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Article: Twins Minor League Report (4/20): Wells And Wiel Work Wonders

tyler wells zander wiel jermaine palacios felix jorge tommy field
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#1 Eric R Pleiss

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:51 PM

It was another busy day in the Twins minor league system. Two hitters were one hit away from achieving a cycle. There were a couple of very strong pitching performances as well, especially for Cedar Rapids, but also in Chattanooga. Those Miracle bats, which were quiet most of the season, went off for the second straight day. There was a transaction, and so much information that we're just going to encourage you to start reading.Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 0 @ Gwinnett 3
Box Score

The Red wings managed just four hits and were unable to push any runs across the plate on Thursday night. Half of the Red wings hits came from Tommy Field, 2-4 with a pair of singles. Daniel Palka was 0-4 but didn’t strike out, which is about as good as an 0-4 night can get for Mr. Palka.

Despite getting tagged with the loss to fall to 1-1, Nick Tepesch pitched well enough to give the Wings a victory, going five innings and giving up just a single unearned run. He gave up seven hits and a walk, so there were plenty of base runners, but 7 strikeouts helped him pitch out of jams. French flame thrower J.T. Chargois pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out a pair, giving up no hits, and one walk. D.J Baxendale finished the game for Rochester, and gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to help Gwinnett pad their 1-0 lead.

If you’re into big, thick, burly beards – and who isn’t – let’s have a moment of silence for Jason Motte’s beard. Motte, closing for the Gwinnett Braves after being DFAd by the Rockies after posting an 8.31 ERA in the spring, signed a minor league deal with the Braves and is now rocking a baby-smooth face. The beard era of baseball might look as stupid as the big glasses and mustaches of the 70s and 80s in a decade or two, but for now, I’m sad to see the beard go.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Biloxi 0 @ Chattanooga 3
Box Score

The Lookouts did not do much with the bats, but thanks to a combined 6-hit shutout from the pitching staff, they didn’t have to. The Lookouts collected hits from six different players, including a solo home run from my Rolf-brother, Dan Rohlfing, which gave the Lookouts a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Chattanooga pushed two more runs across, one each in the fifth and sixth, to put the score at 3-0.

Felix Jorge moved to 2-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.72 with six scoreless innings in Chattanooga. Jorge gave up six hits, walked three and struck out four and stayed out of trouble. Flame thrower Nick Burdi pitched two scoreless innings of relief before turning the ball over to Mason Melotakis who walked one and struck out three to pick up his second save of the year.


MIRACLE MATTERS
Florida 3 @ Fort Myers 8
Box Score

If you were not paying close attention this past winter, you might have missed that the Brevard County Manatees are now the Florida Fire Frogs. What is a Fire Frog? – some sort of prehistoric creature that roamed the Earth 278 million years ago. With that in mind, team president Joe Harrington said that the team name, “represents the geographic diversity of our fan base, has a hometown feel and speaks to the fun, vibrant experience our fans will enjoy at games.” Errr… whatever dude. Now on with the baseballing.

The Miracle gave up 10 hits but gave up just three runs as part of a 8-3 butt kicking handed out to the Fire Frogs. The Miracle led just 2-1 headed into the home half of the sixth inning, but put their first five men on base to start what would turn out to be a five-run inning. Zander Wiel was the story of the game: the designated hitter was 3-3, just a home run short of a cycle, and picked up a pair of RBIs, plus the dude had a walk! Brian Navarreto had three hits (a single and two doubles) and his own pair of RBIs.

David Fischer pitched well, giving up six hits over six innings, yielding just one run, and he struck out seven while walking none. The lone run he gave up was a solo homer. Anthony McIver struggled a bit, giving up two runs in two innings of relief on four hits. He walked two and struck out three. Nick Anderson came in for mop up duties in the ninth and set down the side in order.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Kane County 5 @ Cedar Rapids 3
Box Score

Before the Thursday game against the Cougars, the Kernels announced that RHP Alex Schick was headed to the seven-day disabled list, to be replaced on the active roster by RHP Logan Lombana from extended spring training. Lombana spent parts of last season in the bullpen for both the Kernels and the Fort Myers Miracle.

