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  1. Despite a pair of stellar pitching outings and hits-a-plenty, the Twins managed just three wins on the wild west road trip this past week. The talent is there, yet there seemed to be a piece missing from the puzzle too many times. Last Week's Game Results: Game 63 | MIN 3, SEA 2: Buxton's Early Bomb Proves Decisive Game 64 | SEA 5, MIN 0: Ryan Rocked in Return, Bats Blanked Game 65 | MIN 5, SEA 0: Offense Surges Late to Clinch Series Game 66 | AZ 7, MIN 2: Twins Drop Series Opener to Diamondbacks Game 67 | MIN 11, AZ 1: Dylan Bundy Shines, Offense Explodes as Twins Win Game 68 | AZ 7, MIN 1: Punished by Long Ball, Drop Rubber Game Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 6/13 through Sun, 6/19 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 38-30) Run Differential Last Week: Even (Overall: +25) Standing: First Place in AL Central (1 GA) NEWS & NOTES For the first time this season the Twins headed west for a week in Seattle and Phoenix against two sub-par teams. Sitting in fourth and dead last in their respective divisions, the past week provided an opportunity to create some distance between the Twins and streaking Guardians. At the end of the day, that didn't happen. The Twins squeaked out a series win against the Mariners but fell in a disappointing series to the Diamondbacks that included two blowout losses. For the first time in his career, Jorge Polanco was placed on the Injured List for lower back tightness on Thursday. Off to an adequate start, Polanco was slashing .245/.340/.729 with ten doubles and 33 RBI prior to the announcement. Placed on the 10-day IL, Jorge's presence as a core member of the middle part of the lineup was noticed. On the flipside, the Polanco move opened the door for Alex Kirilloff to make his way back to Target Field, a move that many in the Twins community were calling for. You can't blame the people. After a lackluster first stint with the Twins this year, Kirilloff tore the cover off the ball at Triple-A St. Paul over the past month and made as solid a case as there is that he belongs at Target Field. Perhaps the most notable news of the week came from the return of starting pitchers Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray. Arguably the top two pitchers in the rotation, Ryan and Gray's return adds depth to a pitching rotation with a tank that was close to empty. Returning from the extended Covid List, Ryan made his first start since May 21 on Tuesday night against the Mariners while Gray returned on Wednesday night following a stint on the 15-day IL with a pectoral strain. Given the return of Ryan and Gray, the Twins DFA'd RHP Chi Chi González this past Sunday. González was scooped up by the Milwaukee Brewers just two days later. Signed to a minor league contract prior to the start of the season, González made two starts for the Twins, giving up six runs on 12 hits in seven combined innings. HIGHLIGHTS Despite the .500 result on the week, there was a flurry of excellent endeavors for the Minnesota Twins this past week. Coming off an extended stint on the IL is never easy, especially for a starting pitcher. Sonny Gray kicked that norm to the curb on Wednesday night with arguably his best start of the year in a shutout win over the Mariners. Through five scoreless innings, Gray allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out three in one hell of a comeback campaign. Anticipated by many to be the club's ace upon his signing, Gray's numbers are trending in the right direction. Gray has given up just three runs in his last four starts and opposing hitters batted a meager .182 against Gray in May (versus .208) in June. Obviously, it's a small sample size, but the numbers are looking great and Gray's experience will continue to prove valuable for a rotation this continues to be fluid. Ace or not, Sonny Gray will be a valuable asset for the Twins as the season grows deep. Speaking of consistency, Luis Arraez has continued his monstrous hitting campaign and currently sits at a lead-leading .361 batting average. Arraez holds a healthy lead over Paul Goldschmidt (.344 AVG) and has sat atop the leader board for over a week. Batting .386 in the month of June, Arraez hit safely in five of six games this week, including three multi-hit games. It's no secret that Arraez deserves to be an MLB All-Star, yet his greatest strength is certainly his versatility at the plate. Well-known as a contact hitter, Arraez has shown his potential for power throughout the season while maintaining his incredible consistency for putting the ball in play. Here's Rocco speaking about his stellar hitting approach. Perhaps the finest pitching outing of the week took place on Saturday night when Dylan Bundy mowed down the Diamondbacks through eight full innings. Coming off of a rough start against the Yankees, Bundy allowed just one run on no hits and struck out seven in his clear-cut best start of the year. Unlike Arraez, Bundy has lacked consistency this year but Saturday's masterpiece against the Diamondbacks was a true display of how high Bundy's ceiling can be. Hopefully, it instills confidence in the veteran and leads to more quality starts when it matters most. Carlos Correa has continued to trend in the directions that Twins fans hoped he would. Traditionally a slow starter, Correa is now statistically playing the best June baseball of his career and is batting .341 so far this month. Corea's season-long average of .293 ranks second amongst everyday starters (only behind Arraez) and is sure to climb even higher. Correa did go hitless in two of three games against the Diamondbacks but did knock in an RBI in the middle game along with hitting safely in each game in Seattle. And on top of those, Alex Kirilloff's return to Major League play on Saturday night was excellent. With the game still competitive, Kirilloff crushed a third-inning two-out RBI two-run double to open up the flood gates for the rest of the crew. LOWLIGHTS A club that should win a majority of games (and certainly series) against bottom-feeder teams, this week's 50-50 split came as a result of dry bats, and rocky pitching...sometimes at the same time. Sunday's loss to Arizona was a prime example. Through four innings, Chris Archer allowed two runs (both homers) on three total hits while striking out three; not a great outing, but certainly not a game-ruiner. While not his finest rodeo, Griffin Jax kept the game within reach, allowing just one run (on another homer) in the fifth inning. The floodgates unfortunately opened in the sixth, with Caleb Thielbar allowing four runs on three hits (one homer) and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning. The blunder was uncharacteristic for Thielbar, who had previously allowed just one run in the month of June. Thielbar touted an impressive 2.08 ERA through 13 innings in May and will hopefully get past this road bump. Yet through the misfires on the bump, the Twins' offense wasn't able to get much going minus a Luis Arraez run in the first. The Twins managed just five hits in the series finale against the D-Backs, a large contrast from 14 the night before and 10 on Friday. Just a few days earlier, the team tallied just four hits in their series-opening loss to the Mariners on Tuesday. The highs and lows of this team's hitting will eventually land somewhere on a plateau alongside the mountain. Ryan Jeffers looks to be escaping from his hitting slump and young talent Jose Miranda seems to have found a groove. There aren't necessarily sole names at fault for the occasional offensive lapses, the problem seems to just be a team-wide consistency gap in occasional 'should-win games.' After finally hitting his stride, LHP Devin Smeltzer suffered his first poor outing of the season in the series opener against Arizona. Smeltzer allowed seven runs on nine hits through 4 1/3 against the Diamondbacks, the most runs and hits he's given up through seven starts this year. The crafty lefty gave up two homers in his outing and has given up seven in June after giving up none through three starts in May. That's certainly not a good trend, but Smeltzer has proven he can limit damage and keep opposing hitters' numbers low. While there is surely uncertainty given his fairly young track record, hopefully, Friday's shelling was just a rare bad day at the office. And finally, Joe Ryan's highly anticipated return to the bump on Tuesday night in Seattle didn't exactly go as planned. After three stellar innings, Ryan left just a few pitches up which led to the Mariners scoring two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. All in all the outing was horrific, it just wasn't "Joe-Cool-esque." Not shockingly, Ryan's velocity was down quite a bit from prior to landing on the Covid list. Ryan's bland start shouldn't provide a huge concern for worry, as the star rookie has proven his consistency throughout the course of the season. This week's start against Cleveland should prove as a true test for the club's ace. TRENDING STORYLINE The Twins did not meet or exceed their own expectations this past week. While there were certainly moments of brilliance the club lacked consistency against two very sweep-able ball clubs. Contending teams find ways to take care of business against clubs that they're clearly better than and the Twins simply played down to the level Mariners and Diamondbacks too many times. Are the Twins still contenders? Absolutely. It would be foolish to foster deep concern following a .500 week at this point in the season, especially with key players returning to health. Yet the Twins do need to find consistency both at the plate and from the bump...and they need it to coincide. Losing Jorge Polanco is certainly a blow, but unlikely heroes like Jose Miranda are beginning to get hot, and veterans Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez have shown the ability to be major contributors. The 'A-B-C' crew of Arraez, Buxton, and Correa continue to anchor this offense and all signs are pointing toward them all trending in the right direction. Despite a trio of over-par starts, the Twins bullpen is in a decent place with Gray and Ryan back on the mound. Given Dylan Bundy's electric start in Arizona along with 'not-normal' outings from Smeltzer and Archer, the Twins truly control their destiny for the near future. The reality of that begins on Tuesday. With red-hot Cleveland (8-2 in last ten games) coming to town, Minnesota will have the chance to beat a solid team that they're still probably better than. Following Sunday's loss, the Guardians are just one game behind the Twins for first place in the AL Central and are one of the most surprising stories of the year (along with the Twins). Joe Ryan will have a chance to redeem himself on the bump and all signs are pointing towards an electric series at Target Field. LOOKING AHEAD With some toasty weather and first place in the division on the line, Target Field will be the place to be this week as Cleveland comes to town. Following that the Twins will have a chance to sweep the struggling Rockies over the weekend. TUESDAY, 6/21: GUARDIANS @ TWINS - RHP Joe Ryan v. TBD WEDNESDAY, 6/22: GUARDIANS @ TWINS- RHP Sonny Gray vs. RHP Triston McKenzie THURSDAY, 6/23: GUARDIANS @ TWINS- LHP Devin Smeltzer vs. RHP Zac Plesac FRIDAY, 6/24: ROCKIES @ TWINS- TBD v. TBD SATURDAY, 6/25: ROCKIES @ TWINS TBD v. TBD SUNDAY, 6/26: ROCKIES @ TWINS TBD v. TBD View full article
  2. Last Week's Game Results: Game 63 | MIN 3, SEA 2: Buxton's Early Bomb Proves Decisive Game 64 | SEA 5, MIN 0: Ryan Rocked in Return, Bats Blanked Game 65 | MIN 5, SEA 0: Offense Surges Late to Clinch Series Game 66 | AZ 7, MIN 2: Twins Drop Series Opener to Diamondbacks Game 67 | MIN 11, AZ 1: Dylan Bundy Shines, Offense Explodes as Twins Win Game 68 | AZ 7, MIN 1: Punished by Long Ball, Drop Rubber Game Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 6/13 through Sun, 6/19 *** Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 38-30) Run Differential Last Week: Even (Overall: +25) Standing: First Place in AL Central (1 GA) NEWS & NOTES For the first time this season the Twins headed west for a week in Seattle and Phoenix against two sub-par teams. Sitting in fourth and dead last in their respective divisions, the past week provided an opportunity to create some distance between the Twins and streaking Guardians. At the end of the day, that didn't happen. The Twins squeaked out a series win against the Mariners but fell in a disappointing series to the Diamondbacks that included two blowout losses. For the first time in his career, Jorge Polanco was placed on the Injured List for lower back tightness on Thursday. Off to an adequate start, Polanco was slashing .245/.340/.729 with ten doubles and 33 RBI prior to the announcement. Placed on the 10-day IL, Jorge's presence as a core member of the middle part of the lineup was noticed. On the flipside, the Polanco move opened the door for Alex Kirilloff to make his way back to Target Field, a move that many in the Twins community were calling for. You can't blame the people. After a lackluster first stint with the Twins this year, Kirilloff tore the cover off the ball at Triple-A St. Paul over the past month and made as solid a case as there is that he belongs at Target Field. Perhaps the most notable news of the week came from the return of starting pitchers Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray. Arguably the top two pitchers in the rotation, Ryan and Gray's return adds depth to a pitching rotation with a tank that was close to empty. Returning from the extended Covid List, Ryan made his first start since May 21 on Tuesday