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REPORT: Twins to Promote Kohl Stewart for His MLB Debut

Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reported Friday evening that Kohl Stewart has been scratched from his expected start at Triple-A Rochester becuase he's getting the call up to the big leagues. The assumption is that Stewart will be starting Sunday in Detroit in place of Adalberto Mejia, who was recently placed on the DL.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Stewart, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2013 MLB Draft, has posted a 4.47 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 3.06 K:BB ratio between 68 innings for Chattanooga and another 40 2/3 for Rochester. He is not currently on the 40-man roster, but the Fernando Rodney trade opened up a spot.

Stewart had really hit his stride in his last five appearances for the Red Wings. In 30 1/3 innings, Stewart had only allowed eight earned runs (2.37 ERA), though that's come with a less impressive 19 strikeouts. The Texas native came in at No. 23 on the Twins Daily Midseason Top Prospect List.

It's been a weird year for Stewart. He went unprotected and then unselected in the Rule 5 Draft this winter. Then there were rumors that he was mulling a return to the gridiron. Those rumors turned out to be false. Now here he is, on the cusp of becoming a major leaguer.

Stewart's promotion comes as a surprise because the Twins had quite a few other options that were worthy of consideration. Fernando Romero, Zack Littell, Stephen Gonsalves and Lewis Thorpe were all already on the 40 man.

Here is Berardino's full article on the move, which also includes some notes on Adalberto Mejia and Fernando Rodney

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126 Comments

Good move.

    • Twins33, Tibs, nater79a and 3 others like this

Wow, an unexpected but pleasant surprise. This is one of the very important experiments the Twins need to do with the remainder of the season. Kohl Stewart has been kind of an enigma to me. Started near the top, now near the bottom of the team's prospect 30. 

 

The little bio says his heat tops at 95, he has a 2- and 4-seamer, but his off-speed stuff is "fringy." When he was drafted, that was what they said he needed to work on, his breaking stuff. 

 

Well, he's had five years in the minors to refine his craft. Might as well see what he's got at this point. If nothing else, it will give him a cuppa, which should be good for his morale. Let us wish him good fortune.

 

BTW, love the photo. What exactly is Kohl preparing to throw? Air??

    • glunn, Mr. Ed, Monkeypaws and 7 others like this
For me, totally unexpected, and possibly undeserving. I mean we’re all going to say “but what about Gonsalves?” and I will echo that sentiment. This should be interesting and it could be soooper positive if we got something out of that draft pick.
    • Dman likes this

For me, totally unexpected, and possibly undeserving. I mean we’re all going to say “but what about Gonsalves?” and I will echo that sentiment. This should be interesting and it could be soooper positive if we got something out of that draft pick.

The issue is that Gonsalves just pitched the other day so filling in for Mejia wasn't going to happen.

That being said, Gonsalves does need to be up here soon. I'm also happy that Stewart is getting a look.
    • glunn, Monkeypaws, mikelink45 and 4 others like this
Absolutely great move! This move gives me encouragement that the Twins are willing to see what they have in players like Stewart. Really think this should have been Gonsalves, but it’s a start.
    • Dman, MN_ExPat and wyowib like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 10 2018 04:44 PM
Wow, didn’t see that coming. Great for him. Would love it if he does alright. Wonder how many big leaguers (and Supreme Court justices) have Type 1 Diabetes?
I like it. Time to see what he's got and if he can help next year
    • wyowib likes this
I don't get this exactly. Personally, I would have been converting Stewart to the bullpen a year ago. The chances that this is the beginning of a nice mlb career as a starter seems remote to me. Will we really feel ant better about his chances if he had some initial success? When he struggles and labors to get outs, particularly strike outs will we really know anything we didn't already know? Maybe he'll develope etc.. then why is he coming up now?
    • notoriousgod71 likes this
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Carole Keller
Aug 10 2018 04:56 PM
Color me surprised, which is a nice change from disappointed. It’s time to see what Stewart has and how it plays in the majors. Not convinced he stays as a starter if he eventually sticks in the MLB, but it’s time to see him and see what we have. He will need to be protected this year anyway, and there is currently space on the 40-man, so it’s as good a time as any. Usually we are perplexed wondering why we are seeing certain players, but I think this is a good and sound move.

