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Twins Minor League Report (4/24): Wahoos Walk Off, Jax Cruises

There wasn't a ton of damage done on the offensive side of things for the Twins farm system tonight, but that doesn't stop the big highlight from coming out of the batter's box. A walkoff victory, and some notable pitching performances make Wednesday's action worth checking out.
Image courtesy of Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Jovani Moran)
TRANSACTIONS
Minnesota Twins
Recall RHP Kohl Stewart from Triple-A Rochester
Recall RHP Fernando Romero from Triple-A Rochester
Option RHP Tyler Duffey to Triple-A Rochester
Option OF Jake Cave to Triple-A Rochester
Reinstate LHP Gabriel Moya from MLB rehab and option to Triple-A Rochester
Rochester Red Wings
Received LHP Daniel Camarena from Double-A Pensacola injured list
Transfer INF Drew Maggi to Double-A Pensacola
Transfer INF Joe Cronin to Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids Kernels
Place RHP Andrew Cabezas on injured list with an ankle sprain
Place INF Michael Davis on injured list with an ankle sprain
Received RHP Jacob Blank from Elizabethton
RED WINGS REPORT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5, Rochester 0
Box Score
This one certainly had the feel of a piecemeal game for the Twins Triple-A affiliate. With two relievers getting early action, there wasn’t a starter getting into the grove. Recently optioned Gabriel Moya began the game, with rehabbing Matt Magill recording a single out in the second. Daniel Camarena made his organizational debut in this one, and he shouldered the largest workload, going 4 1/3 innings.

The Red Wings allowed single runs in the second and third before a two-spot was tacked on in the sixth. Scranton added another run in the eighth which was enough to create a five-run deficit. On a night in which the home team tallied just three total hits, the 5-0 deficit was going to be plenty insurmountable.

BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Pensacola 1, Mobile 0
Box Score

Flip-flopping the tally of last night’s action, the Blue Wahoos pushed across one run and came out on top. Griffin Jax continued his string of dominant work to start tonight, and went one out into the sixth inning allowing just two hits, striking out four, and issuing no free passes.



A ninth inning RBI single from Taylor Grzelakowski scored Caleb Hamilton to give Pensacola a walk-off win in this one. They were kept in the game through the late innings by more strong work from sleeper relief prospect Jovani Moran. Taking over for Jax in the sixth, he worked through the seventh and eighth innings as well. Moran’s only base runners came on two walks, and he fanned five. He’s now got a 1.80 ERA across ten innings in 2019.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Bradenton 3, Fort Myers 1
Box Score
Jhoan Duran started this one for the Miracle and went five innings. Allowing just two runs on four hits and a walk, he had Fort Myers in a good spot. Despite taking his third loss of the season, Duran owns a quality 3.63 ERA to begin 2019.

A two-run blast for the Marauders got the scoring started in the bottom half of the second, but Fort Myers halved the gap when Ryan Jeffers scored on a Mark Contreras sac fly in the top of the third. Tallying only five hits on the night, the Miracle never drew even, and Bradenton pushed across an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.

For a lineup that has plenty of thump, this wasn’t the night for multiple contributors. Jose Miranda notched three of the team's five hits on his own, with Lewin Diaz and Ryan Costello accounting for the other two. The Miracle return home for a new series tomorrow night.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 4, Wisconsin 3
Box Score
Luis Rijo was on the bump for his third start of 2019 in this one, but the pitch count got elevated and he lasted one out shy of completing five full innings. His night saw just two runs on two hits, but four walks were issued between the five strikeouts.
Cedar Rapids staked Rijo to a two run lead early. Gabe Snyder opened the scoring on a triple in the first to drive in Gabriel Maciel. A dropped third strike on a wild pitch was enough for Trey Cabbage to scamper down to first with Snyder crossing the dish. From there, Cedar Rapids would create all distance before giving anything back.

In the top half of the third it was Cabbage driving in Hunter Lee on a fielder’s choice. Lee then later swatted a solo shot, his second long ball of the year, to put the good guys up 4-0.

