Minor Thoughts: Rock Cats On The Prowl

In this edition of Minor Thoughts, Kyle Lohse will make his first start of the season for Rochester on Saturday, Glen Perkins and the New Britain Rock Cats are on a roll, the Fort Myers Miracle have not scored a run in their last 19 innings of play, and the Beloit Snappers have won six straight.

Lohse To Start For Red Wings Saturday: Kyle Lohse will make his first start of the season for the Rochester Red Wings on Saturday, as the team plays a doubleheader against Ottawa. Lohse, who was demoted to Triple-A after eight bad starts to open the season for the Twins, is going to have to work on his overall game if he wants to get back into the Major Leagues. His agent is reportedly looking into a trade, and the Twins may be able to pick up a decent player for the young pitcher.

The Wings starting lineup for Lohse's start has a Major League look to it, so Lohse should not feel too out of place. Jason Tyner, Jason Bartlett, Jason Kubel, Glenn Williams, Terry Tiffee, and Shawn Wooten have all played in the Major League, and they make up most of the Wings' lineup for the Lohse start. The Wings are currently in the hunt for the International League North division lead, and Lohse should be a good addition to their rotation if he pitches like he is capable.

Cats' Making Moves: Sure the Rock Cats got right-hander Matt Garza from the Fort Myers Miracle this past week, but he is not the only bright spot on the roster right now. The team has currently won five straight games, and is making some ground up on the rest of the field in the Eastern League Northern division. Adam Harben, Errol Simonitsch, Glen Perkins, and Nick Blackburn join Garza in the rotation, and all of these guys are pitching really well lately.

While their pitching has been stellar lately, the offense is also doing their part to help the team win. Daniel Matienzo has turned his season around as of late, and 3B Matthew Moses and CF Denard Span are two of the biggest prospects in the organization. Add Douglas Deeds and Alexander Romero to the mix, and you have one of the better lineups in the Eastern League.

Scoreless In Fort Myers: The Miracle have been struggling lately, and it is not because they recently lost their ace to promotion. It is the offense who has not been showing up to work, as the Miracle have not scored a run in their last 19 innings of play. In fact, they have not scored a run since Wednesday, and they have almost looked lost at the plate. While you can't win if you don't score, the pitching has not been too great either.

In the past two games, the Miracle have been outscored 24-0, meaning the pitching staff is mired in a slump as well. Though they lost Garza, they still have two of the best right-handed pitching prospects in the organization in Anthony Swarzak and Kevin Slowey, and they should get a good performance out of Swarzak on Saturday. Swarzak has been pitching better lately, and should do a good job against St. Lucie.

Six In a Row For Snappers: The Snappers have won six straight games, and are now only 0.5 games behind first place Kane County in the Midwest League Eastern division. One reason for their success has been first baseman Erik Lis, who is arguably the best hitter in the Midwest League. At press time, Lis is batting .353 on the season, and leads the organization with six home runs.

Brian Duensing is another reason for the Snappers' success, as the left-hander is having one of the better seasons in the entire organization. In his eight starts, he has posted a 2.01 earned run average, and has struck out 44 batters in 52.1 innings of work. The Snappers did get some bad news this past week when Juan Portes broke his finger, but they should be able to fill the void left by his injury.


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