June 29, 2007

Friday June 29, 2007

Twins split series with Blue Jays

The Minnesota Twins came back from a 4-0 deficit in the first inning to beat the Blue Jays, 8-5. Frank Thomas hit his 500th Career home run which was a 3-run bomb to left field in the top of the first inning. He was later ejected in the 9th inning for arguing balls & strikes from the dugout after Joe Nathan struck him out. Thomas finished with 2 hits in 4 appearances while driving in 4 runs. Carlos Silva started out on a bad foot in the first inning, but was great after that. He lasted 7 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits while striking out 5. A.J. Burnett was activated from the 15-Day disabled list prior to the game, and he lasted 4 innings giving up 5 runs and had 6 K’s through the first 3 innings. Jason Frasor got the loss as he pitched 1 inning while giving up a 2-run HR to Torii Hunter. Joe Nathan came on in the 9th for the Twins to pick up his 15th save. For the Twins, Torii Hunter went 2-4 with 2 HR’s, 3 RBI’s, & 2 runs scored. Jason Bartlett had another good game while batting in the #2 spot when he went 2-3 with a HBP, 2 Runs, an RBI on a Solo Home Run & his 14th & 15th stolen bases of the season. He has yet to be thrown out while attempting to steal. Jason Tyner also had a good day from the leadoff spot. He went 3-4 with 2 runs and an RBI single. Joe Mauer went 0-4 and in Justin Morneau’s first game since his injury, he went 0-3 with a walk, an RBI, and 2 K’s.

  • The Twins will start 2006’s AL Cy Young winner Johan Santana (8-6, 2.83) on Friday against the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year, Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.78). Verlander had a bad outing against the Twins his last time out going only 3 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits. But in his career, he is 3-2 with a 2.90 ERA and 12 K's in 5 games (all started). Johan Santana is 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA and 12 K's in two starts against the Tigers this season. And in his career, he is 10-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 23 games (17 started).
  • After the game on Thursday, Ron Gardenhie announced that the Twins have recalled pitcher Matt Garza from AAA Rochester and will demote catcher, Chris Heintz. This will be Matt's 2nd time with the Twins. Last season, he was phenomenal in the Minors traveling all the way from Ft. Myers to the Big Leagues in the same season. He has been in the news as of late, but not for positive things. He openly criticised the Twins Organization for wanting him to mix in more off-speed pitches in his starts. He listened, and had a few rough starts, but the main thing for him is that since he listened, he was rewarded a promotion. Ron Gardenhire also said that Matt Garza will make his first (scheduled) spot start in one of next Fridays double-headers against the White Sox.

Twins Minor League Affiliates

(AAA) Rochester Red Wings
Red Wings beat Durham, 12-0.
Nick Blackburn and the Wings offense totally dismantled the Durham Bulls on Thursday. Blackburn went 7 innings and struck out 2. He was relieved by Ricky Barrett & Jason Miller who both went 1 inning apiece of scoreless ball. Alexi Casilla reached base 4 out of 6 times and had 2 runs and his 18th stolen base. Tommy Watkins & Brian Buescher both went yard for the 2nd straight day. Glen Williams also hit his 6th HR. And to round it off, newest Wing, Darnell McDonald was 3-5 with with 5 RBI's and 2 runs scored. Hopefully Rochester's offense can keep this momentum heading into the weekend.

(AA) New Britain Rock Cats
Rock Cats lose to New Hampshire, 3-2.
Josh Hill had a nice outing, but Tim Lahey & J.P. Martinez couldn't help him out and let New Hampshire beat them. Trevor Plouffe went 1-2 with 2 walks and DH Matt Moses went 0-4 with 3 K's. Ouch. But he's still hitting .345 since his demotion.

(High-A) Ft. Myers Miracle
Ft. Myers beat St. Lucie, 12-3.
Jeff Manship pitched his first game for the Miracle on Thursday, and had a nice outing. He went 5 innings giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits with 6 K's. Armando Gabino & Eddie Morlan pitched the final 4 innings (3 for Gabino, 1 for Morlan) to perserve the win. Brian Dinkleman got his first start in LF on Thursday and got another to extend his High-A hitting streak to 6 games. Steve Tolleson went 2-4 with 2 doubles, an RBI and 3 runs scored. Juan Portes had a 3-run HR in the 8th inning. And Javier Sanchez went 3-4 with 2 runs and 3 runs batted in.

(A) Beloit Snappers
Snappers lose to Cedar Rapids, 5-4.
Matt Fox pitched another good game going 4+ innings and only giving up 1 run while striking out 5. Danny Leatherman, Danny Vais, and Jose Lugo couldn't give Fox the needed protection for him to pick up his 5th win. Instead Lugo gives up a leadoff walk in the 12th, then Tyler Johnson steals 2nd. Then Abel Nieves hits the walk-off single to win the game. Chris Parmelee went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Allan de San Miguel went 1-4 with 2 RBI's and Steve Singleton went 2-4 the other RBI.

(Rookie) Elizabethton Twins
Twins lose to Danville, 13-5.
The only brights spot for the Twins was Mark Dolenc getting a 3 run HR in the 8th inning. Henrey Reyes gave up 7 hits and let in 4 runs in just 1 inning. The Twins just couldn't rally enough to get him off the hook. It was his 1st loss of the season.

(Rookie) GCL Twins
Twins beat Orioles, 6-0.
The Twins had two rookies on the mound to lead them to victory over the Orioles. Danny Berlind went 5 innings of scoreless ball with 6 K's. He still hasn't let in a run in 9 innings this season. Michael McCardell went 4 innings of scoreless ball with 5 K's. He also hasn't let in a run in 8 innings pitched. Ben Revere batted in the #2 spot and went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Rondell White & Ken Harvey both went hittless.

