Saturday, June 14, 2008

GCL Twins shut out Elizabethton in scrimmage

GCL Twins

GCL Twins 2 at Elizabethton Twins 0

Ian Mopas and six other pitchers combined to shut down the Elizabethton bound Twins team during a 7-inning scrimmage Saturday Morning at the Lee County Sportsplex. Kudos to the grounds crew who got the field playable despite last night's thunder storm that knocked power out in various parts of Cape Coral for over three hours.

Herbert Lara singled off E-Town bound Chris Anderson in the first inning, then stole 2nd. Deibinson Romero's outfield fly got him to 3rd, and he was sacrificed in by Andres Diaz. Newcomer Tyler Ladendorf struck out to retire the side.

Mopas allowed a single to Jon Waltenbury in the bottom of the stanza with two outs on the board, but Rene Leveret reached on a fielder's choice that took Walt out at second.

Tim Atherton reached on a dropped-ball third-strike count when Danny Rams passed the ball and then ended up chasing it over to the visitor's bench. Rams did not have a pretty game Saturday morning, I've seen him play better. Thom Wright got Reggie Williams to hit into a double play however. Rookie catcher Jae-Hyung Jang (a.k.a. J.J.) drew a walk, but Hyun-Wook Choi struck out.

I believe Alex Curry pitched the second inning for the GCL Twins. I'm a little vague on this because Elliott Biddle, who was doing the charting, was a bit vague on the new pitchers as well. Hence we have "Scott somebody" pitching the 3rd inning for the GCL Twins and "I want to say his name is Mike" pitching the fourth. Angel Morales struck out before Rams would get drilled by a pitch. Evan Bigly hit a double, but Rams never moved from second base, so the new outfielder found himself stuck between 1st and 2nd and surrendered without a battle. Nick Papasan struck out to end the inning.

Lara lead off the third inning by taking a single off Jarrad Eacott. With Jakub Hajtmar at the plate, he stole 2nd. Hajtmar - who for some reason missed his first at bat - struck out. Romero - playing a rehab assignment for Beloit - ground out. With Andres Diaz at the plate, Lara stole 3rd. Rams throw went wide of 3rd and into the outfield, so Lara simply came home, giving the GCL boys two. Diaz would ground out to third, giving the Elizabethton boys another shot.

James Beresford would strike out and Eric Santiago ground out in the third before Andrew Schmiesing and Paul Kelly hit back-to-back singles. Kelly was playing on a rehab assignment - unofficially of course - for the Fort Myers Miracle. However, Waltenbury would strike out to end the inning, stranding the runners.

Ladendorf and Atherton both ground out before Williams drew a walk in the top of the fourth, but JJ struck out to end the side. Leveret would lead off bottom of the inning with a single, but a fly out to Morales and strike outs to Rams and Bigly did nothing advance the E-Town Twins offense.

The fifth inning would put three-up and three-down on both sides.

Diaz and Ladendorf draw walks in the sixth but took them no where, while Schmie led off with a single for the home team, Kelly struck out and Walt and Rene ground out to end the inning.

The GCL boys did not bat the top of the 7th. Lee Martin worked the fourth inning for the E-town team, Omar Alcala the fifth and Danny Rondon the sixth.

Argentinian pitcher Schiovani pitched the 7th for the GCL Twins, getting Morales to strike out and Rams to ground out before issuing a single to Bigly and a double to Papi to put men in scoring position. Beresford would strike out however, to end the game.

"We need to get a lot better, fast," Jim Shellenbach said of the Elizabethton Team. "We just got shut out."

The bus leaves at midnight for Joe O'Brien Stadium.

The boys had a slight thrill when Space Shuttle Discovery passed over head and they heard the sonic boom which one described as "it sounded like someone shot off two cannons." The space shuttle landed safely this morning at 11:15 at Cape Canaveral which is about 200 miles from the Sportsplex.

In other news, Jose Leger was released by the Twins and while some of the boys on our DL are getting healthy, others are not. Liam Hendriks was added to the Disabled List with bone spurs in his back. He will be leaving this week for Minnesota for treatment.

The Elizabethton Twins open their season on Tuesday, while the GCL Twins begin play on Thursday. Barring another power failure, I will get the site updated with the new schedule later today.

DSL Twins Win, Snappers don't

Beloit Snappers

Beloit 4 at Quad Cities 5

W: M. Spade (2-2, 2.14); L: S. Arias (2-3, 2.22); SV: W. Daman (1)
HR: BEL: S. Singleton (6).

The Beloit Sappers fell behind early and could not quite catch up, as their eighth inning bat fest fell short and they would go on to lose, 5-4.

Quad Cities starter Nicholas Additon was not quite as stellar as he was the last time he faced the Beloit, lasting only 4.2 innings and giving up 3 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 5.

The River Bandits got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd when Jose Garcia doubled out to Ozzie Lewis. Adrion Chambers ground out, but Garcia scored on the play.

Danny Berlind would replace Arias in the bottom of the six, allowing a walk to Mike Foli and a double to Charles Kingrey. Following a ground out to Matthew Aburr, Francisco Rivera would single the pair in.

For Quad Cities, Matt Spade would replace Additon for 1.1 innings, allowing a hit and a walk. Mark Diapoules would come in for the 7th. Estarlin De Los Santos made it all the way to 3rd base after drawing a walk, but was stranded when Garrett Olson struck out swinging.

In the bottom of the stanza, Chambers reached on a fielding error by Singleton, then came home on a Foli triple. Foli would score on Charles Kingrey's follow up single to give the River Bandits 5. Berlind would walk Arburr and issue a wild pitch that put a runner on third, but got Francisco Rivera and Thomas Pham out on strikes to end the inning.

Chris Parmelee and Ozzie Lewis drew walks in the top of the 8th. Steve Singleton, who's been practicing so he can hit grand slams like his team mates when he makes it to the Miracle, sent a ball over the right field wall to score three. Danny Lehmann would get plunked by a pitch, move to 2nd on De Los Santos ground out, and be plated by a Ben Revere triple. Sadly, Wayne Daman would come in at that point, and get Chris Cates to ground out, stranding the tying run on base.

Loek Van Mil worked 1 inning to finish off the game, allowing 1 hit.

Olson and Singleton were both 2-for-5, Olson with a double, and Singleton with a run and 3 RBIs on the yard ball. Revere was 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI, and Cates had a walk to go with his one hit at the plate.

The two teams rematch Saturday at Modern Woodman Park. The series concludes Sunday for a Father's Day special, Mother Nature permitting.

QC Times

Ben Revere was named the Topps Player of the Month, sharing the honor with Kane county's Craig Italiano. Revere is batting a league leading .406 with 29 runs and 25 RBIs. He also has 12 double, 5 triples and 21 stolen bases on the year.

In May, he was hitting .433 with 11 doubles, five triples, on home run, 18 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. (Snappers)

DSL Twins 3 at DSL Reds 1

W: P. Guerra (1-0, 4.15); L: R. De La Rosa (0-1, 1.80); SV: E. Alvarez (3)
HR: None.

Pedro Guerra worked six innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 5 to keep the DSL Reds behind the DSL Twins. The Twins would go on to win 3-1.

Juan Blanco singled then moved to 2nd on a passed ball by Argenis Gonzalez. Xavier Gaonzalez ground out found him at 3rd, and he'd score on Yorby Martinez single to put the DSL Twins on the board in the first.

In the top of the 3rd Blanco would single again, then steal 2nd. Martinez would ground out, with Blanco at getting to 3rd on the play, so that Jairo Perez could single him in.

Talk about near Twin runs!

Sergio Guerrero doubled in the bottom of the 5th for the DSL Reds, moved to 3rd on Mario Martinez ground out, and would be plated by a second ground out, this one to Argenis Gonzalez.

In the top of the ninth, Jean Carlos Mercedes would single his way onto base with 2 outs, Eliel Sierra followed with a grounder to center and Felix Caro walked to load the bags. Another passed ball by Gonzalez would bring Mercedes in for the insurance run.

Blanco finished up 2-for-4 with 2 runs, the only Twin with multiple hits.

The DSL Twins (7-5) host the DSL Rockies (6-6) on Saturday for a 10:30 AM Dominican time game.


Cats fall, Wings win

Rochester Red Wings

Binghamton 3 at New Britain 2

W: E. Brown (4-5, 6.53); L: Z. Ward (2-2, 3.05); SV: T. Lavigne (5)
HR: BIN: R. Arroyo (2).

Jay Rainville worked six innings, limiting Binghamton to 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out six. Unfortunately, his bullpen gave up a pair more, and the New Britain Rock Cats could only squeeze two runs out of the B-Mets.

