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  1. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 1 Box Score Some nights, great pitching and Jose Miranda is all you need to secure a win. Tonight was one of those nights. Charlie Barnes got the start on the mound for St. Paul tonight and he was excellent in a shortened outing. He went four innings and allowed only one run, while accumulating four strikeouts. Barnes threw 70 pitches in this one and wasn’t showing signs of slowing down, so his removal from the game is likely to keep him fresh for potential major league service in the future. The one Cubs run came in the top of the third on an Abiatal Avelino RBI single off Barnes. Fortunately, though, the Saints struck in the bottom of the inning when Jose Miranda belted a no-doubter three-run shot. That blast proved to be all the Saints would need. After Barnes was removed, Beau Burrows entered the game in the fifth, charged with getting the fifteen-out save (not a thing). Burrows was even more fantastic, though, as he didn’t allow a hit until the ninth inning and struck out six Cubs. He did allow two hits in the ninth, but did not allow a run over all five of his innings, and the Saints took the game 3-1. St. Paul improves to 2-1 in the Triple-A Final Stretch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Double-A Central Championship Series Game 3: NW Arkansas 6, Wichita 2 (NW Arkansas wins series 3-0) Box Score Needing a win after their top two arms got roughed up in games one and two, the Wind Surge put the ball in the capable right hand of Austin Schulfer tonight in Riverfront Stadium’s playoff debut. However, a fourth inning grand slam ruined the night for Schulfer and the Surge, and their comeback hopes in this game and in the series never got started. The packed home crowd was amped up early and Jermaine Palacios gave them something to cheer about in the second when he stroked a ball 400 feet the left and bat-flipped the Surge to a 1-0 lead. The Naturals grabbed that run back in the third with a sac fly scoring Blake Perkins, who advanced two bases on an errant Schulfer pickoff attempt. After a close out call at the plate kept Wichita from retaking the lead, Brewer Hicklen, who made a game-saving catch in Game 1, pumped a grand slam over the left field wall to take the air out of the Wichita crowd and give NW Arkansas a 5-1 lead. Spencer Steer doubled and later scored on an Andrew Bechtold groundout in the fourth, but the offense couldn’t build on that and the next run of the game came in the seventh in favor of the Naturals, making it 6-2. In fact, the Surge didn’t put together a meaningful threat the rest of the game and that 6-2 scoreline was enough to earn the Naturals a dog-pile on the infield grass. Schulfer ended up pitching four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) while striking out four. He gave way to Kody Funderburk, who allowed just one run in three innings. Jordan Gore finished the game with two innings of scoreless work. On offense, the Surge grabbed seven hits but, as they have for much of the stretch run, they struggled to bring runs in. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin had multi-hit games. KERNELS NUGGETS High-A Central Championship Series Game 3: Cedar Rapids 8, Quad Cities 4 (Cedar Rapids leads series 2-1) Box Score After splitting the first two games, the Kernels endured a lengthy delay and turned to the long ball, bopping 4 homers en route to a crucial 8-4 Game 3 victory. Quad Cities opened their account in the first inning with a Logan Porter RBI single, but DaShawn Kiersey Jr. had an answer in the form of a two-run homer that gave the Kernels a 2-1 second-inning lead. In the third inning, the Kernels loaded the bases but their threat was interrupted by a rain delay. Well over an hour later, the game picked up again and Kiersey flew out to end the threat, permanently this time. In the fourth, though, Edouard Julien doubled the Cedar Rapids lead with a solo homer, and a few batters later, Alex Isola followed suit. Isola’s blast was worth three though, and the Kernels took a 6-1 lead. Quad Cities got a run back in the fifth, but Julien was back at it again in the sixth, with another solo bomb. And, Michael Helman added on another when he doubled and later scored on a Matt Wallner sac fly. Quad Cities got two runs back in the seventh to cut the lead to 8-4 that was as close as their comeback attempts would get and the Cedar Rapids Kernels are one win away from the title. Casey Legumina got the start for Cedar Rapids and allowed one run in two innings but after the lengthy delay, this one became a bullpen game. Adam Rozek matched Legumina, allowing one run over the third and fourth innings. Derek Molina took over and pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs, though only one was earned. Carlos Suniaga allowed a few hits, but finished the game with two scoreless innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Beau Burrows (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Edouard Julien (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-3, BB #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, BB, HR (16), 3 RBI #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, RBI, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, BB #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2B, R, 2 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (9-4, 5.13 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (3-3, 4.55 ERA in regular season) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  2. TRANSACTIONS C Jeferson Morales promoted to A+ Cedar Rapids RHP Luis Rijo placed on 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids (right elbow sprain) C Allante Hall transferred to A Fort Myers LHP Sean Gilmartin placed on 7-day IL at AA Wichita C Jair Camargo placed on 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids retroactive to August 6th (right hamstring strain) RHP Josh Winder placed on 7-day IL at AAA St. Paul retroactive to July 22nd (right shoulder impingement) Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Louisville 2 Box Score Ian Hamilton: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None St. Paul was nearly no-hit on Saturday. Bo Takahashi held the squad hitless while he was on the mound but the team was able to pounce on rehabbing reliever Tejay Antone for their first hit, and their first run of the game. The run tied the game; a fact aided in no small part by the Saints pitching staff on Saturday. It was a bullpen game and Ian Hamilton drew the first straw. Hamilton was able to shed his previous issues with command, and staunchly allowed no Reds hitter to reach base via the walk. All in all, Hamilton tossed three quality innings. The game was even at one headed into the 9th inning. Ryan Mason ran into some trouble, and before anyone could even realize it, the bases were loaded. The Bats plated a run but nearly scored another if Jimmy Kerrigan did not hose the runner at home with a great play: It looked as if Louisville was going to walk away with a win, but Mark Contreras had other plans. He sent a ball to what was previously an undocumented dimension with his game-tying blast: Édgar García ran into some trouble in the top half of the 10th inning, but was able to escape any real damage. In the bottom half of the inning, Ben Rortvedt was called upon to pinch hit for J.T. Riddle and send the home crowd into a frenzy with a walk-off two-run bomb: Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Midland 4 Box Score SP: Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Caleb Hamilton (7), Jermaine Palacios (16) Multi-hit games: Caleb Hamilton (2-for-3, HR, 2B, R, 4 RBI) The Wind Surge won a thriller on Saturday. Austin Schulfer carried the squad early with yet another wonderful start. The right-hander has been workhorse-like in 2021 with nearly 80 innings on the year; an impressive total considering the non-existent 2020 minor league season. Caleb Hamilton backed his starter quickly with a 2nd inning, two-run homer. The 26-year-old is now creeping up on his career-high in homers for a season (9) which he set in 2017. In the least surprising news since the election of George Washington, Jermaine Palacios crushed his 16th homer of the year on Saturday. The blast moved Palacios into the top 10 for homeruns among all minor league shortstops. Yes, all of them. His new-found power is real and, if you happen to be the unfortunate soul pitching to him, terrifying. The game was knotted at three headed into the 9th inning. The Rockhounds inched ahead thanks to a Jonah Bride homer, but the Wind Surge refused to end quietly. With the bases loaded, Caleb Hamilton sent everyone home with a sacrifice fly that scored not one, but two runs. Take a look for yourself: Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 4 Box Score SP: Tyler Beck: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Kernels lost a clean game on Saturday. Tyler Beck’s line looks uglier than reality. Four runs is poor no matter how it’s sliced, but Beck’s runs came in the form of a duo of two-run shots. The sudden nature of home runs reflects a pitcher who was more unlucky than poor. Two pitches made the difference between four earned runs and a potentially better outing. In any case, the Kernels offense did little to help Beck. Wander Javier’s 7th inning triple was the lone extra-base hit by Cedar Rapids in the game. In total, only four base hits came off the bats of Kernels hitters on Saturday. For an inkling of good news from this game, Breckin Williams and Andrew Cabezas combined for three perfect innings of relief. The two righties punched out four batters in total. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 5, Dunedin 3 Box Score SP: Miguel Rodriguez: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jesus Feliz (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, R) Fort Myers won a (somewhat) close one on Saturday. Despite falling down into a quick 1-0 pit, the Mighty Mussels easily rebounded. In the 2nd inning, Ruben Santana grounded home a run and Misael Urbina walked home another to steal the lead from Dunedin. Jesus Feliz singled home a third run in the 3rd inning, and a wild pitch in the 5th plated the final two runs scored by Fort Myers on the night. One has to unleash a truly reckless pitch to score two baserunners. If only the play was televised. Both Charles Mack and Nick Anderson reached base four times on Saturday. They combined for enough walks to challenge an old-persons home. But that’s enough for the offense. Let’s honor the pitchers who paved the path for the Mighty Mussels on Saturday. Beyond Miguel Rodriguez, whose great performance was self-evident, Zarion Sharpe held the Blue Jays scoreless for four crucial innings. Combining both of their pitching lines gives you one singular starter who gave up just one run over seven innings of work. That will play. Originally, I had written that the Mighty Mussels “won a comfortable one on Saturday”, but that became false in the 9th inning. Steven Cruz was called upon to guard a four-run lead. He would end the game with a two-run lead. But hey, the size of the lead does not matter at all as long as it holds. Complex Chronicles Game one: FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 11 Box Score SP: Erasmo Moreno: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K R: Emmanuel Rodriguez (5) Multi-hit games: Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI) This game was a continuation of the battle that began yesterday, but was suspended. Perhaps the FCL Twins would have preferred it if the matchup was just canceled instead. FCL Twins pitchers were struck well and often by the FCL Red Sox offense. No Twin escaped the endeavor without a wounded ERA with the lone exception of John Wilson. There was good news on the offensive front, however. Emmanuel Rodriguez knocked around a pair of extra-base hits, and Alerick Soularie finally graced a baseball diamond as a member of the Twins. Other than that, it is best to leave this game to the history books. Game two: FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 1 Box Score SP: Develson Aria: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Alerick Soularie (1), Ricardo Oliver (1) Multi-hit games: Alerick Soularie (2-for-2, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Alexander Pena (2-for-4, RBI) While the first game was considerably unremarkable, game two was anything but. This type of glow-up has not been seen since George Gordon Meade took over command of the Army of the Potomac. In a level of irony well-suited for Alanis Morissette, the FCL Twins scored as many runs in this game as they had in the previous encounter. Alerick Soularie demanded that his presence be acknowledged as he blasted his first career homer in the first inning of the game. In all, three runs would be scored before three outs were netted. All three pitchers for the FCL Twins left the game with a clean slate. Develson Aria proved that he is more than just a phenomenal name, and he held the Red Sox scoreless in his start. Danny Moreno and Samuel Perez were called upon to relieve Aria, and both players evaded allowing any earned runs. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Austin Schulfer Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Caleb Hamilton PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-3 #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 2 K #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 1-4, R, K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-5, 2 R, K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, BB, K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-4, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, 3B, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – 2-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Dunedin @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Midland @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Cole Sands Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Louisville @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) LHP Lewis Thorpe
  3. Honorable Mentions: LHP Brent Headrick, Low-A: 1-1, 1.71 ERA, 21 IP, 30 K, 10 BB, 1.24 WHIP RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, Low-A, 3-0, 2.91 ERA, 21 2/3 IP, 31 K, 5 BB, 1.25 WHIP Number 5: RHP Chris Vallimont, Double-A Stats: 2-2, 3.22 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 34 K, 10 BB, 1.39 WHIP On the surface, Vallimont's numbers from May are arguably better than the ones he posted in June. However, the big difference was his uptick in innings. Vallimont faced exactly twice as many batters in June as he did in May - 96 versus 48 - and essentially maintained his strikeout rate. While he wasn't fantastic, he was good, which was enough to come in fifth in the vote. Number 4: RHP Ben Gross, High-A Stats: 2-0, 1.54 ERA, 23 1/3 IP, 29 K, 10 BB, 1.37 WHIP Gross will be 25-years-old before the end of the season meaning the odds that he ever reaches the majors are dwindling with each passing day. That said, his performance during the month of June was rather encouraging. Compared to May, Gross pitched six more innings, struck out seven more batters, allowed four fewer runs, and dropped his overall ERA from 4.15 to 2.66. Number 3: RHP Austin Schulfer, Double-A Stats: 1-1, 1.75 ERA, 25 2/3 IP, 28 K, 8 BB, 1.29 WHIP Like Gross, Schulfer saw his performance improve dramatically as the calendar turned from May to June. A 19th-round pick in the 2018 draft, Schulfer dropped his ERA from 5.31 to 3.33 after allowing seven less earned runs and striking out twice as many batters in 5 1/3 more innings. Again, his future may not be in the majors as he is already 25-years-old and owns a FIP north of 3.50 in his minor league career, however, it's always intriguing anytime a player posts a month as successful as Schulfer. Number 2: RHP Louie Varland, Low-A Stats: 1-0, 0.40 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 29 K, 5 BB, 0.90 WHIP For as mediocre as Varland's May was, his June was absolutely superb. Piling up strikeouts has never been an issue for the former Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bear, but what changed for the 23-year-old in June was his ability to combine his punch outs with preventing the long ball. Varland struck out 29 batters in June compared to his 28 in May while seeing his home runs allowed (0 versus 2) and walks issued (5 versus 10) drop precipitously subsequent to a 59% increase in innings pitched (22 1/3 versus 14). Varland owns the raw stuff to be a contributor in some capacity at the major league level. The key with him, as is the case with many minor league pitchers, is improving his command to the point he did in June. If he can keep the walks low and and long ball few and far between, he could find himself pitching at Target Field someday. Number 1: RHP Josh Winder, Double-A (recently promoted to Triple-A) Stats: 2-0, 2.37 ERA, 30 1/3 IP, 35 K, 4 BB, 0.96 WHIP In a Twins' farm system that is replete with talent, perhaps no pitching prospect is more under-appreciated than Josh Winder. Winder, who did not even crack Twins Daily's Top 20 prospect list prior to the start of the season, finished in second place during last month's Starting Pitcher of the Month race after posting some ridiculous numbers and he continued his streak of dominance as spring turned to summer en route to winning this past month's honors. Unlike contemporaries Matt Canterino and Jhoan Duran, Winder possesses fluid mechanics with a consistent, repeatable motion. He get's good push off from his back leg which reduces the strain placed on his shoulder and elbow. He's only been placed on the injured list once in his minor league career, a stint that lasted exactly one week. Winder's owns a classic pitch arsenal consisting of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and change-up. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, though it can touch as high as 96 mph, and is graded as a 50-55 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale according to FanGraphs. While he doesn't have one pitch that stands out as more impressive than the others, all four are at least average offerings, which has the benefit of raising his floor as a prospect. It this fact, along with his string of consistent positive performances, that drove Winder to be named to the 2021 Futures Game alongside a host of top-tier MLB prospects. Winder may never find himself among the Twins' top-10 prospects, however, arguably no pitcher in the system has risen their stock more than he has compared to prior to the season beginning. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. Not all minor leaguers are top prspects,, but once given an opportunity, you never know what will happen. Our guests today weren't first-round picks, but they have found themselves in good positions, worked hard and found success in their young careers. Austin Schulfer and Caleb Hamilton are climbing the ladder, and they're trying to get to the big leagues where our third guest, Nick Anderson reached in 2019. Anderson wasn't a prospect. He came through the independent leagues and gives hope and motivation to all minor leaguers that if they work hard and things break right, the big-league dream is out there for anyone. Austin Schulfer was the Twins 19th round draft pick in 2018 out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he set several pitching records. He spent the 2019 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels where he worked five innings in a combined no-hitter. Off the field, he has developed a large gamer following on his Twitch TV link. (his interview begins at the 12:30 mark) http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_8.mp3 Caleb Hamilton was the Twins 23rd round pick in 2016 out of Oregon State. It was the second time he had been drafted, but his journey (which involved a AA All Star appearance and reached AAA in 2019) hasn't always been smooth. Find out about his trek, his long-time relationship with now-former Twins catching coordinator Tanner Swanson, playing at Oregon State, becoming a catcher and working with some of the very hard-throwing Twins pitching prospects. (39:35 mark) http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_8.mp3 Nick Anderson's story is pretty incredible. Born in Crosby, Minnesota, he attended Brainerd High School. He played three years at St. Cloud State before heading to Mayville State for his senior year. He was drafted by the Brewers but never offered a contract. He played independent ball until the Twins signed him late in the 2015 season. He moved up the organizational ladder and pitched well in 2018 at Rochester. In his offseasons, he worked construction in Minnesota winters. He didn't receive a September call-up and instead of adding him to their 40-man roster, the Twins drafted the hard-throwing right-hander to the Miami Marlins. He made the Opening Day roster and pitched well. At the trade deadline, he was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays where he struck out 17.3 batters per nine innings. He became a reliable late-inning arm for the Rays in their playoff run. We talked to him about being traded, making the Marlins roster, finding success, getting traded and much more. (1:16:10 mark) http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_8.mp3 You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS None KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Clinton 6 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels season ended one win shy of participating in the Midwest League championship series. Congratulations to first-year manager Brian Dinkelman and his coaching staff. Brian Dinkelman sent RHP Tyler Palm to the mound to start, it was all hands on deck for the Kernels in the win or go home game. Unfortunately, Palm didn’t get through the first inning. He got two outs, but he was removed having given up three runs on three hits and a walk. Lefty Denny Bentley came on and gave the team length. He was able to work three scoreless innings and gave up just two hits. Jose Martinez got two outs but was charged with one run. Nate Hadley recorded five outs and gave up just one hit. JT Perez came on for the top of the seventh inning. He was charged with two unearned runs. Austin Schulfer worked the final two innings Tyler Webb continued to hit in the playoffs for the Kernels. His fifth inning single drove in a run and cut the Kernels deficit to 4-2 at the time. Webb went 10-for-17 (.588). On the other side of the spectrum, Matt Wallner went 0-for-24 with 10 strikeouts in the six Kernels playoff games. Wander Javier had a single and two doubles in the game as well. Jared Akins and Trevor Casanova each had a double for the Kernels as well. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Denny Bentley, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2-2B, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS No More Games! Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s Kernels game or any other minor league topics you would like.
