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On Friday night, the Kansas City Royals clinched a playoff spot for the first time in 29 years. It will be a short postseason appearance...
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Don't expect increase in payroll

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From mlbtraderumors, "According to club president Dave St. Peter, he does not “see [payroll] going down significantly” and expects it wil...
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Pitching Coaches

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Who are the pitching coach candidates worth talking about?   Curt Young, the pitching coach for the A's, has been brilliant in his t...
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Who to Root for in the Playoffs

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Twins Minor League Report (8/20): Power and Pitching

I recall seeing the Cedar Rapids Kernels in late June. They had not been a strong team in the first half and their pitching staff was a mess. Pretty much since that time, they have played really well. In fact, their magic number for a Midwest League playoff berth is currently just five. They’ve been receiving much improved pitching. SD Buhr was able to speak to Kernels manager Jake Mauer and his coaches, Tommy Watkins and Ivan Arteaga to discuss the turnaround.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (of Tyler Grimes)
Ft. Myers already has a spot in the playoffs, but they had a great night of power and pitching. New Britain is probably out of playoff contention, but they had a great game too. Find out more about those games and who played well throughout the Twins minor league system on Wednesday.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 4, Buffalo 5
Box Score

This game was tied going into the bottom of the ninth, but the Bisons were able to walk-off against the Red Wings.

Alex Meyer made the start for the Red Wings. He gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits. In 5.2 innings, he walked none and struck out ten. 62 of his 89 pitches were strikes. Aaron Thompson came on and got the next four outs, two of them on strikeouts. Deolis Guerra threw a perfect eighth frame. Mark Hamburger came on for the ninth. He recorded two outs, but the winning run scored on a single just out of the reach of a diving Aaron Hicks.

Leading the Red wings offense, Chris Colabello went 3-5 and homered for the tenth time this season, Hicks went 2-4 in the game and hit his third double. He’s now hitting .298 with Rochester. James Beresford went 2-4.

ROCK CATS REVIEW
New Britain 7, Richmond 0
Box Score

The Rock Cats got another very good start from the recently returned Taylor Rogers. He threw five shutout innings, giving up three hits, walking four and striking out three. Alex Wimmers struck out three over two perfect innings. Jim Fuller struck out four over two scoreless innings.

Nate Hanson led the offense. He went 2-5 with his 20th double. He drove in three runs and he was credited with his first stolen base of the year. Tony Thomas went 2-4 with his 14th stolen base. Matt Koch was also 2-4. Eddie Rosario doubled for the 17th time.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 7, Bradenton 1
Box Score

Power and pitching are always a good combination for a winning strategy. The Miracle got both on Wednesday night. Steven Gruver started and threw five shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out three. It was his eighth start of the year (with 32 relief appearances). With this start, he has worked five innings in each of his last four starts. He has given up just four earned runs in those 20 innings.

Alex Muren came on for the sixth and threw two shutout innings. He gave up just one hit and he struck out two. BJ Hermsen was charged with one run on three hits in his inning. He struck out two. Brandon Peterson struck out the side in the ninth inning.

The power in this game came, but not from the players that you might have expected. Tyler Grimes led the way. He went 2-4 with his second triple and his third home run. Stuart Turner was also 2-4. Max Kepler went 1-3 with a walk and his fourth home run. Jason Kanzler hit his third Miracle home run. Niko Goodrum walked twice and stole his 34th base.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 5
Box Score

The Kernels home stand ended and so did their eight-game winning streak.
Stephen Gonsalves started. The lefty gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out seven. Hudson Boyd gave up three runs in the sixth inning on three hits and two walks. Chris Mazza struck out four over two scoreless innings. Brian Gilbert struck out two in the ninth.

Engelb Vielma and Jonatan Hinojosa each went 2-4. Max Murphy hit his sixth double, while Michael Quesada hit his 12th double. Mitch Garver walked twice and stole his seventh base.

