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Theo Tollefson

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  1. TRANSACTIONS Following the Twins' game on Sunday, OF Mark Contreras was optioned to St. Paul. Presumably, Kyle Garlick will come off of the Injured List before the Monday series against the A's. SAINTS SENTINEL Game 1 St. Paul 3, Columbus 5 Box Score SP: Bailey Ober - 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (2) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-4), Kyle Garlick (2-4, R, K), Caleb Hamilton (2-2, BB) The Saints played two on Sunday afternoon against the Columbus Clippers. The first game was started by Bailey Ober as he made his rehab start with the team. Ober totaled 72 pitches through five innings for the Saints but did not have the best return to the mound on Sunday. Ober gave up five runs (4 earned) on four hits. He struck out seven without giving up any walks. Even with all of Ober’s efforts, the Saints offense was not able to come through with run support in Game 1 to give themselves a victory. Alex Kirilloff did have a good return to the Saints on Sunday as he went 2-for-4 as the designated hitter in the first game. The Saints mounted a comeback in the top of the sixth thanks to RBI singles from Derek Fisher and Jose Godoy, but the offense was not able to pick itself back up in the seventh to make a comeback. The loss in game one to the Clippers brought the Saints losing streak to six in a row. Game 2 St. Paul 4, Columbus 5 (8 Innings) Box Score SP: Dereck Rodriguez - 4 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: Curtis Terry (4) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-3, R, BB), Curtis Terry (2-4, R, HR, RBI (16), K) Dereck Rodriguez was on the mound for the start in Game 2 for the Saints and his afternoon on the mound lasted an inning shorter than Ober's. The Clippers hitters were able to find the location where many of Rodriguez’s pitches were heading, accounting for seven hits and three runs, all of which were scored in the bottom of the first. As he cooled off from a rough first inning, the Saints' offense put two runs on the board in the top of the second thanks to RBI singles from David Banuelos and Ernie Yake to bring themselves within a run of the Clippers. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth when Saint's first baseman Curtis Terry crushed a two-run home run to give the Saints their first lead of the day at 4-3. The Saints had the lead going into the bottom of the seventh to close the game out and snap their losing streak. However, the Clippers were able to tie the game up and force extra innings thanks to a game-tying home run from second baseman Tyler Freeman off of Trevor Megill. The Saints could not amount any runs for a lead in the top of the eighth, the game went into the bottom half of the inning with Megill still on the mound. That worked in favor of the Clippers as they walked off Megill on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Oscar Gonzalez. The second loss in the doubleheader brings the Saints losing streak to seven straight. They will look to break the losing streak on the road Tuesday against the Omaha Storm for their first matchup of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita, Northwest Arkansas Canceled The Wind Surge’s series finale against Northwest Arkansas on the road was canceled due to rain. The game will not be made up for future dates as the teams do not meet again during the season’s first half. Casey Legumina was scheduled to pitch for the Wind Surge on Sunday but will piggyback in relief on Tuesday for Matt Canterino who is scheduled to start for the Wind Surge. Wind Surge catcher Andrew Bechtold and Michael Helman had seven-game hitting streaks going into Sunday’s game which they still keep and have a chance to extend on Tuesday against the Springfield Cardinals at home. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3 Box Score SP: John Stankiewicz 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Alerick Soularie (2) Multi-hit games: Soularie (2-3, 3 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (8), BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Chiefs on Sunday winning in a 6-3 final and taking the series five to one against Peoria. The 6-3 victory for the Kernels was thanks in major part to second baseman Alerick Soularie, who scored three of the six runs for the Kernels and drove in four, finishing the day with his best offensive performance of the season so far. John Stankiewicz got the start for the Kernels making his first start of the season for them after spending all of April in Ft. Myers and making his Kernels debut out of the bullpen a week earlier. Stankiewicz pitched five solid innings for the Kernels allowing two earned runs on seven hits and only one walk while striking out five. In the four innings to follow, the Kernels bullpen only allowed three base runners on a hit, a walk, and an error. The Kernels will return home for a two-week homestand on Tuesday playing their first series against the Lake County Captains. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Palm Beach 0 Box Score SP: Marco Raya 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, SB (7), RBI (9)), Noah Miller (2-5, 2 R, K), Emmanuel Rodriguez (2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI (14), SB (7), BB, K), Kyle Schmidt (2-4, RBI (14)) The Mighty Mussels extended their winning streak to seven games Sunday afternoon completing a six-game sweep over the Palm Beach Cardinals with a shutout. The six-game sweep over the Cardinals became the first-ever six-game series sweep by the Mighty Mussels in franchise history. Marco Raya made his fourth start and threw his second scoreless outing of the season completing four innings in the frame. Raya only allowed one base runner in his four innings of work with a one-out walk in the top of the first. Following Raya in the Mussels shutout was Jaylen Nowlin making his seventh relief appearance of the season. Nowlin went three innings for the Mussels allowing only three base runners on a hit, walk and hit by pitch and registered four strikeouts. The final pitcher to come into the game for the Mighty Mussels Malik Barrington who recorded a six-out save for the Mussels. Barrington did surrender three hits in his two innings of work but retired five of the six outs he needed via strikeout. The Mussels offense had a slow start to the game as it was scoreless through five and a half innings. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Mussels got the offense going thanks to an RBI single from Kyle Schmidt that scored Emmanuel Rodriguez. The Mussels added more insurance runs in the seventh with an RBI single from Mikey Perez and a bases-loaded walk from Kala’i Rosario. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Jake Rucker had an RBI double scoring Luis Baez and later in the inning, Emmanuel Rodriguez had a bases-clearing triple that brought the score to 6-0. The Mussels will begin their next series on the road Tuesday at Clearwater with a semi-double header. The first game Tuesday is the resumption of a suspended game from May 1 that will start in the top of the 11th inning tied 4-4. The regularly scheduled game against Clearwater will start a half-hour after the suspended game’s conclusion. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Hitter of the Day – Alerick Soularie (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, 3 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (8), BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 0-3 #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI (14), SB (7), BB, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 2 R, K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4 TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 17. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Springfield @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - Matt Canterino Lake Country @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Game 1, Resuming May 1 Suspended Game (4:00 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Game 2 (5:30 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  2. The Twins had a series victory over the Guardians this weekend. The minor-league affiliates had a packed schedule with a doubleheader for the Saints, a canceled game due to weather for the Wind Surge, the Kernels maintaining the best record in the Midwest League, and the Mighty Mussels setting a new franchise record. TRANSACTIONS Following the Twins' game on Sunday, OF Mark Contreras was optioned to St. Paul. Presumably, Kyle Garlick will come off of the Injured List before the Monday series against the A's. SAINTS SENTINEL Game 1 St. Paul 3, Columbus 5 Box Score SP: Bailey Ober - 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (2) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-4), Kyle Garlick (2-4, R, K), Caleb Hamilton (2-2, BB) The Saints played two on Sunday afternoon against the Columbus Clippers. The first game was started by Bailey Ober as he made his rehab start with the team. Ober totaled 72 pitches through five innings for the Saints but did not have the best return to the mound on Sunday. Ober gave up five runs (4 earned) on four hits. He struck out seven without giving up any walks. Even with all of Ober’s efforts, the Saints offense was not able to come through with run support in Game 1 to give themselves a victory. Alex Kirilloff did have a good return to the Saints on Sunday as he went 2-for-4 as the designated hitter in the first game. The Saints mounted a comeback in the top of the sixth thanks to RBI singles from Derek Fisher and Jose Godoy, but the offense was not able to pick itself back up in the seventh to make a comeback. The loss in game one to the Clippers brought the Saints losing streak to six in a row. Game 2 St. Paul 4, Columbus 5 (8 Innings) Box Score SP: Dereck Rodriguez - 4 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: Curtis Terry (4) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-3, R, BB), Curtis Terry (2-4, R, HR, RBI (16), K) Dereck Rodriguez was on the mound for the start in Game 2 for the Saints and his afternoon on the mound lasted an inning shorter than Ober's. The Clippers hitters were able to find the location where many of Rodriguez’s pitches were heading, accounting for seven hits and three runs, all of which were scored in the bottom of the first. As he cooled off from a rough first inning, the Saints' offense put two runs on the board in the top of the second thanks to RBI singles from David Banuelos and Ernie Yake to bring themselves within a run of the Clippers. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth when Saint's first baseman Curtis Terry crushed a two-run home run to give the Saints their first lead of the day at 4-3. The Saints had the lead going into the bottom of the seventh to close the game out and snap their losing streak. However, the Clippers were able to tie the game up and force extra innings thanks to a game-tying home run from second baseman Tyler Freeman off of Trevor Megill. The Saints could not amount any runs for a lead in the top of the eighth, the game went into the bottom half of the inning with Megill still on the mound. That worked in favor of the Clippers as they walked off Megill on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Oscar Gonzalez. The second loss in the doubleheader brings the Saints losing streak to seven straight. They will look to break the losing streak on the road Tuesday against the Omaha Storm for their first matchup of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita, Northwest Arkansas Canceled The Wind Surge’s series finale against Northwest Arkansas on the road was canceled due to rain. The game will not be made up for future dates as the teams do not meet again during the season’s first half. Casey Legumina was scheduled to pitch for the Wind Surge on Sunday but will piggyback in relief on Tuesday for Matt Canterino who is scheduled to start for the Wind Surge. Wind Surge catcher Andrew Bechtold and Michael Helman had seven-game hitting streaks going into Sunday’s game which they still keep and have a chance to extend on Tuesday against the Springfield Cardinals at home. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3 Box Score SP: John Stankiewicz 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Alerick Soularie (2) Multi-hit games: Soularie (2-3, 3 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (8), BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Chiefs on Sunday winning in a 6-3 final and taking the series five to one against Peoria. The 6-3 victory for the Kernels was thanks in major part to second baseman Alerick Soularie, who scored three of the six runs for the Kernels and drove in four, finishing the day with his best offensive performance of the season so far. John Stankiewicz got the start for the Kernels making his first start of the season for them after spending all of April in Ft. Myers and making his Kernels debut out of the bullpen a week earlier. Stankiewicz pitched five solid innings for the Kernels allowing two earned runs on seven hits and only one walk while striking out five. In the four innings to follow, the Kernels bullpen only allowed three base runners on a hit, a walk, and an error. The Kernels will return home for a two-week homestand on Tuesday playing their first series against the Lake County Captains. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Palm Beach 0 Box Score SP: Marco Raya 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, SB (7), RBI (9)), Noah Miller (2-5, 2 R, K), Emmanuel Rodriguez (2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI (14), SB (7), BB, K), Kyle Schmidt (2-4, RBI (14)) The Mighty Mussels extended their winning streak to seven games Sunday afternoon completing a six-game sweep over the Palm Beach Cardinals with a shutout. The six-game sweep over the Cardinals became the first-ever six-game series sweep by the Mighty Mussels in franchise history. Marco Raya made his fourth start and threw his second scoreless outing of the season completing four innings in the frame. Raya only allowed one base runner in his four innings of work with a one-out walk in the top of the first. Following Raya in the Mussels shutout was Jaylen Nowlin making his seventh relief appearance of the season. Nowlin went three innings for the Mussels allowing only three base runners on a hit, walk and hit by pitch and registered four strikeouts. The final pitcher to come into the game for the Mighty Mussels Malik Barrington who recorded a six-out save for the Mussels. Barrington did surrender three hits in his two innings of work but retired five of the six outs he needed via strikeout. The Mussels offense had a slow start to the game as it was scoreless through five and a half innings. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Mussels got the offense going thanks to an RBI single from Kyle Schmidt that scored Emmanuel Rodriguez. The Mussels added more insurance runs in the seventh with an RBI single from Mikey Perez and a bases-loaded walk from Kala’i Rosario. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Jake Rucker had an RBI double scoring Luis Baez and later in the inning, Emmanuel Rodriguez had a bases-clearing triple that brought the score to 6-0. The Mussels will begin their next series on the road Tuesday at Clearwater with a semi-double header. The first game Tuesday is the resumption of a suspended game from May 1 that will start in the top of the 11th inning tied 4-4. The regularly scheduled game against Clearwater will start a half-hour after the suspended game’s conclusion. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Hitter of the Day – Alerick Soularie (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, 3 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (8), BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 0-3 #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI (14), SB (7), BB, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 2 R, K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4 TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 17. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Springfield @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - Matt Canterino Lake Country @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Game 1, Resuming May 1 Suspended Game (4:00 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Game 2 (5:30 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games. View full article
