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David Youngs

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  1. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3BB, 2 K (77 pitches, 45 strikes, 58%) Home Runs: none Bottom Three WPA: Josh Winder (-.209), Byron Buxton (-.105), Jose Miranda (-.097), Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) After a rocky finish to last night's weather-delayed game, the Twins finished up a 'less than pretty' series against the Astros with a 5-0 shutout loss on Thursday afternoon. Despite garnering seven hits (to Houston's eight), the Twins were unable to convert any rallies and left 16 runners on base throughout the game. First Foe for Winder After two incredible starts to kick off his MLB campaign Josh Winder had his first sub-par start on Tuesday afternoon. The highly-touted prospect lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up six hits while walking three batters. Twins trainer Abe Masa accompanied skipper Rocco Baldelli to the mound to check on Winder towards the end of his outing. Winder continued to pitch and appeared fine. Hopefully, the young talent is healthy and will rebound for another great start next week! Bullpen After a rough outing in the first game of the day, the Twins' bullpen was adequate through 5 2/3 innings. Caleb Thielbar followed Josh Winder in relief and was scoreless through 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Duffey followed suit with two innings of scoreless ball. The highlight of the bullpen experience came from Cole Sands in the top of the eighth inning. Called up to the 40-man roster after last night's delay, Sands struck out the side, providing the only 1-2-3 inning on the day for the Twins' pitching staff. Sands wasn't as lucky in the ninth, giving up a homer to Yordan Alvarez. Arraez and Rocco Return Despite the gloom of the box score, Luiz Arraez and Rocco Baldelli returned from the COVID protocol on Thursday. Baldelli managed both games today and Arraez made his debut in the second game of the pseudo-double-header, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Nick Gordon is a Renaissance Man The Twins may have lost, but Nick Gordon won over the hearts of Twins fans between the two games on Thursday. After pitching a scoreless ninth inning of a blowout loss, Gordon made one of the most spectacular catches across the league in the second inning of the second game. Gordon had an impressive day at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles in the fifth and seventh innings. The former first-round pick has been a joy to watch for the Twins this season both in the field and at the plate. The Avon Park, Florida native has hit .294 in his last seven games, and Thursday afternoon's game was his first multi-hit game since April 21 against Kansas City. Bullpen Usage Chart What’s Next? After a disappointing sweep, the Twins will look to regain momentum tomorrow night with a home series against the Cleveland Guardians. RHP Sonny Gray (0-1, 3.48 ERA) will face off against Aaron Civale (1-2, 9.45 ERA) in a battle of two of the AL Central's top teams. First pitch at Target Field is scheduled for 7:10 pm CST.
  2. Last night's thunderstorms in the Twin Cities couldn't bring any electricity to the Twins' bats on Thursday afternoon. Read up on all the action from the second game of Thursday's pseudo-double-header. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3BB, 2 K (77 pitches, 45 strikes, 58%) Home Runs: none Bottom Three WPA: Josh Winder (-.209), Byron Buxton (-.105), Jose Miranda (-.097), Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) After a rocky finish to last night's weather-delayed game, the Twins finished up a 'less than pretty' series against the Astros with a 5-0 shutout loss on Thursday afternoon. Despite garnering seven hits (to Houston's eight), the Twins were unable to convert any rallies and left 16 runners on base throughout the game. First Foe for Winder After two incredible starts to kick off his MLB campaign Josh Winder had his first sub-par start on Tuesday afternoon. The highly-touted prospect lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up six hits while walking three batters. Twins trainer Abe Masa accompanied skipper Rocco Baldelli to the mound to check on Winder towards the end of his outing. Winder continued to pitch and appeared fine. Hopefully, the young talent is healthy and will rebound for another great start next week! Bullpen After a rough outing in the first game of the day, the Twins' bullpen was adequate through 5 2/3 innings. Caleb Thielbar followed Josh Winder in relief and was scoreless through 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Duffey followed suit with two innings of scoreless ball. The highlight of the bullpen experience came from Cole Sands in the top of the eighth inning. Called up to the 40-man roster after last night's delay, Sands struck out the side, providing the only 1-2-3 inning on the day for the Twins' pitching staff. Sands wasn't as lucky in the ninth, giving up a homer to Yordan Alvarez. Arraez and Rocco Return Despite the gloom of the box score, Luiz Arraez and Rocco Baldelli returned from the COVID protocol on Thursday. Baldelli managed both games today and Arraez made his debut in the second game of the pseudo-double-header, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Nick Gordon is a Renaissance Man The Twins may have lost, but Nick Gordon won over the hearts of Twins fans between the two games on Thursday. After pitching a scoreless ninth inning of a blowout loss, Gordon made one of the most spectacular catches across the league in the second inning of the second game. Gordon had an impressive day at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles in the fifth and seventh innings. The former first-round pick has been a joy to watch for the Twins this season both in the field and at the plate. The Avon Park, Florida native has hit .294 in his last seven games, and Thursday afternoon's game was his first multi-hit game since April 21 against Kansas City. Bullpen Usage Chart What’s Next? After a disappointing sweep, the Twins will look to regain momentum tomorrow night with a home series against the Cleveland Guardians. RHP Sonny Gray (0-1, 3.48 ERA) will face off against Aaron Civale (1-2, 9.45 ERA) in a battle of two of the AL Central's top teams. First pitch at Target Field is scheduled for 7:10 pm CST. View full article
  3. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Yennier Cano from St. Paul Saints. SAINTS SENTINAL Box Score Columbus 6, St. Paul 5 (F/12) Despite a solid starting pitching outing and late-inning push, the Saints fell just short in extras to the Clippers on Wednesday night in Columbus. The Saints tallied three runs in the ninth inning to tout a 4-1 lead but ultimately fell short after giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth and a walk-off in the 12th. The Saints struck first in the first thanks to a double from the red-hot Elliot Soto (6) who was later scored by a Curtis Terry RBI single. Terry continued his strong evening at the plate with a leadoff double (9) in the ninth and later scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Jermaine Palacios. The Saints then rallied off of a pair of singles from Caleb Hamilton and David Banuelos to plate two more runs in the inning. The highlight story of the evening came from the arm of starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez. In his third start of the year, the Delray Beach native threw six no-hit innings on 88 pitches, striking out seven batters and walking four. Gonzales is 2-1 on the year and touts an impressive 2.45 ERA through two starts in May and a 1.16 WHIP on the year. WIND SURGE WISDOM Box Score Wichita 4, NW Arkansas 3 A dominant outing from Matt Canterino and a timely spread of extra-base hits propelled the Wind Surge to a 3-1 win against NW Arkansas on Wednesday night in Wichita. Perhaps the most highly touted pitching prospect in the organization, Canterino lived up to the hype on Wednesday, tossing four innings of scoreless ball with six strikeouts while only allowing two hits. After an injury-ridden 2021, Canterino has an incredible 1.31 ERA through seven starts in 2022. Wichita struck the scoreboard early thanks to a pair of doubles in the second inning. Forest Lake product Matt Wallner led off the inning with a two-bagger to center and was later scored thanks to a double by Michael Helman. The two-hit combo proved successful for Wichita again in the sixth. After a Dennis Ortega single, Leobaldo Cabrera launched a 3-1 pitch over the center-field wall to give the Surge a 3-0 lead and secure his first home run of the season. Wichita added to their lead in the ninth thanks to an Austin Martin triple that scored DaShawn Keirsey from first. The insurance run proved critical, with the Naturals mounting a three-run comeback in their last frame that would fall just short. Despite the comeback, Austin Schulfer cut off NW Arkansas' rally and earned his fifth save of the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Box Score Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 1 A night after getting blown out, the Kernels returned the favor with a dominant win over Peoria on Wednesday afternoon. Cedar Rapids used a massive eighth inning with a trio of runs between the first and fifth innings to notch their league-leading 21st win of the young season. Cedar Rapids got the party started thanks to a two-out triple from Twins Daily Top 20 prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Three pitches later, Seth Gray laced a double to center field to put the Kernels on the board. Encarnacion-Strand had a stellar day at the office, going 3-for-4 with two runs and a walk. The 22-year-old is now slashing an impressive .370/.430/1.032 on the year and already has 74 hits. The talented prospect would score his first run of the game in the fifth. Thanks to a pair of walks and a single from Encarnacion-Strand, the Kernels plated two runs thanks to RBI walks from Charles Mack and Alerick Soularie. With a two-run lead going into the eighth, the Kernels put the nail in the coffin. With the bases loaded thanks to a walk, throwing error, and hit-by-pitch, Morales delivered arguably his biggest hit of the year. On the first pitch of his at-bat, the La Victoria, Venezuela native crushed a grand slam over the left-center field wall (2) to break open the flood gates for Cedar Rapids. Starting pitcher Sean Mooney (W, 1-0) was excellent through five innings, striking out four while only allowing one run on four hits. Mooney pounded the zone all night, throwing 54 of his 68 pitches for strikes while allowing zero Peoria walks. Cody Lawyerson (H,3) was even more effective in the bullpen, tossing three innings of scoreless, no-hit ball while striking out two. Melvi Acosta sealed the deal with a scoreless ninth inning on the bump. MUSSEL MATTERS Box Score Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 0 It's tough to follow up a no-hitter. Yet the Fort Myers pitching staff provided a pretty darn good silver lining on Wednesday night. A night after a combined no-no, a combo of five Mighty Mussels pitchers propelled the ballclub to a masterpiece shutout win, allowing only three hits on the night. Starting pitcher Travis Adams (W, 2-0) was dominant through five, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out six. Adams has been stellar so far this year, posting a 1.80 ERA through five starts, all of which have been five innings. Malik Barrington, Regi Grace, and Matthew Swain (S,5) held the fort down for the Mussels' bullpen, tossing four innings of one-hit ball while striking out a combined eight Palm Beach batters. Fort Myers mustered together three runs thanks to five singles, a double, and a walk. And while the scoreboard may not have shown it, the Mussels totaled a whopping ten hits on the night. Eight of nine batters in the Fort Myers lineup tallied hits and Jake Rucker and Kyler Fedko each tallied multi-hit games. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids)- 3-for-4, 3B, R, BB Pitcher of the Day: Chi Chi Gonzales (St. Paul)- 6.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, 3B, RBI, #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, BB #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-4, 3B, 2 R, BB #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (11:05 CST) - RHP Jake Faria (0-2, 8.31 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (3-1, 3.16 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (3-1, 5.82 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Pierson Ohl (1-1, 5.82 ERA)
  4. On a night of severe weather in the Twin Cities, there was electricity throughout the Twins' farm system on Wednesday. From stellar pitching outings courtesy of the Saints and Mussels to offensive thunderstorms from Cedar Rapids, there were flurries of action across the farm. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Yennier Cano from St. Paul Saints. SAINTS SENTINAL Box Score Columbus 6, St. Paul 5 (F/12) Despite a solid starting pitching outing and late-inning push, the Saints fell just short in extras to the Clippers on Wednesday night in Columbus. The Saints tallied three runs in the ninth inning to tout a 4-1 lead but ultimately fell short after giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth and a walk-off in the 12th. The Saints struck first in the first thanks to a double from the red-hot Elliot Soto (6) who was later scored by a Curtis Terry RBI single. Terry continued his strong evening at the plate with a leadoff double (9) in the ninth and later scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Jermaine Palacios. The Saints then rallied off of a pair of singles from Caleb Hamilton and David Banuelos to plate two more runs in the inning. The highlight story of the evening came from the arm of starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez. In his third start of the year, the Delray Beach native threw six no-hit innings on 88 pitches, striking out seven batters and walking four. Gonzales is 2-1 on the year and touts an impressive 2.45 ERA through two starts in May and a 1.16 WHIP on the year. WIND SURGE WISDOM Box Score Wichita 4, NW Arkansas 3 A dominant outing from Matt Canterino and a timely spread of extra-base hits propelled the Wind Surge to a 3-1 win against NW Arkansas on Wednesday night in Wichita. Perhaps the most highly touted pitching prospect in the organization, Canterino lived up to the hype on Wednesday, tossing four innings of scoreless ball with six strikeouts while only allowing two hits. After an injury-ridden 2021, Canterino has an incredible 1.31 ERA through seven starts in 2022. Wichita struck the scoreboard early thanks to a pair of doubles in the second inning. Forest Lake product Matt Wallner led off the inning with a two-bagger to center and was later scored thanks to a double by Michael Helman. The two-hit combo proved successful for Wichita again in the sixth. After a Dennis Ortega single, Leobaldo Cabrera launched a 3-1 pitch over the center-field wall to give the Surge a 3-0 lead and secure his first home run of the season. Wichita added to their lead in the ninth thanks to an Austin Martin triple that scored DaShawn Keirsey from first. The insurance run proved critical, with the Naturals mounting a three-run comeback in their last frame that would fall just short. Despite the comeback, Austin Schulfer cut off NW Arkansas' rally and earned his fifth save of the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Box Score Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 1 A night after getting blown out, the Kernels returned the favor with a dominant win over Peoria on Wednesday afternoon. Cedar Rapids used a massive eighth inning with a trio of runs between the first and fifth innings to notch their league-leading 21st win of the young season. Cedar Rapids got the party started thanks to a two-out triple from Twins Daily Top 20 prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Three pitches later, Seth Gray laced a double to center field to put the Kernels on the board. Encarnacion-Strand had a stellar day at the office, going 3-for-4 with two runs and a walk. The 22-year-old is now slashing an impressive .370/.430/1.032 on the year and already has 74 hits. The talented prospect would score his first run of the game in the fifth. Thanks to a pair of walks and a single from Encarnacion-Strand, the Kernels plated two runs thanks to RBI walks from Charles Mack and Alerick Soularie. With a two-run lead going into the eighth, the Kernels put the nail in the coffin. With the bases loaded thanks to a walk, throwing error, and hit-by-pitch, Morales delivered arguably his biggest hit of the year. On the first pitch of his at-bat, the La Victoria, Venezuela native crushed a grand slam over the left-center field wall (2) to break open the flood gates for Cedar Rapids. Starting pitcher Sean Mooney (W, 1-0) was excellent through five innings, striking out four while only allowing one run on four hits. Mooney pounded the zone all night, throwing 54 of his 68 pitches for strikes while allowing zero Peoria walks. Cody Lawyerson (H,3) was even more effective in the bullpen, tossing three innings of scoreless, no-hit ball while striking out two. Melvi Acosta sealed the deal with a scoreless ninth inning on the bump. MUSSEL MATTERS Box Score Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 0 It's tough to follow up a no-hitter. Yet the Fort Myers pitching staff provided a pretty darn good silver lining on Wednesday night. A night after a combined no-no, a combo of five Mighty Mussels pitchers propelled the ballclub to a masterpiece shutout win, allowing only three hits on the night. Starting pitcher Travis Adams (W, 2-0) was dominant through five, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out six. Adams has been stellar so far this year, posting a 1.80 ERA through five starts, all of which have been five innings. Malik Barrington, Regi Grace, and Matthew Swain (S,5) held the fort down for the Mussels' bullpen, tossing four innings of one-hit ball while striking out a combined eight Palm Beach batters. Fort Myers mustered together three runs thanks to five singles, a double, and a walk. And while the scoreboard may not have shown it, the Mussels totaled a whopping ten hits on the night. Eight of nine batters in the Fort Myers lineup tallied hits and Jake Rucker and Kyler Fedko each tallied multi-hit games. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids)- 3-for-4, 3B, R, BB Pitcher of the Day: Chi Chi Gonzales (St. Paul)- 6.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, 3B, RBI, #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, BB #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-4, 3B, 2 R, BB #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (11:05 CST) - RHP Jake Faria (0-2, 8.31 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (3-1, 3.16 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (3-1, 5.82 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Pierson Ohl (1-1, 5.82 ERA) View full article
