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  • Movin' on Up?

    In the last twenty-four hours, catcher Dan Rohlfing was promoted from Ft. Myers to New Britain. Former Gopher catcher Kyle Knudson was promoted from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Bart Carter was taken off of the Snappers’ Disabled List.

    As we are approaching the mid-point of the minor league seasons, the Twins typically make several promotions at each level. Many times, the Twins let players who make their league’s all star teams play in those games. Often, players are promoted following the all star games.

    Today, I wanted to provide some thoughts on several players that I think are worthy of a mid-season promotion.

    ROCHESTER to MINNESOTA?


    Liam Hendriks
    – There are the rumors that he will be starting for the Twins at Target Field against the Brewers. As of Monday, he had not heard anything official. But in seven starts since his demotion in late April, he is 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA. In 46.1 innings, he has given up 29 hits, walked 13 and struck out 42. And that includes on game in which he gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. In other words, he has been tremendous and has made some adjustments.

    Lester Oliveros
    – Deolis Guerra has come back down to earth, and Anthony Slama is now on the Disabled List. Don’t worry about last night’s Oliveros outing, everyone has one of those. He is pitching very well, and if the Twins need a bullpen arm in the near future, he is currently the one to look to.

    NEW BRITAIN to ROCHESTER?


    Steve Hirschfeld
    – Last week, when the Red Wings needed a spot starter, Hirschfeld was the guy. He was sent back down the next day despite throwing 5 shutout innings. On the year, he is 4-4 with a 3.20 ERA. Hirschfeld has been in New Britain since 2010. He’s 26 years old. It’s just time for him to move up. (Then if they need a spot starter, BJ Hermsen who is pitching spectacularly.)

    FT. MYERS to NEW BRITAIN?


    Oswaldo Arcia
    – Finally, a hitter. Arcia has been as hot as any hitter in minor league baseball over the past five to six weeks. Overall, he’s hitting .318/.381/.530 with 15 doubles, three triples and seven home runs. His downfall is that he hasn’t been able to hit left-handed pitching (.591 OPS vs LHP - 1.054 OPS vs RHP). Hey, neither could Jason Kubel, who is a terrific comp for Arcia.

    Pat Dean
    – Dean has been the Miracle’s top starter all season. He is 4-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 13 games started. He strikes out (and walks) no one (33 K, 16 BB, in 73.1 IP). I expect him to struggle some in AA, as most college-drafted pitchers do because of it, but I do think he’s ready for that challenge.

    Ricky Bowen
    – Signed after the start of the 2011 season, the 24-year-old Bowen has been very good out of the Miracle bullpen. This year, he is 3-2 with a 2.89 ERA and five saves. In 37.1 innings, he has walked 11 and struck out 38. He’s been good, and frankly, he needs to move up. Matt Hauser can be the second reliever to move up, if needed.

    BELOIT to FT. MYERS?


    Michael Tonkin
    – I’ve mentioned this several times of late, but I simply cannot come up with a single reason that Tonkin is no up in Ft. Myers. He’s in his third season in Beloit, and he’s 3-0 with four saves and a 1.50 ERA. In 36 innings, he’s given up 29 hits, walked nine and struck out 44 batters. Generally, I can come up with some reason for holding a guy back. I can’t come up with one for Tonkin, unless poor body language is a reason?

    Eddie Rosario
    – As much as I believe that Miguel Sano needs to stay in Beloit, and I think the best thing for Rosario would be to remain in Beloit, if there is a position player in Beloit that could move up if needed, it would be Eddie Rosario. He has areas in which he can continue to improve, but offensively, he is a pretty advanced hitter for a 20 year old. His defense remains a work-in-progress, but he has greatly improved and can continue to work. (I think he could handle it alright, but I think the best thing for him would be to stay in Beloit at least another month.)

    So there you have it. You’ll want to check back to Twins Daily where we will attempt to keep up with any and all transactions in the Twins system. For instance, from Extended Spring Training, the Twins have released infielder Julio Torres and pitcher Tobias Streich.

    What do you think? Who should be promoted?

    This article was originally published in blog: Movin' on Up? started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Lots of pitching, not much hitting. So fascinating they concentrated on pitching so much in the draft. Seth, isn't it time to move Sano off of third base? There is almost no chance that's his long term position. I can't comment on the guys you didn't list, but I think the ones you listed make a ton of sense. I'd do all those promotions.

      thanks again for your work,
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Two questions: What minor league free agents are on the bubble? And if someone goes up, someone must go down or be released (or disabled).
    1. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
      Twins Fan From Afar -
      Good list, Seth.

