Sunday, May 4, 2008

Fort Myers Miracle

In part 3 of my series on the Twins organization for the month of April i will be looking at the Fort Myers Miracle. Fort Myers went 15-10 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 3.62 starting pitcher ERA. They were led by starters Jeff Manship, Tyler Robertson and newcomer Deolis Guerra. Manship went 4-0 with a 3.27 and was the leader of the staff. Robertson went 0-1 with a 2.84 era and was much better than his record striking out a team high 29 strikeouts in 30 innings. Deolis Guerra started out strong, but has slumped of late to come in with a 4.61 era if you count his last start. Deolis has the most electric stuff on the staff who throws a good changeup and throws in the low 90's. The biggest surprise has been Alex Burnett going 2-1 with a miniscule 2.28 era and throwing good solid innings. The only one who has struggled a bit has been Cole Devries who has a 5.08 era on the season but the good thing is he has been better of late. Overall the Miracle have done what they have too because they have the cream of the crop in their rotation and have done what they needed to do. GRADE: A-

  • Relief Pitching: The Relief Pitching for the Miracle has been excellent with a relief pitcher ERA of 3.61era on the season. They have been led by Anthony Slama's 0.56 and Danny Vais' 0.92. Also helping out has been Robert Delaney's 0.57. There have been a few disappoinments in Matt Fox with a 6.91era and Jose Lugo's 7.62. When you have Slama, Vais and Delaney if you have a lead in the late innings your going to win. The end of that bullpen is the most dynamic in the FSL and if the starters can get them the ball they are going to 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. They have been led by Brian Dinkelman, Rene Tosoni and Danny Valencia. Dinkelman hit .330 with a homer and 12 rbis. Tosoni hit .337 with 9 rbi's and the guy that is the thumper in the middle of the order is Valencia who hit .290 with 3 homeruns and 27 rbi's. 1-9 there are many good hitters who on any given night can carry the Miracle offense. The only guy that i expected to hit better that hasn't is Wilson Ramos who hit only .213 with a homer and 15 rbi's and i look for him to rebound because he is too good of a hitter to keep that going. I look for the Miracle to continue their good hitting and get Ramos and a few other people going and scoring more runs. GRADE: B

  • Defense: Defense has not been the Miracle's strong point this year with 28 errors in 25 games. They were led in errors by 5 from Danny Valencia and 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 Miracle have been decent running the bases with 18 stolen bases in 25 April games. They have alot of speed and have taken advantage of it led by Brian Dinkelman's 5 and Rene Tonosi's 3. I think they should be running more with the speed they have. 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 Miracle 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 Fort Myers than there is at New Britain 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

  • Player of the Month: Danny Valencia- Danny was the most consistant player and run producer for the Miracle in April. He hit .290 with 3 homeruns and a team high 27 rbi's. He is the 3rd basemen of the future for the Twins and is the run producer for the Miracle. He needs to work on his Defense but if he continues to produce offensively he will be with the Twins in a couple of years.

  • Pitcher of the Month: Jeff Manship- I know this must come as a surprise with the highly touted pitchers they have on their staff but Jeff has been the most consistent pitcher on the staff going 4-0 with a 3.23era. He leads that staff and has improved every start this year and is the person that when the Miracle need to break a losing streak thats the guy they will look to. I look for Jeff to move up to New Britain sometime this year and will be very good and a future Twin.

Sunday, May 4th

Twins Talk
Minnesota 4 Detroit 1
Minnesota First Place
  • POG:Brian Bass- Brian put together a great effort in relief of a injured Scott Baker going 4 innings and only giving up 3 hits and 0 runs to pick up his first major league win. With the win it raised Brian's record to 1-0 and lowered his ERA to 3.80 on the season. I know i wasn't real high on Brian early in the season, but he has been very solid of late and has gotten the job done whenever the Twins have needed him too.
  • Craig Monroe got some sweet revenge against his old team by going 2-3 with his 2nd homerun of the year and drove in 2 runs to lead the Twins with the win. Monroe seems like he is really seeing the ball lately and if he keeps it up they will have to find places for Monroe to play because lately all he has done is produce.
  • Scott Baker reaggravated his strained groin and will be evaluated today to see if they should put him on the dl or if he will be ok for his next start. My feeling is it is time for him to go on the DL and get this healed. If he keeps trying to pitch like this it puts too much pressure on the bullpen and you dont want this to last all year so my decision if i was the Twins would be sit him down for 2 weeks and get it taken care of. If they do that my pick would be Glen Perkins because he has had 2 good starts in a row in Rochester and he has been in the majors before and knows what its like so he won't be like a deer in a headlights. The other choices could be Kevin Mulvey and Brian Duensing, I dont think Mulvey is because he is not on the 40 man roster and hasn't been real successful his last couple starts and Duensing is a good pitcher but i think Perkins is a little bit better.
  • Today, the Twins finish off their 3 game series with Detroit at the Metrodome. Gametime is at 1:10pm with Boof Bonser getting the start vs Kenny Rogers as the Twins try to extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games.

