Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Ted Schwerzler

Twins Daily Contributor
  • Posts

    3,253
  • Joined

  • Last visited

7 Followers

Profile Information

  • Location:
    Minneapolis

Contact Methods

Social

  • Twitter
    tlschwerz

Recent Profile Visitors

24,872 profile views

Ted Schwerzler's Achievements

  1. In this week’s AL Central Division update we see the consistency of play across the division that may go unmatched the rest of the way. Four of five teams are 5-5 over their last 10 with the Guardians being just 4-6. Minnesota still leads the division as we look to close out the second month of the season. The Standings: Minnesota 22-16 Chicago 19-19 Cleveland 16-19 Kansas City 14-23 Detroit 13-25 No team in the division currently has a winning streak going, while Cleveland is bringing up the rear holding a three-game losing streak. The Guardians have a +2 run differential despite being in third place while the White Sox have outperformed expectations given their -27 run differential. The Stories: While not to the level of Boston, the White Sox slow start is at least somewhat surprising. They’ve dealt with injury and been on the wrong side of some unfortunate games. Ultimately though, the White Sox have an ugly run differential and play some of the worst defense in the league. Tim Anderson is still hitting, but his work in the field has been atrocious. Jose Abreu has just a .625 OPS thus far and is well off his .832 mark from 2021. Despite the solid average, Luis Robert just crossed the .800 OPS threshold on Thursday. There should be plenty of room for that number to rise. Thus far, Tony La Russa’s management of a young star like Andrew Vaughn has been perplexing to say the least. This team has the talent to rush to the top, but it will be interesting to see how they manage their way forward. I’d wager that Terry Francona expected this Guardians team to be a bit better. Andres Gimenez has hit the ball well, and Jose Ramirez continues to be among baseball’s best at the hot corner. Cal Quantrill was solid again on Thursday but took a no-decision as Cleveland lacked run support. Shane Bieber hasn’t been the 2020 version of himself and Steven Kwan has come back down to earth a bit. Ramirez is the one to watch over the next week as he left Thursday’s game with a bruised shin and is being called day-to-day. Kansas City wasn’t expected to be good this year, but I don’t know if they were pegged to be this bad. Bobby Witt Jr. is settling into life as a Major Leaguer, and despite bumps in the road, has shown why his prospect stock was so high. Salvador Perez was recently placed on the injured list with a thumb sprain which opened the door for star prospect M.J. Melendez to enter the lineup. He and Witt both homered for the Royals against the White Sox on Wednesday night. Veteran outfielder Michael A. Taylor was placed on the Covid-IL before Wednesday’s game after being scratched from the lineup. There was reason to believe A.J. Hinch could take the Tigers a step forward this season but the results haven’t materialized. Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to be placed on the injured list with what’s being called a “left-side” injury. Michael Pineda broke a finger last Saturday, and Casey Mize has been on the injured list since April 15 due to a right elbow strain. Matt Manning, already on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation, is working his way back through a rehab assignment. Meanwhile, key free-agent signing Javier Baez is batting just .204 with a .554 OPS, and last year’s Rule 5 darling Akil Baddoo was optioned to Triple-A. The Week Ahead: Minnesota kicks off a weekend series against Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium before returning home to host both Detroit and those same Royals. The Twins will be looking to exact revenge on the Royals after they dropped two of three during the season’s first month. Rocco Baldelli’s club already has a series sweep of the Tigers and owns a +12 run differential against the divisions cellar dwellers. Looking to close the gap at the top, Chicago has a tough test going out east to play the New York Yankees over the week. Aaron Boone has the Bronx Bombers currently going as one of baseball’s best teams. The White Sox do get a reprieve following an off day as the Red Sox come to town. Boston has failed to meet expectations thus far, and Tony La Russa’s club could be getting them at the right time. Similar to what Minnesota is seeing from a schedule construction standpoint, Cleveland hosts the Tigers for three at home before traveling to Houston for a three-game set. They’ll then close out the road trip with another series against Detroit. Between hosting and traveling to face the Twins, Kansas City gets a quick two-game set against the NL West Arizona Diamondbacks. What are you looking forward to for the Twins this week? How are you evaluating the competition? Share your thoughts in the comments below! View full article
  2. The Standings: Minnesota 22-16 Chicago 19-19 Cleveland 16-19 Kansas City 14-23 Detroit 13-25 No team in the division currently has a winning streak going, while Cleveland is bringing up the rear holding a three-game losing streak. The Guardians have a +2 run differential despite being in third place while the White Sox have outperformed expectations given their -27 run differential. The Stories: While not to the level of Boston, the White Sox slow start is at least somewhat surprising. They’ve dealt with injury and been on the wrong side of some unfortunate games. Ultimately though, the White Sox have an ugly run differential and play some of the worst defense in the league. Tim Anderson is still hitting, but his work in the field has been atrocious. Jose Abreu has just a .625 OPS thus far and is well off his .832 mark from 2021. Despite the solid average, Luis Robert just crossed the .800 OPS threshold on Thursday. There should be plenty of room for that number to rise. Thus far, Tony La Russa’s management of a young star like Andrew Vaughn has been perplexing to say the least. This team has the talent to rush to the top, but it will be interesting to see how they manage their way forward. I’d wager that Terry Francona expected this Guardians team to be a bit better. Andres Gimenez has hit the ball well, and Jose Ramirez continues to be among baseball’s best at the hot corner. Cal Quantrill was solid again on Thursday but took a no-decision as Cleveland lacked run support. Shane Bieber hasn’t been the 2020 version of himself and Steven Kwan has come back down to earth a bit. Ramirez is the one to watch over the next week as he left Thursday’s game with a bruised shin and is being called day-to-day. Kansas City wasn’t expected to be good this year, but I don’t know if they were pegged to be this bad. Bobby Witt Jr. is settling into life as a Major Leaguer, and despite bumps in the road, has shown why his prospect stock was so high. Salvador Perez was recently placed on the injured list with a thumb sprain which opened the door for star prospect M.J. Melendez to enter the lineup. He and Witt both homered for the Royals against the White Sox on Wednesday night. Veteran outfielder Michael A. Taylor was placed on the Covid-IL before Wednesday’s game after being scratched from the lineup. There was reason to believe A.J. Hinch could take the Tigers a step forward this season but the results haven’t materialized. Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to be placed on the injured list with what’s being called a “left-side” injury. Michael Pineda broke a finger last Saturday, and Casey Mize has been on the injured list since April 15 due to a right elbow strain. Matt Manning, already on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation, is working his way back through a rehab assignment. Meanwhile, key free-agent signing Javier Baez is batting just .204 with a .554 OPS, and last year’s Rule 5 darling Akil Baddoo was optioned to Triple-A. The Week Ahead: Minnesota kicks off a weekend series against Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium before returning home to host both Detroit and those same Royals. The Twins will be looking to exact revenge on the Royals after they dropped two of three during the season’s first month. Rocco Baldelli’s club already has a series sweep of the Tigers and owns a +12 run differential against the divisions cellar dwellers. Looking to close the gap at the top, Chicago has a tough test going out east to play the New York Yankees over the week. Aaron Boone has the Bronx Bombers currently going as one of baseball’s best teams. The White Sox do get a reprieve following an off day as the Red Sox come to town. Boston has failed to meet expectations thus far, and Tony La Russa’s club could be getting them at the right time. Similar to what Minnesota is seeing from a schedule construction standpoint, Cleveland hosts the Tigers for three at home before traveling to Houston for a three-game set. They’ll then close out the road trip with another series against Detroit. Between hosting and traveling to face the Twins, Kansas City gets a quick two-game set against the NL West Arizona Diamondbacks. What are you looking forward to for the Twins this week? How are you evaluating the competition? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
  3. Transactions: RHP Jharel Cotton outrighted to St. Paul OF Trevor Larnach begins MLB rehab assignment with Wichita SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 11, St. Paul 2 Box Score The storyline here was the return of Royce Lewis to the St. Paul lineup. He was leading off and playing shortstop, which is the position Minnesota had suggested they wanted him to get consistent run at. On the mound was top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic, but this one was a tough outing. Working just four innings, Balazovic gave up six runs on six hits. He did walk just one while punching out five. It didn’t take long for the storyline to take center stage. Lewis led off the game seeing just two pitches. The first he took, and the second he blasted over the centerfield wall for his fourth home run of the season. Unfortunately for the Saints, they didn’t score again until facing a 6-1 deficit. Kevin Merrell took his turn sending one out of the park when he hit his second dinger of the year. Omaha continued to add on in this one, bringing home runs in each of the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. Two runs was all the Saints could muster tonight, despite getting seven hits. Lewis answered in a big way going 3-for-3 and looking every bit the star he appeared to be in the brief 11 game cameo with the Twins. It’s been a tough stretch for the Saints as they’ve now dropped 10 in a row. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Springfield 5 Box Score So much to like in Wichita tonight with Simeon Woods Richardson making the start, and Trevor Larnach becoming the first major league player to play a rehab assignment for the Wind Surge. Throw in that it was alternate jersey day playing as the Turbo Tubs and you’ve got yourself a great time. Woods Richardson continued his strong campaign working five innings allowing just two runs. Although he did give up six hits, Woods Richardson walked just one and struck out four. His ERA on the season is now 2.39. After getting behind in the 3rd inning, Wichita evened things up during the bottom half. Spencer Steer, who has had a great 2022 season, ripped his 13th double to plate DaShawn Keirsey. After Springfield again too the lead in the 5th inning, the Turbo Tubs answered in the bottom half. Larnach blasted a three-run homer to right field scoring Keirsey and Austin Martin. Steer then continued to rake and crushed his 8th homer of the season. Unfortunately, Steven Klimek ran into trouble for Wichita during the 8th inning and surrendered three runs (two earned). That allowed Springfield to knot things at five and make this one a tight contest in the late innings. Not looking to be outdone, the Turbo Tubs got turbo charged in their half of the 8th inning. Minnesota native Matt Wallner stepped in and crushed one nearly to Forest Lake, 440 feet, to regain the lead. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Lake County 2 Box Score Cade Povich took the ball tonight for the Kernels and was nothing short of dominant. He worked 5 1/3 innings allowing just two hits and blanking the opposition. Povich issued just a single free pass and punched out five. Cedar Rapids didn’t wait long to break this one open as Seth Gray crushed his third homer of the season in the bottom of the first, scoring Christian Encarnacion-Strand, to put the Kernels up early. In the second inning the good guys got another crooked number. Willie Joe Garry Jr. tallied his third triple scoring Jeferson Morales and then Wander Javier homered for the fourth time to drive them both in. Up 5-0 with Will Holland on base, Encarnacion-Strand recorded his sixth blast and made it 7-0. Waiting a couple innings to further the damage, recently promoted Kyler Fedko stepped in for the bottom of the 5th inning. With Aaron Sabato and Gray on board, Fedko crushed homer number two and made it a 10-0 game. Morales then added on his own, a solo shot to center, and it was an 11-0 laugher. Cedar Rapids gave back two in the 7th inning, but this one was well in hand and closed out by scoreless innings from Tyler Palm and Denny Bentley. The 11 hits matched the run total, and multi-hit efforts came from Sabato, Gray, Morales, and Garry Jr. The five home runs tonight were a season-high for Cedar Rapids. MUSSEL MATTERS No game Fort Myers is scheduled to play a doubleheader tomorrow against Clearwater. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB 5 K Hitter of the Day – Seth Gray (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(3) 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) - 1-4, R #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-3, R, RBI, HR(4) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, RBI, HR (7) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(8) FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35PM CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) - LHP Blayne Enlow Lake County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Fort Myers @ Clearwater (DH @ 3:00PM CST) - RHP Steven Hajjar/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  4. Take your pick with where your attention was going tonight on the farm for the Twins. Two top pitching prospects were on the bump, Royce Lewis returned to the Saints, Trevor Larnach was on a rehab assignment, and Cedar Rapids put up runs in bunches. There was a lot to be excited about. Transactions: RHP Jharel Cotton outrighted to St. Paul OF Trevor Larnach begins MLB rehab assignment with Wichita SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 11, St. Paul 2 Box Score The storyline here was the return of Royce Lewis to the St. Paul lineup. He was leading off and playing shortstop, which is the position Minnesota had suggested they wanted him to get consistent run at. On the mound was top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic, but this one was a tough outing. Working just four innings, Balazovic gave up six runs on six hits. He did walk just one while punching out five. It didn’t take long for the storyline to take center stage. Lewis led off the game seeing just two pitches. The first he took, and the second he blasted over the centerfield wall for his fourth home run of the season. Unfortunately for the Saints, they didn’t score again until facing a 6-1 deficit. Kevin Merrell took his turn sending one out of the park when he hit his second dinger of the year. Omaha continued to add on in this one, bringing home runs in each of the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. Two runs was all the Saints could muster tonight, despite getting seven hits. Lewis answered in a big way going 3-for-3 and looking every bit the star he appeared to be in the brief 11 game cameo with the Twins. It’s been a tough stretch for the Saints as they’ve now dropped 10 in a row. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Springfield 5 Box Score So much to like in Wichita tonight with Simeon Woods Richardson making the start, and Trevor Larnach becoming the first major league player to play a rehab assignment for the Wind Surge. Throw in that it was alternate jersey day playing as the Turbo Tubs and you’ve got yourself a great time. Woods Richardson continued his strong campaign working five innings allowing just two runs. Although he did give up six hits, Woods Richardson walked just one and struck out four. His ERA on the season is now 2.39. After getting behind in the 3rd inning, Wichita evened things up during the bottom half. Spencer Steer, who has had a great 2022 season, ripped his 13th double to plate DaShawn Keirsey. After Springfield again too the lead in the 5th inning, the Turbo Tubs answered in the bottom half. Larnach blasted a three-run homer to right field scoring Keirsey and Austin Martin. Steer then continued to rake and crushed his 8th homer of the season. Unfortunately, Steven Klimek ran into trouble for Wichita during the 8th inning and surrendered three runs (two earned). That allowed Springfield to knot things at five and make this one a tight contest in the late innings. Not looking to be outdone, the Turbo Tubs got turbo charged in their half of the 8th inning. Minnesota native Matt Wallner stepped in and crushed one nearly to Forest Lake, 440 feet, to regain the lead. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Lake County 2 Box Score Cade Povich took the ball tonight for the Kernels and was nothing short of dominant. He worked 5 1/3 innings allowing just two hits and blanking the opposition. Povich issued just a single free pass and punched out five. Cedar Rapids didn’t wait long to break this one open as Seth Gray crushed his third homer of the season in the bottom of the first, scoring Christian Encarnacion-Strand, to put the Kernels up early. In the second inning the good guys got another crooked number. Willie Joe Garry Jr. tallied his third triple scoring Jeferson Morales and then Wander Javier homered for the fourth time to drive them both in. Up 5-0 with Will Holland on base, Encarnacion-Strand recorded his sixth blast and made it 7-0. Waiting a couple innings to further the damage, recently promoted Kyler Fedko stepped in for the bottom of the 5th inning. With Aaron Sabato and Gray on board, Fedko crushed homer number two and made it a 10-0 game. Morales then added on his own, a solo shot to center, and it was an 11-0 laugher. Cedar Rapids gave back two in the 7th inning, but this one was well in hand and closed out by scoreless innings from Tyler Palm and Denny Bentley. The 11 hits matched the run total, and multi-hit efforts came from Sabato, Gray, Morales, and Garry Jr. The five home runs tonight were a season-high for Cedar Rapids. MUSSEL MATTERS No game Fort Myers is scheduled to play a doubleheader tomorrow against Clearwater. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB 5 K Hitter of the Day – Seth Gray (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(3) 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) - 1-4, R #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-3, R, RBI, HR(4) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, RBI, HR (7) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(8) FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35PM CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) - LHP Blayne Enlow Lake County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Fort Myers @ Clearwater (DH @ 3:00PM CST) - RHP Steven Hajjar/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  5. Royce Lewis made his debut for the Twins on May 6, and he went on to play a total of 11 Major League games. Lewis has slashed .308/.325/.564 while filling in for Carlos Correa, and he has contributed six extra-base hits, two of which have left the yard. Maybe most importantly in assessing how he’s looked offensively is that Lewis struck out just five times across 40 plate appearances. It seemed pretty silly to bet against a player with this much talent after talking to him this offseason. Still, though, there was going to be a prove-it period for a guy who hadn’t played a game in two seasons. Lewis did that, tearing up Triple-A while playing in the cold. He earned this promotion with a .310/.430/.563 line across his first 24 games for the St. Paul Saints. When in the lineup for Minnesota, he looked the part of a regular in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, this storyline appeared likely from the moment it was announced Correa’s injury wasn’t serious. While it’s great that the Twins get back their major offseason acquisition, it left a huge question mark as to how Lewis would find his way into the lineup. After all, a talent this good couldn’t sit on the bench. That leads us to where we are now, and the only way Minnesota can save face. Lewis has played four innings at the hot corner in his professional career, and he’s never played a corner outfield position. I don’t think he’s an option at first base, and that’s probably for the best when considering how limiting the position would be for his abilities. What it all boils down to is a guy needing to get comfortable in new roles. I can’t imagine a shift to third base would be anything monumental for Lewis. He hung in just fine as a Major League shortstop, and the throws would be less demanding from the hot corner. He’s played centerfield, and he provides a right-handed outfield bat if Minnesota wants to go that route. Left field at Target Field takes a bit of getting used to, but it would be more about reading the ball from that portion of the field that he’ll get an opportunity to see for the Saints. The path forward is as straight as can be for Minnesota’s front office. Lewis must be given starts at multiple positions as quickly as possible. He’s already shown an ability to produce offensively at the Triple-A level, and the early Major League returns are more than promising. Once he’s acclimated to new roles around the diamond, and that shouldn’t take long, a recall has to be scheduled. Correa was the get of the winter and Lewis plays the same position. It’s understandable to take a step back even after a great 11-game debut. If Lewis isn’t on the fast track to return to playing everywhere, or if this winds up being service time suppression, then there’s no denying the move was a poor one. The Twins aren’t running away with the division by any means, and the lineup needs to be infused with all the talent it can handle. Ultimately, a positive takeaway here is that the Twins aren't afraid to act aggressively with a top talent that has missed so much time. Lewis was never going to factor into the shortstop plans this season with Correa here unless the opportunity arose and he'd earned it. Playing just 24 games after two years off, he became the obvious choice. As he goes back, he can be utilized at shortstop and elsewhere on the field, again allowing for aggressive action when an opportunity presents itself. There are no grandiose declarations to be made from a sample size as small as 11 games. There’s also no excuse for a player to be held back from contribution while failing to exhaust every opportunity to find a workable path forward. Royce Lewis is here, the time is now, and getting him back across town can’t be more than a three-week process.
