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  • Twins Minor League Report (5/20): Fort Myers Carries the Day

    The Mighty Mussels were the only Twins affiliate to pick up a win on Friday and, for good measure, they decided to grab two.



    • RHP Jharel Cotton cleared waivers and accepted the assignment to St. Paul

    Omaha 8, St. Paul 7
    Box Score

    The Saints rallied late, scoring all seven of their runs after the first four innings, but were unable to overcome the Storm Chasers.

    Alex Kirilloff was one of the top performers for St. Paul, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and walk. He’s now picked up seven hits in his last 14 at-bats at Triple-A. Kevin Merrell produced the Saints’ best game offensively, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.

    Unfortunately for St. Paul, the pitching staff did not have their best stuff tonight as the collection of Mario Sanchez, Juan Minaya, Wladimir Pinto, and Jharel Cotton combined to allow nine hits and walk seven.

    Royce Lewis appeared at third base for the first time in his career as the Minnesota Twins attempt to prepare him for a utility role in the majors this season. He went 0-for-5 at the plate with four strikeouts. 

    Springfield 5, Wichita 3
    Box Score

    The Wind Surge rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead but surrendered three runs in the top of the eighth to fall to the Cardinals.

    Blayne Enlow started on the mound for Wichita and threw four encouraging innings, allowing two runs, a home run, and striking out six. Enlow’s fastball sat in the low- to mid-90s while his slider showed sharp break and hovered between 82-84 mph. While his command—particularly that of his non-fastballs—was spotty, the former 3rd round pick has looked solid for two-straight outings since returning from Tommy John surgery. He has served up a home run in all three of his starts this spring—a rate that will eventually regress—but he’s struck out 12 and not surrendered a walk since being called up to Double-A.

    Steven Cruz was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs in the eighth. Kody Funderburk, Argenis Angulo, and Alex Scherff pitched four innings of scoreless ball.

    Michael Helman was the only Wind Surger batter who registered more than one hit, going 3-for-4 with a double. Austin Martin went 1-for-3 with an RBI and stole his 18th bag of the season in the first inning; he’s 32-for-37 during stolen base opportunities in 126 minor league games. 

    Lake County 5, Cedar Rapids 1
    Box Score

    The Kernels bats where quieted and Sawyer Gipson-Long threw his first mediocre game of the season as the Captains sailed to an easy win.

    Gipson-Long surrendered two home runs—and four runs total—in 4 ⅓ innings, which was more than enough offense to earn Lake County the victory. Prior to Friday, Gipson-Long had not allowed a home run since April 23 nor an earned run since April 30. Melvi Acosta, Bobby Milacki, and Andrew Cabezas pitched well out of the pen, striking out four and allowing only one run over the game’s final 4 2/3 innings.

    Christian Encarnacion-Strand contributed the Kernels lone extra-base hit—a double—and also drew a walk. He now owns a .326 batting average and .937 OPS in 35 High-A games. Alerick Soularie continued on his hot streak since his frozen start to the season, and contributed two hits. He is 9-for-29 (.310) with two home runs, two triples, and seven RBI over his last eight games.

    Game 1: Fort Myers 3, Clearwater 1
    Game 2: Fort Myers 3, Clearwater 0
    Game 1 Box Score
    Game 2 Box Score

    The Mighty Mussels took both games against the Threshers on Friday to push their record to a blister 24-12 on the season. While the bats were relatively quite, picking up only nine hits across 14 innings, the Fort Myers pitchers were loud, holding Clearwater to only six hits and a single run.

    Steven Hajjar earned the win in the first game of the day, pitching five innings of scoreless ball, striking out six. Hunter McMahon struckout five in two innings of relief. During the second game, Malik Barrington, Samuel Perez, and Matthew Swain combined to strike out five and allowed only four Threshers to reach base.

    Kala’i Rosario led the way for the Mighty Mussels at the plate in Game 1, smacking two doubles and driving in two runs. Noah Cardenas also connected for two doubles.

