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  1. Week in Review: Holding Steady

    Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 6/3 through Sun, 6/9

    ***

    Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 43-21)

    Run Differential Last Week: +3 (Overall: +112)

    Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (10.5 GA)

    Willians Watch: So Long, Old Friend :-(


    We must begin this week's roster rundown on a somber note:
    • Willians Astudillo has been optioned to Triple-A. This isn't necessarily sad from a competitive standpoint – Astudillo's been the weakest hitter on the team for some time now, and his demotion is well justified with an empty .190 average since the start of May – but if you're like me, you enjoy watching the guy play, interact with teammates, and generally go about his business on the field. He probably won't be gone for too long, as he's already raking down in Rochester (he's 6-for-8 through two games).
    • Called up to replace Astudillo on the roster was right-handed reliever Ryan Eades, who made his major-league debut on Saturday and threw very well in two scoreless frames.
    • The Twins also optioned Devin Smeltzer, who impressed during his two starts, and activated Michael Pineda to start Friday night's game in Detroit.
    HIGHLIGHTS

    In the wake of a scorching late-May hot streak, Max Kepler went cold as the calendar flipped, coming up hitless in five games. Then, with the Twins facing a sweep on Thursday in Cleveland, he exploded for three home runs, carrying Minnesota to a 5-4 victory while finishing 4-for-4 with a walk. It'll go down as one of the best offensive performances by a big-leaguer this season.

    This seems to be the M.O. for Minnesota's lineup: sleeping giants who don't stay asleep for long. Mitch Garver was mostly quiet in his first few games off the Injured List, and had a really tough series in Cleveland with seven strikeouts in 10 plate appearances, but he came alive in Detroit, going 4-for-9 with a homer and four RBIs in two games. Nelson Cruz, another recent reentry from IL, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his return on Tuesday, then homered in each of his next four games. Eddie Rosario was 2-for-16 on the week before going 3-for-6 with a mammoth homer on Sunday.

    This is all to say we probably shouldn't make much of mini-slumps from the likes of Jonathan Schoop (1-for-15 last week and batting .125 in June). He has the luxury of taking a little nap while the rest of the offense powers on, and will almost surely be awakening soon.

    One guy who doesn't seem to have much let-up in him is Byron Buxton. Every week, and every night, he manages to make a special impact. His past five games brought more of the same: production (6-for-17 with two homers and a double), spectacular defense made to look ordinary, and baserunning prowess that almost defies belief:



    The Twins currently have two players drawing credible buzz as MVP contenders – Rosario and Jorge Polanco – but I have a strong feeling that by year's end, Buxton will be at the head of the pack. He's only starting to find his next gear. Buxton's success has become so normalized, you probably didn't even notice that the former whiff-machine has struck out only four times in 28 June PAs. His 23% K-rate for the season is down nearly 10 points from his 32% MLB mark prior, and almost exactly at league average.

    In the rotation, Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios have been as good as any 1-2 tandem in the game. On Sunday, Odorizzi was magnificent as usual, spinning six innings of one-run ball. He struck out eight while picking up his ninth consecutive victory and lowering his ERA (slightly) to 1.92. Berrios delivered his own strong outing three days earlier, holding the Indians to two runs over six frames.

    The Twins are 11-2 with Berrios on the mound and have won 10 straight games started by Odorizzi.

    LOWLIGHTS

    On the same day we learned that coveted free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel was signing with the Chicago Cubs, Blake Parker blew up in Cleveland, coughing up three runs to turn a lead into a deficit in one of Minnesota's most crushing losses of the year. The timing was no doubt painful. Though I personally believe the Twins were wise to stick to their guns on Kimbrel, this bullpen needs help.

    This is not a new sentiment, but it's becoming clearer than ever as Parker's surprisingly spotless start gives way to hardcore regression. Wednesday marked the third time in his past four appearances allowing multiple runs, and then on Friday he navigated an anxiety-inducing save that saw him walk two batters and bring the tying run to the plate. There's no trusting the guy right now.

    In fact, the bullpen at large has suddenly become rather untrustworthy. Matt Magill has seen his own charmed run of unexpected excellence fly off the rails, almost exactly in unison with Parker. Joining the team late after a season-opening IL stint, Magill was convincingly dominant through 14 appearances, posting a 1.35 ERA and 18-to-5 K/BB ratio in 13.1 IP while unleashing upper-90s fastballs and upper-80s sliders. The coaching staff's belief in the former minor-league journeyman was being richly rewarded. But in his past three outings, the bottom has fallen out. In 1 2/3 innings, he has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits and three walks. In the space of a week, his ERA spiked from 1.35 to 6.60, and just like that, he might be on the brink of a DFA.

    The problem is that there aren't a ton of options on hand to replace him. We'll chat more about that below in the Trending Storyline section.

    Trust is also diminishing in starter Martin Perez, whose magic has gone completely amiss. Wednesday's outing wasn't as disastrous as the previous dud, and poor defense played a role, but Perez was not good in Cleveland, allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. The lefty posted season-lows in strikeouts (1) and swinging strikes (4). He has issued multiple walks in seven straight starts and has a 7-to-8 K/BB ratio in his past three.

    TRENDING STORYLINE

    The bullpen is a mess. It's starting to unravel at the seams with Parker and Magill melting down. Mike Morin and Tyler Duffey may have similar reckonings awaiting. Trevor May is, for whatever reason, seeing very sporadic usage (he's appeared three times in the past 14 days). Taylor Rogers has pretty much been a one-man band and this tweet from AG sorta sums that up:



    The Twins leaned on Rogers for a 34-pitch, two-inning save on Thursday, and that's the type of thing they obviously need to avoid. So, the club needs some relief help. And as we've covered, Kimbrel is off the table. What to do?

    The trade market will become a central focus in the coming weeks, and I do believe there are going to be ample opportunities out there. Unlike with Kimbrel, here the Twins have real leverage: a system filled with intriguing prospects, and a bevy of non-contending teams looking to reload their farms.

    There's no need to wait until the July 31st deadline to make a move. But here's the thing: Minnesota does have the luxury of a double-digit lead in the standings. Granted, they'll want to win as many games as they can to best position themselves for October, but they aren't fending off anyone in the division. Four of their remaining six series this month are against the Mariners, Royals and White Sox. There's no REAL urgency.

    As they take a measured approach to the trade market, the Twins can test a few things out internally and work to optimize its existing pieces. The latest to audition is Eades, and he looked promising in his first action (although, to be fair, so did Austin Adams and Zack Littell).

    Speaking of Littell: After this demotion last week, I opined that he has "a much better chance than the [other Triple-A call-ups who've gotten shelled] of becoming a true bullpen asset. I wonder if the Twins will start letting him develop in that capacity at Rochester."

    Sure enough, his three appearances since heading down have all been in relief, and he's looked damn good, allowing just one hit (a solo homer) in 5 2/3 innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.

    It wouldn't stun me if Eades or Littell eventually settles in as a worthy middle relief option. I like that the Twins are experimenting. But it's unfortunate their other internal options are still flailing. Trevor Hildenberger has an 8.44 ERA and 1.88 WHIP in Rochester. Fernando Romero has been woefully underwhelming as well (opponents hitting .310/.388/.500 in 15 innings since he was optioned). Jorge Alcala, the hard-throwing 23-year-old acquired in last year's Ryan Pressly trade, has been wholly unimpressive at Double-A where he sports a 5.25 ERA.

    If the Twins want to find a difference-maker for their pen from within, it's probably going to take some creativity. Maybe trying out Smeltzer in a relief role? Or how about fellow Triple-A southpaw Lewis Thorpe, who's tacked up a 25-to-3 K/BB ratio in his last four starts, while averaging fewer than five innings per turn? Looks perfectly suited for a shot at relieving.

    DOWN ON THE FARM

    The 2019 MLB Draft took place last week, and saw the Twins add a batch of new young talent heavy on college bats. Their three first-day selections:

    • No. 13 Overall: Keoni Cavaco, INF – Fast-rising prep star out of California who was barely on anyone's radar six months ago. Premium athlete with a high-upside bat who's played shortstop but is likely to end up at third base. Ted posted a Q&A with the Cavaco if you'd like to learn more about him.
    • No. 39 Overall: Matt Wallner, OF – Collegiate slugger out of Southern Mississippi. Wallner will be especially easy for locals to root for because he's a Forest Lake native who was named Minnesota's Mr. Baseball in 2016.
    • No. 54 Overall: Matt Canterino, RHP – The 6-foot-3 righty posted gaudy strikeout numbers at Rice University, unleashing an overpowering fastball/curve combo. His delivery and lack of a changeup suggest some reliever risk, but he's poised to rise quickly.
    You can learn about the full breadth of Minnesota's latest draft class in Andrew's in-depth recap.

    Elsewhere in the Twins' system last week:

    Jhoan Duran turned in his third straight gem for Fort Myers, holding Jupiter to one run over seven innings. Acquired from Arizona in the Eduardo Escobar trade last summer, Duran pitched extremely well after coming over, and drew considerable buzz in camp this spring. His first seven starts at High-A weren't stellar but over his past three the numbers are astounding: 20 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 26 K.

    The 21-year-old right-hander is starring for the Miracle alongside fellow righty Jordan Balazovic, our Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May who continues to dazzle here in June. In his latest turn on Thursday, he fanned seven over 5 2/3 frames of one-run ball, lowering his ERA to 2.03 in six starts with Fort Myers. Despite Brusdar Graterol's continuing absence (no word on his ailing right shoulder), the Twins have some good things cookin' with arms in the minors.

    On the hitting side, we covered Trevor Larnach last week and he keeps mashing (10-for-27 last week), but one other guy we need to be paying attention to is Brent Rooker. The 24-year-old shook off his own slow start at Triple-A and has been on a tear since returning from the IL at the beginning of June, batting .433 with 11 RBIs through nine games. Perhaps most importantly, he has an 11-to-8 K/BB ratio during that span, after striking out 43 times with only six walks through his first 97 plate appearances.

    Rooker has a rep as a smart hitter who handles adversity and makes adjustments. We're seeing that once again, and now he has nowhere else to graduate to but the majors.

    LOOKING AHEAD

    Smooth sailing ahead. The Twins have gone a combined 5-1 against Seattle and Kansas City on the road, and now they'll welcome both last-place clubs to Target Field for three games apiece. It'd be disappointing (though hardly panic-inducing) to see Minnesota win fewer than four this next week.

    TUESDAY, 6/11: MARINERS @ TWINS – RHP Mike Leake v. LHP Martin Perez
    WEDNESDAY, 6/12: MARINERS @ TWINS – LHP Tommy Milone v. RHP Jose Berrios
    THURSDAY, 6/13: MARINERS @ TWINS – LHP Marco Gonzales v. RHP Michael Pineda
    FRIDAY, 6/14: ROYALS @ TWINS – RHP Brad Keller v. RHP Kyle Gibson
    SATURDAY, 6/15: ROYALS @ TWINS – RHP Glenn Sparkman v. RHP Jake Odorizzi
    SUNDAY, 6/16: ROYALS @ TWINS – RHP Jakob Junis v. LHP Martin Perez

    Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps

    • Jun 09 2019 08:14 PM
    • by Nick Nelson
  2. DET 9, MIN 3: Third Out Eludes Gibson, Eades Debuts

    Box Score
    Gibson: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 67.0% strikes (63 of 94 pitches)
    Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

    Home Runs: Cruz (10)
    Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (2-for-3, HR, BB)

    WPA of +0.1: Cruz .102
    WPA of -0.1: Gonzalez -.185, Gibson -.294
    [attachment=12637:Win68.png]
    (chart via FanGraphs)

    The key moment in this game came in the bottom of the second inning. Kyle Gibson retired the first two batters he faced, then got ahead of the next batter 0-2. One more strike and the good guys are back in the dugout.

    Gibson’s next two pitches weren’t close enough to chase, however, evening the count at 2-2. Gibson manged to get a chase the fifth pitch, but the batter managed to hit a slider down and away into left field for a single to extend the inning.

    Gibson lost an eight-pitch battle with the next batter, walking him on a two-seamer that was well outside the zone. He then hung a slider on the second pitch he threw to JaCoby Jones, who crushed a three-run homer.

    That third out has been elusive for Gibson this season. In addition to the three-run homer, Gibson also gave up a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning. Entering today, opposing hitters had a .720 OPS with no outs, .648 OPS with one out and an .809 OPS with two outs against Gibby. Of the 11 home runs Gibson has now surrendered, six have come with two down.

    That’s a strange trend, not only generally speaking, but also in comparison to Gibson’s career numbers. With both the 2019 league averages and Gibson’s overall career marks, OPS against shrinks the more outs there are.

    It’s not like Gibson didn’t have good stuff today. He struck out eight batters and got 18 swinging strikes, which is the third-most whiffs he’s gotten in 12 starts this year.

    Eades Debuts
    Gibson’s short start created a nice opportunity for the Twins to get Ryan Eades his MLB debut. We’ve been privileged to some pretty special stories so far this season. Ryne Harper finally making his debut as a 30-year-old and cancer survivor/ultimate underdog Devin Smeltzer making it are about as good as it gets.

    FSN managed to tug at my heartstrings pretty hard today, as they showed Eades’ wife in the stands, baby wearing their infant, crying her eyes out at seeing her husband on a major league mound for the first time. Beautiful moment to be able to witness.

    Eades retired the first two men he faced, then walked the next two batters. Wes Johnson came out to the mound and probably said something along the lines of “hey, we’re not paying you by the hour,” and Eades retired the next batter to end the inning.

    Eades came back out for the seventh and gave up a couple of hits. He was helped out by the combination of a bad send at third base and a good relay from Marwin Gonzalez to Miguel Sano to Jason Castro, but Eades ended up throwing two shutout innings. He struck out three batters and topped out at 95.5 mph.

    Magill Floundering
    Matt Magill followed Eades and struggled badly, once again. He gave up four runs on five hits. Over his last three appearances, Magill has surrendered 10 earned runs on 10 hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings.

    Bats Struggle vs. Detroit Pen
    The Tigers went with a bullpen game today and managed to hold the Twins to three runs on just six hits. They combined to strike out nine batters, Miguel Sano accounting for three of those punch outs. The Twins had just two extra-base hits today, Nelson Cruz’s 10th home run and Jorge Polanco’s 18th double of the season.

    Really, the Twins as a whole just felt like the came out a little flat in this one.

    Postgame With Baldelli


    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
    [attachment=12636:Pen68.png]
    Next Game
    Sun at DET, 12:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Carpenter)

    Last Game
    MIN 6, DET 3: Offense, Bullpen Come Through Late as Twins Take Opener

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    • Jun 08 2019 08:46 PM
    • by Tom Froemming
  3. Hello? Rochester... Please Send Help

    The Twins wanted to call up Zack Littell last weekend but because the season was not yet ten days old, they were unable to. Instead, they put Chase De Jong back on the 40-man roster and Designed Tyler Austin for Assignment. At the time, the Twins needed someone available in the bullpen who could eat some innings after Jake Odorizzi didn’t get out of the first inningFriday night. De Jong was not needed after all in Philadelphia thanks to good starts by Michael Pineda and Jose Berrios. He got his first opportunity on Tuesday night against the Mets. He came in to finish the ninth inning with the Twins leading 14-4. He needed 46 pitches to finish the ninth and gave up four runs and six base runners.

    Following the game, he was returned to Rochester since he would be unable to pitch for the Twins for several days. Lefty Andrew Vasquez, the easy choice for 2018 Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year, was recalled to take De Jong’s spot.

    Unlike De Jong, Vasquez was thrown right into a tough situation. With two outs in the fifth inning last night, Jake Odorizzi loaded the bases with a walk to opposing starter Noah Syndergaard. With left-handed hitting Brandon Nimmo due up, Rocco Baldelli called on the left-hander who struck out 108 batters in 69+ innings last year.

    Simply put, it did not go well for Vasquez. He couldn’t throw strikes and frankly, wasn’t close. He hit Nimmo (to put one run on the board). Then he walked both Pete Alonso and Robinson Cano to score two more runs. His fastball topped out at 87 mph and he couldn’t command the slider at all.

    I will advocate for not giving up on Andrew Vasquez, and I would assume that most of you would look at that outing as a case of nerves in his return to the big leagues. While he had struck out four batters in 1 1/3 innings in his one Red Wings appearance, he also walked two batters and gave up a hit.

    I’m not advocating that Vasquez needs to be optioned right away, though it would be understandable. But if he is, or on a higher level, if at any time the Twins need to call back to Rochester looking for some relief help, what options are there? Below you’ll find the current group of Red Wings relievers, any of who could be an option at some point this season.

    THE RELIEVERS IN ROCHESTER
    (in alphabetical order)

    AUSTIN ADAMS
    Age - 32
    MLB Experience - Parts of three seasons (2014-16) with Cleveland. 53 games, 58 2/3 innings, 6.29 ERA.
    2019 Red Wings Stats - 2 Games, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

    The Twins signed Adams late last year out of independent ball and he pitched briefly for Chattanooga. This year, is hitting 94-96 for the Red Wings in the early goings. Presumably, Derek Falvey is quite familiar with him due to his years in Cleveland.

    TYLER DUFFEY
    Age - 28
    MLB Experience - Parts of four seasons (2015-18) with the Twins. 111 games (37 starts), 287 innings, 5.46 ERA.
    2019 Red Wings Stats - 2 Games, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

    Duffey made such a strong impression on Twins fans late in the 2015 season, nearly catapulting a surprising team to the playoffs. He hasn’t been able to duplicate that performance since and was moved to the bullpen a few years ago. He has the curveball and spin rate that teams love.

