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  • Minor League Report (5/23): Starting Strong

    Nash Walker

    The organization's starting pitchers combined for a 2.33 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings Sunday in a near sweep of competition. 

    Image courtesy of Tom Froemming, Twins Daily


    INF Nick Gordon recalled to the Minnesota Twins

    INF Tzu-Wei Lin removed from 7-day IL 

    RHP Jonathan Cheshire transferred to Double-A Wichita

    INF Daniel Ozoria transferred to High-A Cedar Rapids

    RHP Sean Mooney reinstated from 7-day IL, rejoins Mighty Mussels


    Saints 5, Indianapolis 4

    Box Score

    Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 7 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K

    HR: None

    Multi-hit games: Ben Rortvedt (2-for-4, 2 R)

    Griffin Jax weasled his way out of a jam or two and put together a very strong start. Jax struck out eight over six strong innings. Ben Rortvedt made his Saints debut and was heavily involved offensively. A harmless grounder in his first AB resulted in an error and two runs for St.Paul. Rortvedt tacked on two more hits, including a double. 

    Ryan Jeffers reached base three times on two walks and a double. Right-handed reliever Ian Gibaut entered the game allowing nine runs over his last two outings. Gibaut struck out the side in the seventh and then ran into more damage an inning later. Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, who finished sixth for National League Rookie of the Year in 2020, hit a two-run homer off Gibaut in the eighth. Unfortunate timing for a rehab assignment. 

    The Saints held on as Tom Hackimer struck out the side in the ninth and secured the win. St.Paul improved to 7-11 on the season. 


    Wind Surge 3, Drillers 0

    Box Score

    Austin Schulfer: 6 ⅔ IP, H, 0 R/ER, BB, 6 K

    HR: None

    Multi-hit games: Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Jermaine Palacios (3-for-3, 2B)

    RHP Austin Schulfer was excellent, allowing just one hit in over six innings of work. Schulfer, a 19th-round pick in the 2018 draft, had been struggling through his first three starts. With the gem Sunday, he dropped his ERA from 12.00 to 6.32. 

    Ernie De La Trinidad had another nice day, notching two hits and raising his season average to .292. Jermaine Palacios, who was hitting just .200/.273/.200 over his last five games, bounced back with a three-hit day. 

    The Wind Surge have enjoyed excellent starting pitching and improved to 11-7 after Saturday’s win. They’ll host the Springfield Cardinals starting Tuesday. 


    Snappers 10, Kernels 5

    Box Score

    Ben Gross: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, BB, 5 K

    HR: Seth Gray (2), Jair Camargo (3)

    Multi-hit games: Trey Cabbage (2-for-4, RBI, R), Jair Camargo (2-for-4, HR), Alex Isola (2-for-3), Michael Helman (2-for-4, 2 RBI) 

    Cedar Rapids was without its best hitter as Matt Wallner remains out of the lineup with a wrist injury. That didn’t completely sap their left-handed power. Seth Gray smashed a two-run homer to tie the game at four in the fourth. That tie would hold until the seventh when reliever Tyler Palm allowed three runs. 

    Spencer Steer recorded another hit, this time a double in the loss. Steer, 23, hit .280/.385/.424 across two minor-league levels in 2019. Steer is listed as a utility infielder, a part of the big league roster that lacks depth. Cabbage, Camargo, Isola and Helman all recorded two hits. 

    Melvi Acosta allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in 2 ⅓ innings of relief. Jair Camargo hit a galactic blast in the eighth, his third of the season. The Kernels won just two out of six games this week against the Beloit Snappers. 


    Mussels 9, Tarpons 3 

    Box Score

    Sean Mooney: 2 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

    HR: None

    Multi-hit games: Kyle Schmidt (3-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB)

    The Mussels came to play Sunday, posting eight runs over their first four innings. Aaron Sabato roped a two-run ground-rule double to break the game open in the second. Fellow first-round-pick Keoni Cavaco followed that up with a two-run single to center. Cavaco was lifted in the third inning for an unspecified reason. 

    Right-hander Sean Mooney was activated from the injured list and worked around three walks and three hits in two innings. The Tarpons forced Mooney to throw 49 pitches but scored just one unearned run. 

    Casey Legumina entered the game with a 7.50 ERA in six innings for the Mussels. He lowered that considerably after his outing. Legumina struck out eight over 4 ⅓ innings in relief of Mooney,  allowing just one hit on a solo homer. 

    Catcher Kyle Schmidt had a big game with three hits and a walk. Schmidt, 23, is hitting .324 with an .837 OPS on the season. 


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Austin Schulfer

    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Kyle Schmidt 


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

    #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 0-for-5, 2 K

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

    #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 0-for-4, BB

    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 1-for-2, 2 BB, R

    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch

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

    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-2, 2 RBI, left game (unspecified)

    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) –1-for-4, 2-run 2B, BB

    #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch

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

    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 0-for-4, BB, K

    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – Did not play (unspecified)

    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play (wrist)

    #14 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-3, 2 RBI

    #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch

    #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)

    #17 - Ben Rortvedt (St.Paul) – 2-for-4, 2 R

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

    #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-4, 2 R, BB

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

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    Our higher profile pitchers (Winder, Canterino, Enlow, Vallimont and Sands) have all been doing well to start the season.  With Duran finally out there and hopefully Balazovic soon as well we have have a stable of guys who throw 95-100 with very good secondaries as well.  Count me in the excited group.

    While I was not impressed when I saw Funderburk in 2019 he is off to a very good start in 2021. I still see him as a reliever but who knows maybe he can be a starter.  I know Austin Schulfer has been blown up a few times this year but I still think he has great stuff.  He might not be starter material either but I think his floor is bullpen  setup man.  I go back and forth on Jax.  He gives up too many hits and yet he doesn't walk anyone but he is the kind of the pitcher that seems to give up the 'big" inning a bit too often for my taste.  Still I love how he relentlessly attacks and generally has success with his approach.  Maybe finding a pitch that can miss bats when needed is all he needs to make it.

    Still haven't seen Laweryson and Rijo this year and they have been good in the past and obviously Balazovich.  So there is more to look forward to.  Other than Dobnak we still haven't seen any of this FO's pitchers make it but they all look like they have the velocity and the pitches. They will also need to find ways to get the best of the best out at the MLB level which is no easy task.  Still I think they have a good group up and down the levels.



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