  3. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (103 pitches, 70 strikes (68 strike %)) Home Runs: Gio Urshela (3), Byron Buxton (11) Top 3 or Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.204), Gio Urshela (.119), Byron Buxton (.081) After a low-scoring game Saturday that was decided by a questionable rule that just won’t go away, the Twins got on the first run on the board against Guardians starter Tristen McKenzie with an RBI single from Max Kepler that scored Luis Arraez. Kepler was able to drive in Arraez because he stole his first base of the season and adding the Twins' season total stolen bases to seven. Clearly a sign of the times. The game remained scoreless through the next two innings thanks to Ryan’s pitching. Ryan cruised his way through the Guardians lineup until the top of the fourth when, with one out, Jose Ramirez hit a solo shot to right-center field tying the game 1-1. Even after the Ramirez homer, Ryan remained in control for the remainder of his start. Ryan had his first start with more than 100 pitches this season and kept his strike percentage at 68 percent, totaling five strikeouts. He also only allowed base runners via hits making Sunday his second start without a walk this season. With the game tied going into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Twins found a way to retake the lead thanks to a two-out solo home run from Gio Urshela. An inning later, the Twins' unofficial captain Byron Buxton added to the lead with his 11th home run of the season making it a 3-1 game. Buxton’s home run was called to be the 1,000th home run ever hit at Target Field by the Twins. However, thanks to research from Twins Dingers on Twitter, the home run was corrected to be the 999th home run by a Twin in Target Field’s history. Twins beat writer for MLB.com, Do Hyoung Park retweeted this finding by Twins Dingers to remind everyone the next home run hit by a Twin at Target Field will be the 1,000th. The Twins bullpen kept the Guardians scoreless in the seventh inning thanks to a perfect inning from Cody Stashak who struck out two of three batters faced. In the eighth inning, Joe Smith did allow one base runner, a Richie Palacios single, but Palacios did not score thanks to the relief effort of Smith and Caleb Theilbar. Emilio Pagan was given the ball for the save in the ninth inning and his third consecutive day with a relief appearance. Pagan had thrown 22 pitches Friday but only nine on Saturday making his availability to come into Sunday’s game for the save acceptable to Rocco Baldelli. Pagan completed the save giving up only one hit. He was helped by an outstanding defensive play at third base from Gio Urshela. The win brings the Twins record to 20-15 through their first 35 games this season and extends their lead over the Guardians for first place in the American League Central to three games. What’s Next? The Twins make their first road trip west this season. On Monday night, they begin another three-game series against the Oakland Athletics. Chris Archer is scheduled to go against Athletics 26-year-old lefty rookie Zach Logue. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Chart WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Stashak 0 46 0 0 13 59 Jax 0 0 50 0 0 50 Pagán 0 0 22 9 10 41 Thielbar 0 23 0 15 2 40 Duffey 0 33 0 5 0 38 Cano 0 36 0 0 0 36 Smith 0 0 4 15 9 28 Duran 0 0 10 12 0 22 Cotton 0 0 0 17 0 17
  4. Twins rookie Joe Ryan took the mound on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to finish out the Twins' longest homestand of the season. Thanks to Ryan’s first 100-pitch start of the season and a couple of solo shots from Gio Urshela and Byron Buxton, the Twins were able to complete a series victory over Cleveland and finish their homestand 5-4. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (103 pitches, 70 strikes (68 strike %)) Home Runs: Gio Urshela (3), Byron Buxton (11) Top 3 or Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (.204), Gio Urshela (.119), Byron Buxton (.081) After a low-scoring game Saturday that was decided by a questionable rule that just won’t go away, the Twins got on the first run on the board against Guardians starter Tristen McKenzie with an RBI single from Max Kepler that scored Luis Arraez. Kepler was able to drive in Arraez because he stole his first base of the season and adding the Twins' season total stolen bases to seven. Clearly a sign of the times. The game remained scoreless through the next two innings thanks to Ryan’s pitching. Ryan cruised his way through the Guardians lineup until the top of the fourth when, with one out, Jose Ramirez hit a solo shot to right-center field tying the game 1-1. Even after the Ramirez homer, Ryan remained in control for the remainder of his start. Ryan had his first start with more than 100 pitches this season and kept his strike percentage at 68 percent, totaling five strikeouts. He also only allowed base runners via hits making Sunday his second start without a walk this season. With the game tied going into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Twins found a way to retake the lead thanks to a two-out solo home run from Gio Urshela. An inning later, the Twins' unofficial captain Byron Buxton added to the lead with his 11th home run of the season making it a 3-1 game. Buxton’s home run was called to be the 1,000th home run ever hit at Target Field by the Twins. However, thanks to research from Twins Dingers on Twitter, the home run was corrected to be the 999th home run by a Twin in Target Field’s history. Twins beat writer for MLB.com, Do Hyoung Park retweeted this finding by Twins Dingers to remind everyone the next home run hit by a Twin at Target Field will be the 1,000th. The Twins bullpen kept the Guardians scoreless in the seventh inning thanks to a perfect inning from Cody Stashak who struck out two of three batters faced. In the eighth inning, Joe Smith did allow one base runner, a Richie Palacios single, but Palacios did not score thanks to the relief effort of Smith and Caleb Theilbar. Emilio Pagan was given the ball for the save in the ninth inning and his third consecutive day with a relief appearance. Pagan had thrown 22 pitches Friday but only nine on Saturday making his availability to come into Sunday’s game for the save acceptable to Rocco Baldelli. Pagan completed the save giving up only one hit. He was helped by an outstanding defensive play at third base from Gio Urshela. The win brings the Twins record to 20-15 through their first 35 games this season and extends their lead over the Guardians for first place in the American League Central to three games. What’s Next? The Twins make their first road trip west this season. On Monday night, they begin another three-game series against the Oakland Athletics. Chris Archer is scheduled to go against Athletics 26-year-old lefty rookie Zach Logue. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Chart WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Stashak 0 46 0 0 13 59 Jax 0 0 50 0 0 50 Pagán 0 0 22 9 10 41 Thielbar 0 23 0 15 2 40 Duffey 0 33 0 5 0 38 Cano 0 36 0 0 0 36 Smith 0 0 4 15 9 28 Duran 0 0 10 12 0 22 Cotton 0 0 0 17 0 17 View full article
  5. Jordan Balazovic made his first start of the 2022 season with the St. Paul Saints this last Saturday coming off of a knee injury that set his season start back. Balazovic is currently on an 80 pitch count limit, so what are the expectations for him this month? The Twins' top pitching prospect in the minors, Jordan Balazovic, made his 2022 debut last Saturday against the Iowa Cubs in St. Paul. Balazovic's stat line for the game was 3 2/3 scoreless innings pitched, five hits, two walks, and four strikeouts with 79 pitches thrown. Balazovic’s start on Saturday was an improvement from his rehab appearance on May 1 with Fort Myers where he went two innings and gave up four earned runs on four hits, two walks, and only one strikeout. After Saturday’s game, Balazovic spoke about the improvement he had felt in his knee and in his performance compared to the rehab start. “Sunday was a tough one, but otherwise I feel great. It felt good to be back out here and back to natural adrenaline and body-wise I feel great,” said Balazovic. As of now, Balazovic is set up to make regular starts with the Saints every five to six days. Saints manager Toby Gardenhire shared the current plans that he, Balazovic, and pitching coach Virgil Vasquez have for Balazovic’s pitching limits. “Today he threw the ball really well, and we’ll work on him being more efficient. He's got great stuff, and he will learn to be more efficient with it. That's going to keep his pitch count down and that's the big thing. He threw some really good sliders and some not-so-good sliders. He threw some really good changeups and not as good changeups. Those are the little things that the longer he goes, hopefully, they'll be able to iron out because once he gets up there, all those things get magnified a lot,” said Gardenhire. A common theme in Balazovic’s start on Saturday was having the Cubs hitters foul a lot of balls off him which had raised his pitch count to 79 by the fourth inning. Currently, Balazovic is on a pitch count limit of 80 pitches. “They battled, when I was up in the count I couldn’t finish them off. It was one of those starts, but for the first one of the season, it’s definitely one I want to build off of for the most part. There's stuff we're gonna work on,” said Balazovic. Last season, Balazovic made 20 starts, all with the Wichita Wind Surge. He averaged 5 2/3 innings pitched throughout those 20 starts and averaged 84 pitches per start. Balazovic also posted a 3.62 ERA in 97 innings pitched. He had 102 strikeouts (9.5 K/9) and a 3.5 BB/9. Balazovic is scheduled to make his next start for the Saints on Friday, May 13, in Columbus against the Clippers. What would you like to see from Balazovic over the course of his next few starts, and then over the remainder of the season? Leave your COMMENTS below. View full article
  6. The Twins' top pitching prospect in the minors, Jordan Balazovic, made his 2022 debut last Saturday against the Iowa Cubs in St. Paul. Balazovic's stat line for the game was 3 2/3 scoreless innings pitched, five hits, two walks, and four strikeouts with 79 pitches thrown. Balazovic’s start on Saturday was an improvement from his rehab appearance on May 1 with Fort Myers where he went two innings and gave up four earned runs on four hits, two walks, and only one strikeout. After Saturday’s game, Balazovic spoke about the improvement he had felt in his knee and in his performance compared to the rehab start. “Sunday was a tough one, but otherwise I feel great. It felt good to be back out here and back to natural adrenaline and body-wise I feel great,” said Balazovic. As of now, Balazovic is set up to make regular starts with the Saints every five to six days. Saints manager Toby Gardenhire shared the current plans that he, Balazovic, and pitching coach Virgil Vasquez have for Balazovic’s pitching limits. “Today he threw the ball really well, and we’ll work on him being more efficient. He's got great stuff, and he will learn to be more efficient with it. That's going to keep his pitch count down and that's the big thing. He threw some really good sliders and some not-so-good sliders. He threw some really good changeups and not as good changeups. Those are the little things that the longer he goes, hopefully, they'll be able to iron out because once he gets up there, all those things get magnified a lot,” said Gardenhire. A common theme in Balazovic’s start on Saturday was having the Cubs hitters foul a lot of balls off him which had raised his pitch count to 79 by the fourth inning. Currently, Balazovic is on a pitch count limit of 80 pitches. “They battled, when I was up in the count I couldn’t finish them off. It was one of those starts, but for the first one of the season, it’s definitely one I want to build off of for the most part. There's stuff we're gonna work on,” said Balazovic. Last season, Balazovic made 20 starts, all with the Wichita Wind Surge. He averaged 5 2/3 innings pitched throughout those 20 starts and averaged 84 pitches per start. Balazovic also posted a 3.62 ERA in 97 innings pitched. He had 102 strikeouts (9.5 K/9) and a 3.5 BB/9. Balazovic is scheduled to make his next start for the Saints on Friday, May 13, in Columbus against the Clippers. What would you like to see from Balazovic over the course of his next few starts, and then over the remainder of the season? Leave your COMMENTS below.
