Friday, August 22, 2008

Rain forces game cancelations in final week of GCL play

Fort Myers Miracle

Continued thundershowers in the wake of Hurricane Fay saw the start of cancellations for Gulf Coast League teams as they enter their final weekend of play.

Games between the GCL Blue Jays and GCL Tigers, and GCL Yankees and GCL Phillies were both cancelled.

The double header between the Indians and Braves was postponed at was the game between the GCL Marlins and the GCL Nationals. The game between the Orioles and Reds Sox was suspended, and is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, August 27, which would make back-to-back double headers for Boston, as they are schedule to play two against the GCL Twins on Tuesday.

The Dodgers and the Cardinals got 8 innings in, with the Dodgers leading 11-2 at the time, claiming the win in the rain shortened contest.

In Bradenton, the GCL Reds defeated the GCL Pirates, holding them to a one game lead over the Twins. The Phillies are leading in the North Division and the Dodgers in the East, but Nationals are just half a game behind.

The idle Twins continue to lead the wild card race by a wide margin. Right now, it looks like the Twins will end up playing the Pirates in the single-game elimination round of the GCL playoffs.

After two days off, the boys should be ready to rock the Pirates tomorrow morning in Bradenton!

Joe Testa's second start for the GCL Twins did not go as well as his first. Testa started Wednesday's game in Lakeland against the Flying Tigers and gave up 6 runs, five earned on 6 hits and 3 walks while fanning 3.

Even so, the rookie's done will after taking a walk across the parking lot.

There was still a nice article - or at least a part of it, in the Brick Township Bulletin about him.

"I jumped over two levels — Advanced Rookie and Low A," Testa was quoted as saying the article. "It's exciting, and I got my first start."

It should be noted however that in these cases where a prospect is moved in an emergency call up situation, they rarely stay at the same level for the following year.

Yangervis Solarte stayed with Fort Myers for quite a while at the mid-season mark before being reassigned to Low A Beloit to finish off the year. Jeff Manship, who started his career with the Miracle in 2006, was sent to Beloit in 2007 to begin the season.

Still Testa pitched well, but will have to learn to switch up his pitches more. While the fastball and the cutter worked the first time out, the seasoned FSL pitchers will tell you that at least 3 pitches are needed - including the off speed change up - to be successful at the High A level.

Photos of Testa making his FSL debut are available now on our sister site at

Fay dropped a lot of rain on southwest Florida, but left little damage or flooding in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas. My mother seemed let down that wasn't wading around in water up to my waste after seeing the devastation in other parts of the state on TV.

However, we're all fine, as is the ballpark and we're all ready to play a little hardball, just as soon as the Thunderstorms stop.

For former GCL Twin Loek van Mil, pitching in the Olympics was a huge honor. However, the tall Dutchman didn't even get into one game, as he suffered a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament during a bullpen session in China. He left the site of the Olympics to return to the Twin Cities to be checked by team doctors.

Van Mil had been with the Low A Beloit Snappers before leaving for the Olympics. He enjoyed a a good deal of success in the league after being prompted to throw as hard as he could, increasing his velocity to 94-95 miles an hour from his previous 87 miles per hour.

The 7'1" right hander received a good deal of media coverage with the Snappers this year as the tallest player in professional baseball. A strange twist of fate landed him on the team with shortstop Chris Cates, who at 5'3" is the shortest player in professional baseball.

Van Mil was a starter for the GCL Twins in 2006. He was moved back to the bullpen to start the 2007 season with short season Elizabethton and has prospered in the reliever's role.

DSL Orioles 6 at DSL Twins 12

W: L. Parra (6-1, 1.48); L: J. Sosa (0-2, 9.43)
HR: None.

The host DSL Twins doubled up the DSL Orioles Thursday morning, take a huge 12-6 win over the visiting team.

The Orioles would get on the board first, taking six runs, only 2 earned, on six hits from starter Adrian Salcedo, who fanned 3 over 2 innings.

A pair of passed balled by catcher Jhonatan Arias and a fielding error by centerfielder Wilfy Gil contributed to the unearned runs.

The Twins would strike back in the bottom of the fourth, with Oswaldo Arcia doubling, and then advancing to 3rd on a fielding error. Jairo Perez sacrificed him in to put the Twins on the board. Jean Carlos Mercedes singled, and Eliel Sierra double to put runners in scoring position. Rafael Sanchez would be called out on strikes, but Juan Blanco reached on a fielding error which also scored Mercedes. Yorby Martinez would single in Sierra before Gil ground into a force out to end the inning.

Danny Santana would get hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 5th. A wild pitch from the Orioles' Julio Sanchez moved Santana to 2nd. Arcia would fly out, but Perez would get plunked by a pitch next. Another wild pitch from Sanchez advanced the pair of runners. Mercedes would take walk to load the bases. Sierra singled to drive in Santana before Isreal Sosa came in to replace the struggling Sanchez, getting two quick outs to preserve the O's lead.

The Twins had other ideas however. Martinez and Gil would draw back-to-back walks to start the inning, prompting another pitching change. This time Jose Sosa took over the mound. Santana greeted him with single which combined with a fielding error, scored Martinez and put Gil on 3rd. Aracia's grounder to center plated Arcia for the tying run. A wild pitch from Sosa advanced the two runners before Perez reached on a fielding error that also allowed Santana to score. Mercedes ground out plated Arcia before Sierra would be hit by pitch. Pinch hitter Jairo Rodriguez singled to load up the bags again. William Princivil would be brought in to get the O's out of their jam, but unleashed a wild pitch instead, sending Perez over the plate. He would then get Blanco out on strikes before Martinez flew out to end the inning with the Twins leading 9-6.

A triple by Santana added another pair of runs in the 7th while a double by Martinez and a pair of wild pitches made it an even dozen in the 8th.

Raynard Doran and Leonardo Parra tossed six hitless innings for the Twins, with Parra picking up the win, his sixth of the season.

With the Win, the Twins tie up the DSL Yankees2 for the top spot in the B.C. North Division. There are two more games remaining as the Twins visit the DSL White Sox on Friday and host the DSL Indians on Sunday to finish off the season.


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