Charlotte, NC Bound – Rochester Red Wings infielder Jorge Polanco, left-handed pitcher Jason Wheeler and pitching coach Stu Cliburn have been named International League All-Stars, the league announced on Wednesday.
Polanco’s selection is his second in as many seasons and third in the last four years. The middle infielder was a Southern League All-Star for Double-A Chattanooga last season and a Midwest League All-Star selection in 2013 with Single-A Cedar Rapids. The 22-year-old is batting .283/.338/.482 through 49 games for Rochester this season while his six triples are tied for second in the league. Polanco also has 11 doubles, five homers, 22 RBI and 21 runs scored for the Wings.
This is Wheeler’s second All-Star selection and first since being named a Midwest All-Star for Single-A Beloit in 2012. Entering Friday, his 2.64 ERA ranks sixth and his 1.05 WHIP is fifth in the IL. The 25-year-old has been stellar and has not lost a start since dropping a complete game decision on May 2 at Syracuse. He’s 6-1 and has allowed 66 hits and 16 walks with 62 strikeouts in 78.1 innings this season after being transferred to the Red Wings from Double-A Chattanooga on April 27.
Cliburn is in his fourth season as Red Wings pitching coach but the first since 2008. He’s in his 25th season coaching in the Twins organization, having served as pitching coach fo Minnesota’s Double-A affiliates the past seven years. This is the 59-year-old’s All-Star selection, joining 2013 with the Double-A Eastern League, 2007 with the Eastern League and the 2002 Double-A All-Star Game for the American League.
The International League will take on the Pacific Coast League All-Stars on Wednesday, July 13 at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, NC. The game can be that day on MLB Network beginning at 7 pm.
The Minnesota Twins have agreed to sign left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers to a minor league contract and assigned him to Rochester, effective Friday, April 29.
Albers made one start for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Independent Atlantic League this season, allowing just one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts over 7.0 scoreless innings at Southern Maryland. He spent last season in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, making 20 appearances (15 starts) with Triple-A Buffalo and one relief outing in the Majors.
The Kentucky-product rejoins the Red Wings after making 22 starts with three complete games and one shutout for Rochester in 2013. He made his Major League debut with the Twins that year, throwing 8.1 scoreless innings at Kansas City on August 6 in his first MLB start and followed that with a complete game two-hit shutout of Cleveland on August 12. Albers spent 2014 with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization.
The Red Wings will have a new look to them when they open a 3-game series in Buffalo on Tuesday night. Gone is Alex Meyer – Tuesday’s scheduled starter for Rochester, RHP Loek van Mil and OF David Murphy. Coming is a pair of highly-touted OF prospects in Byron Buxton and Max Kepler.
Meyer could not have done any more to earn his second-ever recall to the Big Leagues. In 3 games (2 starts) with the Wings, the hard-throwing right-hander was 1-1 with a 1.04 ERA (17.1 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB 19 K) and a .183 BAA.
Meyer’s MLB debut came last year on June 26 at Milwaukee. In 2 career appearances (both in relief) with the Twins he’s allowed 5 ER in 2.2 IP. He’ll likely find himself back in the Twins bullpen after a taxing 16-inning loss to Washington on Sunday afternoon.
Meyer is the 6th Red Wing to be promoted to Minnesota this season following Kepler, Taylor Rogers, Jorge Polanco, Ryan O’Rourke and Tyler Duffey.
Buxton, 22, won the Twins Opening Day job in center but hit just .156 with a .208 OBP in 17 games. One of the top prospects in the entire game, Buxton hit .400 (22-for-55) in 13 games with Wings last summer – including a hit in all 13 contests.
Kepler meanwhile rejoins the Wings after being recalled on April 10 when Danny Santana landed on the disabled list. The Twins reigning minor league player of the year hit .167 with two doubles in 12 at-bats. He’ll make his Frontier Field debut on Friday when the Wings open a 4-game, 3-day series against Scranton/WB.
The Wings got a bit shorter on the roster as not only was the 6′ 9” Meyer promoted but the tallest player in pro baseball, Loek van Mil, at 7′ 1” was released Monday as well. The right-hander in his second stint in the Twins organization went 0-1 with a 23.63 ERA in 5 games (14 ER/5.1 IP).