night against the Mariners while Gray returned on Wednesday night following a stint on the 15-day IL with a pectoral strain. Given the return of Ryan and Gray, the Twins DFA'd RHP Chi Chi González this past Sunday. González was scooped up by the Milwaukee Brewers just two days later. Signed to a minor league contract prior to the start of the season, González made two starts for the Twins, giving up six runs on 12 hits in seven combined innings. HIGHLIGHTS Despite the .500 result on the week, there was a flurry of excellent endeavors for the Minnesota Twins this past week. Coming off an extended stint on the IL is never easy, especially for a starting pitcher. Sonny Gray kicked that norm to the curb on Wednesday night with arguably his best start of the year in a shutout win over the Mariners. Through five scoreless innings, Gray allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out three in one hell of a comeback campaign. Anticipated by many to be the club's ace upon his signing, Gray's numbers are trending in the right direction. Gray has given up just three runs in his last four starts and opposing hitters batted a meager .182 against Gray in May (versus .208) in June. Obviously, it's a small sample size, but the numbers are looking great and Gray's experience will continue to prove valuable for a rotation this continues to be fluid. Ace or not, Sonny Gray will be a valuable asset for the Twins as the season grows deep. Speaking of consistency, Luis Arraez has continued his monstrous hitting campaign and currently sits at a lead-leading .361 batting average. Arraez holds a healthy lead over Paul Goldschmidt (.344 AVG) and has sat atop the leader board for over a week. Batting .386 in the month of June, Arraez hit safely in five of six games this week, including three multi-hit games. It's no secret that Arraez deserves to be an MLB All-Star, yet his greatest strength is certainly his versatility at the plate. Well-known as a contact hitter, Arraez has shown his potential for power throughout the season while maintaining his incredible consistency for putting the ball in play. Here's Rocco speaking about his stellar hitting approach. Perhaps the finest pitching outing of the week took place on Saturday night when Dylan Bundy mowed down the Diamondbacks through eight full innings. Coming off of a rough start against the Yankees, Bundy allowed just one run on no hits and struck out seven in his clear-cut best start of the year. Unlike Arraez, Bundy has lacked consistency this year but Saturday's masterpiece against the Diamondbacks was a true display of how high Bundy's ceiling can be. Hopefully, it instills confidence in the veteran and leads to more quality starts when it matters most. Carlos Correa has continued to trend in the directions that Twins fans hoped he would. Traditionally a slow starter, Correa is now statistically playing the best June baseball of his career and is batting .341 so far this month. Corea's season-long average of .293 ranks second amongst everyday starters (only behind Arraez) and is sure to climb even higher. Correa did go hitless in two of three games against the Diamondbacks but did knock in an RBI in the middle game along with hitting safely in each game in Seattle. And on top of those, Alex Kirilloff's return to Major League play on Saturday night was excellent. With the game still competitive, Kirilloff crushed a third-inning two-out RBI two-run double to open up the flood gates for the rest of the crew. LOWLIGHTS A club that should win a majority of games (and certainly series) against bottom-feeder teams, this week's 50-50 split came as a result of dry bats, and rocky pitching...sometimes at the same time. Sunday's loss to Arizona was a prime example. Through four innings, Chris Archer allowed two runs (both homers) on three total hits while striking out three; not a great outing, but certainly not a game-ruiner. While not his finest rodeo, Griffin Jax kept the game within reach, allowing just one run (on another homer) in the fifth inning. The floodgates unfortunately opened in the sixth, with Caleb Thielbar allowing four runs on three hits (one homer) and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning. The blunder was uncharacteristic for Thielbar, who had previously allowed just one run in the month of June. Thielbar touted an impressive 2.08 ERA through 13 innings in May and will hopefully get past this road bump. Yet through the misfires on the bump, the Twins' offense wasn't able to get much going minus a Luis Arraez run in the first. The Twins managed just five hits in the series finale against the D-Backs, a large contrast from 14 the night before and 10 on Friday. Just a few days earlier, the team tallied just four hits in their series-opening loss to the Mariners on Tuesday. The highs and lows of this team's hitting will eventually land somewhere on a plateau alongside the mountain. Ryan Jeffers looks to be escaping from his hitting slump and young talent Jose Miranda seems to have found a groove. There aren't necessarily sole names at fault for the occasional offensive lapses, the problem seems to just be a team-wide consistency gap in occasional 'should-win games.' After finally hitting his stride, LHP Devin Smeltzer suffered his first poor outing of the season in the series opener against Arizona. Smeltzer allowed seven runs on nine hits through 4 1/3 against the Diamondbacks, the most runs and hits he's given up through seven starts this year. The crafty lefty gave up two homers in his outing and has given up seven in June after giving up none through three starts in May. That's certainly not a good trend, but Smeltzer has proven he can limit damage and keep opposing hitters' numbers low. While there is surely uncertainty given his fairly young track record, hopefully, Friday's shelling was just a rare bad day at the office. And finally, Joe Ryan's highly anticipated return to the bump on Tuesday night in Seattle didn't exactly go as planned. After three stellar innings, Ryan left just a few pitches up which led to the Mariners scoring two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. All in all the outing was horrific, it just wasn't "Joe-Cool-esque." Not shockingly, Ryan's velocity was down quite a bit from prior to landing on the Covid list. Ryan's bland start shouldn't provide a huge concern for worry, as the star rookie has proven his consistency throughout the course of the season. This week's start against Cleveland should prove as a true test for the club's ace. TRENDING STORYLINE The Twins did not meet or exceed their own expectations this past week. While there were certainly moments of brilliance the club lacked consistency against two very sweep-able ball clubs. Contending teams find ways to take care of business against clubs that they're clearly better than and the Twins simply played down to the level Mariners and Diamondbacks too many times. Are the Twins still contenders? Absolutely. It would be foolish to foster deep concern following a .500 week at this point in the season, especially with key players returning to health. Yet the Twins do need to find consistency both at the plate and from the bump...and they need it to coincide. Losing Jorge Polanco is certainly a blow, but unlikely heroes like Jose Miranda are beginning to get hot, and veterans Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez have shown the ability to be major contributors. The 'A-B-C' crew of Arraez, Buxton, and Correa continue to anchor this offense and all signs are pointing toward them all trending in the right direction. Despite a trio of over-par starts, the Twins bullpen is in a decent place with Gray and Ryan back on the mound. Given Dylan Bundy's electric start in Arizona along with 'not-normal' outings from Smeltzer and Archer, the Twins truly control their destiny for the near future. The reality of that begins on Tuesday. With red-hot Cleveland (8-2 in last ten games) coming to town, Minnesota will have the chance to beat a solid team that they're still probably better than. Following Sunday's loss, the Guardians are just one game behind the Twins for first place in the AL Central and are one of the most surprising stories of the year (along with the Twins). Joe Ryan will have a chance to redeem himself on the bump and all signs are pointing towards an electric series at Target Field. LOOKING AHEAD With some toasty weather and first place in the division on the line, Target Field will be the place to be this week as Cleveland comes to town. Following that the Twins will have a chance to sweep the struggling Rockies over the weekend. TUESDAY, 6/21: GUARDIANS @ TWINS - RHP Joe Ryan v. TBD WEDNESDAY, 6/22: GUARDIANS @ TWINS- RHP Sonny Gray vs. RHP Triston McKenzie THURSDAY, 6/23: GUARDIANS @ TWINS- LHP Devin Smeltzer vs. RHP Zac Plesac FRIDAY, 6/24: ROCKIES @ TWINS- TBD v. TBD SATURDAY, 6/25: ROCKIES @ TWINS TBD v. TBD SUNDAY, 6/26: ROCKIES @ TWINS TBD v. TBD
  3. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Tyler Thornburg from the St. Paul Saints. RHP Hunter Wood assigned to St. Paul Saints from FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 5, Rochester 1 Box Score Coming into a series against former Triple-A affiliate Rochester, the St. Paul Saints were sitting with a bleak record of 24-29. Yet after five straight wins over the Red Wings, the Saints broke out the brooms for some Sunday cleaning with a 5-1 win and a series sweep over Rochester. Alex Kirilloff led the Saints with two hits, including a first-inning home run to bring the Saints to 30-29 on the year. On a full count in the first, Kirilloff crushed a ball over the right-center field wall to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. St. Paul added two more runs in the second inning thanks to an RBI double from David Banuelos (4) and an RBI single from Kirilloff. Banuelos' double scored Elliot Soto, who has served as a rock for the Saints' clubhouse this season. Twins Daily's Theo Tollefson wrote about Soto's valuable role recently, check it out! The Saints would strike again in the fifth inning. With two runners on, Jermaine Palacios tallied a two-run RBI single to score Jake Cave and Mark Contreras to give St. Paul a 5-1 lead that held to the final pitch. Starting pitcher Jake Faria (W, 1-2) was excellent for St. Paul, allowing just one run on five hits through five innings while striking out two. Following his departure, the bullpen crew of Hunter Wood, JC Ramirez, Drew Strotman, and Yennier Cano were stellar, tossing four innings of scoreless ball with a combined five strikeouts and just one hit. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 6, Wichita 1 Box Score Slated up against a Texas League foe, Wichita fell short in the series finale against Arkansas on Sunday afternoon. Despite knotting the game at one early on, the Surge left seven runners on base and succumbed to two breakout innings from the Travelers. Wichita scored their only run in the second inning thanks to an RBI single from Dennis Ortega. The Valencia, Venezuela native now has 23 RBI on the year and four hits in his last two games. Starting pitcher Blayne Enlow (L, 0-1) didn't have his best day at the office, giving up three runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out two through 3 1/3 innings. Enlow has struggled with an elbow injury and Sunday was his first start since May 31. While the results weren't there, expect Enlow to ease his way back into his dominant self in weeks to come. The Wind Surge are still in excellent shape despite the loss. Wichita sits at 32-23 and atop the North division of the Texas League with a game-and-a-half lead over Tulsa. Arkansas (31-26) is just half a game behind Tulsa. The Wind Surge will head to Tulsa to take on the Drillers in a six-game series starting on Tuesday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9 South Bend 3 Box Score Like Tom Cruise in a fighter jet, the Cedar Rapids Kernels hit early, often, and everywhere on Sunday afternoon in a dominant victory over South Bend. Combined with a lights-out performance from Cade Povich on the bump, the Kernels used four extra-base hits, three singles, and eight walks to pummel the Cubs and move to 37-20 on the 2022 season. Cedar Rapids got the party started with a pair of two-run innings in the opening two frames. With Aaron Sabato on first, Seth Gray launched a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Kernels a 2-0 lead in the first. Gray's homer was his sixth of the season and second of the series against the Cubs. Just an inning later the Kernels mounted a two-out rally to double their lead. Will Holland kicked off the campaign by lacing his seventh double of the year to left field. In the next at-bat, Dylan Neuse punched a single to the left side of the infield that allowed Holland to score thanks to a fielding error. The Cubbies would pay for the error. On the very next pitch, Alerick Soularie doubled to right field and scored Neuse all the way from first base. The former Tennessee Volunteer now has four doubles on the season and three in the month of June. The red-hot Kernels weren't done yet. With the bases loaded and one out, Christian Encarnacion-Strand put the nail in the coffin with a grand slam over the left-field wall to give Cedar Rapids an 8-1 lead. Incredible would be an understatement to describe Encarnacion-Strand's 2022 campaign. The Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect now has 13 homers on the young season and is slashing .298/.389/.769 in the month of June. It wouldn't be shocking to see the 22-year-old get the call up to Wichita sooner rather than later! And while the bats will certainly get the storyline, Kernels