- Minnesota Twins place CF Byron Buxton on 10-day IL (right hip strain)
- Minnesota Twins designate LHP Brandon Waddell for assignment
- Minnesota Twins select contract of OF Trevor Larnach from St. Paul
St. Paul 2, Omaha 4
Starter Griffin Jax was solid in his first outing of the 2021 season. The 26-year-old righty allowed a run on four hits over five innings, walking three and striking out two. Jax threw 50 strikes out of 82 pitches. Ronald Bolaños was nearly as effective for the Storm Chasers, allowing two earned over his five innings.
The teams traded isolated runs through the middle innings of this game, with St. Paul scoring one each in the third and fifth and Omaha putting up one of their own in the fifth. In the bottom of the seventh, though, with the Saints leading 2-1, the Storm Chasers turned two hits into four runs. They got help from a hit batter from Juan Minaya and two shaky moments in the field from the Saints pitcher, scored as an error each for Minaya and first baseman Travis Blankenhorn.
These runs proved to decisive as the Saints offense had nothing on Omaha pitcher Jace Vines in the eighth and ninth.
Big League Options Struggle
The Minnesota Twins’ big league club’s struggles have been well-documented, so Twins fans (and Twins Daily writers) have been begging for reinforcements from the Triple-A club. Both Ryan Jeffers and Brent Rooker have spent significant time at Target Field so far this year and certainly could be used on the Twins if they start hitting (see Trevor Larnach). However, both were hitless today, continuing their struggles to start their minor league seasons. Encouragingly though, Keon Broxton was 2-for-4 with a double tonight and seems like a nice option to fill a hole (or a Cave, if you will) in the Twins’ outfield.
Wind Surge Wisdom
Wichita 11, Springfield 7
The runs came thick and fast in this one as the Wind Surge out-slugged Springfield 11-7. The Surge jumped on Springfield in the top of the first, scoring three on a two-run homer from Jose Miranda and an RBI single from Roy Morales. Springfield answered with firepower of their own in the bottom of the inning, though, scoring four runs on four hits off starter Austin Schulfer, including an Iván Herrera homer.
The Cardinals threatened again in the third as they loaded the bases with only one out. However, Jovani Moran (who took over for Schulfer to start the second) got two swinging strikeouts to keep the score at 4-3.
Wichita capitalized on Moran’s clutch deliveries, scoring two runs their next time up to take the lead 5-4. Coincidentally, one of those runs scored on a bases loaded walk. Then, in the fifth, an Ernie De La Trinidad triple and a Peter Mooney homer added three more.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out again in the fifth but came up empty yet again as Wichita righty Tom Hackimer got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning. And, yet again, the Surge made those crucial outs count as they added a run each in the sixth, seventh, and eighth. By the time Springfield managed to push three runs across in the eighth, the game was essentially out of reach.
Jose Miranda Goes Deep Twice
Wichita third baseman Jose Miranda was 3-for-5 tonight with two massive home runs. Miranda, Twins Daily’s nineteenth-ranked prospect, has always shown a good contact-hitting tool, but the power has been a bit of a question mark. Tonight’s performance, then is certainly encouraging for his further development and climb up that prospect list.
Cedar Rapids 9, Peoria 3
A hit batter and an error by second baseman Yeltsin Encarnacion allowed the Chiefs to scratch across two runs in the top of the second. However, the Kernels got those runs right back in the bottom of the inning with a three-run shot to right from Trey Cabbage, and it was all Cedar Rapids (and Cabbage) from there.
The Kernels offense exploded in the middle innings of this one, scoring three (and sending nine men to the plate) in the fourth, two in the fifth, and another run in the sixth. The bats were certainly working, but Kernels hitters benefited from a lot of walks from Peoria pitchers, including five from Jacob Shlesener. Peoria got a run back in their half of the seventh on a ground ball to a slipping Spencer Steer, but it will serve as little consolation considering the drubbing doled out by the Kernels offense.
On the mound, Tyler Watson, Tyler Beck, and Melvi Acosta were all effective for the Kernels, combining to allow just five hits and one earned run. They also combined for 12 strikeouts in a fairly comfortable day for the Kernels pitching staff.
Cabbage Explodes, Camargo and Wallner Struggle
Trey Cabbage was unstoppable for Cedar Rapids tonight, going 4-for-4 with a homer, a triple, and a walk. Cabbage, batting out of the seventh spot, drove in five runs, scored three himself, and fell just a double shy of the cycle. A cycle which, had his eighth-inning single caught just a touch more of the gap in right-center, he would’ve completed. Cabbage’s homer was the softest contact of any of his four hits, at a mere 103 MPH exit velocity.
On a less positive note, Matt Wallner and Jair Camargo, the Kernels’ third and fourth hitters, combined to go 0-for-9 with eight strikeouts between the two of them. They also combined to strand five runners in scoring position. Wallner’s struggles tonight are especially surprising, as he’s been mashing High A pitching to start the season.
Fort Myers 2, Bradenton 1
The Mussels survived a ninth-inning Bradenton rally to edge out the Marauders 2-1. Ryan Shreve entered the ninth for Fort Myers with a two run lead after a scoreless eighth inning but, a single and three walks later, faced loaded bases with one out and a run already in. However, Shreve found the strike zone and struck out Maikol Escotto and Jasiah Dixon to secure the win for the Mussels, and the six-out save for himself.
Offense was at a premium for much of this game, as Fort Myers won the contest with only three hits and were mostly shut down by a combination of Domingo Gonzalez, Alex Aquino and J.C Flowers. The Mussels had to make use of Marauder mistakes for their runs, as two errors, a walk, and a balk contributed to their two-run fourth inning.
Mussels starter Brent Headrick was dominant in his own right, going four innings while allowing just two hits and striking out seven in his 2021 debut. He threw 38 strikes out of 61 pitches
One of the Marauders' only moments of excitement prior to the ninth inning came in the bottom of the seventh, when Escotto hit a deep fly ball to left-center that evaded the dives of both Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Anthony Prato. Escotto may have had an inside-the-park homer if not for an excellent throw and relay from Garry and the shortstop Holland, but that’s exactly what happened and the Bradenton shortstop slid into home just late for the final out of the inning.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day - Brent Headrick (4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 7 K)
Hitter of the Day - Trey Cabbage (4-4, HR, 3B, BB, 5 RBI, 3 R)
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) – Did not play
#4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 0-4, K, RBI
#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)
#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K
#8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, 2 K
#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
#11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – Did not play
#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-3, 2 BB, RBI, K
#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, 4 K, BB, RBI
#14 - Misael Urbina (Complex) – N/A
#15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)
#17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – 0-1
#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A
#19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 3-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
#20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
Saturday's Probable Starters
St. Paul @ Omaha (7:05PM CST) – RHP Bailey Ober
Wichita @ Springfield (6:05PM CST) – RHP Dakota Chalmers
Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Jon Olsen
Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) – RHP Steven Cruz