Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

I'm Yawning...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:12 PM
  Maybe I'm burned out on the horrible season the Twins had this year or maybe its apathy, but this is the first time in many years...
Full topic ›

Article: A Refreshing Shift in Twins Territory

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:32 PM
The Minnesota Twins will embark upon the 2019 major league baseball season with plenty of areas to improve. After a season in which expec...
Full topic ›

Article: Across the Meadow: The Buxton Saga

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:12 PM
John and Jeremy cover every angle of the Twins decision to not bring Byron Buxton up in September. At a minimum, it's a curious decision....
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Biggest Off-Season Need

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:32 PM
Twins Daily Roundtable is a weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond i...
Full topic ›

Jim Callis' Top 10 Prospects 1 Year From Now

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:45 PM
Two Twins make the list:   https://www.mlb.com/...cts/c-294181356    
Full topic ›

Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher Of The Month - August 2018

Earlier this week, we announced the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Alex Kirilloff). Today, we discuss some of the top relief pitchers in the Twins minor leagues in August. I’ll be honest, even with the honorable mentions, there could have been even more. But when we get to the top of the list, you’ll fully understand the choice. You’ll also get to learn a little more about some guys you may not know as much about.

Previous Relief Pitchers of the Month for 2018:
April 2018: Nick Anderson, Rochester Red Wings
May 2018: Todd Van Steensel, Chattanooga Lookouts
June 2018: Jovani Moran, Cedar Rapids Kernels
July 2018: Jovani Moran, Ft. Myers Miracle
August 2018:
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for August, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut.

HONORABLE MENTION
  • Colton Davis, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 2.19 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 17 K.
  • Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings, 9 G, 3 GS, 1.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 18.0 IP, 15 H, 5 BB, 22 K.
  • Moises Gomez, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 6 G, 2.19 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 11 K
  • Ryne Harper, Rochester Red Wings, 9 G, 3.06 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 13 H, 3 BB, 21 K.
  • Jose Martinez, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 5 G, 2.77 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 15 K
  • Michael Montero, GCL Twins, 5 G, 0.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 8 K
  • Jovani Moran, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 3.12 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 23 K.
  • Cody Stashak, Chattanooga Lookouts, 7 G, 0.84 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 8 K
THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS



#5 - Johan Quezada - Elizabethton/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 0.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 15 K


Quezada signed with the Twins way back in 2012. He was a skinny kid. Since then, he has grown to 6-8 and over 240 pounds. He was posting upper-90s velocities until shoulder problems cost him the 2017 season. He returned this year and got into some games in Elizabethton. However, he has done a nice job since joining the Kernels in the middle of August. Recent reports had him hitting 99 mph again. He is already 24. He signed a little later and the shoulder issues have cost him time, but he is certainly one to watch over the next year as he could move fast if he can stay healthy. In August, opponents hit just .209/.261/.233 (.493) off of him.


#4 - Jake Reed - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 0.71 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB,18 K


Lots of talk about Byron Buxton, and deservingly so. Because he’s one of us and struck out a ton of batters in Rochester this year, we also hear a lot, wondering why Nick Anderson wasn’t promoted. However, it is inexplicable to me that Jake Reed didn’t get called up for September. They were fortunate that he wasn’t selected in the Rule 5 draft a year ago. After this season, it’s much more unlikely that he would again. His season started out slow, but since June 1st, he has a 1.43 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings. August was his best month as he didn’t give up runs, didn’t allow base runners and even walked less than he did over the course of the season. Opponents hit just .143/.234/.167 (.401) off of him in the month, and he missed a lot of bats.


#3 - Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 22 K


While he can occasional struggle with his control, Derek Molina is very intriguing because he misses a lot of bats. And, he’s only been pitching full time since the Twins made him their 14th-round pick in the 2017 draft out of Merced College in California. In August, things came together nicely for him. Opponents hit just ..146/.196/.188 (.384) against him. Molina throws a good fastball, a solid curveball and an improving changeup. Check out this Q&A with Molina from earlier this season.


#2 - Hector Lujan - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 1.42 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 16 K


Three rounds after taking this month’s top reliever, the Twins selected his Westmont College teammate Hector Lujan. Lujan had a terrific 2017 season in which he led the Twins minor leagues in saves for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. After a slow start with the Miracle this year, he really came on strong. August was easily his best month. His control improved and his stuff definitely helped him miss bats. For the month, opponents hit just .133/.170/.200 (.370) against him. He will participate in the Arizona Fall League this year.



