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Front Page: Can the Twins Become the New Astros? Part 1

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:27 PM
After recently reading both Ben Reiter’s Astroball and The MVP Machine by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Shawchik, both highly recommended, I f...
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Front Page: Twins Trade Targets: 4 Potential Starting Pit...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:11 PM
The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract....
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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Award: Pitcher of the Year

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:42 PM
For most of the past decade, the Minnesota Twins have had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Pick a meaningful statistic for p...
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Front Page: Handing a Qualifying Offer to Michael Pineda

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:25 AM
The Minnesota Twins are going to be looking at filling a starting rotation that has just one guaranteed arm for 2020. A top-tier talent o...
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2019/2020 Twins Minor League Coaching Changes

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:15 AM
http://www.startribu...tes/562941602/    According to the Star Tribune, the Rochester Red Wings will have a new coaching staff in 20...
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Minor League Report (6/20): Rooker and Royce Heating Up

It was a very full day in the Twins minor league system on Thursday. There were again a ton of transactions. Rochester played two games that started in the morning. Each of the other affiliates played also (as we wait for the GCL Twins to start next Monday). Brent Rooker and Royce Lewis each have three homers in their past three games, and there were a bunch of firsts for Elizabethton.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Ricky De La Torre)
Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day.

TRANSACTIONS
  • The Twins signed third-round pick Spencer Speer on Wednesday. They have also now signed Nate Hadley and Jake Hirabayashi. Keep up with the signings of their their 2019 draft picks here.
  • The Twins optioned RHP Sean Poppen to Rochester and called up RHP Kohl Stewart.
  • Adalberto Mejia’s rehab has been transferred from Ft. Myers to Pensacola.
  • Pensacola announced that Alex Kirilloff has been activated from the IL.
  • OFs Aaron Whitefield and Mark Contreras promoted from Ft. Myers to Pensacola.
  • OF Gabriel Maciel has been promoted from Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers.
  • OF Malique Ziegler has been activated from the IL.
  • RHP Brian Rapp activated from the Cedar Rapids IL.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 6, Columbus 2 (Completion of Suspended Game Monday)
Box Score

These two teams got into the fifth inning on Wednesday night before rains came and the game was suspended. When the game started, Cody Stashak made the spot start and was very good. He gave up one run on two hits over three innings. Fernando Romero came in to start the fourth inning and got four outs, but then the rains came.

When play resumed, Adam Bray made his first AAA appearance in the Twins organization and earned his first win. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk over 3 2/3 innings.He struck out two. Lefty Ian Krol made his first appearance in the Twins organization and struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning.

When the game resumed, the score was tied 1-1. The Red Wings run came on Brent Rooker’s ninth homer of the season. In the seventh inning, Zander Wiel knocked his 11th homer of the year, a three-run shot that proved huge. Columbus scored one but the Wings added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Jaylin Davis’s first AAA hit scored a run, and later Nick Gordon’s 12th double of the season drove in another run. Davis and LaMonte Wade each went 1-for-3 with a walk. Wade hit his eighth double.



Rochester 4, Columbus 5 (8 innings) (Regularly Scheduled Game)
Box Score

In the regularly-scheduled game, the Red Wings had a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Brent Rooker came up with two runners on and hit his 10th home run of the season to give them a 4-0 lead. He has now homered in three straight games. Unfortunately, the team was unable to add on and Columbus tied the game before winning it in the eighth inning.



Gabriel Moya was used as the opener in this game. He struck out two in one perfect inning to drop his season ERA to 7.97. Chase De Jong made the start, moving up to take Kohl Stewart’s spot in the rotation. He gave up four runs on four hits and four walks over five innings. The problem was that three of the four hits he allowed were home runs. Preston Guilmet pitched a scoreless seventh inning, but he gave up an unearned run in the eighth inning (meaning the runner that starts the inning at second base) and falls to 0-6 on the season.


