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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/18): Impressive Streaks

kennys vargas randy leblanc lamonte wade dalton hicks eddie rosario
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 09:19 PM

The Twins season continues to topple downhill, but there is a lot of positive going on in the Twins minor league system. A former Twins player has quite the impressive streak going in Rochester. A couple of impressive streaks continued down in Cedar Rapids for a couple of guys who could be in Ft. Myers soon. Another pitcher made his debut for the Kernels. As normal this year, there were a few transactions.Continue to read everything that happened in the big leagues on Wednesday. .

TRANSACTIONS
There were also a couple of transactions of note since the last minor league report:
  • The Twins lost again, and after the game, Eddie Rosario was optioned to AAA Rochester.
  • Taking Rosario’s spot on the Twins roster will be outfielder Robbie Grossman. The former top prospect of the Astros was released by Cleveland (at his request) just a couple of days ago. On Monday, he signed with the Twins and played for Rochester. On Tuesday, the still-just 26-year-old learned he was joining the Twins.
  • In case you missed it: Cedar Rapids placed C/IF/OF Rafael Valera on the disabled list. RHP Williams Ramirez, our choice for Short-Season Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015, was brought up from extended spring. Jeff Johnson, from The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, also reported that RHP Fernando Romero is in Cedar Rapids though he has not yet been activated.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 7, Charlotte 6 (10 innings)
Box Score

Max Kepler and Kennys Vargas singled to start the 10th inning. Two batters later, Tommy Field grounded out to short and Kepler scored what proved to be the winning run.

Kennys Vargas went 2-5. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the second straight game. It was also the fourth straight game in which he has homered. According to Red Wings play-by-play man Josh Whetzel, he became the first Red Wing to accomplish that since Sam Horn in 1990. It was his sixth home run of the season which ties him with Daniel Palka for the Twins minor league lead.

Kepler went 3-5 in the game and is now hitting .256 with the Red Wings. Wilfredo Tovar went 2-4 with a walk. Stephen Wickens went 2-4. James Beresford hit his eighth double and walked once. Buck Britton hit his second home run.

David Martinez made another start. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in 6.2 innings. He struck out eight. Alex Wimmers gave up two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. Ryan O’Rourke threw 1.1 innings without allowing a run. Marcus Walden came in to get the final two outs and record his third save.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 4, Biloxi 5
Box Score

As most minor league teams do, the Lookouts played a morning game. It is often called “Education Day” and the stands are full of elementary age kids. Dalton Hicks woke up ready to hit. The powerful first baseman went 4-5 and drove in two runs for the Lookouts. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough in this game.

Ryan Eades made the start and put together another quality start. The right-hander gave up three runs over the game’s first six innings. He gave up six hits, walked none and struck out six. Jake Reed came in to a 3-3 game in the top of the seventh. He gave up two runs in that inning but worked a scoreless eighth frame. Trevor Hildenberger worked a scoreless ninth.

Hicks certainly led the Lookouts offense with his 4-5 day. Joe Maloney hit his ninth and tenth doubles in four at-bats. He also walked once. Shannon Wilkerson added two hits from the leadoff spot.


MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 3, Dunedin 5
Box Score

Brian Navarreto came into this game with five hits in 49 at-bats (.102) on the season. He led the Miracle offense with a three-hit game on Wednesday. Max Murphy went 2-4 including a solo home run. It is his fourth Miracle home run in just his 17th game in the Florida State League since his promotion. Nick Gordon and Trey Vavra each added a single. That was it for the offense.

It was Keaton Steele’s turn on the mound on Wednesday. The right-hander from Missouri went the first six innings. He gave up four runs on ten hits. He walked one and struck out two. Yorman Landa came in and gave up one run over the final two innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out one.



KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 8, Beloit 0
Box Score

Randy LeBlanc was at it again on Wednesday night. The lanky right-hander completed six shutout innings and has now accumulated 28 consecutive scoreless innings. He wasn’t even at his best. He gave up four hits, walked three and only struck out one. His ERA drops to 0.78. CK Irby came on in relief. He walked one and gave up a hit, but he struck out three in a scoreless inning. Williams Ramirez came on for his Midwest League debut. He threw two perfect innings and struck out three.

Daniel Kihle led the offense with a three-hit game and a walk. Jorge Fernandez hit his seventh an eighth doubles. Zander Wiel was 2-4 with a run batted in. Alex Perez was terrific in the leadoff spot. He went 1-2 with three walks. Luis Arraez drove in two with a double, his sixth. LaMonte Wade had a two-run single. The hit extended his on-base streak to 19 games.

