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Bye Bye New Britain?

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:17 AM
I just noticed in LEN III's Saturday insider that as of tomorrow, the Twins will be AA free agents looking for a new location for their m...
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External OF Options

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:17 AM
MLB Trade Rumors has a free agency writeup for Melky Cabrera, who would appear to be a good fit for the Twins. The article points out the...
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FA Pitching Targets

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I was thinking about the discussion on:   http://twinsdaily.co...on-opening-day/   That thread seems to have stalled, so I'd li...
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Article: "We've Got to, Otherwise We're Dead...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:58 AM
The Minnesota Twins' front office is going to be faced with making some difficult decisions this offseason-- decisions they are woefully...
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Game Thread: Twins v Tigers, 9/15 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:34 AM
Game-time forecast: Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Temperature around 55.   TIGERS: SP, Scherzer...
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Twins Minor League Report (7/28): General Lee's Miracle

Here we are three days from the non-waiver trade deadline and almost every single affiliate is still playing meaningful baseball. It might be time… time for the parent club to sell off some assets and bulk these minor league rosters up. Ok, that’s not exactly how it works. Go inside to check out Monday’s action.
The Twins were off on Monday, but there was plenty of activity on minor league fields and front offices.

Before we get into the action there were a few announcements that should get a mention: CF Jason Kanzler was promoted to Fort Myers (who had a spot open, presumably, for Indy ball P D.J. Johnson) and OF Max Murphy (!) was promoted to Cedar Rapids from Elizabethton.

Murphy is a unique case. He’s crushing it in the Appy League, but it’s a pretty rare occurrence for a hitter to get drafted, report to E-town and then get a production-related promotion to the Midwest League. I seriously can’t think of one.

Monday afternoon, the Miracle released OF Nate Roberts. This opens a spot back up.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 0, Indianapolis 5
Box Score

With the PawSox dropping their second straight, Rochester blew a golden opportunity to jump back into the driver’s seat to earn the International League Wild Card spot. As it stands now, the Red Wings (60-49) remained tied for that spot, two games behind Syracuse.

Tonight’s tilt matched up Mark Hamburger with the rehabbing Gerrit Cole. Cole struck out seven Red Wings over five shutout innings. While Hamburger outlasted him (six innings), he did allow five runs and took the loss. Deolis Guerra struck out four in two innings.

The Red Wings couldn’t muster a single run - and struck out 14 times. Seven different players got hits with Josmil Pinto and Deibinson Romero the lone players to have extra base hits (both doubled).

Rochester was done in by going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

ROCK CATS REVIEW
New Britain 1, Trenton 6
Box Score

The Rock Cats dropped their second straight and fall to 52-55, 16 games out of first and 10.5 out of a Wild Card position.

Pat Dean made the start tonight and only lasted four innings. He got knocked around for 10 hits and six runs. Alex Wimmers did a good job in relief retiring six batters. Daniel Turpen did the same. However, it was too little too late from the pitching perspective.

The offense offered very little support, mustering only five hits. Tony Thomas’s double and Brad Boyer’s triples were the only extra base hits. Boyer knocked in Mike Kvasnicka to score New Britain’s lone run.

Jorge Polanco was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in his third AA game, all of which he’s gotten hits in. Polanco continues to play shortstop and you have to figure - with New Britain’s relevance coming to an end - that Polanco will get a lot of at-bats for the Twins once rosters expand.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 14, Clearwater 0
Box Score

Whatever it is, Fort Myers has it. The Miracle improved to 65-40 behind an offensive barrage and great pitching. I think Doug Mientkiewicz has “it” too.

Brett Lee was downright terrific and - according to Brice Zimmerman, the Miracle play-by-play man - recorded 17 of his 21 outs on ground balls. Some other crazy stats: Only four times did Lee allow the ball out of the infield. Besides the Clearwater sixth - when Lee issued a walk and allowed two batters to single - they never brought more than three men to the plate in an inning.

Brandon Peterson finished the game with two perfect innings, along with two strikeouts.

Today’s box score leaves a lot to sift through: seventeen hits, an eight-run fourth and a six-run sixth just to name a few. Let’s look at the most important parts of the game.

