• Movin' on Up?

    In the last twenty-four hours, catcher Dan Rohlfing was promoted from Ft. Myers to New Britain. Former Gopher catcher Kyle Knudson was promoted from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Bart Carter was taken off of the Snappers’ Disabled List.

    As we are approaching the mid-point of the minor league seasons, the Twins typically make several promotions at each level. Many times, the Twins let players who make their league’s all star teams play in those games. Often, players are promoted following the all star games.

    Today, I wanted to provide some thoughts on several players that I think are worthy of a mid-season promotion.

    ROCHESTER to MINNESOTA?


    Liam Hendriks
    – There are the rumors that he will be starting for the Twins at Target Field against the Brewers. As of Monday, he had not heard anything official. But in seven starts since his demotion in late April, he is 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA. In 46.1 innings, he has given up 29 hits, walked 13 and struck out 42. And that includes on game in which he gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. In other words, he has been tremendous and has made some adjustments.

    Lester Oliveros
    – Deolis Guerra has come back down to earth, and Anthony Slama is now on the Disabled List. Don’t worry about last night’s Oliveros outing, everyone has one of those. He is pitching very well, and if the Twins need a bullpen arm in the near future, he is currently the one to look to.

    NEW BRITAIN to ROCHESTER?


    Steve Hirschfeld
    – Last week, when the Red Wings needed a spot starter, Hirschfeld was the guy. He was sent back down the next day despite throwing 5 shutout innings. On the year, he is 4-4 with a 3.20 ERA. Hirschfeld has been in New Britain since 2010. He’s 26 years old. It’s just time for him to move up. (Then if they need a spot starter, BJ Hermsen who is pitching spectacularly.)

    FT. MYERS to NEW BRITAIN?


    Oswaldo Arcia
    – Finally, a hitter. Arcia has been as hot as any hitter in minor league baseball over the past five to six weeks. Overall, he’s hitting .318/.381/.530 with 15 doubles, three triples and seven home runs. His downfall is that he hasn’t been able to hit left-handed pitching (.591 OPS vs LHP - 1.054 OPS vs RHP). Hey, neither could Jason Kubel, who is a terrific comp for Arcia.

    Pat Dean
    – Dean has been the Miracle’s top starter all season. He is 4-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 13 games started. He strikes out (and walks) no one (33 K, 16 BB, in 73.1 IP). I expect him to struggle some in AA, as most college-drafted pitchers do because of it, but I do think he’s ready for that challenge.

    Ricky Bowen
    – Signed after the start of the 2011 season, the 24-year-old Bowen has been very good out of the Miracle bullpen. This year, he is 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA and five saves. In 37.1 innings, he has walked 11 and struck out 38. He’s been good, and frankly, he needs to move up. Matt Hauser can be the second reliever to move up, if needed.

    BELOIT to FT. MYERS?


    Michael Tonkin
    – I’ve mentioned this several times of late, but I simply cannot come up with a single reason that Tonkin is no up in Ft. Myers. He’s in his third season in Beloit, and he’s 3-0 with four saves and a 1.50 ERA. In 36 innings, he’s given up 29 hits, walked nine and struck out 44 batters. Generally, I can come up with some reason for holding a guy back. I can’t come up with one for Tonkin, unless poor body language is a reason?

    Eddie Rosario
    – As much as I believe that Miguel Sano needs to stay in Beloit, and I think the best thing for Rosario would be to remain in Beloit, if there is a position player in Beloit that could move up if needed, it would be Eddie Rosario. He has areas in which he can continue to improve, but offensively, he is a pretty advanced hitter for a 20 year old. His defense remains a work-in-progress, but he has greatly improved and can continue to work. (I think he could handle it alright, but I think the best thing for him would be to stay in Beloit at least another month.)

    So there you have it. You’ll want to check back to Twins Daily where we will attempt to keep up with any and all transactions in the Twins system. For instance, from Extended Spring Training, the Twins have released infielder Julio Torres and pitcher Tobias Streich.

    What do you think? Who should be promoted?

    This article was originally published in blog: Movin' on Up? started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. Turd Furgeson's Avatar
      Turd Furgeson -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Lots of pitching, not much hitting. So fascinating they concentrated on pitching so much in the draft. Seth, isn't it time to move Sano off of third base? There is almost no chance that's his long term position. I can't comment on the guys you didn't list, but I think the ones you listed make a ton of sense. I'd do all those promotions.

      thanks again for your work,
      John Sickels thinks that Sano could stick it at third base. I've heard others say they think he has the potential to stay there. If it's a realistic possibility, you keep him there as long as possible.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      What about Santana at FM?

