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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/11): Remember Michael Pineda?

michael pineda gabriel maciel jordan balazovic trevor larnach
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 09:58 PM

The Twins signed Michael Pineda to a two-year deal in December, and I’ve been constantly forgetting about him ever since. Nothing against Pineda, it’s just really hard to remember a guy who’s recovering from a surgery. But, if his 2018 debut is any indication, Pineda could serve as the baseball version of finding a loose $20 bill in a pair of jeans you’ve had lying around.TRANSACTIONS
There was a trio of pitchers who all moved up a level. Ryan Eades jumped up to Rochester, Anthony Marzi to Chattanooga and Kevin Marnon was promoted to Fort Myers.

RED WINGS REPORT
Charlotte 8, Rochester 0
Box Score

SP: Fernando Romero (4.0 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)
Multi-hit games: None.

It’s been a tough year for Rochester, who fell to 52-63 after today’s shutout loss. Fernando Romero was hammered and the Red Wings’ lineup was dominated by White Sox No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech.

Gregorio Petit’s double was the only extra-base hit for Rochester. The bright spot was Ryne Harper, who pitched four shutout innings out of the bullpen.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Jackson 4, Chattanooga 3
Box Score

SP: Sean Poppen (5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)
HR: Luis Arraez (1)
Multi-hit games: Zander Wiel (2-for-4), Luke Raley (2-for-4, 2B), Luis Arraez (2-for-4, HR)

Luis Arraez hit his first home run for Chattanooga, his second overall of the season, but Tyler Jay gave up the decisive run in the seventh inning as the Generals prevailed Saturday.

The Lookouts, who did not qualify for a playoff spot in the first half, sit in last place in the Southern League North division in the second half.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Florida 3, Fort Myers 2
Box Score

SP: Michael Pineda (3.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
Multi-hit games: Ryan Costello (2-for-3), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-3, 3B)

Michael Pineda made his first official appearance in the Twins organization. Had to have been a good feeling for the big right-hander. He had Tommy John surgery in July of 2017. This was an encouraging first time out on the mound.

Pineda gave up five hits in his three shutout innings, but that was more than likely due to the fact that he was living in the zone. Of his 33 pitches, 29 were strikes.

It was still a night that ended in a tough loss for Fort Myers. They trailed 2-0 heading into the eighth, but tied it up thanks to an RBI triple by Travis Blankenhorn, who later scored on a sac fly from Mark Contreras. This game remained tied until the Fire Frogs walked it off on a run-scoring single.

Thanks to the reinforcements who’ve come up from Cedar Rapids, the Miracle are in striking distance of securing a playoff spot here in the second half. They trail Charlotte by 2.5 games in the Florida State League South division.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 9, Quad Cities 6
Box Score

W: Jordan Balazovic (5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)
SV: Calvin Faucher (3.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)
HR: Gabriel Maciel 2 (3), Trevor Larnach (1)
Multi-hit games: Gabriel Maciel (4-for-5, 2 HR), Michael Helman (3-for-5), Trey Cabbage 3-for-5, 2B), Andrew Bechtold (3-for-3, 2 BB), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-5), Trevor Larnach (2-for-5, HR),

Cedar Rapids tallied 18 hits on Saturday. Wow! Six of their batters had multi-hit games, but none was more impressive than Gabriel Maciel. He hit a home run form both sides of the plate. That’s particularly noteworthy because the speedy center fielder had only hit one homer in 79 games this season heading into tonight.

Trevor Larnach hit his first homer since being called up to the Kernels and Andrew Bechtold reached base all five times he came up to bat, going 3-for-3 with a double and two walks.

Jordan Balazovic improved to 6-3 after throwing five innings of two-run ball. He struck out six and walked one while throwing 71.9 percent of his pitches for strikes. Cedar Rapids currently holds a 1.5 game lead in the Midwest League Western division second half standings.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
Game 1: Bluefield 7, Elizabethton 5 (8 innings)
Box Score

SP: Austin Schulfer (5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER 0 BB, 4 K)
HR: Lean Marrero (1)
Multi-hit games: Lean Marrero (3-for-3, 2B, HR, BB), Ricky De La Torre (2-for-4, 2B)

The E-Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but a rough night from the bullpen ended up being costly. The bats rallied back from being down 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh (and scheduled to be final) inning. Bluefield added three more runs in the eighth and that was that.

