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Twins Minor League Report (4/25): Two Extra-Innings Wins, E-Neff Is E-Neff

Minnesota had an off-night on Thursday but there was plenty of action in the minor leagues. All four affiliates played. This meant 10 of the Twins Daily Top-20 Twins Prospects were in action. Who played well? Who struggled? Who helped their team to a pair of extra-inning victories?
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Zach Neff)
IF Travis Blankenhorn promoted from Fort Myers to Pensacola.

Rochester 4, Scranton/WB 3 (10 Innings)
Box Score
Rochester used some strong pitching and four runs over the final five innings to come out victorious. Zack Littell started and pitched five strong innings. He limited the RailRiders to one run on five hits. It was the second straight start where he pitched at least five innings and allowed one run or less. LaMonte Wade made a run- saving catch in the first inning to save at least one run. Littell struck out four and walked three, but he would be long gone before this one would be decided.

Taking over for Littell, Jake Reed and Preston Guilmet combined for three shutout innings. Reed lasted two innings by walking one and allowing one hit. Guilmett struck out the side in the eighth. Gabriel Moya allowed Scranton/WB to tie it up in the ninth. He gave up two runs on three hits. It was his first blown save. DJ Baxendale pitched a perfect tenth inning for his first win.

In the sixth inning, John Andreoli doubled with one out. Following a Brent Rooker strikeout, Randy Cesar homered to put Rochester up 2-1. Luke Raley led off the bottom of the seventh and he was able to reach on a fielding error. Two batters later, Jordany Valdespin drove him in with his third double of the season. The Red Wings had a 3-1 lead.

After Moya allowed the tying run to score in the ninth, Rochester needed to find a way to score a run. Zander Wiel got to start the bottom of the tenth on second base. With one out, Adam Rosales singled to put runners on the corners. Ronald Torreyes hit a chopper to first and the ball had to be thrown home. Wiel slid in safe and the Red Wings went home happy.

Pensacola 5, Jackson 2 (10 Innings)
Box Score
Sean Poppen compiled five strong innings to put the Blue Wahoos in position to win. He struck out seven over five innings. He limited Jackson to one run on five hits. His season ERA dropped to 0.75. Andro Cutura blew his first save of the season. He allowed one run on two hits in two innings.

Pensacola scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. Tanner English and Mitchell Kranson singled before Jaylin Davis reached on a throwing error. Taylor Grzelakowski came up with the big hit as he doubled to plate both runs.

Cody Stashak picked up his second win in relief. He pitched two scoreless innings, while striking out three and walking one. Ryan Mason earned his fourth save of the year. He has yet to allow an earned run.

In the tenth inning, Luis Arraez started on second and English walked to put to men on. Kranson used a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position. A passed ball allowed Arraez to score but it wouldn’t have mattered. Jaylin Davis blasted a two-run bomb.

Ft. Myers 1, Palm Beach 7
Box Score
Fort Myers got off to an early lead. Akil Baddoo led off the game with his second double of the season. Royce Lewis moved him to third with a fly out and then Trevor Larnach drove him in with a sacrifice fly. From there, the Miracle offense went cold.

Tyler Watson ran into some trouble in the third inning as the Cardinals plated three runs. The first four batters reached base against him that frame. With the bases full, he allowed a single then a walk and finally a sacrifice fly. In the top of the sixth, Watson ran into some more trouble. A leadoff single was followed by a wild pitch. Another single saw a run score and Watson’s night was done. It was his third straight loss.

Anthony Vizcaya and Alex Phillips both pitched two innings without allowing any earned runs. Vizcaya saw two runs scored but they were both unearned. Phillips allowed two hits and struck out two. He’s appeared in eight games so far this season and he has yet to allow an earned run. He has pitched more than one inning in five of his appearances and he has 18 strikeouts on the year.

Fort Myers had three total hits. Larnach went 2-for-3 with and RBI to raise his average to .270. Baddoo had the lone extra-base hit.

Cedar Rapids 0, Kane County 7
Box Score
Cedar Rapids offense was almost non-existent and Blayne Enlow struggled for the first time since his first start this season. Enlow had pitched five innings or more in two consecutive starts and limited the opposition to one run in both appearances. In 4 2/3 innings, he allowed seven runs, a career high, on 10 hits. He was still able to strike out seven and walked one.

