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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/17): Kernels Shuck Cubs on Smith’s Big Night

    Ted Schwerzler

    The Twins farm system was highlighted by the Cedar Rapids Kernels tonight, and with the big league club off, there was no need for transactions across the entirety of the system.


    Iowa 12, St. Paul 2

    Box Score

    Rob Whalen started in this one, and he wore it for the Saints. Allowing nine runs on ten hits, across just 3 1/3 innings, this was a start he’ll look to forget.

    Yennier Cano was the first reliever on, and he made his Triple-A debut in this one. Only place to go from here is up for him as he allowed a walk and grand slam before escaping the inning. By the time Saint Paul batted in the bottom of the 4th inning they trailed 12-0.

    Damek Tomscha plated the first run for the home team on a ground out that scored Drew Maggi in the 4th. Daniel Descalso hit a homer in the 7th, his second of the season, to give the Saints their only other run of the evening.

    Both Ian Giabault (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) and Andrew Vasquez (2.0 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 3 K, nevermind that he needed a 9th inning triple play to escape the inning) worked scoreless relief efforts to stop the bleeding for Saint Paul. Only Descalso would finish with a multi-hit effort in this one.


    Springfield 5, Wichita 3

    Box Score

    Austin Schulfer took the ball in this one and twirled six scoreless innings for the Wind Surge. He surrendered just six hits and struck out four while walking none. It was a strong effort from the righty starter.

    Wichita took the lead in the 6th inning after Roy Morales drove in both Jermaine Palacios and Caleb Hamilton on a single. Then Aaron Whitefield ripped his 5th double of the season to score Andrew Bechtold. Unfortunately, the lead was squashed in the next half inning and the clubs would stay tied until the 9th.

    Ryan Mason came on in the 8th inning and nearly made it through a scoreless 9th before Delvin Perez beat him for a two-run homer to make it 5-3. That’s where the final would stand in this one, but multi-hit efforts came from Jose Miranda (2-for-5) and Andrew Bechtold (2-for-3).


    Cedar Rapids 12, South Bend 4

    Box Score

    Starting this one for Cedar Rapids, Andrew Cabezas worked 5 1/3 innings allowing four runs on four hits and two walks. He punched out four and gave up a single homer.

    Cedar Rapids trailed 3-0 after the first inning as South Bend jumped out to an early lead. In the 5th, Seth Grady plated Spencer Steer on a double to score the Kernels first run. Gabe Snyder then drove in Gray on a single of his own, and last night’s hero Michael Helman used a sac fly to score Wander Javier. Through five everything was even.

    It was the 6th inning where Cedar Rapids would do more damage. Facing a one-run deficit, Gray walked in a run before Gabriel Maciel scored on a wild pitch. Javier then drove a sac fly to score Steer again and the Kernels pushed their lead to 6-4.

    In the 7th Cedar Rapids added again. Maciel singled to drive in Helman and Steer continued his torrid stretch with homer number nine on the season. Spencer plated three on the bomb and the score was now 10-4. He’s now got an .855 OPS on the year for the Kernels.

    Cedar Rapids wasn’t done and Max Smith continuing his hot streak wasn’t unexpected. He singled in the 8th to score both Javier and Helman en route to a 12-4 final tally. Wander finished with two hits on the evening, and Smith completed a ridiculous 5-for-5 effort to propel the Kernels to a win.

    Asking manager Brian Dinkelman about Wander Javier specifically he said, "Confidence is part of it. He had a really good series up in Beloit last week. He can do damage on a lot of pitchers. Another good night for him.." Asking about Spencer Steer's approach and where he's at this season Dinkelman said, "Spencer always gives us good at bat. He controls the strike zone. He's a good table setter for us."


    Game 1: Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 1 (F/7)

    Box Score

    Sean Mooney got the start in this one but was lifted after recording just a single out. He gave up one run on one hit and a walk during his outing. Denny Bentley came on in relief to strike out five across 3 1/3, while allowing no hits and a single walk. He picked up the win.

    Steven Cruz followed Bentley and nearly matched him identically. He too went three and one-third but allowed a lone hit instead of a walk. The length earned him his first save of the season.

    Getting behind 1-0 in the first, Fort Myers then did their damage on with the longball. Misael Urbina hit his first stateside homer in the 3rd inning, a two-run shot, to put the Mighty Mussels in the lead. Charles Mack then spanked a dinger on a liner in the 4th, and the 3-1 tally would be enough to get the victory in this one. Yunior Severino was the lone batter to record two hits for Fort Myers in this one.

