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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/4) Down But Never Out

tyler palm lewin diaz brent rooker travis blankenhorn mitchell kranson
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#1 Matt Braun

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 10:17 PM

A common theme among the games played today was adversity, some teams were able to overcome it and win while others could not quite dig themselves out of the metaphorical hole. Come read about how that went down in this edition of the Minor League Report.TRANSACTIONS
RHP D.J. Baxendale reinstated from the injured list
INF Adam Rosales traded to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations

RED WINGS REPORT
Red Wings 10, Pawtucket 8
Box Score

Lewis Thorpe: 1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 65% strikes (26 of 40 pitches)
HR: Brent Rooker (5)
Multi-hit games: Nick Gordon (2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI), LaMonte Wade (2-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB), Luke Raley (3-for-6, 2 R,), Zander Wiel (2-for-5, R), Jordany Valdespin (3-for-5, R, 3 RBI), Drew Maggi (2-for-5, R, RBI)

Lewis Thorpe ran into trouble in the first inning and was forced to throw 40 pitches. Because of the Twins 35 pitch in an inning limit, Thorpe was forced to leave the game after the first inning.

Despite being down in a hole early, the Red Wings offense took action by scoring seven unanswered runs during the second through fourth innings.

Going into the ninth knotted at eight a piece, Drew Maggi hit a leadoff double which was backed up by a Nick Gordon double immediately after which gave the Red Wings the lead. Two wild pitches from Jenrry Mejia allowed Gordon to move to third and then subsequently score to give the Red Wings a 10-8 lead.

Despite only getting one inning from the starter, the Red Wings bullpen, made up of efforts from D.J. Baxendale, Austin Adams, Andrew Vasquez, and Preston Guilmet, was able to fire off eight innings of two-run ball that came with 11 punchouts and probably a solid pat on the back from the manager.

BLUE WAHOO BITES
Pensacola 11, Biloxi 2
Box Score

Randy Dobnak: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 63.6% strikes (49 of 77 pitches)
HR: Travis Blankenhorn (2), Mitchell Kranson (3)
Multi-hit games: Luis Arraez (2-for-4, 3 R, RBI, BB), Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB)

The Blue Wahoos had already made their mark by having some ridiculously good starting pitching, but now they have a hot Luis Arraez and Travis Blankenhorn, a healthy Alex Kirilloff, and backup from another up-and-coming hotshot named Miguel Sano. Good luck trying to beat that.

Randy Dobnak had a solid Double-A debut outing and he would have gotten the win had he reached the five-inning mark but that honor went to Adam Bray who fired off a pair of scoreless innings to continue his absolute tear so far this year. Tyler Jay finished off the game with three scoreless innings of his own.

The Blue Wahoos bats were at it all game as they scored in every inning except for the fourth and eight where they finally decided to show a bit of mercy to the Shuckers.

Miguel Sano went 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts along with a sacrifice fly in the fifth and he also apparently hit an absolutely monster foul ball home run.

Also of note, Alex Kirilloff made his start at first base, something he had not done in his professional career yet. The Twins had talked about getting him playing there in anticipation of whenever he joins the major league club as the Twins outfield is currently pretty set in stone.




MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers 7, Palm Beach 5
Box Score (https://www.milb.com...box,game=572995)

Charlie Barnes: 5 1/3 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 66% strikes (62 of 94 pitches)
HR: Lewin Diaz (1), Aaron Whitefield (2)
Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (2-for-4, R, BB), Trevor Larnach (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI), Lewin Diaz (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB)

Another Saturday start for Charlie Barnes, I believe this is now the third time that I have written about a game that he started this year so far, this is frankly bordering on stalking and I am going to have to ask him to pick a different day to start (I’m kidding of course. I’ll write about Charlie with glee.)

Anyways, the Miracle played quite the thriller of a game this Saturday. The scoring was kicked off early by the Cardinals as they put a run across in both the first, second, and fourth innings respectively.

Luckily for the Miracle, Aaron Whitefield hates baseballs as much as he hates three-run deficits, so he launched his second homer of the year in the fifth inning to make it a 3-1 game.

