Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Down on the Farm: Low A Report

Beloit Snappers (6-9)

Starting Pitchers
Michael McCardell didn't pick up any decisions this week, but his two starts were pretty solid. In his opening performance, McCardell went 5.1 innings and allowed just 1 unearned run on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out six. In his second outing, McCardell lasted 7.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 dingers while striking out nine. His season ERA sits at 2.76. Most of the other Snappers starters struggled a bit this week. David Bromberg went 5.0 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 7 in his sole start of the week. Daniel Berlind made it just 3.0 innings in his lone start, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and 5 walks with 3 K's. Brian Kirwan picked up two starts, winning his first (a 5.0 innings, 1 run performance in which he allowed just 2 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5) and taking a no decision in his second (a 4.2 inning, 3 run outing in which he allowed 8 hits). Despite that last rough start, Kirwan leads the Snappers starters with a very solid 1.76 ERA so far this season.

Then, there's Michael Tarsi. His week was so bad he easily deserves a paragraph of his own. Unfortunately, Tarsi was knocked around about as bad as I've seen anybody ever knocked around in back-to-back starts -- and I imagine that he's going to need to deliver in his next start or be relegated to the bullpen (or, even worse, to extended spring training). In Tarsi's first start of the week, he lasted just 2.0 innings, allowing 9 runs (all earned) on 8 hits and a walk. His second start was better relative to the first, but was still pretty horrid -- he went 4.1 innings and allowed 8 earned runs on 11 hits and 2 walks. I don't know what's going on with Tarsi, but his 16.68 ERA so far this season strongly suggests that all is not right. Hopefully it's just a mechanical issue or some such that his pitching coach can work with him on.

Relief Pitchers
Charles Nolte and Steven Hirschfeld are the final two members of the Snappers pitching staff to hold onto a pristine 0.00 ERA this season. Nolte made it into three games this week, going 6.0 innings. Two of Nolte's starts were solid, as he allowed just a 2 hits and a walk while striking out 8 batters in them. Unfortunately, Nolte's middle appearance this week saw him take the loss after allowing 5 unearned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in 1.1 innings of work. Steven Hirschfeld also allowed a couple of unearned runs in one of his performances, but unlike Nolte he didn't get stuck with a loss. Talk about lucky, though -- Hirschfeld got a win for 0.1 innings of work in the second of his two appearances this week.

Elsewhere in the 'pen, Spencer Steedley got into just one game this week, picking up a win in a 3.0 innings performance in which he gave up a run on a hit and 2 walks while striking out 5. The workhorse of the week was Matthew Williams, who made it into 4 games and pitched 8.1 innings while allowing just 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 and picking up a win. Blair Erickson also made it into four games, but one of those involved a 0.1 inning performance in which Erickson allowed 4 earned runs on 2 hits and a walk. Erickson's season ERA sits at 6.35 on the year. Dominique Rodgers (3 games, 4.2 innings, 2 earned runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 K's) and Loek Van Mil (1.2 innings, 2 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 K's) also got some action this week.

Gregory Yersich continued to get the bulk of time behind the plate this week, starting 4 games as the catcher and 2 as the DH. Unfortunately, he struggled at the plate, going 3-for-18 to bring his season average to .172. He did hit two homeruns, but that seems to be more of an anomaly than some sign that he's suddenly developing serious power. Unfortunately for Yersich, the guys behind him have generally hit pretty well this season. Daniel Lehmann started 2 games behind the plate and came in as a defensive replacement in a third, going 2-for-8 on the week -- but his season average still sits at .350. Meanwhile, recent acquisition Jair Fernandez started 2 games behind the plate, going 3-for-6 on the week with a double to bring his season average to .444.

Garrett Olson plays all over the place, but his four starts at 1B made him the primary 1B for the Snappers this week (Olson also started three games at SS and one at 3B). Olson went 9-for-29 on the week with a double and a triple, and is now hitting .283 on the year. Chris Parmelee, meanwhile, got three starts at 1B and three in right field. Parmelee's excellent week (he went 8-for-17 at the plate) was capped by a 3-for-5 game in which he doubled, homered, and drove in seven runs. Now that's a solid line in the box score. Of Parmelee's eight hits this week, three were doubles, one was a triple, and then there was that previously mentioned homer. Pretty solid evidence that Parmelee has been seeing the ball well of late. His season average sits at .317.

Steven Singleton was the team's primary second sacker, getting five starts there and two as the DH. Singleton went 11-for-27 to raise his season average all the way up to .400, and he scored 10 runs while knocking a ball out of the yard to boot. How's that for a week? Ramon Santana was the backup, starting 3 games at 2B, 2 at SS, and 1 as the DH. Santana went 5-for-20 to take his season average to .237, but the most notable thing about his week is the fact that he made 4 errors this week. Yikes!

Speaking of errors, Deibinson Romero had a couple of bad days at 3B (he started 7 games there this week), making four errors in his first two games of the week. He seems to have calmed down after that, but it's pretty clear that Romero at this point isn't destined to win a big league Gold Glove anytime soon. Romero went 4-for-26 on the week and is hitting just .208 this season.

Finally, Chris Cates started three games at SS, going 3-for-13 to bring his season average to a rather paltry .174. He did steal a couple of bases and also picked up a couple of RBI's, so the week wasn't all bad.

Ozzie Lewis picked up 5 starts in left, going 2-for-17 with an RBI and 6 K's (including 4 in one game). Lewis has so far been the least effective offensive player on the Snappers roster, posting a batting average that could best be described as sub-sub-Mendoza line (.098). Fortunately for him, his competition in left (Ben Petsch) is also struggling at the plate. Petsch, who started 3 games in left and one as the DH, went 3-for-14 and is hitting just .161.

Joe Benson remained the primary center fielder for the Snappers, starting 7 games there this week. Benson went 6-for-22 (after a 1-for-12 start), picking up a homer in his last game. He also stole a couple of bases, but was caught stealing in his last two attempts of the week. Benson is hitting .265 on the season.

With Chris Parmelee splitting his time between right and 1B, Mark Dolenc got the chance to start five games in RF and one as the DH. He went 7-for-25 on the week, including a 3-for-3, two run performance in which he doubled and stole a base. Dolenc is hitting .237 so far this season.

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