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Twins Minor League Report (8/27): Blowouts and Pitcher's Duels


Tonight's minor league games either featured low-scoring gritty contests or lopsided scores that left one team embarrassed. Check out who won the close ones and who got steamrolled in tonight's Minor League Report!

TRANSACTIONS

  • Minnesota Twins activate CF Byron Buxton
  • Minnesota Twins activate RHP Jorge Alcala
  • Minnesota Twins place C Mitch Garver on 10-day IL (lower back tightness)
  • Minnesota Twins place RHP Luke Farrell on 60-day IL (oblique strain)
  • Minnesota Twins option RHP Edgar Garcia to Triple-A St. Paul
  • Minnesota Twins option RHP Kyle Barraclough to Triple-A St. Paul
  • Minnesota Twins select contract of RHP Ian Gibaut from Triple-A St. Paul

SAINTS SENTINEL
Toledo 11, St. Paul 1
Box Score

It seems that someone forgot to tell the Saints pitchers that batting practice happens before the game, as they allowed four homers and 11 runs in this ugly loss.

Bryan Sammons was the first victim of the Tulsa offense as he gave up a pair of early runs to the Mud Hens. The first came off an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI single in the first, and the second was the product of a monstrous solo homer from Isaac Paredes in the third.

Jacoby Jones added on for Toledo in the fourth with a big homer of his own to straightaway center. Jones’s blast counted for two, doubling the Mud Hen lead, 4-0.

Yennier Cano replaced Sammons for the fifth, but the home run onslaught didn’t stop. Rodriguez added to his RBI total for the night with a two-run shot.

Chris Nunn got the sixth for the Saints, but he wasn’t the man to slow down the Toledo bats. In fact, it only got worse. Spencer Torkelson drove in two with a double and Paredes added a two-run poke off the foul pole to his solo shot from the third inning. Nunn was taken out after getting only one out in the inning, but one of his inherited runners scored before the Saints finally got back in the dugout, now down 11-0.

The Saints got a run back in the eighth off a J.T. Riddle RBI single, but never even managed to cut the lead to single digits, and they lose their fifth straight.

After all the pitching struggles, Andrew Vasquez finally got some outs, going 2 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner to finish the game. He struck out three. Nobody managed a multi-hit game for the Saints.

WIND SURGE WISDOM
Tulsa 2, Wichita 1
Box Score

Wind Surge pitchers were impressive, striking out 13 batters and keeping the Drillers to two runs in this one, but the Wichita batters were equally unimpressive (they struck out 14 times) and they drop this one, 2-1. 

The Drillers took an early advantage in this one with two runs in the second inning. Juan Zabala pushed one across with an RBI single, and another scored moments later on a Chris Vallimont wild pitch.

After that, Vallimont settled down and got through four innings without allowing any more runs, and he added an impressive eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Wichita offense continued their recent dry spell and couldn’t get up to speed against the Tulsa pitching as they didn’t manage a hit until the fifth inning. They did score one in that inning, though, off an Austin Martin RBI fielder’s choice, to make it 2-1

The score was still at 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, when Aaron Whitefield came up with the bases loaded. Whitefield worked a full count and took ball four, only the home plate umpire (who was awful all night) rung him up on a ball three inches off the plate. That call ended the inning and the threat, and the game remained at 2-1.

The Wind Surge went down quietly in the ninth as they did most of the game (though not without another questionable strike three call). Drillers win 2-1.

After Vallimont left the ballgame, the bullpen was dominant, allowing only three hits and no runs over the remaining five innings of the game. Jason Garcia allowed two hits and a walk and added a strikeout over the fifth and sixth innings. Alex Phillips went 1 2/3 scoreless with two strikeouts and Jordan Gore got the remaining four outs and grabbed two strikeouts of his own. The Surge managed only three hits as a club so there were no individual multi-hit performances.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 1
Box Score

Cody Laweryson was rock solid for the Kernels tonight, and he needed to be. The big righty sprinkled four hits over five full innings and only allowed one run. He added four strikeouts. However, the Cedar Rapids hitters were just as ineffective against Beloit starter Bryan Hoeing. Still, they pushed one across late to grab the W.

Each starter handled the first time through the lineup easily and this game stayed scoreless until the fourth, when Yunior Severino gave the Kernels the lead all by himself. Actually, he got some help from the Beloit defense. What should have been a bloop single turned into a triple when the Snappers center fielder dove and missed the ball. Then, Beloit shortstop Ynmanol Marinez airmailed a throw home and Severino scampered home for a Little League home run. 

Beloit got that run right back in the next half inning, though, in very similar circumstances. Thomas Jones tripled and scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch to tie the game.

This pitcher’s duel stayed knotted at one apiece until the top of the ninth, when the Kernels loaded the bases with no outs. They got one across with a Seth Gray flare single into left field, but that’s all they managed. 

Still, that’s all they needed, as Denny Bentley shut down the Snappers in the ninth to secure a win that will leave you without fingernails, 2-1.

