Monday, July 27, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (7/27): Super Slegers!

Credit: Linwood Ferguson, Captive Photons
Winning has been a trend through out the Twins system this season. Entering play on Monday night, the Twins had the third highest winning percentage for any farm system. Twins affiliates have won 54.29% of their games and only trail the Astros and Mets for the top spot.

Did Minnesota's affiliated teams continue their winning ways? There were multiple double headers scheduled for Monday so you'll have to read on to find out.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 1, Toledo 2
Box Score
Pat Dean pitching a complete game and limited the Mud Hens to two runs but he didn't get enough run support and was handed his ninth loss of the season. He scattered nine hits and walked two while striking out one. It was his third straight start of seven innings or more while allowing two earned runs or fewer. He's taken the loss in three of those three previous starts.

The lone Rochester run came courtesy of a Reynaldo Rodriguez solo home run. Eric Farris matched Rodriguez with a 2-for-4 night at the plate. Jorge Polanco and Chris Herrmann both reached base twice with a pair of walks. The team only had three at-bats with runners in scoring position but they were held hitless.

With the loss, the Red Wings have lost five straight games and sit three games over .500. The club currently sits three games behind the Scranton/WB RailRiders for first place in the International League North Division.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 5, Lakeland 1 (7 Innings)
Box Score
Aaron Slegers earned his eighth victory after pitching a seven inning complete game. He allowed one earned run on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. It was his sixth straight start of pitching at least seven innings and allowing two earned runs or less. During that stretch, he has gone 4-1 while limiting opponents to one walk.

Michael Quesada drove in a pair of runs to help add to the Miracle lead. Engelb Vielma and DJ Hicks finished the game with two hits each including both having a double. TJ White went 2-for-3 with a run scored. The team had more than enough offense to back the stellar pitching performance by Slegers. 

Fort Myers 1, Lakeland 6 (7 Innings)
Box Score
After the strong pitching performance from Slegers in the first half of the double header, Chih-Wei Hu had a tough time on the mound. He allowed five earned runs on 10 hits while striking out six in less than five innings of work. Brian Gilbert, Tyler Jay, and Trevor Hildenberger put up zeros for the rest of the night but it was too big of a hole.

No Miracle batters had more than one hit and none of the team's hits were for extra-bases. Michael Quesada scored the lone run for the team. Engelb Vielma reached base two times and finished the double header 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, a run, and a walk.

E-Twins E-Notes
E-Twins 0, Johnson City 4 (7 Innings)
Box Score
The E-Twins were held to three hits as no one on the team had more than one hit. Chris Paul reached base two times and cracked the team's lone extra-base hit, a double. AJ Murray, Alex Perez, and Manuel Guzman each reached base two times. The team went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Alexis Tapia pitched into the sixth inning but took the loss after allowing four runs, three earned, while striking out nine and walking three. Tyler Stirewalt pitched 1.1 innings without allowing a run. He struck out one and didn't walk any. The loss dropped the E-Twins to four games under .500.

E-Twins 4, Johnson City 1 (7 Innings)
Box Score
The E-Twins struggled to get on the board in the first half of the double header but they found a way to scratch out some hits in the second half. LaMonte Wade had a pair of hits including a double to go along with two RBI. Alex Perez scored two runs and hit his fourth double of the season. The E-Twins two through seven hitters each had at least one hit and the team only left four men on base.

Onesimo Hernandez remained perfect on the season after throwing five innings of one run ball. He struck out four and walked one and the lone run was scored on a solo home run. CK Irby picked up his first save after pitching two scoreless innings to close out the contest.

GCL Twins Takes
GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 1 (Suspended- 2 Innings)
Box Score
The GCL Twins were scheduled for a double header but they weren't able to get through two innings of work before rain interrupted play. Lewin Diaz and Jermaine Palacios each drove in a run before the rain came a tumbling down. Look for a full report on both of these games when the rain finally stops falling in Florida. 

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers, Fort Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Engelb Vielma, Fort Myers Miracle

TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Toldeo (6:00 CST) – RHP Jose Berrios
Chattanooga vs. Pensacola (6:15 CST) – LHP Brett Lee
Ft. Myers vs. Lakeland (6:05 CST) – RHP Ryan Eades
Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 CST) – RHP Keaton Steele
Elizabethton vs. Johnson City (6:00 CST) – TBA
GCL Twins vs. GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) – TBA
GCL Twins vs. GCL Rays (Completion of 7/27 Game)

Episode 140: Hot Stove and Cold Beers

itunes pic
You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here.

The Hot Stove League is heating up. The Twins are connected to big names like Troy Tulowitzki and Jonathan Lucroy, but the Twins would need to give up a lot of your favorite prospects to land a player of that caliber. The Twins offense has struggled, but Joe Mauer has been red hot and Trevor Plouffe launched a 3-run dinger to help the Twins take a game in LA. 

