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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:12 PM
I had fun with the "Ex-Twins in the Box Scores" post last year. I know, it's too early for any games at this point in the year, but I hav...
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So....Time to make a call to Kimbrel?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:50 PM
I know it’s being discussed in the game thread but figured why not give it one of its own. Prety sure there haven’t been any prior thread...
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Article: Falvey: I Will Spoil Avengers Ending If You Ask...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:18 PM
The long-simmering debate over the Twins bullpen came to a head on Thursday, as a defiant Derek Falvey threatened to reveal the ending of...
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Article: The Early Returns From Michael Pineda

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:51 PM
As the Twins get ready to finish up the four game series against the Blue Jays, Michael Pineda will take the mound for what will be his f...
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Game Thread: Twins @ Baltimore 4:05 PM PT (6:05 PM CT) 4/...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:19 PM
Today, the Twins are in Baltimore, playing a team that, in years past, has been an antidote to losing. Unfortunately, this years version...
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Twins Minor League Report (4/5): Powerful Pitching Performances

Jorge Alcala, Brusdar Graterol, Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic, oh my. What appeared to be an exciting night of pitching on paper turned out to live up to the billing and then some.

That quartet of prized prospects combined to throw 18 2/3 innings of two-run ball, gave up just 10 hits, walked only three batters and struck out 25.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Jordan Balazovic)
TRANSACTIONS
Several hours after the Twins game, Darren Wolfson tweeted that RHP Zack Littell is going to be called up on Saturday.



AM update: Scratch that.



RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester at Lehigh Valley
POSTPONED

BLUE WAHOO BITES
Game 1: Pensacola 7, Mobile 0 (7 innings)
Box Score

Jorge Alcala: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 65.4% strikes (49 of 75 pitches)
HR: Jimmy Kerrigan (1)
Multi-hit games: Luis Arraez (2-for-3, BB)

With Opening Day being rained out, this scheduled seven-inning game as the first leg of a doubleheader served as Pensacola’s debut game as a Twins affiliate. Nice way to get started.

Jorge Alcala and Jovani Moran combined to pitch a shutout. Alcala gave up just three hits over five innings while Moran gave up one hit over his two frames. Neither pitcher issued a walk.

Taylor Grzelakowski had a big two-run double to break the scoreless tie in the fourth and Jimmy Kerrigan added a two-run homer later that inning.

Game 2: Pensacola 4, Mobile 3 (8 innings)
Box Score

Brusdar Graterol: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 58.7% strikes (44 of 75 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Luis Arraez (2-for-4)

Brusdar Graterol’s first pitch of the evening was only 99 mph. What gives? He would end up hitting triple-digits, and more importantly, pitched a great game. Just one run on three hits and a pair of walks over 4 2/3 innings for Graterol, and he struck out six batters.

Taylor Grzelakowski gave the Blue Wahoo’s a lead in the top of the first with an RBI single. Jordan Gore drove in another run in the fifth. Andro Cutura protected the lead, recording the final out of the fifth inning before pitching a scoreless sixth, but Cody Stashak, one of the most reliable relievers in the entire system last season, gave up a game-tying home run in the bottom of the seventh, which was scheduled to be the final inning.

Pensacola scored two runs in the top of the eighth thanks to another Grzelakowski RBI and a wild pitch. That gave the Stashak a two-run lead to work with, but the bottom of the eighth opened with the bonus runner (this was technically an extra inning, remember) scoring from second on a single.

Stashak got the next batter to strike out swinging, then Dusten Knight took over. Ground out, strikeout looking and game over. Blue Wahoos 2-0 as a Twins affiliate, great way to get things started.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 4, Charlotte 3
Box Score

Jhoan Duran: 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 61.4% strikes (35 of 57 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4)

Speaking of 100 mph fastballs, Jhoan Duran also hit 100 mph multiple occasions. I think it’s safe to declare the pitch to contact era officially dead.

Duran came out with guns a-blazing, pitching four no-hit innings while striking out four batters. In his first four minor league seasons, Duran’s career high in innings is only 100 2/3. So it makes sense, with a five-month regular season ahead, that the organization would aim to limit the fireballer’s workload.