Dustin Martin and Felix Molina hit back-to-back singles to get the Rock Cats started in the bottom of the first. Brock Peterson took a walk, and Erik Lis would hit a sac-fly to drive in Martin. (Funny, he couldn't do that when Boles was managing him...)

The Cats had plenty of scoring opportunities. Martin would make it to third base in the bottom of the 3rd, but Peterson would be taken out on strikes to leave him stranded. Toby Gardenhire's force out and a pair of walks got Gardenhire to 3rd in the bottom of the fifth, but Peterson ground out, stranding the runners with the bases load.

In the top of the sixth, Rafael Arroyo went yard off Rainville, over the center field wall, to put the B-Mets on the board. Lis would double for New Britain in the bottom of the stanza but never got past 3rd as Drew Butera ground out to end the inning.

Yohan Pino would replace Rainville in the top of the 7th. Recently activated off the disable list, he would allow a single to Caleb Stewart. Josh Peterson ground into a force out then moved to 2nd on Jonathan Malo's ground out. Emmanual Garcia then doubled Peterson in.

The Cats would respond in the bottom of the 8th with Lis and David Winfree both singling. A Matt Moses ground out advanced the runners, and Butera would sacrifice in Lis to tie up the game.

Zach Ward would come in to close the game in the 10th inning, but gave up a walk to Jose Coronado. Following a strike out to Nick Evans, Mike Carp singled to push Coronado to 3rd. Caleb Stewart's sac-fly would plate him for the game winning run.

Molina and Lis were both 2-for-4, Lis with a run, a run scored and a double, the only extra base hit for the Rock Cats.

Rock Cats
Press Connects
NB Herald

The Cats were playing a little short handed after sending Trevor Plouffe and Jeff Christy up to AAA Rochester. They would receive catcher Rocky Palacios from Fort Myers in return.

LEN3 is reporting that Jeff Manship, Danny Valencia and Brian Dinkelman as well as either Rob Delaney or Anthony Slama (but not both) will be moved to AA following the Florida State League All-star game on Saturday. My initial reaction was that catcher Wilson Ramos would go as well, but in retrospect, I believe the Twins would rather have him stay in Fort Myers as the main catcher, then go up to AA to back up Butera. After all, the goal is to develop the players, and they are not developing when they are sitting on the bench.

Palacios was 0-for-4 in his first AA game.

Durham 0 at Rochester 1

W: C. Cali (4-0, 2.73); L: J. Salas (3-3, 3.15); SV: B. Korecky (7)
HR: None.

Darnell McDonald would single in the bottom of the sixth inning, steal 2nd and 3rd and come home on a Garrett Jones blooper for the lone run in the contest as the Rochester Red Wings topped the Durham Bulls, 1-0.

Jones was 2-for-4, the only player with multiple hits, although both Randy Ruiz and Chris Barak would double.

Kevin Mulvey worked only 4 innings, giving up 1 hit and 1 walks while striking out 7. Carmen Cali picked up the win, working 3 innings, allowing 1 hit and striking out 3. Bobby Korecky picked up this 7th save of the season.

Red Wings
RD&C - Plouffe
RD&C - Mandelaro
N&O: Cummings
Extra Bases blog

The Minnesota Twins have signed outfielder Aaron Hicks, their first round pick (14th overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Hicks, who is a switch-hitter and throws righthanded, batted .473 (44-for-134) with 12 doubles, five triples, 50 runs scored, 37 walks, four home runs, 23 rbi and 37 stolen bases in 34 games. The righthander also had a record of 8-2, 1.16 (72.1 ip, 12 er) with 112 strikeouts and a batting average against of .157 (41-for-261) as a senior for Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. Hicks has been assigned to the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Twins.

Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer left Friday night's game against the Brewers in the second inning after being hit in the right hand by a pitch.

Not unexpectedly, right-hander Juan Rincon has rejected the Twins' offer to assign him outright to Triple-A Rochester.

Fans going to the Florida State League All-star game might want to go a little early and watch the Space Shuttle as it comes in for a landing at nearby Cape Canaveral at 11:15 AM.

Former Miracle Kevin Slowey worked 8 innings, allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits while fanning 5 as the Twins defeated the Brewers, 10-2. Fort Myers alumni Alex Casilla, Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel were all 2-for-5 in the game. Casilla accounted for 3 RBIs, while Kubel hit a single shot home run, his ninth of the season, in the eighth inning.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ingram to broadcast FSL All-star game

Fort Myers Miracle

Derek Ingram, the "voice of the Daytona Cubs" will again be behind the mic, calling all the action of the Florida State League All-star game as it happens on Saturday, June 14, from Space Coast Stadium.

Coverage of the prospect showcase will begin at 6:45, live from the home of the Brevard County Manatees. The first pitch will be thrown out 7:15 PM.

The game will be broadcast locally in Daytona Beach on 1380 AM. It an also be heard live over the internet at, and

Ingram is in his 3rd season with the Dayton Cubs and has called the All-star festivies in 2006 at Lakeland and 2007 at Daytona Beach.

The Fort Myers Miracle are sending six representatives to this season's Florida State League All-star game. Starting pitcher Jeff Manship (7-3, 2.86 ERA) will be joined by relievers Anthony Slama (2-0, .50 ERA, 12 SVs) and Rob Delaney (1-2, 1.42 ERA, 13 SVs) on the mound. Miracle second baseman Brian Dinkelman (.293 AVG, 2 HR) and third baseman Danny Valencia (.336 Avg, 5 HR) welcome catcher Wilson Ramos (.242 AVG, 8 HR) to the crew, after he was added to replace injured Lakeland catcher James Skelton.

Outfielder Rene Tosoni (.325 AVG, 1 HR) was also named to the All-star showcase, but will not participate due to a broken foot.

The Miracle finish up the first half of the FSL season on the road against the Dunedin Blue Jays with a three game series starting on Monday, June 16. They return home on Thursday, June 19, to kick off the second half of the season with a 3-game series agains I-75 rivals the Sarasota Reds.

Thursday, June 19, the Miracle will hold Dog Daze II. Bring your pooch to the park for a night of fun as baseball and dogs just naturally go together. June 20 is Big Splash Day as Hammond Stadium is converted into one giant waterpark. Game time for this special event is Noon. Saturday is the Baseball Cap Giveaway night. The first 750 fans receive a cap courtesy of North Trail RV.

Are you ready for a Miracle?

Twins sign four more, should have Hicks on board today

LEN3 is reporting that the Twins are expected to announce the signing of first-round draft pick Aaron Hicks on Friday. Hicks is an outfielder from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach California. He was selected with the 14 over all pick during last week's first-year player draft.

The signing bonus is expected to be in the neighborhood of $1.7 million. The switch hitter is expected to follow the Trevor Plouffe route - going to the Elizabethton Team instead of starting with the GCL Twins team. This actually makes sense though, as E-Town is little light on outfielders just at the moment.

The Twins have signed four more players from last week's First-Year Player Draft, including two from the first 10 rounds -- fourth-round pick Daniel Ortiz, an outfielder from Benjamin Harrison High School in Puerto Rico, and seventh-round pick Dan Osterbrock, a left-handed pitcher from the University of Cincinnati.

Lefty David Coulon, the Twins 15th round pick from the University of Arizona and Javier Brown a shortstop from Grossmont College, California, who was the Twins 37th round pick (1116 overall), are also reportedly signed.

Tyler Ladendorf, Evan Bigley, Michael Harrington, Steven Blevins, and Alex Curry were all signed earlier and have reported to Mini-camp.

"It felt good," Harrington is quoted as saying of his signing Wednesday in a Cedar Rapids Gazette article.

"I feel comfortable," he said. "All the guys here are nice guys."

"Not a whole lot of money," he said. "Just go play."

17th rounder David Martin has stated he will sign after LSU’s season is over.

"We were all excited about the draft, but right now our main focus is on UC Irvine and getting to the World Series," Martin said in a recent interview. "Playing in the College World Series is a once in a lifetime experience, and that's what we're all focusing on right now."

If Martin were to sign now, he would loose his amateur status. Martin will be assigned to the Elizabethton team once he has inked his contract.

Word has it that 16th rounder Kolten Wong, a 2nd baseman from Kamahameha High School has been offered $50,000 from the Twins but is unsure if he will accept it.

The Twins are going to try to play the Red Sox Saturday in a mini-camp game at the Lee County Sportsplex which will start "10 or 11 or so, just get to camp early."

