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Article: Wahoos Weigh-In (6/17): Six All Stars for Pensacola

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:28 AM
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Article: Potential Twins Bullpen Trade Target: Robert Ste...

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Injuries Have Been Huge, Unfortunate Story of Twins Minor League Season

On Saturday morning, the Kernels made official what we started hearing rumblings of on Friday night. Wander Javier was set to join the Kernels. The immensely talented shortstop will make his 2019 debut on Saturday night, and play in his first official game since 2017. He missed 2018 with a non-throwing shoulder injury, and he hurt his quad in a big league spring training game.

However, on Saturday, the Twins announced some major injuries in the Twins minor leagues, and frankly, that has been an unfortunately large story so far this season.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photos of Wander Javier)
Let's get right to the bad news. The Twins announced the following:

Brusdar Graterol is going on the IL for Pensacola with a shoulder impingement. While the Twins said that they are bringing many minor leaguers in to Target Field for evaluation - which is 100% true - Graterol was brought in this week to have his shoulder evaluated. A shoulder impingement is not a serious injury in and of itself, but if not diagnosed and treated, it could become worse.

Stephen Gonsalves is going back on the IL for Rochester with a left elbow stress reaction. Gonsalves felt a little elbow soreness in spring training and the team decided to be cautious with it. He slowly worked his way up to being able to return to the Red Wings rotation. Last week, he made his first start of the season, but he struggled and left after two innings. A stress reaction in and of itself isn't terrible news, but it will require rest. Obviously the hope is to avoid Tommy John surgery.

Akil Baddoo, the talented Miracle outfielder, will miss the remainder of the season with Tommy John surgery. Baddoo went on the IL about ten days ago with the elbow pain. It was further evaluated and the UCL was torn, so Tommy John it is. As a position player, the hope is that he will be ready for spring training in 2020. He will be having the surgery about two months later than Alex Kirilloff had it in 2017. Kirilloff was full go around Thanksgiving.

Another outfielder, Rochester's Luke Raley, is going to have ankle surgery. Raley went on the IL a week ago. It is unfortunate because he was playing well and playing hard and really making an impression on those around the Red Wings.

It has been a tough season for top prospects and injuries.

Royce Lewis went to big league spring training, but he was unable to play for most of camp because of an oblique injury. He was ready by Opening Day and hasn't missed time in the season.

Alex Kirilloff, coming off of an incredible 2018 season, hurt his wrist late in spring training and missed about a month at the beginning of the season.

Nick Gordon began the season on the IL with a stomach issue. He returned a month later, but after playing really well for a week, he went back on the Injured List for seven more days with a strained adductor. He has returned again and continues to hit.

Brent Rooker missed about a week early in the season with a hamstring injury. He is currently on the IL with a wrist injury.

Just a handful of games into the Kernels season, Yunior Severino fractured his thumb and tore some tendons as well.

Righty Bailey Ober was runner-up for our Starting Pitcher of the Month for April and then went on the IL with another elbow issue.

The Twins Daily choice for Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018, Tyler Wells, has been out all season with an elbow injury. He will be having Tommy John surgery on May 29.

DaShawn Keirsey, the Twins 4th-round pick last June, has had a couple of IL appearances already this season.


This article isn't to place blame. It's just another reminder that player development isn't linear. Injuries are a factor and they don't have prejudice. They will find highly-ranked prospects or lesser-known prospects. They can bite a pitcher or a hitter at any time.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, though I don't pretend to know a lot of the details behind many of these.

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36 Comments

The baseball gods are clearly pissed at us for indulging in all that major-league glee.

    • glunn, Twins33 and nicksaviking like this

Thanks for the written update.I heard snippets hear and there during the radio broadcast today, but I appreciate the thoroughness of this report.Bummed for these guys, and I hope them all speedy recoveries.

 

Excited to see Wander make his season debut!

    • glunn, Kevin, wickedslider and 1 other like this

 

The baseball gods are clearly pissed at us for indulging in all that major-league glee.

 

If it has to happen to every team now and then, this was about as good a time as possible. Delays the time clocks when the 25-man is currently filled up anyways and gives others in the organization a chance to step up and be noticed.

 

But.... I'm really disappointed for the potential season-long loss of Graterol and Gonsalves, as they were in a position to help the big club later this season. Patience and caution are especially the watchwords for these two. Right now they are two keys to the rotation/pen to help assure a continued Twins run past 2020... and beyond.

 

 

    • glunn likes this
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nicksaviking
May 25 2019 05:29 PM
Here’s to a swift recovery for the young men.

While I was hoping to see Graterol this year, there’s really not a ton of spots outside of the bullpen to see prospects this year. However, there are some pretty good trade chips on this list that may need to be crossed off.
    • glunn likes this

Thanks as always Seth.  God speed and God bless to all these guys. Get healthy and for now... next man up.

Maybe you just never hear about it happening in other organizations.....but doesn’t it seem like there are a ridiculous amount of position players in this system requiring Tommy John?

