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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/1): More Extra Innings, Littell Makes Twins Debut

christian cavaness travis blankenhorn zack littell jermaine palacios nick brown
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#1 Steve Lein

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:00 PM

If you were hoping the Chattanooga Lookouts didn’t play extra innings again on Tuesday night, boy do I have news for you! But they weren’t the only affiliate that had to go to extra frames on the evening, and a third one threatened to do so before walking it off in the ninth.

One of the Twins new prospects, courtesy of the Yankees for Jaime Garcia, also made his organizational debut with Chattanooga. I also couldn’t pick between two hitters of the day, so I gave it to them both.To find out how all those extra innings finished on the night, keep reading!


TRANSACTIONS

The Twins made a couple of moves in the system on Tuesday as well.

They recalled Dillon Gee to the majors and assigned Dietrich Enns to Rochester. Zack Littell was assigned to the Lookouts and made the start.

To make the room at AA Randy LeBlanc was sent back to Fort Myers and David Fischer was released.


RED WINGS REPORT
Lehigh Valley 3, Rochester 1
Box Score

With Dillon Gee on his way to the Twins, the Red Wings ended up with a bullpen game against IronPigs on Tuesday night.

D.J. Baxendale started and pitched the first three innings. He allowed two hits including a solo home run and struck out three. Alex Wimmers added two perfect innings before he ran into trouble in his third. He got two outs but ended up with two earned runs on two hits in 2.2 innings. He struck out two.

Mason Melotakis allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth and got the first two outs in the seventh before he was replaced by Michael Tonkin. Tonkin allowed just one hit in his 2.1 innings to finish the game, while striking out three.

Rochester’s lone run came in the bottom of the first inning, as a throwing error on a Byungho Park single allowed Matt Hague to score. They would collect only one more hit the entire game (a Mitch Garver single) so not much to recap on the offensive side. Park also drew a walk in a 1-3 night and is hitting .324/.368/.577 in nineteen games since the Triple-A All-Star Game.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 5, Montgomery 6 (10 innings)
Box Score

The story in this one for a lot of Twins fans may have been that one of the new prospect additions they received from the Yankees started the game for the Lookouts. It wasn’t one of Zack Littell’s best games this year, but he did finish six innings in his organizational debut.

The first inning was a rough one for him as a couple of hits, a walk, an error, and a balk led to an early 3-0 lead for the Biscuits of Montgomery.

It was a good thing for Littell though, that Chattanooga is the best team in the Southern League. They took the lead right back for him in the top of the second with a four-spot.

T.J. White led off the inning with a homer, and then Travis Harrison, Nick Gordon, and Levi Michael each had run-scoring singles (Gordon’s included a fielding error, so no RBI for him).

Littell settled in from there with three scoreless frames, though he did hit a couple of batters and walked three. In the fifth, an RBI ground out accounted for his fourth run allowed of the evening. Overall in six innings, Little allowed those four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out six.

The Lookouts were facing off against #OldFriend Logan Darnell, and although they knocked him around for twelve hits in five innings, the four runs in the second were all they were able to get as he played Houdini in every other frame.

Randy Rosario came on in relief of Littell and pitched two innings. He allowed one run on two hits and it was 5-4 biscuits going into the ninth inning. You know how this is going to go, right?

With two outs and Max Murphy on first base, Carlos Paulino delivered the game- tying hit with a double to right field to drive him in and tie it at five. Luke Bard pitched a one-two-three ninth and Chattanooga was looking at their third extra- inning game in their last four.

The Lookouts threatened in the top of the tenth, but with Gordon on third base Montgomery elected to intentionally walk Jonathan Rodriguez (wise), and then escaped.

Bard then got himself into trouble he couldn’t escape in the bottom half, as a two-out double put the winning run across for the Biscuits.

The two through seven hitters in the Chattanooga lineup amassed fourteen hits on the game and as a team outhit Montgomery 16-9, but going just 4-17 with runners in scoring position and leaving fourteen men on base means you left a lot ducks on the pond. The Lookouts lead the Biscuits in the North Division standings by six games after this one.


MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 4
Box Score

Fort Myers battled back in this one to steal the game late thanks to a big two-out hit from Jaylin Davis.

Starter Eduardo Del Rosario went the first six innings for the Miracle, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out six. The biggest problem with that line, is the three home runs he allowed. Alex Robinson walked one and struck out two in one inning of relief work and thanks to his offense, picked up his second win of the season.

Down 4-2 in the top of the eighth, Sean Miller started the rally for Fort Myers with a single to lead off the inning. Zander Wiel moved him to third on a single of his own, and Jermaine Palacios put down a squeeze bunt that scored the first run of the inning. After strikeouts from Brandon Lopez and Brent Rooker, a walk to Kevin Garcia brought Davis to the plate. With the count a 1-0, Davis lined a single into center field to score two and put the Miracle out front 5-4.

Sam Clay pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning, and Fort Myers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth as Tanner English singled, stole second base (his 23rd steal) and got to third on a throwing error before Palacios drove him in with a triple.

Clay came back out for the ninth, and worked around a leadoff single to secure his ninth save of the year (he’s also 8-0), striking out the final hitter of the game.

Miller (2-5, R) and Palacios (3-4, 2 R’s, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB) had multiple hits to lead the offense. Zander Wiel scored two runs with a single and a walk in five trips to the plate. Lopez (0-4) and Davis (1-3) each drove in two.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 8 (11 innings)
Box Score

The Kernels jumped out to a 5-1 lead after three thanks to home runs from Christian Cavaness and Caleb Hamilton in the first inning, and a two-run double from Travis Blankenhorn in the third. They extended their lead to 6-1 in the sixth when Cavaness clubbed an RBI double.

But after that the game turned for the LumberKings.

Cedar Rapids starter Tyler Beardsley had been cruising for the first six innings. He had allowed just one run on three hits and two walks to that point while striking out four.

Two singles and a double scored two and ended his night in the seventh with two outs. Overall, Beardsley went 6.2 innings with three earned runs of six hits and two walks, with five K’s.

Colton Davis came on and got the final out in the seventh, but a bases clearing double with two outs in the eighth tied the game at six. Hector Lujan came out for the ninth and Clinton took the lead after a leadoff walk and error was followed by a run-scoring double.

The Kernels weren’t ready for the game to end yet though, and mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning after the first two hitters to bat went down on strikes. Jimmy Kerrigan got an infield single, stole second base, and then Blankenhorn delivered a big triple to tie it, but was stranded as Lewin Diaz grounded out to send it into extras.

Max Cordy came in from the bullpen for the tenth, and allowed a hit but no runs. Same in the eleventh to get his team up to bat again.

They didn’t need another extra frame. Joe Cronin led off with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt/throwing error play, and scampered home on a passed ball for the not-so-dramatic walk-off victory.

The top four hitters in the Kernels lineup led the way, with Cavaness (3-5, 2 R’s, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Kerrigan (2-6, 2 R’s), Blankenhorn (3-5, R 2 2B’s, 3B, 3 RBI), and Diaz (2-5) collecting multiple hits. Hamilton drove in two and Cronin scored two runs.


E-TWINS E-NOTES
Kingsport 4, Elizabethton 5
Box Score

Elizabethton took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning after Wander Javier led off with his ninth double of the season, and later scored on a single from J.J. Robinson. They had runners on second and third with one out later in the frame, but were unable to add any more runs. The opportunity missed would come back to haunt them.

Twins starter Nick Brown began the game with four scoreless innings, including retiring eight in a row at one point, but the Mets finally got to him in the top of fifth thanks to an error that was followed by an RBI double.

Brown would finish 5.2 innings, allowing just that unearned run on six hits while striking out six.

The offense for Elizabethton got that run back and one more in the bottom of the fifth as Akil Baddoo drove in a run with a double, and later scored on a single from Jose Miranda to put them in front 3-1.

