I spent Saturday afternoon at Hammond Stadium going back and forth between fields 2 and 3 where I watched the Twins Ft. Myers Miracle and Cedar Rapids Kernels take on the Orioles Frederick and Delmarva teams. I focused mainly on the Ft. Myers and Frederick game but I was also able to watch the other game because the fields are so close together.
Jose Berrios started for the Miracle and pitched 3 scoreless innings and was followed on the mound by Tyler Duffey and David Hurlbut. Duffey pitched well but Hurlbut got knocked around pretty good in his couple innings of work. The Twins however; were up big by the time Hurlbut took the mound and the Twins ended up winning 7-3. The starting line-up for the Miracle had Mitch Garver catching, Dalton Hicks at first, Logan Wade at second, Ryan Walker at short, Travis Harrison at third, Max Kepler in left, Zack Granite in center and Adam Walker in right. Catcher Bryan Santy hit the games only home run, a long blast well over the left field fence.
A couple of observations from the game. Right fielder Adam Walker is a big guy and he hit 27 home runs for Cedar Rapids last season but today his play in RF left something to be desired. There were several balls hit to right that he seemed to pull up on and let the ball drop in front of him for singles that could have been caught with a better jump on the ball. First baseman Dalton Hicks is listed at 6’5″ and 228 and I am not sure when they last had Hicks step on a scale because the man has to be at least 250 and a case could be made that he could have easily stretched his long single into a double had he hustled down the line a little more. Later in the game manager Doug Mientkiewicz moved Travis Harrison from 3B to left field and Joel Licon came in to play third. Harrison continues to struggle in the field (although not in this game) and the Twins are trying to find a position for Harrison because he has some pop in his bat. I think you will see more and more of Harrison playing a corner outfield spot rather than the “hot corner”.
I mentioned Joel Licon because an inning or so later he ended up getting beaned but fortunately the ball seemed to catch mostly helmet. Licon started heading to first base but stopped about half way there and dropped to one knee. After a couple of minutes Licon left the game but he looked dazed as he sat on the bench. Hopefully Licon will be OK and not suffer any concussion symptoms but when that ball hit his helmet the loud bang got everyone’s attention from both fields.
I took a number of pictures during the game and will try to get them posted on Monday.