Twins Minor League Report (5/19): Slegers Spins Another Gem, Thorpe Strong In Return
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Aaron Slegers)RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 2, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 1
Aaron Slegers spun another gem, pitching into the ninth inning for the first time this season. After giving up one run on five hits over 8.1 innings, Slegers’ ERA is down to 3.83 in his first year with the Red Wings. Over seven starts he’s gone six or more innings while giving up one run or fewer in four of them. Slegers only struck out two batters, but it was a particularly impressive performance considering the opponent.
The 6-10 right-hander carried a shutout into the ninth, but gave up a ground rule double on his first pitch of the inning. That runner would come around to score, and Drew Rucinski came in to record the final two outs for his first save of the season.
Zack Granite hit his first Triple A home run in the fourth inning. He’s now hitting .300/.327/.420 with six stolen bases in 12 games for Rochester.
Matt Hague scored Daniel Palka on a sac fly in the seventh. ByungHo Park and J.B. Shuck both had doubles.
Biloxi 4, Chattanooga 0
Nick Burdi continued his impressive 2017 with a 1-2-3 inning in which he consistently hit 99 mph on the radar gun. In 15.2 innings, he’s only given up one run and with one more strikeout tonight is up to an even 20 Ks.
The Lookouts could only muster seven baserunners on the evening, but Ryan Strausborger was on three times. The 29-year-old outfielder was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. Nick Gordon was credited with a throwing error, but it really probably should have gone to first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez as a missed catch.
Ryan Eades made his second start of the season and gave up three runs over five innings while striking out five. Randy Rosario gave up an unearned run over two innings. Over 22.1 innings for Chattanooga, Rosario has a 2.01 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
Fort Myers 7, Bradenton 1
Lewis Thorpe, making his first start since Aug. 31, 2014 and his first ever appearance in the Florida State League, had an encouraging debut. The Aussie hit 94 mph and struck out three batters over four innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk to help lead the Miracle to their sixth straight win.
As expected, the Twins appear to be playing it safe with the 21-year-old lefty. He threw just 49 pitches, but just having him back on the mound at all is exciting. Thorpe had a 2.96 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 11.2 K/9 between 2013 and ‘14.
It was also a special day for Rafael Valera. In his 264th career game, the native of Venezuela finally hit his first professional home run. Tanner English, in his fifth game since being sent down from Double A, went 2-for-3 with three RBI, scored a run and was hit by a pitch. Chris Paul also reached in three of his plate appearances, tallying a double, a walk and an HBP.
Nelson Molina had a pair of hits and drove in two and Max Murphy drew a couple walks and stole his sixth base. Anthony McIver, Alex Muren and Nick Anderson combined to throw five shutout innings out of the bullpen.
Wisconsin 9, Cedar Rapids 2
Jermaine Palacios hit his fifth home run of the season and Clark Beeker pitched seven strong innings, but an ugly night from reliever Max Cordy put this one out of reach. Christian Cavaness was the only Kernels to reach safely twice, recording a single and Cedar Rapids’ only walk of the evening.
Beeker gave up a pair of homers, but limited the Timber Rattlers to three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. A 33rd-round pick from last year’s draft, Beeker now has a 2.76 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and has pitched at least six innings in six of his seven starts.
Cordy walked three batters, hit two more and threw a wild pitch. Wisconsin scored six runs while he was on the mound (four earned) and he recorded just one out. Andrew Vasquez came in and struck out the only two batters he faced.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (carried a shutout into the ninth inning)
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Valera (hit a go-ahead homer, the first of his professional career after over 264 games played)
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester at Scranton/WB, 3:05 CT, Nick Tepesch (2.29 ERA, 1.53 WHIP)
Chattanooga at Biloxi, 6:35 CT, Stephen Gonsalves (first start of season)
Fort Myers vs. Bradenton, 5:05 CT, Dereck Rodriguez (2.80 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
Cedar Rapids at Wisconsin, 6:35 CT, Eduardo Del Rosario (5.29 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games.