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Fort Myers wound up being the lone affiliate to take a victory tonight, and the Saints had a seven game win streak snapped. There were more than a few standout performances however, and a couple of key prospects were on the move.

TRANSACTIONS

  • C Ryan Jeffers and OF Gilberto Celestino promoted to Twins
  • OF Mark Contreras and C David Banuelos promoted to Triple-A St. Paul
  • C Nick Garland transferred from Low-A Fort Myers to Double-A Wichita

SAINTS SENTINEL
Louisville 6, St. Paul 2

Box Score

It was a busy day for the St. Paul Saints, but for a handful of reasons off the field. Both Ryan Jeffers and Gilberto Celestino were activated by the Twins in the wake of injuries to Mitch Garver and Rob Refsnyder. Playing without a key lineup fixture, and the recently promoted outfielder, the ball was Charlie Barnes’ tonight. He was excellent turning in six scoreless while punching out six and walking just three.

 

The middle of the Saints lineup did all of the damage, but hits didn’t turn into runs. Brent Rooker launched his sixth homer of the year, and the 3-4-5-6 batters accounted for five of the team’s seven total hits. After being up 2-0 through five, the wheels fell off.

 

Lewis Thorpe entered in relief and allowed five runs on just three hits while walking two. He’s going to likely called upon by the injury-laden Twins again this year, but it’s been a tough go of late. These two clubs will play a twin ball tomorrow after a rainout on Tuesday. St. Paul will look to start another win streak with the seven gamer snapped tonight.

 

WIND SURGE WISDOM
Arkansas 5, Wichita 2
Box Score

Austin Schulfer got the start for the Wind Surge in this one and he kept the home club in it while dancing around danger for the better part of four innings. Allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits, Schulfer struck out six and walked three. He left with Wichita trailing 4-0, but the lineup picked him up quickly. A brief rain delay also through a wrench in this one.

One of Wichita’s best hitters this season, Jermaine Palacios, came through with his fourth double. Driving in B.J. Boyd, the Wind Surge were on the board. An Ernie De La Trinidad single later in the inning brought Palacios around and cut the lead in half, a 4-2 score. He joined Palacios in a multi-hit effort.

 

The circus started a bit in the 9th as a Ryan Mason wild pitch combined with a Roy Morales throwing error allowed the Travelers to plate their fifth run. Unfortunately, Wichita couldn’t muster a comeback late and that’s where this one ended. Another multi-hit night for Palacios has his average up to .320 on the season, and his OPS at .890 is begging to be reckoned with.

 

KERNELS NUGGETS
Fort Wayne 6, Cedar Rapids 1
Box Score

Kody Funderburk made the start in this one for Cedar Rapids. He came just one out shy from completing five innings, but his line was both confusing and dominant. Although three runs scored, none of them were earned, and he gave up just five hits and a single walk while striking out nine battings across the 14 outs recorded.

Cedar Rapids faced a 3-0 deficit in the 6th inning when they plated their first run. Spencer Steer has had a nice start to 2021 and a sac fly allowed Max Smith to scamper home. Unfortunately for the Kernels, that was the only run they’d tally all night.

 

Fort Wayne answered in the bottom half of the inning with a bases clearing single that plated three. The 6-1 result would hold through the 9th and give the Tin Caps a victory. Only Smith was able to join Steer in the hit column on the evening for Cedar Rapids.

 

MUSSEL MATTERS
Fort Myers 8, St. Lucie 4
Box Score

If you’re looking for a minor league player of the day, Sawyer Gipson-Long made a pretty strong case with his outing. Coming one out shy of six full innings, he punched out 11 while walking none. Four runners scored on six hits, but only two were earned. In a game that the Mighty Mussels put up runs, he kept the Mets in check. Rain kept this one from starting on time, but it didn't cool the bats.

Down 2-0 early, Jeferson Morales ripped the first of his two doubles on the night. This one plated Aaron Sabato and Yunior Severino in the 4th to knot the game at 2. Trailing again in the 5th, Fort Myers went to work. Misael Urbina wore a hit by pitch to pick up an RBI before Charles Mack singled and Morales doubled. When the dust settled, muscles were flexed, and the home team lead 7-3.

Recently re-entered into the lineup, Keoni Cavaco made up for a throwing error that allowed a run in the 6th by driving in Edouard Julien during the bottom half of the frame. Fort Myers saw their top three hitters account for seven of the 12 hits in this contest. Morales had a two hit night, but his four RBI proved to be the difference.

It’s also worth noting that Osiris German closed this one out for the Mighty Mussels grabbing 10 outs. Of those, he fanned eight and allowed just a single hit.

 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Charlie Barnes (St. Paul) – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Hitter of the Day – Jeferson Morales (Fort Myers) 2-for-4, 4 RBI, K, 2 2B

 

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

#1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 0-for-3, BB, K
#2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
#3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 1-for-4, 2 K
#4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, K, HR(1)
#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)
#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-5, R, RBI, 3 K
#8 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 2-for-5, 2 R, K
#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain)
#11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-for-2, K
#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 1-for-2, R, RBI, 2 BB, K, HR(6)
#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (wrist sprain)
#14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3, R, RBI, K
#15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)
#17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play
#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A
#19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 0-for-4, K
#20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch

 

THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

St. Paul @ Louisville (4:30PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-0, 1.29 ERA)/G2 RHP Chandler Shepherd (0-1, 5.06 ERA)
Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Josh Winder (1-0, 1.48 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne (6:05PM CST) – TBD
St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 4.50 ERA)

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


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1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

With all the call ups and IL players at MLB the minors have to be weakened and then to see five of our prospects out for injuries too means our entire system is hurting.  What a year. 