The Cardinals answered back with two more runs in the sixth, but it could have been worse had Trevor Larnach not gunned down the hopeful third run at the plate to keep the score 5-1.

The Miracle scratched two runs together in the eighth thanks to some wild pitch and passed ball shenanigans to make the game a close 5-3 affair.

The top of the ninth started with a Ryan Costello single but unfortunately, the next two batters would get out. Now with two outs in the ninth, Royce Lewis would work a walk to move Costello to second. Trevor Larnach then would single him home to make it just a one-run game. Now facing a chance to tie the game, Lewin Diaz decided to give the Miracle the lead outright as he blasted a heroic three-run homer to give the Miracle a 7-5 lead that they would not relinquish.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Dayton 4
Box Score
(https://www.milb.com...ab=,game=577193)

Tyler Palm: 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 73.2% strikes (41 of 56 pitches)
HR: Jacob Pearson (2)
Multi-hit games: Andrew Bechtold (2-for-3, RBI, BB)

Donning some awesome Yoda jerseys, the Kernels took on the Dragons in a game that ended in the same way that an actual fight between a dragon and a kernel of corn would end.


Despite giving up four runs, Kernels pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts, a number that gave them the higher ground over the Dragon’s pitchers who could only muster eight.

Kernels pitchers also only surrendered four hits total in the game, but the Dragons were opportunistic as they took advantage of an error in the fourth and a balk in the fifth to help with their scoring.

Jacob Pearson had a big day offensively as he blasted his second homer of the year and walked twice along with scoring both of the runs for the Kernels. Hopefully this game will be the launching point of his season and he starts to improve his .503 OPS on the year.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Palm
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach

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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, R, BB, K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, K
#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Season has not started
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 1-for-6, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 K
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, 3 K
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 2 K
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 2-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Did not play

SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Pawtucket (12:00 P.M.) - RHP Kohl Stewart
Biloxi @ Pensacola (1:05 P.M.) - RHP Griffin Jax
Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (12:00 P.M.) - RHP Jordan Balazovic
Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Cole Sands

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.

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#2 operation mindcrime

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 11:26 PM

Cool Yoda jersey!
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#3 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 01:39 AM

I assume Sano will go 4-4 with a homer and be promoted tomorrow.

#4 mikelink45

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 07:11 AM

I really hate lots of strikeouts and having Sano whiff twice in his rehabs bothers me, no matter how far his foul ball was hit. 

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#5 MMMordabito

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 07:37 AM

I attended the Kernels game once again, so I'll add a few observations.

Tyler Palm had a really good evening. He was perfect until Gabe Snyder couldn't handle a simple toss on a bunt attempt that resulted in a little league triple. That runner scored on a sac fly on a beautiful running catch by Pearson in left field.

Not sure why Dinkleman pulled him at 4.2 ... It had to be a low pitch count leash or bullpen work schedule related

I also got to be reminded that players aren't the only ones learning at this level. The umpire made an interference call against Dayton that resulted in the Dragons' manager being allowed to argue for literally 20-25 minutes. The umpire even left the field for 5 minutes. I'm not sure if it was to read the rule book, review film, cry or take a Xanax. Anyway that umpire needs to learn to take control of his field. Ridiculous.

Finally, I had a chance to chat with David Banuelos' father during the game. He was getting a little frustrated with some of the fans in front of us that were trying to get David to throw balls into the stands when he was warming up the relief pitchers. One fan even tried to offer up his single lady friend. That was awkward, since David's wife and infant son we're also there in the stands. David handled it all very professionally, but that has to be frustrating for a parent. I also got to learn that it was much easier for their family when he was in the Seattle org, but they are really grateful for any opportunity he gets.
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#6 MMMordabito

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 07:42 AM

Cool Yoda jersey!


You can bid on them at the game on May 25th in Cedar Rapids. The Snoopy ones were going for about $125 on Friday.

#7 JLease

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 08:14 AM

I'm ready to start agitating for Rortvedt to move up to AA. He's hitting well in a tough environment (hes one of the top hitters for us in Ft. Myers). I want him and Jeffers to catch every day and splitting them up seems like the right move and Rortvedt has earned the nod. let's not wait.

