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  1. His talent and athleticism helped him get to the point where he began his 2016 season with the Ft. Myers Miracle. English can now see clearly a path to further success, and maybe even a major league career. “I’ve been blessed with some natural abilities that I can thank the good Lord for, and my parents, but I think that everything’s caught up with me.” English continued, “I think I’ve been performing enough my entire life to get to the point where I was, but to advance my game any more, I needed to put myself into the best position I could.” When English was in grade school, he started wearing reading glasses. In middle school, he was encouraged to start wearing contacts. “It didn’t work. So I gave up on it. The rest of high school, and even in college, I tried hundreds of pairs of contacts, and none have ever worked, for whatever reason. Maybe I’m a diva.” English said his eyesight, without enhancement, was around 20/50. Not terrible, but certainly not near 20/20. Eyesight is crucial for a baseball player. Hall of Famer Ted Williams was found to have 20/10 vision. Tony Gwynn also tested at 20/10. 20/8 is said to be “perfect” vision. From a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article, “Optometrist David Kirschen, of Brea, who specializes in studying the eyesight of athletes to achieve optimal sports performance, says the average major league baseball player’s vision is 20/12 and 3.9 percent have 20/8 eyesight.” English had been encouraged to get contacts in his physicals with the Twins too. About two weeks into the Miracle season, Twins minor league field coordinator Joel Lepel asked English how his contacts were treating him. English again reported that he wasn’t wearing them. That turned into a conversation with English, Lepel and Twins minor league director Brad Steil. A couple of days later, English had Lasik surgery. English reports, “Now I’m reading the 20/10 line in some cases and can read the 20/15 line easily.” The plan was to miss three weeks of the season. By doctor’s orders, he wasn’t supposed to do anything for the first two weeks. Then just one more week of rehab to get his legs back under him and get a few at-bats, and he was to head back to the Miracle lineup. Or, that’s what was supposed to happen. “I played one (game). Got my second one. The last inning of that second game is when I hurt my ankle. That three week time frame turned into another eight weeks. That was not fun at all!” Can you imagine the frustration? English struggled with the decision to miss three weeks for the Lasik surgery but decided it was in his best interest. He knew that injury was part of the game, but it obviously isn’t what any competitive player wants. “It was going stir-crazy. I was in my walking boot for five weeks, and I had to rehab for another three weeks.” He continued, “I was seeing the ball like I had never seen it before. So I was chomping at the bit to get back on the field, and then I got hurt. That’s what happens in baseball. Everything happens for a reason. I don’t really know what that reason was, I’m just trusting the good Lord’s plan and taking things as they come.” He returned to the Miracle in early August and played in just 22 games with the Miracle. After missing so much time, he was behind the curve, but despite hitting .247, he got on base 36% of the time. And that’s the type of offensive weapon that he is. “I would like to be that table setter guy. No matter if I got a hit, if I walk, if I get hit by a pitch. Shoot, if I hit the ball and the shortstop makes an error. I want to get on base because I know that once I am on first base, we have a good chance of scoring one run. And in a lot of games, one run goes a long way. Once I get on first, I know that I can steal second. I could get to second base on a passed ball and score on a base hit. A couple of times this year, I scored on base hits from first base. I’m pretty confident that if I get on, I can help the team out and put a run on the board. That’s my goal every at-bat. It changes a bit here and there, like if a runner is on second base. Same thing if a runner’s at third base. I’m not expected to be driving in runs all the time. There’re other guys in the lineup expected to do that. I’m paid to get on base and score run. That’s what I’m trying to do.” It may seem easy, but it is a realization that each player needs to come to. They need to grow and mature as a player and a person to realize the type of player they need to be. It is a process. “I think that’s half the battle. I battled with myself when I was a little bit younger. In high school, I was able to hit the ball over the fence. When I got to college, it was an adjustment I had to make, and I’d still be swinging too big. Then when I got into pro ball, my eyes started opening up. I realized it more every day. We also play more, so I can see it. It took me awhile to realize it, but when I did, it helped my game out a lot.” When the calendar turned to September, English had another surprise, though this one was positive. “We were coming back from Jupiter. It was about 1:00 a.m. When I hit the bus, I put my headphones on. and I find my happy place and I’m out. Smitty (Miracle manager Jeff Smith) walked up and shook my leg. I opened my eyes real groggy. He’s like, ‘Hey, just got a call. Buxton got moved up, and you’re going to New York in the morning. You’re going to fly into Rochester in the morning.’” Great news for Tanner, of course, though he did have a quick phone call to make. “My parents had just crossed the state line to get into Florida to come watch me play my last few games. I called my dad and said, ‘I’ve got some really bad news. I guess it could be good news. I just got moved up to Rochester, so you guys have to turn around and go home.’ They had to drive all the way back. That phone call was cool. I didn’t sleep that whole night.” English wasn’t completely sure what he was going to do with the Red Wings, but he was excited for the opportunity, even if it was only five days. “I thought I was just going up there to fill a spot in case somebody got hurt and needed a backup outfielder. I didn’t know that at the time they only had two outfielders on the roster and needed a center fielder. I went up there and met with (Rochester manager Mike) Quade. I said, ‘Hey, I’m Tanner. Nice to meet you. Thanks for having me.’ He said, “OK. Here’s the signs. You’re hitting ninth tonight and playing center field.’ I wasn’t expecting that, so I had to prepare for that. It was awesome.” After going 0-6 in his first two games, English ended the season by going 5-11 with a double and a couple of stolen bases over the final three games. “I wasn’t really going up there trying to impress anybody. I was just trying to go up there and have fun and really enjoy the experience. I ended up playing really well. I think having that mentality of just go enjoy it, it’s baseball, don’t put any extra pressure on yourself. I think that helped me the most. It’d be really easy to get thrown into that situation and get really tight and try to do too much. I’m glad I didn’t do that. I’m glad I took it pitch-by-pitch and played with a smile on my face. I know that might sound silly, but I just thoroughly enjoyed myself. The weather was beautiful. The fans were great. It was a really fun experience. And the guys were really great, they were all really good to me.” He also was in the clubhouse when Mike Quade informed the Red Wings that James Beresford was heading to the big leagues. “Being able to see how all the guys reacted to James Beresford getting called up. It was a really cool experience. It was a really fun experience for me to see those guys get called up and be like, I’m right here. It’s really motivating. It was a good time man.” The regular season was over. Combined, with Ft. Myers, rehab appearances in the GCL and the late-season stint with the Red Wings, he played in a total of just 41 games. He was an ideal candidate to send to the Arizona Fall League for some additional experience. We’ll discuss the Arizona Fall League experience, what he was hoping for in the Fall League, how he felt about it and more later in the week with additional thoughts of Tanner English.
  2. Dan Rohlfing was the Twins 14th round draft pick in 2007 out of high school in St. Louis. He played a lot of third base in high school, but the Twins had him mostly playing catcher. Because he is such a good athlete, he played some in the outfield as well. After three years of rookie-league ball, Rohlfing skipped the Midwest League and jumped right to Ft. Myers in 2010. He split the 2011 and 2012 seasons between Ft. Myers and New Britain and finished the 2012 season with some time in the Arizona Fall League. His 2013 was split between New Britain and Rochester, and he spent the 2014 season with the Red Wings. Though he could have left earlier as a minor league free agent, he signed with the Mets before the 2015 season and spent the summer in Las Vegas (AAA). In 2016, he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and spent most of the season in AAA Reno.Given the opportunity, Dan Rohlfing decided to return to the Minnesota Twins organization on a minor league contract. Recently, he took time to answer several questions for Twins Daily readers about a variety of prospects. Let’s get started. Seth Stohs (SS): Earlier this month, you announced on Twitter that you are returning to the Twins. Tell us what went into your decision to sign with the Twins. What were some of the factors that led to that choice? Dan Rohlfing (DR):Opportunity is the number one factor I look at. I just want a chance to play and prove myself. This year, with the teams I was talking to, the Twins were the best fit. Bonus points for it being a familiar place! SS: You’ve been a free agent the last couple of years and signed with two different organizations. Have you enjoyed the free agency process at all, or is is more stressful? DR: Free agency starts as exciting. Then can turn stressful pretty quickly if it doesn't go your way. Wondering who will call or the thought of a fresh start somewhere is always exciting. The first couple years went smooth, and I signed back with the Twins pretty quickly. But, then there are years like last year where the catchers market was saturated and the phone wasn't ringing. I didn't sign with the Dbacks until Feb 8th. So to say I was stressed may be an understatement. SS: After all those years in the Twins organization, you’ve had a year in the Mets and Diamondbacks systems. Without getting into anymore detail than you’re comfortable, were there (significant) differences between the organizations from your perspective? DR: There wasn't anything too crazy that I can remember. Baseball-wise, it's all the same game. The main difference I noticed is just how teams place emphasis in different areas. SS: What did it mean to you to put on the red, white and blue chest protector and represent Team USA in the WSBC Premier 12 tournament a year ago in Japan? What was that experience like for you? DR: Playing for Team USA was always a dream of mine and that was the most fun I've ever had playing ball. That uniform had a special feel to it the second I put it on, different than any other uniform I've ever worn. We had such an awesome group of guys that all came together and truly played for the name on the front. Even though Park and Team Korea took the gold, we walked away with silver, and I wouldn't trade that experience of playing for Team USA for anything. SS: I have to ask… How was your Wally Backman experience? (Secondly, did you work with Frank Viola as well in 2015 in Las Vegas?) DR: Ha ha! What a staff! That was fun. I loved playing for Wally and working with Frank! Wally is a guy you wanted to play hard for. He still remembers how tough it is to play this game, and because of that the way he interacts with his players is special and he was the type of guy you wanted to win for. You knew he always had your back and clearly has no problem tearing into an umpire for you. If you need a refresher just check out his YouTube videos. Ha ha!. SS: You spent eight years moving gradually up the Twins system. You had a lot of teammates in those years, and there were several that you played with a lot. For instance, you played with James Beresford about five of those years. Were you excited to see him get his month in the big leagues in 2016? DR: So many great guys! I think Jimmy and I may actually be legal brothers now. Between time at the field and living together in about 7 different apartments and houses we definitely got close. That was the happiest I've been for someone to get 'the call'. The only one that would top it was if I received that call myself. SS: Having seen that, and with the time you’ve spent in AAA over the years, does it change your opinion at all on what it would mean to you to get an opportunity in the big leagues, even if just for a week? DR: I'll take one day at this point. Ha ha! Baseball has been my life and my dream since I can remember. To be able to say "I made it" would make every single sacrifice I've made worth it. SS: You’ve spent some time in the Dominican Winter League. What do you get out of the Winter League experience? DR: Each year I've had a little different motive. The first year was for the experience and getting more reps in against quality competition to make myself better. The other year I was a free agent so it helped get more exposure. Also the money is nice so that's always a plus of going down. SS: What is it that you most enjoy about catching? DR: I love the action. It's a crazy position where you impact the game on so many different levels. My favorite part has to be working with pitchers and game-calling. It gets you involved in every pitch, and it becomes a game within a game. Using my knowledge of what the pitcher has against each different hitter is a true chess match. SS: As more catcher statistics such as pitch framing have become more prevalent, what are your thoughts on them? In your experience, are they used by coaches at various levels in any way? DR: I love them. I'm not exactly sure how I measure up on them, but I'd be willing to bet I could guess pretty close to where I am. Being a catcher first/hitter second type of guy I love seeing guys finally getting credit and getting paid their worth for what they do behind the dish SS: Are you looking forward to getting back to Ft. Myers and spring training in that Twins uniform again? DR: I am. Fort Myers has become kind of a second home to me and a town I really enjoy. Leaving the Twins was a sad day for me, so to get another opportunity with them is something I hope to take advantage of. I'm excited to see what this year has in store. Thank you to Dan Rohlfing for taking time to thoughtfully respond to these questions. Please feel free to discuss and ask questions in the comments down below. Click here to view the article
  3. Given the opportunity, Dan Rohlfing decided to return to the Minnesota Twins organization on a minor league contract. Recently, he took time to answer several questions for Twins Daily readers about a variety of prospects. Let’s get started. Seth Stohs (SS): Earlier this month, you announced on Twitter that you are returning to the Twins. Tell us what went into your decision to sign with the Twins. What were some of the factors that led to that choice? Dan Rohlfing (DR):Opportunity is the number one factor I look at. I just want a chance to play and prove myself. This year, with the teams I was talking to, the Twins were the best fit. Bonus points for it being a familiar place! SS: You’ve been a free agent the last couple of years and signed with two different organizations. Have you enjoyed the free agency process at all, or is is more stressful? DR: Free agency starts as exciting. Then can turn stressful pretty quickly if it doesn't go your way. Wondering who will call or the thought of a fresh start somewhere is always exciting. The first couple years went smooth, and I signed back with the Twins pretty quickly. But, then there are years like last year where the catchers market was saturated and the phone wasn't ringing. I didn't sign with the Dbacks until Feb 8th. So to say I was stressed may be an understatement. SS: After all those years in the Twins organization, you’ve had a year in the Mets and Diamondbacks systems. Without getting into anymore detail than you’re comfortable, were there (significant) differences between the organizations from your perspective? DR: There wasn't anything too crazy that I can remember. Baseball-wise, it's all the same game. The main difference I noticed is just how teams place emphasis in different areas. SS: What did it mean to you to put on the red, white and blue chest protector and represent Team USA in the WSBC Premier 12 tournament a year ago in Japan? What was that experience like for you? DR: Playing for Team USA was always a dream of mine and that was the most fun I've ever had playing ball. That uniform had a special feel to it the second I put it on, different than any other uniform I've ever worn. We had such an awesome group of guys that all came together and truly played for the name on the front. Even though Park and Team Korea took the gold, we walked away with silver, and I wouldn't trade that experience of playing for Team USA for anything. SS: I have to ask… How was your Wally Backman experience? (Secondly, did you work with Frank Viola as well in 2015 in Las Vegas?) DR: Ha ha! What a staff! That was fun. I loved playing for Wally and working with Frank! Wally is a guy you wanted to play hard for. He still remembers how tough it is to play this game, and because of that the way he interacts with his players is special and he was the type of guy you wanted to win for. You knew he always had your back and clearly has no problem tearing into an umpire for you. If you need a refresher just check out his YouTube videos. Ha ha!. SS: You spent eight years moving gradually up the Twins system. You had a lot of teammates in those years, and there were several that you played with a lot. For instance, you played with James Beresford about five of those years. Were you excited to see him get his month in the big leagues in 2016? DR: So many great guys! I think Jimmy and I may actually be legal brothers now. Between time at the field and living together in about 7 different apartments and houses we definitely got close. That was the happiest I've been for someone to get 'the call'. The only one that would top it was if I received that call myself. SS: Having seen that, and with the time you’ve spent in AAA over the years, does it change your opinion at all on what it would mean to you to get an opportunity in the big leagues, even if just for a week? DR: I'll take one day at this point. Ha ha! Baseball has been my life and my dream since I can remember. To be able to say "I made it" would make every single sacrifice I've made worth it. SS: You’ve spent some time in the Dominican Winter League. What do you get out of the Winter League experience? DR: Each year I've had a little different motive. The first year was for the experience and getting more reps in against quality competition to make myself better. The other year I was a free agent so it helped get more exposure. Also the money is nice so that's always a plus of going down. SS: What is it that you most enjoy about catching? DR: I love the action. It's a crazy position where you impact the game on so many different levels. My favorite part has to be working with pitchers and game-calling. It gets you involved in every pitch, and it becomes a game within a game. Using my knowledge of what the pitcher has against each different hitter is a true chess match. SS: As more catcher statistics such as pitch framing have become more prevalent, what are your thoughts on them? In your experience, are they used by coaches at various levels in any way? DR: I love them. I'm not exactly sure how I measure up on them, but I'd be willing to bet I could guess pretty close to where I am. Being a catcher first/hitter second type of guy I love seeing guys finally getting credit and getting paid their worth for what they do behind the dish SS: Are you looking forward to getting back to Ft. Myers and spring training in that Twins uniform again? DR: I am. Fort Myers has become kind of a second home to me and a town I really enjoy. Leaving the Twins was a sad day for me, so to get another opportunity with them is something I hope to take advantage of. I'm excited to see what this year has in store. Thank you to Dan Rohlfing for taking time to thoughtfully respond to these questions. Please feel free to discuss and ask questions in the comments down below.