The bus to Elizabethton will be leaving Saturday night, so there will be no game on Sunday, just fielding drills.

New Britain and a short-staffed Rochester both post wins

New Britain Rock Cats

Altoona 1 at New Britain 5

W: R. Mullins (6-4, 3.23); L: J. Hill (4-7, 4.20)
HR: None.

Perhaps the worst is over? Ryan Mullins held the Altoona Curve to just 5 hits and 2 walks over eight innings Thursday night, to lead the New Britain Rock Cats to a 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh farm team.

New Britain would take an early lead off former Rock Cat pitcher Josh Hill when Steve Tolleson doubled his way onto base. A passed ball by Miguel Perez got him to 3rd. Dustin Martin would ground out and Brock Peterson would strike out before Erik Lis singled to bring him home.

Back-to-back doubles by Peterson and Lis in the bottom of the 4th lead to another run. Following a line out to David Winfree, Matt Moses walked. Trevor Plouffe's ground out advanced the pair of runners before Felix Molina doubled them in.

In the bottom of the fifth, Peterson would take a walk and be doubled in by Lis to give the Cats a nice 5-0 lead.

Altoona would break the goose eggs in the next inning, when Shelby Ford walked, and following a fly out to Melvin Dorta, was plated by Jason Bowers sixth double of the season.

Former Miracle Frank Mata closed the game, his first with the Rock Cats this season.

Lis would finish up 3-for-4 at the plate with a run and 3 RBIs. Tolleson was 1-for-1 with a walk and a double, and Peterson was 1 for 3 with a walk a pair of runs and a double. Molina was 1-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs.

The Binghamton Mets open up a 3-game series against the Rock Cats at New Britain Stadium Friday with the first pitch set for 6:35 PM.

Rock Cats/OSC
Altoona Mirror

Durham 4 at Rochester 9

W: D. Graves (3-1, 3.89); L: M. Talbot (6-4, 3.89)
HR: ROC: C. Basak (5), R. Jorgensen (3).

While the Durham Bulls matched the Rochester Red Wings hit for hit, it was Rochester who got the timely hits, downing the Bulls 9-4. Danny Graves allowed 3 runs on 8 hits while fanning 3 over 5.1 innings. Two guys who are always released in nearly every blogger's GM fantasy - Ryan Jorgensen and Chris Basak - both went yard for the wings.

Garrett Jones singled, moved to 2nd on a Randy Ruiz ground out and came home on a Sergio Santos single in the bottom of the second to open the scoring.

Basak opened up the bottom of the 4th with a single shot home run - his 5th of the season - over the left field wall. Darnell McDonald followed that up with a single and a steal - this 10th of the season. Jones would smack a line drive to right to plate him, then advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by right fielder Jon Weber. Jones would score on Randy Ruiz ground out.

Graves actually got a couple of turn at the plate, singling in the bottom of the 5th. Tommy Watkins would hit into a force out however. Following a steal, Watkins 4th of the year, Basak would double to drive in Watkins. He'd be plated on a pair of errors, fielding and throwing by Reid Brignac.

Ruiz and Jason Pridie would both single their way onto base in the bottom of the 6th before Jorgensen put this third yard ball of the year over the left field fence.

Basak, Jones and Pridie all finished up 2-for-4 at the plate, Basak with a pair of runs and a pair of runs scored, Jones with a pair of runs and a single RBI, and Pridie with a run and a RBI. Both of Basak's hits were for extra bases.

A series of injuries and player moves forced the pitchers to bat in the game as there were no other batters available to designed hitter duty. They didn't do too bad, going a collective 2-for-4 at the plate.

The two teams rematch tonight with Kevin Mulvey (3-7, 4.05 ERA) going against former Wing Jeremy Cummings (5-1, 2.17). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM at Frontier Field.

Red Wings
Extra Bases
Extra Bases Blog
Extra Bases Blog

Catcher Jose Morales was placed on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. It's the same ankle Morales seriously injured in his Major League debut last September. Morales is batting .315 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 54 games for the Red Wings.

Outfielder Denard Span was activated from the disabled list. Span has been on the disabled list since May 22 with a broken left middle finger. Span is batting .327 with three home runs, nine RBI and a team-high 14 stolen bases in 27 games for Rochester. Span was originally listed in the starting lineup Thursday, then pulled from the lineup before the game.

The Red Wings will activate infielder Alejandro Machado from the disabled list Friday. Machado has been on the disabled list since Opening Day recovering from right shoulder surgery; Machado missed the entire 2007 season.

Catcher Jeff Christy will be promoted from Double-A New Britain Friday. Christy was batting .216 with four RBI in 23 games for the Rock Cats this season. Former first round pick Trevor Plouffe will be one of three new players joining the Wings for Friday night's home game.

As previously reported Juan Rincon was outrighted to AAA Rochester and has 72 hours to accept or decline the assignment. Third baseman Brian Buscher was recalled to Minnesota and will be available to the Twins for Friday's game at Milwaukee.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Soggy Snappers rained out

Beloit Snappers

It seems that the Fort Myers Miracle weren't the the only team in the Twins organization to fall victim to the fury of Nature. The game between the Beloit Snappers and the Cedar Rapids Kernels was canceled due to inclement weather and field conditions. Much like the Miracle, they have only three games left in the first half of the season, so the game will not be made up.

Fans may exchange their ticket to any other regular season home game, except for the June 29th game, which is SOLD OUT.

The Snappers are on the road to finish off the season, starting a 3-game series on Friday against the Quad City River Bandits. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM central time.


DSL Cubs1 1 at DSL Twins 4

W: R. Acosta (2-0, 0.00); L: R. Pichardo (0-1, 3.86); SV: J. Gonzalez (1)
HR: DSL TWI: J. Mercedes (1).

A four-run eighth inning broke a shut out game open for the DSL Twins and helped them go on to a 4-1 win over the DSL Cubs1.

Ramon Acosta worked 8 innings on the mound for the DSL Twins allowing only 2 walks to the DSL Cubs1 and striking out 3. He'd fall victim to a fielding error by Felix Caro however, that lead to an unearned run for the Cubs1 in the 5th inning.

Juan Medina would be issued a walk with one out on the board. Albert Hernandez would reach on a force attempt which allowed Medina to move to 3rd. Juan Pena's ground out to would drive in Medina.

Julio Castillo would keep the Twins off board, giving up four hits and 3 walks while striking out 3 over 5 innings. with Roderick Pichardo on the mound for the Cubs1 in the 8th inning, Jean Carlos Mercedes would go yard over the left field fence to tie up the game. It was his first home run of the new season. Eliel Sierra drew a walk before Miguel Coletto replaced Pichardo on the mound.

Caro would single to center which moved Sierra to 3rd. Manuel Soliman reached on a force attempt that allowed Sierra to score the game winning run. Juan Medina would have some problems throwing the ball during a pick off attempt which allowed the runs on base to advance. Jairo Perez then drew a walk to load the bags. A line drive single to Juan Blanco plated Caro and Soliman for the insurance runs.

Mercedes would go 3-for-3 at the plate with a run and a run scored on the home run, and would draw a walk as well. Blanco as 2-for-4 in the contest, while Soliman was 1-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI. Caro was 1-for-4 with a run.

The DSL Twins travel to take on the DSL Reds for a 10:30 AM (Dominican Time) game on Friday.


Thunderstorms force cancelation of Miracle game

Fort Myers Miracle

Mother Nature 1, Fort Myers 0

The Fort Myers Miracle went into the All-star break a little early as heavy thundershowers which included hail(!) moved into the area, causing the cancellation of Thursday night's game between against the Vero Beach Devil Rays.

The first half of the FSL season ends for the Miracle with a three-game road trip to Dunedin starting on Monday. As the Miracle and Vero Beach do not meet again in the first half of the season, the game is canceled and will not be made up.

The Miracle will send six representatives to the Florida State League All-star game in Brevard County. Starting pitcher Jeff Manship, 3rd baseman Danny Valencia, 2nd baseman Brian Dinkelman, catcher Wilson Ramos, and relievers Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama will all represent the First-Half West Division Champion Fort Myers Miracle at Spacecoast Stadium for the Showcase on Saturday, June 14th.

Outfielder Rene Tosoni was also named to the All-star team but is unable to participate as he suffered a broken foot during a game last month.

The Miracle hold a franchise leading 44-22 record. The second half of the season begins on Thursday with a homestand against the Sarasota Reds at Hammond Stadium.

Thursday's Florida State League game between the Brevard County Manatees and the Lakeland Flying Tigers was also canceled due to inclement weather.

