Twins Minor League Report (8/15): Benninghoff's Long-Awaited Debut
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Tyler Benninghoff)Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Tuesday.
Let’s start with the transactions of the day:
- RHP Clark Beeker - he of the 32.2 inning scoreless streak - has been promoted from Cedar Rapids to the Ft. Myers Miracle. RHP Eduardo Del Rosario is moving back to the Kernels from the Miracle.
- Keaton Steele was placed on the Miracle’s disabled list. Cody Stashak started his rehab assignment in the GCL.
Rochester 6, Columbus 2
With Hector Santiago’s rehab put on hold, Stephen Gonsalves made the start for Rochester on his regular rest. He again performed very well. The southpaw went six innings and gave up just one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out eight. The run he gave up was on a double off the bat of the rehabbing Lonnie Chisenhall. Gonsalves struck out the side in both the second and fifth innings. With the help of the bullpen and the bats, Gonsalves recorded his first AAA win.
Could his next start be in Chicago as a member of the big league club? Stay tuned.
Drew Rucinski gave up a run on three hits in the seventh. John Curtiss pitched a perfect eighth. Michael Tonkin was given the ninth inning and finished off the win with a scoreless inning.
A lot of guys contributed to the offense. Matt Hague led the way. He went 3-5 with three RBI. Mitch Garver went 2-4 and his 28th double drove in a run. Kennys Vargas went 2-4, was intentionally walked, and contributed his ninth homer. JB Shuck went 2-3 with his 23rd double and a sacrifice. Daniel Palka was 2-5. Niko Goodrum was 1-2 with two walks and a very, very long home run. It was his 11th of the season.
Zack Granite went 1-3 before he left the game in the fifth inning. He is day-to-day.
The Lookouts had an off-day on Tuesday before starting a five-game series against Tennessee on Wednesday.
Ft. Myers , Lakeland
Rain won the day again in Florida and this game was postponed. The two teams will play two seven-inning games on Wednesday.
Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 2
The Kernels got ahead early and were able to hold it thanks to some strong pitching. Lefty Bryan Sammons started and gave up two runs on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out six. Ryan Mason provided two scoreless innings before Colton Davis and Hector Lujan each threw a scoreless frame. For Lujan, who struck out two, it was his 13th save of the season.
Caleb Hamilton provided the big blast in the first inning when he hit his ninth home run. Trey Cabbage went 2-4 with the seventh RBI. Aaron Whitefield knocked in a run with his sixth triple. He was 2-4 with a walk. He also stole his 29th base.
Royce Lewis was given a game off for the first time since joining the Kernels. Tommy Watkins told Steve Buhr the following for an article which appeared in the Star Tribune.
“‘I think the plan is to play him a couple of days, then give him a day or two (off),’ Watkins said. ‘Definitely not try to overload him with swinging every day. He’s coming from a high school season, first taste of pro ball, so we’ll ease him in.’”
Elizabethton 4, Johnson City 11
It was a rare afternoon games for the E-Twins, particularly leading up to a rare off day for the team on Wednesday (they have three off days all season). Things didn’t exactly go well for the Twins.
Edwar Colina started. He gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in just 3.2 innings. He struck out three. Juan Gamez came on next and the converted catcher struggled with his control. In two innings, he gave up five runs on one hit and five walks. He struck out one. Rickey Ramirez gave up two runs on three hits and a walk over the final 2.1 innings. He struck out two.
The Twins had seven hits. Ariel Montesino went 1-2 with two walks and his fourth double. He drove in two runs. Gorge Munoz went 2-3 and was hit by a pitch.
GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 1, GCL Rays 4
Tyler Benninghoff was the Twins 11th-round pick last June out of high school. He fell to the 11th round because he wasn’t able to pitch much his senior year. The Twins signed him, for well over slot, and he immediately underwent Tommy John surgery. It was a gradual recovery, but on Tuesday, about 14 months following surgery, Benninghoff returned to a game mound. It went well. He threw one inning. He walked one and he struck out one. He was able to do what he wanted.
Benninghoff told Twins Daily, “I had one inning or 20 pitches today whichever came first, but for me I wanted to fill up the zone and get out of the inning in less than 20 pitches.”
Tyler Wells came on next and went the next five innings. He gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits, a walk and and a hit batter. He struck out four. Cody Stashak pitched the final two innings. He gave up one hit and hit a batter, but he did not allow a run. He struck out two batters.
There wasn’t much offense for the Twins either. Shane Kennedy, also rehabbing, went 1-2 with two walks and a stolen base. Ben Rodriguez drove in the team’s lone run with his second home run. Emmanuel Morel was 1-4 with his ninth double.
The big story of the game was the return (is it a return if it’s also his first pro appearance). It meant a lot to the right-hander, an end to one phase and a start to another. “It was a weight lifted of my shoulder being able to throw my first inning and get that under my belt. Now instead of focusing on rehab, I can focus on furthering my baseball career with the Twins.”
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Stephen Gonsalves, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Aaron Whitefield, Cedar Rapids Kernels
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Columbus (6:05 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut
Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:00 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart
Lakeland @ Ft. Myers (DH at 4:00 CST) - LHP Anthony McIver, RHP Randy LeBlanc
Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson
Elizabethton - No Game Scheduled
GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (9:00 CST) - TBD
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.