  7. TRANSACTIONS Twins placed OF Trevor Larnach on the IL (right adductor strain) Twins recalled C Jose Godoy. OF Jake Cave was activated from the temporarily inactive list. C Roy Morales activated from the Development List and promoted to the Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 10 Box Score SP: Cole Sands - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: David Banuelos (2) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 2B, RBI (17), 2 K) The Saints played the final game of their 12-game homestead on Sunday with the conclusion of their series against the Iowa Cubs. On Saturday, the Saints crushed the Cubs in a 9-2 victory. On Sunday, they received the other end of the stick. The Cubs got to the Saints early in the top of the second scoring four runs on five hits and a walk off of starter Cole Sands. Sands had a better go in both the first and third innings giving up only one hit in each of those innings. The high number of strikeouts and a tiring second inning had Sands at 71 pitches through three innings, and six Saints relievers came in to finish out the game. At the plate, many of the Saints bats went cold aside from Mark Contreras who had two doubles and an RBI for the Saints on Sunday. The Saints lineup also featured the return of Jake Cave from the temporarily inactive list leading off for St. Paul and going 1-for-4 with a double and RBI. One of the newest additions to the Saints roster, second baseman Kevin Merrell, spoke on adjusting to the new clubhouse after his promotion from Wichita and which players he has gravitated to as mentors with the Saints. “There are so many guys in there with a ton of experience, and I just need to watch closely and see what I can pick up. It’s been an easy transition, there’s a lot of phenomenal dudes on this team,” said Merrell. Merrell is a former first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2017 and went 33rd overall in the draft. Merrell has already found a teammate on the Saints he wants to learn as much as possible from, that teammate being Saints infielder Elliot Soto. Merrell explained, “He can talk to anybody. He’s super encouraging, and he’s very confident in what he does. I think that’s contagious for a lot of us. He’s played for a long time. He’s 32 or so, has a lot of experience, and I would say he stands out the most for me.” The Saints will start a two-week road trip on Tuesday with two different stops, the first being in Columbus, Ohio for a week-long match-up with the Clippers. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1 Wichita 4, Tulsa 7 Box Score Game 1 SP: Chris Vallimont - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Game 2 Wichita 5, Tulsa 6 Box Score Game 2 SP: Casey Legumina - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K HR: Austin Martin (1), Michael Helman (4) Multi-hit games: Martin (2-4, R, HR, RBI (8)), Edouard Julien (2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10), K) The Wind Surge entered Sunday afternoon riding an eight-game win streak and had a doubleheader scheduled with the Tulsa Drillers to finish out their five-game series. Unfortunately for the WInd Surge, they were swept in the doubleheader. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his sixth start of the season. Vallimont had a strong first inning recovering from a leadoff triple to Drillers shortstop Jacob Amaya. Amaya scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice groundout. Vallimont continued to cool off in the second with a 1-2-3 inning, but the Drillers picked up three more runs in the third off of Vallimont which later knocked him out of the game. The Wind Surge bats were cold throughout Game 1 and although they tallied seven hits, no Wind Surge player was able to tally more than one hit. Wind Surge third baseman Spencer Steer managed to drive in two of their four runs in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------- Game 2 brought a better hitting game for the Wind Surge, but they still fell short in another loss against the Drillers. Game 2 was started by Casey Legumina who made his first start for the Wind Surge after three starts with Cedar Rapids to start 2022. Legumina gave up two walks in the top of the first inning but left the runners on base to get out of a jam. He continued that success in the second and retired the minimum in order. The third inning was where Legumina struggled the most, walking four batters and giving up two hits including a home run to Drillers left fielder James Outman. Austin Martin fans were able to rejoice at least in Game 2 as he hit his first home run of the season. Third baseman Michael Helman also had a home run in the sixth inning that brought Wichita within one run. The Wind Surge were unable to score more runs in the bottom of the seventh in order to tie the game and force it into extras. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road against Northwest Arkansas Tuesday morning for another six-game series with the Naturals. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jair Camargo (2-5, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the River Bandits on Sunday taking a win to complete a 4-2 series victory of Quad Cities. The 2-1 victory for the Kernels was the smallest scoring game of the series as Anthony Prato and Wander Javier drove in the only two runs. Javier hit into a force out in the bottom of the 8th inning to score Aaron Sabato with the game-tying run. They went to extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Javier was on third base when Anthony Prato his a fly ball to right field, deep enough to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long had his best start of the season on Sunday. He had season highs in the start with innings pitched (5 1/3) and strikeouts (6). He also did not give up any runs or walks in the game. The Kernels will be on the road in Peoria to play another six-game series against the Chiefs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score SP: Steve Hajjar 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6)), Mikey Perez (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI (7), 2 BB), Kyle Schmidt (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI (13), 2 BB, 2 K), Daniel Ozoria (2-4, R) The Mighty Mussels completed their series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers with a lopsided 9-1 victory which brought about a series split. The Mighty Mussels pitching was dominated by Steve Hajjar and Marco Raya. Hajjar started the game and threw three no-hit innings, walking four and striking out eight out of the nine outs. Raya came into the game in the top of the fifth. Although Raya gave up a home run in the top of the sixth, he only allowed one other base runner on a hit and struck out four to earn the win. The Mussels offense lit up all afternoon scoring nine runs on 11 hits without the help of a home run. Mussels third baseman Jake Rucker led the offense with a three-hit game. The Mussels will begin their next series at home on Tuesday night against Palm Beach for another six-game series against the Cardinals Low-A affiliate. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Jake Rucker (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-3 #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-2, R, 2 BB Game 2, 2-4, R, HR, SB, RBI #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-4, R, 2B, RBI (3) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, R, 2 BB #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI (6), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game 1, 1-4, SB, 2 RBI (20) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, SB, BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-3, BB, K Game 2, 2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 10. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CST) - Ronny Henriquez Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (11:05 AM CST) - Ben Gross Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (5:30 PM CST) - David Festa Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  8. The Twins completed a sweep of the Oakland A’s at home on Sunday to bring their record to 18-11 on the season. The Minor League affiliates had a busy schedule on Sunday as the Saints and Mighty Mussles saw lopsided scores, the Wind Surge played a double header, the Kernels had a low scoring victory that saw their stater’s best performance of the season. TRANSACTIONS Twins placed OF Trevor Larnach on the IL (right adductor strain) Twins recalled C Jose Godoy. OF Jake Cave was activated from the temporarily inactive list. C Roy Morales activated from the Development List and promoted to the Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 10 Box Score SP: Cole Sands - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: David Banuelos (2) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 2B, RBI (17), 2 K) The Saints played the final game of their 12-game homestead on Sunday with the conclusion of their series against the Iowa Cubs. On Saturday, the Saints crushed the Cubs in a 9-2 victory. On Sunday, they received the other end of the stick. The Cubs got to the Saints early in the top of the second scoring four runs on five hits and a walk off of starter Cole Sands. Sands had a better go in both the first and third innings giving up only one hit in each of those innings. The high number of strikeouts and a tiring second inning had Sands at 71 pitches through three innings, and six Saints relievers came in to finish out the game. At the plate, many of the Saints bats went cold aside from Mark Contreras who had two doubles and an RBI for the Saints on Sunday. The Saints lineup also featured the return of Jake Cave from the temporarily inactive list leading off for St. Paul and going 1-for-4 with a double and RBI. One of the newest additions to the Saints roster, second baseman Kevin Merrell, spoke on adjusting to the new clubhouse after his promotion from Wichita and which players he has gravitated to as mentors with the Saints. “There are so many guys in there with a ton of experience, and I just need to watch closely and see what I can pick up. It’s been an easy transition, there’s a lot of phenomenal dudes on this team,” said Merrell. Merrell is a former first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2017 and went 33rd overall in the draft. Merrell has already found a teammate on the Saints he wants to learn as much as possible from, that teammate being Saints infielder Elliot Soto. Merrell explained, “He can talk to anybody. He’s super encouraging, and he’s very confident in what he does. I think that’s contagious for a lot of us. He’s played for a long time. He’s 32 or so, has a lot of experience, and I would say he stands out the most for me.” The Saints will start a two-week road trip on Tuesday with two different stops, the first being in Columbus, Ohio for a week-long match-up with the Clippers. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1 Wichita 4, Tulsa 7 Box Score Game 1 SP: Chris Vallimont - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Game 2 Wichita 5, Tulsa 6 Box Score Game 2 SP: Casey Legumina - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K HR: Austin Martin (1), Michael Helman (4) Multi-hit games: Martin (2-4, R, HR, RBI (8)), Edouard Julien (2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10), K) The Wind Surge entered Sunday afternoon riding an eight-game win streak and had a doubleheader scheduled with the Tulsa Drillers to finish out their five-game series. Unfortunately for the WInd Surge, they were swept in the doubleheader. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his sixth start of the season. Vallimont had a strong first inning recovering from a leadoff triple to Drillers shortstop Jacob Amaya. Amaya scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice groundout. Vallimont continued to cool off in the second with a 1-2-3 inning, but the Drillers picked up three more runs in the third off of Vallimont which later knocked him out of the game. The Wind Surge bats were cold throughout Game 1 and although they tallied seven hits, no Wind Surge player was able to tally more than one hit. Wind Surge third baseman Spencer Steer managed to drive in two of their four runs in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------- Game 2 brought a better hitting game for the Wind Surge, but they still fell short in another loss against the Drillers. Game 2 was started by Casey Legumina who made his first start for the Wind Surge after three starts with Cedar Rapids to start 2022. Legumina gave up two walks in the top of the first inning but left the runners on base to get out of a jam. He continued that success in the second and retired the minimum in order. The third inning was where Legumina struggled the most, walking four batters and giving up two hits including a home run to Drillers left fielder James Outman. Austin Martin fans were able to rejoice at least in Game 2 as he hit his first home run of the season. Third baseman Michael Helman also had a home run in the sixth inning that brought Wichita within one run. The Wind Surge were unable to score more runs in the bottom of the seventh in order to tie the game and force it into extras. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road against Northwest Arkansas Tuesday morning for another six-game series with the Naturals. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jair Camargo (2-5, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the River Bandits on Sunday taking a win to complete a 4-2 series victory of Quad Cities. The 2-1 victory for the Kernels was the smallest scoring game of the series as Anthony Prato and Wander Javier drove in the only two runs. Javier hit into a force out in the bottom of the 8th inning to score Aaron Sabato with the game-tying run. They went to extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Javier was on third base when Anthony Prato his a fly ball to right field, deep enough to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long had his best start of the season on Sunday. He had season highs in the start with innings pitched (5 1/3) and strikeouts (6). He also did not give up any runs or walks in the game. The Kernels will be on the road in Peoria to play another six-game series against the Chiefs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score SP: Steve Hajjar 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6)), Mikey Perez (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI (7), 2 BB), Kyle Schmidt (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI (13), 2 BB, 2 K), Daniel Ozoria (2-4, R) The Mighty Mussels completed their series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers with a lopsided 9-1 victory which brought about a series split. The Mighty Mussels pitching was dominated by Steve Hajjar and Marco Raya. Hajjar started the game and threw three no-hit innings, walking four and striking out eight out of the nine outs. Raya came into the game in the top of the fifth. Although Raya gave up a home run in the top of the sixth, he only allowed one other base runner on a hit and struck out four to earn the win. The Mussels offense lit up all afternoon scoring nine runs on 11 hits without the help of a home run. Mussels third baseman Jake Rucker led the offense with a three-hit game. The Mussels will begin their next series at home on Tuesday night against Palm Beach for another six-game series against the Cardinals Low-A affiliate. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Jake Rucker (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-3 #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-2, R, 2 BB Game 2, 2-4, R, HR, SB, RBI #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-4, R, 2B, RBI (3) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, R, 2 BB #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI (6), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game 1, 1-4, SB, 2 RBI (20) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, SB, BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-3, BB, K Game 2, 2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 10. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CST) - Ronny Henriquez Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (11:05 AM CST) - Ben Gross Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (5:30 PM CST) - David Festa Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games. View full article
  9. Just like their Major League counterparts, many of the Twins minor league hitters had a fantastic start to their seasons during the month of April. Find out which Minor League hitter took home the award as voted upon by Twins Daily writers. The Twins Minor League affiliates had some hot hitters throughout the month of April. As many focused on Royce Lewis’ return to the diamond for the first time in over two years, other names such as Charles Mack, Spencer Steer, and Curtis Terry showed what they are capable of at the plate. Although all these mentioned names had great months in April, they did not finish in the top three places with the Twins Daily voting results for minor league hitter of the month. Now here are the results of the top four vote-getters for the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month. Honorable Mention 3: Royce Lewis, St. Paul Saints The biggest question mark for many Twins fans coming into the 2022 season was how quickly Royce Lewis could re-acclimate himself to the game, the daily grind after missing two full seasons. The number didn't seem as important as simply getting back on the field, showing health, and getting at-bats and time at shortstop. Well, the 2017 top pick played in 21 Saints games and hit .320/.441/.587 (1.028) with nine doubles, a triple, and three home runs. He has hit the ball hard. He has hit for power. He has shown off his speed with infield singles and stolen bases. Just as important, he has shown very good command of the strike zone. In 93 plate appearances, he has 18 strikeouts (19.3%) and 15 walks (16.1%). Also, he has played well defensively at shortstop. He has a couple of errors, but he has made plays going in each direction. After so much time, the 23-year-old needs to just keep playing and enjoying the game. As you can see in the updated Prospect Tracker, he has returned to the #1 spot on the Twins Daily Prospect rankings. Honorable Mention 2: Emmanuel Rodriguez, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels Emmanuel Rodriguez was ranked #15 on the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects coming into the season. Now he has risen to the rank of number ten and proved why he belongs there during the month of April. Rodriguez did not have the flashiest batting average in April. He hit just .241, but the other two-thirds of his triple slash were fantastic in April with a .440 on-base percentage and .574 slugging percentage. Rodriguez had also fared much better at home than on the road in his 17 games played in April. Rodriguez crushed the ball at home hitting .320/.485/.680 in eight games at Fort Myers, but he hit .172/.405/.483 on the road in nine games. If Rodriguez can bring his hot hitting on the road as he does at home, he may find himself further up this list for the month of May. Honorable Mention 1: Kyler Fedko, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels Kyler Fedko is not a power hitter like his teammate Rodriguez, but he certainly is a Twins prospect to keep an eye on at Fort Myers. Fedko had an excellent start to his season in the month of April posting a .350/.438/.550 triple slash with nine extra-base hits in 17 games. The 22-year-old outfielder played in 23 games last season with the Mighty Mussels after the Twins made him their 12th-round pick out of Connecticut. He has already eclipsed his doubles, triples, and home runs from last season. With more regular playing time for Fedko and a continuation of his current hot streak at the plate, there is a good chance he could see playing time at Cedar Rapids come June. Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Cedar Rapids Kernels If Twins fans didn’t know the name Christian Encarnacion-Strand before April, they certainly know it now. Encarnacion-Strand had one of the best months of any minor league hitter with the Kernels posting a .410/459/.680 (1.138) with four doubles, a triple, five home runs, and 23 runs batted in. He also stole three bases. He started the season on fire. In the first game of the season, he went 4-for-5 with two homers and nine RBI. The next day, he went 5-for-5 with a double, a homer, and five RBI. He had hits in 15 of 19 games during the month. And in two of those games, he had five of his seven walks. He had 11 multi-hit games including a stretch of seven out of nine games. It's what he's been doing since the Twins selected him in the fourth round of last year's draft. He had played at Oklahoma State where his head coach was Robin Ventura and his hitting coach was Matt Holliday. After signing, he joined the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels and had hits in each of his first 20 games and in 21 of 22 games. In those games, he hit .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with two doubles, two triples and four home runs. Thanks to his elite month, Encarnacion-Strand has found himself on the Updated Twins Daily Top 20 prospects list at # 18. In 19 games across April, Encarnacion-Strand was arguably the second most talked about Twins prospect behind Lewis. It still may be a while before Encarnacion-Strand finds himself in St. Paul, but he is on a streak that could see him at Double AA Wichita in the not-so-distant future. Feel free to share your own rankings for Twins Minor League hitters of the month for April in the comment section below. View full article
  10. The Twins Minor League affiliates had some hot hitters throughout the month of April. As many focused on Royce Lewis’ return to the diamond for the first time in over two years, other names such as Charles Mack, Spencer Steer, and Curtis Terry showed what they are capable of at the plate. Although all these mentioned names had great months in April, they did not finish in the top three places with the Twins Daily voting results for minor league hitter of the month. Now here are the results of the top four vote-getters for the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month. Honorable Mention 3: Royce Lewis, St. Paul Saints The biggest question mark for many Twins fans coming into the 2022 season was how quickly Royce Lewis could re-acclimate himself to the game, the daily grind after missing two full seasons. The number didn't seem as important as simply getting back on the field, showing health, and getting at-bats and time at shortstop. Well, the 2017 top pick played in 21 Saints games and hit .320/.441/.587 (1.028) with nine doubles, a triple, and three home runs. He has hit the ball hard. He has hit for power. He has shown off his speed with infield singles and stolen bases. Just as important, he has shown very good command of the strike zone. In 93 plate appearances, he has 18 strikeouts (19.3%) and 15 walks (16.1%). Also, he has played well defensively at shortstop. He has a couple of errors, but he has made plays going in each direction. After so much time, the 23-year-old needs to just keep playing and enjoying the game. As you can see in the updated Prospect Tracker, he has returned to the #1 spot on the Twins Daily Prospect rankings. Honorable Mention 2: Emmanuel Rodriguez, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels Emmanuel Rodriguez was ranked #15 on the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects coming into the season. Now he has risen to the rank of number ten and proved why he belongs there during the month of April. Rodriguez did not have the flashiest batting average in April. He hit just .241, but the other two-thirds of his triple slash were fantastic in April with a .440 on-base percentage and .574 slugging percentage. Rodriguez had also fared much better at home than on the road in his 17 games played in April. Rodriguez crushed the ball at home hitting .320/.485/.680 in eight games at Fort Myers, but he hit .172/.405/.483 on the road in nine games. If Rodriguez can bring his hot hitting on the road as he does at home, he may find himself further up this list for the month of May. Honorable Mention 1: Kyler Fedko, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels Kyler Fedko is not a power hitter like his teammate Rodriguez, but he certainly is a Twins prospect to keep an eye on at Fort Myers. Fedko had an excellent start to his season in the month of April posting a .350/.438/.550 triple slash with nine extra-base hits in 17 games. The 22-year-old outfielder played in 23 games last season with the Mighty Mussels after the Twins made him their 12th-round pick out of Connecticut. He has already eclipsed his doubles, triples, and home runs from last season. With more regular playing time for Fedko and a continuation of his current hot streak at the plate, there is a good chance he could see playing time at Cedar Rapids come June. Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Cedar Rapids Kernels If Twins fans didn’t know the name Christian Encarnacion-Strand before April, they certainly know it now. Encarnacion-Strand had one of the best months of any minor league hitter with the Kernels posting a .410/459/.680 (1.138) with four doubles, a triple, five home runs, and 23 runs batted in. He also stole three bases. He started the season on fire. In the first game of the season, he went 4-for-5 with two homers and nine RBI. The next day, he went 5-for-5 with a double, a homer, and five RBI. He had hits in 15 of 19 games during the month. And in two of those games, he had five of his seven walks. He had 11 multi-hit games including a stretch of seven out of nine games. It's what he's been doing since the Twins selected him in the fourth round of last year's draft. He had played at Oklahoma State where his head coach was Robin Ventura and his hitting coach was Matt Holliday. After signing, he joined the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels and had hits in each of his first 20 games and in 21 of 22 games. In those games, he hit .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with two doubles, two triples and four home runs. Thanks to his elite month, Encarnacion-Strand has found himself on the Updated Twins Daily Top 20 prospects list at # 18. In 19 games across April, Encarnacion-Strand was arguably the second most talked about Twins prospect behind Lewis. It still may be a while before Encarnacion-Strand finds himself in St. Paul, but he is on a streak that could see him at Double AA Wichita in the not-so-distant future. Feel free to share your own rankings for Twins Minor League hitters of the month for April in the comment section below.
