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Twins Minor League Report (5/21): Kernels Win Late, Gordon Homers

The Cedar Rapids Kernels won a one-run ball game in the ninth inning on Monday night. To be honest, the three other games in the Minnesota Twins minor leagues on this night were not pretty. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some very noteworthy performances and transactions.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Nick Gordon)
Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.

TRANSACTIONS
  • The Twins announced that Ervin Santana was not able to make his scheduled start in Extended Spring Training on Monday because of rain. With more precipitation in the Ft. Myers forecast the next couple of days, Santana will head to Chattanooga where he will make a start on Wednesday.
  • Following the Twins 4-2 win against the Tigers, the Twins announced that they will DFA RHP Phil Hughes. A corresponding move will be made on Tuesday.
  • The Lookouts announced that RHP Randy LeBlanc has been placed on the disabled list with a flexor mass strain. He left his start on Sunday in the fourth inning. RH RP Zack Jones comes off of the DL.
  • RH RP Logan Lombana was placed on the DL by the Miracle. LH RP Alex Robinson returns from the DL.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 2, Lehigh Valley 6
Box Score

Dietrich Enns had a rough start and the IronPigs powered past the Red Wings in this game. In just 3 2/3 innings, Enns gave up five runs on six hits (three HRs) and three walks. He struck out three. DJ Baxendale came on and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up a hit, walked two and struck out two. Luke Bard gave up a solo homer in his inning. He struck out two. Jake Reed then struck out two in a scoreless inning.

Nick Buss was the lone Red Wings hitter with a multi-hit game. He went 2-for-4. Wynston Sawyer had two walks in the game. Kennys Vargas had a single and a walk. He also had one of the two RBIs for the team. Miguel Sano went 1-for-4 in the game and is now 1-for-8 in his three rehab games.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 7, Biloxi 12
Box Score

The Lookouts offense came up strong, but when the other team still has more walks that your team has hits, it is hard to win.

Anthony Marzi started. He started with three scoreless innings, but he was tagged with seven runs in the fourth frame. He went 3 2/3 innings and gave up four hits and five walks. Casey Crosby came on. He gave up two runs on two hits and four walks, and he recorded just two outs. Tyler Jay came on and got the next five outs. He gave up a run on two hits. Williams Ramirez gave up two runs on one hit and two walks before being replaced by Zack Jones who got the final five outs.

The Lookouts got plenty of offense for most nights. They scored their seven runs on 12 hits and added two walks. Nick Gordon went 2-for-5 with his fifth home run of the year. Zander Wiel went 2-for-5 with his 12th double and drove in two runs. Brian Navarreto and Edgar Corcino each went 2-for-5 with a double. Tanner English also had two hits. Brent Rooker drove in a run with his ninth double.


MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 0, Bradenton 9
Box Score

It was just a rough game all around for the Miracle on Monday night. They didn’t get much quality pitching. Their defense didn’t help, and well, they got shut out, so the bats didn’t exactly provide assistance on this night.

Clark Beeker started and gave up three runs on five hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out three. Kevin Marnon came on and gave up four unearned runs on three hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Hector Lujan got the final seven outs, but he gave up two runs (one earned) on one hit and two walks. Of the nine runs allowed, just four were earned thanks to three Miracle errors.

Brandon Lopez led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with his second double. Luis Arraez added his fifth double. Lewin Diaz hit his third double.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 3, Kane County 2
Box Score

Edwar Colina has had a solid season for the Kernels so far, but he has fought his control quite a bit. On this night, he had his best start. The right-hander gave up just one run on five hits over five innings. He walked just one while striking out seven batters. Randy Dobnak came out of the bullpen and provided two shutout innings. Jared Finkel gave up a home run in the eighth that tied the game at two, but given the lead back, he worked out of a mess in the ninth to end the game.

The Kernels grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third inning when Royce Lewis hit a sacrifice fly which was followed by an RBI single from Alex Kirilloff. In the top of the ninth, it was Ben Rodriguez who came up with a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels a lead they held on to. Jose Miranda and Trey Cabbage each had a single and a walk. The Kernels had just seven hits in the game.


STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts (2-5, HR)
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Edwar Colina, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7K)


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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, RBI, K, SF
#3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 2-5, HR(5), R, RBI, K
#5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, RBI, K
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, BB, 2B(9), R, RBI, K
#13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(3)
#16 - Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4
#17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, K
#19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K


TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - RHP Trevor May (0-1, 2.25 ERA)
Chattanooga - No Game Scheduled.
St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (10:00 am CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (1-2, 2.70 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (12:00 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-2, 2.63 ERA)


Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s full schedule of games, or ask any questions you may have.


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16 Comments

How much longer do Lewis and Kirilloff need to blast in low A? I think age is insignificant. Would the Miracle really miss trotting out Foster and Lopez? The only way one really knows if they are ready is to let them have a shot. I don't think either one of them are too fragile to have it mess with them, and would relish the opportunity.

