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  • Minor League Report (6/23): Winder Wows, Rooker Rakes, Bechtold Blasts


    Ted Schwerzler

    The big league club was off tonight, but that didn't stop the farm system from nearly coming up with a clean sweep. There were lots of great offensive performers again tonight, but Josh Winder may have stolen the show with his performance on the mound.

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    TRANSACTIONS:

    RHP Nick Vincent signed by Minnesota and assigned to Saints

     

    SAINTS SENTINEL

    Clippers 7, Saints 6

    Box Score

    Rob Whalen took the ball to start this one and was unfortunately only able to record eight outs. He gave up seven earned runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out one. Hand it to the bullpen, a group of Juan Minaya, Andrew Vasquez, and Yennier Cano that gave up no runs, just two hits, and struck out nine.

    St. Paul did everything they could to get their starter off the hook in this one. Brent Rooker continued his hot hitting with his fourth double allowing Tomas Telis to score the Saints first run in the 3rd inning. Down 7-1 by the 5th, J.T. Riddle got into the chipping action as he drove Rooker in on a sac fly. Mark Contreras homered for the second consecutive night, and his two-run shot brought the deficit to just three.

    In the 6th inning St. Paul went back to chipping away as Telis drove in Keon Broxton with a single, and Willians Astudillo allowed Sherman Johnson to score despite grounding into a double play. That’s where the action ended though, and the rally fell just a run short.

    Telis, Astudillo, and Rooker all had multi-hit nights for the Saints. Each of Rooker's three hits were doubles and he now has a blistering .923 OPS on the campaign.

     

    WIND SURGE WISDOM

    Wind Surge 8, RockHounds 4

    Box Score

    It was a Josh Winder start for the Wind Surge, and man was it a good one. He worked seven complete innings and gave up just a single run on four hits. Winder also struck out seven and walked none while recording 18 consecutive outs at one point. His ERA on the year is down to 1.98 and a bump to Triple-A may be necessary soon.

    Generating some run support for Winder came in the 4th inning of this one. Yeltsin Encarnacion drew a bases-loaded walk to score B.J. Boyd before David Banuelos ripped a single scoring both Andrew Bechtold and Aaron Whitefield. Wichita then doubled up in the fifth with RBI from Bechtold (single), Whitefield (walk), and Banuelos (walk).

    Making sure the six-run lead would hold up, Bechtold wasn’t done for the Wind Surge tonight. His fifth homer left the game in the 7th inning, and Encarnacion followed up with an RBI single of his own. Up 8-0 with just three at bats left for Midland, this one seemed all but in hand.

    The Rockhounds got a run back in the bottom half of the 7th inning, and they loaded the bases in the final frame, but the rally ended with just three runs crossing and the lead built by Wichita was enough to withstand the comeback effort.


    KERNELS NUGGETS

    Kernels 4, Lugnuts 0 (F/7, game 1)

    Box Score

    Cedar Rapids sent Jon Olsen to the mound for game one of the two game set, making up for last night’s rainout. He went five innings allowing just a single hit with two walks and four strikeouts. Jordan Gore worked the final two innings allowing no hits with two walks and hits. He picked up the win, his fourth.

    There was no offense to speak of in this one and extras were becoming increasingly likely as the Kernels entered the bottom half of the final frame with a 0-0 game. Gabriel Maciel then stepped in with the bases chucked and launched his first homer of the year, a walk off grand slam. Trey Cabbage was the only other batter to record a hit on the evening, a pair of them, both doubles.

    Kernels 1, Lugnuts 0 (F/7, game 2)

    Box Score

    Andrew Cabezas made the start in game two and dazzled for five strong. He gave up just four hits while striking out six and walking two. Owen Griffith worked two scoreless in relief, without allowing a base runner, and striking out three on his own.