  5. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (76 pitches, 52 strikes (68.4%)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Jhoan Duran (-0.263), Gio Urshela (-0.2.52), Jorge Polanco (-0.80) Game Score: Orioles 5, Twins 3 Game Notes Alongside Rocco Baldelli, Luis Arraez and Dylan Bundy tested positive for Covid prior to Thursday night's game. Bench Coach Jayce Tingler filled in as manager for Thursday's game. Star shortstop Carlos Correa left the game in the seventh inning after being hit in the wrist and hand in consecutive at-bats. Nick Gordon replaced Correa. Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Twins got on the board in the third inning thanks to a pair of singles, an error, and a force out. Trevor Larnach led off the inning with a sharp single to right that was followed by a blooper single courtesy of Jose Miranda. Larnach advanced on the hit to second and later to third on a Baltimore throwing error. The error would cost the Orioles. On the next at-bat, Byron Buxton grounded into a force out that scored Larnach from third. Miranda's hit was the second of his young MLB career. In a world of quick judgment, it should be applauded that Miranda has two hits in his first three MLB games. Buxton's third-inning RBI was just the start. After a Ryan Jeffers walk, Buxton crushed his eighth homer of the year over the infamous left-field wall at Camden Yards to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. Buxton's launch came off the bat at 113 MPH and traveled a whopping 452 feet. Buxton is tied for second-most homers among all of MLB so far this season. Starting pitcher Chris Archer lasted four innings on the night, giving up five hits. The two runs that he surrendered came on solo home runs from the Orioles. Archer struck out six and failed to give up a walk in an outing that was mostly admirable minus the two homers. Caleb Thielbar followed Archer in the pen and was solid minus a solo shot given up to Jorge Mateo. Thielbar hit his target on the 1-2 pitch but Mateo eyed the pitch well and won the battle. Griffin Jax followed Thielbar and kept the Orioles from scoring through 1 2/3 innings. Flamethrower Jhoan Duran followed suit to finish off the inning in the seventh, but the haunting of the solo shot returned in the eighth. Ryan Hayes launched a go-ahead homer to put the O's ahead and Ryan Mountcastle followed suit with his second shot of the day to give Baltimore a 5-3 lead that would hold to the end. What’s Next? After a 4-3 road trip, the first place Twins will return home to Target Field to take on the Oakland A's tomorrow evening at 7:10 pm CST. Young sensation Josh Winder (1-0, 2.20 ERA) will make his second MLB start against Oakland's Cole Irvin (2-1, 2.93 ERA). It's supposed to be a beautiful evening, buy your tickets here! Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  6. Despite a flurry of middle-inning runs, five solo homers from the Orioles plagued the Twins from getting a series victory in Baltimore before heading home to Minneapolis. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (76 pitches, 52 strikes (68.4%)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Jhoan Duran (-0.263), Gio Urshela (-0.2.52), Jorge Polanco (-0.80) Game Score: Orioles 5, Twins 3 Game Notes Alongside Rocco Baldelli, Luis Arraez and Dylan Bundy tested positive for Covid prior to Thursday night's game. Bench Coach Jayce Tingler filled in as manager for Thursday's game. Star shortstop Carlos Correa left the game in the seventh inning after being hit in the wrist and hand in consecutive at-bats. Nick Gordon replaced Correa. Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Twins got on the board in the third inning thanks to a pair of singles, an error, and a force out. Trevor Larnach led off the inning with a sharp single to right that was followed by a blooper single courtesy of Jose Miranda. Larnach advanced on the hit to second and later to third on a Baltimore throwing error. The error would cost the Orioles. On the next at-bat, Byron Buxton grounded into a force out that scored Larnach from third. Miranda's hit was the second of his young MLB career. In a world of quick judgment, it should be applauded that Miranda has two hits in his first three MLB games. Buxton's third-inning RBI was just the start. After a Ryan Jeffers walk, Buxton crushed his eighth homer of the year over the infamous left-field wall at Camden Yards to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. Buxton's launch came off the bat at 113 MPH and traveled a whopping 452 feet. Buxton is tied for second-most homers among all of MLB so far this season. Starting pitcher Chris Archer lasted four innings on the night, giving up five hits. The two runs that he surrendered came on solo home runs from the Orioles. Archer struck out six and failed to give up a walk in an outing that was mostly admirable minus the two homers. Caleb Thielbar followed Archer in the pen and was solid minus a solo shot given up to Jorge Mateo. Thielbar hit his target on the 1-2 pitch but Mateo eyed the pitch well and won the battle. Griffin Jax followed Thielbar and kept the Orioles from scoring through 1 2/3 innings. Flamethrower Jhoan Duran followed suit to finish off the inning in the seventh, but the haunting of the solo shot returned in the eighth. Ryan Hayes launched a go-ahead homer to put the O's ahead and Ryan Mountcastle followed suit with his second shot of the day to give Baltimore a 5-3 lead that would hold to the end. What’s Next? After a 4-3 road trip, the first place Twins will return home to Target Field to take on the Oakland A's tomorrow evening at 7:10 pm CST. Young sensation Josh Winder (1-0, 2.20 ERA) will make his second MLB start against Oakland's Cole Irvin (2-1, 2.93 ERA). It's supposed to be a beautiful evening, buy your tickets here! Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  7. After an injury-ridden 2021, Cedar Rapids pitcher Brent Headrick was electric on Wednesday night. Combine that with an offensive clinic in St. Paul and a nail-biter in Florida, it was an exciting evening across the farm. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers announced after their game that infielder Jesus Feliz is going on the 7-Day IL with a right elbow strain. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Iowa 1 Box Score The bats were alive in Lowertown on Wednesday night. Combined with rock-solid pitching, St. Paul used seven hits, two homers, and a pair of doubles to pummel the I-Cubs. The Saints flooded the bases right out of the gate thanks to a pair of first-inning walks from Jake Cave and Curtis Terry. Two batters later, Mark Contreras mashed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to give St. Paul a 3-0 lead. St. Paul scored on a similar sequence to put two more runs on the board in the second inning. After Derek Fisher was hit by a pitch Elliot Soto crushed his first homer of the year to put St. Paul up 5-0. The team would tack on two more runs in the fifth. Terry opened the floodgates with an RBI double that scored Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to give the Saints a 7-1 lead. Lewis and Kirilloff teamed up to add another run in the seventh when Lewis scored on a Kirilloff single. Starting pitcher Ronny Henriquez was admirable on the night, allowing only one run through 3 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez was even more impressive in relief tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball while striking out three. The tandem of Drew Strotman and Yennier Cano teamed up to pitch a perfect final two innings to seal the deal. WIND SURGE WISDOM POSTPONED For the second time in recent days, Wichita’s Wednesday night game was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow evening. The highly-anticipated matchup of brothers Louie and Gus Varland will take place in game one. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 0 Box Score An outstanding starting pitching performance and a myriad of insurance runs propelled Cedar Rapids to a shutout win over rival Quad Cities. Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Brent Headrick was incredible, tossing six innings of scoreless ball. The Braidwood, Illinois, native only surrendered one hit and one walk while fanning a season-high ten strikeouts past the Quad Cities batting order. Headrick has at least five strikeouts in each of his five starts this season and an impressive 38 in total on the young season. Cedar Rapids broke the chess match in the sixth inning. After reaching on a thrower error, Kennie Taylor would find his way around the bases thanks to a Jeferson Morales single, a sac-fly by Anthony Prato, and an RBI single from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The Kernels would tack on a trio of insurance runs in the seventh. After reaching on a Fielder’s Choice, Alerick Soularie stole second base and would advance to third courtesy of a Will Holland single. The former Tennessee Volunteer then scored thanks to a wild pitch. The bases weren’t clear for long; thanks to the same players that manufactured the run in the sixth inning. After consecutive walks from Taylor and Morales, Prato laced a triple to center field that scored both men to give the Kernels a 4-0 lead. That lead would hold true to the final strike thanks to an efficient bullpen outing courtesy of Orlando Rodriquez and Andrew Cabezas. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Despite multiple comeback efforts, the Mussels dropped a tight game in the Sunshine State. The Mussels rebounded to tie the game in both the sixth and ninth innings but ultimately fell short in extra innings. Aside from giving up two runs in the first, starting pitcher David Festa was solid through four innings, striking out five and only walking one. Regi Grace followed suit by pitching three innings of scoreless ball, striking out three, and walking one. Down two for the first five innings, Fort Myers fought back with a stellar sixth inning. Highly-touted prospect Noah Miller kicked off the inning with his first triple of the year. Two batters later, Kyler Fedko reached on a Fielder’s Choice that would allow Miller to score from third. Fedko would advance to second thanks to a Lakeland error on the play and a balk in the next at-bat. With two outs, Keoni Cavaco came in clutch with a sharp double to score Fedko from third and give the Mussels a slight lead. The double added his stellar night at the plate. Prior to the at-bat, Cavaco laced a triple in the first. After Lakeland regained the lead in the eighth, the Mussels scrapped back a run in the ninth to tie it up on a wild span of events. With one out Mikey Perez went to first and was later advanced to second thanks to a bunt from Ernie Yake. Yake would eventually be caught stealing second on a play that moved Perez to third and resulted in the ejection of Mussels skipper Brian Meyer. After a pair of substitutions, Perez bolted home to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at three and send the game to extra innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Elliot Soto (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K Pitcher of the Day: Brent Headrick (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, O R, H, BB, 10 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-4 #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, SB, B, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 SO #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.70 ERA) Doubleheader Game One :Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Game Two: Following Game One Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 2.08 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - TBA View full article