Roster Moves: The Twins made several roster moves, releasing former Miracle Errol Simonitsch who had been with the New Britain Rock Cats and sending reliever Frank Mata to New Britain. RHP Yohan Pino was activated from the disabled list and infielder Luke Hughes was added to the disabled list in New Britain.

The Twins also parted ways with with Juan Rincon. The 29-year-old reliever stuggled this season, going 2-2 with a 6.11 ERA in 24 games. He has been outrighted to Rochester and may choose between the AAA assignment or free agency. The Twins recalled 3rd baseman Brian Buscher from the Rochester Red Wings. He has been hitting .328 with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs in 51 games with the Triple A club. Buscher appeared in three major league games earlier this season.

Rock Cats Receive Relief Pitcher From Ft. Myers

Fort Myers Miracle

New Britain Rock Cats Press Release

New Britain, CT - The New Britain Rock Cats announced today that RHP Frank Mata, a 24-year-old relief specialist from Barcelona, Venezuela, has been assigned to the Eastern League team, effective today. Mata joins the Double-A classification Rock Cats from the Ft. Myers Miracle in the Single-A, Florida State League.

Now in his sixth season of professional baseball, the 6'0"/220-pound hurler will be making his second career stop in the Hardware City. In 2007, Mata made 32 appearances out of the Rock Cats bullpen, recording 3 Saves and posting a 5.36 ERA. Prior to today's promotion, the burly right-hander appeared in 11 games for the 2008 Miracle, where he posted a 1-0-0 record and a 1.93 ERA in 14 total innings of work.

Signed by the Minnesota Twins in May, 2002 as a non-drafted free agent, the hard-throwing Mata is now fully recovered from elbow surgery that cost him the entire 2005 Season. In a minor league career that includes 171 total appearances, he has thus far recorded 18 Wins and 29 Saves. He will be in a New Britain uniform tonight in time for the Rock Cats' 6:35 PM game against the Altoona Curve at New Britain Stadium.

The New Britain Rock Cats are the Double-A, Eastern League affiliate of the American League's Minnesota Twins. Fans interested in seeing the team in action may do so by calling (860-224-8383) or visiting the Rock Cats Box Office, Monday thru Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Fans interested in securing tickets on-line may do so by visiting the club's website at

LHP Simonitsch Released by Minnesota Twins

New Britain Rock Cats

New Britain Rock Cats Press Release

New Britain, CT – The New Britain Rock Cats announced this afternoon that LHP Errol Simonitsch, a 25-year-old Glendale, CA native who spent portions of three different seasons playing in New Britain, has been released by the Rock Cats' parent organization, the Minnesota Twins.

The New Britain fan and clubhouse favorite had his career set back by a shoulder injury that was discovered near the conclusion of the Twins' 2007 Spring Training. The 6'4"/230-pound southpaw was Minnesota's 6th Round selection in the 2003 Draft out of Gonzaga University.

Simonitsch made his first appearance in New Britain in 2005 when, following his June 22nd promotion from Ft. Myers in the Florida State League, he went 6-5 in his Eastern League debut season. Combined with his 8 victories at Fort Myers, his 14 total wins that year was the most of any pitcher in the entire Minnesota minor league system. He returned to the Hardware City in 2006 and led the club with 26 starts and 148.2 total innings worked. As the staff workhorse, he compiled an 8-14 record and his 22 decisions were the team high.

After starting the 2007 Season on New Britain's Disabled List, Simonitsch was returned to Extended Spring Training in Florida to continue his rehabilitation. He eventually was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins and then Ft. Myers where he finished strong, posting a combined 5-0 record and 3.72 ERA in 10 games.

After rejoining the Rock Cats on May 12th of this year, Simonitsch made six starts and compiled a 1-4 record with a 9.96 ERA. He allowed 49 hits and 12 walks while striking out 17 in 28 innings. His sole New Britain victory this year came last week in Altoona, PA; his final defeat came just last night at home when, against the same Altoona team, he surrendered 12 hits and seven Runs over five-plus innings of work.

In related news, Luke Hughes was placed on the disabled list and RHP Yohan Pino was reactivated.

The 23-year-old Hughes was placed on the Disabled List (6/9) with a strained left groin; the 24-year-old Pino is returning to active status (6/10) after having been disabled on May 16 with a strained right shoulder.

Hughes has been New Britain's top offensive player since Opening Day/2008. He goes to the DL as one of the Eastern League's top hitters; he holds a .335 BA while also being either in sole possession or tied for the League lead in a range of offensive categories from Home Runs (13) to Slugging Percentage (.618) to Runs Scored (41). Hughes appeared in 47 total games for the 2008 Rock Cats and collected 64 Hits.

· Matt Tolbert had the cast on his left hand removed and he's now donning a splint on his surgically repaired left thumb. Twins field manager Ron Gardenhire said Wednesday that a best-case scenario would have Tolbert back playing Aug. 1.

· Shortstop Adam Everett's stress reaction in his right shoulder has not calmed down as quickly as the club hoped. Everett likely will not begin a throwing program until after the team returns from its current road trip.

· Gardenhire said Wednesday that he still expects his team to reduce its pitching staff from 13 to 12 following Thursday's game in Cleveland.

Beloit offense just not poppin'; Snappers blanked by Kernels

Beloit Snappers

Cedar Rapids 4 at Beloit 0

W: E. Jimenez (2-2, 3.48); L: B. Kirwan (4-4, 5.17)
HR: None.

Brian Kirwan found out the hard way that a pitcher can't win games by himself. The Beloit Snappers managed only five hits in support of their starter, no runs, as they were blanked by the Cedar Rapid Kernels, 4-0.

Andrew Romaine would single with one out on the board in the first inning, and Hector Estrella would follow him onto the bags with a single of his own. Romaine then stole 3rd, and came home when catcher Greg Yersich threw past 3rd baseman Chris Cates.

Clay Fuller would single in the top of the 3rd, and Romaine would triple him in for the 2nd Kernel run.

With one out on the board in the top of the 4th, Gordon Gronkowski reached on a throwing error by Cates. He'd go to 2nd on the play when the ball bounced into the dug out. Brossman took a walk, before Julio Perez singled to load the bags. Tyler Johnson would be called out on strikes before C.J. Broussoud walked to force in Gronkowski.

Kirwan would allow the 3 runs, 2 earned on six hits and a pair of walks while fanning 2 in 4.0 innings.

Charles Nolte would take over the mound in the sixth, and in the 7th allowed a ground ball single to Chris Parmelee. Broussoud's ground out moved Johnson to 2nd, and he'd then advance to 3rd on a balk. A ground ball single to Fuller scored plated Johnson for the final Beloit marker.

Mark Dolenc had a walk to go with his single, and Jair Fernandez had a double on his hit. Ben Revere, Garrett Olson, Parmelee were the one hit wonders in the contest.

With the loss, the Snappers are elminated from playoff contention for the first half of 2008. They will try again after their All-star break.

The series concludes tonight with a 7:00 PM start.


DSL Twins 3 at DSL Diamondbacks/Reds 5

W: M. Pena (1-0, 2.70); L: C. Ciurcina (0-1, 6.48); SV: E. Santana (2)
HR: DSL TWI: J. Perez (3).

The DSL Twins could not bounce back from an early 4-2 DSL Diamondbacks/Reds lead, with the DSL Twins' Cesar Ciurcina giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 7 hits and 1 walk while fanning 7 over 3.1 innings.

Yorby Martinez would get on base with a double in the top of the 2nd, and score on a pair of wild pitches by Miguel Pena. Jair Perez would homer for the DSL Twins in the 3rd.

The Twins were stuck playing catch up however, going down3-2 early and trying to come up with the final 2 after the bottom of the fourth.

Juan Blanco would single in the 9th, then move to 2nd on Xavier Gonzalez's walk. A fielding error by Edwin Acevedo let Willy Gil reach and Juan Blanco to score.

The DSL Twins host the DSL Cubs1 on Thursday for a 10:30 AM (Dominican Time) game.


Cats squeek by Curve, 6-5

New Britain Rock Cats

Altoona 5 at New Britain 6

W: K. Aselton (3-1, 3.98); L: Y. Herrera (3-7, 3.59); SV: B. Julianel (12)
HR: ALT: J. Pacheco (7). NBR: D. Martin (3).

The New Britain Rock Cats staved off a ninth inning rally by the Altoona Curve to hang on to win, 6-5 at New Britain Stadium.

It would be a bull pen start for the Cats, with Kyle Aselton on the mound, working through 5 innings, he'd give up 2 runs, earned on six hits and pair of walks.

