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  1. On Sunday night, Parker and I subbed for Aaron on the Gleeman and the Geek podcast. Among the topics discussed was the club's decision to non-tender 22-year-old right-hander Yorman Landa, thus opening a spot on the 40-man roster in advance of this week's Rule 5 draft. Landa has a power arm that has touched 100 MPH. In the past, releasing such a specimen would be unthinkable for a franchise starving for special heat. But Landa's expendability is a sign of the times. In Baseball America's Rule 5 draft preview, JJ Cooper notes that "at least nine pitchers who touched 100 mph or better this year" will be available to the Twins when they select first on Thursday. You can bet that a big fastball alone won't entice the Twins. The past regime has been down that path too many times. Alex Meyer and Jim Hoey were seemingly acquired largely for their overpowering velocity, but the coinciding control issues never went away. J.R. Graham was Minnesota's Rule 5 selection after his velo uptick following a switch to the bullpen caught the eyes of scouts. His 95-MPH heater never translated to dominance. Relievers that can bring the zing are no longer rare commodities, so big radar results in isolation aren't going to generate a whole lot of excitement anymore. It will be interesting to see what other qualities the new decision-makers prioritize. They are all but certain to add a new player in the Rule 5 draft, and there will be plenty of opportunities to find talent through other avenues before and after. To find out which prospects the Twins will be choosing from on Thursday, I highly recommend checking out BA's write-up, which profiles several very intriguing names.
  2. Not so long ago, hard-throwing pitchers were in high demand. As triple-digit readings became increasingly common, the Minnesota Twins notoriously lagged far behind. The organization put no shortage of effort into correcting that issue, but with mostly subpar results. Now, the Twins have fireballers to spare. And so do the rest of the league's teams.On Sunday night, Parker and I subbed for Aaron on the Gleeman and the Geek podcast. Among the topics discussed was the club's decision to non-tender 22-year-old right-hander Yorman Landa, thus opening a spot on the 40-man roster in advance of this week's Rule 5 draft. Landa has a power arm that has touched 100 MPH. In the past, releasing such a specimen would be unthinkable for a franchise starving for special heat. But Landa's expendability is a sign of the times. In Baseball America's Rule 5 draft preview, JJ Cooper notes that "at least nine pitchers who touched 100 mph or better this year" will be available to the Twins when they select first on Thursday. You can bet that a big fastball alone won't entice the Twins. The past regime has been down that path too many times. Alex Meyer and Jim Hoey were seemingly acquired largely for their overpowering velocity, but the coinciding control issues never went away. J.R. Graham was Minnesota's Rule 5 selection after his velo uptick following a switch to the bullpen caught the eyes of scouts. His 95-MPH heater never translated to dominance. Relievers that can bring the zing are no longer rare commodities, so big radar results in isolation aren't going to generate a whole lot of excitement anymore. It will be interesting to see what other qualities the new decision-makers prioritize. They are all but certain to add a new player in the Rule 5 draft, and there will be plenty of opportunities to find talent through other avenues before and after. To find out which prospects the Twins will be choosing from on Thursday, I highly recommend checking out BA's write-up, which profiles several very intriguing names. Click here to view the article
  3. The Minnesota Twins reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim minutes before today’s non-waiver trade deadline. The Twins sent right-handed pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer to the Angels in exchange for left-hander Hector Santiago and minor league right-hander Alan Busenitz.Twins fans have to be impressed that interim GM Rob Antony was able to find a taker for the frustrating Nolasco and the approximately $18-20 million remaining on his four year-$49 million contract. Nolasco threw a strong eight inning in his start over the weekend, maybe giving the Angels reason to think that he has turned a corner, or that they can get him back to his former self. Alex Meyer came to the Twins in the Denard Span trade from the Nationals. He was considered a top pitching prospect at the time because of a power fastball. He showed his potential at times, but he also found himself out with shoulder issues a few times. He made two relief appearances last year with the Twins. He also made one start for the team in early May. He hasn’t pitched in a game since due to a shoulder issue. Santiago, 28, has played for both the White Sox and the Angels. This season, he is 10-4 with a 4.25 ERA and a 5.03 FIP. He has struck out about 8.0 per nine innings, but has also walked about 4.3 per nine innings. The southpaw has a 3.68 career ERA and one more year left of arbitration. He should immediately take Nolasco’s spot in the rotation. Finally, the Twins acquired Alan Busenitz in the deal. He was the Angels 25th-round pick in 2013 out of Kennesaw State. He will turn 26 years old later this month. He began the season with 24 appearances out of the bullpen in AA Arkansas where he posted a 1.93 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. He recently moved up to AAA Salt Lake and has a 9.00 ERA in 13 innings. He does have 13 strikeouts in the Pacific Coast League. He should report to Rochester. Rhett Bollinger is reporting that the Twins will pay Ricky Nolasco for the rest of this season. The Angels will pay Hector Santiago for the rest of this year. The Twins are also sending $4 million to the Angels next year to help them pay Nolasco. As the trade deadline has passed, Ervin Santana, Kurt Suzuki and Brandon Kintzler all remain on the Twins roster. They, and others, can still be traded in August, but it would require waiver-clearing, etc. Click here to view the article
  4. Twins fans have to be impressed that interim GM Rob Antony was able to find a taker for the frustrating Nolasco and the approximately $18-20 million remaining on his four year-$49 million contract. Nolasco threw a strong eight inning in his start over the weekend, maybe giving the Angels reason to think that he has turned a corner, or that they can get him back to his former self. Alex Meyer came to the Twins in the Denard Span trade from the Nationals. He was considered a top pitching prospect at the time because of a power fastball. He showed his potential at times, but he also found himself out with shoulder issues a few times. He made two relief appearances last year with the Twins. He also made one start for the team in early May. He hasn’t pitched in a game since due to a shoulder issue. Santiago, 28, has played for both the White Sox and the Angels. This season, he is 10-4 with a 4.25 ERA and a 5.03 FIP. He has struck out about 8.0 per nine innings, but has also walked about 4.3 per nine innings. The southpaw has a 3.68 career ERA and one more year left of arbitration. He should immediately take Nolasco’s spot in the rotation. Finally, the Twins acquired Alan Busenitz in the deal. He was the Angels 25th-round pick in 2013 out of Kennesaw State. He will turn 26 years old later this month. He began the season with 24 appearances out of the bullpen in AA Arkansas where he posted a 1.93 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. He recently moved up to AAA Salt Lake and has a 9.00 ERA in 13 innings. He does have 13 strikeouts in the Pacific Coast League. He should report to Rochester. Rhett Bollinger is reporting that the Twins will pay Ricky Nolasco for the rest of this season. The Angels will pay Hector Santiago for the rest of this year. The Twins are also sending $4 million to the Angels next year to help them pay Nolasco. As the trade deadline has passed, Ervin Santana, Kurt Suzuki and Brandon Kintzler all remain on the Twins roster. They, and others, can still be traded in August, but it would require waiver-clearing, etc.
