Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Photo

Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/11): LeBlanc, Albers, Jay Dominate

randy leblanc tyler jay andrew albers byron buxton max kepler
  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Owner
  • 17,792 posts

Posted 11 May 2016 - 09:48 PM

While Max Scherzer struck out 20 against the Tigers on Wednesday night, there were a few really impressive starting pitcher performances in the Twins minor leagues. Two pitchers extended streaks of over a dozen scoreless innings. Two pitchers threw nine-inning complete games on Wednesday. And also a top prospect returned to the field after missing about a week or game action.

Get Randy LeBlanc's thoughts on his complete game shutout.Continue to read all of the transactions, some potential next moves, and the highlights from all four Twins affiliates.

TRANSACTIONS
There were also a couple of minor league transactions:
  • In some very good news, Nick Gordon came off of the concussion list and played on Wednesday night.
  • Sean Miller was sent back down to Cedar Rapids with RHP Zach Tillery placed on the disabled list.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 7 Gwinnett 1
Box Score

Andrew Albers was signed by the Twins just a couple of weeks ago when three members of the Red Wings Opening Day starting rotation were up in the big leagues. Alex Meyer has been sent down, but now Pat Dean is up with the Twins.

On Wednesday night, Andrew Albers had an incredible night helping the Red Wings to their fifth consecutive win. The left-hander needed just 91 pitches to complete nine innings. He gave up just one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out six. He was working his cutter and his curveball to keep batters off balance.

The Red Wings had a balanced offense. The top eight batters each had at least one hit. Byron Buxton went 2-4 with a walk and his fifth double. Max Kepler went 2-4 with a walk and his IL-leading fourth triple. Buck Britton went 2-3 with a walk. Wilfredo Tovar went 1-2 with a walk. He stole his 10th base, and he turned in a couple of great defensive plays behind Albers.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 4, Pensacola 6
Box Score

David Hurlbut had a rough start to this game. He gave up three runs in the first inning. In all, he gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out two. Mason Melotakis came on and was charged with one run on two hits and a walk in the seventh inning. Omar Bencomo pitched the final two innings. He gave up one run on one hit and two walks. He struck out two.

Dalton Hicks led the offense. He went 2-4 with a two-run double in the game. It was his sixth double of the season. Leonardo Reginnato went 1-3 with a walk and was also hit by a pitch. Daniel Palka was 1-5, but his one hit was his fifth home run.



MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 5, Bradenton 2
Box Score

Tyler Jay had arguably his best start of the season. The southpaw threw seven shutout innings, extending his consecutive scoreless inning streak to 13.1. Jay gave up three hits, walked one and struck out six batters. The performance reduced his ERA to 3.03 on the year. Luke Bard came on in relief and threw a scoreless eighth inning. John Curtiss came in for the ninth and had his first rough outing. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk and recorded just two outs. Brandon Peterson came in and got the final out to record his first save of the season.

Chris Paul went 2-4. Nick Gordon returned to the lineup. In his first plate appearance, he was hit by a pitch. He went 1-3 and scored two runs. Max Murphy’s hit was his second Florida State League home run. Trey Vavra went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. Alex Real was 1-4, but he drove in three runs.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 9, Kane County 0
Box Score

The Kernels had six batters with multiple hits and scored nine runs but the story in this game was the performance of Randy LeBlanc. The right-hander threw a complete game (nine inning) shutout. He gave up just four hits, walked two, hit one and struck out six. He needed just 94 pitches. He now has a string of 22 consecutive scoreless innings and hasn’t given up a run in three straight starts.

Following the game, I had an opportunity to chat with LeBlanc for his thoughts on the performance. What helped LeBlanc to such success today? He said, “I had good command with my fastball today, especially early in the game. That was definitely the key, but I was able to bury some sliders when I needed to early on for some strikeouts. Getting early contact and letting the defense make plays in the field was the biggest factor. They made almost every play behind me, and AJ (Murray) worked hard (behind the plate) and called a great game. We were on the same page from the first pitch.”