  4. As you watch, review and remember these great Twins moments (and individuals' moments), consider your favorite Twins moments in 2016 on the field. Share yours in the comments below. BRIAN DOZIER What a season 2016 was for the Twins second baseman. After struggling mightily through the season’s first two months, Dozier was baseball’s best hitter the final four months of the season. On September 5th, he had his first three-home run game of his career. Against the Royals, he hit a home run into the first deck, the second deck and the third deck to become the first Twins player not named Harmon Killebrew to surpass 35 home runs in a season. One week later, Dozier took a high fastball in Detroit and launched a home run to left field, just beyond a leaping Justin Upton to join the 40-home run club. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fswv0jvuc0 MAX KEPLER On the final day of the 2015 season, Max Kepler singled off of Johnny Cueto to record his first major league hit. He began 2016 in Rochester, but he wasn’t there for long. He was called up within a week of the start of the 2016 season. He played rarely for three weeks before being sent back to Rochester. When he came back up, he took off. On June 12 at Target Field, Kepler came up with runners on second and third and nobody out in the 10th inning of a tie game against the Red Sox. On an 0-2 pitch, he crushed a 98-mph fastball to dead center for his first home run in the big leagues. What a moment, as the blast also was his first walk-off for the Twins. It was on August 1st that Kepler really had his coming out party. In Cleveland, he had his first three-home run game. The first two came off of Danny Salazar. He had six RBIs in the game. JORGE POLANCO Polanco had a couple of cups of coffee in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, he finally got more opportunities to get consistent playing time. He responded well. On May 15 in Cleveland, Polanco came to the plate to face righty Trevor Bauer. On a 2-2 pitch, Polanco knocked his first major league home run to give the Twins a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning. JUAN CENTENO Like Polanco, Centeno had been up to the big leagues a couple of times the previous two seasons. On May 14 in Cleveland, the Twins were down 1-0 to Corey Kluber. With a runner on base Centeno launched his first MLB homer to put the Twins into the lead. Centeno went on to hit three more homers the rest of the season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkQQjprquYg JAMES BERESFORD It was the story of the year for the Minnesota Twins. Beresford, who had signed with the Twins in 2005, was called up to the Twins for September. Just a couple of days later, his parents flew in to Minneapolis from Australia to surprise their son. It was 24-hours worth of travel, and with the help of long-time friend Brian Dozier, the Twins were able to surprise Beresford before the game. Little did they know that the next night, their son made their MLB debut, at third base for the Twins. He made a couple of nice defensive plays, and later in the game, he came through with his first MLB hit. JOSE BERRIOS There is one more first major league hit that we’ll bring to you today. In mid-September, the Twins made a trip to New York to play the Mets. It was an interesting pitching matchup with Berrios facing 42-year-old Bartolo Colon. In his first at-bat as a big leaguer, Berrios singled to right field. It was also the Twins first hit of the game. However, it wasn’t the hitting of Berrios that had Twins fans most excited. His debut was anticipated and many hoped it would have happened a year earlier, but Berrios was up before May. Just 21 at the time, Berrios struck out five in his MLB debut, though he didn’t complete five innings. His first strikeout was Jason Kipnis, the second batter he faced. TAYLOR ROGERS Within the first week of the season, Glen Perkins went on the disabled list and Rogers was called up. On April 14, Rogers made his major league debut. He faced three White Sox batters and got two of them out. A couple of days later, he pitched two innings in relief of Ricky Nolasco. He gave up a couple of runs, but he also recorded his first two strikeouts. The first was JP Martinez. Rogers was a key part of the Twins bullpen as the season went on. He’ll be an even more important piece as we move forward. He has the ability to be really dominant against left-handed batters as he showed in this early July game against the Rangers when he struck out the side, facing three left-handers. PAT DEAN Many were surprised when the Twins added Pat Dean to the 40-man roster in November of 2015. In early May, the Twins needed another pitcher and Dean was summoned from Rochester. He made his debut in Baltimore against the Orioles, coming in to the game to replace Phil Hughes in a big deficit. He struck out three in 2.2 innings, including Joey Rickard for his first strikeout. JT CHARGOIS JT Chargois’ MLB debut in June didn’t go as he would have hoped (5 ER in ⅔ of an inning), but by September, he was showing his potential to dominate hitters in the late innings. Check out his slider on this big strikeout in the 12th inning of a September 10th game against Cleveland. Chargois’ first strikeout came in his first game back from Rochester. It was Tony Kemp. ADALBERTO MEJIA Mejia came to the Twins organization in the Eduardo Nunez trade in late June. The left-hander was in Baseball America’s Top 100 midseason prospects. On August 10th, the Twins were desperate for arms. Mejia was called up to work in relief. He replaced Hector Santiago with the Twins already down 8-0 in the 5th inning against the Royals. Mejia gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in 2.2 innings. He didn’t record a strikeout, but he did make this play on a hard-hit ball back at him. ALEX WIMMERS As good as the story was when James Beresford was called up for September, the Alex Wimmers story was very good too. Wimmers was the top pick of the Twins in 2010 out of Ohio State. He overcame the yips and Tommy John surgery, and in late August, he earned the promotion to the big leagues. On August 26th, he came in for his MLB debut against the Blue Jays with the Twins down 15-7. He got a ground out which was followed by strikeouts of Justin Smoak and Ezequiel Carrera. In a season full of disappointments and losses, what were some of your favorite moments?
  5. Yes, 2016 was a year that included 103 losses, but it wasn’t all bad. There were a lot of positives during the season as well. As the year comes to an end, and we are fully thinking about 2017 and beyond, today we take one more look back at the 2016 Minnesota Twins season. There were debuts, and there were milestones, plenty of them. Today we’ll take a look back and remember some of them.As you watch, review and remember these great Twins moments (and individuals' moments), consider your favorite Twins moments in 2016 on the field. Share yours in the comments below. BRIAN DOZIER What a season 2016 was for the Twins second baseman. After struggling mightily through the season’s first two months, Dozier was baseball’s best hitter the final four months of the season. On September 5th, he had his first three-home run game of his career. Against the Royals, he hit a home run into the first deck, the second deck and the third deck to become the first Twins player not named Harmon Killebrew to surpass 35 home runs in a season. One week later, Dozier took a high fastball in Detroit and launched a home run to left field, just beyond a leaping Justin Upton to join the 40-home run club. MAX KEPLER On the final day of the 2015 season, Max Kepler singled off of Johnny Cueto to record his first major league hit. He began 2016 in Rochester, but he wasn’t there for long. He was called up within a week of the start of the 2016 season. He played rarely for three weeks before being sent back to Rochester. When he came back up, he took off. On June 12 at Target Field, Kepler came up with runners on second and third and nobody out in the 10th inning of a tie game against the Red Sox. On an 0-2 pitch, he crushed a 98-mph fastball to dead center for his first home run in the big leagues. What a moment, as the blast also was his first walk-off for the Twins. It was on August 1st that Kepler really had his coming out party. In Cleveland, he had his first three-home run game. The first two came off of Danny Salazar. He had six RBIs in the game. JORGE POLANCO Polanco had a couple of cups of coffee in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, he finally got more opportunities to get consistent playing time. He responded well. On May 15 in Cleveland, Polanco came to the plate to face righty Trevor Bauer. On a 2-2 pitch, Polanco knocked his first major league home run to give the Twins a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning. JUAN CENTENO Like Polanco, Centeno had been up to the big leagues a couple of times the previous two seasons. On May 14 in Cleveland, the Twins were down 1-0 to Corey Kluber. With a runner on base Centeno launched his first MLB homer to put the Twins into the lead. Centeno went on to hit three more homers the rest of the season. JAMES BERESFORD It was the story of the year for the Minnesota Twins. Beresford, who had signed with the Twins in 2005, was called up to the Twins for September. Just a couple of days later, his parents flew in to Minneapolis from Australia to surprise their son. It was 24-hours worth of travel, and with the help of long-time friend Brian Dozier, the Twins were able to surprise Beresford before the game. Little did they know that the next night, their son made their MLB debut, at third base for the Twins. He made a couple of nice defensive plays, and later in the game, he came through with his first MLB hit. JOSE BERRIOS There is one more first major league hit that we’ll bring to you today. In mid-September, the Twins made a trip to New York to play the Mets. It was an interesting pitching matchup with Berrios facing 42-year-old Bartolo Colon. In his first at-bat as a big leaguer, Berrios singled to right field. It was also the Twins first hit of the game. However, it wasn’t the hitting of Berrios that had Twins fans most excited. His debut was anticipated and many hoped it would have happened a year earlier, but Berrios was up before May. Just 21 at the time, Berrios struck out five in his MLB debut, though he didn’t complete five innings. His first strikeout was Jason Kipnis, the second batter he faced. TAYLOR ROGERS Within the first week of the season, Glen Perkins went on the disabled list and Rogers was called up. On April 14, Rogers made his major league debut. He faced three White Sox batters and got two of them out. A couple of days later, he pitched two innings in relief of Ricky Nolasco. He gave up a couple of runs, but he also recorded his first two strikeouts. The first was JP Martinez. Rogers was a key part of the Twins bullpen as the season went on. He’ll be an even more important piece as we move forward. He has the ability to be really dominant against left-handed batters as he showed in this early July game against the Rangers when he struck out the side, facing three left-handers. PAT DEAN Many were surprised when the Twins added Pat Dean to the 40-man roster in November of 2015. In early May, the Twins needed another pitcher and Dean was summoned from Rochester. He made his debut in Baltimore against the Orioles, coming in to the game to replace Phil Hughes in a big deficit. He struck out three in 2.2 innings, including Joey Rickard for his first strikeout. JT CHARGOIS JT Chargois’ MLB debut in June didn’t go as he would have hoped (5 ER in ⅔ of an inning), but by September, he was showing his potential to dominate hitters in the late innings. Check out his slider on this big strikeout in the 12th inning of a September 10th game against Cleveland. Chargois’ first strikeout came in his first game back from Rochester. It was Tony Kemp. ADALBERTO MEJIA Mejia came to the Twins organization in the Eduardo Nunez trade in late June. The left-hander was in Baseball America’s Top 100 midseason prospects. On August 10th, the Twins were desperate for arms. Mejia was called up to work in relief. He replaced Hector Santiago with the Twins already down 8-0 in the 5th inning against the Royals. Mejia gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in 2.2 innings. He didn’t record a strikeout, but he did make this play on a hard-hit ball back at him. ALEX WIMMERS As good as the story was when James Beresford was called up for September, the Alex Wimmers story was very good too. Wimmers was the top pick of the Twins in 2010 out of Ohio State. He overcame the yips and Tommy John surgery, and in late August, he earned the promotion to the big leagues. On August 26th, he came in for his MLB debut against the Blue Jays with the Twins down 15-7. He got a ground out which was followed by strikeouts of Justin Smoak and Ezequiel Carrera. In a season full of disappointments and losses, what were some of your favorite moments? Click here to view the article
  6. James Beresford was on the field about five hours prior to the start of tonight's game, taking ground balls at third base. He was wearing his green Mr. 1000 shirt that his teammates in Rochester gave him. He had found out that he was going to make his Major League debut. He will be hitting eighth and playing third base tonight. In the clubhouse before the game, he said he was very excited but not nervous. He thought that would come later on. I asked him if he truly did not know that his parents were flying in from Australia or not. He said he didn't know anything about it, although the fact that he didn't hear from either of them after his first game was very surprising. It did make him wonder a little bit. He said when Brian Dozier told him to follow, he did. Dozier said it was a lot of fun to surprise James that night. It was the first time he had met the Beresford family. At tonight's game will be Beresford's family, his brother Simon and his wife. His girlfriend arrived in town on Friday. So, there will certainly be a cheering section for Beresford in the family section tonight. NOTES I chatted briefly with lefty Pat Dean in the clubhouse. Players were starting to head out for their pregame stretch, so I said, "I better get going and write something." He responded, "Keep it positive!" I laughed and said, "Hey, I'll try." Let's start with Dean. He said he has enjoyed his time in the big leagues this year and by season's end, it will be a half-season. He said it was a little different coming out of the bullpen, something he had to adjust to. I asked if he had come into a game with runners on. He smiled and noted that he allowed two of Pat Light's runners to score. "that is an awful feeling." That was positive, right Pat? It was a positive learning experience. Byron Buxton was really happy with how he's playing right now. A quiet, humble guy, Buxton said there were times he was frustrated after being sent down the second time. But he said it's nice seeing the hard work paying off with numbers and stats finally. He said, "The key has been patience." Alex Wimmers said that big league life has been everything he thought it would be and more. He said "After all the things I've come back from, injuries and such, it's really rewarding to get this opportunity. I was at the point where I didn't know what would happen at the end of the year." Wimmers also said that becoming a father this season has been instrumental in his success on the mound too. He said it's provided him with a proper perspective on the game and everything. The other thing he enjoyed was being a co-closer in Rochester with JT Chargois. He said it put him into the mindset of the pitchers before him did a great job to put the team in position to win, and he didn't want to let the whole team down, so it really pushed his focus on the mound to a different level. I verified with Andrew Albers that he is NOT on Twitter. There is a twitter account that has his name with a number and the profile picture is of the southpaw, but it is not him. Cory Provus said that he'd be doing college football and basketball on the Big Ten Network again this offseason. Tonight there is a Brian Dozier blaze orange winter hat giveaway with certain, special tickets to get them. In the clubhouse before the game, he had a duck call that he sounded off a few times. Dozier's obviously a big outdoorsman who spends a lot of his offseason hunting, in addition to traveling to third-world countries helping as he can. Some of the proceeds from tonight's event will go to Pheasants Forever. 1987 Minnesota Twins World Series hero is at Target Field tonight. Before the game, he was seen talking with former teammates like Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden, and Tom Brunansky, as well as Tony Oliva. It was good to catch up with Jose Berrios as well. He talked a little about how frustrated he was when he was optioned to Rochester the first time. He said it took him almost a week to kind of get over the disappointment and feeling like he let people down. He said, "Once you go to the big leagues, you don't want to go back to the minor leagues." He said he got back to work and figured some things out. He knew why he was optioned and what he needed to do. He said he never lost confidence or the drive to be great. He also understood why he was optioned again in late August, but he said that time he was able to go to Rochester and be successful right away, pointing out the 14 strikeout in eight-inning outing. He's excited to be back. David Laurila from FanGraphs is at Target Field for this three-game series. Be sure to follow him on Twitter. @DavidLaurilaQA. When I got to the stadium and was approaching the clubhouse, I saw lefty Taylor Rogers walking through the halls with his Twins brother Tyler to his side. It's a good thing Taylor was in his Twins garb or there's no way a person could tell the two apart. How fun would it be if the two decided to swap for a day. Frew would notice, at least not until Tyler got on the mound and threw right-handed, and submarine. What a story that would be! Byron Buxton and Ryan Pressly had their eyes on one of the clubhouse TVs watching the end of the Oklahama State/Central Michigan game. When the "hail mary/lateral/TD" was completed, giving Central Michigan the upset, Pressly and Buxton leapt in amazement, and understandably so. I was talking to Alex Wimmers at the time and we looked up at the monitor. A minute later, Wimmers sat and pointed to the TV right across from his locker, perfectly situated so he could watch. "That's my game" It was showing Ohio State. Trevor Plouffe was officially placed on the 15-Day Disabled List before the game.