    RYAN EADES
    Age - 27
    MLB Experience - None
    2019 Red Wings Stats - 2 G, 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

    Eades made a strong impression during an impressive run in big league spring training this year. He showed a big fastball which reached into the mid-90s. He also showed his array of pitches. Before this season, he had just seven games of Triple-A experience.

    PRESTON GUILMET
    Age - 31
    MLB Experience - Parts of five seasons (2013-18) with Tampa Bay, Cleveland, St. Louis, Baltimore, Toronto, Milwaukee. 27 games, 33 innings. 9.27 ERA.
    2019 Red Wings Stats - 2 G, 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.

    Guilmet has had a long career. He’s pitched for six teams in the big leagues to go with several other organizations in the minor leagues. He’s got enough stuff to keep getting opportunities.

    MIKE MORIN
    Age - 27
    MLB Experience - Parts of five seasons (2014-18) with Angels. 186 games, 174 innings, 4.66 ERA.
    2019 Red Wings Stats - 2 G, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

    Born in Minnesota, his family soon moved to the Kansas City area, but he’s still got family in the area. It would certainly be a thrill for him to play for the Twins. Morin pitched between 47 and 60 games each year out of the Angels bullpen between 2014 and 2016. He’s been hurt the last two years, but he appears to be fully healthy again. He’s a low-90s guy with a really, really good changeup.

    JAKE REED
    Age - 26
    MLB Experience - None
    2019 Red Wings Stats - 2 G, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

    Reed moved up to AA really quickly after being drafted by the Twins in 2014. He’s been up and down ever since, but he was remarkable for the Red Wings after June 1st last year (23 G, 37.2 IP, 1.43 ERA, .167 opponents batting average). Walks always a concern, but Reed gets a lot of movement. His fastball is 95-97, and he’s got a sharp slider too. .

    FERNANDO ROMERO
    Age - 24
    MLB Experience - Debuted with the Twins in 2018. Made 11 starts, 55 2/3 innings. 4.69 ERA.
    2019 Red Wings Stats - 2 G, 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K

    Romero was really good for his first four MLB starts last year and then struggled the rest of the way. It was surprising that the Twins decided so quickly in spring training that he would pitch out of the bullpen. He struggled in spring training and was optioned to the Red Wings. He’s off to a fast start. In his 3 1/3 hitless, no-walk innings on Wednesday, he was getting swings and misses on 97 and 98 mph fastballs.

    Currently DJ Baxendale (27) and Zack Weiss (26) are on the Red Wings injured list.


    *Note that the 2019 Red Wings Stats are for just two games, so the sample size is definitely small.

    THE STARTERS

    Chase De Jong returns to the Red Wings starting rotation. The other starters in the Red Wings rotation are 23-year-old RHP Zack Littell, 23-year-old LHP Lewis Thorpe, 24-year-old RHP Kohl Stewart, 25-year-old RHP Sean Poppen and 27-year-old MLB veteran, LHP Justin Nicolino. LHP Stephen Gonsalves is on the IL as well and should be back in early May.

    These guys are options if and when a long-reliever might be needed. They could also be summoned to the Twins when a starter is needed, such as in a doubleheader situation.

    THE INJURED LIST

    As a reminder, right-handers Matt Magill and Addison Reed, along with LHP Gabriel Moya are on the injured list. We haven’t heard updates on them recently. They are also options to join the big league bullpen when they are ready, though a rehab stint would seem very likely for all three as they have not pitched in a long time.

    THE FREE AGENTS

    I’ll just throw this tweet from Nick Nelson here:



    So, do you have a current hierarchy of who the Twins should call up next as they have needs? How about breaking that out between whether they need a long reliever, or a lefty, or a short-term option versus a more long-term guy? Share your thoughts below.

    • Apr 11 2019 04:26 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  4. Twins Minor League Report (4/4): Opening Night

    Find out everything that happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the Transactions of the day.

    TRANSACTIONS

    There were no transactions in the Twins system on Thursday. Maybe some of you saw that in the past week a couple of Twins minor league pitchers, Colton Davis and Anthony Marzi, chose to retire.

    Here are the Opening Day Roster Previews for each of the Twins full-season affiliates, in case you missed them on Monday.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 4, Lehigh Valley 2
    Box Score

    Ronald Torreyes knows how to start a season. He was the Red Wings second batter in the first inning, and he launched a long home run. It was the first hit in the organization in 2019, the first home run, the first run and the first RBI.

    Kohl Stewart got the Opening Night call for the Red Wings. Things didn’t go well early for the right-hander. He went walk, strikeout, walk, strikeout with the first four batters of the first inning. He then gave up a bloop single to score run. Then a wild pitch scored a second run. He needed 34 pitches to complete the first frame.

    The Twins have a rule that if a pitcher throws 35 or more pitches in an inning, he will be done for the night. Stewart was one pitch from being done. He went on to throw four zeroes on the scoreboard and earned the Win in this contest. In his five innings, he gave up the two runs (1 earned) on just three hits. He walked two, hit one and struck out eight batters.

    Ryan Eades came on and struck out four over two perfect innings. He needed just 18 pitches. Then Tyler Duffey came on and earned the save with two scoreless innings. He struck out four as well, though he did hit one batter.



    LaMonte Wade led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with a walk in the game. Wilin Rosario went 2-for-5 with a home run. Randy Cesar had a walk and a big, two-run homer that gave the Red Wings the two-run lead late in the game.

    BLUE WAHOO BITES
    Pensacola , Mobile
    Box Score

    Opening Night was pushed back a day as rains came to Mobile. For Mobile, it means that they will get to face Jorge Alcala and Brusdar Graterol on Friday!

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 11, Charlotte 3
    Box Score

    Hard to believe that in the sixth inning, Jeff Smith’s Charlotte squad tied the game at three. The potent Miracle took off at that point, led by the return of Lewin Diaz.

    Diaz played half of last season with the Miracle but unfortunately needed wrist surgery and missed the rest of the season. He continued his body transformation in the offseason and his work paid off on Opening Night. The now-slender slugger went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI to lead the offense.

    Bryan Sammons gave up an unearned run in the first inning, but he was able to escape danger several times. He gave up just the unearned run on seven hits and two walks over just 4 1/3 innings. He left the game with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. Anthony Vizcaya came on and struck out the fourth and fifth batters of Charlotte. It was Vizcaya’s first game with an affiliated team since 2014.

    The Miracle got on the board in the 2nd inning when Lewin Diaz doubled off of the wall in right field to score Travis Blankenhorn. Ben Rortvedt followed with a single to right that scored Diaz.

    Following the Vizcaya strikeouts in the top of the 5th, the Miracle got back on the board in the bottom of the inning. Akil Baddoo homered to the berm in left field for the first Miracle homer of the season.

    But as mentioned, the Stone Crabs tied it up in the sixth. The Miracle regained the lead 4-3 and then Royce Lewis put together a long at-bat that culminated in a two-run single that broke the game open. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Miracle really broke things open with a five-run inning.



    The loaded Miracle lineup got production from more than just Lewin Diaz. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI singles. Akil Baddoo added a triple late in the game to go with his homer. Travis Blankenhorn had a walk and a double, and he scored three runs.

    Vizcaya was clutch to end the fifth inning, but he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk the next inning. Alex Phillips came on and struck out four batters over two scoreless, one-hit innings. He was hitting 95 and 96 mph consistently. Johan Quezada pitched a scoreless ninth frame, and he was hitting 97 a couple of times in the inning.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 10
    Box Score

    Blayne Enlow returned to the Kernels after a solid showing in his first full pro season in 2018. He earned the Opening Night call for the team this year. Things went all right the first couple of innings. He gave up leadoff walks in the first two innings, but neither came back to hurt him. He did give up a solo homer in the second inning. But then came the third inning. Enlow faced seven batters. He walked one and the other six got hits, the final was a double. Austin Schulfer came on and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. However, he then struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

    Schulfer was good. He struck out five batters over three scoreless, two-hit innings. Jose Martinez came on next and was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Carlos Suniaga got the final seven outs for the Kernels.He gave up two hits and struck out three.

    There wasn’t much offense for the Kernels. The team scored two runs in the sixth inning, on RBI singles from Andrew Bechtold and David Banuelos. Yunior Severino led the team with a 2-for-4 game.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day –Ryan Eades, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Lewin Diaz, Ft. Myers Miracle (hat tip to LaMonte Wade - Red Wings - as well)

    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, 2 RBI
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, SF, RBI, K
    #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
    #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-4, BB, 3 K
    #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Pitches Friday
    #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 3B, HR, 2 K
    #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
    #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI,
    #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, BB, R, 2 RBI, 2 K
    #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, R
    #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, K
    #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-4, BB,
    #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Rained out.
    #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, HBP, R, K


    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - RHP Chase De Jong
    Pensacola @ Mobile (DH starting at 4:05 CST) - RHP, Jorge Alcala, RHP Brusdar Graterol
    Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (5:30 CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran
    Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.

    • Apr 05 2019 05:40 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  5. Sire of Fort Myers Final Update: Ode to Ryne Harper

    UPDATE: The polls are officially open.

    Last we checked in, Harper and 35-year-old infielder Adam Rosales had established themselves as the favorites. Well, Rosales cooled off and was released Friday evening. Still, his .278/.350/.694 batting line, a 1.044 OPS, makes him a finalist regardless. He was by far the most impressive hitter among those who qualified for the title.

    Among the other five names listed in the last update, Lucas Duda was let go and has since signed with the Royals, Tim Collins was also just released Friday night and LaMonte Wade was reassigned to minor league camp.

    A month ago, I didn’t even list Harper among the top 10 candidates for Sire of Fort Myers. Though most of his competition is no longer in big league camp with the Twins, there are still a few other candidates lingering. They’re also right-handed relief pitchers.

    Mike Morin has also had a strong spring. While Harper’s big, slow curveball has dazzled, Morin has really turned heads with his changeup. He’s given up four runs on nine hits and two walks over 9 ⅔ innings, striking out nine batters in the process. Preston Guilmet is also still in big league camp with the Twins. He’s given up four earned in 8 ⅔ innings but has an eye-popping 14 strikeouts, which leads the team. Prospect Ryan Eades has also shined. He's only yielded one earned run in seven innings while striking out nine batters.

    But you can’t get lower than a 0.00 ERA.

    Harper hasn’t given up an earned run in 10 innings, he’s only surrendered seven hits and hasn’t walked a single batter. He’s also racked up 13 strikeouts. Here’s his outing from Friday night:



    Harper is now the clear favorite for Sire of Fort Myers, but what about those odds of making the Opening Day roster? Well, it would certainly make for an amazing story.

    Harper has pitched in more than 300 games in his professional career. He was called up to the Mariners for a couple days in 2017 but did not make his major league debut. He turns 30 on Wednesday. Opening Day is Thursday.

    Can you imagine what it would mean to him to hear his name announced during intros at Target Field? I’m getting chills just thinking about it!

    Fernando Romero has already been optioned to the minor leagues. Addison Reed and Matt Magill haven’t pitched in well over a week. A path has been cleared. I’m rooting hard for Harper to break camp with the Twins, but it’s undeniable that those 186 career MLB appearances look really good on Morin’s resume.

    The final vote for Sire of Fort Myers will take place in the forums section here at Twins Daily on starting on Monday. Make sure your voice is heard.

    • Mar 25 2019 05:51 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  6. Sire of Fort Myers: Rosales, Harper Turning Heads

    There are very few spots up for grabs on the 25-man roster, but there are still plenty of players who have a lot to gain from having strong spring showings. This is their chance to not only be seen by top members of the Twins’ staff but also the other 29 MLB teams, overseas and independent leagues.

    So who is eligible to be named Sire of Fort Myers? Anybody who’s not on the 40-man roster, even guys with several years of MLB service time, and anyone on the 40-man roster who hasn’t made their MLB debut also qualifies.

    This is not about identifying the player most likely to break camp with the team, or the player who has the highest upside. It’s all about performance. The mantra this time of year is “spring training stats don’t matter.” That’s definitely true in the case of established major leaguers, but there are some players who have something to gain from a strong spring.

    Top Hitters
    Ryan LaMarre was crowned the inaugural Sire of Fort Myers after hitting .475/.511/.775 (1.286 OPS) in 45 plate appearances. It’d be crazy to expect anyone to replicate those video game numbers, right? Well …

    Adam Rosales, 35, IF
    .385/.429/.962 (1.390 OPS)
    10-for-26, 3 2B, 4 HR, 2 BB, 3 K
    Rosales has been bouncing around as a Quad-A type player for years now. He’s seen major league time with six different teams over the past 11 seasons. He’s shown good power with the Twins, both at the plate and in regard to his throwing arm. Most of his time has been spent at third base, but he’s also played some second and even got a start at shortstop. Get a load of that slugging percentage. Wow.

    He’s shown almost no pop in the majors (.365 career slugging), but Rosales did hit 18 home runs in 114 games for Cleveland’s Triple-A team last year. The Twins have no shortage of multi-positional players in camp, or whatever Rocco Baldelli prefers to call them, so it’s likely Rosales is playing for an opportunity elsewhere every bit as much as he’s trying to make a good impression on the Twins. But it’s fair to point out that it was almost impossible to imagine Ryan LaMarre making the Opening Day roster at this point last season, so anything’s possible.



    Lucas Duda, 33, 1B
    .333/.448/.458 (.907 OPS)
    8-for-24. 3 2B, 5 BB, 9 K
    I tabbed Dude as the hands-down favorite in my Sire of Fort Myers preview, and while he trails a few other players, he has not disappointed. Duda has a lot of pressure on him this spring, a poor performance could have been very damaging to his hopes of landing on a major league roster this season. It’s a bit difficult to see Duda cracking the Twins’ Opening Day roster, but he’s done a nice job at showcasing his skills to other teams that may be searching for a lefty bat.

    LaMonte Wade, 25, OF
    .296/.375/.556 (.931 OPS)
    8-for-27, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 3 BB, 5 K
    How great is this to see? After struggling in his first taste of Triple A toward the end of last season, Wade has put a positive spin on the start to his 2019 season. He was optioned to Rochester after Tuesday’s game, but I felt it was still well worth mentioning his efforts to this point.

    Honorable mentions among hitters include Nick Gordon, Brian Navarreto and Jimmy Kerrigan.

    Top Pitchers
    The bullpen is the biggest question mark in terms of the major league club. It seems like the guys on the outside looking in smell blood in the water.

    Ryne Harper, 29, RHP
    0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 39.1 K%
    6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
    Harper always put up great numbers in the minor leagues but never could find an opportunity even above Double A for years. He came up in the Braves’ system before being dealt to Seattle in December of 2015. After a great first season in the Mariners’ system, Harper finally appeared to be getting his shot. He was called up May 28, 2017. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to pitch and was sent back to Triple A just three days later.

    Harper became a minor league free agent after that season and signed with the Twins. In 65 innings between Chattanooga and Rochester, Harper posted a 3.60 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. What really jumps off the page is his sterling strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.60. He averaged 11.9 K/9 while issuing just 1.4 BB/9. The Twins brought him back on another minors deal this offseason. Including winter leagues, Harper has pitched in more than 300 minor league games in his career.



    Ryan Eades, 27, RHP
    0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 35.0 K%
    5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
    We go from a former 37th-round pick in Harper to the Twins’ second-round pick from the 2013 Draft. Eades has been pitching primarily out of the bullpen the past two seasons and really took a step forward in 2018. Over his final 30 1/3 innings, Eades gave up just three earned runs (0.89 ERA), struck out 34 batters and walked just five (6.8 K:BB ratio).



    Preston Guilmet, 31, RHP
    1.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 39.1 K%
    6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
    Guilmet has 27 big league appearances under his belt, spreading those across six organizations. That’s a lot of cups of coffee. He was drafted twice, traded once and selected off waivers five times. In all, he’s pitched for 22 different teams in his professional career, including one in Japan (2017 with the Yakult Swallows). He had a 1.60 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and 9.9 K/9 in 33 2/3 Triple-A innings last season.

    Mike Morin, 27, RHP
    0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 27.3 K%
    6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    Here’s another reliever who’s bounced around quite a bit. Morin had a great rookie year in 2014 as a 23-year-old with the Angels, pitching to a 2.90 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 59 innings. Things haven’t gone as well since. He was claimed off waivers by the Royals, then again by the Mariners. He made three appearances with Seattle but spent most of the season in Triple A, where he had a 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Morin was born in Andover but played his high school ball in Kansas before attending the University of North Carolina.



    For more on Morin, La Velle E. Neal III wrote a nice profile on him and his changeup over at the Star Tribune.

    Honorable mentions among pitchers include Justin Nicolino, Jake Reed and Tim Collins.

    So there you have it, the top contenders for 2019 Sire of Fort Myers as we head down the stretch. Coronation day will be in a few short weeks.

    • Mar 14 2019 07:32 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  7. Prospect Spotlight Series: Bullpen Help

    Before we get into it, here’s a look back at the players I’ve covered in this series so far:

    Jhoan Duran
    Alex Kirilloff
    Lewis Thorpe
    Royce Lewis

    Each of the previous installments of this series focuses on a specific aspect of a player's game or homes in on a particular performance. This will be more of an overview.

    We’re in the era of the 13-man pitching staff. Every team in baseball cycles through a great number of relievers each season, but there figure to be plenty of opportunities in the Twins’ bullpen this coming season.

    Relief Candidates on the 40-Man Roster

    The only relief pitcher who still has prospect status is Andrew Vasquez, but there are also all those starting pitchers who debuted last season who appear to be on the outside looking in. Might it make sense to give one of Chase De Jong, Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell, Kohl Stewart or Lewis Thorpe a shot in the bullpen?