 

Really happy to see Kirilloff back. Looking forward to seeing how he punished AA pitching and handles guys who likely have a better feel for their breaking pitches. I think it's a smart move to have him get some exposure at 1B: positional flexibility is always good and the way things are going at the big club, there might not be a lot of ABs in the OF. While I'm not unhappy with Cron, Kirilloff feels like a special hitter.

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#8 rdehring

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 08:18 AM

What a nice day for several of our young stars, Lewis, Kirilloff, Larnach, Gordon and Wade.And a big welcome back to Mr. Rooker.

 

But what an ugly start by one of my favorites, Lewis Thorpe.Seems he has a couple real good starts, then a game like last night.Hopefully, he will get that behind him in case the Twins need a starter later this summer.

 

After several years of special teams down in Cedar Rapids, this year's version doesn't have any of our most recognizable prospects and is playing accordingly.Hopefully, Wander Javier will join them soon and they will get several top college players from the 2019 draft.With a little luck and lots of help, maybe they can have an excellent second half and return to the playoffs.

 

Speaking of Javier, is this the year the Twins will have to put him on the 40-man roster (he signed in July, 2015)?Will be a very difficult decision as he has played a total of 50 games over the past four years, most recently at Elizabethton in 2017.They really need to get this kid on the field...and soon.Perhaps some of you with more knowledge of the situation, thinking of you, Seth, know if I am correct about this being the year he needs to be added.Also, you may know much more about how he has looked when playing in EST, fall instructional league, etc.

 

When looking at 40-man adds this fall I have seven that I would consider must adds, Jax, Raley, Alcala, Graterol, Smeltzer, Duran and Javier.Then there are three more that should garner strong consideration, Hackimer, Wiel and Diaz.Expect the Twins are going to have to move at least one of these, perhaps more before December.

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#9 mini_tb

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:03 AM

It's refreshing to see both Lewis and Kiriloff at the top of the list with multi-hit games, also Gordon.It helps mask the stench of Thorpe's clunker.

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#10 2wins87

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:11 AM

 

I'm ready to start agitating for Rortvedt to move up to AA. He's hitting well in a tough environment (hes one of the top hitters for us in Ft. Myers). I want him and Jeffers to catch every day and splitting them up seems like the right move and Rortvedt has earned the nod. let's not wait.

 

Minor league catchers do not and should not catch every day.That's a recipe for retiring due to injuries or just general wear and tear before the age of 30.I do think we will see him moved up to AA sometime around mid-season.I was still somewhat skeptical of him due to his questionable bat before the season, but I am a believer now.He just keeps improving.I wouldn't worry too much about playing time as long as he's making the most of it.


#11 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:21 AM

 

I attended the Kernels game once again, so I'll add a few observations.

Tyler Palm had a really good evening. He was perfect until Gabe Snyder couldn't handle a simple toss on a bunt attempt that resulted in a little league triple. That runner scored on a sac fly on a beautiful running catch by Pearson in left field.

Not sure why Dinkleman pulled him at 4.2 ... It had to be a low pitch count leash or bullpen work schedule related

I also got to be reminded that players aren't the only ones learning at this level. The umpire made an interference call against Dayton that resulted in the Dragons' manager being allowed to argue for literally 20-25 minutes. The umpire even left the field for 5 minutes. I'm not sure if it was to read the rule book, review film, cry or take a Xanax. Anyway that umpire needs to learn to take control of his field. Ridiculous.

Finally, I had a chance to chat with David Banuelos' father during the game. He was getting a little frustrated with some of the fans in front of us that were trying to get David to throw balls into the stands when he was warming up the relief pitchers. One fan even tried to offer up his single lady friend. That was awkward, since David's wife and infant son we're also there in the stands. David handled it all very professionally, but that has to be frustrating for a parent. I also got to learn that it was much easier for their family when he was in the Seattle org, but they are really grateful for any opportunity he gets.

 

Good report.

 

As for Palm, he has been working out of the bullpen in long relief to this point. He ended last night at 56 pitches. His previous high for the year was 51 pitches a few weeks ago. I'm sure they had a number of pitches that he couldn't pass. Maybe the pitch limit was 50 or 55 and he couldn't start a new hitter after that number. They're going to take care of arms, for sure. 