BLUE WAHOO BITES
Pensacola 4, Jacksonville 3
Box Score

The Blue Wahoos offense didn’t do a lot overall on Thursday night, but they did a lot in the fifth inning and it was enough to carry them to a 4-3 win. Brian Navarreto got things going with his third home run. Travis Blankenhorn came up next and knocked his 12th Pensacola home run. Following an Alex Kirilloff walk, Ben Rortvedt hit a two-run homer. Rortvedt now has four homers since moving up to Double-A. Rortvedt and Blankenhorn each had two hits. Lewin Diaz went 2-for-4 with a double in his first Double-A game.

Adalberto Mejia worked the first inning. He gave up one hit, but he struck out two in an uneventful inning. Lefty Bryan Sammons came in and struck out eight batters over the next six innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. Jeff Ames worked a scoreless eighth inning. Sam Clay picked up his sixth save despite giving up a single run in the bottom of the ninth.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 7, Jupiter 8 (11 innings)
Box Score

The Miracle certainly had opportunities to close out a win in this one, but were unable to do so. They had leads going into the bottom of the ninth, the bottom of the tenth and the bottom of the 11th.

Blayne Enlow put together another quality start for the Miracle. The right-hander gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out six batters. Derek Molina made his first appearance for the Miracle and worked a scoreless eighth inning.

Royce Lewis put the Miracle on the scoreboard in the third inning with a three-run home run, his fifth homer of the season and his third in two days. He had a single and a walk, as well, and stole his 12th base. Jose Miranda had a couple of big hits as well. He had a two-run double, his 14th, and an RBI single in extra innings. David Banuelos and Ernie De La Trinidad each had two hits. In his first Miracle game, Gabriel Maciel had a single and a walk and was hit by a pitch.



The Miracle went into the bottom of the ninth inning with a two-run lead. Johan Quezada came on and struggled with his control. He gave up two runs in that inning which tied the score. He then gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the tenth (the runner that started at second base scored. Then in the 11th inning, Calvin Faucher came on. He was charged with two runs (one earned) on three hits to take the loss.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 4
Box Score

Lefty Kody Funderburk was back on the mound for the Kernels and was really strong. In four innings, he gave up one run on four hits. He struck out seven without issuing a walk. Tyler Palm came on and gave up one run on two hits over the next 2 1/3 innings. Carlos Suniaga got the final five outs but not before giving up two runs (one earned).

Ricky De La Torre led the offense with three hits in the game. He hit his first two doubles since joining the Kernels right before their All-Star break. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-3 with a walk. Jacob Pearson went 2-for-4.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
E-Twins 13, Bluefield 4
Box Score

It’s always fun to follow the Firsts when the Elizabethton season starts. On Thursday night, Ben Gross (10th round, Duke) made his first professional start. He gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out two. Denny Bentley came in and struck out five batters over the next three innings. No runs on just one hit for him. Dylan Thomas (13th round, Hawaii) came on for the final two innings for his pro debut. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out three.

We saw the first professional hits for Matt Wallner (Comp A, Southern Mississippi), Seth Gray (5th round, Wright State) and Alex Isola (29th, TCU). Gray went 3-for-5. Isola went 2-for-4. Tyler Jensen (24th, Tulane) had his first hit on Wednesday, and on this night he went 1-for-3 with a walk. Tyler Webb had two doubles and drove in three runs.




TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Bryan Sammons, Pensacola
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ricky De La Torre, Cedar Rapids Kernels

PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, BB, HR(5), 3 RBI, 2 R, SB(12), K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-3, BB, R, 2K
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder)
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2K
#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2K
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Game 1 (1-3, BB, 2R, RBI, HR(9), 2K), Game 2 (1-3, BB, HR(10), 2R, 3 RBI)
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch.
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, HBP, (87 pitches, 64 strikes)
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery)
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Game 1 (1-3, BB, 2B(12), RBI, SB(7), 2K), Game 2 (1-4, R, SB(8), K)
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow)
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play.
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 2-3, BB, HR(4), R, 2 RBI
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb)
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 0-2, 3 BB
#17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Game 1 (1-3, BB, R, K), Game 2 (0-2, 2BB, R)
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 2B(14), 3 RBI

FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Toledo (DH @ 5:05 CST) - TBD
Pensacola @ Jacksonville (6:55 CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (2-0, 1.67 ERA)
Ft. Myers @ Jupiter (5:30 CST) - TBD
Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo (1-4, 3.05 ERA)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like.

