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Twins Minor League Report (4/16): Graterol Shines, Cabbage Shreds

A Triple A doubleheader added an extra game to a full slate of action on Tuesday night, and if not for a hit parade from Cedar Rapids, pitching would have been the only story on the day. Each affiliate got a strong effort from their starting pitcher, including likely the best start of a top phenom's career to this point. And his game wasn’t even the one that finished 1-0 in favor of the good guys.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Brusdar Graterol)
To catch up on all the action and see just how good affiliate pitching was on the day, keep reading!

TRANSACTIONS
  • Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Tyler Duffey.
RED WINGS REPORT
Game 1: Syracuse 2, Rochester 3
Box Score

In the opener of their doubleheader the Red Wings went with an opener in the form of Matt Magill making his season debut. He gave up a leadoff single to #OldFriend Carlos Gomez and later walked a batter to put a runner in scoring position with one out, but buckled down from there to close out his first appearance with two strikeouts.

Luke Raley started off the bottom of the second with a double, and Tomas Telis brought him in with a single to put Rochester up 1-0. Telis wasn’t done on the day, as he would add another to the tally with a solo home run in the fourth that made it 2-0.

The scored stayed that way until the sixth inning as the primary pitcher, Justin Nicolino, put up zeroes for his first four innings. In the sixth, a leadoff single was followed by a two-run home run to tie the game, but Nicolino retired the next three hitters to end his day with an overall solid performance. In five innings he allowed the two runs on six hits and one walk while picking up five strikeouts. He threw 70 pitches on the day, with 45 going for strikes (64%).

With the game tied at two after that, Zander Wiel was quick to put Nicolino back in line for the win. He led off the bottom of the sixth with his third home run of the young season, and it was enough for the home team:


Mike Morin finished the game with a scoreless inning, striking out one and needing only 10 pitches.

Game 2: Syracuse 3, Rochester 0
Box Score

Things didn’t go as well for the Red Wings in the nightcap, as they managed just two hits as a team and had only three plate appearances with runners in scoring position. Drew Maggi drew two walks out of the nine-hole, and Jordany Valdespin and Brent Rooker collected the hits.

Ryan Eades started the game and finished the first three innings. He allowed two earned runs on three hits while notching four strikeouts. Jake Reed came on for the fourth and fifth innings, allowing the final Mets run on three hits and two walks and also struck out four. Fernando Romero finished the game with two perfect innings, striking out three. He threw 73% of his 29 pitches for strikes, including six swinging.

BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Pensacola 2, Biloxi 3
Box Score

Top prospect Brusdar Graterol continued his early season dominance for the Blue Wahoos with his best start yet. A brilliant seven inning performance where he carried a no-hitter into the fifth. A walk in the fourth was his first base runner, and a two-out single in the fifth ended his bid, but those two baserunners were surrounded by a stretch of retiring eleven straight to open the game, and seven straight to end it. He was at just 80 pitches when he left (55 for strikes), showing efficiency to go along with his eight strikeouts as he lowered his ERA on the year to 0.52 in 17 1/3 total innings.

Unfortunately for the fireballing phenom, he was matched for the first six innings by his competition, who also carried a perfect game into the fourth before a Luis Arraez single tallied Pensacola’s first hit.

The teams together didn’t push a run across in the scheduled nine innings, but that changed quickly in extras with a baserunner starting on second base. Pensacola loaded the bases with one out before a catcher interference play put the first run of the game on the scoreboard. Caleb Hamilton followed with a single to make it 2-0 before the Shuckers got a double-play ball to end any further damage.

In the bottom of the tenth the Blue Wahoos stuck with reliever Cody Stashak who had retired six in a row, including four straight strikeouts in the prior two innings in relief of Graterol, but the scales did not tip in his favor this time. A leadoff triple was followed by a double to quickly tie the game back up and Tyler Jay was summoned to try to extend the game. He got a strikeout before intentionally walking a batter for a chance at a double play, but a fly ball into right field from the next batter was deep enough for the Shuckers to walk it off.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 1, St. Lucie 0
Box Score

Fort Myers and St. Lucie combined for just five hits on the game and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position as pitching owned the day.

