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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Sano Show

Windy skies tonight in New Britain
This is a night where I'm glad I'm not a real journalist with a real deadline. Wow, what a game. Well, more specifically, what a game for Miguel Sano: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBIs. And the 1 out he made was a 400 ft monster fly ball that the Phillies' center fielder made a fantastic, leaping catch on. OK, I'll start at the beginning:

The conditions at New Britain Stadium were damp, to say the least. About an hour before game time, a brief but severe storm passed through. The infield remained in good condition thanks to the tarp -- more accurately thanks to the grounds crew pictured above -- but parts of the outfield (lacking the advanced drainage system of Target Field) were soaked. The grounds crew did a great job taking care of that issue, however, and the game started just over an hour late (one neat thing about minor league baseball is that it's very much an all-hands-on-deck mentality -- the same people helping with the tarp or the drainage might be some of the same people you encounter in the press box or the concourses later).

Perhaps Rock Cats starter Trevor May was off his rhythm due to the delay, because he surrendered a long and loud homer on the very first pitch of the game. It seemed as if May would settle down, though, and fortunately had his very good curve going early on, but it wasn't going to be that easy. A control problem that plagued May ended up (more or less) costing him 2 more runs: in the second inning, he walked the #7 hitter with 2 outs, then gave up another no-doubter to right field. It was his only walk of the night -- accompanied by 6 strikeouts -- but it was damaging.

On the whole, I'd call it an up-and-down performance for May. On the one hand, the struck out 6, only walked 1, and had flashes of excellent pitching. On the other hand, he allowed 2 long home runs, issued a costly 2-out walk that preceded a home run, and was over 50 pitches with only 1 out in the third inning. He ended up tossing 93 pitches to make it through 5 innings. Definitely not an awful performance, but also not the kind of performance that's going to make Terry Ryan pick up the phone and set May up in Rochester. His final line: 5 innings; 4 ER; 6Ks; 1 BB. 2 HR.

Offensively, wow. Have you heard of this prospect the Twins have? Miguel something-or-other? I'm no baseball expert, but I sure have been to a ton of MLB and MiLB games. Sano's performance tonight ranks right up there with any individual performance I have ever seen: A long, frozen rope single to left field; a first-pitch homer; and an amazing 9th inning homer. And his one out was a long, long fly to center. Ridiculous. Boy does that guy know how to hit. In fact, I have video of all his at-bats on my YouTube channel. Check it out. Again, I apologize for the poor quality of the video and the finger(s) that may occasionally appear in the corner of the screen. Hey, I never said I was Steven Spielberg!

Two funny things about Sano's at-bats this evening: his single was hit harder than either of the homers; and the flyout to center field probably traveled farther than either of the home runs. The power he generates is amazing. Jeez the guy is impressive.

Back to the game and the other 20-some players on the team. The problem with tonight's game is that there wasn't nearly enough Rock Cats offense. 5 hits -- 3 from Sano; one from Josmil Pinto; 1 from Nate Hanson. Although Trevor May wasn't great tonight, he did deserve better performance from the other 6 guys in the lineup.

I spoke to Rock Cats' manager Jeff Smith after the game. The obvious questions would have been about Sano. But what could Smith say besides "he's great" or "he's a rare talent." "Wow. He hit the ball hard and far tonight???" I can write crap like that (in fact, you're reading it!). Instead I asked about May. As I've written before, May's downfall typically has been issuing too many walks and prematurely driving up that pitch count. But what about tonight? Only 1 walk and 6 strikeouts -- peripherally good numbers. Smith stated: "Home run on the first pitch of the game, and just fell behind. . . . If you look back, [May] only gave up 5 hits, but his pitch count got up there pretty fast. . . . There were about 2 or 3 at-bats that the other team had that were about 10-pitch at-bats. It might have started 1-0, 2-0 [on the batters], and the next thing you know, a guy starts fouling pitches back. [May] didn't pitch that bad. A lead-off home run, and then an 0-2 home run."

For the most part that's an accurate assessment. There were a couple very, very long at-bats. May wasn't bad by any means. I didn't get a chance to speak to him -- and I'm pretty sure he would not have been one to make excuses -- but you do have to wonder what happens to a starter after an hour-long delay. Especially when the starter gives up a first-pitch homer. Although May took the loss, there were plenty of good things about his performance tonight: first-pitch strikes seemed to be better; the curve was great, especially early in the game; the extremely wet conditions on the field didn't seem to affect his control; 6 Ks to 1 BB in 5 innings with 5 hits is a solid performance, excepting that 2/5 hits were homers.

