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Jeremy Nygaard

Sunday's Minor League Round-up

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The Twins finished their sweep against the Indians this afternoon (in dominant fashion too, outscoring the Indians 28-6), but that’s not nearly the biggest news to transpire since Saturday evening’s convincing win.

At exactly 10pm last night – exactly the time I decided to go to bed a little early – the White Sox announced on their Twitter account that they had acquired Francisco Liriano for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez.

It didn’t take long for everybody to hate the deal. The Twitter-world turned upside-down and mostly everybody began (or continued) to question whether or not Terry Ryan is capable of doing the job that he currently holds (or is the “interim”). You can read Baseball America's take here which may get you to come back in from the ledge.

You can rehash the trade in a number of other places on the site, so I’m going to move on.

This morning, the Twins announced – to fill the Twins roster and get the Red Wings roster to 25 guys – that they would be promoting RHP Jeff Manship (or is it Manshift? Or is it Shipman? Or is it Mansihp?) to take Liriano’s roster spot. Brian Duensing started in Liriano’s spot today (and threw a 6-inning gem), but it could be Manship or Duensing that fills that roll the next time it comes up. (Manship threw 105 pitches Friday night, so he’s not an option to throw until, probably, Wednesday.)

I dropped a lot of minor-league Twitterbombs this morning courtesty of Terry Ryan's radio show on WCCO that you can catch up on if you so choose. (Seth retweeted them all - so if you follow him - you probably read them.)

And now today’s minor-league round-up:

Box score

Shairon Martis is doing the best he can to make it back to the majors for the first time since 2009. In his best AAA performance since coming over from the Pirates in an early season trade, Martis, from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, went 6 1/3 innings, striking out four, scattering nine hits and a walk, allowing four runs (two of which came after he left the game). Martis will be a six-year FA at the end of the season, but might be drawn to returning to the Twins/Red Wings as they’ll be plenty of opportunities in the starting rotation(s). He still has a ways to go, but tonight was a good start.

Deolis Guerra recorded five outs, allowing two hits and a run (plus two inherited runners scored) while striking out two.

Lester Oliveros picked up his 6th save for the Red Wings by inducing three fly ball outs in the ninth inning.

Matt Carson led the 8-run, 16-hit effort by going 3-for-5 with a HR, two runs and an RBI.

Evan Bigley had his 2nd 3-hit game as a Red Wing, adding a double.

Both Wilkin Ramirez (solo, 3 hits) and Rene Rivera (2-run) homered.

Neither player acquired for Liriano appeared in tonight’s game.

Rochester will play two more games in Columbus as part of this four-game wrap-around set.

Box score

Blake Martin got roughed up for the Rock Cats tonight. He threw 88 pitches, but was only able to get two outs in the fourth inning. He did strike out five, but allowed nine hits and three walks, which resulted in six runs.

Dakota Watts got the through six without allowing any additional runs. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out one.

Matt Hauser made his AA debut in relief (he started in five of his last six appearances in Fort Myers, though he’s only started six minor league games out of 85 professional games) and had a perfect inning with a flyout and two groundouts. He returned for a second inning and had a tougher go of it, allowing three hits and two runs (one earned).

The bats didn’t offer much in terms of support.

Aaron Hicks, who started off the game with a walk, did his best Denard Span impression getting picked off and caught stealing. That might have been a sign of things to come.

Dan Rohlfing (3-for-5, 2B, 2 runs) and Deibinson Romero (2-for-5, 2B, 2 runs) were the offensive bright spots.

Joe Benson saw his five-game hitting streak come to an end. Oswaldo Arcia (1-for-4) threw a runner out at home from right field to end the scoring in the 4th inning.

The RockCats, after getting swept in this four game series, have the day off tomorrow to lick its wounds before heading to Bowie for a three-game series.

Box score

The Miracle bats got off to a hot start (12 hits and 9 runs through 5 innings) and maintained that lead to win three games in this 4-game series.

Steven Liddle left the game in the 4th inning and was replaced by Michael Gonzalez, who hit a grand slam in the 5-run fifth. Levi Michael had a very good game, collecting three singles in five at-bats (he’s batting .233; .246 in the 2nd half, but hasn’t been very good in July.) Josmil Pinto was 3-for-4 with a 2-run HR. Angel Morales was 2-for-3 with a triple, 2 BB and 3 runs. Lance Ray had a double and was 2-for-5.

Matt Summers continues his excellent full-season debut with his best outing yet in Fort Myers. He pitched five innings of one-run ball, striking out three.