  7. At 6:00, the Minnesota Twins will take on Cleveland in the middle game of a three-game series. Australian James Beresford will make his Major League Debut! While the Twins are trying to avoid 100 losses, Cleveland is in the thick of the pennant race, holding a lead over the Detroit Tigers. They also have the fourth best record in the Major leagues behind the Cubs, Rangers and Nationals. Here are a few Twins notes before tonight's game.James Beresford was on the field about five hours prior to the start of tonight's game, taking ground balls at third base. He was wearing his green Mr. 1000 shirt that his teammates in Rochester gave him. He had found out that he was going to make his Major League debut. He will be hitting eighth and playing third base tonight. In the clubhouse before the game, he said he was very excited but not nervous. He thought that would come later on. I asked him if he truly did not know that his parents were flying in from Australia or not. He said he didn't know anything about it, although the fact that he didn't hear from either of them after his first game was very surprising. It did make him wonder a little bit. He said when Brian Dozier told him to follow, he did. Dozier said it was a lot of fun to surprise James that night. It was the first time he had met the Beresford family. At tonight's game will be Beresford's family, his brother Simon and his wife. His girlfriend arrived in town on Friday. So, there will certainly be a cheering section for Beresford in the family section tonight. NOTES I chatted briefly with lefty Pat Dean in the clubhouse. Players were starting to head out for their pregame stretch, so I said, "I better get going and write something." He responded, "Keep it positive!" I laughed and said, "Hey, I'll try." Let's start with Dean. He said he has enjoyed his time in the big leagues this year and by season's end, it will be a half-season. He said it was a little different coming out of the bullpen, something he had to adjust to. I asked if he had come into a game with runners on. He smiled and noted that he allowed two of Pat Light's runners to score. "that is an awful feeling." That was positive, right Pat? It was a positive learning experience.Byron Buxton was really happy with how he's playing right now. A quiet, humble guy, Buxton said there were times he was frustrated after being sent down the second time. But he said it's nice seeing the hard work paying off with numbers and stats finally. He said, "The key has been patience."Alex Wimmers said that big league life has been everything he thought it would be and more. He said "After all the things I've come back from, injuries and such, it's really rewarding to get this opportunity. I was at the point where I didn't know what would happen at the end of the year."Wimmers also said that becoming a father this season has been instrumental in his success on the mound too. He said it's provided him with a proper perspective on the game and everything.The other thing he enjoyed was being a co-closer in Rochester with JT Chargois. He said it put him into the mindset of the pitchers before him did a great job to put the team in position to win, and he didn't want to let the whole team down, so it really pushed his focus on the mound to a different level.I verified with Andrew Albers that he is NOT on Twitter. There is a twitter account that has his name with a number and the profile picture is of the southpaw, but it is not him.Cory Provus said that he'd be doing college football and basketball on the Big Ten Network again this offseason.Tonight there is a Brian Dozier blaze orange winter hat giveaway with certain, special tickets to get them. In the clubhouse before the game, he had a duck call that he sounded off a few times. Dozier's obviously a big outdoorsman who spends a lot of his offseason hunting, in addition to traveling to third-world countries helping as he can. Some of the proceeds from tonight's event will go to Pheasants Forever.1987 Minnesota Twins World Series hero is at Target Field tonight. Before the game, he was seen talking with former teammates like Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden, and Tom Brunansky, as well as Tony Oliva.It was good to catch up with Jose Berrios as well. He talked a little about how frustrated he was when he was optioned to Rochester the first time. He said it took him almost a week to kind of get over the disappointment and feeling like he let people down. He said, "Once you go to the big leagues, you don't want to go back to the minor leagues." He said he got back to work and figured some things out. He knew why he was optioned and what he needed to do. He said he never lost confidence or the drive to be great. He also understood why he was optioned again in late August, but he said that time he was able to go to Rochester and be successful right away, pointing out the 14 strikeout in eight-inning outing. He's excited to be back.David Laurila from FanGraphs is at Target Field for this three-game series. Be sure to follow him on Twitter. @DavidLaurilaQA.When I got to the stadium and was approaching the clubhouse, I saw lefty Taylor Rogers walking through the halls with his Twins brother Tyler to his side. It's a good thing Taylor was in his Twins garb or there's no way a person could tell the two apart. How fun would it be if the two decided to swap for a day. Frew would notice, at least not until Tyler got on the mound and threw right-handed, and submarine. What a story that would be!Byron Buxton and Ryan Pressly had their eyes on one of the clubhouse TVs watching the end of the Oklahama State/Central Michigan game. When the "hail mary/lateral/TD" was completed, giving Central Michigan the upset, Pressly and Buxton leapt in amazement, and understandably so. I was talking to Alex Wimmers at the time and we looked up at the monitor. A minute later, Wimmers sat and pointed to the TV right across from his locker, perfectly situated so he could watch. "That's my game" It was showing Ohio State.Trevor Plouffe was officially placed on the 15-Day Disabled List before the game. Click here to view the article
  8. Following their loss on Monday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins announced that they were promoting three more September call-ups. Earlier Byron Buxton, John Ryan Murphy and Jose Berrios had been called up, but on Monday, the Twins announced that Kennys Vargas, Tyler Duffey and James Beresford would be called up on Monday. On Tuesday, the Twins made it official, stating also that Danny Santana was placed on the 60 day disabled list. The moves of Vargas and Duffey were expected. However, while several of us have wanted Beresford to get promoted in previous Septembers, there was some surprise when James Beresford’s name was mentioned as a call up. That moved created a lot of excitement around Twitter and in the real world too.According to a source around the Red Wings, before their final game of the season, manager Mike Quade went around and thanked players for the season. He then singled out the subs for the day. He started with Vargas telling him he couldn’t stand to watch him run the bases anymore. He moved on to Mitch Garver and said that he wanted to see the strength coach warm up the pitcher between innings. Finally, he got to Beresford. Quade said (ad-libbing), “and Jimmy, you’re not playing because you’re going to The Show!” Reports indicate that Beresford sat in stunned amazement for a while, until one teammate got him with two plates of shaving cream and a pitcher poured beer over him. If only there was video. Can you imagine the moment, 11 years after signing with an organization, and well over 1,000 minor league games, finally being told that you were getting The Call? Beresford could have left the organization as a free agent three times, but each time he chose to return to the Twins. Last year, he hit over .300 and was an International League All-Star. What a moment yesterday had to be for the Australian infielder. But it was a moment that wasn’t lost on teammates already in the big leagues. Michael Tonkin tweeted this: So many want to think this is a Thank You promotion for Beresford, and to some degree it is. However, the Twins have always liked to have two utility infielders, especially in September. With Jorge Polanco starting most games at shortstop, Eduardo Escobar is the team’s utility infielder. They wanted a second utility infielder, and Beresford makes a ton of sense. Beresford is able to very capably play defense at all four infield positions. He hasn’t played much shortstop for the Red Wings in recent years, but that is his natural position. It’s where he played for Team Australia in international competition. Many are excited for James Beresford to finally get this call, and he’s earned it! Click here to view the article
  9. According to a source around the Red Wings, before their final game of the season, manager Mike Quade went around and thanked players for the season. He then singled out the subs for the day. He started with Vargas telling him he couldn’t stand to watch him run the bases anymore. He moved on to Mitch Garver and said that he wanted to see the strength coach warm up the pitcher between innings. Finally, he got to Beresford. Quade said (ad-libbing), “and Jimmy, you’re not playing because you’re going to The Show!” Reports indicate that Beresford sat in stunned amazement for a while, until one teammate got him with two plates of shaving cream and a pitcher poured beer over him. If only there was video. Can you imagine the moment, 11 years after signing with an organization, and well over 1,000 minor league games, finally being told that you were getting The Call? Beresford could have left the organization as a free agent three times, but each time he chose to return to the Twins. Last year, he hit over .300 and was an International League All-Star. What a moment yesterday had to be for the Australian infielder. But it was a moment that wasn’t lost on teammates already in the big leagues. Michael Tonkin tweeted this: https://twitter.com/mtonkin37/status/772933167724437505 Brian Dozier had a big day on Monday for the Twins. The infielder hit three home runs and now has 38 on the season. I had the chance to talk to the second baseman early on Tuesday, and he was as excited as anyone. Not about his success, but about the promotion of James Beresford. The first game I went to in Beloit, Dozier was playing shortstop with Beresford at second base. They have been teammates several times and remain very close. Dozier said, “As you know, James and I came up together, roommates at a couple of levels, and one of my closer friends in all of baseball. To be honest, I kinda got a little emotional when hearing that he is coming up because of how hard he has worked over the years and the dedication he has had in order to fulfill this dream. I called him yesterday morning after he was told he was coming up and through the phone it was awesome to hear the excitement in his voice. I know he's been waiting for this moment his whole life and I couldn't be happier for him.” In Australia, the news was huge. He will become the 33rd player from the country to play in the major leagues. He’s been a big part of a few Olympic and WBC and other Team Australia contingents. He has played in the ABL for the Melbourne Aces. He represents, in many ways, Australian baseball. I talked to Beresford this spring, and he talked about when he was a young player in the Twins system, Australian Trent Oeltjen helped him, talked to him, bought him a few dinners. Same thing on those Olympic teams when Beresford was in his late teens. Now the table has turned. The 27-year-old Beresford is the veteran, and he has been helpful for some of the other young Australians in the Twins system. Sam Gibbons is a starting pitcher from Australia for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Regarding Beresford, he said, “It's huge, I think you can tell just just by seeing how everyone back home has reacted, everything I've read about his promotion had been the same. I read one today saying ‘I've never seen a guy being called up make so many people this happy.’ It's so fitting because it's so true. Everyone is so excited for him.” Gibbons played a couple of years with Beresford with the Melbourne Aces, and again this spring in the WBC-Qualifier. He continued “Obviously he's had a lot of experience playing here in the US and just being able to pick his mind about anything and everything has been awesome. In spring training, he would take us young Aussies out for dinner, I think because he had guys do it for him. He's now the older Aussie that he does it for us.” Lachlan Wells is a left-hander in the Kernels rotation. He also was very excited for Beresford. He said, “Well it means a lot to younger Aussie in any professional system not to give up, keep at it because if you work hard results will come. I only met him this year in spring training but he was really helpful with advice about just certain things that would help me during the season and at certain levels when I move up.” Wells continued, “Plus it means a lot for Australia because it's another Aussie in the big leagues. Not many people get to do it and with the baseball community being so small everyone will be supporting 100%” Others tweeted their thoughts: Morrie Silver: https://twitter.com/MorrieSilver8/status/772925062085304320 Josh Whetzel: https://twitter.com/JoshWhetzel/status/772918556040241152 Todd Van Steensel: https://twitter.com/toddvs35/status/772919721532547073 So many want to think this is a Thank You promotion for Beresford, and to some degree it is. However, the Twins have always liked to have two utility infielders, especially in September. With Jorge Polanco starting most games at shortstop, Eduardo Escobar is the team’s utility infielder. They wanted a second utility infielder, and Beresford makes a ton of sense. Beresford is able to very capably play defense at all four infield positions. He hasn’t played much shortstop for the Red Wings in recent years, but that is his natural position. It’s where he played for Team Australia in international competition. Many are excited for James Beresford to finally get this call, and he’s earned it!
