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  1. TRANSACTIONS CF Cole Sturgeon was assigned to Wichita from St. Paul C Jeferson Morales was placed on the 7-day injured list for Cedar Rapids SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Columbus 7 Box Score The Saints jumped out to a big early lead after just two innings, thanks primarily to the scorching hot bat of Alex Kirilloff. His double in the first scored one, then he was promptly driven in by a double from Jake Cave. In the second, Kirilloff came up with the bases loaded and cleared them with his seventh home run in his last 10 games. St. Paul added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings thanks to RBI doubles from Tim Beckham and Caleb Hamilton. Reliever Mario Sanchez came on to start the fifth inning and would go four innings. He allowed just one run on two hits, while striking out two, to keep the Saints out front. With the score 8-6 going into the bottom of the ninth, St. Paul went to Juan Minaya for the save opportunity, and it got interesting. He walked the first two batters he faced, putting the tying run on base, but a mound visit calmed him down some. He struck out the next two before allowing an RBI single to close the lead to one, but got a groundball from the next hitter to seal the victory and pick up his fourth save of the season. Kirilloff led the way for the offense by finishing 3-for-4 with five RBI, while Beckham (2-for-5, RBI, K) and Curtis Terry (2-for-4, R, K) also collected multiple hits. Spencer Steer returned to the lineup and added a double, a walk, and scored two runs. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Tulsa 4 Box Score The Wind Surge lineup was the unfortunate collateral damage for a Los Angeles Dodgers starter on Tuesday, as Andrew Heaney was with the Drillers for a rehab assignment. He cruised through five innings, allowing just two hits, one walk, and striking out nine Wichita hitters. It wasn’t all bad, however, as the Wind Surge also got a solid start from Casey Legumina that kept them in the game. He went six innings, allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out five. Once Heaney’s outing was done, Matt Wallner got the good guys on the board with his 12th home run of the season to tie the game at one. Legumina was replaced by Bryan Sammons to start the seventh inning, and the Drillers chipped away at him with four singles and a walk that led to three runs and a 4-1 lead for Tulsa. Melvi Acosta got the final out of the seventh and added a scoreless eighth, allowing two hits and striking out one in 1 1/3 innings pitched. Edouard Julien did his best to give the Wind Surge a chance with a two-run home run in the eighth, his third of the season, but they went down quietly in the ninth to fall to 32-24 on the year, just a half-game in front of Tulsa in the Texas League North Division standings. KERNELS NUGGETS Dayton 6, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score This matchup of the Dragons and Kernels got off to a fast start, with nine of the eleven total runs scored coming in the first two innings. Dayton jumped on Cedar Rapids starter John Stankiewicz for four runs in the top of the first, including a three-run homer. They tacked on two more with another home run in the second and put an end to the pitcher’s game after just two innings. He allowed six runs on seven hits and a walk, while picking up two K’s. The home team put up three of their own in the bottom of the first courtesy of home runs from Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2 run) and Kyler Fedko (solo). In the fourth, the Kernels closed the lead to two on a Wander Javier RBI single, and Aaron Sabato got them within one with an RBI single of his own in the seventh. The Kernels bullpen was fantastic after the disappointing start from Stankiewicz, getting seven total scoreless innings out of Orlando Rodriguez (2 IP, 3 H, K), Cody Laweryson (3 1/3 IP, 3 H, BB, 6 K), and Bradley Hanner (1 2/3 IP, 2 BB, 2 K). Unfortunately, the lineup wasn’t able to break through to complete the comeback, as they had just five at-bats with runners in scoring position, and left only six men on base for the game. Dylan Neuse (2-for-3, BB) and Javier (2-for-4, RBI, K) had multiple hits in the losing effort. MUSSEL MATTERS Bradenton 1, Fort Myers 2 (Suspended in the fourth inning) Box Score Thunderstorms moved into the Fort Myers area early Tuesday evening and resulted in the Mighty Mussels game being suspended before the start of the fourth inning. The game will be completed in-full tomorrow before playing a 7-inning regularly scheduled contest. To that point, Fort Myers had taken a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third thanks to some wild pitching from the Marauders. Luis Baez reached base on a wild-pitch strikeout, then the next four hitters reached base by a hit-by-pitch and three walks to score their two runs. Jaylen Nowlin made the start and allowed a solo home run, but just one other hit and one walk, while punching out seven Marauders in his three innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Braves 6, FCL Twins 11 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Brayan Medina (1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) Winning Pitcher: Miguelangel Boadas (3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K) Multi-Hit Games: Yonardy Soto (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI) XBH: Soto (2 2B), Daniel Robertson (2B), Danny De Andrade (2B) Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (1-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB) The box score for this one doesn’t make a ton of sense, as the FCL Twins managed more than twice the amount of runs than they had hits, while being no-hit by their opposing starter for all five innings he remained in the game. It switched immediately when the Braves went to their bullpen, as the Twins got all five hits (including four doubles) and drew six walks to score all of their 11 runs in the sixth. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 5, DSL Mariners 0 (Suspended in bottom of third inning) Box Score The DSL Twins jumped out to a five-run lead before rain caused the game to be suspended. Jose Rodriguez (3B) and Luis Rodriguez (2B) provided extra-base hits, while Junior Del Valle was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI before play was stopped. Starting pitcher Miguel Olivares finished 2 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Casey Legumina, Wichita Wind Surge (6 IP, 4 H, ER, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Alex Kirilloff, St. Paul Saints (3-for-4, 2B, GS, 5 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, BB, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-3, 2 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, K #9 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - Game suspended #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-for-4, R, HR, RBI, K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CDT) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (0-2, 7.68 ERA) Wichita @ Tulsa (4:35 PM CDT), Game 1 - RHP Louie Varland (5-1, 3.24 ERA) Tulsa @ Wichita (makeup of 5/7 PPD), Game 2 - LHP Kody Funderburk (6-1, 2.17 ERA) Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (12:05 PM CDT) - RHP David Festa (3-0, 1.83 ERA) Bradenton @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CDT) - TBD DSL Twins @ DSL NYY Yankees (10:00 AM CDT) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  2. Transactions: RHP Tyler Thornburg signed by Minnesota and assigned to St. Paul OF Mark Contreras recalled by Minnesota RHP Jharel Cotton selected by Minnesota RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez selected by Minnesota RHP Ian Hamilton selected by Minnesota INF Daniel Ozoria transferred to Wichita INF Rubel Cespedes assigned to Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Iowa 7 Box Score With the big league club headed into Canada and needing warm bodies, plenty of roster moves impacted the St. Paul Saints on Friday. Ronny Henriquez drew the start and went 4 1/3 while allowing five runs on ten hits. He struck out five and walked just one. Roy Morales started the scoring for St. Paul in the top half of the 1st inning when his single drove in Jake Cave. After Iowa tied it in the 2nd inning, St. Paul jumped back up in the 3rd inning. Solo shots by Elliot Soto and Alex Kirilloff made it a 3-1 score. Iowa drew back within one during the bottom of the 3rd inning, but Michael Helman answered with his first Triple-A home run, a two-run blast scoring Cole Sturgeon, in the 4th inning to push the lead up to three. In the 5th inning Kirilloff contributed again, this time with a double plating Soto and making it a 6-3 game. After Iowa scored in both the 5th and 6th innings to take the lead 7-6, St. Paul rallied. Morales ripped a double in the 9th inning to score Kirilloff and push things to extras. In the 10th inning Caleb Hamilton used a fielder’s choice to score Helman. In the bottom half of the frame Sturgeon uncorked a dart to home plate nailing the would-be game-tying run and ending the game. Kirilloff had a three-hit game with a pair of extra-base hits. Morales and Soto both had multi-hit efforts of their own. WIND SURGE WISDOM Frisco 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Wichita turned the ball to Casey Legumina and was rewarded with 5 2/3 innings of strong work. Legumina allowed just two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out seven. The lone damage against him came on a 4th inning big fly. Playing a tight contest the night before, Wichita looked for more run support in this one. