Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Britain Rock Cats

In part 3 of my series on the Twins organization for the month of April i will be looking at the New Britain Rock Cats. New Britain went 12-12 for the month of April and did some good things and some things they need to work on.
  • Starting Pitching: The Starting pitching has been as good as advertised posting a 4.34 starting pitcher ERA. They were led by starters Ryan Mullins and Anthony Swarzak. Ryan Mullins had a 2-2 record with a 3.03 ERA and Swarzak went 2-0 with a miniscule 2.03ERA to lead the team. Another contributer that not many counted on was Yohan Pino who went 1-1 witha 1.80 ERA in 4 april starts. That is the guy they weren't thinking would be good because they didn't even have him in the opening day rotation and he has been filthy this year. Oswaldo Sosa has been ok a little inconsistant going 1-2 with a 5.75 era but overall not bad. The one bad pitcher has been a surprise and thats Jay Rainville. Alot was expected out of Jay and so far he has not fufilled that promise going 1-3 with an outragous 10.29ERA. If you take his ERA out the Rock Cats would have a good starting pitcher ERA. GRADE:B-

  • Relief Pitching: The Relief Pitching for the Rock Cats has been excellent with a relief pitcher ERA of 2.60 on the season. They have been led by Kyle Aselton's 1.13 and Armando Gambino's 1.20. Really, the only disappointment is Jay Sawatski's 5.28 ERA and he seems to be getting better he had a couple bad outings to get the ERA up and now he is slowly but surely getting it down. Really the bullpen for New Britain has been the strength and kept the Rock Cats in some games early on and if the starters hand them a lead more times than not you can put that in the books as a win. Grade:A

  • Hitting: This is an interesting thing to look at it has been up and down with pretty much everybody struggling to start the year and now they are running on all cylinders. Dustin Martin started out the year on fire and led them when they weren't hitting he is currently hitting .341 with a homer and 15 rbi's. When Dustin cooled down Luke Hughes picked it up and hasn't stopped hitting a whopping .367 with 9 homeruns and 20 rbi's and a whopping 40 hits in a month. I would be shocked if he is with the Rock Cats long but while he is there he is fun to watch. Brock Peterson after a slow start has been really good with run production driving in 24 runs on 3 hr's. David Winfree has not hit well for average but he has 5 homeruns and 22 rbi's. Trevor Plouffe after a slow start has gotten his average to .278. Overall the Rock Cats hitters have done a decent job with the bats and right now they are creaming the ball all over the park. GRADE: B-

  • Defense: Defense has not been the RockCats strong point this year with 21 errors in 24 games. They were led in errors by 4 from Luke Hughes but everybody that has played much has contributed to the terrible defense. If they dont get better defense it doesn't matter how good they pitch or hit t hey will lose games and they are too good of players to make dumb errors like that so i look for the team defense to improve alot but right now its not very good. GRADE: F

  • Baserunning: The Rock Cats have been decent running the bases with 20 stolen bases in 24 April games. They have alot of speed and have taken advantage of it led by Dustin Martin's 7 sb and Luke Hughes' 4. I think they should be running more with the speed they have. It hasn't helped having probably their best base stealer Brandon Roberts out with a hamstring injury most of the year. But they are in most games so they have the ability to steal bases so they should steal 2 to 3 bases a game. Grade C

  • Overall: The Rock Cats have done some good things and some things that they need to work on to contend for a division title. They have pitched really good and need to continue that, but if they dont play better defense it won't matter how good they pitch. I think they have some talented players but i would like to see some of their talented players take the next step in their careers and make the Twins move they up. I think they will have personall losses, because there is so much more talent at New Britain than there is at Rochester so i think some of the guys will get moved up and it will be interesting to see how the new players do. Grade C

  • Pitcher of the Month: Anthony Swarzak- Anthony had a filthy month going 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA. In 26 April innings Anthony struck out 29 batters and only walked 4. Anthony Swarzak was the most consistant pitcher on the Rock Cats staff and the problems he had last year are a distant memory and it won't be long until he gets the promotion to AAA to lead to his eventual callup to the Twins.

  • Player of the Month: Luke Hughes- I dont think it is too much of a surprise who i am picking for the Player of the Month. For the month Luke hit .367 with 9 homeruns and 20 rbi's. He hit 6 doubles and 2 triples while stealing 4 bases in addition. Luke has really jumped up on me i was not expecting this at all and because of that i think the Twins are going to want to see a little more before they promote him to Rochester. But i really believe by the end of the year Luke will be up in Rochester and with his versatility he may be up with the Twins by sometime in 2009.

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