Your place for Minnesota Twins and New Britain Rock Cats coverage, analysis and opinion.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rock Cats Lose 4th Straight

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Every Wednesday evening, I write a recap of all the Twins minor league action, which you can find at TwinsDaily. Take a look if you haven't already. Here's what I wrote about last night's Rock Cats game:

Starter Brett Jacobson allowed too many hits tonight -- 10 in 4 and 1/3 innings. He gave up 5 runs, striking out 1 and walking 1. Out of the bullpen, Daniel Turpen pitched 1 and 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 1. Bruce Pugh struck out 2 in an inning of relief. Luis Perdomo gave up 1 run in the 8th inning, striking out 2, walking 2, and giving up a single.
The Rock Cats scattered 9 hits tonight. James Beresford had 2 singles, Rene Tosoni had a solo home run (his first of the season at AA), Chris Herrmann had 2 hits, and Matt Rizzotti, Deibinson Romero, Shawn Roof and Evan Bigley each had singles, as well. Beresford, Tosoni, Bigley, and Minnesota's own Nathan Hanson had RBIs tonight. The Rock Cats did walk 6 times in this game, so at least that was encouraging.

Here's the link to the box score.

A couple additional things I didn't mention in that write-up. First, as I noted yesterday morning, infielder James Beresford is leading the team in batting average. After 2 hits last night -- line drives to center field and left field -- he's up to .282. It's nice to see at least one player on the team inching closer to .300.

Second, the Rock Cats had the bases loaded with only 1 out in the 5th inning, but were unable to plate a run (reminds me a little of recent Twins teams). Evan Bigley struck out and Matt Rizzotti popped out to end the threat. That ended up being their best chance all night.

Third, with last night's loss, the Rock Cats fell into a tie for second place, 1 game behind the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate).

Finally, there have been some suggestions, mostly on TwinsDaily, that first round pick and top Twins prospect Aaron Hicks should be converted to a pitcher. Hicks is 22, is in his first season at AA (being one of the younger players is the Eastern League), and is doing all right. Defensively, he could play center field for the Twins tonight and not be out of his element. Offensively, he's not there yet. But I don't think we should start the crazy talk of converting a speedy outfielder with raw power into pitcher. Most professional baseball players -- especially outfielders -- can probably throw a baseball 90 miles per hour. And yes, Hicks did pitch in high school. If you're a high school baseball coach, and one of your players has the ability to throw 90, you have to have him pitch: high school athletes can't hit a good fastball. But to suggest to Hicks that he should become a pitcher, after not having pitched in 4 years, seems insane to me. Let me reiterate: he's 22 years old. That is still very young for where he is. Don't let Bryce Harper and Mike Trout fool you -- most players don't make the major leagues until their mid-20s, even first round draft picks (heck, something like 40 percent of first round picks never play in a single major league game). Hicks needs a chance to develop as an offensive threat, not a complete re-shifting of his professional career.

New Britain is back in action tonight, as they try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Aeros.

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