  11. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced Sunday morning that pitchers Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic were assigned to Low-A affiliate Fort Myers for rehab assignments and are available to pitch Sunday. In addition, Marco Raya was activated by Ft. Myers. he is scheduled to start on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul and Nashville were postponed due to Weather. The Saints were unable to play their series finale against the Nashville Sounds on Sunday due to wet grounds at CHS Field. The makeup game has yet to be rescheduled for a later date. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Arkansas 3 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont - 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Cole Sturgeon (3), Alex Isola (3) Multi-hit games: Isola (3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) The Wind Surge completed their series victory over the Travelers Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 victory that gave the Wind Surge a 5-1 series win. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his fifth start of the season for the Wind Surge. Vallimont had a strong first inning but struggled in the second and third giving up two runs in the second on a bases-clearing double by Travelers catcher Jake Anchia. Vallimont allowed the Travelers third and final run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third. Vallimont cooled off in the fourth inning but was taken out for the day afterward. Alex Isola carried the Wind Surge lineup to victory with his 3-for-4 performance at the plate coming a triple short of the cycle. Isola also hit the game-winning home run in the top of the sixth that gave the Wind Surge their 4-3 lead. Cole Sturgeon hit his third home run of the season in the fifth inning against Travelers starter George Kirby. The Wind Surge will be returning home for their next series starting Tuesday against the Tulsa Drillers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 13 Box Score SP: Cade Povich 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (2), Jeferson Morales (1) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-3, R, 2B, RBI (14) 2 BB), Jair Camargo (2-4, R, BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Beloit Sky Carp with a loss that split the six-game series between the two teams. The 13-6 loss is the largest for the Kernels on the season so far. Kernels starter Cade Povich made his third start of the season but was roughed up over 4 1/3 innings pitched. The Sky Carp scored three runs against him in the second and three more to knock him out in the fifth inning. Povich still did have three strong innings. throwing scoreless first, third, and fourth innings. The Kernels offense did their best to keep up but fell short in the later innings as the Sky Carp tagged on three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the bottom of the eighth. Kernels left fielder Anthony Prato and catcher Jair Camargo both had strong games at the plate, but it was first baseman Aaron Sabato’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth that brought the Kernels back into the game. Even though they fell short and lost 13-6 The Kernels will be returning home for their next series against the Quad City River Bandits which will be their second series against them for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Clearwater 4: Suspended in the top of the 11th Box Score SP: Sonny Gray 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi hit games: Noah Miller (2-3, R, BB), Kyler Fedko (2-4, R, RBI (14), BB, K) The Mighty Mussels game against the Clearwater Threshers was suspended in the top of the 11th due to rain. The suspended game will resume during the Mighty Mussels next match up against the Threshers the week of May 16. Both Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic pitched for the Mighty Mussels during Sunday’s game. Gray made his rehab start and nearly three perfect innings for Fort Myers save for a fielding error in the top of the first and a single in the top of the second. Gray did not allow any walks and struck out five in his appearance. Balazovic came into the game right after Gray for two innings. Balazovic did not have as strong a performance as Gray as he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in his first appearance for the 2022 season. He has been rehabbing a knee injury. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Cardinals Single-A affiliate, the Palm Beach Cardinals. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sonny Gray (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (Wichita) - 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 2B, K #5 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers, Rehab) - 2 IP 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (1st career MLB Win) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, R, BB #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, R, BB #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, RBI (24), BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 3. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded.
  12. The Twins were able to avoid a rainout being in Tampa (in large part due to Tropicana Field being a dome), but the same could not be said for the Saints and Mighty Mussels as one game was postponed and the other suspended due to rain. The Wind Surge and Kernels did not have weather stop their games today and the teams had opposite results for their games on Sunday. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced Sunday morning that pitchers Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic were assigned to Low-A affiliate Fort Myers for rehab assignments and are available to pitch Sunday. In addition, Marco Raya was activated by Ft. Myers. he is scheduled to start on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul and Nashville were postponed due to Weather. The Saints were unable to play their series finale against the Nashville Sounds on Sunday due to wet grounds at CHS Field. The makeup game has yet to be rescheduled for a later date. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Arkansas 3 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont - 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Cole Sturgeon (3), Alex Isola (3) Multi-hit games: Isola (3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) The Wind Surge completed their series victory over the Travelers Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 victory that gave the Wind Surge a 5-1 series win. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his fifth start of the season for the Wind Surge. Vallimont had a strong first inning but struggled in the second and third giving up two runs in the second on a bases-clearing double by Travelers catcher Jake Anchia. Vallimont allowed the Travelers third and final run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third. Vallimont cooled off in the fourth inning but was taken out for the day afterward. Alex Isola carried the Wind Surge lineup to victory with his 3-for-4 performance at the plate coming a triple short of the cycle. Isola also hit the game-winning home run in the top of the sixth that gave the Wind Surge their 4-3 lead. Cole Sturgeon hit his third home run of the season in the fifth inning against Travelers starter George Kirby. The Wind Surge will be returning home for their next series starting Tuesday against the Tulsa Drillers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 13 Box Score SP: Cade Povich 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (2), Jeferson Morales (1) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-3, R, 2B, RBI (14) 2 BB), Jair Camargo (2-4, R, BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Beloit Sky Carp with a loss that split the six-game series between the two teams. The 13-6 loss is the largest for the Kernels on the season so far. Kernels starter Cade Povich made his third start of the season but was roughed up over 4 1/3 innings pitched. The Sky Carp scored three runs against him in the second and three more to knock him out in the fifth inning. Povich still did have three strong innings. throwing scoreless first, third, and fourth innings. The Kernels offense did their best to keep up but fell short in the later innings as the Sky Carp tagged on three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the bottom of the eighth. Kernels left fielder Anthony Prato and catcher Jair Camargo both had strong games at the plate, but it was first baseman Aaron Sabato’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth that brought the Kernels back into the game. Even though they fell short and lost 13-6 The Kernels will be returning home for their next series against the Quad City River Bandits which will be their second series against them for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Clearwater 4: Suspended in the top of the 11th Box Score SP: Sonny Gray 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi hit games: Noah Miller (2-3, R, BB), Kyler Fedko (2-4, R, RBI (14), BB, K) The Mighty Mussels game against the Clearwater Threshers was suspended in the top of the 11th due to rain. The suspended game will resume during the Mighty Mussels next match up against the Threshers the week of May 16. Both Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic pitched for the Mighty Mussels during Sunday’s game. Gray made his rehab start and nearly three perfect innings for Fort Myers save for a fielding error in the top of the first and a single in the top of the second. Gray did not allow any walks and struck out five in his appearance. Balazovic came into the game right after Gray for two innings. Balazovic did not have as strong a performance as Gray as he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in his first appearance for the 2022 season. He has been rehabbing a knee injury. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Cardinals Single-A affiliate, the Palm Beach Cardinals. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sonny Gray (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (Wichita) - 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 2B, K #5 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers, Rehab) - 2 IP 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (1st career MLB Win) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, R, BB #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, R, BB #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, RBI (24), BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 3. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded. View full article
  13. Josh Winder went to the mound Sunday afternoon for his first Major League start, and his teammates gave him an early favor by scoring five runs in the first inning. The Twins went on to a 9-3 win, and a series win on the road in Tampa. Box Score SP: Josh Winder 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (83 pitches, 54 strikes (65 strike %)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (7) Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco (.131), Kyle Garlick (.106), Josh Winder (.102) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Twins bats were ready to continue their hot streak from Saturday against the Rays on Sunday and wasted no time doing so. The top of the first brought about a lot of excitement for the Twins as Byron Buxton reached base on a throwing error from Rays shortstop Taylor Walls which advanced him to second. In the next at-bat Carlos Correa hit a single to have two runners on for Kyle Garlick. Garlick was able to drive in the Twins' first run of the game with an RBI single to right which scored Buxton. This had two runners aboard for Jorge Polanco who drove both Correa and Garlick in on a bases-clearing double to make it a 3-0 Twins lead. Gio Urshela was the Twins first out of the inning, but Max Kepler came up next to make it a 4-0 game on another double. The scoring didn’t stop there for the Twins in the top of the first. Gary Sanchez followed Kepler’s RBI double with an RBI single of his own to make it 5-0. Left fielder Gilberto Celestino ended the inning with a double play hit to Walls but the Twins still gave Winder an extensive lead for his first MLB start. The Twins offense certainly stood out during Sunday’s game but Winder was the star of the game making his first MLB start. Winder had made three bullpen appearances for the Twins before Sunday only looking rough in his MLB debut against the Dodgers on April 12. The six inning workload that Winder pitched on Sunday was not set to be a challenge either. Winder had a relief appearance of 5 1/3 innings on April 16 after Sonny Gray was removed from his start due to injury. Winder’s start against the Rays was his best pitching appearance of 2022 to date. Six shutout innings, only three base runners on two hits and a walk and seven strikeouts proved why the Twins were smart to put him on the Opening Day roster. After the first inning that almost had the Twins bat around, the scoring didn’t stop there for them. Buxton was the next to add on a run for the Twins as he hit his seventh home run of the season to deep left field in the top of the fourth. The Twins bats wouldn’t do anything again until the top of the seventh where they scored an additional two runs thanks to another Polanco bases-clearing double. Trevor Larnach, who came into the game for Garlick who had to leave due to a hamstring injury, made sure the Twins weren’t done scoring in the top of the eighth. Larnach drove in Celestino on an RBI single to make it a 9-1 game for the Twins. The Twins bullpen was not able to keep the shoutout going for Winder after he left the game. Tyler Duffey came into the game in the bottom of the seventh and gave up an RBI double to Walls to make it a 8-1 game. Following Duffey’s one-run inning, Twins Daily 13th-ranked prospect Cole Sands came into the game to make his Major League debut in the bottom of the eighth. After recording the first out, Sands struggled surrendering three straight hits and two earned runs. Sands recovered though as he recorded his first two big-league strikeouts to get out of the eighth inning. Even with his struggles in the eighth, Rocco Baldelli sent his newly arrived reliever in for the ninth to close the game out for the Twins. Sands cooled off completely in the ninth throwing a one, two, three ninth inning to give the Twins the win and series victory on the road against Tampa. What’s Next? The Twins will start the second series of this road trip against Baltimore tomorrow night at 6:05 p.m. CT. Chris Paddack will be making his fourth start for the Twins against the Orioles 6’8 righty Tyler Wells. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Coulombe 20 0 35 0 0 55 Jax 0 46 0 0 0 46 Stashak 0 18 0 14 0 32 Sands 0 0 0 0 30 30 Duffey 0 8 0 0 17 25 Duran 0 0 0 20 0 20 Smith 10 0 0 9 0 19 Thielbar 0 0 0 15 0 15 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  14. Box Score SP: Josh Winder 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (83 pitches, 54 strikes (65 strike %)) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (7) Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco (.131), Kyle Garlick (.106), Josh Winder (.102) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Twins bats were ready to continue their hot streak from Saturday against the Rays on Sunday and wasted no time doing so. The top of the first brought about a lot of excitement for the Twins as Byron Buxton reached base on a throwing error from Rays shortstop Taylor Walls which advanced him to second. In the next at-bat Carlos Correa hit a single to have two runners on for Kyle Garlick. Garlick was able to drive in the Twins' first run of the game with an RBI single to right which scored Buxton. This had two runners aboard for Jorge Polanco who drove both Correa and Garlick in on a bases-clearing double to make it a 3-0 Twins lead. Gio Urshela was the Twins first out of the inning, but Max Kepler came up next to make it a 4-0 game on another double. The scoring didn’t stop there for the Twins in the top of the first. Gary Sanchez followed Kepler’s RBI double with an RBI single of his own to make it 5-0. Left fielder Gilberto Celestino ended the inning with a double play hit to Walls but the Twins still gave Winder an extensive lead for his first MLB start. The Twins offense certainly stood out during Sunday’s game but Winder was the star of the game making his first MLB start. Winder had made three bullpen appearances for the Twins before Sunday only looking rough in his MLB debut against the Dodgers on April 12. The six inning workload that Winder pitched on Sunday was not set to be a challenge either. Winder had a relief appearance of 5 1/3 innings on April 16 after Sonny Gray was removed from his start due to injury. Winder’s start against the Rays was his best pitching appearance of 2022 to date. Six shutout innings, only three base runners on two hits and a walk and seven strikeouts proved why the Twins were smart to put him on the Opening Day roster. After the first inning that almost had the Twins bat around, the scoring didn’t stop there for them. Buxton was the next to add on a run for the Twins as he hit his seventh home run of the season to deep left field in the top of the fourth. The Twins bats wouldn’t do anything again until the top of the seventh where they scored an additional two runs thanks to another Polanco bases-clearing double. Trevor Larnach, who came into the game for Garlick who had to leave due to a hamstring injury, made sure the Twins weren’t done scoring in the top of the eighth. Larnach drove in Celestino on an RBI single to make it a 9-1 game for the Twins. The Twins bullpen was not able to keep the shoutout going for Winder after he left the game. Tyler Duffey came into the game in the bottom of the seventh and gave up an RBI double to Walls to make it a 8-1 game. Following Duffey’s one-run inning, Twins Daily 13th-ranked prospect Cole Sands came into the game to make his Major League debut in the bottom of the eighth. After recording the first out, Sands struggled surrendering three straight hits and two earned runs. Sands recovered though as he recorded his first two big-league strikeouts to get out of the eighth inning. Even with his struggles in the eighth, Rocco Baldelli sent his newly arrived reliever in for the ninth to close the game out for the Twins. Sands cooled off completely in the ninth throwing a one, two, three ninth inning to give the Twins the win and series victory on the road against Tampa. What’s Next? The Twins will start the second series of this road trip against Baltimore tomorrow night at 6:05 p.m. CT. Chris Paddack will be making his fourth start for the Twins against the Orioles 6’8 righty Tyler Wells. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Coulombe 20 0 35 0 0 55 Jax 0 46 0 0 0 46 Stashak 0 18 0 14 0 32 Sands 0 0 0 0 30 30 Duffey 0 8 0 0 17 25 Duran 0 0 0 20 0 20 Smith 10 0 0 9 0 19 Thielbar 0 0 0 15 0 15 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0
  15. Roster sizes for all MLB teams will be shrinking by two spots come May 2nd. Teams will be limited to 26 players until September. While the Twins have taken advantage of these spots for more pitchers in April, there are hitters on the Twins bench that may be impacted by roster decisions next Monday. The Twins lineup is stacked on paper. Their performance is off to a cold start in April. Even with the slow start from hitters such as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, their performances will not cost them a roster spot. The Twins hitters most likely to be sent down are the outfielders on the active roster not named Byron Buxton or Max Kepler. With Alex Kirilloff also entering a rehab assignment with the Saints this week, his return to the Twins roster will also cause the clearance of a roster spot. If one outfielder on the Twins' current roster would benefit from being a 'victim' of the roster downsizing next week, it's Gilberto Celestino. The 23-year-old has been used primarily as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in his ten games with the Twins this season. He has made just three starts, including last night's game against the Tigers. Celestino has only managed one hit in 12 at-bats and one walk. During his time with the Twins last season, Celestino has been on the Twins roster for his running and defensive skills but has struggled to adjust to hitting against major-league arms. Celestino certainly has the talent to be an everyday outfielder or even fourth outfielder for the Twins someday. He is showing he still needs regular playing time at St. Paul to adjust to Major League pitching, and Celestino would be the Twins hitter who would benefit the most from these upcoming roster cuts. In addition to Celestino, Trevor Larnach could benefit from the roster downsizing, especially if Kirilloff returns to the Twins by May 2nd. Larnach has shown signs of improvement at the plate in the 12 games he has played for the Twins this year. Larnach and Kirilloff are still far from playing their 100th career game, and the Twins front office seems to lean toward Kirilloff being the everyday left fielder for the time being. Kyle Garlick is the last outfielder on the Twins roster that could be sent back down to St. Paul following next Monday. The Twins' 30-year-old backup outfielder has only managed two hits in 15 at-bats this season but has been a pinch hitter in crucial spots against left-handed pitching. Garlick certainly looks to be the safest in keeping a roster spot with the Twins when the rosters shrink, but if he continues a cold streak at the plate, will that cost him a trip back down to St. Paul? Jose Godoy is the last hitter on this list, likely sent down when the roster size goes down from 28 to 26. Godoy does not have many of the same questions as Celestino, Larnach, or Garlick. Yes, he would benefit from more consistent playing time with the Saints. However, the main question that hangs over Godoy staying with the Twins after May 2nd is if the front office wants to have three catchers on the roster and not two. With Gary Sanchez day-to-day and emergency catcher Jhon Romero on the ten-day injured list, Godoy's spot on the Twins roster looks to remain for the time being. Before the Twins called him up for his season debut on Sunday, Godoy had caught four games for the Saints, hitting .133 with the team. The Twins are currently carrying 14 pitchers and will likely keep it that way until they need to bring the number of pitchers on their roster down to 13. That date changed on Monday when it was announced that teams will be able to keep 14 pitchers on their 26-man roster until May 29th when they can only have 13 pitchers on the 26-man roster. Celestino is the hitter that makes the most sense to be sent back down out of these four. Celestino has talent that still needs to see consistent playing time, and with how the Twins' everyday lineup currently pans out, he won't be seeing that playing time. Check back later when we look at which pitchers might be candidates to head to St. Paul. Let us know which hitters you would send down and why in the COMMENTS below. View full article
  16. The Twins lineup is stacked on paper. Their performance is off to a cold start in April. Even with the slow start from hitters such as Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, their performances will not cost them a roster spot. The Twins hitters most likely to be sent down are the outfielders on the active roster not named Byron Buxton or Max Kepler. With Alex Kirilloff also entering a rehab assignment with the Saints this week, his return to the Twins roster will also cause the clearance of a roster spot. If one outfielder on the Twins' current roster would benefit from being a 'victim' of the roster downsizing next week, it's Gilberto Celestino. The 23-year-old has been used primarily as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in his ten games with the Twins this season. He has made just three starts, including last night's game against the Tigers. Celestino has only managed one hit in 12 at-bats and one walk. During his time with the Twins last season, Celestino has been on the Twins roster for his running and defensive skills but has struggled to adjust to hitting against major-league arms. Celestino certainly has the talent to be an everyday outfielder or even fourth outfielder for the Twins someday. He is showing he still needs regular playing time at St. Paul to adjust to Major League pitching, and Celestino would be the Twins hitter who would benefit the most from these upcoming roster cuts. In addition to Celestino, Trevor Larnach could benefit from the roster downsizing, especially if Kirilloff returns to the Twins by May 2nd. Larnach has shown signs of improvement at the plate in the 12 games he has played for the Twins this year. Larnach and Kirilloff are still far from playing their 100th career game, and the Twins front office seems to lean toward Kirilloff being the everyday left fielder for the time being. Kyle Garlick is the last outfielder on the Twins roster that could be sent back down to St. Paul following next Monday. The Twins' 30-year-old backup outfielder has only managed two hits in 15 at-bats this season but has been a pinch hitter in crucial spots against left-handed pitching. Garlick certainly looks to be the safest in keeping a roster spot with the Twins when the rosters shrink, but if he continues a cold streak at the plate, will that cost him a trip back down to St. Paul? Jose Godoy is the last hitter on this list, likely sent down when the roster size goes down from 28 to 26. Godoy does not have many of the same questions as Celestino, Larnach, or Garlick. Yes, he would benefit from more consistent playing time with the Saints. However, the main question that hangs over Godoy staying with the Twins after May 2nd is if the front office wants to have three catchers on the roster and not two. With Gary Sanchez day-to-day and emergency catcher Jhon Romero on the ten-day injured list, Godoy's spot on the Twins roster looks to remain for the time being. Before the Twins called him up for his season debut on Sunday, Godoy had caught four games for the Saints, hitting .133 with the team. The Twins are currently carrying 14 pitchers and will likely keep it that way until they need to bring the number of pitchers on their roster down to 13. That date changed on Monday when it was announced that teams will be able to keep 14 pitchers on their 26-man roster until May 29th when they can only have 13 pitchers on the 26-man roster. Celestino is the hitter that makes the most sense to be sent back down out of these four. Celestino has talent that still needs to see consistent playing time, and with how the Twins' everyday lineup currently pans out, he won't be seeing that playing time. Check back later when we look at which pitchers might be candidates to head to St. Paul. Let us know which hitters you would send down and why in the COMMENTS below.
