Friday, June 5, 2009

May Awards: Beloit Snappers

In my final installment of May awards I am going to the Beloit Snappers who have not had a good first half at all. Hopefully, by recognizing the good things that have happened on the field it will take away from the negatives of a tough first half. I welcome your comments on this. Just to let you know I will be beginning my top 50 prospect list on Monday with Prospects 41-50 so check back on Monday and prepare to be amazed.

  • Pitcher of the Month: Brad Tippett- On a team where there are not many pitchers throwing quality innings Brad Tippett put a month together that would of been good no matter where he was pitching. Brad was pretty good in April going 1-0 with a 4.05 era in 3 starts in April. How did he pull off an encore in May well just look at these numbers. In 5 May starts Tippett 4-1 with a 2.31 era for the Snappers. Tippett worked 35 innings which is 7 innings a start which is great, but is even better considering that no one else on that starting staff put together consistant quality outings besides Tippett. By having Brad Tippett go 7 innings every start it saved the bullpen so it could work in the other 4 starters games. In addition to that he only walked 9 batters in 35 innings to go along with 28 strikeouts. Most impressive to me though was he held batters to a very good .236 opponents batting average. Brad Tippett held together a very shaky pitching staff by consistantly going out there and giving the Snappers a chance to win and they won pretty much every time he started in May.

  • Others under Consideration: Joe Testa, Matt Williams

  • Hitter of the Month: Angel Morales- This is probably going to surprise some people because he is still only hitting .226. However, he has recovered from a horrible April to show the talent that we all know is there. In April Morales only hit .172 with a homer and 7 rbi's. He only reached base 20% of the time and only had a ops of .528 which is terrible. How did he respond in May, well he did what all good players do and shake it off and just go from there. In May Angel hit .265 with 5 doubles, a triple and an impressive 5 homeruns and 15 runs batted in. He still strikes out too much as his 30 strikeouts in 102 May at bats say, but he did also walked 12 times. He had a much improved .356 which is not bad for a middle of the order hitter he will become. His slugging % in May was an impressive .480 which brought his ops up to .836. That is the type of numbers you can expect Morales to put up through his minor league years and his April will be an anomaly. I really got to give him credit for coming back the way he did after the bad April and hopefully he will continue to get better and better as the summer rolls on.

  • Others under Consideration: James Beresford, Nathan Hansen

Friday, June, 5th

Twins Talk
Twins 11 Indians 3
  • The Twins took game 3 of the 3 game series in a big way as they crushed the Indians yesterday afternoon 11-3. The Twins jumped all over Indians starter Fausto Carmona for 7 runs in the first 2 innings. Jason Kubel was the Catalyst as he jacked 2 3 run homeruns in his first 2 at bats. In all Kubel went 3-4 with 2 homeruns and 6 rbi's. On the season Kubel is hitting .322 with 7 homeruns and 31 rbi's which is very good. The more impressive thing in my mind is he was coming off a 1-19 stretch where he was really struggling with the bat. The bottom line is Kubel is going to struggle against left handed pitching, but when they face righty's he will rake. Look at his numbers this year against lefty's he is only hitting .171 with only 4 rbi's. However, against righty's he is hitting .369 with 7 homers and 27 rbi's. Look at his ops against righty's it is 1.046, but against lefty's its only .464. That says all you need to know that Kubel should not be playing against left handed pitching. The M & M boys did their part as well as they combined for 6 hits and a homerun along with 3 rbi's. Joe Mauer continued his torrid streak going 3-4 to raise his average to a crazy .436 on the year. Justin Morneau was not going to be outdone going 3-3 with his 15th homerun of the year along with 3 rbi's to bring his average up to a very good .345. Denard Span also contributed his 4th homerun of the year in all Span, Mauer, Morneau, and Kubel went 10-15 with 3 homeruns and 10 rbi's wow!

