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Twins Minor League Report (5/23): Wheeler And Wiel Lead The Way

Only three of the Twins four full-season affiliates were in action on Tuesday, as the Chattanooga Lookouts enjoyed a much needed day off. They also got some good news for their already stalwart bullpen, as a top prospect was activated from the disabled list. A much talked about name in the offseason made an appearance in AAA, but Rochester’s starter made the bigger story. A couple of hitters also continued impressive showings in the last week with home runs.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Zander Wiel)
To find out who did what in the minor leagues on Tuesday night, read on!

TRANSACTIONS

There was a notable move in AA today even though the Lookouts didn’t play, as Todd Van Steensel and 2016 first-rounder Tyler Jay were activated. Randy LeBlanc was assigned back to Fort Myers to help make room. Also, Cam Booser was added to the Ft. Myers roster off of the DL.

Van Steensel was dealing with a groin strain, while Jay has yet to pitch this year with tendinitis in his pitching arm.


RED WINGS REPORT
Durham 0, Rochester 4
Box Score

The story of the game in this one for Twins fans may have been the fact it was Jose De Leon making the start for the Durham Bulls. Yep, that De Leon.

He had missed all of April with an arm injury, and this was his third start of the season. The Red Wings got to him in the second inning for all the runs they would end up needing, as Jason Wheeler outdueled the top prospect.

Singles from Byungho Park and Matt Hague led off the second inning, and they both scored on a double from J.B. Shuck. Engelb Vilema and Zach Granite added an RBI double and an RBI single, respectively, to cap the scoring. De Leon went just four innings, allowing eight hits and a walk.

Wheeler pitched seven shutout frames in opposition, allowing just five hits while striking out nine. Durham did not send more than four hitters to the plate in any inning while Wheeler was on the mound, and didn’t cause trouble until he came out for the eighth inning. A lead-off single followed by a double put runners on second and third, leading to Trevor Hildenberger being called in from the bullpen.

He got the first man to line into a double play, and then induced a pop-out in foul territory to snuff out the threat. He closed out the game in the ninth for his third save on the season, allowing just a two-out single.

JB Shuck had two doubles and Engelb Vielma had two hits, including a double, to lead the rest of the offense. It was Vielma’s first double since moving up to AAA.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Scheduled day off.

The Lookouts enjoyed an off day after a brutal stretch that was made worse by some early rain. They played 20 games in 20 days and went 12-8 over that stretch. They were 11-3 before the rigors caught up with them and they lost five in a row at the tail end before getting a needed victory yesterday. They are 24-21 on the season, and in fourth place in the Southern League North Division, though less than two games back of first.


MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 2, Dunedin 3
Box score

Aussie left-hander Lachlan Wells was on the mound for the Miracle, and it was opposing major leaguers who made his day worse than it actually was. In five innings, he allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. Two of the three runs came courtesy of a Josh Donaldson RBI single in the second, and a Troy Tulowitzki solo-home run in the fifth.

Fort Myers got back in the game in the sixth, scoring their only two runs of the game on a Zander Wiel home run, his sixth of the season. It was also his third in the last four nights. He was the only hitter in the Miracle lineup with multiple hits, adding a single to lead off the ninth as the game-tying run. He reached second base after a Tulowitzki throwing error, but a bunt attempt resulted in him being forced out at third.

A liner to center field off the bat of Rafael Valera ended up turning into a double play, as the potential game-tying runner was doubled off second to end the game.

The bullpen tandem of Cameron Booser (2IP, 2 BB) and Sam Clay (IP, H, BB, K) got them to that point, combining for three innings of scoreless baseball. It was Booser’s first appearance of the season, and he set the Blue Jays down one-two-three in his first inning.

Daniel Kihle added a double for the offense, which went just 1-7 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base for the game.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 1
Box Score

Clinton got the jump on Cedar Rapids starter Domenick Carlini in the top of the first, as the lead-off man led off the game with a home run for an early 1-0 lead. They would extend that lead to 7-1 as they tacked on two runs in each of Carlini’s final three innings. He did make it through five innings, allowing the seven runs on eleven hits and a walk. He struck out two.

Zach Tillery and Max Cordy each pitched two innings of relief and each struck out two LumberKings. Tillery allowed one hit in his two frames, Cordy went one-two-three in each.

