Twins Minor League Report (5/6): That Dirty Baxendale
Also heading to the disabled list is Miracle INF/OF Adam Bryant. Bryant, activated before Sunday's game, lasted all of three at-bats (total, not his own) before separating his shoulder in the outfield and leaving the game. Replacing Bryant from across the street is Aderling Mejia. Mejia was a post-season GCL All-Star last year and made a few appearances for the Miracle after his season was over. [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
ROCHESTER RED WINGS 0, TOLEDO MUD HENS 1
It's a little bit harder to win a game with zero runs than it is to lose a game giving up only one. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, they were on the zero side of tonight's game.
Andrew Albers pitched a solid 6.1 shutout innings, striking out three. He turned it over to rehabbing Tim Wood, who, taking the loss, gave up three hits, two walks and the only run. Wood's recent performance is going to make it hard to crack the Twins bullpen which will ultimately lead to his exposure on the waiver wire.
Caleb Thielbar took care of the two runners he inherited by getting out of the eighth. The Mud Hens didn't need to bat in the ninth.
On a night when there wasn't much to speak of offensively, Chris Colabello had two hits (batting .339). Joe Benson's hitting streak is over. Clete Thomas, the next "solution" in center field struck out three times.
P.J. Walters (3-2, 3.82) pitches tomorrow at Toledo at 6:30 ET.
NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS 11, NEW HAMPSHIRE FISHER CATS 6
The Rock Cats got their second straight win to make it back to .500 for the season.
The Rock Cats had 13 hits, led by Josmil Pinto's three (including a double and three-run home run) and Danny Santana's two extra base hits (double and triple). Reynaldo Rodriguez added a home run in an exciting ninth inning.
Logan Darnell had a rough outing, but made it through 5.2 innings and 93 pitches. He gave up five runs, though two of those were runners he left to A.J. Achter. Achter ended up getting credited with the win. Jose Gonzalez pitched a scoreless eighth. Michael Tonkin gave up an unearned run in the ninth.
B.J. Hermsen (0-2, 4.91) looks for his first win tomorrow.
FORT MYERS MIRACLE 7, TAMPA YANKEES 0
The pitching star of tonight - and really of the young season - is former Arkansas Razorback D.J. Baxendale. He improved his record to 5-0 and struck out a career-high 10 batters. Not to temper expectations, but Baseball America's John Manuel said this in a chat over the winter:
[FONT=Helvetica Neue]Baxendale’s velocity was better than it was [last] spring, but that just means it was average, 88-92, instead of below-average. He pitched with a 40 fastball most of the spring. Encouraging debut, though, and if Baxendale can pitch even with a[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica Neue]45 fastball next year, he should thrive in the low minors, because he locates and has that curveball.[/FONT]
(photo courtesy of Bryan - begreen90 - on Flickr)
Personally, I don't know how long you can leave him in Fort Myers, but New Britain's rotation isn't exactly in need of help. I would expect though, when there is a need, Baxendale would be first in line.
Adrian Salcedo, adjusting nicely to his role in the bullpen, struck out three in two innings.
Fort Myers scored all seven of their runs in the first four innings. The lineup scattered nine hits, including doubles by Mejia, Eddie Rosario, Matt Koch, Angel Morales and Jonathan Murphy.
The offensive start by Koch has been especially encouraging. In one of my first posts here I said the following about Koch, "Matt Koch hit the ball more squarely than any other Snapper this weekend. He only played Saturday, but the crack of the bat on the ball makes you look up if you're not paying attention." Hey Matt, we're paying attention!
Jason Wheeler (2-0, 5.46) pitches tomorrow.
CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS 12, SOUTH BEND SILVER HAWKS 4
The Kernels won their 21st game tonight by scoring four runs in each of the 1st, 5th and 9th inning.
Adam Walker hit another grand slam and added a double to amass 5 RBI. He now has 32 on the season. Not to be outdone, D.J. Hicks and Jorge Polanco each added their 25th RBI, which is tied for 3rd in the MWL.
Travis Harrison added his 5th home run, his 3rd since hitting his game-winning "grand single" only eight games ago.
Byron Buxton got a hit and a walk, extending his "on-base" streak to "forever". He's batting .373. If Buxton is still in Cedar Rapids on Memorial Day, I might just have to take a road trip. (Shhh... don't tell my wife.)
Buxton leads the MWL in OPS and is leading Rock Shoulders by 101 points. Rock Shoulders isn't second, but nobody has ever beaten Rock Shoulders by 101 in anything.
Before I forget, the Kernels had two pitchers pitch tonight. Matt Tomshaw went five innings and picked up the win, giving up four runs on ten hits.
Manuel Soliman picked up the four-inning save. He didn't allow any hits, but did walk three. He also struck out four.
That's all for tonight. If you have questions or comments, please leave them. You are also welcome to talk about Rock Shoulders or Brian Dozier's hair.