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Twins Minor League Report (5/17): Wells Tosses Complete Game

Rain won the day at Target Field on Wednesday. All four Twins minor league affiliates played, and there were some wild games. There was a very impressive pitching performance, and there were some big offensive showings. Two hitters were a triple away from the cycle.

However, we start today with a very sad news in the Twins minor league report. We learned today from the San Diego Tribune-Union that Henry Sanchez died due to synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Sanchez was a supplemental first-round pick of the Twins in 2005, known for his tremendous power. He struggled on and off the field and was let go shortly into the 2009 season.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Lachlan Wells, Jermaine Palacios in background)
Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Wednesday night, starting with the transactions of the day.


TRANSACTIONS

Check out the transactions through the minor league system on Wednesday:
  • Chattanooga placed RHP Todd Van Steensel on the disabled list with a groin strain. Taking his place is RHP Alex Wimmers (who had been sent to extended spring training on Monday from Rochester).
  • Because of the doubleheader Thursday, the Twins are able to call up a 26th man. That player will be RHP Drew Rucinski.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 8, Lehigh Valley 11 (11 innings)
Box Score

In his first four starts this season, lefty David Hurlbut gave up a total of four runs in 22.1 innings. He had his first clunker of 2017 on Wednesday night. He was charged with seven runs on nine hits (two homers) and a walk in just 3.2 innings. Alan Busenitz came on and was terrific. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up just one hit over 3.1 scoreless innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Michael Tonkin came in for the 8th inning, protecting a one-run lead. He gave up a solo homer to tie the game, but he then worked scoreless innings in the ninth and 10th innings. Kevin Chapman came in for the 11th frame. He gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits in the inning to take the loss.

The offense provided plenty of support. Byungho Park went 3-4 with his fourth double. JB Shuck was 3-4 with a walk and his fifth double. John Ryan Murphy went 2-5 with his third homer, a three-run shot. Matt Hague and Daniel Palka each went 2-5 with a double. It was Palka’s fifth and Matt Hague’s third.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Red Wings got to go through the Pat Venditte Experience. Venditte is the ambidextrous pitcher who has moved up and down from AAA to the big leagues the last few seasons.

Posted Image

The bases were loaded, but John Ryan Murphy grounded into a double play to end the threat to end the game.

For Lehigh Valley, old friend Pedro Florimon went 5-5 with a double and is hitting .349 on the season.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 6 Birmingham 8
Box Score

It was an early start on Wednesday for the Lookouts. Their fifth and final game of a home series against Birmingham began at 11:15 local time. Following the game, the Lookouts headed to Biloxi for their next five-game series.

Down 2-0 in the third inning, TJ White, Ryan Strausborger and Nick Gordon hit doubles to tie the score at two. Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, Levi Michael added a two-run homer to put the Lookouts on top. It was his first homer of the season. They added two more on an Edgar Corcino single. But that was it for the offense. In fact, after that fourth inning, they didn’t have another hit. The one base runner reached on a walk and was erased immediately by a double play.

Felix Jorge was strong through six innings. He gave up an early two-run homer, but that was it. Until the seventh inning. He started the inning with a strikeout, but then he loaded the bases with a walk, a single and another walk. That’s when Mason Melotakis came in. Melotakis gave up a pinch-hit, grand slam and the game was tied. After recording the inning’s second out, he gave up a single which was followed by another home run. That gave the Kernels their 8-6 deficit that ended up being the final score.

Melotakis worked a scoreless eighth frame. John Curtiss did pitch the ninth inning as well. He has now pitched 13 games this season, and in 14.2 innings, he is yet to allow a run. He has 19 strikeouts. However, he’s also given up nine walks to go with nine hits.

TJ White was the lone Lookouts hitter with more than one hit. He went 2-4 with his first double.


MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 3, Clearwater 1
Box Score

Complete games are a rarity in minor league baseball. Pitch counts are more tightly monitored, and especially in the lower levels, the pitchers are young and will be taken care of.

However, on Wednesday night, lefty Lachlan Wells delivered a complete game in a Miracle win. Wells gave up a double to lead off the game. After a sacrifice bunt, the run scored on a ground ball. After that, it was eight straight shutout innings. In fact, only one more runner the whole game reached second base. He gave up the one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out four. Most important, he needed just 92 pitches (67 strikes) to complete the game and win his second game of the season and reduce his ERA to 3.51. No surprise. It was the first complete game of his career.

Offensively, the Miracle offense waited an inning to do their scoring. In the bottom of the second inning, Daniel Kihle launched a three-run homer, his third of the season. That was it for the Miracle offense, at least in terms of runs scored. After hitting a walk-off home run the night before, Chris Paul added two hits on Wednesday. Rafael Valera walked twice.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 4
Box Score

It looked as if Wednesday’s Kernels game had the potential to be a long one. Through two innings, a combined ten runs had already been scored. However, just one more run was scored the rest of the game.

