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Twins Minor League Report (7/13): Colon Struggles, Gonsalves Ks 9, Javier Homers

Bartolo Colon Day was delayed almost two hours and the 44-year-old was not exactly sharp once Rochester’s game got underway. But Stephen Gonsalves, who Colon may be competing with for a rotation spot, had nine strikeouts and no walks in his five-inning start.

Chattanooga put together a rally in the bottom of the ninth to walk it off, 18-year-old Wander Javier hit a milestone homer, Tanner English helped lead the Miracle to a doubleheader sweep and there was a bit of a dustup down in the GCL
Image courtesy of Joe Territo/Rochester Red Wings
Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday.

RED WINGS REPORT
Lehigh Valley 6, Rochester 1
Box Score

Bartolo Colon, making his first minor league appearance since 2009, had a bit of a rough first inning. He labored, throwing 23 pitches, and gave up a run on a couple of doubles. To be fair, one double was on a ball Mitch Garver, playing left field for just the 11th time, should’ve caught. He had the range to get to the fly ball, but alligator armed the catch attempt. It appeared he may have been bracing himself for a potential impact with the wall.

Colon pitched a 1-2-3 second inning before giving up a solo homer to J.P. Crawford in the third. He then walked the first batter he faced, Dylan Cozens, in the fourth inning. A couple more defensive mistakes allowed Cozens to advance to third. Colon was credited with an error on a pickoff attempt, though I’m sure first baseman Matt Hague would admit he should have caught that ball. Also, J.R. Murphy had a passed ball.

Colon then walked old friend Pedro Florimon (who nearly hit a homer off him earlier) and then gave up a two-run double. Ending on a high note, Big Sexy struck out the final two batters he faced before reaching his pitch count limit.

Colon’s final line on the evening: 3.2 innings, four hits, four runs, two walks, five strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches, 50 for strikes. It was his first outing since June 28 and the game was delayed almost two hours, so you could understand if he was a bit rusty and/or thrown off his regular routine. But still, he did give up a lot of hard contact.

D.J. Baxendale and Alan Busenitz each pitched 1.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts. John Curtiss gave up two runs in the ninth, the first runs he’s surrendered with the Red Wings. Garver was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Tommy Field hit a double, drew a walk and drove in the Wings’ only run of the game.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 5, Jacksonville 4
Box Score

The Lookouts entered the bottom of the ninth trailing by a run. LaMonte Wade led off the inning with a single. After Jonathan Rodriguez struck out, Max Murphy drew a walk and T.J. White hit a game-tying double that scored Wade. After Travis Harrison was walked to load the bases, Alex Perez hit a ground ball to first base that managed to score Murphy from third to walk it off.

Stephen Gonsalves struck out nine batters over five innings, giving up three runs (just one earned) on six hits. He didn’t walk a batter for the third time in 11 starts this season. Randy LeBlanc kept his team in the game, giving up an unearned run over three innings. Paul Clemens pitched a perfect ninth.

The Lookouts are now 58-33 (.637).

MIRACLE MATTERS
Game 1: Fort Myers 4, Charlotte 3 (7 innings)
Box Score

The red-hot Miracle were trailing 3-1 heading into the sixth inning, but they rallied back to win it, picking up their seventh straight victory. Tanner English started that comeback rally with a single and Mitchell Kranson delivered the big blow, a two-run double.

Lewis Thorpe struggled, giving up three runs on six hits over four innings. He walked three batters and had three strikeouts. Alex Robinson pitched a perfect fifth and stuck out the side in his FSL debut. Per the team’s Twitter account, he hit 98 mph. Keaton Steele pitched a scoreless sixth before Sam Clay came in and locked down his sixth save.

Brandon Lopez was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run. Along with his big lead off hit in the sixth, English also drew two walks and stole a base.

Game 2: Fort Myers 5, Charlote 3 (7 innings)
Box Score

Have yourself a day, Tanner English! This time the 2014 11th-round pick finished off a big inning, hitting a two-run triple to cap a big fourth inning. The Miracle scored all their runs in that frame, as Jaylin Davis also hit a two-run triple and Sean Miller had an RBI single.

