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  1. The Twins announced today that Aaron Slegers was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Nelson Cruz. Slegers would need to clear waivers in order to remain in the system. Slegers was the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017 and came out of the gates hot in 2018, earning Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors for April. Unfortunately, he was only able to make 19 appearances between Triple A and the Majors, logging a total of 99 innings in 2018. Slegers has a 5.90 ERA in 29 innings with the Twins the past two seasons. In 39 starts at Triple A, he posted a 3.54 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and while his K/9 rate was a modest 6.8, he also had a very impressive 1.8 BB/9.
  2. Aaron Slegers faced 11 Kansas City hitters Tuesday night, seven of them recorded hits. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings and gave up five runs. That doesn’t give a team much of a chance to win a ballgame. The Twins’ bullpen did a nice job getting things pointed in the right direction until Addison Reed had yet another bad outing in the ninth. It was a bad loss to a bad team, but Cleveland may have had an even worse night.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 13 Game Score, 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 0 K, 0 BB, 65.9% strikes Bullpen: 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 K, 4 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 6 LOB WPA of 0.1 or higher: None WPA of -0.1 or lower: Slegers -.381 Download attachment: WinEx710.png Logan Morrison made one of the worst baseball plays you’ll see all year. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the second inning, he hit what appeared to be a leadoff double. Nice, right? Well, LoMo decided he’d try to stretch it into a triple and was thrown out. You just can’t do that. A rookie wouldn’t get a free pass for that kind of a mental error, let alone a veteran like Morrison. You’re down 5-1, there are no outs … honestly, dude what are you doing? Something has to be wrong with Addison Reed. He gave up three runs on three hits; a single, a triple and a home run. Since the start of June, Reed has surrendered 13 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings pitched. Reed’s average velocity on his four-seamer has been holding pretty steady over the past few years. He was right around 93 mph from 2014-2017, but he started out this season sitting more like 92 mph and things have continued to dip. Tonight, he topped out at 91.6 mph per Baseball Savant, but averaged 90.3 mph. Maybe Morrison and Reed need to go down to Single A too. On the plus side, Taylor Rogers was great in an extended appearance. He threw a season-high 37 pitches over 2 1/3 no-hit innings. He struck out two and walked one. Also, Brian Dozier hit his 14th home run. Not a great night for the Twins, but things aren’t exactly going swimmingly for Cleveland either. The led 4-0 heading into the ninth inning of their game tonight. Closer Cody Allen gave up three runs, and then a miscommunication played a part in the Reds scoring four more runs en route to victory. From Cleveland’s reporter from The Athletic: Uff da. That bullpen is a nightmare. Gotta love the AL Central. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen710.png AL Central Standings CLE 49-41 MIN 40-49 (-8.5) DET 40-54 (-11) CHW 30-61 (19.5) KC 26-65 (-23.5) Next Three Games Wed vs. KC, 12:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Burch Smith Thu vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Fri vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Last Three Games MIN 3, KC 1: Minnesota’s All-Star Shines MIN 10, BAL 1: Twins Pick Up First Sweep of 2018 MIN 5, BAL 4: More Baltimore, Please Click here to view the article
  3. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 13 Game Score, 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 0 K, 0 BB, 65.9% strikes Bullpen: 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 K, 4 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 6 LOB WPA of 0.1 or higher: None WPA of -0.1 or lower: Slegers -.381 Logan Morrison made one of the worst baseball plays you’ll see all year. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the second inning, he hit what appeared to be a leadoff double. Nice, right? Well, LoMo decided he’d try to stretch it into a triple and was thrown out. You just can’t do that. A rookie wouldn’t get a free pass for that kind of a mental error, let alone a veteran like Morrison. You’re down 5-1, there are no outs … honestly, dude what are you doing? Something has to be wrong with Addison Reed. He gave up three runs on three hits; a single, a triple and a home run. Since the start of June, Reed has surrendered 13 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings pitched. Reed’s average velocity on his four-seamer has been holding pretty steady over the past few years. He was right around 93 mph from 2014-2017, but he started out this season sitting more like 92 mph and things have continued to dip. Tonight, he topped out at 91.6 mph per Baseball Savant, but averaged 90.3 mph. Maybe Morrison and Reed need to go down to Single A too. On the plus side, Taylor Rogers was great in an extended appearance. He threw a season-high 37 pitches over 2 1/3 no-hit innings. He struck out two and walked one. Also, Brian Dozier hit his 14th home run. Not a great night for the Twins, but things aren’t exactly going swimmingly for Cleveland either. The led 4-0 heading into the ninth inning of their game tonight. Closer Cody Allen gave up three runs, and then a miscommunication played a part in the Reds scoring four more runs en route to victory. From Cleveland’s reporter from The Athletic: https://twitter.com/ZackMeisel/status/1016868521765232641 Uff da. That bullpen is a nightmare. Gotta love the AL Central. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: AL Central Standings CLE 49-41 MIN 40-49 (-8.5) DET 40-54 (-11) CHW 30-61 (19.5) KC 26-65 (-23.5) Next Three Games Wed vs. KC, 12:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Burch Smith Thu vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Fri vs. TB, 7:10 pm CT: TBD Last Three Games MIN 3, KC 1: Minnesota’s All-Star Shines MIN 10, BAL 1: Twins Pick Up First Sweep of 2018 MIN 5, BAL 4: More Baltimore, Please
  4. A home series against the worst team in baseball was all the Minnesota Twins needed to get back on track and restore some confidence following a devastating road trip. Keep reading for the full rundown on a week that started hideously in Milwaukee and ended beautifully in Minneapolis. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 7/2 through Sun, 7/8 *** Record Last Week: 4-3 (Overall: 39-48) Run Differential Last Week: +13 (Overall: -21) Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (9.5 GB) When previewing the upcoming slate in last week's edition of this column, I noted that the "four-game home set against Baltimore in the latter portion would look like a huge opportunity if the Twins hadn't already essentially buried themselves. That Orioles team is really, really bad." True to form, Baltimore came to town and played terribly, dropping all four games to push its MLB-leading loss total to 65. After being swept out of Target Field, the O's find themselves on pace for a 44-118 finish. A good reminder that it could be worse. But things still aren't anywhere near good for the Twins, whose first sweep of the year came on the heels of a gut-wrenching 1-8 road trip that torpedoed their remaining hopes of vaulting into contention. As we head into a new week, the Twins find themselves nine games below .500 and 9 1/2 out in the division despite their modest four-game winning streak. HIGHLIGHTS When a season goes south as this one has, one silver lining is the opportunity to extensively evaluate some potentially useful pieces going forward. One of the most interesting names in this category at present is Jake Cave, who's been enjoying regular playing time with Byron Buxton demoted and Ryan LaMarre designated for assignment. Cave has been taking advantage in a big way. The numbers have been solid – he went 6-for-21 with a pair of doubles this week and has a .785 OPS overall through 20 big-league games – but more noticeable is the energy and hustle. He runs hard on the bases, risked injury with a gutsy headfirst slide into home on Saturday, and has already made several highlight-reel plays in the outfield, including a home run robbery Friday night that earned him some noteworthy praise: When acquired, Cave was described (even by Derek Falvey) as a somewhat fringy center fielder better suited for the corners, but he looked awfully capable making six straight starts in the middle this past week. We'll see where things go from here, but right now Cave is building his case to be part of the 2019 picture. One theoretical outfield mix would have the Twins carrying four lefty-swinging outfielders (Cave, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, LaMonte Wade) on the active roster next year. We might even see that combination in place this September. Speaking of Kepler, he also put forth a strong effort over the past seven days, going 8-for-25 with a pair of home runs while starting all seven games. During Minnesota's nightmarish road trip Kepler had produced zero extra-base hits and one RBI in 34 plate appearances, so it was good to see him hit some balls hard and drive in four during the Baltimore series. Returning to the fold after his 80-game PED suspension to open the season, Jorge Polanco had an assuring first week of action. Starting every game at shortstop, the 25-year-old went 7-for-26 with a pair of doubles and two walks. He's looked sharp on defense, and ended Saturday's game with an excellent backhand play in the hole. On the pitching side there were some impressive performances as well. Aaron Slegers made his first start of the season for the Twins on Thursday and he was money, tossing six very efficient innings with one run, one walk and three hits allowed to pick up his first MLB win. Because his stuff and strikeouts have never matched up with his intimidating frame, the 6-foot-10 righty has never been viewed as a high-end prospect, but the consistent results are hard to ignore. In his tidy victory over Baltimore, Slegers showed why a manager likes to have him around – he worked quickly, pounded the strike zone, and kept his fielders busy while limiting hard contact. Adalberto Mejia, sent back to the minors after getting one chance to start in unbearable heat, certainly deserves another look. So does Fernando Romero, who has put up a 1.45 ERA in three starts at Rochester since an arguably unearned demotion. But Slegers, much like Cave, is one of those borderline players the Twins should be using this second half to assess. It's gonna be tough to find room for holding all these auditions in the rotation unless Minnesota can open up some vacancies, which is why the trade deadline will be key. One candidate to be dealt further bolstered his stock over the weekend. Kyle Gibson shook off a rocky first frame to get through seven innings of three-run ball with nine strikeouts. He set a new career-high by inducing 20 swinging strikes, second-most for a Twins starter all season (Lance Lynn tallied 21 at Detroit in mid-June). Granted, the sterling effort came against a truly lousy Orioles squad, but it was another reminder of Gibby's vastly improved arsenal. There were reportedly scouts on hand to watch the right-hander's previous outing, and if any were in the house at Target Field on Saturday they undoubtedly came away impressed. My stance is that the Twins shouldn't move Gibson unless they're blown away by an offer. But that's not an implausible scenario. Another strong week worth mentioning: Trevor Hildenberger bounced back from his weird implosion at Wrigley Field with three scoreless appearances, striking out five while allowing one hit and two walks. That's more like it. And finally, in the Baby Steps Department: At Triple A, Buxton collected seven hits, including a two doubles and a homer, while scoring seven times and keeping his K-rate below 25%. At Single A, Miguel Sano went 7-for-21 and is sporting a .340 average. LOWLIGHTS Before his monster sixth inning on Sunday, in which he hit both a leadoff double and a subsequent three-run homer, Brian Dozier was 4-for-24 (.167) with nine strikeouts and zero walks on the week. Like much of the second baseman's scant production this year, his big blast – a signature upper-decker yanked to straightaway left – didn't exactly come at a pivotal time, as it extended the team's lopsided lead from seven runs to 10. This trend has led Dozier to a -1.67 Win Probability Added, worst on the team by far, and magnifies the disappointing nature of his performance this season. According to Baseball Reference, the 31-year-old is hitting .123/.206/.193 in "Close and Late" situations, compounding a conspicuous career-long weakness (Dozier's lifetime OPS in such spots is nearly 200 points lower than his overall mark). None of this will do much to prop up his value in the eyes of shopping contenders as the deadline approaches. The only longer-tenured Twin, Joe Mauer, also had a quiet week, picking up five hits in 24 at-bats (.208) with one RBI and one walk. Mauer's keen eye has disappeared since his return from the disabled list. He's coaxed only two free passes in 79 plate appearances (2.5%) after drawing 28 in 167 PA (16.8%) before stirring up concussion symptoms in May. As a result, his OBP has gone from .404 before the injury to .253 since. When answering a fan's question about whether Mauer might return on a one-year deal in 2019, Star Tribune beat reporter La Velle E. Neal III responded, "He wants to play next year, so yes." If it's a true reflection of the organization's mindset, it's annoying. With all due respect, Mauer's desires and preferences should not be dictating the team's plans. He is a leadoff man who, over the past month, hasn't been able to get on base. A first baseman who can't hit for power (subtracting those weird two games at Wrigley Field at the end of June, Mauer has slugged .266 in 18 games since coming off the DL). A lineup staple and ostensible team leader with a 0.3 WAR through half the season. Maybe this is just a short-term slump, and Mauer will soon get back to the level he was at before. But given his history of prolonged droughts following concussion issues, it's not easy to feel confident in that. TRENDING STORYLINE Bobby Wilson badly needed a game like the one he had on Saturday. The "backup" catcher was sporting an unsightly .114/.191/.203 slash line before breaking out with two hits and three RBIs in the victory. Obviously his overall numbers still aren't pretty, and it's fairly clear Wilson doesn't belong in the majors, much less starting on a semi-regular basis. I put the word "backup" in quotes above because Wilson really hasn't functioned as one – more of a straight-up timeshare partner. Since the start of June, Mitch Garver has made 18 starts behind the plate to Wilson's 17, and the two have been pretty close in total plate appearances (72 for Garver versus 56 for Wilson, despite the former out-hitting the latter by 500+ points of OPS during that span). In recent weeks, the catching workload has actually swung very much in Wilson's favor, as he's made 10 starts behind the plate to Garver's seven over the past 17 contests. That Paul Molitor has shifted the balance this way, despite a massive offensive chasm, speaks to a pretty evident lack of faith in Garver's receiving skills. While that's understandable enough given his relative lack of MLB experience, the Twins can't exactly afford to exhibit endless patience with Garver, who turns 28 in January. If he's this far away now from where he needs to be, is he going to get there? How's it gonna happen when he's not getting regular reps? And even if they are unenthused with his defense, why aren't the Twins finding Garver more starts at DH or first? Why was he batting ninth on Friday despite a .333/.393/.451 line over his previous 20 games, and eighth on Sunday after chipping in two hits and a walk on Friday? The handling of Garver has been odd, and the present state of the catcher position is unacceptable. One would think something's gotta give. DOWN ON THE FARM It's been a little bit of a weird season for Lewis Thorpe. The lefty, who returned successfully to Single-A last season after losing two full years to injury and illness, has now taken the step up to Double A where he has dominated... kinda. The core numbers don't reflect it. Through 82 2/3 innings Thorpe has a 4.04 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, which are hardly eye-popping numbers for a 22-year-old in the Southern League. But he has also posted a stellar 104-to-24 K/BB ratio. His stuff has by all accounts been excellent, and at times that has clearly manifested, like on June 21st when he struck out 12 over seven shutout innings while allowing one hit and one walk. But then he has weird games, like his dud in early June where he coughed up nine runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings, even though he induced 16 whiffs on 85 pitches. There was another start in April where he yielded 10 hits over 4 2/3 despite striking out seven, walking none, and again drawing 16 swings and misses. Thorpe has struck out hitters in droves while showing good control, but he's been haunted by a .370 BABIP and elevated pitch counts. Luckily, the folks assembling the Futures Game rosters looked past this and handed the Melbourne native a spot on the World team. He'll likely take the mound at some point next Sunday in DC during the prospect showcase. Maybe he'll even get a chance to face Alex Kirilloff, who will represent the Twins on the U.S. team. The most impressive week on the farm belonged to Brent Rooker, who collected multiple hits in five of seven games and doubled in the winning run for Chattanooga on Saturday. Sporting a 1.047 OPS since the start of June, the 2017 draftee is a compelling candidate to spend time in Rochester or even Minnesota later this season. LOOKING AHEAD If they want to keep this winning streak going, the Twins could hardly ask for a better slate in the final week before the All-Star break. The Royals, closely trailing Baltimore for most losses in the majors at 64, arrive on Monday for a three-game series. Then it's a four-game set versus the mediocre Rays. If the Twins were able to go, say, 6-1 in the coming week while cutting into Cleveland's sizable division lead, one wonders if the front office's deadline calculus would change at all. MONDAY, 7/9: ROYAL @ TWINS – LHP Danny Duffy v. RHP Jose Berrios TUESDAY, 7/10: ROYALS @ TWINS – RHP Ian Kennedy v. RHP Aaron Slegers WEDNESDAY, 7/11: ROYALS @ TWINS – RHP Jason Hammel v. RHP Lance Lynn THURSDAY, 7/12: RAYS @ TWINS – LHP Blake Snell v. RHP Kyle Gibson FRIDAY, 7/13: RAYS @ TWINS – RHP Nathan Eovaldi v. RHP Jake Odorizzi SATURDAY, 7/14: RAYS @ TWINS – RHP Chris Archer v. RHP Jose Berrios SUNDAY, 7/15: RAYS @ TWINS – RHP Matt Andriese v. RHP Aaron Slegers Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 81 | MIL 6, MIN 5: Oh, That Rodney ExperienceGame 82 | MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts GaloreGame 83 | MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a StoneGame 84 | MIN 5, BAL 2: Slegers, Cave Lift Twins Out of SlumpGame 85 | MIN 6, BAL 2: Jake Cave Is the Hero We DeserveGame 86 | MIN 5, BAL 4: More Baltimore, PleaseGame 87 | MIN 10, BAL 1: Twins Pick Up First Sweep of 2018 Click here to view the article
