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  • Minor League Report 6/5 Jordy Blaze Debuts


    Matt Braun

    Top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic made his much anticipated 2021 debut for the Wichita Wind Surge on Saturday and it came not a day too soon. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report.

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge

    TRANSACTIONS

    • RHP Griffin Jax promoted to the Twins. 
    • RHP Juan Minaya DFAd. 
    • LHP Bryan Sammons promoted to AAA St. Paul
    • RHP Matt Mullenbach promoted to AAA St. Paul from the Ft. Myers complex. (He was just signed on Friday from an independent league)
    • RHP Bailey Ober promoted to Twins from AAA St. Paul
    • RHP Matt Canterino placed on the 7-day IL for A+ Cedar Rapids (right elbow strain)
    • LHP Lewis Thorpe placed on the 7-day IL for AAA St. Paul (left shoulder strain)

     

    Saints Sentinel

    St. Paul 3, Louisville 6

    Box Score

    Bryan Sammons 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K

    HR: Brent Rooker (7), Mark Contreras (1)

    Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-for-4, HR, 2B, R, 2 RBI)

    Bryan Sammons' AAA debut did not go exactly as he likely would have preferred. The lefty struggled to throw strikes consistently over his four innings of work as he was worked for four walks on top of six hits. Hopefully this is an example of a pitcher getting a stinker outing out of the way before settling into a groove.

    The night started off hopeful as Brent Rooker launched a solo blast in the first inning to kick off the scoring. The notoriously snarky Saints twitter account claims the ball went 449 feet and who am I to call them liars?

    If you want to try to measure for yourself, here is the video: 

    I wish the good news could continue but it does not. The appropriately named Bats came back to score two in the first inning. Although, one of the runs came via a walk, so maybe the name is not quite as appropriate as I thought (petition to create a team named the “Walkers” can be created by someone else who is less lazy). 

    A Mark Contreras homer in the sixth inning put the game in reach for the Saints but the Bats fortified their lead with runs in the bottom half of the inning as well as the eighth. 

    A rehabbing Joey Votto went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple. Naturally, the only way to beat the Saints is to have an MLB All-Star play for your team. 

    Wind Surge Wisdom

    Wichita 6, Arkansas 4

    Box Score

    Jordan Balazovic: 3 ⅓ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

    HR: Caleb Hamilton (1, 2), Andrew Bechtold (2)

    Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-3, R, BB), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-4, R), Roy Morales (2-for-4, R), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI)

    The big news of the day in Wichita was the debut of Jordan Balazovic. The righty, along with Jhoan Duran, creates what most consider a future 1-2 punch that will lock down the Twins rotation for a number of years. That might be looking too far forward, how did he do today?

    Balazovic threw 62 pitches to nab 10 outs. Half of them came via the strikeout. That’s just how he does things. Unfortunately, this also came with two walks and two hit batters. That’s not how he does things. But this start was just an effort in shaking off any potential rust that Balazovic may have had and to that point he was quite successful.

    That was the main story on the mound, what about in the box? That belonged to Caleb Hamilton who blasted not just his first homer of the season for Wichita, but also his second. Good things do come in bunches. Not to be overshadowed, Andrew Bechtold had a home run of his own sandwiched in between Hamilton’s vulgar display of power.

    I should also point out that Jose Miranda dropped two hits in the game along with a walk and now is up to a terrifying .950 OPS. I cannot imagine trying to be a pitcher against Miranda during his incendiary start to the season. 

     

    Kernels Nuggets

    Cedar Rapids 11, Fort Wayne 5

    Box Score

    Andrew Cabezas: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

    HR: Alex Isola (1)

    Multi-hit games: Wander Javier (4-for-6, 3B, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI), Trey Cabbage (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Alex Isola (2-for-3, HR, 2B, R, 4 RBI, BB), Max Smith (2-for-5)

    Remember all those snarky things that I said last week about the Kernels offense? Well, evidently they were not too pleased by them because they gave the TinCaps the business on Saturday.

    Cedar Rapids wasted no time getting the scoring started on Saturday as they burst out of the gates with three runs in the first. Gabe Snyder grounded out to plate the first run before Wander Javier decided that triples are cooler than nerdy outs. While ground outs are nerdy, scoring on passed balls are what all the popular kids do and no kid was more popular today than Javier as he waltzed home later in the inning. 

    Things were relatively silent on the Western front in the game until the fifth inning. Trey Cabbage blasted an opposite field double that plated Javier for the second time in the game (he would score an absurd four times). 

