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  • Twins Minor League Report (5/12): Pair of Firsts on the Farm


    Ted Schwerzler

    After kicking off their home slates yesterday with losses, both the St. Paul Saints and Wichita Wind Surge returned to action with opportunity today. Fortunately for both, they executed and grabbed their first victories as members of Twins Territory.

    TRANSACTIONS

    • Pitcher Brandon Koch signed a minor league contract with the Twins and is assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He was with the independent Milwaukee Milkmen this year. He was at Twins spring training in 2020 but ended up pitching for the Sugar Land Lightning Sloths of the Constellation Energy League. 
    • According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Twins have signed infielder Sherman Johnson and assigned him to the Wichita Wind Surge. He had been working with the independent Kane County Cougars. 

    SAINTS SENTINEL
    St. Paul 6, Iowa 1
    Box Score

    After dropping the opener against Iowa the St. Paul Saints recorded their first home victory as an affiliated minor league ballclub. Griffin Jax made the start for the Saints and turned in five innings of one-run ball while striking out four. Lewis Thorpe (3.0 IP 2K) and Cody Stashak (1.0 IP 2 K) both worked scoreless outings in relief.

    St. Paul jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first when Brent Rooker sent a solo shot over the wall in left center. Ryan Jeffers followed his lead in the bottom of the 2nd to double the home tally. After giving one back the Saints went to work and grabbed some separation in the 5th. Jimmy Kerrigan hit the third solo shot of the game before Tomas Telis singled in Nick Gordon. Jeffers then continued his nice night with a double that plated Telis from second base. Rob Refsnyer added a 6th run for good measure in the 6th and Saint Paul closed it out.

    Now 3-5 on the year, Toby Gardenhire’s squad will look to put more tallies in the win column after recording most of the more monumental firsts.

     

    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wichita 1, Amarillo 0
    Box Score

    Looking for their first home win in organization history the Wind Surge turned to Austin Schulfer. He grabbed an out in the 6th inning allowing just a single hit while fanning and walking two each. Ryan Mason continued to be dominant in relief, and Tom Hackimer was credited with the victory as the good guys walked it off in the 9th.

    Amarillo and Wichita combined for just five hits total in this one, and it wasn’t until Jose Miranda lifted a one-out sac fly in the final half of the 9th that the game’s first run came in. Andrew Bechtold singled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a throwing error. Wichita made sure to capitalize and will take the walk off in any way they can get it.

     

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Quad Cities 2, Cedar Rapids 1
    Box Score

    Heralded Twins pitching prospect Blayne Enlow was on the bump for this one and his start didn’t disappoint. Turning in five innings of one-run baseball, Enlow allowed just three hits while striking out seven and allowing just a single free pass.

    Cedar Rapids spotted their starter a run in the first inning when Spencer Steer stole home, but that was wiped out in the 5th on a River Bandits solo blast. Returning the favor of a run crossing without a ball put in play, Melvi Acosta uncorked a wild pitch in the 7th and that allowed the decisive run to cross the plate for Quad Cities.

     

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 5
    Box Score

    Opening Day starter Regi Grace was back on the bump for this one, but it was a shortened start as he allowed five earned runs on five hits and two longballs. Ultimately he came an out shy of making it through the third inning. Fort Myers was afforded the opportunity for a win thanks in part to a strong relief outing from Ryan Shreve, who went 2.2 innings and struck out five allowing just two hits.

    After a solo shot put the Threshers in the lead, Fort Myers answered quickly. Singles from Edouard Julien, Anthony Prato, and Willie Joe Garry Jr. all drove in runs giving the Mighty Mussels a 3-1 lead after the first frame. Keoni Cavaco kept up his hot hitting with a double in the 2nd that plated another to put the Mussels back on top 4-3, and Julien drove in two on a 6th inning single that pushed the tally to a final score of 6-5.

    The middle of the lineup did most of the heavy lifting for Fort Myers in this one. Despite each starter grabbing a hit, and their being 13 in total, seven came from Cavaco, Julien, and Aaron Sabato.