Byron Buxton was 2-for-4 with two runs, a walk and a hit by pitch. Most importantly, he’s healthy. He also deserves a promotion. Of course, staying in Fort Myers guarantees a few extra games of baseball (in the playoffs, no less) than going to New Britain would.

Mike Gonzales, Dalton Hicks and Jason Kanzler all homered. Each homer has it’s own significance. Gonzales has a 19-game hitting streak and has homered in three straight games. He drove in five runs and was a triple short of the cycle tonight. Hicks hit his fifth bomb in the last seven days. Kanzler’s home run came in his first game in high-A. He had three RBI.

Stuart Turner was 3-for-5 (double) and Travis Harrison was 2-for-4 (double) as he continues his pursuit for .300.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Dayton 3
Box Score

Cedar Rapids remains in a dogfight for a playoff spots. Tonight’s loss doesn’t leave them any worse - they’re still tied for a spot - but a string of wins could hopefully help them separate from the pack.

Here’s the long and the short of it: Mitch Garver needs to move up. He and Turner can split C/DH duties. (And Mike Gonzales should move to AA to split DH/1B duties with Kennys Vargas.) After tonight’s 2-for-4-with-a-bomb performance, Garver is now 5th in the MWL in home runs (14) and 4th in OPS (.877). He’s also top 15 in batting average (.295) and top 10 in on-base percentage (.385) and slugging (.492).

Alex Swim also continues to hit: two more tonight and a .330 average. Of course, he’s a catcher playing right field because there’s not enough at-bats to go around otherwise. If only there was a solution…

Aaron Slegers took the loss. He pitched five innings and struck out seven. The three runs on eight hits and a walk were more than the offense could overcome.

E-TOWN E-NOTES
Elizabethton 13, Greeneville 6
Box Score

Well, Max Murphy might be gone, but he left his bat for Trey Vavra apparently. Tonight, Vavra went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and six (!) RBI. And not to be outdone, Tyler Mautner went 2-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs scored and four RBI.

Nick Gordon didn’t play today.

Mat Batts struck out eight in six innings of one-run, two-hit ball to earn the win. Batts isn’t a hard thrower, but apparently has a very good changeup.

GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins vs GCL Rays

Today’s game was postponed due to rain. The GCL Twins (12-20) are currently eight games behind the first-place GCL Rays (20-12). The next three days match the same two teams, so it’s likely that one of those days is turned into a doubleheader.

DSL DIALED IN
DSL Twins 11, DSL Diamondbacks 10
Box Score

Just your typical DSL game where one team, trailing 8-5, scores five ninth-inning runs to take a 10-8 lead… only to cough up three runs in the bottom of the ninth and lose in walk-off fashion.

This marks the DSL Twins 10th win in their last 13 games.

Bonus baby Lewin Diaz was 1-for-4 with a double, one walk and two strikeouts.

Twins Daily Minor League Players of the Day
Pitcher of the Day- Brett Lee, Fort Myers
Hitter of the Day- Trey Vavra, Elizabethton

Tuesday's Probables
Rochester vs Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – Alex Meyer (Listen)
New Britain at Trenton (6:05 CST) – Jose Berrios (Listen)
Ft. Myers vs Clearwater (6:05 CST) – TBD (Listen)
Cedar Rapids vs Burlington (6:35 CST) - Lewis Thorpe (Listen)
Elizabethton vs Greeneville (6:00 CST) - Felix Jorge
GCL Twins at GCL Rays (10:00am CST) – TBD
GCL Twins vs GCL Rays (Game 2) – TBD
DSL Twins at DSL Diamondbacks (9:30am CST) – TBD


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22 Comments

Going to be more interesting to see the starts for Meyer and Berrios than the actual Twins game tonight.

 

Question, do you have to be on the 40-man when September call-ups come?  I always assumed so.

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Jeremy Nygaard
Jul 29 2014 06:11 AM

Question, do you have to be on the 40-man when September call-ups come?  I always assumed so.


Yes. The rosters expand from 25 to 40, so anyone on the 40-man can be brought up.