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. roped his 10th double in the bottom of the 2nd inning to score Matt Wallner. That got the Wind Surge on the board, but that’s where the run production would end. After winning a game 2-1 on Thursday, they dropped this contest by the same score. Four hits from the starting lineup wasn’t enough to get it done. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Lansing 5 Box Score David Festa was tonight’s starting pitcher for the Kernels and he continued to turn in strong outings. Working five innings, Festa gave up just two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. His ERA at High-A now sits at 2.63 on the year. Lansing jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning, but that was erased by Aaron Sabato in the 3rd inning. A single to right field scored Anthony Prato and Christian Encarnacion-Strand giving Cedar Rapids the lead. Things were knotted once again by the end of the inning, but the Kernels jumped back out ahead in the 5th inning. Prato singled to right pushing Charles Mack across the plate, and then Prato was able to score later after stealing third and scoring on a throwing error. The Lugnuts continued to charge back, coming within one in the 7th inning, but Cedar Rapids again had an answer. Mack singled to score Jeferson Morales before Prato ripped his 5th triple to plate Will Holland and Mack. A wild pitch then allowed Prato yet another opportunity to cross the plate. Lansing tired to make a comeback, but the hole was too deep and the 9th inning rally ended with just two runs being made up. Sabato had a strong three-hit evening while Prato, Mack, and Wander Javier all contributed two hits apiece. MUSSEL MATTERS The Mighty Mussels and Tarpons were postponed on Friday due to inclement weather. They square off again on Saturday evening. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina (Wichita) - 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Anthony Prato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, 3B PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-6, 3 K #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - 4.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, R, 2B #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, R, 2 K, 2 B #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (6:08PM CST) - RHP Jacob Faria Frisco @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Tampa @ Fort Myers (5:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  3. The Twins started the 2022 season by winning just four of their first 12 games. Since then, they have won 10 of 11 games and now have a 14-9 record. From a team perspective, a two-week struggle can quickly turn around. The same is true of individual players, hitters, or pitchers. Pitching once per week, a starting pitcher could have two rough innings that make the ERA look bad. But that doesn’t mean it’s a lost season for that pitcher. The sample size of one week is just that, a one-week glimpse of the most recent small sample size. One of the Twins' top-hitting prospects had a rough first two weeks of the season. He had a huge week in Week 3. So be sure to use these weekly reports for what they are; a look at the week. We want to highlight deserving prospects. They have earned it. Celebrate the successes throughout the whole season. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. Please note that the hyperlinks on player names will show you past articles in which that player has been tagged. Click around and see how much some of these players have been written about over the years. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and Monday. Following Sunday’s game, RHP Cole Sands and C Jose Godoy were optioned to bring the Twins roster from 28 to 26. 1B Miguel Sano and OF Kyle Garlick were placed on the IL. Taking their roster spots are IF Jose Miranda and LHP Jovani Moran. The Twins released RHP Brandon Lawson from the Wichita roster. LHP Zach Featherstone was transferred to the Development List. RHPs Osiris German and Casey Legumina were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Orlando Rodriguez joined the Kernels from the Florida Complex. RESULTS Previous Week in Review: Pitching, Pitching Everywhere Pitching Tuesday: Kirilloff Rehabs, Pitching Staff’s Stifle Wednesday: Miranda is Heating Up, Lewis with the Walk-Off Thursday: Mack Attack Keeps Rolling Friday: Pitching, Defense Shine, Runs at a Premium Saturday: Rain, Rain Go Away Sunday: Rain, Rain, Go Away, Let the Twins Affiliates Play MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Kirilloff, Smeltzer Hope to Rejoin Twins Soon Kernels Mack and Legumina Start Hot in April Cold What the Twins Can Expect from Jose Miranda Prospect Retrospective: Cole Sands Prospect Retrospective: Jose Miranda Three Questions With… RHP John Stankiewicz (Video) Three Questions With… C Jair Camargo (Video) TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE AWARDS FOR APRIL Hitter of the Month: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Cedar Rapids Kernels Starting Pitcher of the Month: John Stankiewicz, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Relief Pitcher of the Month: Tyler Viza, Wichita Wind Surge WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 2-3 vs. Nashville Season: 12-10 overall, 5th place in the International League West. They are 3 1/2 games behind Nashville (16-7). The Saints came into the week trailing only Nashville in the division. The Saints won the first two games of the series, 4-1 and 3-2. Nashville won the next game, and then there were games suspended, finished, suspended again, and then Sunday’s game was postponed too. For no reason other than that, Jose Miranda got called up to the big leagues; we’ll start with the Saints’ hitters. It was a good week for the slugging infielder, even before he learned he was headed to the big leagues. He played in five games and went 6-for-20. He hit .333/.350/.611 (.961) with two doubles and a homer. Royce Lewis was again the star of the week. The shortstop played in five games and went 7-for-22. He hit .438/.591/.750 (1.341) with two doubles and a home run. In addition, he had six walks to just three strikeouts. He came to the plate four times in one game and walked each time. For good measure, he was 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts. Nine Saints pitchers worked out of the bullpen last week without giving up a run. Jharel Cotton was the only pitcher in that group who threw twice. He worked 2 1/3 innings. Lefty Devin Smeltzer had the best Saints start of the week. He gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out three batters. You might be able to argue that Dereck Rodriguez was even better in his start. He went just 4 2/3 innings and gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out six batters. It was a rough week for a few Saints, though it’s just, though, a rough outing or two. Even just one rough inning can make a week’s stats look rough. Ronny Henriquez made his first Triple-A start and struggled. He was charged with four runs on three hits (two homers) and four walks in 2 2/3 innings. Drew Strotman worked twice last week and gave up seven runs on three hits and six walks in three innings. Jake Faria made a start and gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks in two innings. What’s Next? The Saints come home to host the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of the, you guessed it, Chicago Cubs.. (Go to SaintsBaseball.com for tickets!) Pitching Probables (LHP Devin Smeltzer, RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP Jake Faria, RHP Mario Sanchez, RHP Dereck Rodriguez) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 5-1 at Arkansas Season: 13-8 overall, tied for 1st place in the Texas League North Division with Tulsa. They are 2.0 games behind Tulsa. Last week, the Wind Surge scored 52 runs on their way to a 5-1 week. They scored “just” 29 runs this past week but had another strong 5-1 week. They lost the first game of the series in Arkansas 10-4. Over the five other games, they gave up just 12 more runs. For the Wind Surge pitching staff, they continued to have a lot of solid performances. Matt Canterino made one start last week. He went three innings. He gave up no runs, no hits, walked one, and struck out four batters. He had twice thrown three scoreless, hitless innings in the previous three weeks. So, he’s got a quality streak of nine straight hitless innings. From what I've heard, he will likely remain at three innings for a few more starts before bumping up to four innings and then