June 28, 2007

Thursday June 28, 2007

Twins Quick Thoughts:
  • Twins lose 5-4 to the Blue Jays. The play that might've decided it was walking Frank Thomas and then pitched to Zaun who hit a 2-run HR and ironically, we lost by one. Boof Bonser was great early on, but then fell apart later and the Twins offense just couldn't get enough runs to beat the Jays.
  • Rochester beat Durham, 10-4. Brian Duensing pitched another good game, getting his 4th win in a Red Wings uniform. The offense had a lot of key members. Morales had 3 hits, Tolbert, Span, Watkins, Buscher, & Williams all had 2 hits apiece. Span, Watkins, and Buscher all hit HR's. Watkins and Buscher both had 3 RBI's apiece.
  • New Britain beat New Hampshire, 12-1. Kyle Waldrop pitched 5 scoreless innings for his 2nd win in AA. Plouffe, Eldridge, and Allegra each had 3 hits. Guzman, Moses, Geiger & Peterson all had 2 apiece. Allegra led the way with 4 RBI's which all came from a Grand Slam in the first inning.
  • Ft. Myers lost to St. Lucie, 6-1. Oswaldo Sosa was strong in 5+ innings of work, but the bullpen didn't keep the Miracle in the game. Dinkleman got another hit to make him have hits in all 5 games since being promoted from Beloit. Danny Valencia also had a hit.
  • Beloit beat Cedar Rapids, 3-0. Alex Burnett pitched a gem, going 7 innings giving up no runs and striking out 6. Rob Delaney pitched 2 scoreless innings to collect his 24th save of the season. Ramos and Berg each went 2-4 with an RBI.
  • Elizabethton beat Danville, 9-7. Mike Tarsi pitched 3 scoreless innings in his 1st appearance in E-Town. Brad Tippert picked up his 2nd win of the year in 2 innings of relief. Santiago & Yersich each had 2 hits and 2 RBI's apiece.
  • Twins lost to Red Sox, 7-5. Revere hit in the leadoff and went 2-5 with an RBI. Juan Richardson went 1-4 with 2 RBI's. Tom Wright had another bad appearances going 5 innings giving up 5 runs (4 earned). But Lee Martin got the loss, giving up 2 runs while in relief.
  • Rehab Update: At DH, Rondell White went 1-2 with a double for the GCL Twins and at 1st Base, Ken Harvey went 0-4 for the GCL Twins.

I'll try to have more tomorrow. Have a great day!

June 27, 2007

Wednesday June 27, 2007

Twins beat Blue Jays in 12.

The Twins got exactly what they needed from Scott Baker for the second time in a row, a good start. Scott Baker lasted 7 innings and gave up 1 run, struck out 9 and only walked 1 batter. He was definitely at the top of his game last night. The Twins in fact struck out 15 batters in this game. Scott Baker stuck out the side in the 2nd, and Pat Neshek struck out the side in the 9th. Not only did the Twins get a great start from Scott Baker, but they also got a great performance from their bullpen. None of the Twins relievers allowed a hit.

9 different Twins players got hits on Tuesday night. But Jason Kubel and Jeff Cirillo were the only ones to drive in a run. Both runs scored came from Michael Cuddyer. Michael Cuddyer got the start at 1st Base to let Jeff Cirillo rest his legs and Justin Morneau still isn't ready to return from his collision. Jeff Cirillo came into pinch hit for Jason Tyner in the bottom of the 12th inning. After a nice AB, Jeff Cirillo finally hit a blooper into center field just ahead of diving Vernon Wells' glove. Wells made a great attempt at it, but luckily for the Twins, he came up short. Had Wells caught that, it would've been the top "Web Gem" for the night, if not the week.

  • Boof Bonser (5-3, 4.45) will start on Wednesday against the Jays' Josh Towers (2-5, 5.75). The Boofer has given up 12 Home Runs this season, which isn't bad, but isn't great. He's gotten a hold of it recently, only giving up 5 in his last 10 starts, but we can only hope that he's not the pitcher to give up #500 to the "Big Hurt".

Minor League Affiliates

(AAA) Rochester Red Wings
Red Wings lost to Durham, 7-5.
Matt Garza pitched wasn't his normal self last night against the Durham Bulls. He threw 96 pitches in 5 innings while giving up 4 earned runs on 10 hits. Julio DePaula pitched 2 innings while giving up 2 runs to get the loss. Darnell McDonald went 1-3 with a double and a run scored in his Red Wing's debute. Matt Tolbert went 2-4 with a run. Tommy Walkins went 1-4 and drove in 2 runs for the Wings.

(AA) New Britain Rock Cats
Off Day.

(High-A) Ft. Myers Miracle
Miracle beat Palm Beach, 5-3.
Jay Rainville pitched a great game for the Miracle on Tuesday night. He gave up 3 runs in 7.1 innings while striking out 4. Juan Portes provided a lot of offense going 4-5 with a HR and 2 RBI's. Brian Dinkleman has now gotten a hit in each game since he's been promoted. Danny Valencia batted in the cleanup spot and went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

(A) Beloit Snappers
Snappers lose to Cedar Rapids, 8-4.
The Snappers only managed to get 3 hits on Tuesday night. They came from the 1-2-3 hitters in the lineup: Yancarlos Ortiz, Matt Betsill, and Eli Tintor. 19-year old southpaw, Tyler Robertson, pitched his worst game of the season. He went 5 1/3 while giving up 4 runs on 7 hits.

