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Twins Minor League Report (9/1): Polanco Hot; E-Twins Fall

Happy Labor Day!

Still a lot of meaningful activity going on as the minor league regular season comes to a close. The Twins were led to a victory Monday afternoon largely due to the right arm of Phil Hughes. The organization also made a number of September call-ups who will join the Twins on Tuesday.
Image courtesy of http://www.aguiluchos.com/
E-TOWN E-NOTES / APPY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Elizabethton 9, Johnson City 10
Box Score

You could call this a heartbreaker. After giving up two runs in the first and four in the third to fall into a 6-0 deficit, the E-Twins turned around with nine runs in the bottom of the sixth. They then turned right around and gave up four more runs in the top of the seventh to trail - and eventually lose - 10-9.

The bottom of the sixth was crazy. After a Pat Kelly double and Tanner English triple, Nick Gordon drew a walk that led to a pitching change. The reliever walked Trey Vavra and also threw two wild pitches, so English scored and Gordon advanced to third. With Tyler Kuresa batting, a third wild pitch scored Gordon and a passed ball allowed Vavra to reach third. An RBI groundout by Kuresa plated Vavra, the fourth run of the inning. Austin Diemer added an RBI fielder’s choice. Pat Kelly drove in two more on a single. Tanner English added a sac fly before Gordon closed the scoring with an infield hit that drove in a run.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot more that the offense was able to put together.

Sam Gibbons started and gave up six runs (four earned) in three innings. He struck out one. Randy LeBlanc came in and pitched three solid, shutout innings. LeBlanc allowed the first two runners of the seventh to reach before being relieved. Sam Clay got only one out, allowing those two runners to score and giving up two more runs of his own. Trevor Hildenberger finished the seventh and completed the game, striking out four.

Decisive Game 3 will take place tomorrow night at 6:00 pm with Appy League Pitcher of the Year Felix Jorge on the bump.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 3, Pawtucket 1
Box Score

The Red Wings closed out their 2014 season with a victory to end the season on a high note and at 77-67. Unfortunately, they were eliminated from the playoff race with yesterday’s loss but were able to play meaningful games up until the (almost) very end.

Additional good news came to some members of the Red Wings, as eight players will be promoted to the Twins tomorrow. Those players are: Ps Logan Darnell, A.J. Achter, Lester Oliveros, Michael Tonkin, SS Doug Bernier, CF Aaron Hicks and Cs Josmil Pinto and Chris Herrmann. Only Achter will be making his big-league debut.

Hicks reached safely three times in his tune-up for his return to the big leagues. He drove in a run and finished his AAA season batting .278. Eric Farris also had two hits and an RBI. Chris Colabello, who was passed over for a September call-up, drove in the other run. This likely seals his fate as a member of the Twins organization. Pedro Florimon was also passed over.

Kris Johnson made the start and only gave up one run. He allowed four hits and walked three while striking out three. Johnson picked up his 10th AAA win. In their final appearances before their promotions, A.J. Achter struck out four in two innings and picked up a hold and Lester Oliveros picked up his sixth save. He struck out one in an inning.

It was a good run that the Red Wings made and hitting coach Tim Doherty and manager Gene Glynn will both be joining the Twins staff for two weeks. The Red Wings have been very successful under their tutelage and it would be an upset if the entire staff didn’t return next year in some capacity.

ROCK CATS REVIEW
New Britain 4, New Hampshire 3 (13 innings)
Box Score

The Rock Cats have had a long season, but apparently wanted it to be a few innings longer.

Despite some rough patches, New Britain still had a record (73-69) that would have kept them in playoff contention if they were in the Western Division.
Jorge Polanco was the offensive star for the Rock Cats. He had an RBI single in the first inning, an RBI single in the eighth inning to tie the game and finally an RBI walk-off double in the bottom of the 13th. Terry Ryan said Polanco “isn’t ready” for a September call-up. I’d beg to differ.

Stephen Wickens and Matt Koch both had two-hit games to end their seasons.
Alex Wimmers made the start and went three innings, throwing 35 pitches and only allowing a single hit while striking out three. It will be interesting to see how he figures into the organization’s plans.

Edgar Ibarra, outrighted off the 40-man roster yesterday, gave up a two-run home run in his three innings pitched. Jim Fuller gave up a run in two innings. Daniel Turpen pitched three scoreless innings before Cole Johnson pitched the final two innings, picking up the win.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers - DAY OFF

The Miracle kick off the Florida State League playoffs tomorrow at Bradenton at 5:30. Game Two and Three follow as “home games” in Jet Blue Park on Wednesday and Thursday. Both games, if needed, will be at 6:05.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 1
Box Score

The Kernels ended their regular season with a victory.

Ryan Eades was remarkable. He went seven innings, allowing only three hits, a walk and one run. He struck out two and ended his season with a 5.14 ERA and 10 wins. Eades was an entirely different pitcher in the second half of the season than he was in the first half. In the first half, Eades threw 56.2 innings in 12 starts, he struck out nearly a batter per inning, but also walked about four batters per nine. His ERA was 6.51. In the second half, Eades saw his strikeout rate drop to six per nine, but also saw his walk rate drop to three batters per nine. He gave up more home runs and hit more batters, but his ERA fell to 4.13) and WHIP from 1.76 to 1.26.