  • Scott Baker really came back after a so so start his last time out to pitch a very solid game yesterday. Baker went 7 strong innings giving up only 2 earned runs on 6 hits along with 1 walk and a very good 10 strikeouts. With the 2 runs allowed Baker lowered his era to a much better 5.88 on the season. In his last 3 starts Baker has a more Scott Baker like era of 3.86 in those games. Baker got off to a rough start to the year, but he appears to have figured out what was troubling him and by the end of the year I would expect Baker to have his era down in the mid 3's just like he does every year. Sean Henn came on and pitched very well for 2 innings to finish off the game. Henn did not give up a run on only 1 hit along with a walk and 3 strikeouts. With the no runs allowed Henn's era is down to a very good 2.57 on the year. Sean Henn has been a very big surprise for the Twins because when Craig Breslow imploded I didn't think we had a suitable replacement, but it turns out we did in Sean Henn. Hopefully, he can keep it coming and be a reliable left hander in the middle innings to save on Jose Mijares.
  • Tonight, the Twins begin a pivotal 10 game roadtrip with a weekend series in Seattle with Francisco Liriano facing off against Mariner ace Felix Hernandez.

Rochester Wrap

Gwinnett 12 Rochester 5

  • The Red Wings really are not playing very well at all as they lost their second consecutive blowout loss to the Gwinnett Braves 12-5. Jason Jones got the start for the Red Wings and was awful going only 3 innings and giving up 8 runs on 11 hits along with 2 walks. After this bad start Jones' era stands at a bad 6.79 and record stands at 1-5. Besides a few good outings this season the Jason Jones experiment with the Red Wings has not been very effective and with guys like Matt Fox and Jeff Manship waiting at AA waiting for the opprotunity Jones may find himself in the bullpen for Rochester because right now he is not doing the job as a starter. It is way to soon to give up on him, but you would also like to see some improvement out of him compared to getting worse like it seems like it is doing. Armando Gabino then came on and did his job by not letting the game get any more out of hand than it already was as he went an impressive 4 innings and only giving up a solo homerun. With this good outing once again Gabino lowered his era to 3.18 on the year. After being my pitcher of the month Gabino has continued his good pitching in June as he continues being one of the most consistant pitchers in the Red Wings bullpen. Juan Morillo then came on and had one of those outings that have had many say he will never make it because in 1 inning Morillo gave up 3 runs on only 2 hits along with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Morillo's era jumped to 3.93 on the season after this bad outing. We all knew he was going to be a project and last night was just a growing pain that he will have to go through to become the pitcher we know he can be. New Red Wing Rob Delaney then came on in the 9th and pitched a good 9th not giving up anything except a meaningless walk. It won't be long until Delaney is closing games for the Red Wings and I expect him to be with the Twins before the year is out.

  • In a game the Red Wings needed the hitters to bail out the pitching the hitters could not do that until a 3 run rally in the 9th which was way too little and way too late. A bright spot for the Red Wings was Brock Peterson who had his best game of the season going 3-4 with his 5th double of the year and drove in his 5th run of the year. Fellow former Rockcat Steve Tolleson hit his 1st homerun as a Red Wing and drove in his 2nd run. Justin Huber, Dustin Martin, Trevor Plouffe, David Winfree, and Matt Macri also contributed base hits in the game for the Red Wings.
  • Tonight, the Red Wings finish off their series with Gwinnett as staff ace Kevin Mulvey gets the assignment to end the 2 game losing streak.

New Britain Business

Connecticut 8 New Britain 4

  • The Rockcats saw their 3 game winnings streak against the Connecticut Defenders come to an end yesterday morning with a tough 8-4 loss. What made it tough was the Rockcats came back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the 6th inning only to have the bullpen implode and lose the game. Juan Portes made his return to the starting lineup for the Rockcats in a big way by blasting a 2 run homerun to tie the game at 4 in the top of the 6th inning. It was Portes 2nd homerun of the year and brought his average up to a very good .310 on the season. Rene Tosoni and Wilson Ramos also contributed 2 hits to the cause in the losing effort. Tosoni continues his hot streak as he is hitting .303 in his last 10 games to get his average up to .269. After missing about a month to injury Wilson Ramos has been on a vengence hitting .429 in 4 games since he came back.