starting pitcher Cade Povich was stellar on the afternoon, earning his fourth win of the season. Povich allowed just one run on four hits through six innings while striking out five batters. Walking just two batters, Sunday's matinee masterpiece was the Nebraska Cornhusker's longest outing of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Game One Daytona 11, Fort Myers 4 Box Score Despite a pair of second run innings the Mussels dropped the first of two games against the Tortugas on Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Trailing 2-0 in the second with a runner on first, Nelson Roberto launched his first homer of the year over the left-center field wall to put Fort Myers on the board and tie the game at two. The Mussels would score on the long ball again in the fourth thanks to a solo shot from Carlos Aguiar (1) that would bring Fort Myers within one run. The Tortugas broke it open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs followed by two more in the fifth and one more in the sixth. After a lengthy weather delay, the Mussels hoped to wane the deficit but were only able to plate one more run thanks to an RBI walk from Rubel Cespedes in the top of the seventh. Fort Myers starter Pierson Ohl (L, 2-3) gave up five runs (three earned runs) on five hits while striking out four through three innings. Anthony Escobar and Samuel Perez were the only two Fort Myers pitchers that didn't give up a run, each pitching 2/3 of an inning. Game Two Daytona 3, Fort Myers 1 Box Score After a blowout loss in game one, the Mussels played the Tortugas tight in game two of the Sunday afternoon doubleheader. Unfortunately the Fort Myers bats' ran dry and a solid pitching outing from Mike Paredes wasn't enough to propel the Mussels to a win. Starting pitcher Mike Paredes lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two. Paredes is now 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA on the year. Relievers Jackson Hicks and Malik Barrington pitched well enough to keep Fort Myers in the game but the Mussels' offense failed to prevail. Despite tallying only four hits in the game, Fort Myers left a whopping 12 runners on base and were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The team's lone run came on an RBI single in the fifth inning from LaRon Smith that scored Rubel Cespedes. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Christian Encarnacion Strand (Cedar Rapids)- 1-for-4, HR (Grand Slam), 4 RBI Pitcher of the Day: Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids)- W, 6 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Check out the Prospect Tracker for much more on the new Twins' Top 20 prospects after seeing how they did on Sunday. #10 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-3, K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, BB, 2 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, Grand Slam, 4 RBI
  4. Some stellar offensive performances combined with a pair of dominant pitching outings highlighted the action from across the farm on Sunday. Get the latest updates from the Twins minor league system! TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Tyler Thornburg from the St. Paul Saints. RHP Hunter Wood assigned to St. Paul Saints from FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 5, Rochester 1 Box Score Coming into a series against former Triple-A affiliate Rochester, the St. Paul Saints were sitting with a bleak record of 24-29. Yet after five straight wins over the Red Wings, the Saints broke out the brooms for some Sunday cleaning with a 5-1 win and a series sweep over Rochester. Alex Kirilloff led the Saints with two hits, including a first-inning home run to bring the Saints to 30-29 on the year. On a full count in the first, Kirilloff crushed a ball over the right-center field wall to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. St. Paul added two more runs in the second inning thanks to an RBI double from David Banuelos (4) and an RBI single from Kirilloff. Banuelos' double scored Elliot Soto, who has served as a rock for the Saints' clubhouse this season. Twins Daily's Theo Tollefson wrote about Soto's valuable role recently, check it out! The Saints would strike again in the fifth inning. With two runners on, Jermaine Palacios tallied a two-run RBI single to score Jake Cave and Mark Contreras to give St. Paul a 5-1 lead that held to the final pitch. Starting pitcher Jake Faria (W, 1-2) was excellent for St. Paul, allowing just one run on five hits through five innings while striking out two. Following his departure, the bullpen crew of Hunter Wood, JC Ramirez, Drew Strotman, and Yennier Cano were stellar, tossing four innings of scoreless ball with a combined five strikeouts and just one hit. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 6, Wichita 1 Box Score Slated up against a Texas League foe, Wichita fell short in the series finale against Arkansas on Sunday afternoon. Despite knotting the game at one early on, the Surge left seven runners on base and succumbed to two breakout innings from the Travelers. Wichita scored their only run in the second inning thanks to an RBI single from Dennis Ortega. The Valencia, Venezuela native now has 23 RBI on the year and four hits in his last two games. Starting pitcher Blayne Enlow (L, 0-1) didn't have his best day at the office, giving up three runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out two through 3 1/3 innings. Enlow has struggled with an elbow injury and Sunday was his first start since May 31. While the results weren't there, expect Enlow to ease his way back into his dominant self in weeks to come. The Wind Surge are still in excellent shape despite the loss. Wichita sits at 32-23 and atop the North division of the Texas League with a game-and-a-half lead over Tulsa. Arkansas (31-26) is just half a game behind Tulsa. The Wind Surge will head to Tulsa to take on the Drillers in a six-game series starting on Tuesday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9 South Bend 3 Box Score Like Tom Cruise in a fighter jet, the Cedar Rapids Kernels hit early, often, and everywhere on Sunday afternoon in a dominant victory over South Bend. Combined with a lights-out performance from Cade Povich on the bump, the Kernels used four extra-base hits, three singles, and eight walks to pummel the Cubs and move to 37-20 on the 2022 season. Cedar Rapids got the party started with a pair of two-run innings in the opening two frames. With Aaron Sabato on first, Seth Gray launched a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Kernels a 2-0 lead in the first. Gray's homer was his sixth of the season and second of the series against the Cubs. Just an inning later the Kernels mounted a two-out rally to double their lead. Will Holland kicked off the campaign by lacing his seventh double of the year to left field. In the next at-bat, Dylan Neuse punched a single to the left side of the infield that allowed Holland to score thanks to a fielding error. The Cubbies would pay for the error. On the very next pitch, Alerick Soularie doubled to right field and scored Neuse all the way from first base. The former Tennessee Volunteer now has four doubles on the season and three in the month of June. The red-hot Kernels weren't done yet. With the bases loaded and one out, Christian Encarnacion-Strand put the nail in the coffin with a grand slam over the left-field wall to give Cedar Rapids an 8-1 lead. Incredible would be an understatement to describe Encarnacion-Strand's 2022 campaign. The Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect now has 13 homers on the young season and is slashing .298/.389/.769 in the month of June. It wouldn't be shocking to see the 22-year-old get the call up to Wichita sooner rather than later! And while the bats will certainly get the storyline, Kernels starting pitcher Cade Povich was stellar on the afternoon, earning his fourth win of the season. Povich allowed just one run on four hits through six innings while striking out five batters. Walking just two batters, Sunday's matinee masterpiece was the Nebraska Cornhusker's longest outing of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Game One Daytona 11, Fort Myers 4 Box Score Despite a pair of second run innings the Mussels dropped the first of two games against the Tortugas on Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Trailing 2-0 in the second with a runner on first, Nelson Roberto launched his first homer of the year over the left-center field wall to put Fort Myers on the board and tie the game at two. The Mussels would score on the long ball again in the fourth thanks to a solo shot from Carlos Aguiar (1) that would bring Fort Myers within one run. The Tortugas broke it open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs followed by two more in the fifth and one more in the sixth. After a lengthy weather delay, the Mussels hoped to wane the deficit but were only able to plate one more run thanks to an RBI walk from Rubel Cespedes in the top of the seventh. Fort Myers starter Pierson Ohl (L, 2-3) gave up five runs (three earned runs) on five hits while striking out four through three innings. Anthony Escobar and Samuel Perez were the only two Fort Myers pitchers that didn't give up a run, each pitching 2/3 of an inning. Game Two Daytona 3, Fort Myers 1 Box Score After a blowout loss in game one, the Mussels played the Tortugas tight in game two of the Sunday afternoon doubleheader. Unfortunately the Fort Myers bats' ran dry and a solid pitching outing from Mike Paredes wasn't enough to propel the Mussels to a win. Starting pitcher Mike Paredes lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two. Paredes is now 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA on the year. Relievers Jackson Hicks and Malik Barrington pitched well enough to keep Fort Myers in the game but the Mussels' offense failed to prevail. Despite tallying only four hits in the game, Fort Myers left a whopping 12 runners on base and were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The team's lone run came on an RBI single in the fifth inning from LaRon Smith that scored Rubel Cespedes. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Christian Encarnacion Strand (Cedar Rapids)- 1-for-4, HR (Grand Slam), 4 RBI Pitcher of the Day: Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids)- W, 6 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Check out the Prospect Tracker for much more on the new Twins' Top 20 prospects after seeing how they did on Sunday. #10 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-3, K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, BB, 2 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, Grand Slam, 4 RBI View full article
  5. The tale of Trevor Larnach’s debut is not uncommon among big-time hitting prospects. He came up and punished major-league fastballs until he was fed a steady diet of breaking pitches. At that point not even his hot start could keep Larnach from taking a trip back to St. Paul where his season eventually ended with an injury. In his short stint in AAA to end 2021, Larnach didn’t have much time to get his footing back and work to adjust back to MLB pitching which had pinpointed his Achilles Heel. The left-handed slugger swung and missed at 54% of the breaking balls he saw. Unsurprisingly, he hit just .167 and slugged .218 against such pitches. It was fitting that he was slated to spend a chunk of time in St. Paul to begin the year before Alex Kirilloff landed on the IL. In short, Larnach is once again receiving the “trial by fire” treatment. At first glance, Larnach appears to be failing miserably, as his slash line of .190/.192/.174 appears to fit right in with a Twins 1-9 that ranks as one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. Unlike his lineup mates, however, Larnach is doing everything right to start his second MLB season. Has it felt like Larnach regularly punishes baseballs that just so happen to wind up in a defender's glove? It should, because that’s exactly what’s happening. Statcast data suggests Larnach has been the unluckiest hitter in the Twins lineup. So far he’s increased his barrel rate from 9.5% to 10.5% from last year. His .240 expected batting average is more than acceptable when paired with a .473 expected slugging percentage. Mix in his tremendous eye at the plate and a decrease in his swing and miss rate from 34.6% to 19.2% and the Twins have what looks like a middle-of-the-order bat who’s gotten unlucky across a couple of weeks. So how do we know Larnach isn’t off to just another hot streak that’s destined to crash back down like last year? The early returns on Larnach’s ability to hit breaking balls are unbelievable. Pitchers have continued feeding him spinners as his scouting report likely calls for. According to just about every measurement, Larnach’s ability to not only make contact but to barrel such pitches has made a dramatic improvement. The Twins admittedly don’t have a lot to get excited about in their lineup at the moment as most hitters are either making poor contact or no contact at all. Trevor Larnach is different. After showing a crippling weakness in his MLB debut, the former first-round pick appears to have made a measurable change in approach that simply hasn’t quite paid off yet in this young season. Despite his poor surface numbers, I’d argue Larnach is showing more at the plate than most of the lineup thus far. The Twins are struggling to score any runs at all and even just one player really clicking would really make a world of difference. So far the numbers say Trevor Larnach could be such a player. Do you agree?