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25 Comments

Nice, Kiriloff's back! Now if we could just get Graterol back from that shoulder injury...

    • nicksaviking, 70charger, blindeke and 2 others like this

A good day. Glad Lewis is catching fire, and relieved to see Kiriloff back.Rooker is raking as well!

    • 70charger, caninatl04 and MN_ExPat like this

Oh what a beautiful morning.Oh what a beautiful day.Alex Kirilloff was back playing baseball.Hopefully he is back to stay!

 

I like that you gave De La Torre hitter of the game.But Rooker sure had one heck of a day.Great seeing him hitting like we all hoped back when he was drafted.Speaking of De La Torre, Seth, have been led to believe he is the best defensive shortstop in the organization...is he?

 

Hopefully, these last couple games will be something Lewis can build off and just plain rake the second half of the season.Also great seeing Rortvedt hitting well in AA. 

 

I guess Bluefield got taught a lesson, ie, if you beat the Twins be prepared to take a beating the following day.Didn't recall who Bentley was.Checked to see he was a low draft pick out of a Texas JC last year.Had a nice season in the GCL, maybe someone to keep our eye on.   

 

 

    • ashbury, nicksaviking, Dman and 3 others like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Jun 21 2019 06:37 AM
I’m disappointed to see Kirilloff back. My impression is that he is rushing it.

I have been keeping my eye on Rooker and he has come back from a cold start to the season.Very happy he is doing so well.Was starting to wonder if he was going to be a bust there for a while.Still need to work on those K's but the average and OPS are outstanding right now.Still he will need to do more to make the transition to MLB.

 

Lewis is starting to show signs of life and some pop in the bat as well.Hopefully whatever adjustments he has made continue to work out well.

 

Blankenhorn continues to hit.I was sort of waiting for him to fall back some but he has been pretty consistent so far this year.

 

It is getting to the fun time of year where we can recognize the great seasons some of the players in the system are having.

    • dbminn likes this

 

It is getting to the fun time of year where we can recognize the great seasons some of the players in the system are having.

 

I agree. The best part of following the Twins minor league teams this year is the depth of prospects. There's always someone playing well. 

 

The first four in the Pensacola lineup looks strong - Blankenhorn, Kirilloff, Rortvedt and Diaz. All of them 21 or 22 years old. I have no doubt Kirilloff will start hitting as long as he's healthy.

 

Great to see Enlow continue his good run. The Ft Myers rotation is solid.

    • 70charger, Dman and MN_ExPat like this
Gordon has fallen out of favor around here it seems, but his is hitting .301 with an ops over .800 and 8 steals in 35 games.
    • Steve Lein, scottz, 70charger and 6 others like this

 

I’m disappointed to see Kirilloff back. My impression is that he is rushing it.

Yeah, I wonder if a cortisone shot is worth it to get back in games at the AA level?

 

Gordon has fallen out of favor around here it seems, but his is hitting .301 with an ops over .800 and 8 steals in 35 games.

Worth remembering that the offensive baseline is way up in the IL this year, so Gordon's .809 OPS only translates to a 103 wRC+. (The same OPS in the IL last year may have translated to a ~128 wRC+.)

 

Still light years ahead of last year's 52 wRC+, though!

    • jkcarew and Marzen 2018 like this

Watching the Rooker HR video makes one think:  the Rochester TV guy might want to work on his HR call....what a bore.....

    • ashbury and 70charger like this

 

Gordon has fallen out of favor around here it seems, but his is hitting .301 with an ops over .800 and 8 steals in 35 games.

 

Nick Gordon is a really good baseball player... Thought that most fans gave up on him far too fast after a slow couple of months in Rochester last year. 

    • Steve Lein, scottz, Monkeypaws and 2 others like this

 

Oh what a beautiful morning.Oh what a beautiful day.Alex Kirilloff was back playing baseball.Hopefully he is back to stay!