After Laweryson exited, Melvi Acosta picked up right where Cody left off, hurling two innings of work without allowing a baserunner. Of the six outs he got, three were strikeouts. Denny Bentley took over from there and pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, grabbing the win thanks to Gray’s go-ahead knock. That knock was Gray’s second of the ballgame, and he joins Yunior Severino as the only guys with multi-hit games for the Kernels.

MUSSEL MATTERS
Game 1: Bradenton 8, Fort Myers 2  (F/7)
Box Score

Game one of tonight's doubleheader got under way about two hours late due to troubling Florida weather, and the Mighty Mussels were ready to go right away. However, they melted down as the game went on and they lose in a rout. 

The Mussels were able to land a solid punch early with a two-run double from Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the first inning. And, John Stankiewicz was excellent in preserving that lead while he was on the mound with four innings of one-hit, scoreless work. He added five strikeouts.

However, when Juan Pichardo took over for the Mussels, things went sideways. Pichardo allowed a two-run game-tying homer in the fifth to Jase Bowen and allowed three more runs in the sixth before he was removed for Bradley Hanner. 

Hanner got the Mussels out of the sixth, but he didn’t fare much better than Pichardo. He added two inherited runs to Pichardo’s ERA and allowed a run of his own, and just like that, Bradenton’s lead ballooned to 8-2.

That lead held steady for the Marauders over the remainder of the scheduled seven innings. On a tough day all around for the Mussels, they only managed two hits as a team and didn’t have a multi-hit night for any player.

Game 2: Fort Myers 10, Bradenton 2  (F/7)
Box Score

After a tough game one, the Mussels bounced back with a solid start from Zarion Sharpe and an explosion from the offense. 

Christian Encarnacion Strand ripped a single to drive in a run to get the scoring started in the first, and the rest of the squad just took off from there. Fort Myers added three more in the second, with one coming to the plate on a Justin Washington single and two more scoring on Alerick Soularie's homer.

The third inning brought two runs for Bradenton, but five more for Fort Myers. With the bases loaded, Willie Joe Garry Jr. hit into a fielder's choice that scored two thanks to a throwing error, and he scored a few pitches later on a Will Holland double. Then, another error on a ball to left off the bat of Soularie scored two more to make the lead 9-2. 

in the fourth, Encarnacion-Strand added to his big day with his first professional homer, a solo shot that brought the lead to 10-2, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.

Zarion Sharpe went five full innings for the Mussels, and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He pitched with a lead for nearly his whole outing and had a walk and two strikeouts. Carlos Suniaga allowed three baserunners over the last two innings, but kept them from scoring and picked up a pair of strikeouts in the process. Soularie and Encarnacion-Strand had multi-hit games.

COMPLEX CHRONICLES
Game 1: FCL Red Sox 6, FCL Twins 5
Box Score

The Complex League Twins’ comeback fell just short in the bottom of the ninth in this one and they the first half of today's doubleheader 6-5. 

The Twins scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead off RBI extra base hits from Endy Rodriguez and Malfrin Sosa. The Red Sox got three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to grab a 6-2 lead but the Twins made some noise in the last frame. Sosa ripped another RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch. Then Ricardo Olivar tripled to drive in a run to make it 6-5, with himself standing on third as the tying run. Unfortunately, the comeback came one run short as Breilin Ramirez struck out to end the game. Sosa, Rodriguez, Olivar all had multi-hit games with at least one RBI.

The Twins kept the Red Sox offense scoreless through the first four innings thanks to Develson Aria and Regi Grace who both delivered two hitless innings on the mound. Erasmo Moreno took care of the fifth without allowing a run but allowed all six of the Red Sox runs over the next two innings. Cole Bellair grabbed the last out in the seventh and finished the game, allowing only one hit and no runs.

Game 2: FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 1  (F/7)
Box Score

The Twins' complex league club left no room for doubt in the second game, crushing the Red Sox in seven innings. 

The Twins didn't waste time getting a crooked number up on the scoreboard as they struck for three in the top of the first. An RBI each was credited to Noah Miller and Carlos Aguiar for their singles and another run came in on a Rubel Cespedes triple. 

The Twins added a run in the third off a wild pitch and another in the fifth off a walk before things got even more interesting in the sixth. 

The Twins led off the inning with back-to-back home runs but only Emmanuel Rodriguez's left the ballpark. Noah Miller showed off his wheels and made his first professional homer an inside-the-park job. The homer was Miller's second hit of the night, and he was the only Twin to accomplish a multi-hit game.

On the mound, there was more excitement to be had. Third round pick Cade Povich made his professional debut with two innings of scoreless work to start this one. He allowed only one hit and struck out three. David Festa picked up where Povich left off, as he also hurled two scoreless with only one hit allowed in his pro debut. The only Red Sox run of the night came during Malik Barrington's two innings, but Barrington also got five of his six outs via strikeout. John Wilson got the remaining three outs of this seven inning game without allowing a baserunner. 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day - John John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers) - 4.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 5 K
Hitter of the Day - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Fort Myers) - 3-for-7, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(1), 3 K (over two games)

PROSPECT SUMMARY
#1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
#2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-5, RBI, 3 K
#3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
#6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, BB
#7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
#8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
#9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
#10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, K
#11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder)
#12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB
#13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K
#14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
#15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(1), K
#16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
#17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
#18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, 2 K
#19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) – RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.04 ERA)
Tulsa @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross (5-1, 3.16 ERA)
Bradenton @ Fort Myers Game One: (6:00PM CST) – TBD

Feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!

