rochester-red-wings

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YANKEE LEGEND

In the first image,  New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter shares a laugh with Rochester Red Wings second baseman Ray Olmedo on Monday, July 8, 2013 at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. Jeter has been playing with the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for his rehab.  (AP Photo / The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys) 

In the second image, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter tags out Rochester Red Wings base runner Deibinson Romero as he attempts to dive back to second base on Monday, July 8, 2013 at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. Jeter has been playing for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for rehab.  (AP Photo / The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys) 

In the third image,  New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter talks with reporters during pre game warmups during his rehab baseball game with the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders against the Rochester Red Wings on Monday, July 8, 2013 at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.  (AP Photo / The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys) 

In the fourth image, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter gives a fist pump to Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley before the game against the Rochester Red Wings on Monday, July 8, 2013 at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.  (AP Photo / The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys) 

In the fifth image,  New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter hugs Rochester Red Wings second baseman Ray Olmedo during pre game warmups on Monday, July 8, 2013 at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.  (AP photo / The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys)

In the sixth image,  New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter walks in the dugout as his loyal fans react during his rehab baseball game with the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders against the Rochester Red Wings on Monday, July 8, 2013 at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.  (AP Photo / The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys)

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The original Catwoman, Julie Newmar, was at the baseball game of the Rochester Red Wings on August 28th for a special Batman night where she spoke and signed autographs.  This was happening only one and a half hours away from me and I didn’t know about it until after!! Even though I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting her, it would’ve been so fun to meet her again and participate in this awesome Batman night!  

Photos from her Facebook page
Red Wings Defeat Braves 3-2 on a Walk-Off

Thursday

Though the Red Wings roster seems to fluctuate by the day, Rochester pulled out a 3-2 victory against the Gwinnett Braves from a walk-off RBI single by Ray Chang on Thursday.

Chang, in his first game as a Red Wings after being called-up from double-A New Britain yesterday, batted second and played shortstop. He finished 2-for-4 with a double.

Dustin Martin brought in a run off a groundout in the fifth and Toby Gardenhire hit another home run to account for the scoring.

Notables

-With Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe with the Twins, I was curious about how the lineup would shake up:

Dinkelman RF, Chang SS, Martin CF, Brown DH, Bailey 1B, Lambin 3B, Singleton 2B, Lehmann C, Gardy LF, Swarzak SP

Some observations: Both new additions, Chang and Steve Singleton were inserted into the middle infield positions; Dinkelman batted lead-off in the team’s first game without Ben Revere; Toby Gardenhire played left field. He’s played every position in his minor league career except centerfield; Brandon Roberts continues to be left out of the lineup. He’s been struggling, hitting .189/.232/.208/.440, and has not played since April 28 vs. Buffalo.

-Steve Singleton, another player recently promoted from class AA went 1-for-3 with a walk.

-Toby Gardenhire is the utility guy of all utility guys. Not only did he play left field, further proving that he is capable of playing all nine positions, but he hit another home run - his second this season and the fourth of his career.

-Swarzak, in his first start for Rochester since making a spot start for the Twins last week, is continuing his solid performance in a comeback season for him: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 0 BB.

Although he did allow a high number of hits, it’s important that he didn’t walk anyone. His problem when he has struggled with consistency is when he leaves his pitches up, especially his mid-70s changeup and low-90s fastball. When he starts losing command, his control is not there and he ends up giving up walks and runs - which did not happen last night. His 2011 K/BB ratio is at 3.33 and his triple-A average is 2.03 which is positive progression.

Red Wings Finish Consecutive Putrid Seasons

The Red Wings came into 2011 with the hopes of improving from the 95-loss 2010 season.

Ninety-five losses in 143 games seems impossible to replicate; but this season’s team almost did just that.

After an offseason of pressure and urgency for a much-improved season for one of the hallmarks of minor league baseball, Rochester finished with 91 losses…in 143 games. It finishes with the worst record in the all of triple-A.

