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Matt Braun

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  1. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from operation mindcrime for an article, Minor League Report 6/25 Christian Encarnacion-Strand Blasts a Walk-Off Homer   
    TRANSACTIONS
    OF Mark Contreras recalled by the Minnesota Twins
    Saints Sentinel
    St. Paul 7, Buffalo 4
    Box Score
    Aaron Sanchez: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
    HR: Michael Helman 2 (3, 4), John Andreoli (6)
    Multi-hit games: Jake Cave (2-for-5), Tim Beckham (2-for-4), Michael Helman (3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI), Elliot Soto (4-for-5, R, 3 RBI), John Andreoli (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI)
    The Saints won handily on Saturday.
    Former AL ERA champ Aaron Sanchez received the nod on Saturday. He was sporadic, walking a batter an inning while allowing three runners to score; he ended the day with a 2.00 WHIP.
    But the Saints’ bats pulled through. One-day big-leaguer, Elliot Soto, brought home a pair of runs with a single in the 4th inning. The Buffalo Bisons then chipped back, netting a few runs before parking themselves firmly in front of St. Paul at a 3-2 clip. Michael Helman wanted no part of that, and he sent a solo shot out to left before John Andreoli blasted his own homer, this time to center.
    If you thought Helman was done, then you would be wrong, my friend. Helman sent another solo homer out to left, this time staking a three-run lead that expanded after Soto brought him one final run with an RBI single.
    The Saints may have found good fortune on Saturday; their pitchers walked more batters than they struck out (eight to seven), but Buffalo could not take advantage of the free passes. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.
    Wind Surge Wisdom
    Wichita 2, San Antonio 4
    Box Score
    Louie Varland: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Cole Sturgeon (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Kevin Merrell (2-for-3, 2 B, R)
    Wichita lost a weird one on Saturday.
    Every batter for Wichita, outside of one got a hit on Saturday; they had 10 in total. Yet, the team went a hearty 0-7 with RISP, and that’s how you score two runs off 10 hits. Heck, half of their RBIs on Saturday came from a bases-loaded walk.
    Cole Sturgeon realized that if you hit a homer, then you’re always in scoring position, and simply blasted a ball out to right field for his sixth homer of the season. Kevin Merrell had the other extra-base hit: a double in the 6th.
    Louie Varland was just good, not his usual dominant self on Saturday. The righty had a full stat line, allowing eight runners against five strikeouts with three earned runs bookending his start.
    Cody Laweryson made his AA debut after receiving a promotion on Friday. The righty worked two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two singles allowed. He did work himself into some trouble in the 9th inning, but Chris Williams threw out a runner to end the inning.
    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 6, West Michigan 5
    Box Score
    Sean Mooney: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    HR: Wander Javier (6), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (16)
    Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (2-for-4, 2 RBI)
    The Kernels won a walk-off on Saturday.
    Sean Mooney started the game and did an adequate job keeping his team in the game, allowing two runs over 4 ⅔ innings. Mooney also struck out six.
    Cedar Rapids’ bats picked up immediately on Saturday; Kyler Fedko brought home two runs on a 1st inning triple, giving the Kernels the quick advantage. The Whitecaps scratched back with a pair of sacrifice flies in the 3rd and 5th innings to tie the game.
    West Michigan didn’t stop there. A pair of plays involving errors from Charles Mack allowed the Whitecaps to take a two-run lead. With two on in the bottom of the 8th inning, Wander Javier launched a go-ahead three-run homer to centerfield, giving the Kernels their first lead since the 1st inning.
    The Whitecaps tied up the game in the 9th inning with a solo homer, but Christian Encarnacion-Strand punished such silliness by cracking a walk-off shot in the bottom of the inning. It was Encarnacion-Strand’s 16th home run of the season.
     
    Mussel Matters
     
    The Mighty Mussels were supposed to play a doubleheader, but rain intervened, and neither game occurred. Fort Myers will play two games on Sunday starting at 10:30 AM.
    Complex Chronicles
    FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 6 (10 innings)
    Box Score
    Cleiber Maldonado: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Jefferson De La Cruz (3-for-5, 2 R), Andres Centeno (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Breilin Ramirez (3-for-5, 2 R)
    The FCL Twins won in extra-innings on Saturday.
    Rehabbing big-leaguer Chris Sale started for the FCL Red Sox. Sale ended up striking out six over 2 ⅔ IP—because of course he did—but the FCL Twins did knock out three hits against him. 
    Cleiber Maldonado, now the owner of my favorite name in the system, was phenomenal on Saturday. The lefty punched out six batters while allowing just one run over 4 innings; he dominated by any metric.
    The FCL Twins had three players with multiple hits and fortunately, all three batters hit back-to-back-to-back; six of the Twins’ runs came from Jefferson De La Cruz, Andres Centeno, and Breilin Ramirez.
    Dominican Dailies
    DSL Twins 0, DSL Mariners 4
    Box Score
    Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-3, 2B)
    The DSL Twins lost in a shutout on Saturday. Yasser Mercedes nabbed one of the two extra-base hits for the DSL Twins; Junior Del Valle had the other. Del Valle also stole a base.
    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cleiber Maldonado 
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman
     
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-1, K
    #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, 2 K
    #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - IL
    #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - IL
    #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-4, RBI, BB
    #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - IL
    #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
    #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
    #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
    #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 K
    #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, RBI, BB, K
    #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, 2 K
    #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - IL
    #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Buffalo (12:05 PM) - RHP Mario Sanchez
    San Antonio @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long
    Western Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz
    Fort Myers @ Lakeland (10:30 AM) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin
  2. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Identifying Prospects the Twins Could Move at the Trade Dealine   
    My secretary is informing me that the trade deadline is actually August 2nd, but because I’ve already written the previous paragraph, and because I found it funny, I will ignore that.
    There has recently been a weird but unsurprising defeatist mentality amongst Twins fans. Some have asked not what the Twins can do to improve at the deadline, but instead which veterans they can deal to consolidate their losses and give it another try next season. I disagree entirely with this notion. The Twins are a good baseball team lacking an extra arm, or two, or three, but acquiring those necessary few players is easily doable. Here are some of the prospects they may give up to do so.
    Matt Wallner
    It will be hard to part with a Minnesota boy, but the team may have to do it. Wallner stands at the crossroads of an excellent 2022 season and a weird position fit for the team in the future. There’s no shortage of young left-handed power-hitting outfielders on the Twins, making fate the beholder for any potential playing time for Wallner; his spot is far from saved. 
    Wallner is a legitimate prospect as well; Fangraphs gives him a 45 FV rating—a number that doesn’t blow anyone away but does represent a quality player with MLB potential. After all, Luis Arraez was just a 40+ FV prospect according to the same website. When drawing up trades, it’s easy to clump up the bottom of the barrel (Brent Rooker and Nick Gordon for Luis Castillo, anyone?) in a foolish attempt at swindling grown men out of their other, more talented grown men. That doesn’t happen in this era of MLB. Wallner alone will not net Frankie Montas, but he could be the 2nd best piece in a package deal for him or a starter like him.
    The only thing that could make teams shy away from Wallner is that he may be too MLB-ready. Remember, out-of-contention organizations like the Athletics hate spending money even more than they hate their own fans, and they don’t like holding on to a player who will be arbitration-eligible around the time they’re supposed to compete again.
    Cole Sands
    Like Wallner, whether a team wants Cole Sands depends on how much they’re willing to pay a player more than the vet minimum. Still, Sands is an awkward fit on the Twins. He has potential—that sweeping breaking ball is something vicious—but are they willing to throw him to the major league wolves and potentially take losses in exchange for learning experiences? A team out of contention can say yes, but the answer is far trickier for the Twins.
    Sands is similar to Wallner in that he will likely be the 2nd best piece if the trade is of the big-splash variety. 
    College Arm in the Low Minors
    This is cheating, but I make the rules, so I get to break them at will. The Twins have a glut of recently-drafted college arms laying waste to hitters in the low minors (hey, someone should write about that), and the team may dangle one in front of a team looking for the most sought-after commodity in sports: a young starting pitcher.
    I think the team will avoid bringing up Cade Povich in talks, but Brent Headrick, David Festa, and Travis Adams could be the lotto tickets necessary to coax an elite reliever out of another organization.
    Players the Team Will Not Move
    Remember, this is theorizing, not prophecizing; I have no idea which prospects the Twins covet and secretly loathe. 
    I have a hard time seeing the team move Austin Martin; he’s both significantly underperforming and a crucial cog in their return for José Berríos. If the team liked him enough to part ways with their best homegrown starter in a generation, then I don’t see them reversing course so soon.
    Spencer Steer is another player I don’t see the team parting ways with unless the return is massive. Gio Urshela is a stop-gap to nowhere, and Jose Miranda should avoid playing 3rd base as much as possible. Steer fits so perfectly in the team’s plan for next season that dealing him would make little sense.
    Final player: Marco Raya. This is even more speculation-y than before, but he feels anointed by the Twins to be the next Berríos. A team would have to make an overwhelmingly generous offer to convince the team to trade him away, and sellers usually aren’t the ones to make such concessions.
     