English also led off the game with a single and stole another base, giving him 15 steals with Fort Myers. He also swiped six bags during his time in Chattanooga, and is 21-for-24 in stolen base attempts this year.

Brady Anderson went five innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He had a pair of strikeouts without giving up a walk. Andrew Vasquez pitched the final two innings, striking out five batters. The big lefty has now thrown 16.2 scoreless innings for the Miracle and has 29 strikeouts against just three walks.

Make that eight straight wins for the Miracle.

KERNELS NUGGETS
West Michigan 3, Cedar Rapids 2 (10 innings)
Box Score

Gorge Munoz led off the sixth inning with a home run. The Kernels manufactured their second run of the inning without the luxury of a hit. Aaron Whitefield walked, advanced to third on an error and scored on a Lewin Diaz sac fly.

Munoz made a pivotal error at shortstop in the bottom of the tenth, which was followed by a walk-off double. Evan Sanders made his second start for Cedar Rapids, holding the Whitecaps to one run over 4.2 innings. Tyler Beardsley surrendered another run over his three innings of work. Hector Lujan suffered the loss. He gave up three hits and struck out two over 1.2 innings.

The Kernels were outhit 12-3. Trey Cabbage hit a double and Ben Rortvedt singled.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
Burlington 5, Elizabethton 4
Box Score

Wander Javier hit his first home run in the United States, a two-run shot that came with two outs in the ninth inning. Andrew Bechtold, a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft, was 2-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. This year’s ninth-rounder, Mark Contreras, was 2-for-4 with a double and scored a couple of runs.

Melvi Acosta gave up five runs over 4.1 innings, but his bullpen was outstanding. Jovani Moran threw 2.2 scoreless innings, giving the 2015 seventh rounder 11.1 shutout innings this season. Jared Finkel pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Orioles 9, GCL Twins 5
Box Score

Left fielder Roni Tapia was the standout hitter for the Twins, going 2-for-4 with a couple of doubles, three RBI and a run scored. Second baseman Emmanuel Morel also had a pair of hits before he was ejected in the ninth inning after being hit by a pitch.

There were a total of eight hit batsmen and a couple of ejections in this one. The benches cleared at one point. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press was in attendance, and shared some of the aftermath on his YouTube channel. Mike also shared some video from a chat with GCL manager Ramon Borrego and Royce Lewis yesterday.





Pedro Garcia started and gave up four runs on six hits over 4.2 innings pitched. He got three strikeouts, and while he didn’t walk a batter, he did hit two, threw two wild pitches and was called for a balk. Juan Mojica surrendered five runs in his 2.1 innings (he hit two guys and threw two wild pitches, as well). Jose Bermudez held the Orioles scoreless over the final two innings, but he also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga (5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K)
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Tanner English, Fort Myers (3-for-6, triple, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB)

FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester at Lehigh Valley, 6:05 pm CT, Justin Haley (3.38 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville, 6:15 pm CT, Kohl Stewart (3.73 ERA, 1.51 WHIP)
Fort Myers at Charlotte, 5:35 pm CT, David Fischer (3.72 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)
Cedar Rapids at West Michigan, 6:00 pm CT, Clark Beeker (2.71 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)
Elizabethton at Burlington, 6:00 pm CT, Charlie Barnes (2.53 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)
GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 11:00 am CT, TBD

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

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32 Comments

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Deduno Abides
Jul 13 2017 09:49 PM
Vasquez is starting to look interesting. As a lefty with the results he's had this year, you start thinking he could be at least a LOOGY. Does he have anything that is devastating to lefties?
    • glunn and bluechipper like this
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Pardon My Dinger
Jul 13 2017 09:57 PM
Honestly, I think that line could have been worse for Colon. He's Bartolo, and there has to be some magic left in that big fat dynamo of a man. Hope to see him soon.
    • HitInAPinch likes this

 

Vasquez is starting to look interesting. As a lefty with the results he's had this year, you start thinking he could be at least a LOOGY. Does he have anything that is devastating to lefties?

 

I've written up his scouting report in so many of these minor league reports... so I won't bore people again, but Vasquez is more than just a sleeper to me. I think he could be really good, and more than "just a LOOGY."