For the Miracle it was left-hander Bryan Sammons who had yet to give up an earned run in his first two starts of the season. That streak stayed intact in his best fashion yet, as he finished six innings for the first time in his three turns. He allowed just two hits and two walks while picking up six strikeouts. He threw 57 of his 89 pitches for strikes on the game, with a noteworthy 15 of the swinging variety. Sammons has now allowed just one unearned run on the season, and in his last two games has pitched 11 2/3 innings with just four hits and five walks against, while racking up fourteen strikeouts.

Fort Myers got all the offense they would need in the game’s opening frame, as Akil Baddoo led off with a walk, stole second base, then found himself on third after a groundout. Trevor Larnach then brought him home with a sacrifice fly and that was it. Baddoo added his first double of the season in the eighth inning.

After Sammons exit, Alex Phillips came on and would finish the game, picking up a three-inning save in the process and his third of the season. He walked just one and struck out four and like Sammons, has yet to allow an earned run on the season in 8 2/3 innings and six separate appearances.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 11, Quad Cities 2
Box Score

Unlike their cohorts on Tuesday, the Kernels didn’t have to fret about pitching when it came to the final score in their game. The offense turned it into a blowout late as they outhit the River Bandits 15-4 on the night.

Trey Cabbage did most of the damage out of the cleanup spot in the lineup, finishing 3-for-6 with a home run (his fourth of the year), a triple, and five RBI. In addition Gabriel Maciel (3-for-5, 2 R, 3B, BB), Gabe Snyder (3-for-4, R, 2 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, BB), Jacob Pearson (3-for-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), and Michael Davis (3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI) all collected three hits to account for all of the barrage of hits.

They also didn’t have to fret about pitching, because they still got a strong performance from their starter. Right-hander Blayne Enlow took the mound and with the warmer weather, came out throwing some fire:


He went six innings to pick up his second win of the year and his first quality start. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks while striking out six. He wasn’t as efficient than others on the day with 44 of his 84 pitches going for strikes (52%), but was also quite effective on the scoreboard.

Brian Rapp added two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two, and Carlos Suniaga wrapped it up with a one-two-three ninth, including a strikeout.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Brusdar Graterol, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (7.0 IP, H, BB, 8 K)
Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Trey Cabbage, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-6, 3B, HR, 5 RBI)

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4, K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - 7.0 IP, H, BB, 8 K
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, RBI
#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2 BB, K (2 games)
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - W, 6.0 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, R, 2B, BB
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, K
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, 3B
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Did not play
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4

WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Syracuse @ Rochester (11:35AM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (0-2, 15.58 ERA)
Pensacola @ Biloxi (6:35PM CST) - LHP Devin Smeltzer (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Fort Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-1, 2.00 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35PM CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (1-1, 2.79 ERA)

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!

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28 Comments

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AlwaysinModeration
Apr 17 2019 04:05 AM
Romero would have been a good option the last two days in the Minneapolis.
    • mikelink45, blindeke, David HK and 1 other like this
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FormerMinnasotan
Apr 17 2019 05:38 AM
I’m a bit surprised by Graterol’s dominace so far this season. After pitching well, but not dominant in Ft Myers last year I thought Graterol would initially struggle in AA ball, but surprisingly has come out on fire. And it’s not like he’s throwing too many pitches either as he threw 80 pitches in 7 innings with 8 strikeouts so that also proves Graterol’s effectiveness. I guess he really has put the work in all the same as the pitcher he looks up to.
    • Steve Lein, gunnarthor, Dman and 4 others like this

Absolutely great seeing Romero back with a strong 2.0 inning outing after his last hiccup.Also, good seeing Raley off to a good start to his season at AAA.Is it possible he will develop into a better major leaguer than Rooker?

 

Another typical night for Arraez.The Blue Wahoos get three hits, he had two of 'em.I guess my question to the in club at TD is when do you expect Graterol to join the Twins?I expected him to pitch well at AA to start the season, but didn't expect this dominance.

 

And who is this Sammons character?Is he this year's version of Tyler Wells?  