    • gunnarthor, Dman, DocBauer and 2 others like this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
May 22 2018 05:09 AM

 

How much longer do Lewis and Kirilloff need to blast in low A? I think age is insignificant. Would the Miracle really miss trotting out Foster and Lopez? The only way one really knows if they are ready is to let them have a shot. I don't think either one of them are too fragile to have it mess with them, and would relish the opportunity.

 

Probably closer to the all star break/post draft. That tends to be how teams do it... but yeah, I think both of these guys will get kicked upstairs. 

    • ashburyjohn, howieramone2, caninatl04 and 1 other like this

A bunch of players are playing well and looking like they deserve looks at the next level. Lewis, Kirilloff, and Gordon are the obvious stars playing well, but you could cite Wade and a few pitchers too. Could be an interesting summer of promotions.

    • howieramone2 and caninatl04 like this

 

How much longer do Lewis and Kirilloff need to blast in low A? I think age is insignificant. Would the Miracle really miss trotting out Foster and Lopez? The only way one really knows if they are ready is to let them have a shot. I don't think either one of them are too fragile to have it mess with them, and would relish the opportunity.

 

It's sad to think that Kirilloff might have accomplished the A-level dual progression last year and instead in 2018 at the tender age of 20 be among the terrific trio in Chattanooga knocking on the MLB door of the offensively-challenged Twins roster.

    • h2oface, bluechipper, DocBauer and 1 other like this

 

How much longer do Lewis and Kirilloff need to blast in low A? I think age is insignificant. Would the Miracle really miss trotting out Foster and Lopez? The only way one really knows if they are ready is to let them have a shot. I don't think either one of them are too fragile to have it mess with them, and would relish the opportunity.

 

Lewis is currently in a 6-36 (.167) slump over his last 10 games. That's why you can't just call up guys who are hitting .380 four weeks into the season. There are ebbs and flows throughout the course of a long season. Obviously the 10-game slump isn't a big deal. But at this point, there doesn't need to be a rush. Kirilloff's been terrific, but after missing a full year, there's nothing wrong with letting him experience some prolonged success, rebuild his confidence and all that kind of stuff.

 

Lewis and Kirilloff are both very strong mentally and physically. They'll be fine in Ft. Myers. But whether they move up in a week or in three weeks is pretty insignificant in the big picture. Also, frankly, there's nothing wrong with letting the two of them help the Kernels to a playoff berth and then moving up. Again, one week versus three weeks just isn't a big deal, but it's a nice thing for those minor leaguers that will be there all season. 

    • Carole Keller, ashburyjohn, gunnarthor and 8 others like this

Gordon with another home run. The fangraphs writer noted that Gordon was working on his swing to get more out of his raw power into games. So far, so good.

    • caninatl04 likes this
Photo
ashburyjohn
May 22 2018 09:42 AM

Probably closer to the all star break/post draft. That tends to be how teams do it... but yeah, I think both of these guys will get kicked upstairs. 

Teams knew about Small Sample Size before it was cool. :) Only they call it "let's see how he does when facing the same opponents for a second series," and other verbiage.

 

/ edit - ninja'd somewhat by Seth, but oh well

It's a young man's game more and more. I hope the Twins embrace that. We don't have much data yet on this front office, but Wade and Gordon in AA.... Versus Romero up.

Gordon called up to Rochester

    • bluechipper, howieramone2 and caninatl04 like this

Gordon called up to Rochester


Nice!
    • Tomj14 likes this

 

Gordon called up to Rochester

 

Great news!

    • Tomj14 likes this

 

It's a young man's game more and more. I hope the Twins embrace that. We don't have much data yet on this front office, but Wade and Gordon in AA.... Versus Romero up.

 

I have to assume that Wade would be moving up with Gordon today if not for the shoulder injury. 

    • Tomj14 likes this

I have to assume that Wade would be moving up with Gordon today if not for the shoulder injury.


Agreed, but even you wondered why he started in AA this year.

I am surprised they are not waiting for July, very encouraged, really.
I agree with the above posters who find it exciting when prospects are promoted, but it is only May 22. I kind of like the end of may as the 1/3rd mark for evaluations to be made and promotions / demotions to be instituted.
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RaymondLuxuryYacht
May 22 2018 05:31 PM

Fastest to the big league wins.Nothing else matters but quick promotions.

 

Agreed, but even you wondered why he started in AA this year.

I am surprised they are not waiting for July, very encouraged, really.

 

Wade had the approach,but if there reason was for him to develop some in-game home run power, he's been successful, and that's why I think he'll be moved up soon. Really, same with Gordon. I'm sure they're looking at his defense daily and the pop in his bat, maybe how he battles against lefties. All those things we talked about in the offseason. 


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