Sunday was an interesting day in the world of Twins baseball.
The Twins had a chance to complete a 4-game sweep in Fenway Park. Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit both homered in the ninth to make it interesting, but the rally fell short.
At one point early in the game I overheard Dick Bremer announce that Danny Valencia had been traded to the Red Sox. I can't say I was surprised that he was traded, though the timing - with Plouffe being hurt - did catch me off guard. Read more about the Valencia trade here
The return on Danny V. was a young - but not "league young" - outfielder named Jeremias Pineda. Pineda will report to the GCL as a 21 year old, sometime typically reserved for current-year, late-round college draft picks, not international free agents, with the belief he'll have a chance to play low-A (Beloit?) ball next year. Pineda's route to pro ball isn't typical, signing as a 20-year old. You want more Pineda? Look here
The next domino today was the announcement that Tsuyoshi Nishioka would take Valencia's spot on the active roster. Nishi's recall is the result of many things: the Twins want Eduardo Escobar to get AAA at-bats, not having a lot of other alternatives and the fact the Nishi is on the major league payroll anyway, to name a few. Maybe you're into conspiracies and think that the Twins are calling him up to simply sit on the bench and never play, hoping to drive him to the point we're he'll take a buyout to go to Japan. However you look at it though, he's back. And you can talk about it here
Seth, Travis and Jim Crikket took in today's Snapper action before heading back to Southern Canada, Northern Mexico and Cornfield, USA, respectively. Fortunately for them, they got to see some neat things today, which you'll be able to read below as well as in Seth's column later. If you're late to the dance and missed Seth's earlier posts about the weekend, find those threads here
... and here
If you're even considering taking in a Snappers game or two, do it. I've done it every year for the last four (or five) and twice this year and enjoy each trip more than the last. If you're considering traveling all over the U.S. to watch Twins affiliates, you can read all about sbknudson's "Kick-Ass Trip" here
Let's move on and talk about Sunday's action:
ROCHESTER x, TOLEDO x
The Red Wings didn't play a double-header. If they did, they would have only played 14 innings. Instead, thanks to a Chris Parmelee game-tying ninth-inning home run, the Red Wings played a really long extra-innings game today.
I thought it was going to end in the 18th, when Deolis Guerra put runners on 1st and 3rd with no out. But then he struck out three batters (around an intentional walk) to end the threat.
The 19th inning saw a two-out barrage started by a Clete Thomas single and followed by a double off of the bat of Evan Bigley to score Thomas. Brian Dinkelman added to the two-out assault with a single to score Bigley. Ray Chang added another insurance run with a double.
Guerra gave up a two-out two-run home run in the bottom of the 19th but was able to escape with the win.
The Red Wings dodged a bullet when Saturday's game was called early and only rehabbing P.J. Walters and typical starter Esmerling Vasquez had to throw.
Unfortunately tonight they had to use all of their bullpen:
Luke French (3.1 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 K), Dan Turpen (2 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K), Kyle Waldrip (2.1 IP, 2 H, K), Caleb Thielbar (3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K), Bobby Lanigan (3 IP, H, BB, K) and Deolis Guerra (3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K)
That followed up the dismal (and maybe last?) start by Eric Hurley (2.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, BB).
The positive spin is that the bullpen combined to go 16 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (with 11 hits and 11 walks) and struck out 19.
Offensively, there were many hits. Of course, in 19 innings, there should be.
Chris Parmelee continued his tear. He hit his 12th HR in 40 games, a game-tying shot in the 9th. He also added a double.
Eduardo Escobar hit his first HR of the year and his first in AAA.
Wilkin Ramirez, Matt Carson and Ray Chang all went 4-for-9. Escobar, Bigley and Parmelee had three hits.
Brian Dinkelman led the team with three RBI.
Bobby Lanigan was the lone Wing who had less than 2 hits, going 0-for-7.
You wonder if this is going to leave the Red Wings scrambling to add arms for their upcoming series.
NEW BRITAIN 13 , ALTOONA 4
The Rock Cats had a very good game today against a very good pitching prospect.
Oswaldo Arcia and Joe Benson each had three hits and 2011 #1 overall pick Gerrit Cole didn't make it out of the fifth inning.
Benson went 3-for-5 with a home run and a double, driving in five and scoring three times. Arcia also scored three times, doubling once.
One-time prospect Deibinson Romero is clawing his way back into the discussion. He hit his 16th home run of the year and drove in four runs.
Aaron Hicks was only 1-for-5, but stole three bases... and struck out three times. He also left four runners in scoring position.
Chris Colabello and Shawn Roof added doubles.
B.J. Hermsen went six solid innings, allowing four hits and three runs. He walked one. He didn't strike out any, and that's why his ceiling is that of an innings-eating back-of-the-rotation-starter. A much cheapter alternative to Nick Blackburn.
Marty Popham gave up two hits in two innings, striking out three.
Edgar Ibarra allowed a home run in an inning of work.
FT. MYERS 1, ST. LUCIE 9
There's not a lot of positive coming out of this game today.
Steven Liddle, Danny Rams, Kyle Knudson and Angel Morales each collected singles. Rams had an RBI. That's it offensively.
Tom Stuifbergen had a rough outing. He only lasted four innings giving up eight hits and five runs. He struck out four while walking two.
Ryan O'Rourke had a forgettable game. He lasted 2 2/3 but gave up six hits and four runs.
Ricky Bowen gave up two hits in 1 1/3 innings, striking out one.
BELOIT 8, WISCONSIN 2
David Hurlbut gave the Snappers their third consecutive dominant performance from a starting pitcher. Hurlbut allowed only two hits, two walks and a run over six innings while striking out five.
Tim Atherton faced the minimum six batter in two innings, walking one and striking out two before giving way to Mason Melotakis, who allowed a home run in the ninth.
Miguel Sano was the story offensively. He hit a long home run in his first at-bat, walked and singled in his next two at-bats before flying out in his last at-bat.
J.D. Williams, who struggles putting wood on the ball, got serious wood on the ball with the bases loaded, hitting a grand slam to right field. He also stole a base after singleing.
Drew Leachman added two hits. Nate Roberts went hitless, but reached base after getting hit.
ELIZABETHTON vs DANVILLE - POSTPONED
GCL TWINS - OFF DAY
Players of the Day for Sunday, August 5, 2012
Pitcher of the Day David Hurlbut
milb.com - Rinaldi Photos
Hitters of the Day Joe Benson
A Look Ahead Monday, August 6, 2012 Schedule
Rochester vs Empire State LHP Pedro Hernandez (Twins Debut)
New Britain - OFF
Ft. Myers - OFF
Beloit vs Wisconsin LHP Taylor Rogers (0-1, 6.00)
Elizabethton vs Danville (game 1) LHP Hein Robb (2-2, 2.81)
Elizabethton vs Danville (game 2) TBA
GCL Twins at GCL Rays TBA
If you have any questions on the Twins minor league system, players, teams, etc., leave them in the Comments and well try to answer them! Comments also welcome.