 

With all that said, the highlight for me was Enlow.After that opening day clunker, I have been waiting for him to confirm our belief in him.Sure did that last night.With a 95-96 fastball and what was described as the best curve in the draft class, this kid could be another front of the rotation starter.Yahooooooooo! 

    • Steve Lein, tarheeltwinsfan, howieramone2 and 1 other like this

 

And who is this Sammons character?Is he this year's version of Tyler Wells?  

 

 

 

Bryan Sammons was an 8th round pick of the Twins two years ago out of Western Carolina University.He's a big kid...a 6-4 230lb lefty.

 

He had a very solid season for the Kernels last year (2.32 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) before struggling a bit with Fort Myers after a late season promotion. Doesn't throw overly hard but has the complete 4-pitch mix. 

 

Good to see him starting off well with the Miracle this season!

 

    • Steve Lein, IaFan1 and rdehring like this
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terrydactyls1947
Apr 17 2019 06:58 AM
I have been a Twins Daily read for the past three years. And my favorite part has always been the minor league game reports (especially when the major league report is depressing). I do not recall during this time frame any period in which the pitching prospects were so dominating. With a weak Central Division and a good hitting Twins team, I don't see the Twins falling out of contention this year. But if they do, I say the Twins just trade away all the starters (except Berrios) and bring up the kids for the second half of the season. I know they are young but what's to lose?
    • Steve Lein, pbrezeasap, blindeke and 1 other like this

 

And who is this Sammons character?Is he this year's version of Tyler Wells?  

 

No, this year's version of Tyler Wells is Bailey Ober.

 

But Sammons has some nice potential as well. :-)

    • scottz and Dman like this

 

No, this year's version of Tyler Wells is Bailey Ober.

 

But Sammons has some nice potential as well. :-)

 

I agree with this. If Ober can stay healthy, he has huge potential.

 

Also Sammons has four pitches that qualify as at least average. That's a good thing. 

    • Steve Lein, scottz and DocBauer like this
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Aerodeliria
Apr 17 2019 08:43 AM
...my favorite part has always been the minor league game reports (especially when the major league report is depressing).

I second that sentiment!
    • Steve Lein, scottz, Dman and 1 other like this

Graterol is impressive. It's also nice to see Cabbage doing well. This is a make or break year for him but it looks like he's stepping up.

    • Steve Lein, Dman, DocBauer and 1 other like this
I hope they are aggressive with Gaterol!

But the hitting this year....
    • Steve Lein, scottz, gunnarthor and 2 others like this

 

I hope they are aggressive with Gaterol!

But the hitting this year....

 

By putting him in Double A at the start of the year, signs are sure pointing to aggressiveness with him. In the Pensacola rotation, I think he's on the short list to promote to Rochester if the Twins need a starter.

 

Also have to remember when it comes to pitching for the Twins this year potentially, that Graterol has very few innings on his arm. He only threw 102 last year. It was talked about with Romero how bringing him up in the bullpen late in the year would be a good exercise, and I think that's the potential for Graterol this year at the moment too.

 

Becomes a lot harder not to consider him for some starts later in the year if this keeps up though!

    • DocBauer and howieramone2 like this

I love reading the minor league report. That lineup at Rochester is going to have trouble scoring runs and other than Romero I don't see much more than a few cups of coffee from their pitchers. It appears our future is in Pensacola, at least for pitching help.

    • DocBauer likes this
    • gunnarthor likes this
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birdwatcher
Apr 17 2019 12:13 PM

 

I love reading the minor league report. That lineup at Rochester is going to have trouble scoring runs and other than Romero I don't see much more than a few cups of coffee from their pitchers. It appears our future is in Pensacola, at least for pitching help.

 

 

We may be pleasantly surprised by what we eventually get from that Rochester roster. Aside from Romero, we could get MLB innings from Moya, Magill, Vasquez again, Morin, Reed, Eades, and get starts from Stewart, Gonsalves, Thorpe, Littell, and even DeJong. Maybe not much to get too excited about, but that's pretty solid replacement depth.

