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Twins Minor League Report (4/9): Schick Stymies, Gordon Stays Hot

It's early in the minor league season and there are plenty of games left to be played. However, it's great to see some of the Twins affiliates playing well to start the year.

Nick Gordon is hot to start the season and he looked to continue that streak. Rochester was scheduled to play two games due to some early season weather problems. Would Gordon stay hot? Could the Red Wings sweep their twin-bill?

Read on to find out all about Sunday's results.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (Photo of Nick Gordon, Alex Schick)
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 6, Syracuse 2 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
Box Score
Nick Tepesch made his debut in the Twins organization on Sunday by starting the first game of a double-header. He allowed two runs on six hits while striking out two and walking two. His first inning was all over the board. He allowed two hits, two walks, and struck out two. He settled in from there before turning things over to the bullpen.

With the Wings down 2-0, Tommy Field got things started in the fourth inning. He doubled to start the frame before Kennys Vargas drove him in with a two-out single. The next two batters walked but Ben Paulsen left the bases loaded.

Paulsen would get another opportunity. In the sixth inning, Matt Hague singled before ByungHo Park struck out and Vargas grounded out. Daniel Palka and Mitch Garver collected back-to-back singles before Paulsen smacked a three-run shot.

Trevor Hildenberger in his Triple-A debut struck out the side in the sixth to keep the game at 5-2. After tacking on another run in the top of the seventh on a Vargas double, Hildenberger faced one over the minimum in the ninth for his first save.

Rochester 10, Syracuse 4 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
Box Score
Rochester pounded out four home runs including Daniel Palka's first two home runs of the year (see video of both below) to defeat Syracuse in game two. It was a tight game until the fifth and sixth frames when the Red Wings lit up the scoreboard for eight runs. The two through six hitters all combined for multiple hits. Paulsen homered for the second straight game.



Drew Rucinski started for Rochester and pitched well. In four innings of work, he limited the Chiefs to one run, a home run, on three hits. He struck out five and failed to walk a batter. Alex Busenitz pitched two scoreless innings and was credited with the win. Alex Wimmers had a rough final frame as he allowed three solo home runs.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 5, Mobile 4
Box Score
For the second time in three games, the Lookouts were walk-off winners against the BayBears. Edgar Corcino started the 10th inning with a single. After two fly outs, a wild pitch moved Corcino to second. With first base open, Jonathan Rodriguez walked. LaMonte Wade followed with a walk to load the bases. This left Dan Rohlfing to play the hero as he drew the walk to win the game.

Friday night's hero, Nick Gordon, got the game off to a fast start as he cranked his first home run of the year. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. He has seven hits in the team's first four games including two three-hit efforts.

Felix Jorge made his first start of the year. In four innings of work, he allowed two runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Todd Van Steensel and Nick Burdi combined for three shutout innings. Raul Fernandez struggled with control in the ninth as he allowed three walks and took the blown save. Luke Bard earned the win as he allowed one hit and struck out one.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 3
Box Score
Keaton Steele cruised through four innings before running into some trouble in the fifth. The first four batters of the frame reached base and two runs would eventually cross the plate. Randy Rosario and Michael Theofanopoulos combined to allow one earned run and struck out four over the final four frames.

The seventh inning is where the Miracle missed their opportunity. Daniel Kihle plated a run with an RBI single. With one out, Fort Myers loaded the bases. Sean Miller struck out and Nelson Molina grounded out to end the frame. Kihle and Miller both finished the game with multiple hits including their second doubles of the year.

Fort Myers scored a ninth inning run to cut the lead to one but that was the end of their luck. The Miracle begin a seven-game road trip on Monday.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 1
Box Score
Alex Schick tied his career high with seven strikeouts and pitched a career-high seven innings on the way to his first victory of the year. He struck out at least one batter in each of the first six innings. Max Cordy took over for Schick and struck out the side as part of a perfect eighth inning. Alex Robinson finished the game with a perfect frame while striking out one.