After the regular Twins news, we go beer and all the news from around the league.
Enjoy the show!

If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to tell a friend (or two, or three, or four hundred) and give us a rating/review on iTunes. Ratings and reviews help Glen Perkins to stop blowing saves.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (7/19): Lots of Losing

Credit: Linwood Ferguson, Captive Photons
There wasn't too much to be happy about across Twins Territory on Sunday.  The big league club got destroyed out in Oakland and four of the team's five minor league affiliates were also unsuccessful in their attempt at victory. 

Even with not such positive outcomes in the win-loss column, there were still some strong performances at multiple levels. To see who fared well through all the losing, keep reading.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 6, Lehigh Valley 2
Box Score
Greg Peavey picked up his first win since being promoted from Double-A at the end of last month and the bottom half of the batting order provided enough offense for the club's 51st win. Peavey tossed six frames while allowing two earned runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked three. Michael Tonkin and Logan Darnell combined for three perfect innings to close out the win.

Rochester got off to a slow start in this one as they were being no-hit through four innings but they combined to go 4-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Eric Farris, Argenis Diaz, and Carlos Paulino all had two hits as they batted seven through nine in the order. Diaz drove in two runs and scored two runs while Paulino drove in three and threw out a runner from behind the plate.

With the win, Rochester improved to seven games over .500 as the club leads the International League North Division by one game over the Scranton/WB RailRiders. The Red Wings next opponent, the Gwinnett Braves is two games under .500 and seven games out of first in the IL South Division.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga --, Biloxi -- (Postponed- Rain)
Rain postponed this game before a pitch could be thrown. The two clubs will not meet again during the regular season so the game will not be made up. The Lookouts won three of the four games in the series before tonight's cancellation.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 3
Box Score
Jupiter pounded out 10 hits to slide by Fort Myers. Nick Burdi took the loss after allowing two runs in two innings of work. Stephen Gonsalves started the game and pitched five inning of one-run ball with two strikeouts and two walks. Brian Gilbert pitched two shutout innings to end the game.

TJ White was the lone Miracle batter with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4. Mitch Garver kept the team in the game with a solo home run , his seventh of the year. Alex Swim collected a pinch hit double but that runner would be one of nine runners left on base by the club.

Fort Myers has lost seven of their last nine game but the club is surprisingly only four games out of first place in the Florida State League South Division. The Miracle will look to get back on track as they start a new series against the last place Jupiter Hammerheads on Monday.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 5
Box Score
Luke Westphal took the loss but it wasn't because of his performance on the mound. He went six strong innings while allowing two runs, one earned run, with four strikeouts and two walks. At one point, the southpaw retired nine straight batters. Chris Mazza got beat around for three runs on four hits to see any chance of a comeback disappear.

Edgar Corcino reached base three times as part of a 2-for-3 effort. Tyler Kuresa scored the lone run of the game for the Kernels. The only extra-base hit came off the bat of Pat Kelly, his eighth double of the season. Nick Gordon saw his 17-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-4. Overall, the team left five runners on base and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

The Kernels have lost six of their last eight and they sit 8 games behind Kane County for first place in the Midwest League Western Division.

E-Twins E-Notes
E-Twins 3, Burlington 13
Box Score
The E-Twins found themselves in a very tight game before the B-Royals pounded out eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tyler Stirewalt and Jose Abreu surrendered all eight runs in the inning with seven of the eight runs being earned. Cody Stashak started and finished with six innings, two earned runs, five strikeouts, and three walks.

It wasn't all bad for the E-Twins. Amaurys Minier went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Daniel Kihle reached base three times in four trips and hit his first triple. LaMonte Wade scored a run and knocked his third triple of the season. It wouldn't be nearly enough as the team was sent to a double-digit loss for the first time all season.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Greg Peavey, Rochester Red Wings
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Amaurys Minier, Elizabethton Twins

MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester vs. Gwinnett (6:05 CST) – LHP Taylor Rogers
Chattanooga vs. Montgomery (6:15 CST) – LHP David Hurlbut
Ft. Myers vs. Jupiter (6:05 CST) – TBA
Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:00 CST) – TBA
Elizabethton @ Burlington (6:00 CST) – RHP Dereck Rodriguez
GLC Twins vs. GCL Orioles (11:00 am CST) – TBA

Friday, July 17, 2015

Episode 139: The All-Star Edition

You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here.

This week's podcast features not a lot of new Twins news on account of major league baseball's All-Star break. An all-star break that saw Brian Dozier get added to the AL squad, hit a home run in his only at bat and Glen Perkins finish the game for the 2nd time in as many years. 

Paul and Cody discuss the current state of affairs in Minnesota, the merits of the AL's 2nd best team, and what, if any, upgrades the Twins should pursue down the stretch.

Thanks for hanging out!