All in all, what a crazy night. I'll be honest: I wanted to see a Miguel Sano home run tonight. I got what I came for, and then some. I'll leave you with a couple funny Sano stats: he's 4th on the Rock Cats in home runs despite playing only 17 games for them. He has more homers than singles. He has 16 RBIs in 17 games. And get this, HE'S BATTING A LOUSY .236. What a freak of nature.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Podcasting with Cody and Eric: Talk 2 Contact Episode 42

I was fortunate to get an invitation to (re)join one of the best Twins podcasts out there, the Talk 2 Contact podcast. I strongly urge you to listen to/download/share the entire thing, but I come in around minute 42 and talk about the Rock Cats, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Logan Darnell, Alex Meyer, Trevor May, and Danny Santana. 

Take a listen here.
Thanks, Eric and Cody, for having me on.
itunes pic

Monday, June 17, 2013

How are AA Pitchers Approaching Miguel Sano?

Last week, I was in the right place at the right time: the AA debuts of top Twins' prospect Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario. One big takeaway from Sano's and Rosario's first couple AA games was that their reputations preceded them; in other words, pitchers knew who these guys were. Take a look at the (grainy amateur) video I shot of some early at-bats -- the pitches weren't even close. As a result, Sano and Rosario, but Sano especially, seemed to only get maybe 1 pitch per at-bat in his wheelhouse. I suspect this is a problem that has plagued him his entire career, and probably won't stop until he he has someone equally or more talented hitting behind him.

Today I thought I would take a look at the very, very sample size that has been Sano's AA career. I want to see how pitchers are approaching his at-bats. As of the writing of this article, Sano has compiled 19 plate appearances for the Rock Cats: 1 hit, 6 walks, 3 Ks, and 9 other outs on balls in play. I'm going to use screenshots. As a caveat, please be aware that the Gameday information is imperfect: it's a good tool, but is, of course, subject to human error. That being said, let's take a look.

1: 5-pitch walk. Arguably 1 pitch to hit, and he fouled it off.

2: 2-pitch ground out to third

3: 3-pitch sac fly. All hittable pitches. 2 called strikes and the fly ball.

4: 4-pitch swinging K.

5: 5-pitch sac fly. The 3 balls appeared pretty far off the plate.

6: 6-pitch called strikeout. Looked like some hittable pitches up in the zone.

7: 5-pitch flyout to left.

8: 3-pitch flyout to right.

9: 1-pitch single to left. Looked like a good pitch to hit.

10: 2-pitch groundout to shortstop:

11: 5-pitch walk.

12: 3-pitch flyout to center.

13: 8-pitch walk. Looks like he was consistently worked outside.

14: 6-pitch walk. Again worked outside.

15: 6-pitch pop-out to first base. He was worked inside. Perhaps only the second or third plate appearance of thus far where a pitcher deliberately challenged him on the inner half.

16: 6-pitch walk. Again worked inside by Harrisburg starter Blake Treinen.

17: 3-pitch grounder to shortstop. Treinen went inside on the third pitch.

18: 3 called strikes.

19: 6-pitch walk. Check out those inside pitches.

Some quick takeaways from this very small sample size:

  • With the exception of the final game (appearances 15-19), teams are really working Sano outside. Not a big surprise. But the strange part is that the inside pitches, thus far, haven't produced big results. Sano is probably used to being pitched outside so much that the inside pitches might surprise him.
  • Sano has swung at the first pitch in 7 of these 19 plate appearances.
  • He has a strange, strange line of .091/.368/.091. This suggests at least 3 things: 1) the sample size is so small as to be meaningless; 2) Sano is not hitting yet; 3) he is reaching base via the walk at a high, high rate.
  • He's not striking out at a higher rate than he did at High-A.
  • Sano is taking good at-bats, even if they aren't ending with hits. He has only 1 one-pitch at-bat (it was his lone hit, by the way); he's averaging 4.3 pitches per plate appearance (for comparison, right now Joe Mauer is 6th in baseball with 4.24 pitches per plate appearance).
My quick take: Sano is doing what he should be doing. He's seeing pitches from pitchers that are new to him; he's managing to reach base at a good clip despite not getting base hits; he's "just missing" -- his words not mine -- baseballs. In other words, just be patient.