see where that takes him. Louie Varland had a strong start. He gave up just three hits and a walk over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out four batters. Simeon Woods Richardson completed a 0.00 ERA month. The right-hander tossed five more scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked three, and struck out four batters. That pushed him to 21 2/3 innings on the season, and he has allowed just one unearned run. Tyler Viza came out of the bullpen twice. He tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits, walked two, and struck out six batters. Steven Klimek, Alex Scherff, Austin Schulfer, and Evan Sisk also pitched twice and didn’t allow a run. On the other side, Chris Vallimont made two starts. Combined, he gave up nine earned runs on 13 hits and six walks in 7 1/3 innings. While he is scheduled to make another start this coming week, you have to think that he may be moved to the bullpen at some point if things don’t turn around. The stuff is still good. His arm is strong. He has good innings, but the bad has often turned really bad. The offensive production was down from a fantastic previous week, but three guys carried a large chunk of the offense last week. Matt Wallner led the offense. In six games, he went 7-for-19 and hit .368/.500/.895 (1.395) with a double and three home runs. He also walked five times. (https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1520586633946542080) Outfielder Cole Sturgeon played in four games and went 4-for-12. He hit .333/.471/.833 (1.304) with two home runs. He also walked three times. Finally, Alex Isola went 4-13 over four games last week. He hit .308/.438/.846 (1.284) with a double, two home runs, and three walks. No one else had an OPS over .637. In his four games, Andrew Bechtold, who had a great previous week, went 0-for-13, who had a tremendous previous week, went 0-for-13. Kevin Merrill was 1-for-13 (.077). Finally, Leobaldo Cabrera went 0-for-10 with six strikeouts (and two walks). That puts him at 0-for-32 to start the season. 14 strikeouts in 36 at-bats, but certainly some bad luck mixed in. Last year, he played 52 games for Wichita and hit .235/.335/.482 (.817) with seven doubles, a triple, and 11 home runs. And, while the below video was from the previous week, I have to post something positive about him, right? What’s Next? Matt Wallner, Louie Varland, and the Wind Surge will be hosting Minnesotans Gus Varland, Michael Busch, and the Tulsa Drillers this week. Pitching Probables (RHP Louie Varland, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Ben Gross, RHP Louie Varland) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels Week: 3-3 at Beloit Season: 15-6 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 3.0 games ahead of Wisconsin and Peoria. The Kernels won the first three games last week in Beloit. In those games, the Kernels outscored the Sky Carp 8-1. Then they lost the final three games and were outscored 9-23. Yet, they were able to increase their lead in the division by two games. The starters from those first three games were very good. Lefty Brent Headrick threw five scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, but he struck out seven batters without walking. Sean Mooney also had a strong start. He struck out eight batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit and walked two batters. Casey Legumina went five innings in his start. He had eight strikeouts over five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit and walked one. He was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Week by the Twins. Will he be the same for Twins Daily too? See below. Cody Laweryson also pitched well in his first start of the season, though he was limited to just three innings. Not only did he not allow a hit, but he didn’t give up a run either. He walked two and struck out three batters. Melvi Acosta, Andrew Cabezas, Osiris German, Bobby Milacki, and Derek Molina combined to work 12 innings without giving up an earned run. On the other side, a couple of pitchers who received consideration for pitcher of the month struggled in their final appearance of the month. Cade Povich gave up six runs on eight hits (two homers) and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. Aaron Rozek has been fantastic since joining the Twins last summer. For the first time this season, he came out of the bullpen. In 2 2/3 innings, he was charged with four runs on six hits (two walks) and a walk. The Kernels had just one hitter who had an OPS over. 800 for the week. Jair Camargo played in three games. He went 4-for-12, hitting .333/.385/.417 (.802) with a double and a walk. Next up was our Minor League Hitter of the Month, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who hit .300 (6-for-20). He had six singles and six walks during the week. On the other side, Willie Joe Garry went 1-for-16 (.063) with two walks over five games. Also, Aaron Sabato played all six games. He went 2-for-21 (.095), though the hits were a double and a home run. He also walked four times. What’s Next? The Kernels will be hosting Quad Cities at Perfect Game Field this week. Pitching Probables (RHP Cody Laweryson, LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 1-2, hosting Clearwater Season: 11-7 overall, 2nd place in the Florida State League West, but just 1/2 game behind Bradenton. Rain was the winner in Ft. Myers. The teams played the first three games as scheduled. Then Friday’s game was postponed. They scheduled a doubleheader for Saturday, and that was postponed. Then they played on Sunday. In fact, they completed ten innings, but the score was still tied at 4-4 when the rains came again, so that game was suspended too. The sample size of any week can be enough to get a person talked about and excited. It should also never be a big deal that a guy has a rough week (meaning several) over the course of a year. Two Mighty Mussels played all three games this week, Kyler Fedko (2-for-10, 1 BB, 3 K) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (1-for-9, 2 BB, 5 K). Catcher Noah Cardenas went 3-for-7 (.429) with a triple. Mikey Perez went 2-for-6 with a double and a walk. John Stankiewicz had another great start. He went 5 2/3 innings. He gave up an unearned run on five hits. He walked one and struck out three batters. Plus, he was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month and earned his promotion to Cedar Rapids. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels are headed north for the week to take on Lakeland. The pitching matchups are below. You’ll notice the TBD for Saturday. I doubt Sonny Gray would get a second rehab start, but it’s possible Jordan Balazovic could get this start after making his first rehab appearance on Sunday following Gray. Pitching Probables (RHP Marco Raya, RHP David Festa, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, TBD, LHP Steven Hajjar) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 26 - May 1). You may have noticed that the Prospect Tracker has been updated and will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 5 G, 7-for-16 (.438), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 3 K (Season: 21 G, .320/.441/.587 (1.028), 9-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 17 R, 11 RBI, 15 BB, 18 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 3-for-17 (.176), 1-2B, 0-HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 20 G, .244/.375/.321 (.696), 6-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 17 R, 6 RBI, 12 BB, 16 K, 12 SB, 4 CS) #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 K (Season: 4 GS, 23 IP, 3 R, 10 H, 6 BB, 25 K, 3-1, 1.17 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.8 K/9) #4 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5 G, 6-for-18 (.333), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1K (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Week/Season: 1 G, 0-for-4 (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K #5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 rehab appearance in Ft. Myers. 1 G, 2.0 IP, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 4 GS, 21.2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 7 H, 7 BB, 18 K, 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 7.5 K/9) #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K (Season: 4 G, 1 GS, 16.1 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 1-0, 2.20 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 6.6 K/9) #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 3.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 8 G, 12.0 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K, 0-0, 1 Save, 3.00 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, 14.3 K/9) #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 5 GS, 12.2 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 9 BB, 18 K, 0-1, 2.