And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is:

Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings – LHP Andrew Vasquez - 9 G, 0.61 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 30 K



Andrew Vasquez pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in mid-June. Following the game, he was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. He spent almost exactly one month with the Lookouts before being promoted to Triple-A Rochester. He spent about eight days with the Red Wings, and following the August 31st game, he was told that he was heading to the big leagues.


As we have seen in his two short appearances with the Twins, Vasquez is primarily a slider pitcher. His fastball sits 89-90 mph, but it is his breaking ball that can be absolutely devastating to opposing hitter. A quick look at his above-mentioned stat line for August, he averaged over two strikeouts per inning. In August, opponents hit just .157/.259/.176 (.435) off of him.


Vasquez was the Twins 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College (after three years at UC-Santa Barbara). He went to the GCL that year where he walked 15 batters (and struck out 22) in 12 1/3 innings. He was moved along slowly as he worked through his control issues. But once he had command of his control, he flew up the system. This year, he has 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings. He was an easy pick to be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, so the Twins brought him up for September.


There were several strong relief pitcher performances in August throughout the Twins minor league system, and at least another handful probably could have been mentioned. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but it was a great month, which culminated in his first big league call-up. Congratulations to Andrew Vasquez, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2018.

  • dbminn and nclahammer like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

12 Comments

Hoefully, Vasquez can develop into that big time lefty set-up guy like Brad Hand or Miller.With his rapid rise thru the organization this year, expect it could be a year or two before he really settles into what he can be.

 

Was wondering about your comments about Reed, Seth.There seem to be several pitchers/relievers who are on the 40-man bubble (Reed, Jay, Anderson, others).Can understand their not promoting him if he is one of them.But agree that he is deserving and there is a good chance he is gone in December if not added.

 

Ryan Eades won't ever make it to the Twins, will he?Is he a minor league free agent this year if he goes unselected in the rule 5?  

    • glunn and mikelink45 like this

I am sorry the Twins are doing so well that they could not have this group all audition in September, but with Belisle eating up all the Relief Innings what could they have done?

 

Sorry, I think I am starting to get bitter. 

    • glunn, Lonestar, adjacent and 6 others like this

So, according to the FO, there are "playing time concerns" for Buxton.But last night Mollie trotted out Grossman and something called "Johnny Field".The MLBPA is going to be all over that.We also apparently don't have enough innings to audition guys like Anderson and Reed b/c.....what, we want a good look at Matt Belisle???I'm a patient guy.A diehard, lifelong Twins fan.But the FO is going to really try fans' patience with these type of decisions.

    • glunn, Han Joelo, Highabove and 6 others like this

 

Hoefully, Vasquez can develop into that big time lefty set-up guy like Brad Hand or Miller.With his rapid rise thru the organization this year, expect it could be a year or two before he really settles into what he can be.

 

Was wondering about your comments about Reed, Seth.There seem to be several pitchers/relievers who are on the 40-man bubble (Reed, Jay, Anderson, others).Can understand their not promoting him if he is one of them.But agree that he is deserving and there is a good chance he is gone in December if not added.

 

Ryan Eades won't ever make it to the Twins, will he?Is he a minor league free agent this year if he goes unselected in the rule 5?  

 

 

I'm making an assumption that the Twins have already decided the Anderson and Reed will be added to the 40 in November and they don't need to further evaluate them. But they're using September to give a few other guys evaluation time to see if they'll stay on the 40. I could, of course, be wrong. 

 

Eades is solid. He won't' be a free agent until after next year. 

    • glunn, jokin and rdehring like this

The Twins have a luxury of arms. Too many. Be interesting to see who they do add in 2019. I think they need to make hard decisions on the likes of Duffey, Curtiss, Slegers, Busenitz before going in the off-season. Additions by subtractions will happen. Priority #1 is to choose the pitchers that have a good chance of making the Twins in 2019. Any others will fight for 40-man spots with possible callups next season...and in the more distant future.

 

Eades, like Baxendale, and before them Hurlbut, needs to move on, sadly. No chance with the Twins. This is when they should'be given him a look, and the Belisle roster spot makes one wonder. Even Luke Bard, who didn't have the best 2018, should be getting the Belisle innings.