The Kernels got a two-run homer from Lewin Diaz in the bottom of the first inning, his fifth of the season. Sean Poppen gave up three runs in the top of the second frame, but the Kernels put up a five-spot in the bottom of the second inning. Aaron Whitefield drove in a run with a single before Jermaine Palacios launched a three-run homer, his fourth of the year. Two batters later, Mitchell Kranson hit his third homer of the year, a solo shot.

Palacios had been in a bit of a slump, seeing his average drop from .398 to .326 over the past 13 games during which he hit .196. However, on this day, he went 3-5 with his eighth double, fourth homer and he stole his sixth base. Mitchell Kranson went 3-4 with his 12th double and third home run. That’s two guys who ended the day a triple shy of the cycle.

Brandon Lopez went 3-4 with his second double. Aaron Whitefield went 3-5. Ben Rortvedt went 2-4 in the game.

Sean Poppen made the start. The right-hander from Harvard gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out five. He has completed six innings in all seven of his starts this season. Zach Tillery came on for his first appearance of the year and in a year. He gave up a run on three walks in his inning. It was his first appearance since May 7, 2016, with the Kernels. He missed the year with a shoulder injury. Alex Robinson recorded his second save with two shutout innings. He struck out four.


TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Lachlan Wells, Ft. Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios/Mitchell Kranson, Cedar Rapids Kernels


THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler
Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero
Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (5:35 CST) - RHP Brady Anderson
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 CST) - LHP Domenic Carlini IV
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday’s games.


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12 Comments

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yarnivek1972
May 17 2017 09:09 PM
Just curious and I only noticed because Lachlan is my guy and I had already posted in adopt. But your article said 92 pitches for Wells, while the box score said 90 even.

 

Just curious and I only noticed because Lachlan is my guy and I had already posted in adopt. But your article said 92 pitches for Wells, while the box score said 90 even.

 

The press release post-game said 92, so I changed it to that... I don't know which is right, to be honest. 

    • glunn likes this

So Pedro Florimon goes 5 for 5 for the Iron Pigs. I always knew he was all stick and no glove. (I kid, I kid)

    • James likes this

Just looked up the bio on Lachlan Wells.  Didn't realize he is still just 20 years old (3 years younger than the average in the FSL).  But the interesting thing I saw was that he was just 16 yrs old when playing for Sydney in the Australian Baseball League!  And get this...he was 9.5 years younger than the average pitcher in that league.  9 1/2 years!!!  Wow...

 

 

 

    • James, jokin and CUtomorrownight like this

 

Just looked up the bio on Lachlan Wells.  Didn't realize he is still just 20 years old (3 years younger than the average in the FSL).  But the interesting thing I saw was that he was just 16 yrs old when playing for Sydney in the Australian Baseball League!  And get this...he was 9.5 years younger than the average pitcher in that league.  9 1/2 years!!!  Wow...

 

Yeah, he put up numbers that were better than Thorpe did in Cedar Rapids as a 19 year old... They're pretty similar.

    • nater79a likes this

Busenitz looks like a legit bullpen arm. 

    • nater79a likes this

Why Rucinski?  He has pitched 8 years according to Baseball reference and is  29-31 with  4.49 era 1.4 whip, about 1:3 BB/K.  Don't we have better?  Based on these reports I would think that we did. 

Rucinski is cannon fodder.  If things go south, they could ask him to pitch multiple innings while absorbing a shellacking.

    • James likes this
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bluechipper
May 18 2017 10:13 AM

Good to see Byungho Park back playing and finally having a good game. Hopefully he can have a good month and replace Vargas as the 1B platoon and DH.

    • James and nater79a like this

 

Why Rucinski?  He has pitched 8 years according to Baseball reference and is  29-31 with  4.49 era 1.4 whip, about 1:3 BB/K.  Don't we have better?  Based on these reports I would think that we did. 

 

Who would you suggest they call up for one game? Should be someone on the 40-man roster, and there aren't a lot of options. Of course, you could always DFA Rucinski to make room for someone, but again, for one game, seems like too much.

 

Who would you suggest they call up for one game? Should be someone on the 40-man roster, and there aren't a lot of options. Of course, you could always DFA Rucinski to make room for someone, but again, for one game, seems like too much.

 

i think that's the real question, why is he even on the 40 man, and why isn't someone with a future?

    • jokin likes this

 

i think that's the real question, why is he even on the 40 man, and why isn't someone with a future?

 

Because in MLB there's always a PLACE for a PLACEholder.


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