(Rookie) Elizabethton Twins
Twins beat Princeton, 14-3.
7' 1'' pitcher, Ludovious Van Mil picked up his 2nd win as he pitched 2 innings of hittless relief. 1st baseman, Rene Leveret, hit his 3rd home run in just his 6th game. He also collected 6 RBI's, 4 of which came from a grand slam. He is also hitting .480 through the 6 games. Rene Tosoni, Chris Cates, & Ben Petsch all had 2 hits each. Mark Dolenc got 3 hits and scored twice.

(Rookie) GCL Twins
Twins beat Reds, 1-0.
The Twins managed to just score 1 run in what turned out to be a nice pitching dual. First Round pick Ben Revere went 1-4 and stole his 2nd base in as many tries, but struck out 3 times. DH Ken Harvey went 1-4 and drove in the only run of the game. Liam Hendricks started the game and went 5 innings of scoreless baseball to pick up the is first win of the season.

June 26, 2007

My NL All-Stars (so far)

Catcher - Russell Martin, Dodgers
Russell Martin is clearly the best catcher in the NL. He leads the NL in Hits, RBI's, and Stolen Bases, and is 3rd in HR's. All this while hitting with a .290 average isn't so bad. He is definitely having a great sophomore season after a promising rookie campaign. Honorable Mention: Bengie Molina, Giants.

1st Base - Prince Fielder, Brewers
Prince Fielder is also having a great 2nd (full) season. He is leading the NL in HR's and is only 2 behind Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees for most home runs in the Majors. He is already close to his entire last season totals in terms of hitting. Honorable Mention: Albert Pujols, Cardinals.

2nd Base - Chase Utley, Phillies
Chase Utley is definitely the "top dog" at 2nd base. He is hitting .320 with 12 HR's and 58 RBI. He continues to improve each year in almost every offensive category since he came into the league in 2003. Honorable Mention: Brandon Phillips, Reds.

Short Stop - Jose Reyes, Mets
This was a tough one, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez are both (in my opinion) equally deserving of this award. But I had to give the upperhand to Jose Reyes. He is hitting .323 with 3 HR's, 33 RBI and 38 Stolen Bases. They may be a stupid reasons for some of you, but I gave him the spot because of 3 reasons: (1) The added pressure of playing in New York City. (2) Because of how the two played head-to-head. In 8 games against eachother, Jose Reyes has outshined Hanley Ramirez by a considerable margin. Reyes has 5 RBI's and 3 SB's with a .378 average against the Marlins, where as Ramirez has 1 RBI and 1 SB with a .125 average against the Mets. (3) Reyes has 4 errors compaired to Ramirez's 14. They may seem silly, but those are my reasons. Honorable Mention: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins.

3rd Base - Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
Miggy is having puting together another great season. He is hitting .330 with 17 dingers and 58 ribbies while hitting cleanup for the Marlins. The only downfall to Cabrera's game is his poor defense. His errors have gone up the last few years, and so has his weight. He may need to shed a few pounds and work on his defense at the hot corner during the offseason. Honorable Mention: David Wright, Mets.

Outfield - Matt Holliday, Rockies
Matt Holliday and the Rockies are definitely having a good season. The outfielder is hitting .355 with 13 Home Runs and 59 RBI's. He is definitely one of the up and coming stars in baseball with his all-around great hitting and solid defense.

Outfield - Ken Griffey Jr., Reds
Talk about a resurgence. The future Hall of Famer is going to be 38 in November and is currently hitting .290 with 21 HR's and 46 RBI's. He's on pace right now to hit 47 HR's and 103 RBI's. Somebody needs to check this man for steroids. This is impossible right? I'm sure he's not on steroids, but it's just very uncommon to see a 37 year old produce like this.

Outfielder - Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
I know you probably think I'm crazy. But the "fonz" is currently hitting .310 with 15 HR's, 28 RBI, and 9 SB's. He definitely has had a dropoff from his 2005, 40-40 year. But he finally has broken out of his slump in June, hitting 11 HR's with 16 RBI's. He even raised his SLG% from .454 to .566 and his OPS from .793 to .925. Honorable Mention: Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks.

Pitcher - Jake Peavy, Padres
Jake Peavy is having a great turn around season after an un Peavy-like 2006. He has returned to his old form, more dominate than ever. He is currently 9-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 113 K's. He and teamate, Chris Young, may be the most dominate duo in the league at this point. Honorable Mention: Chris Young, Padres.

Tuesday June 26, 2006

Twins Lose To Blue Jays

The Minnesota Twins lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-5. Kevin Slowey gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in 5 innings in his 5th game as a member of the Minnesota Twins. He was hurt by the long ball for 3rd straight game when outfielders Vernon Wells and Alex Rios went back-to-back in the 3rd inning. Matt Guerrier had a poor outing giving up 3 runs on 4 hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Torii Hunter and Mike Redmond provided a lot of the Twins’ offense. Hunter went 1-3 with 2 runs and his 11th stolen base. Redmond went 2-4 with 2 RBI’s while getting the start at catcher for the DHing, Joe Mauer. On a side note, Jason Bartlett is now 12-12 in stolen bases this season. Roy Halladay still hasn’t lost a game against the Twins as he went 7 innings giving up 5 runs and striking out 4 batters. Jeremy Accardo pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his 9th save of the season.

  • The Twins will send Scott Baker (2-2, 6.75) to the mound on Tuesday to hopefully give the Twins a chance to still win the series. He will face Shaun Marcum (4-2, 3.38) who has been red hot as of late. He has only given up 4 runs in his last 19 innings pitched.

  • The Twins received good news on Monday when MVP Justin Morneau was released from a Florida Hospital after 3 nights of stay. Ron Gardenhire said that they don’t expect him to land on the DL, as long as he “continues on the path he’s on.” He said that he could return as early as Wednesday or Thursday if he’s “up to it.” The Twins are 2-1 without him.

