Monday, June 29, 2009

Q&A with Tyler Robertson

I am back with another Twins minor league system Q&A and had the pleasure to have one with top pitching prospect Tyler Robertson. In my recently completed Travis Talks top 50 prospect list I had Tyler listed at #5 so obviously this is a big interview and am thrilled to death that Tyler was gracious enough to answer my questions. I hope you all enjoy and keep coming back to my site because I am working on some other ones as well. Also I welcome you to look back in my archive at the first Q&A I did with Beloit Snapper relief pitcher Steve Blevins who I had rated at #35 on my list. So enjoy and again leave your comments in the box or send me an email to let me know what you thought of the interview or who you would like me to interview next at

Travis Talks: Tyler, growing up in California who was your favorite baseball team?

Tyler Robertson: I Never Really Had A Favorite Baseball Team, I Was More In To Individual Players. If I Had To Pick One Growing Up Though, It Was Probably The Cleveland Indian. My Dad Was Working With Them At The Time.

Travis Talks: In high school did you just play baseball or were there other sports you played. If so what sports?

Tyler Robertson: I Played Baseball, Football, and Basketball. Loved Football. Had Offers To Play College Football But I Like Baseball More And Its Always What I Have Wanted To Do.

Travis Talks: Tell me about your high school career?

Tyler Robertson: Played 4 Years Varsity, Tried Out For The Team As A Freshman and Made It. Was A High School Underclassman All American As A Soph and Jr. and Was The California State Player Of The Year In 2006. Pitched and Played 1st Base.

Travis Talks: You were drafted in the 3rd round in 2006 is that where you were expected to be drafted?

Tyler Robertson: I Was Told Between The 2nd and 4th Round

Travis Talks: Had you been talking to the Twins or were you surprised that they drafted you?

Tyler Robertson: The Twins Scout Who Signed Me (Kevin Bootay) Did An Awesome Job, He Only Missed Like 2 Games My Whole Senior Year. I Knew They Were Interested But Its Hard To Tell How Serious. He Was Honest With Me And Told Me He Liked Me A Lot.

Travis Talks: With your Dad being a former Twins scout did you go to alot of games?

Tyler Robertson: He Worked For The Twins A Long Time Ago. I Think Before I Was Born. So I Didnt Go To Twins Games But I Use To Go To Games With Him All The Time Growing Up And I Would Watch While He Scouted.

Travis Talks: After signing with the Twins you went to GCL how did you feel about that season?

Tyler Robertson: The GCL Was Good. It Was Nice To Get Out Here And See What Pro Ball Was Like And Get My Feet Wet

Travis Talks: What kind of a pitcher would you consider yourself?

Tyler Robertson: I Just Compete Everytime I Am Out There And Try To Give My Team A Chance To Win Everytime I Pitch

Travis Talks: What pitches do you throw?

Tyler Robertson: Fastball, Curveball, Change-Up, and Slider.

Travis Talks: Being a California guy what was it like spending the year in Beloit where it can be cold?

Tyler Robertson: I Was Called Up To Beloit About A Month Into The Season So I Missed The Real Cold Stuff. I Am From Northern California Though And It Gets Cold Up There In The Winter So I have Played and Workout In Cold Weather Before.

Travis Talks: After Spending the 2007 at Fort Myers and having a good year were you surprised you started last year in Fort Myers again.

Tyler Robertson: A Little Bit, I Missed About Half Of The Season With Tendonitis Tho So I Figured They Would Want To Make Sure I Was Healthy And Go Slow.

Travis Talks: Halfway through last season you suffered an injury what was the injury?

Tyler Robertson: Biceps Tendonitis. I Am Just Real Happy It Was Nothing Too Serious.

Travis Talks: What was the rehab like?

Tyler Robertson: Basically My Rehab Was Rest, Its The Only Way Tendonitis Will Go Away, So Rehab Was Actually Kind Of Boring.

Travis Talks:Was it hard to get confidence back in your stuff?

