Monday, June 22, 2009

Travis Talks prospect list: Prospect #6

Tonight I will be bringing you prospect number 6 in the organization. I will hope everyone enjoys and will add their 2 cents. You can either email me at or leave a comment in the comment box.

6. Carlos Gutierrez RHP 22 (9/22/1986)

2008 teams: Fort Myers Miracle

  • Carlos Gutierrez was a first round draft pick by the Twins, 27th overall, in the 2008 draft out of Miami University. Gutierrez was a reliever in college, but he projects as a starter because of his heavy sinker that gets him tons of groundballs. After signing with the Twins Carlos made his debut out of the bullpen for Fort Myers to save on his innings. In 16 games with Fort Myers Gutierrez went 3-1 with a very good 2.10era. In 25.2 innings Carlos walked 7 and struck out 19. This year Carlos juined the starting staff for Fort Myers and took off which led to a promotion to AA New Britain. In 10 starts at Fort Myers Carlos went 2-3 with a 1.32 era. In 54.2 innings he walked 22 and struck out 33 and held opponents to a .192 batting average. That led to a promotion to New Britain where he has struggled so far. In 3 starts Gutierrez is 1-1 with a 6.43 era. In 14 innings Gutierrez has walked 8 and struck out only 4. Carlos Gutierrez is a groundball machine with his heavy sinker. His only problem is control problems as he has walked 37 batters in only in only 93 professional innings. He walks 2.5 runners per 9 innings and that is way too many. If he can get his control on track the sky is the limit. He is is a better version of Carlos Silva with a very good sinker. For his development though he needs to develop a third pitch to go with his fastball and sinker. If he doesn't develop that 3rd pitch he will be a reliever because he is going to need that third pitch to develop into a frontline pitcher. If he can get that third pitch he will be a very good pitcher that will get 60 to 70 percent of his outs on groundballs and will be a very good pitcher. The thing about Gutierrez is if he develops that 3rd pitch he will be the top Twins pitching prospect and be a solid number 2 or 3 starter for the Twins. If he can't develop that 3rd pitch he still will be a solid setup man out of the bullpen so as I see it Carlos Gutierrez has a very bright future in one way or another. I can see Carlos getting a September callup or at worst possibly be in the bullpen for the Twins next season.

  • 2009: Starting rotation for New Britain and a possible September callup

  • projection: I project him as a solid number 2 or 3 starter at the big leagues for many years.

Monday, June, 22nd

Twins Talk
Astros 4 Twins 1
  • The Twins had a very dissapointing loss yesterday afternoon with a tough to take 4-1 loss to the Astros to lose the series 2-1. Glen Perkins got the start for the Twins and was ok and take away his first inning he was good. Perkins gave up 3 runs in the first even though not all of it was his fault. Jason Kubel tried to play even though he was very ill with the flu. That led to him misjudging a fly ball in right field that scored a run. I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but Mike Cuddyer would of caught that ball and although we did not hit it is hard to come back from 3 runs in the first. Perkins ended up going 7 innings and gave up 4 runs on 9 hits along with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts to raise his era to 5.10 and drop his record to 2-4 on the season. Matt Guerrier then came on and pitched a very clean 8th inning with 2 hits allowed to lower his era to 2.84 on the year. R.A. Dickey pitched a solid 9th inning to lower his era to a very good 2.64 on the year. With the way he has been pitching I would like to see Dickey get the chance in some more pressure situations to see how he can do.

  • The Twins offensively ran into a buzzsaw that was named Wandy Rodriguez. The Twins could not do anything against Rodriguez as they could only muster a run on 2 hits. Michael Cuddyer was the only one in the lineup yesterday to do anything against Rodriguez as he went 1-3 with his 11th homerun of the year and drove in his 37th run of the year along with bringing his average up to .277 on the year. The only other starter to get a hit yesterday was Brian Buscher who drove a single through the right side against Wandy. There are games where the old adage is true that good pitching beats good hitting and on this day it proved to be right and all the hitters can do is tip your cap to the pitcher and move on to the next game and in this case to the next series.
  • The Twins have today off before they begin another big 9 game roadtrip with stops in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and finally back to American League teams with a stop in Kansas City.
  • Transactions: This afternoon the Twins called up RHP Bobby Keppel from AAA Rochester and to make room for him designated for assignment RHP Luis Ayala. I want to wish the best of luck to Luis Ayala as he looks for a job.

