Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rochester Red Wings (AAA): News and Notes

-Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan begins a rehab assignment with Rochester in today’s double header. Nathan is expected to pitch 2-3 times, barring setbacks, before he returns to Minnesota. It is unknown what Nathan’s role will be upon his return to the Twin Cities, but all signs currently point to a role in the 7th or 8th. Current closer Matt Capps has been serviceable and I’d assume Ron Gardenhire wants Nathan to regain his confidence at the Major League level before considering him in the 9th inning.

-Ben Revere continues to be productive enough in Minnesota as Denard Span remains on the new 7-day DL with concussion symptoms. Revere plays to contact at the plate, however, which is something he may need to alter if he wants to hit in the leadoff spot at the major league level. Four walks in 97 PAs in Minnesota simply won’t cut it. For what it’s worth, he had six walks in 141 PAs in AAA Rochester before his promotion. An OBP sitting in the .320 range is limiting his opportunities on the base paths. As someone whose career will likely rely on his ability to get on, get over, and get in, Revere must develop the ability to draw more walks.

-Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins were all activated by Minnesota, prompting Brian Dinkelman and Dusty Hughes to be sent back to AAA Rochester. Gardenhire has said that he wouldn’t be afraid to use Perkins in the 8th and did just that last night against the Padres.

-Kyle Gibson continues to be effective on the mound for Rochester . It has been widely rumored amongst the Twins brass that a call up for Gibson would signal that he is ready to stick in the majors for good. The organization doesn’t want him to have to get pounded (similar to Kyle Drabek in Toronto) and force them to send the youngster back down. His command has improved as the season has worn on which should be a welcomed sign for Twins fans.

I will be at the 7:05pm start tonight and will provide postgame thoughts and may tweet from time to time @Thomas_Saucke

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