  10. Stunningly severe struggles from the pitching staff, a surprising Arizona Fall League assignment, and a great September call-up story. We'll touch on all three trending Twins topics in the latest Three-Bagger.* The big story of the last month should be a lineup that continues to flex its muscles. The story should be a mind-boggling hitting clinic from Brian Dozier, and the electric return of Byron Buxton, and Trevor Plouffe reviving his season, and Miguel Sano closing in on 25 homers, and Max Kepler clamping down right field. All of those threads tie to an emerging offense that has crossed the plate 42 times through the first five contests of the current homestand, and is averaging nearly five runs per game since the All-Star break. That should be the story for a last place team that should be on an upward trajectory. Instead, the story is that in spite of all that prolific scoring – and in spite of Dozier putting forth one of the most incredible stretches of self-manufactured offense in recent history – the Twins have still managed to drop 21 of their last 26 games. Minnesota's miserable pitching staff has effectively sapped any enthusiasm these hitters have attempted to generate. Dozier can hit three bombs in a game, and the Twins still lose. Buxton can lift the club with a dramatic grand slam and they still ultimately fall short. The Twins are on track to surpass 750 runs scored for the first time since 2010, and they're going to lose 100 games. That's because they are also on track to allow more than 900 runs, which has never happened in Twins history. This staff, designed with postseason aspirations, has been hit with a few key injuries (Phil Hughes and Glen Perkins most notably) but nothing that should've been totally unforeseen. It's almost incomprehensible that they are on pace give up more runs than any of those porous units from the steroid era in the late '90s. Obviously, they need some help. * The best hope for providing that help, internally, is Stephen Gonsalves. He wrapped up a dazzling season last week, finishing with a 2.06 ERA and 1.02 WHIP between Ft. Myers and Chattanooga. The Twins announced on Monday that Gonsalves will be heading to the Arizona Fall League, joining the six who were already named (Nick Gordon, Mitch Garver, Tanner English, Randy Rosario, Mason Melotakis and John Curtiss). The decision to add Gonsalves is interesting, because it suggests the organization would like him to get a few more innings under his belt before settling down for the offseason. The lefty set a career high by logging 140 frames this year but it wasn't a huge step forward from last year's 134. Adding a few more in the fall league could put his arm in position to approach 200 next summer. * With rosters expanding over for the final month, the Twins tabbed three players from the minors as September call-ups. Two of them will face considerable pressure. Tyler Duffey is trying to make his case for the 2017 rotation as he winds down a season that has been horrendous. Kennys Vargas is trying to prove his bat is worth a roster spot despite the defensive limitations that may force him out. James Beresford, though? He'll just be enjoying the ride. It's been more than a decade since the Twins signed Beresford as a teenager out of Australia. He rose gradually through the system before settling at Triple-A, never a true prospect but always a valued player. The lefty-swinging middle infielder brings a soft bat (he has slugged .330 and hit four total home runs in 1,000 minor-league games) but a steady and reliable glove. Beresford turns 28 in January. He has played 382 games at Rochester over the past three seasons without showing any real signs of improvement. Paul Molitor basically acknowledged that the promotion was largely in recognition of Beresford's lengthy service in the organization. Presumably he won't play much and will merely serve as extra infield depth. Still, it'll be fun to see him don a big-league jersey for the final month. Click here to view the article
  11. * The big story of the last month should be a lineup that continues to flex its muscles. The story should be a mind-boggling hitting clinic from Brian Dozier, and the electric return of Byron Buxton, and Trevor Plouffe reviving his season, and Miguel Sano closing in on 25 homers, and Max Kepler clamping down right field. All of those threads tie to an emerging offense that has crossed the plate 42 times through the first five contests of the current homestand, and is averaging nearly five runs per game since the All-Star break. That should be the story for a last place team that should be on an upward trajectory. Instead, the story is that in spite of all that prolific scoring – and in spite of Dozier putting forth one of the most incredible stretches of self-manufactured offense in recent history – the Twins have still managed to drop 21 of their last 26 games. Minnesota's miserable pitching staff has effectively sapped any enthusiasm these hitters have attempted to generate. Dozier can hit three bombs in a game, and the Twins still lose. Buxton can lift the club with a dramatic grand slam and they still ultimately fall short. The Twins are on track to surpass 750 runs scored for the first time since 2010, and they're going to lose 100 games. That's because they are also on track to allow more than 900 runs, which has never happened in Twins history. This staff, designed with postseason aspirations, has been hit with a few key injuries (Phil Hughes and Glen Perkins most notably) but nothing that should've been totally unforeseen. It's almost incomprehensible that they are on pace give up more runs than any of those porous units from the steroid era in the late '90s. Obviously, they need some help. * The best hope for providing that help, internally, is Stephen Gonsalves. He wrapped up a dazzling season last week, finishing with a 2.06 ERA and 1.02 WHIP between Ft. Myers and Chattanooga. The Twins announced on Monday that Gonsalves will be heading to the Arizona Fall League, joining the six who were already named (Nick Gordon, Mitch Garver, Tanner English, Randy Rosario, Mason Melotakis and John Curtiss). The decision to add Gonsalves is interesting, because it suggests the organization would like him to get a few more innings under his belt before settling down for the offseason. The lefty set a career high by logging 140 frames this year but it wasn't a huge step forward from last year's 134. Adding a few more in the fall league could put his arm in position to approach 200 next summer. * With rosters expanding over for the final month, the Twins tabbed three players from the minors as September call-ups. Two of them will face considerable pressure. Tyler Duffey is trying to make his case for the 2017 rotation as he winds down a season that has been horrendous. Kennys Vargas is trying to prove his bat is worth a roster spot despite the defensive limitations that may force him out. James Beresford, though? He'll just be enjoying the ride. It's been more than a decade since the Twins signed Beresford as a teenager out of Australia. He rose gradually through the system before settling at Triple-A, never a true prospect but always a valued player. The lefty-swinging middle infielder brings a soft bat (he has slugged .330 and hit four total home runs in 1,000 minor-league games) but a steady and reliable glove. Beresford turns 28 in January. He has played 382 games at Rochester over the past three seasons without showing any real signs of improvement. Paul Molitor basically acknowledged that the promotion was largely in recognition of Beresford's lengthy service in the organization. Presumably he won't play much and will merely serve as extra infield depth. Still, it'll be fun to see him don a big-league jersey for the final month.
  12. It wasn’t that many years ago we were writing about Brian Dozier in these minor league reports. Now, as he’s creeping up home run leaderboards and dropping three-bomb games on opponents, we get to read about him nationally. If only the Twins weren’t playing so lousy. I first saw Brian Dozier in Beloit in 2010. Next to him in the infield was James Beresford. (I’m not making that up. I actually got Dan Osterbrock to sign my ticket stub. Click the link. You’ll see why.) As you’ve probably heard by now, Beresford is heading to Minnesota, officially becoming a major league baseball player. It can never be taken away from him. In 2010, I didn’t know if James Beresford would be a major league baseball player. Heck, I didn’t know if Brian Dozier would be a major league baseball player. But here we are, in September of 2016, and he’s finally made it. It’s way cool. And a huge congratulations to him! Now, onto the games.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 7 Box Score The Red Wings season ended on a low note, getting shut out by Lehigh Valley. They ended up falling four games short in their playoff quest. Of the four hits collected today, only Wilfredo Tovar’s double was an extra-base hit. Tanner English, Daniel Palka and Tommy Field added singles. Tovar was later caught attempting to steal third base. The pitching wasn’t much better. David Hurlbut got roughed up for 12 hits and seven runs in five innings. He struck out four. Neil Ramirez and Jake Reed both turned in scoreless efforts. Rochester ends the season 81-63. After the game, along with Beresford, Kennys Vargas and Tyler Duffey were added back to the Twins roster. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jackson 1 Box Score Though the season ended today, the Lookouts finished on an exciting note. After giving up a first-inning run, Felix Jorge battled back and pitched a one-run complete game. He scattered seven hits and two walks. He struck out three and improved to 3-5 in AA. Niko Goodrum tied the game up with a solo home run in the sixth and would come around to scored the game-winner in the eighth inning on a D.J. Hicks RBI single. Zach Granite got a hit, finished the season batting .295, and stole his 56th base. The Lookouts finish the season 75-65 and on the outside looking in. The Southern League playoffs start Wednesday, without the defending champions. Additionally, Seth Stohs reported on Twitter that Stephen Gonsalves will be heading to the Arizona Fall League. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 12, Clinton 2 Box Score The Kernels ended their regular season with another victory, their 78th of the year, while gearing up for a (hopefully) long playoff run. Zander Wiel was the story of the day, as he went 3-4 with two home runs and seven RBI. Wiel’s seven RBIs put him atop the MWL League RBI leaderboard at the conclusion of the regular season with 86. Wiel ended his 2016 campaign with 19 hone runs. Jaylin Davis hit his ninth MWL home run. J.J. Fernandez and Rainis Silva each had two-hit days. Eduardo Del Rosario was relieved after giving up a run in two innings. It appears he’ll be a part of the team’s playoff rotation. Sean Poppen picked up a win with three innings of scoreless relief. Colton Davis (two walks, two strikeouts), Max Cordy (walk), Michael Cederoth (two hits, unearned run, strikeout), and Tom Hackimer (hit, two walks, three strikeouts) each pitched an inning of relief. The Kernels will open the MWL League Playoffs against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers before heading back to Cedar Rapids. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Johnson City 8 (Appalachian League Semifinals, Game 3) Box Score A lot of back-and-forth early as E-Town jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a Caleb Hamilton triple and a Mitchell Kranson RBI groundout. But Johnson City came back with two of their own in the bottom half of the first inning to take a lead. In the third inning, E-town strung together five straight singles. Amaurys Minier drove in Kranson and Andre Jernigan drove in Lewin Diaz to give the E-Twins a 3-2 lead. But Johnson City scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to even the score again. The E-Twins had a chance to blow it wide open in the fifth inning. The first five batters reached base. But former Gopher Matt Fielder threw Diaz out at home and with one out and the bases loaded, both Luis Martinez and Ariel Montesino struck out. Only one runner crossed the plate. That gave the E-Twins a 4-3 lead. It didn’t last. The first two Johnson City batters in the bottom of the fifth doubled, again evening the score. E-town took the lead again in the sixth when Diaz homered. And gave it back in the bottom of the inning. And took the lead yet again in the seventh inning when Shane Carrier scored on a Martinez RBI groundout. And, again, failed to hold the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Only this time it wasn’t just one run they gave up. It was three. And they’d never recover, losing 8-6. Lewin Diaz was great, collecting four hits (two doubles and a home run). Carrier had three hits and Ben Rortvedt, Amaurys Minier and Caleb Hamilton all had two hits. Trey Cabbage added a pinch-hit triple in the ninth inning. But it was all too little, too late. Clark Beeker gave up four runs on 11 hits in four innings. He struck out four. Austin Tribby took the loss allowing three runs in 2.1 innings. Johan Quezada allowed all three batters he faced to reach base. Quin Grogan got out of Quezada’s mess, and recorded five outs, while only allowing one hit. Elizabethton’s season is officially over. But it was quite a run. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Felix Jorge, Chattanooga Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Cedar Rapids NEXT GAME Cedar Rapids at Wisconsin, Game One (6:35 CST) - Wednesday, 9/7. Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games. Click here to view the article
  13. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 7 Box Score The Red Wings season ended on a low note, getting shut out by Lehigh Valley. They ended up falling four games short in their playoff quest. Of the four hits collected today, only Wilfredo Tovar’s double was an extra-base hit. Tanner English, Daniel Palka and Tommy Field added singles. Tovar was later caught attempting to steal third base. The pitching wasn’t much better. David Hurlbut got roughed up for 12 hits and seven runs in five innings. He struck out four. Neil Ramirez and Jake Reed both turned in scoreless efforts. Rochester ends the season 81-63. After the game, along with Beresford, Kennys Vargas and Tyler Duffey were added back to the Twins roster. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jackson 1 Box Score Though the season ended today, the Lookouts finished on an exciting note. After giving up a first-inning run, Felix Jorge battled back and pitched a one-run complete game. He scattered seven hits and two walks. He struck out three and improved to 3-5 in AA. Niko Goodrum tied the game up with a solo home run in the sixth and would come around to scored the game-winner in the eighth inning on a D.J. Hicks RBI single. Zach Granite got a hit, finished the season batting .295, and stole his 56th base. The Lookouts finish the season 75-65 and on the outside looking in. The Southern League playoffs start Wednesday, without the defending champions. Additionally, Seth Stohs reported on Twitter that Stephen Gonsalves will be heading to the Arizona Fall League. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 12, Clinton 2 Box Score The Kernels ended their regular season with another victory, their 78th of the year, while gearing up for a (hopefully) long playoff run. Zander Wiel was the story of the day, as he went 3-4 with two home runs and seven RBI. Wiel’s seven RBIs put him atop the MWL League RBI leaderboard at the conclusion of the regular season with 86. Wiel ended his 2016 campaign with 19 hone runs. Jaylin Davis hit his ninth MWL home run. J.J. Fernandez and Rainis Silva each had two-hit days. Eduardo Del Rosario was relieved after giving up a run in two innings. It appears he’ll be a part of the team’s playoff rotation. Sean Poppen picked up a win with three innings of scoreless relief. Colton Davis (two walks, two strikeouts), Max Cordy (walk), Michael Cederoth (two hits, unearned run, strikeout), and Tom Hackimer (hit, two walks, three strikeouts) each pitched an inning of relief. The Kernels will open the MWL League Playoffs against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers before heading back to Cedar Rapids. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Johnson City 8 (Appalachian League Semifinals, Game 3) Box Score A lot of back-and-forth early as E-Town jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a Caleb Hamilton triple and a Mitchell Kranson RBI groundout. But Johnson City came back with two of their own in the bottom half of the first inning to take a lead. In the third inning, E-town strung together five straight singles. Amaurys Minier drove in Kranson and Andre Jernigan drove in Lewin Diaz to give the E-Twins a 3-2 lead. But Johnson City scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to even the score again. The E-Twins had a chance to blow it wide open in the fifth inning. The first five batters reached base. But former Gopher Matt Fielder threw Diaz out at home and with one out and the bases loaded, both Luis Martinez and Ariel Montesino struck out. Only one runner crossed the plate. That gave the E-Twins a 4-3 lead. It didn’t last. The first two Johnson City batters in the bottom of the fifth doubled, again evening the score. E-town took the lead again in the sixth when Diaz homered. And gave it back in the bottom of the inning. And took the lead yet again in the seventh inning when Shane Carrier scored on a Martinez RBI groundout. And, again, failed to hold the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Only this time it wasn’t just one run they gave up. It was three. And they’d never recover, losing 8-6. Lewin Diaz was great, collecting four hits (two doubles and a home run). Carrier had three hits and Ben Rortvedt, Amaurys Minier and Caleb Hamilton all had two hits. Trey Cabbage added a pinch-hit triple in the ninth inning. But it was all too little, too late. Clark Beeker gave up four runs on 11 hits in four innings. He struck out four. Austin Tribby took the loss allowing three runs in 2.1 innings. Johan Quezada allowed all three batters he faced to reach base. Quin Grogan got out of Quezada’s mess, and recorded five outs, while only allowing one hit. Elizabethton’s season is officially over. But it was quite a run. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Felix Jorge, Chattanooga Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Cedar Rapids NEXT GAME Cedar Rapids at Wisconsin, Game One (6:35 CST) - Wednesday, 9/7. Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  14. Finally, after 3.5 years of languishing in AAA, infielder James Beresford will finally make his major league debut. He's slashed a modest .269/.330/.312 but has a career .286/.334/.342 in AAA. So he basically has no power, but he hits singles like a machine. Vargas and Duffey are returning too. hopefully Duffey can relieve Andrew Albers of his duties of starting. Vargas should get some ABs after he was crushing the ball in August. I think there needs to be a 40 man move to get Beresford on... perhaps they'll throw Danny Santana on the 60 day DL since he isn't returning from his shoulder injury.
