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Article: Would You Rather: Darvish or a Cobb/Lynn Combo?

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Please pass on Yu Darvish Twins

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Article: Twelve's A Crowd: Twins Are Rolling In Relief

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Minnesota's signing of righty reliever Addison Reed to a two-year, $16.25 million contract, which became official on Monday, was stunning...
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Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher Of The Month - July 2017

Yesterday, Jonathan Rodriguez was named our Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month. Today, we’ll turn to the pitching, starting with the starters. There were some strong performances at every level, from the rookie leagues to AAA. One starting pitcher gave up one run in the entire month. Another won all of his starts. There are players new to the organization and players who are new to professional baseball. There are 20 year olds and 27 year olds and everything in between. You’ll want to keep reading to find out more.
Image courtesy of Joe Territo/Rochester Red Wings
Before we get to our Top 6 starting pitchers for the month of July, here is a list of a others who deserve to be recognized for a solid month.


HONORABLE MENTION
  • Edwar Colina - Elizabethton - 5 GS, 24.2 IP, 1-2, 2.19 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 20 H, 10 BB, 29 K
  • Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga - 6 GS, 32.2 IP, 3-0, 3.31 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 32 H, 11 BB, 36 K
  • Brusdar Graterol - GCL/Elizabethton - 5 G, 3 GS, 19.1 IP, 2-0, 2.33 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 13 H, 7 BB, 23 K.
  • David Hurlbut - Rochester - 5 G, 4 GS, 29.2 IP, 3-1, 3.03 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 29 H, 4 BB, 24 K.
  • Griffin Jax - Elizabethton/Cedar Rapids - 4 GS, 26.1 IP, 2-1, 2.39 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 13 K.
  • Bryan Sammons - Elizabethton - 5 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 11 H, 6 BB, 25 K.
THE TOP SIX STARTING PITCHERS



#6 - Fernando Romero - Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 GS, 3-1, 1.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 27.0 IP, 22 H, 11 BB, 36 K


Romero was the Twins Daily #1 Twins Prospect coming into the season. He’s pitched like it through most of the season. Over the last six starts, he has been limited to five innings per start, and as you can see from the July numbers, he’s been very good. His fastball is consistently 96-99 mph. He’s got a good, sharp slider. His changeup is his pitch that needs work, but reports are that it continues to improve. It will be interesting to see how he is used the rest of this season.


July was a good month for Romero, but he’s been good all year. He’s 11-6 with a 2.60 ERA with 115 strikeouts in 110.2 innings.


#5 - Clark Beeker - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 3-1, 0.84 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 32.0 IP, 22 H, 3 BB, 23 K

Beeker has been a regular in these monthly reports this season. He was the Twins 33rd-round pick in 2016 out of Davidson. In July, batters hit just .190/.230/.241 (.471) off of him. An ERA under 1.00. A WHIP under 1.00. You can’t ask a starter to do that, but Beeker’s been doing it while still providing a lot of innings. Last week, he tossed a complete game shutout. On the year, Beeker is now 11-3 with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He’s got tremendous control, having walked just 14 batters in 113 innings.


#4 - Eduardo Del Rosario - Cedar Rapids/Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 1-2, 1.33 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 27.0 IP, 15 H, 5 BB, 17 K


Del Rosario was the Kernels Opening Day starter, and he was their first starter coming back after the All-Star break. At the end of July, he was finally promoted to the Miracle. In his final start of July, his first start with the Miracle, he gave up just an unearned run and one hit over eight innings. For the full month, opponents hit just .165/.232/.275 (.507) against him. He’s not a big guy, but he’s wiry, and throws with a whip-like action. On the season, he is now 7-6 with a 4.39 ERA. He’s got 90 strikeouts in 98.1 innings.


#3 - Tim Melville - Rochester Red Wings - 5 GS, 1-3, 1.89 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 33.1 IP, 25 H, 8 BB, 28 K

Melville was the Royals fourth-round pick in 2008 out of high school in Missouri. He was very highly-touted, but he struggled right away. He stayed in the Royals organization through the 2014 season. He pitched for Detroit’s AAA affiliate in 2015. He went to the Reds in 2016 and received a three-game, 11 inning big league debut. Following the season, he was not signed by anyone. So he went to the independent Atlanta League where he was a teammate for Twins legend Lew Ford with the Long Island Ducks.