    Game 2: Fort Myers 6, Lakeland 4 (6/Suspended)

    Box Score

    Miguel Rodriguez took the ball in game two as Fort Myers played a twin bill after yesterday’s postponement. He allowed four earned on five hits in five innings. Rodriguez also punched out seven while issuing no free passes.

    The Mighty Mussels opened up an early 3-0 lead in the 1st on the nightcap thanks to RBI by Edouard Julien, Yunior Severino, and Aaron Sabato. Jeferson Morales then doubled in the 2nd to extend things by another run before Misael Urbina plated Morales on a fielder’s choice.

    After giving back four runs and squandering most of the lead, Fort Myers got another jolt when Julien went deep for the third time in 2021. His 5th inning dinger put them ahead 6-4. Weather got this one again however, and action was suspended before the bottom of the 6th inning could get underway.


    Pitcher of the Day- Austin Schulfer (Wichita) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

    Hitter of the Day- Max Smith (Cedar Rapids) 5-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI


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

    #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – No Game

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

    #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – No Game

    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – No Game

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

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

    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – Injured list (concussion)

    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-5, RBI, BB, K (2 games)

    #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list

    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Underwent Tommy John surgery

    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – No game

    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-for-3, K

    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (Hamate bone)

    #14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K (2 games)

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

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

    #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – No game

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

    #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) –  2-for-4

    #20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – No Game



    Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – LHP Andrew Albers (2-2, 7.03 ERA)

    Springfield @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Josh Winder (2-0, 2.16 ERA)

    South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross (3.86 ERA)

    Lakeland at Ft. Myers (Game 1: 3:30PM CST) – RHP Brent Headrick (2-2, 3.04 ERA)


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    Always interested in seeing how Schulfer does when he starts.  After all, he is a Wisconsin kid from the Stevens Point area and UWM.

    Another good night for Javier with two hits and a sac fly.  If he can hit for an average of over .270 with some power, he could be the Twins shortstop of the future considering Seth's comments that he is plus, plus defensively.  

    Also good seeing Urbina getting some hits most games.  He is so young and hadn't played since he was in the DSL two years ago.  Does anyone know whether his defense is adequate or very good?  I see he has five stolen bases and was thrown out twice.  Does he have plus speed?

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    Man Julien's OBP is at 485 almost two months into the season.  I guess they are leaving him at A ball to get All-Star honors which he deserves.  Another HR for him last night as well. He keeps taking good at bats even though it seems pitchers prefer to work around him.

    Javier keeps hitting and was 2 for 3 last night. If he gets his OPS up to 800 after his horrible start that will be saying something.  Hitter of the night though was Smith who went 5 for 5.  Man that is so hard to do.  Smith is old for the level and doesn't walk much so has his work cut out for him but if he keeps that up he will be moving up.

    Miranda leading the charge for the Surge and staying in the 900 OPS club,  De La Trinidad dropped out of the 900 OPS club.  Pretty good night for most of the bats they just didn't quite score enough runs.  I like Schulfer but I still feel he is a much better reliever than starter.  Granted with so many guys hurt right now he isn't in anyone's way but I think his stuff plays better as a reliever.

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    30 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    Nice summary.  Looks like none of these starters is ready to rescue the Twins staff.  But we do have some hitters that are looking good and if Donaldson continues to have calf issues Miranda looks like the man to take his spot. 

    I know I have talked about this before.  But curious what Seth can add about Miranda's defense at third.  I recall that Bechtold was always thought to be the better of the two defensively.  With Bechtold at third most nights, would expect that remains true.  Does Seth or anyone else know whether Miranda's defense at third is adequate or better so he can be considered a future replacement/fill in for Donaldson?  If it isn't, second base has so much competition on the Twins...at least today.

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    2 hours ago, roger said:

    I know I have talked about this before.  But curious what Seth can add about Miranda's defense at third.  I recall that Bechtold was always thought to be the better of the two defensively.  With Bechtold at third most nights, would expect that remains true.  Does Seth or anyone else know whether Miranda's defense at third is adequate or better so he can be considered a future replacement/fill in for Donaldson?  If it isn't, second base has so much competition on the Twins...at least today.

    I've watched Miranda quite a bit this year. I think he's a pretty solid third baseman. Seems to have a strong arm. Maybe average range. I like that they are playing him all over. Talking to Deron Johnson a couple of years ago, even though he was playing second, they knew he would grow into his power and be a third baseman. Bechtold continues to play 3B and 1B. Good to see him hitting again. 

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