Melvin Dorta doubled in the first inning with one out. Brad Corley would single out to center which was enough to get Dorta home, putting the Curve on the board.

New Britain answered back in the bottom of the 2nd inning, with Erik Lis hitting a lead off double. Following a pair of outs, Trevor Plouffe would double him in to tie up the game.

Steve Tolleson would double in the bottom of the third, and Dustin Martin would reach on a fielding error by Corley. Brock Peterson's ground out served to plate Tolleson, and sent Martin to 3rd. Lis would walk before David Winfree hit a single to left to drive in Martin.

Corley would double for Altoona in the top of the 4th, After a pair of outs that saw Corley move to 3rd, Aselton would unleash a wild pitch that brought Corley home, making it 3-2 Cats.

Martin hit his 3rd home run of the season in the bottom of the 5th, taking it over the right field fence.

The teams would exchange runs in the 7th inning, with Jason Miller on the mound for New Britain. Shelby Ford would double, then be tripled in by Dorta. Tolleson would double for the Cats, then be driven in by Martin's follow up double.

With Evan Meek on the Altoona Mound, Lis would single in the bottom of the 8th. David Winfree would be called out on strikes before a Matt Moses single moved Lis to 3rd. Plouffe would single to drive in Lis for the final New Britain Run.

Ben Julianel would walk Luis Cruz in the top of the 9th, but he would be taken on a force out by Pedro Powell. Jonel Pacheco then came off the bench to pinch hit, going yard over the left field wall. Ford would single, but Julianel would get Dorta to pop out and Jason Bowers to strike out to end the inning.

Lis was 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Tolleson, Martin, Winfree and Plouffe were all 2-for-4, Tolleson with a pair of runs and a pair of doubles. Martin also had a pair of runs a double, and home run, with 2 RBIs. Winfree had one RBI and Plouffe had a double and two runs scored. Matt Moses was the one hit wonder for the evening.

Altoona will send right-hander Josh Hill (4-6, 3.94) to the mound on Thursday for the rubber match, where he will face left-hander Ryan Mullins (5-4, 3.48).

Rock Cats
Altoona Mirror
NB Herald
Lip Service Blog

Durham 9 at Rochester 7

W: J. Niemann (3-2, 4.46); L: T. Lahey (3-5, 5.87); SV: S. Dohmann (3)
HR: DUR: J. Guzman (13), C. Richard 2 (10), J. Weber (6). ROC: R. Ruiz (9), R. Jorgensen (2).

A six run fifth inning would do in the Rochester Red Wings who could not catch up to the Durham Bulls, falling 9-7 at Frontier Field.

Sergio Santos was 3-for-4 for the Wings, all doubles, for 2 runs and 1 run scored. Jason Pridie finished up 2-for-5 with a run. Tommy Watkins tripled for the Wings in the seventh, hustling to get to third on a close play. Darnell McDonald, Garrett Jones, and Jose Morales all singled for the Wings.

Ryan Jorgenson and Randy Ruiz each had one hit, but it went yard, as they each drove in two runs. Ruiz has been scorching the ball the last nine games batting .378 (14-for-37) with one double, six home runs, 13 RBI and five multi-hit games during this nine-game stretch. He has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.

Julio DePaula worked only 2.2 innings for the Wings, giving up 2 runs, earned, on 4 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 2. Rickey Barnett allowed one run on one hit and 3 walks in 1 inning, and Tim Lahey absorbed the loss after giving up 6 runs, all earned, on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1. Three different Bulls went yard on him.

Red Wings
Extra Bases Blog

OF Denard Span (DL, broken finger) threw in the outfield and took some swings in the indoor batting tunnel Wednesday afternoon.

Watkins and Chris Basak were guest instructors for a clinic earlier in the day, with guests from the School of the Holy Childhood enjoying time with the Wings.

Miracle down Vero Beach for 3rd straight

Fort Myers Miracle

Vero Beach 1 at Fort Myers 3

W: H. Reyes (1-0, 1.93); L: C. Kelly (5-2, 5.23); SV: A. Slama (12)
HR: FTM: A. De San Miguel (1).

The Fort Myers Miracle broke open a scoreless game in the sixth inning Wednesday night, and went on to top the Vero Beach Devil Rays, 3-1.

Matt Fox worked 4 innings, allowing 3 hits while striking out 4 for his first start of the 2008 season. Henry Reyes would work the next 2.1 innings, picking up the win when the Miracle got onto the board.

Chris Kelly would replace Ryan Morse on the mound for the bottom of the 6th, and allowed a walk to Danny Valencia. Whit Robbins singled his way onto base. Wilson Ramos' ground ball to center sent Valencia scampering for the plate to give the Miracle one. A wild pitch by Kelly moved Robbins to 3rd, and a a sac-fly by Juan Portes brought in Robbins for the second run.

The Rays took one back in the top of the 7th, with J.T. Hall getting hit by a pitch. Following a strike out to Ryan Roystar, Nevin Ashley singled to put a pair of runners on. Manager Jeff Smith would get All-star closer Anthony Slama out of the bullpen. He would allowed a since to Garrett Groce which scored Hall before inducing Neil Walton to ground into a double play.

Allan de San Miguel would go yard in the bottom half of the stanza, a fly ball out to left field. It was the light-hitting Aussie's first of the year.

That would be it however. Slama allowed 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 4 over the next 2.2 innings for his 12th save of the season. Reyes pitched well during his short stint on the mound.

Robbins hit 3-for-4 with a triple and a run in the contest.

The two teams conclude the series Thursday night with the long awaited match up of Cole Devries (5-5, 3.11) vs. David Price (2-0, 1.16) on the mound.

News Press

· The Win allowed the Miracle to tie the 2003 record for most wins in a half-season. There are still 4 more games to go in the first half of the FSL 2008 season. The prior record was 44-26.

· The game was delayed by one hour due to a late afternoon thunderstorm.

· Milt Cuyler reported that pitcher Mike Allen was suspended, which more or less coincides with what Cole told me, which was "something happened". I do not know if this was substance related or not, but if so, there won't be many games left in Elizabethton's season when he returns.

· The Twins may have picked up a player from try out camp, but have not signed him to a contract yet. He played with current GCL catcher Andres Diaz in West Palm Beach last year. His contract will depend on whether there is a need for him at the GCL level or not.

· Lots of autograph opportunities at the game tonight, including several GCL players (Andres, Lara) and E-Town bound players (Rams, Waltenbury) in the stands. I think I gave Diaz and Lara a kick by asking for their autographs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Delaney's time with the Miracle coming to a close

Fort Myers Miracle

Rob Delaney was signed as a non-drafted free agent and joined the 2006 version of the GCL TWins. He finished up the year 1-3 with a 4.64 ERA, with 2 saves and had given up four home runs.

The 2006 season came down to the last regular season games against the GCL Red Sox, and it could have gone either way. The teams were tied in the standings on Friday, August 18, on the 19th they played at home against the Red Sox, a game the Twin lost, 4-1.

It came down to the 13th inning, tied, 1-1, and Delaney was on the mound when the Red Sox's Kristopher Negron put one over the wall for the game winning run. Two outs later, with one runner on, Michael Jones came up to the plate and clocked one over the center field wall for a pair of insurance runs.

Had we won that game, the worst they could've done was tied if they lost on Monday (which they did). However, with the pair of losses, we end up 4 games back, and the Red Sox progressed to the playoffs. They'd go on to win the title that year, the first Fort Myers based team to win a Championship.

Anyway, the grounds crew had gone out to retrieve the balls and when they came back they tossed me the ball Jones had put over the fence.

Delaney would take a walk across the parking lot after the GCL season was over, and do some light duty bullpen work for the Fort Myers Miracle. So I took the ball with me one night and gave it to Delaney to sign. And told him, "This is the ball Michael Jones put over the fence. Don't ever let him do this again."

He signed it, but probably wasn't feeling too amused about it the time.

In terms of moving through the system, Delaney made a name for himself in Low A Beloit in 2007 as a premier closer and was promoted to the FSL for the second half of the season.

He's spent the first half of the 2008 season here and - having been named to the All-star game - is looking at promotion to AA within the next week or so. Meanwhile, Jones and Negron are in Low A with the Greenville Drive of the Sally League, where they are being "managed" by Kevin Boles who Delaney had played under last year.

I use the term loosely as I'm not the only seasonal in the stadium who thinks that the Miracle weren't exactly managed for the last two season.

In any case, last night, while I was getting autographs, I said "Rob, good luck. Have fun in AA, and whatever you do, don't let Mike Jones take you deep." He laughed at that one.