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 6.4 BB/9, 12.8 K/9) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 3 G, 1-for-9 (.111) , 0-2B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 17 G, .241/.440/.574 (1.014), 3-2B, 5-HR, 13 R, 8 RBI, 18 BB, 22 K) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2 G, 1-for-6 (.167), 0-2B, 0-HR 1 BB, 2 K (Season: 17 G, .219/.383/.234 (.617), 1-2B, 9 R, 1 RBI, 15 BB, 22 K) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 20.2 IP, 10 R, 7 ER, 14 H, 9 BB, 22 K, 2-1, 3.05 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.6 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 2 G, 1 GS, 2.2 IP, 10 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 0 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 12.2 IP, 11 R, 14 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 0-3, 7.82 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 8.5 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - Week/Season: 1 G, 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 2.2 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 4 BB, 1 K (Season: 2 G, 1 GS, 5.2 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 5 BB, 5 K, 0-1, 6.35 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 7.9 BB/9, 7.9 K/9) #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Was on IL last week (wisdom teeth), (Season: 2 GS, 10.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 14 K, 1-0, 1.74 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 0.9 BB/9, 12.2 K/9) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 5 G, 5-for-21 (.238), 2-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 20 G, .300/.398/.488 (.885), 10-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 15 R, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 14 K) #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 3 GS, 14.0 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 14 H, 4 BB, 23 K, 1-1, 4.50 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 14.8 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 6-for-20 (.300), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 6 BB, 4 K (Season: 20 G, .395/.444/.654 (1.099), 4-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 14 R, 24 RBI, 8 BB, 22 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 6 G, 3-for-23 (.130), 6 BB, 7 K (Season: 13 G, .222/.346/.378 (.723), 2-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 7 R, 5 RBI, 9 BB, 11 K) #20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL (elbow): still on plan to be making starts in May. PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge Top prospect Royce Lewis certainly deserves consideration this week. Fellow Wind Surge outfielder Cole Sturgeon had a huge week too. However, this week, the player of the week is Matt Wallner. Coming into the week, Wallner struggled to a .111/.222/.178 (.400) with five hits and one home run. However, even with an 0-for-4 on Sunday, he ended the week by hitting .368/.500/.895 (1.395) with a double and three home runs. Such a strong week boosted his overall numbers to .188/.308/.391 (.698) with one double and four home runs. Still not great, but definitely, a big step in the right direction and, hopefully, maybe likely, will spur him toward a big season. The Twins drafted Wallner as a pitcher in the 32nd round of the 2016 draft after his senior season at Forest Lake High School, where he was Mr. Baseball that year. Instead of signing, he went to Southern Mississippi and quickly became an All-American, power-hitting outfielder. In 2019, the Twins selected him with the 39th overall pick. In 66 games last year at Cedar Rapids, he hit .264/.350/.508 (.858) with 14 doubles and 15 home runs. He missed two months with a broken hamate bone. He went to the Arizona Fall League, and in 18 games, he hit .303/.405/.606 (1.011) with two doubles and six home runs. The key to success for Wallner will be found in his ability to make contact. Right now, he’s got 32 strikeouts in 78 plate appearances this year (41%). Last week, he had five walks and eight strikeouts in 24 plate appearances (33% K-Rate). Still not great, but a step in the right direction. Pitcher of the Week: Casey Legumina, Cedar Rapids Kernels There were several strong pitching performances this week in the minor leagues. You could make a strong case for Louie Varland or Simeon Woods Richardson in Wichita. If we consider “prospects,” Josh Winder and Joe Ryan certainly should be considered, but we aren't considering big-league pitching performances in the minor league report. We can even argue over Cedar Rapids starting pitchers drafted in 2019: Brent Headrick: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 0.60 WHIP, .175 BAA Sean Mooney: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 0.60 WHIP, .063 BAA Casey Legumina: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 0.40 WHIP, .067 BAA In this case, we will agree with the Twins and name Casey Legumina the Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Week. All of these pitchers deserve to be recognized. Casey Legumina was the Twins 8th round pick in 2019 out of Gonzaga University. It was the third time he had been drafted. He had Tommy John surgery during that 2019 season, so he didn’t pitch that year and spent the Covid season rehabbing and getting stronger. He made his professional debut in 2021. After going 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 14 games (8 starts), he finished the season with one start in Cedar Rapids and a playoff start. He has made three starts for the Kernels so far this year and is now 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA. In 13 1/3 innings, he has walked four and struck out 16 batters. On Monday, he was promoted to Double-A Wichita.
  4. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Sure, Cedar Rapids Kernels catcher Charles Mack jumped out to a torrid start, with eight hits in 14 at-bats during the first week of the Kernels’ 2022 season, while pitcher Casey Legumina was charged with four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of work in his sole start during that first week. And, yes, it’s true that Legumina has been doing some cooking at the home of the host family that he and Mack share in Cedar Rapids this summer. But it would be inconceivable that the food poisoning that had Mack bedridden for a couple of days and out of the Kernels lineup for five days had anything to do with Legumina being jealous of Mack’s hot start… wouldn’t it? Let’s ask them. “I got my food poisoning from him!” Mack accused when the question was raised during a joint interview near the end of the team’s most recent homestand. “No way! I wasn’t even cooking for you!” was Legumina’s response. Fortunately, it’s something Mack can laugh about now. He wasn’t laughing much when the bout of food poisoning hit during the team’s trip to play the Quad Cities River Bandits in Davenport earlier in the season. “It was not fun,” Mack said. “I got sick that Saturday.” Charles then admitted that it hadn’t been Casey’s cooking that did him in, but rather some chicken from a fast-food restaurant. In fact, the same issue sidelined at least a couple of additional Kernels. “I learned my lesson. I was in bed for a couple of days, hardly moving,” he recounted. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Kernels’ infielder-turned-catcher. His eight hits came in just four games during the opening week of the season and included three doubles and one home run. Naturally, any time someone gets so sick that suddenly, the first thing you wonder about is whether it was caused by COVID. “To be honest with you, I kind of almost wish it was COVID, just because then I would have known what it was,” Mack said. “I went to the E.R. to try to get some blood tests done. If I would have just had COVID, I wouldn’t have had to do any of that stuff.” Nevertheless, Mack is healthy again and back in the catching rotation with fellow Kernels backstops Jair Camargo and Jeferson Morales. Despite notching one hit in seven at-bats in the two games since recovering from his illness, Mack still sported a .409 batting average and a 1.140 OPS through Wednesday’s game at Beloit. The illness was certainly ill-timed, but Mack remains philosophical about it. “That happens. That’s life,” he said. “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. I was meant to get sick, so we’ll see what happens from there. But it feels good and I’m ready to go.” As for that rough (at least statistically) first start for Legumina, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the numbers might indicate. He breezed through the first three-plus innings in Davenport before losing a bit of command, giving up a couple of singles and two walks in the fourth. He left the game with one run surrendered and the bases full of River Bandits. The first batter after Legumina left the mound hit a bases-clearing triple. That’s just bad luck and bad timing! In his next start, Legumina surrendered two runs in 4 2/3 innings. And in his third and most recent start, he worked five shutout innings against the Beloit Sky Carp, striking out eight batters, while walking just one and giving up one hit. That’s the kind of progress the Twins’ eighth-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Gonzaga University is looking for this season. “I feel really good. Obviously, I’ve had a lot