    None of those guys have pitched much in relief, and some don’t fit a typical reliever profile, but it wasn’t long ago you could have said those same things about Taylor Rogers. There’s already been some talk of Fernando Romero (who is no longer technically a prospect) getting a look in the pen, maybe the Twins will consider a conversion for one of these prospects.

    Romero may have the most tantalizing arsenal of that group, but it's interesting to note that both Littell and Gonsalves had better strikeout rates in Triple A last season. Romero averaged 6.8 K/9 in 90 2/3 innings with Rochester while Gonsalves was at 8.5 K/9 in 100 1/3 innings and Littell had 8.3 K/9 in 106 innings.

    Back to Vasquez, in terms of true relievers, he ranks third on the lefty depth chart behind Rogers and Gabriel Moya. There's a great chance he'll see time in the majors again if that remains the case. The Vasquatch has dominated the minor leagues, pitching to a 1.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 13.4 K/9.

    Who’s Next on the Farm?

    Before we get to the prospects, there are a few minor league veteran guys who have an outside chance at working their way up into a low-leverage role. Guys like Ryne Harper, Dario Alvarez, Mike Morin, Zack Weiss and Jeffery Ames. I’m sure the Twins will add a few other relievers on minor league deals.

    Some of those guys won’t even last through spring training, but others will get an opportunity to show what they’ve got in Rochester. This front office seems to be intrigued by fringy relief pitchers, though they’ve mostly acquired them through waivers (Matt Magill, Oliver Drake, David Hale, Dillon Gee, Nik Turley and Drew Rucinski among others). I assume they’ll continue to be active on that front as well.

    The guys this front office do not seem to like are all the relief pitchers drafted in the earlier rounds under Terry Ryan. Jake Reed is pretty much the last man standing among that group. He’s 26-years-old and has 61 Triple-A appearances under his belt, so what are they waiting for?

    Well, behind Reed’s sterling 1.92 ERA in the 89 innings he’s pitched for the Red Wings the past two seasons is a less impressive 8.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. Still, production is production, and Reed should be the first man up if the front office is in the position where they need to add a relief arm to the 40-man roster. It’d be a shame if he doesn’t get a look at some point.

    Another name of note in Triple A is Ryan Eades. Drafted in the second round as a starter back in 2013, Eades has primarily worked out of the bullpen the past two seasons. After posting just a 6.9 K/9 in 2017, he hiked that all the way up to 10.4 K/9 last season. The really great part was that he also lowered his walk rate from 3.4 BB/9 to 2.6 BB/9 last year.

    Eades was outstanding in the six starts he made, posting a 0.45 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, but the longest he went was four innings. Could he be the perfect opener? Eades is 27-years-old, so there’s really no use in leaving him in the minors should an opportunity present itself.

    Behind Reed and Eades is another bunch of guys who’ve only reached Double A. Tyler Jay is certainly the highest-profile name among them. For me, the question is does the velocity come back? If it does, I could see Jay move up very quickly. If not, well, he didn’t exactly inspire confidence by posting a 4.22 ERA and 1.58 WHIP last season.

    So let’s forget about Jay for a minute. The name I really want you to come away from this article with is Cody Stashak. The Twins converted him to the bullpen last season and it was a roaring success. The 24-year-old right-hander was one of the best pitchers in all of Double A.

    It’s not like Stashak was a failed starter by any means. In 2017, Stashak had a 3.89 ERA, 1.10 WHIP over 16 starts. His strikeout rate was a fairly modest 7.8 K/9, but he was certainly getting the job done. Stashak was forced to the DL in late July, had a few rehab appearances out of the bullpen with the GCL Twins, then made his final three outings of the year in relief for Chattanooga.

    I’m not sure the reasoning behind why they decided to keep him in the bullpen, but it’s looking like a very wise decision. In 2018, Stashak had a 2.87 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 11.2 K/9. He also continued to have very good control, posting a 2.3 BB/9, giving him a K:BB ratio of 4.93.

    There were 289 players who pitched 50 innings or more in Double A last season. Stashak ranked fifth in K-BB%, eighth in FIP, 12th in strikeout rate and 16th in swinging strike rate. It was basically your dream scenario when you move a guy to the pen.

    Here’s a quick look back at one of Stashak appearances from last year just to give you an idea of who he is. This is every single pitch of this particular outing, so there’s no sugar coating involved. I’d hoped to pull some more video on him, but MiLB.tv was malfunctioning, so this also wasn’t a cherry-picked outing. It just happened to be the one I was able to get.



    Stashak also ended the year particularly strong, allowing just two earned runs over his final 23 innings (0.78 ERA). If he carries that performance over to this season, he may be knocking at the door for his major league debut. This front office has made some eyebrow-raising decisions with relief prospects, but most of the guys they’ve passed over had some degree of wildness. That hasn’t been an issue for Stashak.

    Speaking of guys who moved from the rotation to the bullpen, there’s also Devin Smeltzer, a lefty who the Twins acquired from the Dodgers in the Brian Dozier trade. He didn’t have the same type of dynamite transition as Stashak, but his strikeout rate did see an incredible jump. After striking out just 53 batters in 70 1/3 innings as a starter (6.8 K/9), Smeltzer rung up 30 batters in just 25 1/3 innings out of the bullpen (10.7 K/9) in 2018.

    One guy who could be a huge x-factor is Jorge Alcala. The flame-throwing right-hander who the Twins got from Houston in the Ryan Pressly trade could really rocket up to the majors if he successfully transitioned to a relief role, not that I’ve heard that’s the plan for him. Alcala made 16 starts and another eight appearances in relief in 2018, performing about the same in either role. He struck out 104 batters in 99 1/3 innings last season.


    Anybody who hasn’t pitched in Double A is a longshot to make it all the way up to the majors in one year, but hey, Andrew Vasquez did it.

    Quite a few members of last year’s Miracle bullpen were college draftees who will now be entering their age 24 or even 25 seasons. Guys like Hector Lujan, Ryan Mason, Alex Robinson, Colton Davis, Adam Bray and Tom Hackimer. If one of them really takes off, there doesn’t seem to be much reason not to fast track them, though a Vasquez-type ascent would be surprising.

    More than 160 players are featured in the Prospect Handbook.We had a ton of fun putting the book together and we’re really excited for people to read it. Recognizing these minor league players for their efforts and ability is a big motivating factor in the project, so we would love for you to pick up a copy.

    [attachment=12206:Handbook.jpg]

    Click here for more information on the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook

    • Jan 21 2019 06:34 PM
    • by Tom Froemming
  8. Twins Select RHP Tyler Kinley In Rule 5 Draft (Lose Burdi to Phillies, Bard to Angels)

    8:15 Update: A computer glitch delayed the inevitable, but with the 3rd overall pick in the Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selected Nick Burdi from the Twins. It was expected. Reports from Orlando indicate that he will be traded.

    8:18 Update: Angels selected Luke Bard.

    8:19 Update: The Twins selected right-handed pitcher Tyler Kinley from the Miami Marlins (more to come after draft).

    Tyler Kinley was the 16th round pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2013 draft out of Barry Universityl in Miami Shores, Florida. He spent the 2017 between High-A Jupiter and AA Jacksonville. Combined, he threw 53.1 innings in 50 outings. He walked 22 and struck out 72. He had a 1.98 ERA in High-A, and a 5.19 ERA in AA. He will turn 27 in January.

    The Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft is complete. The Twins add Tyler Kinley and lose Nick Burdi and Luke Bard. The Minor League portion of the draft is starting.

    8:51 Update: The Phillies traded Nick Burdi to the Pirates for international slot money.

    8:37 Update: The Twins select RH Yancarlos Baez from the Yankees roster in the AAA Rule 5. Baez was signed by the Yankees as a shortstop, but in 2017, he transitioned to pitching in the GCL. Interesting gamble.

    8:43 Update: The Twins selected Sandy Lugo, a 22-year-old RHP from the Dominican, and from the Reds organization. In 2017, he split the year before Low-A Dayton (2 games) and High-A Daytona (4-6, 5.32 ERA in 42 relief games). In 64 innings, he had 40 walks but he struck out 82.

    8:51 Update: Nick Burdi was traded to the Pirates in exchange for international bonus pool money.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Below we're going to start with the basics. Who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? Who could the Twins lose in the Rule 5 draft, and who could they select if they do make a pick? Also, check back often during the 8:00 hour as I'll be updating this article if (or when) they lose a player or add a pick.


    The Basics

    Let's start with who is eligible.

    • Players who were 18-years-old when they signed as an international free agent or draft pick signed in 2013. This group includes players such as Kohl Stewart and Lewin Diaz.
    • College players selected in the 2014 Draft. This category includes the likes of Nick Burdi and Jake Reed.
    • Players who are not yet minor league free agents and have been eligible in previous seasons. Luke Bard and Ryan Eades are two from this group.
    For much more on the players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft, with the exception of the three players added to the 40-man roster, click here.

    To make an MLB selection, a team must pay $100,000. That player needs to be on the drafting team’s 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. The other option is that the teams can work out a trade. The Twins have examples of what can happen with their five most recent picks.
    • Scott Diamond – Twins selected him from the Braves. He did not make the opening day roster, but the Twins and Braves were able to work out a trade. Diamond was taken off of the 40-man roster and the Twins sent RHP Billy Bullock to Atlanta.
    • Terry Doyle – The Twins selected Doyle from the White Sox organization. He was returned to Chicago late in spring training.
    • Ryan Pressly – The Twins drafted Pressly from the Red Sox organization. He remained on the Twins roster the entire 2013 season. He was able to be sent back to AAA during the 2014 season and pitched well enough to be called up during the season’s second half.
    • JR Graham - The Twins selected Graham from the Atlanta organization. He spent an entire season on the Twins roster in 2015 only to be DFAd less than two months into the 2016 season.
    • Justin Haley - The Twins selected Miguel Diaz from the Brewers organization with the top pick in the 2016 Rule 5. They traded down and got starter Justin Haley. He made the roster and made a few appearances. He spent a couple of stints on the DL before the Twins sent him back to the Red Sox.
    Who The Twins Could Lose
    • Throughout the week, we have heard from several sources that Nick Burdi is very likely be be selected. The flame-thrower had Tommy John surgery in June and will likely miss much of the 2018 season. If he does, the requirement of staying on a team's active roster will carry into the 2019 season.
    • Jake Reed and Luke Bard are two other relievers that I feel have a chance at least to be selected. They are both hard-throwing relievers who finished 2017 in AAA. They both get a lot of movement. They could be stashed on an MLB roster, but they are also guys who could contribute in 2018.
    • Lewin Diaz is less likely to be selected due to his proximity and his lack of position flexibility.
    • Ryan Eades had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League and did have a couple of appearances in AAA late in the season.
    • Kohl Stewart was the Twins top pick in 2014 out of high school in Houston. He's put up strong ERAs (until 2017), but he's never put up the strikeout numbers that the front office might hope for.
    Who The Twins Could Pick

    I don't know if the Twins will make a pick. My general theory is that a team should almost always take a Rule 5 pick and see how it goes. The Twins have three open spots on the roster, so they could take three players. They won't, but they could take one. Here are two good sources for lists of who might be available.
    The Twins have the 20th pick in the Rule 5 draft (as they will next June in the Rule 4 draft). However, several teams ahead of them have full 40-man rosters so they won't be able to make a pick. Some teams may pass.


    Minor League Rule 5 Draft

    Shortly after the Major League Rule 5 draft, the Minor League (AAA) portion will start. We'll also update you on any players the Twins gain or lose in that draft.

    Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft before, during and after...

    • Dec 14 2017 09:00 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  9. AFL Report – Week 5: Power From Paul, Wade Injured

    To find out what happened with all the Twins prospects in the AFL during week 5, keep reading!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; 5.87 ERA (overall).

    After appearing in the Fall Stars game on Saturday of last week, Jay made just one appearance in week 5 of the AFL season.

    That came on Thursday in a 6-2 loss to the Glendale Desert Dogs. With the score already 6-2, Jay came on for the top of the sixth inning. He struck out the first batter of the inning, before issuing a walk to the next. This pattern repeated a second time giving him two outs with two runners on base. He got the final out with a pop up to second base to deliver a scoreless inning.

    LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 1-8, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K’s; .238/.351/.413 (overall).

    Wade had perhaps the most noteworthy week of Twins prospects in Arizona, but the reason for that was an unfortunate one. He appeared in four games on the week, but got at-bats only in the first three.

    In the first game of the week on Monday, a 2-1 walk-off loss to the Salt River Rafters, Wade batted seventh and played in right field. He finished the game 1-4, but was responsible for the Saguaros only run of the game, when he slugged his second AFL home run in the top of the fourth inning. This gave Surprise a 1-0 lead that they held until the bottom of the ninth inning.

    Wade’s second game of the week came in the loss to Glendale on Thursday, and like the rest of his team didn’t have much success. Batting fifth, he finished this one 0-2, but did draw a walk in the sixth and was hit by a pitch in the eighth, so he did reach base multiple times.

    In Friday’s 11-5 win over Peoria, Wade hit sixth in the lineup and was productive despite not reaching base in the game and also accounting for all three outs in the Saguaros seven-run fifth inning. Wade drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then the last of the game with another in the seventh that made the score 11-2. In that seven run fifth inning, Wade led off with a strikeout, and when the lineup got back around to him he grounded into a double play. Weird and unfortunate things happen in baseball games, and that was the case for Wade on Saturday.

    In the top of the second inning, Wade and teammate Oscar Mercado collided on a fly-ball heading toward the gap. Mercado made the catch for the final out of the inning, but Wade’s diving attempt put him in harm’s way on the collision. Wade was taken off the field on a stretcher and diagnosed with a concussion, likely putting an end to his AFL campaign a little early. In good news, Wade was reportedly able to return to the stadium before the conclusion of the game, so it could have been a lot worse. I’ve had a concussion or two myself from playing baseball, so I know how this feels! Get well soon, LaMonte!

    Chris Paul: 3 games, 5-13, 4 R’s, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 4 K’s; .279/.323/.459 (overall).

    Paul’s first game of the week came on Tuesday, in a 6-1 win over Glendale. Batting fifth and playing first base, Paul finished 1-5 with a strikeout. His hit came in the form of a single to lead off the sixth inning, but he was erased quickly on a double play ball from the next hitter.

    In Friday’s win, Paul batted seventh in the lineup behind Wade, and collected two hits on the day. In the seven-run fifth inning, Paul got the hitting started with a one-out single, and later scored on a ground ball from Sean Miller for the first run of the frame. He then led off the top of the sixth inning with his second AFL home run to left field. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored and the home run.

    Paul put up even better numbers in Saturday’s 11-10 loss to Peoria, where he batted sixth in the lineup. His first hit of the game came in the fourth inning, when Surprise again put seven runs on the scoreboard. His single brought in the first two runs of the game for Surprise to make the score 6-2, and they would take the lead with the long two-out rally before the inning was over. In the bottom of the fifth Paul came up with two runners on base and delivered a triple deep to center field to extend their lead to 9-6. He then scored on a passed ball to make it 10-6 before the Saguaros pitching gave the lead back in the last two innings. All told Paul was 2-4 with two runs scored and four RBI to end his week on a high note.

    Andrew Vasquez: 2 appearances, 1.1IP, H, BB, 3 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez was the only Twins pitcher on the week to make multiple appearances, and they came in Thursday’s and Saturday’s contests, both losses.

    He got the eighth inning with his team down 6-2 to the Desert Dogs on Thursday, and retired the first two hitters of the inning with strikeouts before a fielding error and single put runners on the corners. He was able to get out of that jam by getting a ground ball for the inning's final out. He threw 27 pitches in the outing, with 19 going for strikes.

    On Saturday against the Javelinas, Vasquez again came into the game in the eighth inning but this time it was with the bases loaded, two outs, and his team now up by two. He was charged with a blown save after he walked in a run, then hit a batter to tie the game at 10 before picking up a strikeout to end the inning. On ten pitches, he threw just three strikes in the outing and in the ninth inning Peoria took back the lead.

    Ryan Eades: 1 appearance, 1.1IP, 3 H’s, ER, 2 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall).

    The righthander’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 6-2 loss, when he was the first reliever summoned from the bullpen, with two outs in the third inning after the starter had run in to heaps of trouble.

    Three runs had already scored in the frame, and the first batter Eades faced clubbed a ground-rule double for a fourth before he picked up a strikeout to end the inning with the Saguaros now down 5-0 early. Back out for the fourth inning, Eades gave up his first earned run of the AFL season, as the leadoff man clubbed a home run to left field. He struck out one more hitter and gave up a single but no more damage in the inning. On the game, 15 of his 18 pitches went for strikes, including four swings-and-misses.

    Tom Hackimer: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BBs, K; 2.79 ERA (overall).

    Hackimer’s only appearance on the week was also in Thursday’s loss to Glendale, coming into the game after Tyler Jay for the seventh inning. He hit the first batter of the inning with a pitch and later walked two batters that loaded the bases with two outs, but picked up a big strikeout to keep any damage off the scoreboard. Of his 21 pitches in the inning, just 8 went for strikes.

    Sean Miller: 2 games, 1-7, RBI, BB, K; .289/.333/.311 (overall).

    The middle infielder saw action in two games in week five, playing second base and batting ninth on Tuesday and Friday, both wins for the Saguaros.

    Miller finished Tuesday’s game 1-4, picking up a single to leadoff the top of the ninth in the 6-1 victory over Glendale. He ended up stranded on third base with the bases loaded.

    On Friday Miller was 0-3 in the batters box, but picked up an RBI and scored a run for his team in the 11-5 rout. In the seven-run fifth inning, his ground ball to third base scored Chris Paul as the throw home was late, allowing him to reach first. He later scored on a single. In the sixth inning Miller drew a walk but ended up stranded in while in scoring position.