  3. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Dman for an article, Identifying Prospects the Twins Could Move at the Trade Dealine   
    My secretary is informing me that the trade deadline is actually August 2nd, but because I’ve already written the previous paragraph, and because I found it funny, I will ignore that.
    There has recently been a weird but unsurprising defeatist mentality amongst Twins fans. Some have asked not what the Twins can do to improve at the deadline, but instead which veterans they can deal to consolidate their losses and give it another try next season. I disagree entirely with this notion. The Twins are a good baseball team lacking an extra arm, or two, or three, but acquiring those necessary few players is easily doable. Here are some of the prospects they may give up to do so.
    Matt Wallner
    It will be hard to part with a Minnesota boy, but the team may have to do it. Wallner stands at the crossroads of an excellent 2022 season and a weird position fit for the team in the future. There’s no shortage of young left-handed power-hitting outfielders on the Twins, making fate the beholder for any potential playing time for Wallner; his spot is far from saved. 
    Wallner is a legitimate prospect as well; Fangraphs gives him a 45 FV rating—a number that doesn’t blow anyone away but does represent a quality player with MLB potential. After all, Luis Arraez was just a 40+ FV prospect according to the same website. When drawing up trades, it’s easy to clump up the bottom of the barrel (Brent Rooker and Nick Gordon for Luis Castillo, anyone?) in a foolish attempt at swindling grown men out of their other, more talented grown men. That doesn’t happen in this era of MLB. Wallner alone will not net Frankie Montas, but he could be the 2nd best piece in a package deal for him or a starter like him.
    The only thing that could make teams shy away from Wallner is that he may be too MLB-ready. Remember, out-of-contention organizations like the Athletics hate spending money even more than they hate their own fans, and they don’t like holding on to a player who will be arbitration-eligible around the time they’re supposed to compete again.
    Cole Sands
    Like Wallner, whether a team wants Cole Sands depends on how much they’re willing to pay a player more than the vet minimum. Still, Sands is an awkward fit on the Twins. He has potential—that sweeping breaking ball is something vicious—but are they willing to throw him to the major league wolves and potentially take losses in exchange for learning experiences? A team out of contention can say yes, but the answer is far trickier for the Twins.
    Sands is similar to Wallner in that he will likely be the 2nd best piece if the trade is of the big-splash variety. 
    College Arm in the Low Minors
    This is cheating, but I make the rules, so I get to break them at will. The Twins have a glut of recently-drafted college arms laying waste to hitters in the low minors (hey, someone should write about that), and the team may dangle one in front of a team looking for the most sought-after commodity in sports: a young starting pitcher.
    I think the team will avoid bringing up Cade Povich in talks, but Brent Headrick, David Festa, and Travis Adams could be the lotto tickets necessary to coax an elite reliever out of another organization.
    Players the Team Will Not Move
    Remember, this is theorizing, not prophecizing; I have no idea which prospects the Twins covet and secretly loathe. 
    I have a hard time seeing the team move Austin Martin; he’s both significantly underperforming and a crucial cog in their return for José Berríos. If the team liked him enough to part ways with their best homegrown starter in a generation, then I don’t see them reversing course so soon.
    Spencer Steer is another player I don’t see the team parting ways with unless the return is massive. Gio Urshela is a stop-gap to nowhere, and Jose Miranda should avoid playing 3rd base as much as possible. Steer fits so perfectly in the team’s plan for next season that dealing him would make little sense.
    Final player: Marco Raya. This is even more speculation-y than before, but he feels anointed by the Twins to be the next Berríos. A team would have to make an overwhelmingly generous offer to convince the team to trade him away, and sellers usually aren’t the ones to make such concessions.
     
  4. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Doctor Gast for an article, Identifying Prospects the Twins Could Move at the Trade Dealine   
    My secretary is informing me that the trade deadline is actually August 2nd, but because I’ve already written the previous paragraph, and because I found it funny, I will ignore that.
    There has recently been a weird but unsurprising defeatist mentality amongst Twins fans. Some have asked not what the Twins can do to improve at the deadline, but instead which veterans they can deal to consolidate their losses and give it another try next season. I disagree entirely with this notion. The Twins are a good baseball team lacking an extra arm, or two, or three, but acquiring those necessary few players is easily doable. Here are some of the prospects they may give up to do so.
    Matt Wallner
    It will be hard to part with a Minnesota boy, but the team may have to do it. Wallner stands at the crossroads of an excellent 2022 season and a weird position fit for the team in the future. There’s no shortage of young left-handed power-hitting outfielders on the Twins, making fate the beholder for any potential playing time for Wallner; his spot is far from saved. 
    Wallner is a legitimate prospect as well; Fangraphs gives him a 45 FV rating—a number that doesn’t blow anyone away but does represent a quality player with MLB potential. After all, Luis Arraez was just a 40+ FV prospect according to the same website. When drawing up trades, it’s easy to clump up the bottom of the barrel (Brent Rooker and Nick Gordon for Luis Castillo, anyone?) in a foolish attempt at swindling grown men out of their other, more talented grown men. That doesn’t happen in this era of MLB. Wallner alone will not net Frankie Montas, but he could be the 2nd best piece in a package deal for him or a starter like him.
    The only thing that could make teams shy away from Wallner is that he may be too MLB-ready. Remember, out-of-contention organizations like the Athletics hate spending money even more than they hate their own fans, and they don’t like holding on to a player who will be arbitration-eligible around the time they’re supposed to compete again.
    Cole Sands
    Like Wallner, whether a team wants Cole Sands depends on how much they’re willing to pay a player more than the vet minimum. Still, Sands is an awkward fit on the Twins. He has potential—that sweeping breaking ball is something vicious—but are they willing to throw him to the major league wolves and potentially take losses in exchange for learning experiences? A team out of contention can say yes, but the answer is far trickier for the Twins.
    Sands is similar to Wallner in that he will likely be the 2nd best piece if the trade is of the big-splash variety. 
    College Arm in the Low Minors
    This is cheating, but I make the rules, so I get to break them at will. The Twins have a glut of recently-drafted college arms laying waste to hitters in the low minors (hey, someone should write about that), and the team may dangle one in front of a team looking for the most sought-after commodity in sports: a young starting pitcher.
    I think the team will avoid bringing up Cade Povich in talks, but Brent Headrick, David Festa, and Travis Adams could be the lotto tickets necessary to coax an elite reliever out of another organization.
    Players the Team Will Not Move
    Remember, this is theorizing, not prophecizing; I have no idea which prospects the Twins covet and secretly loathe. 
    I have a hard time seeing the team move Austin Martin; he’s both significantly underperforming and a crucial cog in their return for José Berríos. If the team liked him enough to part ways with their best homegrown starter in a generation, then I don’t see them reversing course so soon.
    Spencer Steer is another player I don’t see the team parting ways with unless the return is massive. Gio Urshela is a stop-gap to nowhere, and Jose Miranda should avoid playing 3rd base as much as possible. Steer fits so perfectly in the team’s plan for next season that dealing him would make little sense.
    Final player: Marco Raya. This is even more speculation-y than before, but he feels anointed by the Twins to be the next Berríos. A team would have to make an overwhelmingly generous offer to convince the team to trade him away, and sellers usually aren’t the ones to make such concessions.
     
  5. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Minor League Report 6/25 Christian Encarnacion-Strand Blasts a Walk-Off Homer   
    TRANSACTIONS
    OF Mark Contreras recalled by the Minnesota Twins
    Saints Sentinel
    St. Paul 7, Buffalo 4
    Box Score
    Aaron Sanchez: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
    HR: Michael Helman 2 (3, 4), John Andreoli (6)
    Multi-hit games: Jake Cave (2-for-5), Tim Beckham (2-for-4), Michael Helman (3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI), Elliot Soto (4-for-5, R, 3 RBI), John Andreoli (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI)
    The Saints won handily on Saturday.
    Former AL ERA champ Aaron Sanchez received the nod on Saturday. He was sporadic, walking a batter an inning while allowing three runners to score; he ended the day with a 2.00 WHIP.
    But the Saints’ bats pulled through. One-day big-leaguer, Elliot Soto, brought home a pair of runs with a single in the 4th inning. The Buffalo Bisons then chipped back, netting a few runs before parking themselves firmly in front of St. Paul at a 3-2 clip. Michael Helman wanted no part of that, and he sent a solo shot out to left before John Andreoli blasted his own homer, this time to center.
    If you thought Helman was done, then you would be wrong, my friend. Helman sent another solo homer out to left, this time staking a three-run lead that expanded after Soto brought him one final run with an RBI single.
    The Saints may have found good fortune on Saturday; their pitchers walked more batters than they struck out (eight to seven), but Buffalo could not take advantage of the free passes. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.
    Wind Surge Wisdom
    Wichita 2, San Antonio 4
    Box Score
    Louie Varland: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Cole Sturgeon (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Kevin Merrell (2-for-3, 2 B, R)
    Wichita lost a weird one on Saturday.
    Every batter for Wichita, outside of one got a hit on Saturday; they had 10 in total. Yet, the team went a hearty 0-7 with RISP, and that’s how you score two runs off 10 hits. Heck, half of their RBIs on Saturday came from a bases-loaded walk.
    Cole Sturgeon realized that if you hit a homer, then you’re always in scoring position, and simply blasted a ball out to right field for his sixth homer of the season. Kevin Merrell had the other extra-base hit: a double in the 6th.
    Louie Varland was just good, not his usual dominant self on Saturday. The righty had a full stat line, allowing eight runners against five strikeouts with three earned runs bookending his start.
    Cody Laweryson made his AA debut after receiving a promotion on Friday. The righty worked two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two singles allowed. He did work himself into some trouble in the 9th inning, but Chris Williams threw out a runner to end the inning.
    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 6, West Michigan 5
    Box Score
    Sean Mooney: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    HR: Wander Javier (6), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (16)
    Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (2-for-4, 2 RBI)
    The Kernels won a walk-off on Saturday.
    Sean Mooney started the game and did an adequate job keeping his team in the game, allowing two runs over 4 ⅔ innings. Mooney also struck out six.
    Cedar Rapids’ bats picked up immediately on Saturday; Kyler Fedko brought home two runs on a 1st inning triple, giving the Kernels the quick advantage. The Whitecaps scratched back with a pair of sacrifice flies in the 3rd and 5th innings to tie the game.
    West Michigan didn’t stop there. A pair of plays involving errors from Charles Mack allowed the Whitecaps to take a two-run lead. With two on in the bottom of the 8th inning, Wander Javier launched a go-ahead three-run homer to centerfield, giving the Kernels their first lead since the 1st inning.
    The Whitecaps tied up the game in the 9th inning with a solo homer, but Christian Encarnacion-Strand punished such silliness by cracking a walk-off shot in the bottom of the inning. It was Encarnacion-Strand’s 16th home run of the season.
     
