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  • Minor League Report (6/4): These Games Were Closer Than the Major League One!

    Allen Post

    If you tuned in to tonight's minor league games after switching off the Twins in disgust, you witnessed close competitive contest across the system. Let's dive into tonight's Minor League Report.

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge



    • Minnesota Twins transfer LHP John Wilson from development complex to Low-A Fort Myers



    St. Paul 2, Louisville 1 (Game 1)

    Box Score

    Chandler Shepherd only struck out one Louisville batter in 5.2 innings of work but was effective nonetheless, allowing only one run on two hits in his outing. Shepherd got the Bats to hit ground ball after ground ball, allowing him to be remarkably efficient; he only needed 48 pitches (39 strikes) to get within one out of six full innings pitched.

    Tony Santillan took a different approach to his dominance. The Louisville starter had 13 strikeouts in his seven full innings (a complete game due to the doubleheader). Santillan capped off his night by striking out the side in both the sixth and seventh innings, thoroughly bewildering the middle of the Saints lineup. Unfortunately, for Santillan and the Bats, his two early mistakes were the difference in this game, and he gets saddled with the loss.

    J.T. Riddle got it started for the Saints from the very first pitch of the game, taking Santillan’s first offering over the right field wall for a leadoff homer. Sherman Johnson copied Riddle’s approach to lead off the second, blasting a first-pitch triple off the left-centerfield wall. Johnson later scored on a wild pitch to give the Saints a 2-0 lead.

    Bats right fielder Narciso Crook hit a leadoff big fly of his own to cut the St. Paul lead in half in the bottom of the sixth, but there would be no more scoring and the Saints took the first game 2-1.

    St. Paul 4, Louisville 1 (Game 2)

    Box Score

    Saints pitchers dominated in the second half of the doubleheader, allowing only one hit over the seven-inning ballgame.

    Rob Whalen got the start for the Saints in the second game and was excellent over three innings. He walked three but did not allow a hit and struck out three in his outing. Unfortunately, the Saints bats were equally stymied by Bats starter Reiver Sanmartin and Whalen left a scoreless game after three.

    The deadlock lasted until the top of the fifth, when the Saints broke through. Drew Maggi started the offense with a one-out double. Then a couple walks, and RBI singles from Keon Broxton, Tomas Telis, and Brent Rooker gave the Saints a commanding 4-0 lead.

    Danny Coulombe, who took over for Whalen to start the fourth, followed the starter’s lead with 2.1 no-hit innings of his own. Ian Hamilton was brought in with one out in the sixth, though, and promptly gave up the first hit of the ballgame for the Bats. The first Bats run followed shortly after, due to a Damek Tomscha fielding error and a wild pitch from Hamilton. 

    That run would prove to be the last of the game and Hamilton helped the Saints finish off the doubleheader sweep, winning the second game 4-1.

    Worth noting: Joey Votto will likely spend a lot of time on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot once he retires from the game, but he did not spend any time on base tonight. Votto, who is playing for the Bats on a rehab stint, was 0-6 with a strikeout over the two halves of tonight’s doubleheader. His presence in the Triple-A lineup was no doubt exciting for the Bats fans in attendance, but that’s about all he provided.



    Wichita 8, Arkansas 5

    Box Score

    Wichita followed up last night’s walk-off win with another walkoff tonight, this time on a massive three run homer off the bat of Jose Miranda.

    The game didn’t always look as promising though. Cole Sands was not in his usual form in his start tonight as he struggled through 4.1 innings. Sands, Twins Daily’s #15 prospect, didn’t have his usual command and control and missed a lot of his spots over the middle of the plate and outside the zone. Sands battled, though, and kept the Surge in the game into the fifth inning. His stuff shone through at times, too, as six of the thirteen outs he got were via strikeout.

    The Surge, like the rest of the Twins’ affiliates, got the offense going early in this one, as an Ernie De La Trinidad double scored B.J. Boyd to give Wichita an early 1-0 lead. Arkansas struck back in the second, when a Dom Thompson-Williams single and error from De La Trinidad allowed the Travelers to score two and take a lead of their own. 

    Sands ran into big trouble in the third, allowing four straight hits and a HBP to start the inning. However, with the bases loaded and two runs already in on the inning, Sands found his good stuff, striking out two and getting a soft lineout to end the inning.

    De La Trinidad added to his first inning RBI (and made up for his second inning error) with a two-run shot to right in the bottom of the third to cut the Travelers’ lead to 4-3. But, Arkansas answered back with a homer of their own in the top of the fourth, a solo shot from Jake Scheiner. 

    Peter Mooney made this play at second base to save a run in the sixth…

    ...and it mattered because the Surge got two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. Andrew Bechtold and Caleb Hamilton each drove in one on sacrifice flies in an inning when Arkansas pitcher Jack Anderson walked three and hit two.

    The team traded threats in the eighth and ninth, but this game headed to extras tied at five runs apiece. After an eventful top of the tenth that included a close out at the plate, Aaron Whitefield singled to lead off the bottom of the inning, moving free runner Caleb Hamilton to third. 

    After a Yeltsin Encarnacion strikeout, Jose Miranda came to the plate just trying to put the ball in play and get Hamilton in from third. Instead, Miranda hit the ball nearly 500 feet into the Wichita night. The Wind Surge are walk-off winners in a wild one, with a final score of 8-5.



    Fort Wayne 4, Cedar Rapids 3

    Box Score

    The Kernels out hit their opponents 9-5 in this one but squandered opportunities where the TinCaps capitalized on them, finishing behind Fort Wayne 4-3 in the part of the box score that matters.

