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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/12): Relief Efforts Cover for Lack of Offense

taylor grzelakowski josh winder royce lewis kohl stewart zack littell
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#1 Steve Lein

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 07:16 PM

There wasn’t much offense in the system on Sunday afternoon, as the five affiliates in action combined for just 12 runs on 27 hits. Those equate to averages of 2.4 runs per game and 5.4 hits. But it wasn’t all bad, as the bullpens of four of them had strong efforts and even led their teams to a couple of wins.

To find out how all your favorite prospects did on Sunday, as well as just how strong those bullpens pitched, keep reading and be sure to add to the discussion in the comments!TRANSACTIONS

There was only one transaction in the system on Sunday, but it was a fun one for the former #4 overall draft pick:


RED WINGS REPORT
Charlotte 2, Rochester 3
Box Score

A Jeremy Hazelbaker two-run home run in the fifth inning to make it 2-1 Red Wings was the big hit in this one, but it was a close game throughout.

Zack Littell went the first six innings and was in line for the win when he came out for his final frame, but a solo home run tied the game at two before he finished it. In all Littell went six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven.

Rochester took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth as Nick Gordon led off the inning with a double and later scored on a single from Jon Kemmer. The Red Wings had just five hits in the victory. LaMonte Wade drew two walks and made a nice diving grab:


The bullpen held it down from there with Jake Reed delivering two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Alan Busenitz came on in the ninth and set the Knights down in order, striking out the final two hitters he faced for his seventh save of the year.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Jackson 6, Chattanooga 1
Box Score

The Generals were able to jump on Lookouts starter Jorge Alcala in the first inning, thanks in part to an error, and would never look back.

Alcala gave up four runs in that first inning including a three-run home run, but two of those were of the unearned variety. He also walked one and hit a batter in the frame. Over his next three innings however, he retired all the hitters he faced and ten in a row, before being replaced for the fifth. He struck out five and allowed just three hits and a walk, all in that first inning.

The Lookouts offense was unable to take advantage of the seven walks they drew, as they managed just four hits and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Luke Raley was 2-for-3 with a walk. Brent Rooker finished 1-for-4 with a K. Tanner English singled and scored their lone run. Luis Arreaz drew two walks.

Anthony Marzi came on in relief of Alcala and continued the one-two-three trend for two more innings. He struck out one. Sam Clay came on for the seventh and another error led to a two-run home run that made the score 6-1. That was the only hit Clay allowed in addition to walking two and striking out one in two innings. Andrew Vasquez finished the game with a scoreless ninth. He hit one batter and allowed a single but buckled down with two strikeouts as well.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 3, Florida 2
Box Score

The Miracle got a solid start from Charlie Barnes and lights out bullpen work from a pair of relievers that allowed them to come from behind in this one.

Barnes went the first five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six. He allowed single runs in the third and fifth innings but escaped further damage with a bulldog mentality in each, striking out two hitters after allowing the run in each of those two frames.

Down 2-1 in the seventh, Royce Lewis got a two-out rally started with his second triple with Miracle. He was driven in with a Taylor Grzelakowski double, and Jose Miranda followed with an RBI single to put them out front.

Adam Bray was the first reliever after Barnes, and he delivered two scoreless frames. He allowed two hits, but also limited the damage as he struck out five and was credited with his second win. Hector Lujan finished the game with two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out three to pick up his third save.

The offense was led by Grzelakowski who finished 3-for-4. Miranda also picked up two hits and drew two walks to reach base in all his plate appearances. Alex Kirilloff got the Miracle on the board in the third inning with an RBI double, his 18th two-bagger in the Florida State League and 38th overall. That hit also extended his current hitting streak to 10 games.

There’s also this fun interview with shortstop Royce Lewis on how his play at shortstop has been going if you’d like to listen.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 5
Box Score

Jhoan Duran took the mound for his third start with his new team, but due to the long ball this one wasn’t quite as good. He allowed a solo home run in the second inning for the first run of the game, then a two-run shot in the fifth that made it 4-0. In all Duran went those five innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five.

Moises Gomez went the next three innings to finish the game and gave up only an unearned run on one hit while striking out four.

On offense the Kernels were unable to get anything going all game. They managed just three hits and one walk to go along with fifteen strikeouts. They left all four of those men on base and were only 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position so any opportunities were scarce. Ben Rodgriguez and Michael Davis each had a double.