    In Game 2, Dylan Neuse crush a home run and added a double while Jake Rucker added two hits, with one being a triple.

    Pitcher of the Day – Steve Hajjar (Fort Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
    Hitter of the Day – Kevin Merrell (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

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

    #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, SB
    #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, 4 K
    #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
    #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
    #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4
    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 2-for-3, BB
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 3 K
    #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, 3 BB
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-2, BB
    #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

    St. Paul at Omaha ( 6:35 PM CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (1-0, 1.72 ERA)
    Wichita vs. Springfield (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (0-2, 9.95 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids vs. Lake County (6:35 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (2-0, 1.80 ERA)
    Fort Myers at Clearwater (5:30 PM CST) - TBD




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    Enlow on the mound and pitching is fantastic news.  Has it been a year since his surgery?  Maybe there is hope that Maeda will be back sometime in August and Paddack early next year.

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    1 hour ago, roger said:

    Enlow on the mound and pitching is fantastic news.  Has it been a year since his surgery?  Maybe there is hope that Maeda will be back sometime in August and Paddack early next year.

    It hasn't. He had it done in June last year. Could be a barometer for when Maeda and Paddack will return, with the caveat that everyone heals differently.

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    2 hours ago, MMMordabito said:

    Does Celestino still qualify as a prospect?

    The criteria I believe they use is rookie eligibility. Celestino had 62 PA last year so he qualifies by that criteria. Time on the active roster is also considered (which I don’t know how to determine other than to indicate he wasn’t up that long). 

    Rookie Eligibility


    A player shall be considered a rookie unless he has exceeded any of the following thresholds in a previous season (or seasons):

    • 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues.
    • 45 total days on an active Major League roster during the Championship Season (excluding time on the Injured List).

    A player must have rookie eligibility to be considered for any MLB rookie awards -- such as the American League or National League Rookie of the Year Award -- or appear on any MLB Pipeline prospect lists.

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    Wonder when CES will move up to AA. There's certainly a log jam ahead of him, but he clearly has nothing left to prove at A+. Think Steer should get the bump to AAA & CES to AA within the next couple weeks.

    On a downer note, I think we can finally close the book on Sabato and Javier. It's not gonna happen for either of them (and I don't have hope for Cavaco either, but he's young, so I'll give him more time). I just don't get how Sabato, who played well in the ACC, could come in and have a terrible year and a half playing A & A+ ball. Feels like every game he goes 0-4 with 2 Ks.

    Please no more lumbering "power" types in the first few rounds.

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    Two best bits of news today were the performance of Enlow and Hajjar.  If Enlow continues to build strength and throw well, he could be at Target Field sometime next summer.  I doubt if the FO moves him up with what I expect is a pretty significant innings limitation, but he could clearly spend time in St. Paul next year and get to the bigs later in the summer.  One walk for Hajjar was great to see.  He is still limiting hits, so if he starts locating his stuff consistently, he could also be a fast mover.

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    8 hours ago, roger said:

    Enlow on the mound and pitching is fantastic news.  Has it been a year since his surgery?  Maybe there is hope that Maeda will be back sometime in August and Paddack early next year.

    He had surgery on June 9th last year. So, it was just shy of 11 months. He had the new version of Tommy John, so that's a 9-12 month recovery whereas the previous Tommy John was 12-18 month recovery.  All of the Twins minor leaguers that I've talked to that have had it the past year have had the new version. 

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    5 hours ago, Twinfan603 said:

    Wonder when CES will move up to AA. There's certainly a log jam ahead of him, but he clearly has nothing left to prove at A+.

    In 16 games in Cedar Rapids in May, he's hitting .217/314/.367 (.681) with 4 doubles, a triple and a home run. That is 8th among Kernels batters... 

    He had a great April and a Meh May (so far)... So I think he can prove that he can readjust to a league that has seemingly adjusted to him. 

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    Cleveland's 1st rounder from 2021 was pitching for Lake County, Gavin Williams, and he looks like a good one: works with a 97 mph fastball he can get up to 99, and an array of breaking balls. 

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