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Twins Blogosphere


Twins Minor League Report (4/7): Gonsalves Great, Kernels Walk it Off in Extras

Stephen Gonsalves got his season off to a great start, throwing 5.1 no-hit innings for Chattanooga. He was removed after 71 pitches, following an early-season trend of the Twins’ affiliates being conservative with pitch counts. We also saw Cedar Rapids win its first extra inning game under the new rules implemented this season.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Welcome to the Saturday Speed Round! Things are going to look slightly different, but hopefully you’ll still get all the great information you’re accustomed to seeing in the minor league reports here at Twins Daily.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester vs. Buffalo
POSTPONED

That’s back-to-back postponements for Rochester, as the Red Wings have yet to make their season debut. The teams will play a doubleheader at a later date. There’s still just one game scheduled for tomorrow.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 2, Birmingham 0
Box Score

W Stephen Gonsalves: 5.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
SV Ryne Harper: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3K
HR None
Multi-hit games None

What a pitching performance. Gonsalves set the tone with 5.1 no-hit innings. He walked three batters and had “only” three strikeouts, but the Barons only managed to hit four balls out of the infield.

Tyler Jay was responsible for the lone hit the Lookouts gave up tonight, but he also pitched 1.2 shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts. Zack Jones walked two batters over a scoreless eighth inning before Ryne Harper staked his claim to the Chattanooga closer role. He struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning, needing just 13 pitches to do so.

Tanner English led off the third inning with a double and scored on an Edgar Corcino sac fly. In the seventh inning, Sean Miller hit a single that scored catcher Wynston Sawyer.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Charlotte 8, Fort Myers 4
Box Score

SP Charlie Barnes: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
HR None
Multi-hit games:
Travis Blankenhorn 2-for-5, 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 2 R
Brandon Lopez 2-for-3, 2B, BB, R
Jimmy Kerrigan 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Barnes struck out eight of the 20 batters he faced, but a couple of of his pitches the Stone Crabs made contact with really hurt. He gave up a two-run homer in the first, but the bats fought back to give Barnes a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth. Unfortunately, Barnes surrendered another two-run homer.

Max Cordy gave up another three runs over 2.1 innings of relief. Carlos Suniaga, who pitched for E-Town last year, had a successful FSL debut, throwing a perfect inning. Aaron Whitefield drew three walks and scored a run. Blankenhorn now has five extra-base hits in three games this season.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 3 (10 innings)
Box Score

W Ryan Mason: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
SP Edwar Colina: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
HR None
Multi-hit games:
Royce Lewis 2-for-4, 2B, BB, R

This game went into extra innings, meaning we got our first look at the new format where a runner starts the inning on second base. Instead of intentionally walking the first batter to set up a double play, Cedar Rapids manager Toby Gardenhire let his guys go to work. The decision paid off.

The leadoff batter flew out, Ryan Mason picked off the runner who had been gifted second base to start the inning and then he struck out the next batter. Can’t get much better than that.

The River Bandits also decided against the strategy of intentionally walking the leadoff batter in the hopes of inducing a double play. That decision did not pay off.

Lewis led off the inning with a ground ball to the third baseman. Akil Baddoo, who started the inning on second base, broke to third on the play. The Quad Cities third basemen tried tagging Baddoo, but missed. Alex Kirilloff, the next batter, delivered a sacrifice fly, scoring Baddoo to walk it off.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga Lookouts
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids Kernels

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

#1 Royce Lewis (CR): 2-for-4, 2B, BB, R
#2 Nick Gordon (CHAT): 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BBs, SB, K
#4 Stephen Gonsalves (CHAT): 5.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
#5 Alex Kirilloff (CR): 0-for-4, 2 K, walk-off sacrifice fly
#7 Brent Rooker (CHAT): 0-for-4, 4 K
#10 Akil Baddoo (CR): 1-for-5, 2 R, SB, 2 K
#13 Lewin Diaz (FM): 1-for-4
#14 LaMonte Wade (CHAT): 0-for-3, BB
#17 Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 2-for-5, 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 2 R
#19 Tyler Jay (CHAT): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester vs. Buffalo (12:05 pm CT) - Aaron Slegers
Chattanooga vs. Birmingham (1:15 pm CT) - Lewis Thorpe
Chattanooga vs. Birmingham (Game 2) - Randy LeBlanc
Fort Myers at Charlotte (11:35 pm CT) - Brady Anderson
Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities (2:05 pm CT) - Blayne Enlow

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.

