Twins Minor League Report (6/4): Javier Powers Kernels Comeback
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Wander Javier)To find out everything that happened in the minors on Tuesday, read on!
It was a busy day for player movement in the Minnesota Twins organization on Tuesday:
- In Rochester RHP Chase De Jong was activated from the injured list while left-handed reliever Andrew Vasquez was placed on the injured list due to a shoulder strain.
- In Double-A the Blue Wahoos added several new names to their roster, including first baseman Ryan Costello from Fort Myers, shortstop Michael Davis from Cedar Rapids, and RHP Zack Weiss from Rochester.
- In exchange for Costello, the Miracle received back center fielder Ernie De La Trinidad who had some struggles after starting the year in Double-A after just 27 games in the Florida State League last season.
- In the Midwest League the Cedar Rapids Kernels were assigned shortstop Ricky De La Torre who will be making his full season debut after spending his first two years in the rookie leagues.
Rochester 9, Syracuse 3
Rochester scratched the first run of the game across in the top of the third thanks to a Luis Arraez RBI single in his first game back in Triple-A. They later found themselves down 2-1 until the sixth when they took the lead for good after Jake Cave led off the inning with a triple. Wilin Rosario promptly drove him in with a single and would later score the go-ahead run on an error.
Starting the game on the mound for the Red Wings was RHP Chase De Jong, who was making his first appearance since May 10th. He went three innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, along with notching two strikeouts. He threw 58 pitches with 34 of them going for strikes. Zack Littell also made his first appearance back in Triple-A and picked up the win by finishing the fifth inning before his teammates took the lead back. He went two innings, walking just one and striking out three.
The Red Wings offense blew this one open with six runs in the top of the seventh as they loaded the bases with one out. Rosario scored two with a double and was followed by a 2-RBI single from Brent Rooker. Randy Cesar and Tomas Telis then added RBI singles of their own to make the final of 9-3.
Jake Reed got the defense through the seventh with two scoreless frames. He allowed three hits and struck out one. Fernando Romero then finished the final two innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk.
Cave, Rosario, Rooker, and Wade Jr., and Jordany Valdespin all had multiple hits. As a team they were 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Arreaz also drew two walks in addition to finishing 1-for-4.
BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Jacksonville 5, Pensacola 7
The Blue Wahoos got multiple hits from four hitters including Travis Blankenhorn, Jimmy Kerrigan, Jaylin Davis, and Caleb Hamilton en route to a 7-5 victory on Tuesday. They scored runs in each of the second, fifth, sixth, and eighth innings to outlast their seafood brethren in the Southern League.
Blankenhorn slugged his seventh and eighth doubles of the year while scoring two runs with a 3-for-4 night at the dish, while Kerrigan was 2-for-5 and drove in three to lead the offense. Ben Rortvedt also scored two runs and drove in another with a 1-for-2 night at the plate that included a walk.
Jorge Alcala got the start on the mound and went 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four. Of his 95 pitches, 66 went for strikes (69%) with 12 of them the swinging variety. Tom Hackimer picked up his second win of the season by finishing 1 2/3. He walked one and struck out two. Jeff Ames came on in the eighth with one out and escaped a jam with two men on base. Back out for the ninth he gave up two runs and was replaced by Sam Clay with the tying run coming up to bat. Clay shut the door with a three-pitch strikeout to pick up his fourth save.
Florida 8, Fort Myers 2
While the Miracle outhit the Fire Frogs 8-6 on the game, it was the eight free passes they surrendered that made the difference as the visitors took advantage of their pitching mistakes.
Right-hander Blayne Enlow made his second start since being promoted to the FSL, and delivered his second quality start. He lasted 6+ innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on just two hits and two walks. He struck out five and threw 63 of his 94 pitches for strikes (67%) including 12 swinging. He left the game responsible for two runners on base and his team up 2-1.
Johan Quezada came on for him and proceeded to give up two bases-loaded walks, a two-RBI single, and a run-scoring wild pitch before they could get another reliever warmed up. That was Tanner Howell who got the final out of the inning, but the damage was done. Howell then got bit by the same control bug in the eighth and allowed two more runs for Florida’s final tally. Joe Record came on in the eight and finished the final 1 1/3. He walked one and struck out two.
Royce Lewis was the only batter in the lineup with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI and his 12th double on the season. Ernie De La Trinidad contributed a double and scored a run in his first game back with the Miracle. As a team they finished 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
Cedar Rapids 8, Clinton 6
Making his full season debut for the Kernels in this one was starting pitcher Kai-Wei Teng who the Twins signed in December of 2017 out of Taiwan for a $500,000 international signing bonus. He had a solid rookie league debut in the GCL last year and skips the Appalachian League with this promotion.
It was a mixed bag for him, as the first three hitters he faced got hits, with a 2-RBI double putting Clinton up 2-0 before he recorded an out. But he got the next three to limit the damage, including his first strikeout, added two more Ks in the second, then had a one-two-three third before more trouble found him in the fourth. An error from Wander Javier cracked opened the floodgates, and another from Andrew Bechtold blew them open. The LumberKings capitalized with four runs, all unearned, to take a 6-1 lead. Teng finished 3 2/3 innings, allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. He struck out four.
Reliever Zach Neff calmed it down after that going the next 2 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out three.
That’s when the Kernels lineup also woke up. They cut the lead to 6-4 in the top of the fifth behind a two-out, three-run blast from Javier, his first home run of the season. In the eighth inning Bechtold led off with an infield single and advanced to second base on an errant throw, before Gabe Snyder drove him in to cut the lead to 6-5. Gabriel Maciel then delivered a game-tying triple before scoring the go-ahead run on an error off the bat of Gilberto Celestino.
Jose Martinez had relieved Neff to start the seventh and had a one-two-three inning on just seven pitches. Back out for the eighth he got one out before he deflected a comeback toward short and was removed from the game due to injury (since there was no update provided from the Kernels, it may have been just for precautionary reasons). Derek Molina replaced him and finished the game to pick up his sixth save. He allowed one hit and struck out two. With the win Cedar Rapids moved to above .500 for the first time this season at 29-28.
The Kernels added an insurance run in the ninth for the final score and Maciel, Javier, Snyder, and Estamy Urena finished the game with two hits. Ben Rodriguez also clubbed his fourth home run of the year.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Blayne Enlow, Fort Myers Miracle (6+ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)
Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-5, R, HR, 3 RBI)
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured list
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4
#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-5, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-3, R, 2 BB, K
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - 6+ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery)
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, BB
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-for-2, 2 R, RBI, BB
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, R, 2 K
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - W, 2.0 IP, BB, 3 K
#18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) - 2-for-3, R, BB, K
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Syracuse (9:35AM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-3, 6.27 ERA)
Jacksonville @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - TBD
Florida @ Fort Myers (12:00PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 4.24 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfur (4-2, 2.95 ERA)
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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