  5. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 7/2 through Sun, 7/8 *** Record Last Week: 4-3 (Overall: 39-48) Run Differential Last Week: +13 (Overall: -21) Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (9.5 GB) When previewing the upcoming slate in last week's edition of this column, I noted that the "four-game home set against Baltimore in the latter portion would look like a huge opportunity if the Twins hadn't already essentially buried themselves. That Orioles team is really, really bad." True to form, Baltimore came to town and played terribly, dropping all four games to push its MLB-leading loss total to 65. After being swept out of Target Field, the O's find themselves on pace for a 44-118 finish. A good reminder that it could be worse. But things still aren't anywhere near good for the Twins, whose first sweep of the year came on the heels of a gut-wrenching 1-8 road trip that torpedoed their remaining hopes of vaulting into contention. As we head into a new week, the Twins find themselves nine games below .500 and 9 1/2 out in the division despite their modest four-game winning streak. HIGHLIGHTS When a season goes south as this one has, one silver lining is the opportunity to extensively evaluate some potentially useful pieces going forward. One of the most interesting names in this category at present is Jake Cave, who's been enjoying regular playing time with Byron Buxton demoted and Ryan LaMarre designated for assignment. Cave has been taking advantage in a big way. The numbers have been solid – he went 6-for-21 with a pair of doubles this week and has a .785 OPS overall through 20 big-league games – but more noticeable is the energy and hustle. He runs hard on the bases, risked injury with a gutsy headfirst slide into home on Saturday, and has already made several highlight-reel plays in the outfield, including a home run robbery Friday night that earned him some noteworthy praise: https://twitter.com/toriihunter48/status/1015432081936146432 When acquired, Cave was described (even by Derek Falvey) as a somewhat fringy center fielder better suited for the corners, but he looked awfully capable making six straight starts in the middle this past week. We'll see where things go from here, but right now Cave is building his case to be part of the 2019 picture. One theoretical outfield mix would have the Twins carrying four lefty-swinging outfielders (Cave, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, LaMonte Wade) on the active roster next year. We might even see that combination in place this September. Speaking of Kepler, he also put forth a strong effort over the past seven days, going 8-for-25 with a pair of home runs while starting all seven games. During Minnesota's nightmarish road trip Kepler had produced zero extra-base hits and one RBI in 34 plate appearances, so it was good to see him hit some balls hard and drive in four during the Baltimore series. Returning to the fold after his 80-game PED suspension to open the season, Jorge Polanco had an assuring first week of action. Starting every game at shortstop, the 25-year-old went 7-for-26 with a pair of doubles and two walks. He's looked sharp on defense, and ended Saturday's game with an excellent backhand play in the hole. On the pitching side there were some impressive performances as well. Aaron Slegers made his first start of the season for the Twins on Thursday and he was money, tossing six very efficient innings with one run, one walk and three hits allowed to pick up his first MLB win. Because his stuff and strikeouts have never matched up with his intimidating frame, the 6-foot-10 righty has never been viewed as a high-end prospect, but the consistent results are hard to ignore. In his tidy victory over Baltimore, Slegers showed why a manager likes to have him around – he worked quickly, pounded the strike zone, and kept his fielders busy while limiting hard contact. Adalberto Mejia, sent back to the minors after getting one chance to start in unbearable heat, certainly deserves another look. So does Fernando Romero, who has put up a 1.45 ERA in three starts at Rochester since an arguably unearned demotion. But Slegers, much like Cave, is one of those borderline players the Twins should be using this second half to assess. It's gonna be tough to find room for holding all these auditions in the rotation unless Minnesota can open up some vacancies, which is why the trade deadline will be key. One candidate to be dealt further bolstered his stock over the weekend. Kyle Gibson shook off a rocky first frame to get through seven innings of three-run ball with nine strikeouts. He set a new career-high by inducing 20 swinging strikes, second-most for a Twins starter all season (Lance Lynn tallied 21 at Detroit in mid-June). Granted, the sterling effort came against a truly lousy Orioles squad, but it was another reminder of Gibby's vastly improved arsenal. There were reportedly scouts on hand to watch the right-hander's previous outing, and if any were in the house at Target Field on Saturday they undoubtedly came away impressed. My stance is that the Twins shouldn't move Gibson unless they're blown away by an offer. But that's not an implausible scenario. Another strong week worth mentioning: Trevor Hildenberger bounced back from his weird implosion at Wrigley Field with three scoreless appearances, striking out five while allowing one hit and two walks. That's more like it. And finally, in the Baby Steps Department: At Triple A, Buxton collected seven hits, including a two doubles and a homer, while scoring seven times and keeping his K-rate below 25%. At Single A, Miguel Sano went 7-for-21 and is sporting a .340 average. LOWLIGHTS Before his monster sixth inning on Sunday, in which he hit both a leadoff double and a subsequent three-run homer, Brian Dozier was 4-for-24 (.167) with nine strikeouts and zero walks on the week. Like much of the second baseman's scant production this year, his big blast – a signature upper-decker yanked to straightaway left – didn't exactly come at a pivotal time, as it extended the team's lopsided lead from seven runs to 10. This trend has led Dozier to a -1.67 Win Probability Added, worst on the team by far, and magnifies the disappointing nature of his performance this season. According to Baseball Reference, the 31-year-old is hitting .123/.206/.193 in "Close and Late" situations, compounding a conspicuous career-long weakness (Dozier's lifetime OPS in such spots is nearly 200 points lower than his overall mark). None of this will do much to prop up his value in the eyes of shopping contenders as the deadline approaches. The only longer-tenured Twin, Joe Mauer, also had a quiet week, picking up five hits in 24 at-bats (.208) with one RBI and one walk. Mauer's keen eye has disappeared since his return from the disabled list. He's coaxed only two free passes in 79 plate appearances (2.5%) after drawing 28 in 167 PA (16.8%) before stirring up concussion symptoms in May. As a result, his OBP has gone from .404 before the injury to .253 since. When answering a fan's question about whether Mauer might return on a one-year deal in 2019, Star Tribune beat reporter La Velle E. Neal III responded, "He wants to play next year, so yes." If it's a true reflection of the organization's mindset, it's annoying. With all due respect, Mauer's desires and preferences should not be dictating the team's plans. He is a leadoff man who, over the past month, hasn't been able to get on base. A first baseman who can't hit for power (subtracting those weird two games at Wrigley Field at the end of June, Mauer has slugged .266 in 18 games since coming off the DL). A lineup staple and ostensible team leader with a 0.3 WAR through half the season. Maybe this is just a short-term slump, and Mauer will soon get back to the level he was at before. But given his history of prolonged droughts following concussion issues, it's not easy to feel confident in that. TRENDING STORYLINE Bobby Wilson badly needed a game like the one he had on Saturday. The "backup" catcher was sporting an unsightly .114/.191/.203 slash line before breaking out with two hits and three RBIs in the victory. Obviously his overall numbers still aren't pretty, and it's fairly clear Wilson doesn't belong in the majors, much less starting on a semi-regular basis. I put the word "backup" in quotes above because Wilson really hasn't functioned as one – more of a straight-up timeshare partner. Since the start of June, Mitch Garver has made 18 starts behind the plate to Wilson's 17, and the two have been pretty close in total plate appearances (72 for Garver versus 56 for Wilson, despite the former out-hitting the latter by 500+ points of OPS during that span). In recent weeks, the catching workload has actually swung very much in Wilson's favor, as he's made 10 starts behind the plate to Garver's seven over the past 17 contests. That Paul Molitor has shifted the balance this way, despite a massive offensive chasm, speaks to a pretty evident lack of faith in Garver's receiving skills. While that's understandable enough given his relative lack of MLB experience, the Twins can't exactly afford to exhibit endless patience with Garver, who turns 28 in January. If he's this far away now from where he needs to be, is he going to get there? How's it gonna happen when he's not getting regular reps? And even if they are unenthused with his defense, why aren't the Twins finding Garver more starts at DH or first? Why was he batting ninth on Friday despite a .333/.393/.451 line over his previous 20 games, and eighth on Sunday after chipping in two hits and a walk on Friday? The handling of Garver has been odd, and the present state of the catcher position is unacceptable. One would think something's gotta give. DOWN ON THE FARM It's been a little bit of a weird season for Lewis Thorpe. The lefty, who returned successfully to Single-A last season after losing two full years to injury and illness, has now taken the step up to Double A where he has dominated... kinda. The core numbers don't reflect it. Through 82 2/3 innings Thorpe has a 4.04 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, which are hardly eye-popping numbers for a 22-year-old in the Southern League. But he has also posted a stellar 104-to-24 K/BB ratio. His stuff has by all accounts been excellent, and at times that has clearly manifested, like on June 21st when he struck out 12 over seven shutout innings while allowing one hit and one walk. But then he has weird games, like his dud in early June where he coughed up nine runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings, even though he induced 16 whiffs on 85 pitches. There was another start in April where he yielded 10 hits over 4 2/3 despite striking out seven, walking none, and again drawing 16 swings and misses. Thorpe has struck out hitters in droves while showing good control, but he's been haunted by a .370 BABIP and elevated pitch counts. Luckily, the folks assembling the Futures Game rosters looked past this and handed the Melbourne native a spot on the World team. He'll likely take the mound at some point next Sunday in DC during the prospect showcase. Maybe he'll even get a chance to face Alex Kirilloff, who will represent the Twins on the U.S. team. The most impressive week on the farm belonged to Brent Rooker, who collected multiple hits in five of seven games and doubled in the winning run for Chattanooga on Saturday. Sporting a 1.047 OPS since the start of June, the 2017 draftee is a compelling candidate to spend time in Rochester or even Minnesota later this season. LOOKING AHEAD If they want to keep this winning streak going, the Twins could hardly ask for a better slate in the final week before the All-Star break. The Royals, closely trailing Baltimore for most losses in the majors at 64, arrive on Monday for a three-game series. Then it's a four-game set versus the mediocre Rays. If the Twins were able to go, say, 6-1 in the coming week while cutting into Cleveland's sizable division lead, one wonders if the front office's deadline calculus would change at all. MONDAY, 7/9: ROYAL @ TWINS – LHP Danny Duffy v. RHP Jose Berrios TUESDAY, 7/10: ROYALS @ TWINS – RHP Ian Kennedy v. RHP Aaron Slegers WEDNESDAY, 7/11: ROYALS @ TWINS – RHP Jason Hammel v. RHP Lance Lynn THURSDAY, 7/12: RAYS @ TWINS – LHP Blake Snell v. RHP Kyle Gibson FRIDAY, 7/13: RAYS @ TWINS – RHP Nathan Eovaldi v. RHP Jake Odorizzi SATURDAY, 7/14: RAYS @ TWINS – RHP Chris Archer v. RHP Jose Berrios SUNDAY, 7/15: RAYS @ TWINS – RHP Matt Andriese v. RHP Aaron Slegers Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 81 | MIL 6, MIN 5: Oh, That Rodney Experience Game 82 | MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts Galore Game 83 | MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a Stone Game 84 | MIN 5, BAL 2: Slegers, Cave Lift Twins Out of Slump Game 85 | MIN 6, BAL 2: Jake Cave Is the Hero We Deserve Game 86 | MIN 5, BAL 4: More Baltimore, Please Game 87 | MIN 10, BAL 1: Twins Pick Up First Sweep of 2018
  6. If the familiar faces aren’t delivering, why not turn to some fresh faces, right? That plan worked out well Thursday night at Target Field, as Aaron Slegers held Baltimore to one run over six innings and Jake Cave was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and an outstanding leaping catch.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 61 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, 65.3% strikes Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 7 LOB WPA of 0.1 or above: Slegers .266, Hildenberger .126, Cave .120 WPA of -0.1 or below: None Download attachment: WinEx75.png This is exactly the type of game we’ve come to expect from Slegers down in Triple A. He doesn’t overpower hitters (just two strikeouts) but he keeps them off balance. The Orioles only got one run off of three hits and a walk against Slegers, who only needed 72 pitches to complete his six frames. The Twins scored their first run in the bottom of the third thanks to a pretty comical error by the O’s. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead, but things tightened up again thanks to a pair of Jonathan Scoop solo homers — one off Slegers and the other off Addison Reed. Clinging to a one-run lead, Trevor Hildenberger pitched a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins added a pair of runs in the bottom half to take some of the excitement out of Fernando Rodney’s night. He pitched a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts to earn his 18th save. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Bullpen75.png AL Central Standings CLE 48-37 MIN 36-48 (-11.5) DET 38-51 (-12) CHW 30-56 (-18.5) KC 25-61 (-23.5) Next Three Games Fri vs. BAL, 7:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Dylan Bundy Sat vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Kevin Gausman Sun vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Alex Cobb Last Three Games MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a Stone MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts Galore MIL 6, MIN 5: Oh, That Rodney Experience Click here to view the article
  7. Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs) Aaron Slegers: 61 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, 65.3% strikes Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 7 LOB WPA of 0.1 or above: Slegers .266, Hildenberger .126, Cave .120 WPA of -0.1 or below: None This is exactly the type of game we’ve come to expect from Slegers down in Triple A. He doesn’t overpower hitters (just two strikeouts) but he keeps them off balance. The Orioles only got one run off of three hits and a walk against Slegers, who only needed 72 pitches to complete his six frames. The Twins scored their first run in the bottom of the third thanks to a pretty comical error by the O’s. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead, but things tightened up again thanks to a pair of Jonathan Scoop solo homers — one off Slegers and the other off Addison Reed. Clinging to a one-run lead, Trevor Hildenberger pitched a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins added a pair of runs in the bottom half to take some of the excitement out of Fernando Rodney’s night. He pitched a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts to earn his 18th save. https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1015092741485801473 There was a huge call overturned that hurt the Twins. Max Kepler hit what originally appeared to be a run-scoring double to put the Twins up 4-2 in the sixth. After a closer look, it was determined it was a ground-rule double. Jorge Polanco, who came around to score from first on the play, was forced to go back to third base, where he was eventually left stranded. Cave was the offensive star of the night, but Logan Morrison was 2-for-4 with his 10th home run and Kepler was 2-for-4 with a double. Postgame With Molitor https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1015070367574978560 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: AL Central Standings CLE 48-37 MIN 36-48 (-11.5) DET 38-51 (-12) CHW 30-56 (-18.5) KC 25-61 (-23.5) Next Three Games Fri vs. BAL, 7:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Dylan Bundy Sat vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Kevin Gausman Sun vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Alex Cobb Last Three Games MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a Stone MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts Galore MIL 6, MIN 5: Oh, That Rodney Experience
