Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, May 28, 2007

Down on the Farm: AAA Report

Rochester Red Wings (24-21)
3rd Place -- International League North Division

Red Wings Season Stats

Starting Pitchers

1.) Matt Garza - 10 starts [2 starts]
2.) Kevin Slowey - 9 starts [1 start]
3.) Dave Gassner - 8 starts [1 start]
4.) Brian Bass - 1 start, 13 RA [1 start, 1 RA]
5.) Nick Blackburn - 2 starts [1 start]

Who's Hot: Kevin Slowey continued to roll this week, going 8 innings and allowing just 7 hits while striking out 7 while picking up his 6th win of the season. It's almost certainly going to be his last AAA start for awhile, as the Twins have announced that "someone" will be called up to replace Ramon Ortiz in the rotation, and all signs point to Slowey being that "someone." Matt Garza also had a great week, despite getting saddled with 2 losses. He pitched 14 innings and allowed just 1 earned run (along with a couple of unearned runs) on just 7 hits and 6 walks while striking out 11 hitters. He's dropped his season ERA to 3.21 and his WHIP to 1.32 -- both solid numbers. While Slowey and Scott Baker have clearly had better AAA seasons than Garza, he's definitely getting things on track. Finally, as bad as Dave Gassner's season has been (5.75 ERA), he badly needed a start like he had on Saturday -- his line: 9 innings pitched (yes, an honest to goodness complete game!), 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 K's. Keep it up, Dave!

Who's Not: Brian Bass got a start and made one relief appearance, and was awful -- 8 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks in 5.1 innings of work. For the season, he now has a 7.11 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP in 25.1 innings. The problem is, the Twins can't really afford to get rid of him, because they've had so many guys called up. For now, anyway, Bass will stay on the roster, although I suspect that his first start of the year will be his last, and he'll probably be relegated to mop-up or other emergency duty from here on. Nick Blackburn, meanwhile, wasn't bad -- 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings -- but he doesn't come anywhere close to three guys listed above, so he winds up on the "not hot" list.

Relief Pitchers
1.) Bobby Korecky - 19 RA [3 RA]
2.) Jeremy Cummings - 5 RA, 5 starts [1 RA]
3.) Ricky Barrrett - 9 RA [3 RA]
4.) J.P. Martinez - 1 RA
5.) Jose Mijares - None

Who's Hot: That's right, the Red Wings have just 5 relief pitchers on the team at the moment. That number should rise in the next few days, after Kevin Slowey is called up and someone (probably Julio DePaula) is sent back down. For the moment, though, being so short-staffed hasn't been a big problem for the Red Wings, considering the solid starting pitching that they've been getting from 3/5 of the rotation. Each of the three relievers who pitched this week had pretty good performances: Bobby Korecky went 5.2 innings and gave up just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6; Ricky Barrett went 4 innings and finally allowed his first 2 runs of the year on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6 -- but his season ERA is still at just 1.35 and his WHIP is at 0.75; and Jeremy Cummings made it into just one game, but went 2 innings and allowed just a hit while striking out 3.

Who's Not: Well, nobody who pitched deserved to be in this category, but I'll throw J.P. Martinez in this list -- his first outing for the team was so bad (2 innings, 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks) that they didn't trust him to get into a game this week! Actually, I'm sure his not pitching was more a function of too few innings to spread amongst relievers, but still -- that was a bad debut!

1.) Jose Morales - C(29), DH(9) [C(4)]
2.) Matthew LeCroy - DH(26), C(9), 1B(2) [C(3), DH(1)]

Who's Hot: Jose Morales is playing out of his mind right now, as he went 8-for-15 this week to bring his season average to .350 with an .843 OPS. He's also only struck out 15 times in 137 AB's, scored 20 runs, and driven in 11 runs.

Who's Not: Matthew LeCroy actually raised his batting average this week by going 2-for-9, all the way to the thundering heights of .198. I've said enough mean things about LeCroy since the Twins brought him back into the system before the season started, so I'm just going to cut it off here this time.

1.) Matt Moses - 3B(39), DH(1) [3B(6)]
2.) Tommy Watkins - SS(18), LF(10), 3B(4), 2B(3), DH(1) [SS(1), LF(1)]
3.) Matt Tolbert - 2B(28), SS(5)
4.) Alexi Casilla - 2B(15), SS(13) [2B(6)]
5.) Glenn Williams - 1B(27) [1B(6)]
6.) Gil Velazquez - SS(8), 1B(1) [SS(5)]
DL - Ken Harvey

Who's Hot: Slim pickins' amongst this crew for inclusion on this list this week. I settled on Alexi Casilla, who's 6-for-24 hitting was accompanied by 4 steals. He shifted back to second base exclusively this week while Matt Tolbert is out. He's now up to 104 AB's in Rochester, and is hitting just .260 -- so the Twins will undoubtedly be looking for him to bump that average back up as they weigh his ability to become the team's starting 2B next year.

Who's Not: Doing the math -- that leaves everyone else. I'll spare you the details for most of these guys, and highlight the worst offenders: Tommy Watkins, in limited action, went 1-for-9 but is hitting .260; Gil Velazquez went 3-for-18 and is hitting .185; and Glenn Williams went 4-for-23 to lower his average to .260.

1.) Denard Span - CF(42), RF(2) [CF(5)]
2.) Garrett Jones - 1B(17), RF(15), LF(9), DH(1) [LF(5), RF(1)]
3.) Trent Oeltjen - LF(20), RF(10), CF(3) [RF(4), CF(1)]
4.) Doug Deeds - RF(19), DH(6), LF(3), 1B(1) [DH(2), RF(1)]
5.) Josh Rabe - DH(3), LF(2) [DH(3)] (Rehab Assignment)

Who's Hot: Trent Oeltjen went 5-for-14 this week to raise his average to .301 with a .756 OPS in 93 AB's. He's also stolen 7 bases and made just 1 error. Garrett Jones went 6-for-26 and is hitting .289 on the season -- but he's this list particularly because of the 2 homeruns he hit during the week. He leads the team (by 11!) with 30 RBI's, and while he's struck out 33 times, he's done so in 152 AB's -- once every 4.6 AB's, which isn't great, but also isn't horrid.

Who's Not: For the King of Not-Hotness, there's no other place to go on this team than Denard Span, who went just 1-for-18 during the week to drop his batting average to .218. He also lost his place as the team's leadoff hitter, being moved in the middle of this week down to the last spot in the order. He's struck out 36 times in 174 AB's -- and while I excused a high strikeout ratio in Garrett Jones, it's a little different when you're dealing with a guy who's supposed to set the table. Span's 11 steals are nice, but Casilla has one more steal in 70 fewer AB's. In other words, Span has some work to do if he's to regain his place as the heir-apparent to Torii Hunter. For good measure, I'll also mention that Doug Deeds' woeful season continued, as he went just 1-for-9 and is hitting .193 on the season.

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