Twins Minor League Report (4/20): Bobbleheads And Baseball
Image courtesy of Ted Schwerzler (photo of the Royce Lewis bobblehead)The Red Wings had a tough start, but quickly recovered. The Lookouts scored early, and that’s about it. The Miracle had another big comeback (from injury) and won in the ninth. Find out how. And the Kernels struggled a bit in their return to the playing field.
Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system.
- The Ft. Myers Miracle announced that RHP Andro Cutura was activated by the Cedar Rapids Kernels and then he was promoted to Ft. Myers. Cutura last pitched for the Kernels in May of 2016. He had Tommy John surgery and is now returning to the mound.
- Rochester announced that RH RP Jake Reed has been placed on the 7-Day Disabled List with a right shoulder impingement.
- Jeff Johnson from The Gazette in Cedar Rapids posted the following tweet which indicates other transactions could be coming.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 13, Columbus 5
It was a rough first half-inning for the Red Wings in this game, but it didn’t take long for Rochester to take control. Adalberto Mejia made the start for the Red Wings. The left-hander gave up four runs on three hits and a walk in the top of the first inning (though he struck out three in the inning).
Then came the bottom of the first. 13 Red Wings came to the plate and they scored eight runs. The big hit came off of the bat of Brock Stassi. His second home run of the year came with the bases loaded. Taylor Featherstone followed with his first homer.
The Red Wings added one run in the third inning and four more innings in the fourth inning. The big knock that inning was the first home run of the season for Willian Astudillo.
Mejia certainly settled down after that first frame. He worked three more innings and gave up just two hits and a walk. Tyler Duffey came on for the fifth inning and threw three more scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked one and struck out four. In his 11 innings this year, he is yet to give up an earned run. He has walked one and struck out 14 batters. John Curtiss threw the final two innings. He gave up a run on two hits. He walked one and struck out four. Red Wings play-by-play man Josh Whetzel passed along this note about the rarity of a Curtiss home run allowed:
Astudillo went 3-4 with his first double to go with his first homer. Gregorio Petit went 2-4 with his second double and three RBI. The Red Wings improved to .500, at 5-5.
Chattanooga 1, Jacksonville 5
Lewis Thorpe made the start for the Lookouts on Friday night. He was one out from a Quality Start, but his pitch count crept high enough that he was removed from the game with two outs in the sixth inning and a runner on base. Anthony McIver came on and allowed Thorpe’s runner to score and another run. So, Thorpe’s final line probably doesn’t look quite as good as he threw. The lefty gave up four runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight without issuing a walk.
McIver gave up one run on five hits and a walk in one inning. Andrew Vasquez came on to get the final out of the seventh inning without further damage. Vasquez got four outs. He gave up two hits, but no runs. He struck out two without walking a batter. Cody Stashak walked two and struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning.
There wasn’t much offense. In the first inning, Brent Rooker hit his first triple of the season. Nick Gordon knocked him in with a sacrifice fly. That was it for the Lookouts scoring. Chris Paul added his fifth triple of the season.
The loss drops the Lookouts to 9-6.
Ft. Myers 4, Bradenton 3
There have been a couple of big returns for the Miracle the last couple of days. On Thursday, it was second baseman Luis Arraez returning after missing a year following ACL surgery. On Friday, it was Andro Cutura who returned to the mound for the first time in nearly two years. More on that later.
Charlie Barnes made the start for the Miracle. The lefty gave up no runs on one hit over the first three innings. He walked three and struck out six. He needed 74 pitches to finish three, so he was replaced by Logan Lombana. Lombana gave up two unearned runs on one hit and a hit batter over two innings. The error was his own.
At that point, Andro Cutura entered the game. He ended up giving up one run on four hits, two walks and a hit batter over four innings. He struck out five and was credited with the win.
Tied at three going into the ninth, the Miracle got a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Jimmy Kerrigan to score Taylor Grzelakowski from third. And it was deep enough that Aaron Whitefield tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate. Cutura got the final three outs in the bottom of the ninth to grab the win.