I'm curious what others think, or can glean, from these screenshots. It's going to be interesting to see how pitchers plan to approach Sano as spring becomes summer, and as Sano eventually starts to see some of these guys a second time. It will also help matters greatly if those batting behind Sano prove a formidable threat.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Sano & Rosario Show: Game 2

In the nightcap it wasn't just Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario that I was excited to see. This was also my first time seeing righty Trevor May in person.

May consistently hit 93 with his fastball in the 1st inning, and was moving it in and out pretty effectively. Same control problems we have all heard about, though. Had a 4-pitch walk and a wild pitch in the first inning. 20 pitches to get out of it. The second inning, though, was much better -- 14 pitches 1-2-3.

Ironically, former Twins' farmhand David Bromberg got the start for the Altoona Curve. He pitched very, very well tonight.

The Twins' big prospects: Rosario walked in his first at-bat. Sano K'd mightily. Morales -- who shouldn't be forgotten -- also struck out swinging.

Control issues came back in 3rd inning for Meyer. He walked leadoff batter, and took 13 total pitches to record an out (swinging strikeout). But then May came back with a convincing strikeout. He started off the next hitter with 3 balls before giving up a well struck homer to left-center. With May, it's not just the walks -- it's the extra pitches the walks and control problems generate. One positive: I like May's curve. Another: he was still throwing the fastball 93 in the 6th inning just about 90 pitches into his outing.

In Rosario's second at-bat, he really turned on a 1-1 offering for a hard single to right. It was a quick, decisive and powerful swing.

Sano's second at bat: worked a 3-1 count, got a pitch to hit, and again just missed it. Another high sacrifice fly just shy of the warning track, to put the Cats on the board.

Morales second at-bat: half-swing strikeout. Not a good at-bat. Rosario's third at-bat, half-swinging strikeout. He did take a vicious cut on a fastball earlier in the at-bat. I can definitely see where the power comes from.

Rosario made a great play at second -- picking a low throw from C Kyle Knudson and applying the tag just in time. Definitely an average to above-average play. The the kind of thing that makes a manager curse: Trevor May immediately walks that batter with 2 outs.

All in all, May had a decent start. 6 and 1/3 innings, charged with 3 earned runs. The control problems were on display, but so was his strikeout potential. 8 Ks and 3 walks; 106 pitches; 62 for strikes.

The players were pretty tired after the doubleheader, and the locker room was already clearing out. There was one guy at his locker, eating a plate of food in silence. It was Sano. I asked for just a moment of his time. Clearly Sano was tired from a whirlwind few days, but obliged. No translator, either!

Regarding his 2 sacrifice flies tonight, Sano admitted that "when [he] hit them, [he] thought they were home runs," but he was just "a little under" the ball. On his call-up: "I was so happy, I have been working so hard." Describing the moment he was called up, Sano told me: "[Doug] Mientkiewicz said 'Sano, Rosario, Morales come here. You're ready to be promoted to Double-A.'" Regarding his defense, at third base, Sano confirmed that he is "totally comfortable there." And again, he looked very comfortable fielding tonight.

All in all, it was 2 Rock Cats losses, but solid offensive and defensive performances from Sano and Rosario. More notes forthcoming, but it's been a long night of baseball.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Sano & Rosario Show: Game 1

New Britain only amassed 3 hits in the first of two 7-inning contests tonight, but to be completely honest, that wasn't the main -- or perhaps even secondary -- story. No, make no mistake, fans and reporters (including this fan/reporter) were here to see Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, and Angel Morales, the newest additions to the Rock Cats. I was fortunate to be in attendance, to take a few pictures, and even awful video, of the debuts.

Miguel Sano (#24), nicknamed "Boacton," warming up
One interesting item: the home plate umpire wore a camera on his facemask for the first part of the game. This was in connection with the documentary being filmed about Sano, The Miguel Sano Story. Here's some more information on that. I loved the first documentary, Ballplayer: Pelotero, and it's pretty cool that the sequel is (partly) being filmed right here. I suspect, though, that the filmmakers hope that the end of the documentary takes place a little west of Connecticut.

