Monday, June 16, 2008

Midwest All-stars join Miracle for 2nd half of season

Fort Myers Miracle

The Fort Myers Miracle received some reinforcements early from Beloit in the form of 3 position players and a reliever.

All-stars infielders Greg Olson (.247, 5 home runs, 27 RBIs and 10 stolen bases) and Steve Singleton (.302 average, 37 runs, six home runs and 32 RBIs), catcher Danny Lehmann (.240 average, 13 runs, 4 doubles and 9 walks) and reliever Matt Williams (2-0, 2.09 ERA, 38.3 innings pitched and 42 strike outs) are all headed to Fort Myers.

In addition, pitchers Danny Berlind and Brad Tippett were send down to Extended Spring Training. Both will likely spend the second half of the season in Elizabethton.

To replace the outgoing Snappers for the All-star game, shortstop Chris Cates, reliever Loek Van Mil and catcher Jair Fernandez were all added to the Midwest League All-star roster.

The addition of Lehmann, a catcher, means that Wilson Ramos is likely headed to AA New Britain, although no official announcement as been made at this time.

This will be Williams second stint with the Miracle as he was here briefly in the 2005 season as part of a late season call up from the Gulf Coast league. He appeared in only one game at the time, and pitched 2 innings.

Star Tribune writer LEN3 reported in his blog that starter Jeff Manship, 2nd baseman Brian Dinkelman, 3rd baseman Danny Valencia and either closer Rob Delaney or Anthony Slama, but not both, would be headed to New Britain. Rocky Palacios was promoted to fill the spot vacated by Jeff Christy who headed to AAA Rochster to replace the injured Jose Morales on the AAA roster.

It appears now that Palacios will be switched out with Ramos and Lehmann will get the bulk of the work behind the plate. *

An eighth round pick, 272nd overall, in the 2007 draft, Lehmann spent 2007 with the Elizabethton Twins. He is the nephew of TV personality Dog the Bounty Hunter.

The new players will join the Miracle in time for their road trip to Dunedin to face the Blue Jays. It is likely that pitcher Matt Fox will come out of the bullpen to take over the starting position vacated by Manship. Fox worked part of the 2007 season as a starter for the Beloit team that progressed to the Midwest League Championship series.

*As of Monday morning, the Rock Cats are reporting that Manship, Dinkelman, Valencia and Delaney are going up and that Oswaldo Sosa and Jay Rainville are being re-assigned to Fort Myers.

From the Rock Cats Press Release:

RHP Jay Rainville, a 22-year-old native of Providence, RI, has been reassigned to Ft. Myers in the Florida State League. The Minnesota Twins' 2nd Round selection out of Rhode Island's Bishop Hendricken High in the 2004 Draft, the 6'2"/235-pound Rainville made 13 starts for the 2008 Rock Cats. He departs for Florida with a 5-6 record and 7.00 ERA.

RHP Oswaldo Sosa, a 22-year-old native of Tovar, Venezuela, has also been reassigned to Ft. Myers in the Single-A, Florida State League. A member of the Twins' 40-Man Major League Roster, Sosa was signed by Minnesota as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2002. The 6'4"/225-pound Sosa made 13 starts for the 2008 Rock Cats, compiling a 2-5 record and 5.81 ERA.

RHP Robert Delaney, a 23-year-old resident of River Vale, NJ, joins the Rock Cats from Ft. Myers in the FSL. Signed in June of 2006 as a non-drafted free agent out of St. John's University, the 6'3"/233-pound Delaney was one of the top Closers over the first half of the 2008 Florida State League. In 23 Ft. Myers appearances, Delaney amassed 13 Saves - tied for 2nd in the League - to go along with a 1-2 record and 1.42 ERA. His K/BB ratio was an impressive 34/4.

Minnesota Twins

Former Miracle Scott Baker recorded a rare feat Sunday afternoon in his start against the Milwaukee Brewers. Baker struck out four batters in the 3rd inning of the game.

He would get Ryan Braun to strike out swinging for the first out of the inning. Prince Fielder then struck out swinging as well, but reached first base on the dropped catch of a wild pitch. Baker then went on to strike out Russell Branyan and Mike Cameron to end the inning.

It is the first time a Twins pitcher as ever accomplished the feat. He is also the first American league pitcher to do it since Kazhuiro Sasaki struck out four in an inning on April 4, 2003 while pitching for the Mariners.

Dodger Brad Penny was the last major leaguer to strike out four in an inning when he did so on September 23, 2006 in the second inning of a contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Despite Baker's heroics, the Minnesota Twins fell 4-2 to the Brewers. The Twins could only manage four hits in the game in support of Baker, who allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 9 over six innings. (Press Release)

Strib Minor League report
Toby Gardenhire

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