Altoona crushs Rock Cats, Wings route Bulls

New Britain Rock Cats

Altoona 10 at New Britain 2

W: D. Hankins (1-2, 4.17); L: E. Simonitsch (1-4, 9.96)
HR: ALT: B. Corley (6). NBR: E. Lis (5).

A day off did little for the New Britain Rock Cats who got pulverized by the Altoona Curve, 10-2. Errol Simonitsch gave up 7 runs (earned) on 13 hits while striking out 4 over 5 innings. Zach Ward got tagged for 3 more runs on 4 hits and a walk over the next 2 innings.

Simo couldn't wait to get out of the Fort Myers Federal Penitentiary earlier this year; I wonder if he wants back in yet.

New Britain would score in the bottom of the 3rd when Drew Butera was hit by a pitch with two outs. A wild pitch by Derek Hankins moved him to 2nd. Felix Molina would reach on a fielding error by Altoona first baseman Jason Delaney which also allowed Butera to come home. It would tie up the game after Brad Corely homered in the second inning, this sixth of the season.

The fourth would see the Curve putting four runs on the board with Anthony Webster, Jason Bowers and Shelby Ford all doubling, and Jason Delaney and Luis Cruiz getting picking up singles of Simonitsch.

Simo would come out for the sixth inning and give up a double to Cruz and singles to Bowers and Miguel Perez before Zach Ward would come out of the bullpen. Ward would get Shelby Ford to ground into a double play, but Melvin Dorta doubled to bring in Bowers for the second run of the inning.

Ward would walk Delaney and allow singles to Webster and Cruz to load the bases in the top of the 7th. Bowers fly ball single scored Delaney. Perez would get hit by a pitch to force in another run, and Ford's ground out would plate Cruz for the 3rd run.

Trailing by nine, the Cats finally found another run in the bottom of the 9th then Erik Lis hit is 5th home run of the season. Brock Peterson would double and Matt Moses single, but David Winfree and Dustin Martin both popped out to end the inning.

Ryan Mullins (5-4, 3.48) is reported to be the unlucky recipient of a trip to the mound tonight for the Rock Cats, while the Curve counter with former Rock Cat Josh Hill (4-6, 3.94).

Rock Cats

Rochester Red Wings

Durham 2 at Rochester 14

W: F. Liriano (2-2, 3.94); L: C. Mason (2-7, 5.32)
HR: DUR: J. Weber (5). ROC: D. McDonald (9), B. Buscher (8), R. Ruiz (8), J. Morales (4).

The Rochester Red Wings provided plenty of support for Francisco Liriano to pick up his second win of the season as they crushed the Durham Bulls, 14-2.

Liriano limited the Bulls to 1 run on six hits and a walk while striking out 7 in six innings worth of work. Caisey Daigle worked 2 innings of relief, allowing 1 hit and fanning 2.

Fernando Perez singled in the top of the 1st, stole 2nd, then came home on Joel Guzman's line drive to right for the only run Liriano would allow.

Ryan Jorgenson, and Tommy Watkins singled, but Jason Pridie would hit into an unassisted double play. Darnell McDonald then walked, a a single to Jones brought in Jorgenson. Brian Buscher followed up by going yard to bring in 3 more, making it 4-1 Wings.

Jorgenson singled in the bottom of the fourth, then came home on a Tommy Watkins double for the fifth Red Wings run.

Buscher would reach on a throwing error in the bottom of the 5th, then come home on Randy Ruiz's eighth home run of the season, which went over the center field fence.

In the end 4 different Wings went yard. Watkins finished up 3-for-5 with a run, a pair of doubles and 3 RBIs. McDonald was 3-for-4 with 3 runs and 2 runs scored. Jorgenson was also 3-for-4 with 3 runs. Jones finished up 2-for-5 with a run and a run scored.

Howie Clark (abdominal strain) did not play and remains unavailable for at least the next few days.

RHP Philip Humber (sore right elbow) will miss his scheduled start Wednesday as a precautionary measure, and reliever Julio DePaula (1-2, 5.94) will make the spot start. The Bulls will send out RHP Jeff Niemann (2-2, 3.65).

The Red Wings and Batavia Muckdogs both landed in the top 25 of all Minor League Baseball clubs for merchandise sales in 2007.

Red Wings
RD&C - Notebook
News & Observer

The Twins have signed six players from the 2008 First-Year Player draft: second round pick (60th overall), Tyler Ladendorf, an infielder from Howard College, third round pick Bobby Lannigan, a right handed pitcher from Adelphi University, 10th round pick Evan Bigley, an outfielder from Dallas Baptist University, 13th round pick Michael Harrington, an outfielder from College of Charleston, 21st round pick Steve Blevins, a righthanded pitcher from Marshall University and 25th round pick Alex Curry, a righthander from Cypress College. All six players have reported to the Lee County Sports Complex in Ft. Myers, where the Twins Mini-Camp started Tuesday.

Beloit doubles up Cedar Rapids

Beloit Snappers, Matt Williams

Cedar Rapids 2 at Beloit 4

W: M. McCardell (3-1, 3.15); L: M. Anton (7-4, 2.40); SV: M. Williams (7)
HR: None.

Mike McCardell worked 8 innings, limiting the Cedar Rapid Kernels to 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 9 for his third win of the season. The Beloit Snappers scored four runs in the sixth to go on to win the contest, 4-2.

After 5.5 scoreless innings, Chris Parmelee would lead off with walk. Ozzie Lewis knocked a little line drive to center to get on the bags, and Steve Singleton's sac-bunt moved the pair to 3rd. Singleton would find himself safe at first with the bags loaded. Jair Fernandez drove in two with a fly ball to center. Danny Lehmann would be out on a sac-bunt that scored Lewis, while Mark Dolenc would sacrifice in Fernandez. Ben Revere would single and advance to 2nd on a throwing error by Cedar Rapids' pitcher Michael Anton. He'd then steal 3rd base, his 21st steal of the season. Chris Cates would walk, and the Kernels would call for a pitching change, bring A.J. Ford in from the dugout. He'd get Garrett Olson to hit into a ground out to end the inning.

Danny Hernandez would start the ninth inning and continue his struggles on the mound. Efren Navarro and Gordon Gronkowski would take back-to-back walks. Field Manager Nelson Prada wasted no time with Hernandez, and got All-star Spencer Steedley out of the pen. Jeremy Moore would greet Steedley with a double driving in the two inherited runners. Julio Perez would take a walk and move to 2nd on Jay Brossman's sac-bunt. All-star Matt Williams was then called upon to close the game, and got Anel De Los Santos and Clay Fuller out on strikes to end the inning.

Fernandez would go 2-for-4 at the plate with a run and 2 runs scored. Five other Snappers would hit singles in the game.

The series continues Wednesday at Pohlman Field.

Diamonds & Ice Blog

DSL Yankees2 1 at DSL Twins 2

W: J. Gonzalez (1-0, 1.13); L: A. Martinez (0-1, 4.70); SV: E. Alvarez (2)
HR: None.

The DSL Twins doubled up the DSL Yankees2, 2-1, but it was a the pitching that was the story of this game.

Orlando Villaroel took the start for the Twins allowing 1 run, unearned, on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7. Eduardo Sosa would hit a line drive to center to start off the game, then stole 2 and 3rd. A throwing error by Twins catcher Rafael Sanchez who was attempting to catch Sosa at 3rd lead to Sosa crossing the plate. (Note that the box says the run was earned, which is incorrect.)

Raynard Doran and Jose Gonzalez worked the next two innings each, with Doran giving up 1 hit and 1 walks while striking out 2, and Gonzalez, 2 hits and 1 walks while striking out 4. 2007 VSL All-star Edison Alvarez picked up his 2nd save of the season, by finishing off the game, strike out 2 of the 3 batters he faced.

In the bottom of the 5th, Jean Carlos Mercedes would be hit by a pitch. Yancarlo Franco and Juan Blanco both poped out before Jario Perez doubled Mercedes in for the Twins, tying up the game.

Mercedes would double in the bottom of the 7th and move to 3rd on Franco's single. Blanco would be taken out on strikes before Perez would hit a sac fly to right to score Mercedes for the game winning run.

Felix Caro was 2-for-4 at the plate, but did not factor into the scoring. Manuel Soliman and Sanchez were both 1 hit wonders, while Mercedes in the designated hitter role was 1-for-2 with a pair of runs.

The Twins visit the DSL Diamondbacks/Reds Wednesday for a 10:30 AM Dominican Time game.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Portes books a ball for flight over the wall for Miracle win

Fort Myers Miracle

Vero Beach 2 at Fort Myers 6

W: B. Erickson (1-0, 2.16); L: B. Baker (4-3, 2.52)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (5).