The Twins came calling, and since joining the Red Wings, Melville has been quite good. In nine games (eight starts), he is 3-3 with a 2.72 ERA. In July, batters hit just .205/.263/.279 (.542) off of him. Reports indicate that the still-just-27-year-old is sitting between 93 and 96 with his fastball, and he’s got a good breaking ball too. He might be a guy given an opportunity if the front office doesn’t believe that the AA guys are ready yet this year.


#2- Charlie Barnes - Elizabethton Twins - 6 G, 5 GS, 2-0, 0.37 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 24.1 IP, 17 H, 8 BB, 26 K


I mean, what can Charlie Barnes possibly do in his second month of pro ball after a debut like this. He gave up two runs in 2.1 innings in his pro debut (which came in June). In his next start, he gave up one run, the only run he gave up in 24.1 innings over the whole month. Opponents hit just .183/.255/.215 (.470) off him. Drafted in the fourth round out of Clemson this year, Barnes was touted as a changeup artist. It was no surprise that he was quickly promoted to Cedar Rapids where he threw four shutout innings to keep the streak going.



And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is:

Rochester Red Wings - RHP Aaron Slegers - 5 GS, 5-0, 0.99 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 36.1 IP, 26 H, 4 BB, 22 K

For the second month this season, Aaron Slegers is our choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month. He was also the choice in May. Slegers made five starts in July and won all five of them. He gave up three runs in the first start. Over the last four starts, he gave up one run in 29.2 innings. Opponents hit just .202/.226/.240 (.466) off of him in July.


The 24-year-old was the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2014 out of Indiana. He wasn’t protected from the Rule 5 draft which made a lot of people in the organization nervous. When he wasn’t selected, he received an invitation to big league camp. He made a strong impression on the coaches and has taken some of the things he learned and put them to use this season.

His five straight wins in July extends his streak to eight straight starts with a win. In that stretch, he is 8-0 with a 1.73 ERA. Overall on the season, Slegers has made 19 starts. He is 12-4 with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. In 118 innings, he has walked just 25 and struck out just 85 (6.5 K/9).


Slegers isn’t a flame thrower. Opponents get hits off of him. But what he does is not hurt himself with walks, and he keeps the ball in the yard. His fastball sits in the low 90s, but he’s been known to touch 94 and even 95 at times. He’s got a good pitch mix and knows how to pitch. He should gets an opportunity to make starts for the Twins before season’s end.


Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Rochester starter Aaron Slegers.


Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like. It wasn’t as easy a decision as you might think. There were several solid starters in July, and several really stood out.

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21 Comments

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Comrade Bork
Aug 04 2017 06:05 AM
Good stuff, I haven't seen Slegers name come up at all for a call up or even a roster spot next season. What are the chances he can contribute next year?
    • glunn likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Aug 04 2017 06:44 AM

 

Good stuff, I haven't seen Slegers name come up at all for a call up or even a roster spot next season. What are the chances he can contribute next year?

 

I'm a bit surprised he doesn't get a tryout this season. Given his results in AAA, you'd think he would be a pretty sure thing to be taken in Rule V.Given the current needs, he strikes me as a guy worth trying out.

    • glunn and MN_ExPat like this

Nice to see Barnes' cumulative stats.  I'd been paying attention to him on a game by game basis, and he seemed to be looking good not great.  Seen this way, I can see where I was wrong.

 

It would be cool if Melville could turn into something special.  Or just into a good MLB reliever.  I like the resilient guys.

    • glunn, brvama, bluechipper and 1 other like this

 

I'm a bit surprised he doesn't get a tryout this season. Given his results in AAA, you'd think he would be a pretty sure thing to be taken in Rule V.Given the current needs, he strikes me as a guy worth trying out.

