• Wednesday Twins Minor League Daily

    The Twins lost again, 6-2 tonight. I had hope that they would win this series against the Angels, especially after impressive performances last night by Brian Dozier and Scott Diamond, but it was not to be. Josh Willingham, with a home run and a double, continues to swing the bat well, but with the offense mustering only 6 hits, the chances of victory were slim tonight.

    Here's a look at how the Twins' minor league affiliates fared Wednesday night.

    ROCHESTER 2, PAWTUCKET 5

    Cole DeVries wasn't terribly effective for the Red Wings tonight. Lasting 4 and 1/3 innings, DeVries gave up 10 hits, 5 runs, struck out 2 and walked 1. On a positive note, the bullpen was better. Brendan Wise and Tyler Robertson each pitched a scoreless 1 and 1/3 innings; each struck out 1 batter, and Robertson walked 1. Anthony Slama pitched a scoreless 8th inning, striking out 2. His ERA is at 0.59 after 14 and 1/3 innings pitched.

    There wasn't much offense for the Red Wings tonight. The team amassed 9 hits, but was only 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Joe Thurston homered, his second of the season, and Clete Thomas had a double. Ray Chang, Ben Revere and new Red Wing Pedro Florimon each had 2 hits. Additionally, Rene Tosoni had a stolen base, his second on the year. The Red Wings are 14-18 on the year.

    NEW BRITAIN 5, BINGHAMTON 1

    The Rock Cats continue to be the best Twins affiliate thus far, defeating the Mets' affiliate for the second consecutive night. Starter Steve Hirschfeld had a solid start for New Britain, tossing 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 run, striking out 6 and walking 1 along the way. The bullpen -- which has been a bright spot for the Rock Cats -- again was solid tonight. Luis Perdomo picked up the win, throwing a scoreless 7th inning, walking 2 and striking out 1, and new Rock Cat Caleb Thielbar threw both the 8th and 9th innings, striking out 3, walking none, and allowing only 1 hit.

    The Rock Cats scattered 10 hits tonight. Newly promoted Wilkin Ramirez hit his first home run as a Rock Cat, Deibinson Romero, Danny Lehmann and Ramirez contributed doubles, and Joe Benson was 1-for-5 with a stolen base. New Britain was 3-for-9 tonight with runners in scoring position. In the end, Ramirez, with 3 hits and an RBI, and Lehmann, with 2 hits and 2 RBIs, led the way.

    FT. MYERS 7, DUNEDIN 5

    Our high-A team defeated the Blue Jays' counterpart this evening in a game that featured 22 combined hits and 4 combined errors. Jhon Garcia got the start for the Miracle, and lasted 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up 10 hits and 5 runs (4 earned), but exhibited good control, striking out 2 and issuing no free passes. Miguel Munoz picked up the win in relief, throwing 3 and 2/3 innings, allowing 3 hits, striking out 4 and walking 1 in the process. Righty Ricky Bowen earned his first save of the season, pitching a scoreless 9th and allowing 1 hit.

    It was a good offensive showing for Ft. Myers tonight. Lance Ray hit his 4th home run of the season, a 1st inning grand slam! Ray also had a single. Not to be outdone, first baseman Andy Leer hit 2 home runs, both solo shots. Daniel Santana, Levi Michael, Daniel Rohlfing and Jairo Perez also had hits for the Miracle. Santana also had his 4th stolen base of the season. But the baseball gods giveth and taketh away, because Santana was responsible for both Miracle errors -- both on throws. He has 9 errors on the season.

    BELOIT 2, PEORIA 1

    Although the score doesn't suggest it, the teams combined for 18 hits tonight. Starter Steven Gruver for the Snappers picked up the win (now 2-3 on the season), going an impressive 7 and 2/3 innings, allowing 8 hits and 1 run, striking out 3 and walking none. His ERA fell to 3.67 on the season. A very solid performance from Gruver. A.J. Achter picked up the hold, throwing 1 scoreless inning, striking out 2. Corey Williams earned the save, his 5th on the season, tossing a scoreless 9th, also striking out 1.

    Wang-Wei Lin had a hit and an RBI, as did Adam Petterson, friend of and contributor to TwinsDaily. Rory Rhodes had 2 hits, and JaDamion Williams, Adam Bryant, Miguel Sano, Drew Leachman and Jonathan Goncalves also had singles for Beloit. Bad news for Beloit fans: Sano did not homer tonight. Sorry, it can't happen every game. Williams, though, had his 8th stolen base of the season, and there were only 2 Snappers starters (Eddie Rosario and Kyle Knudson) that were hitless tonight.