Travis Blakenhorn and Jermaine Palacios combined for six hits and four runs scored. Blankenhorn knocked his second home run, his second home run in as many days. Brandon Lopez joined the hit parade with three hits of his own. Mitchell Kranson went 2-for-4 with a double.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Alex Schick, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Hitter of the Day – Ben Paulsen, Rochester Red Wings

WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester at Buffalo (12:05 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Chattanooga vs. Mobile (6:15 CST) - RHP Paul Clemens (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Tampa (6:00 CST) - RHP Randy LeBlanc (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

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


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13 Comments

Several good candidates for hitter of the day:

Because of the double header, Palka and Paulsen both got extra plate appearances to help their cause and both hit two homers:

Palka - 3 for 6 with 2 homeruns, 4 RBIs, 2 BBs, 2 Ks

Paulsen - 3 for 6 with 2 homeruns, 4 RBIs, 2 Ks

 

While Gordon and Blankenhorn couldn't match the homerun totals, they did match the hit totals and didn't have as many plate appearances to do so.

Gordon - 3 for 4 with 1 homerun, 2 RBIs, 1 BB, 1 K

Blankenhorn - 3 for 4 with 1 homerun, 2 RBIs, 1 K

    • glunn, David HK and gagu like this

Ya'll can vote for yourself... It's always good to have lots of good options for player of the day!

 

 

    • glunn likes this
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bluechipper
Apr 09 2017 10:06 PM

Great day overall for the organization.

 

Nick Burdi back in action this season is good to see, striking out the side.

    • Steve Lein, glunn, nytwinsfan and 3 others like this
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clutterheart
Apr 10 2017 06:35 AM

I am amazed to see that Luke Bard is still pitching. Hope he can stay healthy

 

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clutterheart
Apr 10 2017 06:37 AM

Any word on Luis Arraez's injury?

    • dbminn likes this

Burdi is off to a good start.  Hildenberger seems like someone we will maybe see sooner than later.  Wimmers was probably throwing strikes to get the game over with, and got punished for it.  Bummer though; his chance at the major leagues is so tenuous right now.

 

Good for Gordon getting his homerun for the year out of the way early...or is it the first of many?  Or a few?  Or some?  Or a couple?  It's tough being a SS prospect.  A power hitting SS is the holy grail of baseball.  Gordon's going to be playing baseball at shortstop for a long time, regardless of how many home runs he hits.

    • nytwinsfan and gagu like this

 

Any word on Luis Arraez's injury?

 

Rolled his ankle, and I believe he'll go on the DL, but yesterday seemed to be a bit better.

Interesting to see Goodrum playing AS for Rochester. Lost count, is that 2 or 3 games he's started there? I understand it's early, but it would appear the Twins are focusing on him there at this point.

 

Interesting to see Goodrum playing AS for Rochester. Lost count, is that 2 or 3 games he's started there? I understand it's early, but it would appear the Twins are focusing on him there at this point.

 

That's where he wants to play. That's probably where he's best... The Red Wings don't really have one shortstop (they have a bunch of utility guys who can play there). Goodrum got bigger again, stronger, and I think he's definitely made himself into a prospect again. Good kid. 

    • Han Joelo and Mike Sixel like this
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Joe A. Preusser
Apr 10 2017 11:17 AM
RRW might be the best AAA team in a decade. That offense will beat up opposing pitching on a daily basis.
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clutterheart
Apr 10 2017 02:00 PM

 

That's where he wants to play. That's probably where he's best... The Red Wings don't really have one shortstop (they have a bunch of utility guys who can play there). Goodrum got bigger again, stronger, and I think he's definitely made himself into a prospect again. Good kid. 

 

I'd like to see him at 3B.  Seems like this is an organizational need - (who is the back up to Sano?)

So if there is an injury 3B would be his fastest path the majors.  If his power is real, and if he can play decently in the field it seems like a no-brainier for him

 

 

Between Park, Palka, and Vargas, the Twins certainly have no shortage of DH candidates that appear to be swinging the bat right now.

At some point, they have to find a way to cut the pitching staff down to 12 and get one of these guys up here. Is a Grossman is a fine stopgap, but I'd like a little more pop out of the DH spot.

I'm still really excited to see what a healthy Park can do, and think he deserves a shot. It appears he's carried his success in Spring Training over into the first week in Rochester. Is a Boshers or O'Rourke really necessary in the 40-man at this point?

That's where he wants to play. That's probably where he's best... The Red Wings don't really have one shortstop (they have a bunch of utility guys who can play there). Goodrum got bigger again, stronger, and I think he's definitely made himself into a prospect again. Good kid.


I really thought he had bulked up a bit too much to play SS daily, and was turning himself in to a potential, quality super utility player. Very interesting that he is being looked at again as a possible SS, starter OR a better sub at the spot than speculated the last year or so. I am just so intrigued by him as a super utility player with nice offensive potential. Could he be a dark horse candidate for more somewhere?

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