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Matt Braun

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Everything posted by Matt Braun

  1. Box Score Joe Ryan: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K Home Runs: Byron Buxton (27) Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (-.378), Max Kepler (-.050), Jose Miranda (-.049) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Individual games aren’t usually supposed to mirror the greater spiritual struggle between two teams, yet here we are. The Dodgers crushed the Twins on Wednesday, never allowing a moment of doubt regarding who the better team was. It started with Joe Ryan: the rookie righty repeated his past Southern California struggles, allowing an elite Dodgers lineup to ring extra-base hits across the outfield. Will Smith—allegedly going by W.D. Smith as he would rather others confuse him with a spray oil company than the actor—rifled an RBI double into right-center field to kick off the scoring. Ryan’s life on the mound remained challenging; the technically worse “bottom-half” of the Dodgers lineup—which includes an All-Star and an MVP—knocked balls into the corner pocket in the 2nd inning, scoring a few more runs. Trea Turner, with some help from Gilberto Celestino not being Byron Buxton, blooped in a double to end the frame at four total runs for the Dodgers. Max Muncy homered in the 3rd. So it goes. The Twins were not completely helpless during this onslaught; Gio Urshela muscled a triple into left-center field, and Celestino pulled him home with one of the shorter hits allowed by the rules. But they weren’t much better than overpowered; Julio Urías worked through early rust to command the ball incredibly in a dominating start. Urshela’s triple would be the only extra-base hit of the game off the Dodgers’ lefty; four lonely singles constituted the remaining Twins’ offense against him. While the Dodgers’ bats parried efficiently, the Twins found no such luck against Julio Urías for the entirety of his seven-inning start. The game slowly morphed into a countdown, with outs acting as a formality, not an accomplishment. Trevor Megill allowed two runs after the Twins attempted to extend him for a second inning; Emilio Pagán netted two outs to end that inning. Buxton provided a jolt—a small one, yes, but one nonetheless. With a man on in the 8th inning, Buxton scraped a low slider off the bottom of the strike zone and deposited it just far enough beyond home plate to count for two runs. The game was still 8-3. A fan ran onto the field. Even the joy from that play did not last long; the Dodgers immediately struck for two runs, hitting the double-digit threshold while claiming a seven-run lead. What’s Next? The Twins and Dodgers will play again on Wednesday at 9:10 PM Central. Sonny Gray will take the mound for Minnesota while Ryan Pepiot will (probably) start for Los Angeles. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Pagan 0 0 19 0 32 51 Sands 0 0 51 0 0 51 Megill 0 12 0 0 35 47 López 30 17 0 0 0 47 Thielbar 13 0 21 0 0 34 Fulmer 15 13 0 0 0 28 Duran 17 7 0 0 0 24 Jax 11 11 0 0 0 22
  2. Why did you stay up to watch this? Alternate Intro: Congratulations on not staying up to watch this one, but check out what happened in the game anyway by clicking to read more. Box Score Joe Ryan: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K Home Runs: Byron Buxton (27) Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (-.378), Max Kepler (-.050), Jose Miranda (-.049) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Individual games aren’t usually supposed to mirror the greater spiritual struggle between two teams, yet here we are. The Dodgers crushed the Twins on Wednesday, never allowing a moment of doubt regarding who the better team was. It started with Joe Ryan: the rookie righty repeated his past Southern California struggles, allowing an elite Dodgers lineup to ring extra-base hits across the outfield. Will Smith—allegedly going by W.D. Smith as he would rather others confuse him with a spray oil company than the actor—rifled an RBI double into right-center field to kick off the scoring. Ryan’s life on the mound remained challenging; the technically worse “bottom-half” of the Dodgers lineup—which includes an All-Star and an MVP—knocked balls into the corner pocket in the 2nd inning, scoring a few more runs. Trea Turner, with some help from Gilberto Celestino not being Byron Buxton, blooped in a double to end the frame at four total runs for the Dodgers. Max Muncy homered in the 3rd. So it goes. The Twins were not completely helpless during this onslaught; Gio Urshela muscled a triple into left-center field, and Celestino pulled him home with one of the shorter hits allowed by the rules. But they weren’t much better than overpowered; Julio Urías worked through early rust to command the ball incredibly in a dominating start. Urshela’s triple would be the only extra-base hit of the game off the Dodgers’ lefty; four lonely singles constituted the remaining Twins’ offense against him. While the Dodgers’ bats parried efficiently, the Twins found no such luck against Julio Urías for the entirety of his seven-inning start. The game slowly morphed into a countdown, with outs acting as a formality, not an accomplishment. Trevor Megill allowed two runs after the Twins attempted to extend him for a second inning; Emilio Pagán netted two outs to end that inning. Buxton provided a jolt—a small one, yes, but one nonetheless. With a man on in the 8th inning, Buxton scraped a low slider off the bottom of the strike zone and deposited it just far enough beyond home plate to count for two runs. The game was still 8-3. A fan ran onto the field. Even the joy from that play did not last long; the Dodgers immediately struck for two runs, hitting the double-digit threshold while claiming a seven-run lead. What’s Next? The Twins and Dodgers will play again on Wednesday at 9:10 PM Central. Sonny Gray will take the mound for Minnesota while Ryan Pepiot will (probably) start for Los Angeles. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT Pagan 0 0 19 0 32 51 Sands 0 0 51 0 0 51 Megill 0 12 0 0 35 47 López 30 17 0 0 0 47 Thielbar 13 0 21 0 0 34 Fulmer 15 13 0 0 0 28 Duran 17 7 0 0 0 24 Jax 11 11 0 0 0 22 View full article
  3. TRANSACTIONS OF Mark Contreras optioned to St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 5, Omaha 0 Box Score Ariel Jurado: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: John Andreoli (9), Jermaine Palacios 2 (11, 12), Braden Bishop (1) Multi-hit games: Michael Helman (2-for-5, 2B, R), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) St. Paul smothered their opponent on Saturday. Ariel Jurado earned the nod for the start on Saturday and was effective, if not sporadic. No Storm Chaser crossed home plate under his watch, but the righty only coaxed a single strikeout from his opponents, instead relying on his defense to make plays behind him. St. Paul’s bats were cleared for take-off; the team launched four home runs in their effort, with Jermaine Palacios’ second bomb acting as the lone non-solo shot. John Andreoli and Braden Bishop, perhaps united in their effort as former fringe Mariners, also homered. Bishop’s was his first of the season. Evan Sisk was the big-winner for Saints’ relievers; the lefty-handed return in the J.A. Happ trade pitched two shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts. Sisk will likely be in the majors sooner than later. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, San Antonio 1 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Jair Camargo (4) Multi-hit games: Chris Williams (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB), Ernie Yake (2-for-4, 2B, R), Leobaldo Cabrera (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) Wichita easily handled their opponent on Saturday. Blayne Enlow established order; the righty allowed one earned run over four frames, striking out an equal number of batters for good measure. It’s been an up-and-down season for Enlow, and this start was certainly one of the bright spots. Wichita’s offense ensured Enlow’s start would not go for naught; Chris Williams and Andrew Bechtold both doubled in the 1st inning, scoring three total runs. Leobaldo Cabrera returned with an RBI double in the third frame; Jair Camargo, just to be mean, blasted a solo shot in the 7th. Cody Laweryson worked three scoreless innings, striking out four batters with two hits allowed. Laweryson dropped his AA ERA to 1.03. Yes, that’s the correct number. Some guy named Fernando Tatís Jr. started for San Antonio and walked twice. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 2 Box Score David Festa: 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Wander Javier (2-for-4), Jeferson Morales (2-for-4, RBI) The Kernels lost a low-scoring affair on Saturday. David Festa, newly anointed as the 13th best prospect according to this site, started for the first time since July 24th, allowing a pair of runs with, yes, a picked-off runner. Get used to reading that. Cedar Rapids struggled against Beloit’s pitchers. Perhaps they were baffled by the “Sky Carps” moniker—as the team changed their name for the night—or maybe they were offended that a pitcher named “Puckett” earned the save for the opposing team; in any case, the team did not hit. Will Holland earned the sole extra-base hit of the night, his 11th double of the season. Kernels’ relievers worked as their positional name implies, shutting out Beloit with 5 2/3 effective innings. Jon Olsen struck out four batters; Tyler Palm did not allow a baserunner. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 9 Box Score Mike Paredes: 4 1/3 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: Carlos Aguiar (9) Multi-hit games: Misael Urbina (3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI), Kala’i Rosario (2-for-5, RBI), Dillon Tatum (2-for-2, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB), Carlos Aguiar (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI) The Mighty Mussels could not steal command of the game on Saturday. Mike Paredes, fresh off winning the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month award, served up a clunker; the righty rushed through regression with whiplash intensity, allowing nearly as many hits (10) as outs (13). Fort Myers’ bats enjoyed the game far more; Carlos Aguiar and Misael Urbina clocked multiple extra-base hits while Noah Miller tripled for, appropriately, the third time. It was a tremendous effort, but the early deficit proved insurmountable. Jackson Hicks and Samuel Perez found better luck than Paredes—although Hicks walked four batters—but the Marauders still walked away with nine total runs; a total the Mighty Mussels fell short in chasing. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 10, FCL Red Sox 11 Box Score Tomas Cleto: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K HR: Gregory Duran (2), Alex Isola (1), Ricardo Olivar (5) Multi-hit games: Tanner Schobel (2-for-5, 2 R), Danny De Andrade (2-for-5, R, RBI), Ricardo Olivar (3-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Gregory Duran (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI) The FCL Twins lost a high-scoring affair. Recent 1st round pick Brooks Lee manned shortstop to start and netted a single out of three tries at the plate. Tanner Schobel—another 2022 draft pick—dropped in two singles while working as the designated hitter. Jorel Ortega debuted for the first time and promptly struck out in three at-bats. It’ll be on to the next one for him. Alex Isola started a rehab assignment, blasting a health-proving three-run homer while also walking. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 4, DSL Rockies 10 Box Score Cesar Lares: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Yasser Mercedes (4) Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Denyerbe Gervis (2-for-4, R), Juan Zapata (2-for-3, 2B, R) The DSL Twins were smoked on Saturday. Yasser Mercedes continued his head-turning start to the season; the athletic outfielder homered for the fourth time and swiped his 21st bag of the season. If you haven’t heard, I’m here to let you know—Mercedes is the real deal. Juan Zapata and Isaac Pena were the only other hitters with an extra-base knock on Saturday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Blayne Enlow Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (FCL Twins) - 1-3, R #7 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 3B, K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-3, 2 BB #13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 3 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-5, 2 K #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K #18 - Tanner Schobel (FCL Twins) - 2-5, 2 R, K #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, RBI SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (5:05 PM) - LHP Devin Smeltzer NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM) - RHP Casey Legumina Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - TBD Bradenton @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Regi Grace
  4. A 2022 draft pick made his professional debut, a few hitters broke out, and Blayne Enlow had one of his best outings of the season. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS OF Mark Contreras optioned to St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 5, Omaha 0 Box Score Ariel Jurado: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: John Andreoli (9), Jermaine Palacios 2 (11, 12), Braden Bishop (1) Multi-hit games: Michael Helman (2-for-5, 2B, R), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) St. Paul smothered their opponent on Saturday. Ariel Jurado earned the nod for the start on Saturday and was effective, if not sporadic. No Storm Chaser crossed home plate under his watch, but the righty only coaxed a single strikeout from his opponents, instead relying on his defense to make plays behind him. St. Paul’s bats were cleared for take-off; the team launched four home runs in their effort, with Jermaine Palacios’ second bomb acting as the lone non-solo shot. John Andreoli and Braden Bishop, perhaps united in their effort as former fringe Mariners, also homered. Bishop’s was his first of the season. Evan Sisk was the big-winner for Saints’ relievers; the lefty-handed return in the J.A. Happ trade pitched two shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts. Sisk will likely be in the majors sooner than later. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, San Antonio 1 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Jair Camargo (4) Multi-hit games: Chris Williams (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB), Ernie Yake (2-for-4, 2B, R), Leobaldo Cabrera (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) Wichita easily handled their opponent on Saturday. Blayne Enlow established order; the righty allowed one earned run over four frames, striking out an equal number of batters for good measure. It’s been an up-and-down season for Enlow, and this start was certainly one of the bright spots. Wichita’s offense ensured Enlow’s start would not go for naught; Chris Williams and Andrew Bechtold both doubled in the 1st inning, scoring three total runs. Leobaldo Cabrera returned with an RBI double in the third frame; Jair Camargo, just to be mean, blasted a solo shot in the 7th. Cody Laweryson worked three scoreless innings, striking out four batters with two hits allowed. Laweryson dropped his AA ERA to 1.03. Yes, that’s the correct number. Some guy named Fernando Tatís Jr. started for San Antonio and walked twice. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 2 Box Score David Festa: 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Wander Javier (2-for-4), Jeferson Morales (2-for-4, RBI) The Kernels lost a low-scoring affair on Saturday. David Festa, newly anointed as the 13th best prospect according to this site, started for the first time since July 24th, allowing a pair of runs with, yes, a picked-off runner. Get used to reading that. Cedar Rapids struggled against Beloit’s pitchers. Perhaps they were baffled by the “Sky Carps” moniker—as the team changed their name for the night—or maybe they were offended that a pitcher named “Puckett” earned the save for the opposing team; in any case, the team did not hit. Will Holland earned the sole extra-base hit of the night, his 11th double of the season. Kernels’ relievers worked as their positional name implies, shutting out Beloit with 5 2/3 effective innings. Jon Olsen struck out four batters; Tyler Palm did not allow a baserunner. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 9 Box Score Mike Paredes: 4 1/3 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: Carlos Aguiar (9) Multi-hit games: Misael Urbina (3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI), Kala’i Rosario (2-for-5, RBI), Dillon Tatum (2-for-2, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB), Carlos Aguiar (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI) The Mighty Mussels could not steal command of the game on Saturday. Mike Paredes, fresh off winning the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month award, served up a clunker; the righty rushed through regression with whiplash intensity, allowing nearly as many hits (10) as outs (13). Fort Myers’ bats enjoyed the game far more; Carlos Aguiar and Misael Urbina clocked multiple extra-base hits while Noah Miller tripled for, appropriately, the third time. It was a tremendous effort, but the early deficit proved insurmountable. Jackson Hicks and Samuel Perez found better luck than Paredes—although Hicks walked four batters—but the Marauders still walked away with nine total runs; a total the Mighty Mussels fell short in chasing. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 10, FCL Red Sox 11 Box Score Tomas Cleto: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K HR: Gregory Duran (2), Alex Isola (1), Ricardo Olivar (5) Multi-hit games: Tanner Schobel (2-for-5, 2 R), Danny De Andrade (2-for-5, R, RBI), Ricardo Olivar (3-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Gregory Duran (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI) The FCL Twins lost a high-scoring affair. Recent 1st round pick Brooks Lee manned shortstop to start and netted a single out of three tries at the plate. Tanner Schobel—another 2022 draft pick—dropped in two singles while working as the designated hitter. Jorel Ortega debuted for the first time and promptly struck out in three at-bats. It’ll be on to the next one for him. Alex Isola started a rehab assignment, blasting a health-proving three-run homer while also walking. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 4, DSL Rockies 10 Box Score Cesar Lares: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Yasser Mercedes (4) Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Denyerbe Gervis (2-for-4, R), Juan Zapata (2-for-3, 2B, R) The DSL Twins were smoked on Saturday. Yasser Mercedes continued his head-turning start to the season; the athletic outfielder homered for the fourth time and swiped his 21st bag of the season. If you haven’t heard, I’m here to let you know—Mercedes is the real deal. Juan Zapata and Isaac Pena were the only other hitters with an extra-base knock on Saturday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Blayne Enlow Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (FCL Twins) - 1-3, R #7 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 3B, K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-3, 2 BB #13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 3 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-5, 2 K #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K #18 - Tanner Schobel (FCL Twins) - 2-5, 2 R, K #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, RBI SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (5:05 PM) - LHP Devin Smeltzer NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM) - RHP Casey Legumina Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - TBD Bradenton @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Regi Grace View full article
  5. Aha! But Prielipp hasn't pitched yet, so I don't count him as "in the system." No, I'm not making up bs excuses for my sloppiness.