I don't know why you'd expect Slegers to be taken in Rule 5.  He doesn't fit the profile of most Rule 5 selections -- seems a bit like the recently returned Haley, who was a bit of an odd duck among Rule 5 picks himself.  Also, while he's on a nice run right now, his overall stats at AAA are pretty much in line with his AA stats from last year, when Slegers was first eligible for Rule 5.  I don't think the reason he went unselected last winter was his lack of AAA experience -- and the same questions about his role, upside, and MLB transition ability remain.

    • glunn likes this

 

I don't know why you'd expect Slegers to be taken in Rule 5.  He doesn't fit the profile of most Rule 5 selections -- seems a bit like the recently returned Haley, who was a bit of an odd duck among Rule 5 picks himself.  Also, while he's on a nice run right now, his overall stats at AAA are pretty much in line with his AA stats from last year, when Slegers was first eligible for Rule 5.  I don't think the reason he went unselected last winter was his lack of AAA experience -- and the same questions about his role, upside, and MLB transition ability remain.

Maybe... he's also a 24 year old who's had a lot of success in AAA now, as a starter. You don't find many starters in the Rule 5. A team like San Diego could take him and put him right into their rotation next year and see what happens.

 

Obviously he's more of a back-of-the-rotation ceiling guy, but that's not a bad pitcher. Maybe a long-relief role. He's a borderline add, but he'd have to be considered.

    • glunn and MN_ExPat like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Aug 04 2017 08:57 AM

 

I don't know why you'd expect Slegers to be taken in Rule 5.  He doesn't fit the profile of most Rule 5 selections -- seems a bit like the recently returned Haley, who was a bit of an odd duck among Rule 5 picks himself.  Also, while he's on a nice run right now, his overall stats at AAA are pretty much in line with his AA stats from last year, when Slegers was first eligible for Rule 5.  I don't think the reason he went unselected last winter was his lack of AAA experience -- and the same questions about his role, upside, and MLB transition ability remain.

 

Seems like an easy option to stash in your pen for a year. That's my thought. I agree that Slegers isn't a special prospect by any means, by shows potential on occasion and has been doing well of late. He's certainly earned a look. I would think that a pitching needy team would give him that.

    • glunn likes this
Seth is there an error in Stephen Gonsalves stats? I calculate,his WHIP at .745. ( 6 GS, 32.2 IP, 3-0, 3.31 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 14 H, 11 BB, 36 K )

I'd like to see Slegers and Melville start a few games to see what they have. They could be some decent depth or maybe even good place holders for the AA prospects.
    • glunn likes this

 

Seth is there an error in Stephen Gonsalves stats? I calculate,his WHIP at .745. ( 6 GS, 32.2 IP, 3-0, 3.31 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 14 H, 11 BB, 36 K )

I'd like to see Slegers and Melville start a few games to see what they have. They could be some decent depth or maybe even good place holders for the AA prospects.

 

The error was mine... he gave up 14 runs... but he gave up 32 hits. I've edited this.

    • glunn and brvama like this
You had me pulling my hair out this morning, Seth. And there is a lot less than you would remember.

I know Slegers was eligible for the Rule 5 last year. Yet, you mentioned in your article that he was drafted in 2014. That would mean he wouldn't be eligible until this year. Went back and double checked, he was drafted in 2013!

Have a good one, Seth. And thanks for all you do for us old minor league guys.
    • glunn likes this

 

Seems like an easy option to stash in your pen for a year. That's my thought.

Just like Haley was an easy stash in our pen this year? :)

    • glunn, Mike Sixel and diehardtwinsfan like this

 

Maybe... he's also a 24 year old who's had a lot of success in AAA now, as a starter. You don't find many starters in the Rule 5. A team like San Diego could take him and put him right into their rotation next year and see what happens.

 

Obviously he's more of a back-of-the-rotation ceiling guy, but that's not a bad pitcher. Maybe a long-relief role. He's a borderline add, but he'd have to be considered.

The post I was responding to said he was "pretty close to a sure thing" to be selected in Rule 5. Sounds like you'd disagree more with that post than mine.