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    Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Hitter of the Day -- Lance Ray


    Photo Credit JimCrikket

    Pitcher of the Day -- Steven Gruver


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    A Look Ahead -- Thursday, May 10 Schedule

    Rochester @ Pawtucket -- LHP Lucas French
    New Britain vs. Reading -- LHP Logan Darnell
    Ft. Myers @ Dunedin -- RHP Adrian Salcedo
    Beloit @ Peoria -- RHP Tim Shibuya
    This article was originally published in blog: Wednesday Twins Minor League Daily started by Twins Fan From Afar
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Thanks for the update TFFA. Quick question - Do you think the Benson demotion was the right move? I'm a little erked by it. The Minor Leagues are for the most part about development. Early May seems like too soon of a hook for a well thought of prospect in the Twins system. Curious to hear your opinion.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I'll let TFFA give his opinion too, but I'll answer too. I 100% agree that the minor leagues are all about player development... and I 100% believe that moving Benson down a level was the right thing to do.
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I'll let TFFA give his opinion too, but I'll answer too. I 100% agree that the minor leagues are all about player development... and I 100% believe that moving Benson down a level was the right thing to do.
      Being that Joe is in the minors - I do not get to see Benson play, in turn I cannot have a self made honest analysis. Did he just fall flat on his face at Rochester (his stats indicate so)? I can only assume that he did, but statistics don't always tell the story. It is never good when one of your top prospects who is entering his mid-20's (24) takes a step back like this. Seth, in your opinion, besides statistics, why is Benson Back at New Britain?
    1. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
      Twins Fan From Afar -
      I think the demotion was the right move. Benson looked overmatched at Target Field last September, and he was not hitting in AAA this Spring. I'm sure those failures were just as much a blow to his pride as was the news of getting the demotion.

      At AA last summer, he was hitting really well. I remember a couple games where it looked like he was hitting slow-pitch softball. He was confident at the plate and good in the field. I think it makes sense to send him back to the place where he had his last period of success, with the expectation that he can turn it around.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
      Seth, in your opinion, besides statistics, why is Benson Back at New Britain?
      Reports from the Rochester area have told me that he was so tight and was fighting himself in every at bat. Everything about his game is big league ready... except the bat. His competitive fire can be good, but from what I've heard, it was bringing him down and it wasn't going to fix itself staying there.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I 100% agree that the minor leagues are all about player development...
      Seth, if you think that, why do you also think that moves such as signing 30-some year old never have beens by the Twins to block their prospects in AAA, are also good? These moves are nothing about player development. Thankfully only a couple of those moves happened this season (Dumatrait, Thurston), but the 2011 season had a bunch of them in Rochester (Bailey, Holm. Lambin, Reed, Baldwin etc). And those moves are just to please the affiliates I agree that minor leagues should be 100% about development, but unfortunately the Twins do not think this way. I'd rather see a kid struggle a bit in Rochester (Beresford?, Romero? - who is not a kid) than seeing Thurston, a 32 year old, there. They could have easily promoted Florimon who was one of the best players in New Britain instead of signing Thurston. Florimon promoted after Dozier was. Not too good.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Seth, if you think that, why do you also think that moves such as signing 30-some year old never have beens by the Twins to block their prospects in AAA, are also good? These moves are nothing about player development.
      Part of player development is being in the right place for each individual. That doesn't mean pushing them to a place where they are bound to fail. I don't disagree with you on Florimon moving up to Rochester one week earlier than he did. Agreed on DJ Romero, he could maybe move up. But who was Jeff Bailey in the way of last year? Who was Baldwin blocking? Who was Aaron Bates blocking?

      Compare the Twins AAA roster to all other AAA rosters. The Twins probably have more young players, even prospects there than most.

      so, oK, minor leagues are not 100% about player development, but it should be 100% about doing what is best for the prospects, and that isn't always going to be pushing them too fast. Who was PJ Walters blocking? Who was Daryl Thompson blocking? Who is Deibinson Romero blocking, since he's the same age as those other guys and could have been a 6-year minor league free agent.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      so, oK, minor leagues are not 100% about player development, but it should be 100% about doing what is best for the prospects, and that isn't always going to be pushing them too fast. Who was PJ Walters blocking? Who was Daryl Thompson blocking? Who is Deibinson Romero blocking, since he's the same age as those other guys and could have been a 6-year minor league free agent.
      Deibinson Romero might have been around for a while but is only 25. Not in the same equation as the other. Last season, Cole DeVries, Tyler Robertson, Steve Hirschfeld, Deolis Guerra were all in AA because they were blocked (Spencer Steedley too). This season Hirschfeld and Guerra started at AA because they were block. Steedley was released. Bobby Lanigan and Bret Jacobson could play in AAA. They are blocked. They are both 25. Hirschfeld is 26. About time to move them to Rochester. On the other hand, with Phil Dumatrait (31) and Brad Thompson (30) in Rochester's DL and soon to come out, there is no place to move them.

