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  • Thursday's Minor League Round-up

    Trevor Plouffe hit another home run tonight. But so did Jim Thome, so Plouffe was unable to close the gap at all (607 to 22). Thome’s damage was also a three-run shot, while Plouffe’s was solo. The rest of the offense was pretty stagnant, and failed to plate any more runs (while also failing to win their fifth straight series).

    It’s been an interesting past few weeks for the no-longer-shaggy Trevor Plouffe. After Luke Hughes was DFA’d, many wondered how closely Plouffe would follow. Plouffe now has a 2012 OPS of .841, despite batting .232 (which is about 100 points higher than it was when this hot-streak began). Suffice it so say, not DFAing Plouffe was a great call and it appears that Plouffe will be the everyday third baseman for the foreseeable future.

    Let’s check on the minor leagues on this Thursday night:

    ROCHESTER 8, LOUISVILLE 6
    Box score

    The Red Wings had an offensive outburst tonight, scoring eight runs on thirteen hits.

    Danny Valencia (two doubles) and Matt Carson paced the offense with three hits each. Valencia had three RBI and walked twice, reaching base in all five plate appearances (which would lead to being named “hitter of the day”… most days). Carson added two RBI as did Clete Thomas, who hit his 3rd AAA home run of the year.

    The pitching staff just fared well enough to give their team a chance to win, and it took all of their offense to do so.

    Luke French had a rough go of it. He only made it 3 1/3 innings and he only allowed four hits. French’s problem was his control, as he walked four and threw only 45 of 76 pitches for strikes. He struck out three.

    Kyle Waldrop replaced French and did what Kyle Waldrop does: get groundball outs, including one double play. He allowed two hits.

    Deolis Guerra allowed a two-run home run, but struck out two in his two innings of work. Casey Fien picked up the win for his two innings of work, not allowing any runs, but walking two and allowing two hits, while striking out one.

    NEW BRITAIN 2, AKRON 3 (12 innings)
    Box score

    It was a tough 12-inning loss for the Rockcats tonight. Despite collecting fourteen hits, they were only able to score two runs.

    The story of the game was Nate Hanson, who went 5-for-6 and was a home run short of the cycle. I would consider it somewhat amazing that he only scored once and didn’t drive in any runs. Rene Tosoni, Deibinson Romero and Matt Rizzotti all had two hits.

    Brett Jacobson had his longest outing as a starter this year, going 5 1/3. He allowed three hits and three walks. He struck out six and allowed two runs. He left two runners on, which Bobby Lanigan stranded. Lanigan allowed two hits, but didn’t allow any runs in 2 2/3 innings and struck out two.

    Bruce Pugh, who has always had an issue with control, struck out three in two innings, but also walked two.

    Luis Perdomo took the loss. He pitched two innings. He struck out three, but allowed a run on two hits.

    Former Twin farmhand Loek Van Mil pitched a hitless 2 1/3 innings, striking out two.

    FT. MYERS 0, BRADENTON 6
    Box score

    The Miracle finished the first half with a very quiet night and enter the All-Star break with a 27-37 record.

    Daniel Ortiz provided three (one double) of the Miracle’s four hits. (Angel Morales collected the other.)

    Daniel Santana went 0-for-4 tonight (following 0-for-5 last night) to lower his average under .300 for the first time all season.

    Pat Dean went 5 1/3 innings allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. Ricky Bowen recorded eight outs, allowing only two hits and a walk. He did allow his only inherited runner to score. Dakota Watts pitched a perfect ninth.

    BELOIT 5, PEORIA 3
    Box score

    With today’s win, the Snappers clinched a spot in the playoffs as the 1st Half Western Division Wild Card.

    Miguel Sano went hitless in two at-bats, but managed to walk twice. He has struck out 15 times in his last 37 at-bats (41%). He has struck out in 33% of his at-bats this season. He also walked twice tonight and has a respectable OBP of .351 despite batting only .239. It will be interesting to see how teams pitch to him without Eddie Rosario in the line-up. (Though I would imagine Sano’s absence would have a greater effect on Rosario.)

    J.D. Williams led the offense with two hits (one double). Adam Bryant started off the scoring with a 3-run home run in the first inning. Nate Roberts, who has spent a lot of professional career on the disabled list, added a home run.

    Roberts is an interesting case. Though he hasn’t often found himself batting leadoff, he does have a career OBP of .437 and has a penchant for getting hit (29 HBP last year). If he can stay healthy, he’s a guy to watch.

    Tyler Jones struck out nine in six innings. He allowed only three hits, walking two and allowing three runs. He left a tie ballgame, so was credited with a no decision. Jones now has 33 Ks in 25 innings.

    Tim Atherton struck out four in two innings.

    Michael Tonkin, who has been on fire of late, continued his run. He struck out the side in the ninth for the save. In Tonkin’s last 8 IP, he has struck out 18. He'll be heading to Fort Myers soon. (Hopefully!)