 

Look at it this way, Seth -- has your prospect ranking of Slegers changed significantly since last winter?  If not, I don't know why you'd expect MLB teams to have significantly changed their evaluation of him since then.

    • glunn and Taildragger8791 like this

Slegers apparently isn't good enough to get a spot start for a team with one of the 2-3 worst SP staffs in baseball......

 

a: how good is he

b: if they won't give him a shot this year, why do we care if they lose him?

    • glunn, Oxtung, Major Leauge Ready and 1 other like this
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Tommygun921
Aug 04 2017 12:20 PM
The frustrating part for me as a fan reading this. Is that guys like Sledgers and Melville haven't been given an opportunity yet. I haven't seen either of these guys pitch at all but I can't seem to see the benefit of pitching Gibson, Colon, Gee, Santiago, ect over giving these guys a chance. It reminds way to much of the Anthony Slama treatment. When they just knew he didn't have the stuff to make it in the majors but never gave him an honest chance. An honest chance where he could relax and not think he was throwing every pitch like his life depended on it. I feel like this is how these guys are being treated as well. Front office just believes they don't have the stuff to compete at the MLB level. Problem is we may never know unless they're given an honest chance.
    • IaFan1 likes this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 04 2017 12:39 PM
Lot of good SP performances this month. That's nice to see. Hope they keep it up in August.
    • glunn and brvama like this

And from the ignored Twins affiliate down South:

 

Michael Montero: 5 GS, 2.59 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 24-1/3 IP, 9 BB, 27K

Interesting to note that 5 of the starters mentioned above pitched at some point for Elizabethton, although all 3 of he college guys have been move to the Cedar Rapid roster.

I agree that ledger so hound have been given a chance his year. He should have taken the starts from Wilk and even Turley. Colon has pitched well for the Twins, but he is not going to be here next year. Give the innings to Seldgers and see what he can do.
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clutterheart
Aug 05 2017 11:06 AM
Good call on Montero. I've been watching his stat line too.
17 year olds who strike out a guy an inning are worth watching - I don't care what league they are in.
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ashburyjohn
Aug 05 2017 01:14 PM

The frustrating part for me as a fan reading this. Is that guys like Sledgers

I agree that ledger so hound have been given a chance his year. He should have taken the starts from Wilk and even Turley. Colon has pitched well for the Twins, but he is not going to be here next year. Give the innings to Seldgers and see what he can do.

enter_01.jpg

 

These are all interesting and creative, but I looked it up and the name is spelled Slegers. :)

 

(He's my Adopt-A-Prospect, and I gotta stick up for him.) :)

    • clutterheart and 70charger like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Aug 05 2017 05:09 PM

Doesn't it seem likely that Slegers will get a few starts in September? One would assume that Colon will be an August trade candidate.  Santana is on pace for about 210 innings (145 to date)  so he will need a break when and if the team falls out of the race. The FO needs to see if he can translate to the MLB so they can decide if they need to protect him.  I keep seeing comments that his pitches aren't MLB caliber but I think we need to give him a shot and see if that's correct.  

Doesn't it seem likely that Slegers will get a few starts in September? One would assume that Colon will be an August trade candidate. Santana is on pace for about 210 innings (145 to date) so he will need a break when and if the team falls out of the race. The FO needs to see if he can translate to the MLB so they can decide if they need to protect him. I keep seeing comments that his pitches aren't MLB caliber but I think we need to give him a shot and see if that's correct.

Like everything, it is a matter of percentages. Not many teams make Rule 5 picks, and even fewer Rule 5 picks actually stick. If Slegers has a 10% chance of getting selected and sticking, not sure it makes sense to protect him. We likely have higher odds of losing him if we add him to the 40-man, but then have to remove him (for a FA? trade acquisition?). As counterintuitive as it seems, the best way to keep him in the org long term, as a AAA/depth piece, might be to leave him off the roster.

Also, we are nearing the point where the rules discourage teams from adding fringe guys. Starting August 15, anyone we add to the 40-man can't even be DFA'd or outrighted off the roster to the minors from November into March.

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