Tyler Robertson: Not Really. As Soon As It Was Healthy Again And I Didnt Feel Anything Unusual I Just Treated It Like Nothing Ever Happened. Although I Do Know That It Takes A Long Time To Get FULL Strength Back From Any Arm Injury No Matter How Small. So I Am Still Working On That

Travis Talks: For someone that doesn't know what is a usual day like when it is your turn to pitch?

Tyler Robertson: I Try And Keep The Days I Pitch Just Like Every Other Normal Day. Get To The Park Play Cards With The Guys And When Its Time To Get Ready For The Game That When I Will Start Thinking About What I Have To Do That Night Or Day.

Travis Talks: What things do you have to work on the most as you progress through the system?

Tyler Robertson: Just Keep Building Arm Strength and Staying Healthy. And Command Of All My Pitches.

Travis Talks: As a member of the Twins organization do you pay attention to the teams ahead of you or just focus on yourself.

Tyler Robertson: Just Try To Focus On Myself And Getting Better Each Day. You Cant Control What Goes On Ahead Of You

Travis Talks: What will it be like pitching in Target Field?

Tyler Robertson: Hopefully Not As Cold As I Imagine It Could Be

Travis Talks: What was it like when you received your first professional baseball paycheck?

Tyler Robertson: Pretty Nice Considering It Was My First Paycheck Ever

Travis Talks: What are your expectations for the second half?

Tyler Robertson: Just Keep Trying To Get Better Each And Every Start. If I Can Do That, Good Things Will Happen.

I would like to thank Tyler Robertson again for answering my questions I really appreciate it.

Monday, June, 29th

Twins Talk
Twins 6 Cardinals 2
  • The Twins completed a very successful swing through the National League with a very good 12-6 record as yesterday the Twins finished interleague with a much closer than the score indicates 6-2 victory over the Cardinals. Francisco Liriano got the start for the Twins and showed why the Twins have been so patient with him and that is because when he is on like he was yesterday he is very very good. When he is on Liriano has by far the best stuff on the staff and if he could become more consistant he has Cy Young type of stuff. The whole deal with Liriano is he is a tease as he has a start like this and the start before he was awful needing 117 pitches to get thru 5 innings. You really don't know what your going to get from Liriano, but when he is on like he was yesterday the Twins are very hard to beat. Liriano went 7 innings and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits along with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts to lower his era to 5.62 and improved his record on the year to 4-8. This is the type of start the Twins want out of Liriano in that it is economical with his pitches to allow him to pitch 7 innings as it only took him 98 pitches to get thru 7. He only walked 2 and one of them was an unintentional intentional walk to Albert Pujols. He had a little hiccup in the 6th giving up 3 straight hits to start the inning and 2 runs, but settled down and retired the last 6 batters he faced. Overall, a very good start by Liriano and the continuation of a much better month of June out of Liriano as he is 2-1 with a 3.77 era in 5 June starts and that is an improvement from a 6.04 era in April, and a 7.12 era in May. So hopefully this is just the beginning of a good second half from the Franchise. Jose Mijares came on for the 8th and faced 1 batter and walked him. Mijares has walked too many batters this year as he has walked 11 batters in only 21.2 innings. For Mijares to take the next step to be a shutdown reliever he needs to cut down on the walks or he will be back in the minor leagues. Matt Guerrier came in and pitched a clean 8th on 1 hit along with a walk to lower his era to 2.83. R.A. Dickey had his first rough outing in a long time as he faced 4 batters and only retired one of them as one of the outs came on the bases. Joe Nathan came on and got the last out for his 19th save of the year and lowered his era to 1.50 on the year.

