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Behind the Fence: Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero and Paul Clemens get action

fernando romero stephen gonsalves paul clemens byung ho park nick gordon
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#1 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 07:45 AM

The Red Sox ended their spring training today while the Twins will play an intrasquad game on Sunday before the teams break camp.  The players already know where they are going and are going stir crazy to get out of camp.  I did learn that the local Seminole Casino here in town is a hot spot for many of the bonus baby prospects (Twins and Red Sox) and spent more in an hour at the blackjack table than I gamble in a year.

 

 

RHP Fernando Romero pitching 4IP, 2H, 2BB, 4K, 44K/67TOT, 95-99 FB avg 97, 86-88 SL, 84-85 CH.  Fernando started off a little wild but reigned it back in after the first, he got thru most of the game with his FB/SL mix, the changeup is still progressing slowly.  Talked with a few of the Red Sox players who were impressed with the amount of backspin on his slider.

 

Recent pickup RHP Paul Clemens pitching in AA game, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 KK. 94-96 mph FB.  Clemens has a chip on his shoulder and he's going to pitch like it, he talked of being cut by the Padres and how he was pitching thru tendonitis as he thought his job was safe with the club.  His velo was down to 88-90 mph before the Padres cut him loose.

 

Minnesota Twins prospect LHP Stephen Gonsalves pitching 4/1/2017 vs. Boston Red Sox AA team.3 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 86 - 90 mph FB (avg 88), 72-74 mph CV, 78 - 81 mph CH, , 83 -85 mphSL,6 balls, 27 strikes, 33pitches.  Gonsalves has two more starts in extended spring 4/6 And 4/11 before joining his teammates in Chattanooga.

 

Nick Gordon played 2B in the game while Vielma manned SS, look for that quite a bit at Chattanooga this season.

 

Byung Ho Park got into the AAA in the 5th inning, drew a walk in his at bat.  Kennys Vargas was playing as well and looked good at the plate showing no ill effects of the injury.

 

And I can't remember who asked but here is some video of LaMonte Wade at the plate for the Chattanooga club.  He'll start the season there which is fairly aggressive.  

 

 

 

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#2 Han Joelo

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:41 AM

Thanks for posting.

#3 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:45 AM

Disappointing to see Gonsalves start back in AA with our lack of depth in quality starters after Mejia, Duffey, and Berrios. And after posting a 1.82 ERA and 10.6 k/9 in Chattanooga there is little reason for starting back over in AA, as long as healthy Gonsalves (not Kohl Stewart) needs to be fast tracked to the Bigs. He has proven himself enough. Can he be successful in the Bigs? Yes, his pitching arsenal is similar to a young James Shields so he could very well be a quality #3.

As for Romero why has he struggled so much with his change? He pitched in instructs to work on it and sounds still like his change has a lot of work left. I just hope he can be that top rotation guy we have been looking for because so far the only pitcher with a glimmer of hope to be a top rotational type starter is Lewis Thorpe and he really hasn't been challenged yet, so the jury is still out on him.

#4 nytwinsfan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:00 AM

 

Disappointing to see Gonsalves start back in AA with our lack of depth in quality starters after Mejia, Duffey, and Berrios. And after posting a 1.82 ERA and 10.6 k/9 in Chattanooga there is little reason for starting back over in AA, as long as healthy Gonsalves (not Kohl Stewart) needs to be fast tracked to the Bigs. He has proven himself enough. Can he be successful in the Bigs? Yes, his pitching arsenal is similar to a young James Shields so he could very well be a quality #3.

As for Romero why has he struggled so much with his change? He pitched in instructs to work on it and sounds still like his change has a lot of work left. I just hope he can be that top rotation guy we have been looking for because so far the only pitcher with a glimmer of hope to be a top rotational type starter is Lewis Thorpe and he really hasn't been challenged yet, so the jury is still out on him.

 

The reason to start Gonsalves in AA is that his shoulder has had issues that forced him to at least temporarily shut down twice now within the past 8 months.  I'd rather him start off slow in AA where he's already excelled until he's confident his shoulder is fully ok. 

 

With a few exceptions (e.g., Gonsalves) changeups are usually the last pitch for a starter to master. Romero just turned 22 in December and he missed an entire year due to TJ surgery. He's actually way ahead of schedule in terms of his progress. I'm not even remotely worried about his progress. If anything, quite the opposite.

 

 

The Twins clearly aren't trying that hard to make the playoffs this year given that they sent high-upside guys like Berrios and Park to AAA. As much as I'd like to see them do well, I'd rather Gonsalves and Romero come up in September or early next year and be fully ready.  Each of them still has a lot to do in the minors. 

Edited by nytwinsfan, 02 April 2017 - 09:01 AM.

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#5 nytwinsfan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:07 AM

 

 

Nick Gordon played 2B in the game while Vielma manned SS, look for that quite a bit at Chattanooga this season.