    • glunn, Bob Sacamento, Deduno Abides and 1 other like this

 

Honestly, I think that line could have been worse for Colon. He's Bartolo, and there has to be some magic left in that big fat dynamo of a man. Hope to see him soon.

 

He hasn't pitched in over two weeks... I woudln't make too much of it either way tonight. Ideally they could get one more look at him, rather than call him up on Tuesday to face the Yankees, but you never know.

    • glunn and HitInAPinch like this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 14 2017 05:29 AM

 

Vasquez is starting to look interesting. As a lefty with the results he's had this year, you start thinking he could be at least a LOOGY. Does he have anything that is devastating to lefties?

Season totals between Cedar Rapids (22.1 IP) and Fort Myers (16.2 IP): 0.92 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 14.3 K/9. That K/9 is tied for eighth-best in all of minor league baseball right now. Oh by the way, Luke Bard also is at 14.3 K/9 on the season.

 

And, not that any concrete conclusions can be made off 39 innings, but Vasquez actually has reverse platoon splits. But really, nobody is hitting him (.451 OPS for RHB, .467 OPS for LHB). In 154 plate appearances against the 6-6 lefty, opponents have just two extra-base hits, both doubles.

    • birdwatcher, Blake, Cory Engelhardt and 5 others like this

Poor Roberto. Hadn't pitched in two weeks. Seems he is bringing bad luck too. Yuk. And not the funny yuk. I still can't believe that we might have to suffer through his presence on the Twins. I refuse to give him a break. The Braves knew what they were doing. He sucked.

    • Blake, laloesch and jud6312 like this
It seems they have to give Colon one more start at Rochester. Perhaps, the best option is to bring Jorge back for a 3rd look. Or maybe call up Romero for one start. Doesn't make sense to call up Gonsalves as they don't want to do that until September at the earliest so they don't burn any options this year.
    • SF Twins Fan likes this
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yarnivek1972
Jul 14 2017 06:35 AM
I agree with h2oface. We don't need to make excuses for Colon. He doesn't have it anymore. If Falvine bring him up after that disaster of an outing, they desrve all the second guessing that has occured on this forum and others.
    • Mike Sixel, h2oface and laloesch like this

screw the options - if we want to take advantage of where we are call up the best we have and that seems to be Gonsalves.  New approach?  Lets get going and stop with this nonsense.  If he is really ready to move up and we need him that don't keep going to Jorge or another weaker choice for the rotation. 

    • Blake, Mike Sixel, h2oface and 1 other like this

 

Doesn't make sense to call up Gonsalves as they don't want to do that until September at the earliest so they don't burn any options this year.

Technically, a player needs to spend 20 days on "optional assignment" to actually burn an option year. 

 

Although next week would be a little early, they could call up Gonsalves in the near future and option him back August 13th, and recall him September 1st when rosters expand (whether he pitches again or not) and not burn an option year, for example.

 

I don't think it's likely, but if they were considering it, they could give him a look in early August and still have the ability to send him back to the minors for a few more starts without necessarily burning an option year.

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Bob Sacamento
Jul 14 2017 07:42 AM

I'm a huge Vasquez fan, have been since they drafted him.  He's one of those new age cases, as he pitches off his breaking balls (been told by other Twins' pitchers it's 2 different sliders although one looks like a curve) instead of his fastball and it works for him.

 

Here area a couple of videos I took of Andrew over the past two years or so

 

Game action

 

One of his first times pitching professionally in GCL

 

Side Session Work with Virgil Vasquez

    • bluechipper, Deduno Abides, d-mac and 1 other like this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 14 2017 07:58 AM

In regards to Gonsalves' options, I'm really not too concerned. You don't wanna go around burning up option years all willy-nilly, but it's difficult for me to see a scenario in which down the road we're bummed we can't send Gonsalves back down another time.

 

If his option years are used this year, next year and in 2019, I think everything would be ok. Then again, he'll still only be 25 on opening day 2020, so who knows. If they want to be cautious/conservative, I can't blame them for that, but it's not the route I'd go.

    • Mike Sixel, BigSkyTwinsFan, h2oface and 1 other like this

Uh Oh....Rooker was 0-5 with 2 K's.  Bust.