      I don't see what the rush is to move Sano off of third base, especially this season -- his first of professional baseball. Yes, most everyone seems to think he'll outgrow it, but he's young enough that I think he should be given a better chance to fill this position of need.
    1. mini_tb's Avatar
      mini_tb -
      Almost everything you read about Sano has a comment about how surprisingly athletic he is, so there is still a chance he sticks at third. An elite hitting 3B is a rarer commodity than a really good hitting 1B, so there is no harm in trying him there longer. If it gets to the point where his defensive struggles are affecting him at the plate, or if he proves for multiple years that he just cannot play 3B, then you strongly consider the change.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      The Twins have a wealth of resources in terms of coaches and facilities in Ft. Meyers, including their ST headquarters. Rosario and Sano are Caribbean ballplayers who would thrive in the warmer weather, culture and environment of South Florida versus Backwater Beloit, WI. Why would they think twice about moving both along after the All-Star game? What an awesome potential 1-5 in Miracle batting order!: Danny Santana/Eddie Rosario/Miguel Sano/Oswaldo Arcia/Angel Morales. This would give Sano some coverage behind him and giving Sano something to hit in each at bat besides waste pitches and off-speed breaking balls as apparently is happening now. Unites, at least temporarily, 5 of the top Twins positional prospects, 4 of the top 10. Seth, please tell me why this isn't a winning scenario?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      Two questions: What minor league free agents are on the bubble? And if someone goes up, someone must go down or be released (or disabled).
      Part of the problem lies with the Twins relationship with Red Wings- this is a "caught between a rock and a hard place" scenario. The Red Wings business model values wins over development, while the Twins don't have enough prospects to keep Rochester consistently competitive. The Wings can't be happy with the volumetric free agent signings the last two years, followed by immediate emergency depletions and then having the likes of Nishi dumped on them for two years. Likewise, they can't be happy with the alternative of A/AA level prospects filling out a roster, even if they project higher than those currently on the AAA roster.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Chris Herrmann to Rochester. Matt Hauser to Fort Myers are the first two that come to mind. The other ones I definitely agree on.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Or, you can assume he plays RF, and get him playing it now, rather than when he is in AA. I don't understand why they would keep him at 3B, when it appears fairly obvious that he's a RF or 1B in the majors. The other side of your argument is that the sooner he starts learning his real position, the more likely he is to be ready for the majors in 2-3 years, not 4-5. I'd rather he learn a new position in A ball, than in AA or AAA or the majors.
    1. MWLFan's Avatar
      MWLFan -
      I have seen him play the position, and will again this weekend, I don't think it is a foregone conclusion he will not play 3rd in the majors. Now this is for a 19 year old who is playing his first full season of pro ball, but his movement is good, footwork is fine, plenty of arm and the glove is decent. Could he grow out of the position if he gets to be 6-5 and 240, sure. Could he balloon and become a full sized model, yup. But he is not a hulking statue at 3rd with no idea of what he is doing. 3rd base is a difficult place to find answers for this team, give him as much time as possible to not fill that whole. Then have Hicks, Buxton, Arcia, Benson, Revere and or Span covering the wide open spaces of Target field.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by MWLFan View Post
      I have seen him play the position, and will again this weekend, I don't think it is a foregone conclusion he will not play 3rd in the majors. Now this is for a 19 year old who is playing his first full season of pro ball, but his movement is good, footwork is fine, plenty of arm and the glove is decent. Could he grow out of the position if he gets to be 6-5 and 240, sure. Could he balloon and become a full sized model, yup. But he is not a hulking statue at 3rd with no idea of what he is doing. 3rd base is a difficult place to find answers for this team, give him as much time as possible to not fill that whole. Then have Hicks, Buxton, Arcia, Benson, Revere and or Span covering the wide open spaces of Target field.
      Please send back plenty of Snapper reports early and often, as it might be Sano's last weekend in Beloit. ie: How does he do on the charging, barehand pick-up and throw, going to his left/right, short-hop, hot smash, relay to second, relay to home, relay to first from deep behind 3B, etc.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Fair enough, I've never seen him play. It's my experience that the Twins are change averse, rather it is Hicks and switch hitting, or moving a starter to reliever or moving people up the chain. I am just assuming that the reports we read that it's likely he'll have to move are true, and that he hasn't because the Twins hate change (look at the front office.....). But, maybe I'm wrong. Otoh, I really don't want him held back because he can't field 3B, if he's capable of hitting at higher levels. Great players have a longer, much earlier prime. I just don't want a year or two of MLB caliber hitting to be spent in the minors, because he either can't field 3B still, or they are busy teaching him a new position.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Thoughts on the above...