E-TWINS E-TALK
Elizabethton 5, Greeneville 9
Box Score

The E-Twins were leading this one 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but that’s when things went off the rails for two pitchers.

Josh Winder made the start and went the first five strong innings. He allowed only two hits and struck out four, retiring thirteen in a row at one point.

J.T. Perez came on in the sixth and delivered a scoreless frame before getting two quick outs to start the seventh when all hell broke loose. Two walks and two singles made the game 2-1 and Zack Neff was summoned. Three more singles, an error, and a walk before a three-run homer meant the Reds scored nine runs with two outs to take control of the game. Jacob Blank finished the game for the Twins with a one-two-three eighth inning, but it was far too much for the offense to come back from.

The Twins got a three-run homer from Colton Burns that made the final of 9-5 in the top of the ninth, but that would be it. Chris Williams (2-for-3, 2 R, 3B, BB) and Alex Robles (2-for-4, R, 2 2B, RBI) had multiple hits to lead the lineup. Burns’ home run was his fifth in Elizabethton.

GCL TWINS TAKES
Scheduled Day Off

The GCL Twins squad had the day off on Sunday. They’ll begin a four-game set with the GCL Orioles on Monday.

STARS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder, Elizabethton Twins (5 IP, 2 H, 4 K)
Honorable Mention: Bullpens of Rochester, Chattanooga, Fort Myers, and Cedar Rapids (Combined 15 IP, 0 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 20 K)
Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers Miracle (3-for-4, R, 2B (21), RBI)

TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-5, R, 3B (2)
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-4, 2B (18), RBI
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch.
#4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-for-4, 2B (12), 2 K
#5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch.
#6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, K
#7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-for-4, K
#8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 3 K
#9 -Wander Javier – Out for the season.
#10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – W, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K
#11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch.
#12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 0-for-1, 2 BB
#13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, BB, K
#14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch.
#15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, K
#16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 0-for-3, R, BB
#17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) – Out for the season.
#18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play.
#19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-3, 2 K
#20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – 0-for-2, 2 BB

MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Rochester @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) – TBD
Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – TBD
Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (6-3, 2.66 ERA)
Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00PM CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.21 ERA)
GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) – TBD

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

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  • glunn and nicksaviking 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)

#2 108Stitches

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:02 PM

Not really impressed by this Alcala acquisition too much.


#3 nater79a

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:42 PM

Tough day for Chattanooga SS Jordan Gore in the field.A throwing error in the 1st led to two unearned runs charged against Alcala.Then a fielding error later led to an unearned run for Sam Clay.

 

Just one of those days, I guess.Hopefully got the miscues out of his system and is ready to go in the next game.


#4 clutterheart

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:46 PM

Decent debut for the 23 year old. Looking forward to more. It's all about the future now so I see no reason for the team to not throw him out there a few more times
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#5 sloopjont

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 06:12 AM

Tough day at the plate for these top 20 Twin's prospects hitters.4 for 36 if my count is right for a 111 average.


#6 rdehring

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 06:28 AM

For those of you with Media Com cable.They have an Iowa based sports channel they include here in the Twin Cities (MC-22).Last night they had a replay of Saturday's Quad Cities vs. Cedar Rapids game.

 

Was the first time I have seen Balazovic pitch.Physically, he looks like a pitcher with a plus curve ball and mid-90's fast ball.Have liked what I have read about him all year.Like him more after watching the game last night.

 

Also got to see all those Kernels hitters whack the ball around the Quad Cities ballpark.In the mid-innings, Helman got on with a solid single, stole second, went to third on an overthrow and scored on a sac fly.Really liked how he plays.   

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#7 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 08:02 AM

Pleasd FO, just promote Lewis and Kirilloff to AA already!!!

Or at least promote Larnach and Jeffers to Fort Myers soon...
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#8 slash129

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 08:08 AM

 

Not really impressed by this Alcala acquisition too much.

 

He had a really rough first inning. It looks like an error led to him coming unglued.He did finish his day setting down 10 in a row with 4 Ks in those 10 outs.

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#9 rdehring

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 08:13 AM

 

He had a really rough first inning. It looks like an error led to him coming unglued.He did finish his day setting down 10 in a row with 4 Ks in those 10 outs.

Plus, he was coming off the DL, wasn't he?


#10 slash129

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 08:22 AM

 

Plus, he was coming off the DL, wasn't he?

 

It's his second appearance since the DL stint, but we only have a SS of 6.2 innings.