  6. It’s happening, and that's not a great thing. Carlos Correa is returning to the Minnesota Twins lineup this afternoon and star prospect Royce Lewis is being optioned to Triple-A. The hope is that this wouldn’t be the outcome, but it’s now what we’re faced with. The Twins only have one plausible way to save face on this. Make it short. Royce Lewis made his debut for the Twins on May 6, and he went on to play a total of 11 Major League games. Lewis has slashed .308/.325/.564 while filling in for Carlos Correa, and he has contributed six extra-base hits, two of which have left the yard. Maybe most importantly in assessing how he’s looked offensively is that Lewis struck out just five times across 40 plate appearances. It seemed pretty silly to bet against a player with this much talent after talking to him this offseason. Still, though, there was going to be a prove-it period for a guy who hadn’t played a game in two seasons. Lewis did that, tearing up Triple-A while playing in the cold. He earned this promotion with a .310/.430/.563 line across his first 24 games for the St. Paul Saints. When in the lineup for Minnesota, he looked the part of a regular in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, this storyline appeared likely from the moment it was announced Correa’s injury wasn’t serious. While it’s great that the Twins get back their major offseason acquisition, it left a huge question mark as to how Lewis would find his way into the lineup. After all, a talent this good couldn’t sit on the bench. That leads us to where we are now, and the only way Minnesota can save face. Lewis has played four innings at the hot corner in his professional career, and he’s never played a corner outfield position. I don’t think he’s an option at first base, and that’s probably for the best when considering how limiting the position would be for his abilities. What it all boils down to is a guy needing to get comfortable in new roles. I can’t imagine a shift to third base would be anything monumental for Lewis. He hung in just fine as a Major League shortstop, and the throws would be less demanding from the hot corner. He’s played centerfield, and he provides a right-handed outfield bat if Minnesota wants to go that route. Left field at Target Field takes a bit of getting used to, but it would be more about reading the ball from that portion of the field that he’ll get an opportunity to see for the Saints. The path forward is as straight as can be for Minnesota’s front office. Lewis must be given starts at multiple positions as quickly as possible. He’s already shown an ability to produce offensively at the Triple-A level, and the early Major League returns are more than promising. Once he’s acclimated to new roles around the diamond, and that shouldn’t take long, a recall has to be scheduled. Correa was the get of the winter and Lewis plays the same position. It’s understandable to take a step back even after a great 11-game debut. If Lewis isn’t on the fast track to return to playing everywhere, or if this winds up being service time suppression, then there’s no denying the move was a poor one. The Twins aren’t running away with the division by any means, and the lineup needs to be infused with all the talent it can handle. Ultimately, a positive takeaway here is that the Twins aren't afraid to act aggressively with a top talent that has missed so much time. Lewis was never going to factor into the shortstop plans this season with Correa here unless the opportunity arose and he'd earned it. Playing just 24 games after two years off, he became the obvious choice. As he goes back, he can be utilized at shortstop and elsewhere on the field, again allowing for aggressive action when an opportunity presents itself. There are no grandiose declarations to be made from a sample size as small as 11 games. There’s also no excuse for a player to be held back from contribution while failing to exhaust every opportunity to find a workable path forward. Royce Lewis is here, the time is now, and getting him back across town can’t be more than a three-week process. View full article
  7. It’s understandable that a controllable starter like Chris Paddack may have been available for a lesser return given his elbow issues. Unfortunately, they reared their head just a few starts into 2022 and now it appears he’ll undergo surgery to fix the problem that was already there. Emilio Pagan was hardly a throw-in, however, and despite his 4.83 ERA last season, he’s just a few years removed from being one of baseball’s more dominant relievers. Pagan, who recently turned 31-years-old, posted a 2.31 ERA in his lone season with the Tampa Bay Rays. Acting as their closer that year, he recorded 20 saves and worked 70 innings. His 12.3 K/9 was a career-high, and the 1.7 BB/9 was near a career-low. The 3.30 FIP suggested it was all pretty solidly rooted in advanced statistics as well. Of course, he wasn’t the same pitcher the past two seasons for the Padres, and that’s likely why they were willing to upgrade the back end of their pen. For Minnesota, needing to replace Rogers, Pagan would immediately become an option should he find a way to harness his former glory. Things started ugly for the Twins' new closer as he took the loss in his second appearance, and blew a save in just his third try. Through his first six outings this year Pagan had just a 7/6 K/BB and appeared to be doing a tightrope act each time he took the mound. Since that point though, Pagan has pitched another six innings and has not allowed an earned run. His 8/4 K/BB is more manageable and the ERA is down to 1.54. While the free passes remain an issue, he’s worked around the danger thanks to a career-best 5.4 H/9. It’s not as though Pagan simply lost the ability to find the zone. He’s an established veteran with more than 200 Major League innings under his belt, and in that time he surrendered just a 2.3 BB/9. The gaudy 7.7 BB/9 comes from something else, and he was asked about it following his fifth save of the season. Having basically always been a two-pitch pitcher, and really only one when you consider the secondary offering is a version of the other, Pagan changed his repertoire this season. He’s traditionally been categorized as a fastball and slider guy, although most reporting systems call his secondary offering a cutter. This offseason he added a splitter and it’s drastically different from what he already brings to the table. During Spring Training, and still then with the Padres, San Diego manager Bob Melvin said, “He’s coming up with a new pitch. He’s throwing a split(-fingered fastball) a lot. … I think a third pitch will serve him well. Typically, a bullpen guy, especially late innings, is more of a two-pitch guy. But I think a third pitch will be good for him. Fastball, sliders are mostly hard (stuff). This is kind of a slower pitch, goes in a different direction, and gives the hitter something else to think about. He’s thrown it in a game and feels confident about it.” To this point in 2022, the splitter has been a focal point for Pagan. He’s thrown it over 17% of the time, and it’s drastically changed the cutter usage. In developing a new pitch and then utilizing it in games, it’s understandable there would be some hiccups and likely control or command issues. As he continues to find comfort with the offering, the walks should subside back down to his career norms. Rocco Baldelli has a very good thing going at the back of his pen right now. Whether going with rookie fireballer Jhoan Duran, or veteran-tested Pagan, he’s got capable arms to mix and match for any situation. The more Minnesota can lean into both of them shutting down the opposition, the better they’ll find themselves positioned to close out games in routine fashion.