 

And I can't remember who asked but here is some video of LaMonte Wade at the plate for the Chattanooga club.  He'll start the season there which is fairly aggressive.  

 

That's really awesome to hear about Wade. That is indeed pretty aggressive. Wade and Romero starting at AA feel like some of the first moves by the new front office that the old front office would not have made. Other than Buxton (who was unique in many ways), I can't think of a prospect that the old front office was that aggressive with.  

 

Bob, do you get the sense that Gordon's playing a lot at 2B is because the new front office doesn't think he's going to stick full time at SS? Or do you think it is because they are very high on Vielma (or Javier I suppose)? Or do you think they see the future of the middle infield as a combo of all three of Polanco, Gordon and Vielma and just want to get Gordon some time at 2B so he has some positional flexibility? I'm just not sure Gordon's bat is going to be enough at 2B, even if he is a plus range defender there. And it sort of wastes his arm.

Edited by nytwinsfan, 02 April 2017 - 09:08 AM.


#6 Taildragger8791

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 10:13 AM

 

Disappointing to see Gonsalves start back in AA with our lack of depth in quality starters after Mejia, Duffey, and Berrios. And after posting a 1.82 ERA and 10.6 k/9 in Chattanooga there is little reason for starting back over in AA, as long as healthy Gonsalves (not Kohl Stewart) needs to be fast tracked to the Bigs. He has proven himself enough. Can he be successful in the Bigs? Yes, his pitching arsenal is similar to a young James Shields so he could very well be a quality #3.

As for Romero why has he struggled so much with his change? He pitched in instructs to work on it and sounds still like his change has a lot of work left. I just hope he can be that top rotation guy we have been looking for because so far the only pitcher with a glimmer of hope to be a top rotational type starter is Lewis Thorpe and he really hasn't been challenged yet, so the jury is still out on him.

Gonsalves has had issues with his shoulder off and on that he needs to get right before pushing him up the ladder. Looking at Bob's report it's pretty clear his velocity is down a little, which is concerning but also suggests he isn't going all-out yet.

 

I doubt he'll be stuck at AA long if he's dominating. There are hints that he's getting by against less advanced hitters despite spotty control and not having overpowering stuff, partly due to his advanced changeup which hitters aren't used to seeing at those levels. He was putting almost as many guys on base via walk as he did via hits. I think they just want to see him make some progress on that so he doesn't get destroyed in the majors (see: Berrios, Jose).

 

And on top of all that, there really isn't that big of a jump between AA and AAA like there is between A and AA or AAA and MLB. The hitters there won't generally be that much more talented, just more experienced. So starting at AA and moving to AAA after a month or so isn't going to hold him back.

Edited by Taildragger8791, 02 April 2017 - 10:14 AM.

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#7 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 02:10 PM

 

As for Romero why has he struggled so much with his change? He pitched in instructs to work on it and sounds still like his change has a lot of work left. I just hope he can be that top rotation guy we have been looking for because so far the only pitcher with a glimmer of hope to be a top rotational type starter is Lewis Thorpe and he really hasn't been challenged yet, so the jury is still out on him.

He's still trying to harness some control over it, where as he has control over his FB and SL.  His command overall though still needs refinement.


#8 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 02:14 PM

 

That's really awesome to hear about Wade. That is indeed pretty aggressive. Wade and Romero starting at AA feel like some of the first moves by the new front office that the old front office would not have made. Other than Buxton (who was unique in many ways), I can't think of a prospect that the old front office was that aggressive with.  

 

Bob, do you get the sense that Gordon's playing a lot at 2B is because the new front office doesn't think he's going to stick full time at SS? Or do you think it is because they are very high on Vielma (or Javier I suppose)? Or do you think they see the future of the middle infield as a combo of all three of Polanco, Gordon and Vielma and just want to get Gordon some time at 2B so he has some positional flexibility? I'm just not sure Gordon's bat is going to be enough at 2B, even if he is a plus range defender there. And it sort of wastes his arm.

Rortvedt starting in Cedar Rapids is a little aggressive too I thought.  In today's game (Saturday) Gordon played SS while Vielma DH.  It's not that they think Nick isn't going to stick at SS it's just that Vielma is the better defender between the two at SS.  At 2B, Gordon showed off plus range and a plus plus arm making a couple plays that looked up the hole elsewise.

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#9 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 05:13 PM

Gordon should be at shortstop every day, if they think he is a shortstop in the majors. This is about building the twins, not AA wins.
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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#10 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 05:31 PM

 

Gordon should be at shortstop every day, if they think he is a shortstop in the majors. This is about building the twins, not AA wins.

I agree Mike. Let's see if our high draft pick SS can cut the mustard at SS.