    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - If you want to hear more about the Twins prospects in some of these games from an in-person perspective, make sure to check out Twins Daily’s blog section, and the three entries from member ashburyjohn. He and a few friends were on hand in Arizona this week and he provided his thoughts each day they watched, along with some great pictures of the action! (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

    - As they do every week during the minor league season, Baseball America has an AFL Hot Sheet, with Chris Paul checking in at #9 for his performance this week, and is the first Twins prospect to appear on the lists.

    - In somewhat disappointing news for a prospect follower like me (and perhaps since it’s fun to mention #SonOfPudge every once in a while in the minor league reports), pitcher Dereck Rodriguez has moved on from the Twins organization and signed with the San Francisco Giants. I’m disappointed to see him go as he was a very intriguing prospect to follow with his switch to pitching. Good luck Dereck, hope to see you in the bigs soon!

    - Paul Sporer of RotoGraphs gives his annual favorites from his time out in Arizona. While there aren’t any Twins in the list of prospects this year, he does mention Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario as some of his favorites that he has seen in the past.

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Nov 14 2017 05:36 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  10. AFL Report – Week 4: Jay Pitches In Fall Stars Game

    Read on to find out how each of the Minnesota Twins prospects fared in the AFL during week 4 of the season!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: One appearance, 1.0IP, 2 H’s, 3 ER’s, 2 HR, 2BB; 6.75 ERA (overall).

    Gave up two HR’s on 10/31.

    With Jay being the only Twins prospect selected to play in the AFL Stars game on Saturday, he made only one appearance on the week for the Saguaros, and it wasn’t a very good one.

    In Tuesday’s 9-2 loss against the Peoria Javelinas, Jay was summoned for the top of the sixth inning with the score 4-2 Peoria. He walked the first two batters he faced before getting a double play ball that gave him a chance to salvage a scoreless inning. He instead gave up back-to-back home runs to Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley, the number two and three hitters in the Javelinas lineup. With the score now 7-2, Jay got a ground out to end his inning.

    Playing for the AFL West team in the Fall Stars game, Jay was brought in during the bottom of the eighth inning with one out, two men on base, and the tying run already across the plate in the frame. A single to the first batter put the East squad out front 3-2, and a sacrifice fly to the next made the final score of 4-2. Jay got a strikeout to end the inning, and none of the runs were charged to him. On a positive note, the Gameday tracking had him sitting 94-95 MPH with his fastball in the outing and 13 of his 19 pitches went for strikes.

    LaMonte Wade: Four games, 4-15, 2 R’s, 2B, 3B, 3 BB’s, 4 K’s; .255/.369/.400 (overall).

    Wade saw action in all but one game on the week for Surprise, getting Halloween night off. As he is known to do, he reached base at least once in each game and raised his OBP in the AFL to .369.

    In Monday’s 6-3 win on the road against Peoria, Wade batted second in the lineup and finished 1-4 with an RBI triple, run scored, and a walk. His triple followed another one from the hitter in front of him and put the Saguaros up 4-2.

    Against the Mesa Solar Sox on Wednesday, Wade batted fifth in their 8-5 loss. After drawing a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, he advanced to third on a single and scored on sac fly to put Surprise up 2-0. He finished 0-3 with the run scored and two strikeouts. He also added an outfield assist, as he combined with Sean Miller to throw out a runner at home in the top of the eighth.

    Wade batted third on Thursday, his first time taking up that mantle for his AFL team, and he delivered in the 8-6 loss to Mesa. He doubled in the first inning but was left stranded and added a single in the fifth to account for his two hits on the day. He also drew a walk in the second inning, finishing 2-4.

    Back to batting fifth on Friday, he was 1-4 in their 4-1 win over the Salt River Rafters. He singled in the fourth inning but did not tally any other marks in his stat line.

    Chris Paul: Three games, 1-12, 2 R’s, 2B, BB, 4 K’s; .250/.308/.375 (overall).

    Paul played in three games during the week and was a bit quiet, with his only hit coming in the loss to Mesa on Thursday. That was a good game for him, however.

    In the Monday tilt against Peoria, he was 0-4 with two strikeouts in the Saguaros 6-3 win. On Halloween he also 0-4 in the 9-2 loss to the Javelinas, striking out once. Of note in this one, Paul saw his first action in left field during the AFL season.

    On Thursday, Paul closed out his week with a good line, finishing 1-4 with a double, walk, and two runs scored batting sixth in the order. His double came in the second inning and put runners on second and third before Surprise took a 4-3 with the single and three-run home run that followed. He led off the top of the sixth with a walk and later would his second run of the game on an RBI single that closed the score to 6-5 Mesa.

    Andrew Vasquez: Two appearances, 3.0IP, 3 H’s, 2 BB’s, 3 K’s; 0.87 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez again made an appearance in two games on the week, pitching multiple innings in their Halloween night loss, and another inning on Friday in a win.

    He came on following Jay for the top of the seventh inning against Peoria, and although he gave up three hits in his two inning none led to any damage on the scoreboard and he also struck out three. 25 of his 39 pitches in the outing went for strikes.

    In Friday’s win against Salt River, Vasquez picked up his second hold in the AFL as he came on in the seventh with his team up 3-1. He walked two batters in the frame, but worked around them to record another scoreless inning, and lower his ERA on the AFL season to below 1.00 on the week.

    Ryan Eades: Two appearances, 4.0IP, 3 H’s, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; 0.00 ERA (overall).

    Righthander Ryan Eades also saw action in two games on the week, going two innings in each appearance and picking up his second AFL win.

    That came in Monday’s game on the road against Peoria, when he was pitching while his offense took the lead in the top half of the sixth. He had a one-two-three fifth inning, picking up the last two outs with strikeouts. In the sixth, he made it a little interesting after giving up a leadoff double, hitting a batter, and walking one to load the bases with one out, but got an infield fly ball and grounder to escape the jam and keep himself in line for that win.

    Against Salt River on Friday, Eades made his first start of the AFL season and pitched two scoreless frames. The first hitter of the game singled to center field, but later got erased on a steal attempt which proved fortuitous, as the next hitter tripled but ended up stranded on third. In the second inning, he gave up a two-out walk but retired the other three, including a strikeout. He threw 35 pitches in the start, with 23 going for strikes.

    Tom Hackimer: Two appearances, 2.2IP, H, 0 BB, 2 K’s; 3.12 ERA (overall).

    The sidewinding Hackimer saw action in the loss to Peoria on Tuesday, and in Friday’s win against Salt River.

    He entered the game on Halloween in the fourth inning, after a double had scored two and left runners on second and third with just one out. He stopped the bleeding with a grounder back to him on the mound that caught the runner on third out at home. Then, after plunking a batter, he got a fly out to end the inning. Back out for the fifth Hackimer faced just three hitters, striking out one and doubling off a runner on first on a bunt attempt after giving up a single.

    Hackimer also picked up his second hold of the season in Friday’s win, when he came in to start the sixth inning. He got a ground out and a K for the first two outs before he hit another batter, but that runner ended up out at second base on a play the recap did not qualify as a caught stealing attempt (did he try to pull the “Little Big League” move after getting hit by the pitch?! I guess we’ll never know…).

    Sean Miller: Three games, 3-12, 3 RBI, 3 K’s, SB (2); .316/.350/.342 (overall).

    Miller saw action in the Saguaros wins on Monday and Friday, and in Wednesday’s loss. He batted ninth, eighth, and second respectively in those games, playing second base in two and shortstop in the third. After piling up the hits last week, Miller continued his recent success by collecting one in each game. In fact, his lines were the same in each: 1-4 with an RBI.

    On Monday, his RBI single in the fifth inning tied the score at two. In Wednesday’s loss, he singled in the fourth inning, but collected his RBI in the ninth on a ground out that made the score 8-4. Miller final hit of the week came in the fifth inning on Friday, when his single to center brought in a runner that tied the game at one before they tacked on two more to take a 3-1 lead.

    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - Twins Daily’s own Seth Stohs has kicked off his offseason Top 50 prospects list with entries covering number 50 through 41, and 40 through 31. It’s hard enough for me to put together my top 10, so his work to go through 50 names you should know is truly extraordinary. You can’t beat the little information nuggets he puts out for these guys, either. It’s also very telling about the Twins system that he has several players who you should see on the MLB team soon populating these lists so early in his countdown.

    - Also be sure to check out the Twins Daily forums, where several 40-man roster moves happened to kick off this week. Pitcher Nik Turley was claimed by the Pirates, lefthander Randy Rosario was claimed by the Cubs, and power-hitting outfielder Daniel Palka was claimed by the White Sox among a few other purges to clear room on the roster.

    - Bill Mitchell of Baseball America, tackles the question the Twins have been wondering since drafting him with the sixth overall pick in 2015: Will Tyler Jay be a starter or reliever?

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Nov 08 2017 12:08 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  11. AFL Report – Week 2: Paul Walks Off to Start Week, Wins Hitting Challenge to End It

    To learn how all the Minnesota Twins prospects fared in week 2, keep reading!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 1.2 IP, 5 H’s, 2 ERs, BB, K; 4.91 ERA (overall).

    In week two Jay made appearances in the Saguaros 10-3 win over Peoria on Tuesday and their 7-6 meltdown loss to Mesa on Friday, but he wasn’t as sharp as in week one.

    In Tuesday’s victory, Jay came on for the bottom of the fifth inning with his Surprise team up 5-2. He recorded the first out with a swinging K on a 1-2 breaking ball before allowing a double to the next hitter that put a runner in scoring position. This was followed by a single to left field that put runners on the corners and Jay in a bit of a jam. He got exactly what he needed to escape unscathed however, as he induced an inning-ending double play ball to the next hitter.

    On Friday Jay again came out for the bottom of the sixth inning, this time with his team up 3-0, but he ran into trouble right away. The first hitter clubbed a ground-rule double which he followed with an off-target pitch that went for a passed ball to put that runner on third. He got a ground out before walking a batter to put runners on the corners. Consecutive singles then scored two runs to bring Mesa within one and summoned the pitching coach from the dugout. After that visit Jay plunked a batter to load the bases before getting an infield pop-up for his second out and an end to his day. Ryan Eades then came on for the third out.

    LaMonte Wade: 3 games, 4-12, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K; .231/.333/.423 (overall).

    Wade played right field in three games on the week for Surprise, batting ninth, seventh and second in the lineup in those contests.

    In Monday’s 9-8 come-from-behind victory against Scottsdale, Wade finished 1-4 with an RBI and one strikeout. The RBI came in the fifth inning right after Scorpions starter Justus Sheffield was removed from the game with runners on first and second. His ground ball through the left side closed the gap to 4-2 and Surprise would add another run before the inning was over.

    Wade had a forgettable day in 6-4 loss to Peoria on Wednesday, finishing 0-4 with three ground outs (including a double play) and fly out.

    He came back to close out the week with his best game so far in the AFL season, as he joined in on the show of power from the Saguaros lineup in building a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning against the Solar Sox on Friday. He followed teammate Nicky Lopez’s double to start the game with a double of his own to give the Saguaros the early 1-0 lead. In the fifth inning he added a single to his line on a “pop up to the catcher” (which I’d like to know how that happened), before blasting his first AFL home run in the seventh that made the score 6-2. It was the second solo home run of the inning for Surprise and as a team they dropped four bombs in the game. Unfortunately, for all those offensive efforts, Saguaros reliever Jordan Hicks gave up four runs in the bottom of the ninth to end up on the losing end of a walk off.

    Of local note in Friday’s box score, is Coon Rapids, MN native Logan Shore of the Oakland Athletics organization made the start for Mesa.

    Chris Paul: 3 games, 3-14, 2 R’s, RBI, 5 K’s; .308/.333/.346 (overall).

    Paul saw action in each of the same games as Wade during week two, batting in the middle of the lineup, and got to play hero in their win on Monday versus Scottsdale.

    With the score 8-3 in favor of the Scorpions in the bottom of the eighth, Paul followed a walk by the Saguaros leadoff man with a single for his first hit of the game. They were both driven in by a triple from teammate Kevin Padio that brought them within three before Pidio scampered home on a ground out to put them within striking distance in the bottom of the ninth. A walk, hit by pitch, and bases clearing double brought Paul up again with the game tied and a runner in scoring position. He delivered the walk-off win with a single to center field to complete the five-run comeback for Surprise. The win also marked the first time Paul played third base during the AFL season.

    In Wednesday’s tilt, Paul again had an opportunity in the bottom of the ninth with a runner in scoring position and his team down 6-4, but he didn’t have the same result in this one as he was called out on strikes to end the game. He fared even worse than Wade in this one, finishing 0-5 game with two K’s and multiple missed opportunities.

    In Friday’s walk-off loss to Mesa, Paul led off the fourth inning with an infield single on a slow-roller to third, then promptly trotted home on a two-run shot from Andrew Knizner that gave Surprise a 3-0 lead. Paul finished 1-4 with three strikeouts leading into the Bowman Hitting Challenge on Saturday.

    It was there that Paul bookended his week with another memorable performance. He won the unique contest with a score of 2,750 points, edging New York Mets prospect Tomas Nido. Unlike a true home run derby, points are awarded in the event for hitting obstacles scattered throughout the field, and looks like a blast to participate in! Congrats Chris, and don’t blow all the prize money in one place!

    Andrew Vasquez: Two appearances, 2.2IP, 2 H’s, ER, 3 K’s; 1.93 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez again saw action in two games in week two, going more than one inning for the first time in the AFL on Monday against Scottsdale, and one more inning in a 6-4 extra-inning loss to Mesa on Thursday.

    He came on in the middle of the top of the fifth on Monday after one run had scored and runners remained on first on third. He struck out the first man he faced, but uncorked a wild pitch to the second that allowed an inherited runner to score and make it 4-1 Scorpions. He then got a ground out to end the inning and came back out for the sixth. He did his thing in this frame, setting the opposition down in order. In his 1.2 innings, 13 of his 20 pitches went for strikes, including three swinging strikes on his lone K of the outing.

    In Thursday’s tilt, Vasquez was called upon for the top of the seventh with the Saguaros up 4-3. He was charged with a blown save as he surrendered the tying run before escaping the jam of his own making. The leadoff man singled to start it, then advanced to second base on a balk. Vasquez then got the first out of the inning with a looking strikeout but that was followed by an RBI double. A wild pitch then advanced that runner to third, but he was bailed out on a grounder to the second baseman with the infield in that cut that runner down at home. He then plunked a batter to put runners on first and second before he notched his second K to escape with minimal damage given what had transpired.

    Ryan Eades: 2 appearances, 2.1IP, 3 H’s, K; 0.00 ERA (overall).

    Eades also was summoned from the bullpen in two games during the week, with his appearances coming against Peoria on Tuesday and Mesa on Friday.

    In the 10-3 win against the Javelinas he got the eighth inning, needing just twelve pitches (nine strikes) to record three outs. He struck out the first hitter of the inning and got a ground out for two quick outs before giving up a single, but ended the inning by inducing a grounder to the next hitter.

    In Friday’s heart-wrenching loss to Mesa, Eades picked up his first hold in the AFL with a scoreless 1.1 innings. After Jay had allowed in two runs in the sixth, it was Eades job to escape the bases-loaded jam with no further damage. He did so by getting a fly out to center field then worked around a couple of singles in the seventh for a scoreless inning before the bottom fell out for the Saguaros in the ninth.

    Tom Hackimer: 2 appearances, 3.0IP, 3 H’s, ER, 2 K’s; 2.25 ERA (overall).

    In two appearances on the week, Hackimer totaled 3.0 innings pitched as he also went multiple frames for the first time during the AFL season.

    In Monday’s dramatic win he came on after Vasquez for the top of the seventh inning with the score 4-3 in favor of Scottsdale. The first batter hit a hard ground ball that Paul deflected at third base and that ended up a single, but Hackimer got the next batter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Then some hard contact came in the form of consecutive doubles that increased the Scorpions lead to 5-3 before he got a strikeout to end the two-out rally.

    In Thursday’s 6-4 loss against Mesa that included free baseball, Hackimer saw his first multi-inning appearance in the AFL. He was summoned in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied at four and set the Solar Sox lineup down in order, including a swinging strikeout. Back out for the ninth, he made quick work of the 1-2-3 hitters for Mesa, needing just eleven pitches to record another one-two-three inning.

    Hackimer was replaced for the top of the tenth, and with a runner starting the inning on second base, Mesa quickly scored the go-ahead run with a lead off single, and added some insurance with a home run to pull out the 6-4 victory against the good guys.

    Sean Miller: 3 games (2 starts), 3-10, 2 R’s, 2B, BB, K; .211/.250/.263 (overall).

    Miller played in three games during the AFL season’s second week, making the start on Wednesday as the second baseman and batting second, and on Thursday as the DH batting ninth. He entered Tuesday’s contest in the sixth inning as a defensive replacement, and made the most of his hitting opportunities.

    In the seventh inning after entering the game to play shortstop, Miller drew a walk and scored on a double from the next hitter that made the score 8-2 Saguaros. In the top of the ninth he grounded out in his other plate appearance.

    In Wednesday’s 6-4 loss, Miller collected three hits in the top third of the lineup in his best game in the AFL so far. In the bottom of the first Miller followed a single from the leadoff man with a single of his own and got as far as second base. He then led off the bottom of the sixth inning with another single but didn’t move up any further. His biggest hit of the game came when he again led off an inning, this time in the eighth with the score 4-1 in favor of Peoria. He doubled to put himself into scoring position and two batters later another double brought him home to close the gap to 4-2. Like Paul, Miller also came up in the bottom of the ninth and represented the tying run, but flew out to center field for the inning's second out as they fell short of another comeback.

