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Twins Minor League Report (4/23): Thorpe Derails Scranton/WB

With the Cedar Rapids Kernels being rained out on Monday, there was some extra baseball for Twins affiliates on Tuesday. While the Kernels managed a split, it was the starting pitching in a couple of the other games that made the headlines. Lewis Thorpe struck out a bunch of hitters for his second start in a row, while another pitcher who exited his last game after being struck by a line drive, picked up where he left off without missing a beat, ending the night leading his league in K’s.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Lewis Thorpe)
To find out everything that happened in the minor leagues for Twins affiliates on Tuesday, keep reading!

TRANSACTIONS
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos place CF Jimmy Kerrigan on 7-day IL and assigned C Kidany Salva from GCL Twins
RED WINGS REPORT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Rochester 8
Box Score

Left-hander Lewis Thorpe toed the rubber for the Red Wings and after giving up a solo home run in the top of the first, derailed Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the rest of the way. After that blip, he retired eighteen men in a row, including a stretch of five straight strikeouts on his way to totaling 12 K’s on the game. He picked up his first win of the year by going eight innings, allowing just the lone run on three hits and zero walks. He was a strike throwing machine on the game, with 71 of his 95 pitches going for strikes, including an #Elite 21 swings and misses. After having some trouble by allowing 15 earned runs in his first two starts of the year, Thorpe has dialed it in in his last two, allowing just three runs in 13 2/3 innings while striking out 24 against just one walk.

Rochester’s offense got on the board in the third inning to tie the game at one thanks to a LaMonte Wade single that drove in Ronald Torreyes, who had doubled earlier. They took control of the game in the fourth in part thanks to Brent Rooker’s fourth home run of the year:


After that smash doubles from Tomas Telis and Torreyes around an Adam Rosales walk made the score 4-1 in favor of the home team. Another Telis double and RBI single from Wade in the sixth made it 5-1, before they tacked on three more in the eighth thanks to a Wade double and Randy Cesar 2-RBI single.

Reliever Preston Guilmet came in for Thorpe in the ninth, delivering a one-two-three ninth and punctuating the victory with a strikeout.

BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Mobile 1, Pensacola 0
Box Score

The only things that can stop Pensacola’s starter Devin Smeltzer so far on the year, are apparently when a line drive back at him takes him out of the game (his last start) or his offense abandons him (this one). Luckily after that scary sequence in his last start, he checked out fine and didn’t miss a beat on Tuesday. The lefthander went seven innings in this one, allowing just one run on six hits while picking up nine more strikeouts that puts him in the Southern League lead in that category. Mobile scored in the third inning thanks to some small ball, as a single, stolen base, and another single with two outs accounted for the game’s only run.

The Blue Wahoos collected just three hits on the game and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Luis Arraez, Jaylin Davis, and Brian Navarreto each singled, while Ernie De La Trinidad drew two walks.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 2, Bradenton 1
Box Score

The middle of the Miracle lineup got the game started off on the right foot as number three hitter Trevor Larnach and cleanup man Jose Miranda swapped places at second base with consecutive doubles in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead.

Bradenton knotted the game at one in the second, as they managed to score the first run of the year on Fort Myers starter Bryan Sammons thanks to a two-out double and RBI single. That’s all they’d manage, and Sammons ended the game with a 0.42 ERA on the season after finishing 5 1/3 innings. He allowed just three hits and walked three while striking out four to pick up his third win of the year.

The Miracle took the lead back in the sixth when leadoff man Akil Baddoo launched his third home run of the season.

After Sammons' exit Calvin Faucher went the next 2 1/3, walking one and striking out two. Tom Hackimer recorded the final out of the eighth with a strikeout, then finished the ninth by striking out three in a row after a leadoff walk to pick up his first save.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Game 1: Cedar Rapids 0, Wisconsin 9
Box Score

In the first game of their doubleheader, the Kernels were in danger of being no-hit going into the top of the sixth inning, as the Timber Rattlers and their starter Aaron Ashby had built a 5-0 lead. Luckily, Michael Davis ended that effort with a leadoff double after Ashby’s day was done but that would be their only hit on the game. Gabriel Maciel drew two walks and Trey Cabbage one to account for the only baserunners on the day.