  8. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers announced after their game that infielder Jesus Feliz is going on the 7-Day IL with a right elbow strain. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Iowa 1 Box Score The bats were alive in Lowertown on Wednesday night. Combined with rock-solid pitching, St. Paul used seven hits, two homers, and a pair of doubles to pummel the I-Cubs. The Saints flooded the bases right out of the gate thanks to a pair of first-inning walks from Jake Cave and Curtis Terry. Two batters later, Mark Contreras mashed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to give St. Paul a 3-0 lead. St. Paul scored on a similar sequence to put two more runs on the board in the second inning. After Derek Fisher was hit by a pitch Elliot Soto crushed his first homer of the year to put St. Paul up 5-0. The team would tack on two more runs in the fifth. Terry opened the floodgates with an RBI double that scored Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to give the Saints a 7-1 lead. Lewis and Kirilloff teamed up to add another run in the seventh when Lewis scored on a Kirilloff single. Starting pitcher Ronny Henriquez was admirable on the night, allowing only one run through 3 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez was even more impressive in relief tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball while striking out three. The tandem of Drew Strotman and Yennier Cano teamed up to pitch a perfect final two innings to seal the deal. WIND SURGE WISDOM POSTPONED For the second time in recent days, Wichita’s Wednesday night game was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow evening. The highly-anticipated matchup of brothers Louie and Gus Varland will take place in game one. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 0 Box Score An outstanding starting pitching performance and a myriad of insurance runs propelled Cedar Rapids to a shutout win over rival Quad Cities. Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Brent Headrick was incredible, tossing six innings of scoreless ball. The Braidwood, Illinois, native only surrendered one hit and one walk while fanning a season-high ten strikeouts past the Quad Cities batting order. Headrick has at least five strikeouts in each of his five starts this season and an impressive 38 in total on the young season. Cedar Rapids broke the chess match in the sixth inning. After reaching on a thrower error, Kennie Taylor would find his way around the bases thanks to a Jeferson Morales single, a sac-fly by Anthony Prato, and an RBI single from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The Kernels would tack on a trio of insurance runs in the seventh. After reaching on a Fielder’s Choice, Alerick Soularie stole second base and would advance to third courtesy of a Will Holland single. The former Tennessee Volunteer then scored thanks to a wild pitch. The bases weren’t clear for long; thanks to the same players that manufactured the run in the sixth inning. After consecutive walks from Taylor and Morales, Prato laced a triple to center field that scored both men to give the Kernels a 4-0 lead. That lead would hold true to the final strike thanks to an efficient bullpen outing courtesy of Orlando Rodriquez and Andrew Cabezas. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Despite multiple comeback efforts, the Mussels dropped a tight game in the Sunshine State. The Mussels rebounded to tie the game in both the sixth and ninth innings but ultimately fell short in extra innings. Aside from giving up two runs in the first, starting pitcher David Festa was solid through four innings, striking out five and only walking one. Regi Grace followed suit by pitching three innings of scoreless ball, striking out three, and walking one. Down two for the first five innings, Fort Myers fought back with a stellar sixth inning. Highly-touted prospect Noah Miller kicked off the inning with his first triple of the year. Two batters later, Kyler Fedko reached on a Fielder’s Choice that would allow Miller to score from third. Fedko would advance to second thanks to a Lakeland error on the play and a balk in the next at-bat. With two outs, Keoni Cavaco came in clutch with a sharp double to score Fedko from third and give the Mussels a slight lead. The double added his stellar night at the plate. Prior to the at-bat, Cavaco laced a triple in the first. After Lakeland regained the lead in the eighth, the Mussels scrapped back a run in the ninth to tie it up on a wild span of events. With one out Mikey Perez went to first and was later advanced to second thanks to a bunt from Ernie Yake. Yake would eventually be caught stealing second on a play that moved Perez to third and resulted in the ejection of Mussels skipper Brian Meyer. After a pair of substitutions, Perez bolted home to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at three and send the game to extra innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Elliot Soto (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K Pitcher of the Day: Brent Headrick (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, O R, H, BB, 10 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-4 #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, SB, B, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 SO #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.70 ERA) Doubleheader Game One :Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Game Two: Following Game One Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 2.08 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - TBA
  9. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan. 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (65 pitches, 57 strikes, 67%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.383), Emilio Pagan (.181), Joe Smith (.137) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Joe Ryan Experience was in mid-season form on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Coming off a stellar start at Fenway on April 15th, the young Twins' ace mirrored his performance in America's Heartland...only better. Ryan notched his first shutout appearance of the season against the Royals, giving up only two hits to a sneaky-good Kansas City offense. The only two hits for the Royals came on a Michael Taylor single in the third inning and a one-out Andrew Benintendi triple in the fourth. And while the fourth inning triple provided a threat, Nick Gordon caught a Salvador Perez pop-out in center field and gunned Benintendi out at the plate to extinguish the fire. Ryan may not have the 'ace aura' that is associated with a team's top arm, but the numbers shun the doubters. Through three starts and 14 innings, the San Francisco native has held hitters to a .168 batting average with 11 strikeouts and just four walks. All signs are pointing towards an incredible 2022 season for the 25-year-old. The Twins' offense was far from perfect but showed great poise after a pair of dry games at the plate. The one through five hitters in the Twins batting order each notched singles along with two from nine-hitter Nick Gordon. Trevor Larnach continued his impressive start to the season when he roped a line-drive single to left field in the seventh inning. Despite an overall offensive slump from the team, Larnach's start to the season has been incredibly promising. Buck BACK! Just one week after a frightening injury while sliding into second base, franchise staple Byron Buxton returned to the lineup in the DH role on Thursday. Buxton laced a single in the fifth inning that sent Nick Gordon to third and reinstated his hitting ways. As noted on the broadcast from Dick Bremer, the combo of Nick Gordon and Buxton as nine-hitter and leadoff man has the potential to be incredibly exciting. Bullpen Rolls While the Twins' offense continues to warm up, the pitching staff has done an incredible job pulling their weight. The bullpen was no exception in the late innings on Thursday afternoon. The legend of Jhoan Duran pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts on just 15 pitches. There's no doubt that the organization has found Duran's home as a rock-solid, late-inning flame thrower. Submariner Joe Smith followed suit with a scoreless eighth inning while Emilio Pagan garnered his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning. What's Next? After a week-long road trip, the Twins head back home to Target Field to take on division-foe Chicago at 7:10 pm CST. Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.27 ERA) will square off against Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.00 ERA) in a matchup between arguably the two best teams in the AL Central. It's also Grateful Dead night..buy those tickets! Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  10. Anchored by another stellar outing from Joe Ryan, the Twins scrapped past the Royals on Thursday afternoon thanks to eight singles. Here's what you need to know. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan. 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (65 pitches, 57 strikes, 67%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.383), Emilio Pagan (.181), Joe Smith (.137) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Joe Ryan Experience was in mid-season form on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Coming off a stellar start at Fenway on April 15th, the young Twins' ace mirrored his performance in America's Heartland...only better. Ryan notched his first shutout appearance of the season against the Royals, giving up only two hits to a sneaky-good Kansas City offense. The only two hits for the Royals came on a Michael Taylor single in the third inning and a one-out Andrew Benintendi triple in the fourth. And while the fourth inning triple provided a threat, Nick Gordon caught a Salvador Perez pop-out in center field and gunned Benintendi out at the plate to extinguish the fire. Ryan may not have the 'ace aura' that is associated with a team's top arm, but the numbers shun the doubters. Through three starts and 14 innings, the San Francisco native has held hitters to a .168 batting average with 11 strikeouts and just four walks. All signs are pointing towards an incredible 2022 season for the 25-year-old. The Twins' offense was far from perfect but showed great poise after a pair of dry games at the plate. The one through five hitters in the Twins batting order each notched singles along with two from nine-hitter Nick Gordon. Trevor Larnach continued his impressive start to the season when he roped a line-drive single to left field in the seventh inning. Despite an overall offensive slump from the team, Larnach's start to the season has been incredibly promising. Buck BACK! Just one week after a frightening injury while sliding into second base, franchise staple Byron Buxton returned to the lineup in the DH role on Thursday. Buxton laced a single in the fifth inning that sent Nick Gordon to third and reinstated his hitting ways. As noted on the broadcast from Dick Bremer, the combo of Nick Gordon and Buxton as nine-hitter and leadoff man has the potential to be incredibly exciting. Bullpen Rolls While the Twins' offense continues to warm up, the pitching staff has done an incredible job pulling their weight. The bullpen was no exception in the late innings on Thursday afternoon. The legend of Jhoan Duran pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts on just 15 pitches. There's no doubt that the organization has found Duran's home as a rock-solid, late-inning flame thrower. Submariner Joe Smith followed suit with a scoreless eighth inning while Emilio Pagan garnered his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning. What's Next? After a week-long road trip, the Twins head back home to Target Field to take on division-foe Chicago at 7:10 pm CST. Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.27 ERA) will square off against Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.00 ERA) in a matchup between arguably the two best teams in the AL Central. It's also Grateful Dead night..buy those tickets! Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  11. TRANSACTIONS Wichita Wind Surge placed 2B Edouard Julien on the 7-day injured list. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed SS Keoni Cavaco on the 7-day injured list. Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Dereck Rodriguez from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins recalled OF Trevor Larnach from St. Paul Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 0, Indianapolis 5 Box Score The night after a rain-shortened home-opener, the Saints’ bats ran dry on Wednesday at CHS Field, succumbing to a combined no-hitter at the hands of Pirates Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis. Former Twins reliever Chase De Jong brought some magic to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on Wednesday evening with a dominant pitching performance that lead to a 5-0 Indianapolis victory over the Saints. De Jong, who pitched for the Twins organization in 2018 and 2019 was spectacular, no-hitting the Saints through seven innings while striking out seven and walking two. Jermaine Palacios and Jake Cave were the only St. Paul hitters to reach base in what would prove to be the 15th no-hitter in Indianapolis history. And while the bats may have been cold, the Saints pitching staff had moments of brilliance throughout the evening. Starting pitcher Cole Sands was rock-solid, pitching five innings of three-hit ball while only allowing only one run. That run came on a solo homer in the fourth inning. Sands struck out five with one walk in his second appearance of the season and is sitting at an ERA of 0.90. Jovani Moran and Jordan Gore covered the sixth and seven innings with ease, allowing no runs on one hit. Moran was perfect in the sixth inning, striking out all three batters on sixteen pitches. RHP Ryan Mason would finish the night on the bump for the Saints with a perfect frame in the ninth. And while the game remained competitive through seven innings, Indianapolis broke open the flood gates in the eighth with a four-run inning that featured extra-base hits, a fielding error, and a controversial play at the plate. Derek Fischer almost ended the no-no in the eighth when he laced a line drive to the right-field corner, only to be robbed on a spectacular play by Indianapolis right-fielder Cal Mitchell. The loss drops the Saints to 5-3 on the season as they look to win their first game of the year against Indianapolis tomorrow night. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 8 Box Score Despite a scattering of runs, the Wind Surge were unable to contain the NW Arkansas offense on Wednesday night. A night after eight innings of scoreless baseball from the bullpen, the Surge surrendered 12 hits and 17 total base runners to the Naturals in a 5-8 defeat. Sensational prospect Matt Canterino had a short outing on Wednesday, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks in 1.2 innings. Expect the talented RHP to ease in as he gets more time under his belt at the Double-A level. The Wind Surge struck with a pair of runs in both the second and seventh innings. Following a DeShawn Keirsey walk and a stolen base (2), Andrew Bechtold launched his first homer of the season to plate two runs for the Surge. Keirsey would score again in the seventh. After punching a double (2) to left field, Dennis Ortega homered on a 2-1 count to score two more runs for Wichita. Top prospect Austin Martin would score the final Wind Surge run of the game in the eighth. After an infield single, Martin was moved to third on a Spencer Steer double (3) and scored thanks to an RBI single from Matt Wallner. Despite the loss, Spencer Steer continued his red hot start to 2022 on Wednesday night. Steer has now hit safely in all five games this season and his three doubles are tied for second-most in Double-A. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities POSTPONED The Kernel’s Wednesday evening matchup against the River Bandits was postponed due to inclement weather in Davenport. The game will be made up tomorrow as a part of a double-header beginning at 4:30. Casey Legumina will start the first game of the twin bill while the Kernels have yet to announce who will start game two. The Kernels look to continue their hot start after winning their first five games, including an 8-1 beat down of Quad Cities in the series opener last night. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Jupiter 4 Box Score Despite an early deficit, the Mussels used a massive third inning surge to push their way past the Hammerheads on Wednesday night in the Sunshine State. Fort Myers plated five runs in the third inning thanks to a Kyler Fedko double (2) and Kyle Schmidt's three-run homer (1) to keep the Mussels' perfect season intact. Fedko also laced a double in the second inning making him the only Fort Myers player with two extra-base hits in the game. And while the offense delivered, the Mussels' bullpen was excellent following the debut of one of the organization's most exciting pitching prospects. Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect and 2021 draft pick Steven Hajjar made his Twins organization debut, giving up four runs and four hits while striking out six in four innings. Expect Hajjar to continue to post high strikeout numbers as he continues to get his feet wet at the pro ball level. After Hajjar exited, the bullpen trio of Jackson Hicks (W, 1-0), John Wilson (H, 1), and Regi Grace (S, 1) made swift work of the Hammerheads, tossing six shutout innings on only two hits. Both Hicks and Wilson managed to strike out three hitters in their two-inning appearances while Regi Grace fanned five hitters in the final two frames, tossing 25 of his 32 pitches for strikes. The Mussels are now 5-0 on the young season and look to continue their run against Jupiter tomorrow night. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Regi Grace, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (S, 2 IP, 2 H, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Kyler Fedko, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, R, RBI, K) TOP PROSPECTS #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-4, R, K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, 2 K #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K (51 pitches, 26 strikes) #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-for-3, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (66 pitches, 45 strikes) #15 - Emmanuel Rodríguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-2, R, 2 BB #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - i-for-4, 2B, K #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CDT) - RHP Mario Sanchez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (0-1, 7.71 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (Double-header starting at 4:30 PM CDT) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CDT) - RHP Pierson Ohl (0-0, O.00 ERA) Give us your thoughts on Wednesday night's performance from around the farm!