  6. The Twins offense has been a massive disappointment as a whole. Looking across the lineup, it’s hard to find much to be impressed with. This is also the case for Trevor Larnach, but taking a deeper dive tells a much different story. The tale of Trevor Larnach’s debut is not uncommon among big-time hitting prospects. He came up and punished major-league fastballs until he was fed a steady diet of breaking pitches. At that point not even his hot start could keep Larnach from taking a trip back to St. Paul where his season eventually ended with an injury. In his short stint in AAA to end 2021, Larnach didn’t have much time to get his footing back and work to adjust back to MLB pitching which had pinpointed his Achilles Heel. The left-handed slugger swung and missed at 54% of the breaking balls he saw. Unsurprisingly, he hit just .167 and slugged .218 against such pitches. It was fitting that he was slated to spend a chunk of time in St. Paul to begin the year before Alex Kirilloff landed on the IL. In short, Larnach is once again receiving the “trial by fire” treatment. At first glance, Larnach appears to be failing miserably, as his slash line of .190/.192/.174 appears to fit right in with a Twins 1-9 that ranks as one of the worst offenses in all of baseball. Unlike his lineup mates, however, Larnach is doing everything right to start his second MLB season. Has it felt like Larnach regularly punishes baseballs that just so happen to wind up in a defender's glove? It should, because that’s exactly what’s happening. Statcast data suggests Larnach has been the unluckiest hitter in the Twins lineup. So far he’s increased his barrel rate from 9.5% to 10.5% from last year. His .240 expected batting average is more than acceptable when paired with a .473 expected slugging percentage. Mix in his tremendous eye at the plate and a decrease in his swing and miss rate from 34.6% to 19.2% and the Twins have what looks like a middle-of-the-order bat who’s gotten unlucky across a couple of weeks. So how do we know Larnach isn’t off to just another hot streak that’s destined to crash back down like last year? The early returns on Larnach’s ability to hit breaking balls are unbelievable. Pitchers have continued feeding him spinners as his scouting report likely calls for. According to just about every measurement, Larnach’s ability to not only make contact but to barrel such pitches has made a dramatic improvement. The Twins admittedly don’t have a lot to get excited about in their lineup at the moment as most hitters are either making poor contact or no contact at all. Trevor Larnach is different. After showing a crippling weakness in his MLB debut, the former first-round pick appears to have made a measurable change in approach that simply hasn’t quite paid off yet in this young season. Despite his poor surface numbers, I’d argue Larnach is showing more at the plate than most of the lineup thus far. The Twins are struggling to score any runs at all and even just one player really clicking would really make a world of difference. So far the numbers say Trevor Larnach could be such a player. Do you agree? View full article
  7. Minnesota has a surplus of corner outfielders, so will the team trade from a position of strength this winter? Here's a look at how the organization's corner outfielders stack up for 2022. Current Corner Outfielders: Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff Max Kepler is under team control for the next three seasons, and he is coming off a three-year stretch where he has a 111 OPS+. He provides defensive flexibility with the ability to play centerfield occasionally. This might make him one of the team's most valuable trade assets. Minnesota needs starting pitching, and trading Kepler can open a corner outfield spot for one or more of the names discussed below. Alex Kirilloff got off to a tremendous start to his rookie campaign before a wrist injury sapped his power. He tried to play through the injury, but he was clearly impacted and underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right wrist. Minnesota's best option with Kirilloff is to move him to first base because he is a superior defender compared to the team's other options. Chances are Kirilloff will still get some time in the outfield, but he will get plenty of reps at first base too. 40-Man Roster Options Besides Kirilloff, the Twins turned to another rookie outfielder in 2021. Trevor Larnach showed some positive signs before ending up in a slump that sent him to St. Paul for the remainder of the season. Entering the 2021 season, Larnach had never appeared in a game above the Double-A level, so he was likely pushed a little faster than the organization planned. He should still be in the team's long-term plans, even coming off a poor year. Brent Rooker also had an interesting 2021 campaign. It looked like he had a chance to win a backup outfield job during spring training, but his lack of defensive positions pushed him back to the minors. At 26-years-old, this was intriguing, especially since he had little left to prove at Triple-A with a career .932 OPS. Rooker got over 200 big-league plate appearances in 2021 and posted a 75 OPS+. With his age-27 season looming, he has an uncertain future with the Twins. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's corner outfield depth. Minnesota has multiple corner outfield options populating the rosters throughout the minor leagues. After signing Derek Fisher, the Twins have eight outfielders projected at the Triple-A level. Obviously, this is more than the team will need at one level. Jake Cave and Kyle Garlick are more veteran options at Triple-A, with big-league experience. Mark Contreras, Jimmy Kerrigan, and Ernie De La Trinidad are all over age-25 and Rule-5 eligible this offseason. Some of these players may shift to Double-A with an overload of Triple-A outfielders. Matt Wallner is projected for the Double-A level, and he is one of the most exciting prospects on this list. Minnesota selected Wallner with the 39th overall pick in 2019, and he's coming off a 1.011 OPS in the Arizona Fall League. Joining Wallner at Double-A will be Leobaldo Cabrera and Michel Helman. Last winter, the Twins signed Cabrera as a minor league free agent, and he combined for a .786 OPS at three different levels. Helman was an 11th round pick in 2018, and he posted a .798 OPS in 111 games at High-A in 2021. In the lower levels of the minors, Kala'i Rosario is an intriguing name to keep an eye on. He was the team's fifth-round pick back in 2020 out of Hawaii. Last year, he made his pro-debut with the FCL Twins and hit .277/.341/.452 (.794) with 19 extra-base hits in 51 games. Rosario should make his full-season debut in 2022. Overall, Minnesota has corner outfield depth that is ready to impact the big-league level. What do you think about the organization's corner outfield depth? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catchers — First Base — Second Base — Third Base — Shortstop — Center Field View full article
  8. Current Corner Outfielders: Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff Max Kepler is under team control for the next three seasons, and he is coming off a three-year stretch where he has a 111 OPS+. He provides defensive flexibility with the ability to play centerfield occasionally. This might make him one of the team's most valuable trade assets. Minnesota needs starting pitching, and trading Kepler can open a corner outfield spot for one or more of the names discussed below. Alex Kirilloff got off to a tremendous start to his rookie campaign before a wrist injury sapped his power. He tried to play through the injury, but he was clearly impacted and underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right wrist. Minnesota's best option with Kirilloff is to move him to first base because he is a superior defender compared to the team's other options. Chances are Kirilloff will still get some time in the outfield, but he will get plenty of reps at first base too. 40-Man Roster Options Besides Kirilloff, the Twins turned to another rookie outfielder in 2021. Trevor Larnach showed some positive signs before ending up in a slump that sent him to St. Paul for the remainder of the season. Entering the 2021 season, Larnach had never appeared in a game above the Double-A level, so he was likely pushed a little faster than the organization planned. He should still be in the team's long-term plans, even coming off a poor year. Brent Rooker also had an interesting 2021 campaign. It looked like he had a chance to win a backup outfield job during spring training, but his lack of defensive positions pushed him back to the minors. At 26-years-old, this was intriguing, especially since he had little left to prove at Triple-A with a career .932 OPS. Rooker got over 200 big-league plate appearances in 2021 and posted a 75 OPS+. With his age-27 season looming, he has an uncertain future with the Twins. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's corner outfield depth. Minnesota has multiple corner outfield options populating the rosters throughout the minor leagues. After signing Derek Fisher, the Twins have eight outfielders projected at the Triple-A level. Obviously, this is more than the team will need at one level. Jake Cave and Kyle Garlick are more veteran options at Triple-A, with big-league experience. Mark Contreras, Jimmy Kerrigan, and Ernie De La Trinidad are all over age-25 and Rule-5 eligible this offseason. Some of these players may shift to Double-A with an overload of Triple-A outfielders. Matt Wallner is projected for the Double-A level, and he is one of the most exciting prospects on this list. Minnesota selected Wallner with the 39th overall pick in 2019, and he's coming off a 1.011 OPS in the Arizona Fall League. Joining Wallner at Double-A will be Leobaldo Cabrera and Michel Helman. Last winter, the Twins signed Cabrera as a minor league free agent, and he combined for a .786 OPS at three different levels. Helman was an 11th round pick in 2018, and he posted a .798 OPS in 111 games at High-A in 2021. In the lower levels of the minors, Kala'i Rosario is an intriguing name to keep an eye on. He was the team's fifth-round pick back in 2020 out of Hawaii. Last year, he made his pro-debut with the FCL Twins and hit .277/.341/.452 (.794) with 19 extra-base hits in 51 games. Rosario should make his full-season debut in 2022. Overall, Minnesota has corner outfield depth that is ready to impact the big-league level. What do you think about the organization's corner outfield depth? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catchers — First Base — Second Base — Third Base — Shortstop — Center Field
