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Twins Minor League Report (6/8): Buxton Begins Rehab Assignment


In minor league action on Tuesday night, Minnesota Twins affiliates had a couple of their best performing starting pitchers taking the mound, a season debut for another, and the major league team’s MVP beginning a rehab assignment.

To find out how all your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects performed in Tuesday night’s series opening games, keep reading!

TRANSACTIONS
 

  • The Minnesota Twins optioned CF Gilberto Celestino and outrighted RHP Juan Minaya to the Saints. Byron Buxton was activated for his rehab assignment, and RHP Tom Hackimer was released.
  • RHP Cody Laweryson was activated for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.


SAINTS SENTINEL
Omaha 1, St. Paul 4
Box Score

The story on the east side of the Twin Cities on Tuesday was the start of a rehab assignment for Byron Buxton. He did not disappoint, finishing the night 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple that tells me he’s feeling pretty good:

 

The other notable performance, and a continuation of his season thus far, was that of starting pitcher Charlie Barnes. He went six innings and allowed just one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out seven. He has yet to allow more than three runs in an outing this season and it was his third straight going six-plus innings. His ERA on the year so far is a fantastic 2.20.

This one was a slow-burn until the later innings when the Saints finally got on the board in the seventh thanks to Daniel Descalso’s first home run of the year. Then in the eighth the home team tacked on three more thanks to a two-RBI single from Sherman Johnson, and an RBI…groundout I guess, but the play was a lot cooler than that sounds:

 

Barnes was relieved by Ian Hamilton who went two scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out four. Danny Coulombe came on for the save opportunity and delivered a one-two-three inning, striking out two.

Buxton and Drew Maggi (2-for-4, RBI, K, SB) had multiple hits for the offense. Brent Rooker was 1-for-2 with a run scored and two walks. The Saints moved to above .500 with the win.

WIND SURGE WISDOM
Wichita 3, Tulsa 8
Box Score

The Wind Surge scored single runs in each of the first three innings, but unfortunately that would be it for the game and their bullpen would fall apart late.

Those three runs came courtesy of an Ernie De La Trinidad RBI single in the first, Caleb Hamilton’s third home run of the season in the second, and an RBI double from Trinidad in the third.

Wichita Starter Josh Winder kept his team in front for the first five inning, ending his outing in line for the win. He allowed two earned runs on six hits and a walk and tying a career high with nine strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches, with 58 going for strikes (66%) including 18 swinging. The only negative was he allowed two home runs.

Alex Phillips delivered a scoreless sixth inning in relief but surrendered a three-run home run in the seventh. In his two innings he gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out two. Ryan Mason pitched the eighth inning but allowed three runs of his own, though his defense failed him. A double-play grounder was misplayed by Jermaine Palacios at short which was followed by a two-run double and RBI groundout to account for the final score. Mason walked two and struck out one.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 5
Box Score

The Kernels scored four runs in the third inning as Spencer Steer and Wander Javier popped home runs that made the score 4-1. Steer’s fifth of the season was a three-run shot, and Javier’s second of the year a solo blast.

Starting pitcher Cody Laweryson, making his first appearance of the season, was solid for the first four innings. He allowed just one run on two hits and two walks, and struck out four. Tyler Watson went the next two innings and at least kept his team in front. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out two. Owen Griffith came on for the seventh inning and delivered a one-two-three frame, striking out two. Back out for the eighth he ran into a bunch of trouble and before it was done the Snappers had taken the lead 5-4. He struck out three in his two innings but also allowed two runs on two hits and a walk.

Cedar Rapids was unable to muster any other offense outside the third inning and collected just six hits as a team. They had only three at-bats with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base for the game. Michael Helman and Trey Cabbage added doubles to the effort.

MUSSEL MATTERS
Fort Myers 7, Jupiter 4
Box Score

Righthander Sawyer Gipson-Long got the start for Fort Myers looking to continue trending in the right direction so far on the season. It was a bit of rubber band outing for him, however. The Hammerheads got to him for a pair of runs in the first inning as a one-out walk was followed by consecutive run-scoring doubles for an early Jupiter lead. He settled down after that and retired eight in a row, including six on strikeouts to get to the fifth inning. That is when Jupiter was able to string together two singles and a double to plate two more and take the lead back 4-3. In all, Gipson-Long finished five innings, allowing those four runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out nine.

The Mighty Mussels tied the game at two in the top of the second as cashed in on an error when Justin Washington delivered a two-out two-RBI double. They would take the lead 3-2 in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk with Misael Urbina at the plate but could not get a big hit to extend that further.

They got another opportunity with bases loaded in the seventh, and Fort Myers took advantage this time thanks to another error and five walks to plate four runs. Ruben Santana delivered an RBI single to cap off that scoring as the Mussels took a 7-4 lead.

Lefthander Denny Bentley was the first reliever summoned and in his two innings was electric. He struck out the side in the sixth and the first two in the seventh before a double and a walk started a threat for Jupiter. He quickly shut it down with another K to end the frame and his appearance. Next up was Osiris German and he kept the trend going, delivering a one-two-three eighth inning, striking out two. Back out for the ninth he made it interesting with a couple two-out walks, but picked up his second K of the inning to end the game and pick up the save.

In all, Saints pitchers struck out 19 hitters on the game. Keoni Cavaco (2-for-5, R, 2 K) was the only batter with multiple hits. Jeferson Morales and Misael Urbina each drew two walks and scored a run.