    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - After being selected in the third round of the 2017 draft and being given an above slot bonus to pry him away from LSU, Blayne Enlow was fantastic in the Gulf Coast League for the Twins. For his efforts, Baseball America named him to their GCL Top 20 Prospect list.

    - The Minnesota Twins announced their 2017 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, with Mitch Garver taking home the first honor, and Aaron Slegers the second. Garver finished first in Twins Daily’s Hitter of the Year voting, while Slegers finished third in our Starting Pitcher of the Year tally.

    - After his regular season that was cut short due to injury, Tyler Jay’s performance in the first week of the season was a positive development for the outlook on his health.


    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Oct 25 2017 07:56 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  12. Twins AFL Report: Jay, Wade Lead Twins Contingent In Arizona

    For anyone who doesn’t know, the AFL is a short season league where every team in Major League Baseball sends some of their top prospects in October and is often used as a proving ground for these players who are looking to take the final steps to their MLB dreams. Many of the top prospects in baseball are sent here to make a case for an early call-up next year, but there are also many experienced MiLB-ers on the doorstep who are evaluated whether or not to be placed their team's 40-man roster. These minor league games in October can determine a lot going into the next MLB season for these players, and that’s why I love these games.

    Each MLB team typically sends seven players to the AFL, and they are split up among six teams. This year the Twins are again represented on the Surprise Saguaros roster with pitchers Ryan Eades, Tyler Jay, Tom Hackimer and Andrew Vasquez and position players Sean Miller, Chris Paul and LaMonte Wade. They will join prospects from the rosters of the Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers. It will be the first trip to the league for all of the Twins players, and each them will be looking to accomplish something different with their time there.

    Of players sent to the AFL last fall for Minnesota, three made their MLB debut during the 2017 season. They were catcher Mitch Garver and pitchers Randy Rosario and John Curtiss. So as you can see, a lot of these guys have potential to impact the majors in the following season.

    Each week I’ll be recapping the action for all of the Twins representatives during their time in the desert of Arizona, so who are these guys? What have they done and what will I be watching for in the AFL games this year? Let’s take a look!

    2017 Minnesota Twins Prospects in the AFL:

    The most interesting name may be that of pitcher Tyler Jay. With high expectations coming into the 2016 season after being drafted number six overall the year before, Jay has had trouble staying healthy. That was the case again in 2017 as he pitched just 11.2 innings on the season, essentially losing an entire year of development. In thirteen starts with the Fort Myers Miracle in 2016, Jay did flash a lot of the stuff that made him an attractive pick at the top end of the first round. He went 5-5 with a 3.10 ERA and struck out 8.8/9IP with a 1.22 WHIP. He was even bumped up to the Chattanooga Lookouts roster early in July of that season, but he didn’t finish that month or his season due to a neck injury. Because he has missed so much time, many of the same questions I had when writing his draft preview two years ago remain. We also aren’t quite sure if the Twins new brass thinks he could still be a starting pitcher since before the 2017 season started they moved him into the bullpen with the Lookouts. The main thing I believe Jay will be doing in the AFL is getting some of those missed innings under his belt. It also will intrigue me to see if he makes any starts as typically each team sends at least one starter, but none of the others prospects sent quite fit that role. If Jay can show that his plus-stuff still plays up against the elite competition of the AFL after being out so long, I can envision a scenario where he starts in AAA next season, a phone call away from the majors.

    — All LaMonte Wade has done since joining the Twins organization as a ninth-round draft pick in 2015, is get on base. Across four levels so far in his career, he has a .404 on-base percentage and has drawn more walks than strikeouts. Even more amazing from a comparison standpoint, is the number of walks he has drawn is significantly higher than Joe Mauer did in his MiLB career before debuting (177 in 273 games vs. 129 in 277 games). What Wade hasn’t done so far in his career, is hit for much power but there is some in there. He had 22 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs with Chattanooga this season, and his 67 RBI and .397 OBP ranked second on the team to only team MVP Jonathan Rodriguez. As the year progressed he went from hitting in the middle of the Lookouts lineup to batting in the top third, finishing the year as their number three hitter. He doesn’t have the “wow” tool or tools that many top prospects do, but can do a bit of everything and is not a slouch in any regard. He also doesn’t struggle against same-sided pitchers, as his career OPS vs. left-handers is actually higher than against righties. Wade gets high marks from scouts for his baseball acumen, work ethic, and makeup that they say allows him to outplay his scouting report. There is not much more development needed here as Wade has excelled at every stop, so the AFL will be a good point to judge just how big of an impact he might be able to make in the majors if needed next season. He remind sme a lot of Denard Span at the top of a lineup and we may get to see soon if that is indeed his ceiling.

    — Infielder Chris Paul was a force in the Fort Myers Miracle lineup this year when he was on the field, where he slashed .328/.380/.471 in 61 games. His issue as he heads to the AFL is that it was just for 61 games as he dealt with a wrist injury. Drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 draft from California-Berkeley, Paul was a senior sign and will turn 25 on Thursday so he has been older than his competition to this point. He played primarily third base this year with Fort Myers, but has played in all the corner spots of the field in as he looks for the role best suited for him. In the AFL the Twins likely will want to see some power from him and perhaps a bit more clarity of what role he might be able to fill in the coming season. He will likely start the 2018 season in Chattanooga, with perhaps his position determined by his AFL performance.

    — Reliever Andrew Vasquez goes to the AFL out of the single-A levels and spent most of his time at Low-A which makes his selection intriguing as he’s not as far along as most other prospects who go there. In Vasquez’s case, it is likely deserved as he flat out dominated the Midwest League in 2017. He checked in at number five on Twins Daily’s Relief Pitcher of the Year Award, due to his 1.55 ERA and 85 K’s in 58.0IP on the season. That mark was good for a 13.2K/9 rate, which is elite territory. At 6-foot-6 and left-handed, he looks intimidating, but it’s not a big fastball that he uses to dominate hitters, or anything with velocity for that matter. It’s his big curveball that should probably be classified as a “bugs bunny” type, as it is known to come in below 70MPH. Player’s know it’s coming, but they still can’t hit it and it allows his below 90’s fastball to play up while they sit on it. He is also nearly unhittable against same-sided hitters, as he didn’t allow a single extra-base-hit to them during the 2017 season. It will be really interesting to see how his curveball-centric approach plays against the elite competition of the AFL, and I’ll be watching to see if right-handers are able to figure him out enough to limit his upside.

    — Pitcher Ryan Eades was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft out of LSU as a guy who held a lot of projection and showed elite “stuff” at times in his collegiate career. He always got mentions about how his stats didn’t live up to his arsenal. As a pro so far in his career, you might say the same thing has held true. He was used primarily as a starter in his first three seasons, spending an entire season at each rung of the ladder until he plateaued during the 2016 with Chattanooga. Late in the year they made the switch to the bullpen where he struggled to keep runs off the board, but he did boost his strikeout rate. In the 2017 season he started off in the bullpen, but whenever a need arose he stepped in as a starter was actually pretty effective at times. He even made a couple of appearances with Rochester in early June where he allowed just one run on six hits in eight innings, while striking out nine. When he was sent back to the Lookouts, he maintained around a mid-3.00’s ERA through the end of the season, finishing with a mark of 3.63 in AA. In front of Jay, Eades is the most likely nominee to get starts in the AFL from the Twins representatives, and the likely outcome from his performances is whether he gets another shot as a starter, or moves to the bullpen full time in 2018.

    — The name Tom Hackimer probably isn’t a well-known one for Twins prospect followers quite yet, but that could be changing very soon. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of St. Johns, he is a pure reliever prospect who is performing at a level near the top amongst his peers. He began the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids, and was outstanding as evidenced by his 0.58 WHIP. He appeared in 16 games, pitching 24.0 innings with a 28/3 K/BB ratio and pick up the Save in 6 games. After his promotion to Fort Myers, he pitched another 37.1 innings with 43 K’s against 19 walks. He finished the season with a 1.76 ERA and 0.85 WHIP across the two levels. Like Trevor Hildenberger who made a big impact with the Twins this season, Hackimer is a sidewinder who comes at hitters from a drastically different angle. This also allows him to be deadly on right-handed hitters, who managed just a .352 OPS against him in 2017. Like with Vasquez in the AFL, I’m going to be watching if left-handed hitters can negate his effectiveness moving forward, but with a good showing he should be in Chattanooga to start the 2018 season.

    — Infielder Sean Miller came to the Minnesota Twins organization out of the 2015 draft in the 10th round. He has been what you might call a utility player so far in his career, as he has played all over the infield and even got a few games in the outfield with Fort Myers in 2017. After being drafted, he spent a couple of weeks in Elizabethton before moving up to Cedar Rapids to finish the season. He hit .284 in 26 games with the Kernels that season and remained there for the first 90 games of 2016 before being bumped up to the Miracle to finish the year. He spent all of the 2017 campaign with Fort Myers, playing 122 games in the middle of the infield as a steady glove presence with some speed. He hit .262/.299/.322 on the year with 51 runs scored and 38 RBI. The AFL may be a big challenge for Miller but I’m sure that is appealing to him and guys like him are fun to root for and learn about on their journey to the majors.

    Good luck to all of the players in the AFL for the Twins this season, and I’m looking forward to following along with everyone at Twins Daily!

    Please feel free to ask any questions about the AFL and discuss this week’s performances!

    • Oct 10 2017 03:27 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  13. Twins Minor League Report (9/4): Curtains And New Seasons

    9:30 pm update:

    The E-Twins evened the series with Greeneville with a convincing 14-7 win.

    Despite giving up a run and an early lead, Elizabethton bounced back to up six first-inning runs and never look back. Their offense was led by Kolton Kendrick who had three hits including a double and two-run home run and J.J. Robinson who had two hits including a three-run home run. Akil Baddoo also homered. Carson Crites had two hits and a stolen base.

    Brusdar Graterol got the start and wasn't great. In three innings, he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Melvi Acosta was credited with the win. He struck out eight over four innings. Acosta allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk. Rickey Ramirez got knocked around for two runs on five hits in his two innings.

    Tomorrow night at 7pm EST, these two teams will square off for the Appy League Western Division crown. Elizabethton will host. Winner-take-a-trip-to-the-Finals and loser goes home!

    FOR THE E-TWINS: ONE GAME FOR THE WHOLE SEASON

    MIRACLE UPDATE: Their postseason kicks off Tuesday night at 6:35 pm EST as they will host Palm Beach.

    4:30 pm update:

    The Kernels dropped their regular season finale to Beloit 3-0. Cedar Rapids managed only six hits, all singles. Lewin Diaz had two of them and finished the season batting .292. He was caught attempting to steal second base today.

    Tyler Beardsley, activated earlier today in place of Evan Sanders, started the game and pitched six innings. He struck out three and allowed only one run on four hits and two walks. He was credited with the loss, his ninth of the season.

    Logan Lombana pitched one inning of perfect relief. Colton Davis, on the other hand, gave up three hits and two runs in his inning of work.

    The Kernels will head back to Iowa for one game on Wednesday night. They will host Kane County in the first game of the the MWL Quarterfinals. Games 2 and 3 will shift back to Kane County.

    Tyler Wells will be on the mound. Wells is 5-3 on the season with 3.11 ERA. First pitch Wednesday will be at 6:35.

    FOR THE KERNELS: A NEW SEASON

    4:00 pm update:

    Chattanooga beat Montgomery 2-1 to cap an impressive 91-49 season in which they were both the first- and second-half champions.

    Next up is the Southern League Semifinals which will be against Montgomery (again). Because they won both halves, the Lookouts will host games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 4 and 5. Montgomery will only host game 3.

    The series opens on Wednesday at 7:15 EST with Zack Littell on the mound. Dereck Rodriguez will get the start on Thursday.

    Not a lot noteworthy from Monday's victory. Max Murphy drove in Nick Gordon in the first inning. Andy Wilkins hit his 12th home run, a solo shot, in the fourth inning.

    Edgar Corcino finished his AA season batting .302. (But only .292 when combined with his AAA line.) LaMonte Wade ended with a .295/.400/.412 slash line which is comparable to his career line (.296/.405/.439), just with less power.

    Ryan Eades picked up his fourth win of the season, pitching five innings of shutout, three-hit ball. He struck out one and walked one. Randy Rosario gave up a home run among three hits. He struck out two in two innings. Keaton Steele picked up his first professional save, hurling two shutout, no-hit innings. He walked a batter and struck one out too.

    FOR THE LOOKOUTS: A NEW SEASON

    3:30 pm update:

    The Red Wings entered today all square with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who held the tiebreaker.

    Rochester took care of business, with a 10-1 victory over Pawtucket. Their regular season record is at an impressive 80-62.

    The game with just as much importance, though, was being held in Lehigh Valley. Lehigh Valley jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two innings and things weren't looking good. Scranton got on the board in the 7th, then made noise in the 8th as well.

    After cutting the lead to 4-2, Scranton had two men on with only one out. Unfortunately, two strikeouts later and it was still 4-2.

    Coming into the final frame - and three outs from a playoff berth - Lehigh Valley allowed a leadoff home run and Scranton backed it up with a single, line out and another single. The Red Wings playoff chances were off life support.

    A walk loaded the bases with one out. Any ball to the outfield should tie the game.

    Another strikeout.

    And in the final at-bat, which would decide the Red Wings playoff hopes, Scranton grounded out weakly to second base. The Red Wings season is over.

    But the season ended on a win and some very good performances. Matt Hague with 2-4 with two home runs and three runs scored and, who knows, may be called on to supplement the Twins bench. Levi Michael had three hits and a stolen base. Jon Rodriguez, who crushed it at AA, hit his first AAA home run and drove in two runs. J.B. Shuck drove in four with a home run and a double. Leo Reginatto also had two hits and an RBI.

    Adalberto Mejia pitched five innings, allowing one run on six hits and two walks. He struck out two. Dietrich Enns pitched four innings of shutout ball. He allowed four hits and a walk while striking out two.

    Mejia and Enns will both likely be re-joining the Twins, though their roles - presumably in the bullpen - have yet to be defined.

    FOR THE RED WINGS: CURTAINS

    • Sep 05 2017 10:03 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  14. Twins Minor League Report (7/2): Jax Debuts For Kernels

    Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Sunday, starting with the transactions of the day. OK, there was just one transaction. Felix Jorge was returned to Chattanooga following his MLB debut as the 26th man in the Twins doubleheader.


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 3
    Box Score

    David Hurlbut put together another quality start, but the Red Wings offense was unable to score. The left-hander gave up three runs on eight hits over 7.2 innings. He struck out nine without issuing a walk. Alex Wimmers came on and struck out the one batter he faced.

    The Red Wings offense had just five hits in the game. Zack Granite went 2-4 and is now hitting .367. Mitch Garver - who played left field again - went 0-3 with a walk which ended his 15-game hitting streak.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 5, Mississippi 3 (completion of suspended game from Saturday)
    Box Score

    On Saturday, the Lookouts started their game, but after two innings, it was suspended by rain. They completed that game on Sunday. Fernando Romero started on Saturday and threw two scoreless innings. He gave up a hit, walked two and struck out three. Randy LeBlanc started when the game resumed on Sunday. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in 5.2 innings. He struck out five. Luke Bard picked up the save by recording the final four outs. He gave up three hits and walked one without allowing a run. He struck out two.

    Nick Gordon went 2-4 and drove in a run. Levi Michael went 1-3 with a two-run homer, his third of the season.

    Chattanooga 4, Mississippi 0 (regularly-scheduled games)
    Box Score

    In the regularly-scheduled, now-7-inning game, the Lookouts got some really good pitching. Ryan Eades made the start and threw three shutout innings. He didn’t give up a hit or issue a walk and struck out five. Alex Muren came on and also threw three shutout innings. He gave up four hits, and struck out one. Randy Rosario pitched a perfect ninth.

    Edgar Corcino led the offense with a 2-3 game. He stole his second base and scored two runs. They scored three runs in the 6th to solidify their lead. TJ White knocked a two-run double, his tenth of the year. Levi Michael followed with his ninth double to drive in White.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Game 1 - Ft. Myers 4, St. Lucie 5
    Box Score

    Through the first four innings, Brady Anderson gave up only one run. However, he started the fifth by giving up three singles to load the bases. The bases were then unloaded with a grand slam. That certainly, and quickly, altered Anderson’s pitching line. He gave up five runs on eight hits and four walks in four innings. Jonny Drozd came on and gave up a hit and two walks but no runs over two innings. David Fischer worked a scoreless seventh frame.

    The Miracle started slow and made a comeback in the seventh that fell just shy. In that inning, Brandon Lopez and Jermaine Palacios had RBI singles to cut the lead to one, but the team could not get one more hit to extend the game. Lopez went 2-3 with a walk and has hit .438 in his first five games with the Miracle. With a 3-4, Palacios is now hitting .407 through his first seven games since joining the team. Max Murphy went 2-4. Sean Miller was 1-2 with a walk and his second stolen base.

    Game 2 - Ft. Myers 12, St. Lucie 1
    Box Score

    Playing a mid-afternoon doubleheader in early July in Ft. Myers is not advised. With that heat and humidity, it can be difficult. After a close first game, the Miracle were able to put a strong offensive performance together for a big win.

    Nearly everyone in the offense contributed in some way. Brandon Lopez stayed hot. He went 3-5 in game two and is now at .476 in six games. Shane Kennedy went 3-3 with a walk and his second triple. Max Murphy went 2-5 with his 16th double. Nelson Molina went 2-4. Tanner English was 1-2 with two walks and his eighth double. Jermaine Palacios hit his second double and drove in three runs. Zander Wiel hit his seventh home run.