Prior to the game Danny Valencia wanted me to go ask Jim Rantz what flight he was booked on. So I dutifully did this.

"What did you tell him?"

"I was gonna tell them that he's penciled into New Britain's line up tomorrow but due the rising cost of gasoline, you're not longer paying for travel expenses, so he better start hitch hiking."

"No. Tell him he's booked on the bus to Jupiter."

"You mean Spacecoast."

"Where ever."

So there you go Danny, you're booked on the bus to where ever.

For the second straight night we had a really good game despite the fact that the B- team was on the field. Rocky Palacios was our first baseman. It was kind of scary.

But the boys got it done for manager Jeff Smith as Juan Portes hit a walk off grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Fort Myers Miracle to a 6-2 win over the Vero Beach Devil Rays.

The Devil Rays got on to the board first with Ryan Royster tripling a fly ball out to center. Nevin Ashley singled to bring in Royster for a one run Rays lead.

Wilson Ramos doubled out to center in the bottom of the inning, but got no further than 3rd on an Eli Tintor single.

Desmond Jennings double off starter Alex Burnett in the top of the 3rd. He moved to 3rd on a sac bunt by John Matuilia, and came home on Ceasar Suarez's ground out, to the put the Rays up by two.

Rays starter Michael Wlodarczyk limited the Miracle to just 2 hits, and struck out 2 over 4 innings. He'd be replaced by Matt Walker for the bottom of the 5th inning.

With 2 outs on the board, Danny Santiesteban singled his way onto base. Allan de San Miguel then tripled out to right to plate Santiesteban, cutting the Rays lead in half. Yangervis Solarte took a walk, and Edward Ovalle would single to drive in Dirty to the tying run.

Burnett worked 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on six hits while striking out 2. He'd give way to Jose Lugo, who struck out 4 over 2 perfect innings. Blair Erickson then made his way to the mound, striking out all three batters he faced in the 8th. He's allow a single to T.J. Hall in the ninth, but the Rays could go no where with it.

Brian Baker would take over from Walker in the 8th, using 2 ground outs and a fly out to retire the side.

Smith would try to get something going in the bottom of the inning by using Brian Dinkelman as a pinch hitter. Dink would get brushed by a the first pitch he faced and was awarded first base, despite the arguments of the D-Rays. De San Miguel moved him on a sac-bunt. Whit Robbins would be brought in to pinch hit for Solarte, and would be intentionally walked. Edward Ovalle - trying for the fence - quickly found himself down 2 strikes and was guarding the plate when he was drilled by Baker. With the bases full, Portes then put a ball over the left field wall. You knew that ball was going yard the minute it left the end of the stick.

The pile up and group hug at the plate was really a nice touch as the Miracle celebrated their second Grand Slam victory in as many days.

The Miracle were held to only 7 hits in the game, as were the Rays, and there were not multi-hit contestants on either team.

Tomorrow is a bull pen start, more or less as Matt Fox (2-1, 4.68) makes his first start of the Year for the Miracle. He will take on Ray's lefty Ryan Morse (2-2, 3.16).

News Press
Breeze - Valencia
Photo Gallery
TC Palm

· Deolis Guerra was granted personal leave and flew home to Venezuela. Jeff Manship said he thought Deolis' Grandmother was seriously ill. Mike Allen was reassigned to the Elizabethton team.

· Someone (Josh maybe) had asked about Ben Petsch's release and the Jim's answer was that is was an numbers thing. "He was a good kid, we just had no where to put him."

· I asked about Paul Kelly and Jim said while he was getting closer he wasn't ready yet. "He has to be able to play three or four games in a row before we can do something with him, and he hasn't done that yet." I mentioned the brace and he said he'd be playing with it on. It's form fitted and designed for use in playing sports.

· When I informed Manship of the answer to Danny's question, he said "So we're playing the All-star game?"

"It appears so," I said. "He wants you to have fun."

"The Midwest League was fun. That stadium this game is at though is awful."

"No it's not, it a cute little..."

"The Locker Room," Cole Devries cuts in.

"The air conditioning wasn't working in the Locker Room," Manny explains. "You just sat there and sweated."

"Oh Jeff," I say. "I can't wait until you go up so you can learn Double-A whining. You're going to be so good at it."

"We are a whinny lot, aren't we?" says Devries, who I really hadn't noticed being too verbal with his complaints. He was also proving that real men CAN wear pink and get away with it, something the GCL boys don't believe.

· Tomorrow is the card set give away. The FSL top prospect set is also available in the gift shop. Manship and Ramos are the two top prospects in the set.

"They don't think I'm a top prospect," Valencia says.

"I think you're a top prospect," I tell him. But then, I say that to all the boys.

If you need to order either set, e-mail Justin at Sets are $7.00 each.

· Someone had asked about the Yahoo feed for the website, thinking they'd booted me off the network. Yahoo is upgrading the platform of their 360 service to make it more integrated, by which I take it to mean they want to be more like And of course, Yahoo can't do anything without breaking the whole system first. So that's the deal, I'm not the only one whose blog feed is effected.

De Los Santos Joins Beloit Roster

Estarlin De Los Santos

Beloit Snappers Press Release

The Beloit Snappers just got a little faster with the addition of infielder Estarlin De Los Santos. De Los Santos comes to Beloit after spending the first two months of the season in Minnesota's Extended Spring Training.

Last season, Estarlin batted .264 with 60 runs and 75 hits in 67 games for the Elizabethton Twins. De Los Santos also swiped 27 bases last year, good enough for third in the Appalachian League.

Known mostly for his glove work, Estarlin signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Twins on February 9, 2005.

Along with Estarlin's promotion, the Minnesota Twins placed Snappers' infielder Ramon Santana on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Santana is batting .283 with five home runs and 18 RBIs this season. Ramon also has a .358 on-base percentage to go along with his .453 slugging percentage.

The moves, effective today, leave the Beloit active roster at 25.

Slama d-Door: Miracle clinch Western Division Championship (Video)

It's about 8 minutes long, but here is Anthony Slama pitching the final inning as the Fort Myers Miracle clinch the FSL's 1st Half Western Division Championship:

Video Source

More video is forthcoming, including Deolis Guerra pitching the first couple of innings of the game. Check out our video page a little later today (Google video is giving me a bit of a problem right now). I've also added some pictures from last night, although these are mostly Missy playing with the Girl Scouts, plus shots from Memorial Day Fireworks and the Zooperstars appearance. You can find all of these on the photo page at

Snappers rally back for win

Beloit Snappers,GCL Twins

Cedar Rapids 5 at Beloit 6

W: S. Hirschfeld (5-1, 1.62); L: M. Davitt (2-5, 5.36); SV: M. Williams (6)
HR: CED: J. Moore (8).

The Beloit Snappers rallied back in the 7th inning to take a 6-5 win over the Cedar Rapid Kernels in the opener of a 4-game homestand.

Snapper catcher Jair Fernandez would be hit by a pitch to open up the bottom of the 2nd inning. Steve Singleton hit a line drive to right to follow him onto base and Ozzie Lewis drew a walk. Greg Yersich's line drive scored Fernandez and Singleton, and a sac-fly by Joe Benson brought in Lewis, giving Beloit an early 3-0 lead.

Gordon Gronkowski would double out to left for the Kernels in the top of the 4th. A fielding error by Chris Parmelee at 1st allowed Jeremy Moore onto base, putting runners at the corners. Julie Perez singled in Gronkowski, before Mike Tarsi got Andrew Romine out swinging. Cedar Rapids would then organize a double steal, but it didn't pay off as Anel De Los Santos struck out to end the inning.

Tyler Johnson walked in the top of the 5th for the Kernels, then stole 2nd. Jeff Gonzalez-Lopez also drew a walk. Hector Estrella would single in Johnson, but the Snappers managed a third base-second base double play to end the inning.

Jeremy Moore took a home run off Tarsi in the sixth tie up the contest. The lefty would finish up allowing 3 runs on six hits and 3 walks while striking out 7 over six innings, but would leave with a no decision.

Steve Hirschfield replaced Tarsi in the top of the 7th and issued a walk to Johnson, who then stole 2nd. After getting Clay Fuller out on Strikes, Gonzalez-Lopez would draw a walk. Johnson would be caught trying to steal third. Hector Estrella then doubled out to left to plate Gonzaelz-Lopez. Gonkowski followed that up with a double of his own to bring in Estrella, giving the Kernels a 5-3 lead.