Andrew Cabezas got the start for Cedar Rapids and went the first four innings. He allowed four earned runs on six hits and a walk but did strike out five. Carlos Suniaga went the next 1 2/3 and was unable to make it through the sixth. He surrendered five runs on four hits and two walks. Derek Molina inherited a runner who would score the final tally for Wisconsin when he gave up a single but got the final out with a strikeout to end the bleeding. The Kernels went down in order in the seventh and prepped for game two.

Game 2: Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 6
Box Score

Cedar Rapids turned to their bullpen in game two, and while each of their first three pitchers surrendered at least one run, the offense was there in this one to pick them up.

Brian Rapp got the start and pitched into the third inning when a walk and a single ended his day. In total he was charged with three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. Austin Schulfer did his best to keep his team in the game, tallying three innings and allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out seven. He would be credited with his third win on the year when it was all said and done. Zach Neff came on for the sixth with a 7-4 lead for the Kernels but allowed two runs on two walks and a double before Joe Record was brought in to close out the game. Record retired all four hitters he faced, including two strikeouts in the seventh, to pick up his first save.

Cedar Rapids did most of their damage in a four-run fourth inning started by a home run from Hunter Lee, his first hit of the season. That was followed by three straight singles from Gabriel Maciel, Gabe Snyder, and Trey Cabbage before a two-out single from Gilberto Celestino put the Kernels up 7-3. Cabbage added his sixth home run of the young season in the third inning and ended the day tied for the Midwest League lead in bombs. Catcher Ben Rodriguez followed Cabbage’s shot with a back-to-back blast of his own for his first home run of the year. Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B), Cabbage (3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), and Maciel (2-for-3, BB) had multiple hits.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe, Rochester Red Wings (W, 8 IP, ER, 3 H, 12 K)
Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Trey Cabbage, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, K)

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

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

WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Rochester (5:05PM CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (1-2, 6.00 ERA)
Mobile @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 0.54 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-2, 3.65 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35PM CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-2, 4.35 ERA)

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

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26 Comments

Lewis not looking too elite so far in his return to High A ball this season.

    • nytwinsfan likes this

When will Thorpe be ready for a tryout in the Twins' pen or as a spot starter? He started slow, but so did Stewart, and he got the call-up. Not contending the decision, just wondering out loud where Thorpe is at.

 

Looks like Duffey's nightmare outing in Houston assures that he will be the next guy on the shuttle back to Roc. Magill seemingly will get the next promo after Stewart returns to the Wings. Maybe one or two more outings like this and Thorpe gets the next shot at a pen slot?

 

 

    • glunn, pbrezeasap and DannySD like this
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Aerodeliria
Apr 24 2019 04:02 AM

A few more outings like the previous two put together by Thorpe and we would have to consider his debut with the big boys.

    • Steve Lein, glunn, pbrezeasap and 1 other like this
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clutterheart
Apr 24 2019 06:55 AM

Wade has played well to star the year.But it's be nice if he started turning those singles into doubles.  

 

    • Dman likes this

Now that is the Lewis Thorpe we have been waiting to see this spring.24 K's and only 1 walk in his last two starts, 13+ innings, gets me excited at the possibility we will see him at Target Field before the summer is over.

 

Great seeing that Smeltzer has a hard head and was back in his regular spot in the rotation. Appears he is a strikeout machine who is making the Dozier trade look real good. 

 

Speaking of strikeouts, Hackimer has 19 strikeouts in 10.0 innings with 3 walks and only 1 hit.We have seen guys come thru the system with great numbers before, yet never do if for the Twins.See that he spent all of last year and some of 2017 in the Florida State League.Time to get him moving up the ladder as he will be Rule 5 eligible this winter. 

 

Question for you guys that have seen him pitch, is he one relief prospect who has what it takes to make it and be good, really good?