Rochester Wrap

Toledo 4 Rochester 0

Rochester 14-16 7.0 games back

  • POG:Darnell Mcdonald- There wasn't really alot to be excited about since the Red Wings were only able to muster 4 hits on the night, but Darnell got on base twice going 1-3 with a walk to pace the Red Wings. Darnell keeps finding a way to get on base and the way that Rochester is struggling to score runs obp is such a huge deal and if can keep this up he will help the Red Wings score runs and come out of their offensive slump.
  • Kevin Mulvey was ok not great, but not terrible. Kevin went 5 innings and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits along with 3 homeruns. It is something that he has been very good with is limiting the long ball so hopefully it was just a 1 start struggle with that becuase when you give up alot of homeruns it makes it so much harder on the offense and right now the Red Wings offense can not pick up the slack.
  • The Red Wings bullpen continue to be superb as they threw 4 shutout innings to lower their bullpen ERA to 2.10 on the season to lead the Internation League. When your bullpen is so strong as the Red Wings is it makes it a 6 inning game because when the bullpen comes in your going to win so if the starters can leave with a lead more times than not your starter is going to get the win.
  • Today, the Red Wings finish off their series with Toledo in Toledo. Gametime is at 1pm with Brian Duensing getting the start for the Red Wings.

New Britain Business

New Britain 6 New Hampshire 4

New Britain 15-12 1.5 games back

  • POG:Luke Hughes- Suprise Suprise Luke is putting up crazy numbers for the Rock Cats and the only question is can he keep it up. Last night Luke went 4-5 with a double and 2 runs scored. With the 4 hits it raises Luke's crazy start to a .386 on the season. I can not remember a bigger surprise than what Luke has done in the first month plus and if he can keep it up and improve his 3rd base defense a little bit he wont be at New Britain very long. I look for Luke to be up to AAA by June and will be challenging for a spot with the Twins sometime next season.
  • Jay Rainville rebounded in a big way after 3 bad starts in a row he put together a great outing. Jay went 5 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits along with a walk and 5 strikeouts to lower his ERA to 9.00. It just shows how bad he had been to have a good start and only lower his ERA to 9. But thats water under the bridge and if he can keep it up its a good sign for the Rock Cats pitching staff because they are counting on him to pitch good innings and give them a chance to win.
  • Dustin Martin is coming out of a little slump he was in as last night he went 2-5 with a triple and 3 rbi's along with 2 runs scored to raise his average to .345 on the season. Between Hughes and Martin they are carrying the Rock Cats offense as they have woke up at the plate and are scoring 5.4 runs a game which is very good and a majority of those runs are coming from Martin and Hughes
  • Today, the Rock Cats go for the Sweep against New Hampshire in New Britain. Gametime is at 12:35 with Oswaldo Sosa getting the start as the Rock Cats try to extend their winning streak to 6 games on the season.

Fort Myers Musings

Fort Myers 5 Daytona 2

Fort Myers First Place

  • POG: Eddie Ovalle- Fort the second consecutive Eddie snags POG honors as he went 2-4 with his second homerun in as many days and drove in 3 runs to bring his total to 11 on the season. With so many good outfielders on the Miracle roster playing time is hard to come by and if Eddie can keep hitting like this he will find his way into the lineup just about every day. With the 2 hits it raises Eddie's average to .295 on the season and hit his 2nd homerun of the year.
  • Alex Burnett returned to the rotation last night and picked up where he left off as he won his 2nd win of the season. Alex went 6 innings and gave up 0 runs on only 5 hits to lead the Miracle to a good win. He walked 1 while striking out 3 to lower his ERA to a starter low 2.28 on the season. If Alex can keep up his start to the season it will mean big things for the Miracle as they keep winning.
  • The Miracle did something they hasn't happened very often this year their bullpen really struggled. In 3 innings of work they gave up 2 runs on 5 hits even Anthony Slama got hit for the first time this year giving up a run on 3 hits in his only inning of the year so hopefully he can rebound from it.
  • Today, the Miracle continue their series with Daytona in Fort Myers. Gametime is at 12:05 with Tyler Robertson getting the start for the Miracle as they try to extend their season high winning streak to 6 games.

Beloit Beat

Beloit 8 Great Lakes 2

Beloit 12-17 9.0 games back

  • POG: Chris Parmalee- For the second consecutive game Chris gets player of the game honors as he is rebounding from a bad slump. Chris went 2-5 with his 6th homerun of the year and drove in his 21st,22nd, and 23rd runs of the season. With the 2 hits it raises Chris' average to .262 as he continues to come out of his slump. In the last 4 games he has raised his average from .222 to .262 an improvement of 40 points. If Chris can continue this recent string of good hitting he will have his average into the 300's again very soon where it belongs.
  • Dan Berlind continues the Snappers starting pitchers revival by going 6 innings and only giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. He walked 1 batter and struck out 5 to lower his ERA to 4.71 on the season. He has too much talent to pitch the way he had been and you know what they say good and bad pitching is contagious and hopefully he can keep it coming.
  • Ben Revere was good again going 3-5 on the night to raise his average to .375 on the year. Along with the 3 hits he had an rbi and a stolen base. Ben seems like a keeper and im glad they are giving him a chance with Beloit because i feel hes ready and he's getting it done.
  • Today, the Snappers begin a series with Lansing in Lansing. Gametime is at 1:05 with Brian Kirwan getting the start for the Snappers.