    Anthony McIver made another start and did well again. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out three. Keaton Steele gave up two hits and a walk over two scoreless innings.

    Lopez has enjoyed his time in Ft. Myers and appreciates the coaching he's received. "The adjustment has been easy really thanks to the coaching staff and my teammates. It's a fun group of guys that love to go out there have fun and at the same time get better doing it. Since I got up here I've been working with Doug (Mientkiewicz) and Sing (hitting coach Steve Singleton) in cages on a few things with my swing and I've definitely felt more comfortable in games at the plate."

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 0
    Box Score

    The Kernels made another commuter trip to Clinton and drove home with a nice, clean win. Griffin Jax was terrific in his first Midwest League start. The right-hander drafted a year ago from Air Force worked seven shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four.

    Jax was happy with his performance following the game. He said, “I was able to establish my fastball to both sides of the plate for the most part. Our report on them was that they had trouble with the fastball, so that was the game plan moving forward. I had some early-game nerves but after the first inning I settled in.”

    Jeff Johnson from The Gazette posted the following on Saturday night regarding Jax.



    Assume he does have a 60-day leave, and that he’s been at extended spring training and made a start in Elizabethton, he should be able to spend four to five weeks with the Kernels.

    Logan Lombana worked a scoreless eighth inning. Hector Lujan recorded his seventh save of the season.

    The Kernels scored one run in each of the first three innings. In the first, Travis Blankenhorn hit a two-out double and scored on a Lewin Diaz single. The in the second, Andre Jernigan walked and scored on a Lean Marrero double, his first since joining the Kernels a week ago. In the third, Aaron Whitefield hit his ninth home run of the season.


    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Elizabethton 1, Danville 7
    Box Score

    The E-Twins played an afternoon game in Danville on Sunday. It was a good game until a five-run bottom of the eighth gave Danville a big win.

    Charlie Barnes made his second start. In 3.1 innings, he gave up one run on five hits and two walks. He struck out five. Chris Broussard worked 3.2 scoreless innings, but he was able to get just one out in the bottom of the eighth. He was charged with four runs on six hits and a walk. Jared Finkel came on and got the final two outs, though he was charged with two runs (one earned) in that inning as well.

    The E-Twins managed just three hits in the game. Wander Javier had two of them including his fourth double. He stole his second base as well.


    GCL TWINS TAKES
    GCL Twins
    Box Score

    There are no Gulf Coast League games on Sundays (with some exceptions).


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Griffin Jax, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brandon Lopez, Ft. Myers Miracle


    MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
    Chattanooga @ Mississippi (6:00 CST) - LHP Matt Tracy
    St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - RHP Cody Stashak
    Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi
    Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina
    GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol


    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

    • Jul 03 2017 08:38 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  15. Twins Minor League Report (6/8): Rodriguez Rocks, Gordon Homers

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 2, Syracuse 3
    Box Score
    Syracuse was threatening in many of the early innings but Aaron Slegers continued to find ways to get out of the jam. The Chiefs had runners in scoring position in the first, second and fourth innings before they eventually broke through in the sixth. A pair of doubles and a pair of singles would sink Slegers. In 6.2 innings, he ended up allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking three.


    Rochester tried to answer back in the bottom of the sixth. Engelb Vielma and Zach Granite started the frame with singles. With one out, Matt Hague lifted a sacrifice fly to center. Granite came around to score after two wild pitches from Chiefs' starter AJ Cole. However, the two runs wouldn't be enough.

    Many Twins fans are on bullpen watch as the big league squad could use some help. Michael Tonkin allowed base runners in both innings he worked but he worked out of both jams with a couple of strikeouts. Ryan Pressly struck out the side in the ninth but he also allowed a pair of hits.

    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 2, Jackson 3
    Box Score
    Chattanooga wasted a strong start from Ryan Eades as Jackson wasn't able to score until the Lookouts' bullpen got into the game. Eades only allowed one hit and struck out three in five innings. Randy LeBlanc struggled in the sixth as he surrendered three runs on four hits. Todd Van Steensel struck out two and walked two in an inning. Jake Reed pitched two scoreless frames by allowing one hit.

    Before the bullpen blow-up, the Lookouts held a 2-0 lead. Ryan Strausborger and TJ White started the second with a pair of doubles. With one one out in the inning, Nick Gordon brought in Strausborger for the first run. In the fifth inning, Gordon cracked his fifth home run which is already as many home runs as he had in his first three professional seasons combined.

    Jonathan Rodriguez reached base four times in five at-bats with a double and a pair of walks. Gordon, Strausborger, and Ryan White all had multi-hit efforts. The team went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and out-hit Jackson 10 to 6.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 1, Tampa 2 (Game 1- 7 Innings)
    Box Score
    Fort Myers jumped out to an early 1-0 thanks to a lead-off home run from Max Murphy. The hits were few and far between for the rest of the game. The Miracle went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Murphy was the lone batter to finish with multiple hits as he added a double and reached on a walk. Nelson Molina went 1-for-3 with a double.

    Brady Anderson suffered his second loss in as many starts. In the top of the third, he allowed a one out walk that came back to haunt him. The next batter knocked a two-run home run that turned out to be the difference in the game. Anderson stuck out four and walked two in six innings. Williams Ramirez pitched a scoreless seventh with a strikeout.

    Fort Myers 2, Tampa 1 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
    Box Score
    Fort Myers turned things around on Tampa in the second game of the double-header. Much like the Miracle did in game one, the Yankees jumped out to an early 1-0 first inning lead. Derek Rodriguez allowed a triple and single to the first two batters of the game. He settled in from there and went on quite the run.

    Rodriguez retired 11 straight batters at one point on his way to a complete game (even if it was only seven innings). He struck 10 batters for only the third time in his career. It was the first time he had accomplished this feat since last July. There have been only three starts this season where he has allowed more than three runs.

    Murphy was in the middle of the offensive action for the second straight game. He tripled to lead off the fourth inning. Alex Perez knocked him in with a single. After two consecutive walks to load the bases, Kevin Garcia grounded into a double play that pushed in the second run. Fort Myers only had three hits but that's all they would need.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 1, Clinton 4
    Box Score
    The Kernels struggled to get the bats going in this one and found themselves in an early hole. Domenick Carlini allowed four runs on eight hits while taking his fourth loss of the season. He struck out eight and didn't give up a walk. Logan Lombana allowed only one base runner over the last three innings to keep the game close. All four LumberKings runs were scored with two outs in the inning.

    Cedar Rapids' top six hitters in the line-up combined to go 3-for-22 with no extra-base hits in the loss. Brandon Lopez went 2-for-3 but failed to come around and score. Ben Rortvedt collected his fifth double and drove in the team's lone run. Lewin Diaz and Mitchell Kranson each went 1-for-4.

    With the loss, the Kernels drop to 34-26 and they still hold their playoff destiny in their own hands. It was only the third series loss for Cedar Rapids this season.

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day – Dereck Rodriguez, Fort Myers Miracle (7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K, 1 BB)
    Hitter of the Day – Max Murphy, Fort Myers Miracle (3-for-6, HR, 3B, 2B, BB 2 R)

    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Rochester vs. Syracuse (6:05 CST) - LHP Adam Wilk (0-0, 4.26 ERA)
    Chattanooga @ Montgomery (7:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero (4-5, 3.51 ERA)
    Fort Myers vs. Tampa (6:05 CST) - RHP David Fischer (3-4, 4.02 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids vs. Burlington (6:35 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (5-2, 2.51 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.

    • Jun 09 2017 04:26 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  16. Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - May 2017

    HONORABLE MENTION

    • Brady Anderson - Ft. Myers - 5 G, 2 GS, 17.1 IP, 1-0, 2.08 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 15 H, 2 BB, 8 K
    • Randy LeBlanc - Ft. Myers/Chattanooga - 4 GS, 24.0, 2.25 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 25 H, 9 BB, 5 K
    • Felix Jorge - Chattanooga - 5 GS, 31.0 IP, 2-1, 3-0, 3.19 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 30 H, 10 BB, 15 K
    THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS


    #5 - Clark Beeker - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 2-1, 3.19 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 31.0 IP, 25 H, 6 BB, 20 K


    Beeker was the Twins 33rd-round draft pick last June after four years at Davidson University. He made an appearance on this list last month too when he went 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA. In May, he did a nice job of keeping runners off base well, though his ERA is a bit higher. Opponents hit just .225/.273/.405 (.678) off of him in the month. Beeker relies on control and command of a fastball that reaches into the upper 80s. He mixes his pitches well.


    Get to know more about Clark Beeker in his Twins Daily Q&A from November.


    #4 - Sean Poppen - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 3-1, 2.97 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 30.1 IP, 30 H, 8 BB, 27 K


    Another Kernels starter, Poppen was the Twins 19th-round pick last year after four years at Harvard. He started with the Kernels this season, and he’s been solid all year. Of his ten total starts, he has quality starts in nine of them. While Poppen sits 91-93, he works with a strong four-pitch mix and good control. Opponents hit just .259/.318/.328 (.645) during May. He is a good combination of enough smarts and with a strong baseball IQ.


    #3 - Nik Turley - Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 G, 4 GS, 0-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 16 H, 6 BB, 26 K


    Turley was a 50th-round pick of the Yankees, was once their minor league pitcher of the year and on their 40-man roster. The Twins signed him this offseason from the independent leagues, and he’s been a pleasant surprise. After dominating AA in April, he spent May going back and forth between Chattanooga and Rochester, and between starting and the bullpen. But he handled it well. While his strikeout rate was down a bit (it had to come down from an incredible April, right?), opponents hit just .216/.272/.365 (.636) off him.


    #2- Ryan Eades - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 G, 4 GS, 3-1, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 25.0 IP, 20 H, 8 BB, 20 K


    A former Twins second-round pick, Eades had moved to the bullpen last year, and it was the role he spent April in Chattanooga filling. But early in May, the Lookouts needed a starter, and he made the start. He has made three more starts, including what may be a spot start in AAA Rochester, and done quite well. Opponents hit just .220/.280/.330 (.610) against him. His future role may be in the bullpen, but he’s always had a good mix of pitches



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

    RHP Aaron Slegers- Rochester Red Wings – - 5 GS, 2-1, 3.41 ERA,

    0.98 WHIP, 31.2 IP, 27 H, 4 BB, 11 K.


    It’s been an interesting season for Sleegers, the 2013 fifth-round pick of the Twins out of Indiana. He wasn’t added to the 40-man roster last fall, but he was invited to big league spring training. He went to Rochester, and in his first start, he went six innings of no-hit ball. He then struggled a bit, but he seemed to figure things out well again in May. In fact, he had another game in which he had a no-hitter through seven innings. Opponents hit just .225/.248/.392 (.640).


    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 May without one that really stood out. And it’s always good to have lots of starting pitchers throwing well!

    • Jun 03 2017 03:37 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  17. Twins Minor League Report (5/12): Kranson, Granite, Wade Key In Victories

    Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Friday night, starting with the transactions of the day.


    TRANSACTIONS

    Following the Twins 1-0 win in Cleveland, the Twins announced (or made it official) that Jose Berrios was being recalled from Rochester and will start on Saturday. The other half of the transaction made for good speculation, but in the end Nick Tepesch was optioned.

    In Ft. Myers, Shane Kennedy was activated from the temporarily inactive list while Keaton Steele was sent to extended spring training.

    Down in Cedar Rapids, right-hander Tyler Wells was placed on the 7-Day disabled list. He said that he’s been fighting a bit of biceps tendinitis. He noted that it didn’t affect his velocity, “just discomfort.” He expects to miss just one start. A corresponding move will be made in the next couple of days. The Kernels play on Saturday, but they get Mother’s Day off.


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 2, Pawtucket 3
    Box Score

    It was a quick game in Pawtucket on Friday night, but it ended with a nice, one-run win for the Red Wings. Rochester came into the game with a team ERA of just 3.13 which was second in the International League (Buffalo 3.08), and that number went down in this game.

    Jason Wheeler returned to the Red Wings rotation and provided a very quality start. The lefty gave up one run on five hits over six innings. He walked and struck out none. Trevor Hildenberger provided two innings of scoreless ball, with a walk and a strikeout.

    The game was tied at one until the eighth inning when Zack Granite doubled. Niko Goodrum followed with an RBI triple to give the team the lead. Matt Hague added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly. The Wings eighth inning runs came off of former Twins reliever Blaine Boyer.
    Hague's proved to be a needed insurance run. Alex Wimmers came on for the ninth inning and recorded the save despite giving up a run. It was his fourth save of the season.

    Granite led the offense. He went 3-4 with his first two doubles of the season. He also stole his fourth base. The team had just five total hits in the game.

    The win kept the Red Wings above .500 at 16-14.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 9, Montgomery 2
    Box Score

    The Lookouts recorded a nice, big win on Friday night, 9-2.

    LaMonte Wade is becoming a big prospect right before our eyes. The outfielder went 2-3 with a walk, was hit by a pitch, hit his fourth home run, drove in three runs and stole his fourth base. It was kind of a showing of all that he is as a player.

    Jonathan Rodriguez’s 14-game hitting streak came to an end on Thursday, but he returned on Friday with a 2-4 game including his ninth double. Engelb Vielma went 1-2 with two walks. Dan Gamache added a walk and his third double. Nick Gordon had a walk and a single.

    Felix Jorge made the start. He gave up just two runs (one earned) on nine hits and two walks over 4.2 innings. He struck out three. Ryan Eades came on and recorded the final out of the fifth inning. He then went the remaining four innings without allowing a run. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out six in what could be his strongest appearance of the season.

    The Lookouts are now 19-16 on the season.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 2, Charlotte 11
    Box Score

    The Chris Anderson Experiment is off to a rocky start, and on Friday night, it got really rocky. The former first-round pick of the Dodgers started and gave up 11 runs (10 earned) on 11 hits and four walks in just three innings. (He also faced five batters in the fourth inning. Four of them scored.)

    Mike Theofanopoulos worked the next two innings without allowing a run. Anthony McIver worked 1.2 innings without allowing a run. He walked one and struck out one. He also hit two batters and was ejected after the second one. Alex Muren recorded the final four outs.

    The Miracle offense scored two runs on just three hits. Max Murphy went 1-2 with a walk. Chris Paul was 1-3 with an RBI double, his seventh of the year.

    Red Wing native Ryan Boldt went 2-4 with a walk in the game for Charlotte.

    Ft. Myers fell to 16-20 on the season.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 7, Bowling Green 3
    Box Score

    The Kernels put together a solid game on Friday night in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

    Dominic Carlini IV started for Cedar Rapids. The left-hander worked the first five innings. He gave up three runs on four hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out five for his first win of the season. Alex Robinson came in and struck out two over two shutout innings. Tom Hackimer recorded his fourth save of the season with two shutout frames.

    Mitchell Kranson led the Kernels offense. He went 4-5 with his ninth and tenth doubles. Jaylin Davis went 2-5 with his third double, which was a two-run double in the first inning. Travis Blankenhorn and Lewin Diaz were also 2-5 in the game. Shane Carrier added his fifth double of the season which drove in a run.

    The Kernels improved to 19-15 on their season.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Mitchell Kranson, Cedar Rapids Kernels

    SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Pawtucket (12:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
    Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero
    Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:05 CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez
    Cedar Rapids @ Bowling Green (6:35 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday’s games.

    • May 13 2017 05:03 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  18. Eades Among Under-The-Radar Pitching Prospects Finishing Strong

    If you’re looking for the brightest stars shining in the system, Stephen Gonsalves (1.97 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.9 K/9) and Fernando Romero (1.89 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 9.0 K/9) are having as good of seasons as anyone in the entire minor leagues. But there has been and will be plenty of coverage about those two as they rocket their way up the Twins prospect rankings.

    Digging a bit deeper, you can find a few less heralded pitchers who have really put things together over the past couple of months. Unlike Gonsalves and Romero, these guys aren’t going to be in the running for pitcher of the year awards or sit atop any prospect lists, but what they’re doing shouldn’t be ignored. Here is a list of one pitcher from each of the Twins’ top four affiliates who has turned things up as the minor league season is winding down.

    Rochester: D.J. Baxendale

    Baxendale began the season in the Chattanooga Lookouts’ rotation and pitched well enough to be named a midseason Southern League All-Star. He had a 3.44 ERA and displayed excellent control (1.8 BB/9), which has been his calling card throughout his professional career.

    That performance earned him a promotion, but it wasn’t to the Rochester rotation. Along with a new team, Baxendale shifted to a new role out in the bullpen. After averaging 6.6 K/9 as a starter in Double A, the Arkansas product is now averaging over a strikeout per inning out of the Rochester pen.

    Over 30.1 innings with the Red Wings, Baxendale has a 1.19 ERA and 34 strikeouts. He’s pitched at least two innings in seven of his 22 appearances.

    A former 10th-round pick, the 25-year-old Baxendale has never been viewed as much of a prospect, but the way he’s pitched at the highest level of the minor leagues has to have captured the attention of the front office. With a new regime expected to take over, however, it’s anyone’s guess whether Baxendale will remain in relief or go back to starting next season.

    Chattanooga: Ryan Eades

    Eades’ totals for the year don’t look like much to get excited about, but since returning to the Lookouts’ rotation, he has been on a nice roll. The former second-round pick was bumped to the bullpen in early July and saw his ERA balloon to 5.13 in the middle of that month.

    He smoothed things out and managed to get back into the rotation on Aug. 14, partially due to performance but luck also played a big role. While he may not have technically earned his way back into the rotation, he’s certainly pitched like he intends to stay there since.

    Maybe being sent to the pen was a wake-up call, maybe he learned some things out there, maybe it’s as simple as he has a fresh arm ... whatever it is Eades has looked like a different pitcher. Over four starts, the LSU product has a 2.42 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and four times as many strikeouts (20) than walks (5). His 8.1 K/9 over that period is a nice increase over his career mark of 6.6.

