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Twins Minor League Report (7/25): Friday Night Lights

Another game, another frustrating loss for the Twins. Kevin Correia's trade value dropped in half, though the number wasn't all that high to begin with. Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers all homered for the White Sox. Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham homered for the Twins. The Twins have lost the first two games of the series and get to face Chris Sale on Saturday.

There were plenty of story lines throughout the Twins minor league affiliates on Friday night including a AAA debut, another strong starting performance in Ft. Myers and another Max Murphy home run. The Kernels showed off some power in a one-run game in Kentucky, and the Miracle also played a one-run game. Of course, there were again several more transactions including the addition of another player from the independent leagues.

Things continued to be busy throughout the Twins farm system on Friday. As was first reported here at Twins Daily yesterday, Stephen Gonsalves and Josue Montanez were promoted to Cedar Rapids. On Friday afternoon, what we suggested was likely was announced; Kohl Stewart was placed on the 7-day disabled list

At Ft. Myers, DJ Baxendale was placed on the disabled list as well. To replace him, the Twins went outside the organization. The Twins signed righty DJ Johnson from Traverse City (the Beach Bums) of the independent Frontier League. The 24 year old has spent time in the Rays and Diamondbacks organizations. With the Beach Bums, he recorded 14 saves. In 24 innings, he struck out 28 and posted a 1.30 ERA. More important than the numbers, Johnson boasts a mid-90s fastball and his slider has become a very good pitch. He is likely to join the Miracle.

Logan Darnell is scheduled to start on Saturday for the Twins. To replace him in Rochester, lefty Jason Wheeler was promoted and started for the Red Wings. To make room on the big league roster for Darnell, the Twins sent Jorge Polanco "back" to New Britain where he was scheduled to go on Thursday when he learned that the Twins wanted him in the big leagues briefly.

Here is the Minor League Report for Friday night:

Rochester 5, Indianapolis 3
Box Score

With Logan Darnell scheduled to start for the Twins on Saturday, the Red Wings needed a starter. Lefty Jason Wheeler received the call to join the team and make the start. He responded well. He started with three scoreless innings before giving up two in the fourth. He got out of a jam in the fifth. His line in his AAA debut was solid. He gave up two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out three in five innings. AJ Achter struck out three over the next two innings without allowing a run. Lester Oliveros gave up one run on one hit and one walk in 1.2 innings. Of the five outs he got, four came on strikeouts. Michael Tonkin came in and got a strikeout for the final out to record his sixth save.

With the score tied at two in the sixth, Josmil Pinto launched his third Red Wings home run, a three run shot that gave the team a 5-2 lead. The homer was Pinto's first since June 21. Eric Farris went 2-4. Nate Hanson hit his sixth double, and James Beresford hit his 19th double.

New Britain 0, Portland 1
Box Score

With Jason Wheeler being promoted to the Red Wings, the Rock Cats went with a bullpen game on the mound. Adrian Salcedo started and gave up one run on three hits, a walk and a hit batter in three innings. He struck out one. Dan Turpen struck out three in two scoreless innings (two hits, one walk). Ryan O'Rourke gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Alex Wimmers truck out two in his scoreless inning. Mason Melotakis finished with two scoreless innings.

The Rock Cats managed just two hits in this game. They walked four times. Kyle Knudson had one of each.

Ft. Myers 3, Tampa 4
Box Score

The Miracle scored one in the eighth inning to tie the game. In the ninth, they added two more to take a 3-1 lead. However, the bullpen faltered in the ninth and gave up three runs to take the loss.

Tim Shibuya started and was very good through seven innings. He gave up one run on six hits and two walks while striking out six. Steven Gruver walkd one in a scoreless eighth inning. Madison Boer came in to start the ninth and got one out. He then gave up two hits and a walk. Tyler Jones recorded one out, but he gave up another single before he could get the third out, and the game was over.

Mike Gonzales went 2-3 with his 20th double. Levi Michael went 1-3 with two walks. Aderlin Mejia was 1-2 with two walks. Byron Buxton had a double to drive in a ninth inning run. He went 1-5.

Cedar Rapids 5, Bowling Green 4
Box Score

Ryan Eades improved to 6-11 with five innings. He gave up three runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out two. Jared Wilson came on and gave up one run on one hit and two walks over two innings. He gave way to Brandon Bixler who pitched a perfect eighth frame. Then Dallas Gallant recorded his second save with a scoreless ninth.

The Kernels' offense was powered by the long ball in this game. Bryan Haar hit a big three-run homer. It was his 13th home run of the season, tying Mitch Garver for the team lead. Michael Quesada went 2-4 with his eighth double and his fourth home run. Chad Christensen was 2-4.

Elizabethton 8, Johnson City 1
Box Score

With the promotion of Stephen Gonsalves, the E-Twins had John Curtiss make a start. He gave up one run on four hits in three innings. He walked one and struck out four. Derrick Penilla threw five shutout innings to record the win. He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out six. Keaton Steele threw a shutout inning. He gave up one hit, walked on and struck out one.

Jorge Fernandez went 2-4 with his third and fourth doubles and drove in three runs. Tyler Mautner went 3-4 with his ninth double. Max Murphy went 1-3 with two walks and his league-leading ninth home run.

GCL Twins 3, GCL Red Sox 5
Box Score

Onesimo Hernandez started this game. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out nine. Miles Nordgren came on and gave up three runs on six hits over three innings. Zach Hayden faced two batters. He walked one and hit one. Callan Pearce came on and got the final three outs, walking just one.

Manuel Guzman went 2-3 with a walk and his sixth double. Roberto Gonzalez was 0-1, but he walked three times and stole a base. The Twins had just six hits.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tim Shibuya, Ft. Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Quesada, Cedar Rapids Kernels

Indianapolis @ Rochester (5:05 CST) – TBD
Portland @ New Britain (6:05 CST) – Tyler Duffey
Ft. Myers @ Tampa (5:00 CST) – Matt Tomshaw
Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00 CST) - Chih-Wei Hu
Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00 CST) – Michael Cederoth
GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (9:00am CST) - TBD

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

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I'm curious why Wheeler was removed after 5 innings.It seems to me that at this level (AAA) that pitchers should be challenged to see if (they) can handle pressure and a measure of fatigue.The Twins couldn't tolerate 5-innings starts for very long from their rotation, so those at the high levels (AAA and AA) must demonstrate that they can "eat innings" in order to demonstrate that they are viable contenders for a Twins rotation spot. 

According to the box score, Wheeler had 95 pitches. I'm sure they would have loved for him to go longer, but it seems he wasn't very efficient in his five innings/~100 pitches.