Jaylin Davis was 2-for-4 with his fifth double. Taylor Grzelakowski went 2-for-3 with his first double. Jared Foster was 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base. Luis Arraez went 1-for-4 with a walk, his first hit in just over a year.
Grzelakowski was signed as a non-drafted free agent last July and played minimally in the GCL last year. He was one of my Spring Standouts and it as to be surprising that he jumped all the way up to Ft. Myers. But he is handling the job behind the plate and at the plate, and he gives a lot of the credit to others. With his 2-3 on Friday night, he’s now hitting .375/.444/.438 (.882) on the young season. “At the plate I’m feeling confident. I’ve been working with Sing regularly on timing and rhythm. Made a simple change yesterday during bp in Dunedin and felt good tonight. Got a few pitches to hit and my timing was there so I hit them. Attribute my success to Steve Singleton. He believes in me and it shows with the time he puts in with me. Also my family, fiancé Sarah, and her family.”
Grzelakowski was also impressed with the pitchers he got to work with. Regarding starter Charlie Barnes, “Gelly” noted, “Everyone knows about Charlie’s changeup, it’s no secret. What they lose sight of is how complete of a pitcher he is. He is smart, aggressive, and he trusts me. Charlie is going to go a long long way in this game and it’s a pleasure to catch him.”
He also discussed the opportunity to catch Andro Cutura in his return after missing two seasons with Tommy John surgery. “Cutura was rock solid. That was my first time catching him in a game situation but we were on the same page pretty quickly. He’s been itching to get in and show everyone what he can do. He showed up in a big way and fought for every pitch tonight. It was like he pitched for us last week not two years ago.”
Cutura was very happy to be on the mound again, but he used the time away to learn a lot and hopes to implement some of it into his game. Following the game, he said, "It was such a great feeling, I didn’t have jitters or nerves, I was pretty calm and knew what I needed to do. Being out these past two years has really given me an opportunity to learn more about pitching and watching and studying big league pitchers and what needs to be done to be successful. I dug myself in some holes tonight, but to look on the bright side I was happy I was able to minimize the damage. Got more into a groove in my last two innings. I was happy to finish out the game and give it all I got for the team. It was a great team win tonight and I couldn’t be happier for my hermano, Arraez, for getting his first hit! It’s been a long road for him as well and it’s great to see all his hard work paying off."
The Miracle moved back above .500, to 8-7.
Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 5
The Kernels played their first game in a week. Literally, the team had not played a game since last Friday There final two games last weekend were snowed out, and their three game series in Beloit was postponed due to poor field conditions. The weather was nice in Cedar Rapids on Friday night, great for the fans who came for Royce Lewis bobblehead night. For Lewis, it was special because of a couple of specific fans in attendance.
“It was very special for me, and I’m glad to spend the game with my parents here.”
Blayne Enlow made the start for the Kernels. The 2017 draft pick gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks over 4.2 innings. He struck out three. Jovani Moran came on and got the final out of the fifth inning. Then Tyler Watson came on and was able to throw three shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out five. Moises Gomez struck out two in a scoreless ninth.
The Kernels offense didn’t get going real quickly either. Akil Baddoo launched a long, two-run homer in the 8th inning, his first of the season, but that was it for the team’s offense. Baddoo went 2-4. Shane Carrier went 2-4. Mark Contreras went 1-3 with a walk. Jose Miranda hit his first double of the season.
Cedar Rapids loses for the second straight time and and falls to 6-2 on their season.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Willian Astudillo, Rochester Red Wings
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Duffey, Rochester Red Wings
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4
#3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 1-3, RBI, SF
#5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, 3B, R, K
#8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, HR(1), 2 RBI, K
#12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
#13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB
#14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 1-4
#17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, K
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Columbus @ Rochester (12:06 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart
Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30) - RHP Brady Anderson
Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 CST) - RHP Nick Brown
Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
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