 

But like all of us here, we domn't make the real decisions, do we?

    • glunn and David HK like this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Sep 06 2018 11:41 AM

 

So, according to the FO, there are "playing time concerns" for Buxton.But last night Mollie trotted out Grossman and something called "Johnny Field".The MLBPA is going to be all over that.We also apparently don't have enough innings to audition guys like Anderson and Reed b/c.....what, we want a good look at Matt Belisle???I'm a patient guy.A diehard, lifelong Twins fan.But the FO is going to really try fans' patience with these type of decisions.

 

Like it or not, the team probably wants to see what they have in Field. They know what they have in Buxton... even if Buxton is better. 

 

Again, I don't feel sorry for Byron here. He's been pretty bad, and certainly not deserving of a callup. 

    • glunn and Blackjack like this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Sep 06 2018 12:35 PM

Like it or not, the team probably wants to see what they have in Field.

Jake Cave Lite.

 

Mission accomplished. Have the Twins send my usual consulting fee* to my usual address**.

 

* zero dollars

** /dev/null

    • glunn, David HK and Tomj14 like this

 

So, according to the FO, there are "playing time concerns" for Buxton.But last night Mollie trotted out Grossman and something called "Johnny Field".The MLBPA is going to be all over that.We also apparently don't have enough innings to audition guys like Anderson and Reed b/c.....what, we want a good look at Matt Belisle???I'm a patient guy.A diehard, lifelong Twins fan.But the FO is going to really try fans' patience with these type of decisions.

 

Don't forget Ollie Drake.... I mean he is only 31 years old and on his 5th team of 2018 and all, but who knows maybe he can turn it around and have a real part in the future of this team.

Why, Lord?

 

Jake Reed: since June 1st, he has a 1.43 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings. August was his best month as he didn’t give up runs, didn’t allow base runners and even walked less than he did over the course of the season. Opponents hit just .143/.234/.167 (.401) off of him in the month, and he missed a lot of bats.

 

Nick Anderson: one tough outing in early August, but mostly been lights out lately- overall- 60 IP, 88 Ks, 1.13 WHIP

 

Heck, even-

DJ Baxendale: since June 1st, he has a 1.43 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings. August was his best month as he didn’t give up runs, didn’t allow base runners and even walked less than he did over the course of the season. Opponents hit just .143/.234/.167 (.401) off of him in the month, and he missed a lot of bats.

 

But noooooo.... we can't see any of these guys. We get Belisle, and Ollie Drake and more Addison Reed- even though he's either injured or completely gassed and needs a DL shut-down. Cripe, Nick Anderson is 28, he has no time to lose. Don't you wanna see how his stuff plays against MLB hitters? I do, no matter the result.

Is MoY still under the delusion of catching Cleveland? This is September in a long-lost season. We don't need to see more of the same that got us here.

 

Screw this team's management. 

Very happy, and a bit surprised, to see Vasquez being promoted so rapidly and getting his September shot. Despite his milb numbers and great slider, I have to wonder if he's more of a great LOOGY rather than a set-up guy. Haven't given up on Moya yet. Still have a feeling Mejia will be in the 2019 pen with Rogers from the port side. And that could be a devastating 1-2 punch, potentially. I don't care if the FO likes Reed and has already decided to add him to the 40 man. If you're going to add him, then just add him now and let him gain some experience! We are doing what with Belisle? Auditioning him?

Quezada had 3 K's in 12 pitches the first inning of relief tonight, and one more in the scoreless second inning. 

 

Like it or not, the team probably wants to see what they have in Field. They know what they have in Buxton... even if Buxton is better. 

 

Again, I don't feel sorry for Byron here. He's been pretty bad, and certainly not deserving of a callup. 

Based solely on performance, Buxton deserves to be sent home.Based on how badly the Twins need him to produce next year, I thought they should have called him up.By all accounts, he is a tireless worker, so I don't think it's a lack of effort, so I don't know if "punishing him" is the best move.Like all these kinds of decisions, none of us really know how it's going to work out.I do know that if Buxton (and Sano?) can't become at least a solid big-leaguer, the Twins are MUCH further behind in the rebuild than we all thought.


Similar Articles


by Seth Stohs , 16 Sep 2018
Photo


by Steve Lein , 12 Sep 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 01 Sep 2018
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 30 Aug 2018
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 20 Aug 2018
Photo