    These two clubs combined for just seven hits on the nightcap, and only one run was scored. Fortunately for the home team, it was Cedar Rapids that plated Spencer Steer with Alex Isola grounding into a fielder's choice. Seth Gray, Max Smith, and Daniel Ozoria were the only Kernels to record a hit, and Smith's double was the lone multi-base effort of the evening.

    MUSSEL MATTERS

    Mussels 3, Cardinals 2 (F/10)

    Box Score

    Miguel Rodriguez made the start for Fort Myers and worked 4 2/3 innings before giving way to Steven Cruz. He gave up seven hits, two runs, one earned, while striking out three and walking one.

    Ruben Santana recorded his second double of the season, this one coming in the 3rd inning, to plate the game’s first run. After Willie Joe Garry Jr crossed home in the 3rd, it wasn’t until the 9th that Fort Myers scored again. A balk with Garry Jr. at the dish scored Yunior Severino and tied the game at two.

    In extras, Jeferson Morales ripped his 9th double and scored Edouard Julien to take the lead for the Mighty Mussels. Denny Bentley slammed the door in the bottom half and Fort Myers completed the comeback. Seven hits were scattered across the Mussels lineup with no player recording multiple.

    That's eight straight victories for Fort Myers.

     

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder (Wichita) 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Andrew Bechtold (Wichita) 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, HR(5), BB, K

     

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

    #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – No game

    #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)

    #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – No game

    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – No game

    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 7-day injured list (elbow strain)

    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch

    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – IL (concussion)

    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, BB, 2 K

    #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – IL (right elbow strain)

    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – IL (Tommy John surgery)

    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – No game

    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 3-4, R, RBI, 3 2B, BB, K

    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – IL (wrist sprain)

    #14 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-5, K

    #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – IL

    #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - IL (elbow)

    #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – No game

    #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A

    #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 0-3, 2 BB, K

    #20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – No game

     

    THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) – RHP Andrew Albers (2-2, 5.93 ERA)

    Wichita @ Midland (7:00PM CST) – RHP Jason Garcia (0-0, 3.38 ERA)

    Lansing @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross (1-0, 3.23 ERA)

    Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – RHP Brent Headrick (3-2, 2.76 ERA)

     

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    Josh Winder needs to be at AAA. The worry was that prospects might start slow due to missing all of 2020, but he's been a stud through 55 IP. No sense wasting more innings of his arm on AA, especially if the organization plans on babying all the pitchers and keeping them under 120 innings on the year.

    Encouraging to see Maciel come up in the clutch. I'm rooting for him.

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    Winder is the main story from last night he has a sub 2 ERA at 1.98 a sub 1 whip at 0.93 and more K's than innings pitched.  I honestly don't know what more he can do to prove he is ready to move up.  To be honest they could have started him in AAA he was likely already, ready.  Anyway let's see if he can sneak that stuff past some of those older seasoned AAA bats. If he can he looks like one of the few guys that will be ready to pitch in MLB.

    What a way for the Kernal to win that first game.  A walk off grand slam and first HR of the season for little man Gabriel Macial.  That is just beautiful baseball.  He battling the pitcher, fouling stuff off and then game over.  David beats Goliath.

    Bechtold has really started to heat up.  He is rock solid defensively so if he can get that bat working he has a chance. Anyway another fun night and lots of wins as well.  It has been a fun MiLB season so far.

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    3 hours ago, Twinfan603 said:

    Josh Winder needs to be at AAA. The worry was that prospects might start slow due to missing all of 2020, but he's been a stud through 55 IP. No sense wasting more innings of his arm on AA, especially if the organization plans on babying all the pitchers and keeping them under 120 innings on the year.

    Encouraging to see Maciel come up in the clutch. I'm rooting for him.

    Totally agree with the sentiment. However, while I would love to see a promotion to AAA and feel that he has done nothing to dissuade that thought, it's not really hurting him to continue to pitch at AA. 

    My (grossly uneducated) opinion is that we will most likely see a second half move up to AAA at some point, but if I remember correctly Winder isn't currently on the 40 man roster so where he throws his innings shouldn't matter as much.