 

I like that you gave De La Torre hitter of the game.But Rooker sure had one heck of a day.Great seeing him hitting like we all hoped back when he was drafted.Speaking of De La Torre, Seth, have been led to believe he is the best defensive shortstop in the organization...is he?

 

Hopefully, these last couple games will be something Lewis can build off and just plain rake the second half of the season.Also great seeing Rortvedt hitting well in AA. 

 

I guess Bluefield got taught a lesson, ie, if you beat the Twins be prepared to take a beating the following day.Didn't recall who Bentley was.Checked to see he was a low draft pick out of a Texas JC last year.Had a nice season in the GCL, maybe someone to keep our eye on.   

 

Nothing like some show tunes from Oklahoma first thing in the morning!

 

Considered Rooker, but just one of the homers was today and he was 1-3. I liked De La Torre''s 3 hits and two doubles so that was my choice. But yes, Rooker has been good. And, I'm not sure on De La Torre's defense at shortstop. I mean, most think Javier can stay at shortstop, so De La Torre is already working in more of a utility role, playing all three infield spots. So yes, I think he's very good defensively, but he may never get the consistent reps at shortstop for us to really find out.

 

The Twins strategy of drafting a lot of college pitchers and seeing what they can do with them has given them a bit of a surplus. THere are some really good pitchers in E-Town (and probably in the GCL too) that have had to stay in EST because they aren't ahead of guys in CR. But, you don't' release them because they have something to build on and guys sometimes develop a little later. Bentley, as a JC guy, is younger than the usual three or four year college guys too. 

    • scottz, caninatl04, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

 

Nick Gordon is a really good baseball player... Thought that most fans gave up on him far too fast after a slow couple of months in Rochester last year. 

I wouldn't pick on just fans here -- every national ranking dropped him, some precipitously, for the second straight year. Fangraphs from 50 FV to 40 FV. Even you and your colleagues here at TD dropped him from 3rd to 11th.

 

And "a slow couple of months in Rochester" is kind of an understatement. A "slow couple of months" for a prospect in the minor leagues is usually an 80 wRC+, at worst, over 2 months, like how Royce Lewis started this year. Gordon had 410 PA at AAA last year, 3.5 months of full time play. And he had a *cumulative* .544 OPS over that time, or a 52 wRC+. No player in the minor leagues finished that bad, for that long, at a single level in 2018.

    • Mike Sixel, scottz, Cap'n Piranha and 4 others like this

 

Nick Gordon is a really good baseball player... Thought that most fans gave up on him far too fast after a slow couple of months in Rochester last year. 

 

Especially considering he destroyed double-A before that.

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nicksaviking
Jun 21 2019 09:09 AM

 

I have been keeping my eye on Rooker and he has come back from a cold start to the season.Very happy he is doing so well.Was starting to wonder if he was going to be a bust there for a while.Still need to work on those K's but the average and OPS are outstanding right now.Still he will need to do more to make the transition to MLB.

 

 

Same pattern as last year. I hope it's a 'getting adjusted to a new level' kind of thing and not a 'getting adjusted to the season/weather' kind of thing. I'm a Rooker fan, but if he ends up as a yearly staple on the 25-man, I hope he's not always struggling in April.

    • Mike Sixel and Dman like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 21 2019 09:11 AM
Lewis has a cannon. That was a long throw, which seemed effortless.
    • nicksaviking and dbminn like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Jun 21 2019 09:26 AM

I just want Ricky De La Torre and Ernie De La Trinidad on the same team so we can have some DLT's in the lineup.

    • Monkeypaws, Dman and PDX Twin like this

I wonder how many guys in the Twins system are destined to be the next Jake Cave / Nico Goodrum types. Lamont Wade may be headed that way, and Nick Gordon. Possibly Rooker, tho his bat will be hard to bid farewell. Problem is, the starting lineup of the club is very hard to crack. 