Murphy, who signed a minor league deal with the Twins on April 15, was given his unconditional release by the club. The long-time Major Leaguer hit just .194 with a home run in 10 games in Rochester.
The Wings have their first of only eight off days all summer today. They open a 3-game series against the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field on Tuesday night (6:05 p.m.).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Following the game yesterday Skipper Mike Quade spent some time in thought as he could not recall if he had lost both members of his battery on the same day hours before a scheduled game.
That was the case on Saturday
Right-hander Tyler Duffey was scheduled to start yesterday against Buffalo but was informed hours before the start he had a spot reserved on a flight to Washington, D.C. to pitch at Nationals park on Sunday afternoon. Duffey is set to face the Nationals with a 12:35 p.m. first pitch time in place of Ervin Santana who is experiencing back spasms and will miss the start.
Duffey went 5-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 10 starts for the Twins in 2015.
Catcher John Hicks was also informed before the game he was leaving Rochester. Hicks was claimed off of waivers by Detroit after batting .242 with a solo homer in nine games for the Red Wings. He will report to the Double-A Erie Seawolves.
C Carlos Paulino was transferred to Rochester from Double-A Chattanooga in light of the Hicks move and was inserted directly into the starting lineup. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
Touted as a defensive catcher, Paulino spent part of 2015 in Rochester batting .257 with five doubles, a triple and eight RBIs in 34 games for the Wings.
To assist with the struggling Wings bullpen reliever Marcus Walden has been transferred from Double-A Chattanooga. In six appearances out of the bullpen Walden recorded one save with a 1.74 ERA (2 ER, 10.1 IP) for the Lookouts.
Walden is in his ninth professional season, his first with the Twins, with his fourth professional organization. He came up in Toronto’s organization but has spent time with Oakland and last season in the Reds’ organization with the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Walden spent time in Triple-A with Sacramento (Pacific Coast League) and Buffalo in 2014. His first Triple-A experience actually came against the Red Wings back on April 3, 2014 in relief. He threw the seventh inning for Buffalo and gave up one hit in a game that Buffalo’s Sunday starter Scott Diamond lost for Rochester.
With the moves today, Rochester’s active roster is full at 25.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have placed infielder Trevor Plouffe on the 15-day disabled list (retro 4/18) with a right intercostal strain, an injury he suffered in Sunday’s game against Los Angeles-AL.
To replace Plouffe on the 25-man roster, the Twins have recalled infielder Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester. Polanco has a career major league batting average of .313 (5-for-16) with a double, a triple, four RBI and three runs scored in nine games.
Polanco has been the Wings most consistent offensive threat through the first 11 games. Polanco was batting .286 with a home run and a pair of RBIs. Polanco also was leading the International League in triples with three thus far.
He is the fourth Red Wing to be recalled to Minnesota as he joins OF Max Kepler, LHP Taylor Rogers and LHP Ryan O’Rourke. The Twins started the season 0-9 but they have now won four consecutive games.
Rogers has been optioned back to Rochester after making his big-league debut on April 17 against the White Sox. Rogers pitched the ninth frame against the Chicago going 0.2 innings while surrendering just one hit. He made one appearance with Rochester on April 7 going 2.0 innings while allowing one hit with a walk and strikeout at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Written by Communications Intern Austin Hawkins
April 18, 1981.
What began as Easter Eve in New England 35 years ago became a marathon etched in Rochester baseball lore.
National baseball lore for that matter.
Bob Drew called nearly three and a half games that April night as the game between Pawtucket and Rochester was called at 4:07 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning.
It wasn’t even over yet and it was already the longest game in baseball history.
Dave Huppert, the then Red Wings man behind the dish, has been quoted saying he requested the home plate umpire call 16 straight balls to end the game.
History tells us that request wasn’t granted.
International League President Harold Cooper ordered the game be suspended before the start of the 33rd inning with the score knotted at 2-2.
The players, coaches and 19 fans who endured the rigid Western New York night for eight hours at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium drove home with the sun on the horizon.
The rooster’s were crowing. The sun was rising.
Sixty-five days later, on June 23, an anxious crowd of 5,756 filed into McCoy. Millions were listening on the Armed Forces Radio Network as the final chapter of baseball’s wildest marathon took all of 18 minutes to write.