Rochester Wrap

Toledo 6 Rochester 4

Toledo 3 Rochester 1 11 innings

  • The Red Wings had a rough day yesterday as they were swept in a doubleheader by Toledo losing the first game 6-4 and then losing the nightcap in heartbreaking fashion 3-1 in 11 innings. In the first game Brian Duensing got the start for the Wings and was not real great. Duensing went 5 innings and gave up 4 runs on 4 hits although only 3 of the 4 runs were earned along with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts to raise his era to 5.08 on the year and drop his record to 3-6 on the year. Duensing has been one of the more disappointing players on the team as the Twins were expecting him to lead the staff in Rochester and after a rough year last year he has followed that up with another rough year this year and the question has to be asked has he hit the end of the line. There are other starters that have been worse for the Wings this year, but Duensing has underacheived this season and that makes it 2 years in a row. I think Duensing will be able to find himself a job in AAA for the next 4-5 years, but with so many good prospects on the way is it time for the Twins at the end of the year to cut their losses and wish him luck. I am not saying that is the right answer, but it is a question that needs to be asked. Jesse Crain made his Red Wing debut and pitched a very solid inning going 1-2-3 along with 2 strikeouts. With the Twins bullpen struggling so much the hope that this is a short stay for Jesse and he can get back up with the Twins soon. Tim Lahey pitched the 7th and gave up 2 unearned runs along with 2 hits. In game 2 Bobby Keppel was scheduled to start, but was a late scratch as he was promoted to the Twins so Kevin Mulvey got the start and was very good. Mulvey went 7 innings and only gave up 1 run and scattered 10 hits along with 6 strikeouts and the most important part Mulvey did not walk a batter to lower his era to 3.69 on the year. Things have been a bit bumpy for Mulvye, but overall he has been the best starter for the Wings and should be added to the 40 man after the year and compete for a rotation spot next spring. Rob Delaney then came on and pitched a solid 8th inning along with a walk to lower his era to 3.65. Juan Morillo then came on and pitched a 1-2-3 9th along with a strikeout to lower his era to 3.04 on the year. Armando Gabino then came on pitched 2 innings and did very except 1 pitch a 2 run homerun to Ben Sizemore that put Toledo up. Gabino went 2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits along with 4 strikeouts to bring his era up to 3.09 on the year.

  • Offensively, in the first game the Wings were hampered by the same problem they have been having all year and that is leaving guys on base. The Wings had 8 hits, but were only able to get 4 runs because of 8 guys left on base. At the end of the year if the Wings don't make the playoffs that is going to be one of the reasons as they have left a ton of runners on base this year. Brock Peterson led the attack going 2-3 with his 2nd homerun of the year and his 10th run batted in to raise his average up to .234. Tommy Watkins went 2-3 to raise his average up to .256. Steve Tolleson continued his torrid start to his Rochester career going 2-4 with his 9th double to bring his average up to .346 with the Wings. Dustin Martin and Drew Butera also contributed hits in the loss for the Wings. In the second game the Wings could not solve the Toledo pitching as they were only able to put 1 run on 5 hits up. Trevor Plouffe led the attack going 2-5 with his 9th double of the year and brought his average up to .238. Plouffe has been one of the more disappointing hitters in the Wings lineup as he only has 9 doubles and hitting only .238. I was expecting more out of Plouffe then those numbers along with 11 errors so hopefully he can get it going in the second half. Matt Macri went 1-4 with his 12th double of the year and brought his average up to .205. Steve Tolleson and Jeff Christy each added a hit in the losing cause.
  • Tonight, the Wings finish off their series with Toledo as they send Jason Jones to the mound hoping to win the game.