  5. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Episode_268_Trade_Deadline_Recap.mp3
  6. Thanks to the MN Corn Growers, Aaron and John recap the trades the Twins didn't make (Kurt Suzuki & Ervin Santana) and the trades they did make (Eduardo Nunez, Fernando Abad, Ricky Nolasco & Alex Meyer) while drinking beer and eating a Royale with Cheese at Lyn-Lake's Iron Door Pub. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click the Play button below. Click here to view the article
  7. * Last week, in discussing the benefits of badness, I mentioned that the waiver wire could be a key avenue for the Twins to infuse some talent during the season. Over the weekend, they utilized it, claiming right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez after he was waived by the Brewers. Ramirez is only 27 and has an impressive track record. Over the past two seasons with the Cubs, he posted a 1.87 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 68-to-23 K/BB ratio in 57 innings. The stuff matched the numbers as he racked up strikeouts with a mid-90s fastball and power slider. The velocity has been down a bit this year, and Ramirez has been a mess. The Brewers had acquired him off waivers from the Cubs and kept him for less than 10 days – only two appearances – before designating him for assignment, so clearly they didn't like what they saw. He's a project. But one with considerable upside that the Twins, desperate for arms, can't pass up. The word is that Ramirez has been battling some ongoing shoulder issues, so he should feel right at home with his new club. * Pitching a baseball is hard on the human body. For proof, look no further than all of the ravaged shoulders within Minnesota's pitching ranks. It is only fitting that the newest Twin has a bad wing, because that's been a persistent theme for the staff cornerstones. Phil Hughes' shoulder isn't the reason he went on the 60-day disabled list, but it's the reason he was pitching as the mop-up man in the ninth inning of a blowout loss when he took a line drive off the leg, breaking his femur. Battling through shoulder fatigue by his own admission, Hughes had been utterly ineffective. It wasn't entirely clear the Twins knew what to do with him. They sent him to the bullpen at the end of May, but his only appearances in June were a spot start in place of Kyle Gibson, and Thursday's mop-up relief outing in the final innings of a blowout loss. Now, the Twins have no choice but to do what they probably should have done all along: let that shoulder rest. No one seems able to diagnose what is specifically wrong with Hughes, other than vague dead arm attributions, but continually sending him out to take the mound was not doing any good. Since recording his lone victory this season, against the Brewers on April 18th, he has struck out only 17 of the 184 batters he has faced. That's 9 percent. You can't get by as a pitcher in the major leagues striking out less than 10 percent of opponents, much less as a fly ball guy. Hopefully the time off will do Hughes some good. So far, that plan hasn't worked for Glen Perkins, who remains tangled in an indefinite state of limbo due to his own ambiguously ailing shoulder. The lefty experienced yet another setback during his latest bullpen session, and is off to receive a third opinion due to lingering discomfort. Perkins hasn't pitched in a game since blowing his only save chance on April 10th, which was more than two months ago. Attempting to simply rest and rehab his aching shoulder has not resolved the issue, and that isn't surprising considering he dedicated his entire offseason to that approach before breaking down immediately. Meanwhile, Alex Meyer has been shut down for at least the month of June. We've been reassured that "nothing (was) found but inflammation" in his shoulder, but really there's nothing reassuring about that at this point. And if the shoulder strain that sidelined Gibson for seven weeks is now healed, it wasn't evident in his return on Saturday when he was rocked for five runs in 5 2/3 innings while inducing few swinging strikes or ground balls. The Twins are on pace to allow 894 runs, which is a higher total than any team has allowed since the 2010 Rangers gave up 967. And sure enough, bum shoulders are shouldering the blame for his porous pitching unit. * Turning the page to another deep-running organizational problem, here's some good news regarding Minnesota's catcher situation: John Ryan Murphy is hitting .370/.438/.630 this month at Rochester, with five extra-base hits (including his first home run) in eight games after totaling just two doubles in his first two months between the majors and Triple-A. At long last, it looks like he has shaken out of his mystifying slump. The better news, when it comes to the franchise's future at the catcher position, was the heavy emphasis given to it in last week's MLB Draft. The Twins smartly went the "Best Player Available" route with their first pick, selecting prep outfielder Alex Kiriloff and his enormous offensive ceiling, but they took a catcher with their second pick and then four more within the first 25 rounds. It's the most aggressively we have seen this team address the position since a 2013 draft class that produced the organization's two best current prospects behind the plate, Stuart Turner (a third-round pick) and Mitch Garver (a ninth-rounder). In fact, since Joe Mauer's MVP season in 2009, the Twins have spent only nine picks in the first 20 rounds of their six drafts on catchers, which... well, might help explain the situation they find themselves in today. But at least they're doing something about it. Ben Rortvedt, a high school backstop from Wisconsin that the Twins took with the 56th overall pick on Thursday, became the most highly drafted catcher for Minnesota since they got Mauer first overall in 2001, and he was considered by many to be the best prep player in the country at his position. Check out Jeremy's writeup on him. Along with Rortvedt, the Twins selected Mitchell Cranson, a slugging college catcher from UC Berkeley, in the ninth round. They grabbed Kidany Salva, a switch-hitting 17-year-old from a Texas high school, in the 17th and will try to lure him away from Sam Houston State. In the 20th round they landed Shamoy Christopher, an on-base machine from a community college in Tennessee. These guys are all wild cards to varying degrees, and some are quite unlikely to stick behind the plate, but the Twins are smart to load up on lotto tickets, with the hopes of finding a rare two-way treasure. Maybe they'll finally catch a break.
  8. An intriguing new pitcher acquisition, a perturbing injury trend, and a clear emphasis in draft strategy: We'll cover all three in today's Three-Bagger.* Last week, in discussing the benefits of badness, I mentioned that the waiver wire could be a key avenue for the Twins to infuse some talent during the season. Over the weekend, they utilized it, claiming right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez after he was waived by the Brewers. Ramirez is only 27 and has an impressive track record. Over the past two seasons with the Cubs, he posted a 1.87 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 68-to-23 K/BB ratio in 57 innings. The stuff matched the numbers as he racked up strikeouts with a mid-90s fastball and power slider. The velocity has been down a bit this year, and Ramirez has been a mess. The Brewers had acquired him off waivers from the Cubs and kept him for less than 10 days – only two appearances – before designating him for assignment, so clearly they didn't like what they saw. He's a project. But one with considerable upside that the Twins, desperate for arms, can't pass up. The word is that Ramirez has been battling some ongoing shoulder issues, so he should feel right at home with his new club. * Pitching a baseball is hard on the human body. For proof, look no further than all of the ravaged shoulders within Minnesota's pitching ranks. It is only fitting that the newest Twin has a bad wing, because that's been a persistent theme for the staff cornerstones. Phil Hughes' shoulder isn't the reason he went on the 60-day disabled list, but it's the reason he was pitching as the mop-up man in the ninth inning of a blowout loss when he took a line drive off the leg, breaking his femur. Battling through shoulder fatigue by his own admission, Hughes had been utterly ineffective. It wasn't entirely clear the Twins knew what to do with him. They sent him to the bullpen at the end of May, but his only appearances in June were a spot start in place of Kyle Gibson, and Thursday's mop-up relief outing in the final innings of a blowout loss. Now, the Twins have no choice but to do what they probably should have done all along: let that shoulder rest. No one seems able to diagnose what is specifically wrong with Hughes, other than vague dead arm attributions, but continually sending him out to take the mound was not doing any good. Since recording his lone victory this season, against the Brewers on April 18th, he has struck out only 17 of the 184 batters he has faced. That's 9 percent. You can't get by as a pitcher in the major leagues striking out less than 10 percent of opponents, much less as a fly ball guy. Hopefully the time off will do Hughes some good. So far, that plan hasn't worked for Glen Perkins, who remains tangled in an indefinite state of limbo due to his own ambiguously ailing shoulder. The lefty experienced yet another setback during his latest bullpen session, and is off to receive a third opinion due to lingering discomfort. Perkins hasn't pitched in a game since blowing his only save chance on April 10th, which was more than two months ago. Attempting to simply rest and rehab his aching shoulder has not resolved the issue, and that isn't surprising considering he dedicated his entire offseason to that approach before breaking down immediately. Meanwhile, Alex Meyer has been shut down for at least the month of June. We've been reassured that "nothing (was) found but inflammation" in his shoulder, but really there's nothing reassuring about that at this point. And if the shoulder strain that sidelined Gibson for seven