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Despite the corny title, it’s true, as the St. Paul Saints crossed home plate three times in the 9th inning en route to a come from behind victory. With Duran on the bump, that was tonight’s must watch action.

TRANSACTIONS

  • Cedar Rapids added IF Yeltsin Encarnacion from Triple-A St. Paul

SAINTS SENTINEL

St. Paul 4, Iowa 2

Box Score

Top Twins pitching prospect Jhoan Duran got the start in this one, and he definitely didn’t disappoint. Going four innings, he punched out eight while walking just two and giving up a single hit. Following up the triple-digits in his 2021 debut, Duran routinely pumped 100 again tonight for the Saints.

St. Paul infielder Tzu-Wei Lin broke the scoring open in the 5th when a single drove in J.T. Riddle. Unfortunately, reliever Lewis Thorpe gave up a pair of runs in the 6th inning allowing Iowa to take the lead.

Once again though, it was Lin doing damage late. A single in the 9th inning knotted things at two when Riddle scored his second run of the game. Spending plenty of time on the Twins travel squad, catcher Tomas Telis was in the lineup for St. Paul during this one. He reached on a throwing error with the bases chucked after Lin’s single and both Jimmy Kerrigan and Daniel Descalso raced home. The miscue was enough to give Toby Gardenhire’s squad the lead, and Rob Whalen slammed the door despite some traffic.

 

WIND SURGE WISDOM

Springfield 6, Wichita 2

Box Score

It was a forgettable night for the Wind Surge as they got behind early and never were able to completely overcome the deficit. Chase Vallimont gave up four runs on seven hits while recording just one out in the 5th. He did strike out seven while allowing just a single free pass.

Peter Mooney drove in the Wind Surge’s only runs on a two-RBI single in the 3rd inning. That knotted the score before Springfield was able to add on and pull away late. Jovani Moran continued his strong 2021 showing with a scoreless outing of relief work.

 

KERNELS NUGGETS

Game postponed due to weather.

 

MUSSEL MATTERS

Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 0

Box Score

 

Sawyer Gipson-Long took the ball to start this one and nearly made it through six complete innings. Coming just an out shy, he struck out eight while walking just one and allowed five hits on the evening. Helping to combine for the shutout, the Flying Tigers were blanked all night.

Jefferson Morales started the scoring early for Fort Myers, driving in Misael Urbina on a first inning line-drive single. Urbina would then score again in the 6th inning on a passed ball, and Kyle Schmidt added the game’s third tally on a single from Ruben Santana in the 9th.

Bradley Hanner got his first save of the season, and Miguel Rodriguez also help to keep Lakeland off the scoreboard.

 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day- Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Hitter of the Day- Tzu-Wei Lin (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 RBI, K

 

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

 

#1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – No Game

#2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)

#3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – No Game

#4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 0-for-1, 3 BB, K

#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)

#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – Did not play

#8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-2, 2 BB, K

#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch

#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (elbow)

#11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 3-for-4, R, 2B

#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – Did not play

#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (wrist)

#14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, 2 R, BB

#15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch

#16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)

#17 - Ben Rortvedt (St. Paul) – 0-for-4, K

#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A

#19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 0-for-5

#20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch

 

FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

St. Paul @ Iowa (7:08PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (2-1, 4.29 ERA)

Springfield @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Austin Schulfer (1-1, 6.32 ERA)

Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-0, 2.13 ERA)

Fort Meyers @ Lakeland (5:30PM CST) – RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 4.76 ERA)


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Watched the start of the Saints game to see Duran throw.  Impressive!  Should get at least a month of starts before the Twins make a move or have an opening for him to move across the river to help the Twins.  Not concerned with Thorpe's outing as he finds himself in a position that is so difficult, start one day for the Twins then back across town not knowing when he will pitch or in what situation.  Put Lewis either in a starting rotation or out of the bullpen and leave him there.  Only then will we know if he has what it takes to become a member of a good Twins pitching staff.

Great seeing Urbina getting on base again.  Does anyone have any information on how Royce Lewis is doing in his recovery?  Would be great seeing him participate, even limited, in whatever late fall program the Twins have come October/November.  

Big day for both the Saints and Miracle/Mussels, a win today and they are back to .500.  Do we know when the Kernels will make up yesterday's game? 

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Expectations for Duran will be thru the roof when he does join the Twins.  It won't help him that his first name is pronounced the same as another legendary Twins starting pitcher, albeit it is spelled differently.  😉

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1 hour ago, roger said:

Does anyone have any information on how Royce Lewis is doing in his recovery?  Would be great seeing him participate, even limited, in whatever late fall program the Twins have come October/November.  