  6. Studs: Royce Lewis Nothing has changed here; Royce Lewis is a phenomenally talented shortstop on the mend with his second ACL tear. All we can do is hope he’ll return quickly enough next season to impact the team meaningfully. Brooks Lee It’s a miracle that Brooks Lee fell to the Twins at 8. We should thank the Cubs and Mets every day—the former for reaching on a pop-up college arm; the latter for turning their noses at Kumar Rocker in 2021, allowing the Rangers to snag him, re-creating the Vanderbilt 1-2 punch. Lee is a great prospect, checking all the offensive boxes with a pedigree as a coach’s son. Sure, he may not stick at shortstop, but people have said that about every infielder ever drafted; only time will prove whether he will have to switch positions. Until then, we can cherish having a guy who slashed .357/.462/.664 in 2022. ------------------------- Guys I love: Noah Miller I don’t like placing Noah Miller this high; either Austin Martin or Jordan Balazovic should be here, but they have underperformed so drastically that I can’t, in good conscience, continue to act like nothing is wrong with them. Miller’s defense remains elite, but his bat has lost its early-season thunder; he slugged .270 in July. I don’t know when I saw a slugging percent that low. Nick Punto slugged .323 over his career. Miller cut down on the Ks, but he’ll need to re-find his power before this placement reflects his ability instead of needing someone to be here. Emmanuel Rodriguez Emmanuel Rodriguez hasn’t played since his brutal injury, but not playing means he couldn’t tank his value by performing poorly. It’s funny how prospect evaluation can work like that; he’s like Schrödinger's baseball player. His strikeouts were still high, but we’re talking about a 19-year-old who walked 28.6% of the time while slugging .551 during his first stint at A-ball; beggars can’t be choosers. Connor Prielipp The pessimist would point out that a freshly-drafted pitcher being the best pitching prospect in the Twins system is a bad sign, but I choose to look at it in another way: Connor Prielipp had a legitimate claim to go first overall before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The procedure is still a severe setback, but modern health advancements have prettied up its boogeyman face, and all reports point towards his stuff returning to previous levels. I’m incredibly excited to see what Prielipp can do in the Twins organization. ------------------------- Guys I like with reservations: Austin Martin Checking Austin Martin’s slash line is like learning that a childhood hero is a scumbag; it’s depressing, and a harsh reminder that the world sucks. Martin’s strikeout rate has plummeted to an impressive rate (13.8%), but he has 11 extra-base hits on the year. 11. It’s August. Martin hasn’t played since the month’s opening game—perhaps the Twins have him locked away deep in the chasms of Fort Myers until he builds more than Jamey Carrollian power—but maybe the reset helps him find his old groove. Until that happens, I have to drop him down the list. Simeon Woods Richardson Simeon Woods Richardson quietly slid to the IL in June—the Wind Surge never announced the move, which I thought was odd—but has finally returned. I remain a skeptic; his high walk rate, low BABIP, and low home run rate all scream vicious regression, but Woods Richardson has avoided that trap, and given that every other top pitching arm has capitulated, he’ll remain here by default. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team calls him up out of desperation for somebody, anybody who can save this pitching staff. Jordan Balazovic Jordan Balazovic’s AAA numbers don’t even make sense, and not in a good way; he’s walking a batter every two innings, and his HR/FB rate is a cartoonish 38.9%. Let me put it in another way: over 34 ⅔ innings, Balazovic has allowed 14 home runs. It’s clear that he isn’t healthy, and I have little clue as to why the team continues to let him die on the mound when he can’t net outs in his current state. I’ll keep Balazovic at this spot because he has dominated hitters in a way I have not seen in a post-José Berríos landscape. Marco Raya The Twins still refuse to let Marco Raya pitch longer than four innings in a game—yes, I know that’s how teams deal with young pitchers these days, but it still feels ridiculous, especially since no research exists that proves this strategy works—but he has crushed his competition. Raya struck out 24.3% of batters he faced in July, and he has been almost untouchable since mid-June. I don’t anticipate a promotion soon, but Raya is well-positioned for a big 2023 if he can stay healthy. Edouard Julien Edouard Julien keeps chugging, taking walks, and putting up impressive slash lines. Julien hit .287/.443/.517 in July, a healthy line that will play in any environment. He also walked as much as he struck out. The worry with Julien is still this: where is his position, and will he have enough power to sustain production there? If he’s a second baseman, that answer becomes more straightforward, but we will have to wait and see. He should be in St. Paul soon. Matt Wallner I previously said that a player needs to have legendary power to offset a strikeout rate like Matt Wallner’s, and he may have that jolt. Wallner’s homer in the Future Games was comical, and it’s easy to imagine his exit velocities translating well in the major leagues. AAA has not been kind to Wallner, but he struggled during his first taste of AA also, so that could just be how the big guy operates. Is he Joey Gallo 2.0? Is that something the Twins want? We shall see. David Festa David Festa is holding his own at A+ ball; the righty is 3rd in the system in innings and owns an ERA/FIP/xFIP slash line of 2.24/2.83/3.39. He struggled with command in July, walking 11.8% of batters, but I believe that to be a blip, not a worrisome trend. He also picked off three straight baserunners during a game in July, which I’ve never seen before in a baseball match. ------------------------- Guys I’m intrigued by: Louie Varland I’ve been one of the low-men on Louie Varland for a while. His peripherals weren’t great last season, and he’s continued that trend at AA ball in 2022. Varland’s July was good (3.91 ERA, 18.6 K-BB%), but those numbers are inflated by an eight-strikeout performance at the end of the month; the rest of his starts were inconsistent and a little sloppy. Blayne Enlow I’m still cutting Blayne Enlow an enormous amount of slack. The righty is trying to pitch his first mostly-full season since 2019, and getting him accustomed to pitching again is the goal for 2022. July was remarkable for his ERA—he allowed two runs over 13 innings—but the walk rate was elevated, and, well, it was just a 13-inning sample. Hopefully, we can see more dominant performances, like his three-inning, five strikeout relief outing to conclude the month. Brent Headrick Brent Headrick crushed A+ ball and earned a promotion to AAin July. He made one disastrous outing—seriously, don’t look it up—but I can chalk that up to jitters around making his first AA appearance. Headrick has the potential to fly up this list even further as the season continues, and he’s now undoubtedly the best left-handed pitching prospect in the system after Cade Povich and Steve Hajjar found new homes. Cole Sands Given the Twins’ inability to pitch at even a watchable level, I’m surprised that Cole Sands hasn’t earned an extended leash in the majors. He sometimes struggles with command, but his sweeper is deadly enough to coax an extra strikeout or two when he really needs it. Sands struck out 30.4% of batters at AAA in July; I think the team could use that. Ronny Henriquez In July, Ronny Henriquez secretly turned a corner; the newly acquired ex-Ranger farmhand put up an ERA of 3.05 with a healthy K-BB% of 20.9. Henriquez had struggled—and I mean struggled—at AAA to begin the season, but this great month could prove to be the launching point for the 22-year-old. Add him to the list of arms the team could look to in their pursuit of pitching. Matt Canterino Matt Canterino is a reliever who can’t stay healthy. I don’t care about stuff or anything else; a pitcher with a James Paxton-level of durability should not rank highly on any prospect list. If Canterino returns to AA and throws strikes, the team should move him to the major league bullpen before August ends. ------------------------- Possible diamonds in the rough: Yasser Mercedes It’s typically unwise to rank DSL players, but Yasser Mercedes commanded a signing bonus of $1.7 million; we aren’t dealing with a random Joe here. As a 17-year-old, Mercedes is hitting well during his first stint in professional baseball; he’s currently good for a .324/.394/.532 slash line. Chris Williams Missing Chris Williams was the most glaring mistake in my previous ranking. I’ve had my eye on Williams since he put together some powerful stretches in 2019, but his play has been dreadfully inconsistent. The 25-year-old slumped during an injury-plagued 2021 season, but he’s evolved into the Terminator recently, slugging a truly absurd .708 in July. He may be somewhat positionless, but you’ll move heaven and earth to find a place for that bat. Noah Cardenas Noah Cardenas is walking 18.2% of the time at A ball, and I feel like no one has mentioned it. Cardenas can already field the position well, so the newfound offensive boost could give his game a new, exciting wrinkle. I would suggest keeping your eye on him. Cesar Lares Cesar Lares is striking out 44.2% of hitters faced at the DSL. This concludes fun facts with Cesar Lares. Misael Urbina Misael Urbina had a late start to the season—visa issues limited his movement—but it seems like that problem is far behind Urbina. The talented outfielder slugged .589 at A ball in July, a good sign considering that power was his most prominent issue in 2021. Urbina could quickly move up a tier or two if he continues to smoke the ball well. Alerick Soularie Alerick Soularie shed the strike-out problems that clouded his prospect status; he punched out in just 19.8% of plate appearances in July while hitting for a solid 123 wRC+. His power output is still low, but that feels like a nitpick in an otherwise excellent hitting package. Yunior Severino Post-post-hype can still exist for a ballplayer; a statement never more true than with Yunior Severino. After the Twins snagged the infielder when the Braves got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, it seemed that Severino had greatness in his future. That timeline branched off into a far more boring story, but Severino did slug .690 in July, so he may still have a chance. ------------------------- Guys: Aaron Sabato The first spot in my “guys” list goes to one of the more frustrating prospects in the Twins’ system. Aaron Sabato has not yet put together an extended period of excellent performance–at least not in my eyes—but he did slug .709 in July while bringing home a Midwest League Hitter of the Week award. Is this a hot streak or a sign of things to come? I’m pessimistic, but we will see. Keoni Cavaco Keoni Cavaco remaining on this list is the baseball equivalent of the lifetime achievement award; he hasn’t impressed since the team took him in the 1st round in 2019, and he’s only here because of that pedigree. He did crawl above a league-average hitting line in July (110 wRC+), but his strikeout problem is still critical. Michael Helman Is Michael Helman just a feel-good story? Maybe. He’s 26 and is just holding his own at AAA, not dominating. No one attribute sticks out about Helman, but there’s a slight chance he’s called up in a pinch and proves enough to stick around. Kala’i Rosario Kala’i Rosario’s hitting peripherals—walks and strikeouts especially—look gross and not in a good way: a 5.8% walk rate compared to a 35.8% K rate. Still, the young, athletic outfielder has serious power potential, which could lead him to future success. Brayan Medina I still don’t know what to make of Brayan Medina, and he’s walking a small village in the low minors. He has almost no professional innings to his name, though, so I’m willing to wait before critically analyzing him. This group of names looked a lot better a few days ago when I started this writeup; of course, the team was always going to lose crucial players if they wanted to buy enough to offset their major league weaknesses. Still, I don’t feel like they lost major foundational pieces; Spencer Steer hurts, but he had no immediate fit on the Twins’ roster; Cade Povich is the primary, painful loss in my eyes. I think Povich will continue to evolve and become a valuable starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. I’m lower than a lot on Christian Encarnacion-Strand—he’s a butcher on the field, and that’s difficult for a major league team to hide—Steve Hajjar has command and shoulder issues, and Sawyer Gipson-Long feels replaceable. This system still isn’t great, but I think it’s in a better spot than it was last month—and that’s while considering the players they lost at the deadline.