      Sano - I'd keep him at 3B... he's a terrific athlete, takes fly balls at times in BP, if they wanted to move him to RF eventually, they could. won't take much transition time. Same thing with first. That's why I'd absolutely keep him at 3B as long as possible.

      Chris Herrmann - I like him a lot as a replacement for a guy like Doumit, catch a bit, some LF, DH some... but what about his numbers indicate he should move up from NB right now?

      Note - Danny Lehmann is going on the DL with a strained quad which is why Rohlfing and Knudson are up.

      jokin - Weather is only one factor for Rosario, Sano, any southern player who comes up to Wisconsin. I like the prospect status of that Top 5... but I also don't think you're realizing that pitching is actually better as players move up... Those curveballs that Sano is missing now in the MWL or better CB in the FSL... It's not easy. Sano is hitting like .240 with a lot of power and a lot of strikeouts. That doesn't scream promotion to me.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Corey Koske was terrible at 3B at every stage of the minor leagues and he was 3 years older when he was at Sano's stage of development. Derek Jeter made 56 errors when he was 19. No need to kill this trial 2 months into a hopefully 2 decade career.

      I think half of the issue is Sano keeps getting compared to Miguel Cabrera. He has a very strong lower half that some day may turn him into the Cabrera we know today, but at this point he is not the big, hulking oaf many may think of when they picture Cabrera. Sano's certainly not as spry as Alex Rodriguez, but his body looks more like 2012 A-Rod than it does Miguel Cabrera. He can't get moved from 3B until at the very earliest, the better coaches at Ft. Myers get to work with him.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Dan Rohlfing (.581 OPS) was promoted from Ft. Myers to New Britain. Josmil Pinto (.738 OPS) in the same team (and the same age as Rohlfing) was passed over.
      Former Gopher catcher Kyle Knudson (.680 OPS) was promoted from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Matthew Koch (.957 OPS) in the same team and a year younger than Knutson was passed over.

      I think that the Twins organization needs to do some serious soul searching with their promotions and reward merit, otherwise there will be some pretty upset minor league players...
      If any of you were Koch or Pinto, and did not feel mis-treated because of that, please let me know.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Thoughts on the above...

      Sano - I'd keep him at 3B... he's a terrific athlete, takes fly balls at times in BP, if they wanted to move him to RF eventually, they could. won't take much transition time. Same thing with first. That's why I'd absolutely keep him at 3B as long as possible.

      jokin - Weather is only one factor for Rosario, Sano, any southern player who comes up to Wisconsin. I like the prospect status of that Top 5... but I also don't think you're realizing that pitching is actually better as players move up... Those curveballs that Sano is missing now in the MWL or better CB in the FSL... It's not easy. Sano is hitting like .240 with a lot of power and a lot of strikeouts. That doesn't scream promotion to me.
      Levi Michael has proved your point about pitching as players move up and .240 isn't great- but the power and athleticism is highly intriguing ( I believe it was you who quoted an opposing MWL manager who said something to the effect that he's never seen anyone like Sano in this league)- meaning he should be given the team's full attention to improving him as quickly as possible in his areas in need of sharpening. Given that, I have more questions: What about optimum playing conditions with superior coaching and facilities (which will help his defense as well)? Is there a detailed hitting profile for Sano somewhere on how teams in the MWL have changed their approach to Sano? If so, how many breaking ball swinging strikes is he incurring- and- is he swinging at a lot of balls out of the strikezone because he has so little to actually swing at? I could be way off base, but why is it I feel like the subject of "plate discipline" has probably never been brought up with Sano at Beloit? How actually "good" or "better" is the average breaking ball in the MWL vs. the FSL? Wouldn't he get some decent coverage (ie, at least a couple better pitches to swing at per at bat) with Arcia and Morales batting behind him vs. what he has now behind him in Beloit?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Dan Rohlfing (.581 OPS) was promoted from Ft. Myers to New Britain. Josmil Pinto (.738 OPS) in the same team (and the same age as Rohlfing) was passed over.
      Former Gopher catcher Kyle Knudson (.680 OPS) was promoted from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Matthew Koch (.957 OPS) in the same team and a year younger than Knutson was passed over.