Nelvin Fuentes continues to strike out lots of batters (today: 6 in 3 innings), but also allowed two runs on three hits. Michael Tonkin struck out two in a perfect ninth.

Kyle Gibson will spend two more weeks with the GCL team before joining the Miracle.

Box score

Matt Tomshaw spotted Peoria Chiefs nine runs after three innings. Tomshaw, making his second start since returning from the disabled list, lasted only three innings, giving up nine runs (six earned) on eight hits and four walks. He’s had some good starts, but when it rains it pours… and it was pouring today. You have to wonder how much string last year’s 42nd round pick has left.

Steven Gruver, who was bounced from the rotation after a handful of bad starts, was magnificent in relief. The soft-tossing lefty’s 4-inning, 2-hit, 2-walk, shutout performance was his best (and longest) in recent memory (and it’s been a rough couple of months).

2nd round pick Mason Melotakis allowed his first earned run as a Snapper: serving up a long-ball to Dustin Geiger (a right-handed hitter). After allowing a single to the next batter he settled down and went groundout, strikeout, strikeout. He’s now struck out 18 in 14 professional innings. If he stays in a relief role (which is the current belief), he may end up on the fast-track.

The defense sure didn’t help out the pitchers’ cause. They committed 6 errors (Vargas, Wickens 2, Grimes, Sano 2). Sano now has 35.

Offensively, the Snappers managed six runs on eight hits.

Miguel Sano had a double (his 19th), a walk, a strikeout and two RBI.

Kennys Vargas drove in two on the 5th home run of his short season.

The Snappers will look to win this wrap-around series tomorrow night before heading back home for a seven-game homestand. Snappers Ace LHP Jason Wheeler will be on the hill looking for his 13th win.

Wheeler, who threw 103 innings last year at Loyola Marymount, is already up to 113. As the Snappers have a playoff berth locked up, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Wheeler maybe skip some starts and work a few relief stints to keep his innings down. The big-bodied (6-8, 265) southpaw could handle a 200+ inning workload but the Twins are notorious for wanting to keep their pitchers innings around 110% of the previous year’s total. (Wheeler will, no doubt, be exceeding that.)

Eddie Rosario will be re-joining the team shortly, probably within the next week.

Box score

The E-town Twins extend their West Division lead to 4.5 games over the Greeneville Astros by beating them again. Elizabethton had 12 runs on 16 hits.

Adam Walker led the charge with three hits, including a home run, and drove in four. Everybody else in the lineup made a positive contribution with extra base hits (doubles by Polanco, Goodrum, Rhodes, Kepler; a triple by Rhodes; home run by Pimentel), runs batted in (Goodrum and Kepler both had two) or scoring runs (Pimentel three times; Goodrum and Polanco twice). Pimentel and Goodrum also each stole a base.

Hein Robb picked up his second win of the season. His five-inning outing was his longest to date. He allowed seven hits and four runs. Only one run was earned, however, and he struck out three. The lefty continues to struggle to with right-handed batters, while dominating against lefties.

Josh Burris has started to meet some resistance since starting off his season with such dominance (2 ER, 18 K in 17 IP over his first 8 games). Tonight’s outing lasted 1 1/3 innings, he walked four and gave up two hits resulting in two runs. He still struck out two. He was able to pitch around his walks – which really started only four outings ago - up until two games ago. Since his dominating start, he’s walked six, allowed three hits and three earned runs in only 2 1/3 innings. He’s going to have to continue to harness his fastball for his hammer curveball to wipe people out. If he can do that – and he has a long way to go – he could be a dominating presence in a bullpen.

Chris Mazza struck out two in 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Herr finished the game of striking out one in a perfect ninth.

E-town heads to Bristol for a three-game series starting tomorrow night.

GCL TWINS remember the Sabbath Day, and keep it holy.

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hitters of the Day – Adam Walker
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Pitcher of the Day – Steven Gruver
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A Look Ahead – Monday, July 30, 2012 Schedule

Rochester at Columbus – RHP Esmerling Vasquez (4-5, 3.68)

New Britain – DAY OFF

Ft. Myers at Daytona – TBA – this was Matt Hauser’s spot, who has since been promoted.

Beloit at Peoria – LHP Jason Wheeler (12-4, 3.48)

Elizabethton at Bristol – LHP Corey Kimes (3-0, 3.04)

GCL Twins vs GCL Red Sox – TBA

If you have any questions on the Twins minor league system, players, teams, etc., leave them in the Comments and we’ll try to answer them! Comments also welcome.
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