weeks is now healed, it wasn't evident in his return on Saturday when he was rocked for five runs in 5 2/3 innings while inducing few swinging strikes or ground balls. The Twins are on pace to allow 894 runs, which is a higher total than any team has allowed since the 2010 Rangers gave up 967. And sure enough, bum shoulders are shouldering the blame for his porous pitching unit. * Turning the page to another deep-running organizational problem, here's some good news regarding Minnesota's catcher situation: John Ryan Murphy is hitting .370/.438/.630 this month at Rochester, with five extra-base hits (including his first home run) in eight games after totaling just two doubles in his first two months between the majors and Triple-A. At long last, it looks like he has shaken out of his mystifying slump. The better news, when it comes to the franchise's future at the catcher position, was the heavy emphasis given to it in last week's MLB Draft. The Twins smartly went the "Best Player Available" route with their first pick, selecting prep outfielder Alex Kiriloff and his enormous offensive ceiling, but they took a catcher with their second pick and then four more within the first 25 rounds. It's the most aggressively we have seen this team address the position since a 2013 draft class that produced the organization's two best current prospects behind the plate, Stuart Turner (a third-round pick) and Mitch Garver (a ninth-rounder). In fact, since Joe Mauer's MVP season in 2009, the Twins have spent only nine picks in the first 20 rounds of their six drafts on catchers, which... well, might help explain the situation they find themselves in today. But at least they're doing something about it. Ben Rortvedt, a high school backstop from Wisconsin that the Twins took with the 56th overall pick on Thursday, became the most highly drafted catcher for Minnesota since they got Mauer first overall in 2001, and he was considered by many to be the best prep player in the country at his position. Check out Jeremy's writeup on him. Along with Rortvedt, the Twins selected Mitchell Cranson, a slugging college catcher from UC Berkeley, in the ninth round. They grabbed Kidany Salva, a switch-hitting 17-year-old from a Texas high school, in the 17th and will try to lure him away from Sam Houston State. In the 20th round they landed Shamoy Christopher, an on-base machine from a community college in Tennessee. These guys are all wild cards to varying degrees, and some are quite unlikely to stick behind the plate, but the Twins are smart to load up on lotto tickets, with the hopes of finding a rare two-way treasure. Maybe they'll finally catch a break. Click here to view the article
  9. One start... That's all Minnesota wanted to see from Alex Meyer before he was returned to Rochester. After making his first start at the big league level, the Twins decided that Meyer's performance wasn't good enough for a team floundering at 11 games under .500. If you are reading this article and a frequent visitor to Twins Daily, you are likely a fan of the Twins organization. For those that have read my work before, you know I am a fan of the team and I follow the minor leagues and Twins prospects with a passion. However, I feel the Twins are misusing Meyer at this point in his career.To paint the full picture, let's go back to Meyer's Minnesota origin. The Twins traded for Meyer in the winter of 2012 as they sent Denard Span to the Nationals. Meyer was a year removed from being a first-round pick after a three year collegiate career at the University of Kentucky. He's been a top-100 prospect on all three national prospect rankings (Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus) from 2013-15. Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the 14th best prospect as recently as 2015. There have been plenty of bumps and bruises for Meyer as he has gotten closer to the big leagues. After being considered one of the top starting pitching prospects in the game, Meyer struggled so much last season that he was sent to the bullpen to try to improve his performance. As part of the transition, things didn't go perfectly but he lowered his ERA and his SO/9 rate increased. 2016 was a new season and the Twins decided to give Meyer another chance to be a starter. He made three Triple-A appearances, two as a starter, and posted a 1.04 ERA with 19 to 4 strikeout to walk ratio. Opponents hit .183/.234/.217 against him as he only allowed two earned runs. This was a very small sample size but it was a step in the right direction after a miserable 2015. Minnesota promoted Meyer to the majors on April 25, 2016 but he wouldn't appear in a game until April 29 as a relief pitcher. In his first outing, he allowed two earned runs on five hits. During his start on Tuesday, he pitched into the third inning and allowed three earned runs with four strikeouts and three walks. After the game, he was informed that he would be going back to Rochester. For the second year in a row, the Twins let Meyer pitch in two big league games before demoting him. There are a lot of factors that go into a player being on a big league roster and it could be that Meyer is being subject to a roster crunch at this point to fit Ervin Santana back into the rotation. Minnesota wants Meyer to continue to start and there doesn't seem to be a spot for him at the big league level. From the player's perspective, it must be hard to be in Meyer's shoes. He was on a path to be a regular in the big leagues at this point in his career but that hasn't come to fruition. The Twins have shifted Meyer from starter to reliever last season and now this season he has gone back to being a starter before being brought up to be a reliever and being sent back down so he can start again. Meyer can't get settled in any specific role. He's moved between starting and relieving while also moving between Triple-A and the big leagues. There are different mindsets when it comes to starting and relieving and it can take a mental adjustment to prepare for these different roles. If Minnesota wants to know what they have in Meyer, the team should allow him to pitch at the big league level. Decide on his role and let him sink or swim. This team is not winning games right now and Meyer was supposed to be a part of the long-term solution. There has already been plenty of discussion in the forums about Meyer's demotion. I'm in the camp that Minnesota is misusing Meyer at this point in his career. He will get other opportunities but these brief tastes of the big leagues are not helping his long-term development. What camp do you fall in? Should Meyer have been demoted or should he still be part of the Twins 25-man roster? Leave a COMMENT and add to the discussion. Click here to view the article
  10. To paint the full picture, let's go back to Meyer's Minnesota origin. The Twins traded for Meyer in the winter of 2012 as they sent Denard Span to the Nationals. Meyer was a year removed from being a first-round pick after a three year collegiate career at the University of Kentucky. He's been a top-100 prospect on all three national prospect rankings (Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus) from 2013-15. Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the 14th best prospect as recently as 2015. There have been plenty of bumps and bruises for Meyer as he has gotten closer to the big leagues. After being considered one of the top starting pitching prospects in the game, Meyer struggled so much last season that he was sent to the bullpen to try to improve his performance. As part of the transition, things didn't go perfectly but he lowered his ERA and his SO/9 rate increased. 2016 was a new season and the Twins decided to give Meyer another chance to be a starter. He made three Triple-A appearances, two as a starter, and posted a 1.04 ERA with 19 to 4 strikeout to walk ratio. Opponents hit .183/.234/.217 against him as he only allowed two earned runs. This was a very small sample size but it was a step in the right direction after a miserable 2015. Minnesota promoted Meyer to the majors on April 25, 2016 but he wouldn't appear in a game until April 29 as a relief pitcher. In his first outing, he allowed two earned runs on five hits. During his start on Tuesday, he pitched into the third inning and allowed three earned runs with four strikeouts and three walks. After the game, he was informed that he would be going back to Rochester. For the second year in a row, the Twins let Meyer pitch in two big league games before demoting him. There are a lot of factors that go into a player being on a big league roster and it could be that Meyer is being subject to a roster crunch at this point to fit Ervin Santana back into the rotation. Minnesota wants Meyer to continue to start and there doesn't seem to be a spot for him at the big league level. From the player's perspective, it must be hard to be in Meyer's shoes. He was on a path to be a regular in the big leagues at this point in his career but that hasn't come to fruition. The Twins have shifted Meyer from starter to reliever last season and now this season he has gone back to being a starter before being brought up to be a reliever and being sent back down so he can start again. Meyer can't get settled in any specific role. He's moved between starting and relieving while also moving between Triple-A and the big leagues. There are different mindsets when it comes to starting and relieving and it can take a mental adjustment to prepare for these different roles. If Minnesota wants to know what they have in Meyer, the team should allow him to pitch at the big league level. Decide on his role and let him sink or swim. This team is not winning games right now and Meyer was supposed to be a part of the long-term solution. There has already been plenty of discussion in the forums about Meyer's demotion. I'm in the camp that Minnesota is misusing Meyer at this point in his career. He will get other opportunities but these brief tastes of the big leagues are not helping his long-term development. What camp do you fall in? Should Meyer have been demoted or should he still be part of the Twins 25-man roster? Leave a COMMENT and add to the discussion.