  6. AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week: Hitter of the Week: Jaylin Davis, Rochester In seven games for the Red Wings, Davis hit .458 (11-for-24) with five home runs, 11 RBI, five walks, 12 runs scored and a 1.664 OPS. Davis, 25, was selected in the 24th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Appalachian State University. Pitcher of the Week: Kai-Wei Teng, Cedar Rapids Teng made the start last Sunday for the Kernels, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with five hits allowed no walks and a season-high 10 strikeouts. Teng, 20, was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent in October of 2017 out of Taichung, Taiwan. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Gwinnett 12 Box Score Sean Poppen ran into some trouble and couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning. In 3 1/3 innings, he was charged with eight earned runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out two. Jake Reed had his own share of problems in relief. He took over for Poppen and surrendered four runs on five hit in two innings. Gabriel Moya and Carlos Torres combined for 2 2/3 shutout innings to end the game. Moya walked two and struck out two. Torres pitched a perfect ninth. It was his first appearances since July 5 where he didn’t allow an earned run. Zander Wiel and Alejandro De Aza both had multi-hit efforts in the loss. Wiel had been held hitless in four-straight games before going 2-for-4 and scoring the team’s only run. Both of Wiel’s hits were doubles which gives him 26 for the season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Mississippi 8 Box Score Pensacola got things going early as Alex Kirilloff singled with one out in the first. Trevor Larnach moved him to second after being hit by a pitch. A Lewin Diaz single and a Caleb Hamilton sacrifice fly allowed two runs to score and Pensacola had an early 2-0 lead. In the third, Larnach extended the lead with a solo-home run, his first at the Double-A level. That’s where the scoring would end for the Blue Wahoos. For the second straight Sunday, Jorge Alcala struggled. He allowed four earned runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings. His season ERA is up to 6.36 and he’s only made it through six innings in one of his last 10 appearances. Anthony Vizcaya bounced around some trouble as he allowed six hits in 1 2/3 innings but wasn’t charged with any earned runs. Andrew Vazquez is down in Double-A trying to find himself. His ERA is 5.40 after he allowed one earned run in 1 2/3 innings. Jovani Moran had some control issues as he walked three batters in 2/3 of an inning. He allowed three earned runs. Hector Lujan got the last four outs and didn’t allow a run. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Florida 2 (Top of the 9th - Rain) Box Score Bailey Ober bounced back nicely in this one after allowing a season high three-earned runs and failing to get out of the fifth inning in his previous start. Ober pitched five strong innings and limited Florida to one run on five hits. He struck out seven and walked one. In the top of the fourth, Ryan Costello started the inning by reaching on a throwing error. Jose Miranda moved him to second with a single before Trey Cabbage doubled to score both runners. With one out in the eighth inning, Jacob Pearson doubled, his second since being promoted. One batter later, Ryan Jeffers drove him in with a single to put Fort Myers up 3-2. Melvi Acosta earned a three-inning save as he allowed one run on one hit, a home run. He struck out five and didn’t walk any. The game was shortened by rain KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Fort Wayne 8 Box Score In the second inning, Trevor Casanova lead off with a walk and he moved to third on a double by Albee Weiss. Ricky De La Torre drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and Yeltsin Encarnacion followed with a single to make the score 2-0. Gilberto Celestino knocked his sixth homer of the year, a solo shot in the third. Weiss homered in top of the fourth and Spencer Steer came around to score a run after two wild pitches and a balk. The Kernels had their biggest lead of the day at 5-1. Unfortunately, things would fall apart for the Kernels pitching staff during the fourth inning. Austin Schulfer couldn’t make it through five innings for the second consecutive start. He allowed seven runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Brian Rapp allowed an inherited runner to score but then he put up zeros for three innings. He walked two and struck out two. J.T. Perez pitched a scoreless eighth before some trouble in the ninth. With the game tied, he allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, a walk would load the bases. Perez coaxed a short line-out for the second out and it kept the runners from advancing. Wander Javier was charged with a fielding error on the final play of the game. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 4, Bluefield 7 Box Score Elizabethton took a first inning lead after Willie Joe Gary Jr doubled to lead off the game. He moved to third on a wild pitch and Max Smith brought him home with a ground out. From there the bats would go quiet until the late innings. In the sixth, the E-Twins would score a run because of an error, a walk, and two hit by pitches. Smith and Seth Gray clocked back-to-back homers to start the seventh frame. On the mound, Ryley Widell took his fifth loss, but he was only charged with one earned run. He pitched 5 2/3 innings by striking out seven batters and allowing one walk. He’s allowed one run in three of his six starts this season. Frandy Torres allowed two earned runs on four hits in the final 2 1/3 innings. He was asked to get seven outs and he got five of them via the strikeout. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Bailey Ober, Fort Myers (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 7 K, 1 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Albee Weiss, Cedar Rapids (2-for-3, HR, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – Did not play #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, R #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-2, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) – No scheduled game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-4 #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, RBI, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) – 3-5, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 0-2, 2 BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, K, BB #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – Scheduled Off-Day Pensacola vs. Mobile (6:35 CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (3-3, 2.53 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 CST) – RHP Cole Sands (3-2, 2.04 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne (6:05 CST) – RHP Tyler Palm (2-5 (3.82 ERA) Elizabethton @ Bluefield (5:30 CST) – RHP Tyler Benninghoff (2-1, 6.38 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Pirates (11:00 am CST) – TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Pirates (Game 2) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  7. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 H, 6 BB, 17 K (.253/601) Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 31 H, 6 BB, 26 K, (267/657) Kody Funderburk - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K (.220/571) Griffin Jax - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 G, 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 11 K, (183/399) Sean Poppen - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 4 GS, 31.0 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 26 H, 12 BB, 36 K (226/686) Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K (149/.418) Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 19 H, 3 BB, 30 K (250/739) Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 23 K (.235/.570) THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 25.