Keep reading to find out how all your favorite prospects fared on a night you would hope there would be more reasons to celebrate, but I at least think there’s a bullpen arm in double-A the Twins should check out.
There was a flurry of transactions in the system before Tuesday’s games with the Saints needing reinforcements.
- The Minnesota Twins optioned infielder Nick Gordon to St. Paul with the activation of Luis Arraez from the IL.
- Zander Wiel (quad strain), Tzu-Wei Lin (oblique strain), and Drew Maggi all were placed on the IL in triple-A. To take their places, infielders Damek Tomscha from double-A, Yeltsin Encarnacion from high-A, and Daniel Ozaria from low-A were assigned to the Saints.
- In Fort Myers OF Misael Urbina was assigned to the Mighty Mussels.
Iowa 11, St. Paul 1
The St. Paul Saints and CHS Field christened their first home opener as a Twins affiliate…with a dud when it came to the game.
The lineup was no-hit for 7 2/3 innings before Tomas Telis came through with a solo home run to put their first hit and run as an affiliate on the board at their beautiful stadium. JT Riddle added a single in the ninth, but that was it for the offense. They had just one plate appearance with a runner in scoring position and left only three men on base for the game.
On the other hand, the Iowa Cubs also lit up Saint’s pitchers, including Randy Dobnak, for 11 runs on 12 hits and eight walks, though they did manage to collect nine strikeouts. Dobnak especially had some trouble, walking five compared to just one strikeout on the game. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on four hits and the free passes. Ian Hamilton allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in his inning of work, striking out three. Juan Minaya surrendered four runs on five hits in 1 2/3, striking out four. Danny Coulombe was the only one who came out unscathed, allowing one hit and one walk in two innings. He struck out one.
Tomorrow’s starter against the cubs is RHP Griffin Jax, and Twins Daily’s David Youngs got to talk some baseball and business shop with him earlier this week. Youngs also spent opening night at CHS Field, reporting on the positives that were present outside the game's result.
WIND SURGE WISDOM
Amarillo 3, Wichita 2
The starting pitchers for both the Sod Poodles and Wind Surge traded zeroes for the first three innings, but the visitors got to Cole Sands of Wichita first in their inaugural home opener with 2-run single in the top of the fourth. Sands’ night was done after finishing that inning, allowing those two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five. He threw 85 pitches, with 51 of them going for strikes (60.7%).
Caleb Hamilton and Ray Morales answered with back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth to tie it at two and the bullpens would take over after that.
Left-hander Jovani Moran was the first up for the Wind Surge, and he went the next 2 2/3 innings, striking out three along the way. He was removed for Yennier Cano with a runner on second in the seventh and would be charged a run as Cano’s first pitch was weakly grounded through a big hole on the left side with a shift on. But after that Cano was the story as I watched this one on MiLB.tv.
He struck out the next batter on three pitches, all swinging, and that trend would continue in the eighth as he tacked on an “immaculate inning” with three more strikeouts on nine pitches. Back out for the ninth, Cano got two more strikeouts on four pitches each, so if you are counting that was six punchouts on just 20 pitches, including a stretch of four straight on the minimum number of pitches possible. While I simultaneously watched the Minnesota Twins bullpen implode yet again, Cano was beyond impressive. He looked intimidating on the mound, had big life on his mid-90’s fastball, a slider with bite, and got swings and misses on nearly everything. The only contact he gave up was that weak RBI groundball through the vacated shortstop spot on his first pitch, a dribbling chopper ruled an error on the shortstop (don’t think he could have got the out anyway), and a swinging bunt in no-mans land in front of him that the catcher couldn’t get quick enough to get an out. Call him up right now (only slightly kidding):
The Wind Surge went on to threaten in the ninth, getting the tying run on second base with two outs, but an incredibly bad strike three call with Jermaine Palacios in the batter’s box ended the game in the loss column for the home team in their inaugural season’s home opener. It was a great crowd given the circumstances, with nearly 8,000 in attendance, and I’ll forgive them for doing “the wave” that the broadcasters opined had been going on for a period of time that I will say is longer than it ever should.
Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 12
Cedar Rapids jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second after Jair Camargo led off the inning with a double, scored on a Wander Javier single, then Gabe Snyder hit a solo home run.
Quad Cities answered with three runs in the bottom of the third, and another in the fourth against Kernel’s starter Ben Gross. The righthander would finish five innings on the game, allowing four runs (3 ER) on five hits while striking out five.
Down 4-2 in the top of the fifth the Kernels were able to tie it up at four thanks to a two-run home run from Seth Gray, his first of the year.
The River Bandits would get those back, and more, against reliever Zach Featherstone in the sixth, however. A pair of walks, a single, 2-RBI double, and 2-RBI triple would make it 8-4 Quad Cities before Tyler Palm was summoned and stopped the bleeding but would be roughed up for four runs himself in the eighth after walking the bases loaded with no outs. Jonathan Cheshire would record the final out of the game for Cedar Rapids with a strikeout.
In the top of the ninth Gabe Snyder clubbed his second home run of the game to account for the Kernels fifth run but it was far from enough. Camargo (2-for-4, R, 2B, K) and Snyder (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, K) were the only batters with multiple hits.
Clearwater 10, Fort Myers 2
The Mighty Mussels got on the board first in this one when Keoni Cavaco launched his first home run of the 2021 season, a two-run shot for the early lead. It left his bat at 103.9 MPH with a launch angle of 29 degrees and certainly made "that sound":
Starter Hunter McMahon allowed just two hits through his first four innings but ran into trouble quickly in the fifth. A double, RBI triple, and RBI single put an end to his night after 63 pitches (45 for strikes). In total he would be charged with three earned runs on five hits. He struck out three.
Casey Legumina came on in relief and allowed one inherited runner to score on a double before striking out two in a scoreless sixth. He would allow two runs of his own in the seventh after a pair of walks was followed by a double. He finished 2 2/3 innings and allowed the two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four. Matthew Swain pitched a scoreless eighth inning but got lit up in the ninth for five runs, including two home runs. Reliever Juan Pichardo would get the final two outs, including a K.
The Fort Myers lineup was unable to get anything going after Cavaco’s blast and would finish the game with just five hits, were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 8 men on base. Max Smith, Anthony Prato, and Willie Joe Garry Jr. each had a stolen base in the loss. 2020 first round pick Aaron Sabato continued the strange start to his season with a pair of walks and a pair of strikeouts.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Yennier Cano, Wichita Wind Surge (2.1 IP, 2 H, 6 K’s, 27 pitches, 23 strikes/12 swinging)
Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, K)
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) – 0-for-2, R, BB
#4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 0-for-4, K
#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)
#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-4, R HR, 2 RBI, K
#8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K
#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
#11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K
#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-for-3, BB
#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-4, 2B, 3 K
#14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-1, K (pinch-hit appearance)
#15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
#16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)
#17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – 0-for-1, HBP, RBI, K
#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A
#19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 3-for-5, K
#20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
Amarillo @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Austin Schulfer (0-0, 36.00 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30PM CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (0-1, 2.25 ERA)
Clearwater @ Fort Myers (5:05PM CST) – RHP Regi Grace (0-0, 1.93 ERA)
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!