see there were only 39 pitchers that qualified and the 39th had a 5.77 ERA.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      If you do the math a weak # 4 would be the 64th best.
      See, that's where the quick back-of-the-envelope calculation starts to fail and can mislead. You're counting down the list of pitchers who pitch enough innings in a given year, but there aren't that many to round out all the rotations. There's other problems as well, but that one stands out.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Also, some teams have no number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 quality starting pitchers (like a certain team last year....well, they had a 3/4)
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      No proof there. How many Cy Young votes do most weak #1's or strong #2's get? That is hardly an indication that he does not qualify and neither do strikeouts. He was 14th in the American League in ERA with at least 160 innings right behind Jamie Shields and since there were only 14 teams maybe you can do the math to figure out why I said weak #1. He had an ERA of 3.54 which was better than Scherzer, Wilson, Darvish, Lester and Santana. If you do the math a weak # 4 would be the 64th best. As far as I can see there were only 39 pitchers that qualified and the 39th had a 5.77 ERA.
      Why are you judging him based solely on one metric (ERA), and one metric alone?
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