     

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Pitcher of the Day – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K


    Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien 2-for-4, R, 3 RBI

     

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

    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) – 1-for-1, 2B (pinch hit, first MLB hit)
    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(2), BB
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)
    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B
    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 2-for-3, R, 2 BB, K
    #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 0-for-3, 2 K
    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, HR(2), BB, K
    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, BB, 3 K
    #14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, R, BB
    #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-for-3, RBI, K
    #20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch

    THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
    Amarillo @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Dakota Chalmers (0-0, 6.75 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
    Clearwater @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Miguel Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!


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    Good to read some winning baseball.

    I know they want Jeffers to play more minor  league games, but Rortvedt and Garver are not doing the job - I want Jeffers up and I want to see him given extended time in MLB - 2 out of 3 games.

    I can see Rooker taking over for Sano too.  They both K too much, but Rooker might do something with the other pitchers - Sano looks lost. 

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    First, a complaint or request.  Can you change the polls so that they don't require we sign up for Twitter?  Some of us old guys have no interest in joining any of these social media sites.

    Watched the Saints again as I will most of the year.  Thought Jax had a really nice start.  Don't know if he has what it takes to be successful at the next level, but a few more starts like his first two and he should sure as heck be given a chance.  Also thought Thorpe was great last night.  Don't know why the Twins don't bring him back and piggy back him with one of the old vets that ain't gettin it done.  Should he and Dobber be put in those roles they would save their bullpen two out of every five games thru the rotation. 

    Flipped to Wichita for an inning mid-game to see the new ballpark.  Not certain there is a lot of hitting in that lineup.

    I was really down on the Twins selecting Cavaco with their first pick a couple years ago after his terrible numbers in the GCL.  Pleasantly surprised to the start of his season.  Maybe the Twins will be rewarded for that pick should he move quickly up the ladder.

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    I have been impressed with Julien as a hitter so far.  Much more impressed with his bat and approach than Sabato thus far.  Cavaco has been holding his own too which is very encouraging.  Like many I was concerned about his eye and bat but he is off to nice start so far.  We could really use infield help so here's hoping he continues to do well.

    I believe Enlow started the season giving up 7 hits I much prefer the 7 K's he got this time around.  I still have hope he can be a mid rotation arm this is a big year for him.

    Thanks goodness we have the farm to follow as the MLB team really stinks this year.

     

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    4 hours ago, roger said:

    Thought Jax had a really nice start.  Don't know if he has what it takes to be successful at the next level, but a few more starts like his first two and he should sure as heck be given a chance. 

    I was actually really surprised Jax didn't go in the Rule 5. I thought he was the perfect type of back end starter for a team like Detroit or Baltimor. I don't think the ceiling is terribly high, but think he's capable of being Dobnak-esque.

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    50 minutes ago, Ted Schwerzler said:

    I was actually really surprised Jax didn't go in the Rule 5. I thought he was the perfect type of back end starter for a team like Detroit or Baltimor. I don't think the ceiling is terribly high, but think he's capable of being Dobnak-esque.

    I to was worried he might be gone.  Maybe it is the lack of a track record from what, two years not playing while serving our country.  Plus, if memory serves he wasn't included at the Alternate site last summer so he was kind of out of site, out of mind.

    To be honest, I was surprised to see the Cubs do nothing with his fastball that was clocked around 94-95.  Don't know if he has a deceptive delivery, but so many hitters just stood there looking as the ump rang'em up.  On the other hand, most of them were placed right out on the corner...so maybe that pitch would work for the Twins.

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    3 hours ago, Ted Schwerzler said:

    I was actually really surprised Jax didn't go in the Rule 5. I thought he was the perfect type of back end starter for a team like Detroit or Baltimore. I don't think the ceiling is terribly high, but think he's capable of being Dobnak-esque.

    He didn't get selected the year before either. Not enough strikeouts. Not an "electric" arm, just a solid pitcher. Tyler Wells have a bigger fastball and more strikeout stuff, so he does get drafted. But guys like Jax, that are just steady and generally throw strikes and have three pitches, tend to surface at some point. 

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    4 hours ago, SirLoin said:

    I'm really curious to see how Ober does today...  He seems like a good option for some bullpen help.  

    I was surprised he is starting the season in Rochester. Had a nice first start on Friday. I believe they are going to piggyback Chandler Shepherd with him tonight. Toby Gardenhire likes him and how he competes. They just really, really want to keep him healthy. It'd be nice if he'd be able to hit 90 in terms of long-term potential, but again, there are always exceptions. You never know. 

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