  • The Twins did not hit as well as the numbers would indicate as they got 6 runs on 11 hits, but after getting 3 runs in the first Cardinals starter Joel Piniero settled down and kept the Cards in the game until the Twins struck for 2 runs late in the game. Justin Morneau led the offense going 1-4 with his 17th homerun a three run shot in the first that put the Twins up 3-0. Morneau added 3 rbi's to bring his season total up to 61 and brought his average on the year down to .309. Joe Mauer went 2-5 at the plate to keep his average at a still awesome .394. Jason Kubel had a big game going 3-4 with his 17th double of the year and his 42nd rbi to bring his average up to .317. Joe Crede went 2-4 at the plate to bring his average up to .238. Brendan Harris had another good game going 1-4 with his 20th and 21st rbi's of the year. Denard Span and Matt Tolbert each contributed hits in the Twins victory.
  • Tonight, the Twins return to the American League as they continue their roadtrip in Kansas City as Nick Blackburn gets the start for the Twins.

Rochester Wrap

Rochester 6 Scranton/WB 2

  • The Red Wings continued their hot string as of late as they won their 4th consecutive game with an impressive performance against first place Scranton/WB by a score of 6-2 last night. Anthony Swarzak got the ball for the Red Wings and man was he impressive as he tries to prove that he doesn't belong in AAA and I have to agree with him. Swarzak went 7 strong innings and only gave up 1 run on only 2 hits along with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts to lower his very impressive era to 2.34 on the year and improve his record to 4-4. I really don't know what to do with Swarzak because he is pitching awesome down in AAA and honestly belongs up with the Twins, but with the starting staff improving there really is not a spot for him. You could bring him up and put him in the bullpen, but having him pitch 2 or 3 innings a week does not seem like the right use for Swarzak. It is a nice problem to have as there are teams out there that can't put 5 decent starters out there and the Twins have 6 legitimate major league starting pitchers. Unfortunately, for Swarzak the best course of action for the Twins is probably to keep him in AAA and see if someone gets injured. Jesse Crain came in and pitched the last 2 innings and was shaky once again. Crain gave up 1 run on 2 hits along with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts to bring his era down to 4.76. With interleague play now done the Twins will probably send Jose Morales back down to Rochester and call up another pitcher and I am afraid it is going to be Jesse Crain who really has not earned the promotion because he has been the same with Rochester as he was with the Twins. Crain has walked 5 batters in only 5.2 innings of work. I really think it would be a mistake to bring up Crain right now because he hasn't solved the problem for his demotion in the first place and that is placing his fastball. I know Gardy wants 12 pitchers, but if they need to bring someone up I would suggest Armando Gabino who has a nice 3.05 era this year over Jesse Crain, Juan Morillo, or Rob Delaney because none of them are ready to be with the Twins.

  • The Red Wings could not get anything going against Scranton/WB pitching until they exploded for 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th to put the game away. Brock Peterson has continued his torrid streak as he went 3-4 with his 3rd homerun a 3 run shot that put the game away in the 8th inning and 3 rbi's to bring his season total up to 15 on the year. Peterson has been very good in June hitting .358 with 2 homeruns and 11 rbi's in 20 June games. With that streak it has improved Brock's average up to .262 on the year. Justin Huber has been the best hitter all year for Rochester and continued it yesterday. Huber went 2-4 with his 11th homerun and drove in 2 runs to bring his total up to 42. Jason Pridie, Alexi Casilla, Steve Tolleson, and Tommy Watkins each contributed a hit in the winning cause for the Red Wings.
  • Today, the Red Wings will take on Scranton/WB in a doubleheader as Philip Humber will start the first game and Jason Jones will get spot start in the 2nd game.

New Britain Business

Connecticut 4 New Britain 3

  • The Rockcats suffered their second consecutive gut wrenching loss to Connecticut as they lost yesterday by a score of 4-3. Matt Fox got the start for the Rockcats and was much better than his last start. Fox went 5.1 innings and gave up 3 runs on 8 hits along with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts to raise his era to 2.95 on the year. Fox really improved on his last start where he gave up 11 hits in only 5 innings. I still think that Matt Fox deserves the promotion up to AAA Rochester and would do a good job there. Kyle Waldrop then came on and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings along with a strikeout and has not allowed a run on 3.2 innings since his callup from Fort Myers and I would like to see him get a chance to start for the Rockcats as they have sent Jay Rainville to the bullpen and with the promotion of Jeff Manship to AAA the Rockcats need another starter so I hope Waldrop gets the chance to be that starter. Anthony Slama came in the 8th inning and gave up the winning run to drop his record on the year to 4-2. Slama went 2 innings and gave up 1 run on 1 hit along with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts to increase his era to 2.59 on the year. I still think that Slama is ready for AAA and would like the Twins to recall Armando Gabino and promote Slama to AAA and see how he does.

