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Twins Minor League Report (5/19): Slegers Spins Another Gem, Thorpe Strong In Return

There was a near complete game shutout, a prospect made his triumphant return after a two-year absence and a hitter slugged his very first home run in 264 professional games. Find out what else happened around the Twins' minor leagues on Friday.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Aaron Slegers)
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 2, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 1
Box Score

Aaron Slegers spun another gem, pitching into the ninth inning for the first time this season. After giving up one run on five hits over 8.1 innings, Slegers’ ERA is down to 3.83 in his first year with the Red Wings. Over seven starts he’s gone six or more innings while giving up one run or fewer in four of them. Slegers only struck out two batters, but it was a particularly impressive performance considering the opponent.


The 6-10 right-hander carried a shutout into the ninth, but gave up a ground rule double on his first pitch of the inning. That runner would come around to score, and Drew Rucinski came in to record the final two outs for his first save of the season.

Zack Granite hit his first Triple A home run in the fourth inning. He’s now hitting .300/.327/.420 with six stolen bases in 12 games for Rochester.


Matt Hague scored Daniel Palka on a sac fly in the seventh. ByungHo Park and J.B. Shuck both had doubles.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Biloxi 4, Chattanooga 0
Box Score

Nick Burdi continued his impressive 2017 with a 1-2-3 inning in which he consistently hit 99 mph on the radar gun. In 15.2 innings, he’s only given up one run and with one more strikeout tonight is up to an even 20 Ks.

The Lookouts could only muster seven baserunners on the evening, but Ryan Strausborger was on three times. The 29-year-old outfielder was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. Nick Gordon was credited with a throwing error, but it really probably should have gone to first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez as a missed catch.

Ryan Eades made his second start of the season and gave up three runs over five innings while striking out five. Randy Rosario gave up an unearned run over two innings. Over 22.1 innings for Chattanooga, Rosario has a 2.01 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 7, Bradenton 1
Box Score

Lewis Thorpe, making his first start since Aug. 31, 2014 and his first ever appearance in the Florida State League, had an encouraging debut. The Aussie hit 94 mph and struck out three batters over four innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk to help lead the Miracle to their sixth straight win.

As expected, the Twins appear to be playing it safe with the 21-year-old lefty. He threw just 49 pitches, but just having him back on the mound at all is exciting. Thorpe had a 2.96 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 11.2 K/9 between 2013 and ‘14.

It was also a special day for Rafael Valera. In his 264th career game, the native of Venezuela finally hit his first professional home run. Tanner English, in his fifth game since being sent down from Double A, went 2-for-3 with three RBI, scored a run and was hit by a pitch. Chris Paul also reached in three of his plate appearances, tallying a double, a walk and an HBP.

Nelson Molina had a pair of hits and drove in two and Max Murphy drew a couple walks and stole his sixth base. Anthony McIver, Alex Muren and Nick Anderson combined to throw five shutout innings out of the bullpen.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Wisconsin 9, Cedar Rapids 2
Box Score

Jermaine Palacios hit his fifth home run of the season and Clark Beeker pitched seven strong innings, but an ugly night from reliever Max Cordy put this one out of reach. Christian Cavaness was the only Kernels to reach safely twice, recording a single and Cedar Rapids’ only walk of the evening.

Beeker gave up a pair of homers, but limited the Timber Rattlers to three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. A 33rd-round pick from last year’s draft, Beeker now has a 2.76 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and has pitched at least six innings in six of his seven starts.

Cordy walked three batters, hit two more and threw a wild pitch. Wisconsin scored six runs while he was on the mound (four earned) and he recorded just one out. Andrew Vasquez came in and struck out the only two batters he faced.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (carried a shutout into the ninth inning)
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Valera (hit a go-ahead homer, the first of his professional career after over 264 games played)

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester at Scranton/WB, 3:05 CT, Nick Tepesch (2.29 ERA, 1.53 WHIP)
Chattanooga at Biloxi, 6:35 CT, Stephen Gonsalves (first start of season)
Fort Myers vs. Bradenton, 5:05 CT, Dereck Rodriguez (2.80 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
Cedar Rapids at Wisconsin, 6:35 CT, Eduardo Del Rosario (5.29 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games.