      I think that the Twins organization needs to do some serious soul searching with their promotions and reward merit, otherwise there will be some pretty upset minor league players...
      If any of you were Koch or Pinto, and did not feel mis-treated because of that, please let me know.
      I noticed that. These look like public school "social promotions" and "non-EASL-language-readiness promotions". Disturbing, but typical for the Twins.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Dan Rohlfing (.581 OPS) was promoted from Ft. Myers to New Britain. Josmil Pinto (.738 OPS) in the same team (and the same age as Rohlfing) was passed over.
      Former Gopher catcher Kyle Knudson (.680 OPS) was promoted from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Matthew Koch (.957 OPS) in the same team and a year younger than Knutson was passed over.

      I think that the Twins organization needs to do some serious soul searching with their promotions and reward merit, otherwise there will be some pretty upset minor league players...
      If any of you were Koch or Pinto, and did not feel mis-treated because of that, please let me know.
      Your points are well taken, and I am sort of curious as to why they made the moves they did. That being said, it's not as if any of these were serious prospects who are being held back from their shot at the show.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Is there a detailed hitting profile for Sano somewhere on how teams in the MWL have changed their approach to Sano? If so, how many breaking ball swinging strikes is he incurring- and- is he swinging at a lot of balls out of the strikezone because he has so little to actually swing at? I could be way off base, but why is it I feel like the subject of "plate discipline" has probably never been brought up with Sano at Beloit?
      Sano's K rate last year was 26%, it has risen to 27% against better compition this year. Meanwhile His BB rate was 7.8% last year and 12.4% this year. Seeing as his BB rate has improved despite more strikeouts, I would say the reasonable conclusion is, yes, they are pitching around him.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Back to the original question, I think that there would have to be several promotions as the draftees get signed. I suspect at least a few Ps would be/should be assigned to Beloit (Melotakis, Chargois, Duffy, Bard - when signed) a couple of the senior college OFs and BK Shanty or one of ST Cs would/could probably assigned there. So that would push for promotions up to Fort Myers all the way to Rochester (and some releases to make space.)

      If I were one of JR Towles, Shawn Roof, Mark Dolenc, Clete Thomas, Nate Hanson, Aaron (the remaining) Thompson, Brendan Wise, Brett Jacobson, Matt Maloney, I would be dusting my resume at this point... and if I were Mike Holimon or Ray Chang, I would be doing some soul searching as well...

      In addition to the previously mentioned Koch and Pinto who merit a promotion to (A+ and AA, respectively), Arcia (to AA), Herrmann (to AAA), Sano and Rosario to (A+), Deibinson Romero (to AAA) , Danny Santana and Jairo Perez (to AA), Drew Leachman or Nate Roberts or both (to A+). BJ Hermsen and Andrew Albers (to AAA), Dakota Watts (to AA), Tim Atherton, AJ Achter, David Hurlbut, Matt Thomson and Mike Tonkin (to A+) (pretty much the whole Beloit pen and being replaced by the new college signees) Matt Houser (to AA), Louis Perdomo (to AAA), Rickey Bowen and Danny Turpen (to AAA).

      Something like that
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Dan Rohlfing (.581 OPS) was promoted from Ft. Myers to New Britain. Josmil Pinto (.738 OPS) in the same team (and the same age as Rohlfing) was passed over.
      Former Gopher catcher Kyle Knudson (.680 OPS) was promoted from Beloit to Ft. Myers. Matthew Koch (.957 OPS) in the same team and a year younger than Knutson was passed over.

      I think that the Twins organization needs to do some serious soul searching with their promotions and reward merit, otherwise there will be some pretty upset minor league players...
      If any of you were Koch or Pinto, and did not feel mis-treated because of that, please let me know.
      The Twins have made many questionable promotions, but I'm guessing since these are catchers who likely have no MLB future, the Twins are more concerned with defense and game calling for the young pitchers they need to develop than they are with OPS. That being said, I really have no clue as to which of these guys are the better defensive catchers.
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