Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Twins Minor League Report (5/8): Gibson shows he's ready

While Pedro Hernandez was getting beat-up by the Boston Red Sox line-up, Kyle Gibson was showing he is ready to take his spot in the major league starting rotation. It might have been Gibson's best start as a professional and it wouldn't be surprising if he is making his MLB debut in the next week.

The rest of the Twins and Red Sox game looked like a slow pitch softball game. Minnesota scored seven runs in the second inning and Pedro Florimon did his best Babe Ruth impression with a home run and a two-run double. Oswaldo Arcia has his batting average at .300 after he had four hits in the Twins 15-8 win over Boston.

There were plenty of story lines to follow in the minor leagues on Wednesday so let's go around the horn with the Twins farm system.

Rochester Red Wings 3, Toledo Mudhens 0
Box Score
It took 114 pitches but Kyle Gibson pitched a complete game shutout. He only allowed four hits and he had eight strikeouts and two walks. It was a masterful performance as only five balls left the infield. He threw 70 strikes and 44 balls and only face four batters over the minimum. I was his second complete game shutout and his first since 2010 with the Fort Myers Miracle.

So far this season, Gibson had made it into the seventh inning in one outing and his season high in strikeouts was seven. Both of those marks were passed on Wednesday and the 25-year seems on the cusp of making his big league debut. The Twins might need someone to take over starting role of Pedro Hernandez and Gibson could be the guy.

There wasn't a ton of offense on Rochester's side of the ball but it was enough to get the job done behind Gibson's gem. Evan Bigley got the scoring started with a two-run home run in the first inning. Chris Herrmann and Eric Farris each notched their first triple of the season.

Doug Bernier was the only Red Wings batter with more than one hit. Chris Colabello went 0-4 in the game and he saw his nine game hit streak come to an end.

It was the first time the club has won two games in a row since a four-game streak at the end of April. The Red Wings have not lost a series in their last five.

Rochester continues their longest road trip so far this season with two more games in Toledo. Rochester has dominated Toledo in recent play with the Red Wings winning 11 of the last 12 match-ups. The team will return to Rochester for a week-long home stand that starts on Friday night.

New Britain Rock Cats 5, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 4
Box Score
A four-run first inning put the Rock Cats in control of this game from the start. The offense would cool down from there and Pat Dean looked in control of things on the mound. For Dean, his 6.1 innings while allowing four runs was enough to earn him his first win at the Double-A level.

Things got a little dicey in the bottom of the seventh when a double and a single from the Fisher Cats plated a run. This signaled the end of the day for Dean and the bullpen took over from there. Bobby Lanigan allowed one of the inherited runners to score but other than that the bullpen did their job. Michael Tonkin earned his fifth save of the year as he closed out the ninth.

On the offensive side of the ball, Daniel Ortiz stole the show. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. He hit his team leading ninth double of the year and smacked his fifth home run.

Danny Santana and Curt Smith both went 2-for-4. Smith added his fourth double of the year and Santana had his 13th RBI on the season. Mark Sobolewski had a rough day at third base with two fielding errors.

With the win, the Rock Cats have a season high four-game winning streak and the team improved to 18-5. New Britain is only one game behind the Portland Sea Dogs in the win column for first place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League. The club will face that very Portland team for five games in the next four days.

Fort Myers Miracle 1, Tampa Yankees 8
Box Score
Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario were held out of the Miracle line-up for the second day in a row. Fort Myers found enough offense to win without these two players on Tuesday night but there weren't enough runs on the board at the end of Wednesday afternoon.

Matthew Summers got hit around for nine hits and six earned runs in only five innings. He has only pitched more than five innings in one of his last four starts and he hasn't got a win since April 12th. His ERA sits at 4.29 so the Florida State League has been a little rough on him so far this year.

Only four batters managed hits for the Miracle. The lone run was scored on a solo-shot off the bat of Kennys Vargas. It was his fifth home run of the year but it wasn't nearly enough. Stephen Wickens continued his hot bat with two hits in the game. Over the last 10 games, he has a hit in nine games and a batting line of .351/.442/.459.

Cedar Rapids Kernels 1, Quad Cities River Bandits 4
Box Score
Much like the Miracle's game, it was a tough offensive night for the Kernels. The team had a couple of extra base hits but the club left nine men on base and went 0-8 with men in scoring position. It was the fewest amount of runs the team had scored since May 1.

Dalton Hicks provided all of the offensive pop with a solo-shot in the sixth inning. It was his fifth home run of the season. Candido Pimentel had his first triple of the year but he would be stranded at thrid base. Tyler Grimes was the only Kernel to collect more than one hit with his 2-for-4 day at the plate. Byron Buxton reached base twice with a single and a walk but he got caught stealing for the fifth time.

The defense struggled to make throws on Wednesday night. Cedar Rapids compiled three throwing errors that lead to two unearned runs for the River Bandits. For Pimentel, it was his second error of the season. Brett Lee was the starting pitcher and a botched double play turned into his first error of the year. Travis Harrison continues to struggle at third base with his team leading ninth error.

Lee put up a decent effort on the mound but was still given the loss in this contest. He even outlasted the starter for the River Bandits by over an inning. His final line was 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 SO and 2 BB. Since joining the Kernels rotation, he has pitched six innings in three out of his four starts.

Cedar Rapids continues their series with Quad Cities over the next two nights. The team holds a slim two game advantage in the standings over the River Bandits so these next two games will be very important. Their 12-game road trip concludes with a three-game series in Beloit this weekend.

No comments: