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  • Minor League Report (5/14): A Denied Rehab Start and A Clean Franchise Sweep


    Matt Braun

    Bailey Ober was supposed to make his first rehab start, but rain stopped him from ever taking the mound on Saturday. However, the three teams that did play all won their games. Read all about that and more in this edition of the Minor League Report.

    TRANSACTIONS
    RHP Bailey Ober assigned to AAA St. Paul on Major League Rehab.
    OF Alex Kirilloff optioned to AAA St. Paul.
    LHP Devin Smeltzer contract selected by Minnesota Twins.
    IF Miguel Sano placed on 60-Day IL. 
    RHP Blayne Enlow added to AA Wichita

    Saints Sentinel
    The Saints were rained out on Saturday. They will play a double-header against Columbus tomorrow with Bailey Ober taking the mound in game one.

    Wind Surge Wisdom
    Wichita 7, Arkansas 6
    Box Score
    Blayne Enlow: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    HR: Spencer Steer (6), Chris Williams (1)
    Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-5, R, RBI), Spencer Steer (3-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B, R, BB, 2 K)

    The Wind Surge kept rolling on Saturday. 
    Blayne Enlow made his Wind Surge debut and his first non-rehab assignment start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s back. The start wasn’t the best, but six strikeouts is nothing to sneeze at. It’s just great to see him healthy and back on a pitching mound this summer.

    While the game ended up close, Wichita’s offense took off quickly in this game, scoring pairs of runs in the first three innings. Spencer Steer was the main culprit, hitting a two-run homer in the first to go with an RBI infield hit in the second. That may be the biggest difference feet-wise between RBI hits in baseball.

    Arkansas would steal a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning, but Chris Williams belted a hearty laugh, and blasted a two-run homer to right-center field.

    The Naturals came scratching back, though. Chris Vallimont had a tough outing in relief, allowing two earned runs and walking four batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Defense didn’t help either, as both Andrew Bechtold and Austin Martin made errors that allowed un-earned runs to score.

    That Martin error was especially deadly, as Arkansas rode their extra out to three runs and a tied game. In dramatic fashion, Martin then made good and gave Wichita the lead in the 8th with an RBI single. The Naturals could not recover from that deficit. 

    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 1
    Box Score
    Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
    HR: Anthony Prato (5)
    Multi-hit games: Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2B, R), Alerick Soularie (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI), Will Holland (2-for-3, R, RBI)

    The Kernels won on Saturday. Water is wet.  These were the two sentences used last time, and they are still appropriate. 

    Sawyer Gipson-Long Did the Darn Thing and completely silenced the Chiefs’ bats. It took the righty just 62 pitches to run through 15 outs with seven of those being strikeouts. Gipson-Long has been a surprising revelation since joining the Twins organization, and Saturday was another day in a line of impressive starts from him.

    Credit news to be given to Derek Molina, Tyler Palm, and Denny Bentley, as they combined for four clutch innings of work and just a single earned run allowed. 

    Although the game ended up handily won by Cedar Rapids, the game flow was not always so simple. The score was 2-1 after eight innings with an Alerick Soularie little-league homer (triple with an error allowing him to score), and a Jair Camargo RBI single representing their only offense of the game. But the Kernels broke it open in the 9th inning, plating five runs off a few base knocks, and an Anthony Prato three-run bomb. Peoria had no response in their half of the inning.

    Mussel Matters
    Fort Myers 10, Palm Beach 4
    Box Score
    Steve Hajjar: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K
    HR: Mikey Perez (3), Dillon Tatum (2)
    Multi-hit games: Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB), Mikey Perez (3-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB)

    The Mighty Mussels won handily on Saturday. 

    Is it a good thing to have four players reach base three times in one game? Asking for a friend. Fort Myers dominated with an equal attack amongst their offense—no one batter should own the means of run production after all. Noah Miller and Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to be on-base machines, which isn’t surprising. Mikey Perez was the big story though, as he doubled, homered, and reached base four times in the game. Eight hitters reached base at least once.

    Steve Hajjar took the mound, and while he allowed just one run, command eluded him. Hajjar walked five batters while throwing just 46 of his 80 pitches for strikes. Although, it appears he was “effectively wild” given that the Cardinals could only knock one hit off of him.

    Walks proved to be the name of the game overall. The Mighty Mussels walked more than they struck out (nine to eight) while the Cardinals weren’t far behind (seven to 10). One could refer to this game as “leisurely.”

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer

    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, RBI
    #2 – Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-4
    #3 – Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 2 K
    #4 – Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #5 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #6 – Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #7 – Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K
    #8 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB
    #11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, 2 K
    #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB, K
    #13 – Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #14 – Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB, K
    #16 – Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #17 – Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2B
    #19 – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K
    #20 – Steve Hajjar (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K

    SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Columbus (12:05 PM) - RHP Bailey Ober
    St. Paul @ Columbus (Game Two) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez
    Wichita @ NW Arkansas (1:35 PM) - RHP Casey Legumina

    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (1:35 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz
    Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Marco Raya

     

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    1 hour ago, Major League Ready said:

    Vallimont and Strotman are candidates to be removed from the 40 man if necessary.  The good news is we have had a bunch of pitching prospects improving their status and looking like they will be ML players.  The mid season promotions should be plentiful.

    Vallimont should be the first to be taken off since he's a level below, doubt anyone would claim him. With the roster crunch they have, that might come within the next week or so.

    What strikes me overall is how many of the top 15 are already with the Twins. Most of those guys are going to lose their prospect status soon, so the midseason prospect rankings are going to look much, much different.

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    Nice summary, Matt.  Two thoughts.  First, Spencer Steer continues to impress.  He broke out a bit last year and is carrying that progress forward to this year.  He makes good contact, has some power, draws some walks and doesn't have an abundance of swing and miss in his game.  It would be nice to see what he could do at St. Paul.  Second, Enlow's showing was impressive.  He gave up some hits, but the important thing is he was missing bats with 6 strikeouts (small error in prospect summary which lists 1).  I think he is really going to do well the remainder of the summer as he gets back in the groove, and will be a guy to watch next year.

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    Mikey Perez has had his share of struggles but the bat has been coming around recently.  I worry a little bit about the stats as Palm Beach doesn't seem to have the greatest pitching.  Still hits are hits and it nice to see Mikey have a very good night.

    Still loving what Miller is doing his first season in MiLB.  He took three more walks.  Having a good eye at the plate is so key to success and even though his power is limited right now he still has an 800 OPS.

    Rodriguez is still the star of that lineup though with 3 more hits and a 900 OPS he is a dangerous hitter.   I was a tough night for Baez who is trying to replace Fedko as he went 0 for 5 with 2 K's and left 5 men on.  Only player to leave more guys on base was you guessed it Keoni Cavaco who left 7 men on base but he did manage a hit at least.

    Gipson long keeps humming a long and he has been a favorite of mine for a while now.  However, it seems like Headrick might be even better.  Still nice to see SGL keeping that ERA down and the K's up.  Will be interesting to see how he handles AA.

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    Will second those above who are happy with the results of Enlow's first game following his short rehab assignment.  Crossing my fingers that he can continue improving and be back to normal by season's end.

    When he was drafted, didn't know anything about Steer and wasn't all that excited with the pick.  My initial expectation was a bit slower version of Nick Punto.  His play on the field late last season and the first month of this year seems to indicate he could be more than that.  Just don't know where he can find a position on the Twins as I expect second, short and third are spoken for until at least six or seven year from now.  But should he develop into more than Nick, there are always injuries opening spots for good players.

    After seeing Owen Miller hitting cleanup for the Cleveland team, got me excited about our Miller.  Wasn't he considered a better prospect than his older brother when drafted?  After seeing he went 1-2 with 3 walks last night, checked his stats.  See that he is striking out a bit more than we would like, but he is also walking nearly as often and has an OBP well over .400.  

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    4 hours ago, roger said:

    Will second those above who are happy with the results of Enlow's first game following his short rehab assignment.  Crossing my fingers that he can continue improving and be back to normal by season's end.

    When he was drafted, didn't know anything about Steer and wasn't all that excited with the pick.  My initial expectation was a bit slower version of Nick Punto.  His play on the field late last season and the first month of this year seems to indicate he could be more than that.  Just don't know where he can find a position on the Twins as I expect second, short and third are spoken for until at least six or seven year from now.  But should he develop into more than Nick, there are always injuries opening spots for good players.

    After seeing Owen Miller hitting cleanup for the Cleveland team, got me excited about our Miller.  Wasn't he considered a better prospect than his older brother when drafted?  After seeing he went 1-2 with 3 walks last night, checked his stats.  See that he is striking out a bit more than we would like, but he is also walking nearly as often and has an OBP well over .400.  

    Interesting comp.  Hopefully the 25 HRs last year was not an aberration.  Steer should have a considerably better offensive upside.  Punto had a 646 career OPS.  Hopefully, Steer is a solid 100 points better than Punto.  He screams utility guy but could evolve into an everyday player.  They should have a lot of guys who can play multiple positions.  (Gordon / Martin / Steer and perhaps Polacios)  It will be interesting to see how that shakes out.

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