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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/4): Chattanooga Comebacks

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 09:31 PM

It was a full night in the Twins minor league system on Friday. Rochester welcomed home one of their all-time favorite players, but it was another #OldFriend who hurt them on this night. The Lookouts had another late-inning, comeback game. Find out who the heroes were in this one. The top four hitters for the Miracle certainly helped them to a nice win, though a quality start deserves notice too. And, it was another Brusdar Graterol night in Cedar Rapids where they wore Nickelodeon's Paw Patrol jerseys which were auctioned during the game. And as a bonus, the Minnesota Twins beat the White Sox!Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday. And as always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.

APRIL AWARDS

In case you missed any of the Twins Daily Minor League Awards for April, here they are:TRANSACTIONS
  • RHP Zack Littell was promoted from Chattanooga to Rochester and will start on Saturday.
  • LHP Anthony Marzi was promoted from Ft. Myers to Chattanooga.
  • RHP Nick Brown came off of the disabled list for Cedar Rapids.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 3, Lehigh Valley 11
Box Score

While the folks in Rochester were excited for the return of Trevor Plouffe to Frontier Field, it was another former Red Wings player who really hurt the Twins in this game. The Twins fell behind 6-0 after two innings in large part due to the power of outfielder Danny Ortiz. The Twins fourth-round pick in 2008, who made his major-league debut in 2017 with the Pirates, joined the Phillies organization this offseason. He hit two-run homers in his first two at-bats of this game and now has eight already on the season for the IronPigs. Ortiz had spent the second half of 2014 and all of 2105 with the Red Wings and hit 25 homers for the team.

DJ Baxendale made the start for the Red Wings. He was charged with six runs on six hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Duffey came on and gave up four runs (3 earned) on three hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings. Luke Bard came on for his Red Wings return. He faced six batters and got them all out, two on strikeouts. Mason Melotakis gave up three runs on two hits and two walks over the next two innings. He struck out three. Casey Crosby struck out two in a perfect ninth frame.

The Red Wings had seven hits and six walks but were able to score just three runs. Jake Cave went 2-for-4 with a walk. Wynston Sawyer was 1-for-3 with a walk and a double.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 4, Mobile 2
Box Score

The Lookouts offense did pretty much nothing through the first eight innings in their game tonight, but a four-run rally in the ninth frame gave them another big win. And, Tanner English got to play hero again.

Zack Littell was scheduled to pitch for the Lookouts, but he was promoted to Rochester. So Omar Bencomo stepped in. The right-handed veteran threw five innings. He gave up two runs on six hits. He struck out two. Anthony McIver struck out two over the next two innings of scoreless relief. He gave up two hits and a walk. Sam Clay gave up a hit and walked two, but he struck out four over two scoreless innings.

Brian Olson recorded his first hit of the season, and his second, and his third. While one was a double, his third hit got things going in the ninth inning. His single scored Chris Paul to put the Lookouts on the board. It was followed by a two-run triple by Tanner English who then scored on a LaMonte Wade single.



MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 8, Jupiter 3
Box Score

The Miracle got out to an early lead, kept adding on and got some good pitching to go with it.
Andro Cutura made the start. In six innings, he gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out four batters without issuing a walk. Lefty Kevin Marnon came on and gave up just one hit over two scoreless innings. He struck out two. Hector Lujan worked the ninth inning. He gave up one run on a hit and three walks. He struck out two.

The first four batters of the Miracle lineup really had a big night. Leadoff man Mark Contreras went 2-4 with a walk. He scored three runs and drove in two. He also stole his third base. Joe Cronin batted second. He went 1-3 with a walk and his second home run. Next up was Luis Arraez. He went 1-2 with two walks. Lewin Diaz was 2-4 with his third home run.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 1, West Michigan 4
Box Score

While it wasn’t hyped as much (here or on Twitter) as his Kernels debut last weekend, Brusdar Graterol was quite impressive again. This time out, the burly right-hander from Venezuela threw five shutout innings. He gave up just three hits. He struck out four without issuing a walk. The Kernels announcers pointed out that he reached 100 mph on several of his pitches. He threw 73 pitches and 46 of them were strikes. And he plays defense too.



Rickey Ramirez came on and gave up two runs on three hits over the next two innings. Moises Gomez worked the final two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out two.