  15. Let’s just forget about the Minnesota Twins for a bit. There’re plenty of happy things to talk about. Though it’s not what we wanted to be reading in late August, Byron Buxton was named the International League Hitter of the Week. Randy LeBlanc made his AA debut. Three hitters had four or more hits. Another affiliate clinched a playoff berth. Read all about it here.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Scranton W/B 2 Box Score Tyler Duffey pitched six no-hit innings in his return to AAA before running into trouble in the seventh. He gave up two hits and two runs in that frame and it ended his night. He walked three and struck out five, throwing 97 pitches. Buddy Boshers, who began his rehab assignment, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Jake Reed struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning after allowing a leadoff single. James Beresford led the offense with four hits. He also drew a walk and drove in three runs. John Ryan Murphy and Heiker Meneses both had two-hit games. Byron Buxton was 0-3 with a walk, strikeout and sacrifice fly. Rochester struck out 14 times on Monday night, including a streak of eight straight outs being recorded by strikeout (and 12 of 14). Yet it’s still an improvement from Sunday’s game. (Ouch.) The Red Wings also added catcher Carlos Paulino before the game. At 77-60, Rochester is still fighting for a playoff berth. They trail Lehigh Valley by 3.5 games in the wild card race with seven games to go. The Red Wings close their season with five straight games against Lehigh Valley, so it could be a race to the finish. Stay tuned. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 13, Mississippi 0 Box Score Three big innings - including a five-run first - made this a non-competitive game from the start. Niko Goodrum had four hits - including a three-run home run and a double - and five RBIs. Both D.J. Hicks and Stuart Turner drove in three runs. T.J. White and Hicks both had two-hit games and scored three times. Zach Granite stole his 52nd base. Randy LeBlanc struck out five in seven shutout innings. He walked two and allowed five hits. Randy Rosario closed the game out with two perfect innings which included three strikeouts. With seven games left, the Lookouts trail Montgomery by two games in the fight for a playoff spot. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 5 Box Score Though it was a losing effort, Nick Gordon did something relatively rare, going 5-for-5. He tripled and scored twice. Five other batters got one hit apiece, including a Joe Maloney double. Fort Myers went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and, despite scoring three runs, didn’t produce a single RBI. They scored on an error and two wild pitches. The Miracle went with a bullpen game on Monday using Luke Westphal (three innings), Cam Booser (two innings) and Confesor Lara (three innings). Both Westphal and Lara gave up two runs, Lara gave up one. Booser was the high strikeout guy, with three. With a week remaining in the season, Fort Myers would need to catch both St. Lucie and Jupiter, who are tied atop the FSL South and lead the Miracle by three games. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 1 Box Score With tonight’s win, the Kernels clinch a berth in the Midwest League playoffs. They’ve accomplished this feat in each of the four season the Twins have been affiliated with the Kernels. The offense got off to a quick start, scoring all six of their runs in the first four innings. Brandon Lopez and Jaylin Davis each had two-hit games. Lopez doubled and drove in two runs. Davis hit a solo home run, his eighth as a Kernel. Both Luis Arraez (.346) and Travis Blankenhorn (.320) collected a hit and have averages over .300. Eduardo Del Rosario gave up one run in 5.2 innings. He struck out seven and allowed seven runners to reach base (three walks, three hits, one HBP). Max Cordy struck out two in 2.1 one-hit innings. Cordy has been a breakout player after being drafted in the 40th round in 2015. Over two levels, he’s struck out 34 in 26 1/3 innings. He does need to work on his control (17 walks) but a 95 mph fastball with an 86 mph slider is a good place to start. Anthony McIver pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out one. This win - the Kernels eighth straight - along with two Burlington losses sends Cedar Rapids to the playoffs. The Kernels will enter the playoffs with the distinction of being the “Second-Half West Winners” and will declare Tuesday which game(s) of the playoffs they host (either Game 1 or Game 2 and 3). Their opponent will likely be Burlington or Wisconsin. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 1, Greeneville 2 Box Score Not a lot of offense to speak of Monday. An Ariel Montesino single preceded Caleb Hamilton and MItchell Kranson walks and Montesino scored on an Amaurys Minier grounded out. The only other hit was a single by Luis Martinez, who also walked twice. Clark Beeker pitched well enough to keep the E-Twins in the game, but the two runs over 6.1 innings was one more than his offense could provide. He struck out six and walked two. Johan Quezada recorded five out, two by strikeout. The E-Twins have made the playoffs and will face Johnson City. They could still overtake the Cardinals to be the division champ, but are two games back. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 3 Box Score The GCL Twins missed an opportunity to tie the Red Sox in the standings and remain a game out of first place with three games left. Aaron Whitfield continues to hit (.309) notching a single on Monday. He didn’t steal a base though, surprisingly. Kidany Salva added an RBI double and Akil Baddoo also drove in a run . Tyler Fox gave up a run over six innings, striking out four and left while in line to pick up the win, but Garrett Kelly blew his third save of the season and took the loss after giving up two runs on four hits in three innings. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Randy LeBlanc, Chattanooga Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Fort Myers TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs Syracuse (6:05 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut (0-1, 2.70 ERA) Chattanooga vs Mississippi (6:15 CST) - RHP Ryan Eades (6-5, 4.44 ERA) Fort Myers at Palm Beach (6:05 CST) - RHP Miles Nordgren (1-4, 5.08 ERA) Elizabethton vs Greeneville (6:00 CST) - RHP Alex Schink (5-2, 5.53 ERA) GCL Twins vs GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games. Click here to view the article
  16. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Scranton W/B 2 Box Score Tyler Duffey pitched six no-hit innings in his return to AAA before running into trouble in the seventh. He gave up two hits and two runs in that frame and it ended his night. He walked three and struck out five, throwing 97 pitches. Buddy Boshers, who began his rehab assignment, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Jake Reed struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning after allowing a leadoff single. James Beresford led the offense with four hits. He also drew a walk and drove in three runs. John Ryan Murphy and Heiker Meneses both had two-hit games. Byron Buxton was 0-3 with a walk, strikeout and sacrifice fly. Rochester struck out 14 times on Monday night, including a streak of eight straight outs being recorded by strikeout (and 12 of 14). Yet it’s still an improvement from Sunday’s game. (Ouch.) The Red Wings also added catcher Carlos Paulino before the game. At 77-60, Rochester is still fighting for a playoff berth. They trail Lehigh Valley by 3.5 games in the wild card race with seven games to go. The Red Wings close their season with five straight games against Lehigh Valley, so it could be a race to the finish. Stay tuned. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 13, Mississippi 0 Box Score Three big innings - including a five-run first - made this a non-competitive game from the start. Niko Goodrum had four hits - including a three-run home run and a double - and five RBIs. Both D.J. Hicks and Stuart Turner drove in three runs. T.J. White and Hicks both had two-hit games and scored three times. Zach Granite stole his 52nd base. Randy LeBlanc struck out five in seven shutout innings. He walked two and allowed five hits. Randy Rosario closed the game out with two perfect innings which included three strikeouts. With seven games left, the Lookouts trail Montgomery by two games in the fight for a playoff spot. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 5 Box Score Though it was a losing effort, Nick Gordon did something relatively rare, going 5-for-5. He tripled and scored twice. Five other batters got one hit apiece, including a Joe Maloney double. Fort Myers went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and, despite scoring three runs, didn’t produce a single RBI. They scored on an error and two wild pitches. The Miracle went with a bullpen game on Monday using Luke Westphal (three innings), Cam Booser (two innings) and Confesor Lara (three innings). Both Westphal and Lara gave up two runs, Lara gave up one. Booser was the high strikeout guy, with three. With a week remaining in the season, Fort Myers would need to catch both St. Lucie and Jupiter, who are tied atop the FSL South and lead the Miracle by three games. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 1 Box Score With tonight’s win, the Kernels clinch a berth in the Midwest League playoffs. They’ve accomplished this feat in each of the four season the Twins have been affiliated with the Kernels. The offense got off to a quick start, scoring all six of their runs in the first four innings. Brandon Lopez and Jaylin Davis each had two-hit games. Lopez doubled and drove in two runs. Davis hit a solo home run, his eighth as a Kernel. Both Luis Arraez (.346) and Travis Blankenhorn (.320) collected a hit and have averages over .300. Eduardo Del Rosario gave up one run in 5.2 innings. He struck out seven and allowed seven runners to reach base (three walks, three hits, one HBP). Max Cordy struck out two in 2.1 one-hit innings. Cordy has been a breakout player after being drafted in the 40th round in 2015. Over two levels, he’s struck out 34 in 26 1/3 innings. He does need to work on his control (17 walks) but a 95 mph fastball with an 86 mph slider is a good place to start. Anthony McIver pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out one. This win - the Kernels eighth straight - along with two Burlington losses sends Cedar Rapids to the playoffs. The Kernels will enter the playoffs with the distinction of being the “Second-Half West Winners” and will declare Tuesday which game(s) of the playoffs they host (either Game 1 or Game 2 and 3). Their opponent will likely be Burlington or Wisconsin. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 1, Greeneville 2 Box Score Not a lot of offense to speak of Monday. An Ariel Montesino single preceded Caleb Hamilton and MItchell Kranson walks and Montesino scored on an Amaurys Minier grounded out. The only other hit was a single by Luis Martinez, who also walked twice. Clark Beeker pitched well enough to keep the E-Twins in the game, but the two runs over 6.1 innings was one more than his offense could provide. He struck out six and walked two. Johan Quezada recorded five out, two by strikeout. The E-Twins have made the playoffs and will face Johnson City. They could still overtake the Cardinals to be the division champ, but are two games back. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 3 Box Score The GCL Twins missed an opportunity to tie the Red Sox in the standings and remain a game out of first place with three games left. Aaron Whitfield continues to hit (.309) notching a single on Monday. He didn’t steal a base though, surprisingly. Kidany Salva added an RBI double and Akil Baddoo also drove in a run . Tyler Fox gave up a run over six innings, striking out four and left while in line to pick up the win, but Garrett Kelly blew his third save of the season and took the loss after giving up two runs on four hits in three innings. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Randy LeBlanc, Chattanooga Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Fort Myers TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs Syracuse (6:05 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut (0-1, 2.70 ERA) Chattanooga vs Mississippi (6:15 CST) - RHP Ryan Eades (6-5, 4.44 ERA) Fort Myers at Palm Beach (6:05 CST) - RHP Miles Nordgren (1-4, 5.08 ERA) Elizabethton vs Greeneville (6:00 CST) - RHP Alex Schink (5-2, 5.53 ERA) GCL Twins vs GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  17. You probably haven’t read his name in the Twins Daily Minor League reports real often. In his 10 years, Rodriguez has played in 374 games. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, the 27-year-old has played in a total of 72 games. Each season, he has played a little bit less. In 2016, he has played in a total of just six games in Chattanooga. He has spent a lot of time on the disabled list in recent years. As a solid defensive catcher, yet not a top prospect, it is nice to have the depth that he provides for the organization at a position where it is difficult to remain healthy all season. In the minor leagues, the disabled list is a little bit more loose. In other words, the organization needs to list an injury to put them on the disabled list. Some like to call it the “Fake DL.” Last week, when Travis Harrison was placed on Chattanooga’s DL with a concussion (sustained when he was hit by a pitch in the helmet), Jairo Rodriguez was added to the active roster. On that roster, he can catch when Stuart Turner gets a day off, or Mitch Garver gets a day at first base. Since being added to the roster ten days ago, Rodriguez has one at-bat. Rodriguez isn’t what you’d call a prospect. He is what many people call a glue guy, an organizational. He is described as a great teammate, a hard-worker who sets a good example for his teammates. He is said to have a very high baseball IQ and is willing to help teammates, especially catchers with their game. Jairo Rodriguez was born and raised in Acarigua, Venezuela, a city of about 300,000 people a little over 200 miles west of Caracas. He started playing baseball at a very early age. “I was four years old when I first started playing. My brothers and I would play together.” Soon after, he began playing more organized ball. “I played in a league called Incitos. I really enjoyed playing it.” In 2007, he signed with the Twins. “The Twins were the only team that was interested in signing me. That made the decision easy.” He has been a guy that the Twins have felt comfortable placing at any level. He spent one year playing in Venezuela, followed by two years in the Dominican Summer League. He came to the States in 2010 and played in the GCL. He split the 2011 season between the GCL and Elizabethton. In 2012, he played in Beloit for the full season. He traveled quite a bit in 2013. He played for Cedar Rapids, Ft. Myers and even Rochester. In 2014, he split time between Ft. Myers and New Britain. He has spent 2015 and 2016 in Chattanooga. It is primarily his attitude, his character and his defensive abilities that have kept him around for a decade. “I like catching. I try to be like Ivan Rodriguez as much as I can. He is who I look up to.” He continued, speaking of what he most enjoys about the catcher position, “I would say blocking balls and helping the pitcher command the game.” Some might get frustrated by the lack of playing time and jumping from affiliate to affiliate over the years. Rodriguez doesn’t seem to mind in the least. “I like doing that because I love baseball and whatever the Twins want me to do, I will do.” His love of the game keeps him playing all year round. In the winters, he doesn’t take too much time off. “I go on a week’s vacation with my family every offseason, and then go play baseball in Venezuela.That’s my favorite.” He plays for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. “It’s really cool because a lot of big leaguers play there, and I like playing with those guys.” Rodriguez got the chance to live the big league life for a couple of days before the 2016 season started. Rodriguez was one of a few minor leaguers invited to travel with the Twins to Washington DC and play in the final exhibition games. Though he was the fourth catcher on the traveling squad, it was - even if unspoken - a reward for Rodriguez’s loyalty to the organization. Making the experience even cooler, in the second exhibition game, Rodriguez came in as a pinch hitter. On the first pitch, he lined a solid single to right field. “It felt really good to get a base hit in that game. The big leagues is very different because there are a lot of superstars up there that you watch on TV.” Rodriguez is proud to have remained in the Twins organization for a full decade. “It’s an organization that has been good to me. We have good coaching staffs, and I like that everybody plays hard with the Twins.” Rodriguez will continue to play as long as the Twins want him back, but after that, he has some ideas. “I would love to stay in baseball and be a coach for somebody one day. Maybe even for the Twins.” Just four players have been in the Twins system longer than Jairo Rodriguez, and I’m guessing there are several who read this article who had never heard of him. That’s too bad. Players, and people, like Jairo Rodriguez deserve to be recognized.