It’s more than just some random filler guy here or there. Off the top of my head: Miguel Sano, Alex Kirillof, Akil Baddoo. Top prospects. Seems strange.
    • Danchat, dgwills and wickedslider like this
Hopefully it's just the 'Chicken Little' side of me, but when I see "shoulder injury" and "pitcher" in the same sentence, I can't help but think, best of luck in whatever you replace baseball with young man.
    • dgwills, IaFan1 and D.C Twins like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
May 25 2019 06:49 PM

Good report....sad but unfortunately this is the nature of the beast.. Thanks.

I think Lewis is still not 100%.... if not the team should rest him for a few weeks and let him start afresh....No sure a competitive 19 year old has enough long term wisdom to know when to shut it down for a little bit for the longer good.

 

That's on the organization...investigate now and be confident he is healthy

    • jokin likes this

 

 

Hopefully it's just the 'Chicken Little' side of me, but when I see "shoulder injury" and "pitcher" in the same sentence, I can't help but think, best of luck in whatever you replace baseball with young man.

 

Yes....We need another elite starter to be really competitive in the post season...I was secretly and maybe irrationally hoping that Graterol could be to Berrios what the surprise of Liriano was to Santana (albeit for only a season or so)

    • glunn and jokin like this

Having 8 out of the Twins top 30 prospects on the IL is really frustrating (also on the IL are some guys who have showed promise in the minors: Bailey Ober, Tyler Wells, Brian Schales, Randy LeBlanc, Lachlan Wells, and Alex Robinson). At least Javier and Gordon are playing games again.

    • glunn and Danchat like this

Article updated as I was given the OK to mention Tyler Wells surgery. 

 

Lachlan Wells should be back this year sometime... LeBlanc, maybe...  

    • glunn likes this
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Post-Concussive Blues
May 25 2019 09:10 PM
I hope Graterol’s shoulder impingement is really more about limiting innings in preparation for a deep Twins postseason run!
    • glunn likes this

Article updated as I was given the OK to mention Tyler Wells surgery.

Wells should be back this year sometime... LeBlanc, maybe...


I'm confused. Wells is having Tommy John surgery next week... but he should be back this year? Is it his non throwing elbow?
    • Han Joelo likes this

 

I'm confused. Wells is having Tommy John surgery next week... but he should be back this year? Is it his non throwing elbow?

 

Here is the paragraph on Tyler Wells: 

 

 

The Twins Daily choice for Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018, Tyler Wells, has been out all season with an elbow injury. He will be having Tommy John surgery on May 29.

 

 

I hope Graterol’s shoulder impingement is really more about limiting innings in preparation for a deep Twins postseason run!

 

I hope so too... 

 

It's not... 

 

But hopefully resting him now and getting him back to 100% means that is still a possibility. 

 

I'm confused. Wells is having Tommy John surgery next week... but he should be back this year? Is it his non throwing elbow?

 

My bad... I edited the other comment... the second "Wells" is Lachlan Wells, who could be back on the mound this year. 

My bad... I edited the other comment... the second "Wells" is Lachlan Wells, who could be back on the mound this year.


Ok, that makes more sense. Thanks for clarifying.
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AlwaysinModeration
May 26 2019 06:20 AM
The Graterol thing is obviously the screaming headline here, but the possibility of Gonsalves needing TJ looms large as well.

Excited to see Javier back in action.But all the rest is just plain sickening, Seth.With Graterol sidelined, looks like Balazovic is now our top gun of those pitching every five days.

 

One name you didn't mention, Seth, is Jax.Is he expected to be out longer than a few weeks? 

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strumdatjaguar
May 26 2019 08:54 AM

One big minor league story is Royce Lewis.Through 46 games, batting at .223 with an OPS of just .615. He has One HR. He has 5 errors. Are the Twins blaming injuries?  

 

Excited to see Javier back in action.But all the rest is just plain sickening, Seth.With Graterol sidelined, looks like Balazovic is now our top gun of those pitching every five days.

 

One name you didn't mention, Seth, is Jax.Is he expected to be out longer than a few weeks? 

 

All I've heard is the Jax was IL'd with a strained shoulder... but apparently he is traveling with the team, so it sounds more like it'd be a skipped start than anything too worrisome... but I may be reading between the lines too much.

 

One big minor league story is Royce Lewis.Through 46 games, batting at .223 with an OPS of just .615. He has One HR. He has 5 errors. Are the Twins blaming injuries?  

 

Neither the Twins nor Royce are blaming injuries. 

 

All I've heard is the Jax was IL'd with a strained shoulder... but apparently he is traveling with the team, so it sounds more like it'd be a skipped start than anything too worrisome... but I may be reading between the lines too much.

Great news, Seth.Thanks!

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diehardtwinsfan
May 27 2019 08:22 AM

 

Hopefully it's just the 'Chicken Little' side of me, but when I see "shoulder injury" and "pitcher" in the same sentence, I can't help but think, best of luck in whatever you replace baseball with young man.

 

From what I understand, shoulder injuries in pitchers in general are recoverable with proper rehab/rest... there are certain shoulder injuries (such as a torn labrum) that fall into that category. Hopefully this is just a minor setback.