As much as I’d like to see Gonsalves, we knew it wasn’t going to be him since he just pitched.
    • glunn, Thrylos, Twins33 and 8 others like this
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FormerMinnasotan
Aug 10 2018 05:00 PM
I don’t get how Kohl Stewart got the call up when better pitchers where available. I mean to start with you have Fernando Romero, yes he has been up however he has preformed better in Rochester than Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves while just pitching last night has been a much better stats and has been better than Stewart for some time yet hasn’t even been in the conversation for a call up. And then there is Lewis Thorpe. Yes he is in AA but he is the hottest starter in the minors who is on the 40 man, and unlike Stewart has 130+ k’s in 108 innings, a normal 1.25 WHIP, and an opponents batting average against of .251, also Thorpe has to be near the end of his season with his 108 innings, my guess is Thorpe’s innings cap is around 120 innings so he probably has at best 2 starts left why not start him and since his rest might be short put him on a 60-70 pitch count. I’m just miffed the trio of better starters (Romero, Gonsalves, and Thorpe) were overlooked.
    • dgwills likes this
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Carole Keller
Aug 10 2018 05:04 PM

I don’t get how Kohl Stewart got the call up when better pitchers where available. I mean to start with you have Fernando Romero, yes he has been up however he has preformed better in Rochester than Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves while just pitching last night has been a much better stats and has been better than Stewart for some time yet hasn’t even been in the conversation for a call up. And then there is Lewis Thorpe. Yes he is in AA but he is the hottest starter in the minors who is on the 40 man, and unlike Stewart has 130+ k’s in 108 innings, a normal 1.25 WHIP, and an opponents batting average against of .251, also Thorpe has to be near the end of his season with his 108 innings, my guess is Thorpe’s innings cap is around 120 innings so he probably has at best 2 starts left why not start him and since his rest might be short put him on a 60-70 pitch count. I’m just miffed the trio of better starters (Romero, Gonsalves, and Thorpe) were overlooked.


I think you answered your own why in your post. Gonsalves just pitched, they already know what they have in Romero and he definitely figures into the future, and Thorpe is already pretty high in innings, is only in AA and isn’t really ready. We need to see what Kohl has before the end of this season. This is, IMO, a really good move and a good time to make it.
    • glunn, Jerr, Mike Sixel and 21 others like this

they've already seen Romero, Gonsalves isn't available for Sunday......and Stewart needs to be on teh 40 man next year, or will likely be claimed. 

 

I fail to see the downside. Gonsalves and Thorpe will get their chances. I'm just super excited it is not a 34 yo veteran with no future with the team.

    • Carole Keller, glunn, birdwatcher and 22 others like this

I don’t get how Kohl Stewart got the call up when better pitchers where available. I mean to start with you have Fernando Romero, yes he has been up however he has preformed better in Rochester than Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves while just pitching last night has been a much better stats and has been better than Stewart for some time yet hasn’t even been in the conversation for a call up. And then there is Lewis Thorpe. Yes he is in AA but he is the hottest starter in the minors who is on the 40 man, and unlike Stewart has 130+ k’s in 108 innings, a normal 1.25 WHIP, and an opponents batting average against of .251, also Thorpe has to be near the end of his season with his 108 innings, my guess is Thorpe’s innings cap is around 120 innings so he probably has at best 2 starts left why not start him and since his rest might be short put him on a 60-70 pitch count. I’m just miffed the trio of better starters (Romero, Gonsalves, and Thorpe) were overlooked.


Twins know what they have with the rest of the pitchers, this is for his future with the Twins
    • Mr. Ed, bluechipper and David HK like this
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Halsey Hall
Aug 10 2018 05:07 PM

Good for Kohl!

    • Carole Keller, Seth Stohs, Mr. Ed and 4 others like this

Love, love, love this move!For the past few years it's been a question of if he can bring it all together; but he didn't have it "all" to bring together, great overall numbers but abysmal strikeout numbers.This year he has shown that he can strike people out at a good clip, though his other numbers suffer when he does.He's shown he can do it all, now let's see if he really can bring it all together.He was known to be super raw when drafted, but many analysts said they wouldn't be surprised if he becomes the best player from that draft.We've all been patient, but he is still pretty young.I love the aggressiveness with this move, being as there seemed to be others who were ahead of him.Hopes he trusts his talent and the process; and grips-it-and-rips-it.I'm not projecting that he reaches his ceiling, but super happy that this opportunity arose to start the process of "what you got kid, step up and prove it".If it doesn't work out, no biggie, many have already written him off.It's free money if he can become even a #3.