  18. If I were to ask you which five players have been in the Twins organization the longest continuously, it might take you a couple of minutes. However, you would likely, quickly name the top three; Joe Mauer (2001 - 1st round), Trevor Plouffe (2004 - 1st round) and Glen Perkins (2004 - 1st round). And you’d be right. If I were to ask you who the next two on the list are, would you know? The Twins signed Australian James Beresford in August of 2005. He’s spent the last four seasons in AAA Rochester, having earned an opportunity for a big league call up yet having not received one to this point. Today, I’ll help you get to know the fifth-longest tenured player in the Minnesota Twins organization. It’s catcher Jairo Rodriguez who signed on May 9, 2007, out of Venezuela. That makes 2016 his tenth season in the organization.You probably haven’t read his name in the Twins Daily Minor League reports real often. In his 10 years, Rodriguez has played in 374 games. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, the 27-year-old has played in a total of 72 games. Each season, he has played a little bit less. In 2016, he has played in a total of just six games in Chattanooga. He has spent a lot of time on the disabled list in recent years. As a solid defensive catcher, yet not a top prospect, it is nice to have the depth that he provides for the organization at a position where it is difficult to remain healthy all season. In the minor leagues, the disabled list is a little bit more loose. In other words, the organization needs to list an injury to put them on the disabled list. Some like to call it the “Fake DL.” Last week, when Travis Harrison was placed on Chattanooga’s DL with a concussion (sustained when he was hit by a pitch in the helmet), Jairo Rodriguez was added to the active roster. On that roster, he can catch when Stuart Turner gets a day off, or Mitch Garver gets a day at first base. Since being added to the roster ten days ago, Rodriguez has one at-bat. Rodriguez isn’t what you’d call a prospect. He is what many people call a glue guy, an organizational. He is described as a great teammate, a hard-worker who sets a good example for his teammates. He is said to have a very high baseball IQ and is willing to help teammates, especially catchers with their game. Jairo Rodriguez was born and raised in Acarigua, Venezuela, a city of about 300,000 people a little over 200 miles west of Caracas. He started playing baseball at a very early age. “I was four years old when I first started playing. My brothers and I would play together.” Soon after, he began playing more organized ball. “I played in a league called Incitos. I really enjoyed playing it.” In 2007, he signed with the Twins. “The Twins were the only team that was interested in signing me. That made the decision easy.” He has been a guy that the Twins have felt comfortable placing at any level. He spent one year playing in Venezuela, followed by two years in the Dominican Summer League. He came to the States in 2010 and played in the GCL. He split the 2011 season between the GCL and Elizabethton. In 2012, he played in Beloit for the full season. He traveled quite a bit in 2013. He played for Cedar Rapids, Ft. Myers and even Rochester. In 2014, he split time between Ft. Myers and New Britain. He has spent 2015 and 2016 in Chattanooga. It is primarily his attitude, his character and his defensive abilities that have kept him around for a decade. “I like catching. I try to be like Ivan Rodriguez as much as I can. He is who I look up to.” He continued, speaking of what he most enjoys about the catcher position, “I would say blocking balls and helping the pitcher command the game.” Some might get frustrated by the lack of playing time and jumping from affiliate to affiliate over the years. Rodriguez doesn’t seem to mind in the least. “I like doing that because I love baseball and whatever the Twins want me to do, I will do.” His love of the game keeps him playing all year round. In the winters, he doesn’t take too much time off. “I go on a week’s vacation with my family every offseason, and then go play baseball in Venezuela.That’s my favorite.” He plays for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. “It’s really cool because a lot of big leaguers play there, and I like playing with those guys.” Rodriguez got the chance to live the big league life for a couple of days before the 2016 season started. Rodriguez was one of a few minor leaguers invited to travel with the Twins to Washington DC and play in the final exhibition games. Though he was the fourth catcher on the traveling squad, it was - even if unspoken - a reward for Rodriguez’s loyalty to the organization. Making the experience even cooler, in the second exhibition game, Rodriguez came in as a pinch hitter. On the first pitch, he lined a solid single to right field. “It felt really good to get a base hit in that game. The big leagues is very different because there are a lot of superstars up there that you watch on TV.” Rodriguez is proud to have remained in the Twins organization for a full decade. “It’s an organization that has been good to me. We have good coaching staffs, and I like that everybody plays hard with the Twins.” Rodriguez will continue to play as long as the Twins want him back, but after that, he has some ideas. “I would love to stay in baseball and be a coach for somebody one day. Maybe even for the Twins.” Just four players have been in the Twins system longer than Jairo Rodriguez, and I’m guessing there are several who read this article who had never heard of him. That’s too bad. Players, and people, like Jairo Rodriguez deserve to be recognized. Click here to view the article
  19. The Rochester Red Wings made the 90 mile drive east to Syracuse. The bus was full. They remembered their bats and their hitting shoes as they put together a tremendous offensive outburst. Not to be outshone, their pitchers put in a great night’s work too. The Miracle ended a streak thanks to a quality start from one of the organization’s top pitching prospects. It was one of four quality starts in the Twins system on the day. Without further adieu…For much more information on the scores and highlights from all six of the Twins minor league affiliates in the States, please continue reading. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 11, Syracuse 0 Box Score It was a big night for the Red Wings hitters, but I’ll always maintain that if a team throws a shutout, we’ll talk about the pitching first. Jason Wheeler improved to 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA with some fine pitching (and help from the offense). The left-hander threw 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out six. Neil Ramirez made his first Red Wings appearance since being outrighted earlier in the week. He gave up two hits, but he go four outs. Marcus Walden gave up one hit in his scoreless inning. Following the win, Red Wings fantastic radio voice Josh Whetzel noted on Twitter that the 11-0 win was the widest margin of victory for the Red Wings since June of 2013. Their 22 hits where the most by the team since August of 2004. All nine starters had at least one hit. James Beresford led the way with a 5-6 game. It was the first five-hit game by a Red Wings hitter in about two years, when Wilkin Ramirez did it (Again, per Whetzel). He is now hitting .285 on the season. Jorge Polanco went 3-6 with his 14th double. Daniel Palka went 3-6 with his fourth and fifth Red Wings doubles. Byung Ho Park went 3-5 with a walk and his fifth home run. It was the third straight game he has homered. Carlos Paulino went 2-3 with two walks. Darin Mastroianni and Wilfredo Tovar each had two hits. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Jackson 2 Box Score For the second straight game, the Lookouts fell to Jackson. For the second straight start, Felix Jorge was the tough-luck losing pitcher. In this game, he gave up two runs on three hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out three. 71 of his 98 pitches were strikes. Jake Reed struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. Shannon Wilkerson went 2-4. Engelb Vielma notched his fourth double. Dalton Hicks doubled for the 23rd time. Mitch Garver hit his 22nd double, and he also stole his first base. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 9, Clearwater 4 Box Score The Miracle offense came through, and the team was able to snap a five-game losing streak. Nick Gordon led the way. He went 2-5 with his third home run and four RBIs. TJ White went 2-6 with his 10th double. LaMonte Wade went 2-5 with his fifth double. Trey Vavra was 1-2 with two walks and was also hit by a pitch. Alex Perez went 2-4 with a walk. Fernando Romero was on the mound for the Miracle. He went the first seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Romero improved to 3-1 with an ERA of 2.50. John Curtiss struck out two in a perfect eighth. Luke Bard struck out two in the ninth, though he gave up one run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4 Dayton 6 (10 innings) Box Score Eduardo Del Rosario has certainly had his struggles in his nine starts. However, on Saturday night, he posted his second straight quality start. He gave up three runs on four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Williams Ramirez gave up the tying run in his two innings. He walked two and struck out three. Anthony McIver threw a scoreless ninth inning, but he was charged with two unearned runs in the tenth to take the loss. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-5 with his eighth double. Sean Miller hit his 15th RBI. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Johnson City 5 Box Score Lewin Diaz posted his second straight three-hit game. He went 3-5 with his 11th double and is hitting .338. Alex Kirilloff went 2-4 with his fourth home run. His average is now .367. Bryant Hayman went 2-4. Sean Poppen worked the first 5.2 innings. He gave up four runs (1 earned) on seven hits and a walk while strikeout out five. He got the win and went 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA. Austin Tribby gave up a run on three hits over the next 1.2 innings. He walked two. Patrick McGuff recorded the final five outs for his first professional save.. Three of them came on strikeouts. McGuff was the Twins 39th-round pick in June out of Morehead State. He began his pro career with 5.2 scoreless innings in the GCL (0 BB, 9 K). He was promoted to Elizabethton where he is yet to give up a run in five appearances as 7.2 innings. He has struck out 15. So a quick glimpse at his overall numbers as a professional: 13.1 innings, 0 runs, 24 strikeouts. That’s a pretty strong first impression. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 5 (12 innings, completion of Friday’s suspended game) Box Score Some of this will be a repeat from yesterday’s report but here is the game’s complete recap. The first nine innings of the game were played on Friday, but the rains came and caused the suspension of the game until Saturday. The game resumed, and they needed 12 innings but it was decided on an unearned run. Brady Anderson started the game and threw six shutout innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six. Jordan Balazovic made his professional debut with two innings on Friday. He gave up a hit and walked one but gave up no runs in an inning. He struck out one. Matz Schutte threw the ninth inning. He got just two outs and was charged with five runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks. Both of the outs he got came on strikeouts. Clark Beeker took over on Saturday and worked 2.1 innings. He gave up just the unearned run in the 12th inning. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three. Jorge Andrade wente 2-5 with a walk, his fifth double and his fifth stolen base. Aaron Whitefield went 2-6 and stole two bases. Jorge Munoz went 2-6 with his fifth double. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-4. Roni Tapia hit his second home run of the season. GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 7 (10 innings, regularly-scheduled game) Box Score Of course, the regularly-scheduled game needed extra innings too. Taylor Clemensia started. He gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out four. Daniel Martinez came in and gave up one run in his 2.1 innings. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out four. Callan Pearce gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in 1.2 innings. He struck out one. Matt Jones pitched the tenth inning. He gave up a run on two walks in the inning. Akil Baddoo went 1-3 with two walks and his first professional home run. He also stole his second and third stolen bases. Heiker Meneses played another rehab game. He went 1-3 with two walks. Aaron Whitefield went 2-4 with a walk. He stole three more bases. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – James Beresford, Rochester Red Wings SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (12:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (12:00 CST) - RHP Miles Nordgren Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Jose Martinez GCL Twins - No Sunday Games. Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games. Click here to view the article
  20. For much more information on the scores and highlights from all six of the Twins minor league affiliates in the States, please continue reading. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 11, Syracuse 0 Box Score It was a big night for the Red Wings hitters, but I’ll always maintain that if a team throws a shutout, we’ll talk about the pitching first. Jason Wheeler improved to 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA with some fine pitching (and help from the offense). The left-hander threw 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out six. Neil Ramirez made his first Red Wings appearance since being outrighted earlier in the week. He gave up two hits, but he go four outs. Marcus Walden gave up one hit in his scoreless inning. Following the win, Red Wings fantastic radio voice Josh Whetzel noted on Twitter that the 11-0 win was the widest margin of victory for the Red Wings since June of 2013. Their 22 hits where the most by the team since August of 2004. All nine starters had at least one hit. James Beresford led the way with a 5-6 game. It was the first five-hit game by a Red Wings hitter in about two years, when Wilkin Ramirez did it (Again, per Whetzel). He is now hitting .285 on the season. Jorge Polanco went 3-6 with his 14th double. Daniel Palka went 3-6 with his fourth and fifth Red Wings doubles. Byung Ho Park went 3-5 with a walk and his fifth home run. It was the third straight game he has homered. Carlos Paulino went 2-3 with two walks. Darin Mastroianni and Wilfredo Tovar each had two hits. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Jackson 2 Box Score For the second straight game, the Lookouts fell to Jackson. For the second straight start, Felix Jorge was the tough-luck losing pitcher. In this game, he gave up two runs on three hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out three. 71 of his 98 pitches were strikes. Jake Reed struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. Shannon Wilkerson went 2-4. Engelb Vielma notched his fourth double. Dalton Hicks doubled for the 23rd time. Mitch Garver hit his 22nd double, and he also stole his first base. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 9, Clearwater 4 Box Score The Miracle offense came through, and the team was able to snap a five-game losing streak. Nick Gordon led the way. He went 2-5 with his third home run and four RBIs. TJ White went 2-6 with his 10th double. LaMonte Wade went 2-5 with his fifth double. Trey Vavra was 1-2 with two walks and was also hit by a pitch. Alex Perez went 2-4 with a walk. Fernando Romero was on the mound for the Miracle. He went the first seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Romero improved to 3-1 with an ERA of 2.50. John Curtiss struck out two in a perfect eighth. Luke Bard struck out two in the ninth, though he gave up one run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4 Dayton 6 (10 innings) Box Score Eduardo Del Rosario has certainly had his struggles in his nine starts. However, on Saturday night, he posted his second straight quality start. He gave up three runs on four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Williams Ramirez gave up the tying run in his two innings. He walked two and struck out three. Anthony McIver threw a scoreless ninth inning, but he was charged with two unearned runs in the tenth to take the loss. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-5 with his eighth double. Sean Miller hit his 15th RBI. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Johnson City 5 Box Score Lewin Diaz posted his second straight three-hit game. He went 3-5 with his 11th double and is hitting .338. Alex Kirilloff went 2-4 with his fourth home run. His average is now .367. Bryant Hayman went 2-4. Sean Poppen worked the first 5.2 innings. He gave up four runs (1 earned) on seven hits and a walk while strikeout out five. He got the win and went 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA. Austin Tribby gave up a run on three hits over the next 1.2 innings. He walked two. Patrick McGuff recorded the final five outs for his first professional save.. Three of them came on strikeouts. McGuff was the Twins 39th-round pick in June out of Morehead State. He began his pro career with 5.2 scoreless innings in the GCL (0 BB, 9 K). He was promoted to Elizabethton where he is yet to give up a run in five appearances as 7.2 innings. He has struck out 15. So a quick glimpse at his overall numbers as a professional: 13.1 innings, 0 runs, 24 strikeouts. That’s a pretty strong first impression. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 5 (12 innings, completion of Friday’s suspended game) Box Score Some of this will be a repeat from yesterday’s report but here is the game’s complete recap. The first nine innings of the game were played on Friday, but the rains came and caused the suspension of the game until Saturday. The game resumed, and they needed 12 innings but it was decided on an unearned run. Brady Anderson started the game and threw six shutout innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six. Jordan Balazovic made his professional debut with two innings on Friday. He gave up a hit and walked one but gave up no runs in an inning. He struck out one. Matz Schutte threw the ninth inning. He got just two outs and was charged with five runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks. Both of the outs he got came on strikeouts. Clark Beeker took over on Saturday and worked 2.1 innings. He gave up just the unearned run in the 12th inning. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three. Jorge Andrade wente 2-5 with a walk, his fifth double and his fifth stolen base. Aaron Whitefield went 2-6 and stole two bases. Jorge Munoz went 2-6 with his fifth double. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-4. Roni Tapia hit his second home run of the season. GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 7 (10 innings, regularly-scheduled game) Box Score Of course, the regularly-scheduled game needed extra innings too. Taylor Clemensia started. He gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out four. Daniel Martinez came in and gave up one run in his 2.1 innings. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out four. Callan Pearce gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in 1.2 innings. He struck out one. Matt Jones pitched the tenth inning. He gave up a run on two walks in the inning. Akil Baddoo went 1-3 with two walks and his first professional home run. He also stole his second and third stolen bases. Heiker Meneses played another rehab game. He went 1-3 with two walks. Aaron Whitefield went 2-4 with a walk. He stole three more bases. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – James Beresford, Rochester Red Wings SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (12:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (12:00 CST) - RHP Miles Nordgren Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Jose Martinez GCL Twins - No Sunday Games. Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games.