 

First 3.1 innings leave a lot to be desired

 

Last 3.1 innings are perfect.

 

So it can be spun any way one wants ... I'll wait until 62 innings vs. 6.2

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#11 slash129

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 09:19 AM

 

Pleasd FO, just promote Lewis and Kirilloff to AA already!!!

Or at least promote Larnach and Jeffers to Fort Myers soon...

 

Maybe they should demote Lewis and Kirilloff back to CR and try to win a dirty championship ... ;)

 

Seriously, I hope both Lewis and Kirilloff at least get to go to AFL, along with Rooker, Wells and maybe Moran.

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#12 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 09:43 AM

Not really impressed by this Alcala acquisition too much.

"So far, no good." :)

 

He was better in this second start than in his first for the new organization. Baby steps.

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#13 108Stitches

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 10:29 AM

When do they start naming AFL invites?

#14 Steve Lein

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 10:34 AM

 

Maybe they should demote Lewis and Kirilloff back to CR and try to win a dirty championship ... ;)

 

Seriously, I hope both Lewis and Kirilloff at least get to go to AFL, along with Rooker, Wells and maybe Moran.

 

I was extremely disappointed with the contingent they sent last year, but as you mention, this season has the potential to be a lot better.

 

There are several reasons they may have picked the guys they did, but because of that I will be paying close attention to the names they end up sending this year.

 

If it's not guys like Lewis/Kirilloff/Rooker or even top-20ish guys at double-A or above like it was (or wasn't?) last year, that will tell me the new front office has a different idea on the merits of the league for their prospects. And it's probably not one I agree with in that case.

 

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 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 10:34 AM

 

"So far, no good." :)

 

He was better in this second start than in his first for the new organization. Baby steps.

 

As long as he's still throwing in the upper 90's I'm still excited.

 

So far this front office has been cutting most minor league pitchers with control issues, yet they traded for Alcala as a centerpiece. I'd guess they think they can correct something; I'd also think a change of any significance wouldn't happen until the offseason though.


#16 Steve Lein

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 10:36 AM

 

When do they start naming AFL invites?

 

Near the end of August (official announcement was Aug. 29th last year). Might hear some trickles of names before then.

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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)

#17 slash129

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 10:40 AM

 

When do they start naming AFL invites?

 

Not sure ... They don't start games until October.

 

It looks like Tommy Watkins is the manager of the team where Twins players will play.


#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 11:57 AM

 

If it's not guys like Lewis/Kirilloff/Rooker or even top-20ish guys at double-A or above like it was (or wasn't?) last year, that will tell me the new front office has a different idea on the merits of the league for their prospects. And it's probably not one I agree with in that case.

 

To be fair, the AFL isn't totally just a prospects league. In fact, sometimes it is, but sometimes it's a way to get guys who missed time with injury or whatever more AB/IP. 

 

Lewis is in his first full season as a pro and they were already not playing him a couple of times a week early in the season to take care of him.

Kirilloff is coming off of a missed year and has played a ton of games this year. 

 

Rooker, first full season as well. Has played nearly every single game. Maybe 140 games is enough. 

 

Does that mean I think those guys shouldn't go? Of course not, just that its 'completely understandable if they shut them down, or just send them to instructs.

 

Personally, I think at least a couple of them will go, but we'll see. I wish I was privy to those discussions. 

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#19 108Stitches

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 01:14 PM

 

To be fair, the AFL isn't totally just a prospects league. In fact, sometimes it is, but sometimes it's a way to get guys who missed time with injury or whatever more AB/IP. 

 

Lewis is in his first full season as a pro and they were already not playing him a couple of times a week early in the season to take care of him.

Kirilloff is coming off of a missed year and has played a ton of games this year. 

 

Rooker, first full season as well. Has played nearly every single game. Maybe 140 games is enough. 

 

Does that mean I think those guys shouldn't go? Of course not, just that its 'completely understandable if they shut them down, or just send them to instructs.

 

Personally, I think at least a couple of them will go, but we'll see. I wish I was privy to those discussions. 

Who all do you expect to go to AFL?


#20 nater79a

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 02:27 PM

 

Pleasd FO, just promote Lewis and Kirilloff to AA already!!!

Or at least promote Larnach and Jeffers to Fort Myers soon...

 

Would love to see Lewis, Kirilloff, Larnach and Jeffers all on the same affiliate at some point!Talk about mashing the ball around.

 

Was hoping Rooker too...but I think he'll always be a step ahead of the others.




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