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The Rays got their man at the deadline. Arggggh!

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Front Page: Twins Minor League Report (8/22): Rochester R...

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Twins Minor League Report (6/16): Kernels Clinch Wild Card

Happy Father’s Day to all of those across Minnesota Twins Territory! For myself on Father’s Day, I’m thankful that my dad introduced me to the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and appreciating what hard work is while growing up. Also, for putting up with all of my shenanigans. I hope you’re catching some fish up at the cabin and I can’t wait to join you several more times through the summer!

In the minor leagues on Sunday afternoon there was extra baseball(!) for all those fathers bringing their families to the games in Rochester and Cedar Rapids. Those teams each won both of their games, and in the process one of them clinched a wild card behind the big bat of an outfielder. In addition, a lefty who Twins fans got familiar with not long ago struck out double-digit hitters in his outing.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Jared Akins)
To find out how all of that went down and what happened in the rest of the action in the minors on Sunday, keep reading!

TRANSACTIONS

The following transactions were made after the Kernels doubleheader (and subsequent celebration):





AWARDS

The Twins on Sunday also announced their minor league player of the week awards:
  • Willians Astudillo was named the hitter of the week after demolishing triple-A after being optioned from the bigs. He went 15-25 in six games on the week with three home runs, nine RBI, six runs scored and a 1.553 OPS.
  • For the second week in a row, Sean Poppen was named the pitcher of the week after striking out nine and allowing just one earned run on five hits in six innings on Thursday against the Columbus Clippers.

RED WINGS REPORT
Charlotte 5, Rochester 11 (completion of game suspended 6/15)
Box Score

The bats for both teams got going early in this one before it was suspended in the bottom of the third inning yesterday.

The Knights knocked around Red Wings Starter Chase De Jong for five runs on five hits in his three innings, including a solo home run. De Jong struck out four. On the flip side Rochester’s lineup responded with a six-run bottom of the inning before the rains took over with two outs and a runner still on base. Four singles were followed by consecutive doubles from Winston Sawyer and Jordany Valdespin that led to the outburst and 7-5 lead for the home team.

When play resumed on Sunday Ryan Eades was the pitcher and it was his first action since being optioned back to Triple-A. He was perfect in two innings, striking out three along the way and as he completed the fifth inning he was in line for the win. Fernando Romero then went three innings to get his team through the eighth, and he allowed two hits and walked two, but no runs along with striking out one. He threw 46 pitches with 29 of them going for strikes (63%). Preston Guilmet finished the game with a one-two-three ninth, including a strikeout to punctuate the victory.

The Red Wings offense added plenty of insurance in the bottom of the seventh as LaMonte Wade and Tomas Telis each clubbed a two-run homer, leading to the final score of 11-5.

Valdespin (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI) and Willians Astudillo (3-for-5, 2 R) paced the offense with three hits apiece. Every hitter in the lineup collected a base hit and they struck out only four times.

Charlotte 2, Rochester 3 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings)
Box Score

With the extra game being played on the day, this one went only seven innings, and it was just the right amount for the home team.

Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Red Wings put together a rally capped off by RBI single from Luis Arraez that walked it off.


Jake Cave got the rally started by leading off the inning with his fifth home run. LaMonte Wade later tied the game at two with a sacrifice fly before Arraez stepped in with two outs and a runner on third. Arraez (2-for-4, RBI) and Drew Maggi (2-for-3, 2B) each had multiple hits while the team finished 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position to capitalize on their chances when it counted as they left only five men on base for the game.

Making the start for Rochester was lefthander Devin Smeltzer, and he finished one out shy of another quality outing. In 5 2/3 he allowed two runs on five hits while cutting down 10 Knights hitters. He gave up a leadoff home run in the sixth that was followed by a double but buckled down to strike the next two men out (including #OldFriend Daniel Palka) before his day was done.

Jake Reed came on for the final out of the sixth and finished the seventh to pick up his third win of the year. He allowed no hits, walked one, and struck out one.

BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Tennessee 3, Pensacola 2
Box Score

Griffin Jax took the mound for the Blue Wahoos on Father’s Day and cruised through the first three innings. But the Smokies chipped away at him to start the fourth with three straight singles and a sac bunt led to his exit after picking up a strikeout for the second out. Jax finished 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out just one. Andro Cutura came on and walked a batter to load the bases before getting a strikeout to escape the jam. Cutura would finish the next four innings and ended up allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Anthony Vizcaya pitched a one-two-three ninth, striking out one, and gave a chance to his team in the bottom of the ninth down by just one.

Penscola closed the lead in this game to 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning as three singles, a walk, and a sac fly led to two runs scored. But that was just about all for the Blue Wahoos on the day as they combined for just six hits (all singles) and three walks. They finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left only seven men on base. First baseman Randy Cesar was 2-for-4 with a run scored while Tanner English went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Scheduled day off

The Fort Myers Miracle had the day off on Sunday as the Florida State League All- Star break comes to a close. The defending champions were the South Division first half winners, so they have already clinched a playoff spot at the end of the year to defend that title. They will open up the second half of the season against the Charlotte Stone Crabs at home on Monday.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 4 (completion of game suspended 6/15)
Box Score

Like their friends in Triple-A, the Kernels also had their game from yesterday suspended early, this one in the top of the second with Cedar Rapids up 2-0.

They had taken that lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run bomb from left fielder Jared Akins, his eighth of the year that would prove to be enough for the home team. Andrew Cabezas had started the game and walked one and struck out one. When play resumed, Kai-Wei Teng was on the mound for the Kernels. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run while scattering three hits and three walks and striking out six.

His day was done after a one-out hit-by-pitch that was followed by a single, bringing in Jose Martinez from the bullpen. He finished the sixth and the seventh, walking one and striking out one. With the score then 4-1 Cedar Rapids went to Moises Gomez to finish the game. In two innings he struck out five of the six hitters he faced, including all three in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season. In his last 10 appearances, Gomez has gone 2+ innings seven times (1 2/3 IP in two others) while allowing just two runs in 19 innings. That’s good for a 0.95 ERA while allowing only seven hits and six walks but racking up 25 K’s. His WHIP is 0.94 on the season and I’d venture he has a good chance to be moving up to Fort Myers after the Midwest League All-Star break that starts on Monday.

The Kernels offense added insurance runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings thanks to an error that allowed Gabriel Maciel to scamper home after stealing second base, and a sac fly from Andrew Bechtold that followed a triple from Akins. Bechtold and Gabe Snyder joined Akins with two hits on the day.

Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 8 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings)
Box Score

The Kernels jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a big blast from Ben Rodriguez in the bottom of the first. His three-run shot scored Gabriel Maciel who had doubled to lead off the game for the home team and Gabe Snyder who drew a walk.

Starting pitcher Austin Schulfur kept the LumberKings at bay for the first four innings. He allowed one run on a solo homer in the second inning, but otherwise allowed no other hits or walks while striking out three. Zach Neff went the next two innings, striking out three and allowing two hits. Derek Molina was summoned for the seventh inning and closed it out with a scoreless frame. He allowed one hit and struck out two.

Cedar Rapids’ lineup tacked on three more runs in the fifth thanks to an RBI triple from Maciel, a fielder’s choice ground ball from Snyder that scored another, and an RBI single from Wander Javier. In the sixth, a two-RBI double from Snyder capped off the scoring for the Kernels.

The victory clinched a first-half wild card for the Kernels, so they will join the Fort Myers Miracle in postseason action in the Twins system. Congratulations fellas!


TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer, Rochester Red Wings (5.2IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 10 K)
Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI)

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured list
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-8, RBI, 3 K (2 games)
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-7, 2 R RBI, BB, 3 K (2 games)
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery)
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-3, 2 K
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, K
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-7, R, 3 K (2 games)
#17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota via Rochester) - Did not pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) - 2-for-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K (2 games)
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break)

MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Southern League All Star Break
Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - TBD
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Midwest League All Star Break

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

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11 Comments

For the record:

 

Cedar Rapids has made the playoffs for 7 straight years.... every single year since they became affiliated with the Twins.

    • Steve Lein, glunn, PDX Twin and 4 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 16 2019 08:12 PM

Yay! I think a Jake Reed call-up will occur quite soon. He has been pretty much lights out for quite a spell.

    • Steve Lein, glunn, CUtomorrownight and 1 other like this

Arraez (not among our top prospects?) is an excellent reason to trade Schoop for a prospect or bullpen help.

    • Steve Lein likes this

Saw the pic of Jared Akins, for a sec I thought it was Byron Buxton!

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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 17 2019 05:36 AM

 

Arraez (not among our top prospects?) is an excellent reason to trade Schoop for a prospect or bullpen help.

 

No not really... If you trade someone, it's Arraez. 

    • Tomj14 and MMMordabito like this

I can't figure Romero out. He seems to be pitching fine in Rochester but can't find the plate in the bigs. I sure hope he can figure it out.

Congratulations to the Kernels.After losing five of their first six games, what a nice run to the playoffs.And what a way to take care of business on the last day of the first half.

 

As for the comments above, count me among those who see Arraez as the Twins starting second baseman next year.Could also be the lead off hitter unless the manager doesn't tinker with the success of having Kepler-Polanco up top.I don't see Schoop traded this year, doubt they will mess with this lineup's chemistry.If anyone gets traded, I suspect it will be Gordon.

 

It seems like yesterday that the Red Wings dropped to 13 games under .500.They aare now 2 games under...that is hot, hot, hot!Gotta believe that Smeltzer is in the Twins plans for 2020.Expect we will see him back in September, if not sooner, to confirm that decision.

 

Nice start, albeit short, for Jax as he builds back up from missing time.And congrats to Bechtold who is having a nice season that has gone unnoticed, at least by me.Will Kirilloff be in the Wahoos lineup later this week after the break?

    • Danchat, MN_ExPat and EPEZRider like this
What a late surge by the Kernels to make the playoffs!
    • Steve Lein likes this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 17 2019 09:00 AM

Congratulations to the Kernels. After losing five of their first six games, what a nice run to the playoffs. And what a way to take care of business on the last day of the first half.

As for the comments above, count me among those who see Arraez as the Twins starting second baseman next year. Could also be the lead off hitter unless the manager doesn't tinker with the success of having Kepler-Polanco up top. I don't see Schoop traded this year, doubt they will mess with this lineup's chemistry. If anyone gets traded, I suspect it will be Gordon.

It seems like yesterday that the Red Wings dropped to 13 games under .500. They aare now 2 games under...that is hot, hot, hot! Gotta believe that Smeltzer is in the Twins plans for 2020. Expect we will see him back in September, if not sooner, to confirm that decision.

Nice start, albeit short, for Jax as he builds back up from missing time. And congrats to Bechtold who is having a nice season that has gone unnoticed, at least by me. Will Kirilloff be in the Wahoos lineup later this week after the break?


Yeah. I'm really hoping they keep Arraez and trade someone else.
    • Danchat, rdehring and EPEZRider like this

 

I can't figure Romero out. He seems to be pitching fine in Rochester but can't find the plate in the bigs. I sure hope he can figure it out.

Romero is pitching fine in Rochester? 4.88 ERA, 6.21 FIP, 4.52 xFIP. 1.265 WHIP. Only a 23.7% K rate, which is basically IL average (22.7%). His MLB numbers seem largely in line with his AAA numbers so far in 2019.

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Twinsoholic
Jun 17 2019 09:59 AM
I agree about Bechtold. He has really improved offensively and his defense is really good. He deserves some more notice.
    • rdehring and Aerodeliria like this

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