Last Tuesday, July 16th was a very busy day in the Twins system. Two players hit the 7-day disabled list, seven players were moved up a level and two were moved down.
Placed on 7-day DL by Rochester – retroactive to July 14th: RHP Vance Worley (25) – Minnesota’s Opening Day starter (which is telling in itself) has had plenty of highs and lows this season. From the 1.0 inning 9 hit, 7 earned run start against the Mets on April 12th to the 9.0 inning 2-hitter against Louisville (AAA) on June 22nd it’s been a roller coaster. Now that coaster is in the shop for maintenance. Worley’s 10 starts in the majors this season resulted in a 7.21 ERA and 1.99 WHIP. His last three starts for the Red Wings before he hit the DL resulted in 22 H, 11 R, 9 BB and 12 SO in 17.1 IP.
Assigned to New Britain (from Fort Myers): LHP Ryan O’Rourke (25) – old for the FSL, he was none-the-less in the midst of the best season of his four year minor league career. At the time of the promotion he had a 2.22 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 21-8 SO-to-BB in 28.1 relief innings. In his Double-A debut he struck out five over two hitless, shutout innings. He’s made two other appearances since giving up five hits, two walks and four runs in 2.1 innings.
Assigned to New Britain (from Fort Myers): LF Evan Bigley (26) – returns to where he started off the season 8-46 (0.174) with one extra-base hit. This time around he’s 5-23 with three doubles in seven games.
Assigned to New Britain (from Fort Myers): LHP Jose Gonzalez (23) – like Bigley, Gonzalez started off with the Rock Cats and returns to Double-A after a month and a half in Fort Myers. The 5’9″ lefty righted the ship with the Miracle putting together a 19-3 SO-to-BB in 14.1 innings which included a 2.51 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Since rejoining the New Britain bullpen he’s allowed eight hits and four runs – just one earned – with a walk and two strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
Assigned to Fort Myers (from New Britain): C Kyle Knudson (25) – is another player returning to the level where his 2013 season started. He hit 0.255/.345/.277 in 16 games with the Rock Cats and is now 0-10 in three games since he rejoined the Miracle. Knudson is hitting 0.317/.398/.427 in 26 games FSL games overall.
Assigned to Fort Myers Miracle (from Cedar Rapids): LHP Steven Gruver (24) – had a 2.45 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 62-16 SO-to-BB in 58.2 innings with the Kernels prior to his promotion. Those numbers represent the best the 2011 7th round pick has performed at any level to date in his young career. Gruver gave up three hits and three runs in his Fort Myers debut (0.2 IP) but bounced back in his second appearance to throw 2.0 innings of shutout baseball while facing just six batters.
Assigned to Cedar Rapids Kernels (from Fort Myers): C Jairo Rodriguez (24) – in 40 games between Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids this season, he’s hit 0.212/.250/.241. He’s 1-12 since rejoining the Kernels.
Assigned to Fort Myers (from Cedar Rapids): RHP Tyler Jones (23) – moved to the bullpen full time this season and the early returns have been outstanding. He put together a 1.93 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 44-16 SO-to-BB in 37.1 IP with Cedar Rapids and has continued his run of success in Fort Myers. He’s pitched 2.1 shutout innings for the Miracle thus far with four strikeouts and just two hits allowed. Overall he’s struck out 158 batters in 133.1 innings since being drafted in the 11th round of the 2011 draft.
Assigned to Fort Myers (from Cedar Rapids): OF J.D. Williams (22) – represents another of the organizational success stories to emerge in the 2013 season. In his second year in the Midwest league he improved his OPS over 200 points (from 0.651 to 0.852) while showing significant improvement in his strikeout and walk rates. In 2012 he whiffed 115 times in 97 game whilst drawing just 39 walks. This season he’s already drawn 47 walks while striking out only 67 times in 80 games. Williams has also set new career highs in runs, RBI, 3B and HR this season and is now just adding to those totals. In seven games since joining Fort Myers he’s hit 0.308/.357/.346.
Assigned to Fort Myers (from Cedar Rapids): 1B Dalton Hicks (23) – the team’s 17th round selection in the 2012 draft is in his first full professional season and it’s been a resounding success. In 89 games with the Kernels he pounded out 31 2B and 13 HR while hitting 0.297/.355/.494. He also drove in 82 runs in a stacked Cedar Rapids lineup. Hicks has played in six games since the promotion to the FSL with a 0.292/.370/.542 slash line and a pair of home runs to his credit.
Placed on 7-day DL by Fort Myers: LHP Corey Williams (23) – put together solid campaigns in 2011 and 2012 after being selected out of Vanderbilt in the 3rd round. This season, his first in the FSL, has provided a stiffer challenge. Serving primarily as the closer for the Miracle he’s thrown 31.1 innings with a 5.46 ERA, 1.47 ERA and 28-17 SO-to-BB. His walk rate (up to 4.9 BB/9 this year) continues to be the main area of concern as he hasn’t managed to truly harness his stuff.