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 18 H, 7 BB, 20 K Enlow had a couple of tough, short starts for Cedar Rapids during the season’s first month, but he has been really good since then. He was a candidate for Starting Pitcher of the Month in May, and was promoted to Ft. Myers at the end of that month. He has been even better since joining the Miracle. He has produced a quality start in all five of his Miracle starts. Enlow is blessed with a low-90s fastball that occasionally pushes to 94 and even 95. He also is known for his breaking ball and ability to spin the ball. The Twins third-round pick in 2017 continues to grow as a pitcher which is exciting as he won’t turn 21 until next March. #4 - RHP Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K Sands was the Twins fifth-round pick last year after three seasons at Florida State. The Twins just shut him down and didn’t have him pitch at all after the draft. He came to spring this year and pitched well in Cedar Rapids. In his first start of the season, he tossed five hitless innings. He was promoted to the Miracle right before June. He had a short IL stint, and when he returned, he threw five no-hit innings. He has given up just two hits in 11 innings over his past two starts. Sands also works in the low 90s with good secondary pitches as you would expect from a 21-year-old coming out of a quality college baseball program. In his three June starts, opponents hit just .145 off of him with a .409 OPS. #3 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 4 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 H, 5 BB, 23 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick a year ago after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He pitched in Elizabethton last year. This year, he began the season in the Cedar Rapids bullpen, though he usually worked multiple innings. He appeared in the April Relief Pitcher of the Month list, and then Brian Dinkelman moved him into the Kernels rotation where he has continued to pitch well. Schulfer doesn’t throw real hard, but he generally throws strikes and stays away from the middle of the plate with each of his pitches. Opponents hit just .151 with a .498 OPS against him in June. #2 - RHP Jhoan Duran - 4 G, 3 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 H, 10 BB, 31 K, Overall this season Jhoan Duran has a record of 1-7. You might think that he must not be pitching well, but that isn’t the case. He has a 3.48 ERA on the season and has 78 strikeouts in 62 innings (26 walks). He has been pretty consistent and his stuff has continued to improve. We often hear about him hitting triple-digits multiple times in his starts. Duran came to the Twins last July in the Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks.In June, he went 1-3 with a 1.88 ERA. He gave up one run in three of his starts, and two runs in the other. Duran recently ranked #9 in our midseason Twins top prospect rankings. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Josh Winder - 5 G, 5 GS, 34.0 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 H, 6 BB, 28 K (190/520) At the end of May, Steve Buhr wrote an article on Josh Winder that profiled the talented right-hander drafted a year ago out of Virginia Military Academy. He talked about liking to keep his room clean and his head clear, especially on the mound. Winder was pitching well at the time, but he was tremendous in June. In 13 starts so far this season for the Kernels, Winder is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. As you can see above, he was tremendous in five June starts. All five starts were quality starts. He had a seven-inning shutout performance early in the month at Peoria. He ended his month with eight innings of shutout baseball against Kane County. In that start, he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out eight. Winder works with a low-90s fastball. He has a good curveball and has worked really hard to make his changeup an effective pitch. And it has become a really good pitch for him. One would think that a promotion to Ft. Myers should be in the near future for Winder. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Josh Winder. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  8. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Tuesday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Lewis Thorpe was optioned to Rochester following his MLB debut on Sunday. Ronald Torreyes was DFAd, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Rochester. Gabriel Moya cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Red Wings. Adalberto Mejia was reinstated from the Injured List. Wilin Rosario went on the IL with an ankle injury. Ricky De La Torre was activated from the Kernels Injured List. Bailey Ober and Dakota Chalmers began rehab assignments with the GCL Twins. According to Baseball America, the Twins have agreed to terms with several international free agents. Emmanuel Rodriguez, of, Dominican Republic (video) - $2.5 million Malfrin Sosa, of, Dominican Republic (video) Yonardy Soto, ss, Dominican Republic (video) Argenis Jimenez, of, Venezuela Gregory Duran, of, Dominican Republic In addition, they have signed Miguelangel Boadas, Breilin Ramirez, and Amilcar Vasquez. https://twitter.com/JesseSanchezMLB/status/1146068172488921088 RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Syracuse 7 Box Score The Twins AAA affiliate got to face old-friend Ervin Santana. The right-hander gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings for work. The Red Wings got off to a good start, but they were unable to hold the lead. Devin Smeltzer started for the Wings and gave up two runs on seven hits over five innings. He struck out six and didn’t issue a walk. Two of the hits, including a home run, came off the bat of Tim Tebow. Jake Reed came on and in 1 1/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks. Carlos Torres came on gave up one run over the final 2 2/3 innings to take the loss. Drew Maggi led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with a walk and his 13th double. He also stole his sixth base. Tomas Telis had another three-hit game as well. It was his third straight three-hit game and his fourth in his past five games. Jaylin Davis went 2-for-4 with a walk and his fifth home run since joining the Red Wings. Brent Rooker had a single, a walk and was hit by a pitch. Nick Gordon had a single, a walk, and his 18th double. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1146232571157721089 BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Mississippi 0 Box Score In the bottom of the fifth inning, Michael Davis tripled… Two batters later, Lewin Diaz scored him with a sacrifice fly. For the second straight night, the Blue Wahoos topped Mississippi 1-0. On Monday, it was Randy Dobnak. On Tuesday, lefty Charlie Barnes was on the mound. He tossed seven scoreless innings and gave up just two hits. He walked two, hit two, and struck out eight batters to record his first Double-A win. Minnesotan Adam Bray struck out four batters over two scoreless, hitless innings for his first AA save. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-3 with a walk in the game. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 8, Clearwater 5 Box Score The Miracle got off to a great start. The first five batters of the game got on base and scored. And then they held on. The lead was cut to 6-5 after seven innings, but the Miracle added a single run in both the eighth and the ninth. Gabriel Maciel led off and led the Miracle offense. He went 3-for-5 and hit his first Miracle home run. Trevor Larnach went 2-for-3 with a walk. He also stole his fourth base. Royce Lewis was 2-for-5 with his 14th double. Andrew Bechtold went 2-for-3 with a walk. Trey Cabbage hit his fourth Miracle home run and tenth overall on the season. Jhoan Duran started and went just 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out three batters. Johan Quezada came on and gave up just one run on one hit over the next 3 1/3 innings. The long, lanky right-hander struck out four batters. Derek Molina came on and struck out three over three innings to record the save. He gave up one run on four hits. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Kane County 1 Box Score The Kernels were able to win a close one thanks to some strong pitching. Austin Schulfer improved to 6-4 with a 2.40 ERA after tossing six innings and giving up only an unearned run. He allowed three hits, walked one, hit one and struck out eight. Alex Schick came on and struck out three over two scoreless innings. Tanner Howell recorded his second Kernels save with a scoreless ninth inning. Gabe Snyder went 2-for-3 with a walk. He scored once and drove in one. Daniel Ozoria went 2-for-4 E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 5, Pulaski 10 Box Score For the second straight night, Elizabethton was doubled-up by the Pulaski Yankees. The E-Twins fall to 7-7 on their season. Ryley Widell got the starting nod and gave up five runs on five hits and five walks in … four innings. He struck out five. Frandy Torres got the fifth inning. He gave up three runs on five hits. Erik Cha gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk in two innings.. He struck out two. Dylan Thomas struck out two in a perfect ninth. Spencer Steer provided the offense. He led things off with his second home run of the season. He also walked twice. Albee Weiss went 2-for-5. Anthony Prato and Matt Wallner each hit a double. https://twitter.com/ETwinsBaseball/status/1146268738276265992 GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 18, GCL Rays 14 Box Score Maybe you were expecting a pitcher’s duel in the GCL on Tuesday. Nope! This one exhibited some good hitting, and a lot of not-so-good pitching. Do we start with the good news (hitting) or the bad news (pitching)? Let’s start with the pitching. Sometimes there is good news within bad news. For instance, the GCL Twins starting pitcher was Dakota Chalmers, making his first appearance on the mound since having Tommy John surgery last May. In the first inning, he struck out the side. In the second inning, gave up six runs (five earned) on two hits, a walk and two hit batters. He recorded one out, on a strikeout. Jesus Toledo came on and got the final two outs of the second frame. He gave up the inherited runs and two more on two hits and a walk. Bailey Ober pitched in his first game since the end of April. He gave up only an unearned run on four hits over four innings.He struck out five batters. Ricky Ramirez struck out three batters over two scoreless innings as he continued his rehab. Rogelio Reyes gave up five runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks in his inning. Now to the hitting… Parker Phillips was the star of this game. The Twins 27th-round pick out of Austin Peay this year had a huge game. He went 6-for-7 and completed the cycle. He hit his first home run, triple and double in the game. He scored four runs and drove in three runs. A nice day at the office. But to score 18 runs, it obviously wasn’t just Phillips. Victor Heredia went 3-for-6 with a walk. Wander Valdez was 3-for-6 also. Jeferson Morales went 1-for-2 with three walks. Jake Hirabayashi went 2-for-3 with two walks and a double. Kyle Schmidt went 2-for-5 with a double and five RBI. Luis Milla went 2-for-6. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Charlie Barnes, Pensacola Blue Wahoos Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Parker Phillips, GCL Twins PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 2B(14), 2 R, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-3, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, BB, R, RBI, SB(4) #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 3K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) -Did Not Pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did Not Play. #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 1-3, BB, HBP, RBI, 2K #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (69 pitches, 41 strikes) #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-4, BB, 2B(18), 2 R, RBI #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(10), R, 2 RBI, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - (in progress, currently 1-1) #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, BB, 2B(1), 2K, #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-4, K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 2-3, 2 BB, 2B(7), SB(10), R #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 1-4, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Chase De Jong (0-4, 10.06 ERA) Mississippi @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Jorge Alcala (5-5, 5.81 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (6:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (3-2, 3.09 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30 CST) - RHP Tyler Palm (1-4, 4.73 ERA) Elizabethton @ Pulaski (5:30 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Braves(11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Tuesday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  9. TRANSACTIONS Rochester Red Wings RHP Carlos Torres signed by Minnesota Twins assigned to AAA Cedar Rapids LHP Petru Balan placed on temporary inactive list RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 19, Lehigh Valley 6 Box Score Another night, another high scoring affair for the Red Wings. Rochester pounced with 16 runs on 16 hits and really turned this one into a laugher late. Recently signed Drew Hutchison got the start and he went five and two-thirds innings giving up five earned on six hits. That was good enough to leave in position for the win however. Seven of the nine Rochester batters recorded base hits in this one, and eight of them reached base. Six batters had multi-hit nights and most of the damage was done without leaving the yard. Brent Rooker and Zander Wiel both clubbed their 12th dingers of the season while Drew Maggi went yard for his seventh. In the 9th Jordanny Valdespin added his sixth, a three-run shot, for good measure. https://twitter.com/MorrieSilver8/status/1144081266008047616 Jaylin Davis continues to be a man possessed at Triple-A, and a three-hit night has his OPS sitting at 1.124 through his first nine games. This was one of those evenings where everyone contributes and it felt like no one was capable of making an out. Too bad for the Piggies but great fun for Rochester. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Biloxi 7, Pensacola 4 Box Score Adalberto Mejia continued to work his rehab assignment and turned in two scoreless in this one. Randy Dobnak put in five innings for the Wahoos and gave up four runs on eight hits. Although the hit totals were nearly even Pensacola came up three runs short in this contest. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1144065628333940736 Aaron Whitefield drove in the game’s first run in the second inning. Pensacola held the 1-0 lead until things were knotted up in the fifth. Then a three-run sixth inning had the home team looking for a rally. Caleb Hamilton drove in Alex Kirilloff to drop the deficit to two, and an eighth inning Mark Contreras double evened the score. It was a ninth inning offensive output that eventually spelt demise for Pensacola. A base hit and a double put the Shuckers ahead by three and no answer came in the bottom half. MIRACLE MATTERS Charlotte 3, Fort Myers 2 Box Score Two of the best teams in the Florida State League played a low scoring affair this morning in Charlotte. Edwar Colina got the start for the Miracle and came up just one out shy of making it through six innings. He gave up two runs, neither earned, and fanned five while walking three. Immediately after trailing for the first time in the game Fort Myers responded with two runs to knot it up. A Jose Miranda double and then a Michael Helman sac fly were what pushes base runners across the plate. The Stone Crabs were able to score the game winning run in the seventh and that spelled defeat for Fort Myers. Recently promoted Wander Franco had himself a nice game going 3-for-4 and driving in the early runs for the home team. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 4, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score Austin Schulfer toed the rubber looking to secure a series victory in this one. Despite going six strong innings with six strikeouts and allowing just two runs (one earned), the bats never came alive and the Kernels fell 4-0. Gilberto Celestino was the only Cedar Rapids player to tally multiple hits, and teammates Jacob Pearson and Estamy Urena were the only other players to up their average. Tomorrow these two teams will square off for the rubber match. E-TWINS E-NOTES Bristol 11, Elizabethton 6 Box Score Ryley Widell began the game on the mound for the E-Twins but a tough outing had him chased before he was able to record three outs. Leaving the first down 4-0, and then heading into the third with a seven run deficit, Elizabethton found themselves behind the eight ball all night. In the middle innings the home team struck. Spencer Steer recorded his first professional double to drive in Willie Joe Garry during the third inning. In the fourth it was Alex Isola and Steer again plating another three runners. An Albee Weiss fifth inning jack job brought the deficit to just two, but that’s where the runs ended. Steer is certainly off to a great start in his professional career and the 4-for-5 evening should fuel him for the next few contests. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 5, GCL Twins 0 Box Score Anthony Escobar made the start and worked three scoreless while striking out four and allowing just one hit. Tallying just four hits on the day however, a goose egg ended up being the final tally for the home team. 2019 first round draft pick Keoni Cavaco notched his second professional knock and is now 2-for-11 in his young career. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Austin Schulfer (Cedar Rapids) 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (Elizabethton) 4-5, 3 RBI, 2 2B PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) - 0-5, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-3, 2 R, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Fort Myers) – 1-1 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-2, BB #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 1-4, HR(12), 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Did not play #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) – Did not play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-3, BB #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3 #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) – 0-4, R, RBI, BB, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Fort Myers) – 2-5, R, RBI, 2B THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05PM CST) – LHP Devin Smeltzer (0-2, 2.70 ERA) Biloxi @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (0-1, 4.18 ERA) Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - TBD Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - TBD Bristol @ Elizabethton (5:30PM CST) – RHP Tyler Benninghoff (0-0, 13.50 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  10. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Columbus 3 Box Score On Sunday night, I wrote about Willians Astudillo not wanting to be in Rochester. He has been trying to hit his way back to Minnesota. He’s had 11 at-bats in Rochester so far and he has collected eight hits. I’ll let that sink in a little. Tonight, he clocked the go-ahead home run in the sixth inning. Talk about Turtle Power! https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1138608925715156992 Jake Cave also continued his hot hitting ways. He reached base three times including his 12th double along with scoring a run. Nick Gordon got the scoring started early with a first inning solo home run. Brent Rooker reached base three times including his ninth double. On the mound, Devin Smeltzer went five strong innings, striking out seven and walking one. He allowed three runs, all of which came off two home runs. Rochester’s bullpen picked up the slack as they allowed one hit in the final four innings. Cody Stashak struck out three in two shutout innings. Gabriel Moya and Fernando Romero combined to strikeout three over the final two innings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Biloxi 6 Box Score The Blue Wahoos struggled to find any offense in this game. Travis Blankenhorn and Taylor Grzelakowski had the team’s only hits and both players reached base two times. Pensacola struck out 16 time against Shuckers pitchers. Overall, the club went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Andro Cutura started and pitched five innings. He allowed four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. His seven strikeouts were a season high. Adam Bray took over for Cutura and he tried to make it through the rest of the game. He ran into some trouble in the bottom of the eighth as two men crossed the plate. He lasted 2 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking one. Jordan Gore recorded the last out and allowed one hit. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Tampa 1 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score With the first-half division title on the line, Ryan Jeffers and Giancarlo Stanton got into a home run battle. Spoiler alert… Jeffers comes out on top. In Game 1 of the double-header, Jeffers cracked a pair of two-run home runs to help the Miracle. Trevor Larnach also helped the cause as he went 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Michael Helman added a two-run double to help stretch the lead. Tyler Watson pitched into the fifth inning and held Tampa to one earned run, a home run to Stanton. He struck out four and walked one in 4 2/3 innings. Joe Record pitched 2 1/3 scoreless frames to put the Miracle in position to clinch a first-half title. He struck out two and limited the Tarpons to one hit. Ft. Myers 7, Tampa 2 (Game 2- 7 Innings) Box Score Royce Lewis got things started in the first inning as he singled and moved to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Lewin Diaz moved him to third on a groundout before a wild pitch allowed Lewis to scamper home. Fort Myers kept it going in the second as the first four batters reached base. Mark Contreras singled and Trey Cabbage followed with a walk. Ernie De La Trinidad singled to load the bases and then Ryan Costello stepped to the plate. His sixth double of the season scored two runs to put the Miracle up 3-0. That would be more than enough for Melvi Acosta. He started for the Miracle and tossed five shutout innings. He limited Tampa to four hits while adding three strikeouts. It was his first time making it through five innings since May 5. Alex Phillips allowed two runs during the final two innings, but Fort Myers had more than enough to clinch the first half title. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1138636425929383936 https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1138639378983636992 KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Wisconsin 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids waited until the fifth inning to get their bats going, but the club was able to push across runs in three consecutive frames to come out on top. Austin Schulfer was in control on the mound. He limited Wisconsin to one hit over six innings. He struck out eight and walked two on the way to his first win since May 22. Carlos Suniaga earned his first hold as he struck out the side in the seventh inning. Derek Molina picked up his eighth save and like many of his other appearances this year, he was asked to get more than three outs. Over two innings, he didn’t allow a hit, struck out two, and walked one. Gabe Snyder provided most of the offensive punch. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs. His three RBIs were the difference in the game. Jared Akins added his seventh home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Austin Schulfer, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 8 K, 3 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Jeffers, Fort Myers (2-for-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 3-8, R, RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Injured list #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Injured list (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 4-7, 2 R #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4 #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 1-2, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Injured list (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 2-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4 #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-3, RBI, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-3 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Columbus (6:05 CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-3, 5.95 ERA) Pensacola vs. Tennessee (6:35 CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (4-1, 2.29 ERA) Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Wisconsin (12:05 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.
  11. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for May, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in May. HONORABLE MENTION Brusdar Graterol - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 GS, 20.1 IP, 1.33 ERA, 1.08 WHIP. 15 H, 7 BB, 18 K Josh Winder - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 27.0 IP, 3.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 19 H, 8 BB, 19 K Bryan Sammons - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 1.35 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 19 H, 6 BB, 29 K Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 6 GS, 26.0 IP, 3.81 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 23 H, 8 BB, 27 K THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 7 G, 4 GS, 22.0 IP, 3.27 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 13 H, 10 BB, 32 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th round pick one year ago out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he was a four-year starter. He had an impressive professional debut. For Elizabethton, he went 3-0 with a 1.58 ERA. He began the 2019 season in the Kernels bullpen, but it was in long relief. Likely that was to help with his innings count over the season. In May, opponents hit just .165/.258/.266 (.524) off of him. He now appears to be in the Kernels rotation and pitching well. #4 - RHP Kohl Stewart - Rochester Red Wings - 4 GS, 1.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 15 H, 8 BB, 18 K For the second time this season, Kohl Stewart was called up by the Twins to make a spot start. On May 7th, Stewart made a start against Toledo. He went just two innings because the team knew he would be starting game 2 of the May 11th double header against the parent club of the Mudhens, the Detroit Tigers. Stewart gave up three runs in six innings to pick up the win. Those numbers aren’t included in his monthly total above. Stewart may have walked a few too many, but the former 1st-round pick continued to throw well and show that he is ready to pitch in the big leagues when summoned. #3 - LHP Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 GS, 1.82 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 24.2 IP, 20 H, 7 BB, 15 K Smeltzer was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in April when he produced an impressive month in Pensacola. He was quickly promoted to the Red Wings in May and ended the month with six shutout innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in his big-league debut. Those numbers aren’t included in the above, but I’d say that big league time can be a tie-breaker. And, these numbers do tell us that Smeltzer was very deserving of The Call. Even at the highest level of the minor leagues, Smeltzer displayed calm. He doesn’t throw hard, but he knows how to pitch and is able to hit spots. His first start in June will also be with the Twins. Get to know him here. #2 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 GS, 2.12 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 29.2 IP, 22 H, 8 BB, 30 K There were a couple of rough starts for Enlow in April, but in May, Blayne Enlow was a terrific. After spending 2018 in Cedar Rapids, Enlow began 2019 as a Kernel again. He was pitching well in May. Well enough, in fact, that he was promoted to Ft. Myers and finished the month with a strong Miracle debut. He started with six shutout innings before giving up a leadoff home run in the 7th inning and coming out. For the month, opponents hit just .191/.244/.348 (.592) against him. The Twins 3rd-round pick in 2017 out of high school in Louisiana had a good fastball and can spin the ball well too. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle - RHP Jordan Balazovic - 5 GS, 2.13 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 24.0 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 35 K Balazovic was the Twins 5th-round draft pick in 2016 out of secondary school in Mississauga, Ontario. He had some ups and downs in 2017, but he took off last year after being pushed up to Cedar Rapids. He made 11 starts for the Kernels and showed promise. Sure, he hoped to start 2019 in Ft. Myers, but he did spend the first month of the season back with the Kernels. He pitched well last month. In four starts, he went 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA and opponents hit just .195 off of him. His first start in May came for the Ft. Myers Miracle, and it was rather memorable. In a game in Palm Beach, Balazovic tossed seven perfect innings. No runs. No hits. No errors. 21 up, 21 down. And ten of those outs came on strikeouts. In his second Miracle start, he struck out 12 batters in five innings. His fourth start was again seven shutout innings.His final start of the month went just over an inning because of a rain delay. Balazovic has really good stuff. He throws hard. He throws strikes. He has swing and iss stuff. Opponents hit just .140/.211/.163 (.373) off of him in May. He is certainly rising up the charts. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of May, Ft. Myers Miracle right-hander Jordan Balazovic. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  12. “I kind of like cleaning my room,” Winder explained in an interview a day after his most recent start (a seven-inning/seven-strikeout outing on Sunday in which he held Peoria to one earned run on four hits and one walk). “Making sure everything’s in order, kind of clearing my mind out while I’m doing it. Kind of therapeutic almost. I like laying everything out before my start, getting into that mindset on the day of my start, as opposed to going to the game kind of scatterbrained.” That may seem unusual, but then Winder didn’t come to professional baseball via quite the same path as most other college pitchers. When you consider that the Twins drafted him in the seventh round of last June’s amateur draft out of Virginia Military Institute, a habit of cleaning his room shouldn’t be unexpected at all. Winder admits he didn’t choose to attend VMI with the goal of a military career in mind, but primarily to play baseball and get a good education. (He accomplished both, by the way. After last season ended, he returned to school and got his degree in Economics and Business in December.) So how does a guy without a definitive interest in the military end up at Virginia Military Institute? Of course, the obvious answer is that they offered him a baseball scholarship, but there must be more to it than that. “It’s actually a funny story,” the 6’ 5” right-hander said. “We played a travel ball showcase tournament up there. I remember saying to my dad when we were driving away from the campus, ‘I have no idea why anybody would ever come here.’ A couple years later, I ended up going on a visit there. “The coaches saw me at a camp and liked my stuff, liked the way I pitched and everything. They got me on campus, showed me around. Really sold me on all the benefits of the place, all the good attributes and traits you acquire, almost by default, by being around that kind of environment. “Also, I fell in love with the coaching staff and fell in love with the atmosphere, the brotherhood and camaraderie in the locker room. It was something I really wanted to be a part of, and I made that decision, committed in my junior year and honestly, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t make that decision because it ended up being the best place for me.” It was certainly a more structured and disciplined environment than most college campuses and it had immediate effects on Winder. “It kind of changes you without you even realizing it,” he explained. “I remember going home for Christmas break my freshman year. Once I got home, I probably slept the whole first day because I was exhausted. But then after that, I’m cleaning my room, making my bed, kind of like setting out each day and making plans, not even realizing it had changed me into (being) much more disciplined, more on top of things. Planning things out.” Asked if his mother wondered who this stranger was and what he had done with her son, Winder didn’t hesitate. “She wasn’t complaining,” he said. “I was folding all the laundry. Yeah, she wasn’t too upset about it.” On the mound this season, Winder has been working with Kernels pitching coach Virgil Vasquez to rediscover the secrets of how to consistently miss bats and felt that Sunday’s outing