Going to be more interesting to see the starts for Meyer and Berrios than the actual Twins game tonight.

 

Question, do you have to be on the 40-man when September call-ups come?  I always assumed so.

 

And although Meyer is not on the 40 man, there are plenty of very easy options to make him a spot (I am looking at you Florimon).  Although Meyer will likely have hit his innings limit before September and be shut down unfortunately.

 

Going to be more interesting to see the starts for Meyer and Berrios than the actual Twins game tonight.

 

Question, do you have to be on the 40-man when September call-ups come?  I always assumed so.

 

And although Meyer is not on the 40 man, there are plenty of very easy options to make him a spot (I am looking at you Florimon).  Although Meyer will likely have hit his innings limit before September and be shut down unfortunately.

 

It has been more interesting to follow guys like Meyer and Berrios all year, IMO. 

 

One edit on the article, Gerrit Cole is a right hander.

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mike wants wins
Jul 29 2014 07:05 AM

If only there was a solution to the log jams of players.......

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Jeremy Nygaard
Jul 29 2014 07:11 AM

It has been more interesting to follow guys like Meyer and Berrios all year, IMO. 

 

One edit on the article, Gerrit Cole is a right hander.

 

Why have I lived my life thinking that Gerrit Cole throws with his left hand? Apparently the only Pirates highlights I've seen have been in a mirror!

    • tobi0040 likes this

Jorge Polanco has made the jump from A to MLB twice already for limited playing time.  With only a handful of games at AA, Jeremy thinks that he will be back with the Twins when New Britain's season ends.

 

So my question is: does anyone think they would do the same thing with Buxton when Ft. Myer's season ends?

 

Pro's-gets the fans excited down the stretch of a wasted season, gets him some exposure(similar to why they brought him in to the big league camp in spring training), lets him make up some of the at bats he has lost.

 

Con's-not on 40 man roster(but there may be plenty of spots by the time the trade deadline passes), start his big league service clock, fans may riot if he is sent back to the minors to start 2015

 

I really don't think the Twins would do it, just a thought I had.

So what are the chances of these catchers staying at catcher?

 

Swim, Turner, and Garver all potentially have an above average bat for a catcher but do they have the defensive chops or the potential at least?  Just curious if anyone has some better insight on this. 

Jorge Polanco has made the jump from A to MLB twice already for limited playing time.  With only a handful of games at AA, Jeremy thinks that he will be back with the Twins when New Britain's season ends.

 

So my question is: does anyone think they would do the same thing with Buxton when Ft. Myer's season ends?

 

Pro's-gets the fans excited down the stretch of a wasted season, gets him some exposure(similar to why they brought him in to the big league camp in spring training), lets him make up some of the at bats he has lost.

 

Con's-not on 40 man roster(but there may be plenty of spots by the time the trade deadline passes), start his big league service clock, fans may riot if he is sent back to the minors to start 2015

 

I really don't think the Twins would do it, just a thought I had.

I would be surprised if they brought up Buxton in September.  They said he was over-matched in spring training and he hasn't played much at all this year.  Seems like a high risk, low reward proposition to me.

Brett Lee is now 8-2 with a 1.75 ERA. I'm not going to take the time to look at advanced stats, but that's pitching pretty well.

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nicksaviking
Jul 29 2014 08:31 AM

Which wrist did Buxton get hit on this time?

 

I know this next suggestion sounds impatient, but it isn't.  Perhaps Buxton should get promoted to Rochester and not New Britain.  I know a double jump in the minors is pretty unheard of around here except in emergency situations, but as mentioned, New Britain is circling the drain while Rochester is in a playoff push.  Let's get Buxton in that kind of atmosphere.  Jumping Hicks might be the final nail in what appears to be a fragile physical and mental development stage, but who knows, maybe it would motivate Hicks instead of crush him.  Either way, Hicks is no longer the priority and while the "seniority" principle still appears to be in place for pitchers, it clearly isn't for the bats.