New Britain Business

New Britain 9 Bowie 1

  • The Rockcats snapped their 2 game losing streak versus Bowie with a very impressive 9-1 victory yesterday afternoon. Cole Devries got the start for the Rockcats and was very impressive. Devries went 6 shutout innings on only 4 hits along with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts to lower his era to 3.00 on the year and raise his record to 3-3 on the year. Alex Burnett then came on and pitched a very good inning on 1 hit to lower his era to 2.93 on the year. It was a good sign to get Alex back into a game after having his first rough outing at AA the day before so I am glad they got him back in there for a better result. Jose Lugo then came in and gave up a run on 3 hits in 2/3 of an inning to raise his era to 4.54 on the year. Frank Mata finished the game with 1.1 innings of work along with 3 strikeouts to lower his era to 5.11. It was nice to get a good outing out of Mata because he really has been struggling lately and the thought has been possibly about releasing him so this was a big outing for him hopefully he can keep it going.

  • The Rockcats offense really came alive as they put up 9 runs on 14 hits to put this game away early on. Juan Portes led the offense going 3-5 with his 22nd rbi of the year and his average rose to .345 on the year. Portes has been on fire in June as he is hitting an incredible .404 with a homer and 9 rbi's in 17 June games. Danny Valencia continued his recent hot streak as he went 2-5 with 2 rbi's to bring his average up to .284. After an awful slump Danny in his last 6 games is 10-24 for a .417 average. Good hitters like Valencia it just was a matter of time before he got going, but it is nice to see him hitting like we all know he can hit. Rene Tosoni continued his torrid streak where he went 2-3 with 3 rbi's to bring his season total up to 41 and brought his average up to .259. After having a slow start Tosoni has really turned it on and is the best hitter on the Rockcats right now. Brandon Roberts and Brian Dinkelman each contributed 2 hits each. Whit Robbins, Yancarlos Ortiz, and Allan De San Miguel also added a hit apiece to the winning cause.
  • The Rockcats have today off before they begin a series with Harrisburg tommorrow night in New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

  • The Miracle had yesterday off and will begin a series with Jupiter tonight with Tyler Robertson scheduled to start for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

Quad Cities 6 Beloit 4

  • The Snappers ended the first half with a loss that was so similiar in so many of their games this season in that they had a victory snapped out of their hands as the Snappers bullpen imploded and gave up 6 runs in 3 innings of work. Mike Tarsi got the start for the Snappers and was very good once again. Tarsi went 6.2 innings of shutout ball on only 7 hits along with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts to lower his era to 1.69 on the year. I am really surprised by the run Tarsi has made since his addition to the Snappers rotation. In 3 starts as a starter Tarsi has not given up a run in 19 innings of work. I am not real high on Tarsi as a prospect, but he could turn out to be the next Cole Devries where noone can figure out how he gets guys out, but just does. I am not going to put anything past him with a 19 consecutive scoreless innings streak going. Joe Testa then came on and had his worst outing of the year. He went 2 innings and gave up 5 runs on 4 hits along with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Matt Williams came into the game with the bases loaded and gave up a grand slam that put Quad Cities in front. Williams got one out and gave up 1 run on 1 hit to raise his era to 2.33 on the year.

  • The Snappers had a solid day offensively as they put up 4 runs on 9 hits, but the problem was they left 10 guys on base in this one and that is why they lost. Top prospect Aaron Hicks had a big game going 1-2 with 3 walks including his first intentional walk of the year. After his first weekend with the Snappers Hicks is hitting .375. Jeff Lanning had a big game going 2-4 with his first triple of the year and 2 rbi's to bring his season total up to 5. James Beresford, Ramon Santana, Ozzie Lewis, Jon Waltenbury, Dominic De La Osa, and Drew Thompson each contributed a hit in the losing cause for the Snappers.
  • The Snappers are off for the all-star break they will return to the field on Thursday with games against Clinton.