The Kernels got their lone run of the game in the fourth inning, as Jaylin Davis launched his tenth home run of the season. He leads the Midwest League in that category after his recent binge (six HR’s in seven days) and is hitting .375 in his last ten games. He finished this one 2-4.

Caleb Hamilton added two hits and a walk to the effort, and Travis Blankenhorn added a double. The lineup was just 1-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten on base.

At 26-19, the Kernels lead the Midwest League Western Division, a half-game in front of rival Kane County.


TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings (W, 7 IP, 5 H’s, 9 K’s)
Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Fort Myers Miracle (2-3, HR, 2 RBI)


WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Durham @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Aaron Slegers (4-3, 3.83 ERA)
Montgomery @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (2-5, 4.73 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) – RHP Brady Anderson (2-0, 3.42 ERA)
Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (5-2, 2.76 ERA)

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


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11 Comments

Well played on the DeLeon mention. I'd say more, except for karma. Nice looking line for Wheeler.

Maybe the Twins should consider Wells for fifth starter, seeing as he is getting major league experience.
    • Steve Lein, glunn and Oldgoat_MN like this

Out of Wheeler/Hurlbut/Slegers/Turley or Tepesch which would you most like to see starting with the Twins, should a situation arrise requiring one of them? 

What does Wheeler have to do to get a sniff?

 

Out of Wheeler/Hurlbut/Slegers/Turley or Tepesch which would you most like to see starting with the Twins, should a situation arrise requiring one of them? 

 

Of that group, probably Wheeler. Slegers is the "prospect," but Wheeler's done pretty well the last year and a half and deserves a shot. 

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

What does Wheeler have to do to get a sniff?

 

If back-end of the rotation woes continue, he likely could get a chance. Otherwise, I think September is your best bet.

Photo
Clear Lake Twinsfan
May 24 2017 07:52 AM

While Caleb Hamilton of the Kernels has gotten some recognition for playing all around the field, he has also done well at the plate.  Yesterday he had two singles and a walk in four plate appearances.  The walk was his 14th of the season, and he only has 70 at bats!  While all the small sample size warnings apply (he has appeared in the fewest games and has the fewest at bats of any Kernel's hitter) he currently leads the team with a .419 on base % and a .961 OPS.  He is definitely taking advantage of the opportunities that he is being given.

    • big dog likes this

 

While Caleb Hamilton of the Kernels has gotten some recognition for playing all around the field, he has also done well at the plate.  Yesterday he had two singles and a walk in four plate appearances.  The walk was his 14th of the season, and he only has 70 at bats!  While all the small sample size warnings apply (he has appeared in the fewest games and has the fewest at bats of any Kernel's hitter) he currently leads the team with a .419 on base % and a .961 OPS.  He is definitely taking advantage of the opportunities that he is being given.

 

Rortvedt is the Kernels' primary catcher, but when I was there I asked Tommy Watkins how nice it was to have guys like Hamilton and Mitchell Kranson who can catch pretty well and play around the diamond. Here is his response:

 

 

It’s really valuable. I would like to get them all in the lineup. I wish we had a bullpen catcher so we can get all three in the lineup. So if something happens, they can move from a position to catch. It’s good to have those guys that can move around. They can get more at bats. Kranson’s been doing a good job behind the plate, and Hamilton too. Kranson can go play third or first without missing a beat. So that’s really good. Same as Hamilton. He can move around, he can play anywhere on the field. I wouldn't be afraid to throw him at shortstop.

 

Hamilton never caught until instructional league last fall. He's solid back there. He played all around the infield at Oregon State, and he's played a lot in LF for the Kernels. There's a ton of value in that.

    • Tibs likes this
Looks like I was right about De Leon. He doesn't have much. He's better suited for the bullpen IMO. Never going to make it as a starter. Maybe as a 4 or 5 but is never going to be effective there

Had to be an exciting day for Lachlan Wells.

An eye-opener, too. He did well against two MLB All-Star players.

Really happy for him. Booser or Clay had to face those guys, too.

They should all be feeling pretty good today.

Looks like I was right about De Leon. He doesn't have much. He's better suited for the bullpen IMO. Never going to make it as a starter. Maybe as a 4 or 5 but is never going to be effective there


Talk about SSS. Wow.
    • Lonestar and rghrbek like this

 

Talk about SSS. Wow.

 

Especially coming off of an injury. He was dominant in AAA last year. 


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