  7. TRANSACTIONS OF Kennie Taylor placed on 7-day IL INF Tim Beckham contract selected by Minnesota OF Mark Contreras recalled by Minnesota Saints Sentinel St. Paul 7, Iowa 1 Box Score Cole Sands: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Braden Bishop (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI) St. Paul smoked Iowa on Saturday. Cole Sands did the darn thing, pitching five quality innings with a single earned run, and seven punched tickets; that’s the kind of effort that could earn him a promotion back to the majors. Until then, Sands can bask in a great start. St. Paul’s bats only scored in one inning, but they made it count; a seven-run 2nd frame drowned Iowa for good. It was a classic gang-up; Braden Bishop, Jake Cave, Jermaine Palacios, and Roy Morales all obtained RBIs for their work in aiding the scoring. Old, uhhh, acquaintance Andrelton Simmons struck out three times in four tries for the Iowa Cubs. Daniel Gossett, Brad Peacock, Evan Sisk, and Drew Strotman combined for four shutout innings with six strikeouts. At least one of those arms will probably be on the Twins soon. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 11, NW Arkansas 3 Box Score Brent Headrick: 4 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K HR: Edouard Julien 2 (11, 12), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (5) Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Jair Camargo (2-for-4), Cole Sturgeon (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB) The Wind Surge bludgeoned their opponent on Saturday. It all began where you would expect: at the top of the lineup. Edouard Julien, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Jair Camargo all had multiple hits; Julien cleaned up four RBIs and scored three runs, charged largely by two home runs. Wichita did dabble in democracy, as every batter contributed at least one hit towards a 14-hit total. The pitchers established order early; Brent Headrick allowed no hits but does have an earned run on his ledger as the scored run reached base off a walk. You don’t see that every day. Cody Laweryson was even more effective, punching our four batters over two clean innings of relief. Wichita netted seven extra-base hits; NW Arkansas had three hits total. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 7 Box Score Travis Adams: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K HR: Yunior Severino (9), Aaron Sabato (14) Multi-hit games: Alerick Soularie (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI) Cedar Rapids lost a close game on Saturday. Travis Adams couldn’t find a break; Wisconsin touched up the righty for seven runs, with four coming via the “earned” variety. A first-inning three-run homer following an error was the culprit. Cedar Rapids struck early as well; their bats plated six runs across the first two frames in support of Adams. Yunior Severino continued a truly blistering July with a two-run homer; Alerick Soularie then doubled home another run in the following inning. Aaron Sabato, always sure to never miss out on the fun, blasted a two-run home run to conclude the Kernels’ onslaught. While Cedar Rapids’ bats receded following their early-game attack, the arms established order; Ryan Shreve, Jon Olsen, and Hunter McMahon combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings with seven punch outs. Mussel Matters Game one: Fort Myers 2, Tampa 5 (7 innings) Box Score Steve Hajjar: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Mighty Mussels were quiet in game one on Saturday. Steve Hajjar commanded the ball, striking out eight batters against no walks; two home runs proved to be his earned-run downfall. This was Hajjar’s second start since returning from the IL, and it was his longest; rain capped his previous outing to two outs. Fort Myers’ offense struggled to match Tampa’s offense; just three batters gained a hit, and three other ones walked, but the team could only plate a pair of runs. Noah Miller slugged a double—a notable event given his recent power struggle—while Misael Urbina also doubles—a notable event as Urbina has smashed the ball since returning. Game two: Fort Myers 4, Tampa 2 Box Score Mike Paredes: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Nelson Roberto (3), Mikey Perez (8) Multi-hit games: Mikey Perez (2-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI) Fort Myers returned the gesture in game two. Mike Paredes established the tone, allowing two measly runs over six efficient innings. Paredes is an easy name to overlook, but he holds a 2.19 ERA on the season; that has to count for something. Mikey Perez lead the offensive in this effort; the speedy infielder blasted his eighth homer while also stealing his 32nd base. Outside of a Nelson Roberto homer, the offense remained quiet, but they could afford to; Perez’s outburst ensured they would not require more runs to win. Juan Mendez struck out the side to end the game. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 3 (11 innings) Box Score Matt Canterino: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost a slim affair. Matt Canterino returned to the mound for the second time since his rehab assignment began earlier in the week. The righty worked five outs with three strikeouts and one run allowed. Offense evaded the FCL Twins all day; the team netted two hits with a lone RBI and four walks in the game. Fredy Michel stole his 11th base on the season. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 5, DSL Rockies 0 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The DSL Twins shut out the DSL Rockies on Saturday. The game was an example of poor defense dominating the lower minors; the DSL Rockies allowed two unearned runs off four misplays in nine innings. Yasser Mercedes stole his 17th base of the season; Yasser Mercedes has played 28 games. Cesar Lares continued his impressive start to professional baseball; the lefty fanned four batters over four innings with no earned runs. Lares now owns a 2.43 ERA. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien, PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Matt Canterino (Rehab) - 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-3, R, 2 BB, 2 K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B, RBI, K #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-4, BB, 2 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 2-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Ariel Jurado NW Arkansas @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:10 PM) - TBD Tampa @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - TBD
  8. The Twins received some outstanding hitting performances in the minors, Edouard Julien and Christian Encarnacion-Strand teamed up to do major damage, and Cole Sands overpowered his opponents. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS OF Kennie Taylor placed on 7-day IL INF Tim Beckham contract selected by Minnesota OF Mark Contreras recalled by Minnesota Saints Sentinel St. Paul 7, Iowa 1 Box Score Cole Sands: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Braden Bishop (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI) St. Paul smoked Iowa on Saturday. Cole Sands did the darn thing, pitching five quality innings with a single earned run, and seven punched tickets; that’s the kind of effort that could earn him a promotion back to the majors. Until then, Sands can bask in a great start. St. Paul’s bats only scored in one inning, but they made it count; a seven-run 2nd frame drowned Iowa for good. It was a classic gang-up; Braden Bishop, Jake Cave, Jermaine Palacios, and Roy Morales all obtained RBIs for their work in aiding the scoring. Old, uhhh, acquaintance Andrelton Simmons struck out three times in four tries for the Iowa Cubs. Daniel Gossett, Brad Peacock, Evan Sisk, and Drew Strotman combined for four shutout innings with six strikeouts. At least one of those arms will probably be on the Twins soon. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 11, NW Arkansas 3 Box Score Brent Headrick: 4 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K HR: Edouard Julien 2 (11, 12), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (5) Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Jair Camargo (2-for-4), Cole Sturgeon (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB) The Wind Surge bludgeoned their opponent on Saturday. It all began where you would expect: at the top of the lineup. Edouard Julien, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Jair Camargo all had multiple hits; Julien cleaned up four RBIs and scored three runs, charged largely by two home runs. Wichita did dabble in democracy, as every batter contributed at least one hit towards a 14-hit total. The pitchers established order early; Brent Headrick allowed no hits but does have an earned run on his ledger as the scored run reached base off a walk. You don’t see that every day. Cody Laweryson was even more effective, punching our four batters over two clean innings of relief. Wichita netted seven extra-base hits; NW Arkansas had three hits total. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 7 Box Score Travis Adams: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K HR: Yunior Severino (9), Aaron Sabato (14) Multi-hit games: Alerick Soularie (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI) Cedar Rapids lost a close game on Saturday. Travis Adams couldn’t find a break; Wisconsin touched up the righty for seven runs, with four coming via the “earned” variety. A first-inning three-run homer following an error was the culprit. Cedar Rapids struck early as well; their bats plated six runs across the first two frames in support of Adams. Yunior Severino continued a truly blistering July with a two-run homer; Alerick Soularie then doubled home another run in the following inning. Aaron Sabato, always sure to never miss out on the fun, blasted a two-run home run to conclude the Kernels’ onslaught. While Cedar Rapids’ bats receded following their early-game attack, the arms established order; Ryan Shreve, Jon Olsen, and Hunter McMahon combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings with seven punch outs. Mussel Matters Game one: Fort Myers 2, Tampa 5 (7 innings) Box Score Steve Hajjar: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Mighty Mussels were quiet in game one on Saturday. Steve Hajjar commanded the ball, striking out eight batters against no walks; two home runs proved to be his earned-run downfall. This was Hajjar’s second start since returning from the IL, and it was his longest; rain capped his previous outing to two outs. Fort Myers’ offense struggled to match Tampa’s offense; just three batters gained a hit, and three other ones walked, but the team could only plate a pair of runs. Noah Miller slugged a double—a notable event given his recent power struggle—while Misael Urbina also doubles—a notable event as Urbina has smashed the ball since returning. Game two: Fort Myers 4, Tampa 2 Box Score Mike Paredes: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Nelson Roberto (3), Mikey Perez (8) Multi-hit games: Mikey Perez (2-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI) Fort Myers returned the gesture in game two. Mike Paredes established the tone, allowing two measly runs over six efficient innings. Paredes is an easy name to overlook, but he holds a 2.19 ERA on the season; that has to count for something. Mikey Perez lead the offensive in this effort; the speedy infielder blasted his eighth homer while also stealing his 32nd base. Outside of a Nelson Roberto homer, the offense remained quiet, but they could afford to; Perez’s outburst ensured they would not require more runs to win. Juan Mendez struck out the side to end the game. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 3 (11 innings) Box Score Matt Canterino: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost a slim affair. Matt Canterino returned to the mound for the second time since his rehab assignment began earlier in the week. The righty worked five outs with three strikeouts and one run allowed. Offense evaded the FCL Twins all day; the team netted two hits with a lone RBI and four walks in the game. Fredy Michel stole his 11th base on the season. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 5, DSL Rockies 0 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The DSL Twins shut out the DSL Rockies on Saturday. The game was an example of poor defense dominating the lower minors; the DSL Rockies allowed two unearned runs off four misplays in nine innings. Yasser Mercedes stole his 17th base of the season; Yasser Mercedes has played 28 games. Cesar Lares continued his impressive start to professional baseball; the lefty fanned four batters over four innings with no earned runs. Lares now owns a 2.43 ERA. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien, PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Matt Canterino (Rehab) - 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-3, R, 2 BB, 2 K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B, RBI, K #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-4, BB, 2 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 2-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Ariel Jurado NW Arkansas @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:10 PM) - TBD Tampa @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - TBD View full article
  9. TRANSACTIONS With Caleb Thielbar going in the IL, the Twins recalled RHP Yennier Cano. Minnesota Twins sign RHP Michael Feliz to a minor-league deal, assign him to St. Paul The Saints placed RHP Josh Winder on the 7-Day IL (right shoulder impingement syndrome) LHP Brent Headrick promoted to Wichita RHP Tyler Palm transferred to Cedar Rapids INF Daniel Ozoria transferred from Wichita to Fort Myers OF Emmanuel Rodriguez transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL RHP Logan Campbell transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL C Jair Camargo reinstated from 7-day IL INF Ernie Yake reinstated from 7-day IL C Roy Morales transferred from Wichita to St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 6, Indianapolis 7 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: Spencer Steer (12), Miguel Sano (3), Curtis Terry (9) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Jake Cave (2-for-5, R), Miguel Sanó (3-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI), Curtis Terry (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) The Saints lost on a walk-off Saturday. Jordan Balazovic could not exorcise his first-half demons; the righty allowed four runs while netting just eight outs. Triple-A has been a nightmare for the top prospect, as advanced batters have knocked Balazovic around to the tune of a 10.41 ERA. The top of St. Paul’s lineup had the good vibes going; all three batters recorded multiple hits, and half of the team’s runs came from this triumvirate. Spencer Steer kicked off the scoring quickly with a lead-off homer. Then Miguel Sanó blasted his own bomb in the 4th inning. Curtis Terry capped the firework show with his home run in the sixth frame. The bullpen held their own until the final frame; Dereck Rodríguez shouldered most of the burden, allowing one run over 3 1/3 innings. The arms only wobbled when it mattered the most, as Indianapolis hopped all over Wladimir Pinto in the 9th inning, plating a game-winning run with some help from a Sanó error. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, Tulsa 10 Box Score Louie Varland: 4 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Jair Camargo (3), Chris Williams (17) Multi-hit games: Jair Camargo (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Anthony Prato (2-for-4, 2B, R) The Wind Surge lost handily on Saturday. Louie Varland could not win against Tulsa’s bats. He allowed eight hits and a relatively-low total of three runs over four innings. It appears the Dodgers’ typically elite minor league talent shone through once again. Wichita’s offense put up a fight, as both Jair Camargo and Chris Williams homered in the effort. Williams’ blast was expected—the catcher now has seven homers in his last seven games—while Camargo’s home run ballooned his Double-A OPS to 1.000. Leobaldo Cabrera, Edouard Julien, and Anthony Prato doubled on Saturday. Brent Headrick met his Double-A debut with a trip and a faceplant; the Drillers dropped 10 hits, and seven earned runs on the fresh lefty before he could net his eighth out. In his first inning, the fifth, he gave up homers to the first two batters he faced. He gave up some soft contact on a couple of singles after that, but with two outs, he served up a three-run homer. Hopefully, this outing is just the result of unruly nerves. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 8, Peoria 11 Box Score Cade Povich: 4 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: Yunior Severino (6), Jeferson Morales (5), Aaron Sabato (11) Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI), Yunior Severino (3-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB) Cade Povich pitched one of his worst games as a young professional; it was a textbook clunker. The lefty allowed runs at a 2-1 pace compared to his innings. Hopefully, Povich can throw the memory of this start away and start fresh the next time he climbs the mound. Cedar Rapids’ bats were efficient, mirroring eight runs with eight hits; nearly the entire lineup contributed to the impressive showing, as six batters claimed hits on Saturday. Yunior Severino, sitting in the heart of the lineup, stole the show, knocking a homer and speeding for a triple in a three RBI effort. Wander Javier also tripled. The Chiefs pounced on multiple Cedar Rapids pitchers; Bradley Hanner and Derek Molina felt their wrath, allowing three runs each long after Povich exited the game. Molina suffered through three homers. He had given up just two homers in 24 previous outings (33 1/3 innings). Sabato blasted a two-run homer in the final frame to pull the game within four while ensuring that the team scored in all but two innings. Mussel Matters The Mighty Mussels started play on Saturday, but early rain pushed the game to tomorrow as part of a double-header; Keoni Cavaco hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 0, FCL Red Sox 3 Box Score Juan Nunez: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins were silenced on Saturday. Juan Nunez was a bright point; he did not allow a run over four innings while striking out six. Danny Moreno and Isaiah Rivera also had scoreless outings. FCL Twins hitters were flummoxed, with just three hits and four walks to their name; no knock went for extra bases. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 6, DSL Brewers 2 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Yasser Mercedes (3) Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI), Isaac Pena (2-for-3, R, BB) The DSL Twins won easily on Saturday. Breakout arm Cesar Lares pitched wonderfully again; the lefty struck out seven batters on his way to nabbing 12 outs. Just one score blemishes his performance. Yasser Mercedes continued his impressive first impression, launching a game-breaking grand slam in the 4th inning; Mercedes already collected a single in the previous frame. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cesar Lares Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Miguel Sanó PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, HR, R, RBI, K #7 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 2 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Suspended game #10 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K #11 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 4 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 1-3, BB #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, RBI, K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Suspended game SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (12:35 PM) - RHP Cole Sands Wichita @ Tulsa (1:05 PM) - RHP Daniel Gossett Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP David Festa Clearwater @ Fort Myers (DH @ 11:00 AM) - RHP Travis Adams
  10. Everyone's favorite player, Miguel Sanó, ended his rehab assignment with a bang and a blunder. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS With Caleb Thielbar going in the IL, the Twins recalled RHP Yennier Cano. Minnesota Twins sign RHP Michael Feliz to a minor-league deal, assign him to St. Paul The Saints placed RHP Josh Winder on the 7-Day IL (right shoulder impingement syndrome) LHP Brent Headrick promoted to Wichita RHP Tyler Palm transferred to Cedar Rapids INF Daniel Ozoria transferred from Wichita to Fort Myers OF Emmanuel Rodriguez transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL RHP Logan Campbell transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL C Jair Camargo reinstated from 7-day IL INF Ernie Yake reinstated from 7-day IL C Roy Morales transferred from Wichita to St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 6, Indianapolis 7 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: Spencer Steer (12), Miguel Sano (3), Curtis Terry (9) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Jake Cave (2-for-5, R), Miguel Sanó (3-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI), Curtis Terry (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) The Saints lost on a walk-off Saturday. Jordan Balazovic could not exorcise his first-half demons; the righty allowed four runs while netting just eight outs. Triple-A has been a nightmare for the top prospect, as advanced batters have knocked Balazovic around to the tune of a 10.41 ERA. The top of St. Paul’s lineup had the good vibes going; all three batters recorded multiple hits, and half of the team’s runs came from this triumvirate. Spencer Steer kicked off the scoring quickly with a lead-off homer. Then Miguel Sanó blasted his own bomb in the 4th inning. Curtis Terry capped the firework show with his home run in the sixth frame. The bullpen held their own until the final frame; Dereck Rodríguez shouldered most of the burden, allowing one run over 3 1/3 innings. The arms only wobbled when it mattered the most, as Indianapolis hopped all over Wladimir Pinto in the 9th inning, plating a game-winning run with some help from a Sanó error. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, Tulsa 10 Box Score Louie Varland: 4 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Jair Camargo (3), Chris Williams (17) Multi-hit games: Jair Camargo (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Anthony Prato (2-for-4, 2B, R) The Wind Surge lost handily on Saturday. Louie Varland could not win against Tulsa’s bats. He allowed eight hits and a relatively-low total of three runs over four innings. It appears the Dodgers’ typically elite minor league talent shone through once again. Wichita’s offense put up a fight, as both Jair Camargo and Chris Williams homered in the effort. Williams’ blast was expected—the catcher now has seven homers in his last seven games—while Camargo’s home run ballooned his Double-A OPS to 1.000. Leobaldo Cabrera, Edouard Julien, and Anthony Prato doubled on Saturday. Brent Headrick met his Double-A debut with a trip and a faceplant; the Drillers dropped 10 hits, and seven earned runs on the fresh lefty before he could net his eighth out. In his first inning, the fifth, he gave up homers to the first two batters he faced. He gave up some soft contact on a couple of singles after that, but with two outs, he served up a three-run homer. Hopefully, this outing is just the result of unruly nerves. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 8, Peoria 11 Box Score Cade Povich: 4 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: Yunior Severino (6), Jeferson Morales (5), Aaron Sabato (11) Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI), Yunior Severino (3-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB) Cade Povich pitched one of his worst games as a young professional; it was a textbook clunker. The lefty allowed runs at a 2-1 pace compared to his innings. Hopefully, Povich can throw the memory of this start away and start fresh the next time he climbs the mound. Cedar Rapids’ bats were efficient, mirroring eight runs with eight hits; nearly the entire lineup contributed to the impressive showing, as six batters claimed hits on Saturday. Yunior Severino, sitting in the heart of the lineup, stole the show, knocking a homer and speeding for a triple in a three RBI effort. Wander Javier also tripled. The Chiefs pounced on multiple Cedar Rapids pitchers; Bradley Hanner and Derek Molina felt their wrath, allowing three runs each long after Povich exited the game. Molina suffered through three homers. He had given up just two homers in 24 previous outings (33 1/3 innings). Sabato blasted a two-run homer in the final frame to pull the game within four while ensuring that the team scored in all but two innings. Mussel Matters The Mighty Mussels started play on Saturday, but early rain pushed the game to tomorrow as part of a double-header; Keoni Cavaco hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 0, FCL Red Sox 3 Box Score Juan Nunez: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins were silenced on Saturday. Juan Nunez was a bright point; he did not allow a run over four innings while striking out six. Danny Moreno and Isaiah Rivera also had scoreless outings. FCL Twins hitters were flummoxed, with just three hits and four walks to their name; no knock went for extra bases. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 6, DSL Brewers 2 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Yasser Mercedes (3) Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI), Isaac Pena (2-for-3, R, BB) The DSL Twins won easily on Saturday. Breakout arm Cesar Lares pitched wonderfully again; the lefty struck out seven batters on his way to nabbing 12 outs. Just one score blemishes his performance. Yasser Mercedes continued his impressive first impression, launching a game-breaking grand slam in the 4th inning; Mercedes already collected a single in the previous frame. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cesar Lares Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Miguel Sanó PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, HR, R, RBI, K #7 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 2 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Suspended game #10 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K #11 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 4 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 1-3, BB #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, RBI, K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Suspended game SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (12:35 PM) - RHP Cole Sands Wichita @ Tulsa (1:05 PM) - RHP Daniel Gossett Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP David Festa Clearwater @ Fort Myers (DH @ 11:00 AM) - RHP Travis Adams View full article
  11. Recently, there has been one consistent chorus amongst Twins fans, sung with such coordination that they could adequately back up on a Queen track: “when the Twins add at the deadline…” Indeed, even this author has dabbled in assuming this, but finding a proper trade may be a trickier proposition than we think. Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: this is not a pre-emptive defense of the team if they fail to make a big splash; anyone who implies so in the comments will have their thinking privileges taken away. Pointing out the challenges of navigating the trade deadline in 2022 is not equal to offering consent for possible inaction. When we speak of trading for a player, it’s easy to allude vaguely to quality players, veterans on poor teams begging to find a more successful franchise to aid with their incredible skills. We look to the Nether, or the Upside-Down, and claim that Capable Reliever is sitting there, moping around on Bad Team, waiting for a Better Franchise to scoop them up. Yes, players like that exist on losing teams, but they must be specifically identified, not nebulously referred to. Finding that player is going to be harder this season; the extra wild card playoff spot ensures that the typical suspects—the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Dodgers—will have company as teams who otherwise never had a chance—those sitting around .500 looking at the third wild card spot—are now likely to enter the negotiation table as a buyer. It may not seem like a significant calculus change, but 17 teams either claim a playoff spot or sit no further than three games away from one; that’s a lopsided field. At the deadline in 2021, there were only 12 such franchises. Most teams in MLB should legitimately enter into trade negotiations, shooting up the value of the few coveted players on bad teams. It’s double jeopardy; each franchise that doesn’t sell will likely become one to buy. In a pool of 30 teams, each minor shift could drastically alter the deadline’s power balance. The Twins are in a bad spot for another reason: they’re basic. What pieces do they need the most? Starting and relief pitchers. What players do most buyers need every year? Starting and relief pitchers. When 10 teams want Tyler Mahle as well, you will have to part with much better prospects than you anticipated to deal; if the team plays as conservative as they have under this regime at past deadlines, they’ll end up with some bubblegum and a Wade Boggs rookie card. The aforementioned Mahle, Frankie Montas, and Luis Castillo; relievers like David Robertson, Scott Effross, and David Bednar; such players will be involved in enormous bidding wars, more so than usual. The Twins could easily find themselves with S*m D*s*n 2.0 if they are too careful. All of this—the messy trade deadline combined with a team needing reinforcements and a Carlos Correa contract drama that this article didn’t even touch on—must force the Twins’ hand and move them away from conservatism. If they repeat their strategy in 2019 and avoid pushing beyond comfort for the big splash, they’ll have no chance at acquiring the player talent they need; other teams will overwhelm them with competitive offers. Will it happen? The front office proved capable of some genuinely chaotic moves when they dealt their recent first-round pick for Sonny Gray, then shocked baseball by swiping Carlos Correa up in free agency; signing Josh Donaldson and dealing a top prospect in Brusdar Graterol for Kenta Maeda broke the mold as well. They may be working on an absurd deal as we wait. Until that trade bursts through to the public through a Jeff Passan tweet, we can only imagine the deals teams are discussing. The extra few legitimate buyers could alter the negotiations, upsetting the dynamic by limiting who is available to franchises looking to win. The Twins will need to continue acting aggressively, remembering that prospects often bust while flags fly forever. View full article
  12. Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: this is not a pre-emptive defense of the team if they fail to make a big splash; anyone who implies so in the comments will have their thinking privileges taken away. Pointing out the challenges of navigating the trade deadline in 2022 is not equal to offering consent for possible inaction. When we speak of trading for a player, it’s easy to allude vaguely to quality players, veterans on poor teams begging to find a more successful franchise to aid with their incredible skills. We look to the Nether, or the Upside-Down, and claim that Capable Reliever is sitting there, moping around on Bad Team, waiting for a Better Franchise to scoop them up. Yes, players like that exist on losing teams, but they must be specifically identified, not nebulously referred to. Finding that player is going to be harder this season; the extra wild card playoff spot ensures that the typical suspects—the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Dodgers—will have company as teams who otherwise never had a chance—those sitting around .500 looking at the third wild card spot—are now likely to enter the negotiation table as a buyer. It may not seem like a significant calculus change, but 17 teams either claim a playoff spot or sit no further than three games away from one; that’s a lopsided field. At the deadline in 2021, there were only 12 such franchises. Most teams in MLB should legitimately enter into trade negotiations, shooting up the value of the few coveted players on bad teams. It’s double jeopardy; each franchise that doesn’t sell will likely become one to buy. In a pool of 30 teams, each minor shift could drastically alter the deadline’s power balance. The Twins are in a bad spot for another reason: they’re basic. What pieces do they need the most? Starting and relief pitchers. What players do most buyers need every year? Starting and relief pitchers. When 10 teams want Tyler Mahle as well, you will have to part with much better prospects than you anticipated to deal; if the team plays as conservative as they have under this regime at past deadlines, they’ll end up with some bubblegum and a Wade Boggs rookie card. The aforementioned Mahle, Frankie Montas, and Luis Castillo; relievers like David Robertson, Scott Effross, and David Bednar; such players will be involved in enormous bidding wars, more so than usual. The Twins could easily find themselves with S*m D*s*n 2.0 if they are too careful. All of this—the messy trade deadline combined with a team needing reinforcements and a Carlos Correa contract drama that this article didn’t even touch on—must force the Twins’ hand and move them away from conservatism. If they repeat their strategy in 2019 and avoid pushing beyond comfort for the big splash, they’ll have no chance at acquiring the player talent they need; other teams will overwhelm them with competitive offers. Will it happen? The front office proved capable of some genuinely chaotic moves when they dealt their recent first-round pick for Sonny Gray, then shocked baseball by swiping Carlos Correa up in free agency; signing Josh Donaldson and dealing a top prospect in Brusdar Graterol for Kenta Maeda broke the mold as well. They may be working on an absurd deal as we wait. Until that trade bursts through to the public through a Jeff Passan tweet, we can only imagine the deals teams are discussing. The extra few legitimate buyers could alter the negotiations, upsetting the dynamic by limiting who is available to franchises looking to win. The Twins will need to continue acting aggressively, remembering that prospects often bust while flags fly forever.
