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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/29): Big Wins for Saints and Wind Surge Behind Big Performances From Julien and Palacios


    Andrew Mahlke

    Edouard Julien went ballistic. Jake Cave continued a historic streak. Austin Martin didn’t get out. Read about these things and more in Wednesday’s minor-league report.

    Image courtesy of Jean Pfiefer (aka go4twinkies on Instagram)

    Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization.

    TRANSACTIONS

    • The Twins optioned RHP Josh Winder to AAA St. Paul
    • 3B Jake Rucker was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids

    SAINTS (AAA)
    St. Paul 6, Omaha 2
    Box Score

    The Saints used two big innings on Wednesday to gain a 6-2 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers. Cole Sands made the start for the Saints, and he continued his dominance since being sent down from the Twins, throwing five innings of one-run ball while striking out seven.

    In the first inning, Jake Cave extended his on-base streak to 43 games, the second-longest in the minor leagues this year and the longest by a Twins minor leaguer since 2006.

    After Sands allowed his lone run in the top of the third inning, the Saints responded for three in the bottom of the inning. Spencer Steer hit a bloop triple and came around to score on a single by Cave. Two batters later, Cave came around to score on a wild pitch. After a walk, Jermaine Palacios hit an RBI double to give the Saints a two-run lead through three innings.

    In the fifth, the Saints put up three more runs thanks to a two-run double from John Andreoli and an RBI fielders’ choice from Elliot Soto.

    The Saints bullpen was given a five-run cushion thanks to those big innings and great starting pitching from Sands, and the bullpen did not disappoint, only giving up two hits in four innings of work. Juan Minaya pitched two scoreless innings, Hunter Wood pitched a scoreless eighth, and Ian Hamilton pitched the ninth and allowed a run despite not allowing any hits. Saints pitching combined for 13 strikeouts in the dominant victory.

    Two-hit games led the offense by Steer and Cave and a three-hit performance from Palacios. The win improved the Saints' record to 36-37 in 2022, and they will look to get to .500 on Thursday.

    WIND SURGE (AA)
    Wichita 10, Springfield 1
    Box Score

    The Wichita Wind Surge won in an offensive onslaught on Wednesday by a score of 10-1.

    Casey Legumina got the start on the mound for the Wind Surge and pitched 2 2/3 innings, not allowing any runs on three hits while striking out five. Legumina was mowing down Springfield hitters until a line drive hit him in the back, forcing him to come out of the game in the bottom of the third.

    After Legumina was removed, Cody Laweryson pitched 2 1/3 innings, not allowing any hits and striking out four batters. The tandem of Legumina and Laweryson combined for five innings, three hits allowed, no runs, and nine strikeouts. Quite the night for the L&L boys.

    Offensively, it was the Edouard Julien show. Julien got the offense started in the top of the first when he hit his fifth homer of the year to give the Wind Surge a 1-0 lead early. In the top of the third, on the next pitch he saw, Julien hit a three-run homer to right-center to extend the Wind Surge lead to four. In the top of the fourth, he hit a two-run double for his fifth and sixth RBI of the night. And in the top of the sixth, he drove in Kevin Merrell with a groundout for his seventh RBI of the night. One batter later, Austin Martin drove in a run with a single to extend the lead to nine runs.

    Steven Klimek, Steven Cruz, Osiris German, and Denny Bentley each pitched in relief of Laweryson and allowed one run between the four of them while striking out four in four innings.

    In the top of the ninth, Chris Williams hit his seventh home run to extend the lead back to nine runs.

    The Wind Surge improved their record to 36-34 on the year. Julien finished 4-for-5 with seven RBI to lead the offense, and Martin went 3-for-3 with two walks. Matt Wallner continued to be an offensive force as he went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored.

    KERNELS (HIGH-A)
    GAME ONE
    Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 2
    Box Score

    This game was the continuation of Tuesday’s game which was suspended. Before suspension on Tuesday, the Kernels jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a two-run homer from Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and back-to-back-to-back doubles from Kyler Fedko, Yunior Severino, and Pat Winkel.

    Brent Headrick threw two innings of this game before it was suspended. Headrick did not have his best stuff as he allowed three hits, and it took him 40 pitches to get through two innings, but he did so without giving up a run.

    After the game was picked up on Wednesday, David Festa was given the (re)-start for the Kernels. Festa continued to be one of the best pitchers in the Twins' minor-league system as he went 5 2/3  innings, allowing two runs and striking out seven.

    The Kernels picked up an insurance run in the top of the eighth inning when Alerick Soularie singled, scoring Dylan Neuse to push the Kernels’ lead to six. In the bottom of the eighth, Festa gave up a run and got pulled with two outs. Derek Molina came out of the bullpen and allowed an RBI single but nothing after that as he got the final four outs of a 6-2 victory for Cedar Rapids.

    Festa picked up the win for Cedar Rapids to improve his record to 4-0 on the year. Soularie led the offense by going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Fedko reached three times via a double and two walks.

    GAME TWO
    Cedar Rapids 1, Wisconsin 3
    Box Score

    In their second game of the day, the Kernels offense struggled mightily, only collecting one hit and striking out 13 times in seven innings.

    Hunter McMahon got the start in game two for the Kernels, and he went three innings while allowing one run on three hits while striking out three. Seth Gray provided the only offense for the Kernels with his ninth homer of the year in the top of the third to tie the game at one.

    After McMahon exited, Orlando Rodriguez came in relief for the Kernels, and after he had faced two batters, he had allowed two runs after a leadoff single and a two-run homer. After the homer, Rodriguez pitched well, getting five more outs without allowing a run. After Rodriguez, Tyler Palm came in and got four outs for the Kernels without allowing a run.

    The Kernels couldn’t get anything going in response to the two-run homer and picked up the loss 3-1. The double-header split puts the Kernels’ record at 45-26, the best in the Midwest League.

    MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A)
    Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 5
    Box Score

    The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels battled back from a four-run deficit but couldn’t get over the hump on Wednesday as they fell 5-4 to Dunedin.

    Fort Myers took an early lead in this one when Dillon Tatum hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning.

    Pierson Ohl was the starter for Fort Myers in this one, and he turned in a quality start, going six innings while allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks. Ohl struck out four batters in the start. After Tatum’s home run, Dunedin scored five unanswered runs through the top of the seventh inning.

    In the bottom of the seventh, Kala’i Rosario hit his eighth homer of the year, and Rubel Cespedes drove in Carlos Aguiar with a single to get the Mighty Mussels within two runs. In the top of the eighth, the Mighty Mussels brought in Anthony Escobar, who threw two hitless innings to keep the game close.

    In the bottom of the eighth, Keoni Cavaco scored on a wild pitch to bring the game within a run. However, the Mighty Mussels couldn’t manage a run in the bottom of the ninth and took the loss.

    The loss drops Fort Myers to 42-26 on the year. Cavaco picked up two hits to lead the offense, and Ohl took the loss to drop to 3-4 on the year.

    DOMINICAN DAILIES
    DSL Twins 3, DSL Cleveland Blue 2
    Box Score

    Starting Pitcher: Ledwin Taveras (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, W)
    Multi-Hit Games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB)
    2B: Jose Rodriguez (2), Mercedes (2)

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day – Ledwin Taveras (DSL Twins) - 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, W
    Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4-for-5, 2B (9), 2 HR (6), 7 RBI, 2 R

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

    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:

    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-3, RBI, 2 BB
    #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-4
    #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 3B (1), R
    #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2 K
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB
    #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4-for-5, 2B (9), 2 HR (6), 7 RBI, 2 R
    #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K
    #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-1, HR (17), 2 R, 2 RBI
    #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K

    THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Omaha @ St. Paul (7:07 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-2, 6.93 ERA)
    Wichita @ Springfield (7:05 CST) - RHP Louie Varland (6-2, 3.42 ERA) 
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:40 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (5-4, 3.93 ERA)
    Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 3.00 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!

    Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!

     

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    Wow, a night with a lot of great news after losing every game the night before. Best news - Raya is making his normal start after coming out very early in the last game. Great hitting - Julien with a super night and Martin if 4 for 4 with 4 walks to start the 2nd half, if I have that correct. Wallner continues to roll and the Wichita bullpen was lights out after looking like the back half of the Twins bullpen the night before. Pitching - Festa, Tavares, and Sands looked good for starters.

    Interesting...................... CES does not finish the first game nor play the 2nd game last night and Jake Rucker was called up to Cedar Rapids. Anyone see him arrive at the airport or bus station in Springfield, where the Wind Surge are playing???????

     

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    After the 2020 season was cancelled and missing almost all of 2021 with an injury, great seeing Anthony Escobar pitching and pitching well.  Recall how dominant he was in the DSL back in 2018.  Exciting seeing him get his future back on track.

    Also exciting to see what Julien is doing this year.  Steer, Julien and Martin.  Gotta be one top future Twin from that trio, eh?

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    5 minutes ago, roger said:

    Also exciting to see what Julien is doing this year.  Steer, Julien and Martin.  Gotta be one top future Twin from that trio, eh?

    One of those three is the post-Polanco second baseman. How do they compare to each other defensively at that position? I realize Martin plays so much SS that it may be hard to evaluate.

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    1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

    The only question I have is who has a live arm that can come up and spend the rest of the year in the Twins BP - no matter what level they are at?

    I'd like to say Strotman or Henriquez, but looking at their MiLB numbers this year ... 🤮

    It might be time for a reset of both the big league bullpen and some of these spots on the 40-man.

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    Really nice to see Sands pitching well again.  If he keeps it up he could help out in the MLB rotation or pen if needed.  I hope he has figured something out and becomes a viable MLB option.  Have to say Cave is starting to impress me.  He is hitting for more power, taking walks has the long on base streak going. wondering if he is trade worthy as I still don't see room on the roster for him but if he keeps this up he will make a 40 man somewhere.

    Holy Moley Jullien was on fire last night.  I really like the guys with a good eye at the plate as they seem to always eventually produce well with the bat. Martin finally seems to be getting his groove back as well.  Sure could use a big second half from him to turn his prospect status around.

    Festa is still pitching well.  It looked like he lost his control that last inning and he finally gave up some runs but it doesn't look like he will be at High for long if he keeps this up.

    Much better pitching and hitting throughout the system.  Much more fun in the box scores today.

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    31 minutes ago, PuckettProtector said:

    Why did they send Winder down?

    27th man for a DH.  That won't affect his status on the option rules, so he wouldn't be useful on the big league roster for a few days anyway. 

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    5 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    The only question I have is who has a live arm that can come up and spend the rest of the year in the Twins BP - no matter what level they are at?

    I've been getting more and more interested in Schulfer--who is now in AAA--as the season has gone on.  Although he hasn't pitched in about a week now so I'm wondering about that.

    I went to some archived AA games to see what he was doing and how hard he was throwing. The Wichita broadcasts display velocity on most pitches.  I saw a 97 and a 96 on his fastball.  More interesting, I didn't keep track, but it seemed like he was throwing probably 65-70% sliders.  He seemed to have command of the pitch as he was mostly burying it down and away to righties right around the edge of the zone.

    It seems like a profile that works in the majors and he's been incredible in his first season converting to a reliever. 

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    8 hours ago, FlyingFinn said:

    Interesting...................... CES does not finish the first game nor play the 2nd game last night and Jake Rucker was called up to Cedar Rapids. Anyone see him arrive at the airport or bus station in Springfield, where the Wind Surge are playing???????

     

    Blasted, wrong. CES goes on the IL.

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    6 hours ago, 2wins87 said:

    I've been getting more and more interested in Schulfer--who is now in AAA--as the season has gone on.  Although he hasn't pitched in about a week now so I'm wondering about that.

    I went to some archived AA games to see what he was doing and how hard he was throwing. The Wichita broadcasts display velocity on most pitches.  I saw a 97 and a 96 on his fastball.  More interesting, I didn't keep track, but it seemed like he was throwing probably 65-70% sliders.  He seemed to have command of the pitch as he was mostly burying it down and away to righties right around the edge of the zone.

    It seems like a profile that works in the majors and he's been incredible in his first season converting to a reliever. 

    At this point, any arm that can throw strikes should be immediately put on the MLB roster.  This is really getting depressing. 

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