Tuesday, June 2, 2009

May Awards for Rochester

Today in the next part of the series I will be naming a Pitcher of the month and Hitter of the Month for the Rochester Red Wings.

  • Pitcher of the Month: Armando Gabino- I normally don't usually go with a reliever for Pitcher of the month, but Armando Gabino had an awesome month of May. After having a dreadful month of April where he had a awful 6.14 era in the month. He rebounded in May by going 1-0 with a awesome 0.63 era in 10 games. In 14.1 innings he only gave up 5 hits in those 14.1 innings. His only flaw was he walked 7 with only 11 strikeouts. The most impressive part for me was he held opponents to a .102 batting average. Gabino has been one of the most dependable relief pitchers for the Red Wings and just about every time he comes into the game he has gotten the job done. Hopefully, he can continue his streak in June and cut down on the walks and improve on the strikeout total.

  • Others in Consideration: Brian Duensing, Bobby Keppel

  • Hitter of the Month: David Winfree- David Winfree is having a consistantly productive season. After hitting 2 homeruns along with 8 rbi's in April. Winfree really stepped it up in May as he hit 6 homeruns and drove in a very good 16 runs in the month. He did not hit for a high average as he only hit .257, but he will never be a high average guy his value is as a run producer. Winfree had a obp of .270, but he had a very good slug percentage of .514. Overall he had a decent .784 ops which is the highest on the team in the month of May. David Winfree had the best month on the Rochester team and is doing a lot better than I thought he would do at Rochester after having his problems while at AA New Britain, but he has proven me wrong and is having a good year.

  • Others in consideration: Justin Huber, Dustin Martin

I am sure there will be some discussion on these players so let me know what you think. Tommorrow I will continue the Awards as I will do the New Britain Rockcats.

Q & A with Steve Blevins

In a very big day for Travis Talks I am proud to announce that I have secured my very first Q&A on this website. I think you are all going to enjoy learning about this guy because he is a very nice guy and I want to thank Steve again for doing this I really appreciate it. In case you have not heard of Steve Blevins before trust me you will he is a very good relief pitcher for the Beloit Snappers. The Twins obtained him in the 21st round of the 2008 draft out of Marshall University. I hope you all enjoy and Im hoping it will be the first of many Q&A's on Travis Talks so if you have any questions or comments you can either leave it in the comment box or email me at travis_aune@yahoo.com.

Travis Talks: Growing up in Louisa, Kentucky did you play alot of sports or was it mainly baseball?

Steve Blevins: I have played baseball since I was 6 years old. I also played basketball all the way throughout high school, and football and tennis in middle school.

Travis Talks: Tell me about your High School Career?

Steve Blevins: In Kentucky you can play high school sports while you are in middle school, and I was fortunate enough to play varsity baseball as an eighth grader. Probably the best part of that was getting to play with my older brother Adam who was a senior that year. I played 3rd and shortstop when I wasn't pitching. I played for Hall of Fame Coach Randy Keeton which helped prepare me greatly for when it was time to move on to college.

Travis Talks: Were you highly recruited out of high school?

Steve Blevins: Probably not as highly as some guys, but I had around 10 or so offers. I was pleased with the offers I had and was happy when I signed with the University of Cincinnati.

Travis Talks: You Started your college career at University of Cincinnati how big of an adjustment was that for you from hight school?

Steve Blevins: It was a pretty big change. I would say just the overall speed of the game and the fact that everyone was good were probably the biggest things. In high school the teams I played would have two or three good players, whereas in college most teams were full of them.

Travis Talks: Before your junior year you transferred to Marshall how hard of a transition was that after spending 2 years at Cincinnati?

Steve Blevins: Actually it was pretty easy. I enjoyed my two years at UC, but when I chose to transfer I knew that Marshall would be a good fit for me. It was nice to have a fresh start with a new team and in a new conference. Pitching coach, Tim Adkins, made the transition very easy.

Travis Talks: When the Twins drafted you in the 21st round were you surprised had they been talking to you?