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36 Comments

Interesting to see Carlos Suniaga pitch tonight. He was brought across the parking lot from EST. Curious the roster move. I see Andro Cutura has been assigned to the Kernels, so maybe that's it. Though I'm sure Suniaga will go back to EST as soon as someone comes off the DL. 

 

Nick Gordon and Travis Blankenhorn have been fantastic through two games each. Blankenhorn's got four doubles and a homer in like 8 or 9 PA.Gordon's like 5-7 with two walks, a double and a triple. Of course, getting excited about two games makes about as much sense as worrying about Brent Rooker starting 0-7 with 4 strikeouts. 

    • MN_ExPat likes this
I think Nick Gordon deserved the Co - hitter of the day with Lewis. Gordon got on base 3 out of 4 times up, got a double and stolen base.

Lewis was on base 3 out of 5 with a double. Very similar lines....
    • Seth Stohs likes this
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Tom Froemming
Apr 07 2018 08:40 PM

 

I think Nick Gordon deserved the Co - hitter of the day with Lewis. Gordon got on base 3 out of 4 times up, got a double and stolen base.

Lewis was on base 3 out of 5 with a double. Very similar lines....

The tie breaker for me was that Lewis was more instrumental to his team winning.

 

I think Nick Gordon deserved the Co - hitter of the day with Lewis. Gordon got on base 3 out of 4 times up, got a double and stolen base.

Lewis was on base 3 out of 5 with a double. Very similar lines....

 

I would have gone Gordon too, but that's the fun of having different writers, and then we can all discuss the choices in the comments. 

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Tom Froemming
Apr 07 2018 08:55 PM

Lewis' plate appearance in the 10th was scored as a fielder's choice, so no hit, but there wasn't an out recorded on the play. Next batter hit the walk-off sac fly. So I'm also giving Royce some extra credit for putting the ball in play there in the 10th to force the opponent to make a play, which they could not. 

 

Also, a run scored on the double Lewis hit to put the Kernels up 3-2, but he didn't get credit for the RBI because it was an error that allowed the runner to score.

 

I'm trying to get my friends at Twins Highlights (wink, wink) to upload some video of that finish, but the archive of that game is not available yet on MiLB.tv.

    • ashburyjohn, mikelink45 and Dman like this
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108Stitches
Apr 07 2018 09:26 PM

Whats the going prediction for when Gonsalves will get his debut in the show? Really like this kid a lot. (I know, get in line, right?)

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108Stitches
Apr 07 2018 09:28 PM

Hoping Kiriloff gets his mojo back soon. I know it has to be very tough missing that much time. But I am confident he will get there by May

 

Hoping Kiriloff gets his mojo back soon. I know it has to be very tough missing that much time. But I am confident he will get there by May

 

I'm sure it'll take a little time after missing a year, but I wouldn't worry about two games. He'll be fine. 

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Tom Froemming
Apr 07 2018 10:37 PM

 

I'm trying to get my friends at Twins Highlights (wink, wink) to upload some video of that finish, but the archive of that game is not available yet on MiLB.tv.

Video has been added to the Kernels section.

Rooker is sure starting Ice cold. He did last year too before he went an absolute tear. Hope he picks it up quick
Ryne Harper staked his claim to the Rochester closer role

 

 

Rough break for Curtiss? :P

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yarnivek1972
Apr 08 2018 05:46 AM
One could have made an argument that Baddoo went out of the base line to avoid the tag.

It was borderline.
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diehardtwinsfan
Apr 08 2018 07:13 AM

 

Rooker is sure starting Ice cold. He did last year too before he went an absolute tear. Hope he picks it up quick

Yeah, didn't like that line either...

 

I'll note though that Rooker did this both in Etown and the FSL last year. He seems to adjust quickly, and hopefully this is just a blip.

 

One could have made an argument that Baddoo went out of the base line to avoid the tag.

It was borderline.

 

Quad Cities certainly made that argument... But the 3B was playing in, and the runner does get some leeway. 

    • ashburyjohn likes this
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terrydactyls1947
Apr 08 2018 08:59 AM
Aggessive baserunning? If he had been tagged out, it would have been stupid baserunning. I really like Baddoo but I think that was a poor baserunning decision.
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ashburyjohn
Apr 08 2018 09:08 AM

Aggessive baserunning? If he had been tagged out, it would have been stupid baserunning. I really like Baddoo but I think that was a poor baserunning decision.