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 – Dalton Hicks, Chattanooga Lookouts

THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Rochester @ Durham (6:05 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler
Chattanooga @ Jackson (7:05 CST) - RHP DJ Baxendale
Ft. Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 CST) – RHP Felix Jorge
Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – LHP Sam Clay
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games.

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#2 SD Buhr

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 09:54 PM

Williams Ramirez was impressive in his Kernls debut. I remember seeing him in spring training and being impressed with his velo, but he didn't have a ton of control when I saw him. He uncorked a couple pitches tonight, too, but he had both a mid 90s fastball and impressive secondary pitches.

 

I shot a video of his second inning of work (the 9th inning) if anyone is interested in seeing it.

 

https://youtu.be/3kJ6qB7jsdE

 

 

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#3 nyazbeck

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 06:03 AM

When is Romero going to be activated

#4 TRex

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 06:40 AM

 

Williams Ramirez was impressive in his Kernls debut. I remember seeing him in spring training and being impressed with his velo, but he didn't have a ton of control when I saw him. He uncorked a couple pitches tonight, too, but he had both a mid 90s fastball and impressive secondary pitches.

 

I shot a video of his second inning of work (the 9th inning) if anyone is interested in seeing it.

 

https://youtu.be/3kJ6qB7jsdE

Thanks for the video SD!

 

Is that a 'mid-90's' fastball according to the FM or CR gun?

 

The off-speed pitches he threw to the third batter for strike one and the punchout were really impressive.

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#5 DocBauer

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:19 AM

LeBlanc needs to be packing for Ft Myers.
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#6 SD Buhr

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:52 AM

 

Thanks for the video SD!

 

Is that a 'mid-90's' fastball according to the FM or CR gun?

 

The off-speed pitches he threw to the third batter for strike one and the punchout were really impressive.

 

Ramirez was consistently sitting at 92-93 on the scoreboard, which means you can a couple mph to that. 

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#7 SD Buhr

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:07 AM

 

When is Romero going to be activated

 

Good question. The Gazette's Jeff Johnson has reported that Romero is in town. I saw Twins' minor league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen there last night, too. Interestingly, the Kernels web site doesn't show any starting pitchers named for games beyond Sam Clay tonight.

 

LeBlanc and Clay both should be in Fort Myers. But you can't promote them without moving a couple of the Miracle's pitchers. There might be 4 guys in Fort Myers that appear ready to move up, but then you need to create open spots in Chattanooga. That's where there may be a logjam that needs to be cleared.

 

I think JJ also reported last week that Terry Ryan (and Ron Gardenhire) will be in CR during this homestand, as well. Moves often come when the brass leaves town.

 

It's going to happen and I would think it would be very soon, but every move you make requires ripples of moves and down the ladder so I'm sure it gets complicated.

 

Edited by SD Buhr, 19 May 2016 - 08:11 AM.

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#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:11 AM

 

LeBlanc needs to be packing for Ft Myers.

 

Agreed. 


#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:15 AM

 

Williams Ramirez was impressive in his Kernls debut. I remember seeing him in spring training and being impressed with his velo, but he didn't have a ton of control when I saw him. He uncorked a couple pitches tonight, too, but he had both a mid 90s fastball and impressive secondary pitches.

 

I shot a video of his second inning of work (the 9th inning) if anyone is interested in seeing it.

 

https://youtu.be/3kJ6qB7jsdE

 

Wow!! I know he only worked from the full windup, but his mechanics are remarkably consistent. Even between the FB and CB, it's very little alteration. That's encouraging! 

 

And, great stuff. Fastball jumps on the hitter, and that breaking ball looks sharp!


#10 SirLoin

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:28 AM

If Kennys Vargas continues to put up solid numbers, could he be a potential trade chip?  His skill set is essentially the same as Park's, so there's no real use for him on the Twins active roster.  Not a centerpiece for a trade, but a good complimentary piece?

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#11 DocBauer

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 09:41 AM

 

If Kennys Vargas continues to put up solid numbers, could he be a potential trade chip?  His skill set is essentially the same as Park's, so there's no real use for him on the Twins active roster.  Not a centerpiece for a trade, but a good complimentary piece?

Another question....and yes, I'm being serious....could Vargas be a DH next year with Park as the 1B?

 

What about Mauer you ask? After the past 2 seasons and the onset of May, that is a very, very interesting question no doubt.

