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Twins Minor League Report (7/9): Gordon Stars, Garver Hits Three Out

Twins top prospect Nick Gordon took center stage on Sunday as part of MLB's Futures Game. Gordon led off the game and started at shortstop for the USA squad and worked the count to 3-1 before a sharp ground out to second base. In his second at-bat, he was more aggressive as he swung at the first two pitches before popping out to short.

For his third and final at-bat, Gordon would follow a Brendan Rogers single with a single of his own. He moved to third on a double and scored on another double. Gordon finished the game 1-for-3, including two hard hit balls, with a run scored.
Image courtesy of Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Transactions
Rochester: LHP Craig Breslow began his MLB rehab assignment
Fort Myers: LHP Alex Robinson promoted from Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids: RHP Tyler Beardsley activated from 7-day DL

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 8, Syracuse 2
Box Score
Mitch Garver put on a hitting clinic in this contest. As part of a four-run second inning, Garver clocked his first home run of the day, a two-run shot. He stepped up with two outs in the fourth inning and blasted a solo-shot. Two innings later, he sent his third ball of the day over the fence, his twelfth home run of the season. He ended the day 3-for-5 with four RBI.

Garver wasn't the only one teeing off on Syracuse pitching. Bengie Gonzalez matched Garver with three hits including two doubles. He also walked once. Matt Hague, ByungHo Park, Ryan Strausborger and Engelb Vielma all had doubles in the winning effort.

On the mound it took a combination of pitchers to get the win. Justin Haley continues to be stretched out in the Red Wings rotation. He pitched four frames while allowing one run on three hits. Craig Breslow made his first rehab appearance and saw a runner score after he gave up a walk and a double with two outs. Nik Turley pitched two scoreless frames for his third win. Mason Melotakis, Michael Tonkin and Alex Wimmers put up zeros over the final two frames.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 5, Pensacola 1
Box Score
Even with Gordon out of the line-up for the Futures Game, the Lookouts managed a solid win. Kohl Stewart made his best start since returning from the DL. He pitched six innings while allowing one earned run on three hits. He struck out six and walked one. Todd Van Steensel pitched two scoreless innings with a strikeout and a walk. Nick Anderson finished off the game with a perfect ninth including a strikeout.

Chattanooga got things going offensively in the third frame. LaMonte Wade doubled before a Jonathan Rodriguez single put runners on the corners. Andy Wilkins brought them both in with his tenth double of the season. The Lookouts were staked to a 2-0 lead.

Things were still close until Chattanooga got some separation in the last two innings. TJ White and Max Murphy started the eighth with singles before a Travis Harrison walk loaded the bases. Dan Rohlfing walked to bring in the first run of the frame. With two outs, Ryan Walker would struck out but a wild pitch allowed the team's fourth run to score. In the ninth, Rodriguez singled in front of a Wilkins hit by pitch. Murphy brought home Rodriguez with his first double with Chattanooga.

Rodriguez finished the day 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Wade and Murphy both went 2-for-5 with Wade collecting a pair of doubles. Rohlfing was the lone batter not to collect a hit but his walk to drive in a run was critical.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 4, Palm Beach 2
Box Score
Tanner English cracked two home runs and helped the Miracle to their fifth straight victory. Locked in a pitchers duel for the first four and a half frames, Jaylin Davis walked and moved to second on a balk. Shane Kennedy opened the scoring with an RBI single. English belted the first of his home runs to start the sixth inning and push the lead to 2-0. However, the Cardinals would tie the game in the seventh.

English stole the lead back in the eighth inning as he connected for his second long ball of the day. The Miracle also added an insurance run later in the frame. Jermaine Palacios struck out with two outs but reached first base on a wild pitch. Mitchell Kranson singled and Zander Wiel walked to load the bases. Davis singled to drive in a run before Kranson was thrown out at home.

Cody Stashak scattered four hits over six strong innings. He allowed two earned runs and struck out two while walking a pair. Andrew Vasquez pitched a scoreless seventh as he has yet to allow a run since being promoted to High-A (14.2 IP). Tom Hackimer picked up his second win as he pitched two perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 1
Box Score
The Kernels found themselves in an early 1-0 hole after Anthony Marzi allowed back-to-back singles and a sacrifice fly. He did not allow any hits in his final five frames and faced one batter over the minimum in that stretch.. His final line read seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk. Ryan Mason and Colton Davis each saw one base runner reach but they put up zeros to complete the win.