Twins Minor League Affiliates

(AAA) Rochester Red Wings
Rochester lost to Charlotte, 8-2.
Starter Dave Gassner and the Rochester Red Wings lost their 2nd game in a row on Monday. Gassner gave up 3 runs in 5.1 innings before being relieved by Carmen Cali who also gave up 3 runs in his 2.2 innings of work. Alexi Casilla reached base 4 out of 5 times with a single, two walks, and a fielder’s choice. He also stole his 16th base of the season. Garrett Jones led off the 2nd inning with his 11th Home Run and 44th RBI. Tommy Walkins, Glenn Williams, and Jose Morales all registered two hits apiece.

(AA) New Britain Rock Cats
New Britain beat Connecticut, 5-2.
Ryan Mullins pitched a great game but unfortunately got a no-decision. He pitched 7.1 innings giving up 2 runs while striking out 10. He was relieved by Tim Lahey who got the win after pitching 1 1/3 innings with 1 hit and 2 K’s. Matt Moses is hopefully on the right path with a nice game at the plate. The struggling former first rounder went 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI’s. Centerfielder, Brandon Roberts got 2 runs while going 1-4 at the plate with a walk. Luke Hughes went 1-2 at the plate, raising his average to .312 on the season.

(High-A) Ft. Myers
Ft. Myers lost to Palm Beach, 5-0.
Zach Ward lost his 10th game of the season on Monday. He lost it while only giving up 3 runs (2 earned) in 6 innings. He is definitely pitching better than his 2-10 record shows. He still has 59 K’s in 68 innings this year, and an ERA of just over 3. Looks like Mr. Ward needs a little run support. Which Brian Dinkleman and others hope to supply. Dinkleman has now gone 1-4 in each game since being promoted to Ft. Myers. He got a triple in the top of the first inning, but Luis Ugueto & Erik Lis failed to drive him in. Two other recently promoted players, Danny Valencia & Chris Woodward both went 1-3.

(A) Beloit Snappers
Beloit lost to Cedar Rapids, 9-5.
Despite getting 13 hits to Cedar Rapids 11, and jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the 3rd inning, the Snappers still lost by 4 on Monday night. Cole Devries kept the Snappers in the game giving up 4 runs in just over 6 innings. But the bullpen didn’t help while Jose Lugo got the loss giving up 4 runs (3 earned) in 1/3 of an inning. Recently demoted from Ft. Myers, Matt Betsill and Eli Tintor both had two hits in the ball game. Tintor had two RBI’s, both of them coming in the 1st and 2nd innings. Steve Singleton went 3-4 with an RBI single in the 3rd.

(Rookie) Elizabethton Twins
Elizabethton beat Princeton, 20-6.
Talk about blowout. The Twins were leading 16-0 before the Rays scored their first runs in the 8th inning. Dave Bromberg pitched a fantastic game going 5 innings of shutout ball while striking out 10 batters. Outfielder, Ozzie Lewis and 1st baseman, Rene Leveret combined to go 8-13 with 5 runs and 7 RBI’s. Rene Tosoni & Starling De Los Santos both got 2 hits and combined for 6 runs in a great offensive game by the Twins.

(Rookie) GCL Twins
Twins beat Pirates, 12-3.
On a hot and sunny day in Florida, but the heat was no match for Santos Arias who pitched 6 innings of 1 hit ball while receiving his first win of the season. Rehabbing former “All Star”, Ken Harvey went 1-4 with his 1st Home Run. Juan Richardson went picked up 3 RBI’s on what was also his 1st Home Run. James Beresford & Andy Schmiesing combined to go 6-10 with 3 runs and 2 RBI’s at the bottom of the order. Ben Revere went 0-4, but scored twice.

June 25, 2007

Jeff Manship promoted

According to the Beloit Snapper's website, Jeff Manship has been promoted to Ft. Myers today. He definitely deserved the promotion. He was 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 13 starts for Beloit. He will join Danny Valencia, Chris Woodward, Brian Dinkleman, and Adam Hawes as recently promoted players from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Jeff Manship was selected in the 14th round (426th overall) of the 2006 draft out of Notre Dame.

My AL All-Stars (so far)

Catcher – Victor Martinez, Indians
Since Martinez broke onto the scene in 2004, he has been one of the Majors best catchers. This year, it’s no exception. He is currently hitting .318 with 14 Home Runs and 62 RBI’s. He also has a slugging % of .537 and an OPS of .914.
Honorable mention: Jorge Posada, Yankees.

1st Base – Justin Morneau, Twins
The reigning MVP is showing up all of the critics that said he didn’t deserve it. As of Sunday, he is hitting .278 with 20 Home Runs and 57 RBI’s. He slightly dropped off in June, but at the end of May he was hitting just under .300. Honorable Mention: David Ortiz, Red Sox.

2nd Base – B.J. Upton, Devil Rays
B.J. Upton sure has been a nice surprise for the Devil Rays this season. He first came up in 2004 and strugged as a 19-20 year old. He also didn’t fair very well in 2006. But so far this season, he is hitting .320 with 9 HR’s, 31 RBI’s, and 13 stolen bases. Honorable Mention: Brian Roberts, Orioles.

Short Stop – Carlos Guillen, Tigers
Carlos Guillen is definitely having one of the most unsung seasons, which I have seen in a while. He is currently hitting .322 with 12 HR’s and 53 RBI’s. One of the best things, that can’t been seen from these numbers are his stats in different situations. He is hitting .455 in 11 AB’s with the bases loaded, and .321 in 78 AB’s with RISP.
Honorable Mention: Orlando Cabrera, Angels.

