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  • Minor League Report (5/15): Double Duds and Double Walk-Offs

    Matt Braun

    The games on Saturday were split into two groups; laughers that were finished before the game ended and nail-biters that ended in the final plate appearance. All of that and more in this edition of the minor league report.

    Image courtesy of Tom Froemming


    C David Bañuelos activated from the temporary inactive roster (he is now the father of a baby boy. Congratulations to Bañuelos!)

    OF Rob Refsynder selected from AAA St. Paul by the Minnesota Twins

    Saints Sentinel
    St. Paul 2, Iowa 1
    Box Score

    Charlie Barnes: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
    HR: Ryan Jeffers (3)
    Multi-hit games: Ryan Jeffers (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI)

    The Saints and Cubs were locked into a pitching clinic for much of the game on Saturday. Both teams combined for just two runs over seven hits through the first seven innings of the game.

    Keon Broxton put the first run on the board with a 2nd inning single but was thrown out attempting to stretch the hit into a double. Broxton has struggled so far at AAA but he may find himself with the Twins due to injuries in the outfield (hey that sounds like a movie title).

    There was a scary moment in the top half of the 2nd inning as Brent Rooker crashed into the wall to make a great catch but was slow to get up. He eventually was able to walk off the field on his own but needed to leave the game. We hope that Rooker was not seriously hurt and can find the field again soon.

    Luke Farrell dominated out of the bullpen as he struck out five men over his two innings of work. He may end up joining the Twins soon if they cannot sort out their bullpen issues. Cody Stashak added four outs of his own and he looked much better in this outing compared to his 2021 performance in the majors. 

    The game remained deadlocked at 1-1 heading into the 9th. The Cubs put together a quick rally thanks to a single and an error. They were undone, however, thanks to a clutch double play that kept the game knotted. In the bottom half of the inning, as it happens to occur in baseball, the Saints dunked home the remaining momentum as Ryan Jeffers sent a baseball deep into the night to walk it off for the Saints.

    Wind Surge Wisdom
    Wichita 0, Amarillo 8
    Box Score

    Bryan Sammons: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-3)

    The Wind Surge suffered a rare defeat on Saturday as the Amarillo Sod Poodles (yes, that is a real name) beat Wichita thanks to a “1000 paper cuts” attack method. 

    The Sod Poodles scored what most would call a notable amount of times as they pounded out eight runs with five different innings seeing a run increase. Two of those scoring events came due to homers as both Luis Alejandro Basabe and Dominic Miroglio flexed some muscle and hit the ball out of the park. 

    While eight runs will win you a good number of ball games, the Sod Poodles really just needed one as the Wind Surge offense was held completely in check. No Wichita hitter nabbed an extra-base hit and only one (Ernie De La Trinidad) found himself on base on more than one occasion. 

    No Wichita pitcher was left unscathed as all three arms (Bryan Sammons, Rob Whalen, and Ryan Mason) allowed multiple runs to score. 

    For Whalen, Saturday’s outing marked his first in the minors since 2018. Whalen had retired from baseball in 2019 due to depression and anxiety but came back in 2020 after signing a minor league deal with the Mets. Whalen was set to pitch for the Atlantic league this season but inked a minor league deal a handful of days ago with the Twins. It is great to see Whalen back in baseball and we wish him the best in his battle with mental health.

    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 7
    Box Score

    Matt Canterino: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
    HR: Gabe Snyder (3), Trey Cabbage (2), Michael Helman (1)
    Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (2-for-4), Gabe Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI), Michael Helman (2-for-4, HR, 2B, R, 2 RBI)

    The Kernels and River Bandits played an absolute dogfight of a game on Saturday. 

    Matt Canterino shut things down for the Kernels to begin as he allowed just one earned run over five innings with a career-high nine strikeouts. His prospects of pitching with the Twins in 2021 are uncertain but it definitely seems as if he is primed for a strong 2021 debut. 

    A barrage of extra base hits gave the Kernels a respectable lead during the first seven innings. Gabe Snyder and Trey Cabbage both sent solo shots out of the park in the 2nd inning and Michael Helman hit his own homer in the 4th. Helman decided that just hitting a homerun was not enough so he doubled home another run in the 6th to add a cherry on top of the lead.