  9. As the Minnesota Twins enter the offseason, it's clear that they will seek to address the holes present in their pitching staff and shortstop. However, there is another position in which the team could desperately use an upgrade: First base. But doing so may not require much change. The Twins finished 27th overall in production from their first basemen according to FanGraphs' WAR (-0.2) during the 2021 season, with only Cleveland (-0.7), Pittsburgh (-0.9), and Kansas City (-1.0) winding up below them. (These were the only four teams to accumulate negative fWAR.) Despite ranking sixth in home runs (45), Twins' first basemen were 24th in wRC+ (97) and 29th in FanGraphs' defensive runs above average stat (-25.7). In short, Twins' first basemen, as a group, were terrible this past summer. Of course, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone who regularly tuned into the games. Miguel Sanó struggled mightily for most of the season before a hot August, and September resulted in quasi-respectable cumulative stats (30 home runs, 110 wRC+, .778 OPS). Alex Kirilloff shone brightly for 59 games before a wrist injury hampered his power, and the corresponding surgery in July sidelined him for the remainder of the season. As a result, Willians Astudillo appeared far more at first base than the Twins originally planned or his skills warranted. Arguably the best solution for the Twins' first base woes is also the easiest and most likely: Move Kirilloff to the bag and Sanó to designated hitter full-time. Kirilloff produced a 1.4 UZR in 213 ⅔ innings at first base last season, representing a slightly above average total. On the other hand, Sanó has accumulated -10.0 UZR at first base throughout his career and has never produced a positive value in a season in which he has played more than 50 innings at the position. Kirilloff's sample is too small to draw any firm conclusions — FanGraphs recommends at least three seasons of data before seeking to do so — but his early results are encouraging. Moving him to first base full-time would likely boost the team's fWAR and UZR numbers while maintaining a similar level of power at his peak. Sanó's presence at DH would also help fill the void left by Nelson Cruz's trade to the Tampa Bay Rays. Secondarily, the Twins could make Kirilloff the primary first baseman, move on from Sano, seek backups in either the free agent, waiver, or trade market, or rely on their prospects to fill in part-time. The first base free-agent class is heavy at the top with names such as Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo and lacks overall depth, making an acquisition of that nature unlikely. Likewise, trades for primary backups are rare unless said backup provides value at other positions. As such, perhaps the most logical solution in this scenario would be to have Jose Miranda serve as a utilityman, filling in at third, second, and first base, assuming Josh Donaldson remains on the roster. Miranda played 225 innings at first base across Double- and Triple-A last summer, committing two errors. Many evaluators — present company included — believe he is best defensively at third due to several factors: arm strength, feel for the glove, and range. Still, he could function well at first base in spot situations. Regardless of the path they ultimately take, the Twins need more from their first basemen if they wish to be competitive during the 2022 season. Moving a healthy Kirilloff into the role is most logical and would likely provide a boost both offensively and defensively. From there, it's on the shoulders of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to make the proper decisions. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here View full article
  10. The Twins finished 27th overall in production from their first basemen according to FanGraphs' WAR (-0.2) during the 2021 season, with only Cleveland (-0.7), Pittsburgh (-0.9), and Kansas City (-1.0) winding up below them. (These were the only four teams to accumulate negative fWAR.) Despite ranking sixth in home runs (45), Twins' first basemen were 24th in wRC+ (97) and 29th in FanGraphs' defensive runs above average stat (-25.7). In short, Twins' first basemen, as a group, were terrible this past summer. Of course, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone who regularly tuned into the games. Miguel Sanó struggled mightily for most of the season before a hot August, and September resulted in quasi-respectable cumulative stats (30 home runs, 110 wRC+, .778 OPS). Alex Kirilloff shone brightly for 59 games before a wrist injury hampered his power, and the corresponding surgery in July sidelined him for the remainder of the season. As a result, Willians Astudillo appeared far more at first base than the Twins originally planned or his skills warranted. Arguably the best solution for the Twins' first base woes is also the easiest and most likely: Move Kirilloff to the bag and Sanó to designated hitter full-time. Kirilloff produced a 1.4 UZR in 213 ⅔ innings at first base last season, representing a slightly above average total. On the other hand, Sanó has accumulated -10.0 UZR at first base throughout his career and has never produced a positive value in a season in which he has played more than 50 innings at the position. Kirilloff's sample is too small to draw any firm conclusions — FanGraphs recommends at least three seasons of data before seeking to do so — but his early results are encouraging. Moving him to first base full-time would likely boost the team's fWAR and UZR numbers while maintaining a similar level of power at his peak. Sanó's presence at DH would also help fill the void left by Nelson Cruz's trade to the Tampa Bay Rays. Secondarily, the Twins could make Kirilloff the primary first baseman, move on from Sano, seek backups in either the free agent, waiver, or trade market, or rely on their prospects to fill in part-time. The first base free-agent class is heavy at the top with names such as Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo and lacks overall depth, making an acquisition of that nature unlikely. Likewise, trades for primary backups are rare unless said backup provides value at other positions. As such, perhaps the most logical solution in this scenario would be to have Jose Miranda serve as a utilityman, filling in at third, second, and first base, assuming Josh Donaldson remains on the roster. Miranda played 225 innings at first base across Double- and Triple-A last summer, committing two errors. Many evaluators — present company included — believe he is best defensively at third due to several factors: arm strength, feel for the glove, and range. Still, he could function well at first base in spot situations. Regardless of the path they ultimately take, the Twins need more from their first basemen if they wish to be competitive during the 2022 season. Moving a healthy Kirilloff into the role is most logical and would likely provide a boost both offensively and defensively. From there, it's on the shoulders of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to make the proper decisions. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here
  11. I just read the ESPN prospect ratings by Kiley McDaniels and is was an interesting look from a new perspective. Riley came over from FanGraphs and he has a different style than Law and others I have read. What interests me is the Twins prospects ratings, of course, and he challenged some ideas. https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/28820713/kiley-mcdaniel-top-100-prospects-2020 First of all he has Royce Lewis rated the highest at number 15 - a surprisingly high rating in my mind, but he also lists him as a CF. "His hitting mechanics still need a little work in terms of timing and quieting his hand movement, but scouts rave about his makeup, and the raw power and speed are still elite. I'm betting on Lewis figuring things out and becoming an above-average everyday player with some chance to become a star, possibly in the infield" Jhoan Duran was #54 - "The maturity and command look to be in place for a ground-ball-focused rotation workhorse with swing-and-miss stuff." This is really nice to see, I expected Balazovic to be above him. #58 Trevor Larnach, "He's a slightly better bet in my book than Alex Kirilloff to be an above-average everyday player, but they're in roughly the same area." So the argument about who is number one - Kiriloff or Lewis has a new twist. #63 is Alex Kiriloff, "Kirilloff's pitch selection leaves a bit to be desired, while he's moving down the defensive spectrum to first base and his wrist has been giving him trouble." #93 Jordan Balazovic, "He also doesn't have a bunch of plus pitches that he's learning to harness, rather a number of above-average offerings that he already has a good feel for mixing." It appears on all the lists that the top five prospects is the same (Graterol by the way is #92 "his command might be enough to start, but it's legit closer stuff"). Of course the question remains - who is the not on any list prospect who will be the next Arraez and throw the rankings out of the window. The second question - is it better to suddenly appear on the list and shoot to the top or to start your career with high expectations and high rating and then slowly slide down the list?
  12. I am always curious where the national rankings put the Twins Prospects. It helps give me perspective as I look at the rankings from TD. Today Jim Bowden had his top fifty prospects in the Athletic https://theathletic.com/1523975/2020/01/17/jim-bowdens-top-50-prospects-for-2020/?source=dailyemail and our top three were all there. Kiriloff has now passed Royce Lewis and is ranked number 12 over all which is great. This is a quote from the article describing Alex "Kirilloff has one of the best swings in baseball, one that reminds me of former MVP Christian Yelich at around the same stage." We would take a Yelich performance. It is also why Kiriloff should not be traded no matter what is dangled in front of us. Lewis is now 18. I remember when he was consistently in the top five. He is sighted for his versatility but the key sentence in his write up is "How quickly he adjusts as a hitter will determine when he’s ready for the majors, but he does have some work to do at the plate if he’s going to reach his high ceiling." Finally Graterol comes in at #48 and I love this sentence in the scouting report, "When Graterol pitches, you better make sure your radar gun does well with the triple digits because he’ll be there often." Nice to have them in the top fifty, now let's get Kiriloff and Graterol to the big show. It will probably take a trade of Rosario or another injury to Buxton, but when we need someone I would prefer the rookie over Cave. Time to unlock the potential. Graterol should be designated to take the rotation spot of Pineda until he comes off the suspension and maybe he will be so good that he forces one of the others off the rotation and that would be great.