Third Base – Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Alex Rodriguez is putting together one of the best seasons in MLB history. He hit .355 with 14 HR’s and 34 RBI’s in the first month of the season. He is currently hitting .333 with 28 HR’s and 76 RBI’s. He is on pace to hit 62 HR’s with 171 RBI’s. Honorable Mention: Troy Glaus, Blue Jays.

Outfield – Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
If there is any hitter in baseball (today) that can hit .400, this is the guy. He has always been a great hitter and a great fielder in his entire career. This season, he’s adding to his career numbers with 108 hits in the first 71 games. He is on pace to get 248 hits, which would mean he’s had at least 206 hits in every season in the majors. He is also hitting .361 with 5 HR’s and 37 RBI’s in the leadoff spot for the Mariners.

Outfield – Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
Mag’s is having a career year in 2007. He is currently hitting .381 with 13 HR’s and 68 RBI’s. He also has an OBP of .457, a SLG% of .653, and an OPS of 1.110. He is definitely the most deserving of all the AL outfielders of this spot.

Outfield – Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
Vlad may be the most consistant hitter in the league over the last 9 years or so. He is continuing to hit with power and average in 2007. So far he has 14 HR’s with 68 RBI’s while hitting .330. It’s also hard to argue about a player who has an OPS of 1.001. Honorable Mention: Torii Hunter, Twins.

Pitcher – Dan Haren, Athletics
Dan Haren is having a phenomenal season on the mound. He has only given up more than 2 runs in two starts (both were 3 runs that he gave up). So far, he is 9-2 with a 1.78 ERA. He has also pitched 3 shutouts. Honorable Mention: Johan Santana, Twins.

I will post my NL All-Stars on Tuesday.

About the Blog/Author

Hello everyone.

In case you aren't sure, my name is Josh Johnson and I am the sole author of Josh's Thoughts. I was born a Twins fan and have lived in Minnesota my entire life. I am a Journalism student at Saint Cloud State University in central Minnesota.

The blog has come a long way since its inception back in June 2007. At that point, I wanted to just find a way to get my thoughts heard and put out there for friends and family to see. I also wanted to hopefully get a start in what I really want to do for my profession, which is sports journalism. Little did I know that it would ever grow to be what it has become and I am still hoping for more. I know this site is not nearly as big as others, but when the expectations are low, it's exciting to see it be anywhere near a success.

I have a passion for not only the Major Leagues, but for the Minor Leagues as well. I have and will believe that Minor League baseball is more interesting as we really get to see players come up from the bottom ranks and progress and grow into Major League All-Stars. It's hard to imagine guys like Ryan Howard or Hanley Ramirez ever playing in the minor leagues, but in fact, both had to put in time at the lower ranks before becoming All-Stars. As many have seen, I have conducted Prospect lists for both the Twins system as well as the entire Minor Leagues and will continue to do so at least once a year.

As for the sites itself, I put absolutely no thought into naming it, which is why it's such a lame name. Also, I'm pretty anal about the layout. Although I'm sure it doesn't look like much to you, I'm proud of the changes I've made over the years. Readability has always been a big concern and I'm glad that I've gotten positive feedback in that area. As for the banner, well, I put a lot of time into making it, but it's very amateurish (come on, what do you expect?) so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

If you have any thoughts or suggestions for the site at all, send me an e-mail at

And for those of you who just can't get enough (I hear silence) you can also read me on the Twins Page at Baseball Digest.com.

Thanks for reading!

Monday June 25, 2007

Twins win again.

The Minnesota Twins won their 2nd game in a row without Justin Morneau. They defeated the Florida Marlins, 7-4. Johan Santana had another strong performance to lower his ERA to 2.83. He gave up 2 runs (1 earned) in 6 innings. He also collected 8 strikeouts along with way. Over his last 4 starts, he has been amazing. Over the stretch he is 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 23 strikeouts. Besides pitching a great game, he even chipped in on offense for his 2nd game in a row. He went 1-3 with an RBI triple and he also got a run across (but not an RBI) on a fielder’s choice. He finished interleague play going 2-7 with a double, a triple, 2 runs, and 1 RBI.

Joe Mauer hit well for the 2nd straight game while hitting in the 3rd spot in the order again on Sunday afternoon. He went 2-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s. Hopefully this power surge by Joe can keep going for the rest of the season. Well, I can hope can’t I? Jason Bartlett also chipped in 2 RBI’s while hitting in the leadoff spot for Luis Castillo, who was given the day off to rest a sore leg. Hunter went hitless after going 6-10 in the previous two games. Michael Cuddyer went 1-3 before being ejected (along with Ron Gardenhire) for arguing balls and strikes in the 4th inning. He was replaced by Lew Ford who went 0-2 in the cleanup spot. Jason Kubel also continued to swing a nice bat going 1-3 and finishing the series going 5-8 with 2 RBI’s and 4 runs scored. Nick Punto got 2 more runs scored to bring his series total to 4.

  • The next game is against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday evening at the Metrodome. Kevin Slowey (2-0, 4.43) will face Roy Halladay in the first game. Kevin Slowey has never faced the Blue Jays. Halladay, on the other hand, is 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA in 9 games (7 started) against the Twins. Halladay is also coming off of 3 straight wins in a row. In that stretch he’s had an ERA of 2.44 and has struck out 12. Slowey is coming off of 8 days rest. He’ll need another decent start to keep the Twins in the game against the high-powered offense of the Blue Jays.
  • Justin Morneau will spend his 3rd straight night in a Miami hospital on Sunday night. The Twins were hoping he’d be able to fly back with the club after their Sunday afternoon game against the Marlins’, but the according to GM Terry Ryan, “they didn’t want to have any complications when he gets on an airplane.” The Twins are hoping he’ll be able to fly home on Monday and are also hopefully to have him in the lineup by next weekend. But as of right now, we’ll take everything by ear.