Improvement, yes. But that is being facetious. Back-to-back 90-loss seasons is just what the headline says: putrid. And historic. Some notes about the current streak of three losing seasons for Rochester:

  • Rochester is only the fourth International League team to lose 90 or more games in a season since 1979 (2010 Rochester Red Wings 49-95 record, 2000 Richmond Braves 51-92 record and 1985 Pawtucket Red Sox 48-91 record)
  • Rochester is the first IL team to have back-to-back 90-loss seasons since Syracuse back in 1961 (56-98 record) & 1962 (53-101 record). 
  • It’s the first time a Red Wings team has had back-to-back 90-loss seasons since 1903 (34-96 record) & 1904 (28-105 record).

There are plenty of factors, and most of them connect back to the Twins. Rochester endured an all-time franchise record of 140 total transactions and used 55 unique players. It must have difficult for former manager Tom Nieto to build lineups and develop a bullpen strategy when the roster was changing every day.

The Red Wings began the season with only a few players who had any chance of playing in the Majors. If players such as Rene Tosoni, Rene Rivera, Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe and Ben Revere (who all played fewer than half of the Red Wings’ games this season) had actually played the majority of the season with Rochester like what was originally expected before the Twins crumbled apart due to injuries, the season would have much different.

Precarious Future for Red Wings?

ESPN SweetSpot blogger, Davis Schoenfield wrote on Tuesday about the potential “dark years ahead” for the Minnesota Twins.

This obviously would have adverse effects on Rochester’s future success.

Schoenfield points out that even if Mauer and Morneau return to their former-selves, “this is a franchise that has a lot of rebuilding in front of it. None of the younger players on the team project as stars and the farm system isn’t highly rated.”

The younger players referred to (Ben Revere, Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe, Danny Valencia, etc.) were supposed to star for the Red Wings this season and with a majority of games-played, could have probably helped the Red Wings avoid a consecutive 90-loss season (with two more losses in 2011).

It might appear things will get better for the Red Wings – perhaps even next season – when Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks, Joe Benson, Liam Hendriks and Kyle Gibson all have full, healthy seasons in triple-A. As far as the Twins go though, Schoenfield implies that these top prospects are far from helping the Twins. He uses the term “isn’t highly rated” regarding the Twins’ farm system, but Kevin Goldstein gave them a “C” when I asked him on Twitter earlier this season.

It’s always possible for affiliates to do well while the parent club isn’t – but it seems like the Twins have dug themselves a hole in areas like bullpen and infield depth – that it might indeed lead to “dark years ahead.”

The Game When Toby Gardenhire Hit a Home Run

Today

ROCHESTER – Behind home runs by 7-8-9 hitters, Chase Lambin, Danny Lehmann and Toby Gardenhire, the Red Wings defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox 9-7 at Frontier Field Saturday.

Rochester fell behind 3-0 in the first inning under starter Yorman Bazardo, but the Red Wings rallied to tie the game in the third and it was a shootout from that point.

“It’s one of those things where once you kind of get a spark going, then all of a sudden, guys are starting to get really excited in the dugout, and that really showed today because once we started going and scoring runs, everybody was getting excited and then we kept it going,” Gardenhire said about the offensive output and come-from-behind win.

Referring to the offensive production from the bottom-third of the lineup, designated hitter Brian Dinkelman said, “When we get some production out of those guys with some home runs we gotta wins this game, don’t we? We haven’t score a bunch of runs lately, so it was good to get a few runs today and get us another win.”

Notables

Rochester:

-Dustin Martin: 1-2, 3 RBI, 2B

-Ben Revere:1-4, run

-Trevor Plouffe: 0-3, RBI

-Anthony Slama: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 HBP

-Kyle Waldrop: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 K, 0 BB

Pawtucket:

-Jose Iglesias: 0-3, K

-Luis Exposito: 1-4, HR, K

-Alfredo Aceves: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, K (51 pitches, 33 strikes)

Numbers

2 - the number of Toby Gardenhire’s career home runs before the one he hit today. The team greeted him at the bottom stair of the dugout as he returned and cheered around him like it was a walk-off.

“They like it when I hit home runs,” he joked post game. He must have hit the ball very hard to send it out of left field because he said that he top-spun it which caused it to hook.

Surely his dad, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, will be interested in talking to his son since this is such a rare occasion. “When I hit a home run, something crazy must have happened, so my dad’s going to call,” Gardenhire said laughing.

5 - the number of hit-by-pitches. Pawtucket’s Yamaico Navarro was hit twice: once by Slama and once by Bazardo.