Dave Koza laced a bases-loaded single off Rochester reliever Cliff Speck and Pawtucket won what still stands as the longest game in professional baseball history, 3-2.
The game celebrates it’s 35-year anniversary today with a game against, rather fittingly, Pawtucket.
The world most likely won’t get to see an eight hour, 25-minute episode tonight, but with baseball in Rochester who knows.
Crazy stats about that night include the fact that fourteen pitchers combined to throw over 1,000 pitches as collectively they logged 60 strikeouts and teamed up for 29 scoreless innings.
41 players participated and 25 of them went on to play major league baseball. The most notable of them are names you may have heard of – Cal Ripken Jr. (two hits in 13 at bats) and Wade Boggs (4-for-12).
Ripken, who went on to be the Iron Man of the game, played all 33 innings. Talk about preparing for that 2,632 game streak.
Ripken went on to earn IL Rookie of the Year honors that season with the Wings.
Pawtucket hitting coach Rich Gedman was in the Pawtucket’s bullpen that night at 2 a.m. and remembers the game vividly.
“When you are going through it, it is the last thing on your mind I can tell you that. The human condition allows you to have a lot of different thoughts when you are out there for 32 innings. The neat part is you don’t realize how special the game is until you look at how long it has held up for. In today’s game you might not have enough pitching to go that far so I don’t know if it will ever happen again. It’s part of history. It’s the longest game ever played. I wish I could say I did something for it – except for make a couple outs when I shouldn’t have.”
Drew recorded all 33 innings on one card. A tape of his broadcast along with his handwritten scorecard reside in a permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. “We didn’t realize at the time that we were a part of history, Drew said. “But as the years go by the stature of the game keeps increasing. Definitely the highlight of my career.”
Tonight as you sit back in your seats at Frontier Field – don’t worry about having to stay until four in the morning. There is a curfew rule in place.
Instead, appreciate the irony that the Sox are in town. Appreciate the fact that Morrie Silver saved baseball in the Flower City and you are a fan for one of the most historic clubs in America.
Appreciate your Zweigle’s dog with that Red Wings Pale Ale. And appreciate the fact it’s baseball season.
But just remember baseball is a timeless game – and a rematch to try and go longer than 33 innings 35-years later on the game’s anniversary?
Well, you just can’t make that stuff up.
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have agreed to terms with outfielder David Murphy on a minor league contract. Murphy was recently in spring training with the Boston Red Sox, hitting .265 (9-for-34) with three doubles and three RBI in 15 games before being released on March 28.
Murphy split the 2015 season between Cleveland and Los Angeles-AL, combining to hit .283 (102-for-361) with 18 doubles, 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 132 games. The 34-year-old has played 10 seasons in the majors with Boston, Texas, Cleveland Los Angeles-AL, hitting .274 (950-for-3467) with 203 doubles, 104 home runs and 472 RBI in 1,110 games.
Murphy will report to the Red Wings on Friday.
ADDITIONAL ROSTER MOVE: INF Stephen Wickens has been reinstated off of the Disabled List which will bring the Red Wings’ active roster to 25 on Friday.
The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have placed left-handed pitcher Glen Perkins on the 15-day disabled list with a left posterior shoulder strain, retro to April 11.
To replace Perkins on the 25-man roster, the Twins have recalled left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers from Triple-A Rochester. Rogers will be looking to make his major league debut with his first appearance. Originally drafted by the Twins in the 11th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Kentucky, Rogers has a career minor league record of 37-28 with a 3.27 ERA (525.0 IP, 191 ER), 135 walks and 407 strikeouts in 93 games (85 starts).
Rogers will be in uniform for tonight’s game against the White Sox and will wear uniform number 55. Whenever he gets the nod from the pen, it will be his major league debut on the bump for the Twins.
Written by Communications Intern Austin Hawkins
Mother Nature has not been kind to the Red Wings thus far as two of the first three scheduled games at Frontier Field have already been postponed due to inclement weather. The Wings are accustoming to double dipping as the club played in a league-high 10 doubleheaders last season, sweeping two and splitting eight.
Here’s everything you’ll need to know about tonight’s twin bill with Lehigh Valley:
Date/Gates Open: 4/12/16, 4 p.m.