 

Banuelos is a good kid. I hate hearing about fans being rude and disrespectful. It's just not good. His family is from southern California. That said, the Mariners Low A affiliate last year was in the Midwest League (Clinton) and this year it's in West Virginia. Their High-A affiliate is in Modesto though. 

 

And yes, the umpires move up the ranks similarly to the players. 


#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:34 AM

 

I'm ready to start agitating for Rortvedt to move up to AA. He's hitting well in a tough environment (hes one of the top hitters for us in Ft. Myers). I want him and Jeffers to catch every day and splitting them up seems like the right move and Rortvedt has earned the nod. let's not wait.

 

Really happy to see Kirilloff back. Looking forward to seeing how he punished AA pitching and handles guys who likely have a better feel for their breaking pitches. I think it's a smart move to have him get some exposure at 1B: positional flexibility is always good and the way things are going at the big club, there might not be a lot of ABs in the OF. While I'm not unhappy with Cron, Kirilloff feels like a special hitter.

 

Simply, catchers are not going to catch every day. They just aren't. The Twins (and other teams) are not going to have minor league catchers catch more than about 50% (maybe 55-58% at most) of the time. So, even if Rortvedt moves up, he'll split time in AA with Caleb Hamilton and Brian Navarreto and Mitchell Kranson. He's off to a nice start, and that's a good thing, but playing time, or time behind the plate in games isn't going to be it. Same for Jeffers. If Rortvedt moves up, they'll bring a catcher like Banuelos or Rodriguez up and they'll split time behind the plate. Jeffers will continue to get extra ABs at DH. 


#13 Aerodeliria

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:36 AM

Nice wrap.

I wonder if Thorpe was falling behind the hitters...

Sano, I imagine, needs some time. Let's hope he doesn't try skateboarding on his day off.

#14 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 09:38 AM

 

What a nice day for several of our young stars, Lewis, Kirilloff, Larnach, Gordon and Wade.And a big welcome back to Mr. Rooker.

 

But what an ugly start by one of my favorites, Lewis Thorpe.Seems he has a couple real good starts, then a game like last night.Hopefully, he will get that behind him in case the Twins need a starter later this summer.

 

After several years of special teams down in Cedar Rapids, this year's version doesn't have any of our most recognizable prospects and is playing accordingly.Hopefully, Wander Javier will join them soon and they will get several top college players from the 2019 draft.With a little luck and lots of help, maybe they can have an excellent second half and return to the playoffs.

 

Speaking of Javier, is this the year the Twins will have to put him on the 40-man roster (he signed in July, 2015)?Will be a very difficult decision as he has played a total of 50 games over the past four years, most recently at Elizabethton in 2017.They really need to get this kid on the field...and soon.Perhaps some of you with more knowledge of the situation, thinking of you, Seth, know if I am correct about this being the year he needs to be added.Also, you may know much more about how he has looked when playing in EST, fall instructional league, etc.

 

When looking at 40-man adds this fall I have seven that I would consider must adds, Jax, Raley, Alcala, Graterol, Smeltzer, Duran and Javier.Then there are three more that should garner strong consideration, Hackimer, Wiel and Diaz.Expect the Twins are going to have to move at least one of these, perhaps more before December.

 

Thorpe will be fine. I think he's pretty mentally strong and has shown the ability to come back from rough stretches. AAA is hard, and remember they're using the MLB ball, less high seams. He's got to adjust to that as well. 

 

Regarding Javier: Will be a very easy decision for the Twins as it relates to the 40-man roster. He will certainly be added. Too much talent. And also ,hopefully they will have about 80 games of Low A ball to see even more. 


#15 jkcarew

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:28 AM

 

So, even if Rortvedt moves up, he'll split time in AA with Caleb Hamilton and Brian Navarreto and Mitchell Kranson. He's off to a nice start, and that's a good thing, but playing time, or time behind the plate in games isn't going to be it. Same for Jeffers. If Rortvedt moves up, they'll bring a catcher like Banuelos or Rodriguez up and they'll split time behind the plate. Jeffers will continue to get extra ABs at DH. 