Benson took a walk in the Bottom of the 7th. Revere singled his way onto base and Cates hit a sac-bunt to move the pair. However, Kernels pitcher Michael Davitt threw the ball into the outfield, allowing Benson and Revere to score and Cates to make it to 3rd on the play. A sac-fly by Garrett Olson brought in Cates for the game winning run.

Loek Van Mil would work 1.2 innings allowing 1 hit and 1 walk while stiking out 1. Matt Williams picked up his sixth save of the season, getting the final out to finish off the game.

Revere and Singleton were both 3-for-4 with a run, Lewis was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run. Yersich was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Parmelee was the one-hit wonder, going 1-for-4 at the plate with a pair of strike outs on the side.


Beloit closer Matt Williams was added to the Midwest league All-star game. The native of New South Wales, Australia, is 2-0 on the season with a 1.93 era in 37.1 innings pitched. He has 40 strike outs, and issued just 12 walks. Williams signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in the 2004.

If you missed Loek Van Mil and Chris Cates on ESPN's first take, you can view it online at

DSL Twins 0 at DSL Indians 4

W: Y. Salazar (1-0, 0.00); L: A. Salcedo (0-2, 3.72)
HR: DSL IND: K. Diaz (1).

Maybe they forget to pack the bats when they travel? Whatever the case, the DSL Twins were shut out on the road for the third time this season, this time by the DSL Indians.

Adrian Salcedo allowed a pair of runs to the Indians in the 5th inning, on 2 hits and a walk while striking out 3. After walking Jesus Brito, Salcedo hit Joly Fermin with a ptich. Eliecer Cardenas would be brought into the game to replace Salcedo, and would give up a triple to Jose Cabera that scored the inherited runners.

Cardenas went on two allow to more run in the sixth inning on 4 hits and one walk while striking out 4. Argenis Martinez would tripe and Kelvin Diaz would homer to add two to the Indian's total.

For the Twins, second baseman Juan Blanco was 2-for-4 at the plate, catcher Jhonatan Arias and centerfielder Wilfy Gil had singles and Eliel Sierra was 1-for-4 at the plate with a double.

The DSL Twins take on the DSL Yankees2 at home on Tuesday with a 10:30 AM (Dominican time) start.


Duensing, Rochester overcome Lehigh Valley

Rochester Red Wings

Rochester 4 at Lehigh Valley 1

W: B. Duensing (3-5, 3.62); L: L. Walrond (1-5, 3.27)
HR: None.

Brian Duensing held the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs to only 5 hits over 7 innings allowing no runs, no walks. He fanned 3. Meanwhile the Rochester Red Wings offense put up four runs in route a win.

Chris Basak would open up the top of the fourth with a walk, but would be picked off by pitcher Les Walrond. Darnell McDonald singled and Garrett Jones hit a line drive double out to right. Brian Buscher would then sacrifice in McDonald for the first Wings run.

In the top of the 5th, Jose Morales would be hit with a pitch. Jason Pridie bunt his way onto base, and Sergio Santos hit line drive to center to load the bags. Tommy Watkins would ground into a double play that would plate Morales, to make it 2-0 Rochester.

Back-to-back singles to Randy Ruiz and Morales and a bunt by Pridie loaded the bags again in the top of the 7th. Santos singled in Ruiz for the Wings third run.

Steven Kline would be on the mound in the top of the 8th, when Jones and Buscher hit back-to-back singles. Steve Green would replace Kline, who would be ejected from the game by the home plate umpire. Ruiz singled to bring in Jones, making it 4-0 Wings.

Bobby Korecky would replace Duensing for the 8th and the 9th. Andy Tracy singled to lead off the bottom of the 9th for the Lehigh valley home team. Following a line out to Jon Knotts, Jason Jaramillo and Brennan King knocked back-to-back singles to load the bags. A sac-fly by Rich Thompson brought in Tracy to break up Rochester's shut out. Casey Smith would ground out to end the contest.

Ruiz was 3-for-4 on the night with a run and a run scored, Santos was 2-for-4 with a RBI, and McDonald and Jones weer 2-for-5 with a run each. Jones's double would be the only extra base hit.

The Wings return to Frontier Field to host the Durham Bulls for a four-game series starting on Tuesday. Francisco Liriano (1-2, 4.22) will be on the mound for the Wings.

Howie Clark (abdominal strain) was not place on the DL, but is unavailable for at least the next few days.

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The New Britain Rock Cats rested on Monday. They begin a 3-game series against the Altoona Curve Tuesday at 6:35 PM at New Britain Stadium.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Miracle clinch first half division title

Fort Myers Miracle

Vero Beach 4 at Fort Myers 6

W: D. Guerra (7-2, 4.83); L: B. Mann (3-6, 3.73); SV: A. Slama (11)
HR: VER: G. Groce (2). FTM: E. Ovalle (5), E. Tintor (2).

Edward Ovalle's grand slam home run in the 5th led to the Fort Myers Miracle clinching the West Division first half championship, and a playoff berth, on what turned out to be a beautiful night for baseball at Hammond Stadium.

Late afternoon thundershowers led to a somewhat soggy stadium, but the best field crew in the Florida State League turned out a perfectly groomed diamond despite the foul weather.

Deolis Guerra tossed out the first pitch right on time and went on to work 6.1 innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and one walk while striking out 2 for a quality start.

The Miracle opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Whit Robbins doubled, the moved to 3rd on a Wilson Ramos single. Juan Portes would sacrifice Robbins in.

Vero Beach did not wait to answer back however, as Desmond Jennings singled with out one on the board. John Matulia would fly out, but Ceasar Suarez took a triple on a line drive when Eli Tintor slipped on the wet grass while trying to make a diving catch in the outfield. Jennings would score to tie up the game.

In the top of the fourth, Nevin Ashley singled and Garrett Groce put one over the left field fence to put the D-Rays on top.

Prior to the game, I'd congratulated Tintor on his first home run of the season and told him I expected at least 15 more of those out of him before the end of August. He figured the bottom of the fifth was a good time to start, as he clocked one over the center field wall to put the Miracle down by one. Danny Santiesteban would draw a walk and Yancarlos Ortiz moved him to second on a sac bunt. Ortiz would be given first though when pitcher Brandon Mann miss-threw the ball. Santiesteban took 3rd on the same play. Dinkelman then drew a walk to load the bags and you just KNEW what was coming. Ovalle's ball sailed well over the Beef Jerky sign in left to bring in four runs and give the Miracle a nice 6-3 lead.

Frank Mata would replace Guerra in the seventh. He'd give up a double to Matulia in the top of the 8th. After getting Suarez out on strikes, T.J.Hall would walk. Matt Fields' fly ball single to left brought in Matulia and a little bit of coaxing brought Jeff Smith out of the dugout and Anthony Slama out of the bullpen. Slama would take Ashely and Groce out on strikes to end the inning.

Juan Portes hit a nice double in the bottom of the 8th, but with 2 outs on the board, went no where with it. Slama would start the top of the 9th by taking Vero Beach short stop Neil Walton out on strikes. Joey Collander would single out to right, but Slama took Jennings out swinging. Callender would steal 2nd, but Matulia hit a nice little grounder to Robbins. Once Robbins foot hit the bag, the team came spilling out of the dugout to celebrate their victory.

No one had a multi-hit night, but that was okay. Wilson Ramos was the one hit wonder for the evening. Jim Rantz and Joel Lepal watched the proceedings from the stands. What tomorrow may bring, well...we'll see tomorrow, but for tonight, the Miracle are celebrating their championship.

Alex Burnett (5-2, 3.34) will take on lefty Mike Wlodarczyk (0-0, 0.00) for Vero Beach as the two teams rematch on a two-for-Tuesday. First pitch is schedule for 7:05 PM.

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Tyler Robertson will miss his start on Wednesday but says he will make his next scheduled start after the All-star break "which will be here."

"Against Sarasota," I nod as I collect my hot dog.

"No Dunedin," he says as we fight over condiments.

"Sarasota's in next. I just did all the photos so I could get autographs."

"Oh. I've never faced Sarasota before. That will be fun."

I think those are the same kids he faced like 16 times in GCL. I wonder if he'll face Smitty.

Meanwhile, Cole Devries has the pleasure of taking on the D-Rays top prospect David Price on Thursday. "I look forward to it," Devries said. I have no doubt Mr. Devries will kick his behind despite the fact that Price is 2-0 with a 2.26 ERA and has only allowing 3 earned runs in the 23 1/3 innings of his professional career.

Vero Beach will also be bringing a bus load of fans to the game. Much fun is planned for beer night.