The performance gives LeBlanc a 4-2 record with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. Having spent the entire 2015 season with the Kernels (just five starts), he is definitely in line for a promotion to Ft. Myers. (Side Note - I have to believe that when Stephen Gonsalves is promoted to Chattanooga, LeBlanc will find his way to Ft. Myers.) So, what does LeBlanc think of the idea of a promotion?

“I’d be lying if I said promotions are not something me, or any other player, thinks about. The goal is to move up in the organization. I’m just trying to give my team a chance to win in each outing. Hopefully we can keep it rolling.”

A year ago, LeBlanc pitched well out of the Kernels bullpen. In fact, he had a streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings. He worked out of the bullpen, and did so happily, but he has always wanted an opportunity to start.

“Starting was something we’ve talked about since I first got drafted. I think I’m better suited as a starting, and I have a good idea of what I’m doing since I was a starter for four years in college. But, I’ve told them I’m comfortable starting or relieving. Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do.”
Part of that willingness to fill a role comes from the calming influence of manager Jake Mauer. “Jake’s a great manager and has been steady throughout. He’s definitely cool, calm and collected in the dugout and clubhouse. I think that’s why so many guys like playing for him. I’ve definitely enjoyed playing for him this season and last.”

The first five hitters each had two hits. Number nine hitter Nelson Molina went 2-4 with his first stolen base. Luis Arraez went 2-4 with a walk and scored three runs. Rafael Valera went 3-4 with a walk and his ninth double. LaMonte Wade went 2-4 and drove in three runs. AJ Murray went 2-4 with a walk. Zander Wiel went 2-5 with his fourth triple.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day –Randy LeBlanc, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Valera, Cedar Rapids Kernels

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Gwinnett @ Rochester (1:35 CST) - RHP David Martinez
Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – RHP Keaton Steele
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 CST) – RHP Andro Cutura
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games.

Click here to view the article

#2 nytwinsfan

nytwinsfan

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • 1,750 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:24 AM

Byron Buxton, last 10 games: .385/.455/.692 (1.147), 6K, 5BB

  • James, bluechipper, Ncgo4 and 6 others like this

#3 clutterheart

clutterheart

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 1,610 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:55 AM

Is Palka going back to his former self?

May: 176 .293 .353


#4 Ncgo4

Ncgo4

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 537 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 06:25 AM

It'll be tempting for the Twins to move him up real wuickly given the dumpster fire at Target Field. I hope they don't over rush it. Give him at least a full month in Rochester.
  • SF Twins Fan likes this

#5 tobi0040

tobi0040

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 5,693 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 06:33 AM

Agreed. Buck needs a month in AAA

#6 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Owner
  • 17,792 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 06:45 AM

 

Is Palka going back to his former self?

May: 176 .293 .353

 

His former self was pretty good... It's only 10 games or so... that's why I always warn people when a guy has a good month to remember it's a long season and there will be good and bad... He'll be fine.

  • howieramone2 likes this

#7 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Owner
  • 17,792 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 06:46 AM

 

It'll be tempting for the Twins to move him up real wuickly given the dumpster fire at Target Field. I hope they don't over rush it. Give him at least a full month in Rochester.

 

Assuming you mean Buxton, I agree... I think he should spend another month there, just to make sure any adjustments stick.

  • nytwinsfan and HitInAPinch like this

#8 Pitz

Pitz

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 444 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 06:56 AM

For whatever reason, I was anticipating a great start from Jay and he didn't disappoint. Nice to see him bounce back strong after a rough start on April 28.

In looking at the recap, the three hits he gave up were all ground balls and two of them were infield hits (one being a bunt). Seems like he was in a pretty good groove last night.

  • James, Vanimal46 and howieramone2 like this

#9 Vanimal46

Vanimal46

    What's His Velocity?

  • Member
  • 12,997 posts
  • LocationAustin, TX

Posted 12 May 2016 - 07:12 AM

Lots of positive nuggets on this thread today. Buxton once again with multiple hits in a game; his 3rd game in a row doing that. 

Jay seems to be finding his groove over the last couple of starts. Hope he can keep it up! 

 

And LeBlanc has one of the best mustaches on the team! 