  21. Professional baseball has been in Rochester for over 140 years. The Red Wings have been an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Baltimore Orioles (1961-2002), and the Minnesota Twins since 2003. Ironically, when the Twins moved their affiliation to Rochester, it was the first year of their tremendous radio voice, Josh Whetzel joined the. When I saw the ballot for the All Frontier Field team, I couldn’t help but spend some time voting. It is fun to think back to the dozen or more years that I have followed the Twins minor league system and seeing names of some great players and guys who became well-known for their time in New York. Some went on to have long big league careers. Some barely got a cup of coffee. Seeing the names is such a good reminder of how hard this game can be. So, take five minutes and cast your vote. You can spend more time, if you want, and research the stats of the players in Rochester. You can just vote for your favorite player in each category, or the player who went on to the best career? There is no right or wrong answer for this. So, let’s walk down memory lane and take a look at the ballot: First Basemen: Chris Colabello, Garrett Jones, Justin Morneau, Calvin Pickering, Chris Parmelee My vote goes to Garrett Jones. He spent quite a bit of time in Rochester because the Twins had Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young and Jason Kubel at the positions Jones could have played. So, he just kept putting up monster numbers for the Red Wings. From 2005 through 2008, he played over 105 games for the Red Wings each year and hit a lot of doubles and home runs. He played in just 31 games for the Twins, all in 2007. Since then, he has played in 880 games in the big leagues, mostly with the Pirates, but also some time with the Marlins and Yankees. He’s still playing in 2016, his first year in Japan. Second Basemen: James Beresford, PJ Forbes, Luis Rodriguez, Brian Roberts, Jerry Hairston My vote goes to James Beresford. I was a big fan of Rodriguez (when I wrote of him, I just wrote “Luis!!”), and the other three were from the Orioles era. Brian Roberts had a strong big league career. However, in his three-plus seasons with the Rochester, Beresford has continued to get better and add to his game. He came up and struggled some, but he was a .300 hitter and an All-Star in 2015. This year, he’s playing all over the infield. Third Basemen: Willis Otanez, Ryan Minor, Terry Tiffee, Danny Valencia, Chris Heintz My vote goes to Terry Tiffee. He spent parts of three seasons with the Red Wings and got a couple of cups of coffee with the Twins as well. He played 91 games for the Twins between 2004 and 2006, and then got into a handful of games with the Dodgers in 2008. Valencia has become the best big leaguer in this bunch. Ryan Minor was quite a prospect for the O’s in the late 90s. Chris Heintz spent quite a bit of time with the Red Wings as well. He was signed as a long-time veteran, and his cup of coffee with the Twins was exciting. He was 31-years-old when he debuted for the Twins and played a total of 34 big league games for the Twins, mostly as a catcher. Shortstop: Jason Bartlett, Doug Bernier, Jesse Garcia, Aaron Ledesma, Trevor Plouffe My vote goes to Trevor Plouffe. The Twins really pushed Plouffe up the minor league system despite never putting up big numbers at any level. He reached AAA at age 22 and didn’t debut with the Twins until he was 24, in 2010. He wasn’t always great with the Red Wings, but he grew and improved. He spent parts of four seasons with the Red Wings and has also rehabbed there a couple of times. Bartlett had a solid career in Rochester, where he spent parts of three seasons. I believe he still lives there. Bernier was a very solid producer for the Red Wings for most of three seasons. The Orioles guys didn’t spent a lot of time in Rochester. Catcher: BJ Waszgis, Tommy Davis, Jose Morales, Drew Butera, Eric Fryer My vote goes to Jose Morales. He was drafted as a middle infielder, but was immediately moved to catcher. He worked his way up. When the 2007 season was complete, he went back home. When a couple of catchers got hurt, Morales received a September call up. He made one start and went 3-3 with a double. However, he broke his leg sliding into second base in the game and didn’t get back to the big leagues until 2009. He spent parts of four seasons with the Red Wings and hit over .300. Butera had the defense and has had a solid, lucrative big league career. Fryer has had plenty of time and spent three years playing in Rochester. Outfielders: Danny Clyburn, Lew Ford, Jason Kubel, Dustin Martin, Darnell McDonald, Jason Pridie, Josh Rabe, Michael Restovich, Denard Span, Jim Wawruck. My three votes go to Dustin Martin, Josh Rabe and Darnell McDonald. I know there are bigger names. Kubel was the IL Rookie of the Year the one partial season he spent there and put up great numbers. Lew Ford spent parts of four seasons there but limited time each year because he spent a lot of time with the big league club. Restovich had a couple of very good years in Rochester after spending a couple of seasons in AAA in the Pacific Coast League. Darnell McDonald was one player who played for Rochester while a member of the Orioles and the Twins. He was a top prospect with the O’s, but by the time he got to the Red Wings, he was move organizational filler. However, he played so well that he earned time with the Twins too. Rabe spent parts of five seasons with the Red Wings. He debuted with the Red Wings in 2003. It wasn’t until 2006 that he finally got a call up to the Twins. He played in 38 games for the Twins over two years and hit three homers. Dustin Martin is in the top 5 in many Rochester categories. He spent three years at the level and went to spring training with the big league club but never got a chance with the Twins. Still just 32, he has played for a couple other organizations, in independent leagues and still in Mexico. Starting Pitchers: There are 14 names to consider on this list, so I’m not going to get into them all. However, you will want to click that link to remember how much talent has come through Rochester on the way to Minnesota. We are to vote for five, so here are my picks. Dave Gassner didn’t have a long big league career, though he did win his big league debut, but he spent parts of four seasons with the Red Wings and put up some strong numbers. On the other side of the spectrum, Francisco Liriano dominated the league in 2005 and early in 2006 before coming up to the Twins where he was more impressive than multi-Cy Young winner Johan Santana during his prime. After his Tommy John surgery, he came back to the Red Wings in 2008 and was again very good. Similarly, Kevin Slowey dominated this International League in 2007, posting an ERA under two and captured the league’s Pitcher of the Year award. Boof Bonser racked up some big strikeout numbers during his (parts of) three seasons with the Red Wings. The fifth choice is Brian Duensing who won 20 games in his time with the Red Wings. That doesn’t include the Gold Medal that he won in the 2008 Olympics with Team USA. There are some impressive pitchers that weren’t in my top five. Andrew Albers is back and had a terrific year with the organization a couple of years ago before returning earlier this season. Liam Hendriks was a tremendous minor league pitcher. And who could forget The Real Deal? Scott Baker pitched well there. Matt Garza didn’t get much time in Rochester during his fast 2006 rise to the big leagues, but he was good and has had a long career. Kyle Gibson put up some solid numbers in Rochester as well, before Tommy John and then after his return. Relief Pitchers: We are supposed to vote for two relievers, and for me, the choices are easy. No one who followed the Twins minor leagues from about 2007 through 2011 will be able to not vote for Anthony Slama. No one will ever be able to explain adequately enough to me how a guy who put up the numbers that Slama put up in the minors, including AAA, could possibly not be given more of an opportunity in the big leagues. #Slama Time and #FreeSlama were frequent hashtags even before we knew what hashtags were. Similarly, few have pitched as well in Rochester as AJ Achter did for the Red Wings over the last three years. He didn’t give up many runs, picked up saves, and generally rarely allowed base runners. He got a couple of limited opportunities with the Twins and has been up and down with the Angels a few times already this season. Pat Neshek put up very similar numbers in Rochester, just in less time. He has gone on to a tremendous, long career. Michael Tonkin wasn’t as good as Achter in Rochester, but he still put up terrific numbers and big strikeouts too. I might not argue too much if you wanted one of them on the team. And I’d also understand your votes for Jesse Crain or Bobby Korecky. Designated Hitter: Karim Garcia, Justin Huber, Randy Ruiz, Julio Vinas, Kevin West Kevin West gets my vote. He spent a couple of seasons with the Red Wings and hit 34 homers. He was a big man with a lot of power, hitting both doubles and home runs. Unfortunately, he got hurt in his third season with the Red Wings and never got a chance. Garcia had a fairly long career but didn't spend a lot of time in Rochester. Ruiz had one monster season with the Red Wings and earned a 22-game call up to the Twins at age 30. He spent time the next two seasons with Toronto. Huber was similar in that he was older. The former prospect from Australia earned a September call up, but got hurt in his one game with the Twins. Utility Player: Alex Casilla, Howie Clark, Brian Dinkelman, Matt Tolbert, Tommy Watkins. My vote goes for Tommy Watkins. Sure Howie Clark spent four seasons with the Red Wings, three with the O's and one with the Twins. He has some impressive numbers. Brian Dinkelman ranks in the top five or six in Red Wings stats during the Twins era and was a Harmon Killebrew Award recipient. He had the cool nickname and chant when he received his call ups to the Twins. Casilla and Tolbert both spent a lot of time back and forth between Rochester and the Twins. But Tommy Watkins is The Mayor. I mean, it's Rochester and he owns it. And, it's my ballot! Manager: There are some quality options on the ballot, but I'm going with Gene Glynn. The Red Wings had just come off of losing 91 and 95 games when he took over. Obviously better players help but Gene Glynn less the team to three straight seasons at .500 or better before moving up to the big league club as the Twins 3B coach. So there you have it, a look at my personal ballot for the All Frontier Field team. This is the 20th season of baseball at the stadium. The Twins have had the Red Wings as their AAA affiliate for 14 years now. Please take 5-10 minutes of time to click here and make your choices for the 20th anniversary Frontier Field team. And share your vote and your memories of some of these players in the comments below.
  22. The Rochester Red Wings are celebrating their 20th year in Frontier Field. The history of baseball and the Red Wings in Rochester, New York, is very long and storied. The Red Wings are asking fans to vote for their All Frontier Field team. Many current and former Twins are on the ballot. It's a fun exercise and a great walk down memory lane for Twins fans who have followed prospects over the last 10 to 15 years. Take five minutes or so to cast your vote and, even more fun, remember some of the players from the past.Professional baseball has been in Rochester for over 140 years. The Red Wings have been an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Baltimore Orioles (1961-2002), and the Minnesota Twins since 2003. Ironically, when the Twins moved their affiliation to Rochester, it was the first year of their tremendous radio voice, Josh Whetzel joined the. When I saw the ballot for the All Frontier Field team, I couldn’t help but spend some time voting. It is fun to think back to the dozen or more years that I have followed the Twins minor league system and seeing names of some great players and guys who became well-known for their time in New York. Some went on to have long big league careers. Some barely got a cup of coffee. Seeing the names is such a good reminder of how hard this game can be. So, take five minutes and cast your vote. You can spend more time, if you want, and research the stats of the players in Rochester. You can just vote for your favorite player in each category, or the player who went on to the best career? There is no right or wrong answer for this. So, let’s walk down memory lane and take a look at the ballot: First Basemen: Chris Colabello, Garrett Jones, Justin Morneau, Calvin Pickering, Chris Parmelee My votegoes to Garrett Jones. He spent quite a bit of time in Rochester because the Twins had Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young and Jason Kubel at the positions Jones could have played. So, he just kept putting up monster numbers for the Red Wings. From 2005 through 2008, he played over 105 games for the Red Wings each year and hit a lot of doubles and home runs. He played in just 31 games for the Twins, all in 2007. Since then, he has played in 880 games in the big leagues, mostly with the Pirates, but also some time with the Marlins and Yankees. He’s still playing in 2016, his first year in Japan. Second Basemen: James Beresford, PJ Forbes, Luis Rodriguez, Brian Roberts, Jerry Hairston My votegoes to James Beresford. I was a big fan of Rodriguez (when I wrote of him, I just wrote “Luis!!”), and the other three were from the Orioles era. Brian Roberts had a strong big league career. However, in his three-plus seasons with the Rochester, Beresford has continued to get better and add to his game. He came up and struggled some, but he was a .300 hitter and an All-Star in 2015. This year, he’s playing all over the infield. Third Basemen: Willis Otanez, Ryan Minor, Terry Tiffee, Danny Valencia, Chris Heintz My votegoes to Terry Tiffee. He spent parts of three seasons with the Red Wings and got a couple of cups of coffee with the Twins as well. He played 91 games for the Twins between 2004 and 2006, and then got into a handful of games with the Dodgers in 2008. Valencia has become the best big leaguer in this bunch. Ryan Minor was quite a prospect for the O’s in the late 90s. Chris Heintz spent quite a bit of time with the Red Wings as well. He was signed as a long-time veteran, and his cup of coffee with the Twins was exciting. He was 31-years-old when he debuted for the Twins and played a total of 34 big league games for the Twins, mostly as a catcher. Shortstop: Jason Bartlett, Doug Bernier, Jesse Garcia, Aaron Ledesma, Trevor Plouffe My votegoes to Trevor Plouffe. The Twins really pushed Plouffe up the minor league system despite never putting up big numbers at any level. He reached AAA at age 22 and didn’t debut with the Twins until he was 24, in 2010. He wasn’t always great with the Red Wings, but he grew and improved. He spent parts of four seasons with the Red Wings and has also rehabbed there a couple of times. Bartlett had a solid career in Rochester, where he spent parts of three seasons. I believe he still lives there. Bernier was a very solid producer for the Red Wings for most of three seasons. The Orioles guys didn’t spent a lot of time in Rochester. Catcher: BJ Waszgis, Tommy Davis, Jose Morales, Drew Butera, Eric Fryer My votegoes to Jose Morales. He was drafted as a middle infielder, but was immediately moved to catcher. He worked his way up. When the 2007 season was complete, he went back home. When a couple of catchers got hurt, Morales received a September call up. He made one start and went 3-3 with a double. However, he broke his leg sliding into second base in the game and didn’t get back to the big leagues until 2009. He spent parts of four seasons with the Red Wings and hit over .300. Butera had the defense and has had a solid, lucrative big league career. Fryer has had plenty of time and spent three years playing in Rochester. Outfielders: Danny Clyburn, Lew Ford, Jason Kubel, Dustin Martin, Darnell McDonald, Jason Pridie, Josh Rabe, Michael Restovich, Denard Span, Jim Wawruck. My three votesgo to Dustin Martin, Josh Rabe and Darnell McDonald. I know there are bigger names. Kubel was the IL Rookie of the Year the one partial season he spent there and put up great numbers. Lew Ford spent parts of four seasons there but limited time each year because he spent a lot of time with the big league club. Restovich had a couple of very good years in Rochester after spending a couple of seasons in AAA in the Pacific Coast League. Darnell McDonald was one player who played for Rochester while a member of the Orioles and the Twins. He was a top prospect with the O’s, but by the time he got to the Red Wings, he was move organizational filler. However, he played so well that he earned time with the Twins too. Rabe spent parts of five seasons with the Red Wings. He debuted with the Red Wings in 2003. It wasn’t until 2006 that he finally got a call up to the Twins. He played in 38 games for the Twins over two years and hit three homers. Dustin Martin is in the top 5 in many Rochester categories. He spent three years at the level and went to spring training with the big league club but never got a chance with the Twins. Still just 32, he has played for a couple other organizations, in independent leagues and still in Mexico. Starting Pitchers: There are 14 names to consider on this list, so I’m not going to get into them all. However, you will want to click that link to remember how much talent has come through Rochester on the way to Minnesota. We are to vote for five, so here are my picks. Dave Gassner didn’t have a long big league career, though he did win his big league debut, but he spent parts of four seasons with the Red Wings and put up some strong numbers. On the other side of the spectrum, Francisco Liriano dominated the league in 2005 and early in 2006 before coming up to the Twins where he was more impressive than multi-Cy Young winner Johan Santana during his prime. After his Tommy John surgery, he came back to the Red Wings in 2008 and was again very good. Similarly, Kevin Slowey dominated this International League in 2007, posting an ERA under two and captured the league’s Pitcher of the Year award. Boof Bonser racked up some big strikeout numbers during his (parts of) three seasons with the Red Wings. The fifth choice is Brian Duensing who won 20 games in his time with the Red Wings. That doesn’t include the Gold Medal that he won in the 2008 Olympics with Team USA. There are some impressive pitchers that weren’t in my top five. Andrew Albers is back and had a terrific year with the organization a couple of years ago before returning earlier this season. Liam Hendriks was a tremendous minor league pitcher. And who could forget The Real Deal? Scott Baker pitched well there. Matt Garza didn’t get much time in Rochester during his fast 2006 rise to the big