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    by 09-06-2013, 10:14 PM
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    After the Ft. Myers Miracle and Cedar Rapids Kernels lost their playoff series in recent days, this Minor League Report is now basically just a Rochester Red Wings Report. It will be that way for at least one more day. The Red Wings lost 5-1 on Friday night in Pawtucket to fall behind 2-1 in the best of five series against the Red Sox affiliate.

    After seeing top prospect Anthony Ranaudo in Game 1 and Clay Buchholz in Game 2, the Red Wings faced knuckleballer Steven Wright in Game 3. The Red Wings got plenty of offense. They had nine hits in the game and walked five ...
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    by 09-06-2013, 06:46 PM
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    It occurs to me that since I’ve been a little preoccupied with writing about the Cedar Rapids Kernels the past five months, I have written very little about the Minnesota Twins.

    Now that the Kernels’ season has come to a close, I’m going to try to remedy that situation and I’m going to begin by posing a question to the Twns’ front office: Why the heck have you not announced that you are shutting Joe Mauer down for the season?

    I mean it. Shut Joe Mauer down and do it right frigging now! ...
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    by 09-06-2013, 11:12 AM
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    On Thursday, Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs.com tweeted out a very depressing but all too telling statistic about the Minnesota Twins’ rotation: The bullpen staff has 17 more strikeouts than the starting rotation.

    Sure, it is bleak but it is not as historically awful as it sounds: The current 12.3% strikeout rate by the Twins’ staff ranks 203rd among MLB starting rotations dating back to 1961. The issue, however, is that the Twins are trending in the wrong direction. Since 2008 ...
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    by 09-06-2013, 07:41 AM

    Everywhere I go these days, it seems that people have questions for me. What's that stain on your shirt? Did you do that to your hair on purpose? Can you please move back a couple steps? I figured, with so many questions to answer, the only reasonable response is to breakout the old mailbag and answer some of the more burning questions that ESPN, Fox Sports One and Telemundo refuse to answer. Here's some mailbag:

    On a recent TV broadcast, FS North asked Twitter who the Twins MVP
    ...
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    by 09-06-2013, 12:41 AM

    I'll be the first to admit that the bulk of my Rock Cats coverage this season has centered around Miguel Sano. And it's for a reason -- he's the best prospect that has played for New Britain since I have been following the team. People were interested in watching grainy videos of his #PowerBanana shots, and were curious about his defensive progression. Also, he's simply an electric personality. Trust me, you'll experience it firsthand in Minnesota next season. But there was much more to this team ...
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    by 09-05-2013, 11:20 PM

    Chuckles (Twins 10 Astros 6 Game 136)

    Other places it was Labor Day and the last day of the fair, but in our house it was preparation day. The next day my wife was due at the hospital for a thyroidectomy. She's fine, and she's going to be fine. It's just another annoying grown-up thing that reminds a person real life always wins.

    We stayed busy preparing for our trip to the hospital, and the game itself didn't get much attention.

    Still, when I heard about ...
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    by 09-05-2013, 10:01 PM
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    On Wednesday night, the Ft. Myers Miracle were swept out of the Florida State League playoffs by Charlotte. On Thursday night, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the best team in the Midwest League in 2013, lost to the Quad Cities River Bandits for the second straight night to end their season. Such is the randomness of a best of three playoff series after a 140 game season.

    Rochester also lost on Pawtucket on Thursday night. The loss evened the series at a game a piece. ...
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    by 09-05-2013, 12:56 PM
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    Through May of 2012, Trevor Plouffe was hitting just .163/.261/.347 (.608) with three doubles and five home runs. Then the calendar turned to June. Over his next 32 games played, Plouffe hit .317/.373/.634 (1.006) with nine doubles and 14 home runs. That's when he injured his thumb and did not play again until mid-August. Over his final 45 games of 2012, he hit .196/.254/.344 (.598) with seven doubles and five homers.

    2013 was meant to be a big year for several Twins including Brian Dozier and Chris Parmelee. However, arguably, 2013 was most important for Trevor Plouffe. Was he the sub-.300 on-base percentage guy still looking for a defensive position? Or, could he ...
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    by 09-05-2013, 10:21 AM
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    ~ sponsored by Ticket King ~

    There are those who rejoice at the end of a dismal baseball season. I’m not one of them. September provides some of the nicest weather Minnesota can dish out, a last hurrah before we face a six month frigid baseball vacuum. So grab a seat while you still can. We’ll help out by getting you close to some possible September callups who are looking to make a last good impression, while the weather is warm and the grass is still green. ...
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    by 09-04-2013, 10:26 PM
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    Night two of playoff action saw plenty of stories to follow in the Twins farm system. Rochester was kicking off their postseason run with a game in front of their hometown fans and Cedar Rapids had to go on the road. Fort Myers was at home but their season was on the line and a loss would mean the end of their title chances.

    Rochester Red Wings 7, Pawtucket Red Sox 1 (Game 1)
    Box Score
    Rochester was out to prove that their last day qualification for the Wild Card spot was not a fluke. The team went out and scored runs in the first four innings to grab an early 6-1 lead. Antoan Richardson singled and James Beresford doubled to set up a 2-run first frame. Eduardo Escobar scored Richardson ...
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    by 09-04-2013, 01:02 PM
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    Player development facilities have come a long way from the days of Branch Rickey and his infamous sliding pits. With numerous organizations moving into new or renovated complexes, the Minnesota Twins are trying to avoid being left behind.

    On Thursday, the Twins began construction on updating their spring campus.

    David Dorsey of the News Press highlights the progress of the Lee County Sports Complex:

    “The Twins and county are co-funding a new minor league player academy. The county will pay for construction of a 200-seat theater and dining area, and the Twins will foot the bill for 54 player rooms and four coach rooms.
    ...
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    by 09-03-2013, 11:03 PM
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    Tuesday marked the beginning of playoff season in full-season minor league baseball. Game 1's were played in the Florida State League, including the Ft. Myers Miracle. On Wednesday, Rochester and Cedar Rapids will begin their second seasons.

    Ft. Myers Miracle 0, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

    The Miracle had the best overall record in the Florida State League in 2013, and yet, after game one in the playoffs, they are on the brink of elimination. Remember, this is a best of three series. It takes just two wins to win the series. Of course, the Miracle will need to hold court at home to advance to the next round. Game one was played in Charlotte. The series ...
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    by 09-03-2013, 09:26 PM
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    The Twins entered this season with a wide assortment of "maybes" in their starting pitching mix, hoping that over the course of 162 games a couple would separate themselves from the pack and become established as sturdy options moving forward. In a transitional year where there was never any realistic expectation of winning, this was truly the overriding goal.

    The Twins talked about wanting to play meaningful games in September, they talked about wanting to play better fundamental baseball, they talked about wanting to see improvement from the coaching staff and the training staff. But in the end, all that paled in comparison to the need for some positive movement within their ruined rotation.

    And it didn't happen.
    ...
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    by 09-03-2013, 09:00 PM
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    In baseball's postseason, “every single pitch is so important; every at-bat, no matter what inning.”

    That was Cedar Rapids Kernels third baseman Travis Harrison talking after Monday’s regular season finale about the playoffs, which start for the Kernels Wednesday night in Davenport against the Quad Cities River Bandits.


    Harrison knows what he’s talking about, too. He was a member of the rookie level Elizabethton Twins team that won the Appalachian League a year ago.
    ...

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