Posts Tagged ‘Ben Revere’

Twins notebook, 7/17

July 17, 2011 Comments off

Twins put Baker on DL, promote Diamond

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins made a number of roster moves after Sunday’s game, placing Scott Baker on the disabled list, selecting the contract of Scott Diamond, while optioning Matt Tolbert and recalling Chuck James.With Baker having second thoughts about his scheduled start on Monday afternoon, the Twins chose to put him on the 15-day DL, giving the right-hander a few more days to rest his strained right elbow.

“He was really unsure whether he was going to be able to go in this start,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He thought he could pitch, but he didn’t know the ramifications after he pitched, how that would come into play, if he’d be really sore and end up having to miss starts after it.”

In place of Baker, Anthony Swarzak will start the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Indians. He was originally scheduled to pitch the nightcap of the twin bill.

Diamond, a lefty who is 4-8 with a 4.70 ERA for Triple-A Rochester this season, will make his Major League debut in Game 2 of the doubleheader.

A 2010 Rule 5 Draft selection by the Twins, Diamond will take the 40-man roster spot once occupied by Eric Hacker.

“We’ll give [Diamond] a chance to kind of regroup, sit around here, see what it’s all about, get a feel for a few more things,” Gardenhire said. “We’re facing the Cleveland Indians and he’s being thrown into a fire here, so we’ll see how he does. He’s a nice-looking young pitcher.”

Baker was scheduled to make his first start since July 5, when he exited the game after just five innings due to a right elbow strain.

Instead, he’ll be on the DL until at least Friday with the move retroactive to July 7.

“He wanted to pitch, but it just wasn’t going to work out,” Gardenhire said. “He was very unsure of how it was going to turn out. You can’t have uncertainty out there.”

Span will stay in center field upon return

MINNEAPOLIS — When he returns from the disabled list, Denard Span will be the Twins center fielder.

When asked if he had given any thought about how the outfield would look when Span returns from the DL after being sidelined for six weeks with a concussion, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he would not take away Span’s starting spot due to the injury.

“Denard’s our center fielder,” Gardenhire said.

“You’re talking about a personality here that feels he belongs in center field, too. You have to weigh a lot of things. He’s earned his right to play center field.”

With Span out, rookie Ben Revere has done an excellent job filling in, both at the plate and in the field.

Gardenhire indicated he would like to keep Revere in the lineup, but would not do so at Span’s expense.

“We’ll just let it play out, see what happens,” Gardenhire said. “If I have to make changes I would — but I’d talk to Denard about that [first] — to keep everybody’s bats in the lineup. We’ve already seen Revere can play right field, too.

“So, if I have to keep his bat in the lineup, which I would love to, it’s not going to be easy, but we’re just going to have to figure it out. Whatever makes us win, whatever makes us go. Right now Ben’s been making us go.”

Gardy, Nishioka let it ride for World Cup

MINNEAPOLIS — With their respective nations squaring off in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, manager Ron Gardenhire and infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka made a friendly wager on the game.

There is no money riding on the game between the United States and Japan, but the loser of the bet will have to wear a T-shirt of the winner’s choice.

“It’s a very exciting day for both of us,” Gardenhire said. “Our women versus his women. Pretty neat.”

The Twins skipper said he already had a shirt in mind for Nishioka.

“I wish I could trash talk in Japanese right now, ’cause he’d hear it all,” Gardenhire said. “He’s going to have to wear, ‘I love American women.’ I don’t know what he’s got for me.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De La Rosa shines, gets no support from bats

June 29, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — His third pitch of the game aside, Rubby De La Rosa was dominant on Wednesday against the Twins. But with no support from the offense, the Dodgers lost, 1-0, at Target Field.

Twins leadoff hitter Ben Revere crushed a 1-1 fastball from De La Rosa into the gap in right, cruising into third base with a standup triple. Revere then scored the game’s only run on a soft grounder back to the pitcher.

De La Rosa tossed a career-high seven innings, giving up just one run on six hits. He struck out four and allowed two walks.

“I was trying to get ahead and have them swing at the first pitch,” De La Rosa said through an interpreter.

De La Rosa fell behind in the count a number of times Wednesday — including the first four batters he faced — but he frequently followed a first-pitch ball with a strike. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the biggest thing that De La Rosa did right was attacking the strike zone and limiting the number of walks.

Out of 95 pitches — not counting the intentional walk to Revere — De La Rosa threw 80 fastballs, mixing in just seven changeups and eight sliders.

The right-hander threw 69 strikes on the day, inducing eight swings and misses. In doing so, De La Rosa left quite an impression on the Twins.