The Kernels didn’t get much offense. In fact, they had just three hits in the game. Their run came in the first inning when Akil Baddoo scored from first base on an Alex Kirilloff opposite-field double off the wall. It was Kirilloff’s eighth double and gives him an organization-leading 23 RBI. Royce Lewis went 1-for-3 (to drop his average to .353) with a walk. He stole his seventh and eighth bases.

The Twins photographer (Brace Hemmelgarn) was in Cedar Rapids and posted this photo blog.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Brian Olson, Chattanooga Lookouts (3-4, 2B, RBI)
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Brusdar Graterol, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)


TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, BB, 2 SB(8)
#3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 0-4, BB, K
#5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 2B(8), 2 RBI, 2 K
#9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (73 pitches, 46 strikes)
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K, R
#13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, HR(3), 2 RBI, R
#14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 1-5, RBI, K, SB(3)
#16 - Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, K
#17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K


SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (12:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (AAA debut)
Chattanooga @ Mobile (7:05 CST) - RHP Randy LeBlanc (3-1, 2.22 ERA)
Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Brady Anderson (0-2, 6.75 ERA)
West Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (0-1, 5.00 ERA)


Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s full schedule of games, or ask any questions you may have.

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#2 D.C Twins

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:04 PM

Grat-er-ol!

That-is-all....


#3 ashbury

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:09 PM

I may have miscounted, but Ben Rortvedt broke an 0-13 streak today. Hopefully the slump in general is broken too.

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Look back & be grateful, look ahead & be hopeful, look around & be helpful.


#4 slash129

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:29 PM

I was at the Kernels game tonight. Graterol was quite impressive. Nothing was squared up. He gave up some little bleeder singles, but the White Caps looked basically lost. That all changed once the relief came in.

Bechtold has an absolute gun at 3B.

It was fun to watch, even though the bats never really got going.
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#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:57 PM

 

I was at the Kernels game tonight. Graterol was quite impressive. Nothing was squared up. He gave up some little bleeder singles, but the White Caps looked basically lost. That all changed once the relief came in.

Bechtold has an absolute gun at 3B.

It was fun to watch, even though the bats never really got going.

 

 

Bechtold is an impressive kid... and he might be able to throw as hard as Graterol... maybe even harder.


#6 Gagne Fan

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:07 PM

You failed to mention that the winds were gusting 53 mph out at Frontier Field tu stsrt the game. Routine fly balls were blown all over the field and out of the park
Not the best conditions to pitch in

#7 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:26 PM

Graterol sure does look impressive. What I find more encouraging than his velocity (don’t get me wrong I love that he can hit 100) is his control. When Graterol was promoted from the GCL Twins to Elizabethton his control was spotty for a few starts so the fact he has 0 walks in his first 2 starts at a higher level is huge.

I find it interesting that Zack Littell has already been called up to Rochester. What I take from this (now I could be wrong) is that the Twins are committed to keeping Romero with the Twins either in the rotation or in the bullpen. Again I could be wrong but if the Twins were expected to quickly send Romero back ASAP there would be no need to promote Littell, especially since he has an ERA over 5. But considering he’s on the 40 man he was probably the next one to be called up to Rochester after Gonsalves. Now that gets me to wonder if any starting pitchers from Ft Myers will be called up to pitch in Chattanooga.

#8 rghrbek

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:35 PM

Nothing on Rooker?  Is he ok?


#9 launchingthrees

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:02 AM

We're going to see Graterol on some top 100 lists once he gets a larger sample of innings. His velocity is rare to begin with and his control to go along with it is very special. I wonder where he'd go in the 2018 draft. Top 5 almost certainly.

Edited by launchingthrees, 05 May 2018 - 12:06 AM.


#10 Tommygun921

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 04:48 AM

Yes. I'd say Littel to Rochester says the Twins believe Romero is ready for the bigs. At least for now. 😀 I'd guess assuming he doesn't get blown up over a few starts that he'll start and then move to the pen to limit innings. He only pitched 125 last year. So I'd guess 150-160 assuming health. Can't imagine Kirilloff and Lewis lasting past the 1st half. I wonder if Graterol could move up as well or spend the whole year in CR?

#11 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 07:32 AM

It may just be my meory failing me (I'm old, damn it), but it seems to me that the Twis are promoting minor league pitchers much faster this year. Maybe the front office has been reading all the Twins Daily postings about challenging the young guns.