  12. Spencer Steer continued his hitting streak, the Fort Myers bullpen dazzled, and the Saints were no-hit in Lowertown. Read up on all the action from across the Twins minor league system from Wednesday night! TRANSACTIONS Wichita Wind Surge placed 2B Edouard Julien on the 7-day injured list. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed SS Keoni Cavaco on the 7-day injured list. Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Dereck Rodriguez from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins recalled OF Trevor Larnach from St. Paul Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 0, Indianapolis 5 Box Score The night after a rain-shortened home-opener, the Saints’ bats ran dry on Wednesday at CHS Field, succumbing to a combined no-hitter at the hands of Pirates Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis. Former Twins reliever Chase De Jong brought some magic to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on Wednesday evening with a dominant pitching performance that lead to a 5-0 Indianapolis victory over the Saints. De Jong, who pitched for the Twins organization in 2018 and 2019 was spectacular, no-hitting the Saints through seven innings while striking out seven and walking two. Jermaine Palacios and Jake Cave were the only St. Paul hitters to reach base in what would prove to be the 15th no-hitter in Indianapolis history. And while the bats may have been cold, the Saints pitching staff had moments of brilliance throughout the evening. Starting pitcher Cole Sands was rock-solid, pitching five innings of three-hit ball while only allowing only one run. That run came on a solo homer in the fourth inning. Sands struck out five with one walk in his second appearance of the season and is sitting at an ERA of 0.90. Jovani Moran and Jordan Gore covered the sixth and seven innings with ease, allowing no runs on one hit. Moran was perfect in the sixth inning, striking out all three batters on sixteen pitches. RHP Ryan Mason would finish the night on the bump for the Saints with a perfect frame in the ninth. And while the game remained competitive through seven innings, Indianapolis broke open the flood gates in the eighth with a four-run inning that featured extra-base hits, a fielding error, and a controversial play at the plate. Derek Fischer almost ended the no-no in the eighth when he laced a line drive to the right-field corner, only to be robbed on a spectacular play by Indianapolis right-fielder Cal Mitchell. The loss drops the Saints to 5-3 on the season as they look to win their first game of the year against Indianapolis tomorrow night. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 8 Box Score Despite a scattering of runs, the Wind Surge were unable to contain the NW Arkansas offense on Wednesday night. A night after eight innings of scoreless baseball from the bullpen, the Surge surrendered 12 hits and 17 total base runners to the Naturals in a 5-8 defeat. Sensational prospect Matt Canterino had a short outing on Wednesday, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks in 1.2 innings. Expect the talented RHP to ease in as he gets more time under his belt at the Double-A level. The Wind Surge struck with a pair of runs in both the second and seventh innings. Following a DeShawn Keirsey walk and a stolen base (2), Andrew Bechtold launched his first homer of the season to plate two runs for the Surge. Keirsey would score again in the seventh. After punching a double (2) to left field, Dennis Ortega homered on a 2-1 count to score two more runs for Wichita. Top prospect Austin Martin would score the final Wind Surge run of the game in the eighth. After an infield single, Martin was moved to third on a Spencer Steer double (3) and scored thanks to an RBI single from Matt Wallner. Despite the loss, Spencer Steer continued his red hot start to 2022 on Wednesday night. Steer has now hit safely in all five games this season and his three doubles are tied for second-most in Double-A. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities POSTPONED The Kernel’s Wednesday evening matchup against the River Bandits was postponed due to inclement weather in Davenport. The game will be made up tomorrow as a part of a double-header beginning at 4:30. Casey Legumina will start the first game of the twin bill while the Kernels have yet to announce who will start game two. The Kernels look to continue their hot start after winning their first five games, including an 8-1 beat down of Quad Cities in the series opener last night. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Jupiter 4 Box Score Despite an early deficit, the Mussels used a massive third inning surge to push their way past the Hammerheads on Wednesday night in the Sunshine State. Fort Myers plated five runs in the third inning thanks to a Kyler Fedko double (2) and Kyle Schmidt's three-run homer (1) to keep the Mussels' perfect season intact. Fedko also laced a double in the second inning making him the only Fort Myers player with two extra-base hits in the game. And while the offense delivered, the Mussels' bullpen was excellent following the debut of one of the organization's most exciting pitching prospects. Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect and 2021 draft pick Steven Hajjar made his Twins organization debut, giving up four runs and four hits while striking out six in four innings. Expect Hajjar to continue to post high strikeout numbers as he continues to get his feet wet at the pro ball level. After Hajjar exited, the bullpen trio of Jackson Hicks (W, 1-0), John Wilson (H, 1), and Regi Grace (S, 1) made swift work of the Hammerheads, tossing six shutout innings on only two hits. Both Hicks and Wilson managed to strike out three hitters in their two-inning appearances while Regi Grace fanned five hitters in the final two frames, tossing 25 of his 32 pitches for strikes. The Mussels are now 5-0 on the young season and look to continue their run against Jupiter tomorrow night. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Regi Grace, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (S, 2 IP, 2 H, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Kyler Fedko, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, R, RBI, K) TOP PROSPECTS #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-4, R, K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, 2 K #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K (51 pitches, 26 strikes) #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-for-3, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (66 pitches, 45 strikes) #15 - Emmanuel Rodríguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-2, R, 2 BB #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - i-for-4, 2B, K #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CDT) - RHP Mario Sanchez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (0-1, 7.71 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (Double-header starting at 4:30 PM CDT) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CDT) - RHP Pierson Ohl (0-0, O.00 ERA) Give us your thoughts on Wednesday night's performance from around the farm! View full article
  13. In an effort to make Target Field a more inclusive and welcoming place for all fans, the Twins unveiled the UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite on Tuesday afternoon. Here's what you need to know. Friday’s highly-anticipated home opener isn’t the only exciting, fresh beginning at Target Field. Joined by UnitedHealthcare CEO Brett Edelson, the Twins officially unveiled their brand new UnitedHealth Sensory Suite on Tuesday afternoon at Target Field. Grounded in providing a more inclusive gameday experience for all fans, the suite will strive to provide a welcoming, compatible, and calming environment for neuroatypical fans seeking respite. “Since opening in 2010, we’ve worked really hard to ensure that Target Field is accessible to everyone,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said on Tuesday. “This suite is going to allow so many people who maybe otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy a day at the ballpark to do so now.” The suite features several sensory rooms with various traits, toys, and features catering to fans of different age generations. “It’s a very intricate design of spaces that are quiet, spaces that have sensitivity around different sensory disorders, and features to be inclusive to all fans,” Edelson said. Yet the real difference maker is the front portion of the suite, which offers a beautiful overlook of the playing surface at Target Field. “One of the greatest pieces of feedback that we got during the process was ‘how can we actually see the game?’” Edelson said. “Having the fantastic view of the field, that was so important to everyone.” And while other professional sports teams offer similar spaces, the sensory suite at Target Field goes above and beyond. “Other teams have spaces like this, but ours takes it to the next level,” Twins Senior Manager of Business Communications Matt Hodson said. “Any team that has a space is doing the right thing, but oftentimes those spaces are tucked away in a service area and can be just one room. We are being very intentional with the individualized spaces in this process.” Providing proper and inclusive accommodations for fans is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. That’s why the Twins, UnitedHealthcare, and Fraser will be working with guest service staff members to help equip them to best serve neuroatypical fans throughout Target Field. “We took a step back and said, ‘Not everyone is going to come to the suite, (some fans) want to have that gameday experience at the ballpark,’” Edelson said. “We are offering training to all the guest service staff members so they can help families make the most of their gameday experience.” In an industry that is often viewed through a lens of results on the field, it’s important to remember the human side of baseball. The Twins have long served as champions of bridging the gap between baseball and the needs of our society. “We found through our listenings in the community that this was something that we were missing,” Hodson said. “We were missing the environment where families and individuals who are neuroatypical could enjoy the ballpark experience.” And while the implementation certainly creates a great story, the Twins organization will continue to use its platform to best serve community members of all walks of life. "This organization does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do,” Hodson said. “When we say ‘all are welcome at Target Field, we truly mean it.” UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite: What to Know The new UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite is an attempt to provide a different way to watch #MNTwins games for neuroatypical fans that might be a little overwhelmed at the ballpark. It includes a balcony that overlooks the game and two inside rooms that provide a quieter environment, designed by UnitedHealthcare in partnership with Fraser, with neuroatypical kids and adults in mind. The suite is in the newly branded UnitedHealthcare Suite Level, which most fans previously didn’t have access to. It’s right next to the elevators near the right-field foul pole, so it’s very accessible. Twins game day staff will be trained to best serve neuroatypical fans that may not want to use the suite. The Twins, UnitedHealthcare, and Fraser will provide sensory kits for guests to check out, free of charge, at Guest Services stations throughout Target Field. The sensory suite was a designed build, meaning that additions and recommendations from field experts were utilized in the building process. View full article
  14. Friday’s highly-anticipated home opener isn’t the only exciting, fresh beginning at Target Field. Joined by UnitedHealthcare CEO Brett Edelson, the Twins officially unveiled their brand new UnitedHealth Sensory Suite on Tuesday afternoon at Target Field. Grounded in providing a more inclusive gameday experience for all fans, the suite will strive to provide a welcoming, compatible, and calming environment for neuroatypical fans seeking respite. “Since opening in 2010, we’ve worked really hard to ensure that Target Field is accessible to everyone,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said on Tuesday. “This suite is going to allow so many people who maybe otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy a day at the ballpark to do so now.” The suite features several sensory rooms with various traits, toys, and features catering to fans of different age generations. “It’s a very intricate design of spaces that are quiet, spaces that have sensitivity around different sensory disorders, and features to be inclusive to all fans,” Edelson said. Yet the real difference maker is the front portion of the suite, which offers a beautiful overlook of the playing surface at Target Field. “One of the greatest pieces of feedback that we got during the process was ‘how can we actually see the game?’” Edelson said. “Having the fantastic view of the field, that was so important to everyone.” And while other professional sports teams offer similar spaces, the sensory suite at Target Field goes above and beyond. “Other teams have spaces like this, but ours takes it to the next level,” Twins Senior Manager of Business Communications Matt Hodson said. “Any team that has a space is doing the right thing, but oftentimes those spaces are tucked away in a service area and can be just one room. We are being very intentional with the individualized spaces in this process.” Providing proper and inclusive accommodations for fans is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. That’s why the Twins, UnitedHealthcare, and Fraser will be working with guest service staff members to help equip them to best serve neuroatypical fans throughout Target Field. “We took a step back and said, ‘Not everyone is going to come to the suite, (some fans) want to have that gameday experience at the ballpark,’” Edelson said. “We are offering training to all the guest service staff members so they can help families make the most of their gameday experience.” In an industry that is often viewed through a lens of results on the field, it’s important to remember the human side of baseball. The Twins have long served as champions of bridging the gap between baseball and the needs of our society. “We found through our listenings in the community that this was something that we were missing,” Hodson said. “We were missing the environment where families and individuals who are neuroatypical could enjoy the ballpark experience.” And while the implementation certainly creates a great story, the Twins organization will continue to use its platform to best serve community members of all walks of life. "This organization does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do,” Hodson said. “When we say ‘all are welcome at Target Field, we truly mean it.” UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite: What to Know The new UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite is an attempt to provide a different way to watch #MNTwins games for neuroatypical fans that might be a little overwhelmed at the ballpark. It includes a balcony that overlooks the game and two inside rooms that provide a quieter environment, designed by UnitedHealthcare in partnership with Fraser, with neuroatypical kids and adults in mind. The suite is in the newly branded UnitedHealthcare Suite Level, which most fans previously didn’t have access to. It’s right next to the elevators near the right-field foul pole, so it’s very accessible. Twins game day staff will be trained to best serve neuroatypical fans that may not want to use the suite. The Twins, UnitedHealthcare, and Fraser will provide sensory kits for guests to check out, free of charge, at Guest Services stations throughout Target Field. The sensory suite was a designed build, meaning that additions and recommendations from field experts were utilized in the building process.
