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Jeremy Nygaard

Sunday's Minor League Round-up

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The Twins were beaten up pretty soundly by the juggernaut that is the Oakland Athletics. We should have known we were going to be in for a rough weekend when the Twins couldn’t squeeze a win out of their best pitching performance in almost five years. (It was nice to know you, Frankie.)

Personally, I’m still holding onto Liriano, trying to sign him to an extension or offering him arbitration and taking the draft picks if he leaves, but that’s for another place on the website.

(Semi-Segway to the round-up…)

During the game “Richard” asked TK about players in the minors. Kelly had some great perspective on guys. The player he talked most about was Evan Bigley, an OF currently at New Britain. Bigley was a 10th round pick in 2008 out of Dallas Baptist. As a college guy from that draft, he was first eligible for the Rule V draft last year. If the Twins were to move some outfielders, it will be interesting to see if having TK as a big supporter in the system would be enough to get him added to the 40-man roster this winter. You can find more on when guys are Rule V and MiL FA eligible here.

TK also mentioned that he really liked Hicks, Sano (Molitor is helping him with his defense) and Rosario (who is in Fort Myers working his way back). Bremer talked a little about Benson’s disappointing year and TK said he believes Benson is heading back to New Britain tomorrow. He didn’t want to comment on pitchers because that’s not his specialty.

Also, (not that you care) I’ve decided to publish a Top 50 (tentatively) Twins Prospect List. I feel like after paying pretty close attention to the Farm System over the last half-dozen years I’m finally informed enough to form an opinion. I tell you not because it’s the news you’ve all been waiting for, but because if I say I’m going to do something IN TYPE, I feel like I need to do it. I will be publicizing it on August 1st, after the Twins have added a handful of stud prospects. (Yeah, right…)

And now, ladies and gentlemen, today’s round-up:

ROCHESTER 8, TOLEDO 7
Box score

Tsuyoshi Nishioka is the hero… though I’m unclear exactly what happened. Nishi came up in the bottom of the 9th with the tying run on second. This is play summary:

Nishi singles to center field. Sean Burroughs scores. Nishi scores. Throwing error by catcher. One out.

WTF?! RocRedWings go silent on Twitter. Somewhere a black White supremacist’s head explodes. (Chappelle reference.)

EDIT: I found out what happened - after Nishi singled, he tried to advance on the throw home. The catcher threw the ball into center field and Nishi channeled his "inner-Carlos Gomez" by running all the way home for the winning run. Phew...

Here’s what we do know: Clete Thomas drove in three runs. Matt Carson and Chris Parmelee had two hits. Parmelee and J.R. Towles had doubles.

Esmerling Vasquez went three innings allowing two runs on three hits. Brendan Wise allowed three runs (two unearned) in two innings on four hits. Dan Sattler allowed a run on two hits and struck out two. Bobby Lanigan got the win for two innings of one unearned run ball, two strikeouts, a walk and a hit.

Earlier in the day, RP Luis Perdomo was named Twins minor league player of the week.

The Wings completed a four-game sweep winning all four games in the “come-from-behind” variety. Don’t look now… but the Wings are barreling down on .500.


NEW BRITAIN 1, TRENTON 3
Box score

It was a quiet first seven innings for the Rock Cats offense. They entered the 8th inning with only two hits (a single by Chris Colabello and a double by Danny Lehmann). They put together a semi-rally in the 8th getting singles from Nate Hanson and Aaron Hicks, but a strikeout by Chris Herrmann ended the threat.

Oswaldo Arcia, who struck out to open the ninth, went 0-for-4, dropping his average at New Britain to .302. After that, though, the Rock Cats went walk (Colabello), single (Evan Bigley), single (Deibinson Romero), scoring Colabello. Nate Hanson advanced both runners on a groundout. With the tying runner on second and two out, James Beresford struck out swinging to end the game.

