Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mesa downs Pheonix as Arizona Fall League play starts

Anthony swarzak

Mesa 7 at Phoenix 3

W: J. Motte (1-0, 0.00); L: J. Chavez (0-1, 18.00)
HR: MSS: M. LaPorta (1).

Twins prospect Anthony Swarzak pitched 2 innings of baseball to kick off the Arizona Fall League, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 1.

It would prove to be a no decision though as three relievers combined for 6 runs on 10 hits and 1 walk to see the Phoenix fall to Mesa, 7-3.

Trevor Plouffe played at short stop for the Desert Dogs, going 1-for-4 at the plate with a double and 1 RBI. The Chi-Sox's Ryan Sweeney and Pittsburgh first baseman Jason J. Delaney drove in the other two runs for Phoenix.

The two teams rematch tomorrow at Mesa at 7:05 Mountain Standard Time.

The Arizona Fall League is a cooperative league that provides fall games for the most promising minor league players that have reached the Double- and Triple-A levels. Unlike Fall Instructional League, its game are reported. You can visit the Arizona Fall League homepage by clicking here.

Aside from Swarzak and Plouffe, the Twins are represented in the Arizona Fall League by former Miracle pitchers Eduardo Morlan, Nick Blackburn, and Ryan Mullins, New Britain catcher Drew Butera, and Rochester 3rd Baseman Matt Macri.

Andrew McCutchen will be blogging for the Desert Dogs this season. The Pirates outfield split time between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis during the regular season. His first entry is due Wednesday, October 10th.


Blackburn was one of two former Miracle players honored by Baseball America at the Triple A level. Kevin Slowey and Blackbrun were both added to the Triple-A post season All-star team. Slowey posted a 10-5 record with a 1.89 ERA for the Rochester Red Wings this season. He struck out 107, and walked only 18 in 20 games for the Wings. Blackburn, a 29th round pick for the Twins in the 2001 draft, went 7-3 for the Red Winds, with a 2.11 ERA. He struck out 57 pitchers and walked 12 in 17 games for Rochester. Blackburn was a member of the 2005 Miracle and was named to the FSL All-star game that year. Slowey was on the 2006 Miracle pitching staff and started in that year's All-Star game in Lakeland.

Baseball America also named Beloit pitcher Tyler Robertson to the post season All-star team. Robertson's 123 strike outs lead the Snappers despite the fact that the big lefty was only there for half a season. He posted a 9-5 record and a 2.29 ERA for the Snappers, walking 33 in 18 games. Robertson is likely to start the 2008 season with Fort Myers.

Snappers head coach Jeff Smith was named the Low A Manager of the Year by B.A. The Naples, Florida, resident lead the Snappers to a 79-61 overall record in the Midwest League, good for first place in the Western Division. He took the Snappers all the way to the MWL playoffs, where the team took the series to 5 games before falling to the West Michigan (Detroit) Whitecaps.

Three pitchers for the Elizabethon Twins were named to the post season All-star team. Starter David Bromberg posted a 9-0 record for the Twins with a 2.78 ERA, striking out 81 and walking 32 in 13 games. Mike McCardell, who started the short season with the GCL Twins, recorded a 5-1 record with Elizabethton after his promotion, including a 2.00 ERA, and 70 strike outs with only 5 walks in 8 games for the Twins. Closer Brad Tippett picked up a 7-1 record along with 3 saves, and a .93 ERA for the Appalachian League Championship team. He recorded 51 strike outs and 4 walks in 21 games. All three of these pitchers could see time with Fort Myers in the 2008 season.

Finally Elizabethton Twins field manager Ray Smith was named the Rookie League Manager of the year. Smith's team posted a 50-18 record, good for first place in the Appy League in 2007 in route to its 3rd division title in 4 years. Smith had amassed a 529-347 win record going into the season. He has been held his post as Elizabethton field manager since 1987 and has won 4 Appalachian League titles with the Twins.

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