Peoria's lead wouldn't last for long. Aaron Whitefield tied the game with his tenth home run of the season. Things got crazy in the seventh. Gorge Munoz struck out but advanced to second on a wild pitch and a throwing error by the pitcher. Christian Cavaness hit a sacrifice bunt and the pitcher committed another error to put runners on the corners. Whitefield drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly.

Cedar Rapids picked up their season-high-tying fourth consecutive victory and have a chance to sweep this four-game series on Monday afternoon.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
Elizabethton 1, Johnson City 2
Box Score
The E-Twins out-hit the Cardinals six to three but Elizabethton left five runners on base and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Edwar Colina was outstanding over seven shutout innings. He struck out eight, walked one and allowed two hits. Jared Finkel took the tough-luck loss. A passed ball by Rainis Silva and a Finkel throwing error allowed two unearned runs to score.

Brent Rooker started the seventh with a single. Rooker came around to score after Shane Carrier reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. That was the end of the scoring for the E-Twins. Batters two through four in the line-up all struck out multiple times and no batter managed more than one hit. TJ Dixon reached base twice in three plate appearances.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Edwar Colina, Elizabethton Twins (7 IP, 0 ER, 8 K, 1 BB, 2 H)
Hitter of the Day – Mitch Garver, Rochester Red Wings (3-for-5, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R)
MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester - Scheduled Off Day
Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - TBD
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (6:05 CST) - RHP Sean Poppin (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria (12:05 CST) - RHP Eduardo Del Rosario (7-4, 4.69 ERA)
Elizabethton vs. Johnson City (6:00 CST) - RHP Huascar Ynoa (0-1, 2.57 ERA)
GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00 am CST)- TBD
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.


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20 Comments

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Twinsoholic
Jul 09 2017 08:17 PM
Let's see more of that strong pitching from Kohl Stewart. That would be super welcome as the Twins need him and some others to step up their games.
    • glunn, gunnarthor, bluechipper and 5 others like this

Love seeing another good start out of Stewart.

 

I know a lot of people are down on him, but I'm holding out hope. Too young, forces too many ground balls, and gives up too few HRs to let a lack of Ks be a big concern.

 

 

    • glunn, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 9 others like this
Agreed about Stewart, though I'm never too fast on the "maybe this is him turning a corner" based on one start. Not that you are.
Anyway, seems like lamont wade has been quiet in these reports for a couple weeks. Hopefully he gets hot again.
Lastly, based on the headline, I was hoping Gordon had had a better day at the plate than 1-3. Oh well, he's been looking good. As always, thanks so much for the report; best part of my daily internet browsing :)
    • glunn, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 4 others like this

Garver has done all he can to earn a position with the Twins.  Bring him up or trade him. He deserves to become MLB.

    • jokin, Oldgoat_MN and Tom Froemming like this
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Taildragger8791
Jul 09 2017 09:19 PM

 

Garver has done all he can to earn a position with the Twins.  Bring him up or trade him. He deserves to become MLB.

 

That's a little aggressive.

 

It's hardly bordering on unfair yet considering Garver only spent 95 games at AA and has 81 at AAA. If he comes up in the next month or two that's still a pretty good pace for progression for a guy that wasn't a top prospect or draft pick to begin with. That being said, I'd like to see him sometime soon. He looks like a strong bet to eventually succeed at the next level.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, SwainZag and 3 others like this

Nice day for lots of our guys. Good to see.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, jokin and 1 other like this

I'm very encouraged by Stewart's run since returning from the DL.  17-innings with only 2 earned runs , a WHIP under 1.00 and a 3:1 K/BB ratio.  Not holding my breath, but it's a start.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 6 others like this
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Bob Sacamento
Jul 10 2017 05:57 AM

 

Lastly, based on the headline, I was hoping Gordon had had a better day at the plate than 1-3. Oh well, he's been looking good. As always, thanks so much for the report; best part of my daily internet browsing :)

I was at the game and Twins fans should be happy not only for the 1 for 3 at the plate leading off but also played a solid SS.Lord knows his replacement later in the game Bo Bichette is definitely not a SS in the future

    • Steve Lein, birdwatcher, hugelycat and 1 other like this
Garver does belong. And he offers versatility at 1B and maybe now the OF in a pinch. Granite also belongs, though he is there now. The problem, really, there is nobody on the ML roster who deserves to be gone. Even Vargas, for his inconsistencies, has contributed and performed well at times and still has potential. And you simply can't have 15 position players.

Eventually, by next season, Garver should replace the solid Giminez.