    But then I am wrong as often (or more) than I am right so we shall see 🤷‍♂️😄

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    Great night in the organization with Wichita and Fort Myers well into fantastic seasons.

    Watched most of the Wind Surge game last night as I wanted to see Winder pitch.  Lead off hitter got a single and was immediately thrown out stealing second.  The next 18 hitters walked up to the plate and back to the dugout, 7 sitting down after striking out.  Didn't get another runner on base until one out in the seventh inning, when it appeared he was tiring a bit and they got their run.  Winder was in total control, seemingly ahead of nearly every hitter with two, maybe three three ball counts all night.  

    He was consistently hitting 95-96mph with his fastball, getting lots of swing and misses with his slider that the play-by-play guy saying was around 89mph.  Speaking of the Midland announcer, loved some of the trivia he brought into the game.  He also was gushing over Winder, whom he constantly referred to as the best pitcher in the AA-Central division.  Spent a lot of time talking about the progress he made last year while not pitching and what being from the Virginia Military Institute likely means to his character.  Sure looks like this kid has a huge future in a Twins rotation...hopefully beginning sometime next year.  

    Although there didn't seem to be more than maybe 500 people at the game, liked seeing the Midland stadium.  Had a feel more like Cedar Rapids than what I would expect for AA.  Also different seeing advertising for energy companies on the outfield fences and around the ballpark.

    The announcer was also raving about Miranda, who didn't do anything special with his bat after I believe a 4-hit night on Tuesday.  Found it interesting that he was at first base, where he did ok defensively.  Seems like the Twins are working to get him experience at several positions as they probably know he has a bat that belongs at Target Field sometime next year.

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    2 hours ago, MN_ExPat said:

    Totally agree with the sentiment. However, while I would love to see a promotion to AAA and feel that he has done nothing to dissuade that thought, it's not really hurting him to continue to pitch at AA. 

    My (grossly uneducated) opinion is that we will most likely see a second half move up to AAA at some point, but if I remember correctly Winder isn't currently on the 40 man roster so where he throws his innings shouldn't matter as much.

    But then I am wrong as often (or more) than I am right so we shall see 🤷‍♂️😄

    You are dead right.  AA and AAA generally aren't considered that "different"  to the point that players get promoted directly from AA at times.  They are probably keeping him there for All Star honors and with so many injured pitchers maybe there isn't really anyone to move up and into his spot.  He has to be added to the 40 man at the end of this year so they will add him but they will probably wait until the deadline to make that move though.

    I just think it would be nice to see how he handles AAA for a good solid month before they likely try him out at the MLB level.  As you noted what I think likely doesn't matter one way or the other.

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    14 minutes ago, Dman said:

    You are dead right.  AA and AAA generally aren't considered that "different"  to the point that players get promoted directly from AA at times.  They are probably keeping him there for All Star honors and with so many injured pitchers maybe there isn't really anyone to move up and into his spot.  He has to be added to the 40 man at the end of this year so they will add him but they will probably wait until the deadline to make that move though.

    I just think it would be nice to see how he handles AAA for a good solid month before they likely try him out at the MLB level.  As you noted what I think likely doesn't matter one way or the other.

    I think we all are going to be a bit disappointed on promotions, or lack thereof, and playing with the Twins later this year.  Most of these guys didn't throw an inning last year.  So their total innings this year are going to be limited.  Granted, MiLB starting in May instead of April will help get thru the seasons, but come August a lot of these pitchers are going to be skipping starts and pitching only a few innings each time out.  Is way to risky to push them all summer like normal.

    With that said, I expect/hope to see both Winder and Balazovic eventually move up to St. Paul.  Because of his late start, would expect Balazovic to stay in Wichita longer than Winder.  But by August, Winder is going to have around 100 innings on his arm.  How much further does he go?  Another 25, or say four starts?  That would put him at the innings he threw in 2019.  Really don't see him going beyond that, so pitching every fifth/sixth day for the Saints in all of August probably isn't in the cards, much less a callup to the Twins in late August/September.  Considering Balazovic has a history of injuries and missed the start of the season with another, I wouldn't be surprised if he spends all/most of the year in Wichita.  