 

Also, while many of us are frustrated with how the Twins are handling their top pitching prospects, there does not seem to be the same hesitancy with the batters.  Buxton was supposed to be a possibility in the later half of 2014, even if slim.  The CF situation is still bleak at the MLB level.  I know many would disagree, but I'll bet the Twins would actually welcome the possibility of Buxton winning the CF job in spring training next year (or maybe a month later when they won't lose a year of his services) and the best way for that to happer would be to have him knocking at the door in AAA.

    • ericchri likes this
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Jeremy Nygaard
Jul 29 2014 10:22 AM

So my question is: does anyone think they would do the same thing with Buxton when Ft. Myer's season ends?

 

No. Two reasons: 1) He's not on the 40-man nor does he need to be added. 2) He'll play in the AFL, which you can't do if you're on the 25-man roster past a certain date.

 

Polanco will be playing in the DWL this winter.

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Jeremy Nygaard
Jul 29 2014 10:24 AM

Which wrist did Buxton get hit on this time?

 

I either dreamt or read that he was hit in the backside/belt area.

 

As for your other idea... outside of the box for sure. I don't dislike it, but I don't think it happens. 

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Jeremy Nygaard
Jul 29 2014 10:26 AM

Brett Lee is now 8-2 with a 1.75 ERA. I'm not going to take the time to look at advanced stats, but that's pitching pretty well.

 

I've heard the Mark Langston comp a few times... Lee is definitely a prospect. Both Seth and I have called him a real sleeper multiple times on our Hangout.

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clutterheart
Jul 29 2014 10:42 AM

I've heard the Mark Langston comp a few times... Lee is definitely a prospect. Both Seth and I have called him a real sleeper multiple times on our Hangout.

 

John Sickels has Lee labeled as a sleeper too.  But he is a 24 year old college pitcher who doesn't get a lot of strike outs.  He is one to watch, but no need to get too excited until he is at AA

I didn't realize garver is crushing it this season. That gives me hope after pinto. If he fails there are guys coming up with talent.

Why is Brett Lee still in Fort Myers?  He's dominating there.  I know he doesn't strike out a lot of guys, but I don't see how staying in Fort Myers is going to help him learn to do that.  It's time to move him up and see how he does in New Britain.

Why is Brett Lee still in Fort Myers?  He's dominating there.  I know he doesn't strike out a lot of guys, but I don't see how staying in Fort Myers is going to help him learn to do that.  It's time to move him up and see how he does in New Britain.

 

He also has missed time twice this season with shoulder issues. 

Maybe in Rochester Buxton will not get plunked every couple days.

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DAM DC Twins Fans
Jul 29 2014 02:14 PM

First, Brett is only 23.  He turns 24 after minor league season ends.

 

Interesting comp to Langston--Brett has been my AAP for last 2 seasons and I was trying to come up with a comp.  I started with Duensing--a lefty spot starter and reliever.  However, Brett has developed into a good back of the rotation starter.  Nowhere near CC Sabathia front of the rotation guy.  So yes, Langston is interesting comp.  He hasn't been getting the Ks this year that he did second half last year.  But he has been getting the groundball outs.  I agree we need to see Brett in New Britain (but post-season for Ft. Myers may play a role here).

 

Question:  Who has to be added to 40 man this offseason??  I thought it was 2011 draft class which includes Brett and most of the guys now at Ft. Myers like Walker and DJ Hicks.  Does that come into consideration when adding guys like Buxton now who don't need to be.

A good way to get shutout, put Pedro Florimon in the 3 spot of the batting order.....

To find out who needs to be added to the 40 man roster this offseason, check out the new organizational link on the home page. You can sort by year they become eligible for the rule 5 draft. Don't for get to include the already eligible players (some may have improved their standing compared to last year). Also noteworthy is the players that would become minor league free agents if they are not added to the 40 man roster.

 

While there are many calls to call up Mays & Myer this year, it would be in the Twins best interests to give extended playing time to the other AAA pitchers on the 40 man roster first. The Twins need to know if they should keep them or DFA them this offseason. There are a couple of other pitchers that will need to be added this offseason or be exposed to the Rule 5 draft (Gilmartin). There is no doubt that Mays & Myer will be around next year, it is not so clear cut for some of the other young pitchers.

    • DAM DC Twins Fans likes this

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