  13. TRANSACTIONS RHP Casey Legumina activated from IL for Wichita RHP Hunter Wood placed on 7-day IL (right elbow strain) for St. Paul RHP Tyler Bashlor activated from 7-day IL and released RHP Ben Heller was removed from the development list and transferred to the FCL Twins While the Twins minor league teams continued their play on Saturday, two Twins prospects—Spencer Steer and Matt Wallner—participated in the Futures Game. In an exhibition against other well-regarded youngsters, Wallner flashed his legendary power; his 116 MPH annihilation of a homer probably violates some peace treaty. Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Toledo 3 (10 innings) Box Score Mario Sanchez: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Miguel Sanó 2 (2) Multi-hit games: Tim Beckham (3-for-4, RBI, BB), Miguel Sanó (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3, R, BB) The Saints won marginally on Saturday. Mario Sanchez guided his team with a steady hand (or arm, maybe). The righty avoided filling out the stat line, allowing one run off an equal assortment of hits and walks. It was the exact sort of start the Saints needed. Miguel Sano brought the lumber twice; the rehabbing slugger blasted a pair of solo homers in the 1st and 6th innings, respectively. His return to the lineup is imminent, and a showing like this is incredibly inspiring. The Saints appeared in control of this game, but a quick bolt of offense from the Mud Hens turned the tide; two runs off some shenanigans—a fielder’s choice and a run-scoring wild pitch—gave Toledo the lead. St. Paul tied it up before Tim Beckham sent the fans home happy with a walk-off single in the 10th inning. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 7, Arkansas 6 Box Score Casey Legumina: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: Chris Williams (16), Edouard Julien (8) Multi-hit games: Cole Sturgeon (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R), Chris Williams (2-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI), Anthony Prato (2-for-4, 2 2B, R) Wichita won on a walk-off on Saturday. Casey Legumina, fresh off an IL stint, took the mound for Wichita. Over two shaky innings, Legumina allowed an array of hits, unwillingly inviting three runners to cross the plate on his watch. Legumina was a false starter; Daniel Gossett relieved the original pitcher in the 3rd inning, tossing five more frames while allowing just one run. Gossett leaned on the almighty groundball, netting seven outs off balls unable to escape Earth’s gravity. Offensively, the story was almost entirely Chris Williams; he covered the introduction with a ridiculous two-run homer in the 4th inning before finishing his tale with a dual-run scoring double in the following frame. That somehow moved Williams’ RBI total in the series to 18, an impossible number to conceive. But the plot remained in motion; the Travelers pulled a fast one by scoring a pair of runs in the 9th inning, jumping ahead by two. It all seemed lost before Edouard Julien, with a few buddies on base, blasted a walk-off three-run homer. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 1 Box Score Brent Headrick: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Wander Javier (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) The Kernels won a quiet one on Saturday. Brent Headrick dominated, again. The lefty predictably stymied nearly all offense, letting one run get by him while halting all other scoring attempts. His season ERA now sits at a “hey, you should probably promote me” 2.34 clip. Cedar Rapids made sure that their starter had support early; the top-of-the-order united to plate two runs off a smattering of walks and singles; Wander Javier claimed both RBIs. Little action occurred after the 3rd inning; Beloit plated their lone run but fell to a dominant bullpen showing from Derek Molina and Hunter McMahon. Both teams scattered hits as the outs drained away, but nothing sparked a rally, and the game ended in the Kernels’ favor, 3-1. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Clearwater 5 Box Score Pierson Ohl: 4 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Noah Cardenas (2-for-4, RBI) Fort Myers lost in short order on Saturday. Pierson Ohl cruised through his first three frames before Clearwater jumped on the righty in the 3rd inning, plating a run and drawing first blood. A second run proved fatal to Ohl; Leandro Pineda’s RBI double knocked the starter out of the game. Fort Myers failed to muster up a fight on offense, scoring a lone run off a Noah Cardenas single with the bases loaded; the next two hitters missed their shot to capitalize on their opportunity. The Threshers attacked relievers as well; John Wilson couldn’t escape their wrath, as, with some help from poor Mighty Mussels defense, Clearwater’s offense continued to one-up itself, plating runs in successive innings through the 7th frame. Misael Urbina hit his third double since joining the team a week ago. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 3, FCL Red Sox 8 Box Score Brayan Medina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Andres Centeno (2-for-3, 3B, 2B, R) The FCL Twins lost convincingly on Saturday. Brayan Medina, a forgotten piece in the Taylor Rogers trade, pitched admirably, allowing an unearned run while punching out five; the righty did walk three batters, however. Andres Centeno alone powered the offense; the left-fielder tripled, doubled, and stole a base while only four teammates could net a hit. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 10, DSL Cardinals 1 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K HR: Harold Grant (1) Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, 2 R), Bryan Acuna (2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI), Harold Grant (3-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI) The DSL Twins destroyed their competition on Saturday. A consistent offense proved the winning formula; just one starter walked away from the game without a run scored, and that player still contributed an RBI. Cesar Lares continued his ridiculous strikeout streak, punching out nine hitters over four frames. The team as a whole whiffed 15. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cesar Lares, DSL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Miguel Sanó, St. Paul Saints PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (Futures Game) - 0-2, K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4 #12 - Matt Wallner (Futures Game) - 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 0-4, K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (2:07 PM) - RHP Josh Winder Arkansas @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (1:05 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz Clearwater @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - TBD
  14. Good things come in two's, not three's, as Twins minor league teams found luck in, well, twins on Saturday. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS RHP Casey Legumina activated from IL for Wichita RHP Hunter Wood placed on 7-day IL (right elbow strain) for St. Paul RHP Tyler Bashlor activated from 7-day IL and released RHP Ben Heller was removed from the development list and transferred to the FCL Twins While the Twins minor league teams continued their play on Saturday, two Twins prospects—Spencer Steer and Matt Wallner—participated in the Futures Game. In an exhibition against other well-regarded youngsters, Wallner flashed his legendary power; his 116 MPH annihilation of a homer probably violates some peace treaty. Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Toledo 3 (10 innings) Box Score Mario Sanchez: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Miguel Sanó 2 (2) Multi-hit games: Tim Beckham (3-for-4, RBI, BB), Miguel Sanó (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3, R, BB) The Saints won marginally on Saturday. Mario Sanchez guided his team with a steady hand (or arm, maybe). The righty avoided filling out the stat line, allowing one run off an equal assortment of hits and walks. It was the exact sort of start the Saints needed. Miguel Sano brought the lumber twice; the rehabbing slugger blasted a pair of solo homers in the 1st and 6th innings, respectively. His return to the lineup is imminent, and a showing like this is incredibly inspiring. The Saints appeared in control of this game, but a quick bolt of offense from the Mud Hens turned the tide; two runs off some shenanigans—a fielder’s choice and a run-scoring wild pitch—gave Toledo the lead. St. Paul tied it up before Tim Beckham sent the fans home happy with a walk-off single in the 10th inning. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 7, Arkansas 6 Box Score Casey Legumina: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: Chris Williams (16), Edouard Julien (8) Multi-hit games: Cole Sturgeon (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R), Chris Williams (2-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI), Anthony Prato (2-for-4, 2 2B, R) Wichita won on a walk-off on Saturday. Casey Legumina, fresh off an IL stint, took the mound for Wichita. Over two shaky innings, Legumina allowed an array of hits, unwillingly inviting three runners to cross the plate on his watch. Legumina was a false starter; Daniel Gossett relieved the original pitcher in the 3rd inning, tossing five more frames while allowing just one run. Gossett leaned on the almighty groundball, netting seven outs off balls unable to escape Earth’s gravity. Offensively, the story was almost entirely Chris Williams; he covered the introduction with a ridiculous two-run homer in the 4th inning before finishing his tale with a dual-run scoring double in the following frame. That somehow moved Williams’ RBI total in the series to 18, an impossible number to conceive. But the plot remained in motion; the Travelers pulled a fast one by scoring a pair of runs in the 9th inning, jumping ahead by two. It all seemed lost before Edouard Julien, with a few buddies on base, blasted a walk-off three-run homer. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 1 Box Score Brent Headrick: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Wander Javier (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) The Kernels won a quiet one on Saturday. Brent Headrick dominated, again. The lefty predictably stymied nearly all offense, letting one run get by him while halting all other scoring attempts. His season ERA now sits at a “hey, you should probably promote me” 2.34 clip. Cedar Rapids made sure that their starter had support early; the top-of-the-order united to plate two runs off a smattering of walks and singles; Wander Javier claimed both RBIs. Little action occurred after the 3rd inning; Beloit plated their lone run but fell to a dominant bullpen showing from Derek Molina and Hunter McMahon. Both teams scattered hits as the outs drained away, but nothing sparked a rally, and the game ended in the Kernels’ favor, 3-1. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Clearwater 5 Box Score Pierson Ohl: 4 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Noah Cardenas (2-for-4, RBI) Fort Myers lost in short order on Saturday. Pierson Ohl cruised through his first three frames before Clearwater jumped on the righty in the 3rd inning, plating a run and drawing first blood. A second run proved fatal to Ohl; Leandro Pineda’s RBI double knocked the starter out of the game. Fort Myers failed to muster up a fight on offense, scoring a lone run off a Noah Cardenas single with the bases loaded; the next two hitters missed their shot to capitalize on their opportunity. The Threshers attacked relievers as well; John Wilson couldn’t escape their wrath, as, with some help from poor Mighty Mussels defense, Clearwater’s offense continued to one-up itself, plating runs in successive innings through the 7th frame. Misael Urbina hit his third double since joining the team a week ago. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 3, FCL Red Sox 8 Box Score Brayan Medina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Andres Centeno (2-for-3, 3B, 2B, R) The FCL Twins lost convincingly on Saturday. Brayan Medina, a forgotten piece in the Taylor Rogers trade, pitched admirably, allowing an unearned run while punching out five; the righty did walk three batters, however. Andres Centeno alone powered the offense; the left-fielder tripled, doubled, and stole a base while only four teammates could net a hit. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 10, DSL Cardinals 1 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K HR: Harold Grant (1) Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, 2 R), Bryan Acuna (2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI), Harold Grant (3-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI) The DSL Twins destroyed their competition on Saturday. A consistent offense proved the winning formula; just one starter walked away from the game without a run scored, and that player still contributed an RBI. Cesar Lares continued his ridiculous strikeout streak, punching out nine hitters over four frames. The team as a whole whiffed 15. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cesar Lares, DSL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Miguel Sanó, St. Paul Saints PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (Futures Game) - 0-2, K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4 #12 - Matt Wallner (Futures Game) - 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 0-4, K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (2:07 PM) - RHP Josh Winder Arkansas @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (1:05 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz Clearwater @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - TBD View full article