  • The Rockcaats continued a recent problem of leaving guys on base as they had 10 hits, but were only able to score 3 runs. The problem was they left a very bad 10 runners on base in the game. Rene Tosoni continued his hot June by going 3-4 with his 15th double and 4th triple of the year to bring his average on the year up to .280. In June Tosoni is hitting .310 with a homer and 15 rbi's and on the season he has been very productive leading the Rockcats with 9 homeruns and 45 rbi's. Tosoni has really come on as a hitting prospect and I would expect if he has a second half like he had a first half that you should see him in AAA next year. Brian Dinkelman went 2-4 to increase his average to .294. Brandon
    Roberts went 1-4 with his 9th double of the year to increase his average to .285 on the year. Yancarlos Ortiz, Erik Lis, Juan Portes, and Danny Lehman each contributed a hit apiece in the losing cause for the Rockcats.
  • Tonight, the Rockcats finish off their series with Connecticut as Carlos Gutierrez gets the start for New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

Daytona 5 Fort Myers 1

  • The Miracle continued their second half swoon as they lost their 3rd straight game to Daytona. This one was by a score of 5-1 as they dropped 3 of 4 to Daytona in the series. Deolis Guerra got the start for the Miracle and was not real great in this one even though it wouldn't of mattered as the Miracle could only manage 1 run. Guerra went 5.2 innings and gave up 5 runs although only 4 were earned on 9 hits along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts to raise his era on the year to 5.13 and lower his record to 5-8. Like I have said time and time again Deolis Guerra has been the model of inconsistancy and until he develops consistancy in his pitching he won't get out of the FSL. He has loads of talent and reminds me of Francisco Liriano in that he is underperfoming for his talent level. Hopefully, he can get it going and show some more consistancy because the Santana trade is going to be judged by how Guerra ends up doing and right now it is not looking good. Santos Arias then came on and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief along with a walk and a strikeout to lower his era to 2.41. Blair Erickson pitched a shutout inning of relief to lower his era to a very good 2.45 on the year.

  • The Miracle could not get anything going against Daytona pitching in this one as they were only able to get 1 run on 4 hits. Rene Leveret went 1-4 with his 10th double of the year that brought his average down to .282. Leveret has been in a real slump after getting off to a fast start. In the month of June Leveret is only hitting .176 with no homeruns and only 7 rbi's that has brought his average down about 60 points in the month. Jair Fernandez went 1-4 with his 6th double of the year and brought his average up to .205 on the year. Jair has been a disappointment considering how well he hit at Beloit last year and I know he has gotten limited playing time, but I guess I just expected him to hit better than this for the year. Nick Romero and Mark Dolenc also added base hits in the losing cause for the Miracle.
  • Tonight, the Miracle begin a series with Lakeland as David Bromberg gets the start for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