Fort Myers built a lead thanks in part to Trevor Larnach’s big two-RBI double. Unfortunately, Duran’s exit opened the door for the Stone Crabs to get back into this game. It was all tied up heading into the bottom of the eighth inning when Royce Lewis hit a leadoff triple. He eventually scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball.

Tom Hackimer, whose 2018 season ended prematurely due to injury, was back on the mound tonight. He got the final out of the eighth inning and took care of business in the ninth to secure the one-run Miracle victory.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 10, Peoria 4
Box Score

Jordan Balazovic: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 71.1% strikes (54 of 76 pitches)
HR: Trey Cabbage (1)
Multi-hit games: Trey Cabbage (3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) Ben Rodriguez (3-for-5, 3 RBI), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 3 RBI)

Among all the great starting pitching performances tonight, Jordan Balazovic was by far the most dominant. He absolutely pounded the strike zone, throwing over 70% of his pitches for strikes.

Balazovic recorded a strikeout to open the game, but ran into some trouble in the first inning. He gave up a double, then a single, but erased the scoring chance by inducing an inning-ending double play. After a 1-2-3 second inning, Balazovic gave up a run-scoring triple. He turned it up after that.

The 6-foot-4 Canadian right-hander blew the Chiefs away, striking out all three batters he faced in both the fourth and fifth innings. He ended up with nine strikeouts and no walks.



Still, Balazovic exited this game with Cedar Rapids leading just 3-1. The bats broke loose in a five-hit, three-walk, five-run fifth inning.

Trey Cabbage hit his first home run of the season, to go along with two other hits. Ben Rodriguez also had a three-hit day, Chris Williams reached safely three times as well, tallying a hit and a pair of walks.

Yunior Severino drew just 17 walks in 50 total games last season but somehow managed to rack up four walks just in this one game tonight. He also had a single.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Luis Arraez, Pensacola

TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed

1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-2, 3B, 2 BB, 2 R
3. Brusdar Graterol (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
4. Trevor Larnach (FM): 1-for-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
7. Jhoan Duran (FM): 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
10. Akil Baddoo (FM): 0-for-3, BB, R, SB, K
13. Ryan Jeffers (FM): 0-for-3, BB, K
15. Yunior Severino (CR): 1-for-1, 4 BB, 3 R
16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 0-for-4, BB, R, SB, K
19. Jorge Alcala (PNS): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester at Lehigh Valley, 4:35 pm CT (Chase De Jong)
Rochester at Lehigh Valley, Game 2 (TBD, bullpen game)
Pensacola at Mobile, 7:05 pm CT (Devin Smeltzer)
Fort Myers at Charlotte, 5:00 pm CT (Tyler Watson)
Cedar Rapids at Wisconsin, 4:05 pm CT (Cole Sands)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.

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29 Comments

Very impressed with the four walks Severino took tonight. Take what they give you and they will have to throw strikes or put you on base.
balazovick what can you say. He should be in Fort Meyers I think. Nice to see the pitching take over in these games.
    • glunn, gunnarthor and Otwins like this
Arraez was busy tonight! 2-3 at AA and 2-4 at A ball ;) Not sure who was supposed to be listed as the top hitter at Ft Myers

OMG, look at that pitching motion of Jordan Balazovic. Loose, easy arm whip. Hard to read the pitch at the release point. Effort per pitch looks well below maximum. This guy could be a serious stud horse starter. I saw what looked like two plus pitches for sure, a hard overhand curve and a major fastball. If he develops a decent change, he'll be making a ton of money in the bigs very soon. 

    • Tibs, CUtomorrownight and caninatl04 like this

Arraez was busy tonight! 2-3 at AA and 2-4 at A ball ;) Not sure who was supposed to be listed as the top hitter at Ft Myers


Those were both AA, they played a doubleheader.
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FormerMinnasotan
Apr 06 2019 06:22 AM

OMG, look at that pitching motion of Jordan Balazovic. Loose, easy arm whip. Hard to read the pitch at the release point. Effort per pitch looks well below maximum. This guy could be a serious stud horse starter. I saw what looked like two plus pitches for sure, a hard overhand curve and a major fastball. If he develops a decent change, he'll be making a ton of money in the bigs very soon.