might have been his best of the season. “Really good game (Sunday). That’s probably the best I’ve felt on the mound this year,” Winder said. “I’ve kind of been searching for that feeling and really feeling like I can beat guys and get the swings I wanted.” After notching nine strikeouts in a five-inning outing on April 13 against Burlington, the record holder for strikeouts per nine-innings at VMI failed to average a strikeout per inning pitched over his next five starts leading into Sunday’s performance, though most of his other stats were more than acceptable. In fact, in three of his four starts during May, Winder completed seven or more innings of work. “Definitely been very efficient the last few weeks, getting ahead,” he said. “Been working really well with my catchers.” As for the strikeouts… “I’ve been kind of struggling to put guys away,” he conceded. “Haven’t struggled to get to two strikes, but as far as striking people out and putting them away, I’ve kind of struggled. That’s something me and Virgil worked on this week and obviously the work paid off. Seven strikeouts yesterday, so we did a much better job kind of throwing pitches in tougher places to hit with two strikes.” Winder has an effective three-pitch repertoire and his primary focus this spring has been to add a more effective change-up to the mix. “I actually went down to Florida a month early for spring training to work on that change-up,” he said. “Work on that grip and (develop) a consistent pitch for me to add to my curveball. And then I have a cutter-slider, as well, in addition to the four-seam fastball. “So, we’re looking to develop that change-up to keep lefties off balance as well as throw it to righties some the second or third time through the lineup. Get them off my fastball. Just get something else in their head. Keep them off balance, so it complements all my other pitches.” At times, pitchers coming out of college programs get anxious to move up the organizational ladder quickly, but Winder’s not about to be putting that kind of pressure on himself. “No, I really try to stay away from thinking like that,” he said. “It’s still my first full professional season. “My mindset going through this whole journey, this whole process, started last year when I was a junior and got drafted, decided to take the draft instead of going back to school. I just try to approach everything to become the best baseball player I can be and once I become the best baseball player I can be, I’ll see where I end up.” Kernels Notes Since returning from their road trip to the Midwest League’s Eastern Division on May 11, the Kernels have posted a 10-5 record and have moved up to 5th place in the MWL Western Division. They’ve also evened their record on the year at 25-25. They still stand 8 ½ games behind Division leading Quad Cities, but only 3 ½ games behind second place Burlington for the all-important second spot in the first half race, which also qualifies for the postseason. Wander Javier, ranked as the Twins’ #4 prospect by MLB Pipeline and Baseball America, joined the Kernels from Extended Spring Training on Saturday. The local fans haven’t had much of an opportunity to see him, yet, however. He played Saturday night, sat out Sunday’s game and Monday’s holiday matinee was rained out. The Kernels now begin a season-long 14 game road trip (while their home, Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, plays host to the NCAA Division III World Series). Hitting: Jared Akins arrived from EST on May 14 and went 0-3 in his first game. He hasn’t been held hitless since and now holds an 11-game hitting streak in which he has hit .419 with three doubles, two triples and four home runs. The streak is the longest of Akins’ career and the longest of any Kernels hitter this season. Andrew Bechtold has a streak of his own going on. He’s reached base in 17 straight games, going back to May 9. He’s hitting .333 in his last ten games and went 6-10 during the three-game series with Peoria over the weekend. Yeltsin Encarnacion has been hitting .318 in his last ten games, bringing his average for the year up to .270 and his OBP to .343. Pitching: Austin Schulfer and Jose Martinez combined to throw a no-hitter against Burlington on May 22 in the seven-inning nightcap of that day’s doubleheader. In Schulfer’s prior appearance, he struck out eight batters in three innings of relief work. Blayne Enlow held opponents to just three earned runs over a combined 18 innings of work in his last three starts, earning himself a promotion to Fort Myers. Reliever Zach Neff has allowed just two earned runs over 17 innings of work covering his last eight appearances. He has a 24/5 K/BB ratio in that stretch, including a 7K 3-inning performance on May 17. Derek Molina had a tough first couple of relief appearances to start 2019, but in the ten appearances since then, he’s surrendered a grand total of one earned run, striking out 18 in 13 innings of work. If you’d like to read more about the Kernels, check out these articles from The Gazette’s beat reporter Jeff Johnson: Emphatically Back to Break-Even for Cedar Rapids Kernels Jared Akins Just Keeps Raking Zach Neff - One Class Shy of Masters Degree
  13. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Saturday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Rochester announced the outfielder Brent Rooker has been placed on the injured list with a wrist injury. Taking his spot on the Red Wings roster is infielder Victor Tademo from extended spring training. As a non-transaction, but an interesting note, LHP Stephen Gonsalves joined the Red Wings in Durham on Sunday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Durham 4 Box Score The Red Wings took a 3-0 lead after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. However, the Durham Bulls scored one run in each of their final four innings to take the win and push the Red Wings to 14-24 overall. Lewis Thorpe started and was good. He gave up one run on five hits and a walk over the first five innings. He struck out eight. Ryan Eades came on and gave up a solo home run in the sixth and seventh innings. Fernando Romero pitched the bottom of the eighth frame and gave up a run on one hit and two walks. Luke Raley went 2-for-3 and added his fourth stolen base. Tomas Telis went 2-for-4. LaMonte Wade was 1-or-3 with two walks. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Mobile 3 Box Score The Southern League is unique among minor leagues in that it only has five-game series. Through their first eight series, the Blue Wahoos had yet to lose one. However, with their loss on Saturday, it assured their first losing series of the season. They fall to 26-17. Minnesotan Adam Bray was used as an opener for the second straight time. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk. Jorge Alcala came on as the primary pitcher. He was charged with two runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up four hits and uncharacteristically walked four batters. He also struck out nine batters. Jeff Ames struck out three over two scoreless innings to end the game. The Wahoos, with partial owner Bubba Watson watching, managed just two hits in this game. Mitchell Kranson had a single, and Travis Blankenhorn went 1-for-3 with a walk. https://twitter.com/bubbawatson/status/1129890842196361216 MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 0, St. Lucie 9 Box Score The Miracle celebrates Major League as Roger Dorn (or maybe you prefer Corbin Bernsen was in attendance on Saturday night to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1129804061220454402 However, on the field things did not go well for the Miracle as they were shut out. Jose Miranda went 2-for-4. Ryan Jeffers had a single and a walk. Trevor Larnach walked twice. Aaron Whitefield walked three times. Melvi Acosta made another spot start. In 4 2/3 innings, he was charged with seven runs (just three earned) on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter. He struck out four. Kody Funderburk made his first Miracle appearance since being promoted from extended spring training on Friday. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two. Ricky Ramirez was charged with two runs on four hits in the final inning. The Miracle fell to 25-16 on their season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Clinton 2 Box Score In what has been a pretty rare occurrence, the Kernels had a big day offensively. Jared Akins kept hitting. He went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole two bags. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-5 with two RBI and his fifth stolen base. Andrew Bechtold hit his seventh double and his first triple. Albee Weiss went 2-for-4 with a walk. Cole Sands started and struck out ten batters in five innings. He gave up only one run despite eight hits. But he didn’t hurt himself with any walks. Austin Schulfer kept the theme going with eight strikeouts in three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and walked one. Jose Martinez gave up a run on two hits in the ninth inning. He struck out two more batters, giving Kernels pitchers 20 strikeouts in the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (90 pitches, 60 strikes) #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List, late-May return possible #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K (89 pitches, 53 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Durham (4:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 4.50 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (1:05 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (5-0, 1.69 ERA) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (12:00 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 5.46 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (2:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (2-1, 2.97 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  14. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for August, there are some terrific starting performers that just missed the cut. In fact, I find this month’s rankings really difficult, so I’m going to rank a Top Six instead of Top Five. You can discuss who should rank higher or lower. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 26.0 IP, 1.73 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 17 H, 8 BB, 30 K Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 1.63 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 9 H, 8 BB, 19 K Brusdar Graterol - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 G, 30.