#12 rdehring

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 08:19 AM

Berrios-Romero-Graterol.That could be a trio of starters, all with ACE or #1 talent, that will lead the Twins to the World Series three or four years from now. 

 

All will be home grown and in the organization before the changes in the front office.Hmmmm?Not saying that new blood wasn't needed or that the new guys aren't doing a lot of exciting things.Just thinking that the old guys did a lot more good than often given credit for.

 

Of the three, one draft pick and two International signees.I don't remember how big their bonuses were, do you Seth?But I don't recall that either Romero or Graterol were big $$$ guys...i.e., more than a million.

 

And there are lots of candidates for the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation.Only hope I am still around to enjoy this!

 


#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 09:30 AM

 

Graterol sure does look impressive. What I find more encouraging than his velocity (don’t get me wrong I love that he can hit 100) is his control. When Graterol was promoted from the GCL Twins to Elizabethton his control was spotty for a few starts so the fact he has 0 walks in his first 2 starts at a higher level is huge.

I find it interesting that Zack Littell has already been called up to Rochester. What I take from this (now I could be wrong) is that the Twins are committed to keeping Romero with the Twins either in the rotation or in the bullpen. Again I could be wrong but if the Twins were expected to quickly send Romero back ASAP there would be no need to promote Littell, especially since he has an ERA over 5. But considering he’s on the 40 man he was probably the next one to be called up to Rochester after Gonsalves. Now that gets me to wonder if any starting pitchers from Ft Myers will be called up to pitch in Chattanooga.

 

The Twins did say that Romero wasn't a short-term promotion guy. He was going to get a few starts and see how it goes. Obviously how other guys do, when Santana comes back, and most important, how Fernando does, will determine how long the stay is. 


#14 Tibs

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 09:37 AM

Akil Baddoo has to go on some kind of tear soon, doesn't he? Amazing how often he is getting on base without getting hits

I couldn't be a player because of bad eyesight, so I decided to be an umpire instead.

#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 09:59 AM

 

It may just be my meory failing me (I'm old, damn it), but it seems to me that the Twis are promoting minor league pitchers much faster this year. Maybe the front office has been reading all the Twins Daily postings about challenging the young guns.

 

You could make that case, but 1.) the Twins pitching's been a mess, and 2.) the argument could be made that guys like Gonsalves and Littell should have started in Rochester.

 

But that will be interesting... Brad Steil was much more aggressive in terms of promoting than Jim Rantz was, and we'll see how Jeremy Zoll is compared to Brad. Or, it'll just be based on need and readiness.


#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 10:01 AM

 

Of the three, one draft pick and two International signees.I don't remember how big their bonuses were, do you Seth?But I don't recall that either Romero or Graterol were big $$$ guys...i.e., more than a million.

 

 

Jeremy Nygaard may know for sure, but I believe Romero was about $260,000... Graterol wasn't a big name signing either... Far less than $1 million. 


#17 2wins87

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 11:03 AM

 

Jeremy Nygaard may know for sure, but I believe Romero was about $260,000... Graterol wasn't a big name signing either... Far less than $1 million. 

 

I've got $150K for Graterol, though I couldn't tell you where any of the contract notes I have jotted down came from.


#18 howieramone2

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:42 PM

 

It may just be my meory failing me (I'm old, damn it), but it seems to me that the Twis are promoting minor league pitchers much faster this year. Maybe the front office has been reading all the Twins Daily postings about challenging the young guns.

I would say it started last season towards the end of June.


#19 jokin

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 03:42 PM

 


I find it interesting that Zack Littell has already been called up to Rochester.Again I could be wrong but if the Twins were expected to quickly send Romero back ASAP there would be no need to promote Littell,

especially since he has an ERA over 5. 

 

It looks like that ERA over 5 is a "Littell" misleading. Zack's K% at Chattanooga is nearly 33%, coupled with an astounding 31.6% IFFB percent rate. He also has a .431 BABIP.

 

Seems like he's been experimenting with his location, perhaps more up in the zone, as his GB% has dropped precipitously from career norms and LD% has climbed atmospherically (especially with respect to repeating AA from 2017).

 

Regardless, Littell had an excellent debut start at Rochester today- 6IP 6K 0ER.

 

I think with his solid MiLB history of command and control, plus his increasing penchant for Ks, gives him an excellent chance at becoming the Twins backend starter very, very soon.

 

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