  13. With the season fast approaching, I have been spending time reviewing the top prospects in the Twins system. There are plenty of players to be excited about in the years to come. Here's a recap of the previous posts: Prospects 11-20 Prospects 6-10 A year after players like Byron Buxton and Max Kepler impacted the big league squad, there's a chance that none of the players below will debut this year. Who will be number one?5. Tyler Jay, LHP Age: 22/ Highest Level: Double-A Jay's first five 2016 starts were rough as he was knocked around for 11 earned runs in 19.1 innings. He failed to pitch more than five innings in any of these starts and opponents were getting on base 33% of the time. Over his next 38.1 frames, he posted a 0.70 ERA with 42 strikeouts and nine walks. He went 4-2 during this stretch as batters were held to a .OPS of under .500. He made his Double-A debut on July 10 and over his next two starts he allowed eight earned runs across 10 innings. His final three appearances came out of the Lookouts’ bullpen where he allowed one earned run on three hits. Jay, a left-handed pitcher, struck out lefties in 22 of their 66 at-bats while limiting them to a .645 OPS. Right-handed batters hit .249/.306/.355 with a 55 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio. His season would be done on July 30 after dealing with some neck and shoulder issues. In August, doctors diagnosed him with neuropraxia, or nerve irritation, in his neck. 4. Alex Kirilloff, OF Age: 19/ Highest Level: Rookie The Twins recently announced Kirilloff will miss the entire 2017 season as he will be undergoing Tommy John surgery. This takes little away from his promising future. Kirilloff skipped the GCL and headed to the Appy League. He was 2.5 years younger than the competition at this level. In fact, he never faced a pitcher younger than himself in over 230 plate appearances. He came out hitting well in his first full month as a professional. He batted .373 with a .919 OPS for the month of July. This included four home runs and seven doubles. He cooled a little in August as his average dipped to .232 but he was still getting on base over 30% of the time with six extra-base hits. Kirilloff, a left-handed batter, posted an OPS that was 155 points higher against right-handed pitching. Kirilloff started games at all three outfield positions and the majority of his appearances came in right field. In the outfield, he combined for four errors in 86 chances with seven assists. 3. Fernando Romero, RHP Age: 22/ Highest Level: High-A Romero made his presence known on his return to the mound in 2016. Even after missing all of 2015, he was almost a year younger than the competition in the Midwest League and he was over two years younger than FSL opponents. This resulted in 85% of his at-bats coming against older batters. He started the year by making five starts for the Kernels. He allowed six earned runs over 28 innings (1.93 ERA) with 25 strikeouts and five walks. Near the end of June, he was promoted to Fort Myers where he allowed seven earned runs across 29 innings (five starts). He posted a 26-to-5 strikeout to walk ratio while holding batters to a .225 average. From July 23 to August 25, he compiled a 1.62 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. Left-handed batters struck out in 29% of their at-bats. He struck out 26 or more batters in every month where he made four starts or more. For the season, he set career best marks in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and WHIP. He made it an easy decision for the Twins to add him to the 40-man roster at season’s end 2. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP Age: 22/ Highest Level: Double-A For the third consecutive season, Gonsalves split time between two different levels. His first 11 starts came back in the FSL, where he finished the 2015 campaign. After allowing three runs in his first outing, he allowed three runs over his next six starts (36.2 IP). Overall at High-A, he had a 2.33 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP and a 66 to 20 strikeout to walk ratio. Gonslaves had one bad Double-A start in his second appearance (6 ERs in 3.2 IP) before going on a dominant stretch for the rest of the season. Across 65.2 IP, he allowed seven earned runs (0.96 ERA) with 75 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP. He held opponents to batting .144/.263/.177 during that stretch. Batters never hit higher than .228 against him in any month. He struck out 20 batters or more in any month he made at least three starts. Over 80% of his at-bats came against older batters. Even though he is a lefty, left-handed batters hit 20 points higher than righties but they also struck out in 34% of their at-bats. 1. Nick Gordon, SS Age: 21/ Highest Level: High-A For the third consecutive season, Gordon was over two years younger than the competition. In 494 total at-bats, he faced a younger pitcher twice. At the beginning of the season, only three players were younger than him in the FSL. Gordon got the season off to a good start as he hit .333/.363/.483 with nine extra-base hits in April. He ended June on a nine game hit streak. July saw him set season highs with 17 runs and 20 RBI. He got on base over 31% of the time in every month except August. Gordon, a left-handed batter, hit .315/.356/.431 against righties. A year after stealing 25 bases, he stole 19 and was caught 13 times. Overall, he had 35 multi-hit games and reached base in 74% of the games he played. After posting fielding percentages of over .960 in both of his professional seasons, he saw that number dip to .952. He was charged with 24 errors in 503 chances. Gordon carried over his strong regular season to the Arizona Fall League. As one of the younger players in the 2016 AFL, he hit .346/.418/.444 with six extra-base hits and 15 runs in 21 games. Who is too high? Is anyone too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Click here to view the article
  14. 5. Tyler Jay, LHP Age: 22/ Highest Level: Double-A Jay's first five 2016 starts were rough as he was knocked around for 11 earned runs in 19.1 innings. He failed to pitch more than five innings in any of these starts and opponents were getting on base 33% of the time. Over his next 38.1 frames, he posted a 0.70 ERA with 42 strikeouts and nine walks. He went 4-2 during this stretch as batters were held to a .OPS of under .500. He made his Double-A debut on July 10 and over his next two starts he allowed eight earned runs across 10 innings. His final three appearances came out of the Lookouts’ bullpen where he allowed one earned run on three hits. Jay, a left-handed pitcher, struck out lefties in 22 of their 66 at-bats while limiting them to a .645 OPS. Right-handed batters hit .249/.306/.355 with a 55 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio. His season would be done on July 30 after dealing with some neck and shoulder issues. In August, doctors diagnosed him with neuropraxia, or nerve irritation, in his neck. 4. Alex Kirilloff, OF Age: 19/ Highest Level: Rookie The Twins recently announced Kirilloff will miss the entire 2017 season as he will be undergoing Tommy John surgery. This takes little away from his promising future. Kirilloff skipped the GCL and headed to the Appy League. He was 2.5 years younger than the competition at this level. In fact, he never faced a pitcher younger than himself in over 230 plate appearances. He came out hitting well in his first full month as a professional. He batted .373 with a .919 OPS for the month of July. This included four home runs and seven doubles. He cooled a little in August as his average dipped to .232 but he was still getting on base over 30% of the time with six extra-base hits. Kirilloff, a left-handed batter, posted an OPS that was 155 points higher against right-handed pitching. Kirilloff started games at all three outfield positions and the majority of his appearances came in right field. In the outfield, he combined for four errors in 86 chances with seven assists. 3. Fernando Romero, RHP Age: 22/ Highest Level: High-A Romero made his presence known on his return to the mound in 2016. Even after missing all of 2015, he was almost a year younger than the competition in the Midwest League and he was over two years younger than FSL opponents. This resulted in 85% of his at-bats coming against older batters. He started the year by making five starts for the Kernels. He allowed six earned runs over 28 innings (1.93 ERA) with 25 strikeouts and five walks. Near the end of June, he was promoted to Fort Myers where he allowed seven earned runs across 29 innings (five starts). He posted a 26-to-5 strikeout to walk ratio while holding batters to a .225 average. From July 23 to August 25, he compiled a 1.62 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. Left-handed batters struck out in 29% of their at-bats. He struck out 26 or more batters in every month where he made four starts or more. For the season, he set career best marks in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and WHIP. He made it an easy decision for the Twins to add him to the 40-man roster at season’s end 2. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP Age: 22/ Highest Level: Double-A For the third consecutive season, Gonsalves split time between two different levels. His first 11 starts came back in the FSL, where he finished the 2015 campaign. After allowing three runs in his first outing, he allowed three runs over his next six starts (36.2 IP). Overall at High-A, he had a 2.33 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP and a 66 to 20 strikeout to walk ratio. Gonslaves had one bad Double-A start in his second appearance (6 ERs in 3.2 IP) before going on a dominant stretch for the rest of the season. Across 65.2 IP, he allowed seven earned runs (0.96 ERA) with 75 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP. He held opponents to batting .144/.263/.177 during that stretch. Batters never hit higher than .228 against him in any month. He struck out 20 batters or more in any month he made at least three starts. Over 80% of his at-bats came against older batters. Even though he is a lefty, left-handed batters hit 20 points higher than righties but they also struck out in 34% of their at-bats. 1. Nick Gordon, SS Age: 21/ Highest Level: High-A For the third consecutive season, Gordon was over two years younger than the competition. In 494 total at-bats, he faced a younger pitcher twice. At the beginning of the season, only three players were younger than him in the FSL. Gordon got the season off to a good start as he hit .333/.363/.483 with nine extra-base hits in April. He ended June on a nine game hit streak. July saw him set season highs with 17 runs and 20 RBI. He got on base over 31% of the time in every month except August. Gordon, a left-handed batter, hit .315/.356/.431 against righties. A year after stealing 25 bases, he stole 19 and was caught 13 times. Overall, he had 35 multi-hit games and reached base in 74% of the games he played. After posting fielding percentages of over .960 in both of his professional seasons, he saw that number dip to .952. He was charged with 24 errors in 503 chances. Gordon carried over his strong regular season to the Arizona Fall League. As one of the younger players in the 2016 AFL, he hit .346/.418/.444 with six extra-base hits and 15 runs in 21 games. Who is too high? Is anyone too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  15. The Twins lost their 10th straight on Sunday afternoon, wrapping up one of the worst series we've seen this year, part of one of the worst stretches of Twins baseball we've seen since losing became so popular at 1 Twins Way. In addition to losing the game, the Twins lost Danny Santana to the DL with a sprained shoulder. Transaction Report: The injury to Danny Santana led to a late scratch for Rochester's Logan Schafer as the Twins selected his contract before the Red Wings started on Sunday evening. Why the Twins decided to promote Schafer is a mystery. Let the fans get a good look at players they've never heard about, probably. Anyways, Randy LeBlanc was promoted from Fort Myers to Chattanooga, and to replace LeBlanc, the Miracle received Brian Olson from the GCL Twins (from the other side of the MiLB complex in Fort Myers). Continue reading to find out more detail about Sunday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Box Score Byron Buxton was 1-5 with four strike outs and a single. John Ryan Murphy had a nice night at the plate, 3-4 with a strike out. Adam Walker had a pair of doubles (and a pair of strike outs) as part of his 2-4 night. Despite what Murphy and Walker did for the Wings, they managed just one run, maybe it was because as a team they struck out 22 times and worked just two walks. That might have something to do with it. Jason Wheeler gave up three runs over seven innings, spreading six hits and three strike outs. He gave up one home run, but was tagged with the loss despite the quality start because of the flummoxed Red Wings hitters. D. J. Baxendale pitched 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, giving up one hit and striking out a pair of RailRiders. Final: RailRiders 3, Red Wings 1 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mississippi Braves @ Chattanooga Box Score With a 4-0 lead after four innings, the Lookouts were in good shape, attacking the