Twins Minor League Affiliates

AAA Rochester Red Wings
Rochester lost to Charlotte, 2-5.
The Red Wings couldn’t keep their momentum after winning both games on Saturday. Jason Miller gave up 3 runs in 5 innings and got his 2nd loss of the season. Doug Deeds continued his offensive surge going 1-4 with a solo home run. Brian Buscher reached base 4 times getting 2 singles and 2 walks. Garrett Jones drove in the other run for the Red Wings.

AA New Britain Rock Cats
New Britain lost to Connecticut, 4-5.
The Rock Cats came back to score 2 runs in the 9th inning, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Connecticut Defenders. Jesse Floyd pitched and gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in 6 innings. Trevor Plouffe continued hitting a hot bat going 2-5 with an RBI triple and a 2 RBI single in the top of the 9th inning. Over his last 10 games, he is hitting .318 with 1 HR and 7 RBI’s. 3rd Baseman, Matt Moses, also got 2 hits and an RBI.

High-A Ft. Myers Miracle
Ft. Myers lost to Palm Beach, 4-5 in 10 innings.
The Miracle couldn’t win after a strong performance by Yohan Pino. He pitched 7 innings and gave up 1 run (not earned) and struck out 6. Recently promoted Danny Valencia & Chris Woodward combined to go 0-9. Juan Portes reached base 4 out of 5 times with 1 hit and 3 walks. His one hit was a solo home run (his 3rd of the season). Eddie Morlan came on to pitch 2 innings of relief. He gave up a game-tying 2 run home run in the top of the 9th. It was Morlan’s 4th blown save of the season. Adam Hawes gave up the game winning run on a sac-fly in the bottom of the 10th.

A Beloit Snappers
Beloit lost to Peoria, 9-11.
The Snappers offense supplied enough runs, but unfortunately, the so did the Chiefs. Brian Kirwan gave up 6 runs in only 3 innings (but only 4 of them were earned). The Snappers got 3 RBI’s from both Allan de San Miguel & Dan Berg. Garrett Olson had a 2 run double for his only hit of the afternoon. Chris Parmelee & Wilson Ramos both chipped in with 2 hits each.

Rookie E-Town Twins
Elizabethton beat Greeneville, 2-1.
The E-Town Twins looked like they were down 1-0 until Rene Leveret came up big in the 7th inning with an RBI double. Then with the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 8th, Starling De Los Santos gave the Twins a 2-1 lead. Michael Allen, was dealing going 5 innings and striking out 7 guys and allowed 1 unearned run. Brad Tippert received the win when he pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Anthony Slama came in to pitch a scoreless 9th inning for his 2nd save in as many chances.

Rookie GCL Twins
Off Day.

June 24, 2007

Twins acquire Darnell McDonald

The Twins acquired a former Red Wing today when they got outfielder Darnell McDonald from the Washington Nationals. In return, the Nationals got back Rule V pick, Lavele Speinger. Since Speigner cleared waivers, he'll be able to be sent down to AAA Columbus where he is likely going to join the rotation there.

McDonald was batting .315 with 2 dingers, 41 ribbies and 14 swipes with the Clippers this season. McDonald was a former Red Wing when he played in the Baltimore Oriole organization.

The Twins definitely got a good deal for Speigner.

Sunday June 24, 2007

Twins offense picks up the slack while the reigning MVP is in the hospital.

The Twins offense really impressed today. With the reigning AL MVP still in the hospital, the offense still recorded to collect 11 runs against the Florida Marlins. We scored 11 runs (7 off of Johnso), but still managed to leave 27 men on base during the course of the game. The offense was great from 1-9. Joe Mauer had 2 doubles and 3 RBI while moving back to the #3 spot in Justin's absence. Jason Kubel made his batting average jump 11 points when he went 3-4. He also got 2 RBI's and scored three times. Jeff Cirillo played 1st base in Justin's absence and went 4-5 with 2 RBI's, and Jason Bartlett went 1-3 with 3 RBI's. Even Chris Heintz got a chance to hit (he was the only position player to not play in Friday's game) and he chipped in with an RBI single. Torii Hunter was just a home run away from hitting for the cycle. He went 3-3 before going hitless in his last 3 at bats.

Carlos Silva pitched a great game. He went 7 innings and only allowed 1 run on 4 hits. He also recorded 5 K's. He lowered his ERA from 4.20-3.98. Ramon Ortiz came on to pitch the final two innings of the game.

  • Justin Morneau is reportedly going to remain in a local Florida Hospital for the 2nd night in a row on Saturday. The word is that he's going to go through another round of blood tests and X Rays before being released. He is scheduled to fly back with the team after the game on Sunday.

  • Johan Santana will face Byung-Hyun Kim on Sunday. Dontrelle Willis was scheduled to pitch, but the Marlin's are going to give him a few days off to rest his left forearm. The 2-time AL Cy Young winner last pitched a complete-game shutout on Tuesday against the New York Mets. Kim hasn't won a game at home since joining the Marlin's in May.

Twins Minor League Affiliates:

AAA Rochester Red Wings
Game 1 - Rochester beat Charlotte, 1-0.
Jeremy Cummings pitched a great game in the first of two games against the Charlotte Knights. He went 6 innings with 6 K's. The lone run of the game came off of the bat of Doug Deeds with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 8th. It was Deeds' 5th home run. Hopefully this will help him break out of his long slump that has made his average drop to .220. Alexi Casilla went 1-3 and raised his average up to .291. He has been great as of late. In his last 10 games, he is 11-33 (.333). It looks like he is starting to hit the way we always thought he could.

