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Twins Minor League Report (9/8): Kernels Complete First-Round Sweep

With a 3-1 win on Thursday night, the Twins’ Class A affiliate, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, have advanced to the second round of the Midwest League’s playoffs for the third consecutive season. Cedar Rapids swept the first two games of the three-game series over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

The Kernels have qualified for the playoffs all four years that they’ve been affiliated with the Twins and all four seasons under manager Jake Mauer.
Image courtesy of Steve Buhr (photo of Eddie Del Rosario)
Eduardo Del Rosario (1-0) worked six innings on Thursday for the win, giving up just one run while striking out five T-Rats. Del Rosario surrendered five hits, all singles. He also picked off two runners, one at second base and one at first.


Second baseman Luis Arraez, who was the MWL batting champion, notched four singles in a 4-for-4 night to lead the Kernels offense. Added to his 3-for-5 night on Wednesday in game one of the series, Arreaz finished the two-game series with a .778 batting average.

Posted Image
photo by Steve Buhr (Luis Arraez)

Casey Scoggins, who went 2-for-4 with one double on Thursday, was the only other Kernels batter with more than one hit on the night.

All of the Kernels’ meaningful offense came in the bottom half of the third inning.

After falling behind Wisconsin 1-0 in the top half of the third, Scoggins shot a double down the right field line and moved to third base on a groundout.

With two outs, Arraez dropped an RBI single into left field and then scored on a Zander Wiel triple to right-center.

Travis Blankenhorn’s single to right field scored Wiel for the final run of the game.

Tom Hackimer threw 2 scoreless innings of relief, striking out four in the process. Anthony McIver came on in the ninth to nail down the save.

The sweep means the Kernels have earned a day off on Friday before starting round two of the MWL playoffs with a home game against Clinton on Saturday. Clinton, a Mariners affiliate, swept Peoria in two games, as well.

Game time Saturday is set for 4:00 pm.

Game 2 and, if necessary, a deciding game 3, of the Western Division playoffs will be played Sunday and Monday at Clinton.

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6 Comments

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JaleelWhite FanClub
Sep 09 2016 07:01 AM

The Kernels have qualified for the playoffs all four years that they’ve been affiliated with the Twins and all four seasons under manager Jake Mauer.

 

Joe who? Now who's "the other Mauer?"

 

Congrats to Jake & the Kernels!

 

Watching the affiliates make playoff runs over the past couple of seasons has been real nice considering the failure and overall crappiness of the MLB club.

Did You Know:

 

Twins affiliates finished the 2016 season with an overall record of 304-257 (.542). That was 5th in MLB behind only the Yankees, Phillies, Mariners and Cleveland this year.

 

Also, their 1,225-1,020 record from 2013-2016 (4 seasons) is third overall in baseball. 

 

While development is the most important thing in the minors, developing a culture of winning can and should be a part of that as well. 

    • birdwatcher, jokin, Monkeypaws and 1 other like this
I echo the winning sentiment. Learning how to win is part of the winning process.

Tip of the cap to Jake Mauer. Every year your top players leave, a few solid but not quite ready for advancement players remain, and a whole different group of players come in. And Jake has had a number of top prospects come through his locker room. But he's also had different team makeups, and this season the position players and offense were questionable. At least early in the year. But taking his team to the playoffs 4 straight years is quite the accomplishment.

 

I echo the winning sentiment. Learning how to win is part of the winning process.

Tip of the cap to Jake Mauer. Every year your top players leave, a few solid but not quite ready for advancement players remain, and a whole different group of players come in. And Jake has had a number of top prospects come through his locker room. But he's also had different team makeups, and this season the position players and offense were questionable. At least early in the year. But taking his team to the playoffs 4 straight years is quite the accomplishment.

 

This year has been particularly challenging from the standpoint of roster turnover. Jake and his coaches have had 55 different players wear a Kernels jersey this season.

 

You won't find many of those 55 names on anyone's "top prospect" list, either. I have no idea how this team has gotten to the second level of the MWL playoffs, but they have been a lot of fun to watch.

 

BTW, the Kernels class of 2013 (Buxton, Walker, Kepler, et al) was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, 2 games to none, making that group the LEAST successful group of Kernels, in terms of playoff finish, of the four seasons' worth of teams that Mauer has managed in Cedar Rapids.

 

 

 

    • jokin likes this

Of course, Buxton  didn't play in the playoffs that year because he had been promoted a couple of months earlier. Buxton was essentially replaced by Kepler.

Brady Anderson starting Game 1 tonight, and Sam Gibbons starting tomorrow in Game 4.


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