On the Pond Daily (7/1): Max Kepler and Zack Granite
By Wally Fish
Rain forced the postponement of a slew of games on the minor league schedule on Monday, July 1st. The Minnesota Twins organization was dealt an especially heavy blow by the weather as four of their games were affected. Coupled with the scheduled off day for the DSL Twins, only Cedar Rapids, Elizabethton and the big league club played.
In related news, the July 1st edition of On the Pond Daily (the one you’re currently reading) was delayed by a birthday. More specifically my oldest son Justin turned nine years old on Tuesday and as a result family activities forced my writing to take a back seat for a bit.
Duensing’s outing on Monday was the worst of his 2013 season. (Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins (36-43): 10-4 loss to New York (43-39)
LHP Scott Diamond (6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) pitched well enough to win and certainly did his part to keep the Twins in the game but his efforts were sabotaged by the bullpen. Jared Burton and Brian Duensing gave up 7 hits and 7 runs in 1.2 innings of work. For Duensing (1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO) it was the first time all season (39 appearances) he allowed more than two runs in a game and was coming off a month of June where he allowed just 7 hits and 2 runs in 8.0 IP (13 G).
While Duensing’s outing appears to be an aberration, for Burton (0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER) it was the continuation of a rough stretch as he was saddled with the loss for the second straight game. In 9.2 IP during the month of June he allowed 14 H, 8 R and 6 BB and in the process quickly buried the success he had during April and May.
RF Chris Parmelee hit a double for the second straight game in a row and also hit his eighth home run of the season in the 6th inning. He finished the day 2-3 with a run and RBI while also drawing a walk for the fifth straight game. 2B Brian Dozier (2-4, R, 2B, BB) and C Ryan Doumit (2-5, R, 2 RBI) also had multi-hit games.
Rochester Red Wings (41-44): game vs. Syracuse (33-49) postponed by rain
New Britain Rock Cats (39-43): game vs. New Hampshire (39-43) postponed by rain
Fort Myers Miracle (50-27): game vs. St. Lucie (41-37) postponed by rain
Cedar Rapids Kernels (51-28): 6-3 win over Peoria (42-36)
Cedar Rapids finished the first half of the Midwest League season with the fourth best record (40-28) out of the 16-teams. Anyone who expected Buxton’s departure to torpedo their success was sorely mistaken as the Kernels have won their first 11 games in the second half.
RHP Mike Pelfrey (6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 6 SO) made his first rehab start as he works his way back to the parent club and continues to recover from his back strain.
The arrival of CF Max Kepler has certainly helped cushion the loss of Buxton and he was once again in the thick of things on Monday with a 2-4 performance that included a 3B and his third HR in 11 games with the team. He also scored two and drove in two.
3B Travis Harrison (2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB) has also picked up his game of late going 13-35 with 6 2B, 2 HR and 8 BB in his last 10 games.
Elizabethton Twins (10-2): 8-4 win over Kingsport (3-9)
Elizabethton has been nearly as hot as Cedar Rapids boasting the best record in the Appalachian League and already own a 3.0 game lead over Greeneville and Johnson City in the Western Division. It’s not as though they need more help, but they’re getting it anyway. 2B Logan Wade was activated off the 7-day disabled list and 2013 5th round pick, RHP Aaron Slegers was assigned to the team.
RHP Tanner Mendonca (3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO)
CF Zack Granite continues to set the table as the E-Twins leadoff hitter. He went 0-2 on Monday, but was still a factor as he drew four walks, scored three runs and stole a pair of bases. DH Mitchell Garver (2-5, 2 RBI, SO), LF Kelvin Ortiz (2-5, 2 R, SO, SB) and RF Dereck Rodriguez (2-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) were responsible for six of the teams seven hits on the day and all three are hitting over 0.320 thus far on the year.
GCL Twins (4-4): game vs. GCL Orioles (4-4) postponed by rain
DSL Twins (13-11): scheduled off day
LF Jonathan Murphy was assigned to Cedar Rapids (from Fort Myers).
Cedar Rapids placed CF Jeremias Pineda on the 7-day disabled list (hamstring strain)