  8. 40. Aaron Whitefield – CF Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A+/Rk): .220/.301/.293 (.594 OPS), 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 23 K, 9 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 29 | Tom: NR | Cody: 42 Whitefield just recently returned to action with the MIracle. He suffered a broken hamate bone in late April, which forced him to miss all of May and most of June. He made a name for himself with the Kernels last year flashing both speed (33 stolen bases) and power (11 homers). He’s also a legit center fielder. Over the winter, Whitefield won his third-straight Claxton Shield (which is awarded to the Australian Baseball League champions). Here’s hoping he can get back healthy and continue to build momentum. 39. Jaylin Davis – RF Age: 24 ETA: 2019 2018 Stats (AA/A+): .265/.358/.395 (.753 OPS), 11 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 67 K, 27 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 41 | Tom: 43 | Cody: 35 Over his first two seasons in the system, Davis displayed impressive power but it came with a hefty number of strikeouts and not many walks to offset them. This season, he’s looked like a whole new hitter. After posting a career 30.2 K% and 6.8 BB%, Davis has improved those rates to 25.2 K% and 11.0 BB% in 2018. The power took a dip, but that was to be expected in the FSL. The higher-ups took note of the strides Davis was making, and promoted him up to Chattanooga a couple of weeks ago. 38. Ricky De La Torre – SS Age: 18 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats: .333/.417/.500 (.917 OPS), 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 7 K, 3 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 44 | Tom: 29 | Cody: 43 Drafted out of Puerto Rico, De La Torre made his pro debut last year as a 17-year-old and opted to sign with the Twins instead of heading to Auburn. He cracked three homers with the GCL Twins last year, which doesn’t sound like much, but only 15 batters went deep five or more times in that entire league last season. Shortstop is a crowded spot in the system, which is a good problem to have, but De La Torre may be the best suited of anyone to make the transition to third base due to his strong arm. 37. Lachlan Wells – LHP Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats: None, injured. 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 48 | Tom: 33 | Cody: 32 Another Australian! Wells had Tommy John surgery in mid May and will miss the entire 2018 season. Originally looked over due to his diminutive stature, Wells really filled out the past couple years, though he’ll still never be mistaken for Tyler Wells (who’s listed at 6-foot-8, 265 lbs). In 204 innings as a pro, Lachlan has a 2.74 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and has averaged 8.2 K/9 against just 2.0 BB/9. It’s a shame we won’t get to see him on the mound again for quite some time. 36. Aaron Slegers – RHP ETA: 2018 Age: 25 2018 Stats (AAA): 83.2 IP, 3.55 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 2.89 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 33 | Tom: 34 | Cody: 45 Slegers lacks the kind of overpowering stuff that puts pitchers higher up on prospect lists, but there’s no questioning his track record of getting outs in the high minors. He’s made five appearances with the Twins over the past two years, but during that time he’s also 20-9 with a 3.38 ERA over 37 starts for Rochester. Slegers pitched the fifth-most innings in the Southern League in 2016, logged the fourth-most innings in the International League last season and is easily pacing his Red Wings teammates in innings so far this year. That's it for now, check another five pack of prospects tomorrow.
  9. Prospect heads rejoice! It’s time to revisit the top prospects list. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects List. That’s right, we’re expanding the size of the official site rankings, doubling upward from our preseason list. The journey starts today with numbers 40 through 36.40. Aaron Whitefield – CF Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A+/Rk): .220/.301/.293 (.594 OPS), 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 23 K, 9 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 29 | Tom: NR | Cody: 42 Whitefield just recently returned to action with the MIracle. He suffered a broken hamate bone in late April, which forced him to miss all of May and most of June. He made a name for himself with the Kernels last year flashing both speed (33 stolen bases) and power (11 homers). He’s also a legit center fielder. Over the winter, Whitefield won his third-straight Claxton Shield (which is awarded to the Australian Baseball League champions). Here’s hoping he can get back healthy and continue to build momentum. 39. Jaylin Davis – RF Age: 24 ETA: 2019 2018 Stats (AA/A+): .265/.358/.395 (.753 OPS), 11 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 67 K, 27 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 41 | Tom: 43 | Cody: 35 Over his first two seasons in the system, Davis displayed impressive power but it came with a hefty number of strikeouts and not many walks to offset them. This season, he’s looked like a whole new hitter. After posting a career 30.2 K% and 6.8 BB%, Davis has improved those rates to 25.2 K% and 11.0 BB% in 2018. The power took a dip, but that was to be expected in the FSL. The higher-ups took note of the strides Davis was making, and promoted him up to Chattanooga a couple of weeks ago. 38. Ricky De La Torre – SS Age: 18 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats: .333/.417/.500 (.917 OPS), 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 7 K, 3 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 44 | Tom: 29 | Cody: 43 Drafted out of Puerto Rico, De La Torre made his pro debut last year as a 17-year-old and opted to sign with the Twins instead of heading to Auburn. He cracked three homers with the GCL Twins last year, which doesn’t sound like much, but only 15 batters went deep five or more times in that entire league last season. Shortstop is a crowded spot in the system, which is a good problem to have, but De La Torre may be the best suited of anyone to make the transition to third base due to his strong arm. 37. Lachlan Wells – LHP Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats: None, injured. 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 48 | Tom: 33 | Cody: 32 Another Australian! Wells had Tommy John surgery in mid May and will miss the entire 2018 season. Originally looked over due to his diminutive stature, Wells really filled out the past couple years, though he’ll still never be mistaken for Tyler Wells (who’s listed at 6-foot-8, 265 lbs). In 204 innings as a pro, Lachlan has a 2.74 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and has averaged 8.2 K/9 against just 2.0 BB/9. It’s a shame we won’t get to see him on the mound again for quite some time. 36. Aaron Slegers – RHP ETA: 2018 Age: 25 2018 Stats (AAA): 83.2 IP, 3.55 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 2.89 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 33 | Tom: 34 | Cody: 45 Slegers lacks the kind of overpowering stuff that puts pitchers higher up on prospect lists, but there’s no questioning his track record of getting outs in the high minors. He’s made five appearances with the Twins over the past two years, but during that time he’s also 20-9 with a 3.38 ERA over 37 starts for Rochester. Slegers pitched the fifth-most innings in the Southern League in 2016, logged the fourth-most innings in the International League last season and is easily pacing his Red Wings teammates in innings so far this year. That's it for now, check another five pack of prospects tomorrow. Click here to view the article
  10. Life as a minor league player can be tough. Few players ever get to live out their dream as a regular player at the big league level. For every player who realizes their dream, another player is forced to be released or find another organization to keep his dream alive. Right-handed pitcher Zack Jones was released from the Twins organization on Sunday. The 27-year old was drafted by the organization in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He pitched seven years in the minor leagues and reached Triple-A once in 2016. This actually came in the Brewers organization after being taken by Milwaukee in the Rule 5 Draft. This year with the Lookouts he had a 2.49 ERA in 25.1 innings with a 39 to 25 strikeout to walk ratio. He was over 2.5 years older than the competition in the Southern League.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 3 Box Score Rochester jumped out to a 1-0 lead without recording a hit in the second inning. With one out, Jake Cave and Kennys Vargas coaxed back-to-back walks. Cameron Rupp moved both runners into scoring position with a groundout. Then with Gregorio Petit batting, a wild pitch allowed Cave to scamper home. Aaron Slegers started for the Red Wings and he saw the lead disappear in the bottom half of the second. With two outs, Slegers allowed a solo home run. He walked the following batter and then a throwing error by third baseman Taylor Featherston allowed an unearned run to score. Overall, Slegers lasted five frames, struck out four and walked two. The Red Wings tied the game in the top of the fifth. Zack Granite led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a LaMonte Wade single. Nick Gordon grounded out into a near double play to allow Granite to score. However, his hustle down the line forced the pitcher to drop the ball while covering first. Jake Reed took over for Slegers in the sixth and promptly gave up a lead-off double. After a ground out and a sacrifice fly, Bufflo had taken a 3-2 lead. Tyler Duffey and Nick Anderson combined for two shutout innings. Anderson pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts. Vargas was the lone Rochester hitter with multiple hits. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Granite and Wade both reached base twice. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Birmingham – (Cancelled – Rain) Chattanooga and Birmingham sat in a rain delay before the game was eventually cancelled. The Lookouts finished the first half with a record of 36-33. The club will return home on Thursday to face the Biloxi Shuckers to kick off the second half. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 12 Box Score Cedar Rapids took a first inning lead thanks to back-to-back hits from Jacob Pearson and Alex Kirilloff. Pearson singled with one out before Kirilloff cracked his 19th double of the season. Pearson came all the way around from first to score. Later in the game, Kirilloff collected his 20th double. Jordan Balazovic took his first loss after allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked two. In relief of Balazovic, Jose Martinez surrendered three earned runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. Tanner Kiest ran into a little trouble in the late innings as he allowed six earned runs on five hits while recording only two outs. Calvin Fauchers finished off the final two outs for the Kernels and without allowing a run. Pearson and Kirilloff got the offense started again in the sixth. With two outs, both batters walked before a Jose Miranda single singled to drive in Pearson. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases the bottom of the ninth but only pushed across one run. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Aaron Slegers, Rochester (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB #10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-5, BB, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers vs. Tampa (6:00 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Orioles (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  11. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 3 Box Score Rochester jumped out to a 1-0 lead without recording a hit in the second inning. With one out, Jake Cave and Kennys Vargas coaxed back-to-back walks. Cameron Rupp moved both runners into scoring position with a groundout. Then with Gregorio Petit batting, a wild pitch allowed Cave to scamper home. Aaron Slegers started for the Red Wings and he saw the lead disappear in the bottom half of the second. With two outs, Slegers allowed a solo home run. He walked the following batter and then a throwing error by third baseman Taylor Featherston allowed an unearned run to score. Overall, Slegers lasted five frames, struck out four and walked two. The Red Wings tied the game in the top of the fifth. Zack Granite led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a LaMonte Wade single. Nick Gordon grounded out into a near double play to allow Granite to score. However, his hustle down the line forced the pitcher to drop the ball while covering first. Jake Reed took over for Slegers in the sixth and promptly gave up a lead-off double. After a ground out and a sacrifice fly, Bufflo had taken a 3-2 lead. Tyler Duffey and Nick Anderson combined for two shutout innings. Anderson pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts. Vargas was the lone Rochester hitter with multiple hits. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Granite and Wade both reached base twice. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Birmingham – (Cancelled – Rain) Chattanooga and Birmingham sat in a rain delay before the game was eventually cancelled. The Lookouts finished the first half with a record of 36-33. The club will return home on Thursday to face the Biloxi Shuckers to kick off the second half. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 12 Box Score Cedar Rapids took a first inning lead thanks to back-to-back hits from Jacob Pearson and Alex Kirilloff. Pearson singled with one out before Kirilloff cracked his 19th double of the season. Pearson came all the way around from first to score. Later in the game, Kirilloff collected his 20th double. Jordan Balazovic took his first loss after allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked two. In relief of Balazovic, Jose Martinez surrendered three earned runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. Tanner Kiest ran into a little trouble in the late innings as he allowed six earned runs on five hits while recording only two outs. Calvin Fauchers finished off the final two outs for the Kernels and without allowing a run. Pearson and Kirilloff got the offense started again in the sixth. With two outs, both batters walked before a Jose Miranda single singled to drive in Pearson. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases the bottom of the ninth but only pushed across one run. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Aaron Slegers, Rochester (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB #10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-5, BB, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers vs. Tampa (6:00 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Orioles (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  12. There was plenty of action in the system on Tuesday as the Red Wings made up an earlier postponement with a doubleheader, along with all other affiliates being in action. The games included a couple of shutouts in favor of the good guys but one, we’ll call it an “occurrence,” stood out to me as I went through the game log for a starting pitcher in one of those, one who happened to allow ten hits in a near complete game effort. I’d guess not a single game in the majors has had this happen this year, and who knows how many other seasons before that. I challenge someone to find out for me, and in turn, inform the rest of our readers because I think it’s going to be that rare.You’re going to have to keep reading to find out exactly what I’m referring to, but be sure to add to the discussion in the comments when you find out! TRANSACTIONS There were a couple of transactions in the system on Tuesday: -The Rochester Red Wings received Joe Mauer on a rehab assignment, and he played in both games of their doubleheader. -In AA, the Chattanooga Lookouts placed Zander Wiel on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to June 10th, with SI joint dysfunction (likely means lower back pain). RED WINGS REPORT Game 1: Rochester 2, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5 Box Score In game one of the Red Wings doubleheader on Tuesday, right-hander Aaron Slegers took the mound and delivered a (shortened) complete game effort, but was also saddled with the loss. Slegers surrendered five runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks in six innings. The damage came on a three-run home run in the bottom of the first (after an error making those runs the unearned ones), and solo shots in each of the third and fourth innings. He struck out four on the day. On offense Rochester wasn’t able to string together enough hits of their own to keep up, as newcomers Cameron Rupp and Taylor Motter hit their first home runs in the organization in back-to-back fashion in the fourth to account for their only runs. Nick Gordon finished 2-for-3 on the game and as a team they had only two at-bats with runners in scoring position and left only four men on base. Joe Mauer batted first in the lineup as the DH in this one to kick off his rehab assignment and finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Game 2: Rochester 0, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2 Box Score In the makeup of their May 12th postponement, Rochester trotted out the bullpen to handle game two. Gabriel Moya got the starting nod and went the first three innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out four, lowering his ERA on the season at Triple A to 1.85. It was then Tyler Duffey’s turn, and he went the next two innings, allowing two hits and striking out one to put his ERA at 1.29. John Curtiss was up next, and while he started the day with an ERA also below two at 1.61, he would not finish it that way. After a double and single to start the sixth, a triple brought in two and put the RailRiders out front. Curtiss buckled down and got a fly out and two K’s to end the inning and it would be up to the Red Wings lineup in the top of the seventh. Unfortunately, Kennys Vargas led off the inning with a strikeout, then Willians Astudillo sent a fly ball into left field that he tried to stretch into a double but was thrown at second base. Down to their last out, a walk to Wynston Sawyer brought the tying run into the batter’s box, but a groundout ended the game. The lineup again failed to get anything going in this one as well, as they had just six baserunners all game. LaMonte Wade was 1-for-2 with a walk while Astudillo finished 2-for-3 in the book. Joe Mauer again was the DH out of the leadoff spot and again went 0-for-3. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Montgomery 2 Box Score In a bullpen game, the Lookouts got an overall solid pitching effort out of four of their relievers, but offense was hard to come by as they managed just three hits on the game, all singles. Mitchell Kranson, Alex Perez, and Tanner English each had one of those hits, with Perez picking up the only RBI to drive in James Ramsey, who had drawn a walk in the fourth inning. As a team Chattanooga was 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left only four men on base. Todd Van Steensel started the game for the Lookouts and went the first 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one run on three hits (a solo home run) and a walk while striking out two. Williams Ramirez was charged with the loss as he pitched the next two innings. He walked three and gave up one run along with picking up one K. Paco Rodriguez finished the next 1 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out three. Ryne Harper finished the game’s final two frames, retiring all six men he faced including one K. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 0 Box Score The Miracle took the lead 1-0 in the third inning when Jimmy Kerrigan, Travis Blankenhorn, and Jaylin Davis hit consecutive singles. It might have been more, but a double-steal attempt ended with Blankenhorn being thrown out at home. They stretched their lead to 3-0 in the seventh when a Luis Arreaz double brought in Ben Rortvedt and Brandon Lopez who had each singled to start the inning. Blankenhorn finished 3-for-4 but in addition to being caught at home, was also picked off first base. The Cardinals had all zeroes on the scoreboard to that point thanks to Fort Myers starter Clark Beeker. In total, he went 7 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk, while striking out three. Until the eighth, he had allowed just three hits but three singles in the eighth ended his day with two outs. A runner was thrown out at home by Shane Carrier, on the third of those singles to keep Palm Beach off the board. Andrew Vasquez came on to escape the remaining eighth inning jam with a strikeout, then proceeded to strike out the side in the ninth to pick up his fifth save on the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Kane County 0 Box Score Kernels starter Randy Dobnak did his best Houdini impression in this one, scattering ten hits over eight innings to shut out the Cougars. Despite all those hits, Kane County managed only five at-bats with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Dobnak walked none and struck out two. Of his 99 pitches, 73 went for strikes as he was extremely efficient with his pitch count. His defense also played a big part as he struck out only two on the game, and no errors were committed on 30 batted balls. Cedar Rapids jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Dobnak ever took the mound, as the first three top prospects in the lineup, Akil Baddoo, Royce Lewis, and Alex Kirilloff; went for extra bases. Baddoo led off the game with his sixth home run, Lewis doubled, and Kirilloff traded places with him on a double of his own. They stretched the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning thanks to an RBI single from Andrew Bechtold, and an RBI groundout from Trey Cabbage, then 6-0 after the eighth following doubles from Robby Rinn and Jacob Pearson (his second double of the game), and an error that allowed Pearson to score. In the ninth they tacked on another run after Baddoo led off the frame with a double and he scored on a single from Rinn. The Kernels got multiple hits from Baddoo, Lewis, Rinn (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI), Pearson (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI), and Bechtold (2-for-4, RBI, HBP). Lewis also stole his 16th base. There were no walks in the game from either team, but Cedar Rapids got the best of the 26 total hits. That “occurrence” I was talking about in the lead? Well, try this on for size: Not a single batter for the Kane County lineup pushed an at-bat to a three-ball count over Dobnak’s eight innings. Add in Martinez, and not one Cougar hitter reached three balls on the game. I don’t think that type of thing happens ever these days but couldn’t quite confirm it myself. If I go so far as to add in Cedar Rapids hitters, there were just two three-ball counts on the entire game on Tuesday night. I would have expected it to have gone quicker than two hours and thirty-nine minutes with that considered. Anyway, for fun and trying to verify my gut feeling on the rarity of this in today’s game, I did discover that Boston Braves pitcher Red Barrett holds the record for fewest pitches in a complete game as he needed just 58 pitches in a 2-0 victory against the Cincinnati Reds in 1944. That game was also the shortest in MLB history to be played at night, clocking in at one hour and fifteen minutes. Those notes aren’t the resolution to my query, but you’ve now learned the answer to some very obscure sports trivia questions. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 8 IP, 0 R, 10 H, 2 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, R, 2B (13), K, SB (16) 2. Fernando Romero (Minnesota) – Did not pitch. 3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – (2 games) 2-for-6, K 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, 2B (18), RBI 6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury. 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-for-4, 3 K 8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 9. Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B (7), HR (6), RBI, 2 K 11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, 2B 14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – (2 games) 1-for-4, BB, HBP 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 0-for-1, BB 16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, R, BB 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 3-for-4, CS, PO 18. Yunior Severino (Extended Spring Training) 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – Disabled List, still no official timetable for return. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (5:35PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (4-6, 5.85 ERA) Chattanooga @ Birmingham (7:05PM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (2-4, 4.95 ERA) Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 4.76 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (11:00AM CST) – RHP Brusdar Graterol (2-1, 1.95 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  13. You’re going to have to keep reading to find out exactly what I’m referring to, but be sure to add to the discussion in the comments when you find out! TRANSACTIONS There were a couple of transactions in the system on Tuesday: -The Rochester Red Wings received Joe Mauer on a rehab assignment, and he played in both games of their doubleheader. -In AA, the Chattanooga Lookouts placed Zander Wiel on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to June 10th, with SI joint dysfunction (likely means lower back pain). RED WINGS REPORT Game 1: Rochester 2, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5 Box Score In game one of the Red Wings doubleheader on Tuesday, right-hander Aaron Slegers took the mound and delivered a (shortened) complete game effort, but was also saddled with the loss. Slegers surrendered five runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks in six innings. The damage came on a three-run home run in the bottom of the first (after an error making those runs the unearned ones), and solo shots in each of the third and fourth innings. He struck out four on the day. On offense Rochester wasn’t able to string together enough hits of their own to keep up, as newcomers Cameron Rupp and Taylor Motter hit their first home runs in the organization in back-to-back fashion in the fourth to account for their only runs. Nick Gordon finished 2-for-3 on the game and as a team they had only two at-bats with runners in scoring position and left only four men on base. Joe Mauer batted first in the lineup as the DH in this one to kick off his rehab assignment and finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Game 2: Rochester 0, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2 Box Score In the makeup of their May 12th postponement, Rochester trotted out the bullpen to handle game two. Gabriel Moya got the starting nod and went the first three innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out four, lowering his ERA on the season at Triple A to 1.85. It was then Tyler Duffey’s turn, and he went the next two innings, allowing two hits and striking out one to put his ERA at 1.29. John Curtiss was up next, and while he started the day with an ERA also below two at 1.61, he would not finish it that way. After a double and single to start the sixth, a triple brought in two and put the RailRiders out front. Curtiss buckled down and got a fly out and two K’s to end the inning and it would be up to the Red Wings lineup in the top of the seventh. Unfortunately, Kennys Vargas led off the inning with a strikeout, then Willians Astudillo sent a fly ball into left field that he tried to stretch into a double but was thrown at second base. Down to their last out, a walk to Wynston Sawyer brought the tying run into the batter’s box, but a groundout ended the game. The lineup again failed to get anything going in this one as well, as they had just six baserunners all game. LaMonte Wade was 1-for-2 with a walk while Astudillo finished 2-for-3 in the book. Joe Mauer again was the DH out of the leadoff spot and again went 0-for-3. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Montgomery 2 Box Score In a bullpen game, the Lookouts got an overall solid pitching effort out of four of their relievers, but offense was hard to come by as they managed just three hits on the game, all singles. Mitchell Kranson, Alex Perez, and Tanner English each had one of those hits, with Perez picking up the only RBI to drive in James Ramsey, who had drawn a walk in the fourth inning. As a team Chattanooga was 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left only four men on base. Todd Van Steensel started the game for the Lookouts and went the first 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one run on three hits (a solo home run) and a walk while striking out two. Williams Ramirez was charged with the loss as he pitched the next two innings. He walked three and gave up one run along with picking up one K. Paco Rodriguez finished the next 1 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out three. Ryne Harper finished the game’s final two frames, retiring all six men he faced including one K. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 0 Box Score The Miracle took the lead 1-0 in the third inning when Jimmy Kerrigan, Travis Blankenhorn, and Jaylin Davis hit consecutive singles. It might have been more, but a double-steal attempt ended with Blankenhorn being thrown out at home. They stretched their lead to 3-0 in the seventh when a Luis Arreaz double brought in Ben Rortvedt and Brandon Lopez who had each singled to start the inning. Blankenhorn finished 3-for-4 but in addition to being caught at home, was also picked off first base. The Cardinals had all zeroes on the scoreboard to that point thanks to Fort Myers starter Clark Beeker. In total, he went 7 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk, while striking out three. Until the eighth, he had allowed just three hits but three singles in the eighth ended his day with two outs. A runner was thrown out at home by Shane Carrier, on the third of those singles to keep Palm Beach off the board. Andrew Vasquez came on to escape the remaining eighth inning jam with a strikeout, then proceeded to strike out the side in the ninth to pick up his fifth save on the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Kane County 0 Box Score Kernels starter Randy Dobnak did his best Houdini impression in this one, scattering ten hits over eight innings to shut out the Cougars. Despite all those hits, Kane County managed only five at-bats with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Dobnak walked none and struck out two. Of his 99 pitches, 73 went for strikes as he was extremely efficient with his pitch count. His defense also played a big part as he struck out only two on the game, and no errors were committed on 30 batted balls. Cedar Rapids jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Dobnak ever took the mound, as the first three top prospects in the lineup, Akil Baddoo, Royce Lewis, and Alex Kirilloff; went for extra bases. Baddoo led off the game with his sixth home run, Lewis doubled, and Kirilloff traded places with him on a double of his own. They stretched the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning thanks to an RBI single from Andrew Bechtold, and an RBI groundout from Trey Cabbage, then 6-0 after the eighth following doubles from Robby Rinn and Jacob Pearson (his second double of the game), and an error that allowed Pearson to score. In the ninth they tacked on another run after Baddoo led off the frame with a double and he scored on a single from Rinn. The Kernels got multiple hits from Baddoo, Lewis, Rinn (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI), Pearson (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI), and Bechtold (2-for-4, RBI, HBP). Lewis also stole his 16th base. There were no walks in the game from either team, but Cedar Rapids got the best of the 26 total hits. That “occurrence” I was talking about in the lead? Well, try this on for size: Not a single batter for the Kane County lineup pushed an at-bat to a three-ball count over Dobnak’s eight innings. Add in Martinez, and not one Cougar hitter reached three balls on the game. I don’t think that type of thing happens ever these days but couldn’t quite confirm it myself. If I go so far as to add in Cedar Rapids hitters, there were just two three-ball counts on the entire game on Tuesday night. I would have expected it to have gone quicker than two hours and thirty-nine minutes with that considered. Anyway, for fun and trying to verify my gut feeling on the rarity of this in today’s game, I did discover that Boston Braves pitcher Red Barrett holds the record for fewest pitches in a complete game as he needed just 58 pitches in a 2-0 victory against the Cincinnati Reds in 1944. That game was also the shortest in MLB history to be played at night, clocking in at one hour and fifteen minutes. Those notes aren’t the resolution to my query, but you’ve now learned the answer to some very obscure sports trivia questions. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 8 IP, 0 R, 10 H, 2 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, R, 2B (13), K, SB (16) 2. Fernando Romero (Minnesota) – Did not pitch. 3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – (2 games) 2-for-6, K 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, 2B (18), RBI 6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury. 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-for-4, 3 K 8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 9. Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B (7), HR (6), RBI, 2 K 11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, 2B 14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – (2 games) 1-for-4, BB, HBP 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 0-for-1, BB 16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, R, BB 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 3-for-4, CS, PO 18. Yunior Severino (Extended Spring Training) 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – Disabled List, still no official timetable for return. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (5:35PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (4-6, 5.85 ERA) Chattanooga @ Birmingham (7:05PM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (2-4, 4.95 ERA) Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 4.76 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (11:00AM CST) – RHP Brusdar Graterol (2-1, 1.95 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  14. As Memorial Day approaches, it’s noteworthy the the first halves of the Kernels, Miracle and Lookouts seasons are coming to an end. Soon, we’ll hear which players are going to play in the All Star game. Often, that milestone also means that it is promotion time for some of the prospects. Today, I’ll mention six Twins minor leaguers that I think are ready for the next level.I believe that the below six players are ready for the next challenge in their careers and on the ladder up the Twins minor league system. Check out my list of a half-dozen players, and then add others that you would like to see promoted. Rochester to Minnesota: Pitcher: Aaron Slegers Trevor May will likely be back in a Minnesota Twins uniform, and Ervin Santana isn’t too far behind him. Those two MLB veterans are returning to a starting rotation that is already full. Stephen Gonsalves and Zack Littell are also in the Rochester rotation and, especially Gonsalves, appear close to big-league ready. Slegers isn’t the big prospect. He was a fifth-round pick and basically moved up one level each year. All the while, he put up good numbers. But Slegers is a legit MLB prospect. He can pitch in the big leagues, and frankly, he’s got little left to prove in AAA. Over his first eight starts in 2018, he is 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA. That is after going 15-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 2017 with the Red Wings. If an organization has a pitcher like Slegers in AAA providing depth, that organization is pretty solid. Chattanooga to Rochester: Hitter: LaMonte Wade Yes, he’s been on the 7-day disabled list for a week now with a shoulder injury, but if not for that, he might have joined Nick Gordon on the trip up to Rochester. Wade had a solid 2017 in Chattanooga when he hit .292/.397/.408 (.805) with 22 doubles and seven home runs. As he has done at every level, he walked more than he struck out. It’s that plate discipline and approach that make me think he might even be ready to move up to the big leagues if needed. For whatever reason, he was returned to the Lookouts to start 2018. Maybe it was to work on something, possibly adding more home run power to his game. If that’s the case, well, he’s already got six home runs this year. There’s little doubt in my mind that Wade is ready for Triple A, if not the big leagues. Pitcher: Todd Van Steensel Van Steensel signed with the Twins a long time ago. Way back in 2011, to be exact. He was a starting pitcher at that time and was released after the Elizabethton season. Fast-forward to 2014, and the Twins brought Van Steensel back, this time as a reliever. Ever since then, he has been one of the best relievers in the Twins system. For whatever reason, he has not been promoted quickly. He posted a 2.62 ERA over 101 games in Ft. Myers (157 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings). He pitched in Chattanooga last year and posted a 1.38 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Yet he finds himself back with the Lookouts again this year. He’s got 28 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings, but he also has just seven walks. If anything was holding him back in the past, he was some control issues. If that’s a thing of the past, Van Steensel deserves to move up. Ft. Myers to Chattanooga: Hitter: Jaylin Davis The Twins drafted Davis late in the 2015 draft. He was hurt, so his playing career didn’t start until the Elizabethton season started in 2016. He hit 16 home runs in 64 the rest of that season (between E-Town and Cedar Rapids). He hit 15 homers in 2017, splitting the season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He’s hit for power, but he’s also swung and missed a lot. So far in 2018, Davis has cut down on his strikeout rate while increasing his walk rate. He’s hitting .285/.385/.431 (.806) with the Miracle. He may be in line for another midseason promotion. Pitcher: Andrew Vasquez (or Sean Poppen) Vasquez was another late-round pick in 2015 (32nd round) out of Division III Westmont College. He split 2017 between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, and ended the year with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League. After 23 games in Ft. Myers in 2017, he began there again in 2018. He spent a few days in Chattanooga, but he’s ready to be sent there full-time. In a combined 15 games (14 with the Miracle), he’s posted a 0.68 ERA. In 25 2/3 innings, he’s struck out 28 and walked just seven (something he struggled with in the past). He’s got a good fastball, but his slider can be a wipe-out pitch, and he should soon be making the move to Double-A permanently. Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers: Hitter: Alex Kirilloff While Royce Lewis has garnered a lot of the headlines, and deservedly so, Alex Kirilloff has provided the Kernels with average, extra base power, and he’s driven in a ton of runs. After missing all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery, it didn’t take Kirilloff long to get rolling in 2018. He is currently hitting .325/.373/.584 (.957) with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBI. He’s played well in the outfield and notes that his arm is feeling strong. I would expect Kirilloff, along with Lewis, to move up to Ft. Myers at or around the All-Star break. So there are six Twins minor leaguers who are making a strong case for promotion. Certainly, there are others who are deserving as well for performance or other reasons. Click here to view the article
  15. Seth Stohs

    Ready To Move Up

    I believe that the below six players are ready for the next challenge in their careers and on the ladder up the Twins minor league system. Check out my list of a half-dozen players, and then add others that you would like to see promoted. Rochester to Minnesota: Pitcher: Aaron Slegers Trevor May will likely be back in a Minnesota Twins uniform, and Ervin Santana isn’t too far behind him. Those two MLB veterans are returning to a starting rotation that is already full. Stephen Gonsalves and Zack Littell are also in the Rochester rotation and, especially Gonsalves, appear close to big-league ready. Slegers isn’t the big prospect. He was a fifth-round pick and basically moved up one level each year. All the while, he put up good numbers. But Slegers is a legit MLB prospect. He can pitch in the big leagues, and frankly, he’s got little left to prove in AAA. Over his first eight starts in 2018, he is 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA. That is after going 15-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 2017 with the Red Wings. If an organization has a pitcher like Slegers in AAA providing depth, that organization is pretty solid. Chattanooga to Rochester: Hitter: LaMonte Wade Yes, he’s been on the 7-day disabled list for a week now with a shoulder injury, but if not for that, he might have joined Nick Gordon on the trip up to Rochester. Wade had a solid 2017 in Chattanooga when he hit .292/.397/.408 (.805) with 22 doubles and seven home runs. As he has done at every level, he walked more than he struck out. It’s that plate discipline and approach that make me think he might even be ready to move up to the big leagues if needed. For whatever reason, he was returned to the Lookouts to start 2018. Maybe it was to work on something, possibly adding more home run power to his game. If that’s the case, well, he’s already got six home runs this year. There’s little doubt in my mind that Wade is ready for Triple A, if not the big leagues. Pitcher: Todd Van Steensel Van Steensel signed with the Twins a long time ago. Way back in 2011, to be exact. He was a starting pitcher at that time and was released after the Elizabethton season. Fast-forward to 2014, and the Twins brought Van Steensel back, this time as a reliever. Ever since then, he has been one of the best relievers in the Twins system. For whatever reason, he has not been promoted quickly. He posted a 2.62 ERA over 101 games in Ft. Myers (157 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings). He pitched in Chattanooga last year and posted a 1.38 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Yet he finds himself back with the Lookouts again this year. He’s got 28 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings, but he also has just seven walks. If anything was holding him back in the past, he was some control issues. If that’s a thing of the past, Van Steensel deserves to move up. Ft. Myers to Chattanooga: Hitter: Jaylin Davis The Twins drafted Davis late in the 2015 draft. He was hurt, so his playing career didn’t start until the Elizabethton season started in 2016. He hit 16 home runs in 64 the rest of that season (between E-Town and Cedar Rapids). He hit 15 homers in 2017, splitting the season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He’s hit for power, but he’s also swung and missed a lot. So far in 2018, Davis has cut down on his strikeout rate while increasing his walk rate. He’s hitting .285/.385/.431 (.806) with the Miracle. He may be in line for another midseason promotion. Pitcher: Andrew Vasquez (or Sean Poppen) Vasquez was another late-round pick in 2015 (32nd round) out of Division III Westmont College. He split 2017 between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, and ended the year with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League. After 23 games in Ft. Myers in 2017, he began there again in 2018. He spent a few days in Chattanooga, but he’s ready to be sent there full-time. In a combined 15 games (14 with the Miracle), he’s posted a 0.68 ERA. In 25 2/3 innings, he’s struck out 28 and walked just seven (something he struggled with in the past). He’s got a good fastball, but his slider can be a wipe-out pitch, and he should soon be making the move to Double-A permanently. Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers: Hitter: Alex Kirilloff While Royce Lewis has garnered a lot of the headlines, and deservedly so, Alex Kirilloff has provided the Kernels with average, extra base power, and he’s driven in a ton of runs. After missing all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery, it didn’t take Kirilloff long to get rolling in 2018. He is currently hitting .325/.373/.584 (.957) with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBI. He’s played well in the outfield and notes that his arm is feeling strong. I would expect Kirilloff, along with Lewis, to move up to Ft. Myers at or around the All-Star break. So there are six Twins minor leaguers who are making a strong case for promotion. Certainly, there are others who are deserving as well for performance or other reasons.
  16. Before we get to our Top 4 starting pitchers for the month of April, here is a list of a couple others who deserve to be recognized for a solid final month of the season. HONORABLE MENTION Randy LeBlanc - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 3-1, 2.22 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 30 H, 8 BB, 22 K Fernando Romero - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 0-1, 2.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 17 H, 10 BB, 20 K. THE TOP FOUR STARTING PITCHERS #4 - LHP Anthony Marzi - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 1-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 18 H, 4 BB, 20 K Anthony Marzi got the Opening Night start for the Miracle, and he’s been good since. He did pitch once out of the bullpen, but that was just piggybacking a Phil Hughes rehab start. Marzi was a graduate of the University of Connecticut in 2014. He went undrafted, but that winter he signed with the New York Yankees. In 2015, he pitched in six games for the GCL Yankees before being released in March of 2016. He tried out for the independent New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League and did well in 2016 and 2017. In late June 2017, he was signed by the Twins because they needed starters in Cedar Rapids. He made nine starts for the Kernels and pitched well enough that his final regular season start came for the Ft. Myers Miracle. While the left-hander does not throw hard or miss a lot of bats, he can be effective by hitting his spots. He has been able to do that since signing. #3 - Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 2-1, 3.63 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 18 K Wells had a terrific month. He’d done a terrific job of limiting base runners. He doesn’t give up a lot of hits, and he doesn’t hurt himself with walks. Wells was the Twins 15th-round pick in 2016 draft out of Division II Cal State - San Bernadino. He ended that season strong in Elizabethton, and last year he went 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA in Cedar Rapids, though he was limited to 75 innings due to a couple of injuries. Wells went to work this offseason and lost 25 pounds and came to spring training in great shape. #2- Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga Lookouts - 4 G, 3-0, 1.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 20.1 IP, 11 H, 10 BB, 25 K Gonsalves is not a new name to these monthly starting pitcher awards. He’s won several of the monthly awards, and he was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. After his 2017 season, the Twins added him to the 40-man roster. He went to his second straight big league spring training. It was a bit of a surprise that he was sent to AA Chattanooga to start the season. It was much less surprising to see him put up really impressive numbers through his first four starts. It’s also not surprising that his first start of May was with the Rochester Red Wings (or that he threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings). The former fourth-round pick from San Diego is on track to make his major league debut sometime in 2018. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Rochester Red Wings - RHP Aaron Slegers - 4 GS, 2-0, 1.50 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 24.0 IP, 19 H, 3 BB, 14 K Speaking of guys who have been mentioned in these reports a lot, Aaron Slegers was twice a Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in 2017. He even made three big league starts. He was the runner-up for Starting Pitcher of the Year. And he has started out 2018 very well as well. Slegers threw six innings in all four of his starts. He had four quality starts and twice he didn’t give up a run. He even got to spend one day in the Twins bullpen in New York, called up in case a long reliever was needed. Slegers was the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Indiana University where he had been been the Big 10’s Pitcher of the Year. He has moved up one level each year and has developed well at that pace. After debuting in 2017, Slegers returns to Rochester where he will continue to pitch in hopes of more of those call-ups. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of April, Rochester starter Aaron Slegers. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  17. Yesterday, Nick Anderson was named our Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month. Today, we’ll find out which starters had solid performances in April. There have been some months where it’s been difficult to decide the winner. There have been months with strong performances but an easy choice at the top. This month, there were several solid performers, but the choice wasn’t easy.Before we get to our Top 4 starting pitchers for the month of April, here is a list of a couple others who deserve to be recognized for a solid final month of the season. HONORABLE MENTION Randy LeBlanc - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 3-1, 2.22 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 30 H, 8 BB, 22 KFernando Romero - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 0-1, 2.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 17 H, 10 BB, 20 K.THE TOP FOUR STARTING PITCHERS #4 - LHP Anthony Marzi - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 1-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 18 H, 4 BB, 20 K Anthony Marzi got the Opening Night start for the Miracle, and he’s been good since. He did pitch once out of the bullpen, but that was just piggybacking a Phil Hughes rehab start. Marzi was a graduate of the University of Connecticut in 2014. He went undrafted, but that winter he signed with the New York Yankees. In 2015, he pitched in six games for the GCL Yankees before being released in March of 2016. He tried out for the independent New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League and did well in 2016 and 2017. In late June 2017, he was signed by the Twins because they needed starters in Cedar Rapids. He made nine starts for the Kernels and pitched well enough that his final regular season start came for the Ft. Myers Miracle. While the left-hander does not throw hard or miss a lot of bats, he can be effective by hitting his spots. He has been able to do that since signing. #3 - Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 2-1, 3.63 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 18 K Wells had a terrific month. He’d done a terrific job of limiting base runners. He doesn’t give up a lot of hits, and he doesn’t hurt himself with walks. Wells was the Twins 15th-round pick in 2016 draft out of Division II Cal State - San Bernadino. He ended that season strong in Elizabethton, and last year he went 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA in Cedar Rapids, though he was limited to 75 innings due to a couple of injuries. Wells went to work this offseason and lost 25 pounds and came to spring training in great shape. #2- Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga Lookouts - 4 G, 3-0, 1.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 20.1 IP, 11 H, 10 BB, 25 K Gonsalves is not a new name to these monthly starting pitcher awards. He’s won several of the monthly awards, and he was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. After his 2017 season, the Twins added him to the 40-man roster. He went to his second straight big league spring training. It was a bit of a surprise that he was sent to AA Chattanooga to start the season. It was much less surprising to see him put up really impressive numbers through his first four starts. It’s also not surprising that his first start of May was with the Rochester Red Wings (or that he threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings). The former fourth-round pick from San Diego is on track to make his major league debut sometime in 2018. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Rochester Red Wings - RHP Aaron Slegers - 4 GS, 2-0, 1.50 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 24.0 IP, 19 H, 3 BB, 14 K Speaking of guys who have been mentioned in these reports a lot, Aaron Slegers was twice a Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in 2017. He even made three big league starts. He was the runner-up for Starting Pitcher of the Year. And he has started out 2018 very well as well. Slegers threw six innings in all four of his starts. He had four quality starts and twice he didn’t give up a run. He even got to spend one day in the Twins bullpen in New York, called up in case a long reliever was needed. Slegers was the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Indiana University where he had been been the Big 10’s Pitcher of the Year. He has moved up one level each year and has developed well at that pace. After debuting in 2017, Slegers returns to Rochester where he will continue to pitch in hopes of more of those call-ups. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of April, Rochester starter Aaron Slegers. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Click here to view the article
