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  • Minor League Report (6/26): Quiet Bats, Stellar Arms, and Jake Cave Dominates Again


    David Youngs

    Despite some quality pitching performances, there was a farm-wide drought at the plate across the Twins Minor League System on Sunday. That didn't stop Jake Cave from another impressive performance and the Mighty Mussels from getting a shutout win!

    Image courtesy of Thieres Rabelo, Twins Daily

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    TRANSACTIONS

    • Minnesota Twins recalled LHP Jovani Moran from St. Paul Saints.

    SAINTS SENTINAL
    Buffalo 2, St. Paul 1
    Box Score

    Despite a solid outing from Mario Sanchez, the Saints lost their series finale against Buffalo on Sunday afternoon. Sanchez (L, 4-2) struck out six through six innings while allowing two runs on only three hits. The 27-year-old now has a 3.00 ERA and 0.84 WHIP through 12 games and six starts. 

    The Saints scored their lone run on a Jake Cave solo home run (7) in the first inning. Cave has now hit safely in his last eight games and has a monstrous 41-game on-base streak! 

    Cave also singled in the sixth inning to bring his batting average up to .270 and OPS to .831. Curtis Terry and Tim Beckham each knocked two singles, accounting for the only other four hits the Saints tallied all day.  

    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    San Antonio 2, Wichita 1
    Box Score

    Out-hitting the opposition and a solid start from Sawyer Gipson-Long wasn't enough to propel the Wind Surge to a win against the Missions on Sunday. In a pitching showdown, the Surge tallied six hits but left four baserunners in scoring position and were only able to plate one run on the day. That run came in the second inning when Leobaldo Cabrera drilled an RBI double (3) to center field to score DaShawn Keirsey from second. 

    Keirsey was the only Wichita player to record multiple hits with a pair of singles in the second and fourth innings. Keirsey is now slashing .231/.300/.659 on the season and Sunday's singles were his first hits since the series opener on June 22. 

    A staple for the Surge all season, Sawyer Gipson-Long was solid through five innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five. The bullpen tandem of Jordan Gore, Bryan Sammons, and Denny Bentley were even more impressive, pitching four combined shutout innings while allowing just two hits. 

    At the end of the day, the Surge just weren't able to get the bats going. 

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    West Michigan 4, Cedar Rapids 3 (10 Innings)
    Box Score

    A pair of extra-inning runs kept the Kernels from the win column on Sunday afternoon in Cedar Rapids. Similar to the Saints and Wind Surge, the Kernels' pitching staff was rock-solid but the team ultimately fell short due to dry bats at the plate.

    Starting pitcher John Stankiewicz allowed one run on three hits while striking out three through six innings. After Stankiewicz's masterpiece, Derek Molina tossed two innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits. Bradley Hanner (L, 4-2) pitched a scoreless ninth inning but surrendered two runs in the 10th, ultimately taking the loss. 

    Cedar Rapids scored its first two runs in the 8th inning thanks to a two-run homer from Pat Winkel (3). The Kernels added another run in their final frame when Dylan Neuse punched an RBI single that scored Wander Javier

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers 2, Lakeland 0
    Box Score

    A two-hit beauty from the pitching staff and a pair of timely runs drove the Mussels to a shutout victory on Sunday in the Sunshine State. 

    Things didn't look promising right away; after striking out the first two batters of the game prized prospect Marco Raya left the game for undisclosed reasons. That didn't matter to RHP Mike Paredes. Coming in on short notice, the 21-year-old pitched 4 1/3 of perfect baseball, allowing no walks or hits while striking out two. 

    Paredes (W, 3-2) has been stellar all season for the Mussels and now touts an impressive 2.29 ERA and 0.86 WHIP through 13 appearances. 

    Following Paredes' showcase, Josh Wilson (H, 3) and Niklas Rimmel combined for two stellar innings to finish the game, each allowing only one hit. 

    Fort Myers scored their first run in the opening frame when Noah Cardenas grounded into a double play with two men on that allowed Jake Rucker to score. In the fourth inning, Mikey Perez laced his 16th double of the season to left field. Perez would then advance to third on a wild pitch and scored on a failed pick-off attempt to give Fort Myers its second and final run. 

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Hitter of the Day: Jake Cave (St. Paul)- 2-4, HR, R, RBI, K
    Pitcher of the Day: Mike Paredes (Fort Myers)- 4.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K

    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-1, BB
    #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-3 BB
    #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, K
    #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 0.2 IP, 2 K
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, K
    #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-3, K
    #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, K

    TOMORROW'S STARTERS
    Mondays are off for the Minor Leaguers! Be sure to check out our Minor League Week in Review tomorrow!

     

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    Thanks for the summary, David.  Boy, I hope the Raya situation is simply a sickness issue and not an injury.  The kid has so much promise.  Bentley is really doing well.  I am going to dig into his background a bit more as he is not someone I have been following.  Cave is trying his best to earn a promotion!

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    12 hours ago, PDX Twin said:

    Why is it that I'm not seeing a dozen posts saying "Free Jake Cave"? 😀

    If ANYONE else had reached base in 41 (41!) straight games at AAA, this site would be indignant with rage at him not being promoted.

    I think because we need to free Beckham, Steer, Helman and Hamilton first because they all have higher OPS's than he does at AAA.  While his average and OBP are good he is not hitting for enough power to play in right or left field IMO.  He had a better slugging percentages when he was in the minors in 2017 and 2019.  When his OPS was .985 in 2019 that is when he got called up to the Twins.  If he gets back there I could see him being an option but right now the Twins are using Mark Contreras in the Jake Cave role who technically is playing worse at AAA than Jake.

    Maybe the Twins see some trade value left for Cave and don't want to risk adding him and losing him to wavers hard to say but I think Cave will move on after this year to an org that might need a decent 4th outfielder.  I don't think the Twins are gong to have room with Larnach, Kepler, Buxton, Celestino, Kirilloff and possibly Gordon,  Not to mention they will need room to add Wallner after this year. 

    I like Cave more than most but I agree with some others who have said he was more of a break glass in case of emergency if the young guys failed to improve.  It looks like Celestino, Larnach and Kirilloff have all shown enough now that he is likely not needed after this year.  I would love to see him stay but I think he can play at the MLB level and just needs a chance to get back there.

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    14 hours ago, PDX Twin said:

    Why is it that I'm not seeing a dozen posts saying "Free Jake Cave"? 😀

    If ANYONE else had reached base in 41 (41!) straight games at AAA, this site would be indignant with rage at him not being promoted.

    I'd be fine with those postings, as long as it is not "Free Sano" (unless free means release)

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    Wouldn't surprise me at all if Cave gets dealt to a MLB team that needs a 4th OF at some point this year. He's not in the Twins plans long-term and they've (correctly) resisted a move to promote him back to the MLB roster over guys that needed a look. But it's probably a little too early to get the deal done?

    Hope Raya is ok. He's really talented but needs innings.

    Looks like Stankiewicz may have settled down after promotion; a good reminder that not everyone is going to pick where they left off when they move up a level. It'll be interesting to see if he can keep this up and run off a string of good starts. He's not young for his level and never has been as a pro, so it's important for him to keep advancing.

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