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Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/23): Quality Starts And Kirilloff Keeps Raking

alex kirilloff nick gordon blayne enlow jordan balazovic jean carlos arias
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 09:29 PM

Saturday’s three most upper-level starting pitchers each put together quality starts. Alex Kirilloff continued to rake. With news that Jorge Polanco’s rehab will begin on Sunday and he’ll spend a few games with the Miracle, is it possible we now have our timeline for Royce Lewis to join Kirilloff in Ft. Myers? Maybe. It was another 19-year-old who had the big hits for the Kernels on this day, and another 19-year-old picked up his first career save. So much in Saturday’s report, so check it out below.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.

TRANSACTIONS
  • Following the Twins Saturday loss to Texas, the team announced that RHP Fernando Romero had been optioned to Rochester. A corresponding move will be announced on Sunday morning. (Reports are that Alan Busenitz will get the call.)
  • Jim Callis tweeted that the Twins have signed fifth-round draft pick, RHP Cole Sands, from Florida State. He got $600,000 (slot $340,000). Callis later updated his tweet to point out that he has “agreed to terms” and not yet signed. But, that will happen.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 2, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 4
Box Score

Aaron Slegers put together another quality start, but it wasn’t enough on this night. Slegers gave up three runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. Luke Bard gave up one run on two hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Gabriel Moya struck out one in a 1-2-3 inning.

Nick Gordon led the offense with a 3-for-4 game. Willians Astudillo went 2-for-4 with his 11th double. Kennys Vargas had a single and a walk.


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 2, Biloxi 5
Box Score

The Lookouts got a quality start from right-hander Sean Poppen. He was charged with three unearned runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Ryne Harper came on and gave up two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck two out. Paco Rodriguez struck out one in a perfect inning.

Andy WIlkins led the offense. He was 2-for-4 with his second and third doubles. Brent Rooker knocked his 11th home run of the season


MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 8, Bradenton 3
Box Score

Alex Kirilloff kept things going on Saturday night. The 2016 first-round pick went 3-for-5 with his first FSL double. Luis Arraez went 2-for-5 with his 13th double. Travis Blankenhorn and Ben Rortvedt each went 2-for-5 in the game. Brandon Lopez was 2-for-2 with a walk.

Griffin Jax provided the Miracle with a quality start. The right-hander gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits over seven innings. He walked on and struck out one. Ryan Mason finished the final two innings. He gave up three hits, but no runs. He struck out two without issuing a walk.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 5, Wisconsin 3
Box Score

Jean Carlos Arias provided the big hit in this one. Following a Jacob Pearson RBI double, Arias drilled a three-run homer. Arias went 3-for-4 with his fourth double and third triple. Pearson went 2-for-4. The double was his sixth since joining the Kernels in late May. Jordan Gore went 2-for-3.

Jordan Balazovic gave up three runs on ten hits over five innings. He struck out nine without a walk. Blayne Enlow came on and recorded his first career save with four scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out four.


E-TWINS E-TALK
Elizabethton 0, Bristol 4
Box Score

Well, the E-Twins weren’t going to win every game, and they weren’t going to score in double digits every game either. To see them get shut out is a little surprising though.

A night after scoring 19 runs against the Pirates affiliate, the Twins managed just three hits and were shut out. Lean Marrero had two of the team’s hits.

Brian Rapp made his first professional start after a strong career at Boston College. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out five. Moises Gomez came on and gave up three runs on four hits over the next 2 1/3 innings. He struck out four. Juan Gamez struck out four over the final two innings. He gave up no runs on one hit and two walks.

GCL TWINS TALK
GCL Twins 1, GCL Red Sox 3
Box Score

The GCL Twins lost for the first time this season on Saturday, but there were still a few highlights.

Steven Cruz made his first start and threw four scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out six. Michael Montero made his season debut and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits over three innings. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. Frandy Torres gave up one run on two hits and a walk and recorded just one out (on a strikeout). Tanner Howell came on and got the final two outs without further issues.

The Twins had just three hits in the game. Yeison Perez had the lone extra base hit, a double. Victor Tademo went 1-for-3 with a walk. Agustin Marte walked twice and stole a base.


STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jean Carlos Arias, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-4, 3B(4), HR(3), 3 RBI)
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Blayne Enlow,, Cedar Rapids Kernels (4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, first career save)

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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, RBI
#2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - Did not pitch, optioned to Rochester
#3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 3-4, R
#4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2B(1), R, RBI, K
#6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, R, RBI, HR(11), K
#8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (Save #1)
#9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play
#11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch
#13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, R
#14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-4, K
#16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R, RBI, K
#17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 2-5
#18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - 0-3
#19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch
#20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, began rehab on June 19.


SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Scranton/Wilkes Barre @ Rochester (12:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (5-6, 5.31 ERA)
Biloxi @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi (0-4, 8.10 ERA)
Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (12:00 CST) - RHP Andro Cutura (3-2, 3.72 ERA)
Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (2-2, 2.48 ERA)
Elizabethton @ Bristol (5:00 CST) - TBD
GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled


Please feel free to ask any questions about Saturday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

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#2 Danchat

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 09:50 PM

So does that mean Romero is back to being a prospect now that he's headed to AAA? Did he hit that certain inning threshold?

 

Good stuff from Kiriloff, it's great to see him play so well after not playing at all in 2017. I think he's going to be a very good player in the majors, I'm just not sure the Twins are the right team to develop him... their track record with outfield prospects panning out just isn't that good.

 

Hopefully Gordon can have more of these 3 for 4 games and force his way to the majors at some point. I would like to see him get some MLB experience under his belt so he can potentially make the 2019 roster.

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#3 mikelink45

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 05:27 AM

I still do not understand why Polanco being suspended did not open a door for at least two weeks of Gordon in MLB even with our POWERFUL lineup.Kiriloff really is the most exciting development after missing a year.I think Kepler should be worried, but of course these are the Twins and their development plans are still a big mystery to me. 

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#4 scottz

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:16 AM

So does that mean Romero is back to being a prospect now that he's headed to AAA? Did he hit that certain inning threshold?.


Romero has thrown 51.1 MLB innings - 1.1 innings over the threshold. So I assume he will not be on prospect lists in 2019, even if he doesn’t throw another MLB inning this year.

#5 Tommygun921

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:40 AM

Will Willian Astudillo be taking over for Bobby Wilson?
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#6 jorgenswest

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:54 AM

Attended my first Kernels game last night. It is a fantastic setting for baseball.

Both young pitchers looked very promising. Hopefully Enlow is healthy and will have a solid second half.
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#7 Doctor Wu

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:58 AM

 

Will Willian Astudillo be taking over for Bobby Wilson?

I vote for that move!


#8 Doctor Wu

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 07:00 AM

Nice to see Griffin Jax pitching in the system finally. From all that I've read, he's a fine prospect, but I have to say that his name is a classic one!

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#9 rdehring

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 07:19 AM

Interesting night down on the farm, Seth.What the h..... is wrong with Elizabethton?Is it time to fire their hitting coach?(that was sarcastic, folks!)

 

Is Slegers on track to be back for the next time it would have been Romero's turn?Imagine by then they should be convinced that Belisle isn't the answer.

And would the Twins be better off with Vargas as their DH, rather than Morrison?His average isn't great at Rochester, but I expect he would be more motivated if still with the Twins. 

 

Appears there are three guys at Fort Myers worth checking on every morning, Arraez, Kirilloff and Rortvedt.Gotta believe all three will be with the Twins some day.And great seeing Jax rack up quality starts, although only one strikeout was a bit odd.Between Kirilloff and Rooker, we should have another outfielder and first baseman/DH within the next year, year and a half.  

 

And there is a lot to like with both Balazovic and Enlow.Like how they are piggy backing them together to limit their innings.  

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#10 BJames

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 07:58 AM

Should Slegers be brought up in place of Belisle?I think he would make a good long inning pitchers as he throws strikes and keeps the game moving.I'd like to see Gonsalves make a start for Romero. I still think the Team would have been better with Vargas, not Grossman.  

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#11 rdehring

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 08:11 AM

 

Should Slegers be brought up in place of Belisle?I think he would make a good long inning pitchers as he throws strikes and keeps the game moving.I'd like to see Gonsalves make a start for Romero. I still think the Team would have been better with Vargas, not Grossman.  

Not certain how Vargas is defensively in the outfield?


#12 dbminn

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 08:35 AM

One week left to decide who's going to be hitter of the month. Current slash lines:

 

Kirilloff: .393/.446/.714 (1.160 OPS)

Arraez: .451/.489/.659 (1.148 OPS)

 

Both have played 20 games in June.

 

Add in Blankenhorn and Rortvedt and you have a good group of 21 and under players at Ft Myers. If they only had a young SS...

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#13 dbminn

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 09:04 AM

Back in late July 1990, I spent a week on top of the Pompano Beach Landfill in Florida. I was managing a group of temp employees, sampling and sorting garbage. The surrounding counties were planning to build a waste-to-energy plant and set up their first recycling programs. The wanted to know what they might need for plant capacities.