  8. Right before the 2022 Major League Baseball season was set to commence, the Minnesota Twins decided to shake up their roster. Flipping closer Taylor Rogers to the San Diego Padres for Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan, it’s now on the latter to provide value for the season ahead. It’s understandable that a controllable starter like Chris Paddack may have been available for a lesser return given his elbow issues. Unfortunately, they reared their head just a few starts into 2022 and now it appears he’ll undergo surgery to fix the problem that was already there. Emilio Pagan was hardly a throw-in, however, and despite his 4.83 ERA last season, he’s just a few years removed from being one of baseball’s more dominant relievers. Pagan, who recently turned 31-years-old, posted a 2.31 ERA in his lone season with the Tampa Bay Rays. Acting as their closer that year, he recorded 20 saves and worked 70 innings. His 12.3 K/9 was a career-high, and the 1.7 BB/9 was near a career-low. The 3.30 FIP suggested it was all pretty solidly rooted in advanced statistics as well. Of course, he wasn’t the same pitcher the past two seasons for the Padres, and that’s likely why they were willing to upgrade the back end of their pen. For Minnesota, needing to replace Rogers, Pagan would immediately become an option should he find a way to harness his former glory. Things started ugly for the Twins' new closer as he took the loss in his second appearance, and blew a save in just his third try. Through his first six outings this year Pagan had just a 7/6 K/BB and appeared to be doing a tightrope act each time he took the mound. Since that point though, Pagan has pitched another six innings and has not allowed an earned run. His 8/4 K/BB is more manageable and the ERA is down to 1.54. While the free passes remain an issue, he’s worked around the danger thanks to a career-best 5.4 H/9. It’s not as though Pagan simply lost the ability to find the zone. He’s an established veteran with more than 200 Major League innings under his belt, and in that time he surrendered just a 2.3 BB/9. The gaudy 7.7 BB/9 comes from something else, and he was asked about it following his fifth save of the season. Having basically always been a two-pitch pitcher, and really only one when you consider the secondary offering is a version of the other, Pagan changed his repertoire this season. He’s traditionally been categorized as a fastball and slider guy, although most reporting systems call his secondary offering a cutter. This offseason he added a splitter and it’s drastically different from what he already brings to the table. During Spring Training, and still then with the Padres, San Diego manager Bob Melvin said, “He’s coming up with a new pitch. He’s throwing a split(-fingered fastball) a lot. … I think a third pitch will serve him well. Typically, a bullpen guy, especially late innings, is more of a two-pitch guy. But I think a third pitch will be good for him. Fastball, sliders are mostly hard (stuff). This is kind of a slower pitch, goes in a different direction, and gives the hitter something else to think about. He’s thrown it in a game and feels confident about it.” To this point in 2022, the splitter has been a focal point for Pagan. He’s thrown it over 17% of the time, and it’s drastically changed the cutter usage. In developing a new pitch and then utilizing it in games, it’s understandable there would be some hiccups and likely control or command issues. As he continues to find comfort with the offering, the walks should subside back down to his career norms. Rocco Baldelli has a very good thing going at the back of his pen right now. Whether going with rookie fireballer Jhoan Duran, or veteran-tested Pagan, he’s got capable arms to mix and match for any situation. The more Minnesota can lean into both of them shutting down the opposition, the better they’ll find themselves positioned to close out games in routine fashion. View full article
  9. It became clear following a Saturday night game against the Cleveland Guardians, in which Byron Buxton should’ve been called upon to pinch-hit, that rest and caution remain paramount for the organization. Rocco Baldelli has consistently rested players with the hopes of keeping them fresh, and while the current state of Minnesota’s Injured List would suggest that as not bearing fruit, it also doesn’t appear as something the organization will move off of. Relating to Buxton specifically, he’s dealing with the same right knee soreness that immediately looked like a season-ending injury. Sliding into second base, he punched the ground in anguish and a question as to whether his knee was torn up immediately came into question. Returning to the lineup less than a week later, he’s still dealing with the after-effects, even if an MRI revealed no serious damage. It’s not as though Buxton hasn’t been productive. Quite the opposite actually, as he’s been a monster through the 23 games he has been on the field. Buxton owns a .259/.330/.706 slash line and is just one homer shy of the American League lead with 11. He’s yet to triple but does have five doubles to his credit, and a few recent walks make the 28/6 K/BB ratio more workable. Through 134 innings in the outfield, Buxton has been worth 1 Defensive Run Saved and 2 Outs Above Average. Following Sunday’s game against the Guardians, one in which Buxton was back in centerfield and Minnesota won, he said, "We've got a process, process of me staying on the field, trying to play 100 games. So however that looks, who knows? But that's what we have, a plan here, and it's what we're going to stick to." As unfortunate or disappointing as that may be, it’s clear that Buxton is in lockstep with manager Rocco Baldelli regarding that plan. After the loss to the Guardians on Saturday night, Minnesota’s manager said in regards to the decision against pinch-hitting Buxton, “"It wasn't going to be an option. Ultimately, we discussed that as a group, but ultimately I make that decision. When we make the decision before the game, we don't change what we're going to do when the game gets going." Those notes in conjunction with one another suggest the Twins are firmly set in a plan to have Buxton play right around 60% of their games this season. The good news is that even through that few contests, extrapolating his numbers gets a gaudy amount of production. You’d be looking at something like 21 doubles, 47 homers, and 7.4 fWAR. Putting up those statistics in 162 games would be generous for most. If Buxton was able to continue that pace over just 100, it would be nothing short of unfathomable. On the defensive side of things, it may be hard to find the same rhythm. Buxton has been worth just one DRS thus far and contributed only 2 OAA. Gilberto Celestino has done an amazing job filling in, so maybe it matters less, but Buxton’s Gold Glove prowess is always going to be missed. When looking at this decision by Minnesota, there are a couple of things to consider. First and foremost is that not all players can operate as a designated hitter, or without being constantly involved in the game flow. Buxton has suffered without playing the field, and missing over one-third of the games will certainly threaten any attempt to create consistency. The other problem is the assumption that disjointed time off will prevent further injury or advance healing. After all, Buxton was injured on a play where he slid into second base, and also suffered an injury running to first base following a dropped third strike. It’s not as if he’s being threatened in instances that won’t routinely present themselves. His body may simply be less durable than others, and that leaves him susceptible in all capacities. Maybe most interesting here is who the Twins have as a manager. Baldelli himself was on a path to being one of baseball's best players and constant injuries derailed his career. Buxton certainly is involved throughout this planning process, as is Baldelli, but the front office must be clued in too. The Twins training staff is probably weighing in with their expertise, and we don't completely know what the injury was given the designation simply being soreness. Maybe this is something Baldelli himself has implored Buxton to consider knowing what consistent injury and health issues can do to the overall length of a playing career. What do you think? Are the Twins actually able to prevent further injury by trying to avoid consistent games played? Does Buxton benefit from time down to heal completely? What should happen here?
