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Updated: June 23, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Fine professional debut for Donny Breek

FORT MYERS, Florida (USA) - Donny Breek has made his professional debut in the organization of the Minnesota Twins. On Friday-afternoon (June 22), the righthanded pitcher did very well in his debut and threw three scoreless and hitless innings with two strikeouts in relief for GCL Twins, the Rookie League-team of the Twins. Breek's team won 2-0 against GCL Red Sox to record its fourth consecutive win in the Gulf Coast League, which is based in Florida.

...Donny Breek made a good professional debut...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Breek was added to the roster on Monday, which also was Opening Day in the Gulf Coast League, which is one of five Rookie Leagues in American professional baseball. On the first three days of the new season, Twins won three games. On Opening Day, the team played at home against the GCL Orioles and trailed 5-0 halfway the fourth inning. But the Twins turned the game around, scored five runs in the fifth inning and went on to win 7-5.

On Tuesday, the Twins recorded a big 16-2 victory in an away-game at the Orioles. On Wednesday, at home again, the Twins defeated the Orioles with a 5-1 score.

Twins had the day off on Thursday, then faced GCL Red Sox on Friday. The game was played at home at CenturyLink Sports Complex Fields, the Spring Training-facility of the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers.

The game remained scoreless for seven innings. Twins then scored twice in the bottom of the eighth on a 2-run double by Gabe Snyder.

Wearing uniform number 12, the 18-year old Donny Breek entered the game in the top of the fifth inning. He replaced starter Prelander Berroa, who had retired the side in the first three innings. In the fourth, Berroa gave up a lead-off double to Juan Hernández, who moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt. The Dominican then closed with two strikeouts.

The Amsterdam-born Breek did very well in his debut. He retired the side in the fifth and sixth inning. Of the six batters he faced in these innings, he struckout one, got three flyouts and two groundouts. In the top of the seventh, Breek walked lead-off hitter Ricardo Cubillan. With one out, Cubillan stole second base, but a pop-fly followed. With Cubillan at second base, Breek closed with a strikeout, which concluded his day.

When the season went underway on Monday, Breek was one of 21 pitchers on the roster of the GCL Twins, but 15 of them are active. Five are currently injured and one is recovering from an injury. Teams in the Gulf Coast League are allowed to have 30 active players on their roster. Besides the 15 pitchers, the roster of the GCL Twins also has five catchers, six infielders and four outfielders.

The team is led by first year Manager Dan Ramsay, who had been the Head Coach of the baseball-team of Whitworth University (Pirates) in the last nine years. There, he was 183-181 and guided the team to three appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament. In 2012, the Whitworth Pirates reached the NCAA Division III World Series. Ramsay was named Manager of the GCL Twins in December.

Last year, Breek was 1-3 with a 7.95 ERA in twelve games (10 starts) when he pitched in the Dutch big league for DSS, where his father Jerry Breek is the Head Coach. In 48 2/3 inning, Breek struckout 34 hitters, walked 39 and gave up 58 basehits and 50 runs.

In the past two seasons, Dutch pitchers Taylor Clemensia and Matz Schutte also pitched for GCL Twins. In these two seasons, Clemensia, who was mainly used as a starter, was 1-7 in 20 games, while Schutte appeared in 19 games as reliever and was 1-0. Clemensia was released in March of this year and now pitches for Curaçao Neptunus. Schutte was released in July 2017.

(June 22)

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