E-TWINS E-NOTES

The E-Twins had a scheduled off day.

GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 7, GCL Orioles 8
Box Score

Josh Guyer put together a very solid start in Ft. Myers. He worked five innings and was charged with two unearned runs. He gave up five hits, a walk and had two strikeouts. Seth Wagner worked the sixth and got just two outs. He gave up three runs on two hits and two walks. Trevor Hildenberger got the next four outs and was charged with one run. Leonel Zazueta gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in the eighth inning.

Manuel Guzman and Nelson Molina were each 2-4 in this game. Amaurys Minier hit his ninth double. Rafael Valera doubled for the eighth time of the year. Rainis Silva drove in three runs with his ninth double of the year. Silva is now hitting .351 over his last ten games while driving in six in the last two games. He is one of the youngest players on the roster. He turned 18 years old in March.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Steven Gruver, Ft. Myers Miracle
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tyler Grimes, Ft. Myers Miracle

THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Syracuse (6:00 CST) – Logan Darnell
New Britain @ Richmond (6:05 CST) – TBD
Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) – TBD
Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30 CST) – Lewis Thorpe
Elizabethton @ Pulaski (6:00 CST) – Sam Gibbons
GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) – TBD

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


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8 Comments

Pretty encouraging start for Meyer.  10 Ks and ZERO BBs to a Buffalo team that has the second best K% in the IL and the 3rd best BB rate. 62 strikes thrown and only 27 balls called.  For the season, he now has a K/9 of 10.87, which if the season ended today, would be the highwater season mark for his professional career.

 

11 pitches, 11 strikes, 3 Ks in the first inning on 3 pitches apiece (unfortunately, that inning began with a Mastro HR on a an 0-1 count).

 

In the 6th and final inning for Alex, Meyer quickly struck out the first two men up, before running into a little control trouble, throwing a total of 23 pitches in the inning and working a couple of 3 ball counts, forcing him to come in with a hittable pitch in each instance.

 

In giving up 8 hits tonight, I would speculate that Meyer's #1a and #1b priorities for the game was NO WALKS and "managing the pitch count", and in the process, experimenting in finding the right mix and balance of pitches in and out of the zone to maximize both Ks and weak contact.  And he did have quite a few ABs that ended as quickly as the ones in his July Futures game appearance at Target Field, so, until the 6th inning, Mission Accomplished!  

 

Hopefully, he builds on tonight's performance right quick the next time out. He now sits at 123.1 IP, which only leaves him with maybe a projected 20 to 30 innings left in his quiver- with presumably 2 more starts with Rochester to eat up a significant chunk of those innings.  Alas, the call-up to the Twins seems out of the picture, especially if the Red Wings make the playoffs. 

    • LaBombo likes this
Photo
Paul Pleiss
Aug 21 2014 04:41 AM

Wasting away again in AAA-ville. Drinking his last shot of patron. Some people say Terry Ryan's to blame, but we know, it's the G-D walks.

 

Alex Meyer is ready for the show. Put him on the stage for all the world to see.

    • Seth Stohs, jokin and tobi0040 like this

He needs to show the consistency of a Ricky Nolasco or a Tommy Milone first. 

    • jokin, Dance with Disco Dan and Dman like this

Is Aaron Hicks still batting right-handed exclusively?

Is Aaron Hicks still batting right-handed exclusively?

 

Nope, he stopped that after about a week in the minors. 

Thanks.

He needs to show the consistency of a Ricky Nolasco or a Tommy Milone first. 

 

Or Pelfrey.  As long as you are consistently bad I guess it still counts for consistency. 

 

The other thing he could do is show the long term upside of Yohan Pino, Kris Johnson, or Logan Darnell.

    • jokin likes this
Photo
Paul Pleiss
Aug 21 2014 11:05 PM

 There is no long term upside for Yohan Pino. He might be able to be useful out of the pen, but even there I think there's limited upside. Johnson or Darnell with levels upon levels of more upside.


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