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21 Comments

"[Max] Cordy walked three batters, hit two more and threw a wild pitch. Wisconsin scored six runs while he was on the mound (four earned) and he recorded just one out."

 

[Twilight Zone continuation] Cordy then felt pain in his elbow, exiting the game to have an emergency MRI. On the way to the hospital, his ambulance was t-boned by a fully loaded gasoline truck, which exploded, killing everybody.

 

See? It could have been worse! Hang in there, Max!!

    • brvama, dgwills, nater79a and 1 other like this
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The Wise One
May 20 2017 01:35 AM

Cordy is a power pitcher with control issues. Rarely starts, mostly relieves. As a 40th round pick he is high on potential, as he is making it through 2 seasons of ball and continued promotions.Does he need to be reminded at least he is not dead after a bad outing? I would hope that sports are not that all consuming. Perhaps society in their games are going back to win or literally die.

Good things are starting to happen with pticher health and performance. System could look much better in a couple weeks.
    • birdwatcher and howieramone2 like this

I think that the craziest part of this article is that Thorpe is still only 21. Hope that he stays healthy and continues to move through the minors. Very encouraging that he hit 94, too!

    • jokin, mikelink45, CUtomorrownight and 1 other like this

Okay you minor league experts - tell me about Slegers.  Is he real?  Can he be MLB?  I just love the idea of a tiny Berrios followed by a giant Sleger to really give different looks to opposing lineups, but that is my fantasy and I wonder how real his stuff is.  

 

I read these reports and he sure sounds good. 

    • birdwatcher, brvama and Tom Froemming like this
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birdwatcher
May 20 2017 07:52 AM

 

Okay you minor league experts - tell me about Slegers.  Is he real?  Can he be MLB?  I just love the idea of a tiny Berrios followed by a giant Sleger to really give different looks to opposing lineups, but that is my fantasy and I wonder how real his stuff is.  

 

I read these reports and he sure sounds good. 

 

That's a good question. If I had to guess, I'd say he had Hurlbut and Tepesch are a step better than the types of guys we're used to parading up here like Kris Johnson and PJ Walters and Cole DeVries and AJ Achter and...

    • nater79a and Tom Froemming like this
I'd really like to see Burdi get the call soon. A bullpen of Belisle and Duffey, into Burdi and Pressly, with Kintzler closing games out is a pretty nice looking pen. All RH, but there Breslow should be able to handle a LOOGY role for a while.

Now, if they could only get a competent starter to throw into the rotation with Santana and Berrios, things would really be looking up, in comparison to last year at this time.
    • jokin and Tom Froemming like this

 

Okay you minor league experts - tell me about Slegers.  Is he real?  Can he be MLB?  I just love the idea of a tiny Berrios followed by a giant Sleger to really give different looks to opposing lineups, but that is my fantasy and I wonder how real his stuff is.  

 

I read these reports and he sure sounds good. 

 

After reading this... I just dropped the price of the electronic version of the 2017 Twins Prospect Handbook by $2... 

 

http://www.lulu.com/...t-23012872.html

 

    • ashburyjohn and old nurse like this

Lots of promising news on the pitching front yesterday.  Slegers has really come on this year, something seems to have clicked with him.  Burdi needs a call soon (at the very least to AAA).  And Thorpe is back on the mound.  Overall, a very good day on the farm!  

    • jud6312 likes this
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Tom Froemming
May 20 2017 10:01 AM

 

Okay you minor league experts - tell me about Slegers.  Is he real?  Can he be MLB?  I just love the idea of a tiny Berrios followed by a giant Sleger to really give different looks to opposing lineups, but that is my fantasy and I wonder how real his stuff is.  

