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  • Twins Minor League Report (4/14): Miracle Explosion/Kernels Walk-off

    The Twins enjoyed an off-day today. Tomorrow is Jackie Robinson Day around baseball and the Twins kick off a three-game series with the Blue Jays.

    On the farm, it was a big day for multiple former first-round picks.

    Make sure you're checking out the other stories featured on the front page and if you're so inclined, join Seth and me tomorrow night on the latest edition of Twins Hangouts.

    Rochester 5, Pawtucket 9
    Box Score

    The Wings dropped a rain-shortened game to the PawSox tonight (at least it appeared like it was going to be rain-shortened when they pulled the tarp in the top of the 9th).

    Trevor May couldn't build off the gem he had last game and was only able to retire one batter in the 5th inning of tonight's game. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out four and threw 84 pitches (54 strikes).

    Brooks Raley, who currently holds the belt as the 40th man on the 40-man, gave up five hits, a walk and three runs in one inning.

    Edgar Ibarra and A.J. Achter didn't do much better, both allowing runs in their innings-plus of work.

    Danny Santana was the offensive highlight, with his two triples and three total hits. Eduardo Nunez added a double and Eric Fryer had a two-hit game.

    New Britain 2, New Hampshire 3
    Box Score

    The highlight of this game was likely the debut of former (and potentially future Twin) Matt Guerrier. Matt Guerrier was recently activated from Rochester’s DL and sent to New Britain. He pitched one innings, throwing 20 pitches, 16 for strikes. He struck out two.

    Pat Dean made the start and allowed one run in four innings. He struck out one and was removed after only 60 pitches. The weather was not great, with a 35-minute delay likely playing into the short start.

    Dan Turpen took the loss in his season debut. He allowed two runs in two innings. Jim Fuller pitched a hitless final frame.

    The offense turned in a pretty dismal performance. Reynaldo Rodriguez provided two of the team’s four hits, including a home run. Brandon Waring added a double and Kennys Vargas drove in the team’s other run.

    To make room for Matty G., the Rock Cats removed B.J. Hermsen from the roster and sent him to Extended Spring Training.

    Ft. Myers 7, Charlotte 3
    Box Score

    The Miracle improved to 7-4 with a convincing win over Charlotte Stone Crabs.

    The story of tonight’s game was the start of Alex Wimmers. I was clearly excited about Wimmers getting back into the rotation, as the following message I sent to Seth last night shows:

    As always, Seth the Optimist shared my enthusiasm.

    It got off to a bit of rocky start when Wimmers allowed a double to the first batter he faced and then balked that runner over the third. Of course, the former Big Ten Pitcher of the Year has faced his share of adversity over the last handful of years, so he barely blinked… and then retired the next 18 (!) batters he faced. His final line of six innings looked fantastic: 6 IP, H, 6 K. He was sitting in the high-80s, but throwing his changeup and curveball effectively. If you remember, as an amateur he could dial it up to the mid-90s and had a silly changeup. He’s starting to piece it all back together, so don’t fall asleep on Wimmers as a prospect yet.

    Matt Tomshaw picked up the three-inning save despite giving up three runs on three hits. He struck out four.

    The offense came to play tonight too. Despite slow starts by both Max Kepler (0-for-5, now batting .094) and Adam Walker (0-for-5 and batting a powerful .205), the Miracle offense has still shown life. Tonight’s 18-hit, 7-extra-base-hit performance was solid proof of that.

    Travis Harrison, batting 8th, went 5-for-5 with two runs, a double and an RBI. He’s now batting .286. He was 5-for-30 (.167) with a double and an RBI for the season before the game. Levi Michael is showing some prospect-life too. Tonight, he provided a 4-for-5 night with two runs, a double and a walk.

    Jorge Polanco drove in two runs and is now batting .400 after a two-hit game including a double. Dalton Hicks came up a home-run short of the cycle. He also walked twice and drove in three. (But somehow failed to score a run.) Niko Goodrum also had two hits and is still batting a robust .325.

    Cedar Rapids 5, South Bend 4
    Box Score

    The Kernels improved to 8-3, winning their sixth straight, with a walk-off win tonight on a chilly night in Cedar Rapids.