#11 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 06:39 PM

 

Gordon should be at shortstop every day, if they think he is a shortstop in the majors. This is about building the twins, not AA wins.

It's about development of the players, and you have to think about Vielma as well. The timing of two SS that could make the big leagues is a nice problem to have.  Nick is a good defensive SS, on the 20-80 scale (50 being MLB avg), he's a 55 fielding at SS (probably a 65-70 at 2B) and a 60 arm at SS.  Vielma is a 70 fielding at SS and a 60 arm at SS.  Vielma's hitting just needs to see if it can be developed elsewise he's a utility player.

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#12 nytwinsfan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:58 PM

 

It's about development of the players, and you have to think about Vielma as well. The timing of two SS that could make the big leagues is a nice problem to have.  Nick is a good defensive SS, on the 20-80 scale (50 being MLB avg), he's a 55 fielding at SS (probably a 65-70 at 2B) and a 60 arm at SS.  Vielma is a 70 fielding at SS and a 60 arm at SS.  Vielma's hitting just needs to see if it can be developed elsewise he's a utility player.

 

Gordon should be at shortstop every day, if they think he is a shortstop in the majors. This is about building the twins, not AA wins.

I'm fine with playing Gordon at 2B once in a while so he has some familarity there, but I really think the chances of Vielma hitting well enough to be anything more than a backup/late-game defensive substitute at SS are slim.  If Gordon playing 2B semi-regularly is not a comment on his defensive ability at SS but rather on the front office's faith in Vielma to be a starting SS (either because his defense is so unbelievable it can carry a .600 OPS bat or because they think he has the chance to be only a poor hitter rather than a terrible one) then I guess I'll have to trust them. But boy, I don't want to limit Gordon's development at SS by playing him at 2B too often. 

Edited by nytwinsfan, 02 April 2017 - 08:59 PM.

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#13 nytwinsfan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:03 PM

 

Rortvedt starting in Cedar Rapids is a little aggressive too I thought.  

That's great/interesting about Rortvedt. Does anyone know where the following are starting out at?:

(1) Lewin Diaz:
(2) Blankenhorn:
(3) Baddo
(4) Ynoa
(5) Javier 

(6) Thorpe

(7) Balazovic

Edited by nytwinsfan, 02 April 2017 - 09:04 PM.


#14 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:06 PM

 

That's great/interesting about Rortvedt. Does anyone know where the following are starting out at?:

(1) Lewin Diaz:
(2) Blankenhorn:
(3) Baddo
(4) Ynoa
(5) Javier 

(6) Thorpe

(7) Balazovic

Diaz Cedar rapids

Blankenhorn Cedar rapids

Baddo EXST

Ynoa EXST

Javier EXST

Thorpe EXST throws again on Tuesday

Balazovic EXST

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#15 nytwinsfan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:16 PM

 

Diaz Cedar rapids

Blankenhorn Cedar rapids

Baddo EXST

Ynoa EXST

Javier EXST

Thorpe EXST throws again on Tuesday

Balazovic EXST

Fantastic, Bob, thanks. Hope to see many of those last five at Elizabethton if not Cedar Rapids later in the year.


#16 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:24 PM

Something I also noticed from Romero is his wind up has changed a little from last year. He seems to use a little more of his lower body than he did last year. I mean if you look at the footage of Romero last year he was pitching using pretty much his upper body only. Looking at this footage it seems he is in at least some measure starting to use a little more lower body in his wind up. Anyone else notice that?
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#17 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:30 PM

 

Something I also noticed from Romero is his wind up has changed a little from last year. He seems to use a little more of his lower body than he did last year. I mean if you look at the footage of Romero last year he was pitching using pretty much his upper body only. Looking at this footage it seems he is in at least some measure starting to use a little more lower body in his wind up. Anyone else notice that?

Yes, Rasmussen has been working with him and Rosario on hip flexion  to incorporate more of their lower half in their mechanics

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#18 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 09:55 PM

Yes, Rasmussen has been working with him and Rosario on hip flexion to incorporate more of their lower half in their mechanics

Good to hear Bob. I would have figured they would try to correct this now. With Romero's potential it would be terrible for him to injure his elbow due to using only his upper body to pitch. Perhaps with his slightly revamped wind up that possibily has lead to some of his control/command issues since his wind up is a little new itself? At any rate looking forward to watching Romero this year. Regardless I think he will make plenty of noise in the minors this year.

#19 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 10:01 PM

Diaz Cedar rapids
Blankenhorn Cedar rapids
Baddo EXST
Ynoa EXST
Javier EXST
Thorpe EXST throws again on Tuesday
Balazovic EXST

With regards to Thorpe after he is done pitching in EXST is he then going to Ft Myers? Just curious...

#20 AZTwin

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 01:11 AM

Gonsalves only at 88 mph?? Is he still hurt or is that all he has in him?



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