 


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Things certainly have been rough for a few of the Twins top prospects recently. Cavaco is flirting with a sub .600 OPS and made his 20th error of the year tonight. Austin Martin and Balazovic are struggling as well with even Miranda cooling way off, too. Woods-Richardson isn't even playing and Winder, Duran and Canterino are all shut down at the moment with Lewis being out for the season. 

There's only one top 20 prospect for the Twins who's really having a good August and that's Joe Ryan. Woof.

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43 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

Things certainly have been rough for a few of the Twins top prospects recently. Cavaco is flirting with a sub .600 OPS and made his 20th error of the year tonight. Austin Martin and Balazovic are struggling as well with even Miranda cooling way off, too. Woods-Richardson isn't even playing and Winder, Duran and Canterino are all shut down at the moment with Lewis being out for the season. 

There's only one top 20 prospect for the Twins who's really having a good August and that's Joe Ryan. Woof.

 

Should this be the expected result of the missed minor league season? There was an expectation of injury, especially for pitchers, but also for muscle injuries for position players. 

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1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

 

Should this be the expected result of the missed minor league season? There was an expectation of injury, especially for pitchers, but also for muscle injuries for position players. 

I can't see why only Twins prospects would be impacted by the missed season. I think Winder is probably the most likely candidate for missing time due to the missed season. Woods-Richardson... we don't really know what's going on, we're just assuming he missed a bunch of time while in Tokyo. I'm not exactly sure why he didn't pitch even in relief after the Puerto Rico game was canceled. Seems like either something was wrong or he got he shaft.

Setting the commonplace of pitcher UCL injuries in baseball these days aside, I am concerned the Falvey/Levine obsession with velocity could contribute to a higher rate or the injuries in general. It's not something where I'd expect there is going to be enough data to definitively say. 

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3 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

 

Should this be the expected result of the missed minor league season? There was an expectation of injury, especially for pitchers, but also for muscle injuries for position players. 

No.

I would expect them to be able to handle even more because of less stress the year before, and because they still worked out and stayed in top shape anyway. 

But that is just in my dreams. My dream expectation. In reality, for some reason these days, I expect them to not last the season. It seems to be what happens, so expectation of it happening is reinforced.

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The FCL Twins played a double header, with game 1 a completion of previously suspended game.

Game 2 featured some notable performances:

3rd Rd pick Cade Povich pitched two scoreless innings in his pro debut. He gave up one hit and struck out three. 

13th Rd pick  David Fiesta also debuted with two scoreless innings also giving up one hit. He struck out two. 

Competitive Balance Pick Noah Miller went 2 for 4 with an inside the park home run. He scored two runs and drove in two and raised his average to .300.

Undrafted signee Malik Barrington made his third appearance and surrendered his first run in pro ball. He pitched 2 innings with 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run. 5 of 6 outs were via strikeout. He's got a pretty impressive first 8 innings pitched in pro ball.

Emmanuel Rodriguez also homered, going 1 for 3 with a walk.

 

https://www.milb.com/gameday/fcl-twins-vs-fcl-red-sox/2021/08/27/657521#game_state=final,game_tab=box,game=657521

 

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1 hour ago, Pitz said:

The FCL Twins played a double header, with game 1 a completion of previously suspended game.

Game 2 featured some notable performances:

3rd Rd pick Cade Povich pitched two scoreless innings in his pro debut. He gave up one hit and struck out three. 

13th Rd pick  David Fiesta also debuted with two scoreless innings also giving up one hit. He struck out two. 

Competitive Balance Pick Noah Miller went 2 for 4 with an inside the park home run. He scored two runs and drove in two and raised his average to .300.

Undrafted signee Malik Barrington made his third appearance and surrendered his first run in pro ball. He pitched 2 innings with 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run. 5 of 6 outs were via strikeout. He's got a pretty impressive first 8 innings pitched in pro ball.

Emmanuel Rodriguez also homered, going 1 for 3 with a walk.

 

https://www.milb.com/gameday/fcl-twins-vs-fcl-red-sox/2021/08/27/657521#game_state=final,game_tab=box,game=657521

 

Thanks for the note, it's been updated now!

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2 hours ago, Pitz said:

Emmanuel Rodriguez also homered, going 1 for 3 with a walk.

 

That's Rodriguez's 8th homer in just over 100 plate appearances.

He's showing some serious power for such a young guy, though has also struck out a bit more than you'd like to see.

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And Severino just keeps hitting and hitting.  Also great seeing Miller with a two hit game.  When is the last time we saw an 18-year old rookie shortstop hitting .300 average in the Twins organization.  Yes, I know it is still a small sample, but this kid is doing great.

 

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10 hours ago, bean5302 said:

I can't see why only Twins prospects would be impacted by the missed season.

It shouldn't be only Twins prospects, and I don't know what other organization's prospect injury situation is. I assume it'd be pretty similar. And I assume other organizations are using a very similar strategy. 

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