    Aaron Slegers made the start and allowed four runs in five innings. He walked one and struck out three. The bullpen combo of Brandon Bixler (2 IP, BB, 3 K) and Hudson Boyd (2 IP, BB, 2 K, Win) closed out the game with four hitless innings.

    Bryan Haar led the offense (again) with three hits, including a triple. Mitch Garver also added three hits, his last an infield hit to the pitcher that scored the winning run. Tanner Vavra had two hits (one double).

    The Kernels entered the ninth inning down two runs. The winning sequence started with a Joel Licon walk. Logan Wade advanced Licon to second on a pinch-hit single. Jeremias Pineda failed to advance the runners on a bunt attempt before flying out. Jason Kanzler drove in Licon with a single. Tanner Vavra followed that with another single to load the bases. That brought Zack Larson, who has been the Kernels most dangerous hitter. Larson coaxed a walk to tie the game. Finally, Garver drove in Kanzler to win the game.

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Alex Wimmers, Fort Myers Miracle
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Travis Harrison, Fort Myers Miracle

    Pawtucket @ Rochester (6:05 CST) – Scott Diamond (Listen)
    New Britain @ New Hampshire (4:35 CST) – D.J. Baxendale (Listen)
    Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:30 CST) – Jason Wheeler (Listen)
    South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – Ryan Eades (Listen)
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      My hat tip of the evening goes to Logan Wade of the Kernels. He sat on the bench for 8 and a half innings in low 30s temperatures, then lines a solid single in the 9th when his number gets called to pinch hit. That can't be easy.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      The Mitch Garver story keeps building... .784 SLG; 1.012 OPS Oh my!
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Re: MitchG....no one was talking about him, at all. Can he catch enough to jump right through the system?

      Re: Brooks Raley....At least it won't be too difficult in making a decision on how to fill a roster spot when the time inevitably comes

      Re: BJ Hermsen....Obviously not healthy. Is it not long before he is released, so many better arms coming online soon.

      RE: MattyG... How long before he takes Raley's, or someone else's place in Rochester?
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      The Mitch Garver story keeps building... .784 SLG; 1.012 OPS Oh my!
      Yes, it's not like a guy can hit well over a 10-day stretch or that this particular guy is old for his league. ;-)
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Matty G.....is, imo, just the kind of move a rebuilding team should NOT be making. They have plenty of young guys that could be in the bullpen. I just don't get it. Why NOT use young guys in the bullpen? It seems to be working for other teams.

      I remain a Wimmers' backer. I predict he's on the MLB roster by 2016. Either in long relief or as a starter. I remain a May disbeliever. I hope to be proven wrong there someday.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Gotta love what Wimmers is doing but he is pitching 2 levels lower than where he should be age and pick round wise.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Gotta love what Wimmers is doing but he is pitching 2 levels lower than where he should be age and pick round wise.
      He didn't do well last year at a lower level, presumably due just to lingering effects, so starting him at high-A wasn't controversial in my book. Let him achieve some comfort and success to start out. But, as I said in a different thread, I think moving him up quickly this season could easily be in the cards, for exactly the reasons you state. A cameo appearance in AAA near season's end, if all has gone well and if an innings limit allows it, could still have him knocking on the big club's door by the middle of next year.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      The goal should be for him to be successful enough this year to add to the 40 man roster at the end of the year. From there, he's got three option years. So... what's the rush? Let's make sure Wimmers is healthy and strong (so far, so good), and move him up just like anyone else. Goal isn't to get him up to the big leagues quickly. Goal is for him to be able to contribute when it gets there. I don't care if he debuts at 25, 26, 27. If he's what he could be, those are 6 pretty good years to control.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Gotta love what Wimmers is doing but he is pitching 2 levels lower than where he should be age and pick round wise.
      More like 3 levels.
    1. Iowa4ND's Avatar
      Iowa4ND -
      sorry, new to site but appears Hermsen was released? shows as assigned to new level when you look his stats up . Too bad, was wishing the Iowa boy could right the ship.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Iowa4ND View Post
      sorry, new to site but appears Hermsen was released? shows as assigned to new level when you look his stats up . Too bad, was wishing the Iowa boy could right the ship.
      Last I heard, Hermsen was assigned to extended spring training to make room for Matt Guerrier on the New Britain staff. I haven't heard anything about a release at this point.
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