  • Jay Rainville got the start in this one for the Rockcats and once again showed he is consistantly inconsistant. You never know what your going to get out of Rainville because one start he may look awesome and then the next start he will look like he's lost. In this one Rainville really struggled only lasting 4.2 innings and giving up 4 runs on 7 hits along with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Zack Ward then came on and did alright for the first 1.1 innings then everything fell apart in the 7th and in all he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits to bring his era up to a very bad 7.27 on the season. Frank Mata then came on and was not any better giving up 2 runs on 2 hits in an inning of work. Yohan Pino came on and finished the game by working the ninth.
  • Tonight, the Rockcats begin a series with Harrisburgh as Ryan Mullins gets the start for New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

Fort Myers 9 Clearwater 8 10innings

  • The Miracle found a way to get it done in a wild back and forth 9-8 victory in 10 innings over Clearwater last night. After trailing 5-3 going into the bottom of the 7th the teams combined for 9 runs in the last 4 innings. By far the biggest story of the game was the return to hitting of Deibinson Romero who had been in a horrid slump that saw his average drop from .269 to one point getting to .201. In this game Romero went 3-5 with his 12th double of the year along wtih 2 rbi's including the game winning sacrafice fly in the bottom 10th to score Ben Revere from third base. The 2 rbi's brought Romero's total up to 25 on the year and brought his average up to .218. Rene Leveret also continued his very good first half going 2-5 with 2 rbi's. Leveret is now hitting .343 on the year and his 2 runs batted in brought his total up to 19 on the year. Nick Romero also contributed 2 hits to bring his average up to .290. Evan Bigley had his first game in quite a while going 3-5 with 2 rbi;s for the Miracle. Bigley now has 7 runs batted in and brought his average up to .290 after going through some struggled Bigley is back in the range we all thought he would be at.

  • Glen Perkins got the start for the Miracle in a rehab start from the Twins. Perkins did not do real well, but the bottom line is he was reported to of felt fine after the start which is the most important thing. Perkins went 4 innings and gave up 3 earned runs along wtih 5 strikeouts. Steve Hirschfeld then came in and worked 2 shutout innings along with a walk and 2 strikeouts to lower his era down to 1.23. Blair Erickson then came in and was not real great giving up 2 runs on 2 hits in 1.1 innings to raise his era to 3.31 on the year. Santos Arias finished the game to pick up his 3rd win of the yerar by going 2.2 innings and giving up a run on 4 hits along with 2 strikeouts to lower his era to 2.49 on the season for the Miracle.
  • Tonight, the Miracle continue their series with Clearwater as All-Star David Bromberg gets the start for the Miracle.

Beloit Beat

Peoria 4 Beloit 1

  • The Snapper continue to find ways to lose even though they continue to play tough which you have to commend the Snappers for even though they are losing they continue to play hard. In this one the Snappers lost a tough 4-1 game to Peoria. Brad Tippett continued to give his team a chance to win even though this was not one of his better starts. Tippett went 5.1 innings and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits along with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. With the 4 runs Tippett's era rose to 3.19 on the year. Blake Martin then came on and pitched a very good 2/3 of an inning striking out both batters. Steve Blevins then came on and did an outstanding job in his inning with 2 strikeouts to lower his era down to 4.45 on the year. Bruce Pugh finished the game going an inning with a strikeout to bring his era down to 4.10 on the year.

  • The Snappers continued their recent lack of runs as they only were able to scratch a run on 4 hits in this one. Ramon Santana hit his 1st triple of the year in really the only offensive highlight. Santana has been very good this season and like I have said before appears ready for the challenge of Fort Myers. Juan Richardson had a hit and drove in his 3rd run of the year. Dominic De La Osa and Michael Harrington also contributed base hits in the losing cause for the Snappers.
  • Tonight, the Snappers continue their series with Peoria as Michael Allen gets the start for Beloit.