    • Mike Sixel likes this
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Deduno Abides
Jul 14 2017 08:53 AM

He hasn't pitched in over two weeks... I woudln't make too much of it either way tonight. Ideally they could get one more look at him, rather than call him up on Tuesday to face the Yankees, but you never know.


Maybe the real reason Colon was signed was to be part of the Rochester Plates promotion?
    • Han Joelo, TRex and d-mac like this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 14 2017 08:56 AM

 

Maybe the real reason Colon was signed was to be part of the Rochester Plates promotion?

If that's the case, expect the Twins to sign Pablo Sandoval, who was DFA'd this morning.

    • Han Joelo, Bob Sacamento, DJL44 and 3 others like this
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yarnivek1972
Jul 14 2017 09:36 AM

If that's the case, expect the Twins to sign Pablo Sandoval, who was DFA'd this morning.


Yet another example of what big revenue will do for a team. The Red Sox can afford to pay Sandoval $ 40 mil to not play for them the next 3 years and not blink. The Twins can't do that with Hughes. They have to try to get some use out of him.
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LA VIkes Fan
Jul 14 2017 09:40 AM

Who is Tuesday's starter for the Twins after Colon's performance last night? Colon?  Haley? Gee? We'll know soon. Haley is scheduled to start tonight and Gee tomorrow night according to the Red Wings website. If they start, they won't be pitching against the Yankees Tuesday. If one of them is pulled from the rotation, that's your Tuesday starter. 

 

Based on performance to date, my money is on Gee getting the start Tuesday. 

    • HitInAPinch and Tom Froemming like this

 

Yet another example of what big revenue will do for a team. The Red Sox can afford to pay Sandoval $ 40 mil to not play for them the next 3 years and not blink. The Twins can't do that with Hughes. They have to try to get some use out of him.

 

Why can't the Twins do that? If they replace him with a minor leaguer, they've increased payroll by $300K or so. If they can sign a FA, they can pay Hughes not play.

    • Deduno Abides likes this
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Bob Sacamento
Jul 14 2017 10:02 AM
Lefty Petru Balan with the start today for GCL Twins
    • Mike Sixel and d-mac like this

Hughes is still better than Colon and they're considering pitching Colon. They haven't cut Hughes because he's still one of the 12 best pitchers they have.

    • Deduno Abides likes this

 

Hughes is still better than Colon and they're considering pitching Colon. They haven't cut Hughes because he's still one of the 12 best pitchers they have.

 

Agreed.

 

screw the options - if we want to take advantage of where we are call up the best we have and that seems to be Gonsalves.  New approach?  Lets get going and stop with this nonsense.  If he is really ready to move up and we need him that don't keep going to Jorge or another weaker choice for the rotation. 

 

I second this.  Tired of dancing around the bush.  Using one of Gonsalves options is not the end of the world.  Might as well see what this kid can do, unless there's some glaring deficiency.  Go for it.  Plus he's a south paw, plus plus. :jump:  

    • Mike Sixel and mikelink45 like this
Honest question here, not rhetorical criticism of the organization: What does Gonsalves have left to work on in AA?

The 11th start of the year (63 innings) and he's got 12 walks. His WHIP is under 1. He's striking out well over a batter per inning.

Is it the injury they're worried about, or do they think he has things to improve on? I have a hunch that he'd be more productive than the undead corpse of Big Sexy. There should be no problem finding a roster spot.

A middle-rotation left who can possibly miss some bats could propel this team to the playoffs. At least that upside is there, whereas that tank is empty in regards to guys like Colon, Santiago, etc. Do we see him in the second half?
    • Mike Sixel, d-mac and jud6312 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 14 2017 01:22 PM

I've got to think Stephen is up to AAA soon...

    • d-mac likes this

Hughes is still better than Colon and they're considering pitching Colon. They haven't cut Hughes because he's still one of the 12 best pitchers they have.

I disagree that Hughes is one of the 12 best in the organization. He's been better out of the pen, but I could easily come up with list of bullpen arms from AA up that I'd rather be giving innings to (Curtiss, Busenitz, Reed, Bard, Melotakis, off the top of my head, have been pretty darn good).

They didn't DFA him because of his albatross of a contract.

Everyone complains about the Mauer contract. But they still owe Hughes 26 million through 2019.
    • jud6312 likes this

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