The Kernels opened their seven game home stand with a great performance from starter Tyler Wells who notched 11 strikeouts over 7 innings, but it all went for naught as the Kernels coughed up three runs in the top of the ninth to fall to 5-3. Wells started the game by sending the Cougars down in order in the first and second innings, all via strike out! Wells' final line was seven innings, six hits, two runs (both earned), no walks, those 11 wonderful strike outs. Wells was replaced by Colton Davis, who picked up both the loss and a blown save after giving up three runs in the top of the ninth. Davis pitched two innings, gave up four hits, three runs, two walks and struck out three.

Jermaine Palacios led the way for the Kernels with 3-4 night that left him just a home run short of the cycle. The Kernels had plenty of chances to score runs on the evening but were just 2-11 with men in scoring position.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Wells – Cedar Rapids Kernels
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel – Fort Myers Miracle


FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS

Rochester @ Charlotte (6:05pm) – Jason Wheeler (1-1, 6.30)
Biloxi @ Chattanooga (6:15pm) – Paul Clemens (0-0, 2.89)
Ft. Myers @ Dunedin (6:30pm) – Keaton Steele (0-2, 6.30)
Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35pm) – Sean Poppen (0-0, 1.23)

I made it this far without making any 4/20 jokes, but in addition to asking any questions and discussing Thursday's games, feel free to leave your best pot-related alternate MiLB headline in the comments!

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  • 70charger likes this

@ERolfPleiss

 

Ethan Mildren is my favorite 2013 12th round draftee.


#2 108Stitches

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:19 PM

Wow. 11k in 7 with no walks. Impressive. And he threw 72% strikes. I didn't think Wells would top his 14 k but he damn well might before all is said and done.
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#3 nyazbeck

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 04:45 AM

Sean poppen is starting for the kernels vs reed
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#4 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:35 AM

11K in 7 innings... looks like a few guys in Kane County might have been taking 4/20 seriously.

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#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:29 AM

 

Sean poppen is starting for the kernels vs reed

 

I noticed that last night and forgot to change it... Just corrected it. Thank you!


#6 mikelink45

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:49 AM

As much as I enjoy these minor league summaries, I hope I do not have a season in which I have to find more pleasure in these than in the major league results.  It seems like we have been doing so well in the minors for the last five years (or more) and that does not translate to the majors.  What must be done?  


#7 jrod23

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:53 AM

Watching the game, I felt like someone needed to tell Wells his pants are 3 sizes too small, but hey, he was rolling.  And it's hard to find a good pair of baseball pants at 6'8".  Regardless, the dude was zoned in.  Marcus Wilson hurt him, but Wilson is also leading the Midwest League hitting at a .392 clip.  Tough to watch that outing slip away.......much like Santana's yesterday.

 

How 'bout that Polacio's though.  I harped him a little after last season, but he's right behind Wilson in the Midwest in hitting.  HR away from the cycle.

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#8 clutterheart

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:37 AM

Lewin Diaz is heating up a bit after a cold start.  Hopefully he can keep it up and improve his on base numbers


#9 gunnarthor

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:45 AM

Nice to see Burdi and Melotakis striking out some guys in AA.  Hopefully they can get to AAA or the majors this year.

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#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:04 AM

 

Nice to see Burdi and Melotakis striking out some guys in AA.  Hopefully they can get to AAA or the majors this year.

 

If they aren't in the majors this year, at this age, something went wrong again, imo. very wrong.

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I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#11 blindeke

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:06 AM

Poppen for the Kernels [har har]

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#12 Eric R Pleiss

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:20 AM

 

If they aren't in the majors this year, at this age, something went wrong again, imo. very wrong.