of really good innings,” he said during the interview this week. “There were one or two innings that got away from me, but that’s part of the game. And those are things that I’m working out. Those are things I can control; things I’m working on in my bullpens now, to correct, so when I get in a game, it’s a little bit cleaner. “This year, I’m just trying to throw as many strikes as possible. For me, the big thing is my curveball, my changeup, and just really trying to refine those, get it in the zone more. (I want to) be able to throw them in counts that people aren’t expecting. I’m just trying to be more comfortable, in general, just have a better rhythm with those pitches on the mound. As long as I can do that, I feel like everything will be alright.” Mack, on the other hand, is beginning just his second year as a catcher after being selected as an infielder out of East Williamsville (NY) High School in the sixth round of the 2018 draft. Coming off a 2021 season in Fort Myers where he hit .229, Mack was happy with how he was swinging the bat to begin this season, though much of his focus has had to be on continuing his development as a catcher. “For me, I’m a new catcher, so that’s always a priority,” he said. “With that being said, in the past, I’ve been an infielder my whole life, so I’ve always expected myself to hit. Last year, I felt, was kind of a slow year. I just wasn’t as comfortable as I wanted to be. This past couple of weeks, I’ve just tried to be as comfortable as possible and as confident as possible in the box.” A big part of Mack’s work behind the plate is becoming as familiar as possible with a staff full of pitchers. “I catch all these guys a lot, so I have a good idea what they’re working on in bullpens,” he explained. "Like Casey said, the biggest thing is getting these guys in the zone. Our motto is to throw nasty stuff in the zone. If we can do that, if we can build off that, after we get ahead in the count, then we can start expanding the zone. If you’re down in the count, there’s not much you can do other than throw a fastball in the zone or flip your best off-speed pitch in the zone. Hitters pick up on that. But if you get ahead, you can do what you want.” Both Legumina and Mack, of course, had their professional plans waylaid when the COVID pandemic struck during the 2020 spring training, costing both players a full year of minor league development just as their careers were getting started. “It was mayhem,” Mack recalled. “When we found out, we were all in the Champions Hall, our big auditorium (at the Twins’ minor league academy in Fort Myers, Florida). We thought, ‘Oh, there’s no way we’re all going to be sent home.’ Then we get the news that we’re going home for a couple of weeks, and we were all shocked. And then come to find out we were going to be home for the whole year. It was a crazy time.” Naturally, a professional ballplayer can’t just take a year off, regardless of the reason for the season’s cancellation. “You kind of have to make due with what you have,” Mack said. “I was fortunate enough to have some facilities up by me (in New York) for a short period of time. Then, obviously, those got closed down as well. I just put up a little net in my garage. You make due. And I have a brother back home, so he helped. That was a blessing.” Meanwhile, almost all the way across the country, Casey Legumina was having to improvise as well. But he had another complication. He was trying to return from ‘Tommy John’ surgery, which he had undergone shortly after being drafted by the Twins in 2019. “I had my brother who plays, so that was good,” Legumina said. “Like most places in the country, everything was shutting down. There was limited capacity if they were open. “I ended up building a gym at my house. My brother and I, we just trained there, and I’d throw to him. I was in rehab at the time. So, I did all my rehab throwing to my little brother, who was my catcher. Of course, maybe all that down time gave Legumina an opportunity to refine his culinary talents. “My dad always cooked,” he said, explaining his affinity for spending time in the kitchen. “We owned restaurants growing up. My dad liked to just create things, see what tastes good. I just watched him growing up. So, I just kind of fell in love with cooking for myself, and I enjoy it. I’d rather cook for myself than go get something to eat.” It’s probably a safe bet that Mack would choose having Legumina cooking for him over going out to eat, as well… at least if the alternative is chicken from a certain fast-food joint. Whatever Legumina, Mack, and the rest of their teammates are eating, they need to stick to those diets. Through Wednesday’s win over Beloit, Cedar Rapids is 14-3 and has opened up a three-game lead over their closest Midwest League Western Division rivals.
  5. How do you compare starting pitchers to relievers? It's certainly not easy. For this series, we have separated hitters from pitchers, and yet, maybe in future years we will want the starters and relievers separated too. Who should rank higher? A potential #3 starting pitchers, or a potential late-inning reliever? On a real baseball team, both roles are important and complement each other. In prospect rankings, relievers often get overlooked. Why? Because over the past couple of decades, relievers may work 70-80 innings in a season whereas a #4 starter could pitch 150-180 innings. That may change over time as we see the roles a little less defined. Starters are often asked to go through an order twice, which generally will be less than five innings. As we move forward, there may be a few guys that reach 150 innings, but many starters may top out at 130 innings while many relievers could jump closer to 100 innings. We shall see. Today's five prospects include two relievers. Going behind the curtain a bit, this is the range the lefty Charlie Barnes would have fit into. As you know by now, he has signed to play in Korea in 2022. Remember, this is a prospect rankings, and it is significantly different than Nick's Twins Top Assets series that is running now too. Let's get to Twins pitching prospects that I have ranked 16th through 20th. #20 - RHP Osiris German 2021 STATS: 2-2, 4 saves, 3.34 ERA, 38/0 G/GS, 1.20 WHIP, 90/24 K/BB, 59.1 IP The Twins signed Osiris German from the Dominican Republic in July of 2016. He has slowly worked his way up the Twins’ organizational ladder. He had not pitched for a full-season affiliate before the 2021 season. He split the year between Low-A Ft. Myers and High-A Cedar Rapids. He has good control. While the 23-year-old sits in the low 90s with his fastball, he has a plus-plus changeup. That is the pitch that is intriguing and could keep him moving up the system, hopefully to the big leagues. He will need to continue to improve and gain confidence in all of his pitches, but there is a lot to work with. #19 - RHP Regi Grace 2021 STATS: 1-0, 2.59 ERA, 9/8 G/GS, 0.99 WHIP, 35/11 K/BB, 31.1 IP He had a scholarship offer to Mississippi State, but when the Twins made him their 10th round pick in the 2018 draft, Regi Grace signed quickly. A terrific athlete, Grace is very strong. While his velocity sat in the upper-80s and topped out around 90-91 in 2019, he was able to increase his fastball velocity, even touching 95 at times. The main thing holding him back to this point has been health. He missed time in 2021 with a shoulder impingement. However, after he came back, he gave up just three hits and struck out 12 batters over nine scoreless innings. He tossed the first three innings of a combined no hitter in his final start. #18 - RHP Chris Vallimont 2021 STATS: 5-7, 5.84 ERA, 22/22 G/GS, 1.64 WHIP, 136/61 K/BB, 94.0 IP After coming to the Twins from the Marlins in the July 2019 Lewin Diaz trade, Chris Vallimont made four starts for the Miracle. The former fifth-round pick from Mercyhurst didn’t pitch at all in 2020. He began the 2021 season with a few weeks on the Injured List but still made 21 starts. He certainly had his ups and downs. He had one stretch in which he gave up five or more earned runs in five of six starts. He also had 11 starts in which he gave up two runs or less. He was added to the 40-man roster in November because he has really good stuff. Vallimont sits in the mid-90s, and he’s got good (though inconsistent) secondary stuff. In the past, he has shown good control, but he struggled with that part of the game in 2021. That said, he was consistently able to miss bats. That is why he’s on the 40-man roster. #17 - RHP Casey Legumina 2021 STATS: 4-2, 3.28 ERA, 15/9 G/GS 1.07 WHIP, 63/16 K/BB, 49.1 IP Casey Legumina was drafted out of high school in Arizona but chose to go to Gonzaga instead. As a sophomore, he became a top closer in college baseball. He was set to be a starter for the ‘Zags in 2019, but after four starts, he needed Tommy John surgery. Still, the Twins had seen enough and selected him in the eighth round of the draft that year. He rehabbed the rest of that summer and into the 2020 season. That means 2021 was his professional debut. He worked 44 2/3 innings for Ft. Myers before ending the season with one start in Cedar