My biggest takeaway from the first game: Sano's defense looked good. The arm got the job done. Sano had to come in on a bunt early on and made a nice play, and he snagged a hard grounder right after (he actually took a few steps back to third base in a decent attempt to catch the runner on third, who had just broken home). At no point was there any awkward footwork or anything that would suggest that Sano was uncomfortable at that position. To be sure, he wasn't tested with a diving play, and didn't have to barehand a ball in this first game, but he looked good. Solid.

At bat, he was decent. He wasn't challenged in his first plate appearance, which ended in a 5-pitch walk. He was, however, thrown out stealing second. Don't forget -- Sano does have some speed (he stole 9 bases with Ft. Myers this spring). In his second at-bat he grounded rather routinely to third base. His final at-bat was probably the best. He was just under a fly ball, which went for a sac fly. He didn't "connect" with the pitch, yet it ended up just shy of the warning track.

You can check out awful videos of Sano's at-bats here. Again, the videos are jittery. I took them with my phone. I'll get better, maybe.

I thought Rosario played well, also. He took a 4-pitch walk in his first at-bat, hit a sinking liner to center in his second at-bat (that took a decent play from the centerfielder), and singled with a grounder up the middle in his final at-bat. No big defensive challenges that I recall.

Angel Morales batted 9th in the order. He struck out in his first at-bat, grounded out to second in his second at-bat, and grounded to short in his final trip to the plate.

General thoughts:

  • Rosario has a compact swing, and is not a huge guy, but you can see where the power comes from. For lack of a better word, he is coiled when he bats. I'm excited to watch him hit.
  • Wow, Sano is huge. Look at that picture of him compared to the other professional athletes next to him.
  • I think Sano is used to getting pitched around. The difference between High-A pitching and AA pitching is significant. Let's see Sano gets tons of pitches to hit early on, or if pitchers try to paint the corners when he bats.

Game 2 is just about to start. Let's see what happens. Expect more tweets, more awful videos, and another recap.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Miguel Sano: Probably a cornerstone of the 2016 Twins

This year's Twins are better than the 2012 edition, who thankfully were better than the 2011 edition (well, it was hardly possible to be any worse). All signs indicate that the 2014 edition will continue on that track of improvement. The trend is slow. Painfully slow. But the direction is undoubtedly correct.

I'm no expert on the Twins' minor leagues, or on prospecting in general. For the past couple seasons, though, I have seen guys come and go -- and sometimes come back again -- from New Britain. I've been fortunate to watch Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Arcia, Chris Colabello, and even "new guys" like Alex Meyer and Trevor May. In the coming months, I'll watch Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario. In short, what I lack in expertise I make up in convenient geographical location.

I've been thinking a lot recently about when the Twins can next win the AL Central -- not just "compete for it" -- and what their roster might look like. My best guess for the year is 2016, and what follows is a bunch of crazy roster projections.

Keep in mind, many, many prospects don't pan out. Even guys that dominate all levels of the minors routinely fail when they get to the majors. Also keep in mind that my projections don't take into account front office moves that may (I'm cringing typing this) move a few of our best prospects in coming years. I hope Terry Ryan & Company are still in a mindset of collecting, not dealing, prospects, but you never know. With those caveats in mind, here's a position-by-position look at how the Twins are going to win the AL Central in 2016.

Catcher: Joe Mauer: He's still under contract, still catching some, and is now playing some combination of first base/DH/right field in the 50 percent of games he doesn't catch. He can still hit .300, by the way, because he's awesome at the game of baseball and his knees are getting very routine rest.

Josmil Pinto: I hope he continues to produce and grow as a catcher. There's no reason he can't be catching half the Twins' games in 2016 and batting .280 with some power while doing so. I've watched him play probably a dozen or so games, and he is a professional hitter.

Chris Herrmann: He can, at the very least, be a third catcher/outfielder. I have every confidence that he can, in time, be a .270 hitter with a good eye at the plate. An all-star -- probably not. But an affordable back-up that can call a good game, absolutely.

Third Base: Miguel Sano: He's not a gold glover, but we don't need that. He plays adequate defense and is a force to be reckoned with at the plate. As I'm writing this post, he was just promoted to AA New Britain, so rest assured the Twins are not going to let their top prospects languish in the minors. If Sano cannot hack it at third base, he can always play first. But here's a question -- when was the last time that you heard a legitimate source claim that Sano was a serious question at third? Probably the very beginning of this season or the end of last season. Clearly there has been improvement!