“He made some of us look pretty bad at times,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “So that says a little bit about how much De La Rosa’s ball was moving.”

Only one Twins hitter — Revere — had more than one hit against De La Rosa. He also retired Minnesota in order the second time through the lineup.

“He’s more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point, but that’s kind of a compliment. He has great stuff, electric stuff,” said Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who grounded out three times against De La Rosa.

“He has a great fastball and could probably go out there and throw 95 percent fastballs and get guys out. The ball is moving all over the place, and once he figures out where it’s going on a consistent basis, he’ll be that much better.”

The Dodgers’ offense opened the game with three straight swinging strikeouts, and things did not get much better after that. Los Angeles managed just six hits and had more than one baserunner in an inning only once, with two singles in the second.

It was the eighth time this season the Dodgers were shut out, and their second 1-0 loss. The other came on May 17 against Josh Collmenter and the D-backs.

Entering Wednesday, the Dodgers had a National League-leading .281 team batting average. Even with that, the team has remained inconsistent, finishing with a 10-16 record in June.

“At times, it looks OK; at times, it doesn’t,” Mattingly said of the offense. “I think somebody told me before the game we were the best [hitting] team in baseball in June. I don’t know what that tells you, but [we’re] still not being able to put up enough runs to put wins together.”

Twins right-hander Scott Baker bounced back from a rough outing in Milwaukee over the weekend, striking out nine and walking one over 7 1/3 shutout innings. It was the third outing of seven or more innings by Baker in June.

In his last four trips to the hill, Baker is 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA and 30 strikeouts.

“I know he kind of likes to play with that fastball up in the zone,” Mattingly said. “That’s not necessarily a surprise, but it obviously looks good to hit. He’s able to pitch up there. He kind of changes planes, he’s got a good breaking ball it looks like, and for the most part, [he] throws strikes.”

All but one hit allowed by Baker was a single, with Matt Kemp’s sixth-inning double the only exception.

Kemp could have done more with the two-bagger, as he slowed around first, thinking he was out and even removing his helmet before replacing it and easing into second. He still advanced to third on his 22nd stolen base of the season, but James Loney could not drive him in.

After putting up 25 hits and 15 runs in the opening game of the series, the Dodgers managed just four runs and 13 hits in dropping the last two contests. With the loss Wednesday, they dropped to 10 games under .500 for the second time this season, but nonetheless remained positive after the game.

“We’re not frustrated,” Kemp said. “We have a lot of time left, we’re going to keep playing, keep battling, and we’re going to try our best to turn this thing around. We’ve got faith in ourselves.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recent Twins picks making upward moves

June 8, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — Over the past few years, the Twins have made a habit of drafting collegiate pitchers who can move quickly through their Minor League system.

That didn’t change in 2011 when they took 19 college pitchers, and it is noticeably a common theme among a number of their current top prospects.

“I wouldn’t say just to get them through the system quickly,” said Twins scouting director Deron Johnson. “If you look at the All-Star Game, the majority of the starters tend to either be free-agent Latin American signees or high school guys. So you get big leaguers from everywhere.”

Of their top 10 prospects entering the season, center fielder Ben Revere has already played in nearly two dozen games, and a pair of Triple-A arms, Carlos Gutierrez and Kyle Gibson, could join the club by the end of the year.

Two of the targeted positions in this year’s draft were shortstop and catcher, as the Twins remain thin at both areas in their Minor League system. They’re stronger in the outfield, where Revere has led the way and Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson are a few years away.

“It’s a long road to get to the Major Leagues,” Johnson said. “It took Torii Hunter, what, six years to get to the big leagues? And he was a first-round pick. This isn’t an easy game.

“Gibson obviously stands out; he’s been somewhat of a quick mover. Hicks has been a little slower, but he was a high school guy and he’s got tremendous upside, so we’re happy with him, too.”

Here’s a brief look at some of the Twins’ more notable selections and where they are in the pipeline:

From the 2006 Draft:

Chris Parmelee, 1B: Taken with the 20th overall pick, Parmelee has been hitting well this season for Double-A New Britain. Parmelee is batting .277/.360/.413 with four home runs and 30 RBIs. In 2009 with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, Parmelee was a midseason and postseason All-Star. After splitting time between right field and first base last season, Parmelee has been strictly a first baseman in 2011.

Joe Benson, OF: The Twins’ second-round pick at No. 64 overall, Benson is one of their top prospects and could join the Major League club as soon as next season. Benson is batting .294/.380/.489 with five home runs and 26 RBIs as the center fielder for Double-A New Britain. The speedy outfielder also has seven stolen bases this year after swiping 19 last year. Benson has definite 20-20 potential and the range to stay in center, but his arm and bat also translate well to right field.