Braves' starter Sean Newcomb. Aaron Slegers, starting for the Lookouts, went seven innings, gave up two runs on six hits. He struck out six, walked two, and left the game with a lead and an opportunity to pick up a win. But it wasn't meant to be as the Lookouts couldn't push any more runs across the board, and Zack Jones gave up a run in the eight, and two more in the ninth to blow the save, and the game. Jones' final line was 2.0 innings pitched, three hits, three runs, a walk, and three strike outs. The loss drops him to 2-2. Third baseman Ryan Walker left the game in the fourth inning after being in the hand by an errant pitch. He was replaced by Tanner Witt. Zach Granite had another great game with the bat, 3-5 with a double and two runs score, plus a stolen base (and he was caught stealing). The rest of the Lookouts had just five hits. Twins former first round pick Levi Michael was 0-2 with a walk and two strike outs and is hitting just .220/.296/.302 as a 25-year old in AA. Final: Braves 5, Lookouts 4 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ Jupiter Hammerheads Box Score The Miracle jumped ahead 2-1 in the seventh and then added three more in the top of the eighth for good measure, taking down the Hammerheads 5-1. Tanner English led off for the Miracle and was 2-5 with a pair of runs scored. Trey Vavra had a pair of hits as well, including a run scored, a walk, and an RBI. Brad Hartong also contributed a pair of singles from the 9th spot in the order. Keaton Steele picked up his seventh win of the year, moving to 7-11 with a 3.66 ERA. He pitched 6.0 innings of five-hit baseball. He gave up just one unearned run, walked one, and struck out four. Nick Anderson picked up a hold with 2.0 innings of hitless relief work, and John Curtiss finished things off with a 1-2-3 ninth. Final: Miracle 5, Hammerheads 1 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Clinton Lumber Kings Box Score The Kernels won their seventh straight on Sunday afternoon and could clinch a playoff spot as early as Monday evening if things break right for them. On Sunday the Kernels were powered by their pitching staff. Brady Anderson moved to 3-0 with 6.0 innings of four-hit baseball. He walked none, gave up no runs, and struck out four. He was replaced by Logan Lombana who pitched 2.0 innings. Lombana gave up a run on three hits and struck out three. Tom Hackimer earned the save with a clean ninth inning, including a strike out. Nelson Molina was the hero of the day for the Kernels, with a 3-4 night that included a double, a solo home run, and two runs scored. Jaylin Davis added a solo home run as well, part of his 2-4 night. Final: Kernels 4, Lumber Kings 1 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Greenville Astros Box Score Quite a wild back and forth game in the Eastern League for the E-Twins and the Greeneville Astros. The E-Twins scored eight runs on nine hits and four walks. They were led by Amaury Minier, who was 2-5 with a home run and two RBIs. Alex Kiriloff was 0-3 before being replaced by Roberty Gonzalez in the bottom of the sixth. The stat sheet reads as a defensive substitution, but Kiriloff is just 4-32 and has just two hits in his last seven games, so read between the lines a bit for the 18-year old. E-Twins starter Ryan Mason lasted just 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out one, and gave up a solo home run. He was replaced by Alex Robinson, who gave up 3 runs (all unearned) over 1.2 innings. He struck out three, walked two, and gave up ZERO hits. Rough way to let three runs across the plate. Quin Grogan pitched the final three innings, picking up a blown save and the win thanks to some late inning heroics from the bats. Quin gave up two hits, walked no one, and struck out five. Final: E-Twins 8, Astros 7 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Brady Anderson - Cedar Rapids Pitcher of the Day - Zach Granite - Chattanooga MONDAY'S PROBABLES Rochester - Tyler Duffey (0-0, 1.72) Chattanooga - TBD Fort Myers - Randy LeBlacn (5-7, 4.70) Cedar Rapids - Eduardo Del Rosario (5-2, 3.81) E-Twins - Clark Beeker (0-0, 1.80) GCL Twins - TBD DSL Twins - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Sunday games. -ERolf
  16. Despite four wins from affiliates on Thursday, the games didn't produce a lot of stand-out performances. A couple key hits here and there, some solid relief work, and that's sort of how things worked out across the system.Transaction Report:Alan Busenitz promoted to Rochester, Omar Bencomo demoted to Chattanooga, Todd Van Steensel promoted to Chattanooga, Mason Melotakis placed on 7-day disabled list (Chattanooga), Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Buffalo Bisons @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 in the top of the second inning but got a run back in the bottom half of the inning, and then used a 3-run Reynaldo Rodriguez home run to pull ahead in the third. Rodriguez was 1-3 and also walked. Mitch Garver was the only Red Wings player with multiple hits, 2-4 with an RBI and a pair of strikeouts. Despite giving up those three early runs, Jason Wheeler pitched well enough for the victory, moving to 10-4. He pitched 6.0 innings, gave up five hits, three runs, walked no one and struck out six. The bullpen locked things down the rest of the way, with 2.0 scoreless innings from D.J. Baxendale, and Alex Wimmers put the Bisons to bed with a scoreless ninth inning. Final: Bisons 3, Red Wings 6 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Montgomery Biscuits @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts gave up a run in the top of the first inning and were not able to come back the rest of the way. Starter Aaron Slegers dropped to 9-7 with the loss. He pitched 5.1 innings and gave up five hits, six runs (five earned), walked four and struck out just three. With Slegers out of the game, the bullpen held the Biscuits in place, with 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball from Brandon Peterson, and a clean 1-2-3 ninth for Todd Van Steensel, making his AAA debut. The Lookouts combined for five hits and struck out ten times on the evening, failing to really get things going except for a run here and there while already behind. No Lookouts hitter had more than one hit, and if I had to pick the top performer, I'd probably give it to Zach Granite, 1-3, but he had both RBIs. Final: Biscuits 6, Lookouts 2 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ St. Lucie Mets Box Score The Miracle were outhit 6-5, and committed a pair of errors, but still came away with a 1-0 shutout victory, thanks in large part to Fernando Romero. Romero pitched 6.1 innings of three-hit baseball, walking two and striking out eight. Romero's bullpen buddies Randy Rosario and Nick Anderson finished out the final 2.1 innings, giving up three more hits, walking one, and striking out five combined. This was the 16th shutout on the season for the Miracle staff. The Miracle's lone run was scored in a pretty unexciting fifth inning that started with a single, then a walk, a hit batsman, and another walk. Christian Ibarra and Daniel Kihle both led the way, each with a pair of hits, going 2-3 with a double. Nick Gordon was 0-4 as the DH, with a strikeout. Final: Miracle 1, Mets 0 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Peoria Chiefs Box Score The Kernels were up 2-1 after the fourth inning and things held there until the Chiefs came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth. With Tom Hackimer on the mound, Peoria quickly put the first two men on via walks, and then a single tied the game and another single gave Peoria the victory. Cedar Rapids starter Sean Poppen pitched 5.0 innings, gave up four hits, a run, walked three and struck out five. He was replaced by Andrew Vasquez who went 2.2 innings, gave up one hit and struck out six. Vasquez was lifted with two outs in the eight and Hackimer entered and produced a strike out to get the Kernels out of a jam, before giving the game away in the ninth. Travis Blankenhorn was 1-4 but had both RBIs for the Kernels. Nelson Molina was 2-4 with a run scored and Casey Scoggins was 2-3 with a walk. Final: Kernels 2, Chiefs 3 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Burlington Royals Box Score The E-Twins scored a run in the top of the first and pushed their lead to 4-1 after six innings. Each team put a two-spot on the board in the eighth to end the scoring. Twins hitters racked up eight hits, one walk, and struck out ten times. Amaurys Minier hit a 3-run homer in the sixth, his only hit of the night. Alex Kirilloff was 2-4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. The Twins used 5.2 innings from starter Alex Schick to get him the victory. He gave up just two hits, one run, walked two and struck out seven. Hector Lujan and Patrick McGuff did enough to keep the Twins ahead the rest of the way with 2.0 innings from Lujan and 1.1 from McGuff. Final: E-Twins 6, Royals 3 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (Game 1) Box Score In the first game of a doubleheader, the GCL Twins scored six runs on just four hits, enough to earn a victory. All four of the Twins' hits were single, and no batter had more than one. Starting pitcher Tyler Fox went just 4.0 innings, gave up five hits, three runs and struck out four. He was replaced by Moises Gomez who earned a win with 3.0 hitless innings. He walked one and struck out three. Final: GCL Rays 3, GCL Twins 6 GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (Game 2) Box Score Again, not much for production with the bats in game two, as the Twins managed just four more hits, again all singles, and again spread out to four different players. This time they could not find a way to score. The Twins did not walk at all and struck out six times. Twins starting pitcher Bo Hellquist was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs in 4.2 innings. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out three. He was replaced by Zach Strecker who pitched the final 2.1 innings, giving up a pair of hits and striking out three. Final: GCL Rays 2, GCL Twins 0 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Rojos Box Score Eight hits each for the Twins and the Rojos, but the Twins scored their only two runs in the top of the ninth, which was too few runs to earn a victory. The Twins were led by Darling Cuesto who was 2-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Twins starter Juan Mojica left in the fifth with the score still 0-0. He walked two, struck out seven and gave up just three hits. Luis Bellorin gave up four runs in an inning to take the loss, and Andriu Marin finished things out, giving up another run to give the Rojos five. Final: DSL Twins 2, DSL Rojos 5 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Alex Kirilloff - Elizabethton Pitcher of the Day - Fernando Romero - Fort Myers FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Rochester - David Hurlbut (0-1, 6.00) Chattanooga - Kohl Stewart (6-6, 3.25) Fort Myers - Dereck Rodriguez (1-1, 1.98) Cedar Rapids - Lachlan Wells (4-3, 2.36) E-Twins - TBD GCL Twins - TBD DSL Twins - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games. Click here to view the article
  17. Transaction Report:Alan Busenitz promoted to Rochester, Omar Bencomo demoted to Chattanooga, Todd Van Steensel promoted to Chattanooga, Mason Melotakis placed on 7-day disabled list (Chattanooga), Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Buffalo Bisons @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 in the top of the second inning but got a run back in the bottom half of the inning, and then used a 3-run Reynaldo Rodriguez home run to pull ahead in the third. Rodriguez was 1-3 and also walked. Mitch Garver was the only Red Wings player with multiple hits, 2-4 with an RBI and a pair of strikeouts. Despite giving up those three early runs, Jason Wheeler pitched well enough for the victory, moving to 10-4. He pitched 6.0 innings, gave up five hits, three runs, walked no one and struck out six. The bullpen locked things down the rest of the way, with 2.0 scoreless innings from D.J. Baxendale, and Alex Wimmers put the Bisons to bed with a scoreless ninth inning. Final: Bisons 3, Red Wings 6 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Montgomery Biscuits @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts gave up a run in the top of the first inning and were not able to come back the rest of the way. Starter Aaron Slegers dropped to 9-7 with the loss. He pitched 5.1 innings and gave up five hits, six runs (five earned), walked four and struck out just three. With Slegers out of the game, the bullpen held the Biscuits in place, with 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball from Brandon Peterson, and a clean 1-2-3 ninth for Todd Van Steensel, making his AAA debut. The Lookouts combined for five hits and struck out ten times on the evening, failing to really get things going except for a run here and there while already behind. No Lookouts hitter had more than one hit, and if I had to pick the top performer, I'd probably give it to Zach Granite, 1-3, but he had both RBIs. Final: Biscuits 6, Lookouts 2 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ St. Lucie Mets Box Score The Miracle were outhit 6-5, and committed a pair of errors, but still came away with a 1-0 shutout victory, thanks in large part to Fernando Romero. Romero pitched 