    However, seven innings is not a complete ballgame (well, unless they are playing a doubleheader but you get what I mean). The River Bandits took advantage of poor defense in the 8th inning to tie the game before a Seuly Matias single walked-off the Kernels in the 9th. Cedar Rapids had been up by as much as four runs at one point.

    It is hard to blame the Kernels offense for this loss. Four different hitters reached base multiple times and they banged out five extra-base hits in total. Spencer Steer was especially effective as the leadoff hitter as he reached base three times. He is now hitting a cool .364 on the season. 

    Mussel Matters
    Fort Myers 0, Clearwater 10
    Box Score

    Sawyer Gipson-Long: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Miseal Urbina (2-for-4)

    The Fort Myers Mussels fell down early in this affair and were not able to dig themselves out.

    The game barely had begun before Miracle starter Sawyer Gipson-Long was in trouble. The first inning had everything. Numerous errors, extra-base hits, and base-running shenanigans had the Miracle down by five before they even realized what was going on. 

    Much like the Wind Surge, this was too much for the Miracle offense to handle.

    No Miracle batter earned an extra-base hit, they did not walk once, and the Fort Myers offense whiffed 12 times on the day. It is fair to say that it was not their best performance. 

    To find a silver lining (something we should all do), Ryan Schreve was lights out in relief of Gipson-Long. He punched out four batters over three innings and did not allow a single baserunner in his outing. If not for Canterino, Schreve may have taken home the title for our pitcher of the day. 

    I’ll let the Might Mussels own Twitter account describe how the game went:



    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Matt Canterino
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman 


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

    #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – Injured List (wrist)

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

    #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – Did not play

    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 2-4, HR, R, RBI, 

    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List

    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)

    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2 K

    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, 2 K

    #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K

    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch

    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – Did not play

    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-0, BB (left game early)

    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, K

    #14 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 2-4, SB

    #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) – 0-3

    #20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch



    Clearwater @ Fort Myers (10:00 PM) - RHP Louie Varland
    Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (12:00 PM) - RHP Andrew Cabezas
    Amarillo @ Wichita (12:05 PM) - RHP Cole Sands
    Iowa @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) - RHP Randy Dobnak 

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    6 hours ago, twinstalker said:

    Thanks, always enjoy.  Two things:

    1.  The prospects of Canterino pitching for the Twins in 2020 are not uncertain.  He didn't.

    2.  Misael Urbina is not at the complex and should have his stats listed.  


    I think Matt forgot last year was cancelled.  🤩

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    7 hours ago, twinstalker said:

    Thanks, always enjoy.  Two things:

    1.  The prospects of Canterino pitching for the Twins in 2020 are not uncertain.  He didn't.

    2.  Misael Urbina is not at the complex and should have his stats listed.  


    Both corrected... thank you! 

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    Thanks for the report, Matt.  Sure was an interesting day in the minors as two of the four clubs took a good ole fashion butt kicking.  

    Really concerned that Rooker doesn't miss more than a day or two because his bat was beginning to heat up with results like he got for the Twins last fall before breaking his arm.  Also probably time to get Jeffers back to Target Field and Rortvedt to a level where he can continue his development and not be overmatched at the plate.

    Took a look at the plays related to the two runs scoring against Canterino.  Yes, the first run doesn't score if the lead off hitter doesn't get on due to a Javier error, however, three wild pitches also played a part in that run and the second run he allowed.  Without watching the game, don't know if the catcher should have saved any of those and kept a run or two off the board.  Personally, I have always believed that if a pitcher has a wild pitch or error leading to a run, it should be earned.

    Getting whopped 10-0, the Mussels sure as heck weren't very Mighty last night.  Great seeing Urbina hit as well as he has in low-A ball on his first stop in the States to begin his career.  Maybe he will be a good one a few years from now.

    Did a double take when reading the above comment that four of our top six are on the IL.  Anyone know if the three not named Lewis are close to coming back? 

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