  • Mike Sixel and nytwinsfan like this

#10 Thrylos

Thrylos

    Twins World Champions in 2020

  • Member
  • 10,166 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 12 May 2016 - 08:34 AM

Today's report shows well what is wrong in the Twins' World:

Randy LeBlanc has nothing to prove in a league that he is 2 years older than the average player.  He should be at Fort Myers.  The problem is that the Twins' system is so congested in the upper levels with starters who belong in the Independent Leauges, like Andrew Albers (and David Martinez and Omar Bencomo) or the pen, like David Hurlbut (and Logan Darnell and Ryan Eades) to bring up the high A phenoms so players like LeBlanc will play at the levels they belong.  

 

This is LeBlanc's 3rd season with the Twins.  He will need to be added to the 40-man roster after the next season.  He better play in competitive levels for the Twins to assess whether he should be added.  So far he has not.  And he is just an example.

  • Mike Sixel, scottz, markos and 3 others like this
-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#11 Loosey

Loosey

    Non-Roster Invitee

  • Member
  • 1,456 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 08:36 AM

Buxton has been pretty great in AAA from what I have seen.Outside of the Saturday double header where I think he went hitless in both games, he has had at least a hit in every game.He has had at least 2 hits in 7 of his last 10 games with 3 doubles and 3 home runs.Best of all his K/BB ratio is 6/5..455 OBP.

 

I hope they keep him down there until June still to let him really get this confidence engrained in his mind and let the adjustments sink in.

 

If he can do anything close to this at the MLB level I think everyone in Minnesota will collectively breathe a sigh of relief.

  • James and howieramone2 like this

#12 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Member
  • 30,896 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 08:39 AM

 

Today's report shows well what is wrong in the Twins' World:

Randy LeBlanc has nothing to prove in a league that he is 2 years older than the average player.  He should be at Fort Myers.  The problem is that the Twins' system is so congested in the upper levels with starters who belong in the Independent Leauges, like Andrew Albers (and David Martinez and Omar Bencomo) or the pen, like David Hurlbut (and Logan Darnell and Ryan Eades) to bring up the high A phenoms so players like LeBlanc will play at the levels they belong.  

 

This is LeBlanc's 3rd season with the Twins.  He will need to be added to the 40-man roster after the next season.  He better play in competitive levels for the Twins to assess whether he should be added.  So far he has not.  And he is just an example.

 

This. 10000000000x this.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#13 LimestoneBaggy

LimestoneBaggy

    Self-Appointed, Chief Executive Twins Daily Lurker

  • Member
  • 398 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:10 AM

 

And LeBlanc has one of the best mustaches on the team! 

 

With a stache like that, why don't we just go ahead and call the plumber?

 

  • Vanimal46 likes this

Charter Member of the 2019 Twins "Home Run to Hot Dog Eating Contest." One Dinger; One Dog.

 

"In order to have a testimony, you have to have a test." Teddy Bridgewater


#14 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Owner
  • 17,792 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:15 AM

 

Today's report shows well what is wrong in the Twins' World:

Randy LeBlanc has nothing to prove in a league that he is 2 years older than the average player.  He should be at Fort Myers.  The problem is that the Twins' system is so congested in the upper levels with starters who belong in the Independent Leauges, like Andrew Albers (and David Martinez and Omar Bencomo) or the pen, like David Hurlbut (and Logan Darnell and Ryan Eades) to bring up the high A phenoms so players like LeBlanc will play at the levels they belong.  

 

This is LeBlanc's 3rd season with the Twins.  He will need to be added to the 40-man roster after the next season.  He better play in competitive levels for the Twins to assess whether he should be added.  So far he has not.  And he is just an example.

 

So, using your point... who pitches at Rochester then if you get rid of those guys that aren't prospects or future big leaguers in your opinion? Gonsalves and Stewart and maybe even Jorge could move up to AA, but then who would pitch at AAA? 

 

I guess they could just forfeit games so that non-prospects don't clog up spots.

 

Of course LeBlanc should move up, but he's moving back to starting, so I have no problem with him getting 5-7 starts in CR before moving up, and again, I assume he moves up when Gonsalves moves up. 

  • James and howieramone2 like this

#15 nytwinsfan

nytwinsfan

    Junior Member

  • Member
  • 1,750 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:16 AM

Anyone know what Jay's velocity is at, especially late into games? I know there was a comment earlier in April about him pitching in low-90s late into a game.Other than one bad start out of six starts, he's been fantastic for a first-time starter this year.