    Mussel Matters
     
    The Mighty Mussels were supposed to play a doubleheader, but rain intervened, and neither game occurred. Fort Myers will play two games on Sunday starting at 10:30 AM.
    Complex Chronicles
    FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 6 (10 innings)
    Box Score
    Cleiber Maldonado: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Jefferson De La Cruz (3-for-5, 2 R), Andres Centeno (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Breilin Ramirez (3-for-5, 2 R)
    The FCL Twins won in extra-innings on Saturday.
    Rehabbing big-leaguer Chris Sale started for the FCL Red Sox. Sale ended up striking out six over 2 ⅔ IP—because of course he did—but the FCL Twins did knock out three hits against him. 
    Cleiber Maldonado, now the owner of my favorite name in the system, was phenomenal on Saturday. The lefty punched out six batters while allowing just one run over 4 innings; he dominated by any metric.
    The FCL Twins had three players with multiple hits and fortunately, all three batters hit back-to-back-to-back; six of the Twins’ runs came from Jefferson De La Cruz, Andres Centeno, and Breilin Ramirez.
    Dominican Dailies
    DSL Twins 0, DSL Mariners 4
    Box Score
    Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-3, 2B)
    The DSL Twins lost in a shutout on Saturday. Yasser Mercedes nabbed one of the two extra-base hits for the DSL Twins; Junior Del Valle had the other. Del Valle also stole a base.
    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cleiber Maldonado 
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman
     
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-1, K
    #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, 2 K
    #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - IL
    #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - IL
    #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-4, RBI, BB
    #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - IL
    #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
    #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
    #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
    #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 K
    #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, RBI, BB, K
    #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, 2 K
    #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - IL
    #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Buffalo (12:05 PM) - RHP Mario Sanchez
    San Antonio @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long
    Western Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz
    Fort Myers @ Lakeland (10:30 AM) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin
  6. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Dman for an article, Minor League Report 6/25 Christian Encarnacion-Strand Blasts a Walk-Off Homer   
    TRANSACTIONS
    OF Mark Contreras recalled by the Minnesota Twins
    Saints Sentinel
    St. Paul 7, Buffalo 4
    Box Score
    Aaron Sanchez: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
    HR: Michael Helman 2 (3, 4), John Andreoli (6)
    Multi-hit games: Jake Cave (2-for-5), Tim Beckham (2-for-4), Michael Helman (3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI), Elliot Soto (4-for-5, R, 3 RBI), John Andreoli (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI)
    The Saints won handily on Saturday.
    Former AL ERA champ Aaron Sanchez received the nod on Saturday. He was sporadic, walking a batter an inning while allowing three runners to score; he ended the day with a 2.00 WHIP.
    But the Saints’ bats pulled through. One-day big-leaguer, Elliot Soto, brought home a pair of runs with a single in the 4th inning. The Buffalo Bisons then chipped back, netting a few runs before parking themselves firmly in front of St. Paul at a 3-2 clip. Michael Helman wanted no part of that, and he sent a solo shot out to left before John Andreoli blasted his own homer, this time to center.
    If you thought Helman was done, then you would be wrong, my friend. Helman sent another solo homer out to left, this time staking a three-run lead that expanded after Soto brought him one final run with an RBI single.
    The Saints may have found good fortune on Saturday; their pitchers walked more batters than they struck out (eight to seven), but Buffalo could not take advantage of the free passes. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.
    Wind Surge Wisdom
    Wichita 2, San Antonio 4
    Box Score
    Louie Varland: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Cole Sturgeon (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Kevin Merrell (2-for-3, 2 B, R)
    Wichita lost a weird one on Saturday.
    Every batter for Wichita, outside of one got a hit on Saturday; they had 10 in total. Yet, the team went a hearty 0-7 with RISP, and that’s how you score two runs off 10 hits. Heck, half of their RBIs on Saturday came from a bases-loaded walk.
    Cole Sturgeon realized that if you hit a homer, then you’re always in scoring position, and simply blasted a ball out to right field for his sixth homer of the season. Kevin Merrell had the other extra-base hit: a double in the 6th.
    Louie Varland was just good, not his usual dominant self on Saturday. The righty had a full stat line, allowing eight runners against five strikeouts with three earned runs bookending his start.
    Cody Laweryson made his AA debut after receiving a promotion on Friday. The righty worked two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two singles allowed. He did work himself into some trouble in the 9th inning, but Chris Williams threw out a runner to end the inning.
    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 6, West Michigan 5
    Box Score
    Sean Mooney: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    HR: Wander Javier (6), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (16)
    Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (2-for-4, 2 RBI)
    The Kernels won a walk-off on Saturday.
    Sean Mooney started the game and did an adequate job keeping his team in the game, allowing two runs over 4 ⅔ innings. Mooney also struck out six.
    Cedar Rapids’ bats picked up immediately on Saturday; Kyler Fedko brought home two runs on a 1st inning triple, giving the Kernels the quick advantage. The Whitecaps scratched back with a pair of sacrifice flies in the 3rd and 5th innings to tie the game.
    West Michigan didn’t stop there. A pair of plays involving errors from Charles Mack allowed the Whitecaps to take a two-run lead. With two on in the bottom of the 8th inning, Wander Javier launched a go-ahead three-run homer to centerfield, giving the Kernels their first lead since the 1st inning.
    The Whitecaps tied up the game in the 9th inning with a solo homer, but Christian Encarnacion-Strand punished such silliness by cracking a walk-off shot in the bottom of the inning. It was Encarnacion-Strand’s 16th home run of the season.
     
    Mussel Matters
     
    The Mighty Mussels were supposed to play a doubleheader, but rain intervened, and neither game occurred. Fort Myers will play two games on Sunday starting at 10:30 AM.
    Complex Chronicles
    FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 6 (10 innings)
    Box Score
    Cleiber Maldonado: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Jefferson De La Cruz (3-for-5, 2 R), Andres Centeno (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Breilin Ramirez (3-for-5, 2 R)
    The FCL Twins won in extra-innings on Saturday.
    Rehabbing big-leaguer Chris Sale started for the FCL Red Sox. Sale ended up striking out six over 2 ⅔ IP—because of course he did—but the FCL Twins did knock out three hits against him. 
    Cleiber Maldonado, now the owner of my favorite name in the system, was phenomenal on Saturday. The lefty punched out six batters while allowing just one run over 4 innings; he dominated by any metric.
    The FCL Twins had three players with multiple hits and fortunately, all three batters hit back-to-back-to-back; six of the Twins’ runs came from Jefferson De La Cruz, Andres Centeno, and Breilin Ramirez.
    Dominican Dailies
    DSL Twins 0, DSL Mariners 4
    Box Score
    Cesar Lares: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-3, 2B)
    The DSL Twins lost in a shutout on Saturday. Yasser Mercedes nabbed one of the two extra-base hits for the DSL Twins; Junior Del Valle had the other. Del Valle also stole a base.
    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cleiber Maldonado 
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman
     