 

But yeah, it's weaker in terms of position player help. Wade, Torreyes, Gordon, Rooker, and Raley are the logical possibilities.

    • scottz, nater79a and howieramone2 like this
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howieramone2
Apr 17 2019 12:20 PM

I believe Nick Nelson gave Gaterol an eta of 2020. It took me by surprise at the time, but if we can add Romero and Gaterol to our pitching staff next season, things will certainly look brighter.

    • Mike Sixel and DocBauer like this

 

I believe Nick Nelson gave Gaterol an eta of 2020. It took me by surprise at the time, but if we can add Romero and Gaterol to our pitching staff next season, things will certainly look brighter.

 

I'll be shocked if he isn't in MN at some point next year, and not surprised if he's in MN this year. Assuming health, of course.

    • Steve Lein likes this

Just came back to the site and looked at tonight's starters for the first time.This could be another day to talk about fantastic pitching with Thorpe-Smerltzer-Duran-Balazovic.Then saw that Rochester's game started late this morning.

 

Just checked GameDay and the Wings are up 4-2 in the 7th.So maybe Thorpe finally had a good one.Saw he threw 94 pitches in 5.2 innings with only 4 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs.OK, he gave up another home run, but 12 of his 17 outs were strikeouts.So it sounds like for one game at least, he is gettin there.

    • birdwatcher, nater79a and howieramone2 like this

 

Just came back to the site and looked at tonight's starters for the first time.This could be another day to talk about fantastic pitching with Thorpe-Smerltzer-Duran-Balazovic.Then saw that Rochester's game started late this morning.

 

Just checked GameDay and the Wings are up 4-2 in the 7th.So maybe Thorpe finally had a good one.Saw he threw 94 pitches in 5.2 innings with only 4 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs.OK, he gave up another home run, but 12 of his 17 outs were strikeouts.So it sounds like for one game at least, he is gettin there.

 

The first 7 batters to face him all struck out swinging, which is quite impressive.He did get hit hard a few times after that.The same thing happened to him at the start of last year.He had good peripherals in terms of Ks and BBs but got hammered with a bunch of HRs and other extra base hits in his first few starts. 

 

I'm not entirely sure what to make of that.It's strange to see a guy have both swing and miss stuff and stuff that gets clobbered at the same time.I guess it could be a result of fringe-average stuff with good pitch-ability, and he just doesn't have as much margin for error as other guys with better stuff. Last year he managed to improve on the hard contact while keeping his K and BB rates about the same and ending with pretty solid numbers.We'll have to see if he can do the same this year.

    • Dman and rdehring like this
Graterol adjusted to high A and double a extremely well . if the twins are in contention(which I fully expect)come September I wouldn't be surprised to see graterol in the big league pen. Pensacola's roster has serious potential to impact the pennant race between him and AK
    • rdehring likes this

 

Graterol adjusted to high A and double a extremely well . if the twins are in contention(which I fully expect)come September I wouldn't be surprised to see graterol in the big league pen. Pensacola's roster has serious potential to impact the pennant race between him and AK

 

I hope they don't wait until September, if he's even close to this good for next two months.

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Tom Froemming
Apr 17 2019 08:45 PM

Here's some video of Brusdar's outing:

    • Steve Lein and FormerMinnasotan like this

 

Romero would have been a good option the last two days in the Minneapolis.

It's true, he would have, for sure.

 

But I'm wondering if, after his spring struggles, they're keeping him around til he shows he can do the job consistently, and when they bring him up, he'd be up to stay, instead of being another cog in the Rochester shuffle.

    • DocBauer likes this
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108Stitches
Apr 18 2019 10:05 PM
Graterol has that King Felix vibe to his pitching. Love it.
    • gunnarthor likes this

 

Graterol has that King Felix vibe to his pitching. Love it.

Google Maps tells me they were born 95 miles apart! (Also 12 years apart :) )

 

Too bad Graterol's not on the King Felix timeline...

    • ashbury likes this

Google Maps tells me they were born 95 miles apart!

This is the obsessive attention to detail that I can only aspire to. Kudos.

    • spycake likes this

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