|Newly promoted B.J. Hermsen will take the|
mound tonight in his AA debut
The landscape for the New Britain Rock Cats is already starting to change only 23 games into the season. A couple days ago, reliever Deolis Guerra was promoted to AAA Rochester. Congratulations to him! He's now just one step away from joining the Twins. If he can do in Rochester what he did in late-inning situations for the Rock Cats, it won't be too long before we see Guerra making his Target Field debut. Also, Rock Cats starting pitcher Alex Wimmers is now rehabbing his elbow strain in Ft. Myers, so it sounds like it will be some time before he rejoins the team. Although Guerra was yanked from the Rock Cats, Ft. Myers Miracle pitchers BJ Hermsen (1-0 with a 0.78 ERA in 23 innings) and Caleb Thielbar (1-1 with 0 earned runs allowed in 12 and 1/3 innings, with 16 strikeouts and 2 walks) were promoted to New Britain. Good luck to them, especially Hermsen who will start tonight's game.
Over the weekend, the Rock Cats dropped 2 of 3 games against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, and are 14-9 on the season, 1.5 games back of the Reading Phillies. Yesterday, they won. As I wrote in TwinsDaily's Sundy Minor League Daily, Starter Logan Darnell picked up the win (3-0). He pitched 6 and 2/3 innings, gave up 7 hits and 2 runs, and struck out 8 while walking 1 along the way. His ERA stands at 4.56. He has been the recipient of some solid Rock Cats offense when he has pitched this season. Reliever Daniel Turpen pitched the rest of the game, 2 and 1/3 innings, and earned the save, his second of the season. He was very effective, giving up no hits and no walks, while striking out 2. This effort improved his ERA to 4.5.
On offense, the team had 9 hits. Every starter except for Estarlin De Los Santos and Evan Bigley tallied at least one hit. Chris Herrmann was 2-for-3 with a walk, and also reached base on an error in his other plate appearance. He scored 3 runs. Nathan Hanson also had a good game, going 2-for-4 with a double and accumulating 2 RBIs. Aaron Hicks was 1-for-4 with a single and a stolen base (his 3rd of the season), and is batting .265 on the season. Deibinson Romero hit a triple, and shortstop Pedro Florimon had a double.
On Saturday, New Britain lost 5-3 to the Squirrels. Start Steve Hirschfeld (6 innings, 10 hits, 3 earned runs, 5 strikeouts and 2 walks) picked up the loss, and the offense couldn't muster too much, only accumulating 7 hits all day. Brett Jacobson pitched 2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Notables on offense included Evan Bigley, with a double and 2 RBIs, Chris Herrmann with an RBI single, and Pedro Florimon, Aaron Hicks, Nathan Hanson, James Beresford and Danny Lehmann with singles. Bigley also stole 2 bases, giving him 3 on the season.
For a quick recap of Friday night's game, a 13-inning 5-4 loss (though Andrew Albers had a quality start), check out this earlier post from Saturday. So, after starting out hot, New Britain has cooled a little. Their record, 14-9, is still good, but they are 4-6 over their last 10. Tonight, they begin a 4-game series against the Harrisburg Senators, the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals, who coincidentally are also 14-9.