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-1, K
    #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, 2 K
    #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - IL
    #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - IL
    #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-4, RBI, BB
    #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - IL
    #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
    #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
    #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
    #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
    #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 K
    #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, RBI, BB, K
    #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, 2 K
    #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - IL
    #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Buffalo (12:05 PM) - RHP Mario Sanchez
    San Antonio @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long
    Western Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz
    Fort Myers @ Lakeland (10:30 AM) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin
  7. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Are the Twins Brewing up Steals in the Minors?   
    Let’s look at his team specifically: the Wichita Wind Surge. Currently, they sit as the 3rd most steal-happy team in their division, the Texas League. The two most effective culprits are Austin Martin and DaShawn Keirsey, as Martin has 22 bags swiped under his name, and Kiersey has 18. Michael Helman has also broken double digits—without being caught as well—but no other player stands out like Martin and Kiersey. Instead, the team offers a democratic approach, with only one player, Catcher Alex Isola, lacking a successful steal so far this season.
    For Martin, his stealing acumen appears to be a new or at least unreleased skill. He had a comparatively low 14 steals last year, holds a 50 FV grade in “Run” according to Fangraphs, and the only mention I can find about his speed on Fangraphs’ scouting reports is Eric Longenhagen calling it “solid.” Although, Jeffrey Paternostro at Baseball Prospectus noted that he “was aggressive on the basepaths” in college. Perhaps the Twins wanted to unleash a wild baserunner otherwise limited by the Blue Jays.
    Wichita isn’t the only team running mayhem on the base paths. The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are also 3rd in their division in burglary. Mikey Perez alone has gotten away with an otherworldly 24 steals—a total that defines him as the 19th most prolific stealer in Minor League Baseball. Noah Miller, Jake Rucker, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Daniel Ozoria join Perez as double-digit swipers; like Wichita, their catchers, Kyle Schmidt and Dillon Tatum, are the only regular players without a steal.
    Slight tangent: Mikey Perez is an enigma. I’ve been writing about his great play all year, but I can barely find any information on him. No one at Fangraphs has written anything him; Baseball Prospectus is equally silent. The only articles/mentions/smoke signals/morse code orders/messages from a bottle I can find about him come from an MLB. com article from last year and the three sentences that make up his Perfect Game scouting report. How is a player so good at stealing? I want to know!
    One big question remains: why more steals? The stolen base and its adjacent scrappy playstyle have taken a back seat to power since the Kansas City Royals lost their credibility following their World Series victory. Guess who the league leader in steals is; do you know? It’s Julio Rodriguez, but only Mariners fans and other niche hipster baseball dorks aggressively celebrate it. Once teams realized that hitting the ball over the fence ensures a run on the board, speed fell quickly out of favor as MLB’s metagame moved towards homers.
    But the steal may return soon. Proposed rule changes like bigger bases, a limit on pickoffs, and the seemingly inevitable pitch clock all at least implicitly support a rejuvenated stolen-base metagame. One of my followers pointed out that the pitch clock can work as a countdown for the baserunner as well; they can take off at the precise moment the pitcher must throw the ball.
    Anyways, it’s unclear whether this is an affiliate-at-large movement. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are 9th in their 12-team division, while the St. Paul Saints are 14th out of 20 teams. This swiped bags movement could be a serendipitous meeting of a few steal-happy players collaborating to annoy catchers in an otherwise neutral team philosophy; little stands out in the stats to say otherwise. Still, the franchise has a handful of successful stealers moving through their system, and their playstyle could add a dynamic wrinkle to a homogenous power-focused offense.
  8. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from wavedog for an article, Are the Twins Brewing up Steals in the Minors?   
    Let’s look at his team specifically: the Wichita Wind Surge. Currently, they sit as the 3rd most steal-happy team in their division, the Texas League. The two most effective culprits are Austin Martin and DaShawn Keirsey, as Martin has 22 bags swiped under his name, and Kiersey has 18. Michael Helman has also broken double digits—without being caught as well—but no other player stands out like Martin and Kiersey. Instead, the team offers a democratic approach, with only one player, Catcher Alex Isola, lacking a successful steal so far this season.
    For Martin, his stealing acumen appears to be a new or at least unreleased skill. He had a comparatively low 14 steals last year, holds a 50 FV grade in “Run” according to Fangraphs, and the only mention I can find about his speed on Fangraphs’ scouting reports is Eric Longenhagen calling it “solid.” Although, Jeffrey Paternostro at Baseball Prospectus noted that he “was aggressive on the basepaths” in college. Perhaps the Twins wanted to unleash a wild baserunner otherwise limited by the Blue Jays.
    Wichita isn’t the only team running mayhem on the base paths. The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are also 3rd in their division in burglary. Mikey Perez alone has gotten away with an otherworldly 24 steals—a total that defines him as the 19th most prolific stealer in Minor League Baseball. Noah Miller, Jake Rucker, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Daniel Ozoria join Perez as double-digit swipers; like Wichita, their catchers, Kyle Schmidt and Dillon Tatum, are the only regular players without a steal.
    Slight tangent: Mikey Perez is an enigma. I’ve been writing about his great play all year, but I can barely find any information on him. No one at Fangraphs has written anything him; Baseball Prospectus is equally silent. The only articles/mentions/smoke signals/morse code orders/messages from a bottle I can find about him come from an MLB. com article from last year and the three sentences that make up his Perfect Game scouting report. How is a player so good at stealing? I want to know!
    One big question remains: why more steals? The stolen base and its adjacent scrappy playstyle have taken a back seat to power since the Kansas City Royals lost their credibility following their World Series victory. Guess who the league leader in steals is; do you know? It’s Julio Rodriguez, but only Mariners fans and other niche hipster baseball dorks aggressively celebrate it. Once teams realized that hitting the ball over the fence ensures a run on the board, speed fell quickly out of favor as MLB’s metagame moved towards homers.
    But the steal may return soon. Proposed rule changes like bigger bases, a limit on pickoffs, and the seemingly inevitable pitch clock all at least implicitly support a rejuvenated stolen-base metagame. One of my followers pointed out that the pitch clock can work as a countdown for the baserunner as well; they can take off at the precise moment the pitcher must throw the ball.
    Anyways, it’s unclear whether this is an affiliate-at-large movement. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are 9th in their 12-team division, while the St. Paul Saints are 14th out of 20 teams. This swiped bags movement could be a serendipitous meeting of a few steal-happy players collaborating to annoy catchers in an otherwise neutral team philosophy; little stands out in the stats to say otherwise. Still, the franchise has a handful of successful stealers moving through their system, and their playstyle could add a dynamic wrinkle to a homogenous power-focused offense.
  9. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from verninski for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  10. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Are the Twins Brewing up Steals in the Minors?   
    Let’s look at his team specifically: the Wichita Wind Surge. Currently, they sit as the 3rd most steal-happy team in their division, the Texas League. The two most effective culprits are Austin Martin and DaShawn Keirsey, as Martin has 22 bags swiped under his name, and Kiersey has 18. Michael Helman has also broken double digits—without being caught as well—but no other player stands out like Martin and Kiersey. Instead, the team offers a democratic approach, with only one player, Catcher Alex Isola, lacking a successful steal so far this season.
    For Martin, his stealing acumen appears to be a new or at least unreleased skill. He had a comparatively low 14 steals last year, holds a 50 FV grade in “Run” according to Fangraphs, and the only mention I can find about his speed on Fangraphs’ scouting reports is Eric Longenhagen calling it “solid.” Although, Jeffrey Paternostro at Baseball Prospectus noted that he “was aggressive on the basepaths” in college. Perhaps the Twins wanted to unleash a wild baserunner otherwise limited by the Blue Jays.
    Wichita isn’t the only team running mayhem on the base paths. The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are also 3rd in their division in burglary. Mikey Perez alone has gotten away with an otherworldly 24 steals—a total that defines him as the 19th most prolific stealer in Minor League Baseball. Noah Miller, Jake Rucker, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Daniel Ozoria join Perez as double-digit swipers; like Wichita, their catchers, Kyle Schmidt and Dillon Tatum, are the only regular players without a steal.
    Slight tangent: Mikey Perez is an enigma. I’ve been writing about his great play all year, but I can barely find any information on him. No one at Fangraphs has written anything him; Baseball Prospectus is equally silent. The only articles/mentions/smoke signals/morse code orders/messages from a bottle I can find about him come from an MLB. com article from last year and the three sentences that make up his Perfect Game scouting report. How is a player so good at stealing? I want to know!
    One big question remains: why more steals? The stolen base and its adjacent scrappy playstyle have taken a back seat to power since the Kansas City Royals lost their credibility following their World Series victory. Guess who the league leader in steals is; do you know? It’s Julio Rodriguez, but only Mariners fans and other niche hipster baseball dorks aggressively celebrate it. Once teams realized that hitting the ball over the fence ensures a run on the board, speed fell quickly out of favor as MLB’s metagame moved towards homers.
    But the steal may return soon. Proposed rule changes like bigger bases, a limit on pickoffs, and the seemingly inevitable pitch clock all at least implicitly support a rejuvenated stolen-base metagame. One of my followers pointed out that the pitch clock can work as a countdown for the baserunner as well; they can take off at the precise moment the pitcher must throw the ball.
    Anyways, it’s unclear whether this is an affiliate-at-large movement. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are 9th in their 12-team division, while the St. Paul Saints are 14th out of 20 teams. This swiped bags movement could be a serendipitous meeting of a few steal-happy players collaborating to annoy catchers in an otherwise neutral team philosophy; little stands out in the stats to say otherwise. Still, the franchise has a handful of successful stealers moving through their system, and their playstyle could add a dynamic wrinkle to a homogenous power-focused offense.
  11. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Strombomb for an article, Gary Sánchez is Different (And May be Underperforming)   
    We’ll focus solely on Sánchez’s bat in this article; defensive analysis can be left to Parker Hageman or some other actual baseball knower with a shred of a clue regarding mechanics. The Twins weren’t acquiring the frustrating catcher for his glove, after all; they were after his inconsistent yet potentially game-altering bat. 
    You’re well aware of Sánchez’s MLB career narrative. He set the world on fire in 2016, finishing 2nd in AL Rookie of the Year voting to Michael Fulmer, before running it back in 2017 with an elite wRC+ (131) that no qualified catcher has topped over an entire season since. It’s been shaky after that season; Sánchez has oscillated between mediocre, good, and dreadful, with “frustrating” working as the only consistently accurate description of his play in New York.
    But he’s in Minnesota now; a fresh start with a new franchise. Has he changed?
    Yes, to a degree. His strikeout and walk rates have moved in the wrong direction for a hitter (career 9.8 BB% to 5.8, and 26.7 K% to 28.3), but the under-the-hood numbers tell a far more interesting story.
    This story drew inspiration from this one image.

    Look at that cluster in right-center; does that reflect what you would expect from a traditional dead-pull righty? It may only be four doubles, but that’s enough to catch one’s eye. A similar grouping only ever shows up in his 2017 hit map; what’s going on?

    WARNING! Numbers ahead, like a lot of them.