Game 2 - Rochester beat Charlotte, 5-3.
The Red Wings swept the double header on Saturday with a nice victory over the Knights. They were lead (offensively) by former Twins Catcher/DH, Matt LeCroy. He went 2-3 with 3 RBI while playing DH. He had a 2 RBI double in the 4th inning and an RBI single in the 6th. Garrett Jones also played a good game offensively. He went 2-4 with 2 doubles which he later scored on both (both courtesy of LeCroy). Brian Bass started the game and lasted for 4 innings and kept us in the game by only giving up 1 run. Ricky Barrett picked up the win and Bob Korecky recorded his 18th save. Korecky has been great as of late. Over his last 10 appearances, he's recorded 6 saves and 1 win. He's had an ERA of 1.46 since he's only given up 2 runs in 12.1 innings pitched. He's definitely been an important piece to the Red Wing's bullpen this seaason.

AA New Britain Rock Cats
New Britain beat Connecticut, 5-4 in 12 innings.
Brad Baker let in 4 runs and struck out 7 batters in 6 innings of work. Brandon Roberts went 3-5 with a triple and 2 runs. Garrett Guzman chipped in 2 runs while going 2-6. His RBI single in the top of the 12th inning proved to be the game winning RBI.

High-A Ft. Myers Miracle
Ft. Myers lost to Palm Beach, 4-6.
Anthony Swarzak (in his 3rd game back from suspension) had another strong outing. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 5 in 4 innings. Two newly promoted players, Danny Valencia & Brian Dinkleman, both had home runs in their first games as members of the Miracle. Dinkleman finished going, 1-4 with 2 RBI's, and Valencia finished going 2-4 with 1 RBI.

A Beloit Snappers
Beloit beat Peoria, 3-2.
Jeff Manship pitched another brilliant game allowing just 1 run on 7 hits while pitching 5.1 innings. The offense came from recenlty demoted 1st Baseman Matthew Bestill and Right Fielder, Chris Parmelee. Parmelee had an RBI double which turned out to be his only hit of the evening. Bestill went 2-4 with 2 RBI's, one of which came in the bottom of the ninth on a walk off base hit to center field.

Rookie Elizabethton Twins
Elizabethton beat Greeneville, 14-5.
In Henry Sanchez's second game, he showed the reason why the Twins drafted him with the 39th pick in the 2005 draft. In just his 2nd game this season, he hit his first (and hopefully not his last) home run. 3 of the runs were batted in by former Mankato St. player, Mark Dolenc.

Rookie GCL Twins
Twins beat Orioles, 11-1.
The Twins recorded 16 hits tonight, 11 of which came from the first four hitters in the batting order. Leadoff hitter, Jeanfred Brito, had a perfect night at the plate, going 4-4 with an RBI. Yangervis Solarte hit in the second spot and went 2-4 with 2 RBI's. First Round pick, Ben Revere, continued to amaze going 3-3 with 3 runs, 2 RBI's and he also recorded his first stolen base of the season. 19 year old lefty, Winston Marquez pitched 4.2 innings allowing 1 run while striking out 4. Marquez is from Tovar, Venezuela (same home town as Oswaldo Sosa & Johan Santana).

June 23, 2007


Saturday 6/23

Twins lose a heart breaker...

Minnesota came out strong, scoring 2 runs in the top of the first. Justin Morneau & Torii Hunter got back-to-back run scoring hits to both collect their 57th RBI's. But Boof Bonser and the Twins quickly gave back one of the runs in the bottom of the first on a double by Miguel Cabrera which scored centerfielder Alfredo Amezaga. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Twins trailed after "the boofer" gave up a 2-run home run to second baseman, Dan Uggla. The Twins trailed until the 8th inning when Jason Kubel pinched hit for 3rd baseman Jeff Cirillo. Justin Morneau previously was walked and standing on 1st. Then Jason Kubel hits a beautiful double down the left field line. Left Fielder, Josh Willingham, bobbled the ball which made Justin Morneau to slow up at 3rd before taking off again. The ball came as Justin lowered his shoulder into catcher Miguel Olivo's body. The ball came loose, and both Morneau & Kubel both scored. But, the play came at a cost, Justin Morneau had trouble getting to his feet. He was then taken out of the game and and later reportedly taken to the hospital on a stretcher after he was still out of breath, and caughing up blood. There is good news though, the x-rays are negative, and Justin reportedly has a small bruise on his lung which will most likely keep him out of the rest of this series, but likely won't require him to spend any time on the disabled list. The Twins may consider recalling 1B/OF, Garrett Jones from AAA Rochester, if the 2006 AL-MVP needs to miss any signifacant amount of games. After the Twins tied the game in the top of the 8th, Juan Rincon began his 2nd inning of work. He got Amezaga and Uggla out on a fly out and a grounder, but then threw a beach ball to short stop Hanley Ramirez, who hit the ball over the fence in deep left center, to put the Marlins up 5-4. Kelly Gregg came in the top of the 9th and got his 14th save, setting down Jason Bartlett, Mike Redmond, & Joe Mauer (Luis Castillo was walked).

The Twins will send Carlos Silva (4-8, 4.20) to the mound on Saturday evening, to hopefully stop the bleeding against the Marlins (no relation) Josh Johnson (0-1, 9.82).