  15. The team has a solid foundation from which other additions can improve. If you’ve paid even a second of attention to Twins fans lately, the dominant discussion point revolves around the bullpen’s lack of quality; the team needs extra, quality arms, and they need them now. This feeling is well-founded; it seems like every close loss involves a reliever screwing up late, costing the team a chance to escape the quagmire of mediocrity that plagues the rest of the AL Central. But is the team’s bullpen that bad in comparison to other teams? Relief pitchers are doomed to fail. The position naturally lends itself to magnified mistakes, and brutal momentum swings as a game’s final outs melt away at an accelerated pace. Each run allowed feels like the end of the world because, as far as a single baseball game is concerned, it is; the lack of remaining outs increases each outcome’s drama to a sometimes unbearable level. In that context, analyzing relievers requires us to remove emotion from the equation, instead choosing to coldly dissect the topic with numbers immune from hyperbole. Stats can’t complain. Overall, the picture isn’t pretty, but it’s not egregiously ugly; the relief core is 14th in MLB in ERA (3.74), 21st in FIP (4.10), 13th in xFIP (3.80), and 16th in WPA (0.19). No lipstick can spruce up this pig, but these numbers reflect a mediocre to below-average group, not one bordering on Greek Tragedy. The problem does not seem as dire with contextualized stats; the team needs to improve their bullpen, but so could just about every team in MLB. The Twins are well equipped to absorb fresh talent. What’s lost in bullpen arguments is the strategic aspect of utilizing relievers; broadly stating that the relievers stink helps no one; instead, we should imagine the role a reliever is filling and ask whether they can adequately fill it. For the Twins, their main issue is that pitchers who should not pitch in important innings are doing so because of a failure of top-end depth; it isn’t fully Jharel Cotton’s fault if he blows a game in the 9th inning because he shouldn’t be pitching in that scenario. As it stands, the team has one fully reliable reliever (Jhoan Duran), another solid reliever (Griffin Jax), and varying degrees of coin flips. With Duran rarely pitching in back-to-back games, when the game is close late—a situation a good team like the Twins frequently enters—Rocco Baldelli has little choice but to play baseball Russian Roulette and pray that Caleb Thielbar’s fastball looks extra rise-y today, or that Joe Smith’s corkscrewing magic appears even more incredible. It’s always a rock and a hard place choice. If one or two more quality relievers make their way to the team before the trade deadline, the bullpen can fall into place. Whatever scrap-heap reliever they picked up the other day could pitch earlier in the game rather than Thornburg-ing it up in a role he’s ill-equipped for. Usually worthwhile relievers like Tyler Duffey can simmer in a low-intensity role as another capable arm gives him a break he desperately needs; unproven pitchers like Jovani Moran can freely gain confidence by netting outs in the 6th inning, not the 9th. The Twins bullpen isn’t made of bad pitchers, just miscast ones. Duran is obviously an elite arm, but no other reliever commands as much trust, so the chain collapses when he can’t pitch, or the team needs an extended effort to reach his inning. Cotton is a Road to Nowhere when used beyond the 7th inning, but he has attempted to fill that role because no one else works in that spot; they don’t exist. If the team acquired a true, dominant arm to pair with Duran, the effect would reverberate around the entire bullpen; arms far higher on the totem pole of trust would fall back where they can succeed. David Robertson and/or Daniel Bard, a potentially revamped Tyler Duffey, and a healthy Joe Smith could establish order in the current chaos; the days of 8th inning man Tyler Thornburg would no longer exist. It’s hard to see, and sometimes it seems impossible, but there’s a good bullpen somewhere in the mess; it just needs some cleaning. View full article
  16. If you’ve paid even a second of attention to Twins fans lately, the dominant discussion point revolves around the bullpen’s lack of quality; the team needs extra, quality arms, and they need them now. This feeling is well-founded; it seems like every close loss involves a reliever screwing up late, costing the team a chance to escape the quagmire of mediocrity that plagues the rest of the AL Central. But is the team’s bullpen that bad in comparison to other teams? Relief pitchers are doomed to fail. The position naturally lends itself to magnified mistakes, and brutal momentum swings as a game’s final outs melt away at an accelerated pace. Each run allowed feels like the end of the world because, as far as a single baseball game is concerned, it is; the lack of remaining outs increases each outcome’s drama to a sometimes unbearable level. In that context, analyzing relievers requires us to remove emotion from the equation, instead choosing to coldly dissect the topic with numbers immune from hyperbole. Stats can’t complain. Overall, the picture isn’t pretty, but it’s not egregiously ugly; the relief core is 14th in MLB in ERA (3.74), 21st in FIP (4.10), 13th in xFIP (3.80), and 16th in WPA (0.19). No lipstick can spruce up this pig, but these numbers reflect a mediocre to below-average group, not one bordering on Greek Tragedy. The problem does not seem as dire with contextualized stats; the team needs to improve their bullpen, but so could just about every team in MLB. The Twins are well equipped to absorb fresh talent. What’s lost in bullpen arguments is the strategic aspect of utilizing relievers; broadly stating that the relievers stink helps no one; instead, we should imagine the role a reliever is filling and ask whether they can adequately fill it. For the Twins, their main issue is that pitchers who should not pitch in important innings are doing so because of a failure of top-end depth; it isn’t fully Jharel Cotton’s fault if he blows a game in the 9th inning because he shouldn’t be pitching in that scenario. As it stands, the team has one fully reliable reliever (Jhoan Duran), another solid reliever (Griffin Jax), and varying degrees of coin flips. With Duran rarely pitching in back-to-back games, when the game is close late—a situation a good team like the Twins frequently enters—Rocco Baldelli has little choice but to play baseball Russian Roulette and pray that Caleb Thielbar’s fastball looks extra rise-y today, or that Joe Smith’s corkscrewing magic appears even more incredible. It’s always a rock and a hard place choice. If one or two more quality relievers make their way to the team before the trade deadline, the bullpen can fall into place. Whatever scrap-heap reliever they picked up the other day could pitch earlier in the game rather than Thornburg-ing it up in a role he’s ill-equipped for. Usually worthwhile relievers like Tyler Duffey can simmer in a low-intensity role as another capable arm gives him a break he desperately needs; unproven pitchers like Jovani Moran can freely gain confidence by netting outs in the 6th inning, not the 9th. The Twins bullpen isn’t made of bad pitchers, just miscast ones. Duran is obviously an elite arm, but no other reliever commands as much trust, so the chain collapses when he can’t pitch, or the team needs an extended effort to reach his inning. Cotton is a Road to Nowhere when used beyond the 7th inning, but he has attempted to fill that role because no one else works in that spot; they don’t exist. If the team acquired a true, dominant arm to pair with Duran, the effect would reverberate around the entire bullpen; arms far higher on the totem pole of trust would fall back where they can succeed. David Robertson and/or Daniel Bard, a potentially revamped Tyler Duffey, and a healthy Joe Smith could establish order in the current chaos; the days of 8th inning man Tyler Thornburg would no longer exist. It’s hard to see, and sometimes it seems impossible, but there’s a good bullpen somewhere in the mess; it just needs some cleaning.
  17. TRANSACTIONS INF Christian Encarnacion-Strand Re-Instated from IL RHP Ryan Shreve was activated from IL at Cedar Rapids. LHP Aaron Rozek was activated from IL at Cedar Rapids. INF Austin Martin was placed on Wichita IL (left elbow) C Frank Nigro added to AA Wichita from AAA St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Louisville 6 Box Score Cole Sands: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Jake Cave (11) Multi-hit games: Tim Beckham (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) The Saints lost a messy game on Wednesday. The match started quietly; after 4 innings, the Saints held a 2-1 lead after Tim Beckham doubled home two runs to inflate rehabbing-big leaguer Justin Dunn’s ERA. Cole Sands was surgical in the early innings, cutting up and down the Bats’ lineup at will before his reign crumbled in the 5th inning. A barrage of doubles mixed with a single from technically old friend Taylor Motter shot Louisville’s run total up to four; Sands suddenly had a loss on his hands. The Saints stormed back. After the Bats tacked on another run in the 6th inning, Jake Cave Did the Darn Thing, swinging at a 3-0 pitch and blasting a Grand Slam to left field to give St. Paul a slight 6-5 edge. His on-base streak is now 48 games. Louisville did not acquiesce to the sudden deficit; a Stuart Fairchild homer knotted the game at 6. The game moved into extra innings, where the Bats won off of what appears to be a double fielding error from Michael Helman. St. Paul’s bats must have been smaller than usual; they struck out 17 times total, with five players facing the K multiple times. Let’s hope that Thursday is a more blessed day. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Amarillo 4 Box Score Louie Varland: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) Louie Varland gritted out six effective innings in his start. The antiquated “quality start” deems an outing like his worthy of its title, so Varland will take that and run. The damage could have been less severe; two of his runs came from a 6th inning homer, indicating a “careful, Icarus” moment, to steal a term from another baseball site. Wichita’s bats were up to the task on Wednesday, but poor coordination resulted in just two runs off of 12 hits. In all but three innings, the Wind Surge had a man on base, and they often had multiple players ready to score on a moment’s notice, but they could only plate runs in the 1st and 3rd innings. Perhaps better luck would have altered this game in their favor; Wichita left 18 men stranded. Cody Laweryson continued his AA shutout streak, allowing one hit over two innings while striking out a pair. Jordan Gore struck out two in his single inning of work. Matt Wallner threw another baserunner out on Wednesday. Since minor league fielding stats are basically impossible to find, let’s say it was his 50th gunned down runner of the year; that’s how history works. (Editor/Seth Note: I don't want to mess with history, or a fun narrative, but it is Wallner's 8th assist of the season.) Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 5 Box Score Cade Povich: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 11 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Pat Winkel (3-for-4) The Kernels lost an atypical game on Wednesday. Cade Povich submitted his attempt at one of the weirder pitching lines you’ll see. His 11 strikeouts reflect domination, a complete ability to miss bats at an elite level; his seven hits and three earned runs represent mistakes the River Bandits jumped on. For helping win the game, the start was not the best; for showing promise as an overpowering arm, this is an incredible start. Cedar Rapids’ bats were locked out of hits, only securing five of them despite walking more times than they struck out (7 to 5); either their BABIP luck failed to materialize, or their batted balls were not ideal. Maybe they should have mimicked Pat Winkel, as he netted 60% of their total hits. Hunter McMahon and Bobby Milacki cleaned up an impressive 16 strikeout showing from the Kernels’ pitching staff on Wednesday. While Povich shouldered much of that effort, Milacki’s four strikeouts over two innings are also impressive. Despite only knocking in five hits, every batter in the Kernels lineup reached base; this was a deeply weird ballgame. The number 9 hitter (Jake Rucker) picked up three RBIs. Mussel Matters Rain washed away Fort Myers’ match against the Tampa Tarpons; the teams will play double-headers on the 7th. (Also in Ft. Myers, there were no games in the FCL on Wednesday) Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 6, DSL Cardinals 5 Box Score Ledwin Taveras: 5 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Jose Rodriguez (5), Rafael Cruz (2) Multi-hit games: Rafael Cruz (2-for-4, HR, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Jesus Peraza (2-for-2, 2 RBI, BB) The DSL Twins won a game in which they committed six errors; you don’t see that every day. DSL games are notorious for being sloppy, but that error total is one of the higher totals you’ll ever see outside of tee-ball or drop-dead-drunk beer league softball. Ledwin Taveras led the way with solid innings of work, and his relievers—Oscar Paredes and Anthony Narvaez—combined for four frames without an earned run. The DSL Twins’ offensive output was even, with every batter in their starting lineup reaching base. Rafael Cruz stood out from the group, hitting both a homer and a double. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Cruz, DSL Twins PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-4, R, BB, K #10 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 11 K #11 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, R, BB, 2 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-5, 3 K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (6:05 PM) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Amarillo @ Wichita (7:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM) - RHP David Festa Fort Myers @ Tampa (3:00 PM) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin Fort Myers @ Tampa (Game 2) - RHP Malik Barrington
  18. A team committed four errors, and that somehow did not set the record for most booted plays by a squad on Wednesday. Read all about that gross play and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS INF Christian Encarnacion-Strand Re-Instated from IL RHP Ryan Shreve was activated from IL at Cedar Rapids. LHP Aaron Rozek was activated from IL at Cedar Rapids. INF Austin Martin was placed on Wichita IL (left elbow) C Frank Nigro added to AA Wichita from AAA St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Louisville 6 Box Score Cole Sands: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Jake Cave (11) Multi-hit games: Tim Beckham (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) The Saints lost a messy game on Wednesday. The match started quietly; after 4 innings, the Saints held a 2-1 lead after Tim Beckham doubled home two runs to inflate rehabbing-big leaguer Justin Dunn’s ERA. Cole Sands was surgical in the early innings, cutting up and down the Bats’ lineup at will before his reign crumbled in the 5th inning. A barrage of doubles mixed with a single from technically old friend Taylor Motter shot Louisville’s run total up to four; Sands suddenly had a loss on his hands. The Saints stormed back. After the Bats tacked on another run in the 6th inning, Jake Cave Did the Darn Thing, swinging at a 3-0 pitch and blasting a Grand Slam to left field to give St. Paul a slight 6-5 edge. His on-base streak is now 48 games. Louisville did not acquiesce to the sudden deficit; a Stuart Fairchild homer knotted the game at 6. The game moved into extra innings, where the Bats won off of what appears to be a double fielding error from Michael Helman. St. Paul’s bats must have been smaller than usual; they struck out 17 times total, with five players facing the K multiple times. Let’s hope that Thursday is a more blessed day. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Amarillo 4 Box Score Louie Varland: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) Louie Varland gritted out six effective innings in his start. The antiquated “quality start” deems an outing like his worthy of its title, so Varland will take that and run. The damage could have been less severe; two of his runs came from a 6th inning homer, indicating a “careful, Icarus” moment, to steal a term from another baseball site. Wichita’s bats were up to the task on Wednesday, but poor coordination resulted in just two runs off of 12 hits. In all but three innings, the Wind Surge had a man on base, and they often had multiple players ready to score on a moment’s notice, but they could only plate runs in the 1st and 3rd innings. Perhaps better luck would have altered this game in their favor; Wichita left 18 men stranded. Cody Laweryson continued his AA shutout streak, allowing one hit over two innings while striking out a pair. Jordan Gore struck out two in his single inning of work. Matt Wallner threw another baserunner out on Wednesday. Since minor league fielding stats are basically impossible to find, let’s say it was his 50th gunned down runner of the year; that’s how history works. (Editor/Seth Note: I don't want to mess with history, or a fun narrative, but it is Wallner's 8th assist of the season.) Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 5 Box Score Cade Povich: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 11 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Pat Winkel (3-for-4) The Kernels lost an atypical game on Wednesday. Cade Povich submitted his attempt at one of the weirder pitching lines you’ll see. His 11 strikeouts reflect domination, a complete ability to miss bats at an elite level; his seven hits and three earned runs represent mistakes the River Bandits jumped on. For helping win the game, the start was not the best; for showing promise as an overpowering arm, this is an incredible start. Cedar Rapids’ bats were locked out of hits, only securing five of them despite walking more times than they struck out (7 to 5); either their BABIP luck failed to materialize, or their batted balls were not ideal. Maybe they should have mimicked Pat Winkel, as he netted 60% of their total hits. Hunter McMahon and Bobby Milacki cleaned up an impressive 16 strikeout showing from the Kernels’ pitching staff on Wednesday. While Povich shouldered much of that effort, Milacki’s four strikeouts over two innings are also impressive. Despite only knocking in five hits, every batter in the Kernels lineup reached base; this was a deeply weird ballgame. The number 9 hitter (Jake Rucker) picked up three RBIs. Mussel Matters Rain washed away Fort Myers’ match against the Tampa Tarpons; the teams will play double-headers on the 7th. (Also in Ft. Myers, there were no games in the FCL on Wednesday) Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 6, DSL Cardinals 5 Box Score Ledwin Taveras: 5 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Jose Rodriguez (5), Rafael Cruz (2) Multi-hit games: Rafael Cruz (2-for-4, HR, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Jesus Peraza (2-for-2, 2 RBI, BB) The DSL Twins won a game in which they committed six errors; you don’t see that every day. DSL games are notorious for being sloppy, but that error total is one of the higher totals you’ll ever see outside of tee-ball or drop-dead-drunk beer league softball. Ledwin Taveras led the way with solid innings of work, and his relievers—Oscar Paredes and Anthony Narvaez—combined for four frames without an earned run. The DSL Twins’ offensive output was even, with every batter in their starting lineup reaching base. Rafael Cruz stood out from the group, hitting both a homer and a double. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Cruz, DSL Twins PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-4, R, BB, K #10 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 11 K #11 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, R, BB, 2 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-5, 3 K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (6:05 PM) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Amarillo @ Wichita (7:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM) - RHP David Festa Fort Myers @ Tampa (3:00 PM) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin Fort Myers @ Tampa (Game 2) - RHP Malik Barrington View full article
  19. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Max Kepler (.138), Carlos Correa (.132), Jose Miranda (.109) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Devin Smeltzer, already established as the rotation’s savior, faced off against an ex-Twins farmhand, Tyler Wells. Smeltzer had just set a season-high in strikeouts (10) in his previous start; Wells looked to continue his effectiveness in the Orioles’ starting rotation. The game began sleepily and lazily; neither team scored until the 5th inning, and both the Twins and the Orioles committed a careless error in the 1st frame. Gilberto Celestino was the culprit for Minnesota; Rougned Odor was the one for Baltimore. The mistakes did not lead to runs. The Orioles struck in the 4th inning; Anthony Santander hit a Texas Leaguer over Alex Kirilloff’s head and reached 2nd base after Smeltzer uncharacteristically spiked a wild pitch into the dirt. Tyler Nevin—the son of former Twin and current red-ass Phil Nevin—smoked a single up the middle, forcing Santander to try his luck with Celestino’s arm from center field. In a close battle, Celestino’s throw beat Santander to the plate, and Gary Sánchez slapped the runner to secure the out and energize the crowd. But the Twins offense remained in a coma; Wells, typically not a strike-out pitcher, overwhelmed Minnesota’s bats with his rising fastball and darting slider. Hitters of all variety failed to fight back; the team’s array of lefties netted just one extra-base hit (a Nick Gordon double in the 6th inning), while many walked away with an extra strikeout or two on their ledger. Even Luis Arraez punched out. Something was not right. Fortune turned quickly in the middle innings. Odor smoked a solo homer to right field to net the first run of the ball game; Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle blasted off consecutively in the next frame. Suddenly, after Smeltzer appeared well in command of the game, the score ballooned to 3-0. After innings of nothingness, the Twins revved up their engines in the 6th, trampolining off a Celestino lead-off walk to plate a run. There was a slight feeling of disappointment amid the success; Carlos Correa grounded into a double-play following an Arraez single, eliminating a base-runner before Jorge Polanco singled home Celestino. Juan Minaya did his best to keep the Twins in the game; the often yo-yo-ed righty posted two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one hit allowed. On a team looking for relief help, such outings will help Minaya make a case for acquiring crucial innings down the stretch. The Twins could not find success even after Wells exited the game. A series of Baltimore relievers—Keegan Akin, Joey Krehbiel, and Dillon Tate—continued Wells’ dominance and shutout Minnesota’s offense in the final three frames. What’s Next? The Twins will travel to Chicago and take on the White Sox for the first a few series in July; Dylan Bundy will take the mound for Minnesota, while Johnny Cueto (yes, he’s still around) will toe the rubber for Chicago. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  20. Wait, they didn't come back? Box Score Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Max Kepler (.138), Carlos Correa (.132), Jose Miranda (.109) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Devin Smeltzer, already established as the rotation’s savior, faced off against an ex-Twins farmhand, Tyler Wells. Smeltzer had just set a season-high in strikeouts (10) in his previous start; Wells looked to continue his effectiveness in the Orioles’ starting rotation. The game began sleepily and lazily; neither team scored until the 5th inning, and both the Twins and the Orioles committed a careless error in the 1st frame. Gilberto Celestino was the culprit for Minnesota; Rougned Odor was the one for Baltimore. The mistakes did not lead to runs. The Orioles struck in the 4th inning; Anthony Santander hit a Texas Leaguer over Alex Kirilloff’s head and reached 2nd base after Smeltzer uncharacteristically spiked a wild pitch into the dirt. Tyler Nevin—the son of former Twin and current red-ass Phil Nevin—smoked a single up the middle, forcing Santander to try his luck with Celestino’s arm from center field. In a close battle, Celestino’s throw beat Santander to the plate, and Gary Sánchez slapped the runner to secure the out and energize the crowd. But the Twins offense remained in a coma; Wells, typically not a strike-out pitcher, overwhelmed Minnesota’s bats with his rising fastball and darting slider. Hitters of all variety failed to fight back; the team’s array of lefties netted just one extra-base hit (a Nick Gordon double in the 6th inning), while many walked away with an extra strikeout or two on their ledger. Even Luis Arraez punched out. Something was not right. Fortune turned quickly in the middle innings. Odor smoked a solo homer to right field to net the first run of the ball game; Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle blasted off consecutively in the next frame. Suddenly, after Smeltzer appeared well in command of the game, the score ballooned to 3-0. After innings of nothingness, the Twins revved up their engines in the 6th, trampolining off a Celestino lead-off walk to plate a run. There was a slight feeling of disappointment amid the success; Carlos Correa grounded into a double-play following an Arraez single, eliminating a base-runner before Jorge Polanco singled home Celestino. Juan Minaya did his best to keep the Twins in the game; the often yo-yo-ed righty posted two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one hit allowed. On a team looking for relief help, such outings will help Minaya make a case for acquiring crucial innings down the stretch. The Twins could not find success even after Wells exited the game. A series of Baltimore relievers—Keegan Akin, Joey Krehbiel, and Dillon Tate—continued Wells’ dominance and shutout Minnesota’s offense in the final three frames. What’s Next? The Twins will travel to Chicago and take on the White Sox for the first a few series in July; Dylan Bundy will take the mound for Minnesota, while Johnny Cueto (yes, he’s still around) will toe the rubber for Chicago. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  21. TRANSACTIONS RHP Trevor Megill assigned to the Saints on Major League rehab C Frank Nigro transferred from High-A Cedar Rapids to St. Paul RHP Matt Mullenbach transferred from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids RHP Regi Grace Jr. was placed on the 7-day injured list (nasal fracture) Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Omaha 6 Box Score Ariel Jurado: 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Mark Contreras (8), Jake Cave (10) Multi-hit games: Jake Cave (2-for-3, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB), Elliot Soto (2-for-3, RBI) The Saints fell early and failed to pick themselves back up on Saturday. Ariel Jurado received the nod, perhaps looking to advance his name in discussions for a promotion to a big-league ballclub a week away from posting “Reliever Wanted” ads in the papers. He did not help his case, absorbing five of Omaha’s six runs—all due to the Michael Massey RBIs—while walking away after just five outs. A combo poo-poo plater of arms linked together after Jurado; Austin Schulfer, Trevor Megill, Mario Sanchez, and Yennier Cano worked the final 22 outs, allowing one run on two hits while striking out 11 batters. St. Paul’s bats nearly brought them back into the game; Mark Contreras boomed a two-run homer in the 5th inning to slice the lead to four, while Jake Cave’s 7th inning solo shot inched the Saints to the halfway mark. Michael Helman singled home a run later in the frame to narrow the deficit. St. Paul had an opportunity to tie the game in the 8th inning, but Spencer Steer and Cave both came up empty while trying to plate a run with men on the corners. Cave is secretly on a rare path; his early walk ensured safe passage to the base paths, and he has now reached base in 46 straight games. That’s an incredible streak. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, Springfield 5 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Leobaldo Cabrera (2-for-4, 2B, R), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, R, 3 RBI) Blayne Enlow continued his quest toward Tommy John recovery, allowing a pair of runs over four innings; he has not passed that mark yet in eight AA starts. The numbers are not yet dominant for the highly-touted arm, but this is hopefully a trial period for future success. Daniel Ozoria played two roles on Saturday: the hero and the goat. Ozoria knocked in three runs; two came from a 4th inning single, while an 8th inning sacrifice fly topped him off for good. His defense, however, was an odyssey; an error to open the 2nd inning allowed a run to score, while little league defense in the 8th inning—a passed ball followed by an error that directly scored another run—almost equaled his RBI output. Ozoria’s bottom-of-the-order brother, Leobaldo Cabrera, was the other batter to acquire multiple hits on Saturday. With the aid of walks, Matt Wallner, Edouard Julien, and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. reached base more than once. Cody Laweryson, Alex Scherff, and Osiris German worked together to stop earned runs from scoring after Enlow left the game, but sloppy defense tacked three un-earned scores to the total. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 7 Box Score John Stankiewicz: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (2-for-6, 2B, R, RBI), Wander Javier (2-for-4, R, RBI, BB), Pat Winkel (2-for-4, R, RBI, BB) The Kernels lost on a walk-off Saturday. John Stankiewicz—back to earth after reaching great heights to start the season—worked a gritty start on the mound. He allowed just a pair of runs but scattered eight baserunners across 12 outs; the righty exited the game with his team behind. While Wisconsin enjoyed a 4-1 advantage at one point, the Kernels struck in the 7th inning, cheekily plating two runs off an infield single by Jake Rucker and an RBI groundout from Dylan Neuse. The bats came back for seconds; Wander Javier singled home the go-ahead run in the 8th inning while Pat Winkel tacked on two more for good measure; he hit a single that reached the outfield. The Timber Rattlers were displeased with losing their lead. Their bats rallied against the usually reliable Bobby Milacki; plating two clutch runs in the bottom of the 8th inning; Tyler Black’s RBI double shaved a run off the lead before he scored later in the frame off of a sacrifice fly. After exchanging failed attempts at scoring the Manfred Zombie Runner, the Timber Rattlers plated a run off a fielder’s choice in the 11th inning, walking away victorious. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 1 Box Score Mike Paredes: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Dillon Tatum (5) Multi-hit games: Rubel Cespedes (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) Fort Myers bested Dunedin in a close match on Saturday. Mike Paredes gave his batters the peace of mind needed to score against Dunedin effectively; his six innings pitched with just a single earned run provided consistency. While Paredes dabbled in fascism—he struck out three batters—he opted for a democratic approach to acquiring outs, choosing to let his fielders have some fun. It was precisely the sort of start the team needed. When Parades strutted off the mound in the 6th, the Mighty Mussels claimed a 2-1 advantage. Zach Huffins and LaRon Smith teamed up in the 2nd inning to prove that bottom-of-the-order hitters can contribute as well, with Huffins doubling home Smith off a sharply hit double to center field. Dillon Tatum claimed a victory for the middle-of-the-order, smacking a solo homer in the 4th inning and increasing Fort Myers’ lead to 2-0. Rubel Cespedes drove in the final run, scoring Noah Cardenas, but not Kala’i Rosario, on a bittersweet RBI ground-rule-double. While Paredes worked the Blue Jays for six effective innings, Samuel Perez tagged himself into the game in the 7th inning, and he proved meaner, shutting down Dunedin’s offense for the final three frames. The outing gave Perez his first save of the season. Walks were the game’s theme; Dunedin failed to take one, while Fort Myers trotted freely to first base five times; Cardenas alone worked three invitations to the base paths. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 6 Box Score Cleiber Maldonado: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: Jeferson Morales (1), Alexander Pena (3) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins fell to the FCL Red Sox in an even affair on Saturday. Cleiber Maldonado’s start lacked the sheen of his previous one; the lefty allowed six baserunners against three strikeouts but permitted just a single run. Groundballs were his accomplice; seven of his outs struck the earth before a fielder could reach the ball. The Twins’ offense was sparse but powerful when working correctly; rehabbing catcher Jeferson Morales smoked an Earl Weaver special in the 7th inning to spark a suddenly doable 3-5 disadvantage. Alexander Pena inched closer with a solo homer later in the frame. Two of the team’s five hits were of the over-the-wall variety. Lefty reliever Wilker Reyes truck out four batters over two innings; left fielder Andres Centeno walked three times. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 5, DSL Cardinals 4 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (3-for-5), Rafael Cruz (2-for-4, R, BB), Daniel Pena (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, BB) In keeping with the “close game” theme of the night, the DSL Twins won by a run on Saturday. The bats knocked around 10 base hits while walking nine times; five runs seems low compared to how much pressure they placed on the Cardinals. The arms commanded the story, though; Cesar Lares led with 10 strikeouts, and the staff punched out 20 hitters in total. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cesar Lares, FCL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jake Cave, St. Paul Saints PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-5, K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, BB, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 K #13 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-3, 2 BB, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (5:02 PM) - RHP Mario Sanchez Wichita @ Springfield (4:25 PM) - LHP Kody Funderburk Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:10 PM) - TBD Dunedin @ Fort Myers (5:00 PM) - LHP Jordan Carr