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    3 hours ago, MN_ExPat said:

    Totally agree with the sentiment. However, while I would love to see a promotion to AAA and feel that he has done nothing to dissuade that thought, it's not really hurting him to continue to pitch at AA. 

    My (grossly uneducated) opinion is that we will most likely see a second half move up to AAA at some point, but if I remember correctly Winder isn't currently on the 40 man roster so where he throws his innings shouldn't matter as much.

    But then I am wrong as often (or more) than I am right so we shall see 🤷‍♂️😄

    If he's not in Minnesota for six starts, he won't start here next year most likely.... So, yes, he should be moved up now. Unless he gets few starts in St. Paul....

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    14 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    Rooker is the big question mark.  Have we given up on him?  Do we have a trade partner for him?  He is being wasted in AAA.  

    He's got to get the bulk of the DH at bats when Cruz is traded.

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    6 minutes ago, Ted Schwerzler said:

    He's got to get the bulk of the DH at bats when Cruz is traded.

    While I have my doubts* about him.....I agree. Let's see what he can do.

    *doubts = I don't have as much confidence he's a legit MLB players as I do some others.

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    2 hours ago, roger said:

    I think we all are going to be a bit disappointed on promotions, or lack thereof, and playing with the Twins later this year.  Most of these guys didn't throw an inning last year.  So their total innings this year are going to be limited.  Granted, MiLB starting in May instead of April will help get thru the seasons, but come August a lot of these pitchers are going to be skipping starts and pitching only a few innings each time out.  Is way to risky to push them all summer like normal.

    With that said, I expect/hope to see both Winder and Balazovic eventually move up to St. Paul.  Because of his late start, would expect Balazovic to stay in Wichita longer than Winder.  But by August, Winder is going to have around 100 innings on his arm.  How much further does he go?  Another 25, or say four starts?  That would put him at the innings he threw in 2019.  Really don't see him going beyond that, so pitching every fifth/sixth day for the Saints in all of August probably isn't in the cards, much less a callup to the Twins in late August/September.  Considering Balazovic has a history of injuries and missed the start of the season with another, I wouldn't be surprised if he spends all/most of the year in Wichita.  

    Those are some excellent points and things that hadn't crossed my mind even though they should have.  You are right they will be very careful with innings pitched.

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    6 minutes ago, Dman said:

    Those are some excellent points and things that hadn't crossed my mind even though they should have.  You are right they will be very careful with innings pitched.

    All the more reason to promote faster......Or not. But if not, good luck getting much help in MN early next year.

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    17 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    All the more reason to promote faster......Or not. But if not, good luck getting much help in MN early next year.

    The only starters left uninjured that I would like to see in MLB are Winder and Balazovich.  But if they hit their innings limit around the deadline then they won't get much experience anyway.  It is kind of frustrating because they won't start with the big league club next spring either as they want to give them time at AAA before bringing them up. Then they will likely have to wait for an injury to get called up.  It feels like to have any shot next year they need the young pitching to move up but who knows maybe they have another plan?  It is starting to feel more like a mini rebuild now to me.

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    6 minutes ago, Dman said:

    The only starters left uninjured that I would like to see in MLB are Winder and Balazovich.  But if they hit their innings limit around the deadline then they won't get much experience anyway.  It is kind of frustrating because they won't start with the big league club next spring either as they want to give them time at AAA before bringing them up. Then they will likely have to wait for an injury to get called up.  It feels like to have any shot next year they need the young pitching to move up but who knows maybe they have another plan?  It is starting to feel more like a mini rebuild now to me.

    Same.....because they won't find 3 good starters in trades/FA.....hence, move them both to AAA NOW, and get more data against better hitters. If possible, get them some time in MN but I have my doubts given innings limits.

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