Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Down on the Farm: Low A Report

Beloit Snappers (2-5)

Starting Pitching
The starter has recorded a decision in every game the Snappers have played so far this season, which is too bad since there have been a lot more losses than wins to go around. Two excellent starts were turned in earlier this week by Brian Kirwan (5.2 innings, a hit and a walk, and 4 K's) and spot-starter Steven Hirschfeld (5.0 innings, 3 hits and 2 walks, and 3 K's), who started one half of a double-header. Unfortunately, the other four regular starters were pretty poor. David Bromberg, who was the only guy to get two starts this week, gave up a combined total of 9 earned runs off of 7 hits and 4 walks in 8 total innings of work while striking out 8 batters. Michael Tarsi went 5.0 innings in his start, but gave up 6 runs (4 earned) on 9 hits and a walk while striking out five. Mike McCardell and Dan Berlind also both had short starts this week. This is an interesting rotation, but they didn't play up to their potential in the first week -- I'm pretty confident there are better things to come.

Relief Pitching
Without question, the most exciting pitcher of the first week out of the Snappers' bullpen was Loek Van Mil, who pitched 4 perfect innings in two appearances while striking out 5 batters. Honestly, I didn't expect him to start so strong, and I'll be watching his future performances very closely to see whether he can continue being effective. Dominique Rodgers (3.0 innings, one hit, 4 K's) and Blair Erickson (2.1 innings, one hit, one K) also had really effective weeks. Honestly, no one performed all that badly -- none of the relievers allowed an earned run in any of their appearances (although Steven Hirschfeld pitched in the season opener and allowed 4 unearned runs to score off of two hits and two walks in his lone inning of work). The workhorse of the bullpen so far has been Spencer Steedley, who has pitched 6.1 innings in three appearances, allowing 3 hits and a walk in that span. Most remarkable, though, was Steedley's performance on Wednesday night: in 2.2 innings, he struck out 7 batters while allowing just a hit and a walk. Now that's a nice line in the box score.

Gregory Yersich was the busiest of the Snappers' three catchers this week, getting three starts behind the plate and one as the DH. In that span, he went 2-11 with a couple of walks, a rare triple, a couple of runs scored, and four strikeouts. His primary backup was Daniel Lehmann, who started three games behind the plate. Lehmann went 2-9 with a couple of doubles and three runs scored. The remaining start went to recently-acquired Jair Fernandez, who went 1-3 with a double and a strikeout in his lone game of the week.

The Snappers split the playing time around most of the infield this week, with only third base having a true regular starter. At first base, Ben Petsch got the most starts with three. Petsch also got a start as the DH in one game, and all told he went 2-13 on the week while striking out four times and making two errors in one of his starts. Chris Parmelee and Garrett Olson each got two starts at first this week, but Parmelee was primarily an outfielder and Olson primarily a shortstop, so I'll cover them when I get to those positions.

At second, Steven Singleton and Chris Cates both started three games, with Singleton also starting twice as the DH. Singleton had a very solid week at the plate, going 7-19 with 3 RBI's. Unfortunately, he also got caught stealing in the two attempts that he made. Cates, meanwhile, went 1-8 with a strikeout and an error -- there's really not much more to say about that line. Backup infielder Ramon Santana started the remaining game at 2B, and also picked up three starts at shortstop and one at 3B. In the process, he hit 4-17 with a double, three walks, and a steal.

As mentioned above, Deibinson Romero held down third base, getting six starts at the position and DH'ing on the day he wasn't at third. Romero went 7-23 on the week, hitting two doubles and drawing two walks while picking pu a couple of RBI's and striking out five times. He also made a couple of errors this week, so hopefully he can get a grip on that.

Finally, shortstop primarily belonged to Garrett Olson this week, who also started twice at 1B. Olson went 4-20 on the week with a couple of solo homeruns and a double.

Joe Benson was the only player to start every game at the same position for the Snappers this week, hanging out in center field. He went 5-24 at the plate, with three of those hits being doubles. His worst stat of the week was unquestionably his 9 strikeouts, especially considering that he hit leadoff in every game and drew only one walk. Not prototypical leadoff numbers, that's for sure! Then again, this is Low A ball, so things are bound to be a little strange from time to time.

In left field, Ozzie Lewis picked up 5 starts this week along with a start as the DH. Lewis really struggled, going 2-21. On the plus side, he only struck out three times, and he walloped a homer in the season opener.

Chris Parmelee, meanwhile, started four games in RF and two at 1B. His season got off to a weak start, as he went 0-5 in the opener with five strikeouts -- yep, you read that right. After going 0-3 the next night, Parmelee settled into a rhythm, hitting three solo homers in three consecutive games. He ended up with a 5-20 week, and after that five strikeout opener, he struck out just two more times in fifteen at-bats.

Backup outfielder Mark Dolenc picked up quite a bit of playing time, starting three games in RF and two in LF. He went 2-13 at the plate with a stolen base and a couple of runs scored while striking out three times.

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