Juan Gamez replaced Brown in the sixth and got out of the inning, and added a scoreless seventh. He got two outs in the eighth and was replaced by Jose Martinez with a runner on third, who scored on a double to Martinez’s first hitter. Another RBI double and an RBI single followed to put Kingsport in front 4-3. Martinez worked through a single to the leadoff man in the ninth to keep the Twins in striking distance in the bottom half.

And strike they did.

Colton Waltner led off the inning with a walk and Mark Contreras followed with a single to put the tying run in scoring position. A sacrifice bunt from Rainis Silva put the winning run in the same position. T.J. Dixon tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Ariel Montesino ended with a two-out single.

Martinez ended up with a blown save and win (4-0) in the score book. Javier (2-4, R, 2B) and Montesino (2-4, R, RBI) had multiple hits on the game to lead the offense, but everyone else except Silva contributed with a run scored or an RBI. Silva’s bunt however, was likely most important play in the game (if you like bunts), so it really was a team effort in the walk-off win.


GCL TWINS TAKES
Game 1: GCL Rays 3, GCL Twins 5
Box Score

In the regularly scheduled game of the day, the Twins saw the first in-game action from their 2017 2nd round draft pick, Landon Leach. Although he likely had some nerves and wasn’t great, you have to remember he’s going to be eased into action at this point. He walked his first batter (just like Blayne Enlow) and uncorked a couple of off target pitches that put that runner on third, before picking up his first strikeout as a pro. He then got a ground out that scored the runner and issued another walk before he was removed the game. So just two outs in his debut, but it means literally nothing at this point.

Pedro Garcia came into the game to get the final out of the first and went the next five innings in total including four scoreless. He got two outs in the sixth before leaving with the bases loaded. Overall Garcia allowed one run on four walks and one hit, and struck out four.

Joe Rosenstein came on and struck out the batter he faced, but on a wild-pitch so that’s how Garcia’s run scored. Rosenstein gave up one run of his own in the seventh and gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out one in 1.1 innings while picking up his first save.

The Twins early offense came courtesy of an Alex Robles RBI single in the first and a Benjamin Rodriguez RBI double in the third before they tacked on three more in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. Victor Tademo led off the inning with a solo home run, and later in the inning a Jean Carlos Arias single brought in two.

Emmanuel Morel was 2-3 with a double, walk, and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Kerby Camacho added a double.

Garcia improved to 5-1 in the GCL season.

Game 2: GCL Twins 0, GCL Rays 2
Box Score

In the makeup game of yesterday’s rainout, the teams combined for just seven hits between them. Unfortunately for the Twins the Rays were the only ones to get any extra-base hits, and they came in the form of back-to-back-to-back doubles in the fifth inning that scored the two runs for the Rays.

Derek Molina made the start and went two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out one. Jordan Balazovic finished the final four innings, allowing the two runs on just those doubles, and striking out four.

On offense, Arias, Rodriguez, and Robles all went 1-3 for the Twins only hits on the game.


TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Nick Brown, Elizabethton Twins (5.2IP, 0 ER’s, 6 H’s, 6 K’s)
Hitter(s) of the Day – Jermaine Palacios, Fort Myers Miracle (3-4, 2 R’s, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB)
Travis Blankenhorn, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-5, R, 2 2B’s, 3B, 3 RBI)


WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Tim Melville 3-3, 2.44 ERA)
Chattanooga @ Montgomery (7:05PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (10-6, 2.64 ERA)
Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Evan Sanders (1-3, 8.53 ERA)
GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) – TBD


Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!

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  • glunn likes this

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#2 Obsvr

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 07:55 AM

What a waste, drafting Leach.  


#3 Han Joelo

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:32 AM

Thanks for providing some context on Leach's outing. Hard to tell from a box score-i was worried he injured himself. I try to imagine my nephew traveling a thousand miles from home and making his professional debut at something. Kids.

#4 Dman

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:00 AM

Sounded like Leach had a long ways to go when drafted so not too surprised.  Hopefully that frame will be durable and I am certain he will improve over the next couple of years.  Good to see him out there getting experience so he knows what he needs to work on.