Beloit 6 Clinton 2

Beloit 6 Clinton 4

  • The Snappers got back in the 2nd half race with a doubleheader sweep of Clinton yesterday by scores of 6-2 in the first game and 6-4 in the second game to pull their record in the second half to 2-2. In the first game Bobby Lanigan got the start for the Snappers and was very good. Lanigan went 6 innings and only gave up an unearned run on 5 hits along with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts to lower his era on the year to 4.46 and improve his record to 7-4. Lanigan got off to a rough start, but has been much better in June by going 2-1 with a very good 1.73 era in 5 June starts. The Snappers rotation has really come on after really struggling in the first half. Look at these June era's from the Snapper starters. Dan Osterbrock-2.28, Lanigan-1.73, Tarsi-1.20, Tippett-4.15, Berlind-3.97. Those are some impressive numbers and will be bouyed by the return of Shooter Hunt in a few weeks because it appears he has found the strikezone again. Steve Blevins pitched the 7th and gave up an unearned run along with a walk to lower his era on the year to 3.82. In game 2 Mike Tarsi got the start and was good once again for the Snappers. Tarsi went 5 innings and gave up only 2 earned runs on 10 hits along with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts to lower his era to 1.95. Tarsi has been a breath of fresh air for the Snappers since his addition to the starting rotation and I don't know if it is a coincidence, but the Snappers pitching has improved since then. Matt Williams pitched the last 2 innings to pick up his 5th save of the year as he gave up a run on a hit along with a walk and 3 strikeouts to lower his era to 2.48.

  • The Snappers brought their hitting shoes to the park as they got 6 runs in both games yesterday. In game 1 the Snappers had 6 runs on 10 hits as they jumped all over Clinton pitching for 5 runs in the first 3 innings. James Beresford led the attack going 2-3 to bring his average up to .292. Drew Thompson went 2-4 with his 8th double of the year to bring his average up to .194. Buddy Munroe made his pro debut and went 1-4 with a double and 2 strikeouts. Angel Morales went 1-4 with his 7th homerun of the year along with his 25th rbi of the year. Nathan Hanson went 1-2 with 2 walks and his 3rd homerun of the year and his 20th rbi. Aaron Hicks went 1-4 to bring his average up to .238. Jon Waltenbury and Alex Soto each contributed a hit in the winning cause. In game 2 the Snappers had 6 runs on 11 hits. Nathan Hanson led the offense by going 3-4 with his 11th double and his 3rd triple of the year to bring his average up to .258 on the year. Ramon Santana went 2-4 with his 15th double of the year and his 32nd rbi of the year to lead the team. Michael Harrington went 2-4 to raise his average to .238 on the year. Jeff Lanning went 2-3 with his 6th rbi of the year. Aaron Hicks went 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout along with 2 rbi's to bring his season total up to 5 and lowered his average to .208. Jon Waltenbury and Dominic De La Osa each contributed a hit apiece in the winning cause for the
  • The Snappers have today off before beginning a series tommorrow with Cedar Rapids.

E-town Entertainment

Pulaski 9 E-town 6

  • Surprise Surprise the E-town Twins are human and actually can lose a game as they lost 9-6 last night to Pulaski to drop their record to 5-1. Tom Stuifbergen got the start for the Twins and was decent. Stuif went 5 innings and gave up 3 earned runs on 6 hits along with a walk and 4 strikeouts to raise his era on the year to a very good 3.27. Winston Marquez then came on and gave up 2 runs on 1 hit along with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts in his 1 inning to raise his era to 4.50 on the year. Ramon Acosta pitched 1 inning of relief on a hit along with 1 walk and 1 strikeout to lower his era to 3.00. Tony Davis had a rough outing giving up 3 runs on 5 hits along with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts to lower his era to 8.10. Kane Holbrooks came on and pitched a scoreless 9th along with a strikeout.

  • The E-town offense was not the problem in this one as they put up 6 runs on 8 hits, but the pitching could not hold down Pulaski. Danny Rams led the offense going 2-3 with his 1st homerun, a grand slam, of the year and 4 rbi's to bring his total on the year to a team high 9. Jon Goncalves went 2-4 with his first double of the year. Tobias Streich went 1-4 with his 1st homerun of the year and drove in 2 runs to bring his season total to 2. Tyler Ladendorf, Paul Klingsberg, and Anderson Hidalgo all contributed a hit in the losing cause for the E-town Twins in this one.
  • Tonight, the Twins begin a series at home with Bristol as Liam Hendricks gets the start for Elizabethton.