      As far as position players go, there is no reason Romero should not be in AAA right now. Same with Herrmann. And the blocking continues by singing 28 year old Chris Colabello and assigning him to New Britain. What kind of player development move is that? or keeping Mark Dolenc (27) who have been battling the Butera line in his third season in AA, around? There is no reason that Angel Morales and Jairo Perez (he is 24, could have skipped high A after what he did in Beloit last season) should be in Ft Myers right now... It's a domino effect...
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
      Being that Joe is in the minors - I do not get to see Benson play, in turn I cannot have a self made honest analysis. Did he just fall flat on his face at Rochester (his stats indicate so)? I can only assume that he did, but statistics don't always tell the story. It is never good when one of your top prospects who is entering his mid-20's (24) takes a step back like this. Seth, in your opinion, besides statistics, why is Benson Back at New Britain?
      I was able to watch about half the games Benson played at Rochester (on MiLB TV). To explain his problems, you have to recap who Benson is...think a young Torii Hunter. Benson was probably a better running back than baseball player coming out of high school. Like Hunter, he has that football mentality, ie, very aggressive, very emotional, the type of player who will run through the wall or in some cases punch out a wall when things go wrong.

      The result this spring was that he started the season in a slump and was being way to hard on himself mentally. When he came to bat the last few weeks, you could see him fighting with himself and knew he wasn't going to get a hit. Defensively, he remains as good as anyone in the organization. But that can't carry over to the offense with his current mind set. Does he belong at AA cause he can't hit AAA pitching, no way. Was it the right move, you betcha! Does it reduce the liklihood he will be with the Twins someday, not in my mind.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Compare the Twins AAA roster to all other AAA rosters. The Twins probably have more young players, even prospects there than most.
      This season they are just below average for the first time since I remember. Average position player age for Rochester is 27.1 and average pitcher age 26.5, whereas the averages for international league are position players : 27.4 and pitchers: 27.5.

      And as I was about to write that Dumatrait and Brad Thompson (both North of 30 are in the DL), trying to double-check the Rochester roster looks like they are not. Released? This might actually be news
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Deibinson Romero might have been around for a while but is only 25. Not in the same equation as the other. Last season, Cole DeVries, Tyler Robertson, Steve Hirschfeld, Deolis Guerra were all in AA because they were blocked (Spencer Steedley too). This season Hirschfeld and Guerra started at AA because they were block. Steedley was released. Bobby Lanigan and Bret Jacobson could play in AAA. They are blocked. They are both 25. Hirschfeld is 26. About time to move them to Rochester. On the other hand, with Phil Dumatrait (31) and Brad Thompson (30) in Rochester's DL and soon to come out, there is no place to move them.

      As far as position players go, there is no reason Romero should not be in AAA right now. Same with Herrmann. And the blocking continues by singing 28 year old Chris Colabello and assigning him to New Britain. What kind of player development move is that? or keeping Mark Dolenc (27) who have been battling the Butera line in his third season in AA, around? There is no reason that Angel Morales and Jairo Perez (he is 24, could have skipped high A after what he did in Beloit last season) should be in Ft Myers right now... It's a domino effect...
      A minor league organization has to be run by balancing player development with winning. If you don't you won't have a minor league organization, ie, local ownership won't renew their working agreements. Yes, watching future major league players is exciting for fans in Rochester, New Britain, etc. But lose 90 of 134 three years straight and you won't have a place for your prospects to play...so you have to give them a team that can win. Along with that AAA, and to a lesser extent AA, is changing. When you watch AAA games you continually see proven major league players playing against the Red Wings. A few weeks ago the Wings gave up two grand slams in one game to Jason Michaels and Mark Teahen...two successful former big leaguers. Just last Saturday, they faced ex-Twin Ramon Ortiz. They have faced David Bush several times this year as well as a long list of other former big league veterans. The Twins aren't at that point as most of our players with major league experience are better described as AAAA players, not former starters.

      As for the players above who you believe should be in Rochester, who has earned it? Deolis Guerra has a history of failure as a starter, thus, starting him in AA made sense. He pitched very well and has already moved up to Rochester. Last year Cole DeVries also moved up early after a great April. Robertson was new to the bullpen and keeping him in AA made sense. Hirschfeld, Lanigan, Jacobson and Steedley? Steedley is gone and the other three aren't doing anything that says they are demanding a move up. As for the position players you mention, Herrmann is struggling at AA and after a hot start Morales has been in a slump at Hi-A. Perez is doing nothing special at Hi-A and Romero's defense continues to be a problem. As for Colabello, a great signing who may be the main reason the Rock Cats are in the hunt for first place. By the way, who is Colabello blocking from Fort Myers who deserves to be in AA? In my opinion, the only players that aren't at a level they should be were Guerra, Mastroianni and Florimon...and all have already moved up.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
      A minor league organization has to be run by balancing player development with winning. .
      That's an opinion and I think that it is the direction the Twins have been going. I was responding to this comment:

      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I'll let TFFA give his opinion too, but I'll answer too. I 100% agree that the minor leagues are all about player development... .
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