 

Was a little disappointed in Little's debut.  I was looking for a bit more dominance given some of the things I had read.  Certainly not a horrible outing I guess I was surprised at the apparent lake of control since it looked like he had good marks there in his BIO.  I know it was just one start with his new team but for me it was disappointing.

 

Was really nice to see teams come from behind and find ways to win.  It has been fun following all of the affiliates this year.

Edited by Dman, 02 August 2017 - 09:00 AM.

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#5 Jaykay

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:03 AM

 

What a waste, drafting Leach.  

 

Huh?

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#6 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:04 AM

The most important read on the site, once again. Sigh.

 

I hope Chattanooga falls out of the race, so they promote some players to AAA. An odd hope, but it is my hope.

  • glunn likes this

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


#7 PDX Twin

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:28 AM

"going just 4-17 with runners in scoring position and leaving fourteen men on base"

 

Sounds like the Lookouts are being well groomed to fit into the Twins lineup. :)

  • Mike Sixel, gunnarthor, bluechipper and 1 other like this

It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#8 Minnesotatwins005

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:45 AM

The most important read on the site, once again. Sigh.


I hope Chattanooga falls out of the race, so they promote some players to AAA. An odd hope, but it is my hope.




I believe since they won the first half they are already qualified for the Southern League Playoffs.
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#9 Han Joelo

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:52 AM

Thanks for providing some context on Leach's outing. Hard to tell from a box score-i was worried he injured himself. I try to imagine my nephew traveling a thousand miles from home and making his professional debut at something. Kids.
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#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:52 AM

 

I believe since they won the first half they are already qualified for the Southern League Playoffs.

 

good point!

 

Then I hope they never lose again.

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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 bluechipper

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 10:07 AM

Nick Gordon has gone into a little slide, bringing his season OPS to .798, and this is largely due to a rough July hitting just .217. He's also got a .188 batting average against lefties on the year. Not a good sign.

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#12 Obsvr

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 10:23 AM

 

Huh?

 

They should be drafting people that can pitch more than 2/3 of an inning.


#13 clutterheart

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 10:33 AM

Kerby Camacho is still only 19?  I've been seeing his good production but just assumed he was an older guy who was caught using PED's and now he is just being used in the low levels to catch.  

 

Hopefully he is now clean and his production is legit.  


#14 Steve Lein

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 11:52 AM

 

I believe since they won the first half they are already qualified for the Southern League Playoffs.

 

They lead the division by six games right now, too. If you go overall in the Southern League, it's 10 games and they have a similar record to the Astros, the best team team by far in the AL.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#15 Steve Lein

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 11:56 AM

 

They should be drafting people that can pitch more than 2/3 of an inning.

 

Not sure what you expect from just drafted high-school pitchers who hadn't thrown in a game in at least a month (probably longer)...

 

They probably start at like max of 35 pitches in first game, and that's if they don't run up the pitch count to 20+ in a single inning.

 

Hunter Greene, for example, probably isn't even going to pitch this year.

  • luckylager, glunn, milldam and 2 others like this

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#16 Obsvr

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 12:10 PM

 

Not sure what you expect from just drafted high-school pitchers who hadn't thrown in a game in at least a month (probably longer)...

 

They probably start at like max of 35 pitches in first game, and that's if they don't run up the pitch count to 20+ in a single inning.

 

Hunter Greene, for example, probably isn't even going to pitch this year.

 

 

I expect nothing less than dominance.

 

I'd say cut him and their losses right now.

 

 

 


#17 spycake

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 01:08 PM

 

I expect nothing less than dominance.

 

I'd say cut him and their losses right now.

Looks like someone needs to familiarize oneself with emoticons, to indicate humor. :)

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#18 KirbyDaisy

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 01:25 PM

From the box score I would have given best hitter to Carlos Paulino.


#19 ashburyjohn

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:46 PM

I expect nothing less than dominance.

 

I'd say cut him and their losses right now.

I'd say let him face another four batters before deciding definitively. :)

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The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.. -- George Bernard Shaw


#20 Obsvr

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 07:19 PM

 

I'd say let him face another four batters before deciding definitively. :)

 

It's all downhill from here.  Wasted pick.




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