  17. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the Twins minor leagues on Sunday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Toledo 8 Box Score SP: Daniel Gossett - 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi hit games: Curtis Terry (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI (9)) The Saints played their final game of a week-long series against the Toledo Mud Hens and came up short on a chance to split the six-game series Sunday losing 8-3 to the Mud Huns The offense performed a bit better than they did in their 5-2 loss to the Mud Hens on Saturday. Curtis Terry led the Saints in hitting going two for four with four runs batted in Sunday, but only three other Saints hitters managed to get hits against the Mud Hens pitching. Daniel Gossett did not have the start he was hoping for on Sunday. Gossett made his shortest start of the season on Sunday only going two and a third innings but gave up a minimum number of runs for the season so far with only two. Cole Sands relieved Gossett but had his worst outing of the season so far. In one inning of relief, Sands gave up four hits, five earned runs and two walks which put the Mud Hens up 7-2 after four innings. The Saints will return home Tuesday for a two-week stretch playing their first series against the Milwaukee Brewers Triple AAA affiliate the Nashville Sounds for their next six games. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 10, Midland 7 Box Score SP: Matt Canterino - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Kevin Merrell (3) Multi hit games: Kevin Merrell (2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI (8)), Michael Helman (3-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B (2), 2 RBI (11), SB (4), BB, K), Matt Wallner (2-4, R, 3 RBI (7), BB, K), Cole Sturgeon (2-4, RBI (13), K) The Wind Surge faced tough back-to-back losses against the RockHounds Friday and Saturday and got revenge against them with a 10-7 win on Sunday. The hitters came alive on Sunday, combining for 11 hits, nine walks, and two triples from Michael Helman and Edouard Julien. Helman was the hitter of the game for the Wind Surge on Sunday as he came a home run short of the cycle and did everything else a hitter could. Forest Lake native Matt Wallner saw his hitting game recover after struggling at the plate over the last week as well, going 2-for-4 and driving in three runs in the Wind Surge victory. Matt Canterino made his fourth start of the season for the Wind Surge and although he only faced the RockHounds lineup all the way through once, he was perfect in all three innings. Canterino made his second consecutive start of three-inning, perfect pitching Sunday and showed great resurgence with the Wind Surge. The Wind Surge will be making their second road trip of the season this week facing the Arkansas Travelers who currently hold a 8-7 record on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 4 Box Score SP: Aaron Rozek 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: Anthony Prato (2) Multi hit games: Anthony Prato (2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI (13)), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B (1), RBI (23) 2 K), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-4, R, 2 2B, RBI (3)) The Kernels finished up their first full homestand of the season against the Peoria Chiefs on Sunday taking five out of six games against the Chiefs. The Kernels stand at a High-A Midwest Division best record 12-3 now thanks to their hot bats Christian Encarnacion-Strand led the lineup once again, nailing his first triple of the season and adding to his league-high runs batted in total which now stands at 23. Anthony Prato had another impressive game on Sunday as well going two for four with a home run and a couple of runs. Kernels left fielder Willie Joe Garry Jr. had his first offensive breakout for the season going two for four with a couple of doubles and an RBI. Aaron Rozek threw another impressive game on Sunday going five full innings and allowing only five base runners. Rozek did give up three runs in his start but still maintained the lead for the Kernels through five. The Kernels next series is on the road against the Beloit Sky Carp for another six-game stand and will be their second series against the Sky Carp for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Dunedin 3 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jesus Feliz (2-3, R, BB) The Mighty Mussels completed their six game road trip to Dunedin with a 3-2 loss and series split against the Blue Jays on Sunday. Mussels starter Travis Adams made another dominant five-inning start for his teammates going five innings, allowing only two base runners, both in the bottom of the first. After the rocky first inning, Adams kept the Blue Jays off the bases for the rest of his start. The Mussels offense was able to tie the game in the top of the third thanks to a Kyler Fedko sacrifice fly. The game remained scoreless thereafter until the top of the sixth when the Mussels took a two to one lead following a Daniel Ozoria single that scored Jake Rucker. Going into the ninth the Mussels held their 2-1 lead but Mussels reliever Samuel Perez was only able to record one out before giving up a ground-rule double to Blue Jays Angel Del Rosario that tied the game. Perez then gave up a single to Adriel Sotolongo that gave the Blue Jays the game-winning run and put the Mussels overall record to 10-5 on the season. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Phillies Single-A affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman (Wichita) - 3-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B (2), 2 RBI (11), SB (4), BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4, R, BB #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-4, 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, R, BB, 2 K, 2 SB (5) #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1 #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 3 RBI (7), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 3 R, 2B, 2 BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 R, 3B (1), RBI (3), BB, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 26. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded.
  18. The Twins had an exciting victory Sunday afternoon thanks to a Byron Buxton walk-off home run. The Twins minor-league affiliates did not have as exciting of wins but still provided entertaining baseball throughout the day. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the Twins minor leagues on Sunday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Toledo 8 Box Score SP: Daniel Gossett - 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi hit games: Curtis Terry (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI (9)) The Saints played their final game of a week-long series against the Toledo Mud Hens and came up short on a chance to split the six-game series Sunday losing 8-3 to the Mud Huns The offense performed a bit better than they did in their 5-2 loss to the Mud Hens on Saturday. Curtis Terry led the Saints in hitting going two for four with four runs batted in Sunday, but only three other Saints hitters managed to get hits against the Mud Hens pitching. Daniel Gossett did not have the start he was hoping for on Sunday. Gossett made his shortest start of the season on Sunday only going two and a third innings but gave up a minimum number of runs for the season so far with only two. Cole Sands relieved Gossett but had his worst outing of the season so far. In one inning of relief, Sands gave up four hits, five earned runs and two walks which put the Mud Hens up 7-2 after four innings. The Saints will return home Tuesday for a two-week stretch playing their first series against the Milwaukee Brewers Triple AAA affiliate the Nashville Sounds for their next six games. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 10, Midland 7 Box Score SP: Matt Canterino - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Kevin Merrell (3) Multi hit games: Kevin Merrell (2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI (8)), Michael Helman (3-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B (2), 2 RBI (11), SB (4), BB, K), Matt Wallner (2-4, R, 3 RBI (7), BB, K), Cole Sturgeon (2-4, RBI (13), K) The Wind Surge faced tough back-to-back losses against the RockHounds Friday and Saturday and got revenge against them with a 10-7 win on Sunday. The hitters came alive on Sunday, combining for 11 hits, nine walks, and two triples from Michael Helman and Edouard Julien. Helman was the hitter of the game for the Wind Surge on Sunday as he came a home run short of the cycle and did everything else a hitter could. Forest Lake native Matt Wallner saw his hitting game recover after struggling at the plate over the last week as well, going 2-for-4 and driving in three runs in the Wind Surge victory. Matt Canterino made his fourth start of the season for the Wind Surge and although he only faced the RockHounds lineup all the way through once, he was perfect in all three innings. Canterino made his second consecutive start of three-inning, perfect pitching Sunday and showed great resurgence with the Wind Surge. The Wind Surge will be making their second road trip of the season this week facing the Arkansas Travelers who currently hold a 8-7 record on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 4 Box Score SP: Aaron Rozek 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: Anthony Prato (2) Multi hit games: Anthony Prato (2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI (13)), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B (1), RBI (23) 2 K), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-4, R, 2 2B, RBI (3)) The Kernels finished up their first full homestand of the season against the Peoria Chiefs on Sunday taking five out of six games against the Chiefs. The Kernels stand at a High-A Midwest Division best record 12-3 now thanks to their hot bats Christian Encarnacion-Strand led the lineup once again, nailing his first triple of the season and adding to his league-high runs batted in total which now stands at 23. Anthony Prato had another impressive game on Sunday as well going two for four with a home run and a couple of runs. Kernels left fielder Willie Joe Garry Jr. had his first offensive breakout for the season going two for four with a couple of doubles and an RBI. Aaron Rozek threw another impressive game on Sunday going five full innings and allowing only five base runners. Rozek did give up three runs in his start but still maintained the lead for the Kernels through five. The Kernels next series is on the road against the Beloit Sky Carp for another six-game stand and will be their second series against the Sky Carp for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Dunedin 3 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jesus Feliz (2-3, R, BB) The Mighty Mussels completed their six game road trip to Dunedin with a 3-2 loss and series split against the Blue Jays on Sunday. Mussels starter Travis Adams made another dominant five-inning start for his teammates going five innings, allowing only two base runners, both in the bottom of the first. After the rocky first inning, Adams kept the Blue Jays off the bases for the rest of his start. The Mussels offense was able to tie the game in the top of the third thanks to a Kyler Fedko sacrifice fly. The game remained scoreless thereafter until the top of the sixth when the Mussels took a two to one lead following a Daniel Ozoria single that scored Jake Rucker. Going into the ninth the Mussels held their 2-1 lead but Mussels reliever Samuel Perez was only able to record one out before giving up a ground-rule double to Blue Jays Angel Del Rosario that tied the game. Perez then gave up a single to Adriel Sotolongo that gave the Blue Jays the game-winning run and put the Mussels overall record to 10-5 on the season. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Phillies Single-A affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman (Wichita) - 3-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B (2), 2 RBI (11), SB (4), BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4, R, BB #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-4, 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, R, BB, 2 K, 2 SB (5) #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1 #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 3 RBI (7), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 3 R, 2B, 2 BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 R, 3B (1), RBI (3), BB, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 26. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded. View full article
  19. Although the Twins suffered another bad loss at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, the Twins minor-league affiliates had better games on Sunday afternoon as the Saints, Wind Surge, and Kernels all won their games. The Mighty Mussels lost but played a close game that went down to the final pitch. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the Twins' minor leagues on Sunday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 5, Indianapolis 1 Box Score SP: Jake Faria - 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (2-4, R, RBI (5)), David Banuelos (2-3, 2B, R, RBI (3)) The Saints finished their first homestand against the Indianapolis Indians winning 5-1 Sunday thanks to a strong start from Jake Faria and five scoreless innings from the bullpen. The offense cooled off from Saturday’s 16-13 victory over Indianapolis. The scoring started for the Saints with an RBI double from catcher David Banuelos in the bottom of the third driving in second baseman Elliot Soto. Two at-bats later, Royce Lewis drove in Banuelos to make it a 2-1 Saints lead. In the bottom of the sixth, the Saints were able to tack on two more runs thanks to a groundout from left fielder Jake Cave that scored Lewis. In the next at-bat, designated hitter Chance Sisco reached base on an error that scored first baseman Curtis Terry, making it a 4-1 Saints game. The final run of the game came again from the bat of Cave as he had another ground out that scored center fielder Mark Contreras, tallying the final run of the Saints 5-1 victory. Faria showed great improvement in his second start for the Saints Sunday, decreasing the number of walks he surrendered from five last Sunday against Louisville to two today. After completing four innings, Faria was once again replaced by Chi Chi Gonzalez. Gonzalez took on the next three innings for the Saints keeping Indianapolis hitless and only allowing two base runners on walks. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Northwest Arkansas 1 Box Score SP: Brandon Lawson - 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: Matt Wallner (1), Michael Helman (1) Multi-hit games: Kevin Merrell (2-4, 2 RBI (3), K) After starting the season 0-3, the Wind Surge have gone 4-2 and won this week's series against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The final score for the Wind Surge on Sunday was the exact same as the Saints with the 5-1 victory over the Naturals. The Wind Surge had a strong outing from starter Brandon Lawson. He provided the rotation 3 2/3 innings pitched against the Naturals allowing nine base runners but somehow giving up only one run. The Wind Surge bullpen only allowed three base runners in the remaining 5 1/3 innings of the game. On the offensive side, Wind Surge right fielder Matt Wallner and third baseman Michael Helman each hit their first home runs of the season to give the Wind Surge insurance runs. Shortstop and Wind Surge newcomer Kevin Merrell had his first multi-hit game of the season going 2-for-4 and driving in a couple of runs. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2 Box Score SP: Aaron Rozek 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Charles Mack (3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI (5)), Anthony Prato (2-5, 2 RBI (10) 2 K), Kennie Taylor (2-3, R, 3B (1), BB, K) The Kernels took home their seventh win of the season on Sunday to finish out their series against the Quad Cities River Bandits. Aaron Rozek made his second start of the season for the Kernels and pitched a phenomenal five innings allowing only three base runners, and one unearned run while striking out seven batters. Even with Christian Encarnacion-Strand out of the lineup for the Kernels on Sunday, their bats were still able to produce a high-scoring game. The hitting surge for the Kernels was led by Charles Mack who went 3-for-4 and brought his batting average for the season up to .533 in 15 at-bats. Also keeping up his hot streak for the Kernels was Anthony Prato who had two hits and two runs batted in to bring his RBI total to ten in the Kernels' first nine games. The bullpen pitched an effective game after Rozek’s departure having four different relievers come in for an inning each. The Kernels bullpen totaled four innings pitched, four hits, one run, five strikeouts and no walks Sunday afternoon. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Jupiter 4 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K HR: Jake Rucker (1) Multi-hit games: Mikey Perez (2-4, R, K), Ernie Yake (2-4, R, K) The Mighty Mussels were the only Twins affiliate to drop a game on Sunday. The Mussels were trailing the Jupiter Hammerheads 4-1 going into the bottom of the ninth. They were able to score two runs and make it a close game until the final out. Mussels starter Travis Adams once again had a great start for his teammates going five innings, allowing only three base runners, and striking out seven. The Hammerheads were able to score three runs against Mussels reliever Jaylen Nowlin in his second inning of work in the top of the seventh. Coming out of the bullpen for the Mussels after Nowlin was Regi Grace who only gave up one run in his 2 1/3 innings pitched. On the offensive side Mussels' third baseman Jake Rucker hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth that brought the Mussels a run away from tying the game. :Left fielder Kyler Fedko went hitless during Sunday’s game but reached base twice on walks, maintaining his OPS at 1.238 for the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Charles Mack (Cedar Rapids) - 3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI (5) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-5, SB (6), K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-4, R, RBI (5) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-3, BB #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, 2 BB, 3 K, SB (2) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-3, R, HR (1), RBI (2), BB, K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 19. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CST) - Midland @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Matt Canterino Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - Fort Myers @ Dunedin (6:30 PM CST) - Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the minor and major league seasons has concluded. View full article
  20. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the Twins' minor leagues on Sunday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 5, Indianapolis 1 Box Score SP: Jake Faria - 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (2-4, R, RBI (5)), David Banuelos (2-3, 2B, R, RBI (3)) The Saints finished their first homestand against the Indianapolis Indians winning 5-1 Sunday thanks to a strong start from Jake Faria and five scoreless innings from the bullpen. The offense cooled off from Saturday’s 16-13 victory over Indianapolis. The scoring started for the Saints with an RBI double from catcher David Banuelos in the bottom of the third driving in second baseman Elliot Soto. Two at-bats later, Royce Lewis drove in Banuelos to make it a 2-1 Saints lead. In the bottom of the sixth, the Saints were able to tack on two more runs thanks to a groundout from left fielder Jake Cave that scored Lewis. In the next at-bat, designated hitter Chance Sisco reached base on an error that scored first baseman Curtis Terry, making it a 4-1 Saints game. The final run of the game came again from the bat of Cave as he had another ground out that scored center fielder Mark Contreras, tallying the final run of the Saints 5-1 victory. Faria showed great improvement in his second start for the Saints Sunday, decreasing the number of walks he surrendered from five last Sunday against Louisville to two today. After completing four innings, Faria was once again replaced by Chi Chi Gonzalez. Gonzalez took on the next three innings for the Saints keeping Indianapolis hitless and only allowing two base runners on walks. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Northwest Arkansas 1 Box Score SP: Brandon Lawson - 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: Matt Wallner (1), Michael Helman (1) Multi-hit games: Kevin Merrell (2-4, 2 RBI (3), K) After starting the season 0-3, the Wind Surge have gone 4-2 and won this week's series against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The final score for the Wind Surge on Sunday was the exact same as the Saints with the 5-1 victory over the Naturals. The Wind Surge had a strong outing from starter Brandon Lawson. He provided the rotation 3 2/3 innings pitched against the Naturals allowing nine base runners but somehow giving up only one run. The Wind Surge bullpen only allowed three base runners in the remaining 5 1/3 innings of the game. On the offensive side, Wind Surge right fielder Matt Wallner and third baseman Michael Helman each hit their first home runs of the season to give the Wind Surge insurance runs. Shortstop and Wind Surge newcomer Kevin Merrell had his first multi-hit game of the season going 2-for-4 and driving in a couple of runs. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2 Box Score SP: Aaron Rozek 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Charles Mack (3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI (5)), Anthony Prato (2-5, 2 RBI (10) 2 K), Kennie Taylor (2-3, R, 3B (1), BB, K) The Kernels took home their seventh win of the season on Sunday to finish out their series against the Quad Cities River Bandits. Aaron Rozek made his second start of the season for the Kernels and pitched a phenomenal five innings allowing only three base runners, and one unearned run while striking out seven batters. Even with Christian Encarnacion-Strand out of the lineup for the Kernels on Sunday, their bats were still able to produce a high-scoring game. The hitting surge for the Kernels was led by Charles Mack who went 3-for-4 and brought his batting average for the season up to .533 in 15 at-bats. Also keeping up his hot streak for the Kernels was Anthony Prato who had two hits and two runs batted in to bring his RBI total to ten in the Kernels' first nine games. The bullpen pitched an effective game after Rozek’s departure having four different relievers come in for an inning each. The Kernels bullpen totaled four innings pitched, four hits, one run, five strikeouts and no walks Sunday afternoon. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Jupiter 4 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K HR: Jake Rucker (1) Multi-hit games: Mikey Perez (2-4, R, K), Ernie Yake (2-4, R, K) The Mighty Mussels were the only Twins affiliate to drop a game on Sunday. The Mussels were trailing the Jupiter Hammerheads 4-1 going into the bottom of the ninth. They were able to score two runs and make it a close game until the final out. Mussels starter Travis Adams once again had a great start for his teammates going five innings, allowing only three base runners, and striking out seven. The Hammerheads were able to score three runs against Mussels reliever Jaylen Nowlin in his second inning of work in the top of the seventh. Coming out of the bullpen for the Mussels after Nowlin was Regi Grace who only gave up one run in his 2 1/3 innings pitched. On the offensive side Mussels' third baseman Jake Rucker hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth that brought the Mussels a run away from tying the game. :Left fielder Kyler Fedko went hitless during Sunday’s game but reached base twice on walks, maintaining his OPS at 1.238 for the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Charles Mack (Cedar Rapids) - 3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI (5) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-5, SB (6), K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-4, R, RBI (5) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-3, BB #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, 2 BB, 3 K, SB (2) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-3, R, HR (1), RBI (2), BB, K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 19. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CST) - Midland @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Matt Canterino Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - Fort Myers @ Dunedin (6:30 PM CST) - Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the minor and major league seasons has concluded.
  21. Saw Lewis Thorpe pitch yesterday for the Saints. His velocity barely topped 90, I think he only had two pitches clocked at 90 in his short outing.
  22. Box Score SP: Bailey Ober 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (70 pitches, 46 strikes (65.7 strike %)) Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.176), Luis Arraez (-0.128), Caleb Thielbar (-0.117) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) For the second straight game, the Twins failed to wake their bats up against the Red Sox as they dropped an 8-1 loss. Bailey Ober continued to show progress in his second start of the season. Ober completed six innings with 70 pitches thrown and gave up two unearned runs. Even with the low pitch count through six, the Twins lineup couldn’t provide enough runs to keep Ober in the game beyond a Trevor Larnach sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh. https://twitter.com/DanHayesMLB/status/1515773502049202181 The Twins lineup have now gone two games with only scoring a single run. Larnach was the only player to come up with multiple hits on Saturday while Gio Urshela was the only Twin to compile multiple hits today, going 2-4. The lineup also struck out an alarming ten times Sunday afternoon, a second consecutive day of ten plus strikeouts for the hitters. Carlos Correa compiled a quarter of the Twins strikeouts from Saturday and Sunday striking out three times on Saturday and twice on Sunday. The Twins new shortstop is only hitting .133 in eight games. One positive from the woes of the Twins Sunday loss was Gary Sanchez throwing out the first stolen base attempt against the Twins this season. Jackie Bradley Jr. was thrown out trying to steal second in the bottom of the seventh to end the inning. Ober’s six innings did give the bullpen a smaller workload Sunday afternoon in the later innings. Tyler Duffey pitched a scoreless seventh and only walked Bradley Jr. which resulted in Bradley Jr. being caught stealing second. The bottom of the eighth was a different story as Caleb Thielbar gave up four hits and four earned runs against the Red Sox and was removed from the game after the Red Sox made it a 6-1 lead. Cody Stashak made his season debut coming in to replace Thielbar and gave up two additional runs to the Red Sox. The Red Sox then took an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth with Austin Davis on the mound. Davis pitched a one-two-three ninth to close out the game and hand the Twins their second straight loss. What’s Next? The Twins will play their final game of this four-game series against the Red Sox Monday morning at 10:10 a.m. CT start time. Dylan Bundy will be making his second start of the season against Red Sox starter and former Twin Rich Hill. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Duran 11 0 34 0 0 45 Thielbar 19 18 0 0 17 54 Romero 0 34 0 11 0 45 Pagán 0 20 11 0 0 31 Winder 0 28 0 66 0 94 Jax 0 0 22 0 0 22 Smith 19 3 0 0 0 22 Coulombe 0 14 0 0 0 14 Duffey 14 0 0 0 18 32 Stashek 17
  23. Twins' Bats Remain Cold for Second Straight Game Against Red Sox Box Score SP: Bailey Ober 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (70 pitches, 46 strikes (65.7 strike %)) Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.176), Luis Arraez (-0.128), Caleb Thielbar (-0.117) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) For the second straight game, the Twins failed to wake their bats up against the Red Sox as they dropped an 8-1 loss. Bailey Ober continued to show progress in his second start of the season. Ober completed six innings with 70 pitches thrown and gave up two unearned runs. Even with the low pitch count through six, the Twins lineup couldn’t provide enough runs to keep Ober in the game beyond a Trevor Larnach sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh. https://twitter.com/DanHayesMLB/status/1515773502049202181 The Twins lineup have now gone two games with only scoring a single run. Larnach was the only player to come up with multiple hits on Saturday while Gio Urshela was the only Twin to compile multiple hits today, going 2-4. The lineup also struck out an alarming ten times Sunday afternoon, a second consecutive day of ten plus strikeouts for the hitters. Carlos Correa compiled a quarter of the Twins strikeouts from Saturday and Sunday striking out three times on Saturday and twice on Sunday. The Twins new shortstop is only hitting .133 in eight games. One positive from the woes of the Twins Sunday loss was Gary Sanchez throwing out the first stolen base attempt against the Twins this season. Jackie Bradley Jr. was thrown out trying to steal second in the bottom of the seventh to end the inning. Ober’s six innings did give the bullpen a smaller workload Sunday afternoon in the later innings. Tyler Duffey pitched a scoreless seventh and only walked Bradley Jr. which resulted in Bradley Jr. being caught stealing second. The bottom of the eighth was a different story as Caleb Thielbar gave up four hits and four earned runs against the Red Sox and was removed from the game after the Red Sox made it a 6-1 lead. Cody Stashak made his season debut coming in to replace Thielbar and gave up two additional runs to the Red Sox. The Red Sox then took an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth with Austin Davis on the mound. Davis pitched a one-two-three ninth to close out the game and hand the Twins their second straight loss. What’s Next? The Twins will play their final game of this four-game series against the Red Sox Monday morning at 10:10 a.m. CT start time. Dylan Bundy will be making his second start of the season against Red Sox starter and former Twin Rich Hill. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Duran 11 0 34 0 0 45 Thielbar 19 18 0 0 17 54 Romero 0 34 0 11 0 45 Pagán 0 20 11 0 0 31 Winder 0 28 0 66 0 94 Jax 0 0 22 0 0 22 Smith 19 3 0 0 0 22 Coulombe 0 14 0 0 0 14 Duffey 14 0 0 0 18 32 Stashek 17 View full article
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