RHP Jordan Balazovic activated from the IL for the St. Paul Saints
RHP Cole Sands optioned to the St. Paul Saints from the Minnesota Twins
RHP Blayne Enlow assigned to Low-A Fort Myers on minor league rehab
RHP Dylan Thomas was reinstated from the 7-day IL and released
A top prospect made his AAA debut on Saturday.
Jordan Balazovic, one of the team’s top pitching young arms, returned from the injured list on Saturday, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the Saints. Other exciting pitching prospects have overshadowed Balazovic with their major-league performances, but no one should forget just how dominant Balazovic can be when healthy.
Of course, one should never lose themselves in a pitcher when St. Paul’s offense scored nine runs. It was a group effort on Saturday; every player got on base at least once, and the only player without a hit (Curtis Terry) walked four times. In fact, the team ended up walking more often than they struck out (11 to 10).
The Cubs suffered death by a thousand paper cuts. Outside of the Kevin Merrell homer above, Derek Fisher and Cole Sturgeon provided the only other extra-base hits of the game. One final offensive note: every RBI came from the 5-9 hitters.
Wichita walked off their opponent on Saturday.
Simeon Woods Richardson proved he was human, allowing his first earned runs of the year in a decidedly middling start. The Drillers, full of classically tough Dodgers prospects, ambushed Woods Richardson in the third inning with three hits and an HBP, ultimately netting three runs in the frame.
Wichita would not stand around quietly, though. Or, Spencer Steer specifically, would not stand around quietly. Steer was a train engine, doubling home a run in the first before homering in the third and fourth innings. One must assume that Tulsa pitchers were on the verge of an outright revolt if their coaches forced them to pitch to Steer.
Of course, one man an offense does not make. Alex Isola reached base three times, Michael Helman singled home a run, and Matt Wallner brought home the walk-off run in the 9th inning. Don’t look now, but Wallner now owns an .897 OPS at AA despite his dreadful start to the season.
We all sometimes Need A Little Help From Our Friends, and the wind smiled favorably onto Wichita.
Oh, and Wallner also threw a missile to nail a runner at home.
Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2
Cade Povich: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
HR: Anthony Prato (4), Will Holland (1), Aaron Sabato (4)
Multi-hit games: Jeferson Morales (3-for-4, 2 R)
The Kernels won on Saturday. Water is wet.
Cade Povich continued his utterly brilliant introduction to the full minor-league season by punching out eight batters without allowing an earned run. Don’t look now, but the Twins may already have the second wave of arms in the wings waiting for the first group to graduate.
Cedar Rapids’ offense started with a bang. Anthony Prato hit a lead-off homer and Charles Mack doubled home another run in the first to give Povich a 2-0 lead before his second inning of work. Will Holland extended the lead in the second with a solo shot before Aaron Sabato blasted away, giving the Kernels a six-run lead before anyone knew what hit them.
Fort Myers 7, Lakeland 12
Blayne Enlow: 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-3, R, RBI, 2B, BB), Noah Miller (2-for-4, R, RBI, BB), Noah Cardenas (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4, 2 R)
The Mighty Mussels lost a high scorer on Saturday.
Blayne Enlow made his much-anticipated return from Tommy John surgery. The young righty was tagged as the Lance McCullers of the Twins’ 2017 draft when they went over-slot to pick him in the third round after drafting Royce Lewis with the first overall pick. His career hasn’t been straightforward since, but the Twins saw enough potential to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, and this year will go a long way to proving whether that decision was wise.
Baseball is far too cruel to carry a storybook tale, though. Even after Fort Myers jumped out to a 6-0 lead, Lakeland harassed Enlow in the second inning, taking advantage of poor defense to take a 7-6 lead after the dust had settled. Mike Parades tried in vain to put the effort to a stop, but Lakeland’s bats were in an evil mood, and all he gained was a higher ERA.
The game wasn’t all bad; Fort Myers reached base 16 times as Noah Miller and Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to flash their on-base potential with three and two times reaching base respectively. Keoni Cavaco was not so fortunate, striking out three times in the loss.
TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-5, R
#2 – Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, K
#3 – Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-2, BB
#4 – Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
#7 – Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
#10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 2-for-4, R, RBI, BB, K
#11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-for-1
#12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-4, RBI, 2B, BB, 2 K
#15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, R, 2 BB, K
#17 – Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
#18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2B
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Iowa @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez
Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05 PM) - RHP Chris Vallimont
Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long
Fort Myers @ Lakeland (12:00 PM) - LHP Steve Hajjar