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Twins Minor League Report (7/30): You Win Some, You Lose Some, Sometimes There's COVID


The Twins' freshly traded prospects haven't taken the field for their minor league teams yet, but there was still plenty of intrigue to go around. Check it out in tonight's Minor League Report: 

TRANSACTIONS

SAINTS SENTINEL 

Indianapolis 8, St. Paul 4 

Box Score

The Saints trailed for virtually all of this game thanks to mediocre pitching and rather poor defense. They drop this one 8-4. 

The Indianapolis offense got started a big blow early, scoring four runs in the top of the first. They made use of four first-inning hits and a Saints error to score those runs, with an RBI each credited to Colin Moran, Cole Tucker, Bligh Madris, and Hunter Owen.

The Saints had an opportunity to get right back into the game, though, when they loaded the bases with no out in the second. They capitalized. Sherman Johnson singled to drive in two, then Roberto Peña nearly hit one out, but settled for an RBI sac fly. The Saints couldn’t push any more across, but went to the third having cut the lead to 4-3.

Unfortunately, Indianapolis got three more of their own in the fourth, in part due to botched pop-up. Peña fell over backwards and missed T.J. Rivera’s short pop to right, allowing two runs to score. Rivera, who ended up on second, scored the next at-bat on Anthony Alford’s double to make the score 7-3.

The teams traded runs in the fifth, but those would be the last runs of the game, as Indianapolis held their four-run lead to the finish off this one.

Andrew Albers got the start on the mound for St. Paul and was roughed up, though he wasn’t helped by his defense. Albers went six innings and allowed all eight runs, though only three were earned. He allowed 11 hits, no walks, and struck out five. Robinson Leyer (7th and 8th) and Rob Whalen (9th) took care of the remaining three innings, and didn’t allow a run. Rob Refsnyder and Jimmy Kerrigan had multi-hit games for St. Paul.

The Saints defense, with four errors on the night, was pretty gross overall, but this play from Jose Miranda provided a highlight:

WIND SURGE WISDOM

NW Arkansas 9, Wichita 1

Box Score

Jordan Balazovic, Twins Daily’s third-ranked prospect, got the start for Wichita tonight and he was far from his usual self, leading to a second-straight blowout loss to Northwest Arkansas.

The Naturals got off to a good start against Balazovic, signaling bigger things to come. Clay Dungan hit Jordan’s first offering of the night for a double, then scored four batters later on a fielding error by Caleb Hamilton.

NW Arkansas really started to beat up on Balazovic in the third with a pair of two-run homers. M.J. Melendez, the minor league home run leader, got the first one, and Freddy Fermin matched him three hitters later.

Then, to start the fourth, Balazovic loaded the bases with a walk and two singles, allowed an RBI sac fly, and loaded the bases again with another walk. At that point, he was removed from the game. One of his inherited runners scored on a groundout, bringing Balazovic’s final line to a less than impressive 3.1 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K.

On offense, Wichita got their only run in the third and it actually tied the game at the time. Aaron Whitefield singled and advanced to third on a stolen base and throwing error. Then, Roy Morales drove in the Surge center fielder with a sharp single.

The Naturals added another two-run homer in the fifth, this one coming off the bat of Blake Perkins. That run was the last of the game and only served to change the final score. The Surge lose 9-1.

After Balazovic’s tough start, Mitchell Osnowitz took over with 2 2/3 innings of work and allowed two runs on the fifth inning homer. Chris Nunn finished the game with two scoreless innings, adding four strikeouts. Morales had the only multi-hit game for Wichita.

 

KERNELS NUGGETS

Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 5 (F/11)

Box Score

Ben Gross was excellent in his start for Cedar Rapids tonight, but a sluggish offense and leaky bullpen squandered the lead late. Still, extra-inning heroics and a little bit of help from the Wisconsin defense allowed the Kernels to grab this one in eleven innings.

Edouard Julien got the game going right away for Cedar Rapids with a leadoff homer to center. It was Julien’s seventh homer in just 27 games for Cedar Rapids.

The game stayed at 1-0 until the sixth, when Julien got involved again with the Kernels’ second run. He led off the inning with a double to the right center field gap and scored on a Wander Javier single. A few batters later, Javier scored as well on a bloop single from Seth Gray.

However, after keeping the Wisconsin offense off the board for five innings, Gross was chased from the game in the sixth. The Cedar Rapids starter gave up a swinging-bunt single, then an RBI triple from David Hamilton that broke up the shutout and ended Gross’s night.

Zach Featherstone came in and allowed an RBI single from Joe Gray Jr. that cut the Kernels’ lead to 3-2. On the play, Gray Jr. was thrown out trying to take second on what was a questionable out call, and Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson was invited to leave after a spirited argument with the umpires.

The Kernels loaded the bases in the eighth, looking for insurance runs. They found one on a Max Smith sac fly, but that’s all they would get. They could’ve used one more, as Wisconsin got one of their own in the bottom of the inning, on a Gray Jr. sac fly, and had luck on their side in the ninth.

After two quick groundouts, the Rattlers got a single. Then Nick Kahle placed a high pop-up just behind the infielders and in front of the pushed-back outfield. The ball was in the air long enough to allow the runner, who was running on contact, to score from first to extend the game.

Both teams got their free runner across in the tenth, but neither side could get more and the game headed to the 11th tied at five.

After having the lead for most of the game (and taking it briefly in the tenth), Cedar Rapids took another lead in the 11th, when free runner Daniel Ozoria scored on an error by third baseman Korry Howell. This time, the lead stuck. Erik Manoah Jr. struck out the side in the 11th to put the game away for good. Kernels win 6-5.