Twins Minor League Affiliates:

AAA Rochester Red Wings
Rochester beat the Charlotte Knights (the White Sox's affiliate) 6-0 with a strong outing from 24 year old south paw, Brian Duensing. Duensing went 7 strong innings for the complete game giving up 5 hits and striking out 3 while lowering his ERA to 2.10. Denard Span went 1-3 with 2 RBI and his first home run in AAA. Matt Tolbert & Tommy Watkins both went 2-4 with a double and a run scored.

AA New Britain Rock Cats
New Britain lost a hard game to the Connecticut Defenders (the Giant's affiliate), 7-8. Tristan Crawford let in 7 runs (4 earned) in the losing effort. Recently demoted, Matthew Moses went 1-4 with an RBI double in his first game in a Rock Cats uniform (this season). Trevor Plouffe went 2-5, raising his avg. to .279. In his last 10 games, the former first round draft pick is 15-45 (.333) with 2 HR's and 4 RBI's. First Baseman, Brock Peterson went 2-4 with a three-run HR (his 9th HR, and 30th RBI), in the losing effort.

High-A Fort Myers Miracle
Fort Myers won in dramatic fashion as they beat the Sarasota Red's (the Red's affiliate). Oswaldo Sosa pitched a strong game going 6 innings while giving up 1 earned run on 2 hits and striking out 5. In the 8th inning, things got ugly for the Miracle when shortstop Matthew Betsill and struggling 1st baseman Whit Robbins both made errors making all 4 runs the Red's scored, unearned for Angel Garcia. With the score 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th, pinch hitter Luis Ugueto doubles to lead off the inning. Steven Tolleson reaches 1st on a sacrafice bunt after an error by the pitcher, Ugueto scores making it a tied ballgame. Tolleson reaches 3rd after a a passed ball and a fielders choice. Later, centerfielder Edward Ovalle hits a single to center, scoring Tolleson from 3rd. What a game. Ft. Myers' offense looks pretty dreadful thus far, but help is on the way. Today the organization announced that infielders Brian Dinkleman, Danny Valencia & Johnny Woodward have all been promoted from Beloit and should provide an instant spark to the Miracle's lineup. 2nd baseman, Brian Dinkleman was hitting .283 with 7 HR's and 21 RBI's with 48 runs (most in Midwest League). 3rd baseman, Danny Valencia was hitting .302 with 11 HR's and 35 RBI's while leading the snappers with 73 hits in 66 games for Beloit. And 1st baseman, Johnny Woodward was hitting .276 with 10 HR's and 31 RBI's with a team leading OBP of .398.

Single-A Beloit Snappers
Beloit lost a poorly played game 3-0 to the Peoria Chiefs (the Cub's affiliate). Beloit's 19 year old righty, Alex Burnett, gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 6.1 innings of work. Not that bad right? Well, it is when the Snapper's offense only gets 4 sinlges (all by different players). Talk about dreadful. The players to get hits were: RF Chris Parmelee, CF Joe Benson, 2B Steve Singleton, and DH Wilson Ramos. 1st Baseman Dan Berg went 0-4 with 3 K's. Singleton got his 14th error of the season.

Rookie Elizabethton Twins
No games played.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Twins
The Twins won 4-0 against the GCL Red Sox (the Red Sox affiliate). Perhaps the biggest news from this game is the arrival of the Twins 2007 1st Round pick, Ben Revere. He started in CF and hit in the 3rd spot of the order in his first game as a Twin. He went 1-4 with a triple an RBI and a run scored. Definitely a good first impression for him. 2 others also had great first impressions as well. Starter (and 6th round pick), Michael McCardell went 4 innings of 1 hit ball and struck out 5. Daniel Berlind came in relief to pitch 4 innings giving up 2 hits and striking out 6. The Twins have to be pleased from what they see by these rookies in their first games. It will be fun to see how Ben Revere plays for the remainder of the season.

Incase you didn't see it, blogger, Will Young recently had a Q&A with Ben Revere. I definitely recommend you reading it.

June 22, 2007

My Thoughts

Right now, the Minnesota Twins are in 3rd place (5.5 games back) behind the Cleveland Indians & the Detroit Tigers for the American League Central Division lead. They are about to begin a 3 game series against the Florida Marlins. The Marlins are in 4th place (4.5 games back) behind the New York Mets.

6/22: Boof Bonser (5-3, 4.33) vs. Scott Olsen (5-6, 4.89)
6/23: Carlos Silva (4-8, 4.22) vs. Josh Johnson (0-1, 9.82)
6/24: Johan Santana (7-6, 2.91) vs. Dontrelle Willis (7-6, 4.90)

Boof Bonser has been fairly consistant this season, but since giving up 6 runs to the Los Angeles Angels, he hasn't been the same pitcher. He hasn't pitched poorly, but no where near as good as before the blowout. Hopefully the Twins can take advantage of Florida's vey young lineup, but unfortunately, it will be a very hard task. The Marlins are anchored down by two very young and tanlented players, Short Stop Hanley Ramirez & Third Baseman Miguel Cabrera. Both have had great seasons, and both will hae bright futures. It will be a hard task to silence these two.

This series marks the return of Luis Castillo to Miami. He was traded by the Florida Marlins before the 2006 season during the Marlins' "fire sale" where they traded players like Josh Beckett, Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell, & Luis Castillo. Since Castillo's arrival, he has been an important member to the top of the Twins lineup and also in the middle of the infield on defense.

The Twins recently moved Nick Punto to the bench in favor of Jeff Cirillo. I personally think that this is a great move and shows that the Twins aren't affraid to lose defense in place of offense. Hopefully Jeff Cirillo can be the player he's been his entire career (good contact, low power). Of course the Twins would love to add a powerful bat at the hot corner, but I think we should take what we can get at this point, so we can (hopefully) move up in the standings.