    • glunn and Mr. Ed like this

 

Wow, an unexpected but pleasant surprise. This is one of the very important experiments the Twins need to do with the remainder of the season. Kohl Stewart has been kind of an enigma to me. Started near the top, now near the bottom of the team's prospect 30. 

 

 

Good comeback. Still young, but was staggering. Hopeful the success of recent times continues.

 

At least Angel Hernandez won't be behind the plate for an inconsistent zone.

    • MN_ExPat likes this

Good move.


It will be even better if he sticks in the bullpen after his spot start.

Color me surprised, which is a nice change from disappointed. It’s time to see what Stewart has and how it plays in the majors. Not convinced he stays as a starter if he eventually sticks in the MLB, but it’s time to see him and see what we have. He will need to be protected this year anyway, and there is currently space on the 40-man, so it’s as good a time as any. Usually we are perplexed wondering why we are seeing certain players, but I think this is a good and sound move.

As much as I’d like to see Gonsalves, we knew it wasn’t going to be him since he just pitched.


Yeah with the names already penciled in the starting rotation next year I concur he probably won't stick.

There will be several bullpen spots up for grabs next year though... I'm intrigued to see if he can fill one of them.
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FormerMinnasotan
Aug 10 2018 05:35 PM

I think you answered your own why in your post. Gonsalves just pitched, they already know what they have in Romero and he definitely figures into the future, and Thorpe is already pretty high in innings, is only in AA and isn’t really ready. We need to see what Kohl has before the end of this season. This is, IMO, a really good move and a good time to make it.

At the same time it opens questions on speed of promotions for Gonsalves and Thorpe. Given the Twins aren’t even to compete this year why isn’t Gonsalves up with the Twins already? He has pitched well enough to be up by now and with Odorizzi’s struggles I think it’s time for some new blood in the rotation. As for Thorpe while his overall numbers might not seem exceptional his improvement should have been enough to at least promote him to Rochester by now. That’s what miffs me.
    • mikelink45 likes this
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ashburyjohn
Aug 10 2018 05:36 PM

BTW, love the photo. What exactly is Kohl preparing to throw? Air??

"You can't hit what you can't see." - Walter Johnson

    • Thrylos, gil4, David HK and 1 other like this

Coming into the season I had largely written off Stewart as a prospect, but he did show improvement in his strikeout rate which was always his most glaring weakness. He's actually got a better SO/BB rate than Romero, Gonsalves, and Littell in the minors this season, so it seems like he's figured something out. I'll be curious to see how his stuff translates to the majors and hope he gets a real opportunity (I'd rather not see another make one start and get demoted scenario like we've seen all season from the Twins).

    • MN_ExPat likes this
Stunned but excited! The SO numbers improved and they challenged him unexpectedly with the Rochester promotion. He seemed to respond well, if not exactly dominating. I love taking a look. They are taking a young guy riding a bit of a hot stretch and challenging him again.

Gonsalves wasn't on schedule forthis weekend, but needs to be up SOON! And truth is, they do know what Romero offers, so this makes sense.

Regardless how it turns out, this is the time to be looking at all these guys, including the pen arms at Rochester. We're playing for next year now, not 2018. I wouldn't mind seeing some form of 6 man rotation from here on out.
    • MN_ExPat likes this
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jorgenswest
Aug 10 2018 05:48 PM
At first I assumed Stewart was up for the year so they don’t burn an option. From reading it sounds like he can go down at some point as long as it is fewer than 20 days. Is that correct?

I am encouraged that he received the call. I hope they don’t use an option.

 

At first I assumed Stewart was up for the year so they don’t burn an option. From reading it sounds like he can go down at some point as long as it is fewer than 20 days. Is that correct?

I am encouraged that he received the call. I hope they don’t use an option.

 

Mejia went back to the cities, now feeling pain around the bicep. If he's effective, may be longer.

Molitor will never let this happen. He doesn't trust Stewart yet.:)

 

I'm just being goofy like I usually am, of course...

 

But... in all seriousness... doesn't this kind of illustrate how absolutely misguidedly stubborn Molitor is. 

 

Hear me out... Think about this. Molitor will keep new players freshly arrived from Rochester on the bench because... whatever... they ain't vets or something.

 

But the rotation... at a position that is by far more important than one individual offensive position among 8 others. Into the game they go.He'll throw the rookie starting pitcher but it'll take a gun with a threatening note to put anybody else at the DH position.:)

    • bluechipper, David HK, wsnydes and 1 other like this

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