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    by 08-16-2012, 07:13 AM

    It feels like almost every Wednesday night when I write this, the Twins have lost, or are in the process of losing. I didn't watch or follow today's game. It looked from the highlights like Max Scherzer had a pretty good day. Oh well. Let's take a look at tonight's minor league action.

    Esmerling Vasquez had a great game tonight, going 7 innings, allowing only 4 hits, striking out 10 and walking 2. Deolis Guerra pitched the remaining 2 innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. Guerra struck out 4 and allowed a home run.
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    by 08-16-2012, 03:28 AM
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    Despite being the Twins 1st round pick in the 2006 draft out of his school, it took until September of 2011 for his to become a household name among many Twins fans. After five seasons in the minor leagues, Parmelee was promoted directly from Double-A New Britain when the Rock Cats season ended just short of a playoff berth. Parmelee had put together a very strong second half for the Rock Cats, but no one could have imagined how well he played in September. He played nearly every day, 21 games in all, and hit .355/.443/.592 with six doubles, four homers and 14 RBI. In 88 plate appearances, he walked twice and struckout 13 times.

    Parmelee gives us a glimpse into why minor league numbers and statistics are secondary to player development.
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    by 08-15-2012, 10:46 PM

    Note: This is the last in a series of blog entries detailing my game experiences on a road trip to see all the Twins minor league affiliates in their home parks. For those interested, links to previous entries are listed at the end in chronological order.

    After a quiet day visiting one of the local state parks and catching a matinee I head out to Frontier Field again. This time it is a beautiful night for baseball and while I am sad that this is the last game of the trip I can’t think
    Jamey Carroll trying to get on base.
    by 08-15-2012, 10:21 PM
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    Terry Ryan says the Twins aren’t going to be able to buy themselves out of this funk they’re in. He’s absolutely right, especially when it comes to second base, where the Twins OPS ranks 29th in the majors. Because there is almost nothing to buy.

    The free agent market for middle infielders is often limited, but this year’s market for second basemen is especially sparse. I count one starter – Toronto’s Kelly Johnson. Johnson is 31 years old, has a 692 OPS and is slightly below average fielding (according to UZR). And he’s the class of this group.
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    by 08-15-2012, 12:24 AM
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    Late in Sunday's game against the Rays, the Twins reached their breaking point with Brian Dozier.

    With the game tied and runners on the corners for Tampa in the 10th inning, the rookie shortstop scooped up a ground ball and took the sure out at first rather than throwing home to cut down the go-ahead run or attempting a tough inning-ending double play.

    After the game, Ron Gardenhire seemed to let Dozier off the hook:
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    by 08-15-2012, 12:16 AM

    On Tuesday night, in a 8-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers, Ben Revere went two-for-five on the night and had his average settle in at .317 – one one-thousandth of a point behind teammate and three-time American League batting champion Joe Mauer. This average was a far cry from his numbers last year when on this same day he was hitting a paltry .245.

    After being sent to Rochester in the early part of 2012, Revere worked with Red Wings hitting coach Tom Brunansky to get his swing back to the one which was producing consistent .300 averages over his minor league career. Together they found one small difference in his major league and minor league swing.

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    by 08-14-2012, 10:18 PM

    Brian Duensing put the Twins in an early hole by giving up two runs in each of the first two innings but the Twins were able to make a game of it versus the Tigers. A big bottom of the third inning helped to even the score with Josh Willingham providing most of the damage with a 3-run home run, his 30th of the season. It is a new career high for Willingham and it breaks the previous record that he set last season with Oakland. Unfortunately, the Twins woudn't score again and the Tigers would come out on top in this game.

    Most of the minor league teams fared better than the Twins so let's take a trip through the minors on a Tuesday night.
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    by 08-14-2012, 01:39 PM

    In my fourth annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, which became available in January, I posted my Top 30 Twins Prospect list as well as my annual rankings back five or six years. I enjoy looking at those lists for a couple of reasons. First, it is humbling. No one will likely ever produce a top 10 list that is 100% accurate. Second, it’s a fun reminder of some of the names from the past that didn’t stick around or make it. Third, it’s just fun to review to see what I have learned since then.

    Today, I would like to take a look at my top 20 Twins prospects from before the season started and provide a quick update on how they’re doing. Some will move up, others will (or have) moved down. In parentheses, you will see where I ranked that player when I did an updated ranking before the June draft. In the comments, please feel free to discuss, but also feel free to post your updated Top 10 list as of now.
    In retrospect, what could be a better place for a first date?
    by 08-14-2012, 07:53 AM

    "Life's like a movie, write your own ending."
    - The Magic Store from The Muppet Movie


    It started with a decision in the spring of 1990. He asked her if their first date should be an afternoon at the Art Institute or a double-header at Wrigley Field.

    "How is that even a call?" she replied.

    The sun gleamed, the grass glowed underneath the ballplayers and the magical afternoon was made more so because he thought it was probably their last date as well; neither was from Chicago.