  11. #FireMollie #FireRyan #TotalSystemFailure All of these lovely hashtags have been making the rounds with the Twins off to a lackluster start to the season. Lots of opinions, ideas, and ways to fix the Twins have been floated around by casual fans, up to legitimate Twins writers. Today, we’re going to tackle the #FireMollie and #FireRyan crew. My biggest question is: what does that fix right now? It's very obvious that a lot of the younger players were not as ready as everyone initially thought. While I don't disagree that some form of Molitor/Ryan will probably be let go, or asked to step down soon, that doesn't change the fact that this seems to be a systemic failure within the entire Twins organization. If you want to fix that problem, you need to find the real source. I don't think it's only Molitor & Ryan, I think it goes much deeper than that. There's plenty of blame to go around, and the players should be held accountable too. Jose Berrios, Alex Meyer, and Byron Buxton appear to be talented players. They also appear to be at a AAAA level right now. While Berrios and Buxton are young, Meyer is starting to fall out of that category at age 26. Trevor May seems to be carving out a relief role for the foreseeable future, while Meyer has again dealt with fatigue, and command issues. When Ben Revere and Denard Span were shipped off for May and Meyer respectively, Twins fan wanted to get something of value from two of their favorite players. While May is trending up, Meyer doesn’t seem to be trending at all currently. Miguel Sano is definitely not making the splash many fans had hoped he would this year. Byung-Ho Park has stolen the spotlight from the young player, which might be for the better. Spotlights only amplify flaws, and Sano has struggled in a few different spots this season. His outfield defense has been…sub-optimal, and his hitting hasn’t been as dynamic as it was in 2015. Sano’s offensive stats are down across the board, and his WAR has plummeted 1.7 to 0.5 since 2015. While firing both Molitor and Ryan seems to be the easy “solution,” I’m not on board with it unless it comes with sweeping changes across the entire organization. Jim Pohlad needs to sit down and look at what the plan is going forward. What players are you planning on building a franchise around. Which players can you trade to get your team back on track. What managers, general managers, and other coaches can you get to put your plan into motion. This isn’t just at the major league level, this should start down with the E-Town Twins, and work its way up to Minneapolis. I personally think Paul Molitor has been dealt a tough hand, and has done the best with what he has. I also think Terry Ryan has tried his best to re-stock the minors and build another winner. That being said, I don’t know if Ryan, in particular, is the best man for the job anymore. His best today might not be what his best 9 years ago was. Time will tell who’s right or wrong, but firing TR and Mollie today won’t salvage this season. No, the problem lies deeper than the just the GM and manager. Follow Twins And Losses Twitter - @TwinsAndLosses Facebook - Twins And Losses Website - Twins And Losses
  12. For obvious reasons, nobody talks about Unicycle Fight Club. Suffice it that the rules are simple, and the outcomes can be nasty. - Bring your own damn unicycle. - No attacking the spokes. - If you drop your two-by-four, you lose. Good balance is vital in UFC, as is quickness in the reflexes, strong hands, tolerance for pain, etc. Physics dictates most of the equipment limitations, such as the length of your board and the size of your ride. Meyer's long arms and legs would require a pretty tall wheel, but his reach would be impressive. After many early bumps and bruises, Meyer might rise quickly in the ranks, tho of course he couldn't brag about it. Oh, and no nails in your board, and it has to be reasonably free of splinters. It's a tough way to learn to control your balance point, but the lesson is unforgettable. All we need now is for someone to approach Twins management, then...don't talk about Unicycle Fight Club.
  13. On Tuesday the Twins delivered some big news, announcing the long-awaited promotion of top pitching prospect Jose Berrios. He'll take the hill against the Indians on Wednesday night. A day earlier, another of the organization's most highly-rated young arms was promoted from Triple-A, albeit to much less fanfare. Despite a successful start to the season in Rochester's rotation, most believe that Alex Meyer will end up in the bullpen. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. But if he's going to get a chance to maximize his value in the majors, there's no better time than now to give him that opportunity.When the Twins sent Meyer to Triple-A in March, they decided they were going to give him one more shot as a starting pitcher. He spent the bulk of last year as a reliever and it appeared that might be his role going forward, but the promise he once showed as a starter has not totally been forgotten. Granted, it's two starts (and one long relief appearance), but Meyer went to Rochester and did absolutely everything that could have been asked of him. The big righty pitched to a 1.04 ERA in 17 1/3 innings, notching 19 strikeouts and – most importantly – only four walks. In each of his starts he worked at least into the seventh inning with good pitch economy. His sharp early performance draws a stark contrast against last year, when finding the strike zone was a constant challenge for Meyer from start to finish. Whether the 26-year-old has figured something out or is just on a nice run, it's worth taking a look. Finding room for Meyer to make at least a couple starts shouldn't be hard. Kyle Gibson and Ervin Santana were both placed on the disabled list Tuesday, and while Berrios and Tyler Duffey will fill their spots for now, there's another purportedly healthy starter in the rotation who could be bumped. Tommy Milone has failed to complete five innings in three of his four starts. Given his status as a 29-year-old with limited upside on a one-year contract, there isn't a whole lot to gain by continuing to run him out. Moving Milone to the bullpen as a long reliever would be prudent, especially with that unit taking a beating recently. Give Meyer a few starts and see what he can do. The 7-14 Twins don't have much to lose. If he catches on, and approximates what he was doing in the minors in any way, it could be crucial toward rallying Minnesota back into the mix, and it would also be a monumental development in the big picture. If he scuffles, then a return to the bullpen and a full commitment to that path would be in order. But why not run him out there and find out what you've got? At this point, defining the roles and true capabilities of the young incoming wave should be the top priority of 2016 for the Twins. Click here to view the article
  14. When the Twins sent Meyer to Triple-A in March, they decided they were going to give him one more shot as a starting pitcher. He spent the bulk of last year as a reliever and it appeared that might be his role going forward, but the promise he once showed as a starter has not totally been forgotten. Granted, it's two starts (and one long relief appearance), but Meyer went to Rochester and did absolutely everything that could have been asked of him. The big righty pitched to a 1.04 ERA in 17 1/3 innings, notching 19 strikeouts and – most importantly – only four walks. In each of his starts he worked at least into the seventh inning with good pitch economy. His sharp early performance draws a stark contrast against last year, when finding the strike zone was a constant challenge for Meyer from start to finish. Whether the 26-year-old has figured something out or is just on a nice run, it's worth taking a look. Finding room for Meyer to make at least a couple starts shouldn't be hard. Kyle Gibson and Ervin Santana were both placed on the disabled list Tuesday, and while Berrios and Tyler Duffey will fill their spots for now, there's another purportedly healthy starter in the rotation who could be bumped. Tommy Milone has failed to complete five innings in three of his four starts. Given his status as a 29-year-old with limited upside on a one-year contract, there isn't a whole lot to gain by continuing to run him out. Moving Milone to the bullpen as a long reliever would be prudent, especially with that unit taking a beating recently. Give Meyer a few starts and see what he can do. The 7-14 Twins don't have much to lose. If he catches on, and approximates what he was doing in the minors in any way, it could be crucial toward rallying Minnesota back into the mix, and it would also be a monumental development in the big picture. If he scuffles, then a return to the bullpen and a full commitment to that path would be in order. But why not run him out there and find out what you've got? At this point, defining the roles and true capabilities of the young incoming wave should be the top priority of 2016 for the Twins.
  15. For the Minnesota Twins, the hits just keep coming.Unfortunately it's hits to their collective health, not against opposing pitchers. This afternoon, the corresponding move to the Jose Berrios promotion was revealed: starting pitchers Kyle Gibson and Ervin Santana will be placed on the 15-day DL today. As a result, Berrios and Tyler Duffey will likely be in the Twins rotation for at least a couple of starts.The news about Gibson was the biggest surprise. He hurt his shoulder in his start on Sunday. Per Mike Berardino, an MRI on Gibson’s shoulder revealed no structural damage and so the Twins are hopeful that his stay on the disabled list will be short. Ervin Santana missed his last start on Sunday with a back problem so adding him to the DL was more expected. The Twins can make it retroactive to his last start, which was April 19th, so he could pitch again by the middle of next week if he is recovered. The starting pitching depth which was the focus of so many stories in spring training will be used to patch over the spots. Tyler Duffey was recalled for Sunday’s start. He was exceptional for the Twins late last year (3.10 ERA), but lost his spot in the rotation due to inconsistency in spring training. The 25-year-old threw four innings on Sunday, leaving the game after being hit on the shoulder by a batted ball. He gave up just one run, but walked two and gave up five hits. His next start will be on Saturday. And we learned earlier today that JO Berrios will be starting tomorrow's game. You can read analysis about him here. The promotion of Duffey and Berrios, along with the recall of Alex Meyer means the Twins have promoted their three top major league-ready arms over the last three days. In addition, they are promoting Jorge Polanco to bring the number of pitchers on the roster back down to thirteen. Click here to view the article
  16. The news about Gibson was the biggest surprise. He hurt his shoulder in his start on Sunday. Per Mike Berardino, an MRI on Gibson’s shoulder revealed no structural damage and so the Twins are hopeful that his stay on the disabled list will be short. Ervin Santana missed his last start on Sunday with a back problem so adding him to the DL was more expected. The Twins can make it retroactive to his last start, which was April 19th, so he could pitch again by the middle of next week if he is recovered. The starting pitching depth which was the focus of so many stories in spring training will be used to patch over the spots. Tyler Duffey was recalled for Sunday’s start. He was exceptional for the Twins late last year (3.10 ERA), but lost his spot in the rotation due to inconsistency in spring training. The 25-year-old threw four innings on Sunday, leaving the game after being hit on the shoulder by a batted ball. He gave up just one run, but walked two and gave up five hits. His next start will be on Saturday. And we learned earlier today that JO Berrios will be starting tomorrow's game. You can read analysis about him here. The promotion of Duffey and Berrios, along with the recall of Alex Meyer means the Twins have promoted their three top major league-ready arms over the last three days. In addition, they are promoting Jorge Polanco to bring the number of pitchers on the roster back down to thirteen.