    After a single and a double to lead off the bottom of the first, Wander Javier got the scoring started for the Kernels with an RBI groundout, scoring Spencer Steer. Javier was involved again in the top of the fourth, when he ripped a triple off the wall to lead off the inning. Jair Camargo drove Javier in with a double in the next at-bat to stretch the Kernels lead to two.

    Fort Wayne got one back in the fifth thanks to poor control from Kernels starter Jon Olsen. Olsen walked and hit a batter, allowing two Fort Wayne to plate a runner with two groundouts and no hits in the inning. Beyond that, though, Olsen was great in this one, allowing only two hits and that one run in five full innings. 

    Olsen gave way to Zach Featherstone to start the sixth with the Kernels holding a slim 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, that lead didn’t last and Fort Wayne tied the ballgame with a two-out Justin Lopez RBI single.

    The Kernels had a chance for a big inning in the seventh when they loaded the bases with only one out. Javier drew a walk to bring in the go-ahead run, but his walk was sandwiched between two strikeouts and Cedar Rapids managed only the one run. 

    Fort Wayne made them pay for stranding the bases loaded by tying the game in the next half inning. Luis Almanza led off the inning with a triple and scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-3. Then, in the eighth, the TinCaps taught a masterclass on situational baseball. A walk, a sac bunt, a steal of third, and a sac fly allowed pinch runner Jawuan Harris to score to give Fort Wayne their decisive 4-3 lead.



    Fort Myers 3, St. Lucie 2

    Box Score

    The Fort Myers pitching staff has been dominating over the past week and that continued today in a 3-2 victory. Sean Mooney got the night started with five strikeouts over four scoreless innings. Zarion Sharpe took over from there and allowed two over three innings, but didn’t get hit hard. Denny Bentley finished the game off with a six out save, striking out four and allowing only one baserunner.

    Edouard Julien continued his hot start to the season with a first-inning solo shot to right field. The Mighty Mussels added a run in the third with three consecutive singles including an RBI knock from Yunior Severino that scored Aaron Sabato.

    St. Lucie grabbed a run back in the fifth on a catcher’s interference that scored Brandon Fryman and the Mets added another to tie the ballgame in the seventh, on an RBI single from Joe Suozzi that scored Fryman. 

    The game didn’t stay tied for long, though, as a Willie Joe Garry Jr. triple and a Julien single took the lead back for Fort Myers in the bottom of the seventh. That run was all the pitching staff needed to secure a win, and the Mighty Mussels took this pitcher’s duel 3-2.

    Best of all though, Meredith Palmer was in Fort Myers for the Mussel’s Office Night:

    I wonder if the Twins organization needs any help in supplier relations.


    Pitcher of the Day - Chandler Shepherd: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 48 pitches, 39 strikes

    Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda: 2-for-6, 3 RBI, 1 R, Walk-off HR (7)



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

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

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

    #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 2-for-3, BB, R

    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – Did not play

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

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

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

    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-3, BB, K, R

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

    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (elbow)

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

    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – Game 1: 1-for-3, 2 K – Game 2: 1-for-2, RBI

    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (wrist)

    #14 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-3, BB, K

    #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 K, 3 BB

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

    #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – 0-for-4, 2 K

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

    #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-3

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


    St. Paul @ Louisville (6:00PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (3-1, 3.33 ERA)

    Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (2021 Debut)

    Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne (5:35PM CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-1, 3.12 ERA)

    St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Miguel Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

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    Jose Miranda is a making a case to be our starting 3B next year! Time to sell off on the major league level and take our lumps with the young guys. Shoemaker needs to be moved to long relief, just too many times he is throwing BP 

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    5 minutes ago, AndrewS said:

    I haven’t seen Canterino’s name in a while anyone know why he hasn’t thrown since the 28th? 

    It's a way that the Twins are choosing (or attempting) to protect their protect their pitchers. If their turn in the rotation is on the Monday off day, they just skip them. So, about once every six weeks. I don't think that's at every level, but it has been at the A levels and AA. They end up just doing bullpens. 

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    4 hours ago, HrbieFan said:

    Jose Miranda is a making a case to be our starting 3B next year! Time to sell off on the major league level and take our lumps with the young guys. Shoemaker needs to be moved to long relief, just too many times he is throwing BP 

    Having seen Miranda in person during Wichita's opening series at Springfield in early May and seeing what he continues to do with his bat, I definitely agree that Miranda should absolutely be in the conversation for regular play with Twins going into 2022.  I think it all depends what the FO decides to do with Donaldson over the next 2 months or during the offseason.  If JD can get his production going, with cash included, he could be a viable trade option that could net some decent prospects, which would open the door for Miranda to play 3B next season.  Selfishly, hoping Miranda stays with Wind Surge for next 10 days as I have a road trip planned to Wichita for June 15 and 16,  This kid has some SERIOUS pop.

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    5 hours ago, roger said:

    See that Cano pitched the 10th inning.  Began with a runner on second, gave up 2 hits and yet no runs scored.  Great experience.

    Maybe some of the Twins relievers should take a lesson from him on how to do that.

    Helped to get a good call on a close play at the plate that inning. Ha! I also think that the Twins relievers might do a better job in situations like that if they got to face AA hitters too. Ha! 

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    2 hours ago, h2oface said:

    Wow. Those are some downright pitiful batting averages in AAA. Joey Votto is having a tough rehab stint. Only 1/13 so far. So it can happen to anyone, I guess. Will Wander Javier, of the 4 million bonus, ever hit?

    He started out pretty bad. A lot of strikeouts and weak contact. However, over the last 3-4 weeks, he's been putting together much better at bats and making much better contact. 

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