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Charlie Barnes, St. Paul Saints (6 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 7 K)
Hitter of the Day – Ernie De La Trinidad, Wichita Wind Surge (3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI)

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

#1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 1-for-1 (PR for Rob Refsnyder)
#2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
#3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, 2 R, K
#4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K
#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-5, R, 2 K
#8 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-5, R, K
#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain - to have Tommy John surgery)
#11 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Did not play
#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 1-for-2, R, 2 BB
#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (wrist sprain)
#14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3, R, 2 BB, 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
#20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch

WEDNESDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS

Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Kenta Maeda (rehab), Jhoan Duran (0-1, 3.27 ERA) to follow
Wichita @ Tulsa (12:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 3.42 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-1, 1.57 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Jupiter (11:00AM CST) – RHP Louie Varland (3-1, 3.15 ERA)

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


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Hackimer should have been released earlier. Gibaut should have been released already. Any pitcher who allows 2 base runners per inning has no future in baseball. Sammons should be demoted. Jovani Moran has been incredible this season (ERA: 0.92, 6 hits and 30 strikeouts in 19.2 innings.) Yennier Cano has also been amazing this season. (ERA: 1.23, 2 BBs and 25 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.) Both Moran and Cano should have been promoted to AAA now. I think both of them have a future in the major league.

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Unlike a normal year, it is June 9 and we are only about five weeks into the season.  Expect those promotions will come, hopefully soon.

The highlight for me today is seeing Wander Javier getting another big hit.  Should he really be turning the corner, could be so exciting for the Twins to have him as their shortstop come 2023.  Was also good watching the Saints last night and seeing Mr. Buxton run on that triple.

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9 minutes ago, TwinsAce said:

With Barnes not being on the 40 man roster, do you anticipate him being called up if/when Pineda/Happ/Shoemaker are traded/released?

The tough part is that Dobnak's got a spot, and then Ober and Jax are already on the 40-man and up, and Duran is probably going to come up at some point. So, I think he's deserving of an opportunity, but he's likely behind those other guys. 

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8 hours ago, jun said:

Hackimer should have been released earlier. Gibaut should have been released already. Any pitcher who allows 2 base runners per inning has no future in baseball. Sammons should be demoted. Jovani Moran has been incredible this season (ERA: 0.92, 6 hits and 30 strikeouts in 19.2 innings.) Yennier Cano has also been amazing this season. (ERA: 1.23, 2 BBs and 25 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.) Both Moran and Cano should have been promoted to AAA now. I think both of them have a future in the major league.

I have been a huge fan of Hackimer, so much so I'm actually surprised they didn't have more of a leash for him to work through anything. That said, he had been...not good...since his promotion to the Saints. Release also odd in that he was just promoted not that long ago. 

Moran and Cano have been awesome! Said weeks ago after watching Cano that he needs to be in triple-A. They both should be pushed, and soon!

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22 minutes ago, TwinsAce said:

With Barnes not being on the 40 man roster, do you anticipate him being called up if/when Pineda/Happ/Shoemaker are traded/released?

As Seth mentions, the 40-man plays a big role here. If his chance is going to come, it's likely a situation where the others aren't available and the Twins need a body. But that can easily change as the season goes on and he keeps this up as well.

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19 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

The tough part is that Dobnak's got a spot, and then Ober and Jax are already on the 40-man and up, and Duran is probably going to come up at some point. So, I think he's deserving of an opportunity, but he's likely behind those other guys. 

Seth, I have heard he has a plus change-up.  What else does he have going for him.  Does he have plus command?  He is a soft tosser, right?  Just wondering if his stuff plays at the MLB level.  Is he Gonsalves 2.0?

I just signed up for Milb TV so I will catch his next start.

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59 minutes ago, Steve Lein said:

I have been a huge fan of Hackimer, so much so I'm actually surprised they didn't have more of a leash for him to work through anything. That said, he had been...not good...since his promotion to the Saints. Release also odd in that he was just promoted not that long ago. 

Moran and Cano have been awesome! Said weeks ago after watching Cano that he needs to be in triple-A. They both should be pushed, and soon!

Yeah I was wondering if they wanted to send Hackimer back to AA and if he in turn asked to be released. They are grabbing guys from all over place it is not like they have a good replacement for a guy with the good K9 he has.  He had a 0.00 ERA and sub 1 WHIP in AA with 11 K's in 7 innings.  Hard to believe you just give up on a guy like that given their options at AAA.  I mean if they are willing to keep throwing Gibault out there why not Hackimer. Have to believe there is something behind this as it doesn't make sense on the surface to me. 

For the record I am not a big Hackimer fan I just don't think he profiles well, but I do think given time he could make MLB.  Maybe it was just time to move on as I don't think I would want him on the Twins 40 man but still I was surprised by the release after his great start to the year.

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7 hours ago, ToriiRules!! said:

The front office has been very slow in promoting prospects who have dominated their leagues… Julien and Miranda are a couple other ones who should be promoted too!!!

Judging by the number of promotions to the MLB roster (driven largely by injury, I admit), I don’t think this is true at all. Even so, it’s reasonable to keep guys at one level for a while given that most went over a year without playing in any games. 

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6 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

Seth, I have heard he has a plus change-up.  What else does he have going for him.  Does he have plus command?  He is a soft tosser, right?  Just wondering if his stuff plays at the MLB level.  Is he Gonsalves 2.0?

I just signed up for Milb TV so I will catch his next start.

Change-up has definitely been known as his best pitch, but I wouldn't classify him as a "soft-tosser," especially for a lefty. He was 92-94 in this one when I was paying attention. 55 of his 93 pitches in the game went for strikes (59%), which isn't a great percentage, but he's kept his walk rate in decent territory so far this year. It's hard to find plus command in the minors anywhere. The one Twins prospect who has it is Bailey Ober.

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