  17. The Minnesota Twins announced a wave of roster moves this afternoon, altering their personnel as they head into a six-game AL Central homestand in which they badly need to rebound after a brutal weekend in Washington. Young outfielders Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were optioned to Class-AAA Rochester. Right-hander Alex Meyer was promoted to the majors, where he'll work out of the Minnesota bullpen. Danny Santana was also reinstated from the disabled list.Buxton, who won an Opening Day roster spot in spite of an unimpressive debut last year and spring this year, has started 13 of the Twins' 19 games in center field but has been flat-out overmatched by major-league pitching. As you can see below, he leads baseball in strikeout rate by a wide margin. Equally disturbing as the raw numbers was the quality of his at-bats, which were consistently poor. It's important to remember that Buxton is only 22, and has played only 13 games at Triple-A. The hope is that he'll be able to iron out his plate approach against lesser pitching and return within a couple of months. Meanwhile, Kepler will get the chance to play every day in the Rochester outfield after being unfortunately mired on the Twins bench for the past couple of weeks. Santana, who was activated following a minor-league rehab stint, will fill the vacancy in center field along with Eddie Rosario. Meanwhile, Meyer will join a beleaguered bullpen that was badly in need of reinforcements after Sunday's marathon 16-inning loss. There's a good chance we'll see him pitch tonight, and it will be interesting to see how his improved results at Triple-A, where he had a 1.04 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in three outings, translates to the majors his second time around. What do you think of these moves? Click here to view the article
  18. Buxton, who won an Opening Day roster spot in spite of an unimpressive debut last year and spring this year, has started 13 of the Twins' 19 games in center field but has been flat-out overmatched by major-league pitching. As you can see below, he leads baseball in strikeout rate by a wide margin. Equally disturbing as the raw numbers was the quality of his at-bats, which were consistently poor. https://twitter.com/NickNelsonMN/status/724616792371425281 It's important to remember that Buxton is only 22, and has played only 13 games at Triple-A. The hope is that he'll be able to iron out his plate approach against lesser pitching and return within a couple of months. Meanwhile, Kepler will get the chance to play every day in the Rochester outfield after being unfortunately mired on the Twins bench for the past couple of weeks. Santana, who was activated following a minor-league rehab stint, will fill the vacancy in center field along with Eddie Rosario. Meanwhile, Meyer will join a beleaguered bullpen that was badly in need of reinforcements after Sunday's marathon 16-inning loss. There's a good chance we'll see him pitch tonight, and it will be interesting to see how his improved results at Triple-A, where he had a 1.04 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in three outings, translates to the majors his second time around. What do you think of these moves?
  19. TRANSACTIONS On Wednesday morning, the Cedar Rapids Kernels announced that RHP Zach Tillery was activated from the disabled list. RHP Miles Nordgren was sent back to extended spring training. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Pawtucket 2 Box Score Red Wings starter Alex Meyer put up more zeroes. Unfortunately, so did the Red Wings offense. With Twins GM Terry Ryan in attendance, Alex Meyer put together another strong performance. He came into the game with 10.1 scoreless innings to start the season. He started this game with five scoreless innings. However, in the 6th inning his streak came to an end. In that inning, the first two batters singled. The second hit was a line drive off of Meyer’s right knee. Meyer stayed in the game. He got a fly out to left field, but the next batter, Sam Travis, hit a ball to left center field just beyond the outstretched glove of Adam Brett Walker. The double scored two runs and ended Meyer’s streak of scoreless innings at 15.2. Travis was thrown out at third on the relay from Walker to Beresford to Britton for the second out. Meyer ended the 6th inning with a strikeout. He stayed in and faced the minimum in the 7th inning too. Meyer completed seven inning for just the third time in his professional career. He gave up the two runs on five hits and two walks. He also struck out seven. David Martinez came on and threw two scoreless innings, striking out one. The Red Wings managed just four hits in the game. Darin Mastroianni walked twice. Buck Britton and John Hicks each had two hits. One of Hicks’ hits was a double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Mississippi 2 Box Score Aaron Slegers made six starts for the Lookouts at the end of the 2015 season. He went 1-4. On Wednesday, he won his first game of 2016 for Chattanooga. In seven innings, he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out three. Alex Wimmers came on and worked a scoreless eighth inning. He struck out one. JT Chargois pitched the ninth and had another perfect inning. He struck out two. On the season, Chargois has faced 15 batters and retired them all, nine of them on strikeouts. Joe Maloney, who spent the last two seasons in independent ball (Indy League MVP in 2015), hit his first home run in affiliated ball since 2013. The homer gave the Lookouts a 1-0 lead in the 4th. Maloney ended the day 2-3 with two walks and the home run. Dalton Hicks had three singles in five at-bats. Leonardo Reginnato went 2-4. Zach Granite was 1-4 and walked twice. He stole four bases. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Jupiter 4 Box Score As you saw above, Alex Meyer’s consecutive scoreless inning streak came to an end this afternoon at 15.2 innings. On Tuesday, Stephen Gonsalves’s streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings came to an end. On Wednesday, Kohl Stewart entered the game with seven straight scoreless innings, and he added to that. Stewart began tonight with five shutout innings against Jupiter, pushing that scoreless string to 12 innings. However, his streak ended in the 6th inning. He got one out, but he yielded four singles to give up one run. However, he left with the bases loaded, but Luke Westphal came in and walked two before getting the final outs. Westphal went another inning. The Miracle tied the game, but Yorman Landa gave back that run in the 8th inning when he balked in a run. Brian Gilbert pitched a scoreless ninth. In other words, Kohl Stewart’s final line does not represent how well he pitched on Wednesday night. Stewart was charged with three runs on six hits and a walk over 5.1 innings. He struck out eight batters. Reports from the radio broadcast pointed out that his fastball was sitting 93-94 mph and he had a good curveball as well. Offensively, Trey Vavra led the way. He went 3-4 with his third double and his first home run. He drove in two of the Miracle runs. Nick Gordon drove in the other with a ground out. Alex Swim added his second double. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 3 Box Score The Kernels have hit a lot of triples this season already. In fact, they tripled up on triples on Wednesday night with three of them. It was a triple that scored three runs that was the big play in this game. Andro Cutura started. He gave up three runs on five hits and two walks through five innings. He struck out four. Zack Tillery, just off the DL, gave up one hit and walked two but gave up no runs in his inning. Kuo Hua Lo walked two in his scoreless inning. Rafael Valera went 2-5 with his fourth triple. Sean Miller was 2-3 with his second double and a stolen base. Zander Wiel tripled. However, with the Kernels down 3-2 in the 7th, Max Murphy came to the plate with the bases loaded. He uncoiled a triple of his own to clear the bases and turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead. In the ninth, LaMonte Wade hit his first home run of the year to give the final 6-3 score. John Curtiss pitched the final two innings. The 23-year-old walked one and struck out five batters. The hard-throwing right-hander now has struck out 13 batters in just 6.0 innings of work. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Alex Meyer, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trey Vavra, Ft. Myers Miracle THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (10:05 am CST) - RHP Jose Berrios Chattanooga @ Mississippi (7:00 CST) – RHP Ryan Eades Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – LHP Tyler Jay Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:35 CST) – RHP Sam Gibbons Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games.