    • Steve Lein, glunn, scottz and 2 others like this
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Don't Feed the Greed Guy
Apr 24 2019 07:47 AM
I love to see these guys develop, with outrageous video game stats. Either they will become part of a stronger Twins 25-man roster, or of optimal value if/when the Twins trade for an ace in July.
    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Now that is the Lewis Thorpe we have been waiting to see this spring.24 K's and only 1 walk in his last two starts, 13+ innings, gets me excited at the possibility we will see him at Target Field before the summer is over.

 

Great seeing that Smeltzer has a hard head and was back in his regular spot in the rotation. Appears he is a strikeout machine who is making the Dozier trade look real good. 

 

Speaking of strikeouts, Hackimer has 19 strikeouts in 10.0 innings with 3 walks and only 1 hit.We have seen guys come thru the system with great numbers before, yet never do if for the Twins.Question for you guys that have seen him pitch, is he one relief prospect who has what it takes to make it and be good, really good?

 

Can't wait to see Thorpe, he's been one of my favorite guys ever since I interviewed him in Cedar Rapids. Has taken a longer road than he would like I'm sure, but he's still only 23 and when he's on, well starts like this are what happens!

 

If you check out my other post from last night on the Blue Wahoos, I add some color to what Smeltzer has done thus far. He had been transitioned to the bullpen before the Twins acquired him, and I'm guessing/hoping this pitching development program found something to take advantage of with him, and we're seeing some early returns on it.

 

Hackimer is another guy who's dealt with some injuries. Was thought he could be a quick mover as a reliever when he was drafted. He put in a lot of work getting his shoulder back into shape, even teaching himself to throw left-handed (pretty well, I might add too):

 

He's a sidearmer, so comes at you from a much different angle. He's also big into science and nerdy stuff about pitching:

 

https://blogs.fangra...-pitching-nerd/

    • glunn, Han Joelo, scottz and 5 others like this
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MMMordabito
Apr 24 2019 08:20 AM

Good to see these prospects like Graterol, Thorpe and Smeltzer dominating in their respective leagues.  

 

I don't know what the weather was like for Thorpe's first two starts, but hopefully, those are outliers.

 

I've seen Graterol live, and he seemed to work relatively quickly.Does anyone have any input on how Thorpe and Smeltzer are in this area?

 

It's at the top of my mind after watching Odorizzi and Pineda that last couple days.

    • glunn and blindeke like this

I'm just glad that whatever the issues were this spring with Thorpe, they apparently weren't injury-related. I think last night after 6 innings his pitch count was 69 with 9 K's. That means he was throwing the ball over the plate even when ahead in the count. A concept that seems not to have occurred to several starters and wanna-be starters on the Twins staff.

    • Steve Lein, Dman and birddog like this
Still no Kirilloff? Or the others?

Twins desperately need the pitching to develop this year. Hoping....
    • Steve Lein and howieramone2 like this

Anyone know what is going on with Royce Lewis? Could he be injured or hiding an injury? His OBP is still good, but he has zero power and a very low BABIP.Seems like nobody in Fort Myers is hitting for much power. Very surprising and disappointing as I always thought it was considered a hitters league.

Boy you don't want to parking that left field parking lot with Rooker on the team...

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Lewis not looking too elite so far in his return to High A ball this season.

Nope, not yet, anyway. The 'good' part is that his BABiP is lower than it's been for any full professional season he's had. And his OBP is actually higher than it was last year at Fort Myers. The not-as-good part is that he's shown almost zero extra-base capability early this season, even compared to what he did last year at Fort Myers....and his stolen base success rate has taken a hit at this level, as well. Of course none of that matters that much given the sample size...especially if someone were to tell me that his defense at short is progressing nicely.

Seems like nobody in Fort Myers is hitting for much power. Very surprising and disappointing as I always thought it was considered a hitters league.

FSL has been a pitcher's league in past years when I have looked. Maybe that's changed but I doubt it. California League is where I look for gaudy inflated offensive numbers.