      He should be moved up. Does he have a chance to force Gardy to put Dozier at 2b?
    1. Turd Furgeson's Avatar
      Turd Furgeson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Levi Michael has proved your point about pitching as players move up and .240 isn't great- but the power and athleticism is highly intriguing ( I believe it was you who quoted an opposing MWL manager who said something to the effect that he's never seen anyone like Sano in this league)- meaning he should be given the team's full attention to improving him as quickly as possible in his areas in need of sharpening. Given that, I have more questions: What about optimum playing conditions with superior coaching and facilities (which will help his defense as well)? Is there a detailed hitting profile for Sano somewhere on how teams in the MWL have changed their approach to Sano? If so, how many breaking ball swinging strikes is he incurring- and- is he swinging at a lot of balls out of the strikezone because he has so little to actually swing at? I could be way off base, but why is it I feel like the subject of "plate discipline" has probably never been brought up with Sano at Beloit? How actually "good" or "better" is the average breaking ball in the MWL vs. the FSL? Wouldn't he get some decent coverage (ie, at least a couple better pitches to swing at per at bat) with Arcia and Morales batting behind him vs. what he has now behind him in Beloit?
      Here's John Sickel's recent thoughts on him as he scouted him this past weekend, only a two game sample size but it has merit:

      Miguel Sano, 3B: Age 19, still officially listed at 6-3, 195 but looks more like 6-5, 230. Despite his size, he moves with some grace on the field. Arm strength and range look just fine for third base and he handled a couple of difficult plays without any problems. He's made 21 errors already, but I didn't see any reason (based on these two games) why he can't improve defensively and be an average defender, at least. Hitting-wise, Sano has tremendous bat speed, among the best I've ever seen, with huge raw power, at least 70. He also swings and misses a lot. He actually did a decent job working counts and laying off breaking pitches and changeups, but he swung and missed on outside fastballs that he was trying too hard to pull. The Burlington pitchers didn't give him any sort of hittable fastball, pitching to the outside corner and past it, refusing to throw stuff on the inner half to him. He's hitting .240/.350/.507 with 14 homers, 33 walks, and 74 strikeouts in 225 at-bats. Given his youth, I think Sano will make the proper adjustments. If things work out: Miguel Cabrera. If they don't: Joel Guzman.
    1. Turd Furgeson's Avatar
      Turd Furgeson -
      I will also add, I question how much more difficult high A is than low A, the Midwest league. Kevin Goldstein has said that the Midwest league is the most difficult hitting league in the minors. Of course, that's relative to the level they are in, but still. I doubt it's that much more difficult. The pitching will be more advanced but it's not AA or AAA.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Good to read all these opinions he can stay. I would certainly prefer that.
    1. PeteyD33's Avatar
      PeteyD33 -
      Some one asked about how Sano's defense was looking. Here is my note about him posted elsewhere after watching him over the weekend:


      Sano struggled and went 0-4 including 2 strikeouts (I think). He was taking some big swings at the ball all night. He was swinging at a lot of pitches in the dirt which makes me think he is still struggling with off speed stuff. On the defensive side, I was pleasantly surprised by him. In the first, he knocked down a tough in-between hop to get the runner out at first. In the 4th, he made a really nce play moving to his right and picking the ball up almost right on 3rd base. He threw it low across the diamond to just beat the runner the fast runner
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Turd Furgeson View Post
      Here's John Sickel's recent thoughts on him as he scouted him this past weekend, only a two game sample size but it has merit:

      Miguel Sano, 3B: Age 19, still officially listed at 6-3, 195 but looks more like 6-5, 230. Despite his size, he moves with some grace on the field. Arm strength and range look just fine for third base and he handled a couple of difficult plays without any problems. He's made 21 errors already, but I didn't see any reason (based on these two games) why he can't improve defensively and be an average defender, at least. Hitting-wise, Sano has tremendous bat speed, among the best I've ever seen, with huge raw power, at least 70. He also swings and misses a lot. He actually did a decent job working counts and laying off breaking pitches and changeups, but he swung and missed on outside fastballs that he was trying too hard to pull. The Burlington pitchers didn't give him any sort of hittable fastball, pitching to the outside corner and past it, refusing to throw stuff on the inner half to him. He's hitting .240/.350/.507 with 14 homers, 33 walks, and 74 strikeouts in 225 at-bats. Given his youth, I think Sano will make the proper adjustments. If things work out: Miguel Cabrera. If they don't: Joel Guzman.
      That's quite a wide range, Sickel really went out on a limb with his final assessment/sarc. Still, this is at least one expert that suggests it isn't the breaking balls, the MWL pitchers are pitching way around him and to this point his drop in production is due to his lack of adjustments and approach at the plate. Good news, both at the plate and in the field, and fresh strong evidence to promote, not retain.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Turd Furgeson View Post
      I will also add, I question how much more difficult high A is than low A, the Midwest league. Kevin Goldstein has said that the Midwest league is the most difficult hitting league in the minors. Of course, that's relative to the level they are in, but still. I doubt it's that much more difficult. The pitching will be more advanced but it's not AA or AAA.
      Here is the difference between high A (like Fort Myers), A (like Beloit) and low A (like a team in the short season New York/Penn League, and I think that I posted that before) :
      In most cases (90% plus), for a pitcher to be in high A, he has to have at least one secondary pitch that is "above average" or "plus", in addition to their main "plus" or "above average" pitch (usually a fastball). So, these days, if a hitter can dominate high A pitching, it is a good bet that he will make it to the majors (even for a cup of coffee) So moving to high A, hitters see more and better breaking and slow stuff, pitching against the count and such and they have to make adjustments.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Here is the difference between high A (like Fort Myers), A (like Beloit) and low A (like a team in the short season New York/Penn League, and I think that I posted that before) :
      In most cases (90% plus), for a pitcher to be in high A, he has to have at least one secondary pitch that is "above average" or "plus", in addition to their main "plus" or "above average" pitch (usually a fastball). So, these days, if a hitter can dominate high A pitching, it is a good bet that he will make it to the majors (even for a cup of coffee) So moving to high A, hitters see more and better breaking and slow stuff, pitching against the count and such and they have to make adjustments.
      Given this info as fairly valid- and given the evidence that the MWL is pitching around Sano, wouldn't it be better to have him working against pitchers pitching against him in A+ than around him in A?
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      If any of you were Koch or Pinto, and did not feel mis-treated because of that, please let me know.
      One thing I know for sure is that the players I've talked with don't share my mindset. (Yogi would remind me that you can't hit and think at the same time.) So I have little confidence answering "maybe" to your question.

      BUT, for what it's worth: it would depend on what I had been told to work on. It's not all about OPS, particularly for catchers. If I was consistently told that my framing of pitches still left a lot to be desired and it was what was holding me back, I would at least understand. If I was given a different story each time ("it's the hitting" when my OPS was low, "the footwork" or "the throws to second" when the OPS was good), then I'd be angry at them.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Given this info as fairly valid- and given the evidence that the MWL is pitching around Sano, wouldn't it be better to have him working against pitchers pitching against him in A+ than around him in A?
      Yeah. I see no reason that Sano (and Rosario and a couple more) should not be in high A instead of Beloit.
    1. Turd Furgeson's Avatar
      Turd Furgeson -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Here is the difference between high A (like Fort Myers), A (like Beloit) and low A (like a team in the short season New York/Penn League, and I think that I posted that before) :
      In most cases (90% plus), for a pitcher to be in high A, he has to have at least one secondary pitch that is "above average" or "plus", in addition to their main "plus" or "above average" pitch (usually a fastball). So, these days, if a hitter can dominate high A pitching, it is a good bet that he will make it to the majors (even for a cup of coffee) So moving to high A, hitters see more and better breaking and slow stuff, pitching against the count and such and they have to make adjustments.
      Thanks. So, Sano will have to make adjustments as he moves up a level but I don't see any harm in promoting him. He's been good overall, and pitchers are afraid to pitch to him now. He should continue to be challenged.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Rohlfing and Knudson might be backup catchers. They likely really want Pinto and Kochh to continue to play most every day.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Dan Rohlfing (.581 OPS) was promoted from Ft. Myers to New Britain. Josmil Pinto (.738 OPS) in the same team (and the same age as Rohlfing) was passed over.
      Former Gopher catcher Kyle Knudson (.680 OPS) was promoted from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Matthew Koch (.957 OPS) in the same team and a year younger than Knutson was passed over.

