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  • Twins Minor League Report (7/29): Tough Night For Twins Affiliates

    Ted Schwerzler

    Despite a couple of strong performances from key contributors, it was a tough night of the farm for Minnesota Twins affiliates. Jermaine Palacios blasted a couple of dingers and Louie Varland was good on the bump, but plenty more was left to be desired across the board.

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge


    Iowa 5, St. Paul 4 (F/10)
    Box Score

    The Saints went with former top prospect Jordan Balazovic tonight. As has been the case much of the season, he struggled. Allowing three runs across just 2 2/3 innings, Balazovic was tagged for five hits and two walks. He struck out four but gave up two dingers.

    St. Paul was down 2-0 after the first half, but Curtis Terry singled to halve the lead in the bottom of the first when Spencer Steer crossed the plate. Dereck Rodriguez was great in relief working 5 1/3 innings with just three hits and one run. Rodriguez gave up a single free pass but grabbed three strikeouts,

    Down 3-1 in the 7th inning, Jermaine Palacios tied things when he hit his 8th homer of the season. He then answered again in the 9th inning when it was 4-3, by blasting his 9th of the year and tying things at 4.

    With Juan Minaya taking over in the 10th inning, he uncorked a wild pitch allowing a go-ahead run. St. Paul couldn't answer despite Jake Dave up with the bases loaded and they fell a run short.

    NW Arkansas 3, Wichita 2
    Box Score

    Louie Varland has been great this year for the Wind Surge, and despite runs against him tonight, he repeated that performance. Working five innings, Varland allowed seven hits but just one of three runs scored were earned. He generated eight strikeouts and walked none.

    Getting down 3-0 in the 2nd inning, Wichita needed to do work. The Wind Surge answered back in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Leobaldo Cabrera blasted his 7th homer of the season. Still trailing by two, at least Wichita was on the board.

    Trying to mount a comeback, Edouard Julien drove in Cabrera with a 9th inning ground out. Unfortunately, that’s where the adding ended. Wichita tallied eight hits on the night, but only Anthony Prato and Cabrera had two.

    Wisconsin 4, Cedar Rapids 0
    Box Score

    The Kernels turned to Cade Povich tonight and he kept them in it through five innings. Allowing five hits and three runs, Povich also posted eight strikeouts while giving up just a single free pass. Matt Mullenbach followed him with two scoreless innings striking out two.

    Unfortunately for Cedar Rapids, only two hits were generated on the night, coming from Jake Rucker and Wander Javier. Both were singles and neither plated a run. The Kernels walked four times and had just a total of six runners tonight.


    The Mighty Mussels and Tampa Tarpons game was postponed due to inclement weather. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday. Both games will be seven innings.

    FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 1
    Box Score

    Ben Heller started this one and worked two innings of hitless ball while striking out two. Regi Grace also tallied a scoreless inning with a strikeout. Ricardo Olivar had the lone two-hit game for the Twins and recorded both his third triple and dinger of the season.

    DSL Rockies 10, DSL Twins 5
    Box Score

    Cristian Jimenez drew the start for the Twins and while he gave up three runs, none were earned. He did allow just three hits and punched out four with zero walks. Bryan Acuna kept hitting and had another two-hit game today, this time including a double. Anderson Nova crushed his first professional homer and has a .966 OPS.

    Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 7 H,, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
    Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR(9)

    We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. 

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

    #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-2, R, 3 BB, K
    #7 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR
    #10 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB
    #11 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R,1 ER, 0 BB 8 K
    #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-4, BB, 2 K
    #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-3, RBI, BB
    #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 0-5, 3 K

    Iowa @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands
    NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:40PM CST) - TBD
    Tampa @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.


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    Someone in TD was asking for more power to make Palacios a MLB SS. He answered with a couple homers tonight. Varland with another decent game and Balazovic with another clunker. Both are consistent this year.

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    I dunno about this pitching pipeline I keep hearing so much about... Balazovic is completely busted and Varland is fine at best. Our farm has had plenty of hitting crops, but it feels like the pitching side has had a permanent famine.

    Also, who is this Jake Dave fella who's playing at AAA? Certainly not an alter ego for somebody else who plays there... 😆

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    Would it pay to drop Balazovic back to AA ball? That is going to be a tough off-season decision. He can become a minor league free agent if removed from the 40-man.

    I see the Twins have started to cull the minor league free agent roster at AAA St. Paul, but are bringing in replacements. Pinto was one pitcher that when you looked at hius ERA you were going...wow. But then half of the runs he gave up a unearned. A 1.52 WHIP.

    Palacios is mamking a case to be added to the 40-man during the off-season. Beckham, too. But can Beckham still play short?

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    I would guess that Varland leads Twins' affiliates in IP. He seems to be on a path to get to MLB sometime next year. Has Woods-Richardson made a start since being injured? 

    Monday is August 1st. I would think that decisions would have to be made about shutting down players--Balazovic, Canterino, Martin. 

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