From the 2007 Draft:

Ben Revere, OF: Selected 28th overall, Revere started the season as one of the Twins’ top five prospects, and now finds himself as a regular part of the big league lineup. Revere has been batting leadoff of late for the Twins, putting together an 11-game hitting streak while showing off his speed in the outfield and on the basepaths. In 22 games this year with the Twins, Revere is batting .302 with a .323 on-base percentage and four stolen bases.

Danny Rams, C: A second-round selection, Rams saw time late last season at Double-A New Britain, but has spent 2011 at Class A Advanced Fort Myers. In 45 games with the Miracle, Rams has batted .268 with a .775 OPS. Rams has hit four home runs and collected 21 RBIs this season. His strikeout totals have been high, with 154 last year and 53 already in 2011. Rams’ struggles are part of the reason the Twins looked to add catching depth to their system in this year’s draft.

From the 2008 Draft:

Aaron Hicks, OF: Selected 14th overall, Hicks, the Twins’ top prospect, was rated as the No. 45 prospect in the league by Baseball America. He has struggled at the plate in two years with Class A Beloit and this year with Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Hicks is a switch-hitting five-tool player with excellent speed and power from both sides of the plate. He remains a few years away from joining the Twins at the Major League level, but when he gets there, Hicks has the potential to be an excellent center fielder.

Carlos Gutierrez, RHP: Taken with the 27th pick in 2011, Gutierrez is likely to be the next on the list of top prospects to join the Twins’ big league club. In 24 games this year with Triple-A Rochester, the right-hander has compiled a 3.62 ERA while striking out 26 batters in 37 1/3 innings. Gutierrez has gone back and forth between starting and relieving, but appears to have found a more permanent role in the bullpen. His best pitch is a nasty hard sinker that results in a lot of groundouts.

From 2009:

Kyle Gibson, RHP: Drafted with the Twins’ 22nd overall pick, Gibson is right up there with Gutierrez in terms of readiness to move to the Major League level. Gibson has advanced quickly since being drafted out of Missouri, and is likely to join the Twins at some point this season. In 11 starts for Triple-A Rochester this year, Gibson had a 3.90 ERA with 64 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 60 innings. Gibson has above-average stuff, especially his plus changeup and slider, which induces a lot of grounders.

From 2010:

Alex Wimmers, RHP: Taken with the No. 21 overall pick, Wimmers showed plenty of potential last year with Class A Advanced Fort Myers as another college pitcher who could move quickly through the Minors. In four games, Wimmers went 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA, striking out 23 batters in 15 2/3 innings. This year has not gone as well for Wimmers, who walked all six batters he faced in his 2011 debut, giving up four runs and taking the loss. He has since been moved to extended Spring Training, where he and the Twins are working on his mechanics.

Undrafted Free Agent Signees:

Miguel Sano, 3B: Signed in the 2009 international signing period, Sano started 2010 in the Dominican Summer League before joining the Twins’ rookie ball club in the Gulf Coast League. In 61 games between the two leagues last year, Sano batted .307/.379/.491 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs. Sano has tremendous raw power to all fields and should hit for average as well. Having just turned 18 in May, Sano likely remains four years away from the Major League level.

Oswaldo Arcia, OF: Likely a corner outfielder at the next level, Arcia was the Appalachian League MVP in 2010, leading that rookie circuit in a number of offensive categories. Arcia has power to all fields, but needs to cut down on strikeouts. In 20 games this year with Class A Beloit, Arcia has batted .352/.420/.704 with five home runs and 18 RBIs.

Liam Hendriks, RHP: Derailed by an appendectomy last season, the Aussie right-hander has had some issues staying healthy, but when he is, he can throw four pitches for strikes with great command. He pitched in Australia over the winter and has been impressive at Double-A New Britain in 2011. Hendriks has a 2.75 ERA with 58 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 59 innings this year for the Rock Cats.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins show fight, but drop fifth straight

May 12, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — As he saw Matt Tolbert’s double headed to the gap in right, the only thing on Twins outfielder Ben Revere’s mind was scoring from first base. With his head down, Revere took off, quickly rounding second and then third.

With the relay coming in, Revere slid between the legs of catcher Alex Avila, as the throw from Tigers second baseman Scott Sizemore went wide. Revere was safe, tying the game, but he paid a price for his efforts, taking a hard hit to the chin from Avila’s knee.