If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to tell a friend (or two, or three, or four hundred) and give us a rating/review on iTunes. Ratings and reviews help Miguel Sano to hit home runs.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Twins Minor League Report (7/13): Arcia, Batts Honored

Credit: Joe Territo, RedWingsBaseball.com
Oswaldo Arcia began the year as the Twins starting left fielder but things didn't work out exactly as planned. He finds himself down at Triple-A but he's making the most of the opportunity after a slow start. On Monday, Arcia was named the International League Hitter of the Week, the fifth honor for Rochester this season.

Arcia led the International League with four home runs, 10 RBI, six extra-base hits, and 22 total bases. In the month of July, he's knocked a league high seven long balls. Last Monday, he lead Rochester to a dramatic win with a three-run walk-off home run. He's already tied for the team lead with eight home runs.

Miracle left-hander Mat Batts was also honored on Monday with the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. He made one start during the week and delivered seven scoreless innings in a no decision. Batts scattered five hits with two walks and struck out 10. He currently leads the Miracle with a 1.71 ERA.

Besides the awards being handed out, there was plenty of action down on the farm. Let's check out some of the top performances from Monday.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester (All-Star Break)
Much like their counterparts at the big league level, the Rochester Red Wings are in the midst of their All-Star Break. The Triple-A All-Star Game is scheduled to be played on July 15 in Omaha, NE. Pitchers AJ Achter and Taylor Rogers will join infielder James Beresford and coach Tim Doherty as the Rochester representatives.

Rochester enters the break with a 49-42 record, the top mark in the International League North Division. The team currently sits 1.5 games ahead of Scranton/W-B for first place in the division. The Red Wings won four of their last six game heading into the break.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 4, Mississippi 3
Box Score
Chattanooga jumped out to an early lead in this one and had to hold on for dear life at the end. David Hurlbut twirled seven shutout frames by allowing five hits and two walks. He didn't strikeout a batter but he seemed to need them on this night. Alex Muren made things interesting in the ninth by allowing two runs but he was still able to earn his first save.

Stephen Wickens and Heiker Meneses both picked up a pair of hits. Wickens cracked his 8th double and Meneses drove in his 22nd run. Niko Goodrum collected his first triple since being promoted to Double-A and he stole his 7th base. Travis Harrison drove in a run, his 40th of the season.

The win ended a four game losing skid and helped the Lookouts from being swept by Mississippi. Chattanooga has struggled in the second half with a 4-13 record. They are currently in last place in the Southern League North Division.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 3
Box Score
Aaron Slegers pitched into the ninth inning for the second time this season and he had retired 10 in a row before a throwing error by Tanner Vavra cost him a chance at a win. Slegers took his fifth loss after lasting 8.1 innings he struck out one and walked one. It was his fourth straight start pitching at least seven innings and allowing two earned runs or fewer.

Jason Kanzler had one of the biggest hits in the game, a run scoring triple. It was the only extra-base of the game and the club went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Ryan Walker reached based three times along with scoring a run. Mitch Garver finished the night 2-for-4.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 4
Box Score
Luke Westphal made a strong start for the Kernels but it wasn't enough for Cedar Rapids to come out victorious. In six innings pitched, he allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He left the game with the lead but Rand LeBlanc allowed three runs (two earned) in the last two innings as he earned his second loss of the season.

Tanner English had a strong day at the plate with a 2-for-4 effort including his 13th double and his 27th stolen base. Nick Gordon cracked his 12th double and reached base in two of his four plate appearances. He now has a team best 13 game hitting streak and he has reached base in 16 straight games.

After an off day on Tuesday, the Kernels begin a three-game home series on Wednesday versus the Burlington Bees. The club has lost three of their last four games.

E-Twins E-Notes
E-Twins --, Johnson City -- (Postponed- Rain)
The E-Twins were looking to get back to the .500 mark on Monday but Mother Nature didn't cooperate. Most of the minor league affiliates have a scheduled off day on Tuesday so the make-up of this game is still TBD.

GCL Twins Takes
GCL Twins 5, GCL Rays 3
Box Score
The GCL Twins found themselves with a five run lead entering the late innings and the club was able to hang on for a two-run win. Eduardo Del Rosario pitched five shutout frames by scattering five hits. Hecto Lujan allowed all three runs in less than an inning of work. Johan Quezada was asked to get four outs for his third save of the season.

Lewin Diaz and Luis Arraez paced the offense with three hits each. Both players knocked a double while Diaz had a pair of two-out RBI and Arraez scored two runs. Jermaine Palacios went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. It was the second straight win for the GCL Twins.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – David Hurlbut, Chattanooga Lookouts
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Lewin Diaz, GCL Twins

TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester- Scheduled Off Day for All-Star Break
Chattanooga- Scheduled Off Day
Ft. Myers- Scheduled Off Day
Cedar Rapids- Scheduled Off Day
Elizabethton- Scheduled Off Day
GLC Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) – TBA