Also encouraged, but cautious, with Stewart. Sometimes things just sort of click for prospects at some point. Could this be the time, for this season at least, where than mechanism unlocks? Let's hope so.
    • jokin, bluechipper, gagu and 1 other like this
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drivlikejehu
Jul 10 2017 08:15 AM

Stewart has 9 strikeouts in his 17 IP since returning. It is literally impossible to succeed in MLB with stuff that doesn't fool AA hitters. He should remain in minor league rotations for another year or two and then switch to the bullpen in the hopes he could throw harder out of the pen and potentially make it as a middle reliever.

 

Stewart has 9 strikeouts in his 17 IP since returning. It is literally impossible to succeed in MLB with stuff that doesn't fool AA hitters. He should remain in minor league rotations for another year or two and then switch to the bullpen in the hopes he could throw harder out of the pen and potentially make it as a middle reliever.

I'm not sure harder is the problem. He still seems to have good velocity. He might be like Mike Pelfrey who had a pretty solid fastball (93 avg) and low k numbers. I have to think it's a mechanical issue. How is it possible that a mid 90s fastball isn't striking out more AA hitters?

    • gil4 likes this

Even Pelfrey had a 10.4 K/9 in his first taste of AA, at age 22.  It did drop quite a bit at AAA (6.8) then of course in MLB (5.1).

Three players reached base by K/WP for three different Twins affiliates and they all contributed to runs? Must be a new strategy decreed by Falvine. 

    • David HK likes this
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bluechipper
Jul 10 2017 10:26 AM

Jonathan Rodriguez is putting together a nice first season in the Twins system. Even as a 27 year old in AA, his numbers are pretty good, including hitting .447 in his last 10 games.

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drivlikejehu
Jul 10 2017 10:49 AM

 

I'm not sure harder is the problem. He still seems to have good velocity. He might be like Mike Pelfrey who had a pretty solid fastball (93 avg) and low k numbers. I have to think it's a mechanical issue. How is it possible that a mid 90s fastball isn't striking out more AA hitters?

 

93 isn't what it used to be, but also Stewart lacks the command to keep hitters off balance. I assume they pick up the ball well out of his hand, too. Stewart has had strikeout problems his entire career - his minuscule 12.7% K rate now is pretty much the same as 2015 in Fort Myers (12.8%). No modern starter that I can find has ever succeeded in the Majors with minor league numbers like that. 

Stretching out Justin Haley?  Good Lord....is he going to start when he comes off the DL?  Then again....why the heck not at this point?

    • DocBauer likes this
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Taildragger8791
Jul 10 2017 10:56 AM

 

I'm not sure harder is the problem. He still seems to have good velocity. He might be like Mike Pelfrey who had a pretty solid fastball (93 avg) and low k numbers. I have to think it's a mechanical issue. How is it possible that a mid 90s fastball isn't striking out more AA hitters?

 

The usual issue is lack of movement, but I haven't heard anyone say that about his fastball. Maybe there's something about the way he throws that readily differentiates some of his pitches, making it easier for the hitter to figure out what's coming. Arm angle, release point, overall pitching motion, tempo, etc. Or he just has little to no deception in his delivery.

The usual issue is lack of movement, but I haven't heard anyone say that about his fastball. Maybe there's something about the way he throws that readily differentiates some of his pitches, making it easier for the hitter to figure out what's coming. Arm angle, release point, overall pitching motion, tempo, etc. Or he just has little to no deception in his delivery.


If that was the case he would get hit harder and not have such a high gb rate.

I agree that he can't suceed in the bigs with such a low k rate, but therr is something to build upon.

I would curious what he would do with a full healthy season in AA next year.
    • Original Whizzinator likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 10 2017 09:27 PM

 

The usual issue is lack of movement, but I haven't heard anyone say that about his fastball. Maybe there's something about the way he throws that readily differentiates some of his pitches, making it easier for the hitter to figure out what's coming. Arm angle, release point, overall pitching motion, tempo, etc. Or he just has little to no deception in his delivery.

 

From what I've read, movement isn't his problem.Hitters have a tough time squaring up on him, but at the same time, they don't whiff either. Stewart is very much an enigma.

 

Here's to hoping this start is the first of a string of starts where he gets some Ks.

    • Bob Sacamento likes this
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Original Whizzinator
Jul 10 2017 10:29 PM

Damn  Mr Gordon is trim! A string bean. Well Stewart has a middling career but 22nd round Hildy does a Nesek impression and a guy we got for Nunuez turns into a number three and everything evens out except Stewart can't shake the 4 hanging over his head. 


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