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#12 SirLoin

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:02 AM

 

Another question....and yes, I'm being serious....could Vargas be a DH next year with Park as the 1B?

 

What about Mauer you ask? After the past 2 seasons and the onset of May, that is a very, very interesting question no doubt.

I don't hate this.  But what do you do with Mauer, his monster salary and no trade clause?


#13 DocBauer

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:04 AM

 

I don't hate this.  But what do you do with Mauer, his monster salary and no trade clause?

If this continues, my gut says he may just walk away on his own. Three straight seasons where he is a shell of himself? Plus his young family and future health to consider? 

 

It also wouldn't surprise me if the Twins FO "took care" of him with some deferred money or spot with the organization in some capacity.

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#14 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 12:27 PM

 

When is Romero going to be activated

Just talked to him - he doesn't know, he says he's ready to get called up now and I can't disagree too much.  The velo is  there as he's hitting as high as 98, his slider is nasty 88-90 and he's throwing his change for strikes.  My guess is they want his pitch count up as the most he's thrown in EXST to date is about 60 pitches in an outing.


#15 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 12:35 PM

 

Wow!! I know he only worked from the full windup, but his mechanics are remarkably consistent. Even between the FB and CB, it's very little alteration. That's encouraging! 

 

And, great stuff. Fastball jumps on the hitter, and that breaking ball looks sharp!

Great kid, very talkative.  Looks like he eliminated some of that herky jerky delay motion in his delivery where he drops down that he had even in GCL last year.  Can't really tell from that angle.

 

Edited by Bob Sacamento, 19 May 2016 - 12:36 PM.


#16 SirLoin

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 01:37 PM

 

If this continues, my gut says he may just walk away on his own. Three straight seasons where he is a shell of himself? Plus his young family and future health to consider? 

 

It also wouldn't surprise me if the Twins FO "took care" of him with some deferred money or spot with the organization in some capacity.

 

So I'm not the only one secretly hoping that happens?

 


#17 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:45 PM

If this continues, my gut says he may just walk away on his own. Three straight seasons where he is a shell of himself? Plus his young family and future health to consider?

It also wouldn't surprise me if the Twins FO "took care" of him with some deferred money or spot with the organization in some capacity.


Lol, Mauer is not walking away from 46 million dollars, nor should he.

Also, future health? There are literally hundreds of jobs more dangerous than baseball.

#18 DocBauer

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 07:55 PM

Lol, Mauer is not walking away from 46 million dollars, nor should he.
Also, future health? There are literally hundreds of jobs more dangerous than baseball.


I agree it's a lot of money. But he's also made gobs of money to this point. From my general understanding, he's never been on to live high on the hog. I'm sure he's set for life.

When I refer to health, it seems that no longer being behind the plate should help prevent additional aches and pains. But I am referring to his concussion issues. With Koski and Morneau we've seen concussions happen just from playing the game in a normal fashion.

With a young family, financially set, a third year of disappointing performance, possibly regressing further...that is yet to be determined...I don't think to absurd to think he would decide to walk away. Especially if the Twins did something to offset any financial "loss" he would incure.

And let's be realistic simply from a baseball sense, Mauer's value is to the Twins and the Twins alone. We're he, in theory, suddenly on the market via trade or an outright release, no longer an All Star or Gold Glove catcher, what team would be willing to pick him up as a poor hitting no power 1B?
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

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#19 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:01 PM

I agree it's a lot of money. But he's also made gobs of money to this point. From my general understanding, he's never been on to live high on the hog. I'm sure he's set for life.

When I refer to health, it seems that no longer being behind the plate should help prevent additional aches and pains. But I am referring to his concussion issues. With Koski and Morneau we've seen concussions happen just from playing the game in a normal fashion.

With a young family, financially set, a third year of disappointing performance, possibly regressing further...that is yet to be determined...I don't think to absurd to think he would decide to walk away. Especially if the Twins did something to offset any financial "loss" he would incure.

And let's be realistic simply from a baseball sense, Mauer's value is to the Twins and the Twins alone. We're he, in theory, suddenly on the market via trade or an outright release, no longer an All Star or Gold Glove catcher, what team would be willing to pick him up as a poor hitting no power 1B?


I'll eat my hat if Mauer walks away from 46 million.
I don't care if he had a trillion dollars and converted to Buddhism, people don't walk away from that kind of money.

And the Pohlad's aren't going to give him 46 million to retire.

We are stuck with him.



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