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Article: Diamond In The Dugout: Molitor Gets It

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:44 AM
On Saturday night, the Minnesota Twins were throttling the New York Yankees. Thanks to a two-run home run in the first inning from Aaron...
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Reyes may be flipped

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:38 AM
Not as exciting as Tulo but an upgrade. What would it take?
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Adam Brett Walker II - 2015

Adopt A Prospect 2015 Today, 06:37 AM
Adam Brett Walker II DOB: 10-18-91 in Milwaukee, WI Height: 6'4" Weight: 225+ Position: RF Bats: Right Throws: Right Acquired: Selected b...
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Brian Navarreto - 2015

Adopt A Prospect 2015 Today, 06:37 AM
Brian Navarreto DOB: 12-29-94 in Jacksonville, FL Height: 6'4" Weight: 220 Position: C, 1B Bats: Right Throws: Right Acquired: Selected b...
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Royals add Ben Zobrist

Other Baseball Today, 06:24 AM
Looks like the Royals are going to keep adding pieces to try to make another run at the World Series. I guess that means Zobrist will mos...
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Rock Cats' Top Bats Scuffling

Attached Image: Hicks.jpg Spring turned to summer a couple weeks ago here in Connecticut. We're beginning a stretch of 90 degree weather and high humidity. Over the past couple weeks, the Rock Cats played great baseball, winning a franchise record 11 in a row. As you would expect, pretty much everything was clicking -- timely hitting, solid pitching, and it certainly didn't hurt that Eddie Rosario was getting comfortable with regular game action.

But, then, as happens in baseball, things caught up with New Britain. Monday's loss made it 6 straight losses for the Rock Cats. Over those 6 losses, the Rock Cats scored a combined 10 runs -- just 1.66 runs a game. By contrast, in the 11 consecutive wins New Britain scored 73 runs -- over 6.5 runs a game.

I was at most of Monday's game, and what I saw were tired, tardy at-bats and very few hard-hit balls. Kennys Vargas has struggled lately. He looked sluggish. Over his last 10 games, he's hitting a mere .147/.256/.147 with no extra base hits and no RBIs. Aaron Hicks, looking to get things together -- and apparently now trying to switch hit again -- has hit a disappointing .143/.342/.286 with 4 hits in his last 10 games. A bright spot, though, is that he has 9 walks in that period. Eddie Rosario -- not any better. .105/.150/.105. 4 hits, none for extra bases. Just to generalize about these guys tonight: off-balance swings, fooled on breaking pitches. With those guys occupying 3 of the top 4 spots in the lineup and absolutely failing to produce, it's tough for the rest of the lineup -- generally regarded as non-prospects -- to produce.

That night's bright spot, and really a bright spot on the entire season, was Reynaldo Rodriguez. He hit his 13th and 14th home runs this evening and is hitting a very solid .305 on the season. If you're asking who this stud is and why I don't talk or tweet about him very often, don't get too excited: he's 28 with limited defensive ability. But still, it's no reason to root against the guy, and he's shown marked improvement over last season, when he hit .231/.305/.482.

Going into the evening, I was most excited to see Taylor Rogers pitch. His start wasn't bad by any means, but it was one of his weaker starts in an otherwise great season. He made it 6.2 innings, but gave up four runs, striking out three and walking two. He was stretched out to 106 pitches, which is good to see as we hit July. Aside from the rare strikeout, he didn't miss bats, and generally speaking the contact, even many of the outs, was pretty hard tonight.

What's the end result? Well, the minor league season is long. No planes, small apartments, bad food, low pay. Add in really hot weather and a long stretch of ballgames, and every team is bound to have ups and downs. Now, however, would be a good time for the guys we expect to be in the majors next year (Vargas & Rosario for sure, and hopefully Hicks) to show a little leadership for the rest of the team.


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