leagues, but he was good and has had a long career. Kyle Gibson put up some solid numbers in Rochester as well, before Tommy John and then after his return. Relief Pitchers: We are supposed to vote for two relievers, and for me, the choices are easy. No one who followed the Twins minor leagues from about 2007 through 2011 will be able to not vote for Anthony Slama. No one will ever be able to explain adequately enough to me how a guy who put up the numbers that Slama put up in the minors, including AAA, could possibly not be given more of an opportunity in the big leagues. #Slama Time and #FreeSlama were frequent hashtags even before we knew what hashtags were. Similarly, few have pitched as well in Rochester as AJ Achter did for the Red Wings over the last three years. He didn’t give up many runs, picked up saves, and generally rarely allowed base runners. He got a couple of limited opportunities with the Twins and has been up and down with the Angels a few times already this season. Pat Neshek put up very similar numbers in Rochester, just in less time. He has gone on to a tremendous, long career. Michael Tonkin wasn’t as good as Achter in Rochester, but he still put up terrific numbers and big strikeouts too. I might not argue too much if you wanted one of them on the team. And I’d also understand your votes for Jesse Crain or Bobby Korecky. Designated Hitter: Karim Garcia, Justin Huber, Randy Ruiz, Julio Vinas, Kevin West Kevin West gets my vote. He spent a couple of seasons with the Red Wings and hit 34 homers. He was a big man with a lot of power, hitting both doubles and home runs. Unfortunately, he got hurt in his third season with the Red Wings and never got a chance. Garcia had a fairly long career but didn't spend a lot of time in Rochester. Ruiz had one monster season with the Red Wings and earned a 22-game call up to the Twins at age 30. He spent time the next two seasons with Toronto. Huber was similar in that he was older. The former prospect from Australia earned a September call up, but got hurt in his one game with the Twins. Utility Player: Alex Casilla, Howie Clark, Brian Dinkelman, Matt Tolbert, Tommy Watkins. My vote goes for Tommy Watkins. Sure Howie Clark spent four seasons with the Red Wings, three with the O's and one with the Twins. He has some impressive numbers. Brian Dinkelman ranks in the top five or six in Red Wings stats during the Twins era and was a Harmon Killebrew Award recipient. He had the cool nickname and chant when he received his call ups to the Twins. Casilla and Tolbert both spent a lot of time back and forth between Rochester and the Twins. But Tommy Watkins is The Mayor. I mean, it's Rochester and he owns it. And, it's my ballot! Manager: There are some quality options on the ballot, but I'm going with Gene Glynn. The Red Wings had just come off of losing 91 and 95 games when he took over. Obviously better players help but Gene Glynn less the team to three straight seasons at .500 or better before moving up to the big league club as the Twins 3B coach. So there you have it, a look at my personal ballot for the All Frontier Field team. This is the 20th season of baseball at the stadium. The Twins have had the Red Wings as their AAA affiliate for 14 years now. Please take 5-10 minutes of time to click here and make your choices for the 20th anniversary Frontier Field team. And share your vote and your memories of some of these players in the comments below. Click here to view the article
  23. Check out everything that happened on Saturday in the Twins farm system. Let’s take a look. TRANSACTIONS There were also a couple of minor league transactions: The Twins signed minor league free agent Tommy FIeld and assigned him to Rochester. With Heiker Meneses placed on the DL a day ago, the Red Wings were down to just one bench option. The Twins actually claimed Field in November of 2012, but in December that year they tried to pass him through waivers and he was claimed by the Angels. Since 2011, he has had cups of coffee with the Rockies, Angels and the Rangers. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 8, Syracuse 3 Box Score Let’s start with this. Byron Buxton went 0-3 with two strikeouts and in the fifth inning, he left the game. Of course there was speculation, but Darren Wolfson tweeted later that he left the game with back spasms. Buxton was replaced by Tommy Fields who played right field and Max Kepler moved over to center. Things got off to a quick start for the Red Wings. Buck Britton cleared the bases in the first inning with his fifth double of the year. James Beresford was the catalyst throughout the game. He went 4-5 and scored three runs. Max Kepler went 0-2, but he walked three times. Kennys Vargas was a triple short of the cycle. He was 3-5 with his fifth double and third home run. Wilfredo Tovar went 2-5. Logan Darnell started. He gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits. In five innings, he walked one and struck out five. Taylor Rogers came on and struck out three batters in two scoreless innings. JT Chargois returned to the mound and struck out five batters in two scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Biloxi 2 Box Score DJ Baxendale continues to make his case for a promotion to AAA. In six innings, he gave up two runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out nine. Corey Williams struck out two in a scoreless seventh innings. Trevor Hildenberger struck out three over two scoreless innings to end the game. It was his second save since joining the Lookouts. Zach Granite led the offense. From the leadoff spot, he went 4-4 and stole his 16th base. In the first inning, Granite singled and scored on a Shannon Wilkerson double. Daniel Palka then hit his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot to give the Lookouts a quick 3-0 lead. Wilkerson and Ryan Walker were each 2-3 as well. Travis Harrison missed his second straight game since his outfield collision with Shannon Wilkerson. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, St. Lucie 3 (11 innings) Box Score They needed extra innings to decide this game. It was a tight pitcher’s dual. Randy Rosario started and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. He struck out four. John Curtiss struck out two of the four batters he faced. Yorman Landa walked two and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Luke Bard pitched a scoreless tenth inning, but the winning run scored against him with two outs in the 11th. Of the five outs he got, three were strikeouts. Max Murphy went 3-5 with his first stolen base. Chris Paul was 2-5 with his fifth double. He drove in both Miracle runs. Austin Diemer was 2-5 with his first double. Nick Gordon went 1-3 with a walk and his fifth stolen base. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 14, Wisconsin 6 Box Score The Kernels scored 12 runs on Friday night. They played again early Saturday and the hits just kept on coming. AJ Murray went 5-5 with a walk and two homers Friday night. He got the scoring started on Saturday with a sacrifice fly. It was the first of seven runs scored in the first inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Wisconsin scored five runs to cut the lead to 7-5. But in the sixth inning, the Kernels responded with five of their own and added on from there. Dereck Rodriguez got his first win of the season, to improve to 1-4. He needed the run support as he gave up six runs on six hits in six innings. He used 98 pitches and walked three and struck out three. Mike Theofanopoulos recorded his first save of the year with three innings of shutout relief. He gave up just one hit, walked one and struck out six. Brian Olson went 3-5 with a walk and his second double. Alex Perez went 3-5 with a walk. Aside from the sacrifice fly, AJ Murray added his ninth and tenth doubles. Daniel Kihle went 2-4, walked, was hit by a pitch and added his second double. Sean Miller was 2-5 with four RBI, three scored on a bases-clearing triple. Christian Cavaness went 2-5. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – DJ Baxendale, Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Kennys Vargas, Rochester Red Wings SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - LHP Tommy Milone Biloxi @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (12:00 CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 CST) – RHP Miles Nordgren Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Saturday games.
  24. It was a full and entertaining day in the Twins minor league system. Most important, the big league club ended an eight-game losing streak. Cedar Rapids scored in double figures in Wisconsin for the second straight day. Three of the four affiliates got wins on Saturday. It took extra innings to beat the fourth. Two players had four-hit games. Four guys had three-hit games. One starter had nine strikeouts. It was a good day in the Twins minor leagues.Check out everything that happened on Saturday in the Twins farm system. Let’s take a look. TRANSACTIONS There were also a couple of minor league transactions: The Twins signed minor league free agent Tommy FIeld and assigned him to Rochester. With Heiker Meneses placed on the DL a day ago, the Red Wings were down to just one bench option. The Twins actually claimed Field in November of 2012, but in December that year they tried to pass him through waivers and he was claimed by the Angels. Since 2011, he has had cups of coffee with the Rockies, Angels and the Rangers.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 8, Syracuse 3 Box Score Let’s start with this. Byron Buxton went 0-3 with two strikeouts and in the fifth inning, he left the game. Of course there was speculation, but Darren Wolfson tweeted later that he left the game with back spasms. Buxton was replaced by Tommy Fields who played right field and Max Kepler moved over to center. Things got off to a quick start for the Red Wings. Buck Britton cleared the bases in the first inning with his fifth double of the year. James Beresford was the catalyst throughout the game. He went 4-5 and scored three runs. Max Kepler went 0-2, but he walked three times. Kennys Vargas was a triple short of the cycle. He was 3-5 with his fifth double and third home run. Wilfredo Tovar went 2-5. Logan Darnell started. He gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits. In five innings, he walked one and struck out five. Taylor Rogers came on and struck out three batters in two scoreless innings. JT Chargois returned to the mound and struck out five batters in two scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Biloxi 2 Box Score DJ Baxendale continues to make his case for a promotion to AAA. In six innings, he gave up two runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out nine. Corey Williams struck out two in a scoreless seventh innings. Trevor Hildenberger struck out three over two scoreless innings to end the game. It was his second save since joining the Lookouts. Zach Granite led the offense. From the leadoff spot, he went 4-4 and stole his 16th base. In the first inning, Granite singled and scored on a Shannon Wilkerson double. Daniel Palka then hit his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot to give the Lookouts a quick 3-0 lead. Wilkerson and Ryan Walker were each 2-3 as well. Travis Harrison missed his second straight game since his outfield collision with Shannon Wilkerson. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, St. Lucie 3 (11 innings) Box Score They needed extra innings to decide this game. It was a tight pitcher’s dual. Randy Rosario started and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. He struck out four. John Curtiss struck out two of the four batters he faced. Yorman Landa walked two and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Luke Bard pitched a scoreless tenth inning, but the winning run scored against him with two outs in the 11th. Of the five outs he got, three were strikeouts. Max Murphy went 3-5 with his first stolen base. Chris Paul was 2-5 with his fifth double. He drove in both Miracle runs. Austin Diemer was 2-5 with his first double. Nick Gordon went 1-3 with a walk and his fifth stolen base. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 14, Wisconsin 6 Box Score The Kernels scored 12 runs on Friday night. They played again early Saturday and the hits just kept on coming. AJ Murray went 5-5 with a walk and two homers Friday night. He got the scoring started on Saturday with a sacrifice fly. It was the first of seven runs scored in the first inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Wisconsin scored five runs to cut the lead to 7-5. But in the sixth inning, the Kernels responded with five of their own and added on from there. Dereck Rodriguez got his first win of the season, to improve to 1-4. He needed the run support as he gave up six runs on six hits in six innings. He used 98 pitches and walked three and struck out three. Mike Theofanopoulos recorded his first save of the year with three innings of shutout relief. He gave up just one hit, walked one and struck out six. Brian Olson went 3-5 with a walk and his second double. Alex Perez went 3-5 with a walk. Aside from the sacrifice fly, AJ Murray added his ninth and tenth doubles. Daniel Kihle went 2-4, walked, was hit by a pitch and added his second double. Sean Miller was 2-5 with four RBI, three scored on a bases-clearing triple. Christian Cavaness went 2-5. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – DJ Baxendale, Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Kennys Vargas, Rochester Red Wings SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - LHP Tommy Milone Biloxi @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (12:00 CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 CST) – RHP Miles Nordgren Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Saturday games. Click here to view the article
  25. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Buffalo 2 (10 Innings) Box Score After being locked into an extra-innings battle on Tuesday, nine innings wasn't enough to decide this one between Rochester and Buffalo. Jason Wheeler was promoted from Double-A before today's game to make the start because of the trio of players mentioned above that were called up to the big leagues. Wheeler pitched a very strong game against a very experienced Bisons roster. He lasted seven innings and allowed one run on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Buddy Boshers relieved Wheeler and went 1.2 shutout innings while limiting Buffalo to one hit. Brandon Kintzler took the loss, his first of the season, after three singles in the bottom of the tenth inning allowed the game-winning run to score. Despite the loss, James Beresford recorded his third straight multi-hit game and finished the day 3-for-5 with an RBI. Byron Buxton notched his first multi-hit game since being demoted and he has now recorded a hit in all 15 games he has played in Rochester the last two years. Heiker Meneses recorded the team's lone extra-base hit, his first double of the season. Overall, the team left eight runners on base and went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga (Scheduled Off Day) After another strong performance from Daniel Palka (one of my breakout hitter picks), the Lookouts enjoyed an off-day on Wednesday. Chattanooga has won two straight games and they currently have a 8-12 record while sitting 4.5 games out of first place in the Southern League North. The club resumes action on Thursday with the start of a five-game home series against Montgomery. Roster Move: Right-handed pitcher Omar Bencomo was added to the Lookouts roster. So far this season, he has been in Extended Spring Training, waiting for an opportunity. Last year he signed with the Twins later in the season and with Fort Myers, he had a 1-1 record with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP over 18.0 IP. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Jupiter 1 (10 Innings) Box Score Kohl Stewart did his best to put the Miracle in position to win but he wouldn't figure into the decision as the offense didn't wake up until the late innings. For the second time in his last three appearances, Stewart pitched six shutout frames. When he was pulled, he had struck out five and walked three while lowering his ERA to 1.93. Miracle starting pitchers have now tossed 25 1/3 innings over their last three games without allowing a run. Yorman Landa allowed one run after giving up a lead-off double in the seventh inning and he was in line for the loss before Trey Vavra saved the day. In the top of the ninth frame, Vavra stepped to the plate with his team down 1-0 and down to their last out. He connected on a 3-2 pitch and homered to left field to tie the game. It was just the spark the team needed as the team batted around and scored five runs in the next inning including doubles from Edgar Corcino and Chris Paul. Alex Swim led the team with three hits and Vavra plated three runs. Brandon Peterson earned his first victory of the season after tossing two scoreless frames with a strikeout. Todd Van Steensel closed things out in the bottom of the tenth as the only base runner he allowed was on a two-out walk. With the win, Fort Myers stretched their winning streak to four games. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, West Michigan 8 Box Score The Whitecaps were coming on strong on Wednesday as they plated runs in each of the first four innings including two multi-run innings. Andro Cutura took the brunt of the damage as he allowed a career high eight earned runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and a walk in four innings. Michael Theofanopoulos stopped some of the bleeding as he pitched three shutout frames with a pair of strikeouts. Zach Tillery struck out four in the final two innings. Cedar Rapids struggled offensively, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base. A.J. Murray went 2-for-4 with his fourth double and a run scored. Luis Arraez had two hits and reached base four times. J.J. Fernandez hit his first home run, a solo-shot in the second inning to tie the game before West Michigan took back the lead. These same two teams square off tomorrow in the rubber game of this three-game set. The Kernels have lost four of their last six games so a series win could help get things moving in the right direction. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day- Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day- Trey Vavra, Fort Myers Miracle THURSDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (12:05 CST)- LHP Logan Darnell (1-2, 4.58 ERA) Chattanooga vs. Montgomery (6:15 CST)- RHP DJ Baxendale (1-2, 2.35 ERA) Fort Myers @ Jupiter (9:30 am CST)- LHP Tyler Jay (1-1, 3.60 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. West Michigan (6:35 CST)- RHP Sam Gibbons (1-2, 5.74 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games.
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