Centerfield: Aaron Hicks. He will continue to improve, just as he did in 2012 with the Rock Cats, and just as he is slowly doing in Minnesota.

Byron Buxton: He might be one of the top 2 prospects in baseball right now. It's crazy to type that, but legitimate writers claim that as the truth. Buxton has a long way to go before he pans out, but I have yet to read any report suggesting that he does not have the skill set to become a solid major league player.

Corner Outfield: Oswaldo Arcia. He's already gotten a taste in Minnesota this year, and I was pretty impressed. Although he slumped at the end, he didn't look in over his head, and he demonstrated why he was named the Twins' minor league hitter of the year last season. He's good now, but he'll be great in a few years.

Aaron Hicks: If Byron Buxton becomes the player we hope he becomes, he will eventually win the centerfield job, pushing Hicks to a corner position.

Angel Morales: I honestly don't know much about him, but am looking forward to finding out more. He's 23 and now is in AA.

Joe Mauer: The guy has a cannon, and is just an all-around great athlete. I predict he'll get a 20-30 games in left field or right field.

Danny Ortiz: I've really like what I've seen from him in New Britain. I'm not sure what the scouting reports say, but I saw a good arm, and his batting stats have been impressive.

Middle Infield: Eddie Rosario. Rosario is young, and is still learning to play second, but has demonstrated that he is up to the challenge. By the way, he's probably one of the best offensive second base prospects we have had since Chuck Knoblauch. As with Sano, the reports of Rosario's difficulty learning the position have subsided this season.

Brian Dozier: 2013 is a little better than 2012. His glove is better, anyway. Will he get it together? Time will tell. In any event, if he does, he'll be an affordable option in 2016.

Levi Michael: I have yet to see Michael play, so I'm hesitant to judge. I'd love to see him have a breakout second half of 2013 and turn some heads.

James Beresford: He was just promoted to AAA today. Congratulations, James! He's not a first-tier prospect, but he has an excellent glove. Can he continue to hit .300? We'll see. Beresford, however, could be a great utility infielder, as shortstop is his natural position. If he was called up to the Twins today, the bat would be an issue, but I'd put his glove right up there with anyone in this organization.

Pitching: In short, pick 5 starters from this list:

Alex Meyer
Trevor May
J.R. Berrios
Alex Wimmers
Kohl Stweart
Kyle Gibson
Logan Darnell
D.J. Baxendale
Sam Deduno
Scott Diamond
Ryan Eades

Now, add a bullpen out of guys that didn't quite make it.

This list of players, of course, is conjecture. Archives of this post will live on in 2016, and some parts will undoubtedly be laughable. Others, however, I'm willing to bet will be very accurate.

Here's the best part about this list: Every position player on it is home-grown. Every player on it will be under team control in 2016. In fact, with the exception of Joe Mauer's $23 million, there are few players on this list that would command more than a couple million dollars per season. In short, there's ample room to spend on free agents in an area of weakness. Otherwise stated, there's TONS of money on the table if the Twins want to add an extra power bat as a DH, a top-of-the-line shortstop, or an "ace pitcher" to lead our young rotation.

The other reason that I listed 2016 as the year to win the AL Central is because of the learning curve of major league baseball. If we can learn anything from watching Aaron Hicks this season, it's that there is a gigantic difference from the minors to the majors. Sano, Rosario, and even Meyer might all have tough rookie seasons. Picking 2016 gives these young guys a chance to make it through the league a couple times, learn from mistakes, and learn to succeed.

So you've heard it here first: Don't count on the Twins the next couple seasons, but by 2016 this is going to be a dominating team.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rock Cats: Mid-Season Candidates for Promotion

Logan Darnell, New Britain's most consistent pitcher this season.
Image: Kevin Pataky,
It's been a fast 40 percent of the New Britain season. The team has played all right -- about what I expected, given difficulty of replacing guys like Aaron Hicks, Chris Herrmann, Oswaldo Arcia and Chris Colabello, who were the mainstays of the 2012 team, and who have all gone on to varying degrees of success in 2013 -- not only with the AAA Red Wings, but with the Twins. One of the most exciting things about following the Rock Cats is that I have realized how quick the path from central Connecticut to Minneapolis can be.