    • jrod23 and MN_ExPat like this

 

Anyone know what is going on with Royce Lewis? Could he be injured or hiding an injury? His OBP is still good, but he has zero power and a very low BABIP.Seems like nobody in Fort Myers is hitting for much power. Very surprising and disappointing as I always thought it was considered a hitters league.

 

FSL has traditionally been considered a pitcher's league, which is why it was so amazing to see Kirilloff just destroy it last season. I'm not too worried about Royce Lewis yet.

 

Great news on Thorpe, nice to see him having success at AAA. He keeps going like this, we'll be seeing him in MN sooner rather than later.

    • Steve Lein and MN_ExPat like this

 

FSL has been a pitcher's league in past years when I have looked. Maybe that's changed but I doubt it. California League is where I look for gaudy inflated offensive numbers.

Ahh, maybe I got that backwards then.

 

Anyone know what is going on with Royce Lewis? Could he be injured or hiding an injury? His OBP is still good, but he has zero power and a very low BABIP.Seems like nobody in Fort Myers is hitting for much power. Very surprising and disappointing as I always thought it was considered a hitters league.

 

 

The Florida State League has always HEAVILY favored pitching. Definitely not a hitters league. These are big league ballparks in dimensions as most of them are homes to Spring Training facilities.

 

This is just napkin math, but I'd consider a .750 OPS in the FSL about as meaningful as an .800 OPS in say, the Southern League. 

    • nytwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this

Ahh, maybe I got that backwards then.

A quick look reveals that offense is low, so far, in all the high-A leagues this season.

    • Steve Lein, nytwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this

 

Still no Kirilloff? Or the others?

Twins desperately need the pitching to develop this year. Hoping....

 

I'm working on an injury update... hopefully I can have it in Thursday night's Minor league report... maybe sooner?

    • glunn, nytwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this

 

Speaking of strikeouts, Hackimer has 19 strikeouts in 10.0 innings with 3 walks and only 1 hit.We have seen guys come thru the system with great numbers before, yet never do if for the Twins.See that he spent all of last year and some of 2017 in the Florida State League.Time to get him moving up the ladder as he will be Rule 5 eligible this winter. 

 

Question for you guys that have seen him pitch, is he one relief prospect who has what it takes to make it and be good, really good?

 

Side-winder, throws a lot like Hildenberger, relies on movement in and out. When healthy he can be a fast mover. 

    • glunn and MN_ExPat like this

I hope we do not do anymore starter to reliever moves like we did with Romero - I consider it to be the Sano to RF move among pitchers and I hope he can get things straightened outMeanwhile keep the starters starting and getting lots of innings.We seem to have some interesting starters and it will be good to see them moving up. 

Let's get Arraez some love even though he slumped last night and had ONLY had 1 hit.

    • rdehring likes this

 

I hope we do not do anymore starter to reliever moves like we did with Romero - I consider it to be the Sano to RF move among pitchers and I hope he can get things straightened outMeanwhile keep the starters starting and getting lots of innings.We seem to have some interesting starters and it will be good to see them moving up. 

 

I don't see any correlation between a starter moving to the bullpen and Sano moving to RF. Sano moving from the left side of the infield to the right side of the outfield is completely different.

 

Pitching is pitching. And, throughout the history of the game, most of the best relief pitchers have been "failed" starters or at least starters moved to the bullpen for whatever reason. 

    • glunn, Mike Sixel, howieramone2 and 2 others like this

 

Lewis not looking too elite so far in his return to High A ball this season.

 

 

I guess I should clarify.... Royce... Royce Lewis, not Lewis Thorpe.

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howieramone2
Apr 24 2019 01:50 PM

 

I hope we do not do anymore starter to reliever moves like we did with Romero - I consider it to be the Sano to RF move among pitchers and I hope he can get things straightened outMeanwhile keep the starters starting and getting lots of innings.We seem to have some interesting starters and it will be good to see them moving up. 

I've already penciled in Romero and Thorpe in our starting rotation next season. 

    • mikelink45 likes this

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