Two Timber Rattlers came in against Rijo before he left in the fifth, and a third scored in the seventh. Wisconsin never did get the game-tying run and Derek Molina was able to lock up his first save of the season with a perfect ninth inning.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Jovani Moran (Pensacola) 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski (Pensacola) 2-3, game winning RBI

PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K
#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 0-3, BB, 3 K
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – 5.0 Ip, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did Not Pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 0-2, R, BB, K
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – Did Not Play
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, K
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-4
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 3-4, 2B

THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Rochester (10:05AM CST) – RHP Zack Littell (1-2, 5.40 ERA)
Pensacola @ Jackson (6:05PM CST) – TBD
Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (5:30PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (0-2, 3.78 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30PM CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (2-1, 5.54 ERA)

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!

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17 Comments

Hitters have been pretty disappointing so far this season. With the way the Twins pitchers are dealing, I have to wonder if offense is down across the leagues in the minors?

    • mikelink45, Dman and dbminn like this
Who is the first to be promoted? Jax or Graterol? Both have been dominant, but Jax is more physically mature

I'm not excited to see Lewis struggling out of the gate and Rooker striking out 2-3 times a game. 

 

I wonder if Moya will be a factor at some point. The Twins have been terrible at developing these fringe relievers over the past few years, so I wouldn't be surprised if he flames out just like the others.

“Despite taking his third loss of the season, Duran owns a quality 3.63 ERA to begin 2019.” Except that ERA is below league average in the FSL. Still, the only place it seems he’s struggling is in keeping the ball in the park. Not many hits or walks, but stung by long balls a bit...in a league where they are rare. And the HR ball got him tonight as well. Keep waiting for a bat...someone...ANYONE...on any team...to take off. Like. Watching. Paint. Dry.
    • bluechipper and Dman like this

 

Who is the first to be promoted? Jax or Graterol? Both have been dominant, but Jax is more physically mature

 

Neither would be promoted for another 6 weeks at least... but I'm curious about the "Jax is more physically mature" comment. Than Graterol?

    • glunn and LeePinLee like this

 

“Despite taking his third loss of the season, Duran owns a quality 3.63 ERA to begin 2019.” Except that ERA is below league average in the FSL. Still, the only place it seems he’s struggling is in keeping the ball in the park. Not many hits or walks, but stung by long balls a bit...in a league where they are rare. And the HR ball got him tonight as well. Keep waiting for a bat...someone...ANYONE...on any team...to take off. Like. Watching. Paint. Dry.

 

Cabbage... Diaz... 

    • glunn and MN_ExPat like this

Malique Ziegler, the outfielder received in the Tyler Austin trade, doesn't appear to have been assigned anywhere yet. Any idea why? 

    • glunn likes this

Not being critical, however, curious about your decision to have Moran as the pitcher of the day rather than Jax?

 

See that Sano is now playing baseball in EST games.Does anyone know if Kirilloff is also playing in EST?  

 

Looking at today's starters, have the feeling Enlow hasn't pitched in awhile.Did he miss a start?Or has C.R. had some cancellations?

 

 

    • glunn likes this

 

Not being critical, however, curious about your decision to have Moran as the pitcher of the day rather than Jax?

 

See that Sano is now playing baseball in EST games.Does anyone know if Kirilloff is also playing in EST?  

 

Looking at today's starters, have the feeling Enlow hasn't pitched in awhile.Did he miss a start?Or has C.R. had some cancellations?

 

Enlow last pitched on the 16th, ,so it''s been about 7-8 days. Six man rotation and a rain out probably is the big thing. 

 

I have seen Kirilloff is playing in EST. Hoping he will be back soon. I would think he''ll play a couple of games for the Miracle before moving up to Pensacola too. It is his bobblehead night on Saturday in Ft. Myers, so maybe he'll play that day.

 

And my vote would absolutely go to Jax. 0.41 ERA. One earned run over 22 innings to start the season. Much more than I would have guessed. 

    • glunn, dbminn, howieramone2 and 1 other like this

Jax might my favorite prospect outside of the consensus top 20. I really like this guy, and this feels like it's going to be a major breakout year for him. The fact that he can concentrate on baseball full-time and not have any of that uncertainty hanging over him is bigger than people realize, I think. And he can really pitch.

 

No need to muck around with him right now, just keep running him out there on his turn in the rotation and evaluate around midseason whether to fast track him up a level.