      I think that the Twins organization needs to do some serious soul searching with their promotions and reward merit, otherwise there will be some pretty upset minor league players...
      If any of you were Koch or Pinto, and did not feel mis-treated because of that, please let me know.
      There are two good reasons to keep Pinto at Fort Myers. First, he is on the all-star team which is coming up. Let him stay in the FSL and enjoy it. Second, the player moving up will see a lot of bench time while Herrmann plays. Keep the better catcher at Fort Myers where he will play most of the time rather than sit.
    1. Mchans24's Avatar
      Mchans24 -
      Sano at third is a HUGE asset, keep him there for another year. If he is athletic at all the outfield or 1B will be no problem adjusting to. Remember, he signed as a SS so he obviously has athletic ability.
    1. 60ft6in's Avatar
      60ft6in -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
      There are two good reasons to keep Pinto at Fort Myers. First, he is on the all-star team which is coming up. Let him stay in the FSL and enjoy it. Second, the player moving up will see a lot of bench time while Herrmann plays. Keep the better catcher at Fort Myers where he will play most of the time rather than sit.
      How about the fact that Knudson will be turning 25 in August and they need to see if he can stick... Seems old for A ball? In fact Koch and Rodriguez will be 24 this year. Compared to the few other Midwest teams I looked at we are very old at that position...all 3 catchers(knudson, koch and rodriguez) are older then Pinto and Rohlfing who were at high A.....?? I know age isn't the main determining factor but 24/25 in low A.

      Rams officially not a catcher? With not catching, he seems to be at risk of sticking around...?
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I was thinking Daniel Santana to AA, Mata to Beloit, Albers to AAA, and Romero to AAA. Albers and Romero don't have fantastic stats, but they have been at the same level for some time now and are both over 25. Albers could be the rotation replacement for Hendriks if he gets called up (instead of Hermsen who is advancing rapidly as you suggested). Romero is on a power surge as of late and he could fit in really well with Rochester's infield. Luis Perdomo should be in AAA, so if there is a spot in bullpen (Oliveros promo) it should be his.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by 60ft6in View Post
      How about the fact that Knudson will be turning 25 in August and they need to see if he can stick... Seems old for A ball? In fact Koch and Rodriguez will be 24 this year. Compared to the few other Midwest teams I looked at we are very old at that position...all 3 catchers(knudson, koch and rodriguez) are older then Pinto and Rohlfing who were at high A.....?? I know age isn't the main determining factor but 24/25 in low A.

      Rams officially not a catcher? With not catching, he seems to be at risk of sticking around...?
      Koch was drafted in 2011 from college... and played a handfull of games in Etown. So this is practically his first Pro season. Rams is still very young, was a high school draftee. Not catching any more and not sure what's up with him these days.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by 60ft6in View Post
      How about the fact that Knudson will be turning 25 in August and they need to see if he can stick... Seems old for A ball? In fact Koch and Rodriguez will be 24 this year. Compared to the few other Midwest teams I looked at we are very old at that position...all 3 catchers(knudson, koch and rodriguez) are older then Pinto and Rohlfing who were at high A.....?? I know age isn't the main determining factor but 24/25 in low A.

      Rams officially not a catcher? With not catching, he seems to be at risk of sticking around...?
      Some great points. Thank you! Knudson missed so much time last year, his first full-season, and just was activated by the Snappers maybe 2 weeks ago. Koch is in his first full season. Rodriguez has been around awhile.

      And yes, being something like 5-54 might put a player on the hot seat, I'd say! He was listed as a LF.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Wow there are a lot of things to comment on. About Sano and 3B . . . I would hope that if he isn't the Twins 3B of the future, that he is the 1B of the future next. And there is NO reason to move him over there for awhile yet as making that transition is nothing really to worry about.

      I am generally with Thrylos on a lot of these moves, though I can see why, if not promoting Herrmann, they don't promote Pinto and Koch at the moment. With regard to Herrmann, greengoblinrulz pointed out in my adopt-a-prospect Herrmann thread that Chris has now played a full season at AA with these numbers:

      151gms 546ABs .260/.360/.397 29doubles 5 triples 12HR 67RBI 10/13SBs 84bb 112Ks

      That is worth noting, regardless of the decline in the BB/K rate and other issues. The power has increased. I would definitely like to see how he does at the next level and there is no worry about him being the full-time catcher at Rochester. And this also could allow for more movement with Pinto and Koch to move up levels as they deserve to do.

      I would keep Danny Santana at Fort Myers for awhile yet. Albers and Romero, I agree with promoting, but in the latter case the problem is that the Twins sent their two 3B down to Rochester!

      I would like to see some movement in the system and an unclogging of plenty of "veteran" has-beens (never weres) like Thomas, Roof, et al.
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