I talked to him a couple of weeks ago. Said things were going well. He's a very driven guy. I would say he'll be active in the instructional league. I'll have to see if I can do a story on what he's up to, what milestones he has passed and things coming up. 

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2 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

I did not realize how large Duran is.  He should have the physical stamina to remain a starter.  Can Happ or Shoemaker relieve?

Duran will need to start building up some innings and pitches.  I know he is coming off of injury but 4 innings per start is a little short.  

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2 hours ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

The days of the Twins needing to sign a couple older guys as patches for the back end of the rotation may soon be over. If he stays healthy, Duran looks close to challenging for a 1-3 spot in the rotation, and Dobnak and Ober may be ready to challenge for the 4-5 spots.

I'm a Chris Vallimont fan for the future Twins rotation.

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I agree with the comments above, Duran just needs to get more innings under his belt. I wouldn’t mind if he doesn’t come up until August, when he’s ready to go. 
I’m starting to sour on Thorpe again. Can’t keep his MPH up, and he’s toast if he can’t find a role as a reliever.

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4 minutes ago, USNMCPO said:

Celestino seems to be doing well. I wonder how long it will be before he moves to St Paul. I think the Twins need to start putting the Buxton insurance policy closer to home.

Buxton who?

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14 minutes ago, USNMCPO said:

Celestino seems to be doing well. I wonder how long it will be before he moves to St Paul. I think the Twins need to start putting the Buxton insurance policy closer to home.

Your post sent me off to my calculator - Buxton has been a Twin seven years - 919 possible games and he has played in 456.  That gives him a game pct of 496 and falling.  It is so sad to see such a great talent unable to get on the field, but fill in CF - Cave, Refsnyder - do not do justice to the team in one of the most important fielding positions we have. 

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2 hours ago, USNMCPO said:

Celestino seems to be doing well. I wonder how long it will be before he moves to St Paul. I think the Twins need to start putting the Buxton insurance policy closer to home.

6 of his 18 hits have come in the last two games so it is just in the last couple of games that he started doing "well".  Before that he was looking pretty bad at the plate.  Even this spring he didn't look great at the plate.  Hopefully he stays hot and gets in a good groove as it looks like we will need him sooner rather than later.   He is no Buxton though.  Not speed or power wise anyway.  He does look like a solid centerfielder, maybe above average defensively if the hit tool is good he will be very good insurance just not a pure replacement.

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So I guess I jinxed Julien and Schmidt as they both had O fer games last night.  Julien looked especially bad K'ing in half of his at bats.  Can't be good every night but I thought he would at least draw a walk like Schmidt did.  Prato hasn't been mentioned much but he is putting up typical Prato type numbers batting above 300 taking walks with an OBP of 423 and a solid OPS at 777.  He looks good even though he seems to be under the radar right now.

Gipson-Long was a pick I thought would be somewhat like Winder.  A sturdy build who throws strikes but gives up too many hits and just needs some refinement to possibly become really, really good. Of course he started the year horribly but hopefully last night was a glimpse of better things to come.  He can throw strikes so has the command but he needs to move the ball around more and find an out pitch and he might not become quite as good as Winder but still very good.  Hoping to see lot's of improvement from him by the end of the season. Last night was a very good night for him.

My guy Ernie is having a good start to the year in Wichita.  Man he had a brutal year at the plate in 2019.  It was getting embarrassing and I thought that he might be done.  Happy to see him hitting 300 and back to his normal batting line.  Looks like he is focused on adding power to his game with that 800 OPS.  He was always a long shot to make it but I am rooting for him. 

I really like all the numbers Vallimont puts up except ERA.  He has a tendency to make a mistake pitch or two or three and it never fails to hurt him by giving up runs.  If he can gain some better consistency there he looks like an outstanding pitcher to me.  His K9 is crazy good like almost 2 guys per inning good and his Whip is right around 1.00 flat so he is not giving much up in walks or hits.  Unfortunately he seems to give up too many runs at times.  I don't understand why he isn't talked about more on this site as he rivals some our best pitching prospects in the system.

I don't have much to say about Duran except he needs to stay healthy and maintain a good pitch mix and he might have ace level talent. He looks amazing to me out there just blowing the ball by guys.  Maybe we will finally have some guys that can pitch with great velocity for once.

 

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