Rapids before the playoffs. He throws his fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and has a really good slider. He’s also continuing to work on his changeup. The Twins want to use him as a starter, but obviously they had to be careful with his innings in 2021. He could be a sleeper in 2022. #16 - LHP Jovani Moran 2021 MiLB STATS: 4-2, 2.41 ERA, 35/0 G/GS, 0.89 WHIP, 109/32 K/BB, 67.1 IP 2021 MLB STATS: 0-0, 7.88 ERA, 5/0 G/GS, 2.00 WHIP, 10/7 K/BB, 8.0 IP It took some time, but lefty Jovani Moran finally reached the big leagues in September of 2021. The southpaw had been the Twins seventh-round pick back in 2015 out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. When healthy, Moran has been quite successful in the minor leagues. He’s got a low-to-mid 90s fastball that touches 95, but it is his changeup that gets people talking. It is a plus-plus pitch and he gets a lot of swings and misses with it. Maybe sacrilege, but many compare it to Johan Santana’s changeup. He also has a slider that can be plus-plus at times. It was wise to get Moran some innings late in the 2021 season to help the nerves which can get to him at times. If he can throw strikes, Moran has a chance to be a long-term, late-inning, dominant relief option. This is another interesting group. There are a couple of relievers with plus-plus changeups, one of whom is ready to shine with the Twins. The other three have development to do, but the potential to be really good if they can stay healthy. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25
  6. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins recalled LHP Andrew Albers from St. Paul Saints. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed RHP Orlando Rodriguez on the temporarily inactive list. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed SS Keoni Cavaco on the temporarily inactive list SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 4, St. Paul 2 Box Score Gilberto Celestino put the Saints on the board with a crisp line drive homer (5) over the center field wall in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at one. St. Paul scored their second run thanks to an RBI ground out from Tomas Telis that scored Damek Tomscha. Starting pitcher Beau Burrows lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out six. Burrows' Achilles was the long ball, giving up three home runs on the evening. Burrows did enough to keep the game close and had a little help from his defense as well! Ryan Mason followed Burrows and was efficient, giving up no runs and zero hits while striking out three and walking two in 1 1/3 innings. Yennier Cano followed that up with two innings on the bump, giving up a run on two hits while striking out two. Edgar Garcia pitched the final inning for the Saints and escaped with a scoreless inning after walking two batters. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 14, Wichita 7 Box Score After gaining an early 2-0 lead the Surge were unable to hang with the Naturals after giving up 10 runs in the second inning. Wichita got things going early when D.J. Burt laced an RBI double that scored Austin Martin in the first inning. After advancing on the previous play, Burt scored thanks to an RBI groundout from Roy Morales. Top Prospect and Olympic Silver Medalist Simeon Woods Richardson didn't have his stuff on the bump tonight. Woods Richardson lasted only 1 2/3 innings and gave up six runs and three walks on his short outing. Tyler Beck took the brunt of the relief work for the Surge, giving up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Evan Sisk and Mitchell Osnowitz carried the caboose for the Wind Surge bullpen. tossing a combined two innings while giving up two runs and walking one. Sisk struck out one batter. Despite the surplus of scoring from the other dugout, Ernie De La Trinidad knocked his eighth homer of the year in the second inning. Jermaine Palacios plated the final run for Wichita when he struck a fourth inning RBI single to left field that scored Leobaldo Cabrera. Cabrera added to Wichita's run count in the eighth inning when he demolished a three-run homer (10) to left field, plating Burt and Morales. That would prove to be the final run for Wichita on a rare night where the team was outscored in a football-esque score. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Wisconsin 4 Box Score On the opening night of the NFL the Cedar Rapids Kernels attempted to put up a football-like score...and succeeded. Cedar Rapids scored 11 runs in the first five innings to propel the Kernels to a 11-4 win on Thursday night. The offense was great, but Cedar Rapids starting pitcher and Minnesota native Louie Varland was just as solid. Varland didn't walk any hitters and struck out seven, giving up three runs on six hits. Varland is now 6-1 on the year and has been one of the brightest surprises in the Twins organization all season long. The Kernels offensive barrage began in the first inning when Edouard Julien led off the game with a single. Michael Helman followed suit with a triple (3) that scored Julien all the way from first. Helman's efforts were rewarded when he later scored on an RBI sac-fly from Aaron Sabato. The second innings was 'thrice' as fruitful for the Kernels. Cedar Rapids scored six runs in the inning to open the flood gates. To the eye, one would assume a six-run inning would consist of at least one extra base hit. Not the case. The Kernels recorded six walks (2 HBP) and singles from Deshawn Keirsey, Alex Isola, and Jeferson Morales to put up the crooked number on the inning. The Kernels DID see a pair of extra-base hits two innings later. Isola and Morales tallied back-to-back solo home runs to expand the Kernels lead to 10-0 after four innings of play. Julien added a homer of his own to inflate the lead to 11-1 in the fifth. After Varland exited the game, reliver Carlos Suniaga touted his own dominance on the mound with two innings of one run, one hit ball with one strikeout. Tyler Palm sealed the deal for the Kernels with a perfect ninth inning. The win puts Cedar Rapids a full game ahead of Great Lakes and Lake County for the second spot in their playoff race. The team has now won three straight! MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1 Fort Myers 7, Palm Beach 6 Box Score With weather postponing the completion of Wednesday's game, the Mussels showed up at Hammond Stadium for double the amount of baseball on Thursday. The squad didn't disappoint. After Palm Beach plated four runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at six, Fort Myers scored the go-ahead run to push the Mussels past the Cardinals' affiliate in game one of a double-header. The go-ahead run came courtesy of an home run from Alerick Soularie, who punished a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to secure the lead for the Mussels. Soularie's late-inning blast wasn't the only time that the Tennessee Volunteer touched home plate in the game. Soularie scored a run in the fourth, one of four on the inning for Fort Myers. Willie Joe Garry Jr. led off the inning with a triple and scored on an RBI single from Mikey Perez. Soularie and Christian Encarnacion-Strand joined Perez on base thanks to a pair of walks. Patrick Winkel and Jake Rucker followed suit with a pair of back to back singles to score Perez, Soularie, and Encarnacion Strand. Fort Myers starting pitching John Stankiewicz lasted four innings, giving up five hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four. David Festa took the bulk of bullpen duties for the Mussels, pitching 2 2/3 innings of three strikeout ball, walking two and giving up two runs. Reliever A.J. Labas received one of the more unique stat lines on the night. Labas tossed 1 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two-runs, including the game-tying run that tallied a blown save under his name. However, thanks to Soularie's blast, Labas also recorded the win (W, 1-2) on the game. Juan Pichardo cleaned up in the final inning and earned his fourth save of the season. Game Two Fort Myers 11, Palm Beach 2 Box Score Just like they relied on a big inning in the first game of the doubleheader, Fort Myers soared in game two thanks to a five-run third inning....and an absolutely electric outing from starting pitcher Casey Legumina. Legumina was stellar through 5 2/3 innings, striking out six while only giving up one run on one hit and a walk. The outing was the second outstanding appearance that Legumina has recorded in the month of September. The Dallas, Texas native went the same distance on the mound on September 2 against Dayton, giving up zero runs on three hits while striking out three and walking one. Yet dominant pitching is often a biproduct of dominant offense, something the Mussels did not lack in the third inning. Charlie Mack launched a three-run homer (7) followed by a Will Holland solo shot (10) to give Fort Myers a comfortable lead. Mikey Perez added to the scoring party with an RBI double in the inning, his first of the year. Holland continued his impressive night with an RBI single in the sixth inning that scored Encarnacion-Strand to put the Mussels up 11-1. After Legumina's masterpiece reliever Logan Campbell closed the door for the Mussels, tossing 1 1/3 innings of one-run ball while striking out one and walking none. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates Gold 3 (10) Box Score A three-run fourth inning and a sac-fly walk-off from Rubel Cespedes powered the Twins to a victory against the Pirates on Thursday afternoon. Wander Valdez and Rubel Cespedes each tallied RBI singles to score runs in the Twins' dominant third inning. LaRon Smith also drew an RBI walk to score a run. Noah Miller, the Minnesota Twins' second pick in the 2021 draft tallied two hits on the day, including a single and a run in the fourth. Twins starting pitcher Erasmo Moreno was excellent, pitching three innings of scoreless baseball while striking out two and walking three. Jordan Carr followed Moreno with three innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out three. Similar to A.J. Labas of Cedar Rapids, Complex reliever Malik Barrington tallied a blown save but also the win (W, 1-1), thanks to Cespedes' walk-off sac-fly that scored Ka'lai Rosario. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Casey Legumina (Fort Myers) - (W, 4-2) 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Michael Helman (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-3, R, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1.2 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-4 #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, RBI, BB, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not pitch #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-for-2 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2 K FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (6-3, 3.93 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (4-4 3.61 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 11.25 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Drop a comment below!
  7. TRANSACTIONS St. Paul Saints place OF Trevor Larnach (left-hand contusion) on the 7-day injured list RHP Carlos Suniaga was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids C Kyle Schmidt was sent from Triple-A St. Paul to High-A Cedar Rapids C Caleb Hamilton was promoted from Double-A Wichita to Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 6 Box Score The Saints dropped yet another game to the Clippers on Friday evening due in large part to poor pitching. Drew Strotman started on the bump for St. Paul and while his overall numbers weren’t great — five innings, five runs, seven hits, six strikeouts — he was *this close* to producing a truly great start. Strotman’s lack of command has been his biggest bugaboo since arriving in the Twins’ farm system. However, Friday night was his second start all season in which he did not walk anyone. (The other came on May 18 when he struck out eight batters in six innings.) His command still wasn’t great — when he missed, he missed pretty badly; more on that in a second — but allowing zero walks in five innings is a step in the right direction. Of Strotman’s misses, at least four were left in the exact spot a pitcher never wants to miss: middle-middle. Three misplaced fastballs were launched for two doubles and a home run and an errant curveball was blasted well over 400-feet to dead center for another round-tripper. If he places those pitches elsewhere, there’s a good chance that he and the Saints would have walked away with the win. Strotman’s future role and success are predicated on improving his command. He has the raw stuff and number of pitches to be a starter long-term, but he will likely be relegated to a bullpen role if he is unable to hone his ability to spot his offerings. Reliever Jovani Moran took the loss after he walked in the deciding run in the bottom of the ninth. He finished the night with one earned run in 1 1/3 innings to go along with two walks and two strikeouts. Moran is an exciting relief prospect who will likely find his way onto the Twins’ roster before the end of the season. He possesses the best changeup in the system — perhaps the team’s best since Johan Santana — and racks up the strikeouts. However, his biggest wart at this time is his walk rate. Entering Friday night, Moran owned a 4.78 BB/9, which translates to a 13.2% BB%. As long as his walks remain at their current level, Moran will always be susceptible to nights like Friday, though his overall dominance more than outweighs that risk. Luke Farrell and Nick Vincent also made appearances for St. Paul and combined to allow one earned run over their two innings. Drew Maggi was the Saints’ primary contributor offensively as he went 2-for-4 with four RBI at the plate, with one of his hits being his 14th home run of the season. Maggi owns a .848 OPS this season and provides some versatility defensively. At 32, he likely isn’t long for the franchise, but it would be nice to see the Twins reward his strong play, particularly as of late, with a promotion. Jose Miranda went 1-for-4 with a walk, while Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan drove in the team’s two other runs. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Arkansas 5, F/10 Box Score The Wind Surge came from behind to win an exciting affair in Arkansas on Friday evening despite picking up only four hits. Recent addition Stevie Berman — whom the Twins acquired from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Andrew Vasquez — pulled a grand slam to left field to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh inning. However, the tie was short-lived as the Travelers reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Aaron Whitefield knotted the game up at 5 with a sacrifice fly in the ninth before Spencer Steer drove in the game-winning run in the 10th with a sac fly of his own. D.J. Burt and Berman each contributed two hits. On the mound, the Wind Surge were led by potential future Twins Ben Gross and Jordan Gore, who combined to throw six innings in the relief. The two struck out 11 batters, walked three, and surrendered only a single run. Austin Schulfer started and struck out five in four innings of work. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 9, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score The good news is that the Kernels pitching staff — Sean Mooney, Osiris German, and Andrew Cabezas — struck out 10 batters and only issued a single walk during the game’s nine innings. The bad news is that the River Bandits roughed them up for nine runs, five doubles, and a home run. At the plate, Seth Gray led the way by going 2-for-3 with a double, triple, and three runs scored. Daniel Ozoria registered his first home run — a two-run shot — in a Cedar Rapids uniform out of the nine-hole, and Jeferson Morales drove in two runs on 3-for-4 hitting; the catcher is hitting .323 with a .922 OPS since being promoted to the Kernels in early August. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Daytona 1 (completion of game from Thursday) Daytona 5, Fort Myers 2, F/7 Box score 1 Box score 2 The Mighty Mussels and Tortugas began their evening of ball by wrapping up the game that was suspended on Thursday due to rain. Fort Myers — who led 3-1 at the time of suspension — added two more runs in the fifth inning and did not surrender any en route to picking up the win. Casey Legumina earned the win after tossing 5 2/3 shutout innings. He struck out five, walked one, and surrendered three hits, two of which were doubles. Bradley Hanner threw the final innings, striking out one and setting the side down in order. Alerick Soularie went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Jesus Feliz each contributed three hits. Patrick Winkel went 2-for-5 with a double. Fort Myers followed their win with a loss in seven innings. The Mighty Mussels bats did not wake up until the top of the seventh when they scored both of their runs. Encarnacion-Strand and Misael Urbina contributed doubles and Will Holland added a triple. In total, Fort Myers was only able to muster four hits. Miguel Rodriguez, Juan Pichardo, and Logan Campbell combined to throw seven innings for the Mighty Mussels, striking out nine and walking five. FCL COMPLEX REPORT FCL Twins vs. FCL Red Sox postponed due to rain TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day — Casey Legumina, Fort Myers: 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day — Drew Maggi, St. Paul: 2-for-4, 2B, HR (14), 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, BB #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 4 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4 #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-for-3, 2B #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, game-winning RBI SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (3:05 PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-3, 5.98 ERA) St. Paul @ Columbus (approx. 7:05 PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Arkansas (6:10 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 6.14 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (Debut) Feel free to ask questions and discuss.