  15. Once again, the St. Paul Saints were the only Twins minor league team in action on Wednesday. That didn't stop them from putting on an offensive clinic. The Wind Surge, Kernels, and Mussels will all kick off their season on Friday. That's when the Twins will play their first game as well after it was postponed from Thursday. TRANSACTIONS The Twins placed LHP Lewis Thorpe, RHP Ronny Henriquez, and RHP Jake Petricka on Developmental List. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 7, Louisville 4 Box Score Fresh off their first W of the season, the Saints were the true bearers of lumber against the Louisville Bats on Thursday evening. The Saints got the party started with a three-run first inning and never looked back, notching their second win of the young season. The hype around the talented Saints roster has been exponentially leading up to the 2022 season. Wednesday evening showed why. On the third pitch of the game, Jose Miranda launched a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. The MLB.com Top 100 prospect launched 30 homers between AA Wichita and AAA St. Paul last season and his Wednesday dinger will likely be the first of many. 2017 first-round pick Royce Lewis followed suit with a double to center on an 0-2 pitch to keep the momentum going. Lewis recorded his first hit of the season last night in the season opener and it’s safe to say that all of Twins Territory is thrilled to see Lewis’ play and personality back on the diamond. Touted for his impressive speed, Lewis followed suit by stealing third base (2) and was eventually driven in alongside Mark Contreras by a Jake Cave double (1) to give the Saints a 3-0 lead. Miranda continued his solid evening by knocking in Curtis Terry on an RBI single in the fourth inning. Jermaine Palacios also scored in the first thanks to a catching error by Louisville first basemen Jake Bauers. St. Paul tacked on two more runs in the seventh. After an infield single by Lewis, Contreras launched an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall to give the Saints a 7-3 lead. The shot was Contreras’ first of the young season. The Goose is Loose A former member of the Red Sox organization, RHP Daniel “Goose” Gossett was rock-solid in his first outing for the Saints. Despite a rocky third inning, Gossett gave up no runs on one hit in the first two innings and retired the first two batters in the fourth inning before being removed. Newcomer JC Ramirez (W, 1-0) came in after Gossett and was rock solid for 2.1 innings. The Managua, Nicaragua native struck allowed no runs on three hits with three strikeouts, allowing the Saints offensive opportunities to pad their lead. The tandem of Jovani Moran and Juan Minaya (S, 1) tackled the final seven outs, allowing only two combined hits. Minaya struck out four batters to earn his first save of the year. Larnach Out Just hours before first pitch, the Saints announced that top prospect Trevor Larnach had been removed from the lineup and replaced by Mark Contreras (who had a stellar evening). Pre-game, Saints manager Toby Gardenhire told broadcaster Sean Aronson that he had some muscle tightness and with the wet field conditions (both of the first two games have been delayed), they removed him from the lineup. That didn't stop Twitter from being curious. Then Ken Rosenthal tweeted out during the Saints game that the Twins were working on acquiring San Diego starting pitcher Chris Paddack. And while some believe Larnach could be headed to Southern California, Rosenthal followed up by saying that the Padres are interested in Twins reliever Taylor Rogers. Will Larnach's promising future remain in Minnesota? It seems likely, but only time will tell. WIND SURGE WISDOM The Wind Surge will begin their season on Friday at home against the Tulsa Drillers. The Surge will send top prospect Matt Canterino to the mound for the season opener. Canterino was 1-0 with a 0.78 ERA in 2021 before being sidelined with an elbow injury. The return of one of the most exciting pitchers in the Twins organization should be electric. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Wind Surge roster preview. KERNELS NUGGETS The Kernels announced on Wednesday that LHP and Burnsville, MN native Aaron Rozek will take the bump for Cedar Rapids' opener on Friday against Beloit. Signed to a minor-league contract last season, Rozek went 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA between Fort Myers, Cedar Rapids, and Wichita in 2021. Be sure to take a look at the Cedar Rapids roster in advance of their opener on Friday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers hits the road to Clearwater to open their 2022 season against the Threshers on Friday. There should be quite a few of the Twins 2021 draft picks on their roster, which has yet to be officially announced. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - JC Ramirez, St. Paul Saints (W, 2.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K) Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda, St. Paul Saints (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 SB (3), 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands
  16. The star-studded St. Paul Saints continued their hot start to the 2022 season on Wednesday evening. Read up on highlights from game and updates from around the Twins farm system! Once again, the St. Paul Saints were the only Twins minor league team in action on Wednesday. That didn't stop them from putting on an offensive clinic. The Wind Surge, Kernels, and Mussels will all kick off their season on Friday. That's when the Twins will play their first game as well after it was postponed from Thursday. TRANSACTIONS The Twins placed LHP Lewis Thorpe, RHP Ronny Henriquez, and RHP Jake Petricka on Developmental List. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 7, Louisville 4 Box Score Fresh off their first W of the season, the Saints were the true bearers of lumber against the Louisville Bats on Thursday evening. The Saints got the party started with a three-run first inning and never looked back, notching their second win of the young season. The hype around the talented Saints roster has been exponentially leading up to the 2022 season. Wednesday evening showed why. On the third pitch of the game, Jose Miranda launched a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. The MLB.com Top 100 prospect launched 30 homers between AA Wichita and AAA St. Paul last season and his Wednesday dinger will likely be the first of many. 2017 first-round pick Royce Lewis followed suit with a double to center on an 0-2 pitch to keep the momentum going. Lewis recorded his first hit of the season last night in the season opener and it’s safe to say that all of Twins Territory is thrilled to see Lewis’ play and personality back on the diamond. Touted for his impressive speed, Lewis followed suit by stealing third base (2) and was eventually driven in alongside Mark Contreras by a Jake Cave double (1) to give the Saints a 3-0 lead. Miranda continued his solid evening by knocking in Curtis Terry on an RBI single in the fourth inning. Jermaine Palacios also scored in the first thanks to a catching error by Louisville first basemen Jake Bauers. St. Paul tacked on two more runs in the seventh. After an infield single by Lewis, Contreras launched an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall to give the Saints a 7-3 lead. The shot was Contreras’ first of the young season. The Goose is Loose A former member of the Red Sox organization, RHP Daniel “Goose” Gossett was rock-solid in his first outing for the Saints. Despite a rocky third inning, Gossett gave up no runs on one hit in the first two innings and retired the first two batters in the fourth inning before being removed. Newcomer JC Ramirez (W, 1-0) came in after Gossett and was rock solid for 2.1 innings. The Managua, Nicaragua native struck allowed no runs on three hits with three strikeouts, allowing the Saints offensive opportunities to pad their lead. The tandem of Jovani Moran and Juan Minaya (S, 1) tackled the final seven outs, allowing only two combined hits. Minaya struck out four batters to earn his first save of the year. Larnach Out Just hours before first pitch, the Saints announced that top prospect Trevor Larnach had been removed from the lineup and replaced by Mark Contreras (who had a stellar evening). Pre-game, Saints manager Toby Gardenhire told broadcaster Sean Aronson that he had some muscle tightness and with the wet field conditions (both of the first two games have been delayed), they removed him from the lineup. That didn't stop Twitter from being curious. Then Ken Rosenthal tweeted out during the Saints game that the Twins were working on acquiring San Diego starting pitcher Chris Paddack. And while some believe Larnach could be headed to Southern California, Rosenthal followed up by saying that the Padres are interested in Twins reliever Taylor Rogers. Will Larnach's promising future remain in Minnesota? It seems likely, but only time will tell. WIND SURGE WISDOM The Wind Surge will begin their season on Friday at home against the Tulsa Drillers. The Surge will send top prospect Matt Canterino to the mound for the season opener. Canterino was 1-0 with a 0.78 ERA in 2021 before being sidelined with an elbow injury. The return of one of the most exciting pitchers in the Twins organization should be electric. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Wind Surge roster preview. KERNELS NUGGETS The Kernels announced on Wednesday that LHP and Burnsville, MN native Aaron Rozek will take the bump for Cedar Rapids' opener on Friday against Beloit. Signed to a minor-league contract last season, Rozek went 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA between Fort Myers, Cedar Rapids, and Wichita in 2021. Be sure to take a look at the Cedar Rapids roster in advance of their opener on Friday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers hits the road to Clearwater to open their 2022 season against the Threshers on Friday. There should be quite a few of the Twins 2021 draft picks on their roster, which has yet to be officially announced. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - JC Ramirez, St. Paul Saints (W, 2.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K) Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda, St. Paul Saints (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 SB (3), 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands View full article
  17. With the season on the horizon, Twins Daily is highlighting its Top 20 prospects. Nash Walker outlined prospects 16-20 yesterday, Here are numbers 11-15. A pair of stellar arms, a couple of hometown boys, and a couple of flashy gloves. The following group of Twins prospects, Twins Daily's 11-15 prospects, is pretty exciting. Take a look at some of the top names that will be playing at Target Field in just a few years. Big velocity. Big spin. Big strikeouts. Big Power. Big speed, and range. There is some Big potential in this group, Twins Daily's Twins prospects 11-15. 15. RHP Louie Varland Age: 24 2021 (-A, +A): 18 starts, 103 IP, 2.10 ERA, 34% K, 7% BB Arguably the most exciting pitching in the Twins farm system, Louie Varland's electric 2021 season earned him accolades as Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. A product of the Twin Cities, Varland was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids after just eight starts and emerged as the Kernels' ace. Varland relies heavily on a high fastball and shared that he is honing in on his off-speed pitches on Twins Spotlight with Seth Stohs. A truly dominant arm, Varland averaged 12.4 strikeouts and only 2.6 walks per nine innings in 2021. Expected to get his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, don't be surprised to see the Concordia-St. Paul alum scales the ranks of the Twins organization in 2022. 14. RHP Cole Sands Age: 23 2021 (AA): 18 starts, 81 IP, 2.46 ERA, 29% K, 10% BB The 2018 fifth-round draft pick for the Twins did not disappoint in his second full season with the Twins organization. After bouncing between three levels in 2019, Cole Sands was a rock for the Wind Surge last season, posting a 4-2 record and averaging only 3.6 walks per nine innings. Sands isn't necessarily the high-velocity, deep-inning pitcher that fills seats; that doesn't matter, the Florida State alum gets outs. Sands keeps the ball on the ground and only gave up six homers last year and averaged 0.7 HR/9 on his sophomore campaign. Efficiency produces results; like Varland, 2022 could be a huge breakout year for Sands. 13. OF Matt Wallner Age: 24 2021 (A+): .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 9% BB, 33% K A mid-season injury didn't stop Minnesota native Matt Wallner from having an excellent season last year. In his second full season with the Twins organization, the Southern Miss alum proved to be a sparkplug for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. A true cleanup hitter, Wallner's power at the plate is inevitable. Wallner's biggest area of growth will come in plate discipline, given his 100 strikeouts in 2021. The reason that isn't talked about frequently is because of the game-changing power in his powerful right-handed swing that helped lead the Kernels to the High-A Central Championship Series. Changing those mountains and valleys to high-level plateaus will be key for the Forest Lake native to take his offense to the next level. 12, OF Gilberto Celestino Age: 22 2021 (AA, AAA, MLB): .206/.274/.355, 21 2B, 9 HR, 4/5 SB, 10% BB, 22% K It almost feels like Gilberto Celestino has been a Minnesota Twin for an eternity. Yet the talented outfielder is only 22 years old and saw MLB playing time for the first time last season after four previous seasons in the minors between the Twins and Astros organizations. The Dominican Republic native was signed by Houston at the ripe age of 17 and acquired by the Twins in 2019. The Astros clearly saw something in him to sign him so young and it appears the Twins do too. Celestino's stat line is bogged down by his MLB numbers. He was quite impressive with the Saints and Wind Surge in 2021, slashing .277/.371/.423 with 18 doubles and seven homers in 70 games. Time is a friend of Celestino and 2022 should provide him more of an opportunity to get his feet wet at the game's highest level. 11. SS Noah Miller Age: 18 2021 (Rk): .238/.316/.369, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9% BB, 27% K Chosen with the 38th pick of the 2021 Draft, Noah Miller is one of the top young prospects to graze Twins Territory. A stand-out hitter on both sides of the plate, Miller is as solid as it gets with his glove at shortstop. Tabbing Brandon Crawford as his favorite shortstop growing up, Miller's sleek defense was a marquee factor in the Twins using their second draft pick (Competitive Balance) on him. Miller had a brief chance to get his feet wet at the pro level in 2022 with 96 plate appearances in the Florida Complex League. Expect him to start at Low-A in 2022 and get ready to watch what could be one of the organization's best draft picks in recent history. Read more on Miller's high ceiling courtesy of Twins Daily's JD Cameron. Previous Rankings Honorable Mention Prospects 16-20 Prospects 11-15 Prospect #10: Coming Monday View full article