The minor leagues are for learning what little gaps to exploit. Those gaps become fewer in number as they rise to the majors, but I want my players looking for them nonetheless. If you force it and the other guys don't make the play, that's something to remember. Later, as you move up, you force it and the other guys do make the play; you remember that too. Then, at the majors, you hopefully have learned what works and what doesn't. But, never losing that aggressive instinct is a good thing. I'm not going to second guess a play that worked, when it's in single-A.

    • DannySD likes this
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terrydactyls1947
Apr 08 2018 09:25 AM

The minor leagues are for learning what little gaps to exploit. Those gaps become fewer in number as they rise to the majors, but I want my players looking for them nonetheless. If you force it and the other guys don't make the play, that's something to remember. Later, as you move up, you force it and the other guys do make the play; you remember that too. Then, at the majors, you hopefully have learned what works and what doesn't. But, never losing that aggressive instinct is a good thing. I'm not going to second guess a play that worked, when it's in single-A.


Never second guess a play that worked? That can encourage poor decisions. For example, a player runs throw the third base coach's stop sign and the throw has him beat by 20 feet. The catcher drops the throw and kicks it out of play. I would not only "second guess" that decision, but also provide a short lecture on why the third base coach makes decisions. Just because a bad decision turned out okay doesn't make it a good decision.
    • Mike Sixel and Major Leauge Ready like this
Thanks to the top prospect recap summary I see Tyler Jay made an appearance yesterday! How's he looking these days? I kind of forgot about him as a bullpen option.

EDIT: Also, did he ever end up having a surgery to fix his ailment? Or did rest and rehab do the trick?
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ashburyjohn
Apr 08 2018 09:36 AM

For example, a player runs throw the third base coach's stop sign

Is that what happened? I don't think I'd second guess a coach reading the riot act to a player who engaged in even minor insubordination, either. :)

 

Anyway, "never" is a strong word. Maybe I didn't add my usual volume of qualifiers in what I wrote there.

 

Whats the going prediction for when Gonsalves will get his debut in the show? Really like this kid a lot. (I know, get in line, right?)

I share the desire to see Gonsalves in MLB.Nice to have some good pitchers around the team again. 

 

Thanks to the top prospect recap summary I see Tyler Jay made an appearance yesterday! How's he looking these days? I kind of forgot about him as a bullpen option.

EDIT: Also, did he ever end up having a surgery to fix his ailment? Or did rest and rehab do the trick?

 

No, he never had surgery. The rest and rehab did the trick. He looked fine this spring. He's not a big guy, but he's got some really good stuff.

 

Never second guess a play that worked? That can encourage poor decisions. For example, a player runs throw the third base coach's stop sign and the throw has him beat by 20 feet. The catcher drops the throw and kicks it out of play. I would not only "second guess" that decision, but also provide a short lecture on why the third base coach makes decisions. Just because a bad decision turned out okay doesn't make it a good decision.

 

Yes and no... As a coach, you want to encourage aggressive, but smart decision making. In the case last night, I thought Baddoo made a good, aggressive move. The 3B was in. He had to dive. Baddoo was off of 2B already, and yes, he was able to make it. 

 

I would say this though... especially in the lower levels, managers and coaches should (and often do) question players. They let catchers call the games, and then they talk about good and bad pitches between innings and after games. For fast guys, they encourage them to try to steal bases, understanding they're probably going to go at some non-good situations, but they can learn from those situaitons, and they'll talk through those situations. 

 

I think most coaches will encourage aggressive over passive. And most coaches/managers in the lower levels love teaching and this is part of it. 

 

That was a long answer basically saying that there isn't a direct answer to that question. 

    • ashburyjohn, diehardtwinsfan and terrydactyls1947 like this

Only in the Twins organization does a guy like Gonsalves move backward.

 

He already has pitched 162 innings of AA baseball between 2016 and 2017.He has a career AA ERA of 2.21 with 188 strikeouts, and a career minor league ERA of 2.36.

 

So, even though he finished the 2017 season in AAA, the LOGICAL thing to do is send him back to AA.

 

Only in the Twins organization does a guy like Gonsalves move backward.

 

Yep. Because literally every organization is the same and has the same players.

Wouldn’t be shocked if they saw the early forecasts in Rochester and just wanted him to get innings in to stay fresh. 3 games postponed up north already
    • Taildragger8791 and AceWrigley like this

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