Rolling along we come to July 17th as I continue to play catch up on the recent transactions in the Minnesota Twins system. Last Wednesday featured five moves included two promotions, one DL assignment, one DL activation and an outright release.
Assigned to Rochester (from New Britain): LHP Edgar Ibarra (24) – signed with the Twins out of Venezuela seven and a half years ago (January 2006) and pitched as a starter in just over half of his first 124 games (64 GS). During that time the results were mixed. Then came 2012 when he called the bullpen home for the entirety of the season and between Fort Myers and New Britain finished with a 4.69 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 69 SO in 78.2 IP. This season it appears the 6’0″ lefty has started to figure things out. He made 31 appearances with the Rock Cats and allowed only 32 hits and 9 earned runs in 42.1 IP. His strikeout rate (8.5 SO/9) was his best since he was in Beloit back in 2010. The walk rate has always been a bit elevated and it’s the one cautionary marker from his time in Double-A this season as he walked 20 (4.3 BB/9). However since he’s joined Rochester he’s struck out seven while walking just one batter in 5.0 innings. Ibarra has yet to allow a hit or an earned run in his brief stint in Triple-A. Between the two levels his 1.71 ERA is more than a full run lower than it has been in any other season in his career and his 6.1 H/9 is also a career best. Ibarra’s 2013 campaign has come from way off the map and we need more innings to see if this is just a brief peak or an early indicator of sustained excellence to follow. If it’s the latter and this is a breakthrough season we could see him pitching out of the Twins bullpen in the near future.
Placed on the 7-day DL by New Britain: RHP Tom Stuifbergen (24) – cracked the back end of the Twins Top-30 in both 2010 (#27) and 2011 (#24) but fell off after a very disappointing season with Fort Myers in 2012 (5.09 ERA, 1.55 WHIP). He opened 2013 pitching once again in the FSL where he had already logged nearly 200 innings in his career. This season however he pitched to a 3.65 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in thanks in no small part to the fact he walked just two batters in 56.2 innings. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear as though his stuff will allow him to generate such success in the upper levels. Prior to hitting the DL he had a 6.16 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 30.2 innings in 8 games (6 GS) since he was assigned to the Rock Cats at the beginning of June. He has turned in some very impressive starts but has been extremely inconsistent and when he gets hit he tends to give up runs in bunches.
Assigned to Cedar Rapids Kernels (from Elizabethon): RHP Tim Shibuya (23) – missed the second half of the 2012 season with shoulder problems which explains why he started out in the Appalachian League, and in the bullpen, after pitching as a starter in 2011 (Rk) and 2012 (A). He has excellent control as evidenced by his career 1.6 BB/9 but lacks the stuff to miss bats when he makes a mistake. After tossing 19.1 innings with 17 H, 5 ER, 4 BB and 13 SO with Elizabethton, Shibuya has allowed 2 H and 1 ER with 3 SO in 2.0 IP since joining Cedar Rapids.
Activated from 7-day DL by Cedar Rapids: RHP Dallas Gallant (24) – has missed more time than he, or the organization, would prefer since he was taken in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft. Limited to just 13.2 innings his first season, he missed all of 2011 and managed only 16.2 IP in 2012. After eight tune-up relief appearances with Elizabethton, he’s pitched three times since joining the Kernels bullpen a little over a week ago and has walked six batters in 3.1 innings. The walks aside, Gallant has whiffed seven batters and gave up both of his hits and runs allowed came in his last outing. The walks are understandable as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery earlier in his pro career as well as missing time with more recent injuries. There’s a lot of rust to knock off before we can get a good feel for what Gallant may or may not become as a professional.
Released by Fort Myers: 2B Candido Pimentel (23) – signed with the Twins as an international free agent back in February of 2009. The Dominican born 2B/OF hit 0.330/.405/.419 and stole 16 bases last season with Elizabethton (56 G). This year he was hitting 0.271/.329/.316 between Cedar Rapids (47 G) and Fort Myers (19 G) at the time of his release.
After a flurry of moves in the previous days, last Thursday was a quiet one in the system.