Steve Blevins: I wasn't really surprised because I had talked to the Twins quite a bit. I had lunch with Twins scout, Jeremy Booth, the week of the draft so I kind of figured there was a chance.

Travis Talks: You started in college mostly and now are relieving for the Twins how did that transpire?

Steve Blevins: Basically you show up and do whatever is ask of you. I had never relieved before was it was a change, but it was been a good one and something that I have enjoyed.

Travis Talks: You started your professional career with the GCL Twins for 8 games what was that like for you?

Steve Blevins: It was different from what I was used to for sure. I was used to playing night games in college, and then I went straight to the GCL and we were playing games at noon everyday. We also rarely had over 5 or so fans, so that was definetly something I wasn't used to.But it was a good experience. The team was made up of a lot of younger players so that was different as well.

Travis Talks: You then moved up to E-town how was that different then pitching for the GCL Twins?

Steve Blevins: Once again in E-town we played night games and I was back around guys that were closer to my age, so that was nice. We had a team full of good guys and good players, so finishing out the summer there and winning the Appy League made it a lot of fun.

Travis Talks: This year you moved up to the Beloit Snappers of the Midwest League did you have to make any adjustments to the little colder weather in the Spring?

Steve Blevins: Being from Kentucky and playing my college ball in Ohio and West Virginia, I played a lot of baseball in the snow, so the cold in general wasn't anything new to me. But I had always been a starter in the cold, being in the bullpen for 5 or 6 innings and then pitching was a big adjustment. There aren't many ways to stay warm when your just sitting around in the cold.

Travis Talks: What pitches do you throw?

Steve Blevins: Fastball, Change, Slider

Travis Talks: What would you say is your bread and butter pitch when you need a strikeout?

Steve Blevins: I would say my slider.

Travis Talks: For those who don't know what is a regular game day for a minor league pitcher like?

Steve Blevins: We usually show up to the field 3 hours or so before game time. We then go out and do our throwing program and conditioning. From there we shag during batting practice or possibly do a fundamental. Then we relax for an hour or so before we head out for the game.

Travis Talks: How hard of an adjustment has it been this year from going from short season to now the Full season?

Steve Blevins: The biggest part is playing almost every single day. I think we get an off day every 25 days or so. It's just June now so I'd say come August or September, the grind of a long season will hit.

Travis Talks: What do you think you need to work on the most as you continue your pro career?

Steve Blevins: I would say I need to work on my secondary pitches the most and also my control. There are so many different areas when it comes to pitching and with time and experience, all of those can be improved.

Travis Talks: What would you say is the best part about being a professional player?

Steve Blevins: For me it's knowing that I'm getting the chance to be what I have wanted to be since I was 5 years old. I think it's cool that we are role models for kids who want to be just like us when they grow up.

Travis Talks: Growing up did you have any favorite teams?

Steve Blevins: I was a Reds fan growing up.

Travis Talks: Growing up was there a player you really admired?

Steve Blevins: My all-time favorite is probably Cal Ripken Jr.

Again I would like to thank Steve Blevins for taking the time to do this Q&A and best of luck on the rest of the season.

Tuesday, June, 2nd

Twins Talk

  • The Twins had yesterday off as they begin a three game series with the struggling Cleveland Indians as Kevin Slowey is Scheduled to start for Minnesota.

Rochester Wrap

Rochester 6 Lehigh Valley 3

  • The Redwings finished off a very successful series against Lehigh Valley as they took 3 out of 4 in the series by defeating the Iron Pigs last night 6-3. Reid Santos got the start last night for the Redwings and was ok as usual, but you can tell he has not been stretched out yet as he only threw 52 pitches again. I think Rochester is expecting the Twins to give them a starting pitcher because they are not trying to stretch out Reid Santos. Last night Santos went 3.1 innings and gave up 1 run on 6 hits along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. With the 1 run allowed Santos lowered his era to 5.56. Bobby Keppel then came in and was very impressive for the Redwings. In 3.1 innings Keppel only gave up 1 hit and no runs. With the 3.1 shutout innings Keppel lowered his era to a very good 2.34 on the season. I have been very surprised with Bobby Keppel this year as I was not expecting this kind of season from Keppel. Mike Gosling then came on and really struggled as he gave up 2 runs in 2 innings along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Juan Morillo then came in to finish the game by striking out the final batter of the game to pick up his first save of his Rochester career.