Starter Austin Schulfer had a solid game, lowering his ERA on the year to 2.17. A Wisconsin native, Schulfer was the Twins’ 19th-round pick in this year’s draft. Lean Marrero continued his hot streak. The centerfielder is now 9-for-22 (.409) so far this month.

Game 2: Bluefield 7, Elizabethton 1 (7 innings)
Box Score

SP: Carlos Suniaga (4.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)
Multi-hit games: None.

Much like in the first game, the E-Twins got a strong performance out of their starting pitcher, but that was squandered by the bullpen. Also, the lineup had a rough go. Carlos Suniaga pitched four shutout innings, but the only hits for E-Town came from Jared Atkins and Gilberto Celestino, both singles. Still, the Twins led 1-0 after five innings.

Despite the struggles Saturday, Elizabethton still leads the Appalachian League West by three games.

GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 0 (Suspended in the third inning due to rain)
Box Score

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabriel Maciel, Cedar Rapids

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

1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-4, 2 K
2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 1-for-4, K
3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not pitch.
4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 1-for-4, 2 K
5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not pitch.
6. Trevor Larnach (CR): 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 0-for-4, K
8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 0-for-5, BB, 3 K

9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season
10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not pitch.
11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not pitch.
12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 0-for-4, 2 K
13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 2-for-3, 3B, RBI, R

14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not pitch.
15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): Did not play.
16. Yunior Severino (ET): Did not play.
17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Injured.
18. Ryan Jeffers (CR): 2-for-5, RBI, R
19. Jacob Pearson (CR): Did not pitch.
20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 2-for-4, HR, RBI, R

SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester vs. Charlotte, 12:05 pm CT: Zack Littell
Chattanooga vs. Jackson, 1:15 pm CT: Jorge Alcala
Fort Myers at Florida, 10:00 am CT: TBD
Cedar Rapids at Quad Cities, 5:15 pm CT: Jhoan Duran
Elizabethton at Greenville, 4:00 pm CT: TBD
GCL Twins: OFF

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.

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#2 D.C Twins

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 10:12 PM

Dear Twins FO,

 

I'm super bored.

 

Any ideas about where I could find better competition?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Alex

 

 

 

 

 

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#3 Han Joelo

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 10:45 PM

Balazovic threw four perfect innings, then gave up a single, walk, and double. Then he retired the next three batters, ending his night after 66 pitches. I'm pretty sure.
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#4 jokin

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 11:58 PM

 "What was Pineda's velocity again, LaVelle?"

 

"Topped out at 95 MPH you say?!"

 

"Thank you very much."

 

Pineda averaged ~94 from 2014-17. This is obviously very encouraging. Is there a working plan in place to get him some September innings if he continues hitting all the green lights?

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Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#5 jokin

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 12:17 AM

You missed Yunior Severino, who was 1-4 with a Run, RBI and E in make-up DH game.

 

Still only 18 YO- 2.3 years younger than average for the Appy. Has a .281 BA .758 OPS. He's a switch-hitter- but important to note he's hitting .300 BA/.800 OPS as a RH. Nice aggressive move by FO to move him right to E-Town over splitting time in GCL.

 

One to watch in Winter Ball... he could be a fast mover in 2019.

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#6 nater79a

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 02:26 AM

Thanks for the playoff updates, Tom. Nice to know where the clubs are sitting as we head down the home stretch.
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#7 CwK

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 07:14 AM

The fall of Fernando Romero is super puzzling. Where did all the strikeouts go?


#8 etwinsfan

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 07:56 AM

The games are backwards for Etwins.

#9 BJames

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:07 AM

I think Romero was having a let down based on not being called up.It happens with young players, disappointment on not being in the Bigs, I'd say the same for Vargas this year too. Arraez just hits, now at AAwill he get a chance next year for AAA or is he one of those guys that the F.O. doesn't see making the Majors and just holds at AA till they go F.A. I'd love to see one of those organizational charts that shows a listing of the best players for each position. Does anyone know where I can see one?

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#10 Twodogs

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:44 AM

Interesting how the minor league teams seem to be sitting in about the same spot as the parent club?

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#11 ashburyjohn

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 09:07 AM

Interesting how the minor league teams seem to be sitting in about the same spot as the parent club?