    After seeing that, I moved to check his batted ball data, and wouldn’t you know it, Sánchez has inched towards a more democratic approach to hitting. His pull rate is down (45.5% vs career 51.7%), moving more batted balls into center (31.8% vs career 30.2%) and right (22.7% vs career 18.0%). Becoming a more well-rounded hitter in this vein sounds like a good thing by itself, but it may not be ideal for a powerful pull-hitter. We need more information—is Sánchez doing more damage with this new philosophy?
    Yes! Actually. Sánchez owns a wRC+ of 172 on batted balls sent to what Fangraphs defines as centerfield—a number almost equal to what he did during his fabulous 2017 campaign (174). He’s still not great on balls shot the other way (57 wRC+)—we didn’t expect him to become righty Juan Soto overnight—but it certainly appears that he’s found a more well-rounded stroke. Is it any coincidence that his BABIP is back up to .282 after he wallowed in Keplerian levels for the last four seasons?
    The good news is that he isn’t sacrificing any of his crucial pull-power to accomplish this. Sánchez is crushing balls to the tune of a 240 wRC+ when he sends them to left field—a number even finer than his legendary 2017 season.
    He’s not perfect, however. It seems that his new approach has cost him valuable walks, and his strikeouts have ticked up a touch as well, although I question how sticky the extra Ks are. Walks are valuable, but extra-base hits are even more precious, and the Twins seem to believe that Sánchez is a cleaner fit in the lineup when he’s doing damage, not setting the table.
    The "underperforming" part of the title stems from his Statcast data; Sánchez is walloping fastballs at a .412 xWOBA clip but only has a .328 wOBA against the pitch. Sure, some of that is due to the soggy ball draining power from everyone's bat, but nearly .100 points of wOBA cannot be explained away with that answer; luck must be involved. It's easy to imagine that his approach will bear even more fruit once the summer heat pushes those warning track disappointments into free souvenirs. 
    There you have it; sometimes, an intuition or a minor blip of information can send you down a rabbit hole from which a truth hides. Gary Sánchez has adjusted his hitting style, and it may have been precisely what the doctor ordered. The former hulking slugger has embraced right-center field and may flourish for it.
  12. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  13. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  14. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Are the Twins Brewing up Steals in the Minors?   
    Let’s look at his team specifically: the Wichita Wind Surge. Currently, they sit as the 3rd most steal-happy team in their division, the Texas League. The two most effective culprits are Austin Martin and DaShawn Keirsey, as Martin has 22 bags swiped under his name, and Kiersey has 18. Michael Helman has also broken double digits—without being caught as well—but no other player stands out like Martin and Kiersey. Instead, the team offers a democratic approach, with only one player, Catcher Alex Isola, lacking a successful steal so far this season.
    For Martin, his stealing acumen appears to be a new or at least unreleased skill. He had a comparatively low 14 steals last year, holds a 50 FV grade in “Run” according to Fangraphs, and the only mention I can find about his speed on Fangraphs’ scouting reports is Eric Longenhagen calling it “solid.” Although, Jeffrey Paternostro at Baseball Prospectus noted that he “was aggressive on the basepaths” in college. Perhaps the Twins wanted to unleash a wild baserunner otherwise limited by the Blue Jays.
    Wichita isn’t the only team running mayhem on the base paths. The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are also 3rd in their division in burglary. Mikey Perez alone has gotten away with an otherworldly 24 steals—a total that defines him as the 19th most prolific stealer in Minor League Baseball. Noah Miller, Jake Rucker, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Daniel Ozoria join Perez as double-digit swipers; like Wichita, their catchers, Kyle Schmidt and Dillon Tatum, are the only regular players without a steal.
    Slight tangent: Mikey Perez is an enigma. I’ve been writing about his great play all year, but I can barely find any information on him. No one at Fangraphs has written anything him; Baseball Prospectus is equally silent. The only articles/mentions/smoke signals/morse code orders/messages from a bottle I can find about him come from an MLB. com article from last year and the three sentences that make up his Perfect Game scouting report. How is a player so good at stealing? I want to know!
    One big question remains: why more steals? The stolen base and its adjacent scrappy playstyle have taken a back seat to power since the Kansas City Royals lost their credibility following their World Series victory. Guess who the league leader in steals is; do you know? It’s Julio Rodriguez, but only Mariners fans and other niche hipster baseball dorks aggressively celebrate it. Once teams realized that hitting the ball over the fence ensures a run on the board, speed fell quickly out of favor as MLB’s metagame moved towards homers.
    But the steal may return soon. Proposed rule changes like bigger bases, a limit on pickoffs, and the seemingly inevitable pitch clock all at least implicitly support a rejuvenated stolen-base metagame. One of my followers pointed out that the pitch clock can work as a countdown for the baserunner as well; they can take off at the precise moment the pitcher must throw the ball.
    Anyways, it’s unclear whether this is an affiliate-at-large movement. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are 9th in their 12-team division, while the St. Paul Saints are 14th out of 20 teams. This swiped bags movement could be a serendipitous meeting of a few steal-happy players collaborating to annoy catchers in an otherwise neutral team philosophy; little stands out in the stats to say otherwise. Still, the franchise has a handful of successful stealers moving through their system, and their playstyle could add a dynamic wrinkle to a homogenous power-focused offense.
  15. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Doctor Gast for an article, Are the Twins Brewing up Steals in the Minors?   
    Let’s look at his team specifically: the Wichita Wind Surge. Currently, they sit as the 3rd most steal-happy team in their division, the Texas League. The two most effective culprits are Austin Martin and DaShawn Keirsey, as Martin has 22 bags swiped under his name, and Kiersey has 18. Michael Helman has also broken double digits—without being caught as well—but no other player stands out like Martin and Kiersey. Instead, the team offers a democratic approach, with only one player, Catcher Alex Isola, lacking a successful steal so far this season.
    For Martin, his stealing acumen appears to be a new or at least unreleased skill. He had a comparatively low 14 steals last year, holds a 50 FV grade in “Run” according to Fangraphs, and the only mention I can find about his speed on Fangraphs’ scouting reports is Eric Longenhagen calling it “solid.” Although, Jeffrey Paternostro at Baseball Prospectus noted that he “was aggressive on the basepaths” in college. Perhaps the Twins wanted to unleash a wild baserunner otherwise limited by the Blue Jays.
    Wichita isn’t the only team running mayhem on the base paths. The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are also 3rd in their division in burglary. Mikey Perez alone has gotten away with an otherworldly 24 steals—a total that defines him as the 19th most prolific stealer in Minor League Baseball. Noah Miller, Jake Rucker, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Daniel Ozoria join Perez as double-digit swipers; like Wichita, their catchers, Kyle Schmidt and Dillon Tatum, are the only regular players without a steal.
    Slight tangent: Mikey Perez is an enigma. I’ve been writing about his great play all year, but I can barely find any information on him. No one at Fangraphs has written anything him; Baseball Prospectus is equally silent. The only articles/mentions/smoke signals/morse code orders/messages from a bottle I can find about him come from an MLB. com article from last year and the three sentences that make up his Perfect Game scouting report. How is a player so good at stealing? I want to know!
    One big question remains: why more steals? The stolen base and its adjacent scrappy playstyle have taken a back seat to power since the Kansas City Royals lost their credibility following their World Series victory. Guess who the league leader in steals is; do you know? It’s Julio Rodriguez, but only Mariners fans and other niche hipster baseball dorks aggressively celebrate it. Once teams realized that hitting the ball over the fence ensures a run on the board, speed fell quickly out of favor as MLB’s metagame moved towards homers.
    But the steal may return soon. Proposed rule changes like bigger bases, a limit on pickoffs, and the seemingly inevitable pitch clock all at least implicitly support a rejuvenated stolen-base metagame. One of my followers pointed out that the pitch clock can work as a countdown for the baserunner as well; they can take off at the precise moment the pitcher must throw the ball.
    Anyways, it’s unclear whether this is an affiliate-at-large movement. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are 9th in their 12-team division, while the St. Paul Saints are 14th out of 20 teams. This swiped bags movement could be a serendipitous meeting of a few steal-happy players collaborating to annoy catchers in an otherwise neutral team philosophy; little stands out in the stats to say otherwise. Still, the franchise has a handful of successful stealers moving through their system, and their playstyle could add a dynamic wrinkle to a homogenous power-focused offense.
  16. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from JDubs for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  17. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Dave The Dastardly for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  18. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from chpettit19 for an article, Are the Twins Brewing up Steals in the Minors?   
    Let’s look at his team specifically: the Wichita Wind Surge. Currently, they sit as the 3rd most steal-happy team in their division, the Texas League. The two most effective culprits are Austin Martin and DaShawn Keirsey, as Martin has 22 bags swiped under his name, and Kiersey has 18. Michael Helman has also broken double digits—without being caught as well—but no other player stands out like Martin and Kiersey. Instead, the team offers a democratic approach, with only one player, Catcher Alex Isola, lacking a successful steal so far this season.
    For Martin, his stealing acumen appears to be a new or at least unreleased skill. He had a comparatively low 14 steals last year, holds a 50 FV grade in “Run” according to Fangraphs, and the only mention I can find about his speed on Fangraphs’ scouting reports is Eric Longenhagen calling it “solid.” Although, Jeffrey Paternostro at Baseball Prospectus noted that he “was aggressive on the basepaths” in college. Perhaps the Twins wanted to unleash a wild baserunner otherwise limited by the Blue Jays.
    Wichita isn’t the only team running mayhem on the base paths. The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are also 3rd in their division in burglary. Mikey Perez alone has gotten away with an otherworldly 24 steals—a total that defines him as the 19th most prolific stealer in Minor League Baseball. Noah Miller, Jake Rucker, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Daniel Ozoria join Perez as double-digit swipers; like Wichita, their catchers, Kyle Schmidt and Dillon Tatum, are the only regular players without a steal.
    Slight tangent: Mikey Perez is an enigma. I’ve been writing about his great play all year, but I can barely find any information on him. No one at Fangraphs has written anything him; Baseball Prospectus is equally silent. The only articles/mentions/smoke signals/morse code orders/messages from a bottle I can find about him come from an MLB. com article from last year and the three sentences that make up his Perfect Game scouting report. How is a player so good at stealing? I want to know!
    One big question remains: why more steals? The stolen base and its adjacent scrappy playstyle have taken a back seat to power since the Kansas City Royals lost their credibility following their World Series victory. Guess who the league leader in steals is; do you know? It’s Julio Rodriguez, but only Mariners fans and other niche hipster baseball dorks aggressively celebrate it. Once teams realized that hitting the ball over the fence ensures a run on the board, speed fell quickly out of favor as MLB’s metagame moved towards homers.
    But the steal may return soon. Proposed rule changes like bigger bases, a limit on pickoffs, and the seemingly inevitable pitch clock all at least implicitly support a rejuvenated stolen-base metagame. One of my followers pointed out that the pitch clock can work as a countdown for the baserunner as well; they can take off at the precise moment the pitcher must throw the ball.
    Anyways, it’s unclear whether this is an affiliate-at-large movement. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are 9th in their 12-team division, while the St. Paul Saints are 14th out of 20 teams. This swiped bags movement could be a serendipitous meeting of a few steal-happy players collaborating to annoy catchers in an otherwise neutral team philosophy; little stands out in the stats to say otherwise. Still, the franchise has a handful of successful stealers moving through their system, and their playstyle could add a dynamic wrinkle to a homogenous power-focused offense.
  19. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from PatPfund for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  20. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Heiny for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  21. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  22. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Jeff D. for an article, Twins 1, Guardians 0: Devin Smeltzer Throws 6 Shutout Innings and the Bullpen Holds on   
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: Nick Gordon (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.359), Jhoan Duran (.188), Joe Smith (.094)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Devin Smeltzer faced off against seatbelt-enthusiast Zach Plesac in the final game of the series against the Cleveland Guardians. It was a beautiful day game; people around the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, while Twins fans looked to celebrate a victory after pulling defeat from the jaws of victory on Monday and Tuesday.
     