    Eades hasn’t lived up to his impressive college resume or $1.3 million bonus up to this point, and this could just be him getting hot over a small sample, but I wonder if we are seeing his turning point.

    Fort Myers: Dereck Rodriguez

    Rodriguez started the year in Cedar Rapids and got off to a rough start. Coming off a season in which he was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year, Rodriguez looked lost, pitching to a 7.71 ERA through June 2. From there he really turned things around. The Twins took notice and quickly bumped him up to Fort Myers.

    The 24-year-old has carried that momentum over, and through four starts in the Florida State League has a 2.36 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 26.2 innings. He isn’t posting as many strikeouts since the promotion (just 5.1 K/9), but he has issued just two walks. That’s not two walks as in per nine rate, that’s two walks as in total. While the FSL is a notorious pitcher’s haven, that kind of control is impressive no matter the setting.

    Since hitting that low point in early June, Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in all 13 of his starts. That’s an especially impressive feat considering this is just his second season as a starting pitcher and third overall since being converted from the outfield.

    Cedar Rapids: Eduardo Del Rosario

    Much like Rodriguez, Del Rosario’s 2016 got off to a rotten start. His season started in June, but the lanky 21-year-old didn’t really get rolling until the start of July. Here’s a breakdown his numbers by month.

    June: 6.58 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 5.2 K/9
    July: 2.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 9.4 K/9
    Aug.: 1.69 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11.5 K/9

    Del Rosario has pitched out of his mind over his last eight starts in particular, tallying a total of 58 K's against just 14 walks over that stretch of 44.2 innings. He is far and away the most intriguing prospect on this list, but it’s important that Del Rosario keeps logging innings and developing his body before he really shoots his way up the rankings. Regardless, he has definitely established himself as a guy to keep an eye on.

    Aside from Berrios and Chargois, there has been plenty of frustration over the lack of progress from other highly-touted prospects like Tyler Jay, Kohl Stewart, Nick Burdi and the handful of other relievers the Twins took with high draft picks. But luckily in baseball hope springs eternal.

    All those guys will get another shot to break out next year. But in the meantime, Gonsalves and Romero are reason enough to be excited and there are plenty of under-the-radar guys beyond the four listed above taking big steps forward right before our eyes.

    • Sep 01 2016 09:35 PM
    • by Tom Froemming
  19. Twins Minor League Report (5/20): Eades Exceeds Expectations

    Because Mejia was promoted, Omar Bencomo was brought back to Rochester to make the Saturday start. The Red Wings also officially announced the signing of veteran Edward Mujica. Also, lefty Randy Rosario was promoted from Ft. Myers to the Chattanooga bullpen. That means that five of the six Miracle starters at the beginning of the season have now made it to Chattanooga.

    Let’s get to the Saturday game action:

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 1, Gwinnett 5 (7-Rain)
    Box Score

    Omar Bencomo was summoned back to the Red Wings pretty last minute to make this start. He went five innings, though he gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out four. Rio Ruiz took him deep twice. Neil Ramirez got the final two outs of the sixth inning before the game was called due to rain.

    The Red Wings managed just six hits. Wilfredo Tovar went 1-2 with a walk and his 22nd double. He scored the lone run on a single off the bat of Adam Brett Walker.

    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 3, Montgomery 1
    Box Score

    With Bencomo heading back to the Red Wings, Eades was back into the Lookouts rotation, at least for this start. He was tremendous. He gave up just one hit over six shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four. 51 of his 81 pitches were strikes. Zack Jones gave up a run on a hit in two innings. He walked two and struck out two. Raul Fernandez recorded his third save with a perfect ninth.

    TJ White had a strong game. The infielder went 3-4 with his fourth double and third triple. Stuart Turner was 2-4 with his 21st double.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 7, Jupiter 4
    Box Score

    Before they batted, the Miracle were down 4-0, but they clawed their way back and scored seven unanswered runs to claim the win.

    It was a tough start for Sam Clay. The lefty gave up four runs on two hits and six walks in 4.2 innings. He gave up all four runs right away in the first inning. He struck out four. Luke Westphal came on and walked two and struck out two over 1.1 scoreless innings. Cam Booser struck out five of the six batters he faced in his two perfect innings. Nick Anderson recorded his seventh Miracle save with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth.

    Down 4-0 before they batted, Tanner English and Joe Maloney each hit solo home runs. English was 2-5. The homer was his fourth. Maloney went 2-4 with his fourth homer. He drove in four runs in the game. Chris Ibarra went 2-5 with his third double. Trey Vavra went 2-3 with a walk. Daniel Kihle went 2-4. Nick Gordon added his 22nd double.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 7, Burlington 3
    Box Score

    The Kernels scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead. They added three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth and earned the win.

    Tyler Beardsley started and gave up two runs on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out two. Michael Cederoth gave up a run on two hits and a walk over 2.1 innings. He struck out two. Max Cordy got the final two outs of the 8th inning, one on a strikeout. Tom Hakimer gave up a hit and hit a batter in a scoreless ninth inning.

    JJ Fernandez went 2-3 with his 24th double. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-4. Casey Scoggins went 2-4 with a walk. Brandon Lopez went 1-3 and walked twice. Nelson Molina contributed his 14th double.


    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Elizabethton 2, Burlington 4
    Box Score

    While the Kernels beat Burlington on Saturday night, the E-Twins dropped a game in Burlington. Random fun with minor league cities, of course. Miguel De Jesus started. He gave up three runs on three hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out six. Johan Quezada gave up a run on three hits over his two innings. Quin Grogan walked one and struck one out in his scoreless inning.

    The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Lewin Diaz was 1-3 with a walk and his 14th double. Alex Kirilloff was also 1-3 with a walk. Caleb Hamilton added his fifth double. Roberto Gonzalez doubled for the third time.


    GCL TWINS TAKES
    GCL Twins 3, Red Sox 1
    Box Score

    Jordan Balazovic put together the best start of his very young professional career on Saturday morning. The young Canadian threw six shutout innings to earn his second win. He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out two. Matz Schutt hit two and gave up a hit in a scoreless seventh inning. Juan Gamez made his second pitching appearance. In this one, he gave up a run on two hits and a walk in just two-thirds of an inning. Clark Beeker got the final out of the eighth and then pitched a scoreless ninth for his second GCL save.

    Juan Miranda went 2-3 with his seventh double. Lean Marrero was 2-4 with his third stolen base. Justin Hazard knocked his fifth double.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – TJ White, Chattanooga Lookouts


    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Gwinnett (1:05 CST) - LHP Nick Greenwood
    Montgomery @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge
    Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (3:05 CST) - RHP Keaton Steele
    Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Sam Gibbons
    Elizabethton @ Burlington (5:00 CST) - RHP Tyler Wells
    GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games.

    • Aug 21 2016 05:22 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  20. Twins Minor League Report (8/14): Plenty Of Hits In AA and A+

    There was also some roster shuffling in AAA and AA due to Rochester’s postponement from Saturday. Andrew Albers was optioned back to AAA in addition to David Hurlbut’s promotion yesterday, and Luke Bard was promoted to Chattanooga so they’d each have some pitching options.

    Check out all the action from Minnesota Twins affiliates from Sunday by reading on.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Game 1: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4, Rochester 0
    Box Score

    In their regularly scheduled game, the Rochester bats were unable to get much going. As a team they collected just six hits and three walks, and went 0-6 with runners in scoring position. All the hits were singles, with Reynaldo Rodriguez going 2-3 on the day to lead the team.

    David Hurlbut made the spot start, and went the first six innings of the seven inning game. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits and one walk. He struck out two.

    Jake Reed pitched a scoreless seventh inning to finish the game, despite allowing one hit and walking two batters. He struck out one.

    Game 2: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3, Rochester 4 (makeup of 8/13 game)
    Box Score

    In the makeup game from yesterday’s rain out, things went much better even though the Red Wings only had as many hits as in the first game.

    Daniel Palka was the biggest reason why they got four runs instead of zero. He was 2-3 with a double, home run and two RBIs to lead the way. John Ryan Murphy was 2-2 with a run scored and an RBI.

    Byron Buxton had a hit in each game and stole his seventh base.

    Omar Bencomo made the start, and in 5.2 innings allowed two earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four. Alex Wimmers recorded the final out of the sixth, but allowed one run on two hits, a walk, and a couple of wild pitches in the seventh before Sean Burnett was summoned with the tying run on third. He induced a ground out to end the game and record his third save.

    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 8, Birmingham 3
    Box Score

    The Lookouts pulled away in this one with a four run eighth inning thanks to a Heiker Meneses RBI double, a two-RBI single from Ryan Walker, and an error on a ball off the bat of Niko Goodrum that allowed Shannon Wilkerson to scamper home.

    Meneses (3-5, R, 2B, 2 RBIs) and T.J. White (3-5, 3 R’s, SB) each collected three hits. Walker (2-5, 2 RBI) and Wilkerson (2-4, R, RBI) each had two hits. Goodrum added a double. As a team they racked up thirteen hits and were 6-17 with runners in scoring position.

    Ryan Eades made the start for Chattanooga, as they were a little shorthanded. It was his first start since July 5th. He went the first 3.2 innings, scattering four hits and a walk and allowing only an unearned run in the first. He struck out seven.

    Brandon Peterson finished the fourth and fifth innings. He allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out three in picking up the win. Zack Jones went two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and one walk while striking out three. Luke Bard pitched the final two frames. He allowed two earned runs on two walks and some defensive indifference.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 11, Bradenton 9
    Box score

    It was all about offense in this one, as the teams combined for twenty runs on twenty five hits, with Fort Myers edging Bradenton on the scoreboard in each category to move to .500 on the season.

    But it took a late surge for Fort Myers to take the lead for good. They were down 8-6 going into the top of the eighth but scored three runs to take back the lead. Bradenton tied it in the bottom of the eighth, but a two-RBI single from Chris Ibarra in the ninth sealed the victory.

    The Miracle got multi-hit efforts from Tanner English (2-5, 3 R’s, HR, 2 RBIs, BB), Nick Gordon (3-5, R, 2B, RBI, BB), Joe Maloney (3-5, R, 3 RBIs), and Tanner Witt (3-6, 2B). Ibarra drove in three runs on the game, including the game-winner.

    Lefthander Sam Clay was on the mound for Fort Myers, and pitched into the fifth. Three straight hits to lead off that inning ended his night. In all, he went four plus innings and allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three.

    John Curtiss came on and finished the fifth, and added a scoreless sixth. He did allow an inherited runner to score, but allowed one hit and two walks in his two innings. He struck out two. Michael Theofanopoulos allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in seventh. Cam Booser blew the save in the eighth and got just two outs. Todd Van Steensel shut the door on the rally then, and pitched a one-two-three ninth to pick up the win. He retired all four men he faced to preserve the victory.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 1, Kane County 5
    Box Score

    Cedar Rapids struggled their way to six hits, including just one double, off the bat of Jaylin Davis, and pushed their only run of the game across the plate in the fifth inning thanks to an error that followed that double.

    Luis Arreaz continues to collect hits in bunches. He was 2-4 as the DH in this one and hit out of the cleanup spot. He leads the Midwest League in batting average with a mark of .344.

    On the mound for the Kernels was 2016’s sixteenth round pick, right-hander Tyler Beardsley. He went the first five innings and allowed just two earned runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out five but was tagged with his second loss.

    Michael Cederoth allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in two innings. He struck out four. Andrew Vasquez pitched a scoreless eighth, going one-two-three in the process.

    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Elizabethton 5, Bluefield 1 (suspended, top of the fourth inning)
    Box Score

    The E-Twins game with the Blue Jays was suspended in the top of the fourth inning after Luis Martinez and Manuel Guzman had reached base with singles.

    To this point Elizabethton has home runs off the bats of Shane Carrier (his sixth) and Lewin Diaz (his seventh) to jump out to the 5-1 lead.

    Starter Miguel De Jesus had allowed one run on two hits in three innings while picking up one strikeout.

    The game will be completed tomorrow as part of a makeshift double-header.

    GCL TWINS TAKES

    The GCL Twins, like most of the rest of the Gulf Coast League, enjoyed the afternoon off on Sunday. They get back to action tomorrow morning in a double-header against the GCL Rays.

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Pitcher of the Day – Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts (3.2IP, 0 ER, 4 H’s, BB, 7 K’s)
    Hitter of the Day – Tanner English, Fort Myers Miracle (2-5, 3 R’s, HR, 2 RBI, BB)

    MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05PM CST) – TBD
    Chattanooga @ Birmingham (7:05PM CST) – RHP Felix Jorge (0-3, 5.06 ERA)
    Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30PM CST) – RHP Randy LeBlanc (4-6, 4.27 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (7:00PM PM CST) – TBD
    Elizabethton @ Bluefield (6:05PM CST) – RHP Tyler Wells (2-2, 5.28 ERA)
    Elizabethton @ Bluefield (makeup of today’s game)
    GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (9:00AM CST) – TBD (Game 1)
    GCL Twins @ GCL Rays – TBD (Game 2)

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

    • Aug 15 2016 05:42 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  21. Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher Of The Month: June 2016

    So before to our Top 5 starting pitchers for the month of June, here are a few others who deserve to be recognized for a strong month.

    • LHP Andrew Albers (Rochester) - 6 GS, 3-1, 2.63 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 37.2 IP, 42 H, 4 BB, 25 K
    • LHP Logan Darnell (Rochester) - 6 GS, 3-2, 2.84 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 38.0 IP, 37 H, 12 BB, 24 K
    • RHP DJ Baxendale (Chattanooga/Rochester) - 5 G/3GS, 1-2, 2.60 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 17 H, 5 BB, 12 K
    THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS

    Number 5 – Chattanooga – RHP Ryan Eades - 5 GS, 3-1, 2.89 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 28.0 IP, 20 H, 7 BB, 19 K


    If not for his fourth start of the month of June, Eades would likely be much higher on this list. The right-hander gave up seven earned runs in his June 24th start and yet still is in this top five. In his first three starts of the month (coming back from the DL), he worked 17 innings and gave up just one run. He ended the month with a quality start in which he gave up just one run over six innings in his final start. The former 2nd-round pick has been inconsistent at times this year, but he is also often able to be more consistent with his pitches from inning to inning. He won’t turn 25 until December, so he has plenty of time to keep working on these things.


    Number 4 - Chattanooga – RHP Aaron Slegers - 5 GS, 4-0, 2.16 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 33.1 IP, 22 H, 12 BB, 25 K

    Aaron Slegers rarely gets placed on prospect lists, but he just quietly has been very productive throughout his pro career. He throws a lot of strikes and generally doesn’t walk many. In fact his June walk rate is as high as you will see it. But Slegers had a strong month, not only with that perfect record but with a low ERA and a low WHIP. He doesn’t strike out a ton, but he can get one when he needs one. He should spend the rest of the season in Chattanooga before jumping up to Rochester in 2017.


    Number 3 – Cedar Rapids/Ft. Myers – RHP Fernando Romero - 5 GS, 3-1, 2.70 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 30.0 IP, 25 H, 4 BB, 26 K

    Romero missed two seasons after having Tommy John surgery in 2014 and then knee surgery in 2015. Seeing him this spring, his arm sure looked strong, but the team wisely kept him in extended spring training for about a month. He made just five starts in Cedar Rapids before a mid-month promotion to Ft. Myers where he has continued to pitch well. Still just 21, Romero is a flame-thrower. He often hits 98 mph with his fastball. He has a good breaking ball too and an improving change-up. His prospect status nationally should rise quickly this offseason. He came in at #7 in Seth’s Midseason Prospect Rankings.


    Number 2 - Rochester – RHP Jose Berrios - 5 GS, 4-1, 2.02 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 35.2 IP, 16 H, 10 BB, 38 K

    It took him awhile, but at this point, JO Berrios is ready for the big leagues, or at least he is ready for another opportunity in the big leagues. While he still doesn’t quite have his control, he has shown much better command. In reality, his stuff is also very good as shown by the miniscule number of hits he has allowed. Berrios gave up five earned runs in his second start of the month. Since then, he has put together four straight terrific starts. He should spend the second half of the season with the big league club.


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

    Ft. Myers – RHP Felix Jorge - 5 GS, 5-0, 1.59 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 34.0 IP, 29 H, 2 BB, 31 K

    For the third straight month, a starting pitcher from the Ft. Myers Miracle is the winner of the monthly starting pitching award. In April, it was Stephen Gonsalves, and Tyler Jay was our choice for the award in May. Meanwhile, Felix Jorge has arguably been the best and most consistent starter the Miracle have had all year. Following his seven shutout innings on Tuesday night he is now 9-3 with a remarkable 1.55 ERA.


    He has wins in each of his last seven starts during which he has given up six runs in 48 innings. Only once in his 14 starts this season has he failed to complete six innings. He has completed five or more innings in all 14 starts. That continues a trend that he started last year in Cedar Rapids when he completed six innings in 20 of his 22 starts and completed five innings in each of his starts.


    The 6-2, 170 pound right-hander sits in the low-90s, hitting 94 at times. He has three good pitches and mixes speeds well. He attacks the strike zone, always keeping his walk rate very low. He works fast and gets ground balls. He controls the game. While he may not strike out a lot, there are people who believe that as he continues to grow, he could add more missed bats as well.


    Jorge has been terrific all year, but he has been at his best the last seven starts. In June, he also started the Florida State League All-Star Game and worked a scoreless inning.