B.J. Hermsen’s performance was aided by groundball double plays in the 1st and 5th innings. He ended with six innings pitched, allowing three runs, six hits and three walks. He struck out two and gave up two home runs.

Edgar Ibarra relieved Hermsen with one out and one on in the seventh. He pitched two innings, striking out two.

Marty Popham pitched the nine and hit his first batter, but got a groundball in between two strikeouts to make it out of the inning allowing no runs or hits.

FT. MYERS 5, DUNEDIN 2
Box score

The Miracle got one hit off Dunedin starter Jesse Hernandez. It was a Rene Tosoni home run, so the value of the hit was maximized, but it only left three innings for Fort Myers to erase a one-run lead. They didn’t need all three innings. And they erased the lead and then some.

Tom Stuifbergen continues to work himself back onto the prospect radar. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, but no walks and only two runs. He struck out three. He worked into the sixth and kept his team in the game; know of any teams that need that from their starting pitchers?

Jose Gonzalez saw eight batters in relief and mowed them all down. He struck out three. (Does anyone remember when the Twins used to have “Snapper mow-em-down innings”? Ah, the old days…)

Michael Tonkin pitched the ninth, striking out one and walking one. He earned the save.

The story of the game was the Miracle 8th inning:

  • Andy Leer strikes out.
  • Danny Santana doubles.
  • Levi Michael draws a walk.
  • Rene Tosoni singles to load the bases.
  • Joe Benson singles. Two runs score.
  • Kyle Knudson walks to load the bases.
  • Lance Ray singles to score two more runs, but is thrown out at second (which is ok, cause it probably allowed the runner at home to score).
  • Danny Rams strikes out.


Besides the 8th and the aforementioned Tosoni home run, Lance Ray added a single in the seventh.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak.

BELOIT 5, LAKE COUNTY 8
Box score

Ryan O’Rourke made a seven out sport-start (in place of Steven Gruver) and had a rough night, allowing seven hits and runs, three home runs. He struck out two.

Cole Johnson allowed three hits in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one. Gruver allowed two hits and two walks in two innings. He gave up one run, struck out one and so threw a wild pitch. Dallas Gallant allowed a hit in an inning where he struck out one batter.

Gruver started the first 16 games he pitched in, but has pitched out of the bullpen three times now in the last week. I am not sure whether this is in an attempt to limit his innings (he’s thrown 81 2/3 innings this year after throwing a combined 127 last year) or if he’s being shifted to the bullpen. Gruver’s at his best when his fastball is in the high-80s and he’s pounding the bottom of the zone.

The Snappers bats managed three extra base hits (doubles by Steven Liddle, Jonathan Goncalves and J.D. Williams), but managed only six total. Luckily, they were able to translate those six hits (and two Lake County errors) into five runs.

Miguel Sano Watch: 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored.

The Snappers have one more game at Lake County before getting a day off on Wednesday. They will return home – along with play-by-play gal Chrissy Scaffidi – to open a series against the Lansing Lugnuts. Let’s hope that the Snappers can join Chrissy as coming home as “winners”. (If that doesn’t make sense to you, get on Twitter.)

ELIZABETHTON vs BLUEFIELD – POSTPONED, Rain

GCL TWINS – DAY OFF

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Players of the Day for Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hitters of the Day – Tsuyoshi “Walk-off” Nishioka
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(mlb.com)

Pitcher of the Day – Jose Gonzalez
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(www.knuckleballsblog.com)

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A Look Ahead – Monday, July 16, 2012 Schedule

Rochester at Norfolk – TBA

New Britain vs New Hampshire (two games) – LHP Logan Darnell (8-6, 4.13) and RHP Steven Hirschfeld (5-4, 3.06)

Ft. Myers vs Dunedin – TBA

Beloit at Lake County – RHP Tyler Jones (1-3, 3.28)

Elizabethton vs Bluefield – TBA

GCL Twins at GCL Orioles – TBA

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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.
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