July 30, 2007

Tuesday's Thoughts

Twins Notes
Luis Castillo traded to the Mets.
If you haven't already heard, the Minnesota Twins have traded Luis Castillo to the New York Mets. In exchange, the Twins received 24 year old catcher, Drew Butera, and 23 year old outfielder, Dustin Martin. The 2nd baseman is in an option year of a 3 year $16 Million deal. He's making $5.75 Million this season. According to Twins GM Terry Ryan, the Twins were unlikely going to resign him after the season was over.

Drew Butera was selected by the Mets in the 5th round of the 2005 Draft out of the University of Central Florida. He was hitting .188/.208./.231 in AA this season with 1 HR and 4 RBI's in 30 games (117 AB's), he hit .258/.348/.418 in High-A with 5 HR's and 22 RBI's in 52 Games (182 AB's). Butera is the son of former Twins catcher, Sal Butera. His father won a World Series Ring with the Twins in 1987. He will be reporting to AA New Britain.

Dustin Martin was selected by the Mets in the 26th round of the 2006 Draft out of Sam Houston State. He was hitting .287/.358/.421 in High-A this season with 5 HR's and 52 RBI in 93 games (363 AB's) in High-A. Martin is another left-handed hitting outfielder with below-average power, so he should feel right at home in the Twins system. Although there are reports that he will develope more power as he progresses. Hopefully. I can see Martin turning out to be a Brandon Roberts-like steal that the Twins pulled off last year with the Reds. He will report to High-A Ft. Myers.
Who will take over at 2nd Base?
With Luis Castillo being traded, it opened a spot on the 25-man roster. So immediately after the trade, the Twins recalled infielder Alexi Casill from Rochester. Casilla is viewed as being the future 2nd baseman for the Twins, so it was no surprise to see him being called up. Casilla has been hot and cold at times this season, but he may be an option against left-handed hitters where he has hit .337/.388/.484 in 95 AB's at AAA this season. He and Nick Punto will likely split time at 2nd base, with Luis Rodriguez making an occasional appearance.
Twins beat Royals, 3-1.
In the midst of all the trade talk, there was a baseball game to be played.

Scott Baker pitched well for the Twins, and really deserved the game ball last night. The 25 year old went 8 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits and struck out 7. Both hits came in the 4th inning, otherwise he had 7 1-2-3 innings. He set down the first 9 and the last 14 he faced in order. Baker has now lowered his ERA to a respectable 4.88 (considering it was betwen 6-7 just a month ago). He is next scheduled to pitch against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, August 4th.

The offense started off on a great start as well. Jason Tyner and Jason Bartlett lead off the Twins with back-to-back singles which lead up to Joe Mauer's 2-run double to put the Twins up 2-0 after the 1st. The Twins wouldn't score again until the 8th inning when Joe Mauer hit Jason Tyner in after a leadoff double. Mauer went 2-4 with his 19th double and 44th-46th RBI.

With Luis Castillo now gone, Jason Tyner got the start at leadoff on Monday and he did a great job. He went 3-4 with a single, doublem, and a triple (which was almost his 2nd ML home run). He has been great as of late, in his last 4 games, he is 8-15 with a solo home run. He is likely going to see more time at the leadoff spot now that the Twins traded Castillo.

The top of the lineup did a great job for the Twins. The 1-4 hitters who were Tyner, Jason Bartlett, Mauer and Justin Morneau combined to go 8-15 with all 3 runs scored and driven in and 2 doubles and a triple. The rest of the lineup was horrible. Torii Hunter, Jason Kubel, Rondell White, Brian Buscher, and Nick Punto combined for 1 hit in 16 AB's and left 10 men on base. The one hit was by Brian Buscher who had his first hit at the Metrodome with a 2nd inning single. Jason Kubel had a couple nice hits, including one that was just about 5 feet foul of his 10th HR, but he finished the game with 3 K's.

Joe Nathan come out in the 9th and set the Royals down in order to pick up his 23rd save of the year and his 3rd in the last 3 games/days.

Carlos Silva (8-11, 4.76) will face Jorge De La Rosa (8-10, 5.35) on Tuesday in the 2nd game of a 4 game series against the Royals. Silva is 3-2 with an ERA of 4.18 in 9 career starts against the Royals. De La Rosa is 1-3 with an ERA of 4.74 in 6 games (4 starts) in his career against the Twins. De La Rosa pitched 8 innings and gave up just 1 run (which was unearned) against the Twins on April 22nd.
Minor League Scores

Rochester Red Wings beat the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 3-2.
Dave Gassner may have extended his stay in the Red Wings rotation, at least for the time-being. The 28 year-old southpaw went 6 innings and gave up just 1 run on 3 hits. Julio DePaula helped him win the game by perserving a 3-1 game by pitching 2 innings of no-hit ball. Bobby Korecky picked up his 28th save, but also allowed another run which was his 4th in his last 3.2 innings pitched. Jose Morales hit 2 RBI's and his 2nd HR of the season. Garrett Jones went 1-2 with 2 walks and his 60th RBI of the season.

New Britain Rock Cats beat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 8-7.
Starter Anthony Swarzak wasn't as good yesterday than in his previous starts, but he wasn't that bad. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits while striking out 9 in 6 2/3 innings. Tim Lahey pitched 2 innings and gave up 2 runs (1 earned) to pick up his 8th win of the season. Trevor Plouffe went 2-4 with 3 RBI's and his 8thHR of the season. Rashad Eldridge went 3-5 with a two-run game winning HR in the 9th.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Dunedin Blue Jays, 6-5.
Kyle Walrdop gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in 5 innings on Monday. Adam Hawes pitched 4 innings in relief to pick up his 2nd win of the season. Steven Tolleson and Erik Lis went 2-4 with an RBI each. Alexander Soto went 2-4 with 2 RBI's. Danny Valencia and Brian Dinkelman both had hits as well.

Beloit Snappers beat the Fort Wayne Wizards, 5-2.
Starter Cole DeVries went 5 innings of 1 run (which was unearned) baseball en route to his 8th win of the season. Jesus Carnevales, Aaron Craig and Anthony Slama finshed off the game. Slama picked up save number 5. Steven Singleton went 2-3 with his 17th RBI. Eli Tintor went 1-2 with his 19th RBI. And Joe Benson went 2-5 with 2 RBI's.

GCL Twins beat the GCL Pirates, 8-3.

Starter Thomas Wright went 4 innings and gave up 3 runs (2 earned). Lee Martin, Tom Stuifbergen, Dominique Rodgers, and Michael Mopas combined for 5 shutout innings. Martin picked up his 2nd win of the season. Juan Richardson went 3-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 runs batted in. Yangervis Solarte, Andrew Schmiesing, Angel Morales and Nick Biagini all had 2 hits each. Morales had 4 RBI's and his first HR of the season. Ben Rever went 1-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 SB's.

Elizabethton Twins beat the Greenville Astros, 6-2.
David Bromberg picked up his 5th win of the season while going 5 innings and giving up 2 runs and striking out 8. Spencer Steedley, Curtis Leavitt, Omar Alcala and Bradley Tippett combined for 4 shutout of relief innings, 2 hits, and 5 K's. Every starter had a hit, so I won't list those guys. But the RBI's went to Estarlin De Los Santos, D.J. Romero, Rene Leveret, Wesley Connor and Mark Dolenc. Dolenc had 2 RBI's which came from his 2-run HR, his 3rd of the year.