  22. It was an uneven day in the Twins' system; every team played a close game and one pitcher stood out amongst the ruckus. Read all about that and more in this edition of the Minor League Report. TRANSACTIONS RHP Trevor Megill assigned to the Saints on Major League rehab C Frank Nigro transferred from High-A Cedar Rapids to St. Paul RHP Matt Mullenbach transferred from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids RHP Regi Grace Jr. was placed on the 7-day injured list (nasal fracture) Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Omaha 6 Box Score Ariel Jurado: 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Mark Contreras (8), Jake Cave (10) Multi-hit games: Jake Cave (2-for-3, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB), Elliot Soto (2-for-3, RBI) The Saints fell early and failed to pick themselves back up on Saturday. Ariel Jurado received the nod, perhaps looking to advance his name in discussions for a promotion to a big-league ballclub a week away from posting “Reliever Wanted” ads in the papers. He did not help his case, absorbing five of Omaha’s six runs—all due to the Michael Massey RBIs—while walking away after just five outs. A combo poo-poo plater of arms linked together after Jurado; Austin Schulfer, Trevor Megill, Mario Sanchez, and Yennier Cano worked the final 22 outs, allowing one run on two hits while striking out 11 batters. St. Paul’s bats nearly brought them back into the game; Mark Contreras boomed a two-run homer in the 5th inning to slice the lead to four, while Jake Cave’s 7th inning solo shot inched the Saints to the halfway mark. Michael Helman singled home a run later in the frame to narrow the deficit. St. Paul had an opportunity to tie the game in the 8th inning, but Spencer Steer and Cave both came up empty while trying to plate a run with men on the corners. Cave is secretly on a rare path; his early walk ensured safe passage to the base paths, and he has now reached base in 46 straight games. That’s an incredible streak. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, Springfield 5 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Leobaldo Cabrera (2-for-4, 2B, R), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, R, 3 RBI) Blayne Enlow continued his quest toward Tommy John recovery, allowing a pair of runs over four innings; he has not passed that mark yet in eight AA starts. The numbers are not yet dominant for the highly-touted arm, but this is hopefully a trial period for future success. Daniel Ozoria played two roles on Saturday: the hero and the goat. Ozoria knocked in three runs; two came from a 4th inning single, while an 8th inning sacrifice fly topped him off for good. His defense, however, was an odyssey; an error to open the 2nd inning allowed a run to score, while little league defense in the 8th inning—a passed ball followed by an error that directly scored another run—almost equaled his RBI output. Ozoria’s bottom-of-the-order brother, Leobaldo Cabrera, was the other batter to acquire multiple hits on Saturday. With the aid of walks, Matt Wallner, Edouard Julien, and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. reached base more than once. Cody Laweryson, Alex Scherff, and Osiris German worked together to stop earned runs from scoring after Enlow left the game, but sloppy defense tacked three un-earned scores to the total. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 7 Box Score John Stankiewicz: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (2-for-6, 2B, R, RBI), Wander Javier (2-for-4, R, RBI, BB), Pat Winkel (2-for-4, R, RBI, BB) The Kernels lost on a walk-off Saturday. John Stankiewicz—back to earth after reaching great heights to start the season—worked a gritty start on the mound. He allowed just a pair of runs but scattered eight baserunners across 12 outs; the righty exited the game with his team behind. While Wisconsin enjoyed a 4-1 advantage at one point, the Kernels struck in the 7th inning, cheekily plating two runs off an infield single by Jake Rucker and an RBI groundout from Dylan Neuse. The bats came back for seconds; Wander Javier singled home the go-ahead run in the 8th inning while Pat Winkel tacked on two more for good measure; he hit a single that reached the outfield. The Timber Rattlers were displeased with losing their lead. Their bats rallied against the usually reliable Bobby Milacki; plating two clutch runs in the bottom of the 8th inning; Tyler Black’s RBI double shaved a run off the lead before he scored later in the frame off of a sacrifice fly. After exchanging failed attempts at scoring the Manfred Zombie Runner, the Timber Rattlers plated a run off a fielder’s choice in the 11th inning, walking away victorious. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 1 Box Score Mike Paredes: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Dillon Tatum (5) Multi-hit games: Rubel Cespedes (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) Fort Myers bested Dunedin in a close match on Saturday. Mike Paredes gave his batters the peace of mind needed to score against Dunedin effectively; his six innings pitched with just a single earned run provided consistency. While Paredes dabbled in fascism—he struck out three batters—he opted for a democratic approach to acquiring outs, choosing to let his fielders have some fun. It was precisely the sort of start the team needed. When Parades strutted off the mound in the 6th, the Mighty Mussels claimed a 2-1 advantage. Zach Huffins and LaRon Smith teamed up in the 2nd inning to prove that bottom-of-the-order hitters can contribute as well, with Huffins doubling home Smith off a sharply hit double to center field. Dillon Tatum claimed a victory for the middle-of-the-order, smacking a solo homer in the 4th inning and increasing Fort Myers’ lead to 2-0. Rubel Cespedes drove in the final run, scoring Noah Cardenas, but not Kala’i Rosario, on a bittersweet RBI ground-rule-double. While Paredes worked the Blue Jays for six effective innings, Samuel Perez tagged himself into the game in the 7th inning, and he proved meaner, shutting down Dunedin’s offense for the final three frames. The outing gave Perez his first save of the season. Walks were the game’s theme; Dunedin failed to take one, while Fort Myers trotted freely to first base five times; Cardenas alone worked three invitations to the base paths. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 6 Box Score Cleiber Maldonado: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K HR: Jeferson Morales (1), Alexander Pena (3) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins fell to the FCL Red Sox in an even affair on Saturday. Cleiber Maldonado’s start lacked the sheen of his previous one; the lefty allowed six baserunners against three strikeouts but permitted just a single run. Groundballs were his accomplice; seven of his outs struck the earth before a fielder could reach the ball. The Twins’ offense was sparse but powerful when working correctly; rehabbing catcher Jeferson Morales smoked an Earl Weaver special in the 7th inning to spark a suddenly doable 3-5 disadvantage. Alexander Pena inched closer with a solo homer later in the frame. Two of the team’s five hits were of the over-the-wall variety. Lefty reliever Wilker Reyes truck out four batters over two innings; left fielder Andres Centeno walked three times. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 5, DSL Cardinals 4 Box Score Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (3-for-5), Rafael Cruz (2-for-4, R, BB), Daniel Pena (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, BB) In keeping with the “close game” theme of the night, the DSL Twins won by a run on Saturday. The bats knocked around 10 base hits while walking nine times; five runs seems low compared to how much pressure they placed on the Cardinals. The arms commanded the story, though; Cesar Lares led with 10 strikeouts, and the staff punched out 20 hitters in total. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cesar Lares, FCL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jake Cave, St. Paul Saints PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-5, K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, BB, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 K #13 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-3, 2 BB, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (5:02 PM) - RHP Mario Sanchez Wichita @ Springfield (4:25 PM) - LHP Kody Funderburk Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:10 PM) - TBD Dunedin @ Fort Myers (5:00 PM) - LHP Jordan Carr View full article
  23. On June 30th, the year of our lord 2022, the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen blew a two-run lead with two innings left in the ballgame. It felt inevitable; the team had already melted down in four similar games against this same Cleveland team, each loss degrading from tragedy to outright comedy. The bullpen is the scapegoat, and while they deserve their share of criticism, these excruciating losses are a group effort. Frequently in baseball, we break up starters and relievers into separate, distinct groups; both types of pitchers exist in their sphere outside of the influence of the other. But such a view is myopic and inaccurate. Baseball is a team sport, after all, and the actions of one player reverberate among every player in this game and into future matches. Take it from a former soccer goalkeeper; sure, it’s the keeper's fault when they allow a goal, but why did an opposing player have the opportunity to score in the first place? What happened amongst the defense? Is it fair to blame a streaking striker on the keeper? Previous actions influenced the future. To lay this out in baseball terms, we must consider the workload the game flow demands of each party; a starter unable to collect a few extra, precious innings places more strain on the bullpen. A team can adjust for a series or even a month, but the wear-down will hit at some point; the Pied Piper always earns his due. As of Thursday, Twins starters have thrown the 11th fewest innings in MLB, while their bullpen has tossed the 4th most innings; the team is 4th overall in total innings. By itself, this isn’t necessarily a sign of an unhealthy pitching ecosystem; the Rays bullpen has thrown the most innings of any team in MLB, and they are probably okay with that given that their crew owns a 3.18 ERA. But the Rays are a unique beast; the Twins are a different animal entirely. The Rays want their relievers to pitch those innings; they have melted down titles like “starter” and “reliever” until a pitcher is merely an “out-getter” precisely until they aren’t, whether that ends with three or 12 outs. Kevin Cash mixes and matches his assorted pitchers until the team nets their allotted nine innings, and everyone goes home. The Twins perhaps had some mildly similar plan on hand when the season began, but they lacked the preparation. Chris Archer pitched four innings on Thursday, a standard fare for him these days. Knowing that Archer would not be suitable for more than five innings, the Twins decided to back him up conventionally; no pitcher after him netted more than five outs. Rocco Baldelli—a manager already working with an exhausted bullpen—called on Jovani Moran, Tyler Duffey, and Tyler Thornburg to end the game. He had no choice; he had already used five relievers the day prior. Moran and Duffey did their job, but games are not seven innings long, and suddenly a player signed earlier this month pitched the final two frames. It went as well as you expected. This situation would not have happened if the starter had pitched six innings, if they had a true multi-inning pitcher available, or if the bullpen wasn’t horribly gassed. You can blame Baldelli—he absolutely threw the game by keeping Thornburg out an extra inning—but his options were slim. You can blame Thornburg—he was the man on the mound in the situation—but he’s not supposed to be an 8th-inning reliever. The problem is that the Twins bullpen is constantly tired due to a shortage of effective arms mixed with a starting staff that has failed to pitch deep into ballgames. This shortcoming falls squarely on the front office, but luck is also at play. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine knowingly ran headfirst into the season with a pitching staff low on starters that can pitch deep into the game combined with a bullpen missing their ace reliever, Taylor Rogers. Instead—and again, they knew that pitchers like Archer, Dylan Bundy, and Bailey Ober are dead-to-right five-and-fly guys—traditional single-inning relievers who can occasionally stretch an extra out or two populated the bullpen. That plan worked fine when everyone was healthy, but injuries combined with Archer and Bundy failing to bounce back have strained the relief core to exhaustion. Of course, when the baseball gods sense weakness, they’ll painfully expose it. A team ill-prepared for an overwhelming amount of innings has been fed them like slop in the trough; their 690 2/3 innings looks monstrous compared to Cleveland’s MLB fewest 641. Perhaps, to play a little Devil’s Advocate, this is an extreme consequence of a plan gone awry; the team primed Winder for the swingman role, but his injury left a void no pitcher could fill. Devin Smeltzer could have done it, but the team needed him in the starting rotations; Cole Sands could have done it, but he lacked major league polish. Jorge Alcala, Joe Smith, Trevor Megill, Danny Coulombe, and Cody Stashak are all trustworthy arms to varying degrees; none of those relievers are currently healthy. The answer could just be to wait. The situation isn’t impossible to climb out of; the Twins will get Ober and Kenta Maeda back at some point, they’ll run into a few extra off-days soon, and the team will pick up extra arms before the trade deadline. Jhoan Duran and Griffin Jax are a good 1-2 punch already; adding two more competent relievers knocks everyone down the totem pole until pitchers like Cotton and Thornburg are early-game/mop-up arms like they should be. An extra stud starter—Tyler Mahle, Frankie Montas, and the such—can move a rotation member like Bundy or Archer into the missing long relief role, making them the aid in an emergency, not the cause. Solutions to the problem do exist; we will just have to see which ones the team chooses. View full article
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