Melotakis is already on the 40-man, so he's certainly more likely at this point.  Though, JR Murphy could probably be removed any day to make more room.

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Ethan Mildren is my favorite 2013 12th round draftee.


#13 Eric R Pleiss

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:23 AM

 

As much as I enjoy these minor league summaries, I hope I do not have a season in which I have to find more pleasure in these than in the major league results.  It seems like we have been doing so well in the minors for the last five years (or more) and that does not translate to the majors.  What must be done?  

What must be done?  I think you're seeing it happen.  Players are going up, getting chances, making changes, moving around, and trying their best.  I think we have already seen a lot of bullpen arms and guys move into back of the rotation, and there are plenty of young guys on the roster right now who came from the stocked farm system of 2-years ago.  The Twins might be bad again (might?  Ha, will), but they should certainly be fun to watch play and improve.

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@ERolfPleiss

 

Ethan Mildren is my favorite 2013 12th round draftee.


#14 birdwatcher

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:54 PM

 

If they aren't in the majors this year, at this age, something went wrong again, imo. very wrong.

 

 

Right. It's called lost seasons due to injury. They're progressing, which is great.


#15 Mike Sixel

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:55 PM

 

Right. It's called lost seasons due to injury. 

 

always my fear with Burdi at this point. Heck, I might call him up now, just to get a few months out of him. Which sounds cold, because he is a human being, but I actually mean it in a good way. I think he's legit, and want him to get his day.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#16 drjim

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:04 PM

 

always my fear with Burdi at this point. Heck, I might call him up now, just to get a few months out of him. Which sounds cold, because he is a human being, but I actually mean it in a good way. I think he's legit, and want him to get his day.

 

I understand maximizing pitches in the bigs, but this strikes me as a terrible idea for development. Really setting him up for failure.

Papers...business papers.

#17 yarnivek1972

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:35 PM

 

What must be done?  I think you're seeing it happen.  Players are going up, getting chances, making changes, moving around, and trying their best.  I think we have already seen a lot of bullpen arms and guys move into back of the rotation, and there are plenty of young guys on the roster right now who came from the stocked farm system of 2-years ago.  The Twins might be bad again (might?  Ha, will), but they should certainly be fun to watch play and improve.

I think what must be done is a fire lit under the player development staff.  IMO, the problem isn't on draft day, as some have suggested.  First round picks bust out in baseball all the time.  It's a far bigger crap shoot than the NFL and especially the NBA.  These guys that the Twins are drafting early have talent.  But the development staff (primarily minor league coaches and instructors) aren't getting that talent to come out at the MLB level.  It's a problem that was ignored for far too long under the old regime.  I am hoping that is where Levine and Falvey make their mark.  

 

Teams that win consistently, especially in smaller markets, are able to take draft picks and groom them.  Take the Cardinals as an example.  I believe they have 3 guys on their current roster who were drafted in round 10 or later.  That's an example of some minor league coach seeing a specific skill set from a guy early in his pro career.  And then honing that skill to make an "organization filler" into a MLB contributor.  That's player development.  It is something the Twins have been terrible at for years.


#18 70charger

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

 

Zander Wiel was the story of the game: the designated hitter was 3-3, just a home run short of a cycle, and picked up a pair of RBIs, plus the dude had a walk!

 

There should be a name for this. I can analogize: a 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace in one suit is a Royal Flush; whereas a 9-10-Jack-Queen-King in one suit is a Straight Flush. Sure the former beats the latter, but the latter is damn impressive. I think walk-single-double-triple is pretty damn impressive too.

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#19 yarnivek1972

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:35 PM

 

There should be a name for this. I can analogize: a 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace in one suit is a Royal Flush; whereas a 9-10-Jack-Queen-King in one suit is a Straight Flush. Sure the former beats the latter, but the latter is damn impressive. I think walk-single-double-triple is pretty damn impressive too.

Maybe a tricycle?! :lol:




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