 

So far he is .232/.294/.304 (.598) with 30 K and 10 BB in 32.2 IP.

  • James, Sweetwater and howieramone2 like this

#16 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Owner
  • 17,792 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:16 AM

 

Buxton has been pretty great in AAA from what I have seen.Outside of the Saturday double header where I think he went hitless in both games, he has had at least a hit in every game.He has had at least 2 hits in 7 of his last 10 games with 3 doubles and 3 home runs.Best of all his K/BB ratio is 6/5..455 OBP.

 

I hope they keep him down there until June still to let him really get this confidence engrained in his mind and let the adjustments sink in.

 

If he can do anything close to this at the MLB level I think everyone in Minnesota will collectively breathe a sigh of relief.

 

He crushed the double in his last at bat, hit it almost as hard as Kepler hit his triple. But the Buxton at bat that impressed me the most was the one in which he walked. He fell behind 0-2 and worked the count until he walked. That was impressive to me.

  • Loosey, James and nytwinsfan like this

#17 SirLoin

SirLoin

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 278 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:16 AM

 

Byron Buxton, last 10 games: .385/.455/.692 (1.147), 6K, 5BB

6 K's though....I don't know.....That's got "bust" written all over it.....


#18 Vanimal46

Vanimal46

    What's His Velocity?

  • Member
  • 12,997 posts
  • LocationAustin, TX

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:19 AM

 

With a stache like that, why don't we just go ahead and call the plumber?

Or the pizza delivery guy... depending on your preference in NSFW entertainment! 


#19 Thrylos

Thrylos

    Twins World Champions in 2020

  • Member
  • 10,166 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:27 AM

 

So, using your point... who pitches at Rochester then if you get rid of those guys that aren't prospects or future big leaguers in your opinion? Gonsalves and Stewart and maybe even Jorge could move up to AA, but then who would pitch at AAA? 

 

I guess they could just forfeit games so that non-prospects don't clog up spots.

 

Of course LeBlanc should move up, but he's moving back to starting, so I have no problem with him getting 5-7 starts in CR before moving up, and again, I assume he moves up when Gonsalves moves up. 

 

 

My count as far as Rochester goes:

 

Meyer

Wheeler

Milone

---

Baxendale (has been at AA for 2 seasons)

 

Slegers (until Berrios or Duffey return from the majors when Gibson gets activated)

 

 

That would pop all the Fort Myers rotation to Chattanooga

(forgot to add the newest Ryan/Steil scrub, Nick Longball, to the get rid of list)

 

Keeping Steele at Fort Myers, with Rosario going back when Slegers returns, adding LeBlanc, Clay (another guy who has nothing to prove at Cedar Rapids) and Stashak to Fort Myers.  John Curtiss there can be the 5th starter until Slegers returns.

Then get 3 arms from EST up to Cedar Rapids.

 

 

No games to forfeit, just forfeiting the mind set of getting never have beens from the Independent Leagues instead of promoting within and finding out what they have.

Simple.

 

Edited by Thrylos, 12 May 2016 - 09:33 AM.

  • markos and tobi0040 like this
-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#20 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Member
  • 30,896 posts

Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:30 AM

 

So, using your point... who pitches at Rochester then if you get rid of those guys that aren't prospects or future big leaguers in your opinion? Gonsalves and Stewart and maybe even Jorge could move up to AA, but then who would pitch at AAA? 

 

I guess they could just forfeit games so that non-prospects don't clog up spots.

 

Of course LeBlanc should move up, but he's moving back to starting, so I have no problem with him getting 5-7 starts in CR before moving up, and again, I assume he moves up when Gonsalves moves up. 

 

wow, what a terrible straw man.

 

No one is saying cut every non-prospect. But, we are saying, for a team that has developed almost no on in years, for a league that is getting younger and younger, maybe they should promote players faster. Pick the guys you don't want around in a year or two, and if they get bumped, they get bumped.

 

but, don't keep doing things the terrible way you've been doing them for years.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: randy leblanc, tyler jay, andrew albers, byron buxton, max kepler