  10. The Minnesota Twins are 35 games into their 2022 Major League Baseball season. Star centerfielder Byron Buxton has played in just 23 of them, or 65.7%. That’s apparently a threshold both parties (team and player) intend to uphold, but what does that look like when the dust settles? It became clear following a Saturday night game against the Cleveland Guardians, in which Byron Buxton should’ve been called upon to pinch-hit, that rest and caution remain paramount for the organization. Rocco Baldelli has consistently rested players with the hopes of keeping them fresh, and while the current state of Minnesota’s Injured List would suggest that as not bearing fruit, it also doesn’t appear as something the organization will move off of. Relating to Buxton specifically, he’s dealing with the same right knee soreness that immediately looked like a season-ending injury. Sliding into second base, he punched the ground in anguish and a question as to whether his knee was torn up immediately came into question. Returning to the lineup less than a week later, he’s still dealing with the after-effects, even if an MRI revealed no serious damage. It’s not as though Buxton hasn’t been productive. Quite the opposite actually, as he’s been a monster through the 23 games he has been on the field. Buxton owns a .259/.330/.706 slash line and is just one homer shy of the American League lead with 11. He’s yet to triple but does have five doubles to his credit, and a few recent walks make the 28/6 K/BB ratio more workable. Through 134 innings in the outfield, Buxton has been worth 1 Defensive Run Saved and 2 Outs Above Average. Following Sunday’s game against the Guardians, one in which Buxton was back in centerfield and Minnesota won, he said, "We've got a process, process of me staying on the field, trying to play 100 games. So however that looks, who knows? But that's what we have, a plan here, and it's what we're going to stick to." As unfortunate or disappointing as that may be, it’s clear that Buxton is in lockstep with manager Rocco Baldelli regarding that plan. After the loss to the Guardians on Saturday night, Minnesota’s manager said in regards to the decision against pinch-hitting Buxton, “"It wasn't going to be an option. Ultimately, we discussed that as a group, but ultimately I make that decision. When we make the decision before the game, we don't change what we're going to do when the game gets going." Those notes in conjunction with one another suggest the Twins are firmly set in a plan to have Buxton play right around 60% of their games this season. The good news is that even through that few contests, extrapolating his numbers gets a gaudy amount of production. You’d be looking at something like 21 doubles, 47 homers, and 7.4 fWAR. Putting up those statistics in 162 games would be generous for most. If Buxton was able to continue that pace over just 100, it would be nothing short of unfathomable. On the defensive side of things, it may be hard to find the same rhythm. Buxton has been worth just one DRS thus far and contributed only 2 OAA. Gilberto Celestino has done an amazing job filling in, so maybe it matters less, but Buxton’s Gold Glove prowess is always going to be missed. When looking at this decision by Minnesota, there are a couple of things to consider. First and foremost is that not all players can operate as a designated hitter, or without being constantly involved in the game flow. Buxton has suffered without playing the field, and missing over one-third of the games will certainly threaten any attempt to create consistency. The other problem is the assumption that disjointed time off will prevent further injury or advance healing. After all, Buxton was injured on a play where he slid into second base, and also suffered an injury running to first base following a dropped third strike. It’s not as if he’s being threatened in instances that won’t routinely present themselves. His body may simply be less durable than others, and that leaves him susceptible in all capacities. Maybe most interesting here is who the Twins have as a manager. Baldelli himself was on a path to being one of baseball's best players and constant injuries derailed his career. Buxton certainly is involved throughout this planning process, as is Baldelli, but the front office must be clued in too. The Twins training staff is probably weighing in with their expertise, and we don't completely know what the injury was given the designation simply being soreness. Maybe this is something Baldelli himself has implored Buxton to consider knowing what consistent injury and health issues can do to the overall length of a playing career. What do you think? Are the Twins actually able to prevent further injury by trying to avoid consistent games played? Does Buxton benefit from time down to heal completely? What should happen here? View full article
  11. In 2019 and 2020 the former Guardians veteran became one of baseball’s best at the hot corner. Gio Urshela posted a .310/.359/.523 slash line and hit 27 homers across 175 games. The Yankees made him a fixture in their lineup and he was seen as a key contributor after taking the position from Miguel Andujar. Urshela went through it for the first time since his breakout last year. After posting a 134 OPS+ in 2019 and 2020, he contributed a below league-average 95 OPS+. Given his dealings with Covid multiple times, as well as suffering injury, it was explainable why the production had dipped. The hope for Minnesota was undoubtedly that a change of scenery and clean bill of health would result in rebounding to where he was at his peak. Now 30-years-old, Urshela is 27 games into his Twins career and the 83 OPS+ is a bottoming out of sorts. He hasn’t dropped to the irrelevance of his time in Cleveland, but at a time when offense is down across the board, he’s finding ways to contribute even less. Urshela is not a hulking slugger by any means, but across nearly 100 plate appearances he has just three extra-base hits and only one homer. If there’s a silver lining for Urshela, it’s that we may just be dealing with a small sample. His expected batting average is 30 points higher at .263 and his xwOBA sits near the 2019 mark at .338. He’s at his career average when it comes to hard-hit rate, and Urshela still has a good process at the plate posting just a 12/9 K/BB. Rocco Baldelli is certainly hoping his third basemen figures it out, otherwise, that could be an avenue for someone like Royce Lewis or Luis Arraez to steal playing time. Behind the dish was never going to be a calling card for Gary Sanchez, regardless of a new change in scenery. He’s a rough backstop, but his bat used to carry him. Coincidentally, Sanchez’s 83 OPS+ is the exact same mark as his trade partner, Urshela. There was a time the Dominican native was competing for Rookie of the Year awards and picking up All-Star game selections. 2019 and his .841 OPS seem like a distant memory at this point, however. The last two seasons in New York equated to a 90 OPS+ for Sanchez, and he’s now dipped well below. Across 80 plate appearances, Sanchez owns a .203/.263/.338 slash line. He is a power producer but has homered only once while tacking on seven doubles. Unlike Urshela, Sanchez’s expected batting average is actually worse than what he’s generated and although the xwOBA is better, it’s insignificant with just an eight-point swing. Sanchez is still hitting with a similar hard-hit rate to when he was at his best in 2019, but he’s bumped the fly all rate up to 53% and halved a very solid 20% line drive rate from that season. Getting too far under the baseball, and being bit by a ball that’s deadened, Sanchez has just a 3.6% HR/FB ratio after seeing a whopping 26.4% ratio in 2019. Although he’s making the most contact of his career, pitchers are also forcing him to chase at a career-worst rate. For Sanchez the bat has to play for there to be any value. He’s been worth -0.3 fWAR because it hasn’t and his time behind the dish will always be flawed. Minnesota doesn’t have other options at catcher and that makes the leash extremely long here. Still, getting him anything more than rotational at-bats becomes unnecessary if this is the production Baldelli can expect. It was a fine move to swap out Josh Donaldson. His place in the clubhouse may not have been ideal, and the move freed up the opportunity to sign Carlos Correa. That said, the Twins can’t afford to have a lineup with two players producing so little offensively. New York has bit Minnesota plenty over the years, and right now it’s happening from within. How long are you willing to wait and find out if these two find it?