    The Kernels offense decided to give the TinCaps pitching staff a short breather before storming back in the 7th and 8th innings with an almost insulting amount of runs. The seventh inning saw a Cabbage single, a wild pitch, and an Alex Isola double to add three runs to their total. The eighth inning was more efficient as far as run scoring went. Javier doubled home Snyder before Alex Isola delivered his first homer of the year over the left-center field fence. 

    While the entire focus is on the offense (as it typically will be in an 11-5 game), Andrew Cabezas deserves a shout out as well. He fired off five quiet innings with just four baserunners allowed. His season ERA now sits at an impressive 2.42.

     

    Mussel Matters

    Fort Myers 9, St. Lucie 4

    Box Score

    Miguel Rodriguez: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

    HR: None

    Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-5, R, RBI)

    Normally I would talk about something great that happened in the game or would say something vague like “the Mighty Mussels lost a close one on Saturday” but I wanted to start out by mentioning that the St. Lucie Mets committed seven (!!!) errors. Seven. How is that even possible?

    The Mighty Mussels took full advantage of those errors by plating nine runs during a comfortable win. Six players nabbed an RBI while all but two scored a run. That kind of consistently great output can only be matched by David Bowie.

    Oddly enough, only two times did the Mighty Mussels score a run off of a hit. Yunior Severino’s first inning single and Kyle Schmidt’s seventh inning triple were the sole culprits. Every other run was scored via a sacrifice fly, a ground out, or an error. Truly an unusual way to win a ballgame but hey, a win is a win. If the other team is handing you runs, then all you can do is thank them. 

     

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Cabezas, Cedar Rapids Kernels 

    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels 

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

    #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 1-4, R

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

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

    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K

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

    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 3 ⅓ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-5, RBI, K

    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K

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

    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – IL (right elbow strain)

    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-3, K

    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, K

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

    #14 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, RBI, K

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

    #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow surgery - not Tommy John)

    #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play 

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

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

    #20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch

     

    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    St. Paul @ Iowa (11:00 AM) - TBD

    Arkansas @ Wichita (12:05 PM) - RHP Chris Vallimont

    Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne (11:05 AM) - RHP Ben Gross

    St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) - LHP Brent Headrick


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    Canterino to the IL with elbow problems is quite forboding...

    Good to see Balazovic back in action, though I do hope they are patient with him. This is his first experience in the high minors, so I find it unlikely he's going to be ready for MLB competition this year. I wouldn't rule out a September promotion for him, however. He needs to get more innings under his belt.

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    1 hour ago, Danchat said:

    Canterino to the IL with elbow problems is quite forboding...

    Good to see Balazovic back in action, though I do hope they are patient with him. This is his first experience in the high minors, so I find it unlikely he's going to be ready for MLB competition this year. I wouldn't rule out a September promotion for him, however. He needs to get more innings under his belt.

    I went back and watched Canterino's final inning of his most recent start to see if I noticed anything.  So hard to tell. Thinking it's not good. Hoping for the best.  

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    Great to see Balazovic hit the field. Sucks to see Canterino head to the IL.

    Cabezas is off to a nice start in A+; normally I would think 24 is a little old for the level, but this is an odd year with no minor league ball last year. Like to see the K-rate come up a bit more, but the H/9 is certainly good enough and his control looks solid. Be interesting to see if he becomes an emerging prospect this season

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    Watched the first couple innings of Balazovic's start.  He seemed to be overpowering the batters he was facing.  At 6'5, he sure looks like a front line big league starter...hopefully, he will become that some day.

    Was so excited seeing what Javier did yesterday.  Saw he also had a double or triple a day or two earlier.  Is he starting to put it together?

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    12 hours ago, Danchat said:

    Canterino to the IL with elbow problems is quite forboding...

    Good to see Balazovic back in action, though I do hope they are patient with him. This is his first experience in the high minors, so I find it unlikely he's going to be ready for MLB competition this year. I wouldn't rule out a September promotion for him, however. He needs to get more innings under his belt.

    Can't say I'm surprised to see this injury with Canterino.  As many others have noted, his unorthodox delivery foreshadowed this type of injury.  Hopefully, he can come back soon and get valuable IP with CR and a promotion to Wichita before seasons end.   As for Balazovic, I concur with your opinion.  His high prospect ranking (#4) ensures that FO will be very careful with his IP over the next month.  I doubt he's allowed to go past a certain pitch count for at least another month.  If he can stay on course to get somewhere over 15 starts/120 IP over the rest of the season, I'd have to think he's a viable option for the starting rotation going into 2022.

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