 

As you can imagine, the sorting crew was made up of tough guys down on their luck. Pretty much all of them were on probation. Jamaicans, Rednecks and Latinos, they had almost nothing in common - except keeping an eye out for me. 

 

It was sweltering on top of the landfill. Mid-90s heat and oppressive humidity, all mixed with the stench of 2,000 tons/day of freshly delivered trash. I made it to the fourth day. I remember my boss coming to the top of the hill, telling me he was taking my place. Three hours later, I woke up in the air-conditioned scale house, unable to open my eyes. They had caked shut with the salt of my sweat. 

 

Later, I was informed that the crew had told one of the truck drivers that "the Yankee didn't look so good" and asked the driver to get help on his way out. I was able to finish the job the following day. As always, we celebrated with the temp crew by buying pizza with, what we told them, was the money earned from the aluminum they had separated. I thanked them for saving my ass.

 

As I unpacked my triple-bagged work clothes back in St Paul, I vowed I would never go to Florida in the summer again. But man, Ft Myers is tempting me.

 

 

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#14 mlhouse

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 09:11 AM

Serioulsy, only the Twins organization would be sending Romero down. Young pitchers are going to have their ups and their downs and you need to stick with them.If this organization is not going to have patience with their younger players, instead running with mediocre older veterans, we are never going to get out of this rut of losing.

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#15 mlhouse

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 09:14 AM

 

Back in late July 1990, I spent a week on top of the Pompano Beach Landfill in Florida. I was managing a group of temp employees, sampling and sorting garbage. The surrounding counties were planning to build a waste-to-energy plant and set up their first recycling programs. The wanted to know what they might need for plant capacities.

 

As you can imagine, the sorting crew was made up of tough guys down on their luck. Pretty much all of them were on probation. Jamaicans, Rednecks and Latinos, they had almost nothing in common - except keeping an eye out for me. 

 

It was sweltering on top of the landfill. Mid-90s heat and oppressive humidity, all mixed with the stench of 2,000 tons/day of freshly delivered trash. I made it to the fourth day. I remember my boss coming to the top of the hill, telling me he was taking my place. Three hours later, I woke up in the air-conditioned scale house, unable to open my eyes. They had caked shut with the salt of my sweat. 

 

Later, I was informed that the crew had told one of the truck drivers that "the Yankee didn't look so good" and asked the driver to get help on his way out. I was able to finish the job the following day. As always, we celebrated with the temp crew by buying pizza with, what we told them, was the money earned from the aluminum they had separated. I thanked them for saving my ass.

 

As I unpacked my triple-bagged work clothes back in St Paul, I vowed I would never go to Florida in the summer again. But man, Ft Myers is tempting me.

 

Summer in Ft Myers is stinking hot. Although our temps are "only" in the mid-90s right now, the humidity is unbearable.  

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#16 lukeduke1980

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 09:16 AM

 

Should Slegers be brought up in place of Belisle?I think he would make a good long inning pitchers as he throws strikes and keeps the game moving.I'd like to see Gonsalves make a start for Romero. I still think the Team would have been better with Vargas, not Grossman.  

He lines up with odorizzi.Skip odorizzi for a start and start slegers.You have your pick of guys to dfa for a roster spot


#17 Dantes929

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 11:25 AM

Buxton?

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.

#18 gunnarthor

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 11:43 AM

 

Serioulsy, only the Twins organization would be sending Romero down. Young pitchers are going to have their ups and their downs and you need to stick with them.If this organization is not going to have patience with their younger players, instead running with mediocre older veterans, we are never going to get out of this rut of losing.

Nearly every org would do the same thing. Young pitchers often go from the majors to AAA multiple times. The ones that come and stick are the exceptions.

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#19 Seth Stohs

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 12:16 PM

 

Not certain how Vargas is defensively in the outfield?

 

As an outfielder, he would make a great DH defensively.

 

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#20 Seth Stohs

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 12:20 PM

 

Serioulsy, only the Twins organization would be sending Romero down. Young pitchers are going to have their ups and their downs and you need to stick with them.If this organization is not going to have patience with their younger players, instead running with mediocre older veterans, we are never going to get out of this rut of losing.

 

I know that's a fun line of thinking for a lot of people, but this move does a couple of things. First, opens up a bullpen spot on a day they need an extra arm, but second, allows them to give Romero a break, help out with his eventual innings limit. Also, I don't think that it can be argued that Romero has struggled more of late. As Molitor said, he hasn't been horrendous, but his innings have been laborious. He'll be back. Also, Adalberto Mejia deserves a shot too. 

 

And here's my shortened version... I think plenty of organizations would make the same move under the same circumstances.

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