    Jorge’s stock as a prospect has risen significantly over the past year-and-a-half. I had him in my top ten Twins prospects at mid season and he is likely to continue to rise. Will he get that call to Chattanooga soon? He should. He was not added to the 40-man roster last offseason. There is no way he isn’t added this coming offseason.


    While we chose Felix Jorge as our starting pitcher of the month for June, there were some other strong candidates. Discuss below. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations these individuals on a terrific month.
    Congratulations to the June Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month for 2016, Felix Jorge.

    • Jul 06 2016 06:32 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  22. Twins Minor League Report (6/30): Walker Walkoff Highlights Night

    All that, and much more, in today’s Twins Minor League Report.


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Game 1 - Rochester 5, Pawtucket 1 (8 innings)
    Box Score

    I think we know that Adam Brett Walker is what he is on the baseball field, and sometimes that works out really, really well for his team. Game 1 on Thursday was one of those times. He came up big with the walk off grand slam.



    The Red Wings had just five hits in the game. James Beresford went 2-4 with his 11th double. Logan Schafer hit his first Red Wings triple.

    Andrew Albers was very good as well. The lefty gave up one run on five hits over seven innings. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. JT Chargois gets the win after a perfect, two-strikeout inning.

    Game 2 - Rochester 1, Pawtucket 6
    Box Score

    There was a different, less exciting script in the second game of the doubleheader, especially for the Red Wings. Nick Greenwood gave up four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out four without a walk. Ryan O’Rourke came on with a runner on in the sixth and got one out, on a strikeout. However he gave up an intentional walk and a hit and both runners scored. David Martinez got the final out of the sixth and worked through the seventh.

    Eddie Rosario went 2-3 with his 14th double. Miguel Sano added a double. Tommy Field hit his first Red Wings triple. Stephen Wickens was also 2-3.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 7, Pensacola 3
    Box Score

    The Lookouts had a touchdown and PAT and held Pensacola to just a field goal for the Thursday night win.

    Ryan Eades improved to 5-3 with six strong innings. He gave up just one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out six. Jake Reed worked the next two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and two hit batters. He did strike out four. Mason Melotakis struck out two in a perfect ninth inning.

    Daniel Palka ended an incredible June with yet another homer, his 20th of the season and two RBI. He ends June with 13 homers and 30 RBI in the month. Not too shabby. Shannon Wilkerson entered the game in center field, replacing Zach Granite (who went 1-2). Wilkerson went 2-3 with his seventh double and his second home run. It was a two-run blast to give the Lookouts a cushion in the eighth inning. Dalton Hicks went 2-4 with his 16th double. Ryan Walker was 2-4. Stuart Turner had a single, and he also stole his first two bases of the season.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 0
    Box Score

    Keaton Steele is the least known of the Miracle rotation, but he has quietly put together a solid season. He had one of his best starts on Thursday night. He threw 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out two. He is now 4-6 but has a solid 3.66 ERA.

    Steele was replaced by Luke Bard who got the next four outs. Mike Theofanopoulos came in for the ninth inning. He gave up one hit, but he recorded his first Florida State League save.

    Joe Maloney led the offense. He went 2-4 and also stole his first two bases with the Miracle. AJ Murray notched his third triple. Nick Gordon recorded the lone RBI on a single.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 6
    Box Score

    Eduardo del Rosario started and worked six innings. However, he gave up six runs on six hits (two homers). He walked three and struck out four. Anthony McIver and Cameron Booser each worked scoreless innings. Booser did so while walking one and giving up one hit.

    Luis Arraez continued to hit. He went 2-4. Nelson Molina, batting third, went 2-4 with his fifth double. Zander Wiel added an RBI double, his 15th of the year.


    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Elizabethton 1, Pulaski 3
    Box Score

    Travis Blankenhorn gave the E-Twins a 1-0 lead in the first inning with his third homer of the season. But that was it in terms of runs scored. Jaylin Davis was 1-3 and had a walk. Lewin Diaz added his third double. Alex Kiriloff batted sixth again, but this time, he played left field. He went 1-4. Brandon Lopez made his professional debut. He signed a little later since Miami was playing in the College World Series. He went 1-3 with a walk. He batted fifth and played shortstop.

    Domenick Carlini actually pitched pretty well, but a couple of errors led to a couple of unearned runs, and he took the loss. He gave up the two unearned runs on just one hit. He walked two and struck out one. Hector Lujan went the final three innings. He gave up one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out two.


    GCL TWINS TAKES
    GCL Twins 2, GCL Orioles 0
    Box Score

    Bo Hellquist, a non-drafted free agent from Savage (Burnsville HS) and Minnesota-Duluth, made his pro debut. The crafty lefty threw 4.1 scoreless innings before meeting his pitch limit. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five. Daniel Martinez struck out two over 1.2 perfect innings to record his first win. Callan Pearce struck out three over two shutout innings. Garrett Kelly recorded his first save. He struck out two in a perfect ninth.

    Akil Baddoo led off and went 2-4 with his first stolen base. Jose Miranda went 2-3 with a walk and his first stolen base. He also drove in both Twins runs. Australian Aaron Whitefield went 2-4. Jorge Munoz went 1-3 with a walk and his first steal. Manuel Guzman, in his first rehab game, went 1-3 with a with a stolen base.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Keaton Steele, Ft. Myers Miracle
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Shannon Wilkerson, Chattanooga Lookouts


    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler
    Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:30 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves
    Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - TBD
    Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak
    Pulaski @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - TBD
    GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - RHP Miguel de Jesus
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday's games.

    • Jul 01 2016 04:34 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  23. Twins MiLB Report (6/16): Pitching Carries Trio Of MiLB Squads

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Columbus Clippers @ Rochester
    Box Score

    The Red Wings held the Clippers scoreless for the first seven innings while building a 4-0 lead, before trading two runs in the top of the eight for two runs in the bottom. Danny Santana, making his final rehab start, was 2-4 with a strikeout and two runs scored. Wilfredo Tovar (I just love that name, Wilfredo) was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, the only other Wings player with multiple hits. Jorge Polanco hit a three-run dinger in the fifth as part of a 1-4 night, and Tommy Field hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth, also as part of a 1-4 night.

    Rochester Starter Jason Wheeler went 7.2 innings, giving up just those two late runs, giving up four hits, and two walks. Wheeler struck out seven. He was replaced by J.T. Chargois, giving up a hit and recording two strikeouts to finish the game.

    Final: Clippers 2, Red Wings 6

    LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN
    Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits
    Box Score

    Lots of Lookouts news on Thursday before the game even started, ASG starters were announced and Daniel Palka will start at DH, and Mitch Garver will be behind the plate (Trevor Hildenberger, D.J. Baxendale, Travis Harrison will be subs). Also Thursday morning Daniel Palka was named the Southern League hitter of the week.

    Engelb Vielma came into Thursday's game riding a 10-game hitting streak but stumbed to an 0-3 evening. Daniel Palka didn't hit any home runs, so that's weird. He was 1-4 with two strikeouts. The aforementioned All-Star starter Mitch Garver was held without a hit, 0-3 with a walk and a K. The Lookouts were held to just four hits, but scored an unearned run in the second inning, which was enough for the victory, thanks to great pitching performances from Eades, Reed and Hildenberger.

    Starter Ryan Eades went 7.0 innings, giving up just three hits, walking a batter and striking out three. His ERA is now down to 3.66 and he's given up just one earned run in three starts since coming off of the disabled list on June 6. Jake Reed replaced Eades for the eighth and walked one and struck out one. Trevor Hildenberger picked up his tenth save of the season, with a perfect 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strike outs.
    Final: Lookouts 1, Biscuits 0

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers @ Bradenton Marauders
    Box Score

    The Miracle lost the last game of the first half of their season, and the last game of a nine-game road trip, falling behind in the fourth inning and staying there. The Miracle had seven hits on the night, with two coming from lead-off man T.J. White, 2-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. No other Fort Myers hitter had multiple hits, but both Edgar Corcino and Nick Gordon picked up doubles.

    Miracle Starter Keaton Steele gave up five runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings. He struck out five, walked one, and gave up a home run. Steele falls to 2-6 on the year with the loss. John Curtiss pitched the seventh, giving up a trio of hits, but managing to strike out three as well and only gave up one run. Yorman Landa pitched a bumpy ninth, but kept the Marauders off the board, giving up a pair of walks and picking up a pair of strikeouts.

    Not a great way to head into the All-Star break.
    Final: Miracle 2, Marauders 6

    KERNELS KORNER
    Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits
    Box Score

    Cody Stashak had a career high 6.2 shutout innings, taking a perfect game into the fourth inning, putting down the first ten batters of the game. Stashak earned the win to move to 4-4 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.73. Stashak was replaced by Juo Hua Lo who went 2.1 innings earning his first save of the year. He gave up a run on two hits, struck a batter out and gave up a home run.

    The Kernels had just five hits on the night, but put them together when it counted, scoring three runs in the second, and three more in the top of the ninth. Right fielder J.J. Fernandez was 1-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a home run and four RBIs, leading the way for Cedar Rapids. The other four Kernels hits were all singles, spread among Luis Arraez, Sean Miler, Nelson Molina and Daniel Kihle.

    Final: Kernels 6, River Bandits 1

    DSL Twins Takes
    DSL Twins @ DSL D-backs2
    Box Score

    Nothing remarkable to report from the DSL Twins batters, but starter Pedro Garcia had a very nice game. He pitched 6.0 innings of one-hit baseball. He walked two and struck out four and left the game with a lead that was promptly squandered by Fredderi Soto in the seventh. The game slogged on into the 12th inning when the DSL Twins loaded the bases via a walk, a sacrifice bunt that resulted in a reached on error, and a hit battsmen to load the bases with no outs. Antonio Tovar singled home a run in the next at bat and Darling Cuesto singled home another run immediately after. The DSL Twins held on in the bottom of the 12th to take home the victory.
    Final: DSL Twins 3, DSL D-backs2 1
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Hitter of the Day - J.J. Fernandez, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Pitcher of the Day - Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts

    FRIDAY'S PROBABLES

    Rochester @ Toledo Mud Hens (6:05pm) - Jose Berrios vs. Daniel Norris

    Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits (7:05pm) - David Hurlbut (4-3, 4.09) vs. Hunter Wood
    Fort Myers - OFF - All-Star Break - All-Star Game at Fort Myers on Saturday

    Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits (7:00pm) - Eduardo Del Rosario (0-1, 8.64) vs. Franklin Perez

    DSL D-backs2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD vs. TBD

    Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games.

    • Jun 17 2016 08:23 AM
    • by Eric R Pleiss
  24. Twins Minor League Report (6/11): The Ryans Lead The Lookouts

    Here is Saturday night’s Minor League update.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 6, Toledo 5
    Box Score

    Jose Berrios was back on the mound on Saturday and started out great. Through six innings he gave up just one run on three hits and a walk. However, after getting the first two outs of the seventh inning, he gave up a single, walked a batter, another single and back-to-back doubles before Sean Burnett came in to get out of the inning. Berrios’s final line? In 6.2 innings, he gave up five runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five. Burnett got out of the seventh and then pitched a perfect eighth inning as well. Alex Wimmers came on for the ninth inning to protect a one-run lead. He struck out one in a perfect inning to record his fourth save of the year.

    Adam Brett Walker got things going in style in the second inning. His thirteenth home run of the year gave the Red Wings a 3-0 lead. He went 2-4 in the game. Logan Schafer was also 2-4. Kennys Vargas (10), Jorge Polanco (7) and John Ryan Murphy (5) each added a double for the Red Wings.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 8, Tennessee 1
    Box Score

    It was a collective effort by the Lookouts in this win on Saturday night. It started with a strong start. Ryan Eades threw six shutout innings. He gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out five to improve to 3-2. Luke Westphal threw two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one. Mike Strong gave up a run in the ninth.

    Ryan Walker was the Twins 18th-round draft pick in 2013 out of Texas-Arlington. He hit one home run for Elizabethton after signing. One Saturday night he hit his second professional home run. He went 2-4 with his first double and first home run.

    Travis Harrison was 3-5 with his 12th double and sixth home run. Mitch Garver went 2-3 with two walks. Zach Granite went 2-5 and stole his 27th base. Leonardo Reginnato went 2-5 with his 11th double. Engelb Vielma went 1-3 and is now hitting .323 with the Lookouts.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 1, Brevard County 2
    Box Score

    Randy Rosario was on the hill for the Miracle on Saturday night and put together a very strong outing. The left-hander gave up one run on seven hits over 6.2 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Brian Gilbert struck out three in 1.1 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and walked one.

    Nick Gordon went 2-4 and stole his ninth base of the year. TJ White was also 2-4. The Miracle had just five hits in the game. Chris Paul added two walks.

    Todd Van Steensel pitched a scoreless ninth inning. However, in the tenth inning, he walked two and had a throwing error and the winning (or for the Miracle, the losing) run scored on a passed ball.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 7
    Box Score

    For the Kernels, it was all about the top of the first inning. Sean MIller led off with a double. Later, AJ Murray hit a two-run double. Then JJ Fernandez and Kevin Garcia each had an RBI double. Finally, Jermaine Palacios drove in two runs with a double. The Kernels had a 6-0 lead before even going out to play some defense. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to do much the rest of the game. Brad Hartong went 2-4.

    Eduardo Del Rosario started. He gave up three runs on six hits in 4.1 innings. He walked two, hit one and struck out three. Williams Ramirez came in and struggled some. In 2.2 innings he gave up four runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. Mike Theofanopoulos gave up a hit, but struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ryan Walker, Chattanooga Lookouts


    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Toledo @ Rochester (12:35 p.m. CST) - LHP Logan Darnell
    Chattanooga @ Tennessee (1:05 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut
    Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (3:00 CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (5:00 CST) – RHP Dereck Rodriguez
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday games.

    • Jun 11 2016 09:08 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  25. Twins Minor League Report (5/13): Big Day For Murray

    Check out everything that happened on Friday in the Twins farm system. There were a few transactions and four good games to follow.

    TRANSACTIONS
    There were also a couple of minor league transactions:

    • Rochester infielder Heiker Meneses was placed on the disabled list with a fractured wrist.
    • Mitch Garver was placed on the Chattanooga disabled list with a concussion. Jairo Rodriguez replaced him on the roster.
    • Andro Cutura was placed on Cedar Rapids’ DL with inflammation in his right elbow. Anthony McIver was called up from extended spring training.
    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 4, Syracuse 3
    Box Score

    It’s been a rough year for him so far, but John Ryan Murphy’s eighth inning single scored Wilfredo Tovar to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead. Ryan O’Rourke came in for the 9th and struck out two to record his second straight save since returning to the Red Wings.

    Jason Wheeler was terrific again. The left-hander struck out nine batters over the first six innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. The two runs scored on sixth inning home runs from Trea Turner and Scott Sizemore. Buddy Boshers came on to start the seventh inning. He gave up a run on a hit and got just two outs. Marcus Walden got the final out of that inning and worked a scoreless eighth frame.

    James Beresford led the offense. He went 2-4 with his seventh double and second triple. Max Kepler went 2-4 and drove in the Red Wings first run in the first inning. Kennys Vargas was also 2-4. Stephen Wickens added his second home run. Byron Buxton went 1-4.

    The win puts the Red Wings at 19-17 on the season.



    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 2, Pensacola 1
    Box Score

    After a shaky start to his season, Ryan Eades has been improved his last couple of outings. In this game, he gave up just one run on one hit over six innings. He walked three and struck out three. Mason Melotakis pitched a perfect seventh inning. Jake Reed recorded his second save with two scoreless innings. He struck out two.

    Dalton Hicks led the offense. He went 3-4 in the game. Daniel Palka was 2-4 with his eighth double. TJ White and Shannon Wilkerson were also 2-4.

    With the win, the Lookouts are now 15-20.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 1, St. Lucie 3
    Box Score

    Another day, another long start for Felix Jorge. On Friday, he went 7.1 innings and was charged with three runs. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five. Through seven innings, he had given up just two runs. He left the game and Raul Fernandez gave up one run-scoring hit before getting two outs to end the inning. Jorge got 12 ground outs to go with just one fly out.

    In the top of the first, a Nick Gordon double (his seventh of the year) scored Tanner Witt. That was it for the Miracle scoring. Gordon and Witt were both 2-4. Edgar Corcino added his fourth double, but that was about it for the offense.

    The Miracle fall to 20-15 on the year. Jorge’s record falls to 2-3 despite a 1.80 ERA.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 13, Wisconsin 2
    Box Score


    Fair to say that catcher AJ Murray has been the story of this game. The Georgia Tech alum is currently 5-5 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth of the year) and five RBI through seven innings. He came to the plate in the ninth inning and added a walk to his stat line. He scored five runs along with driving in five runs.

    Lefty Sam Clay - also from Georgia Tech - made the start. He went 5.2 innings and gave up one run on five hits. He walked four and struck out seven. Michael Cederoth got the final out of the sixth inning. He worked two more innings as well. Overall, he gave up no runs and no hits. He walked three and struck out four. With a big lead, lefty Anthony McIver came on to pitch the ninth, making his Midwest League debut. He gave up one run.

    Daniel Kihle was 2-5 with a double. Nelson Molina went 2-4 with two walks and four RBI. Cristian Cavaness went 2-4 with a walk. All nine Kernels starters had at least one hit. The team accumulated their 13 runs on 16 hits and 10 walks.


    BONUS VIDEO

    Bob Sacamento posted the following video of young Huascar Ynoa from extended spring training on Friday afternoon.





    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – AJ Murray, Cedar Rapids Kernels


    SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Logan Darnell
    Biloxi @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP DJ Baxendale
    Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) – LHP Randy Rosario
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 CST) – RHP Dereck Rodriguez
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Friday games.

    • May 13 2016 10:01 PM
    • by Seth Stohs