     
    The first few innings breezed by before Nick Gordon blasted a hanging curveball deep into center field for his second homer of the season. 
    The opportunity for Gordon to play centerfield and start in the lineup existed in the vacuum left by Byron Buxton’s mysterious, nagging injury. The team’s caution is Gordon’s advantage; the extra playing time has allowed him and Gilberto Celestino to flex their usefulness until Buxton returns. 
    Smeltzer was the story on Thursday. The often-leaned on lefty came up clutch again, firing off 6 shutout innings with three strikeouts to stymy Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians were confounded all day, sending balls directly toward defenders without recourse; their BABIP against Smeltzer was a paltry .167. No one knows how he continues to do this, but few will dare be anything but grateful for the boost Smeltzer has given to the starting rotation in the absence of multiple starters.
    But this is a Twins game in 2022, and we know better than to get our hopes up after a great start; the bullpen must do their job, after all. Joe Smith started the 7th inning, and while he loaded the bases before netting out, he somehow wriggled out of the situation, and the team walked away unscathed. 
    Jhoan Duran had the 8th inning and was considerably less noisy in his work. He “hit” Amed Rosario in the hand with a fastball—Rosario’s hands would no longer exist if that were true—but had an otherwise clean inning. 
    Duran then entered the 9th inning, looking to end the game possibly. He obliterated Franmil Reyes before Rocco Baldelli halted the game and began a slow walk to the mound. It’s unclear what Baldelli said—us mere regulars don’t earn the privilege of knowing—but Caleb Thielbar then came bounding out of the bullpen to the sounds of exhausted boos anticipating the future.
    Andrés Giménez plopped a double into left field, of course, before Ernie Clement dribbled a ball 50 feet; Thielbar threw him out at 1st. Steven Kwan, the nuisance of the series, stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit. Thielbar peppered him with fastballs around the perimeter, daring the rookie to trust his strike zone instincts before blowing a fastball by him for strike three.
    After two barn-burners, Thursday's game was a tame palate cleanser. Both teams collected just five hits⁠—Carlos Correa had three of them for the Twins⁠—and pitchers issued just three walks on the day. If there was ever a dictionary definition of a getaway day-game, this would be it. Outside of Gordon's homer, the only extra-base hit for the Twins belonged to Gio Urshela, who earned credit for a "double" that Reyes brutally fumbled. Apparently the official scorer felt lenient on Thursday.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins will remain in Minnesota and host the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the first time Colorado has played at Target Field since 2017. Dylan Bundy is set to face off against Germán Márquez.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  23. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from operation mindcrime for an article, Twins Minor League Week In Review (6/14-20): Wallner Continues to Rake   
    With short-season teams starting play recently, player names and teams can be somewhat overwhelming. When writing about Rookie Ball and the DSL, I can admit to having to click on a player’s name in the box score to remember their first name; you know you’re digging deep when the players don’t have a photo on MiLB.com. But those games are just as important; the Twins of the future have to start humbly, and they’ll make their way to the upper levels with hard work.
    TRANSACTIONS
    The Twins traded veteran infielder Daniel Robertson to the Phillies for Cash considerations. He has been rehabbing with the FCL Twins for the past two-plus weeks. 
    RESULTS
    Previous Week in Review (6/7-6/13): Saints Sweep Red Wings
    Tuesday: Alex Kirilloff Does It Again
    Wednesday: Rucker walks it off, Varland Double-Header Split Highlight Wednesday in the Twins System
    Thursday: Wallner Blasts on Tough Night for Twins Farm
    Friday: Cedar Rapids Throws A Shutout, Wichita *is* Shutout
    Saturday: Kernels Clinch Division Title, Playoff Berth
    Sunday: Walk-off in Cedar Rapids, Saints Blister Bats
    MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT
    Minnesota Twins 2014 Draft Retrospective: Swings and Misses
    TwinsDaily 2022 Draft Coverage, June 16
    This season, MLB Fining Parent Clubs for Minor-League Brawls
    MONDAY’S SHORT SEASON RESULTS
    FCL Twins 11, FCL Orioles 9 (10 innings)  
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Juan Rojas (4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)
    Multi-Hit Games: Danny De Andrade (2-for-4, BB, R, 2 RBI), Alexander Pena (2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 K), Yonardy Soto (3-for-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K), Jefferson De La Cruz (2-for-4, 2 RBI, K, SB), Ricardo Olivar (3-for-4, RBI)
    2B: Alexander Pena (5), Ricardo Olivar (2)
    HR: Alexander Pena (2), Yonardy Soto 2 (2), Gregory Duran (1) 
    Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K) 
    Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (2-for-4, BB, R, 2 RBI), Fredy Michel (0-for-6, R, 4 K). 

    Summary: What a wild and wacky game! Going into the 9th inning, the Twins held a 4-0 lead. They added another run in the top of the 9th to go ahead 5-0, but the Orioles scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. The Twins scored six runs in the top of the inning to take a big league. They gave up four runs in the bottom of the 10th inning and barely held on. 
    DSL Twins 6, DSL Guardians Blue 14
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Jose Betancourt (0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)
    Multi-Hit Games: Isaac Pena (2-for-3, 2 BB. 2 R, 2 SB), Jose Rodriguez (3-for-4)
    XBH: None 
    WEEK IN REVIEW
    Triple-A: St. Paul Saints
    Week: 3-3, playing in Columbus
    Season: 33-32 overall
    The Saints treaded water this week, but sometimes that’s all a team needs to do. The Columbus Clippers, the AAA affiliate for the Cleveland Guardians, are no pushovers either; they ended the week with a 38-28 season record. These were close affairs; just one run was the difference in five of the six games, including Sunday’s 11-10 thrilling win by the Saints. Manager Toby Gardenhire remained on paternity leave, but the team still gifted him a fine Father’s Day present with his 100th win as St. Paul’s skipper. 
    Alex Kirilloff earned his promotion to the Twins on Friday after collecting four more hits this week. Kyle Garlick began a rehab assignment on Wednesday. The outfielder is hitting .300 over 21 plate appearances but has also struck out eight times. Josh Winder continued his rehab assignment, allowing one run over 3 innings with a strikeout. Curtis Terry hit a blistering .368/.429/.842 with a pair of homers and just one strikeout the entire week. Michael Helman slashed .400/.455/.600 and captured the most hits on the week for the Saints. Spencer Steer returned to orbit as he slashed .179/.200/.321 with 10 strikeouts. Hopefully, this is just a blip on his otherwise outstanding season. Recent signee, Aaron Sanchez, struck out six over 7 1/3 IP but also allowed five earned runs, including a pair of homers. Jordan Balazovic worked in relief this week, allowing two runs over 2 2/3 innings. What’s Next? The Saints are off to Buffalo to play in what was technically a major league ballpark for a year and some change. 
    Pitching Probables (RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Josh Winder, RHP Jordan Balazovic, TBD, TBD, TBD)   
    Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge
    Week: 1-6, @ Tulsa
    Season: 33-29 overall
    Things could have gone better for Wichita. The team has cooled off tremendously, and the result was an ugly 1-6 week, although five of those losses were by one run, so things may not be as bad as they seem.
    Matt Wallner obliterated the ball and walked away with a hilarious .313/.621/.750 slash line. Even more impressive, he walked more than he struck out (11 to eight). Edouard Julien did well also, hitting .280/.400/.560 with a pair of homers.  
     
    Casey Legumina carried the torch on the mound, allowing only three earned runs over 10 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts.  Daniel Gossett impressed in his first start with Wichita, tossing five shutout innings. Sawyer Gipson-Long finally earned a promotion to AA but was touched up for five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. Let’s hope he can brush that off and find his footing with the Wind Surge. Andrew Cabezas threw four shutout innings in relief this week, striking out six while allowing just one hit. What’s Next? Wichita returns home to host the San Antonio Missions. Hopefully, some home cooking will help get them back on track.
    Pitching Probables (RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, LHP Kody Funderburk, RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, TBD)   
    High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Week: 4-2, hosting Dayton
    Season: 41-22 overall
    The Kernels were one of the teams that clinched a playoff spot this week. The team’s win on Saturday secured the first-half division crown, and the team can rest easy knowing that they will have a spot reserved for them in the post-season. In the meantime, there are ballgames to win.
    Yunior Severino smoked the ball all week, picking up seven hits, including two homers with eight RBIs. Alerick Soularie continued his season turn-around, hitting .368/.478/.632 with a pair of stolen bases. Cody Laweryson spearheaded the pitching effort with 5 2/3 scoreless innings and an incredible 11 strikeouts. Cade Povich wasn’t far behind, as he punched out 11 over 5 innings in his lone start of the week. Aaron Rozek walked away from this week unscathed, as he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings as part of Cedar Rapids’ shutout on Friday. What’s Next? The Kernels will remain at home and host the West Michigan Whitecaps.
    Pitching Probables (RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sean Mooney, RHP John Stankiewicz) 
    Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels
    Week: 4-1
    Season: 39-22 overall
    The Mighty Mussels were the other team that clinched a playoff spot this week. Their win on Wednesday ensured that no team in their division could catch them, and their spot in the post-season is now set in stone.
    Rubel Cespedes burst out of nowhere and dropped nine hits in just 17 at-bats. Kala’i Rosario launched a pair of homers while slugging .857 overall for the week. Luis Baez hit a scorching .500/.579/.563 while striking out as often as he walked (three to three) Noah Miller had just two hits but also walked five times Matt Mullenbach was elite in relief, punching out eight over 5 ⅓ innings devoid of an earned run Malik Barrington followed suit as he tossed 3 shutout innings with six strikeouts. Jordan Carr allowed one earned run in his 5-inning start  What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will head out to Lakeland to take on the Flying Tigers
    Pitching Probables (RHP Jordan Carr, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, TBD, TBD, LHP Jaylen Nowlin)   
    PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
    Hitter of the Week: OF Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge
    Matt Wallner might be turning a corner. The hometown talent has always been a slugger—power was never a question—but this week, he showed off an incredible talent for OBP on top of his already legendary ball-crushing ability. His eight strikeouts were still a touch high, but it feels nitpicky to call out when he walked 11 times while slugging .750. His OBP for the week starts with a .6. Enough said.
     