    ---
    Players of the Day for Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Hitters of the Day – Nathan Hanson

    taken from nodaktwinsfan.com

    Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Jones

    taken from lsusports.net
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    A Look Ahead – Friday, June 15, 2012 Schedule

    Rochester at Louisville – RHP Liam Hendriks (not likely; as it appears Hendriks will be pitching for the Twins on Saturday)

    New Britain vs Erie – LHP Aaron Thompson (0-2, 9.35)

    Ft. Myers – All-Star Break

    Beloit at Burlington – LHP David Hurlbut (2-0, 1.80)

    ---
    If you have any questions on the Twins minor league system, players, teams, etc., leave them in the Comments and we’ll try to answer them! Comments also welcome.
    This article was originally published in blog: Thursday's Minor League Round-up started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Tim Atherton appears to be an unusual case. His stats are lights out impressive (K/BB 24/7 in 14+ innings and only 5 hits allowed). He is a converted position player and an Aussie, who at 22 is too old for the MWL. Do you know enough to have an opinion on if he has a steep learning curve potential and enough stuff to make the show in 2-3 years?
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Thanks for pointing that out. For those that aren't aware, Atherton was an OF in the Twins system a handful of years ago. He was released and brought back later as a pitcher.

      The fact that the Twins brought him back after letting him go, and he's stuck around around as long as he has, speaks a lot about how the Twins view him.

      I don't know enough about him to know if he's a legitimate option, but I certainly wouldn't view him as a "prospect" right now. Butat 22, he's not crazy old for the MWL, though. I wouldn't think he's a priority to promote right now (to see what he can handle), but definitely a storyline worth watching.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great news for Beloit. I think that making it to the playoffs is helpful in developing a winning attitude on the part of the prospects.

      Too bad that the prospects in Ft. Meyers and Rochester are being acclimated to losing. I wonder whether there is anything that can/should be done about this.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      Great news for Beloit. I think that making it to the playoffs is helpful in developing a winning attitude on the part of the prospects.

      Too bad that the prospects in Ft. Meyers and Rochester are being acclimated to losing. I wonder whether there is anything that can/should be done about this.
      Get better players? Sorry, couldn't resist.

      Actually, Rochester is starting to show signs of life. They are only 6 games under 500, and while they are in last place, they are playing in the IL's version of the AL East. They'd be middle of the division in the South or West. And they're managing that with not much starting pitching (we took all their best guys).
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I was going to say the same thing, about getting better players. Aso, consider that this year's Ft. Myer's pitching staff of Garcia, Salcedo and Stuifbergen have all missed time with injury and Munoz is still moving cautiously.

      As for Atherton, he was a 3B. He was pretty much kicked off the GCL team all those years ago. He and another Australian player. i did get to see Atherton pitch in one of the games I was at in Beloit. He throws hard! He has a slider. 2-pitch pitcher says he's going to be a reliever. But two really good pitches, and as Jeremy pointed out, he's not all that old for the level, if at all. So, he doesn't ahve to be rushed.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      As for Atherton, he was a 3B. He was pretty much kicked off the GCL team all those years ago. He and another Australian player. i did get to see Atherton pitch in one of the games I was at in Beloit. He throws hard! He has a slider. 2-pitch pitcher says he's going to be a reliever. But two really good pitches, and as Jeremy pointed out, he's not all that old for the level, if at all. So, he doesn't ahve to be rushed.
      Elliot Biddle, Pitcher, if I remember correctly. Atherton went to the Pardes' organization for a moon too.

      As far as "being old for the Midwest League" goes, he is 22. The Beloit age average for Ps is 22.3 and the league average 21.9, so he is where he should be age wise. You can see 22 year old in AA and AAA, but these are the top prospects, like Sano and Hendriks etc.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Cole De Vries will start for the Red Wings today. He'll be pushed up one day, but still got his four days of rest. Liam Hendriks, tonight's scheduled starter, will start for the Twins tomorrow. There will be a corresponding roster move after tonight's game. I think it's very possible we see Chris Parmelee head back to Rochester. After taxing the bullpen on Wednesday night, there is a need for an extra arm.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      Cole De Vries will start for the Red Wings today. He'll be pushed up one day, but still got his four days of rest. Liam Hendriks, tonight's scheduled starter, will start for the Twins tomorrow. There will be a corresponding roster move after tonight's game. I think it's very possible we see Chris Parmelee head back to Rochester. After taxing the bullpen on Wednesday night, there is a need for an extra arm.
      There is also a need for an extra bat, especially starting on Monday. Why not send Butera back down, keep the bat on the roster AND get the extra arm? With Mauer catching 3 days in a row, it appears he is reasonably healthy and the catching situation has returned to the way it was when the Twins broke camp. Which nightmare does Gardy wake up in a cold sweat from more often- not enough catchers or not enough pitchers? I know he never loses sleep about not having enough hitters.
    1. adjacent's Avatar
      adjacent -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      There is also a need for an extra bat, especially starting on Monday. Why not send Butera back down, keep the bat on the roster AND get the extra arm? With Mauer catching 3 days in a row, it appears he is reasonably healthy and the catching situation has returned to the way it was when the Twins broke camp. Which nightmare does Gardy wake up in a cold sweat from more often- not enough catchers or not enough pitchers? I know he never loses sleep about not having enough hitters.
      The alternative is to send down Mastro. He is not used much anyway, and Parmelee can play outfield as well. Not that is anything wrong with sending Butera down. I am just stating alternatives
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      I think all of those listed - Parmelee, Butera, Mastroianni - are possibilities, as well as others that weren't suggested. With the Twins heading to National League parks next week, many cases could be made. Without a DH, having three catchers is probably overkill. Hard to say one way or the other, but I would be surprised if it was a pitcher that was sent down, given they're gaining a bat anyway.
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