A comment about minor league baseball: it's not very helpful to focus on a minor league team's win-loss record. Sure, it's great to watch the Ft. Myers Miracle and the Cedar Rapids Kernels win most of their games (and it bodes well for the Twins' future), but those teams are temporarily fortunate to have clusters of great talent on the same roster. Rather, for me, Rock Cats baseball is mostly about following individual performances. With nearly half the season in the books, let's take a look at a few of the players that I think deserve a call-up from AA New Britain to AAA Rochester in the near future.

James Beresford. I'm not sure what else he needs to do. Beresford has played over 150 games for New Britain. His glove is great at both second base and shortstop -- that's never been an issue. He's third in the Eastern League in batting. Yes, there's little power. But so what? A middle infielder with a good glove that can hit .300 and reach base 40% of the time has value. Beresford deserves a long look in AAA to see how he can hit the pitching there. This is his second full season in New Britain, and I've seen enough. Also factoring into my recommendation to promote Beresford is Eddie Rosario. Unlike Miguel Sano, who undoubtedly will be promoted to the Rock Cats after the High-A All-Star Game, there's no immediate rush to promote Rosario, who is still learning second base, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Rosario come up to AA for the last month of 2013. Clearing Beresford's spot makes Rosario's path easier, and ensures that Rosario will get the reps he needs at second base.

Nate Hanson -- Great organizational guy. Plays all positions, but especially third base. Hanson has played over 180 games for the Rock Cats, and is hitting a solid .284 this season at AA.He had an abbreviated look at AAA Rochester last month, but needs a dedicated chance to succeed at that level. 64 at-bats -- what he received at Rochester -- is simply insufficient to judge any player. Reportedly, he hit the ball hard, but hit into some outs. If you only have 60 or so at-bats, a few hard outs, which could easily have been hits, makes a big difference. Additionally, Miguel Sano needs to move to New Britain the day after the High-A All-Star Game and play the remainder of 2013 at third base for the Rock Cats. Hanson to AAA makes sense all around.

Logan Darnell: Like Beresford, this is Darnell's second full season in AA, and he is showing improvement. In fact, he's been New Britain's most consistent starting pitcher. How consistent? 7 of his last 10 starts have met the definition of a quality start (not a great statistic, but worth something). Darnell has posted a 2.76 ERA, a 60/20 K/BB rate, and has allowed only 3 home runs in 75 innings pitched. I'm not sure what Darnell's future will be, but I am certain that the 24 year-old needs to pitch against more experienced hitters to so that the Twins' front office can get a better picture of what his ceiling is.

If you're a fan of the Twins' Top 10 organizational prospects, you might not like what I'm about to write now:

Alex Meyer isn't ready to be promoted. Yes, there are many, many more positives than negatives. One big positive is that he's second in the Eastern League in strikeouts, with 73. That's why we traded a good player, Denard Span, for him. But if I'm a member of the Twins' front office, I need to see more consistency from Meyer. By comparison to Darnell's 7 quality starts in his past 10, Meyer has 4. He also has yet to pitch into the 7th inning in any game he's started for the Rock Cats. Let that sink in for a second. If there's one thing the Twins need -- and expect -- it's that their best starters go deep into games. Meyer, who regularly throws over 100 pitches -- hasn't reached the 7th frame nearly halfway into his 2013 season. Meyer's season is somewhat similar to Kyle Gibson's in AAA -- a couple good starts followed by a clunker. Not that I expect 10 Ks and 1 earned run every single outing (which occurred in Meyer's most recent, and best, start), but in my opinion, there are composure and consistency issues that needs to be resolved -- or at least mitigated -- before I think it makes sense to send Meyer north to Rochester.

So in short, I'm ready to say goodbye to 3 mainstays. Beresford, Hanson and Darnell have put in their AA time. I don't like to think of "sink-or-swim" situations, but I think it's clear that each needs a solid couple months in Rochester to see how their games fare against better competition. But I'm not ready to let Meyer leave yet. There's no reason to rush him to AAA (especially considering how quickly the Twins are willing to pull "ready" players from Rochester after they arrive) before he is ready.

One final note: The Rock Cats host the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 10. I'm not sure how, if at all, personnel decisions may factor into this. On the one hand, it would be a nice reward for a guy like Beresford to be named to the All-Star Game held in his own park, but on the other hand, it would also be a nice reward to get bumped up to AAA before July 10.