Gross ended up going 5 2/3 innings, and allowed two earned runs while striking out seven. He gave way to Zach Featherstone, who allowed an inherited run and got one out. Luis Rijo took the seventh and eighth and allowed one earned run on three hits and a walk. Acosta took the ninth and tenth and blew a one-run lead both times, though the run allowed in extras was unearned. Manoah Jr. earns the save with a perfect three-strikeout 11th. Julien, Camargo, and Michael Helman all had multi-hit games for Cedar Rapids.

MUSSEL MATTERS

Tonight’s Mighty Mussels game against Clearwater was postponed due to a COVID-19 situation within the Clearwater team.

COMPLEX CHRONICLES

FCL Red Sox 8, FCL Twins 7

Box Score

It’s a weekend, so you already know what that means. Yes, the Complex League Twins lost to the Complex League Red Sox again, this time by a score of 8-7. 

The Twins took an early lead with two runs in the top of the first and, though they allowed five runs over innings four, five, and six, they kept pace with five runs of their own over that stretch and took 7-5 lead into the late innings. However, the Red Sox scored three in the bottom of the ninth on Juan Montero’s double to win the game in walk-off fashion. Emmanuel Rodriguez was the star man on offense for the Twins, going 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI.

On the mound, Erasmo Moreno was excellent in his start for the FCL Twins, going three scoreless with five strikeouts and one hit allowed. He did issue three free passes. Rafael Feliz took over from there and allowed five earned runs in two innings of work. The last two of his runs were inherited runners that scored after he was taken out with no outs in the sixth. Ramon Pineda went three innings and allowed only those inherited runs, while striking out four. Matt Mullenbach got two outs in the ninth before allowing the game-deciding three run double. 

 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day - Ben Gross (Cedar Rapids) – 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Hitter of the Day - Edouard Julien (Cedar Rapids) – 2-6, 2 R, RBI, HR(7), K

 

PROSPECT SUMMARY
Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL)
#2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain)
#3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 3.1 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K
#4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain)
#5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 1-5, 3 K
#6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Game postponed
#7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play
#8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Game postponed
#10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-6, 4 K

#11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery)
#12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – No game
#13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) –Did not pitch
#14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 0-4 K
#15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – Game postponed
#16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-3, K
#17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-6, R, RBI, 2 K
#18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury)
#19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow)
#20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch

 

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Indianapolis @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Drew Strotman (7-2, 3.39 ERA, Saints Debut)
Wichita @ NW Arkansas (6:05PM CST) – TBD
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) – RHP Cody Laweryson (0-2, 4.01 ERA)Fort Myers @ Clearwater (5:30 PM CST pending COVID-19 situation) – TBD


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Our prospect summary had only six players active yesterday and they went 3 - 24 and 11 Ks.  And I do not want to comment on Balazovic.  Still hoping he makes it to MN this summer. 

I find myself less enthralled with St Paul now that I hardly know the players over there.  But I still like these summaries. 

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I know Elizabethton is gone, but is there a rookie league anymore?

Where are the young guys from last year's draft like Marco Raya and the guys selected this year going to be playing?

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Saw that nice play by Miranda, but also saw he made two errors.  Is he normally solid at second base?  Or will his future be at either third or first?

Wondering if Balazovic is battling thru some minor health problem?  After nearly 30 innings without allowing a run he had an off day last Sunday.  With another clunker last night, one has to wonder.  Or is he having one of those dead arm periods after beginning his season late?

Another fine outing by Gross.  With all the additions to AA and AAA this week, expect there won't be any pitchers from Cedar Rapids moving up late this summer.

And those poor FCL Twins can't seem to win a game.  And most of the losses have the opponent scoring double digit runs.

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1 hour ago, roger said:

And those poor FCL Twins can't seem to win a game.  And most of the losses have the opponent scoring double digit runs.

They're 5-17, but it's just bad luck - scoring 100 runs and giving up 137 should by rights have them more like 8-14. :)

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7 hours ago, Tibs said:

I know Elizabethton is gone, but is there a rookie league anymore?

Where are the young guys from last year's draft like Marco Raya and the guys selected this year going to be playing?

They're all in the FCL... Unfortunately, Raya has yet to pitch due to an injury. 

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5 hours ago, roger said:

Saw that nice play by Miranda, but also saw he made two errors.  Is he normally solid at second base?  Or will his future be at either third or first?

Wondering if Balazovic is battling thru some minor health problem?  After nearly 30 innings without allowing a run he had an off day last Sunday.  With another clunker last night, one has to wonder.  Or is he having one of those dead arm periods after beginning his season late?

Another fine outing by Gross.  With all the additions to AA and AAA this week, expect there won't be any pitchers from Cedar Rapids moving up late this summer.

And those poor FCL Twins can't seem to win a game.  And most of the losses have the opponent scoring double digit runs.

Miranda played more 2B earlier in this career. I think most think he's a good 3B and 1B, OK at 2B and limited at SS. 

So, Ryan Mason is moving up to Triple-A. Austin Martin will join Wichita on Tuesday. Evan Sisk is with Wichita today. Scherff was put in the IL. Obviously Woods-Richardson was placed on the temporarily inactive list. 

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1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

Scherff was put in the IL.

We ruined him already??? :)

Nah, I missed that about him when the trade was announced. He pitched a week ago and finished a game to earn a quick win - wha' hoppened?

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