Lefthander Pat Dean does not throw hard but has learned through his years in the minors to maximize what he has.
``He's doing a better job of pitching inside,'' said Brad Steil, the Twins' director of minor league operations. We're trying to use that as an example to our guys. He throws 89-90 but when you pitch insider you can be effective.''
Dean, a third round pick in 2010 out of Boston College, is 10-10 with a 2.92 ERA at Class AAA Rochester. In 157 innings, he has walked 33 and struck out 92. He throws a fastball, cut fastball, change up and slider. He has racked up four complete games and six shutouts this season.
He tossed a six-hit shutout (no walks, six strikeouts) against Buffalo on Wednesday.
``He's just learned how to use his stuff better this year, and he's been more aggressive,'' Steil said.
The Twins liked their future a year ago because Oswado Arcia, Danny Santana and Kennys Vargas were all contributing.
Now all three are in the minors and have unclear futures.
Arcia got off to a terrible start with the Twins, was sent down and has not returned. He had one good tear at the plate for Class AAA Rochester but is batting .065 over his previous 10 games and is batting .210 overall with 10 homers and 36 RBI.
``Some of it is trying too hard, and that's causing some of the chases out of the zone,'' Steil said. `` He's behind in the count all the time, and it is tough to hit like that.''
Danny Santana is batting .243 since being sent to Rochester - which includes a week on the DL with a wrist injury.
Vargas was sent all the way down to Class AA Chattanooga to get sorted out, and he's showing signs of coming around. He hit his way back to Rochester and is batting .276 over his last 10 games.
``I think Kennys is a little closer,'' Steil said. ``He figured some things out working with Chad Allen at Chattanooga. He's taking much better at bats than he was earlier in the year. He has made some progress.''
This and that
Josmil Pinto (concussion) is playing for the Gulf Coast League team now but the plan is for him to return to Rochester, where he'll mostly DH.
Max Kepler leads the Southern League in average and on base-plus slugging percentage and has tied Byron Buxton in triples. He could be a candidate for a September callup, but Chattanooga is headed to the playoffs, so he might finish the season there.
Both Nick Burdi and Jake Reed - to of the hard throwers in the organization - had to be demoted from Chattanooga to Class A Fort Myers to work on control and setting up hitters. While Burdi has a very good slider, Reed's is a work in progress,
Lefthander Tyler Jay, the Twins first round pick this year, has given up eight earned runs over 13.1 innings. He's pitched just two-to-three innings a week as the Twins didn't want to work him too hard after the college season. But Jay has hit 98 on the gun.