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  • Minor League Report (9/16): Wichita Surges Into Playoffs, Kernels Playoff Push


    David Youngs

    A pitcher tossed five no-hit innings. A veteran made the first start of his minor league career and did great. A top prospect continued to power his team's offense. But with the regular season finishing this weekend, a couple of Twins affiliates played games with major playoff implications. 

    TRANSACTIONS

    • Wichita Wind Surge activated RHP Adam Lau from the temporarily inactive list.
    • Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Ryan Shreve from the 7-day injured list.
    • Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Steven Cruz on the 7-day injured list.
    • RHPs Travis Adams and Johnathan Lavallee, both 2021 draft picks, were assigned to the FCL Twins. 

    SAINTS SENTINAL
    St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 0
    Box Score

    Jose Miranda had another big game for the Saints, but when a team tosses a two-hit shutout, we'll lead with that. 

    Veteran Derek Law could have become a free agent when the Twins DFAd him for a second time this season recently. Instead, he accepted his assignment to the Saints and has been extended. In his career, he had pitched in 231 minor league games, all out of the bullpen. On this night, he made the start and worked a career-high four innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd came on, and despite walking three batters and giving up a hit, he did not allow a run. Vinny Nittoli tossed two scoreless before Robinson Leyer completed the shutout with a perfect ninth inning. 

    Back to Miranda because, let's be honest, that's what we're all here for. Miranda went 3-for-5 with his 19th Saints double, and his 15th Saints home run (28th overall). He drove in four of the team's runs. Jimmy Kerrigan was also 3-for-5 on the night. BJ Boyd drove in two runs with a double. Mark Contreras his his 25th double of the season. 

    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wichita 3, Arkansas 2
    Box Score

    Chris Vallimont has had his ups and downs this season, but on Thursday night, he was on the mound with the opportunity to put the Wind Surge in the playoffs. He put together a very solid start. He started with five scoreless innings before allowing a solo homer to Jack Larsen in the top of the sixth inning. Overall, he gave up just the one run in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out four batters.

    Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Ernie de la Trinidad gave the Wind Surge a 2-1 lead with a two-run single. Later in the inning, the Arkansas catcher tried to pick off Andrew Bechtold at third base, but he threw it away allowing Bechtold to score and put Wichita ahead by a score of 3-1. 

    Erik Manoah got the final out of the sixth inning and then worked two more scoreless frames. He struck out four and walked none. Adam Lau came off the IL earlier in the day got the ninth inning. He got the first two outs, on a fly out and a strikeout. However, he walked the next batter. That brought up pinch hitter Joe Rizzo representing the game-tying run. Rizzo drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2 with a bloop single to center. However, the next batter - another pinch hitter - popped out to center fielder Austin Martin to end the game and place the Wind Surge in the playoffs. 

    Trey Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios each went 2-for-4 in the game. Palacios hit his 17th double. Stevie Berman not only caught a great game, but he went 2-for-3 at the plate with his sixth double. 

    Congratulations to the Wichita Wind Surge on making the playoffs in their first season as a Twins affiliate! 

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 1
    Box Score

    Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for second place in the High-A Central League. They were one game ahead of Great Lakes. Just one of those teams will make the playoffs. 

    The game was pretty quiet early. Through the sixth inning, the Kernels found themselves down by a score of 3-1. However, Edouard Julien came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing double to give Cedar Rapids a 4-3 lead. Aaron Sabato then drove in Julien with a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels a 5-3 lead. It was a lead that the Kernels bullpen was able to hold. 

    It was an important win as both Lake County and Great Lakes won their games on Thursday as well. Each team has three games remaining on their schedules. 

    Sean Mooney got the start for the Kernels. He worked the first five innings and did not give up a hit. He was charged with one run on two walks and a hit batter. He struck out seven hitters. Lefty Denny Bentley came in to start the sixth inning. He recorded just one out and was charged with two runs on four hits. Osiris German came on and gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Zach Featherstone recorded the final out of the eighth inning before striking out the side in the ninth inning for the Save. All four outs he recorded came on strikeouts. 

    Matt Wallner went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in the team's first run with a single in the fourth inning. Jair Camargo was also 2-for-3 with a walk. 

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers, Tampa (Suspended in 1st inning)
    Box Score

    Rains have won the day most of the time in recent weeks down in Florida. On Thursday, night, right-hander Jackson Hicks made his Mussels debut, but after just seven pitches and a single to the one batter he faced, the game was suspended. It will be continued on Friday. Unfortunately, the second game of Thursday's doubleheader has simply been cancelled. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday night. 

    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    FCL Rays 6, FCL Twins 4
    Box Score

    Two extra-base hits from Endy Rodriguez wasn't enough to propel the FCL Twins to a win on Thursday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Rodriguez tallied two hits and two runs in the loss. The first of those hits came in the third inning when Rodriguez launched a triple to right field. He scored on the next at-bat thanks to a single from Noah Miller

    After walking in the seventh, Rodriguez scored on a groundout fielder's choice from Kal'ai Rosario, who had a double on the day. Rodriguez also doubled with two outs in the ninth inning but did not score.

    Twins starter Travis Adams went 1 1/3 innings in his professional debut. He gave up three runs on two hits while walking two and striking out three batters. Jordan Carr came on and was charged with an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. Johnathan Lavallee came on for his pro debut. He worked two innings. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three batters with no walks. Erasmo Moreno carried the bulk of the Twins bullpen, tossing four innings of one-run, two hit ball while striking out four hitters.

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day - Derek Law (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI

    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB
    #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) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, BB, RBI, K
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, BB, K
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - No Game (Paternity List)
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 

    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Jason Garcia (0-0, 14.40 ERA)
    Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (3-2, 2.63 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (First Kernels Start, 4-2, 3.02 ERA in Ft. Myers)
    Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD

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

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    I have to have Miranda as the number one prospect.  His growth this year is amazing.   I know Martin plays SS - but 242 AV and 750 OPS puts him behind Miranda and Royce Lewis needs to prove he is still number one.  Miranda has done it all and should be in MN.  

    Ryan would be second for me.  He is here, he is doing all we could hope for.

    There are a lot of names on the prospect list that actually are on the IL list and not a lot making me wish they were with the Twins.  I do wish Winder was not hurt and that Balazovic had been pushed to AAA. 

    Thanks for the report. 

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    Thanks, David.  Should be exciting for Kernels fans as they battle for that second playoff spot.  Hopefully, they will join the Wind Surge to play meaningful baseball the next week or so.  The Mussels have been eliminated, haven't they?  And the Saints will continue playing without playoffs, right?    

    Miranda has had an unbelievable summer.  Hopefully, it will end by joining the Twins for their last series or two of the year.  Give him a first hand taste of the big leagues and a few at bats against the best pitchers in baseball.

    The FCL Twins have a terrible record, losing nearly two of every three games they played.  Yet, find myself excited about the top three guys in yesterday's lineup, Rodriguez, Miller and Rosario.  They are all 18 or 19 years old?  Could all of them make it to the Twins three to five years from now?

     

     

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