     
    At 24 years old, Wallner appears to be rounding into form at the right time. The lefty battled an assortment of injuries over his first few years in the minors—a bruise here and a nick there—and they added up to sap Wallner of consistency. His power kept him afloat, despite many (including I) questioning whether he could offset the large strikeout totals he racked up.
    Those strikeouts may never go away, but figuring out how to walk a bunch is an excellent way to even them out. His OBP on the year sits at a massive .408, thanks partly to a (probably) surprising batting average of .270. And, in case you weren’t convinced that his game is more well-rounded than before, he’s even stolen eight bases. It’s hard to see Wallner staying at AA for much longer.
    Pitcher of the Week: RHP Cody Laweryson, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    It’s rare to see a reliever win this distinction, but when you have the kind of week Cody Laweryson had, it’s easy to hand it to him. Laweryson made two relief outings; on June 14th, he struck out six over 3 ⅓ scoreless innings, while on June 17th, he struck out five over 2 ⅓ scoreless innings. That’ll play.
    Laweryson is under the radar, if not entirely off the grid, but that might not be fair to his ability. The righty made noise in 2019 by dominating Rookie-Ball as a 20-year-old, culminating in a monster 15 strikeout performance on August 26th of that season. His road has been bumpier since that breakout, but he could have a nice niche as a long reliever out of the bullpen. Given the breakdown of pitching barriers, that role can be valuable to a team.
    For a scouting report, Eric Longenhagen described him as a “How the hell is this guy doing this?” style of pitcher, sitting 89 MPH and crushing his competition with it. We’ve seen that work for Joe Ryan; perhaps it will serve Laweryson also.
     
     
     
     
  24. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from DocBauer for an article, Twins Minor League Week In Review (6/14-20): Wallner Continues to Rake   
    With short-season teams starting play recently, player names and teams can be somewhat overwhelming. When writing about Rookie Ball and the DSL, I can admit to having to click on a player’s name in the box score to remember their first name; you know you’re digging deep when the players don’t have a photo on MiLB.com. But those games are just as important; the Twins of the future have to start humbly, and they’ll make their way to the upper levels with hard work.
    TRANSACTIONS
    The Twins traded veteran infielder Daniel Robertson to the Phillies for Cash considerations. He has been rehabbing with the FCL Twins for the past two-plus weeks. 
    RESULTS
    Previous Week in Review (6/7-6/13): Saints Sweep Red Wings
    Tuesday: Alex Kirilloff Does It Again
    Wednesday: Rucker walks it off, Varland Double-Header Split Highlight Wednesday in the Twins System
    Thursday: Wallner Blasts on Tough Night for Twins Farm
    Friday: Cedar Rapids Throws A Shutout, Wichita *is* Shutout
    Saturday: Kernels Clinch Division Title, Playoff Berth
    Sunday: Walk-off in Cedar Rapids, Saints Blister Bats
    MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT
    Minnesota Twins 2014 Draft Retrospective: Swings and Misses
    TwinsDaily 2022 Draft Coverage, June 16
    This season, MLB Fining Parent Clubs for Minor-League Brawls
    MONDAY’S SHORT SEASON RESULTS
    FCL Twins 11, FCL Orioles 9 (10 innings)  
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Juan Rojas (4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)
    Multi-Hit Games: Danny De Andrade (2-for-4, BB, R, 2 RBI), Alexander Pena (2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 K), Yonardy Soto (3-for-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K), Jefferson De La Cruz (2-for-4, 2 RBI, K, SB), Ricardo Olivar (3-for-4, RBI)
    2B: Alexander Pena (5), Ricardo Olivar (2)
    HR: Alexander Pena (2), Yonardy Soto 2 (2), Gregory Duran (1) 
    Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K) 
    Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (2-for-4, BB, R, 2 RBI), Fredy Michel (0-for-6, R, 4 K). 

    Summary: What a wild and wacky game! Going into the 9th inning, the Twins held a 4-0 lead. They added another run in the top of the 9th to go ahead 5-0, but the Orioles scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. The Twins scored six runs in the top of the inning to take a big league. They gave up four runs in the bottom of the 10th inning and barely held on. 
    DSL Twins 6, DSL Guardians Blue 14
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Jose Betancourt (0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)
    Multi-Hit Games: Isaac Pena (2-for-3, 2 BB. 2 R, 2 SB), Jose Rodriguez (3-for-4)
    XBH: None 
    WEEK IN REVIEW
    Triple-A: St. Paul Saints
    Week: 3-3, playing in Columbus
    Season: 33-32 overall
    The Saints treaded water this week, but sometimes that’s all a team needs to do. The Columbus Clippers, the AAA affiliate for the Cleveland Guardians, are no pushovers either; they ended the week with a 38-28 season record. These were close affairs; just one run was the difference in five of the six games, including Sunday’s 11-10 thrilling win by the Saints. Manager Toby Gardenhire remained on paternity leave, but the team still gifted him a fine Father’s Day present with his 100th win as St. Paul’s skipper. 
    Alex Kirilloff earned his promotion to the Twins on Friday after collecting four more hits this week. Kyle Garlick began a rehab assignment on Wednesday. The outfielder is hitting .300 over 21 plate appearances but has also struck out eight times. Josh Winder continued his rehab assignment, allowing one run over 3 innings with a strikeout. Curtis Terry hit a blistering .368/.429/.842 with a pair of homers and just one strikeout the entire week. Michael Helman slashed .400/.455/.600 and captured the most hits on the week for the Saints. Spencer Steer returned to orbit as he slashed .179/.200/.321 with 10 strikeouts. Hopefully, this is just a blip on his otherwise outstanding season. Recent signee, Aaron Sanchez, struck out six over 7 1/3 IP but also allowed five earned runs, including a pair of homers. Jordan Balazovic worked in relief this week, allowing two runs over 2 2/3 innings. What’s Next? The Saints are off to Buffalo to play in what was technically a major league ballpark for a year and some change. 
    Pitching Probables (RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Josh Winder, RHP Jordan Balazovic, TBD, TBD, TBD)   
    Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge
    Week: 1-6, @ Tulsa
    Season: 33-29 overall
    Things could have gone better for Wichita. The team has cooled off tremendously, and the result was an ugly 1-6 week, although five of those losses were by one run, so things may not be as bad as they seem.
    Matt Wallner obliterated the ball and walked away with a hilarious .313/.621/.750 slash line. Even more impressive, he walked more than he struck out (11 to eight). Edouard Julien did well also, hitting .280/.400/.560 with a pair of homers.  
     
    Casey Legumina carried the torch on the mound, allowing only three earned runs over 10 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts.  Daniel Gossett impressed in his first start with Wichita, tossing five shutout innings. Sawyer Gipson-Long finally earned a promotion to AA but was touched up for five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. Let’s hope he can brush that off and find his footing with the Wind Surge. Andrew Cabezas threw four shutout innings in relief this week, striking out six while allowing just one hit. What’s Next? Wichita returns home to host the San Antonio Missions. Hopefully, some home cooking will help get them back on track.
    Pitching Probables (RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, LHP Kody Funderburk, RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, TBD)   
    High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Week: 4-2, hosting Dayton
    Season: 41-22 overall
    The Kernels were one of the teams that clinched a playoff spot this week. The team’s win on Saturday secured the first-half division crown, and the team can rest easy knowing that they will have a spot reserved for them in the post-season. In the meantime, there are ballgames to win.
    Yunior Severino smoked the ball all week, picking up seven hits, including two homers with eight RBIs. Alerick Soularie continued his season turn-around, hitting .368/.478/.632 with a pair of stolen bases. Cody Laweryson spearheaded the pitching effort with 5 2/3 scoreless innings and an incredible 11 strikeouts. Cade Povich wasn’t far behind, as he punched out 11 over 5 innings in his lone start of the week. Aaron Rozek walked away from this week unscathed, as he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings as part of Cedar Rapids’ shutout on Friday. What’s Next? The Kernels will remain at home and host the West Michigan Whitecaps.
    Pitching Probables (RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sean Mooney, RHP John Stankiewicz) 
    Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels
    Week: 4-1
    Season: 39-22 overall
    The Mighty Mussels were the other team that clinched a playoff spot this week. Their win on Wednesday ensured that no team in their division could catch them, and their spot in the post-season is now set in stone.
    Rubel Cespedes burst out of nowhere and dropped nine hits in just 17 at-bats. Kala’i Rosario launched a pair of homers while slugging .857 overall for the week. Luis Baez hit a scorching .500/.579/.563 while striking out as often as he walked (three to three) Noah Miller had just two hits but also walked five times Matt Mullenbach was elite in relief, punching out eight over 5 ⅓ innings devoid of an earned run Malik Barrington followed suit as he tossed 3 shutout innings with six strikeouts. Jordan Carr allowed one earned run in his 5-inning start  What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will head out to Lakeland to take on the Flying Tigers
    Pitching Probables (RHP Jordan Carr, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, TBD, TBD, LHP Jaylen Nowlin)   
    PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
    Hitter of the Week: OF Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge
    Matt Wallner might be turning a corner. The hometown talent has always been a slugger—power was never a question—but this week, he showed off an incredible talent for OBP on top of his already legendary ball-crushing ability. His eight strikeouts were still a touch high, but it feels nitpicky to call out when he walked 11 times while slugging .750. His OBP for the week starts with a .6. Enough said.
     
     
    At 24 years old, Wallner appears to be rounding into form at the right time. The lefty battled an assortment of injuries over his first few years in the minors—a bruise here and a nick there—and they added up to sap Wallner of consistency. His power kept him afloat, despite many (including I) questioning whether he could offset the large strikeout totals he racked up.
    Those strikeouts may never go away, but figuring out how to walk a bunch is an excellent way to even them out. His OBP on the year sits at a massive .408, thanks partly to a (probably) surprising batting average of .270. And, in case you weren’t convinced that his game is more well-rounded than before, he’s even stolen eight bases. It’s hard to see Wallner staying at AA for much longer.
    Pitcher of the Week: RHP Cody Laweryson, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    It’s rare to see a reliever win this distinction, but when you have the kind of week Cody Laweryson had, it’s easy to hand it to him. Laweryson made two relief outings; on June 14th, he struck out six over 3 ⅓ scoreless innings, while on June 17th, he struck out five over 2 ⅓ scoreless innings. That’ll play.
    Laweryson is under the radar, if not entirely off the grid, but that might not be fair to his ability. The righty made noise in 2019 by dominating Rookie-Ball as a 20-year-old, culminating in a monster 15 strikeout performance on August 26th of that season. His road has been bumpier since that breakout, but he could have a nice niche as a long reliever out of the bullpen. Given the breakdown of pitching barriers, that role can be valuable to a team.
    For a scouting report, Eric Longenhagen described him as a “How the hell is this guy doing this?” style of pitcher, sitting 89 MPH and crushing his competition with it. We’ve seen that work for Joe Ryan; perhaps it will serve Laweryson also.
     