  20. Rochester and Chattanooga each played early afternoon games while Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers played night games. The teams went 2-2. There were a couple of impressive streaks that came to an end in the Wednesday games. The Kernels tripled their pleasure. The Chattanooga and Cedar Rapids closers are strikeout machines. Check out how they each did in today’s Twins Minor League Report.TRANSACTIONS On Wednesday morning, the Cedar Rapids Kernels announced that RHP Zach Tillery was activated from the disabled list. RHP Miles Nordgren was sent back to extended spring training. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Pawtucket 2 Box Score Red Wings starter Alex Meyer put up more zeroes. Unfortunately, so did the Red Wings offense. With Twins GM Terry Ryan in attendance, Alex Meyer put together another strong performance. He came into the game with 10.1 scoreless innings to start the season. He started this game with five scoreless innings. However, in the 6th inning his streak came to an end. In that inning, the first two batters singled. The second hit was a line drive off of Meyer’s right knee. Meyer stayed in the game. He got a fly out to left field, but the next batter, Sam Travis, hit a ball to left center field just beyond the outstretched glove of Adam Brett Walker. The double scored two runs and ended Meyer’s streak of scoreless innings at 15.2. Travis was thrown out at third on the relay from Walker to Beresford to Britton for the second out. Meyer ended the 6th inning with a strikeout. He stayed in and faced the minimum in the 7th inning too. Meyer completed seven inning for just the third time in his professional career. He gave up the two runs on five hits and two walks. He also struck out seven. David Martinez came on and threw two scoreless innings, striking out one. The Red Wings managed just four hits in the game. Darin Mastroianni walked twice. Buck Britton and John Hicks each had two hits. One of Hicks’ hits was a double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Mississippi 2 Box Score Aaron Slegers made six starts for the Lookouts at the end of the 2015 season. He went 1-4. On Wednesday, he won his first game of 2016 for Chattanooga. In seven innings, he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out three. Alex Wimmers came on and worked a scoreless eighth inning. He struck out one. JT Chargois pitched the ninth and had another perfect inning. He struck out two. On the season, Chargois has faced 15 batters and retired them all, nine of them on strikeouts. Joe Maloney, who spent the last two seasons in independent ball (Indy League MVP in 2015), hit his first home run in affiliated ball since 2013. The homer gave the Lookouts a 1-0 lead in the 4th. Maloney ended the day 2-3 with two walks and the home run. Dalton Hicks had three singles in five at-bats. Leonardo Reginnato went 2-4. Zach Granite was 1-4 and walked twice. He stole four bases. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Jupiter 4 Box Score As you saw above, Alex Meyer’s consecutive scoreless inning streak came to an end this afternoon at 15.2 innings. On Tuesday, Stephen Gonsalves’s streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings came to an end. On Wednesday, Kohl Stewart entered the game with seven straight scoreless innings, and he added to that. Stewart began tonight with five shutout innings against Jupiter, pushing that scoreless string to 12 innings. However, his streak ended in the 6th inning. He got one out, but he yielded four singles to give up one run. However, he left with the bases loaded, but Luke Westphal came in and walked two before getting the final outs. Westphal went another inning. The Miracle tied the game, but Yorman Landa gave back that run in the 8th inning when he balked in a run. Brian Gilbert pitched a scoreless ninth. In other words, Kohl Stewart’s final line does not represent how well he pitched on Wednesday night. Stewart was charged with three runs on six hits and a walk over 5.1 innings. He struck out eight batters. Reports from the radio broadcast pointed out that his fastball was sitting 93-94 mph and he had a good curveball as well. Offensively, Trey Vavra led the way. He went 3-4 with his third double and his first home run. He drove in two of the Miracle runs. Nick Gordon drove in the other with a ground out. Alex Swim added his second double. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 3 Box Score The Kernels have hit a lot of triples this season already. In fact, they tripled up on triples on Wednesday night with three of them. It was a triple that scored three runs that was the big play in this game. Andro Cutura started. He gave up three runs on five hits and two walks through five innings. He struck out four. Zack Tillery, just off the DL, gave up one hit and walked two but gave up no runs in his inning. Kuo Hua Lo walked two in his scoreless inning. Rafael Valera went 2-5 with his fourth triple. Sean Miller was 2-3 with his second double and a stolen base. Zander Wiel tripled. However, with the Kernels down 3-2 in the 7th, Max Murphy came to the plate with the bases loaded. He uncoiled a triple of his own to clear the bases and turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead. In the ninth, LaMonte Wade hit his first home run of the year to give the final 6-3 score. John Curtiss pitched the final two innings. The 23-year-old walked one and struck out five batters. The hard-throwing right-hander now has struck out 13 batters in just 6.0 innings of work. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Alex Meyer, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trey Vavra, Ft. Myers Miracle THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (10:05 am CST) - RHP Jose Berrios Chattanooga @ Mississippi (7:00 CST) – RHP Ryan Eades Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – LHP Tyler Jay Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:35 CST) – RHP Sam Gibbons Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games. Click here to view the article
  21. TRANSACTIONS Fernando Abad left the team to be with his family at his grandmother’s funeral in the Dominican Republic. He was put on the Bereavement List. Ryan O’Rourke will likely be summoned from Rochester before Saturday’s game, assuming he gets to the Twin Cities in time. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 1 Box Score The story of the night, without question, was the performance of right-hander Alex Meyer. It was just under a year ago that Meyer - who was one of the International League’s top starting pitcher in 2014 - was moved to the bullpen to work on control and command. 2015 was a tough year for the hard-thrower, but when he was sent down from big league spring training the decision was made to give him another shot as a starter. Then weather postponements delayed his first start of the season, but he worked on Saturday in the Red Wings home opener and recorded the save with four shutout innings following Jose Berrios. On Friday night, he made his first start and it went quite well. The right-hander threw 6.1 innings of three-hit, shutout baseball. He struck out eight. Maybe the most important thing is that he walked zero. He also hit 99 mph on the radar gun a few times. He threw 87 pitches and 57 of them were strikes. It’s about as well as anyone could have hoped, and it’s certainly something he can build on. In his next start, he’ll be building upon 10.1 scoreless innings to start the year. He left the game and Ryan O’Rourke ran in to the mound. He threw just one pitch and got the batter to fly out to left field. Loek Van Mil came on to get the final out of the seventh inning. Van Mil gave up a hit to start the eighth inning, and JR Graham came in to replace him. Graham allowed the runner to score on a double but buckled down and got out of the inning with a 2-1 lead. In the ninth, he did not allow a run and recorded his second save. Jorge Polanco was batting third. With two outs in the first inning, Jorge Polanco hit a solo home run to give the Red Wings the lead. Newcomer David Murphy struck out in his first at-bat, but he hit singles off lefty Wade LeBlanc in his next two at-bats. Following one of his singles, John Hicks crushed a double off the wall in left field to advance Murphy to third base. Wilfredo Tovar came up and hit a slow bouncer down the third base line that hit the bag for a single and allowed the second run to score. Tovar was also 2-3 in the game. The Red Wings improved to 4-4 on the season. They’ll send Jose Berrios to the mound on Saturday night in Lehigh Valley where we assume Thrylos will be in attendance and provide us with a report. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Jackson 6 Box Score Aaron Slegers struggled a bit early. The Lookouts fell behind and were unable to quite get back. The lanky right-hander went the first four innings. He gave up two runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out one. Alex Wimmers came on and gave up two runs on three hits over two innings. He struck out two. Mason Melotakis worked his third game and for the third time allowed at least one run. In this game, he gave up a run on four hits. Brandon Peterson came on and gave up one run on one hit and one walk over two innings. The Lookouts scored their first run on a ground out from Zach Granite. In the sixth inning, Dalton Hicks hit his team-leading third home runs of the season. Mitch Garver added his first double. The Lookouts are now 3-6 on the season. Ryan Eades will make his second start on Saturday. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Daytona 5 (10 innings) Box Score The Miracle got ahead, then gave back the lead, but they found a way to get a win. Tyler Jay made his second start of the season. He allowed a solo home run in each of the first two innings, but he settled down after that. In total, he went five innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out four. 48 of his 73 pitches were strikes. Jay was replaced by Luke Bard who has been unhittable early this season. It wasn’t his best outing. He gave up two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out one. Todd Van Steensel gave up one hit in his scoreless innings. Yorman Landa struck out three in the eighth. He also pitched the ninth inning, looking for the save. Unfortunately, after getting the first two outs, he walked two and gave up a game-tying single before Tanner English threw out a runner at third to end the inning. When the Miracle grabbed the lead again in the 10th, Trevor Hildenberger came on and recorded his third save of the young season. He gave up a single but struck out two in the inning. Nick Gordon led the offense. He went 3-5 with a couple of big hits. His two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Miracle the lead. He also led off the 10th inning with a double and scored on a double off the bat of Trey Vavra. Earlier in the game, Vavra singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games. It was his first multi-hit game. Tanner English extended his hitting streak to five games. He went 2-5 with his first double of the season. Logan Wade had a big RBI triple. Alex Swim added a double and Edgar Corcino walked twice. The Miracle improved to 6-3 on the season. Keaton Steele goes on Saturday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Clinton 11 Box Score For the second straight game, Luis Arraez led off the bottom of the Kernels first inning with a home run. It was his second home run of the season and the second home run of the 19-year-old’s professional career. He went 2-4 with a walk in the game. Zander Wiel went 1-3 with two walks. Max Murphy and LaMonte Wade each had a walk and a double. Sam Gibbons got off to a tough start. He gave up five runs in the first inning. He stayed in though and was charged with seven runs (four earned) on 11 hits and a walk in 4.2 innings. He struck out five. Mike Theofanopoulos came on and gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. He struck out two. Kuo Hua Lo pitched well. He threw 2.2 scoreless innings and gave up three hits. Jermaine Palacios committed two more errors and has five on the season already. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Alex Meyer, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Ft. Myers Miracle SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (5:35 CST) - RHP Jose Berrios Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) – RHP Ryan Eades Ft. Myers @ Daytona (6:05 CST) – RHP Keaton Steele Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (4:05 CST) – Sam Clay Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Friday games.
