Twins Minor League Report (7/23): Shut out of Majors, Meyer Impresses
Of course, you can't be a Twins fan and expect all (or mostly all) good news... so Kohl Stewart was scratched from his start tonight with "a little shoulder soreness". If I had to guess, I'd say the smart money would be on shutting him down for the rest of the season, which is only a handful of starts anyway. My personal target was 100 innings for Stewart this year, which he was likely to eclipse, but those 19 innings might now be hard to come by.
Also of note: Taylor Rogers was placed on the 7-day DL today. Alex Wimmers joins the Rock Cats to take his place. Max Kepler was placed on the DL in Fort Myers and Rafael Valera comes over from the GCL to fill his spot.
Let's check out the game action:
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 6, Durham 5 (11 innings)
Of course a game with six runs scored in the first nine innings would have five runs scored in the two extra frames.
Fortunately, Rochester scored three of those extra inning runs and the Red Wings withheld a late charge from the Durham Bulls.
Alex Meyer was the story tonight. We all recognize the need for legitimate starting pitchers and Meyer answered the bell tonight. Six innings, five hits, no runs, eight strikeouts and, maybe most importantly, no walks. Meyer was efficient too, throwing only 86 pitchers. Could he be in line to make a start for the Twins soon? The answer may have gotten clearer when a 40-man roster spot was opened earlier Wednesday.
The bullpen did their best to give it away, though. Literally none are worth mentioning in a positive light, so be depressed and look at the box score if you're into that sort of thing.
The Red Wings needed everything they got offensively - including five Durham errors - to win this game. Doug Bernier continues to be a catalyst. His three hits, including a double and two RBI, were huge. Pedro Florimon had a multi-hit game, including a double and he scored two runs with an RBI. Wilkin Ramirez also had two hits.
The win put Rochester at 57-48 and in a dead heat with the PawSox. Two other teams sit only 1.5 games back. It's going to be a grueling August.
ROCK CATS REVIEW
New Britain 5, Altoona 8
Pat Dean struggled through four innings (94 pitches), allowing back-to-back-to-back second inning home runs and six runs total on nine hits. Jim Fuller and Alex Wimmers (AA debut) also gave up runs before Mason Melotakis (two strikeouts) and Matt Summers pitched scoreless frames.
Brandon Waring hit two solo home runs (his 10th and 11th) and Kennys Vargas hit his 16th. All three bombs were solo. Reynaldo Rodriguez did more damage with his two-run double in the 8th inning.
New Britain drops to 50-52 and continues to find themselves in a massive hole as they continue to try to make a run for a playoff berth. They are currently in third place (top two advance), but 10.5 games out of second place.
Fort Myers 9, Brevard County 2
Byron Buxton didn't play again today. He's missed five straight days with a right wrist injury that has left him day-to-day. Frustrating? You betcha.
So the Miracle must be spinning their tires with the best prospect in baseball out, right? Wrong.
Dalton Hicks homered twice and drove in four. Adam Walker homered and now has 21 and has tied former Miracle player Brock Peterson, who did it in 2006. Travis Harrison and Tyler Grimes both added doubles and two-hit games. Jorge Polanco had two hits and stole his 10th base. He also committed his 26th error of the season. He played shortstop tonight. In regard to Polanco, it wouldn't surprise me if Levi Michael sees some time at short when he returns, which could be any day now.
The Miracle are now 63-37 on the year, with a ridiculous home record of 40-16. Obviously the rosters have been full of talent the last two seasons, but at what point does Dougie Baseball get more recognition? If I'm making the call, he would be managing somewhere else next season, with any one of the three higher levels a possibility.
Cedar Rapids 7, Bowling Green 2
As mentioned above, Kohl Stewart didn't make the start. Aaron Slegers did though and pitched well. Six innings with five hits and a walk. Only two runs (one earned) and seven strikeouts.
And as much as we've liked to complain about the Bullpen Draft of '14, consider tonight: Jake Reed (two innings) and Nick Burdi (one inning) recorded eight of their nine outs by strikeout. Burdi's were both swinging strikeouts.
Offensively, all nine starters got hits. Tanner Vavra, Logan Wade and Mitch Garver (BOOM) all hit home runs. There were fourteen hits total. You can check out how each player contributed to the hit parade in the box score if you're so inclined.
Despite a sub-.500 record (48-52), the Kernels are still in the thick of the MWL playoff race. There are currently three teams with identical second-half records (17-14) that would qualify for two playoff spots. A fourth team is a half game back.
Elizabethton 5, Bluefield 2
Trailing 2-1 heading into the ninth, E-town put a four-spot on the board and won going away. Multiple fielding errors gave them a much better chance in the ninth. The ninth-inning action climaxed with the double-steal resulting in Alex Real stealing home.
Mat Batts struck out eight in five innings. He allowed two runs. C.K. Irby and Kuo Hua Lo each struck out two in two innings of work.
Nick Gordon was 0-for-4, but did score the game-tying run.
GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 1, GCL Orioles 8 (completion of yesterday's game)
Manuel Guzman tripled and Levi Michael drove in a run early in the game. Not much else happened offensively.
The pitching staff coughed up runs early and often. They also issued eight free passes. Zach Tillery was good, striking out six in 4.1 innings on Wednesday.
GCL Twins 4, GCL Orioles 6
I said not a lot of offense in the first game. Even fewer hits in game two. Three hits for the GCL Twins, though one was a home run by Joel Polanco, who drove in two runs.
Josh Guyer gave up four runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings. Trevor Hildenberger gave up two runs and recorded the last 1.2 innings. Neither pitcher struck out a single batter.
DSL DIALED IN
DSL Twins 6, DSL Reds 4
Twins Daily Minor League Players of the Day
Pitcher - Alex Meyer, Rochester
Hitter - Brandon Waring, New Britain
Rochester @ Durham (6:05 CST) – Trevor May (Listen)
Portland @ New Britain (6:05 CST) – Jose Berrios (Listen)
Ft. Myers @ Tampa (6:05 CST) – TBD (Listen)
Cedar Rapids @ Bowling Green (7:05 CST) - Lewis Thorpe (Listen)
Elizabethton @ Bluefield (6:05 CST) - Felix Jorge
GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) – TBD
The Twins stuck it to Cleveland on Wednesday so today you can get a half-price large or extra-large pizza at PapaJohns.com by using the code 'TWINSWIN'.