  8. TRANSACTIONS RHP Miguel Rodriguez reinstated from 7-day IL at A Fort Myers RHP Ramon Pineda transferred from FCL Twins to A Fort Myers Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Toledo 9 (Paused game) Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Well, I had a write-up here, but apparently the game ran so late that it was paused due to a curfew. I'll leave the box score link so that people can check it out as they please, but know that the game is not technically finished. Also know that this is the first time I have ever seen something like this happen in a minor league game. Weird stuff. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 13, Tulsa 4 Box Score Cole Sands: 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Leobaldo Cabrera (8), Andrew Bechtold (16), Austin Martin (2), Spencer Steer (13) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), Austin Martin (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Wichita gave Tulsa the business on Saturday. ...Oh, I need to say more? (Editor's Note: Yes, please.) Here are a few questions: Is it a good thing when eight out of nine of your batters get a hit? Is it a good thing when six different hitters earn an RBI? Is it a good thing when your 1-2 hitters combine for six runs? I’m not a baseball expert, but I tend to think that the answer to all of those questions is yes. Tulsa actually had the first lead of the game but a homer by Leobaldo Cabrera put the lead firmly in Wichita’s grasp. They would not let go. With five runs already on the board, Andrew Bechtold demolished a three-run homerun to make it a cruel seven-run lead. With a nine-run lead, Austin Martin clobbered a homer to make it an evil 11-run lead. Finally, with 12 runs on the board, Spencer Steer obliterated a solo shot to add a cherry on top of this battered cake. Tulsa actually out-hit the Wind Surge on Saturday which is objectively hilarious. Cabrera: Bechtold: Martin: Steer: Cole Sands allowed only one run over three innings but was inefficient as he tossed 80 pitches in order to do so. From there the combination of Kody Funderburk, Zach Neff, and Hector Lujan took Wichita to the finish line on Saturday. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, RBI) Cedar Rapids had the lone offensive dud on Saturday. Ben Gross brought the strikeouts, but the Snappers proved resilient, and dropped 10 hits on the starter. It was an all-or-nothing approach that netted Beloit six extra-base hits off of Gross en route to a lead that would never really be challenged. The lone Kernels run came thanks to a Daniel Ozoria infield single in the 5th inning. The team put together just six hits on the night, but oddly enough, three of those hits were doubles. In another odd turn, both teams had matching one walk, 14 strikeout performances by their respective pitching staffs (and lineups, technically). But, Beloit bunching their extra-base hits proved to be a wise strategy as they easily beat Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 8 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: Jesus Feliz (7) Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 3 R), Will Holland (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Fort Myers was unable to recover from a 4-0 deficit on Saturday. Starter Miguel Rodriguez had one to forget. The righty was activated just before the game and more than a bit rusty on Saturday. Allowing three walks over just a single inning more or less speaks for itself. Let’s hope that Rodriguez can get back on the horse the next time he’s called upon. To their credit, the Mighty Mussels did not lie down and let the Marauders win this game without a fight. They were down by a score of 7-1 before a burning offensive spirit took hold across the dugout. Jesus Feliz kicked off the rebuttal with a solo homer in the 7th while Will Holland doubled home a run later in the inning. This would be just the first attack. Kyler Fedko unloaded the bases in the 8th with a double that was followed by the classic double error on the part of the Marauders. Unfortunately, the fight would end there. Bradenton plated one more run in the 9th, and Fort Myers fell narrowly short of a victory. Casey Legumina provided a strong effort in the loss. He was able to siphon off the bleeding over five strong innings of one-run ball in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended in the 8th inning on Saturday. Nash will have the update for you on this game when it is completed on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer 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 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Suspended game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Suspended game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-1, R, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Bradenton @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) RHP Landon Leach St. Paul @ Toledo (12:05 PM) RHP Beau Burrows Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Austin Schulfer Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (1:05 PM) TBD
  9. Casey Legumina was the Twins eighth-round draft pick in 2019 out of Gonzaga University. A native of Arizona, Legumina, he was drafted out of high school by Toronto. He went to college and was Cleveland's 35th round pick in 2018 after he went 3-3 with 13 saves in 26 games out of the bullpen. He went back to school and shifted to being a starter. He made four starts before a forearm injury ended his season. Unfortunately, he didn't pitch for the Twins that summer, and with the missed 2020 season, he is looking forward to making his professional debut. We'll talk to him about what has kept him busy, what he's been working on, a little on his youth ball days and much more. Join us live at 5:30 tonight to watch, and participate by sending your questions. We'll cover a ton of topics and take your questions as well. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please watch LIVE at 5:30 pm (central time) Thursday night on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts. Here is the YouTube link where you can watch the show. For more on Casey Legumina: Follow Casey on Instagram at @casey_legumina4. Follow Casey on Twitter at @casey_legumina4. Previous Episodes Click here to see more previous episodes of Twins Spotlight. Episode 19: Regi Grace Episode 20: Louie Varland Episode 21: Max Smith Episode 22: Zander Wiel Episode 23: Blayne Enlow Episode 24: Royce Lewis Episode 25: Trey Cabbage Episode 26: Keoni Cavaco Episode 27: Casey Legumina
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