The one I'm most disappointed about right now is Enlow. He got hurt during the year, it's an elbow, and he looked ready for a breakout.

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34 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

Only 2 40-man players await a call to the majors now (if you consider that Colina is on the MLB disabled list) for this season. It's nice having AAA close to home, but the shuttles between the minors is really busy!

Have to wonder how the Saints have adjusted to that from a marketing standpoint.

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I think this might be the best stretch I have seen Barnes pitch in quite some time.  He and Jax have really been good at AAA to start the year.  He seems to be getting back to the Barnes of 2018.  Have to see if that holds or not though.  I have to say I am losing hope that Thorpe will ever be more than a marginal pitcher.  Too often he gets hit hard and gives up tons of runs. He just isn't getting the K's he needs to be a professional pitcher.  IMO relief is the best he can do and he needs to find a K pitch.

I really like what Schulfer did in 2019 and was interested to see how his stuff would play at the higher levels.  He has not been as good at AA.  I know the layoff might have affected him but I still him as more of a reliever than starter.  He has the stuff to get K's but I think it plays better in shorter stints.  We'll see if he improves in June as a starter but he has not looked that good so far.  I am really hoping Palacios's swing is back.  We need more guys that can make a difference at SS in the system.  He is off to a great start this year hoping he keeps it up.

Funderburk is having a dominant start to the season his 32 K's in 23 innings is a vast improvement over his prior years.  I don't know what it is but when an error is made he seems to go into meltdown mode.  I saw it happen in 2019 and it happened again last night.  Something to work on I guess but a dominant night for him non the less.  Man the bats at High A have fallen off a cliff.  No one has been hitting much all week.  Ever since they had those games where they were no hit and close to no hit the bats have been very cold.

Sawyer Gipson Long is a guy I kind of pinned my hopes on would be perhaps an elite pitcher.  The K rate is there and he throws tons of strikes it is just his penchant for giving up runs that is disconcerting. I don't know why but even with a dominant line he gives up more runs than you would like to see.  Granted he got off to rough start to start the year and has been much better the past few times out but if he fixes that he seems to have what he needs to move up.   To be honest the more dominant pitcher in this one was German.  8 out of the 10 guys he faced he K'd.  Doesn't get much more dominant than that.  I knew the kid had some stuff but not that kind of stuff.  The bats looked OK and Julien finally climbed out of his slump with a three hit night.

Some good pitching but lot's of hitters need to get back on track.

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27 minutes ago, Danchat said:

I’d rather see Barnes start than Shoemaker, even if his potential isn’t very high. Thorpe continues to teeter, could be a DFA candidate if he keeps spiraling downward.

I'm very curious about Thorpe.... When they got the 4th option, the assumed plan was that he would be stretched out as a starter, and that is what he did, and he made the spot starts, but with the Saints, he has been a 2 innings relief guy. So now I'm not even sure what the plan might be. 

 

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3 hours ago, Ted Schwerzler said:

The one I'm most disappointed about right now is Enlow. He got hurt during the year, it's an elbow, and he looked ready for a breakout.

That is really disappointing although Balazovic missing the year is a real set back, I was looking for him to be in the rotation by July.

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1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

I'm very curious about Thorpe.... When they got the 4th option, the assumed plan was that he would be stretched out as a starter, and that is what he did, and he made the spot starts, but with the Saints, he has been a 2 innings relief guy. So now I'm not even sure what the plan might be. 

 

I suspect he wonders too.  As a person with personal issues he does not seem like someone who should be given such a tenuous treatment.  I also do not think he will ever be much in MLB.

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3 hours ago, Danchat said:

I’d rather see Barnes start than Shoemaker, even if his potential isn’t very high. Thorpe continues to teeter, could be a DFA candidate if he keeps spiraling downward.

I tweeted last night that Barnes is going to pitch for the Twins. Wouldn't be shocked if it's mid-summer or sooner.

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3 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

I'm very curious about Thorpe.... When they got the 4th option, the assumed plan was that he would be stretched out as a starter, and that is what he did, and he made the spot starts, but with the Saints, he has been a 2 innings relief guy. So now I'm not even sure what the plan might be. 

 

With you there. His usage has been all over the place. Though the velocity dip won't play as a starter, his stuff isn't good enough. If it doesn't rise as a reliever, then it's going to be problems all together. Sad really.

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5 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Here is what Fangraphs had to say about Barnes start:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/daily-prospect-notes-6-3-21/

"He only sits 88-91 and his slider is more like a slow cutter, and yet here he is shutting down a Triple-A lineup. "

Sitting at a AAA game last night in Worcester and watching the radar gun readout served to remind me that this is today's norm.  Anyone with a legit fastball is up in the majors, or else at a lower classification still working on command.

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and, because I saw this elsewhere on Fangraphs (maybe I should resurrect my "elsewhere on the web" thread")....

rossredcay
Any thoughts on Jhoan Duran? He would seem to fit into this bucket as well and his stuff looks insane so far in his couple starts post injury.

Kevin Goldstein
Stuff looks really good, and he was definitely a candidate for the piece, as were about 20 others.

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12 hours ago, Ted Schwerzler said:

The one I'm most disappointed about right now is Enlow. He got hurt during the year, it's an elbow, and he looked ready for a breakout.

I concur Ted.  Was great to see him starting to put everything together.  Have you heard any updates on how he is doing?

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