Interesting that Jeffers would get the extraat-bats at DH, and Rortvedt not be considered for that as well. Says something to the early perceptions we develop of players. Rortvedt was struggling offensively in professional baseball as a teen. If the first we had heard about Rortvedt was as a 21-year old raking at a mid-tier college (like Jeffers), we'd probably think of him as a hitting prospect, not 'just' a catcher.

 

At this particular point in their development, Rortvedt certainly appears the better hitter, SSS notwithstanding. Walking more way more, striking out way less, hitting for more extra-bases (even HR's)...everything. And Rortvedt is younger. Yes, I get the power potential with Jeffers bat. And to their credit (at least IMO), Gardenhire/the organization is, in fact, not shorting Rortvedt PA's relative to Jeffers. They have almost the exact same number there.

 

Meanwhile, they are both (especially Rortvedt) throwing out base-runners at a very good clip. It'd be interesting to hear/see early reports on Jeffers' receiving skills.


#16 jkcarew

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:39 AM

Weird that Thorpe's starts seem to have only been amazingly great or horribly awful. No in between. One day I want him called up immediately. The next, I'm completely counting him out as an option with the big club. It's unusual to go back and forth the way he has. Struggling to get a feel for the 'new' ball might be plausible, here?


#17 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:42 AM

Simply, catchers are not going to catch every day. They just aren't. The Twins (and other teams) are not going to have minor league catchers catch more than about 50% (maybe 55-58% at most) of the time. So, even if Rortvedt moves up, he'll split time in AA with Caleb Hamilton and Brian Navarreto and Mitchell Kranson. He's off to a nice start, and that's a good thing, but playing time, or time behind the plate in games isn't going to be it. Same for Jeffers. If Rortvedt moves up, they'll bring a catcher like Banuelos or Rodriguez up and they'll split time behind the plate. Jeffers will continue to get extra ABs at DH.

Is that new? Because Joe Mauer caught over 70% of the games in 2003, between A and AA.

Buster Posey caught 74% in 2009, then went and caught 13 more in the AFL.

Sal Perez caught 61% (plus AFL) and 64% his final 2 milb seasons.

Yadier Molina caught a total of 77% of games during his 2+ years in milb before debuting.

Is this really a policy? Or is it just happenstance of teams not typically having legit catching prospects at every level?

Edited by Mr. Brooks, 05 May 2019 - 10:43 AM.


#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:57 AM

 

Interesting that Jeffers would get the extraat-bats at DH, and Rortvedt not be considered for that as well. Says something to the early perceptions we develop of players. Rortvedt was struggling offensively in professional baseball as a teen. If the first we had heard about Rortvedt was as a 21-year old raking at a mid-tier college (like Jeffers), we'd probably think of him as a hitting prospect, not 'just' a catcher.

 

At this particular point in their development, Rortvedt certainly appears the better hitter, SSS notwithstanding. Walking more way more, striking out way less, hitting for more extra-bases (even HR's)...everything. And Rortvedt is younger. Yes, I get the power potential with Jeffers bat. And to their credit (at least IMO), Gardenhire/the organization is, in fact, not shorting Rortvedt PA's relative to Jeffers. They have almost the exact same number there.

 

Meanwhile, they are both (especially Rortvedt) throwing out base-runners at a very good clip. It'd be interesting to hear/see early reports on Jeffers' receiving skills.

 

Through 29 games:

 

Catcher Starts: Rortvedt 15, Jeffers 14

 

Total games played: Rortvedt 20, Jeffers 21. (I don't know if we can say that Rortvedt has 5 DH starts and Jeffers had 7... but I know both have several starts at DH this year, so they're both getting plenty of time behind the plate and plenty of extra at bats at the DH spot. 

 

From what I have seen, Rortvedt is incredible behind the plate with things like blocking and throwing, but I've heard that his pitch framing numbers are not good.

 

Jeffers is about Garver's size, so he isn't quite as quick and athletic as Rortvedt, but he does have a strong arm. He has had really good pitch framing numbers. 

 

So yes, they are both getting equal time catching and hitting. 

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#19 TwinsFaninLA

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:38 PM

is 3B Chris Paul still with the organization?


#20 goulik

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 04:30 PM

is 3B Chris Paul still with the organization?


Chris Paul was released on March 27th



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