  18. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Pawtucket 0 Box Score Aaron Slegers was the story of this game. In seven shutout innings, he struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. He scattered five hits and saw his ERA drop to 1.97. Over his last 10 starts, he has pitched a minimum of six innings and he’s only allowed more than one earned run in two of those contests. Among Rochester players with four or more starts, he ranks first in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and he’s allowed the fewest walks. Tyler Duffey completed the shutout for his first save. He pitched the final two innings and only allowed one baserunner while striking out four. At the plate, three Red Wings players compiled three hits. Zack Granite went 3-for-5 with a run scored but he also added a pair of stolen bases. Kennys Vargas went 3-for-4 and drove in a run. Nick Buss finished off the trio of hitters and he might have had the most important part in the win. He went 3-for-4 and drove in two of the team’s three runs. His home run in the eighth inning was a much needed insurance run. Miguel Sano is rehabbing with the Red Wings and there might be a little rust still left to work off. He went 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a strikeout. Sano also committed a fielding error at third base. He did not play the entire game. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Biloxi 3 (10 Innings) Box Score Chattanooga got on the board quickly thanks to a James Ramsey lead-off home run. After Biloxi had tied it up in the third, the Lookouts bounced back in the next frame. Singles by Brent Rooker and Zander Wiel put runners on the corners with one out. Edgar Corcino drove in Rooker with a ground out to second base to take back the lead. Chattanooga went quiet from there. Wiel was the only hitter to have multiple hits as he went 2-for-4. Rooker struck out in three of his four plate appearances. As a team, Chattanooga went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Randy LeBlanc started and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out one and walked two. Of his 64 pitches, 34 were for strikes. Sam Clay finished off the fourth and then got two innings of his own. He didn’t allow a run on two hits with a couple strikeouts. Todd Van Steensel got charged with his fourth blown save as he allowed the tying run to score in the bottom of the eighth. For the final two innings, Ryne Harper took over on the mound. He made it through the ninth unscathed but the tenth would be another story. Chattanooga couldn’t take advantage of having a runner start on second base in the top of the frame. Biloxi used a sacrifice bunt to move their runner from second to third. Then a walk-off single to the outfield scored the winning run. Because of the new extra-inning rules, it doesn’t count as an earned run for Harper but he still is charged with the loss. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, St. Lucie 2 (Suspended in the sixth) For the second straight day, rain caused the Miracle to be suspended. This game originally started on Saturday and now it won’t be made up until June 1 in St. Lucie. The regularly scheduled game was also postponed. Fort Myers has a runner at first and second in the sixth game. This means the clubs will finish the suspended game on June 1 and then play the postponed game. Then the clubs will play a doubleheader on June 2. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 1 Box Score Don’t touch Alex Kirilloff. You might burn your fingers. He smacked his team-leading seventh home run on route to Kernels clobbering Clinton on Sunday afternoon. He leads all Twins minor league players with seven home runs and 34 runs batted in. He finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBI. Every batter in the Kernels lineup reached base. Four batters (Jordan Gore, Jose Miranda, Ben Rertvedt, and Kirilloff) had multiple hits. Top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol was also on the mound. Control was a bit of an issue in this one as he walked five batters. However, he pitched five frames and allowed one earned run on four hits. With six strikeouts on Sunday, he is averaging 6.75 strikeouts per start. Carlos Suniaga added three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no hits allowed. Calvin Faucher finished off the win by allowed a pair of walks in the ninth but he kept the runners off the board. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, R, K) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Aaron Slegers (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 K, 0 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 1-4, K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, K #7 – Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-4, R, 3 K #9 – Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – 5.0 IP, ER, 6 K, 5 BB #14 – LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 1-6, RBI #16 – Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4 MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (2-4, 5.20 ERA) Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) – LHP Anthony Marzi (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Bradenton (6:00 CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (1-2, 2.45 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (2-1, 2.14 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  19. There has been plenty to be excited about this year with the Twins farm system. Top pitching prospect Fernando Romero has been more than holding his own at the big league level. Other pitchers like Stephen Gonsalves and Aaron Slegers look close to ready for the big leagues. Minnesota also has to find room on the roster for the likes of Ervin Santana and Trevor May. It’s going to be tough for some of these minor league players to break through to baseball’s highest level. However, Slegers made quite the case on Sunday.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Pawtucket 0 Box Score Aaron Slegers was the story of this game. In seven shutout innings, he struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. He scattered five hits and saw his ERA drop to 1.97. Over his last 10 starts, he has pitched a minimum of six innings and he’s only allowed more than one earned run in two of those contests. Among Rochester players with four or more starts, he ranks first in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and he’s allowed the fewest walks. Tyler Duffey completed the shutout for his first save. He pitched the final two innings and only allowed one baserunner while striking out four. At the plate, three Red Wings players compiled three hits. Zack Granite went 3-for-5 with a run scored but he also added a pair of stolen bases. Kennys Vargas went 3-for-4 and drove in a run. Nick Buss finished off the trio of hitters and he might have had the most important part in the win. He went 3-for-4 and drove in two of the team’s three runs. His home run in the eighth inning was a much needed insurance run. Miguel Sano is rehabbing with the Red Wings and there might be a little rust still left to work off. He went 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a strikeout. Sano also committed a fielding error at third base. He did not play the entire game. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Biloxi 3 (10 Innings) Box Score Chattanooga got on the board quickly thanks to a James Ramsey lead-off home run. After Biloxi had tied it up in the third, the Lookouts bounced back in the next frame. Singles by Brent Rooker and Zander Wiel put runners on the corners with one out. Edgar Corcino drove in Rooker with a ground out to second base to take back the lead. Chattanooga went quiet from there. Wiel was the only hitter to have multiple hits as he went 2-for-4. Rooker struck out in three of his four plate appearances. As a team, Chattanooga went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Randy LeBlanc started and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out one and walked two. Of his 64 pitches, 34 were for strikes. Sam Clay finished off the fourth and then got two innings of his own. He didn’t allow a run on two hits with a couple strikeouts. Todd Van Steensel got charged with his fourth blown save as he allowed the tying run to score in the bottom of the eighth. For the final two innings, Ryne Harper took over on the mound. He made it through the ninth unscathed but the tenth would be another story. Chattanooga couldn’t take advantage of having a runner start on second base in the top of the frame. Biloxi used a sacrifice bunt to move their runner from second to third. Then a walk-off single to the outfield scored the winning run. Because of the new extra-inning rules, it doesn’t count as an earned run for Harper but he still is charged with the loss. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, St. Lucie 2 (Suspended in the sixth) For the second straight day, rain caused the Miracle to be suspended. This game originally started on Saturday and now it won’t be made up until June 1 in St. Lucie. The regularly scheduled game was also postponed. Fort Myers has a runner at first and second in the sixth game. This means the clubs will finish the suspended game on June 1 and then play the postponed game. Then the clubs will play a doubleheader on June 2. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 1 Box Score Don’t touch Alex Kirilloff. You might burn your fingers. He smacked his team-leading seventh home run on route to Kernels clobbering Clinton on Sunday afternoon. He leads all Twins minor league players with seven home runs and 34 runs batted in. He finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBI. Every batter in the Kernels lineup reached base. Four batters (Jordan Gore, Jose Miranda, Ben Rertvedt, and Kirilloff) had multiple hits. Top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol was also on the mound. Control was a bit of an issue in this one as he walked five batters. However, he pitched five frames and allowed one earned run on four hits. With six strikeouts on Sunday, he is averaging 6.75 strikeouts per start. Carlos Suniaga added three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no hits allowed. Calvin Faucher finished off the win by allowed a pair of walks in the ninth but he kept the runners off the board. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, R, K) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Aaron Slegers (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 K, 0 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 1-4, K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, K #7 – Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-4, R, 3 K #9 – Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – 5.0 IP, ER, 6 K, 5 BB #14 – LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 1-6, RBI #16 – Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4 MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (2-4, 5.20 ERA) Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) – LHP Anthony Marzi (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Bradenton (6:00 CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (1-2, 2.45 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (2-1, 2.14 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  20. To find out how all of your favorite Twins prospects fared on Tuesday night, keep reading and add to the discussion in the comments! TRANSACTIONS There were a couple of moves made in the Twins minor league system on Tuesday: -In the Florida State League third baseman Carson Crites was transferred to the extended spring training roster from Fort Myers while catcher Robert Molina was brought up to the Miracle. -More noteworthy was the placement of right-handed pitcher Brusdar Graterol on the seven-day disabled list for Cedar Rapids with lower back spasms. The move is retroactive to May 6th so the top prospect could be back to pitching as early as this coming Monday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 1 Box Score In his last game against Lehigh Valley on May 3rd, Rochester starting pitcher Aaron Slegers had his streak of 17 minor league starts without a loss broken by the Iron Pigs. He did all he could in this game to start a new one. Over seven innings, Slegers scattered four hits and one walk, while striking out five. His only earned run came in the fourth inning, as the leadoff man doubled and would come around to score after consecutive groundouts. He then retired ten in a row after that double and erased a single with a double-play ball in the seventh to finish his night. 54 of his 83 pitches on the game went for strikes and he killed worms to the tune of ten groundouts to one flyout. The Red Wings offense took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kennys Vargas to score Jermaine Curtis, who had led off the inning with a walk. Curtis also drew a walk to lead off the game and another in the fifth, marking his 17th straight game reaching base safely at least once. Rochester added another run in the fifth thanks to doubles from Willians Astudillo and James Ramsey that put Slegers in line for the win when he exited. Tyler Duffey was brought on for the eighth inning and worked around a leadoff walk to pitch a scoreless frame and pick up his first hold on the season. He struck out one. With the score still 2-1, the Red Wings summoned right-hander John Curtiss for the ninth inning and his first save opportunity of the year. He delivered a one-two-three inning on just seven pitches, punching out the final hitter for the exclamation point. The teams combined for just nine hits on the game, with Rochester edging Buffalo 5-to-4. The Bisons however were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while the Red Wings were 2-for-5. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jackson 8, Chattanooga 9 (10 innings) Box Score The top two teams in the Southern League North Division got into a slugfest on Tuesday night and it didn’t seem like either of them wanted to hold on for the win as leads changed or became tied eight times on the game. They traded jabs through the first four innings with the Jackson Generals plating single runs in the first, third, and fourth innings while Chattanooga pushed one across in the each of the first and third frames for a 3-2 score going into the bottom of the fifth. That is when the Lookouts landed the first haymaker of the bout in the form of a three-run homer off the bat of T.J. White. It was White’s fourth of the year and gave them their first lead of the game at 5-3. With the score 5-4 in the seventh, Chattanooga landed a good combo as a single, walk, and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, before another walk scored one and a single from Edgar Corcino brought in two more for an 8-4 lead. Jackson finally landed an uppercut in the top of the ninth, as a two-run triple was followed by a sac fly to tie the game at eight and leave the decision up to the scorecards of the judges (err… extra innings). Fortunately for the Lookouts, they’d still get the chance to tally a knockout in this one as a they kept the Generals from scoring with a runner starting on second base in the top of the tenth. In their half of the frame and with two outs, Jackson decided to intentionally walk Zander Wiel, and after he took second base on defensive indifference, also put Chris Paul on base. That brought up second baseman Alex Perez, and his grounder toward first base finally put the Generals on the canvas thanks to a fielding error. The teams combined for twenty-nine hits, went 9-for-39 (39!) with runners in scoring position, and left twenty-five men on base for the game. Despite the seventeen combined runs, there were still a lot punches that didn’t land. Lookouts starter Kohl Stewart also actually delivered a quality start. In six innings he allowed three runs (two earned) by scattering ten hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. Of his 100 pitches, 62 went for strikes including eight swings and misses. He struck out his final two hitters to finish strong. Anthony McIver picked up his third hold of the season by pitching two innings with his team out front. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out four. Zack Jones blew his first save of the year, but also picked up his first win in extras. He allowed three runs on two hits and struck out three in his two innings. Chattanooga’s lineup got multi-hit efforts from Nick Gordon, Paul, Brian Navarreto, and White. Paul scored three runs, White drove in three, and Perez drew three walks to lead the offense. MIRACLE MATTERS Charlotte 3, Fort Myers 6 Box Score Early season standout Tyler Wells got the start for the Miracle, and despite allowing only two runs, was able to make it only through four innings before his pitch count rose too high. That was not thanks to walks as he allowed only one on the game, but the Charlotte lineup was able to work good at-bats and chipped away with five hits against the right-hander. The first of those hits allowed came courtesy of the game’s first hitter, as Lucius Fox greeted Wells with a solo home run on his first pitch. The home team got that run back just as quickly, as Mark Contreras led off the game for Fort Myers by clubbing his first home run in the Florida State League to tie it at one. In the second inning Charlotte strung together the lone walk and a couple of singles to go up 2-1 and the score remained that way when Wells exited the game. Reliever Tom Hackimer returned from the disabled list to make his 2018 debut in the fifth inning and he pitched into the sixth. He recorded five outs, but also allowed a run on three hits and two walks. He struck out one. With two outs in the sixth, Ryan Mason came on and intentionally walked his first batter to load the bases and bring force outs all around the bases into play. It paid off, as he got a grounder to third base to end the threat and keep the Miracle within two. In the bottom of the inning Contreras added his second FSL home run, a solo shot to left-center field and Jaylin Davis later added his second of the season as well, a two-run shot to put Fort Myers out front 4-3. They would add two more runs in the eighth courtesy of a Joe Cronin double, Lewin Diaz RBI single, and an RBI ground-rule double from Taylor Grzelakowski. It was Grzelakowski’s second double of the game and sixth on the season. He finished 3-for-4 and the multi-hit night was his sixth such effort in his last twelve games. Mason finished the game for the Miracle to pick up his second win of the season. In his 3 1/3 innings he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three to lower his ERA on the season to 1.53. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 8 Box Score The Kernels struck early and often in this one, building up a 6-0 lead before the Dragons were able to fire back. And unfortunately for Cedar Rapids, they did so with some Khaleesi level “dracarys.” Akil Baddoo got it started for the Kernels from the words “play ball,” as he led off the game by drawing a walk. Royce Lewis followed with a slow-roller single to third base, and the throw sailed on the first baseman allowing Baddoo to make it all the way home. Lewis later scored on a Ben Rortvedt single with the bases loaded, but another run was cut down at home on the same play to end the inning. In the third Alex Kirilloff clubbed his twelfth double of the year (ranking second in the MWL) and scored on another error from the Dayton defense to make it 3-0 in Cedar Rapids favor. In the fourth it was again the top of the order that came through to break the game open. With two outs, number nine hitter Jordan Gore got the hitting started with his first double of the season. Baddoo and Lewis then followed suit, notching their first and second doubles of the year respectively, to score two. Kirilloff made it 6-0 Kernels with an RBI single before the Dragons could get out of the inning. The bottom of the fourth is when the Dayton lineup finally broke through against starter Tyler Watson. A single and a double put them on the scoreboard, and they pulled within two after a three-run homer off the bat of John Sansone. Watson came back out for the fifth and worked a scoreless inning. On the game, he allowed the four earned runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out four. Nick Brown was the first reliever summoned and pitched a scoreless sixth frame. Back out for the seventh however, it unraveled a bit for the righty out of the College of William and Mary. A hit batter and four hits, including a bases-clearing double, led to four runs on the scoreboard and an 8-6 lead for the Dragons. Moises Gomez would finish the game for Cedar Rapids with a scoreless inning. The Kernels offense put a runner in scoring position in each of their final three at-bats, but were unable to get the big hit they had gotten earlier in the game and fall to 14-12 on the season. The top three hitters in the lineup (Baddoo, Lewis, and Kirilloff) combined to go 6-for-12 with five runs scored, three walks, three doubles, and three runs batted in, but the rest of the offense finished just 4-26. They were 5-for-15 overall with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base. Baddoo stole his eighth base of the year, while Gore added his third and fourth. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras, Fort Myers Miracle (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, 2 R, 2B (2), RBI, K 3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 2-6, R, 2 K 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, R, 2B (12), RBI, BB 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-5, BB, K 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3, 2 R, 2B (1), RBI, 2 BB 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 2-4, RBI 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 1-3 16. Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 1-5, RBI, 2 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (12:05PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (1-3, 4.50 ERA) Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – RHP Omar Bencomo (1-0, 2.01 ERA) Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (0-3, 5.14 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00PM CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 19.29 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  21. All four of the Twins affiliates were in action on Tuesday including a pitching duel between New York franchises, a rumble in the jungle of Chattanooga, a home run binge in Florida, and some Dragons breathing fire to turn the tide of a battle in the Midwest League.To find out how all of your favorite Twins prospects fared on Tuesday night, keep reading and add to the discussion in the comments! TRANSACTIONS There were a couple of moves made in the Twins minor league system on Tuesday: -In the Florida State League third baseman Carson Crites was transferred to the extended spring training roster from Fort Myers while catcher Robert Molina was brought up to the Miracle. -More noteworthy was the placement of right-handed pitcher Brusdar Graterol on the seven-day disabled list for Cedar Rapids with lower back spasms. The move is retroactive to May 6th so the top prospect could be back to pitching as early as this coming Monday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 1 Box Score In his last game against Lehigh Valley on May 3rd, Rochester starting pitcher Aaron Slegers had his streak of 17 minor league starts without a loss broken by the Iron Pigs. He did all he could in this game to start a new one. Over seven innings, Slegers scattered four hits and one walk, while striking out five. His only earned run came in the fourth inning, as the leadoff man doubled and would come around to score after consecutive groundouts. He then retired ten in a row after that double and erased a single with a double-play ball in the seventh to finish his night. 54 of his 83 pitches on the game went for strikes and he killed worms to the tune of ten groundouts to one flyout. The Red Wings offense took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kennys Vargas to score Jermaine Curtis, who had led off the inning with a walk. Curtis also drew a walk to lead off the game and another in the fifth, marking his 17th straight game reaching base safely at least once. Rochester added another run in the fifth thanks to doubles from Willians Astudillo and James Ramsey that put Slegers in line for the win when he exited. Tyler Duffey was brought on for the eighth inning and worked around a leadoff walk to pitch a scoreless frame and pick up his first hold on the season. He struck out one. With the score still 2-1, the Red Wings summoned right-hander John Curtiss for the ninth inning and his first save opportunity of the year. He delivered a one-two-three inning on just seven pitches, punching out the final hitter for the exclamation point. The teams combined for just nine hits on the game, with Rochester edging Buffalo 5-to-4. The Bisons however were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while the Red Wings were 2-for-5. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jackson 8, Chattanooga 9 (10 innings) Box Score The top two teams in the Southern League North Division got into a slugfest on Tuesday night and it didn’t seem like either of them wanted to hold on for the win as leads changed or became tied eight times on the game. They traded jabs through the first four innings with the Jackson Generals plating single runs in the first, third, and fourth innings while Chattanooga pushed one across in the each of the first and third frames for a 3-2 score going into the bottom of the fifth. That is when the Lookouts landed the first haymaker of the bout in the form of a three-run homer off the bat of T.J. White. It was White’s fourth of the year and gave them their first lead of the game at 5-3. With the score 5-4 in the seventh, Chattanooga landed a good combo as a single, walk, and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, before another walk scored one and a single from Edgar Corcino brought in two more for an 8-4 lead. Jackson finally landed an uppercut in the top of the ninth, as a two-run triple was followed by a sac fly to tie the game at eight and leave the decision up to the scorecards of the judges (err… extra innings). Fortunately for the Lookouts, they’d still get the chance to tally a knockout in this one as a they kept the Generals from scoring with a runner starting on second base in the top of the tenth. In their half of the frame and with two outs, Jackson decided to intentionally walk Zander Wiel, and after he took second base on defensive indifference, also put Chris Paul on base. That brought up second baseman Alex Perez, and his grounder toward first base finally put the Generals on the canvas thanks to a fielding error. The teams combined for twenty-nine hits, went 9-for-39 (39!) with runners in scoring position, and left twenty-five men on base for the game. Despite the seventeen combined runs, there were still a lot punches that didn’t land. Lookouts starter Kohl Stewart also actually delivered a quality start. In six innings he allowed three runs (two earned) by scattering ten hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. Of his 100 pitches, 62 went for strikes including eight swings and misses. He struck out his final two hitters to finish strong. Anthony McIver picked up his third hold of the season by pitching two innings with his team out front. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out four. Zack Jones blew his first save of the year, but also picked up his first win in extras. He allowed three runs on two hits and struck out three in his two innings. Chattanooga’s lineup got multi-hit efforts from Nick Gordon, Paul, Brian Navarreto, and White. Paul scored three runs, White drove in three, and Perez drew three walks to lead the offense. MIRACLE MATTERS Charlotte 3, Fort Myers 6 Box Score Early season standout Tyler Wells got the start for the Miracle, and despite allowing only two runs, was able to make it only through four innings before his pitch count rose too high. That was not thanks to walks as he allowed only one on the game, but the Charlotte lineup was able to work good at-bats and chipped away with five hits against the right-hander. The first of those hits allowed came courtesy of the game’s first hitter, as Lucius Fox greeted Wells with a solo home run on his first pitch. The home team got that run back just as quickly, as Mark Contreras led off the game for Fort Myers by clubbing his first home run in the Florida State League to tie it at one. In the second inning Charlotte strung together the lone walk and a couple of singles to go up 2-1 and the score remained that way when Wells exited the game. Reliever Tom Hackimer returned from the disabled list to make his 2018 debut in the fifth inning and he pitched into the sixth. He recorded five outs, but also allowed a run on three hits and two walks. He struck out one. With two outs in the sixth, Ryan Mason came on and intentionally walked his first batter to load the bases and bring force outs all around the bases into play. It paid off, as he got a grounder to third base to end the threat and keep the Miracle within two. In the bottom of the inning Contreras added his second FSL home run, a solo shot to left-center field and Jaylin Davis later added his second of the season as well, a two-run shot to put Fort Myers out front 4-3. They would add two more runs in the eighth courtesy of a Joe Cronin double, Lewin Diaz RBI single, and an RBI ground-rule double from Taylor Grzelakowski. It was Grzelakowski’s second double of the game and sixth on the season. He finished 3-for-4 and the multi-hit night was his sixth such effort in his last twelve games. Mason finished the game for the Miracle to pick up his second win of the season. In his 3 1/3 innings he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three to lower his ERA on the season to 1.53. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 8 Box Score The Kernels struck early and often in this one, building up a 6-0 lead before the Dragons were able to fire back. And unfortunately for Cedar Rapids, they did so with some Khaleesi level “dracarys.” Akil Baddoo got it started for the Kernels from the words “play ball,” as he led off the game by drawing a walk. Royce Lewis followed with a slow-roller single to third base, and the throw sailed on the first baseman allowing Baddoo to make it all the way home. Lewis later scored on a Ben Rortvedt single with the bases loaded, but another run was cut down at home on the same play to end the inning. In the third Alex Kirilloff clubbed his twelfth double of the year (ranking second in the MWL) and scored on another error from the Dayton defense to make it 3-0 in Cedar Rapids favor. In the fourth it was again the top of the order that came through to break the game open. With two outs, number nine hitter Jordan Gore got the hitting started with his first double of the season. Baddoo and Lewis then followed suit, notching their first and second doubles of the year respectively, to score two. Kirilloff made it 6-0 Kernels with an RBI single before the Dragons could get out of the inning. The bottom of the fourth is when the Dayton lineup finally broke through against starter Tyler Watson. A single and a double put them on the scoreboard, and they pulled within two after a three-run homer off the bat of John Sansone. Watson came back out for the fifth and worked a scoreless inning. On the game, he allowed the four earned runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out four. Nick Brown was the first reliever summoned and pitched a scoreless sixth frame. Back out for the seventh however, it unraveled a bit for the righty out of the College of William and Mary. A hit batter and four hits, including a bases-clearing double, led to four runs on the scoreboard and an 8-6 lead for the Dragons. Moises Gomez would finish the game for Cedar Rapids with a scoreless inning. The Kernels offense put a runner in scoring position in each of their final three at-bats, but were unable to get the big hit they had gotten earlier in the game and fall to 14-12 on the season. The top three hitters in the lineup (Baddoo, Lewis, and Kirilloff) combined to go 6-for-12 with five runs scored, three walks, three doubles, and three runs batted in, but the rest of the offense finished just 4-26. They were 5-for-15 overall with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base. Baddoo stole his eighth base of the year, while Gore added his third and fourth. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras, Fort Myers Miracle (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, 2 R, 2B (2), RBI, K 3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 2-6, R, 2 K 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, R, 2B (12), RBI, BB 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-5, BB, K 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3, 2 R, 2B (1), RBI, 2 BB 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 2-4, RBI 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 1-3 16. Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 1-5, RBI, 2 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (12:05PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (1-3, 4.50 ERA) Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – RHP Omar Bencomo (1-0, 2.01 ERA) Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (0-3, 5.14 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00PM CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 19.29 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  22. The Rochester Red Wings have one of the worst offenses in minor league baseball. So, how can they win? Well, how about pitching a shutout? That’s what they got on Saturday. Chattanooga had a big inning and the big blow came from the guy who has been doing it all month. The Miracle got behind early, tried to come back, but they fell short. The Kernels played two games, and got exactly what they needed in the first game. They had another pitcher in game two who made his Kernels debut.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Saturday. And as always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Following the Twins Friday night loss, they announced that RHP David Hale had been DFAd. On Saturday morning, they announced that RHP Matt Magill has been added to the roster. .Cedar Rapids sent RHP Moises Gomez down to extended spring training. 2017 draft pick Rickey Ramirez was promoted to the Kernels.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 2, Syracuse 0 Box Score The Red Wings offense has not been terribly good to start the 2017, so on Saturday afternoon, the Rochester pitching staff picked them up and provided a great game. Aaron Slegers made the start a day later than he was scheduled to because of his one day at Yankees Stadium with the Twins, but he was quite good. The right-hander gave up four hits and walked two over six shutout innings to drop his season ERA to 1.50. He struck out four. Brainerd High School’s Nick Anderson came on and threw two zeroes on the board. He walked one and struck out four. For the season, he now has given up just one run and on the season he has walked two and struck out 17 in 11 innings. Gabriel Moya gave up a hit and a walk, but kept the shutout intact as he recorded his first save of the season. Still not a lot of offense for the Red Wings, but it was enough. In the second inning, James Ramsey singled in Brock Stassi with the first run of the game. The second run came in the eighth inning when Bobby Wilson scored on a wild pitch. Wilson had doubled to reach base, the lone extra-base hit for the Red Wings. Ramsey, Stassi, Taylor Featherston and Jake Cave were all 1-for-3 with a walk. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 4 Box Score Down 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lookouts put together a big four-run inning. With the bases loaded, LaMonte Wade walked in a run. Brent Rooker then hit into a double play, but a run scored to tie the game. After a Nick Gordon walk, Zander Wiel came through again with a two-run double. Kohl Stewart made the start for the Lookouts. He gave up a first-inning run, but after that he settled in. He went five innings and gave up just the one run. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three. Ryan Eades came on to start the sixth inning, but he recorded just two outs. He was charged with three runs on four hits. Todd Van Steensel came on and got six outs. He walked two and struck out two. Williams Ramirez came on and got the final four outs, all on strikeouts for his fourth save of the year. Nick Gordon went 2-for-2 with a walk, a sacrifice fly and his fourth double. LaMonte Wade went 2-for-3 with a walk. Edgar Corcino went 1-for-3 with his second double and a sacrifice fly. Wiel’s double was his ninth of the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Daytona 7 Box Score The Miracle fell behind early. It just wasn’t the night for local product Brady Anderson. The right-hander gave up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits (including two home runs). He walked one and struck out three. Calvin Faucher came on and threw three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck two out. Hector Lujan worked the final three innings. He gave up no runs on two hits. He struck out three. The Miracle offense tried to make a comeback in the seventh, but they managed just three hits on the game. Their runs came on a bases-loaded walk and two RBI groundouts. Joe Cronin went 1-for-3 with a walk. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak went undrafted last year and was set to head to the USPBL. As he was headed there, the Twins called and he quickly signed with them. He’s been good in his pro career, and on Saturday, he gave the Kernels what they needed. Following a 13-inning game on Friday night, Dobnak provided seven innings, a complete game in a doubleheader, and the Kernels got a 2-1 win. The right-hander gave up one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out six in the win. 63 of his 100 pitches were strikes. Jordan Gore and Royce Lewis provided much of the Kernels offense. Gore, playing second base in game one, went 3-for-3 and is now hitting .385 on the season. Lewis drove in both runs. In the first, he scored Akil Baddoo with a groundout. His next at bat, he singled up the middle to score Gore. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 4 Box Score In the second game, right-hander Melvi Acosta made his first Midwest League start. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out two. Carlos Suniaga came on and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk and recorded just four outs. He struck out one. Finally, Rickey Ramirez made his first appearance for the Kernels. He got the final four outs and gave up only a walk. The Kernels managed just four hits in the game. Trey Cabbage’s third double of the year scored Jean Carlos Arias, who had tripled. Jordan Gore had a hit in two at-bats. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jordan Gore, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (or Aaron Slegers, Rochester, Red Wings) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-6, K, 2 RBI #3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 2-2, BB, 2B (4), SF, R, RBI #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3 #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, K #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, BB, R, 3 K #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R #14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 2-3, BB, R, RBI #15 - Mitch Garver (Minnesota) - 2-4, 2B, HR(2), RBI, 2 K #16 - Ben Rorvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (12:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (0-3, 5.79 ERA) Tennessee @ Chattanooga (DH @ 1:15 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 5.89 ERA), RHP Omar Bencomo Daytona @ Ft. Myers (3:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (0-1, 3.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:15 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (0-2, 3.95 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Saturday’s full schedule of games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  23. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Saturday. And as always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Following the Twins Friday night loss, they announced that RHP David Hale had been DFAd. On Saturday morning, they announced that RHP Matt Magill has been added to the roster. . Cedar Rapids sent RHP Moises Gomez down to extended spring training. 2017 draft pick Rickey Ramirez was promoted to the Kernels. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Syracuse 0 Box Score The Red Wings offense has not been terribly good to start the 2017, so on Saturday afternoon, the Rochester pitching staff picked them up and provided a great game. Aaron Slegers made the start a day later than he was scheduled to because of his one day at Yankees Stadium with the Twins, but he was quite good. The right-hander gave up four hits and walked two over six shutout innings to drop his season ERA to 1.50. He struck out four. Brainerd High School’s Nick Anderson came on and threw two zeroes on the board. He walked one and struck out four. For the season, he now has given up just one run and on the season he has walked two and struck out 17 in 11 innings. Gabriel Moya gave up a hit and a walk, but kept the shutout intact as he recorded his first save of the season. Still not a lot of offense for the Red Wings, but it was enough. In the second inning, James Ramsey singled in Brock Stassi with the first run of the game. The second run came in the eighth inning when Bobby Wilson scored on a wild pitch. Wilson had doubled to reach base, the lone extra-base hit for the Red Wings. Ramsey, Stassi, Taylor Featherston and Jake Cave were all 1-for-3 with a walk. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 4 Box Score Down 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lookouts put together a big four-run inning. With the bases loaded, LaMonte Wade walked in a run. Brent Rooker then hit into a double play, but a run scored to tie the game. After a Nick Gordon walk, Zander Wiel came through again with a two-run double. Kohl Stewart made the start for the Lookouts. He gave up a first-inning run, but after that he settled in. He went five innings and gave up just the one run. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three. Ryan Eades came on to start the sixth inning, but he recorded just two outs. He was charged with three runs on four hits. Todd Van Steensel came on and got six outs. He walked two and struck out two. Williams Ramirez came on and got the final four outs, all on strikeouts for his fourth save of the year. Nick Gordon went 2-for-2 with a walk, a sacrifice fly and his fourth double. LaMonte Wade went 2-for-3 with a walk. Edgar Corcino went 1-for-3 with his second double and a sacrifice fly. Wiel’s double was his ninth of the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Daytona 7 Box Score The Miracle fell behind early. It just wasn’t the night for local product Brady Anderson. The right-hander gave up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits (including two home runs). He walked one and struck out three. Calvin Faucher came on and threw three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck two out. Hector Lujan worked the final three innings. He gave up no runs on two hits. He struck out three. The Miracle offense tried to make a comeback in the seventh, but they managed just three hits on the game. Their runs came on a bases-loaded walk and two RBI groundouts. Joe Cronin went 1-for-3 with a walk. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak went undrafted last year and was set to head to the USPBL. As he was headed there, the Twins called and he quickly signed with them. He’s been good in his pro career, and on Saturday, he gave the Kernels what they needed. Following a 13-inning game on Friday night, Dobnak provided seven innings, a complete game in a doubleheader, and the Kernels got a 2-1 win. The right-hander gave up one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out six in the win. 63 of his 100 pitches were strikes. Jordan Gore and Royce Lewis provided much of the Kernels offense. Gore, playing second base in game one, went 3-for-3 and is now hitting .385 on the season. Lewis drove in both runs. In the first, he scored Akil Baddoo with a groundout. His next at bat, he singled up the middle to score Gore. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 4 Box Score In the second game, right-hander Melvi Acosta made his first Midwest League start. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out two. Carlos Suniaga came on and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk and recorded just four outs. He struck out one. Finally, Rickey Ramirez made his first appearance for the Kernels. He got the final four outs and gave up only a walk. The Kernels managed just four hits in the game. Trey Cabbage’s third double of the year scored Jean Carlos Arias, who had tripled. Jordan Gore had a hit in two at-bats. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jordan Gore, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (or Aaron Slegers, Rochester, Red Wings) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-6, K, 2 RBI #3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 2-2, BB, 2B (4), SF, R, RBI #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3 #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, K #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, BB, R, 3 K #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R #14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 2-3, BB, R, RBI #15 - Mitch Garver (Minnesota) - 2-4, 2B, HR(2), RBI, 2 K #16 - Ben Rorvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (12:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (0-3, 5.79 ERA) Tennessee @ Chattanooga (DH @ 1:15 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 5.89 ERA), RHP Omar Bencomo Daytona @ Ft. Myers (3:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (0-1, 3.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:15 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (0-2, 3.95 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Saturday’s full schedule of games, or ask any questions you may have.
  24. This is an excerpt of a story that originates on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it in full. Mother Nature has a cruel and ironic sense of humor. While the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox had three-quarters of a four-game set turned into a winter wonderland last weekend, it’s going to be a balmy 67 degrees on Monday — just in time for the Twins to open a four-game series with the New York Yankees. In the Bronx, as luck would have it. Postponements mean make-up games, and make-up games mean one of two things — shoehorning the game into an otherwise tight schedule or doubleheaders. The Seattle Mariners postponement from earlier in the week was pushed out to a mutual day off in May, and fortunately means the Twins will get just two days off in the span of eight days instead of three. That’s not too harrowing. The other three games with the White Sox have been scattered throughout the summer, with one coming on June 5, another on Aug. 20 and the final on Sept. 28. The first will be a doubleheader that turns a three-game set into four. The second turns a quick two-game series into a three-game, home-and-home set with Monday at Target Field and Tuesday-Wednesday on the south side of Chicago. The September one is a split doubleheader, though that comes with expanded rosters, so it’s perhaps a bit less worrisome. It also comes with just two more games left in the season; with any luck, the Twins will have their fate decided by then. The White Sox surely will. On the positive side, the Twins have — to this point, anyway — managed to retain their slate of off-days in June. They don’t play a single Monday in the entire month, which for rest purposes is obviously a good thing. But regardless of what happens in the future on the weather front, the Twins are set up well for this kind of thing. Why? Because basically the entire starting rotation at Rochester is on the 40-man roster, and even parts of it trickle down to Chattanooga. Paul Molitor announced on Friday that Phil Hughes will make the team’s first start from a fifth starter on Sunday in Tampa, thus ending a stretch of snow-related serendipity that allowed the Twins to skate by with a long bullpen and just four starters for even longer than originally expected. In addition to Hughes, the Twins have Trevor May and, of course, Ervin Santana on the disabled list with both primed to make contributions at various points this season. You can throw Michael Pineda into that mix if you desire, as well. But at Rochester alone, the Twins have Aaron Slegers, Dietrich Enns and Fernando Romero who are all on the 40-man roster and available at a moment’s notice. Felix Jorge is in that mix as well, though he’s currently on the disabled list on the Chattanooga roster. It’s unclear where and when he’ll make his season debut, but he pitched not only with the Red Wings but also the Twins last year, so he too is capable of making the jump as a 26th man or an extra arm if the team needs one for a start.
  25. The three Twins affiliates who played Saturday all won close ballgames. LaMonte Wade and Nick Gordon delivered in the clutch for the Lookouts. Aaron Slegers, Adalberto Mejia and Phil Hughes were all in action. Ryan Mason was with a new team, but still doing big things out of the bullpen.TRANSACTIONS Ryan LaMarre was optioned to Rochester (but you'll be happy to know that he just keeps hitting). Brady Anderson was sent back to Fort Myers from Rochester. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Gwinnett 2 Box Score W: Aaron Slegers (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) SV: Matt Magill (1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) HR: Brock Stassi (1) Multi-hit games: Ryan Lamarre (2-for-3, BB, RBI) Gregorio Petit (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R) It took the Red Wings’ offense some time to get rolling, so it was good Aaron Slegers brought his A game. He pitched six shutout innings in a game that was tied at 0-0 through five innings. Rochester built a 4-0 lead, but Adalberto Mejia ran into some trouble in his relief appearance. He pitched clean innings in the seventh and eighth frames, but things got interesting in the ninth. Mejia issued a leadoff walk, the next batter reached on an error which was followed with an RBI single. Mejia was charged with one earned run on a hit, two walks and a hit batter over his two innings, but he also struck out four batters. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Pensacola 2 Box Score W: Todd Van Steensel (2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) SV: Omar Bencomo (2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) SP: Lewis Thorpe (4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: LaMonte Wade (2-for-4, 2 RBI) Nick Gordon (2-for-4, RBI, SB) The Lookouts entered the fifth inning trailing 2-0 but rallied to take the lead. T.J White led off the frame with a single and Brent Rooker followed suit. Brian Navarreto advanced them both on a sac bunt, then Ryan Walker lived up to his name and drew a base on balls to load ‘em up. Tanner English went down swinging, bringing LaMonte Wade up with the bases juiced and two outs. He delivered a two-run, game-tying single and Nick Gordon capped the inning by driving in the go-ahead run on a single of his own. Lewis Thorpe gave up two runs over four innings, one of them unearned due to his own throwing error. The bullpen shut out the Blue Wahoos from there, with Todd Van Steensel (two innings) Anthony McIver (one inning) and Omar Bencomo (two innings) protecting the one-run lead. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Tampa 4 Box Score W: Phil Hughes (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) SV: Ryan Mason (2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Aaron Whitefield (2-for-4, 2B, R, SB) Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R) Phil Hughes pitched five shutout innings and 44 of his 61 pitches were for strikes (72.1 percent). Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press passed along on Twitter that this lines Hughes up to return April 24 at Yankee Stadium. Similar to the Rochester game, the Miracle also jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Colton Davis, the first man out of the bullpen ran into some trouble, but Ryan Mason righted the ship. Mason, making his first appearance since being called up from Cedar Rapids, entered the game with the Miracle clinging to a one-run lead. There were two men on base and two outs in the seventh inning. Mason struck out the next batter swinging to end the threat. It was Mason’s game from there, as he closed things out to earn his third save already in this young season (he had two with the Kernels). KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids vs. Clinton Postponed (rain) STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Ryan Mason Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: LaMonte Wade TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: #3 Nick Gordon: 2-for-4, RBI, SB #7 Brent Rooker: 1-for-4, R, K #12 Lewis Thorpe: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #13 Lewin Diaz: 0-for-4, K #14 LaMonte Wade: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K #17 Travis Blankenhorn: 0-for-3, BB, RBI SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Gwinnett (12:05 pm CT), Fernando Romero Chattanooga at Pensacola (1:05 pm CT), Kohl Stewart Fort Myers vs. Tampa (3:00 pm CT), Clark Beeker Cedar Rapids vs. Clinton (2:05 pm CT), Blayne Enlow Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
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