No doubt we'll soon see Rochester trading away veterans like Andy WIlkins and Ryne Harper to the likes of Toledo and Indianapolis, for prospects, before the next trading deadline. :)

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#12 slash129

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 10:28 AM

 

I think Romero was having a let down based on not being called up.It happens with young players, disappointment on not being in the Bigs, I'd say the same for Vargas this year too. Arraez just hits, now at AAwill he get a chance next year for AAA or is he one of those guys that the F.O. doesn't see making the Majors and just holds at AA till they go F.A. I'd love to see one of those organizational charts that shows a listing of the best players for each position. Does anyone know where I can see one?

 

Arraez is just 21 and lost a season to an injury.I don't think he's being held back playing two levels this season.It took him a couple weeks to adjust to adjust to AA, and now he's been back to hitting everything (.419/.454/.548/1.002 in August).I think they'll bump him to AAA in 2019.


#13 jimbo92107

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 11:48 AM

I don't keep loose diamonds in my old blue jeans, but Michael Pineda...

 

We'll see. 95 mph heat in his first rehab start. Nice. Does he have decent off-speed stuff to go with it? Command is the key.

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#14 gunnarthor

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 12:19 PM

 

The fall of Fernando Romero is super puzzling. Where did all the strikeouts go?

Might be tired. I think he's approaching or already passed the most innings he's thrown.

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#15 gman

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 01:32 PM

I can't say I'm too impressed with the overall records of the minors this year especially at the upper levels, but there have been some great performances by key individuals. This is probably more important to the Twins future than minor league won/loss records.

 

I agree that Romero might be running out of steam. I was hoping to see him a bit more in Minnesota this year.


#16 ashburyjohn

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 01:51 PM

I can't say I'm too impressed with the overall records of the minors this year especially at the upper levels, but there have been some great performances by key individuals. This is probably more important to the Twins future than minor league won/loss records.

My takeaway is that other teams have prospects giving great performances too, and more numerously in some cases. I don't think our prospects are so remarkably young for their league levels, overall, as to explain it all away. Many "average age" numbers below AAA are inflated by the career minor leaguers necessary to flesh out full rosters for the benefit of genuine prospects.

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#17 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 05:05 PM

 

 "What was Pineda's velocity again, LaVelle?"

 

"Topped out at 95 MPH you say?!"

 

"Thank you very much."

 

Pineda averaged ~94 from 2014-17. This is obviously very encouraging. Is there a working plan in place to get him some September innings if he continues hitting all the green lights?

 

Im sure there is. He'll have to come up about September 1st (30 day rehab time). This might be a good opportunity to use the "Opener" strategy in the big leagues. That way Pineda can work on the regular 5-day schedule and he could piggyback with another starter (which is piggybacking, not opener strategy). 


#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 05:13 PM

 

Arraez is just 21 and lost a season to an injury.I don't think he's being held back playing two levels this season.It took him a couple weeks to adjust to adjust to AA, and now he's been back to hitting everything (.419/.454/.548/1.002 in August).I think they'll bump him to AAA in 2019.

 

He's made some sort of adjustment here in August after really struggling for his first month in Chattanooga. He's young. He's doing just fine. I think he'll start next season back in Chattanooga. No reason at all to push him to AAA right away. He'll likely get there midseason. They've moved him quick when healthy.


#19 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 05:37 PM

 

I can't say I'm too impressed with the overall records of the minors this year especially at the upper levels, but there have been some great performances by key individuals. This is probably more important to the Twins future than minor league won/loss records.

 

I agree that Romero might be running out of steam. I was hoping to see him a bit more in Minnesota this year.

 

Over the previous four seasons, the Twins and Yankees had the best records in minor league baseball. That's fun, and good for those cities, and I do think that learning how to win and experiencing success can be a nice part of the development process... but it doesn't mean anything relative to player development. 


#20 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 07:24 PM

 

You missed Yunior Severino, who was 1-4 with a Run, RBI and E in make-up DH game.

 

Still only 18 YO- 2.3 years younger than average for the Appy. Has a .281 BA .758 OPS. He's a switch-hitter- but important to note he's hitting .300 BA/.800 OPS as a RH. Nice aggressive move by FO to move him right to E-Town over splitting time in GCL.

 

One to watch in Winter Ball... he could be a fast mover in 2019.

Severino hita baseball over the light tower in Johnson City several weeks ago.




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