  18. A pair of stellar arms, a couple of hometown boys, and a couple of flashy gloves. The following group of Twins prospects, Twins Daily's 11-15 prospects, is pretty exciting. Take a look at some of the top names that will be playing at Target Field in just a few years. Big velocity. Big spin. Big strikeouts. Big Power. Big speed, and range. There is some Big potential in this group, Twins Daily's Twins prospects 11-15. 15. RHP Louie Varland Age: 24 2021 (-A, +A): 18 starts, 103 IP, 2.10 ERA, 34% K, 7% BB Arguably the most exciting pitching in the Twins farm system, Louie Varland's electric 2021 season earned him accolades as Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. A product of the Twin Cities, Varland was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids after just eight starts and emerged as the Kernels' ace. Varland relies heavily on a high fastball and shared that he is honing in on his off-speed pitches on Twins Spotlight with Seth Stohs. A truly dominant arm, Varland averaged 12.4 strikeouts and only 2.6 walks per nine innings in 2021. Expected to get his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, don't be surprised to see the Concordia-St. Paul alum scales the ranks of the Twins organization in 2022. 14. RHP Cole Sands Age: 23 2021 (AA): 18 starts, 81 IP, 2.46 ERA, 29% K, 10% BB The 2018 fifth-round draft pick for the Twins did not disappoint in his second full season with the Twins organization. After bouncing between three levels in 2019, Cole Sands was a rock for the Wind Surge last season, posting a 4-2 record and averaging only 3.6 walks per nine innings. Sands isn't necessarily the high-velocity, deep-inning pitcher that fills seats; that doesn't matter, the Florida State alum gets outs. Sands keeps the ball on the ground and only gave up six homers last year and averaged 0.7 HR/9 on his sophomore campaign. Efficiency produces results; like Varland, 2022 could be a huge breakout year for Sands. 13. OF Matt Wallner Age: 24 2021 (A+): .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 9% BB, 33% K A mid-season injury didn't stop Minnesota native Matt Wallner from having an excellent season last year. In his second full season with the Twins organization, the Southern Miss alum proved to be a sparkplug for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. A true cleanup hitter, Wallner's power at the plate is inevitable. Wallner's biggest area of growth will come in plate discipline, given his 100 strikeouts in 2021. The reason that isn't talked about frequently is because of the game-changing power in his powerful right-handed swing that helped lead the Kernels to the High-A Central Championship Series. Changing those mountains and valleys to high-level plateaus will be key for the Forest Lake native to take his offense to the next level. 12, OF Gilberto Celestino Age: 22 2021 (AA, AAA, MLB): .206/.274/.355, 21 2B, 9 HR, 4/5 SB, 10% BB, 22% K It almost feels like Gilberto Celestino has been a Minnesota Twin for an eternity. Yet the talented outfielder is only 22 years old and saw MLB playing time for the first time last season after four previous seasons in the minors between the Twins and Astros organizations. The Dominican Republic native was signed by Houston at the ripe age of 17 and acquired by the Twins in 2019. The Astros clearly saw something in him to sign him so young and it appears the Twins do too. Celestino's stat line is bogged down by his MLB numbers. He was quite impressive with the Saints and Wind Surge in 2021, slashing .277/.371/.423 with 18 doubles and seven homers in 70 games. Time is a friend of Celestino and 2022 should provide him more of an opportunity to get his feet wet at the game's highest level. 11. SS Noah Miller Age: 18 2021 (Rk): .238/.316/.369, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9% BB, 27% K Chosen with the 38th pick of the 2021 Draft, Noah Miller is one of the top young prospects to graze Twins Territory. A stand-out hitter on both sides of the plate, Miller is as solid as it gets with his glove at shortstop. Tabbing Brandon Crawford as his favorite shortstop growing up, Miller's sleek defense was a marquee factor in the Twins using their second draft pick (Competitive Balance) on him. Miller had a brief chance to get his feet wet at the pro level in 2022 with 96 plate appearances in the Florida Complex League. Expect him to start at Low-A in 2022 and get ready to watch what could be one of the organization's best draft picks in recent history. Read more on Miller's high ceiling courtesy of Twins Daily's JD Cameron. Previous Rankings Honorable Mention Prospects 16-20 Prospects 11-15 Prospect #10: Coming Monday
  19. Along the banks of the Crow Wing River sits Nimrod, Minnesota, a quaint town that bears a son of the Twins organization that saw the game of baseball come full circle. Pitch a canoe on the currents of the Crow Wing River, and you’ll stumble across Nimrod, Minnesota, population 69. A bar, church, and campground make up the bulk of the one-horse town that was once a flourishing logging community in the World War II era. Take a few steps past the bar and the sight of four bags 90 feet apart and lush green grass will christen the eyes. Dick Stigman Field, home of the Nimrod Gnats and named after the town’s most famous son. A starting pitcher for the Twins’ infancy in Minnesota, Stigman spent seven years at the Major League level. Starting with a $200 per month contract, the tall lefty grew up in Cleveland’s organization, played two years with the parent club, and spent four years with the Twins from 1962-65. Stigman finished his career with the hallowed Boston Red Sox in 1966. Stigman’s life has run full circle; A small town boy with a deep love of America’s Pastime who had the opportunity to play for the Minnesota Twins. On his 86th birthday, Stigman couldn’t be more thankful for the road that transcended from the rural pines of northern Minnesota to baseball’s biggest stage. The Booming 50’s Despite its current quaintness, Nimrod was a bustling small town at the midpoint of the 20th century with a handful of industries painting the Wadena County town. “We had two grocery stores, two gas stations, two restaurants, a blacksmith shop, a feed mill, and a creamery,” Stigman recalled. “There was a pretty good-sized lumber mill. They used to pull logs down the river. It was a great experience. We had a community.” Young Dick spent his childhood selling grit, a popular newspaper option in rural America through the 1950s. “We sold it for five cents a copy. I think I got two cents back,” he laughed. Yet in an era when many young men were being drafted for World War II, Nimrod’s isolation provided solace for Dick and his brothers; an opportunity that sprouted a lifelong love for the game of baseball. The son of a catcher, Dick and his brothers spent hours simulating game situations and playing catch. Both Dick and his older brother were southpaws. That didn’t stop them from finding a catcher’s mitt at Montgomery and Ward to compliment each other on the mound. The mound? An old tire and some plywood. “We’d put a 2 by 4 on top of a rubber tire to pitch from and simulate situations,” Stigman said. “It wasn’t very high up, but it worked.” Barren winters didn’t stop the Stigmans from practicing their craft. The boys’ mother managed the town hall, creating a pseudo-bullpen for them over the winter months. “It was a pretty decent-sized building so we’d pitch inside the hall,” Stigman said. “We'd build a fire and take care of that if there was an event and then we'd have our baseball sessions.” Stigman's love of pitching ran deep. With no team in Minnesota during his childhood he fell in love with Cleveland because of talented pitching from the likes of Bob Feller and Bob Lemon. And with a rich list of MLB names like Williams, Lemon, and Mays to look up to, Dick’s and skill level only rose with time. “There were a couple of other guys in Nimrod that were interested in baseball, but not like we were,” he recalled. That small-town talent would expand outside the silos of Nimrod to the greater Minnesota community. Stigman pitched for Sebeka High School and began to draw looks by shutting down larger schools and towns on the mound. A tournament with strong performances against the ‘big cities’ of Aitkin and Brainerd drew the eye of Cleveland scout Marv Nutting. Impressed with the small town hurler, Nutting name-dropped Stigman to Cy Slapnika, a Cleveland scout based out of Cedar Rapids who had a stellar track record. Slapnika had signed the legendary Bob Feller to Cleveland alongside other household names like Gordy Coleman and Herb Score. Slapkina made the trek up to Minnesota to watch Stigman play Legion ball against Hawley, something that Stigman wasn’t aware of at the time. “I probably would have wet my pants if I had known that someone was watching me.” Stigman was electric, striking out 21 batters in seven innings alongside racking up a few hits himself. He even struck out Rodney Skoog, the brother of Minneapolis Lakers star Whitey Skoog who was batting in the .500 range at the time. The magic had been noticed. Slapnika drove Dick and his parents to the Greystone Hotel in Detroit Lakes to sign his first professional contract for the organization he cheered for growing up. That $200 per month contract (with an additional $200 for each month with the club) was a $50 pay raise from what Stigman was receiving at his job at the lumber mill. Was the pay raise nice? Absolutely. Yet the opportunity for Dick was priceless. “I loved baseball so much that I probably would have paid to play.” Reflecting with Grace Stigman finished his MLB career with 74 wins. His best season was his first with the Twins in 1962, finishing the year with a 12-5 record and 3.66 ERA with three saves to top it off. And while the star season in his home state was memorable, the transition to the Twins from the organization that he cut his teeth in was tough. Being in Cleveland and coming up in the farm system, it was a difficult transition, Dick recalled. “I was very apprehensive about coming to Minnesota; playing in front of people that you know, there's an added expectation.” Yet when the nerves melted, the homecoming was one of joy. “It was a pleasant surprise,” Stigman said “It was great with all the attention we got, everywhere we went people knew us. And I had a really good year so that added to it.” The innings on the ground were great; the memories, comradery, and relationships were what solidified. “Earl Battey was one of my best friends. We played cards on the plane. He was just an amazing guy," Dick recalled. "Guys like Lenny Green, Don Mincher, and Jim Kaat (were incredible). Baseball isn't all about skill, it's about chemistry. Even as big of a star that Harmon (Killebrew) and Tony Oliva were, it wasn't about them. It was about winning. And we proved that with some pretty good years.” Stigman is now 55 years removed from his MLB career. After years in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, he and his wife moved to the beaming sun of Florida. He still stays knitted to the Twins through rich admiration of the organization and participation in things like Twins Fantasy Camp. A man of deep faith and humility, Stigman looks back with a sense of appreciation and gratefulness that society can admire. Yet even he recognizes the wild ride that the uncertainty and beauty of life has graced him with. “I look back and think to myself ‘did I really do that,’ coming from where I came from,” Dick recalled. “I try not to get in front of myself, I always remember where I came from and who I am.” If you're in west-central Minnesota during the summer and happen to catch a baseball game, there is a decent chance you might see the Stigman name in the lineup. View full article
  20. Pitch a canoe on the currents of the Crow Wing River, and you’ll stumble across Nimrod, Minnesota, population 69. A bar, church, and campground make up the bulk of the one-horse town that was once a flourishing logging community in the World War II era. Take a few steps past the bar and the sight of four bags 90 feet apart and lush green grass will christen the eyes. Dick Stigman Field, home of the Nimrod Gnats and named after the town’s most famous son. A starting pitcher for the Twins’ infancy in Minnesota, Stigman spent seven years at the Major League level. Starting with a $200 per month contract, the tall lefty grew up in Cleveland’s organization, played two years with the parent club, and spent four years with the Twins from 1962-65. Stigman finished his career with the hallowed Boston Red Sox in 1966. Stigman’s life has run full circle; A small town boy with a deep love of America’s Pastime who had the opportunity to play for the Minnesota Twins. On his 86th birthday, Stigman couldn’t be more thankful for the road that transcended from the rural pines of northern Minnesota to baseball’s biggest stage. The Booming 50’s Despite its current quaintness, Nimrod was a bustling small town at the midpoint of the 20th century with a handful of industries painting the Wadena County town. “We had two grocery stores, two gas stations, two restaurants, a blacksmith shop, a feed mill, and a creamery,” Stigman recalled. “There was a pretty good-sized lumber mill. They used to pull logs down the river. It was a great experience. We had a community.” Young Dick spent his childhood selling grit, a popular newspaper option in rural America through the 1950s. “We sold it for five cents a copy. I think I got two cents back,” he laughed. Yet in an era when many young men were being drafted for World War II, Nimrod’s isolation provided solace for Dick and his brothers; an opportunity that sprouted a lifelong love for the game of baseball. The son of a catcher, Dick and his brothers spent hours simulating game situations and playing catch. Both Dick and his older brother were southpaws. That didn’t stop them from finding a catcher’s mitt at Montgomery and Ward to compliment each other on the mound. The mound? An old tire and some plywood. “We’d put a 2 by 4 on top of a rubber tire to pitch from and simulate situations,” Stigman said. “It wasn’t very high up, but it worked.” Barren winters didn’t stop the Stigmans from practicing their craft. The boys’ mother managed the town hall, creating a pseudo-bullpen for them over the winter months. “It was a pretty decent-sized building so we’d pitch inside the hall,” Stigman said. “We'd build a fire and take care of that if there was an event and then we'd have our baseball sessions.” Stigman's love of pitching ran deep. With no team in Minnesota during his childhood he fell in love with Cleveland because of talented pitching from the likes of Bob Feller and Bob Lemon. And with a rich list of MLB names like Williams, Lemon, and Mays to look up to, Dick’s and skill level only rose with time. “There were a couple of other guys in Nimrod that were interested in baseball, but not like we were,” he recalled. That small-town talent would expand outside the silos of Nimrod to the greater Minnesota community. Stigman pitched for Sebeka High School and began to draw looks by shutting down larger schools and towns on the mound. A tournament with strong performances against the ‘big cities’ of Aitkin and Brainerd drew the eye of Cleveland scout Marv Nutting. Impressed with the small town hurler, Nutting name-dropped Stigman to Cy Slapnika, a Cleveland scout based out of Cedar Rapids who had a stellar track record. Slapnika had signed the legendary Bob Feller to Cleveland alongside other household names like Gordy Coleman and Herb Score. Slapkina made the trek up to Minnesota to watch Stigman play Legion ball against Hawley, something that Stigman wasn’t aware of at the time. “I probably would have wet my pants if I had known that someone was watching me.” Stigman was electric, striking out 21 batters in seven innings alongside racking up a few hits himself. He even struck out Rodney Skoog, the brother of Minneapolis Lakers star Whitey Skoog who was batting in the .500 range at the time. The magic had been noticed. Slapnika drove Dick and his parents to the Greystone Hotel in Detroit Lakes to sign his first professional contract for the organization he cheered for growing up. That $200 per month contract (with an additional $200 for each month with the club) was a $50 pay raise from what Stigman was receiving at his job at the lumber mill. Was the pay raise nice? Absolutely. Yet the opportunity for Dick was priceless. “I loved baseball so much that I probably would have paid to play.” Reflecting with Grace Stigman finished his MLB career with 74 wins. His best season was his first with the Twins in 1962, finishing the year with a 12-5 record and 3.66 ERA with three saves to top it off. And while the star season in his home state was memorable, the transition to the Twins from the organization that he cut his teeth in was tough. Being in Cleveland and coming up in the farm system, it was a difficult transition, Dick recalled. “I was very apprehensive about coming to Minnesota; playing in front of people that you know, there's an added expectation.” Yet when the nerves melted, the homecoming was one of joy. “It was a pleasant surprise,” Stigman said “It was great with all the attention we got, everywhere we went people knew us. And I had a really good year so that added to it.” The innings on the ground were great; the memories, comradery, and relationships were what solidified. “Earl Battey was one of my best friends. We played cards on the plane. He was just an amazing guy," Dick recalled. "Guys like Lenny Green, Don Mincher, and Jim Kaat (were incredible). Baseball isn't all about skill, it's about chemistry. Even as big of a star that Harmon (Killebrew) and Tony Oliva were, it wasn't about them. It was about winning. And we proved that with some pretty good years.” Stigman is now 55 years removed from his MLB career. After years in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, he and his wife moved to the beaming sun of Florida. He still stays knitted to the Twins through rich admiration of the organization and participation in things like Twins Fantasy Camp. A man of deep faith and humility, Stigman looks back with a sense of appreciation and gratefulness that society can admire. Yet even he recognizes the wild ride that the uncertainty and beauty of life has graced him with. “I look back and think to myself ‘did I really do that,’ coming from where I came from,” Dick recalled. “I try not to get in front of myself, I always remember where I came from and who I am.” If you're in west-central Minnesota during the summer and happen to catch a baseball game, there is a decent chance you might see the Stigman name in the lineup.