    But he was wrong. Both traveled enough to occasionally gain discounted tickets and the 1000 miles between Minneapolis and Philadelphia wasn't as isolating as they both thought it would be. Or at least not initially.


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    by 08-13-2012, 10:11 PM

    The beauty of baseball is many-fold. On any given night. You just never know. Teams need stars to play well over the course of a season to be successful. But on any given night, anyone can step up when you least expect it and help you to a win. On Monday night, Samuel Deduno was wild as ever, but he somehow managed to pitch into the 8th inning and gave the Twins offense an opportunity to work without being behind. Darin Mastroianni was in the lineup as Denard Span and his shoulder are day-to-day. He came through with a solo home run that gave the Twins a 2-1 lead. Later, he had a big two-run single that broke the game open. It was Ryan Doumit who put it out of reach when he blasted a three-run homer, his 13th of the year.

    It was a quiet night in the Twins farm system. New Britain, Ft. Myers and Eizabethton had scheduled nights off. The GCL Twins were rained out. There was some thunder in Beloit, but fortunately it was off the bats of two of their big boppers. And the Red Wings game came right down to the last at bat, an at bat by the guy that the Red Wings would want in that position. Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Monday night:
    Tsuyoshi Nishioka bobbles a throw in a Minnesota Twins game.
    by 08-13-2012, 04:13 PM
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    Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who was optioned to the minors today to make room for Trevor Plouffe, has probably played his last game in a Twins uniform. His memory will endure, however – probably for longer than the team would like.

    In a sense, you can't help but feel bad for the guy. He worked hard and tried his best, but in the end he couldn't cut it, and his demotion in the wake of an audition so horrendous it needed to be cut short after three games serves as a reminder of the most misguided decision in a blunder-filled Bill Smith era.
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    by 08-13-2012, 11:48 AM

    The Twins suffered another home sweep over the weekend, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays three in three consecutive games.

    Hoping to play the role of spoiler against a division rival, the Twins settle in for a three game set against the Detroit Tigers. Going for the Tigers in the first game is newly-acquired righty Anibal Sanchez, who has struggled with the Tigers in three starts since being traded before the non-waiver deadline last month. Against Sanchez goes enigmatic Sam Deduno, hoping to get his pitches under control in
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    by 08-13-2012, 08:57 AM

    While the 2012 season has been a little bit painful at the big league level, there have been plenty of positive stories out of the minor leagues for the Twins. Miguel Sano, the player widely considered as the best in the Twins organization, is showing his power potential by sitting near the top 10 in nearly every offensive category for the farm system. Byron Buxton and J.O. Berrios were the top two picks for the Twins in June's draft and they have both already been promoted to Elizabethton in the last week. Berrios has been nearly untouchable so far in his outings and Buxton has put
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    by 08-12-2012, 10:14 PM

    Well, Desmond Jennings didn’t get a double on the first pitch in Sunday’s game as he had Friday and Saturday nights. However, on a 1-2 pitch, he hit a home run off of Scott Diamond. Diamond threw yet another Quality Start, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and the Twins lost 6-3 thanks to a late rally by the Rays.

    In the minor leagues, there is a lot going on. Monday will be the final off day for New Britain. Not big news by itself, but it does mean that the seasons are wrapping up quickly. The Rock Cats find themselves fighting for a playoff spot. If the season ended today, they would have the final Eastern League playoff position. The Beloit Snappers earned their playoff berth in the first half, and they are putting together a strong roster. Elizabethton is again a force in the Appalachian League. It will be fun to watch these final weeks. If you missed it on Sunday, I posted the current Minor League Hitting Leaders and Pitching Leaders in many categories. Check those out.

    There were many more terrific performances on Sunday. Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights:
    Sure, it's driven us to drink. But is the Twins season half empty or half full and what does it mean for the offseason.
    by 08-12-2012, 07:43 PM

    Aaron and John talk about the Minnesota Twins' odds of contending or rebuilding in 2013, where Chris Parmelee eventually fits into the lineup, a possible minor league affiliation shuffle, exactly how bad Tsuyoshi Nishioka looked, whether Nick Blackburn should stick around with a 7.50 ERA, Liam Hendriks' and Brian Dozier's long-term outlook, which of them would make a worse Olympian, Bert Blyleven vs. Patrick Reusse, and why Gleeman won't go to Las Vegas with Bonnes. Here are:

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    by 08-12-2012, 04:47 PM

    Earlier today, I posted the Twins Minor League Leader Board for the hitters. Now comes the leader board among Twins minor league pitchers. Pitchers are more difficult to compare against each other. Comparing starting pitchers with relievers is really difficult. So, what I've done is set two limits for many of these categories. I used a 40 inning limit, and then I used an 80 innings limit. There have been a couple of starters who have pitched well and consistently in the minors this year. There have been a handful of relievers that have put up very good numbers.

    Here is a look at the pitching leaders in the Twins minor league system (through games played on Saturday, August 11):

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