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Article: Can Minnesota Follow Houston's Blueprint?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:07 PM
There were some dark days for the Houston Astros. From 2009-2014, the Astros didn’t have a season with an over .500 record and this inclu...
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Article: Diving Into The Offseason: A Berrios Extension?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:07 PM
First we dove into what an extension for Brian Dozier. He’s had his first long-term contract, and now he’s one year from free agency. Las...
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Article: KARE-11's Cory Hepola Discusses The Astros

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:07 PM
Tonight in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series. It will be Clayton Kershaw versus...
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Go get Verlander

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:34 PM
http://www.espn.com/...astros-audition   Best possible combination of help in 2017 and help in the next couple years, right where th...
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Article: Catching Up With RHP Tom Hackimer

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 08:31 PM
Before spring training, Twins Daily caught up with right-handed reliever Tom Hackimer for a Get to Know Him Q&A. He was preparing for...
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Rock Cats: A Tough Week-Plus

Just like their parent club, the New Britain Rock Cats have hit a tough spell. In fact, their last victory was May 11 vs. Portland and since that 5-4 win the Cats have lost 8 consecutive games. In those 8 games, the Rock Cats have combined to score a grand total of 18 runs while allowing 52. It's not tough to see the problems: they aren't scoring enough and are allowing too many runs. (How's that for analysis?).

But let's dig a little deeper. There are other things -- some good -- at play. First, infielder James Beresford, who had been on the disabled list with a pulled groin, just returned to action this past weekend. Beresford had been off to a hot start before missing 2 weeks. In his first 4 games back, he has 6 hits (in 17 at-bats) and is batting .340 on the season.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK] I frequently write about Beresford for a good reason: although he isn't a top Twins prospect, he has a very good glove and has demonstrated this season that his bat has caught up to AA pitching. If the hot bat continues, I'd be surprised if the 24-year-old isn't promoted by July. So keep checking his stats!

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Second, for a couple weeks New Britain had been playing without a dedicated third baseman after Minnesota's own Nate Hanson was promoted to Rochester. Luckily, Deibinson Romero's visa issues have been resolved and he joined the team earlier this week. He's off to a good start, hitting .370 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs in the first 7 games. In fact, he had 3 hits in each of his last 2 games. Romero, not a fantastic defender, was dependable on offense last year, so in the long run, his presence in the middle of the Cats' lineup will create more punch. Don't forget, last season Romero hit 19 home runs and 23 doubles for New Britain, so he's no slouch with the bat.

Now, let's discuss our top starting pitching prospects: Meyerand May, perhaps our next "M & M Boys." They haven't been as successful the proverbial second time around the league. In his starts this month Meyer hasn't lasted longer than 5 and 1/3 innings, but has 17 K's to go with 7 BB's. The problem, though, is that he's been allowing more than one hit an inning, and has given up 9 earned runs in these last 3 starts (a cumulative 15 innings). So yes, he's still missing bats -- 51 Ks and 18 BBs in 43 innings this year -- but he hasn't been going as deep into games.

If these last 3 games are like the game I attended last month, it's because Meyer is struggling to either finish off hitters with a strikeout (instead, he would allow them to come back in a count), or locate his fastball. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Meyer has a 3.56 ERA. He's 23. He's tied for 3rd in the Eastern League in strikeouts. Yes, areas for improvement have been identified, but isn't that the point of the minor leagues? Instruction. Opportunity for improvement.

Finally, Trevor May. This month, May had 2 very good starts, and 1 clunker. His first 2 starts both lasted 7 innings, and he gave up only one earned run, striking out a combined 13 and walking 3. His most recent start was tough: 4 innings, 5 earned runs, 3 K's and 2 BB's. After allowing only 5 total hits in those first 2 starts, May surrendered 9 in the most recent.

Let's talk about progress, though: May has not allowed a home run in his last 5 starts, after allowing one home run in each of his first 3 starts. His overall strikeout-to-walk ratio is 40-21. In the last 3 starts, the ratio is 16-5 -- better than 3-to-1. Both Meyer and May still have some distance to go before they are ready for Target Field. Meyer needs to better locate his fastball and May still has to work on control so that he can work deeper into games on a more consistent basis.

One final note: after a very slow start, shortstop Danny Santana is hitting .280/.297/.354, including .366/.395/.415 over his last 10 games. Again, with this team, this year, I'm looking for individual progress and development.

Check back in a couple days. I'm attending Wednesday's Rock Cats game. Alex Meyer is scheduled to throw. But if Tuesday's game is cancelled, there's a chance that Trevor May will be on the hill. Either way, there will be something to write about, and I'll be tweeting from the press box.


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