Stream of Negativity

I am calling this the stream of negativity because everyone who knows me knows that I am a pretty positive guy especially when it comes to the Twins and their minor league system as I don't see a point on being a negative columnist. I will leave those type of articles to the Jim Souhan and Patrick Reusse's of the world. However, every so often I need to get some things Twins related off my chest and I thought this would be a good forum to get the things off my chest. I will return to normal programming after this and everyone should check back later in the day as I have some interesting things planned so enjoy.

The Twins went 3-3 on this last homestand and a few things bothered me about this. First, Sean Henn needs to go he is a terrible reliever who just seems to get worse and worse every time we use him. He was ok to start with but he has been bad really bad for a while yet, but Gardy still trusts him in big situations. I was pretty upset watching that game on Saturday night. As most that know me know I am a pretty big Scott Baker fan and I was so happy with his start Saturday night. Going into the 7th inning Bake had only given up 1 run and was in control of things. Gardy acts like he got drilled and he really did not. Hunter Pence hit a soft line drive in the gap for a double with 1 out. Then Ivan Rodriguez hit a texas leaguer barely over the second baseman for a basehit to score Pence and make it 3-2 hardly getting drilled. I don't have a problem taking Baker out because he has a history of when he loses it really loses it, but don't make it see like he is the only pitcher that is like that other pitchers on the staff also have that problem. What I have a problem with is bringing in Sean Henn instead of Mijares or Guerrier. When they brought in Henn I knew exactly what was going to happen because he has been awful his last 4 or 5 outings. That is like saying I don't care if we win as long as we get Henn and Ayala in the game. After the game too Gardy made it seem like Baker needed to fight through it and Gardy did not even give Baker the opprotunity to go. I understand that Mijares and Guerrier can't pitch every game and if they needed a day off then I would of let Baker stay in with only a runner on first with 1 out. It is pretty obvious that changes in that bullpen need to be made and need to be made fast. The first thing I would do is dfa Henn and bring up Bobby Keppel who asked Rochester to start him so other teams can get a better look at him because he has an out in his contract. I would rather the Twins lose Sean Henn then lose Bobby Keppel. For those that are going to say well Keppel is right handed so you need another left hander that is hogwash of course if you have leftys that are good than that is a bonus but you can get by without 2 leftys. I would also give R.A. Dickey the opprotunity to pitch in the 7th inning instead of Ayala. He has proven he can do the long relief role I would like him to atleast get the chance to see if he can do more pressure situations. If you try him and he can't do it you can always return him to long relief role. There is no doubt that the Twins need to make a move because this divison is for the taking a one good relief pitcher is all that seperates the Twins from their 5th division title this decade and I love prospects just as much as the next guy, but when you have a chance to go get someone to help you take the next step you need to do it. I would offer Alexi Casilla and a low prospect for a reliever because Casilla just does not get what it means to be a Twin and because of that the best course of action is to let him start fresh somewhere else. Something else I am burning about is the handling of Jose Morales. Yesterday, was the perfect day to have him catch a day with Joe Mauer Dhing the Twins could of given Morales a start behind the plate. Mike Redmond is not hitting right now and is not the player he used to be so why not go with the hothand especially considering Morales had a big double Saturday night that gave the Twins the chance to tie it in the bottom of the 9th. So why not give him a reward by giving him a start yesterday. Of course not that would be too hard to do so my question is what is the point of having him with the Twins if you are not going to use him. You are not helping the Twins and you are also not helping his development by giving him 2 at bats in a week. I would also give Jason Pridie a chance because Carlos Gomez is regressing at the plate and although he is great defensively atleast I think Pridie would have a good idea of what he is doing at the plate. I am happy for Kyle Waldrop that he gets the chance to get back to AA I just hope that Spencer Steedley joins him at AA very soon or that will be disappointing because he has an era under 1 and deserves the opprotunity over anybody. I am done ranting on the Twins I hope everyone enjoyed it and will put their 2 cents in on this. Thanks for listening to me complain it doesn't happen very often.