  12. This offseason, after dealing Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers, Minnesota flipped Josh Donaldson and Ben Rortvedt to the New York Yankees for Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez. They filled two starting lineup spots with the trade, but there’s yet to be production from either player. In 2019 and 2020 the former Guardians veteran became one of baseball’s best at the hot corner. Gio Urshela posted a .310/.359/.523 slash line and hit 27 homers across 175 games. The Yankees made him a fixture in their lineup and he was seen as a key contributor after taking the position from Miguel Andujar. Urshela went through it for the first time since his breakout last year. After posting a 134 OPS+ in 2019 and 2020, he contributed a below league-average 95 OPS+. Given his dealings with Covid multiple times, as well as suffering injury, it was explainable why the production had dipped. The hope for Minnesota was undoubtedly that a change of scenery and clean bill of health would result in rebounding to where he was at his peak. Now 30-years-old, Urshela is 27 games into his Twins career and the 83 OPS+ is a bottoming out of sorts. He hasn’t dropped to the irrelevance of his time in Cleveland, but at a time when offense is down across the board, he’s finding ways to contribute even less. Urshela is not a hulking slugger by any means, but across nearly 100 plate appearances he has just three extra-base hits and only one homer. If there’s a silver lining for Urshela, it’s that we may just be dealing with a small sample. His expected batting average is 30 points higher at .263 and his xwOBA sits near the 2019 mark at .338. He’s at his career average when it comes to hard-hit rate, and Urshela still has a good process at the plate posting just a 12/9 K/BB. Rocco Baldelli is certainly hoping his third basemen figures it out, otherwise, that could be an avenue for someone like Royce Lewis or Luis Arraez to steal playing time. Behind the dish was never going to be a calling card for Gary Sanchez, regardless of a new change in scenery. He’s a rough backstop, but his bat used to carry him. Coincidentally, Sanchez’s 83 OPS+ is the exact same mark as his trade partner, Urshela. There was a time the Dominican native was competing for Rookie of the Year awards and picking up All-Star game selections. 2019 and his .841 OPS seem like a distant memory at this point, however. The last two seasons in New York equated to a 90 OPS+ for Sanchez, and he’s now dipped well below. Across 80 plate appearances, Sanchez owns a .203/.263/.338 slash line. He is a power producer but has homered only once while tacking on seven doubles. Unlike Urshela, Sanchez’s expected batting average is actually worse than what he’s generated and although the xwOBA is better, it’s insignificant with just an eight-point swing. Sanchez is still hitting with a similar hard-hit rate to when he was at his best in 2019, but he’s bumped the fly all rate up to 53% and halved a very solid 20% line drive rate from that season. Getting too far under the baseball, and being bit by a ball that’s deadened, Sanchez has just a 3.6% HR/FB ratio after seeing a whopping 26.4% ratio in 2019. Although he’s making the most contact of his career, pitchers are also forcing him to chase at a career-worst rate. For Sanchez the bat has to play for there to be any value. He’s been worth -0.3 fWAR because it hasn’t and his time behind the dish will always be flawed. Minnesota doesn’t have other options at catcher and that makes the leash extremely long here. Still, getting him anything more than rotational at-bats becomes unnecessary if this is the production Baldelli can expect. It was a fine move to swap out Josh Donaldson. His place in the clubhouse may not have been ideal, and the move freed up the opportunity to sign Carlos Correa. That said, the Twins can’t afford to have a lineup with two players producing so little offensively. New York has bit Minnesota plenty over the years, and right now it’s happening from within. How long are you willing to wait and find out if these two find it? View full article
  13. Plenty of offensive firepower was on display tonight throughout the Twins farm system. Both the Wind Surge and Kernels put up double-digits with multi players having gaudy stat lines. Aaron Rozek was the standout arm and Cedar Rapids continued its torrid start to the season. Transactions: RHP Cole Sands added to Minnesota as 27th man OF Kennie Taylor promoted to Double-A Wichita OF Kyle Fedko promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids OF Luis Baez transferred to Single-A Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 4 Box Score Jacob Faria made the start for the afternoon tilt today. St. Paul got four innings of work from their starter and Faria allowed three runs, only one earned, on five hits while striking out four and walking one. Down early after a three-run 2nd inning for the Clippers, St. Paul knotted things in the 5th inning. Caleb Hamilton scored on an Ernie Yake ground out before Elliot Soto singled in both Yake and Jermaine Palacios. Giving a run back immediately in the bottom half of the 5th inning, the Saints saw the gap widen to four before answering with a run of their own in the 9th inning. Roy Morales drove in Kevin Merrell with a single, but that’s all the rally amounted to. Palacios was the lone Saints hitter to record two hits on the day, one of which was his fifth double. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, NW Arkansas 0 Box Score Following the fun outing against his brother last time out, Louie Varland was back for a more normal contest. He cruised through the first few innings before running into trouble in the 5th inning. In total, Varland worked six innings allowing seven hits and four runs. He picked up seven strikeouts and walked no one. Scoreless through the first two frames, the Wind Surge got their first run following a steal of third base by DaShawn Keirsey. With the ball getting away on the throw, he was able to move up ninety feet for the game’s first run. Matt Wallner then continued his hot stretch with a laced double to right scoring both Edouard Julien and Spencer Steer. Although Austin Martin hasn’t hit for Wichita this season, middle infielder Spencer Steer absolutely has. Crushing a solo blast in the 5th inning, Steer picked up his fifth of the season. Watching their lead be wiped out by the 6th inning, the Wind Surge got back to adding. In the 7th inning Alex Isola drove in Julien with a single before Andrew Bechtold added a double to plate Isola. Dennis Ortega followed with a double of his own to drive in Wallner and Bechtold, and then Leobaldo Cabrera cleared the bases with his second dinger of the season. Steven Cruz was great in relief of Varland giving the Wind Surge two scoreless innings allowing just one hit and picking up three strikeouts. Isola, Wallner, Cabrera, and Kerisey all had two hits tonight for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 13, Peoria 1 Box Score It was Aaron Rozek on the bump tonight for the Kernels and he turned in nothing short of a dominant outing. Working five scoreless innings, Rozek allowed just three hits and no runs or walks while picking up nine punchouts. Backing up their starter, the Cedar Rapids bats put up a crooked number early. Seth Gray roped his fifth double of the season in the top of the 4th inning to plate Jeferson Morales and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Wander Javier then lifted a single to right field scoring Gray on the play. Adding again in a big way, the 5th inning featured another Kernels outburst and this one was a home run party. Gray clobbered his second of the season before Jair Camargo hit his fifth, and Javier launched his second. Then Encarnacion-Strand decided he’d keep the ball in the park, driving a single to bring home both Will Holland and Anthony Prato. Cedar Rapids picked up another run in the 8th inning with Holland scoring on a wild pitch. They did give that one back on a solo shot in the bottom half. It didn’t matter much however, as the 9th inning saw a four-run explosion in the form of a Camargo single to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Javier’s second homer of the night. Javier lifted a three-run shot and what was a big league became a laugher. The Kernels recorded 14 hits in this one and got multi-hit efforts from Prato, Encarnacion-Strand, Gray, Camargo, and Javier. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Fort Myers’ game against Palm Beach was postponed on Thursday night. It will be made up as a double-header tomorrow afternoon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR(3) 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) - #2 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 0-4, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 K #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR(5), 2 BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Postponed FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (3:30PM CST) - TBD/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  14. Transactions: RHP Cole Sands added to Minnesota as 27th man OF Kennie Taylor promoted to Double-A Wichita OF Kyle Fedko promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids OF Luis Baez transferred to Single-A Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 4 Box Score Jacob Faria made the start for the afternoon tilt today. St. Paul got four innings of work from their starter and Faria allowed three runs, only one earned, on five hits while striking out four and walking one. Down early after a three-run 2nd inning for the Clippers, St. Paul knotted things in the 5th inning. Caleb Hamilton scored on an Ernie Yake ground out before Elliot Soto singled in both Yake and Jermaine Palacios. Giving a run back immediately in the bottom half of the 5th inning, the Saints saw the gap widen to four before answering with a run of their own in the 9th inning. Roy Morales drove in Kevin Merrell with a single, but that’s all the rally amounted to. Palacios was the lone Saints hitter to record two hits on the day, one of which was his fifth double. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, NW Arkansas 0 Box Score Following the fun outing against his brother last time out, Louie Varland was back for a more normal contest. He cruised through the first few innings before running into trouble in the 5th inning. In total, Varland worked six innings allowing seven hits and four runs. He picked up seven strikeouts and walked no one. Scoreless through the first two frames, the Wind Surge got their first run following a steal of third base by DaShawn Keirsey. With the ball getting away on the throw, he was able to move up ninety feet for the game’s first run. Matt Wallner then continued his hot stretch with a laced double to right scoring both Edouard Julien and Spencer Steer. Although Austin Martin hasn’t hit for Wichita this season, middle infielder Spencer Steer absolutely has. Crushing a solo blast in the 5th inning, Steer picked up his fifth of the season. Watching their lead be wiped out by the 6th inning, the Wind Surge got back to adding. In the 7th inning Alex Isola drove in Julien with a single before Andrew Bechtold added a double to plate Isola. Dennis Ortega followed with a double of his own to drive in Wallner and Bechtold, and then Leobaldo Cabrera cleared the bases with his second dinger of the season. Steven Cruz was great in relief of Varland giving the Wind Surge two scoreless innings allowing just one hit and picking up three strikeouts. Isola, Wallner, Cabrera, and Kerisey all had two hits tonight for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 13, Peoria 1 Box Score It was Aaron Rozek on the bump tonight for the Kernels and he turned in nothing short of a dominant outing. Working five scoreless innings, Rozek allowed just three hits and no runs or walks while picking up nine punchouts. Backing up their starter, the Cedar Rapids bats put up a crooked number early. Seth Gray roped his fifth double of the season in the top of the 4th inning to plate Jeferson Morales and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Wander Javier then lifted a single to right field scoring Gray on the play. Adding again in a big way, the 5th inning featured another Kernels outburst and this one was a home run party. Gray clobbered his second of the season before Jair Camargo hit his fifth, and Javier launched his second. Then Encarnacion-Strand decided he’d keep the ball in the park, driving a single to bring home both Will Holland and Anthony Prato. Cedar Rapids picked up another run in the 8th inning with Holland scoring on a wild pitch. They did give that one back on a solo shot in the bottom half. It didn’t matter much however, as the 9th inning saw a four-run explosion in the form of a Camargo single to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Javier’s second homer of the night. Javier lifted a three-run shot and what was a big league became a laugher. The Kernels recorded 14 hits in this one and got multi-hit efforts from Prato, Encarnacion-Strand, Gray, Camargo, and Javier. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Fort Myers’ game against Palm Beach was postponed on Thursday night. It will be made up as a double-header tomorrow afternoon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR(3) 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) - #2 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 0-4, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 K #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR(5), 2 BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Postponed FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (3:30PM CST) - TBD/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  15. Back in 2019 Major League Baseball ranked Alex Kirilloff as the ninth-best prospect in baseball. He is a former first-round pick that hit for power and average, and played two defensive positions pretty well. A driven and likable kid, it seemed fair to bet on his way through the system. Now at the big league level, and playing through a nagging injury, it’s tough not to question what’s next. Across nearly 300 minor league games, Alex Kirilloff performed admirably. He had an .865 OPS and sat at a solid .317 batting average. Despite missing time due to Tommy John surgery in 2017, and then having minor league action shut down in 2020, Kirilloff earned his call through consistent performance and debuted on September 30, 2020. Thrust into a postseason game for his first big league action, it was hardly an ideal scenario. Maturity has always been something of a significant credit for Kirilloff, and seeing him handle that moment did nothing to change the belief. He’s battled through adversity previously, and that’s the crossroads we’re coming to once again. Last season Kirilloff got off to a slow start but did rip four homers in his first 11 starts. The average wasn’t there, but a .571 slugging percentage was buoyed by three doubles and four dingers. Then it happened... the dreaded wrist injury. A cortisone shot was administered, and he returned to the lineup on May 21, missing just 18 days. From that point forward, in a string of 47 games through July 19, Kirilloff slugged just .387 and hit another four homers. He was the same advanced hitter at the plate, but his body left him no ability to execute. Minnesota opted to have Kirilloff undergo season-ending wrist surgery last summer and the hope was that he’d be ready for spring training. Showing up this season, Kirilloff noted that he shut things down during the offseason due to pain, but then seemed ready to go in March. Once again, he got off to a slow start, and then it was announced that the wrist was again problematic. Sent out on a rehab stint with the Saints following another cortisone shot, Kirilloff suggested the pain still isn’t gone. Unfortunately, the results haven’t changed either. Playing in just seven of the Twins' 29 games this year, Kirilloff is a dreadful 2-for-22, and he’s yet to record an extra-base hit. He’s got a 10/0 K/BB and owns a -31 OPS+. It’s an extremely small sample size, but it’s nothing short of awful. For a guy that has always been seen as an advanced hitter, it’s obvious this is merely a shell of the player we once expected. So, what do the Twins and Kirilloff do from here? That’s a great question, and one without a straightforward answer. When talking to him following a Saints' victory last week, he shared that a check-in with the doctor who performed his surgery revealed nothing new or noteworthy. The wrist was said to be structurally sound and a follow-up procedure wasn’t seen as imminent. It was hoped that this cortisone shot would provide relief, although the announcement of continued pain or discomfort would suggest that hasn’t happened. Following a season where both parties decided to pull the plug and go under the knife, it’s hard to suggest battling through it remains a good process. Right now, both Kirilloff and the Twins probably stand to benefit from a wait-and-see approach. Maybe things take a turn for the better and further healing happens. Maybe some settling in at the plate turns the tide in production. Thrust back into the lineup after a lackluster 5-for-22 rehab assignment at Triple-A though, confidence for all involved has to be waning. There’s no denying that Kirilloff is among the brightest to come through the system in recent memory. It’s frustrating watching him play through something not allowing his abilities to shine. Here’s to hoping there’s a way for positive progress resulting in sustained health, and soon, because no one wants to continue seeing this level of production. View full article
×
×
  • Create New...