His pitching motion seems a lot like Justin Verlander’s.
    • jimbo92107 likes this
Unbelievable arms coming up through the system.
    • railmarshalljon likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Apr 06 2019 06:53 AM

Grzelakowski is a sleeper I'll be watching this year... nice to see his name on key scoring plays.

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Original Whizzinator
Apr 06 2019 06:59 AM
Zach Littel?

What is nice to see from Balazovic--especially after watching the Twins pitchers walk 10 batters yesterday--was that he went right after the batters.No wasted pitches even with an 0-2 count.

    • glunn, Dman and gman like this
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Carole Keller
Apr 06 2019 07:09 AM
‘A doubleheader severed’ is really quite an image.
    • MN_ExPat likes this

The throw-in line about Zack Littell was a shocker?Who goes down?Start or BP?Why Littell?Now that the door is open, fill us in. 

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terrydactyls1947
Apr 06 2019 07:20 AM
For me, the most impressive thing was the low number of walks by the starters. No free passes means far fewer runs. Those four starters were impresive.
    • glunn likes this
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Original Whizzinator
Apr 06 2019 07:41 AM
Littel must mean a starter is hurt? Odorizzi? Littel would take Mejia's spot moving Mejia into the rotation? Aww hell Mejia could be hurt what the heck do I know?

Two multi hit games to open the season for Arraez, what else is new?

 

That was an exciting lineup of starters.None pitched deep into the game, but that's to be expected early in the season.Will be fun to follow all four of these guys all season long.  

Balozovic looks good in that video. I'm not a pitching expert but his mechanics look really good. Hope Twins push him up the system.

 

Littell? I don't get the FO's fascination with this guy. He shouldn't be on our 40 man roster.

Balozovic looks good in that video. I'm not a pitching expert but his mechanics look really good. Hope Twins push him up the system.

Littell? I don't get the FO's fascination with this guy. He shouldn't be on our 40 man roster.


Every team needs AAAA starters that can be shuttled until such time as a legit prospect is ready for a full time role.

I don't think Littel has much upside at all (a few posters disagree), but he's not so awful that he can't be useful as a AAAA shuttle guy.
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Tom Froemming
Apr 06 2019 08:34 AM

Take a look at the bullpen usage chart heading into today. The Twins need some length. To everyone questioning the Littell callup, who would you rather have seen them promote in this situation?

45pen

 

Take a look at the bullpen usage chart heading into today. The Twins need some length. To everyone questioning the Littell callup, who would you rather have seen them promote in this situation?


From my post above yours, you can see I have no problem with Littell getting the call- as long as it's a one and done shuttle- but I think Stewart would be a fair argument as well.
Unless he's unavailable and I missed it.
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Tom Froemming
Apr 06 2019 08:56 AM

Doogie just passed along an update that the Twins have changed their minds and Littell will not be called up.

 

On Stewart, he just pitched Thursday.

I actually didn't even notice that it was Doogie "reporting" the initial call up. I would have waited for a second source had I noticed.
    • SF Twins Fan, operation mindcrime and jkcarew like this
Looking at box scores only, I would have named Trey Cabbage as my hitter of the day.
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Tom Froemming
Apr 06 2019 09:31 AM
And now Dan Hayes is reporting that Chase De Jong, who isn't even on the 40-man roster, will be added. What was your favorite Tyler Austin Twins moment?
    • operation mindcrime and Original Whizzinator like this
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The Mask of Zoilo
Apr 06 2019 10:26 AM
Austin designated, De Jong called up, likely to piggyback Pineda today since they needed to use Perez yesterday?
    • Original Whizzinator likes this
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The Mask of Zoilo
Apr 06 2019 10:37 AM
It looks like the Front Office will continue using the 40th roster spot as a rotating fill a need/designate for assignment/claim on waivers type of deal.
    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

Take a look at the bullpen usage chart heading into today. The Twins need some length. To everyone questioning the Littell callup, who would you rather have seen them promote in this situation?

45pen

 

Correct... what they're doing is protecting themselves in case Pineda can't get through the 3rd or 4th. And they likely will continue to have some sort of limit on Pineda, innings or pitches and De Jong can fill in through the seventh or (even better) the eighth.


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