 

I read these reports and he sure sounds good. 

He's big, has been very durable and is excelling as a 24-year-old in Triple A. But at the same time, he's only averaging 6.2 K/9, so the stuff is far from overpowering. The Twins didn't think highly enough of him to make room on the 40-man roster, subjecting him to the Rule 5 Draft, so that should tell you something.

 

Still, he looks really good in games. It definitely seems hitters have a more difficult time pitching up his pitches, which makes sense since the ball is coming from different slots and in at different angles than most pitchers they see. Plus, any pitcher with a K:BB ratio of over three is giving himself a good chance of being successful, and Slegers is at 3.22 this year (was 2.26 in 2016).

 

I'd really like to see Burdi get the call soon. A bullpen of Belisle and Duffey, into Burdi and Pressly, with Kintzler closing games out is a pretty nice looking pen. All RH, but there Breslow should be able to handle a LOOGY role for a while.

I'm nuts, people keep telling me, but as far as callups go, I think Hildenberger, Busenitz and Baxendale are all head of Burdi among right-handed relievers. Burdi definitely has the highest upside/is the sexiest prospect of that bunch, but I just don't see him being the next guy up.

 

But he has been dominant, and that is very exciting to see. I do agree with Einstein1, I'd like to see him in Rochester like immediately. I think if Tonkin had been claimed by another team there's a good chance Burdi would already be there.

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FormerMinnasotan
May 20 2017 10:18 AM
Glad to see Thorpe's first start went well. While I still think Romero can be a top of the rotation starter (despite his struggles this year), I feel that Thorpe could be even better as he has the potential for having a strong 4 pitch mix.

ICYMI: The Twins released minor league catcher AJ Murray and RHP Michael Cederoth. 

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puckstopper1
May 20 2017 10:47 AM

Thorpe on the mound for the first time in two years yesterday, Gonsalves on the hill for the first time this season, today.The pitching in the minor leagues just became significantly more intriguing to follow.

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Cap'n Piranha
May 20 2017 10:53 AM
Thorpe yesterday and Gonsalves today? Yes please!

When it comes to home run prowess...don't take Zack for Granite!

    • Tom Froemming likes this

 

ICYMI: The Twins released minor league catcher AJ Murray and RHP Michael Cederoth. 

How much of it was the fact that Cederoth couldn't stay healthy? The numbers when he was pitching at least looked decent.

 

I'm nuts, people keep telling me, but as far as callups go, I think Hildenberger, Busenitz and Baxendale are all head of Burdi among right-handed relievers. Burdi definitely has the highest upside/is the sexiest prospect of that bunch, but I just don't see him being the next guy up.

 

But he has been dominant, and that is very exciting to see. I do agree with Einstein1, I'd like to see him in Rochester like immediately. I think if Tonkin had been claimed by another team there's a good chance Burdi would already be there.

 

Busenitz has been tremendous... 

 

When it comes to home run prowess...don't take Zack for Granite!

 

"Like"

 

How much of it was the fact that Cederoth couldn't stay healthy? The numbers when he was pitching at least looked decent.

 

I would say that health was a part of it, for sure... 

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ashburyjohn
May 20 2017 06:36 PM

Okay you minor league experts - tell me about Slegers.  Is he real?  Can he be MLB?  I just love the idea of a tiny Berrios followed by a giant Sleger to really give different looks to opposing lineups, but that is my fantasy and I wonder how real his stuff is.  

 

I read these reports and he sure sounds good. 

He's my Adopt-A-Prospect, and to summarize what I wrote up there, I'm no pro scout but when I watched him this past March he was throwing 94, and more importantly the hitters didn't seem to be getting a good read on him. Bottom line, he's got a chance.

    • birdwatcher and mikelink45 like this
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LimestoneBaggy
May 22 2017 02:09 PM

 

I would say that health was a part of it, for sure... 

 

and the rest of it...?


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