     
     
     
  25. Like
    Matt Braun got a reaction from Dman for an article, Twins Minor League Week In Review (6/14-20): Wallner Continues to Rake   
    With short-season teams starting play recently, player names and teams can be somewhat overwhelming. When writing about Rookie Ball and the DSL, I can admit to having to click on a player’s name in the box score to remember their first name; you know you’re digging deep when the players don’t have a photo on MiLB.com. But those games are just as important; the Twins of the future have to start humbly, and they’ll make their way to the upper levels with hard work.
    TRANSACTIONS
    The Twins traded veteran infielder Daniel Robertson to the Phillies for Cash considerations. He has been rehabbing with the FCL Twins for the past two-plus weeks. 
    RESULTS
    Previous Week in Review (6/7-6/13): Saints Sweep Red Wings
    Tuesday: Alex Kirilloff Does It Again
    Wednesday: Rucker walks it off, Varland Double-Header Split Highlight Wednesday in the Twins System
    Thursday: Wallner Blasts on Tough Night for Twins Farm
    Friday: Cedar Rapids Throws A Shutout, Wichita *is* Shutout
    Saturday: Kernels Clinch Division Title, Playoff Berth
    Sunday: Walk-off in Cedar Rapids, Saints Blister Bats
    MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT
    Minnesota Twins 2014 Draft Retrospective: Swings and Misses
    TwinsDaily 2022 Draft Coverage, June 16
    This season, MLB Fining Parent Clubs for Minor-League Brawls
    MONDAY’S SHORT SEASON RESULTS
    FCL Twins 11, FCL Orioles 9 (10 innings)  
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Juan Rojas (4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)
    Multi-Hit Games: Danny De Andrade (2-for-4, BB, R, 2 RBI), Alexander Pena (2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 K), Yonardy Soto (3-for-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K), Jefferson De La Cruz (2-for-4, 2 RBI, K, SB), Ricardo Olivar (3-for-4, RBI)
    2B: Alexander Pena (5), Ricardo Olivar (2)
    HR: Alexander Pena (2), Yonardy Soto 2 (2), Gregory Duran (1) 
    Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K) 
    Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (2-for-4, BB, R, 2 RBI), Fredy Michel (0-for-6, R, 4 K). 

    Summary: What a wild and wacky game! Going into the 9th inning, the Twins held a 4-0 lead. They added another run in the top of the 9th to go ahead 5-0, but the Orioles scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. The Twins scored six runs in the top of the inning to take a big league. They gave up four runs in the bottom of the 10th inning and barely held on. 
    DSL Twins 6, DSL Guardians Blue 14
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Jose Betancourt (0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)
    Multi-Hit Games: Isaac Pena (2-for-3, 2 BB. 2 R, 2 SB), Jose Rodriguez (3-for-4)
    XBH: None 
    WEEK IN REVIEW
    Triple-A: St. Paul Saints
    Week: 3-3, playing in Columbus
    Season: 33-32 overall
    The Saints treaded water this week, but sometimes that’s all a team needs to do. The Columbus Clippers, the AAA affiliate for the Cleveland Guardians, are no pushovers either; they ended the week with a 38-28 season record. These were close affairs; just one run was the difference in five of the six games, including Sunday’s 11-10 thrilling win by the Saints. Manager Toby Gardenhire remained on paternity leave, but the team still gifted him a fine Father’s Day present with his 100th win as St. Paul’s skipper. 
    Alex Kirilloff earned his promotion to the Twins on Friday after collecting four more hits this week. Kyle Garlick began a rehab assignment on Wednesday. The outfielder is hitting .300 over 21 plate appearances but has also struck out eight times. Josh Winder continued his rehab assignment, allowing one run over 3 innings with a strikeout. Curtis Terry hit a blistering .368/.429/.842 with a pair of homers and just one strikeout the entire week. Michael Helman slashed .400/.455/.600 and captured the most hits on the week for the Saints. Spencer Steer returned to orbit as he slashed .179/.200/.321 with 10 strikeouts. Hopefully, this is just a blip on his otherwise outstanding season. Recent signee, Aaron Sanchez, struck out six over 7 1/3 IP but also allowed five earned runs, including a pair of homers. Jordan Balazovic worked in relief this week, allowing two runs over 2 2/3 innings. What’s Next? The Saints are off to Buffalo to play in what was technically a major league ballpark for a year and some change. 
    Pitching Probables (RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Josh Winder, RHP Jordan Balazovic, TBD, TBD, TBD)   
    Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge
    Week: 1-6, @ Tulsa
    Season: 33-29 overall
    Things could have gone better for Wichita. The team has cooled off tremendously, and the result was an ugly 1-6 week, although five of those losses were by one run, so things may not be as bad as they seem.
    Matt Wallner obliterated the ball and walked away with a hilarious .313/.621/.750 slash line. Even more impressive, he walked more than he struck out (11 to eight). Edouard Julien did well also, hitting .280/.400/.560 with a pair of homers.  
     
    Casey Legumina carried the torch on the mound, allowing only three earned runs over 10 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts.  Daniel Gossett impressed in his first start with Wichita, tossing five shutout innings. Sawyer Gipson-Long finally earned a promotion to AA but was touched up for five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. Let’s hope he can brush that off and find his footing with the Wind Surge. Andrew Cabezas threw four shutout innings in relief this week, striking out six while allowing just one hit. What’s Next? Wichita returns home to host the San Antonio Missions. Hopefully, some home cooking will help get them back on track.
    Pitching Probables (RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, LHP Kody Funderburk, RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, TBD)   
    High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Week: 4-2, hosting Dayton
    Season: 41-22 overall
    The Kernels were one of the teams that clinched a playoff spot this week. The team’s win on Saturday secured the first-half division crown, and the team can rest easy knowing that they will have a spot reserved for them in the post-season. In the meantime, there are ballgames to win.
    Yunior Severino smoked the ball all week, picking up seven hits, including two homers with eight RBIs. Alerick Soularie continued his season turn-around, hitting .368/.478/.632 with a pair of stolen bases. Cody Laweryson spearheaded the pitching effort with 5 2/3 scoreless innings and an incredible 11 strikeouts. Cade Povich wasn’t far behind, as he punched out 11 over 5 innings in his lone start of the week. Aaron Rozek walked away from this week unscathed, as he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings as part of Cedar Rapids’ shutout on Friday. What’s Next? The Kernels will remain at home and host the West Michigan Whitecaps.
    Pitching Probables (RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sean Mooney, RHP John Stankiewicz) 
    Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels
    Week: 4-1
    Season: 39-22 overall
    The Mighty Mussels were the other team that clinched a playoff spot this week. Their win on Wednesday ensured that no team in their division could catch them, and their spot in the post-season is now set in stone.
    Rubel Cespedes burst out of nowhere and dropped nine hits in just 17 at-bats. Kala’i Rosario launched a pair of homers while slugging .857 overall for the week. Luis Baez hit a scorching .500/.579/.563 while striking out as often as he walked (three to three) Noah Miller had just two hits but also walked five times Matt Mullenbach was elite in relief, punching out eight over 5 ⅓ innings devoid of an earned run Malik Barrington followed suit as he tossed 3 shutout innings with six strikeouts. Jordan Carr allowed one earned run in his 5-inning start  What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will head out to Lakeland to take on the Flying Tigers
    Pitching Probables (RHP Jordan Carr, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, TBD, TBD, LHP Jaylen Nowlin)   
    PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
    Hitter of the Week: OF Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge
    Matt Wallner might be turning a corner. The hometown talent has always been a slugger—power was never a question—but this week, he showed off an incredible talent for OBP on top of his already legendary ball-crushing ability. His eight strikeouts were still a touch high, but it feels nitpicky to call out when he walked 11 times while slugging .750. His OBP for the week starts with a .6. Enough said.
     
     
    At 24 years old, Wallner appears to be rounding into form at the right time. The lefty battled an assortment of injuries over his first few years in the minors—a bruise here and a nick there—and they added up to sap Wallner of consistency. His power kept him afloat, despite many (including I) questioning whether he could offset the large strikeout totals he racked up.
    Those strikeouts may never go away, but figuring out how to walk a bunch is an excellent way to even them out. His OBP on the year sits at a massive .408, thanks partly to a (probably) surprising batting average of .270. And, in case you weren’t convinced that his game is more well-rounded than before, he’s even stolen eight bases. It’s hard to see Wallner staying at AA for much longer.
    Pitcher of the Week: RHP Cody Laweryson, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    It’s rare to see a reliever win this distinction, but when you have the kind of week Cody Laweryson had, it’s easy to hand it to him. Laweryson made two relief outings; on June 14th, he struck out six over 3 ⅓ scoreless innings, while on June 17th, he struck out five over 2 ⅓ scoreless innings. That’ll play.
    Laweryson is under the radar, if not entirely off the grid, but that might not be fair to his ability. The righty made noise in 2019 by dominating Rookie-Ball as a 20-year-old, culminating in a monster 15 strikeout performance on August 26th of that season. His road has been bumpier since that breakout, but he could have a nice niche as a long reliever out of the bullpen. Given the breakdown of pitching barriers, that role can be valuable to a team.
    For a scouting report, Eric Longenhagen described him as a “How the hell is this guy doing this?” style of pitcher, sitting 89 MPH and crushing his competition with it. We’ve seen that work for Joe Ryan; perhaps it will serve Laweryson also.
     
     
     
     
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