  • The Wings offense did its fair share as to get the win as they had 6 runs on 9 hits to get the win. Jason Pridie led the charge as he went 2-4 with his 8th double and first triple of the year. Pridie is now hitting .246 on the season after the 2 hits. Tommy Watkins and Jose Morales also contributed 2 hits apiece. Morales added his first triple of the year and drove in his 9th run. After the 2 hits Morales is now hitting a very good .292. Jason Pridie, David Winfree, and Justin Huber also contributed rbi's on the night. Pridie now has 13, Winfree now has 25, and Huber has 23.
  • Tonight, the Redwings begin a 8 game homestand with a series with the 3rd place Gwinnett Braves with Philip Humber on the mound for Rochester.

New Britain Business

New Britain 9 Connecticut 0

  • The Rockcats came out firing against first place Connecticut in a big series for the Rockcats. They got off to a good start with a big 9-0 win over the Connecticut Defenders. Cole Devries was once again the story of the game for the Rockcats as he threw 8 shutout innings to pick up his 4th win of the year. Devries went 8 innings and did not give up a run on only 5 hits along with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. With the awesome 8 innings Devries lowered his team low era down to 2.68. Cole Devries has proven me wrong time and time again it seems. He defies everyone saying he doesnt strikeout enough hitters, he doesn't throw hard enough, he is not big enough to pitch shutout inning after inning. Cole Devries has been the ace of this very talented Rockcat staff and if he keeps proving people wrong maybe someday he will make it with the Twins. Frank Mata came in and finished the job working a clean 9th inning for the Rockcats in their big victory.

  • The Rockcats really pounded Connecticut pitchers by getting 9 runs on 10 hits and were helped out by 8 Defender walks. Matt Moses was the story of the game as he put the game out of reach early on smacking a grand slam to right field to put the Rockcats up 4-0. The homerun was Moses' 4th homerun of the year and brought his rbi total up to 29. Another big story was the return of Wilson Ramos to the Rockcats lineup. Ramos missed about a month with a broken finger and did not take long to get back in the groove as he went 2-5 with his 11th and 12th rbi's of the year. Whit Robbins continued his torrid streak going 3-4 with his 12th and 13th doubles. Talk about an awesome couple of games in Whit Robbins last 2 games he is 7-10 which is a .700 average and in his last 10 games he is hitting .447 with 5 doubles, a homerun and 4 rbi's to bring his average up to a great .340.
  • Tonight, the Rockcats continue their series with Connecticut as Matt Fox tries to keep it going for New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

Brevard County 5 Fort Myers 0

  • The Miracle had their 3 game winning streak come to an end last night as they ran into a great pitching outing by Brevard County pitcher Evan Anundsen who held the Miracle to just 3 hits. The only hits for the Miracle were by you guessed it Ben Revere who went 1-4 to bring his average down to .344 on the year. Steve Singelton and Chris Parmalee also added singles for the Miracle in a game that just was not to be. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other pitcher because they were better than you that day and this was one of those days for the Miracle.

  • With the start by Anundsen Mike Mccardell had to be pretty much perfect and after a string of good starts by Mccardell he was not quite up to the task on this night. Mike only lasted 4.2 innings and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits along with 2 strikeouts. With the 4 runs Mike's era rose to a still very good 3.97 on the year. Henry Arias came in relief and was ok going 2.1 innings and giving up a run on 1 hit along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Loek Van Mil came in and finished the game pitching a clean 8th inning for the Miracle. It will be interesting to see how Van Mil does for the Miracle after missing all that time because of injury.
  • Tonight, the Miracle finish off their series with Brevard County as staff ace Carlos Gutierrez goes on the hill for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

  • The Snappers had yesterday off and are set to begin a road series tonight against Peoria with Dan Osterbrock scheduled to pitch for Beloit.