 

Hitters have been pretty disappointing so far this season. With the way the Twins pitchers are dealing, I have to wonder if offense is down across the leagues in the minors?

I looked at that the other day. The Florida State League hitters are really struggling. Median batting average (6 teams above, 6 below) is .228. Only one team has a BA over .236. Median OPS is .647. In 2018, team medians were .253 BA and .696 OPS. FSL is pitcher friendly but that's really low.

 

An example - Akill Badoo's slash line is a fairly miserable .203/.286/.406. His Fangraphs WRC+ is 114. He's 14% better than the league in hitting production. Doesn't seem possible.

 

The Southern League and MWL hitters are down between 5 and 10% too. 

 

    • Seth Stohs, glunn, drock2190 and 2 others like this
Photo
Cap'n Piranha
Apr 25 2019 09:22 AM

Pensacola, as a TEAM, has a 1.77 ERA.They are almost 1.5 runs better than second place Montgomery at 3.23.They also have 210 k's (10.5 a game), most in the league by 25 (Mobile at 185, which is 9.7 a game).

    • Seth Stohs, glunn, dbminn and 3 others like this
Photo
Cap'n Piranha
Apr 25 2019 09:26 AM

 

Cabbage... Diaz... 

 

Arraez is doing some interesting things--.321 Avg, .384 OBP with as many walks as strikeouts.

 

Schales has a .905 OPS, despite striking out in nearly half his AB's

 

Rortvedt has an .817 OPS (fangraphs puts him at a 154 wRC+), and also has as mnay walks as strikeouts, with half of his hits going for extra bases.

    • glunn, Mike Sixel, gunnarthor and 2 others like this

The Twins move to drop Cave and go with the three person bench has to be discouraging to players like Wade and others looking for a chance at the big leagues.This is one reason I am happy to have the teams pull up lots of players in September.They all deserve to have a chance.

 

I do hope something changes to create a bench again.  

    • Mike Sixel and dbminn like this

 

Enlow last pitched on the 16th, ,so it''s been about 7-8 days. Six man rotation and a rain out probably is the big thing. 

 

I have seen Kirilloff is playing in EST. Hoping he will be back soon. I would think he''ll play a couple of games for the Miracle before moving up to Pensacola too. It is his bobblehead night on Saturday in Ft. Myers, so maybe he'll play that day.

 

And my vote would absolutely go to Jax. 0.41 ERA. One earned run over 22 innings to start the season. Much more than I would have guessed. 

Forgot that the Kernels use a six man rotation.Great hearing that Kirilloff is playing in EST.That means he has to be close to being back on the field for games.Best news I have heard all day.

    • glunn, puckstopper1 and MN_ExPat like this

As I was reading the comments for the third time today, was thinking about strikeouts and Lewis Thorpe.Took a look and saw that his 33 K's are second in the IL, one behind the leader who has pitched 2.1 innings less than Thorpe.

 

Who was the last Red Wing to lead the IL in strikeouts?Was it Liriano however many years ago?Decided to go back and look and saw that Liriano didn't lead the league, although he probably was in the lead when called up.

 

Taylor Rogers was second and Alex Meyers tied for the league lead several years ago.Hopefully, Thorpe can keep this up and be a real asset for the Twins late this year and beyond.

    • glunn likes this

 

Arraez is doing some interesting things--.321 Avg, .384 OBP with as many walks as strikeouts.

 

Schales has a .905 OPS, despite striking out in nearly half his AB's

 

Rortvedt has an .817 OPS (fangraphs puts him at a 154 wRC+), and also has as mnay walks as strikeouts, with half of his hits going for extra bases.

I was referring to those on our daily update top 20 prospect list.

 

But, yes there are a few below that line, that are doing well. FWIW, when I say I'm looking for someone to 'take off'...I'm thinking maybe an OPS over 800. It's been Rortvedt. Arraez doesn't have that (actually not very close), Diaz doesn't. Cabbage is probably the best example right now of a relatively high prospect that is putting up some numbers early. The mitigating factors are the injuries (if that can be considered 'good') to top prospects...and the fact that, apparently, a 700 OPS is great if it happens in the FSL.

    • glunn, Mike Sixel and dbminn like this

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