Listen: Josh Whetzel, Fox Sports 1280
Game 1, 5:05 pm first pitch: LHP Logan Darnell vs. RHP Zach Eflin
Game 2, following conclusion of game one: RHP David Martinez vs. RHP Mark Appel
2015 Notes: Rochester owned an 11-7 mark against the Ironpigs in 2015, going 6-1 on at Lehigh but 5-6 at Frontier Field.
Familiar Face: Lefty Logan Darnell returns to the Wings for his fourth consecutive season and starts the season in the rotation after making seven starts for Rochester last year. He will start the first seven inning game with a 5:05 first pitch time. Darnell faced Lehigh Valley in four games last season, all relief outings, and threw 5.2 innings, yielding seven hits with two runs (both earned) with three walks and seven punchouts. He also managed to pick up one of his five wins against the Ironpigs on July 3rd in a four-inning relief appearance.
Closer Turned Starter: Right-hander David Martinez (da-Veed) gets the nod in game two. Martinez is Rochester’s sixth pitcher in the rotation and is new to the Twins’ organization. He spent last season splitting time between the Round Rock Express (Pacific Coast League) and the Frisco Roughriders (Southern League) as a reliever. In 49 appearances, notched 22 saves and his team was a combined 37-12 in games he appeared in. The Venezuela product was signed to the Houston Astros’ organization at the age of 17 and is entering his 12th professional season.
Nothing “Mine’r” About It: Top Minnesota prospects filled this year’s Wings Opening Day roster as six of the top 13 Twins prospects and three of the top five in the organization according to MLB.com opened the season with Rochester: RHP Jose Berrios (#1), OF Max Kepler (#2), INF Jorge Polanco (#5), OF Adam Brett Walker (#10), RHP Alex Meyer (#11) and LHP Tayler Rogers (#13). Kepler has already been called up to Minnesota following an hamstring injury to former Wing Danny Santana. The speedy infielder/outfielder suffered in the injury fielding a flyball in centerfield in the sixth inning at Kansas City on Saturday.
Hit Hit, Jorge: Jorge Polanco is 5-for-11 in the first three games of teh season, including a 3-for-4 performance with a pair of triples and a pair of runs scored in the season opener. It marked the first multi-triple game of Polanco’s career and first two-triple game by a Red Wing since Danny Santana on April 14, 2014 vs. Pawtucket. Polanco is the only Wing to have notched a hit in each game thus far.
Walk the Talk: Adam Brett Walker went 3-for-4 with three singles and a run scored in his Frontier Field debut. Walker, who is toted as the top power hitter in the Twins’ organization, belted a solo homer in the season opener at Scranton Wilkes-Barre and is batting .400 (4-for-10) through the first three contests.
First Rounders on the Bump: Lehigh Valley’s Mark Appel and Zach Eflin, both former first round selections by different organizations, will start for the Ironpigs in the doubleheader. Appel was drafted by Houston with the first pick in 2013 out of Stanford University. He was also selected eighth overall by Pittsburgh in 2012 but did not sign and returned to school. Eflin is already with his third organization after being drafted 33rd overall by San Deigo out of Paul J. Hagerty High School (Oviedo, FL) in 2012. Both are ranked in the top 14 among Phillies prospects.
First Rounders cont’d: After tonight, there will have been 11 former first round draft selections to play at Frontier Field. The list includes Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Joe Mauer, Gerrit Cole, Pat Burrell, Bryan Bullington, Tim Beckham, Matt Anderson, Delmon Young and Kris Benson. Phil Nevin was also a first round draft pick who came to Frontier Field, but he came as a manager for Toledo as he was the skipper for the Mud Hens from 2011-13.
Ticket Information: The doubleheader is a single admission game with the gates opening at 4 p.m. Fans who would like to exchange Monday’s tickets can do so for any game on the 2016 schedule.
Red Wings play-by-play guy Josh Whetzel and PR man Nate Rowan reveal the Wings 2016 Opening Day Roster >>> WATCH HERE.
The Red Wings PR/SM staff is still in Spring Training mode as we accidentally skipped RHP J.R. Graham’s locker. He’ll wear number 39.
As mentioned in the video, the Red Wings will have to make a roster move prior to Thursday’s opener in Scranton/WB as the roster is currently at 26.