Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Reinforcements Arrive

The Rock Cats have received two first round draft picks, and a top notch pitcher from the Fort Myers Miracle as left-handed pitchers Errol Simonitsch and Glen Perkins as well as All-Star centerfielder Denard Span were send to Double-A New Britain.

Simonitsch, who pitched Tuesday night for the Miracle giving up just one run in seven innings, was spectacular all season long. The 22-year-old was a sixth round pick of the Twins in 2003. He was tied for second in the league in wins, going 8-3 with a 2.69 ERA (5th). He tossed two complete games and was tied for first in the league in shutouts with one. In 80.1 innings pitched he walked just 12 and struck out 72.

The 22-year-old Perkins was a first round pick and 22nd overall player chosen in the 2004 draft by the Twins. He began the season on the DL, but mowed down FSL hitters during his 10 appearances (nine starts). He was 3-2 with a 2.13 (3rd) in 55.0 innings. He struck out 66 while walking just 13 and the opposition hit a measly .205 against him.

The 21-year-old Span was a first round pick (20th overall) by the Twins in 2002. He was selected as one of the three Miracle All-Stars this season while leading the league in hitting, .335, with one home run and 19 RBI. He led the league in on-base percentage at .410. Span led the club in runs (38) and was tied for the team lead in triples (three) and stolen bases (13).

In exchange, the Rock Cats have sent struggling reliever Jan Grando to Fort Myers.

The 22-year-old Granado was a rule V pick up by the Twins in 2004 from the Cincinnati Reds organization. He pitched seven games for the Miracle earlier in the season going 4-0, 0.68. In 13.1 innings pitched he walked two and struck out 10 while the opposition hit just .213 against him. He was called up to Double-A New Britain on May 3. While with the Rock Cats he was 2-2, 5.61 in 12 games. In 25.2 innings he walked nine and struck out 19 while opponents hit .286 against him.

Two Former Cats Honored

Former Rock Cats' reliever Travis Bowyer was named to the International League All-Star game on Wednesday, June 22nd.

Bowyer, who is six saves shy of the AAA Red Wings club record (22), is 2-1 with 16 saves and a 1.36 ERA in 30 games for the Wings. Bowyer currently leads the International League with 16 saves and has emerged as the top closer in the Twins farm system.

Bowyer (U.S squad) and ex-Rock Cats' Southpaw Francisco Liriano (World team) will also play in the MLB Futures Game Sunday, July 10, in Detroit (ESPN2, 4 pm EDT).