  21. It's hard to fathom that former AL Central staple Zack Greinke will be entering his 19th season in Major League Baseball in the 2022 season. At 38, the crafty veteran still has gas left in the tank and could prove to be a valuable asset for a Twins rotation that is flooded with youth. Sports fanatics classify the term 'journeyman' as someone who has spent an arm and a leg in the league bouncing between teams with adequate success but nothing special. Zack Greinke crosses off a few of those checkmarks; he isn't exactly a spring chicken anymore and the eephus-touting free agent has played for six teams throughout the course of his MLB career. For the lack of success part? Not so much. A six time all star with a Cy Young award (has also finished top ten in voting three times) and four gold gloves, Greinke has maintained a level of consistency that is rare for veteran pitchers who've long surpassed their peak years. The hitting-loving, burrito connoisseur finished last season in Houston with an 11-6 record and 4.16 ERA before electing free agency. That steeps above his career ERA of 3.41 but through the lens of "he's 37 and battled a variety of injuries," it's still impressive. His 29 starts in 2021 are on par with the high 20's-low 30's range that cemented his 'glory days' in Kansas City. Greinke may not have the flashy appeal of other names on the free-agent market like Carlos Rodon and Clayton Kershaw. Yet in addition to his consistency, Greinke's value to the Twins could extend far beyond metrics on the mound. It's a move that coincides with previous organizational patterns and one that could lay the foundation in a young Twins rotation. Aged like Fine Wine As expected, one of the biggest rebuttals to signing Greinke is his age, lack of strikeouts, and low velocity. All of these are valid concerns; Greinke's 120 strikeouts and 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 2021 were the lowest number in his career (in a full season). The late 30's have presented him a somewhat high-density of minor injuries in the past few years, including a neck injury in 2019 and shoulder and abdominal injuries in 2021. None of those injuries landed him on anything longer than the 10-day Injured List; pretty impressive. Minus the 2006 season when he prioritized his mental health, Greinke has pitched close to a full season throughout the entirety of his career. There are a couple of things that contribute to his longevity; Greinke knows what works for him and what doesn't. While many pitchers toss out the '”I pitch 100% all the time," he doesn't. He knows what works for and what doesn't in terms of maximizing his value and health. Take this 2014 article from Yahoo! Sports as an example; Greinke admits that he has become more selective with his slider due to the strain it previously presented to his elbow. The epitome of work smarter, not harder, Greinke's pitch arsenal is a testament to his lengthy career. According to Baseball Savant, 67% of his pitches in 2021 consisted of fastballs (averaging at 89 MPH) and changeups (averaging at 86 MPH). That means that less than a third of his pitches are curveballs and sliders, two pitches that tend to shred the arm. And no, fans won't be shouting "throw 'em the heater, Zacky!" when he's on the bump, they never have. That doesn't matter when a pitcher hits his spots. Greinke only walked 36 batters in 2021, scoring him in the 95th percentile for walks across Major League Baseball. The 'ground out/pop up out' brand of pitcher has been a constant for the Twins over the years. Yet few have nailed the craft to a T as consistently and accurately as Greinke has. Old Bull Among Young Calves With the absences of José Berríos (traded to Blue Jays) and Kenta Maeda (Tommy John Surgery), the Twins starting rotation is faced with crossroads of uncertainty. Michael Pineda is expected to return in 2022 but is a free agent and has drawn interest from some of his previous teams. A few things are certain; offseason addition Dylan Bundy will play a role in the rotation and young bucks Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan will have ample opportunities to soak their feet in the pond of Major League pitching. Scraps and appetizers of the meal are there, but the entrée is missing; a well-seasoned veteran who has experienced success throughout his career yet has endured experiences that have shaped him as a pitcher and potential mentor for young, undeveloped talent. Greinke certainly has his quirks, we all do. Yet it's tough to imagine Greinke not being an excellent mentor for young pitchers like Ober and Ryan. His career has encountered trades, free agency, winning teams, abysmal teams, and everything in between. Frankly, he's seen the game of baseball from all different angles and perspectives. Ryan and Ober come to the Twins from very different paths; Ober was drafted by the organization in 2017 and developed as 'in-house' talent whereas Ryan came to the Twins last season via the Nelson Cruz alongside Drew Strotman. And while Ober has a bit more experience under his belt than Ryan, a guy like Greinke could prove valuable to help weather the mountains and valleys that come with the territory of being a young MLB Pitcher. To top it off, Greinke's arsenal parallels Ober and Ryan to an extent. Both youngsters rely heavily on a fastball in the low 90's and have untapped potential with their respective off-speed pitches. Not the First Rodeo It's no secret that the Twins have developed a reputation for signing and trading for high-quality players who may be past their prime but haven't hit E on the tank yet. The previous regime did it with names like Jim Thome and Ervin Santana and the current leadership continued the pattern with Maeda, and most notably, Nelson Cruz. It's become a way of life for the Twins, a mid-market team that frankly doesn't have the 'street cred' of Los Angeles, New York, or even Chicago. The latter doesn't mention names like C.J. Cron or Logan Morrison, veteran acquisitions that perhaps didn't come to fruition the way that the front office would have liked. Zack Greinke isn't Logan Morrison though. The only 'eye sore' season in his decorated career was almost two decades ago and his progression only elevated following his time off in 2006. Just a few years later, the Royals' ace was a Cy Young winner. Another appeal? Given his age, Greinke is likely to be in the $12-15 million range (estimation by Twins Daily's Nick Nelson and others); those are numbers that the Twins can work with. Given the Buxton extension and the fact that the Twins play in the AL Central (as opposed to a division like the AL East or NL West with two-plus legit contenders), the focus of going all-in and forgoing a rebuild is a legitimate (and almost expected) possibility. Greinke's familiarity with the Central and the division's ballparks, playing styles, etc. is only gravy on top. The cry for starting pitching has resounded loudly throughout Twins Territory during this long and dark offseason. Don't be surprised if the organization alleviates those cries by making a move on a pitching who could change the outlook of the pitching rotation drastically. View full article
  22. Sports fanatics classify the term 'journeyman' as someone who has spent an arm and a leg in the league bouncing between teams with adequate success but nothing special. Zack Greinke crosses off a few of those checkmarks; he isn't exactly a spring chicken anymore and the eephus-touting free agent has played for six teams throughout the course of his MLB career. For the lack of success part? Not so much. A six time all star with a Cy Young award (has also finished top ten in voting three times) and four gold gloves, Greinke has maintained a level of consistency that is rare for veteran pitchers who've long surpassed their peak years. The hitting-loving, burrito connoisseur finished last season in Houston with an 11-6 record and 4.16 ERA before electing free agency. That steeps above his career ERA of 3.41 but through the lens of "he's 37 and battled a variety of injuries," it's still impressive. His 29 starts in 2021 are on par with the high 20's-low 30's range that cemented his 'glory days' in Kansas City. Greinke may not have the flashy appeal of other names on the free-agent market like Carlos Rodon and Clayton Kershaw. Yet in addition to his consistency, Greinke's value to the Twins could extend far beyond metrics on the mound. It's a move that coincides with previous organizational patterns and one that could lay the foundation in a young Twins rotation. Aged like Fine Wine As expected, one of the biggest rebuttals to signing Greinke is his age, lack of strikeouts, and low velocity. All of these are valid concerns; Greinke's 120 strikeouts and 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 2021 were the lowest number in his career (in a full season). The late 30's have presented him a somewhat high-density of minor injuries in the past few years, including a neck injury in 2019 and shoulder and abdominal injuries in 2021. None of those injuries landed him on anything longer than the 10-day Injured List; pretty impressive. Minus the 2006 season when he prioritized his mental health, Greinke has pitched close to a full season throughout the entirety of his career. There are a couple of things that contribute to his longevity; Greinke knows what works for him and what doesn't. While many pitchers toss out the '”I pitch 100% all the time," he doesn't. He knows what works for and what doesn't in terms of maximizing his value and health. Take this 2014 article from Yahoo! Sports as an example; Greinke admits that he has become more selective with his slider due to the strain it previously presented to his elbow. The epitome of work smarter, not harder, Greinke's pitch arsenal is a testament to his lengthy career. According to Baseball Savant, 67% of his pitches in 2021 consisted of fastballs (averaging at 89 MPH) and changeups (averaging at 86 MPH). That means that less than a third of his pitches are curveballs and sliders, two pitches that tend to shred the arm. And no, fans won't be shouting "throw 'em the heater, Zacky!" when he's on the bump, they never have. That doesn't matter when a pitcher hits his spots. Greinke only walked 36 batters in 2021, scoring him in the 95th percentile for walks across Major League Baseball. The 'ground out/pop up out' brand of pitcher has been a constant for the Twins over the years. Yet few have nailed the craft to a T as consistently and accurately as Greinke has. Old Bull Among Young Calves With the absences of José Berríos (traded to Blue Jays) and Kenta Maeda (Tommy John Surgery), the Twins starting rotation is faced with crossroads of uncertainty. Michael Pineda is expected to return in 2022 but is a free agent and has drawn interest from some of his previous teams. A few things are certain; offseason addition Dylan Bundy will play a role in the rotation and young bucks Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan will have ample opportunities to soak their feet in the pond of Major League pitching. Scraps and appetizers of the meal are there, but the entrée is missing; a well-seasoned veteran who has experienced success throughout his career yet has endured experiences that have shaped him as a pitcher and potential mentor for young, undeveloped talent. Greinke certainly has his quirks, we all do. Yet it's tough to imagine Greinke not being an excellent mentor for young pitchers like Ober and Ryan. His career has encountered trades, free agency, winning teams, abysmal teams, and everything in between. Frankly, he's seen the game of baseball from all different angles and perspectives. Ryan and Ober come to the Twins from very different paths; Ober was drafted by the organization in 2017 and developed as 'in-house' talent whereas Ryan came to the Twins last season via the Nelson Cruz alongside Drew Strotman. And while Ober has a bit more experience under his belt than Ryan, a guy like Greinke could prove valuable to help weather the mountains and valleys that come with the territory of being a young MLB Pitcher. To top it off, Greinke's arsenal parallels Ober and Ryan to an extent. Both youngsters rely heavily on a fastball in the low 90's and have untapped potential with their respective off-speed pitches. Not the First Rodeo It's no secret that the Twins have developed a reputation for signing and trading for high-quality players who may be past their prime but haven't hit E on the tank yet. The previous regime did it with names like Jim Thome and Ervin Santana and the current leadership continued the pattern with Maeda, and most notably, Nelson Cruz. It's become a way of life for the Twins, a mid-market team that frankly doesn't have the 'street cred' of Los Angeles, New York, or even Chicago. The latter doesn't mention names like C.J. Cron or Logan Morrison, veteran acquisitions that perhaps didn't come to fruition the way that the front office would have liked. Zack Greinke isn't Logan Morrison though. The only 'eye sore' season in his decorated career was almost two decades ago and his progression only elevated following his time off in 2006. Just a few years later, the Royals' ace was a Cy Young winner. Another appeal? Given his age, Greinke is likely to be in the $12-15 million range (estimation by Twins Daily's Nick Nelson and others); those are numbers that the Twins can work with. Given the Buxton extension and the fact that the Twins play in the AL Central (as opposed to a division like the AL East or NL West with two-plus legit contenders), the focus of going all-in and forgoing a rebuild is a legitimate (and almost expected) possibility. Greinke's familiarity with the Central and the division's ballparks, playing styles, etc. is only gravy on top. The cry for starting pitching has resounded loudly throughout Twins Territory during this long and dark offseason. Don't be surprised if the organization alleviates those cries by making a move on a pitching who could change the outlook of the pitching rotation drastically.
