Sometimes my life gets in the way of my baseball writing, and fortunately while I have been away from the day in and day out happenings of the Twins minor league affiliates, baseball has gone on. I’d like to throw out a very special thank you to my friend Mark Smith (@MarkArtSmith) for creating the Down on the Pond logo that you’ll see accompanying my minor league posts over the course of the rest of this season. The Twins have been sending players up and down seemingly every night this past week and there are new faces in new places throughout the system.
AAA Rochester Red Wings (14-21)
The Red Wings have been going the wrong over the course of the last couple weeks, and are 5-7 in the month of May, including 4 straight losses. Liam Hendriks takes the mound for the Red Wings this afternoon and tries to help the Wings turn things around. Hendriks is 1-0 since being optioned back to AAA earning a W against the Pawtuckett Red Sox on the 8th of May. Hendriks pitched 5.2 innings giving up 1R off 3H with only 2BB to go with 8K’s. While with the Twins Hendriks was out matched going 0-2 in four starts with an ERA of 9.00 in only 18 innings pitched. The Red Wings will need their offense to come alive if Liam is to record another W this afternoon. Rochester has scored 4+ runs only three times this month and has been shut out twice this month alone.
AA New Britain Rock Cats (22-13)
The Rock Cats have continued to put together wins this season and find themselves atop the Eastern League Eastern Division standings. Andrew Albers (1-0, 4.50ERA) takes the mound for the Rock Cats this afternoon as they go for the sweep against the visiting Reading Phillies. Wilkin Ramirez has homered in 4 straight games for the Rock Cats and the pitching staff own a team ERA of 3.24, 1.18 WHIP and have only given up 15HR through the first 35 games this season.
A+ Fort Myers Miracle (15-21)
The Miracle have struggled this year, but are beginning to steady the ship going 6-6 so far this month. The Miracle are struggling offensively this year and head into tomorrow evening’s game with a .239 team BA, and are in the bottom half of almost all offensive stats in the Florida State League. There are, however, some bright spots for the Miracle this season on the offensive side as they have blasted 24HR this season and taken 122 free passes, both inside the top three in the FSL through 36 games. The Miracle currently sit 13 games back of the red hod St. Lucie Mets who are 28-8 on the season. Tomorrow evening Madison Boer will toe the rubber for the Miracle. Boer has struggled since his promotion from Beloit, going 0-2 with a 14.09ERA during his first two starts. Boer will need to reclaim the magic he had in Beloit and bounch back after his last outing versus Dunedin when he game up 9 runs and lasted only 2 innings.
A Beloit Snappers (21-15)
The low A affiliate Snappers are tearning through the Midwest League and sit only 2 games back of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Western division. Beloit sends Matthew Tomshaw to the mound this afternoon agains the Clinton Lumberkings. Tomshaw is making his third start of the season and has appeared in 9 games for the Snappers this season going 1-1 with a 3.22ERA over 22.1 innings pitched. Tomshaw has walked only 3 batsmen this season to go with 17 K’s. Of course the big news in Beloit this season are the Twins top prospects Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario who both enter today’s game with identical .291 batting averages. Sano has blashed 10HR this season, good enough for half of the team’s 20 bombs this season. Rosario, who had one more HR than Sano last season, has just 2 so far this season but also has 12 doubles so far this season. Both Rosario and Sano are still learning to field their positions and are struggling a little with the glove, Sano with 11 errors and Rosario with 8. Beloit has 6 pitchers this year with ERA’s under 3.00, including starters Tim Shibuya and Jason Wheeler. Former Minnesota Golden Gopher Adam Pettersen continues to impress his coaches and scrap for every inch of playing time he gets. I went down to Clinton, Iowa last month to see the Snappers play the Lumberkings and Pettersen took a few moments to chat with my brother and I before the game. As a hometown kid from Minnetonka, MN, he exudes the Minnesota niceness and while he has only managed a .263 BA this season he does have a .352 OBP. I have a soft spot in my heart for Pettersen and I look forward to watching him in the months and hopefully years to come.
The Twins affiliates currently hold a combined record of 72-70.