 

One possible opening is at third base, where Miguel Sano continues to look downright depressed at the plate. Team can't wait forever for Sano to start hitting. Right now he's a hole in the lineup. Astudillo can fill that hole for now, but a longer term solution is needed. Can Rooker play 3rd base? You want a power bat there. 

 

I wouldn't pick on just fans here -- every national ranking dropped him, some precipitously, for the second straight year. Fangraphs from 50 FV to 40 FV. Even you and your colleagues here at TD dropped him from 3rd to 11th.

 

And "a slow couple of months in Rochester" is kind of an understatement. A "slow couple of months" for a prospect in the minor leagues is usually an 80 wRC+, at worst, over 2 months, like how Royce Lewis started this year. Gordon had 410 PA at AAA last year, 3.5 months of full time play. And he had a *cumulative* .544 OPS over that time, or a 52 wRC+. No player in the minor leagues finished that bad, for that long, at a single level in 2018.

 

This is true, and he''s dropped from Top 5 to maybe 12-13 on my own prospect ranking... I'm never sure how to type/write that a player can still be a very good, productive MLB player even if he is no longer touted as a top, top prospect. 

    • Mike Sixel, Danchat and spycake like this

 

Especially considering he destroyed double-A before that.

Gordon has a .787 OPS at the AA level in over 750 PA. Fine...but not exactly destroying the league. He was .906 in a small sample in 2018 before being promoted to AAA...primarily, because he showed the ability to hit the ball over the fence with 5 HR in 180 PA. Now, after 556 PA at the AAA level, he still hasn't gotten to 5 HR.

 

Not to say that his results this season (still only 146 PA due to injuries) haven't been encouraging. They have been. While the offensive expectations have taken a hit, I agree he's still in a position to be a useful major-leaguer.

    • Mike Sixel and spycake like this

 

Yeah, I wonder if a cortisone shot is worth it to get back in games at the AA level?

Missed the report that he's taking (took) cortisone shots to play yesterday.

 

I'm elated that he's finally back. But if it's enable by cortisone shots...that would be a head-scratcher, IMO. Had a wrist injury, comes back after missing over a month, only to re-injure it. Takes another 3 weeks off, and returns with the aid of cortisone shots? For thePensacola Blue Wahoos? There has to be some details we're missing.

 

Missed the report that he's taking (took) cortisone shots to play yesterday.

All I know is that Danchat referenced the cortisone shot here:

http://twinsdaily.co...os/#entry863217

 

Seth referenced it here too:

http://twinsdaily.co...ew/#entry864583

    • jkcarew likes this

 

All I know is that Danchat referenced the cortisone shot here:

http://twinsdaily.co...os/#entry863217

 

Seth referenced it here too:

http://twinsdaily.co...ew/#entry864583

FWIW...I interpreted (assumed) those comments to refer to a shot (or shots) that were part of a rest/recovery regimen...not continuing or part of a game-prep routine. I would hope that's the case. I guess we'll see...I'll panic next time I see him K 3+ times in a game :)...that's what happened immediately prior to this last hiatus.

    • spycake likes this
Gordon handled high A ball pretty well, and he was 4 months younger than Lewis is now when he did it. He is 23, and had 1 hiccup in the second half of his first year at AAA. Otherwise he has more than held his own while competing with folks at least 2 years older than him on average. I do think latest greatest shiny new toys is a big part of popular rankings. He is not superstar material, but I’d be happy to see him and Arreaz battle it out for 2b next year while providing good trade value. As Seth said, he is a good ballplayer.
    • Doctor Wu likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 21 2019 03:24 PM

 

Same pattern as last year. I hope it's a 'getting adjusted to a new level' kind of thing and not a 'getting adjusted to the season/weather' kind of thing. I'm a Rooker fan, but if he ends up as a yearly staple on the 25-man, I hope he's not always struggling in April.

 

Pattern wise, Rooker has always struggled with a new level... He strikes out a lot during his first month or two until he acclimates. I don't think (so far at least) that it's an April thing... but this pattern has existed with every level he's played in... every single one.

 

He figures it out eventually, which is good, but I don't expect his major league debut to be pretty.


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