  23. Twins right-handed pitcher Louie Varland was arguably one of the most dominant pitchers in all of minor league baseball last year. His brother Gus is a talented righty pitching at Double-A for the Dodgers organization. Catch the action from their appearance on Twins Spotlight with Seth Stohs. "He may have been a 15th rounder but he's a first rounder in my book." In a world of challenges and turmoil, nothing draws a smile like the sight of brotherly love. Poking back and forth with grins and banter, it's safe to say the connection is tightly-wound between the Varland brothers. Sons of North St. Paul and alumni of Concordia-St. Paul, Louie and Gus have emerged as rising stars in their respective organizations. WATCH TWINS SPOTLIGHT WITH GUS AND LOUIE VARLAND Louie Varland started the 2021 season in Low-A Fort Myers and finished a bulk of the season with High-A Cedar Rapids, throttling the competition at both levels. The younger brother finished the season with a 10-4 record and 2.10 ERA in addition to being named Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in his first professional season. Not a bad first rodeo. Older brother Gus has cemented himself as a staple in the Dodgers organization just a year after receiving Tommy John surgery. Despite what some would call a setback, the Dodgers had so much faith in Varland that they placed him at the Double-A level in 2021 despite his injury-riddled season at High-A in 2020. Just 24 and 25 years old, the road ahead looks bright for two of the most exciting prospects to come out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes in recent history. Twins Daily's Seth Stohs had a chance to chat with the two on Wednesday night, here's what you need to know. 1. College, Man As mentioned, both Gus and Louie pitched at Concordia University in St. Paul, etching themselves as two of the most dominant players in Golden Bear history. Yet playing with his older brother for the DII school wasn't initially the plan for Louie. Like many younger siblings, Louie wanted to go anywhere besides the school that his brother was pitching for. "I just wanted to go to a place where I could pitch against him and beat him," Louie chuckled. That didn't stop Gus from putting on his recruiting shoes and doing everything possible to get another member of the family in a navy blue and gold jersey. "I was encouraging him through the entire process to come and sign at Concordia," Gus said. "I was talking to the coaches, we had him throw a bullpen in front of us, and I was trying my hardest to get him there. He fought it off for the longest time but ended up signing in the end, and it was the best thing ever." "It worked out the absolute best way that it could have, and I really enjoyed those two seasons that I had with him," Louie responded. Both brothers experienced immense individual success on the mound but cited underdog team performances as their favorite memories from CSP. Gus recalls his freshman season when the Golden Bears went into the season unranked and ended up mounting an incredible run that landed the team in the NSIC conference championship game. Louie's favorite moment came two years later when the Golden Bears rallied another incredible run before falling to eventual national champion Augustana (SD) in the conference championship. On paper you'd assume that the two spent three seasons together given that they're only one year and school grade apart. They only spent two. The reason? Gus was drafted after his junior year by the Oakland Athletics in the 14th round of the 2018 Draft; not a bad reason to leave! 2. Scouting Reports Gus spent 2021 with the Tulsa Drillers, a team that frequently plays the Twins' Double-A affiliate Wichita Wind Surge. Throughout the course of the season he would hear scouting reports on how his younger brother was pitching in Low and High-A. "I was in Tulsa running foul poles right around when Louie was called up to High-A and I remember chatting with (Wichita pitcher) Cole Sands and him saying 'He's tearing it up, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets called up (to Double-A).'" Louie stayed in High-A Cedar Rapids for the rest of the year, cementing himself as the team's ace. He credits his success to the talented crop of arms pitching alongside him and fellow 2019 Twins draft picks, including names like Tyler Beck, Casey Legumina, and Sawyer-Gipson Long. "It's a really supportive relationship with those guys, we're always bouncing ideas off of each other," Louie said "Yes, we're competing against each other but at the end of the day it's very friendly and great to work with them." Could the two face off at the Double-A level in 2022? There's a fairly high probability; you betcha, wouldn't that be awesome! 3. Life After Baseball Perspective is huge in life and in baseball. And while the Varland's both have an excellent shot at making the show, they haven't forgotten about the over-arching 'life after baseball question.' Both brothers completed their degrees from Concordia-St. Paul in 2020. Gus finished his mathematics degree and would love to one day teach math or work in the baseball industry in data analytics. Louie earned a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. Will Louie serve as his own agent? Probably not. Still, the fact that both men have taken the extra step to prioritize their education is impressive. On the topic of analytics, both men spoke volumes on the technology and data analysis used in their respective organizations. This has been echoed by many if not most Twins prospects that have appeared on Twins Spotlight, yet it was awesome to hear Gus' perspective on the Dodger's organization. Traded from Oakland, he appreciates the investment that Los Angeles has made in being as 'cutting edge' as possible. Organizations like the Dodgers are nationally-recognized for their emphasis in staying 'on top of the modern edge,' it seems like the Twins are working their way into that silo as well. 4. Respective Arsenals The 2022 season presents opportunities to hone in on successes and foster new pitches for both Louie and Gus. Louie's arsenal consists of a strong fastball, changeup, and slider. "I have to keep my fastball at the top of the zone because that's where it works best, my changeup is a work in progress but has come a long way, and I need to get my slider to move more horizontally while keeping the same velocity," he said. That slider is something the the Twins have worked on with him and that he hones in on when throwing bullpens with his brother in the offseason. Similar to his brother, Gus relies on a high-riding fastball, changeup, and slider. He has also begun to add a cutter to his skillset and plans to make that an emphasis in his '22 campaign. Extra Innings Gus received a non-roster invite to Dodgers spring training in 2021 and struck out Fernando Tatis Jr! In addition to playing baseball at North St. Paul, Louie wrestled and played football. Gus played basketball through his junior year. Similar to Drew Strotman (who was featured on Twins Spotlight earlier this week), Gus describes being traded as a mixed bundle of emotions. Luckily for him, the Dodgers and A's both call Arizona their home for spring training so he gets to catch up with his old friends and teammates from Oakland each year. In addition to being named Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Louie was the unanimous winner of our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year Award. Past winners of the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year award include Jose Berrios, Johan Santana, and Brad Radke. Feel free to discuss this impressive brother tandem below. View full article
  24. "He may have been a 15th rounder but he's a first rounder in my book." In a world of challenges and turmoil, nothing draws a smile like the sight of brotherly love. Poking back and forth with grins and banter, it's safe to say the connection is tightly-wound between the Varland brothers. Sons of North St. Paul and alumni of Concordia-St. Paul, Louie and Gus have emerged as rising stars in their respective organizations. WATCH TWINS SPOTLIGHT WITH GUS AND LOUIE VARLAND Louie Varland started the 2021 season in Low-A Fort Myers and finished a bulk of the season with High-A Cedar Rapids, throttling the competition at both levels. The younger brother finished the season with a 10-4 record and 2.10 ERA in addition to being named Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in his first professional season. Not a bad first rodeo. Older brother Gus has cemented himself as a staple in the Dodgers organization just a year after receiving Tommy John surgery. Despite what some would call a setback, the Dodgers had so much faith in Varland that they placed him at the Double-A level in 2021 despite his injury-riddled season at High-A in 2020. Just 24 and 25 years old, the road ahead looks bright for two of the most exciting prospects to come out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes in recent history. Twins Daily's Seth Stohs had a chance to chat with the two on Wednesday night, here's what you need to know. 1. College, Man As mentioned, both Gus and Louie pitched at Concordia University in St. Paul, etching themselves as two of the most dominant players in Golden Bear history. Yet playing with his older brother for the DII school wasn't initially the plan for Louie. Like many younger siblings, Louie wanted to go anywhere besides the school that his brother was pitching for. "I just wanted to go to a place where I could pitch against him and beat him," Louie chuckled. That didn't stop Gus from putting on his recruiting shoes and doing everything possible to get another member of the family in a navy blue and gold jersey. "I was encouraging him through the entire process to come and sign at Concordia," Gus said. "I was talking to the coaches, we had him throw a bullpen in front of us, and I was trying my hardest to get him there. He fought it off for the longest time but ended up signing in the end, and it was the best thing ever." "It worked out the absolute best way that it could have, and I really enjoyed those two seasons that I had with him," Louie responded. Both brothers experienced immense individual success on the mound but cited underdog team performances as their favorite memories from CSP. Gus recalls his freshman season when the Golden Bears went into the season unranked and ended up mounting an incredible run that landed the team in the NSIC conference championship game. Louie's favorite moment came two years later when the Golden Bears rallied another incredible run before falling to eventual national champion Augustana (SD) in the conference championship. On paper you'd assume that the two spent three seasons together given that they're only one year and school grade apart. They only spent two. The reason? Gus was drafted after his junior year by the Oakland Athletics in the 14th round of the 2018 Draft; not a bad reason to leave! 2. Scouting Reports Gus spent 2021 with the Tulsa Drillers, a team that frequently plays the Twins' Double-A affiliate Wichita Wind Surge. Throughout the course of the season he would hear scouting reports on how his younger brother was pitching in Low and High-A. "I was in Tulsa running foul poles right around when Louie was called up to High-A and I remember chatting with (Wichita pitcher) Cole Sands and him saying 'He's tearing it up, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets called up (to Double-A).'" Louie stayed in High-A Cedar Rapids for the rest of the year, cementing himself as the team's ace. He credits his success to the talented crop of arms pitching alongside him and fellow 2019 Twins draft picks, including names like Tyler Beck, Casey Legumina, and Sawyer-Gipson Long. "It's a really supportive relationship with those guys, we're always bouncing ideas off of each other," Louie said "Yes, we're competing against each other but at the end of the day it's very friendly and great to work with them." Could the two face off at the Double-A level in 2022? There's a fairly high probability; you betcha, wouldn't that be awesome! 3. Life After Baseball Perspective is huge in life and in baseball. And while the Varland's both have an excellent shot at making the show, they haven't forgotten about the over-arching 'life after baseball question.' Both brothers completed their degrees from Concordia-St. Paul in 2020. Gus finished his mathematics degree and would love to one day teach math or work in the baseball industry in data analytics. Louie earned a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. Will Louie serve as his own agent? Probably not. Still, the fact that both men have taken the extra step to prioritize their education is impressive. On the topic of analytics, both men spoke volumes on the technology and data analysis used in their respective organizations. This has been echoed by many if not most Twins prospects that have appeared on Twins Spotlight, yet it was awesome to hear Gus' perspective on the Dodger's organization. Traded from Oakland, he appreciates the investment that Los Angeles has made in being as 'cutting edge' as possible. Organizations like the Dodgers are nationally-recognized for their emphasis in staying 'on top of the modern edge,' it seems like the Twins are working their way into that silo as well. 4. Respective Arsenals The 2022 season presents opportunities to hone in on successes and foster new pitches for both Louie and Gus. Louie's arsenal consists of a strong fastball, changeup, and slider. "I have to keep my fastball at the top of the zone because that's where it works best, my changeup is a work in progress but has come a long way, and I need to get my slider to move more horizontally while keeping the same velocity," he said. That slider is something the the Twins have worked on with him and that he hones in on when throwing bullpens with his brother in the offseason. Similar to his brother, Gus relies on a high-riding fastball, changeup, and slider. He has also begun to add a cutter to his skillset and plans to make that an emphasis in his '22 campaign. Extra Innings Gus received a non-roster invite to Dodgers spring training in 2021 and struck out Fernando Tatis Jr! In addition to playing baseball at North St. Paul, Louie wrestled and played football. Gus played basketball through his junior year. Similar to Drew Strotman (who was featured on Twins Spotlight earlier this week), Gus describes being traded as a mixed bundle of emotions. Luckily for him, the Dodgers and A's both call Arizona their home for spring training so he gets to catch up with his old friends and teammates from Oakland each year. In addition to being named Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Louie was the unanimous winner of our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year Award. Past winners of the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year award include Jose Berrios, Johan Santana, and Brad Radke. Feel free to discuss this impressive brother tandem below.
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