6.1 innings of three-hit baseball, walking two and striking out eight. Romero's bullpen buddies Randy Rosario and Nick Anderson finished out the final 2.1 innings, giving up three more hits, walking one, and striking out five combined. This was the 16th shutout on the season for the Miracle staff. The Miracle's lone run was scored in a pretty unexciting fifth inning that started with a single, then a walk, a hit batsman, and another walk. Christian Ibarra and Daniel Kihle both led the way, each with a pair of hits, going 2-3 with a double. Nick Gordon was 0-4 as the DH, with a strikeout. Final: Miracle 1, Mets 0 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Peoria Chiefs Box Score The Kernels were up 2-1 after the fourth inning and things held there until the Chiefs came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth. With Tom Hackimer on the mound, Peoria quickly put the first two men on via walks, and then a single tied the game and another single gave Peoria the victory. Cedar Rapids starter Sean Poppen pitched 5.0 innings, gave up four hits, a run, walked three and struck out five. He was replaced by Andrew Vasquez who went 2.2 innings, gave up one hit and struck out six. Vasquez was lifted with two outs in the eight and Hackimer entered and produced a strike out to get the Kernels out of a jam, before giving the game away in the ninth. Travis Blankenhorn was 1-4 but had both RBIs for the Kernels. Nelson Molina was 2-4 with a run scored and Casey Scoggins was 2-3 with a walk. Final: Kernels 2, Chiefs 3 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Burlington Royals Box Score The E-Twins scored a run in the top of the first and pushed their lead to 4-1 after six innings. Each team put a two-spot on the board in the eighth to end the scoring. Twins hitters racked up eight hits, one walk, and struck out ten times. Amaurys Minier hit a 3-run homer in the sixth, his only hit of the night. Alex Kirilloff was 2-4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. The Twins used 5.2 innings from starter Alex Schick to get him the victory. He gave up just two hits, one run, walked two and struck out seven. Hector Lujan and Patrick McGuff did enough to keep the Twins ahead the rest of the way with 2.0 innings from Lujan and 1.1 from McGuff. Final: E-Twins 6, Royals 3 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (Game 1) Box Score In the first game of a doubleheader, the GCL Twins scored six runs on just four hits, enough to earn a victory. All four of the Twins' hits were single, and no batter had more than one. Starting pitcher Tyler Fox went just 4.0 innings, gave up five hits, three runs and struck out four. He was replaced by Moises Gomez who earned a win with 3.0 hitless innings. He walked one and struck out three. Final: GCL Rays 3, GCL Twins 6 GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (Game 2) Box Score Again, not much for production with the bats in game two, as the Twins managed just four more hits, again all singles, and again spread out to four different players. This time they could not find a way to score. The Twins did not walk at all and struck out six times. Twins starting pitcher Bo Hellquist was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs in 4.2 innings. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out three. He was replaced by Zach Strecker who pitched the final 2.1 innings, giving up a pair of hits and striking out three. Final: GCL Rays 2, GCL Twins 0 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Rojos Box Score Eight hits each for the Twins and the Rojos, but the Twins scored their only two runs in the top of the ninth, which was too few runs to earn a victory. The Twins were led by Darling Cuesto who was 2-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Twins starter Juan Mojica left in the fifth with the score still 0-0. He walked two, struck out seven and gave up just three hits. Luis Bellorin gave up four runs in an inning to take the loss, and Andriu Marin finished things out, giving up another run to give the Rojos five. Final: DSL Twins 2, DSL Rojos 5 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Alex Kirilloff - Elizabethton Pitcher of the Day - Fernando Romero - Fort Myers FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Rochester - David Hurlbut (0-1, 6.00) Chattanooga - Kohl Stewart (6-6, 3.25) Fort Myers - Dereck Rodriguez (1-1, 1.98) Cedar Rapids - Lachlan Wells (4-3, 2.36) E-Twins - TBD GCL Twins - TBD DSL Twins - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games.
  18. RED WINGS REPORT Norfolk 2, Rochester 3 Box Score Rochester scored single runs in the first three innings to jump out to an early 3-0 lead in support of starter Jose Berrios. Turns out that would be just enough to preserve his ninth win of the year with the Red Wings. In the first, a double from Adam Walker scored Daniel Palka, who had singled earlier to start the two-out rally. In the second, consecutive two-out singles from John Ryan Murphy, Tommy Field, and James Beresford made it 2-0. In the third, consecutive errors from the Norfolk defense led to the game's decisive run. Berrios went the first six innings, allowing no runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out nine, including two in the first and two in the third, and retired seven in a row at one point. At ninety-five pitches after the sixth, Buddy Boshers came on for seventh and had a one-two-three inning. Marcus Waldon was summoned in the eighth, and the Tides finally broke the barrier. All four hitters Walden faced reached base, and the knockout blow was a two-RBI single that brought in Sean Burnett to limit the damage. He retired the next three hitters to preserve the 3-2 lead for Rochester. In the ninth, it took J.T. Chargois nine pitches to close the door on the game, and pick up his seventh save with the Red Wings. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Mobile 6, Chattanooga 5 Box Score The Lookouts took a 3-0 lead in this one in the third inning, when a Zach Granite single plated Engelb Vielma who had singled earlier, and Mitch Garver followed with a two-RBI double to score Levi Michael and Granite. Michael had reached base by being hit by a pitch in between the singles from Vielma and Granite . Mobile closed the lead to 3-2 in the top of the fifth, as Chattanooga starter Felix Jorge ran into his first trouble of the game after picking up the first two outs of the inning. Up to that point he had faced the minimum, allowing only a single that was erased with a double play ball in the second. But two singles were followed by a two-RBI double to close the gap before he got out of the inning. Chattanooga got those runs back in the bottom of the inning, as Garver again delivered a two-RBI hit, this one a single to score Granite and Ryan Walker, making it 5-2 Lookouts. Jorge came back from the two-run fifth to go one-two-three in the sixth, allowed a solo home run in the seventh, and recorded the first two outs of the eighth before issuing a walk that brought in Jake Reed from the bullpen. Jorge’s final line was 7.2 innings pitched, and four runs allowed on five hits and two walks. Despite recording twenty-three outs against just twenty nine hitters, only one of those outs came via a strikeout. Reed hit the first batter he faced to put two runners on, threw a wild-pitch to move them to second and third, and walked another batter to load the bases before they were cleared with a double to put the BayBears out front late, 6-5. The Lookouts offense, including an appearance from Garver, was unable to muster anything else in the eighth or nine, and they went home with the loss to drop them to 50-44 on the season, and 14-10 in the second half. They are tied atop the Southern League North division standings. MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland 1, Fort Myers 4 Box score Fort Myers starter Fernando Romero allowed three consecutive singles in the first inning to put Lakeland up 1-0 right away, but he and the bullpen settled in the rest of the way and allowed no further damage on the scoreboard. Romero went the first six innings, allowing just the one run on five hits and a walk, while striking out six. Luke Bard pitched two scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits and striking out one. Nick Anderson notched his second save in the Florida State League with a perfect ninth inning. The Miracle offense got a solo home run from Tanner Witt in the third inning to tie it at one, and a two-run home run in the sixth from Lamonte Wade to make it 3-1. Wade’s home run was his first in the FSL. In addition to Witt and Wade’s 2-4 night’s, they also got multi-hit efforts from Trey Vavra (2-4, R) and Alex Perez (2-4) while knocking out twelve hits as a team. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Fort Wayne 6 Box Score The Kernels took the lead late, and held on for a road victory against the TinCaps on Sunday. Cedar Rapids took a 1-0 lead in the first when Luis Arreaz reached base on a strikeout and wild pitch that was followed by a Zander Wiel double and Jaylin Davis single to drive him in. Fort Wayne tagged starter Eduardo Del Rosario for three runs in the second, including a two-run home run but would get no more against the Cedar Rapids starter. Rosario went six innings, allowing the three runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Thanks to a two-run double from Nelson Molina in the sixth, and three more runs scored in the seventh Rosario remained in line for the win despite each reliever that followed him allowing at least one run. Davis added his third Midwest League home run in the top of the ninth for an added cushion. Michael Cederoth pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing a single run in each frame on three hits and a walk. He struck out two. Anthony McIver allowed the TinCaps to close it to 8-6 and had two-runners on base when he struck out the game’s final batter for his fifth save with the Kernels. The Kernels thirteen hits were amassed by multi-hit efforts from over half of their lineup. Casey Scoggins was 2-5 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot. Arraez was 2-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Zander Wiel picked up an RBI and clubbed two doubles. Davis finished 3-5 with three runs scored, a double, home run, and three RBI. Molina picked up three RBI’s of his own in a 2-5 night. Sean Miller added his fourth triple of the year. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 11, Princeton 6 Box Score Elizabthton pounded out fifteen hits compared to just the five for Princeton, but four Twins errors and a wild ninth inning for reliever Johan Quezada made the score quite a bit closer than it should have been. Ariel Montesino went 4-5 with a double and scored three runs out of the leadoff spot for the Twins. He raised his batting average to .423 in the Appalachian League thus far. Alex Kirilloff went 2-5, scored three runs, and hit his second home run of his professional career out of the three spot in the lineup. Amaurys Minier drove in four runs, including a three-run home run in the fourth in a 2-4 night. Lewin Diaz (2-5, R, 2B, RBI) and Andre Jernigan (2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) also collected multiple hits. Jernigan’s blast was the first home run of his young professional career, and both his and Minier’s long balls came in the ninth inning to push the game well out of reach for the Rays. Sean Poppen made the start for Elizabethton and pitched the first five innings. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and three walks, and struck out seven to pick up his first professional win. Patrick McGuff went 2.1 scoreless innings to follow Poppen. He walked two, allowed one hit and struck out three. Colton Davis was responsible for one run on one hit as he finished off the last two outs of the eighth, and recorded one out in the ninth before Quezada was brought in. What followed was a very bizarre sequence, as Quezada had trouble finding the strike zone. There was a wild pitch to the first batter he faced, but he picked up a strikeout for the inning's second out. He then walked the next three batters to score one and load the bases, then a wild-pitch and walk scored another, and an error would score two more before Quezada got an infield pop-up to end the game. All told Quezada allowed four runs (two earned) on one hit and four walks in the inning that started with the Twins out front 11-1. GCL TWINS TAKES The GCL Twins had the day off on Sunday. They get back to action tomorrow morning on the road against the GCL Rays. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jose Berrios, Rochester Red Wings (W, 6.0IP, 0 R’s, 4 H’s, 2 BB, 9 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Jaylin Davis, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-4, 3 R’s, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Durham @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – LHP Jason Wheeler (6-2, 2.80 ERA) Mobile @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves (3-1, 3.48 ERA) Lakeland @ Fort Myers (6:05PM CST) – RHP Miles Nordgren (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne (6:05PM PM CST) – RHP Cody Stashak (6-5, 3.16 ERA) Elizabethton @ Princeton (6:00PM CST) – RHP Jose Martinez (0-1, 7.47 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
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