Hudson Boyd struck out two in a scoreless eighth and Jake Reed recorded three groundball outs to close the game. In Reed’s 31 innings this year, he allowed only one earned run, and that game was on June 30th.

Alex Swim and J.D. Williams both had two-hit games. Swim and Max Murphy each had an RBI. The Kernels failed to have an extra-base hit.

The Kernels open the Midwest League playoffs on Wednesday against Burlington.

Twins Daily Minor League Players of the Day
Pitcher of the Day: Ryan Eades, Cedar Rapids
Hitter of the Day: Jorge Polanco, New Britain

Tuesday's Probables
Ft. Myers at Bradenton (5:30 CST) – TBD (Listen) (Game 1)
Elizabethton vs Princeton (6:00 CST) - Felix Jorge (Game 3)


----


The Twins won on Monday, so grab some discounted Papa John's pizza on your way home from school tomorrow!


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10 Comments

Great seasons for Max Murphy and Jake Reed.  It'll be interesting to see how far they can climb the ladder next year.

Jorge Polanco was the offensive star for the Rock Cats. He had an RBI single in the first inning, an RBI single in the eighth inning to tie the game and finally an RBI walk-off double in the bottom of the 13th.

 

Terry Ryan said Polanco “isn’t ready” for a September call-up. I’d beg to differ.

 

 

Here, here!  It seems a September call-up would have been the natural progression for Polanco based off of his terrific 2014.... setting him up nicely for a possible scenario of starting out in AA, then a bump to AAA in 2015, with a possible call-up before season's end next year.  I don't get calling up a guy who will be Thirty-Five Years of Age next year, particularly at the expense of a budding 21-year old, who has already shown major league savvy and aptitude....and may very well be a key building block in the rebuild.  Call up Bernier as a reward for loyal and outstanding AAAA-level service, fine, but his time in September should be mostly limited to a front row seat in the dugout. 

    • Platoon likes this

Yup, call up Polanco and let him sit on the bench for the month. Makes sense. 

 

Would people even be worrying about Polanco getting a call up if not for the two, two day stints that he got only because he was on the 40 man roster? 

 

Don't get me wrong. I think that he could be OK, and it's just a September call-up. That said, lots of other people that the Twins need to evaluate.

I would guess that Polanco would be thrilled with a call up, even if he were told up front that he might not play at all.  Wouldn't this give him a month of MLB minimum salary and an opportunity to work out with the team every day?

 

Polanco may or may not turn out to be a MLB regular.  But it seems to me that a call up would be a cost efficient way to show appreciation for his good performance so far and possibly to slightly improve his skills.

    • jokin likes this

Yup, call up Polanco and let him sit on the bench for the month. Makes sense. 

 

Would people even be worrying about Polanco getting a call up if not for the two, two day stints that he got only because he was on the 40 man roster? 

 

Don't get me wrong. I think that he could be OK, and it's just a September call-up. That said, lots of other people that the Twins need to evaluate.

 

 

Lots of other players to evaluate, but let's be honest, not much upside in most of these evaluations.  And what's wrong with Polanco getting in games 4-5 times a week at various infield positions to pick up some late-inning reps and PAs, just like in Spring Training?

 

(FWIW, I saw Polanco in Cedar Rapids in 2013 after Buxton was promoted, and he looked like the one "major leaguer" among the position players, so yes, he deserves being on the fast track).  As Glunn stated, in any capacity this month, it can only help a kid like Polanco to keep taking it all in at the highest possible level, like a sponge.

    • glunn likes this

Bringing up Polanco edges him closer to Super 2. You never need worry about that with Bernier.

    • WLFINN likes this

Polanco is probably a Top 6 Twins prospect, but that doesn't equate to September call-up. He struggled (as one would expect) in the jump to AA. he's had a very good, encouraging season.

 

They need to evaluate Santana at SS already and that's not really happening. They need to evaluate Hicks at all three OF spots. Dozier and Plouffe will still play nearly every day, and Escobar has had a pretty solid season as well and they can evaluate further if he can be an every day SS or utility guy. Most of the other guys called up will be depth. 

    • stringer bell likes this

Polanco is probably a Top 6 Twins prospect, but that doesn't equate to September call-up. He struggled (as one would expect) in the jump to AA. he's had a very good, encouraging season.

 

They need to evaluate Santana at SS already and that's not really happening. They need to evaluate Hicks at all three OF spots. Dozier and Plouffe will still play nearly every day, and Escobar has had a pretty solid season as well and they can evaluate further if he can be an every day SS or utility guy. Most of the other guys called up will be depth. 

 

 

And there's no reason that Polanco can not be additional depth at 2nd, 3rd and SS.  Dozier and Plouffe can still play at close to their regular schedules, just sneak Polanco into games in the last 3 innings or so, just like in Spring Training.  

 

His "struggles" at AA?  .281/.323/.342 in 39 games hardly suggest that he needed to be shut down for the season at a risk of losing his swagger.  IMO, he is at the age, coupled with the stage of his development, where he would best benefit by getting as many reps at possible, at the highest level available.  Once the Twins put him on the major league roster, the clock was now ticking on his career track.  Unless, we're now suggesting that he is hereby officially "blocked" by Escobar and Santana for the next 5 years.

This isn't spring training.

This isn't spring training.

 

Nope, but for irrelevant teams, it's the next closest thing.  


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