While Enlow struggled, Zach Neff was outstanding in relief. He was asked to pitch 3 1/3 innings. He didn’t allow any runs and he limited Kane County to two hits. Neff had allowed multiple runs in three of his six appearances entering the night.

Kernels 1-4 hitters combined to go 0-for-16 with six strikeouts. Gilberto Celestino was the only batter with multiple hits. He finished 2-for-3 with his second double of the year. Joe Cronin and Yeltsin Encarnacion both went 1-for-3.

TD Pitcher of the Day- Zach Neff, Cedar Rapids (3.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 K)
TD Hitter of the Day- Jaylin Davis, Pensacola (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, R)

Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Did not pitch
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 2-3, RBI
#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 0-2, 2 K
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 H, 7 K, BB
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – Did not play
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – 5 IP, ER, 5 H, 4 K, 3 BB
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 0-2, K
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-3

Rochester vs. Pawtucket (5:35 CST) – RHP Chase De Jong (0-1, 11.12 ERA)
Pensacola @ Jackson (6:05 CST) – RHP Jorge Alcala (4-0, 3.92 ERA)
Fort Myers vs. Palm Beach (5:30 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (2-1, 2.45 ERA)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.

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Not a great night for the top prospects.

    • Danchat and David HK like this

Rooker now has 56 ABs and 28 Ks. 50% of his official at bats are strikeouts! That is truly amazing, and not in a good way. Lewis is now hitting .192 with a .557 OPS. 


The overhaul of the farm staff is not producing results. Hey, I don't care if it is "early". This is totally discouraging.


At least Graterol is inspiring.

    • glunn, bluechipper, mikelink45 and 6 others like this

any news on Sano's return to the Minors?  

Apr 26 2019 06:16 AM

How does Sean Poppen allowing 1 earned run over 5 innings, "drop" his ERA to ..75 ? Allowing 1 earned run over 5 innings pitched is an ERA of 1.80, which could not lower an ERA to .75,could it? Just asking. 

    • scottz, h2oface, WLFINN and 3 others like this

Not a lot to get excited about from last night's action.The one player who seems to be playing better of late is Larnach.He has a .325 average in his last ten games which brought his average up to .270.A bit surprising he has zero home runs, but he does play in a league with big ballparks.


Hopefully, Balazovic will be as good tonight as Enlow was disappointing last night.Always look forward to days when he, Alcala and Ober are on the hill.


Will tonight be the night we see Kirilloff in action with the Miracle?Or maybe tomorrow? 

    • gagu likes this


Rooker now has 56 ABs and 28 Ks. 50% of his official at bats are strikeouts! That is truly amazing, and not in a good way. Lewis is now hitting .192 with a .557 OPS. 


The overhaul of the farm staff is not producing results. Hey, I don't care if it is "early". This is totally discouraging.


At least Graterol is inspiring.

I'm certainly not ready to defend the new FO on this and you don't want to hear "it's early." But, it's early. In 2015, Sano hit .163/.299/.388 through the first week of May. Commentators here were saying that he was rushed back from his injury, they should move him back to A ball, etc. He was in the majors two months later and finished 3rd in ROY voting.


Generally, you should trust the talent. Lewis is too good to be this bad. I'm more worried about guys like Enlow and the pitchers we picked up in the trade deadline the last two years. But Lewis and Kiriloff and Larnich will be good ML players. Rooker might end up being a Palka-like player but I think that's his floor.

    • scottz, markos, h2oface and 7 others like this

Speaking of Palka, I see he was 1 for 35 (batting average .029) for the Pale Hose and is now performing (or non-performing) in Charlotte where he is hitting .167 with no homers. Ouch. Maybe he'll be back up if he starts to mash.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
Apr 26 2019 11:18 AM


I'm more worried about guys like Enlow and the pitchers we picked up in the trade deadline the last two years. 


2019 xFIPs


Enlow - 3.75

Moya - 2.84 (3.2 innings)

Littell - 5.41

Watson - 3.15

Duran - 4.77

Alcala - 2.64

De Jong - 11.17/25.11 (6.2 innings, but Wow)

Rijo - 5.01

Smeltzer - 1.30

Chalmers - (Injured)


Yeah, it's a mixed bag.

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