“I was running top speed trying to tie this game, and luckily I was able to tie the game at that point,” Revere said. “I really did not know. Some guys said I flipped the catcher over, but I got hit in the chin a little bit. It looked like I got more of the collision than he did, but I did anything I could to sacrifice my body to score that run.”

That hustle and determination from Revere, which drew a standing ovation from the crowd of 38,938 at Target Field, was a little like the way Wednesday’s game went for the Twins. Every time they worked hard to come back from a deficit, they were knocked back down by the Tigers, who came away with the 9-7 victory for the two-game series sweep.

“Kind of a wild one out there today,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “Opportunities lost and we also picked up some big hits and battled our tails off to get back in it. But we didn’t make enough pitches.”

After coming from behind three times to tie the game or take the lead on Wednesday, the Twins were all out of comebacks in the ninth inning.

Entering the inning tied at seven runs apiece, closer Matt Capps surrendered a pair of runs in the final frame, giving the game back to the Tigers yet again.

It was a forgettable outing for Capps, who served up a two-run blast in the eighth to Jhonny Peralta, but still had a chance to pick up the win after the Twins tied it in the bottom half of the inning on Tolbert’s RBI double.

“It was a slider that I left up,” Capps said. “I just left it up over the plate and he hit it.”

According to Peralta, there was a bit of luck involved, too.

“I’m not looking for that pitch,” Peralta said. “I’m looking for a sinker and he threw me a slider right there. I don’t know how I made good contact, but it’s working.”

Peralta’s home run came just after the Twins appeared to have made the comeback needed for a thrilling victory.

Following a one-out RBI double in the seventh that cut the lead to two runs, designated hitter Jason Kubel crushed a 1-1 sinker from Tigers reliever Daniel Schlereth 460 feet into the right field seats for a three-run blast. In their 35th game, it was the Twins’ first three-run home run of the year.

Kubel’s home run was his team-leading fourth of the season, and his four RBIs in the game also put him in the team lead with 20. He added a single and a walk on a 2-for-4 day as the Twins broke out the bats for a couple late rallies that were all for naught.

“It definitely shifted the momentum on our side,” Kubel said of the home run. “But they came right back and put us back down. But we fought back, and then it got away from us again.”

With a thin bullpen, the Twins were hoping for a quality start from right-hander Scott Baker. Instead, Baker delivered a shaky, walk-filled 4 1/3 innings that put his team in a 5-2 hole through five innings.

Baker had been brilliant in his last four starts, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA while averaging seven innings per game. Over that span, Baker racked up 25 strikeouts against only four walks.

He continued to add to his strikeout total on Wednesday, recording six, but walks became a problem again for Baker, just as they have been for the rest of the Twins pitching staff early this season. Baker issued five bases on balls, marking a career high for the right-hander.

“Just a couple mechanical issues where at times mechanically you’re not where you need to be,” Baker said. “That translates to your hand not being where it needs to be which translates to the ball not going where you want it to go.

“Obviously we’re not robots, we’re human beings. So sometimes it’s harder to make that adjustment than others. Today, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make that adjustment.”

Baker’s walks were not the only ones that hurt the Twins on the day.

Lefty reliever Jose Mijares walked Brennan Boesch with one out in the eighth, which set up Peralta’s two-run, pinch-hit blast off Capps one batter later. With his team issuing eight walks on the day, Gardenhire was not at all pleased.

“You walk people there at the end of the ballgame, you don’t want to put anybody on base,” Gardenhire said. “That’s not being too fine, that’s just not throwing it over. You’ve got to have courage, too. Courage is throwing the ball over the plate, making them swing the bat and hopefully we’ll catch it. Sometimes you back away and you shy away and that’s not good enough.”

Gardenhire also was unhappy with the missed opportunities in the game offensively. In particular, he could not understand how center fielder Denard Span was unable to score from second base on Luke Hughes’ double in the seventh.

As Gardenhire saw it, Span should have been at least halfway to third on the play, and as the team’s fastest runner, should have scored easily.

Span eventually scored on Kubel’s home run, but it was a mistake that could have cost the Twins had it not been for their designated hitter’s three-run blast. As much as injuries, illnesses and offensive struggles have been an issue for the Twins early this season, fundamental lapses have found their way into the mix as well.

That, Gardenhire says, is something that needs to be fixed for them to start winning games.

“The fundamental stuff and the little stuff we have done so well, these guys have been part of that,” he said. “There are not any guys out there on the field who have not been part of that through Spring Training and part of the season.

“So you can’t tell me you don’t know. You can’t tell me that. It’s just not getting it done.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.