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1.10 ERA, 26 H, 7 BB, 25 K Carlos Suniaga - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 2 GS, 18.0 IP, 1.00 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 15 H, 2 BB, 16 K Kai-Wei Teng - GCL Twins - 4 G, 18.2 IP, 2.89 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 16 H, 5 BB, 19 K THE TOP SIX STARTING PITCHERS #6 - RHP Tyler Wells - Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 G, 5 GS, 1.65 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 32.2 IP, 23 H, 14 BB, 39 K Tyler Wells has had a tremendous season. Interestingly, after pitching well in Ft. Myers and earning his promotion, a case could be made the he was even better upon joining the Lookouts. He really did a nice job of limiting runs and base runners. He also has enough stuff to miss bats and accumulate strikeouts. For the month, opponents hit just .205/.291/.286 (.572) against him. Wells was the Twins 15th-round pick in 2015 out of Cal State-San Bernadino. He worked hard, losing 25+ pounds last offseason and it’s paid off in his results. #5 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 4 GS, 0.00 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 14 H, 8 BB, 18 K The E-Twins got some incredible starting pitching in August. Schulfer is the first of three that made this Top 6 list. Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick this June out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Please tell me that I should have had him higher on this list. I mean, he did not give up an earned run (three unearned runs) the whole month, in 20 innings. Opponents hit just .206/.325/.250 (.575) off of him for the month.Overall, he went 3-0 with a 1.58 ERA over 40 innings in his pro debut. And he (and the other E-Twins listed below) will get their championship rings in March. #4 - RHP Luis Rijo - Elizabethton Twins - 5 GS, 1.27 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 15 H, 4 BB, 17 K Luis Rijo came to the Twins with Tyler Austin in a July 31st trade from the Yankees for Lance Lynn. Earlier in the year, he made one start for the High-A club in Tampa (2 runs in 6 IP). He also made one start for the Yankees affiliate in the New York-Penn League (6 IP, 2 R). The Twins didn’t have him go real long in games after joining his new team, but they got some really strong innings. Rijo doesn’t profile as a top of the line starter, but he’s produced so far. Also, he just turned 20 years old this week. For the month, opponents hit .195/.253/.286 off of him. #3 - RHP Jhoan Duran - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 2.48 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 29.0 IP, 19 H, 9 BB, 36 K The Twins acquired Duran from the Arizona Diamondback as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade in late July. He began the season in the Midwest League and was 5-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 15 starts for Kane County. As impressive as his August numbers were, I’d remind you that it does not include his July 30th Twins organization debut when he threw seven no-hit innings for the Kernels. Duran’s certainly got intriguing upside. For the month, opponents hit just .186/.257/.265 (.521) off of him. He struck out ten in the Kernels first playoff game as well. #2- RHP Andrew Cabezas - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 2.35 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 12 H, 6 BB, 21 K Cabezas was Cleveland’s 34th-round pick in 2015 out of high school in southeast Florida. Instead of signing, he stayed close to home and pitched for three seasons at the University of Miami. The Twins picked him this year in the 18th round. The E-Twins starting pitchers have been tremendous, particularly in August, and Cabezas has been a leader for the group. In August, opponents hit just .146/.222/.232 (.454) off of the right-hander. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle - RHP Andro Cutura - 5 G, 4 GS, 0.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 31.0 IP, 17 H, 7 BB, 25 K On May 12, 2016, Andro Cutura walked three and struck out three over two scoreless innings in a game against Wisconsin. He left the game, and on April 20, 2018, he returned to the mound for the Ft. Myers Miracle. Two long years after an elbow injury that led to Tommy John surgery and the rehab that followed. But the recently-turned-25-year-old has come back strong and was at his best in August. For the month, opponents hit just .160/.233/.245 (.478) off of him. He limited hits. He limited walks. He recorded some strikeouts. Despite returning to the mound only in late April, he has accumulated 101 innings this season. Overall, he is 4-6 with a 3.65 ERA, but more important, he’s back at 100% and starting to show what he can do. Cutura was the Twins seventh-round pick in 2014 out of Southeastern Louisiana University. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of August, Ft. Myers Miracle right-hander Andro Cutura. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  15. TRANSACTIONS There was only one transaction on Tuesday leading into the first two of the Minnesota Twins three affiliates getting playoff action started, with the Elizabethton Twins receiving RHP Carlos Suniaga back from the Cedar Rapids Kernels. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 1, Fort Myers 3 Box Score Fort Myers got a strong start from Andro Cutura and contributions from a couple of their stars to pull out a game one victory against Palm Beach. Cutura scattered four hits and two walks in the first seven innings of this one, striking out nine in the process. He got one-two-three innings in each of the first, third, fifth, and seventh frames. His only run allowed came in the fourth when he got into a bases-loaded situation with one out. The run scored on a groundball where only the front end of a double-play was completed with a force at second. He retired the next hitter to limit the damage. That would be it for the Cardinals as they finished 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position on the game while leaving only six men on base. The Miracle took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Alex Kirilloff blasted a solo home run to right field. https://twitter.com/AMcDevittTV/status/1037151093334179840 Also in the clip above was Royce Lewis, who led off the third inning with a single, stole second base to get into scoring position, and would later score on a Ryan Costello single to make it 2-0. Jose Miranda followed Costello with a double and it was a 3-0 lead for the home team in game one. After closing it to 3-1 against Cutura in the fourth, the Cardinals wouldn’t get any more good opportunities until the ninth inning. Righthander Ryan Mason replaced Cutura for the eighth and set the hitters down in order. Back out for the ninth, an error from Travis Blankenhorn and single from the next hitter put the tying runners on base, but Mason locked it down from there. He coaxed a double-play ball out of the next hitter, and then picked up a strikeout to punctuate the game one victory in Fort Myers. The lineup for the Miracle managed just six hits but was enough where it counted, on the scoreboard. Kirilloff finished 2-for-4 and was the only batter with multiple hits. Costello was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. As a team they were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base. KERNELS NUGGETS The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Beloit Snappers will start their Midwest League playoff series on Wednesday night in Beloit. Games two and three (if necessary) will be in Cedar Rapids. Right-hander Jhoan Duran takes the hill in game one, after finishing 7-5 with a 3.75 ERA in the Midwest League on the year. He went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in six starts for the Kernels after coming over in the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 7, Princeton 4 Box Score A couple of big blasts from Elizabethton hitters were the difference in this one as they took game one of the Appalachian League Championship series. The Twins got the scoring started in the top of the first as Gilberto Celestino drew a two-out walk that was followed by a Chris Williams home run for an early 2-0 lead. Princeton stormed ahead 3-2 after two innings thanks to an RBI triple and home run off Elizabethton starter Austin Schulfer. For the next three innings however, Schulfer faced the minimum as his lineup took back the lead for him. In the top of the fourth it was the second of those home runs that put them back out front, this one off the bat of Jean Carlos Arias to also score Alex Robles who had singled a batter earlier. That made the score 4-3 Elizabethton. They stretched that lead to 5-3 in the top of the sixth when Williams led off the inning with a single, and Robles delivered at two-out double to bring him in. In the bottom half of the sixth the Rays got one more back against Schulfer as he hit the leadoff man with a pitch and then moved him to second on a wild-pitch. He later scored on a single to make it 5-4 in favor of the Twins. In the top of the seventh Elizabethton added on a couple of insurance runs thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Yunior Severino, then a wild pitch after an intentional walk to Williams that loaded the bases. Schulfer took his 7-4 lead in the seventh and delivered a one-two-three frame to end his night. Overall, he gave up four runs on eight hits in his seven innings to pick up the win. He struck out six. Jacob Blank came on for the eighth inning and walked the two first hitters he faced, but from there he retired the next six hitters, including five strikeouts, to close out the game and pick up the save. With thirteen hits as a team the Twins got multiple knocks from Severino (2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 K), Lean Marrero (2-for-5, 2B, K), Williams (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K), Robles (2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI), and Yeltsin Encarnacion (3-for-4, R). Game two will start at 6:00PM CST time Wednesday night in Elizabethton. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Andro Cutura, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Chris Williams, Elizabethton Twins (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, SB #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, HR, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) – Did not pitch. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #10 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) – Did not pitch. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, 2 K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3, 2 K #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – Out for the season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (5-7, 4.59 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (7-5, 3.75 ERA) Princeton @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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