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Twins Minor League Report (5/6): Kirilloff Cranks, Wrong End of a No-No

The Miracle nearly had a no-hitter on Sunday and now the Kernels find themselves on the wrong side of a contest on Monday. Minor league contests are tough when it comes to strong pitching performances. How long can a starter last? How close can a club get to history?

One team was able to make that happen on Monday night.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Alex Kirilloff)
INF Ronald Torreyes placed on the temporary inactive list, retroactive to May 4.
RHP Tom Hackimer promoted from Fort Myers to Pensacola.
RHP Edwar Colina reinstated from 7-day IL for Fort Myers.

Rochester enjoyed an off-day on Monday. The club currently sits at 12-16 before starting a three-game series with the Toledo Mud Hens. Rochester is currently 6.5 games behind Lehigh Valley. The club has a sub-.500 record at home and on the road. Brent Rooker could be one of the hitters to provide a boost in Rochester. Other than that, there might continue to be some struggles for Minnesota’s Triple-A squad.

Pensacola 6, Mississippi 2
Box Score
Pensacola used a five-run seventh inning to separate themselves from the Braves. Alex Kirilloff got things started for the Blue Wahoos with a run-scoring triple in the third frame. Tanner English got the scoring started in the seventh with a two-run double. Jordan Gore follow with a run-scoring single before Kirilloff drove him in with a single of his own. Kirilloff was able to score on fielding error.

Sean Poppen started and lasted five frames. He scattered two runs on three hits, but he struggled with five walks. He was able to punch out seven batters and he lowered his season ERA to 2.84. Jeff Ames took over for Poppen. He pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out one and walked one.

Cody Stashak continued to be tremendous in relief. He pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings by striking out three. He’s allowed only one run in his last five appearances while striking out 14 in 9 1/3 innings of work.

Ft. Myers 1, Charlotte 6
Box Score
Fort Myers had won five straight games, but the club struggled to find any offense on this night. Especially when their opponent scored six runs in the first four innings. In his first appearance this season, Edwar Colina struggled. Colina allowed six earned runs on eight hits in less than five innings of work. He struck out five and walked three. He was making his first appearance since the Florida State League clinching game last September.

Rickey Ramirez did a great job in relief as he tossed 2 1/3 innings of shutout ball. He retired all seven batters he faced, and he struck out six, including the last five batters he saw. Joe Record also picked up the pitching staff with one perfect inning. He didn’t allow a hit and he struck out one. Overall, the pitching staff struck out 12 in eight innings of work.

Fort Myers nearly matched Charlotte in hits (7 to 8) but the club couldn’t come up with the big one. Jose Miranda tried his best with a 3-for-4 night including his seventh double. He had three of the club’s four hits against the opposing starter. Royce Lewis collected his second triple. Overall, the club was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and the team left eight men on base.

Cedar Rapids 0, South Bend 2
Box Score
Cedar Rapids could literally muster nothing when it came to the offensive side of the ball. The Kernels found themselves on the wrong side of a no-hitter on Monday. Cedar Rapids had one base runner the entire night. Andrew Bechtold was able to break up the perfect game with a walk. Other than that, there was little to discuss on the offensive side of the ball.

Josh Winder did all he could to keep Cedar Rapids in the game. He pitched a complete game, the first of his career, and limited the Cubs to two runs on three hits. He struck out six and walked two. Winder has pitched a minimum of five innings in every start and he has yet to surrender more than two earned runs.

TD Pitcher of the Day- Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids (8 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 6 K, 2 BB)
TD Hitter of the Day- Alex Kirilloff, Pensacola (3-5, 3B, 2 RBI, R)

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

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

Rochester vs. Toledo (5:35 CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (2-2, 4.50 ERA)
Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35 CST) – RHP Jorge Alcala (4-1, 4.71 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Charlotte (5:30 CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (3-0, 0.40 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-3, 3.43 ERA)

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

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Service Time isn't a factor at this point.


Another thing to remember is the whole Option situation too. If they call him up and send him down, that's an option year. He doesn't "need to" be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2020 season (though he'll almost certainly be up before then. Also, I would always contend that service time is less important during a Winning cycle. 

Option years generally aren't a factor with elite prospects. You're not going to use all of them anyway unless their performance/value plummets.


That said, option years are even less of an issue for Kirilloff, because according to Jeremy, Kirilloff would get 4 option years if called up in 2019, as opposed to the standard 3 option years if called up in 2020 or later:





So, you ready for the humdinger? Let’s talk briefly about Alex Kirilloff. What if he comes back, rakes like we expect him to and, due to an injury, the Twins need another outfielder? Should he be considered? The correct answer is absolutely. For one, he’s such a good hitter, he shouldn’t need three option years to begin with. But, more importantly, even if he did, he’d qualify for the fourth option. Last year was his first full professional season due to a missing a year with an elbow injury. If he’s added a year from now, he wouldn’t be afforded that luxury. So, really, it wouldn’t make sense to not add him if you think he’s ready. (Service time manipulators notwithstanding.)


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The player at AAA that’s advancing is Luke Raley (OF/1B) with a .275 average including 5 home runs. He’s been on a tear lately.


Keep in mind the International League is going through an offensive explosion right now. Raley's raw OPS of .866 there is his highest at any minor league level above rookie league so far -- but by wRC+ (his hitting relative to league), he's actually worse in 2019 (118) than he was at any level in 2017 or 2018 (129, 123, 133).


A 118 wRC+ isn't bad, but from a 24 year old corner player in AAA, with a higher BABIP and mediocre K and BB rates, it's pretty marginal.


Luke Raley is a much more likely 1st base option for this season than Kirilloff.

Perhaps, but I hope not, if Kirilloff is healthy and raking. Raley looks like a variation of Daniel Palka -- not necessarily a bad player, useful under some circumstances, but not a player you should promote ahead of an elite prospect when wins actually matter.

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