  22. Yes, this is the Twins Minor League Report but I think today we can start with a Major League Update. The Twins Won!! That may be the most important story, but down in Rochester, there was another very good and potentially very important story for the Twins. Right-hander Alex Meyer made his first start with the Miracle in almost a year. Nick Gordon had another big game and helped the Miracle to another win. It was a good night to be a Twins fan and a good night in the Twins system.TRANSACTIONS Fernando Abad left the team to be with his family at his grandmother’s funeral in the Dominican Republic. He was put on the Bereavement List. Ryan O’Rourke will likely be summoned from Rochester before Saturday’s game, assuming he gets to the Twin Cities in time. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 1 Box Score The story of the night, without question, was the performance of right-hander Alex Meyer. It was just under a year ago that Meyer - who was one of the International League’s top starting pitcher in 2014 - was moved to the bullpen to work on control and command. 2015 was a tough year for the hard-thrower, but when he was sent down from big league spring training the decision was made to give him another shot as a starter. Then weather postponements delayed his first start of the season, but he worked on Saturday in the Red Wings home opener and recorded the save with four shutout innings following Jose Berrios. On Friday night, he made his first start and it went quite well. The right-hander threw 6.1 innings of three-hit, shutout baseball. He struck out eight. Maybe the most important thing is that he walked zero. He also hit 99 mph on the radar gun a few times. He threw 87 pitches and 57 of them were strikes. It’s about as well as anyone could have hoped, and it’s certainly something he can build on. In his next start, he’ll be building upon 10.1 scoreless innings to start the year. He left the game and Ryan O’Rourke ran in to the mound. He threw just one pitch and got the batter to fly out to left field. Loek Van Mil came on to get the final out of the seventh inning. Van Mil gave up a hit to start the eighth inning, and JR Graham came in to replace him. Graham allowed the runner to score on a double but buckled down and got out of the inning with a 2-1 lead. In the ninth, he did not allow a run and recorded his second save. Jorge Polanco was batting third. With two outs in the first inning, Jorge Polanco hit a solo home run to give the Red Wings the lead. Newcomer David Murphy struck out in his first at-bat, but he hit singles off lefty Wade LeBlanc in his next two at-bats. Following one of his singles, John Hicks crushed a double off the wall in left field to advance Murphy to third base. Wilfredo Tovar came up and hit a slow bouncer down the third base line that hit the bag for a single and allowed the second run to score. Tovar was also 2-3 in the game. The Red Wings improved to 4-4 on the season. They’ll send Jose Berrios to the mound on Saturday night in Lehigh Valley where we assume Thrylos will be in attendance and provide us with a report. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Jackson 6 Box Score Aaron Slegers struggled a bit early. The Lookouts fell behind and were unable to quite get back. The lanky right-hander went the first four innings. He gave up two runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out one. Alex Wimmers came on and gave up two runs on three hits over two innings. He struck out two. Mason Melotakis worked his third game and for the third time allowed at least one run. In this game, he gave up a run on four hits. Brandon Peterson came on and gave up one run on one hit and one walk over two innings. The Lookouts scored their first run on a ground out from Zach Granite. In the sixth inning, Dalton Hicks hit his team-leading third home runs of the season. Mitch Garver added his first double. The Lookouts are now 3-6 on the season. Ryan Eades will make his second start on Saturday. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Daytona 5 (10 innings) Box Score The Miracle got ahead, then gave back the lead, but they found a way to get a win. Tyler Jay made his second start of the season. He allowed a solo home run in each of the first two innings, but he settled down after that. In total, he went five innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out four. 48 of his 73 pitches were strikes. Jay was replaced by Luke Bard who has been unhittable early this season. It wasn’t his best outing. He gave up two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out one. Todd Van Steensel gave up one hit in his scoreless innings. Yorman Landa struck out three in the eighth. He also pitched the ninth inning, looking for the save. Unfortunately, after getting the first two outs, he walked two and gave up a game-tying single before Tanner English threw out a runner at third to end the inning. When the Miracle grabbed the lead again in the 10th, Trevor Hildenberger came on and recorded his third save of the young season. He gave up a single but struck out two in the inning. Nick Gordon led the offense. He went 3-5 with a couple of big hits. His two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Miracle the lead. He also led off the 10th inning with a double and scored on a double off the bat of Trey Vavra. Earlier in the game, Vavra singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games. It was his first multi-hit game. Tanner English extended his hitting streak to five games. He went 2-5 with his first double of the season. Logan Wade had a big RBI triple. Alex Swim added a double and Edgar Corcino walked twice. The Miracle improved to 6-3 on the season. Keaton Steele goes on Saturday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Clinton 11 Box Score For the second straight game, Luis Arraez led off the bottom of the Kernels first inning with a home run. It was his second home run of the season and the second home run of the 19-year-old’s professional career. He went 2-4 with a walk in the game. Zander Wiel went 1-3 with two walks. Max Murphy and LaMonte Wade each had a walk and a double. Sam Gibbons got off to a tough start. He gave up five runs in the first inning. He stayed in though and was charged with seven runs (four earned) on 11 hits and a walk in 4.2 innings. He struck out five. Mike Theofanopoulos came on and gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. He struck out two. Kuo Hua Lo pitched well. He threw 2.2 scoreless innings and gave up three hits. Jermaine Palacios committed two more errors and has five on the season already. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Alex Meyer, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Ft. Myers Miracle SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (5:35 CST) - RHP Jose Berrios Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) – RHP Ryan Eades Ft. Myers @ Daytona (6:05 CST) – RHP Keaton Steele Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (4:05 CST) – Sam Clay Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Friday games. Click here to view the article
  23. Ricky Nolasco was on the mound for the Twins on Sunday afternoon and gave them arguably his best start in a Minnesota uniform, going seven innings and allowing just one run against the defending World Champions. Unfortunately for the visiting team, those pesky Royals wouldn’t go down without a fight. Glen Perkins blew his first save opportunity of the 2016 season and in extra innings an errant pickoff throw and wild pitch from Trevor May brought home the winning run. The Twins head north for their home opener tomorrow against the Chicago White Sox and will send Kyle Gibson to the mound, still looking for their first win of 2016. In the minors on Sunday afternoon all four Twins affiliates were in action. Rochester got standout pitching performances from one current top pitching prospect and one (relatively) former one in a victory, Chattanooga and Fort Myers held late leads but fared much like the Twins in the final scores, and Cedar Rapids looked to remain undefeated on the young season. To find out how it all went down, keep reading!RED WINGS REPORT Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Rochester 4 Box Score Jose Berrios took the mound for the Red Wings in their home opener at Frontier Field for his first start of the 2016 season. He was opposed as a starter by old friend Anthony Swarzak for the RailRiders. Berrios was effectively wild as he finished five innings and picked up the win, allowing one run on three hits, four walks and two hit batters while striking out nine. He threw 90 pitches with 53 going for strikes. The one run allowed came in the second inning after a leadoff single was followed by a double for an early 1-0 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead. Berrios then issued his first walk of the game to another old friend, Chris Parmelee, before getting a strikeout and two fly outs around another walk to escape with limited damage. Berrios would strike out two in the third, three more in the fourth, and two in the fifth around a few more walks before his day was done. Rochester took the lead for good in the third inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Buck Britton delivered a two-run single and Jorge Polanco followed with a run-scoring single of his own to make it 3-1. They added an insurance run in the sixth inning as Wilfredo Tovar singled in Adam Brett Walker, who led off the inning with a single of his own. The Red Wings wound up not needing that run though as Alex Meyer came on in relief of Berrios and finished the game’s final four innings picking up the rare three-plus inning save in the process. He allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out four including the final hitter of the game for the home opener exclamation point. Walker led the offense on the day going 3-4 with a run scored and a double out of the sixth spot in the lineup. Tovar was 2-3 with a run scored and the RBI. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Biloxi 8 Box Score Down 2-1 going into the seventh inning, Chattanooga took the lead after a bases- clearing double off the bat of Danial Palka to make the score 5-2. An errant throw from the shortstop on the play ended up in the Lookouts dugout, sending Palka across the plate for the fourth run on the play. Left-handed reliever Mike Strong, who was in the running for the final bullpen spot on the Twins in spring training, came on to protect a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, but was greeted by back-to-back-to-back doubles that tied the game at five. He was able to get two outs after that before a walk and a single to make the score 6-5 ended his day. Brandon Peterson came on for the final out, but a double brought in the two inherited runners before he got out of the inning. Aaron Slegers made the start for Chattanooga and put in a quality effort. In six innings, he allowed two-earned runs on six hits and three walks, with three strikeouts. The two runs allowed came in the second inning after two doubles and two singles from four straight batters. Slegers’ line was helped by inducing double plays in each of his innings except the first, for a total of five on the day. The Lookouts offense got multiple-hit efforts form Zach Granite (3-5, R), Palka (2-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI), Travis Harrison (2-2, R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB’s), and Engelb Vielma (2-4, R). MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Bradenton 4 (10 innings) Box Score The Miracle took the early lead in the first inning after Tanner English led off the game with a single and later scored on a single from Alex Real. English was moved into scoring position on a double by Nick Gordon. They went up 2-0 in the fifth inning behind the bats of the same players. Gordon smacked his second double of the game to start the frame, and scored on a Real sac fly. Unfortunately they also ended the inning with the bases loaded, unable to do any more damage. Right-hander Keaton Steele was on the mound for Fort Myers in his first start of the 2016 season and was fantastic through the first five innings. He retired the first eight hitters of the game before issuing a walk, and went 1-2-3 in each of the first, second and fifth innings. It was the sixth inning before the Marauders were able to muster any threats, and it came after Steele had retired the first two hitters of that inning. A single and double made the score 2-1 and Steele was lifted for Raul Fernandez who struck out the final hitter of the inning to keep the lead intact. Fort Myers went up 3-1 in the top of the seventh after a one-out bases-loaded walk to Chad Christensen, but a double-play ball ended their efforts. Fernandez remained in the game and allowed one run in the bottom half to make the score 3-2 heading into the eighth. The score remained 3-2 despite opportunities for the Miracle in each of their eighth and ninth inning at-bats, and the failure to capitalize again would come back to haunt them. Trevor Hildenberger was brought on for the save opportunity in the ninth, but a relay throw from Gordon into third on a triple sailed past the third baseman allowing the tying run to score and sent the game to extra innings. Hildenberger stayed in the game for the 10th, but another error from his defense put the game-winning run in scoring position and Bradenton did not fail with the opportunity they were handed. A single off the bat of Connor Joe brought home the come-from-behind,walk-off winner for the Marauders and evened each team’s record in the Florida State League at 2-2. Steele finished 5.2 innings in the game, allowing one earned run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. Yorman Landa pitched a scoreless inning of relief, allowing one hit and striking out two. The blown save and loss were Hildenberger’s first of each on the year. The Miracle offense got a standout game from top prospect Nick Gordon, who finished 4-6 with a run scored and three doubles. Real was 3-3 with 2 RBI and a walk. Ryan Walker also added two hits to the effort. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Quad City 2 Box Score Like their high-A brothers, Cedar Rapids went into the tenth inning on Sunday afternoon after blowing a late lead, and needed some heroics to remain undefeated on the season. The Kernels got a strong start from Sam Clay who finished six innings. He allowed one unearned run on five hits and two walks. He struck out seven including the side in the first inning. Cedar Rapids took the lead 1-0 in the top of the sixth when Rafael Valera led off the frame with a double. He scored on a single from Max Murphy. An error on a pick-off throw from Clay allowed the unearned run to score in the bottom half of the sixth and the game remained tied until the ninth as C.K. Irby pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts of his own. Two errors by the River Bandits defense brought in the go-ahead run for the Kernels in the top-half and Nick Anderson was summoned from the bullpen for the save opportunity. He was greeted by a triple that all but guaranteed free baseball. A batter later that guarantee was cashed in with a game-tying single. Anderson escaped with the game tied after a ground ball and two fly outs. In the top of the tenth, a Lamonte Wade walk and a Murphy hit-by-pitch put the go-ahead run in scoring position, and Chris Paul knocked it in with a two-out single to center field. Anderson stayed in the game looking to pick up the win, and after allowing two singles to start the inning got a double play ball for the first two outs and struck out the final batter with the tying run on third to preserve the zero in the loss column. Paul went 4-5 on the day with a run scored and an RBI, and Wade added two hits and two walks, including a triple to pace the Kernels offense. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jose Berrios, Rochester Red Wings (W, 5.0IP, 3 H’s, 1 ER, 4 BB’s, 9 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Fort Myers Miracle (4-6, R, 3 2B’s) MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:35PM CST) – LHP Logan Darnell (0-0, -.-- ERA) Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:40PM CST) – RHP Ryan Eades (0-0, -.-- ERA) Brevard County @ Fort Myers (6:05PM CST) – LHP Randy Rosario (0-0, -.-- ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 PM CST) – RHP Dereck Rodriguez (0-0, -.-- ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games. Click here to view the article
  24. RED WINGS REPORT Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Rochester 4 Box Score Jose Berrios took the mound for the Red Wings in their home opener at Frontier Field for his first start of the 2016 season. He was opposed as a starter by old friend Anthony Swarzak for the RailRiders. Berrios was effectively wild as he finished five innings and picked up the win, allowing one run on three hits, four walks and two hit batters while striking out nine. He threw 90 pitches with 53 going for strikes. The one run allowed came in the second inning after a leadoff single was followed by a double for an early 1-0 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead. Berrios then issued his first walk of the game to another old friend, Chris Parmelee, before getting a strikeout and two fly outs around another walk to escape with limited damage. Berrios would strike out two in the third, three more in the fourth, and two in the fifth around a few more walks before his day was done. Rochester took the lead for good in the third inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Buck Britton delivered a two-run single and Jorge Polanco followed with a run-scoring single of his own to make it 3-1. They added an insurance run in the sixth inning as Wilfredo Tovar singled in Adam Brett Walker, who led off the inning with a single of his own. The Red Wings wound up not needing that run though as Alex Meyer came on in relief of Berrios and finished the game’s final four innings picking up the rare three-plus inning save in the process. He allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out four including the final hitter of the game for the home opener exclamation point. Walker led the offense on the day going 3-4 with a run scored and a double out of the sixth spot in the lineup. Tovar was 2-3 with a run scored and the RBI. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Biloxi 8 Box Score Down 2-1 going into the seventh inning, Chattanooga took the lead after a bases- clearing double off the bat of Danial Palka to make the score 5-2. An errant throw from the shortstop on the play ended up in the Lookouts dugout, sending Palka across the plate for the fourth run on the play. Left-handed reliever Mike Strong, who was in the running for the final bullpen spot on the Twins in spring training, came on to protect a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, but was greeted by back-to-back-to-back doubles that tied the game at five. He was able to get two outs after that before a walk and a single to make the score 6-5 ended his day. Brandon Peterson came on for the final out, but a double brought in the two inherited runners before he got out of the inning. Aaron Slegers made the start for Chattanooga and put in a quality effort. In six innings, he allowed two-earned runs on six hits and three walks, with three strikeouts. The two runs allowed came in the second inning after two doubles and two singles from four straight batters. Slegers’ line was helped by inducing double plays in each of his innings except the first, for a total of five on the day. The Lookouts offense got multiple-hit efforts form Zach Granite (3-5, R), Palka (2-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI), Travis Harrison (2-2, R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB’s), and Engelb Vielma (2-4, R). MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Bradenton 4 (10 innings) Box Score The Miracle took the early lead in the first inning after Tanner English led off the game with a single and later scored on a single from Alex Real. English was moved into scoring position on a double by Nick Gordon. They went up 2-0 in the fifth inning behind the bats of the same players. Gordon smacked his second double of the game to start the frame, and scored on a Real sac fly. Unfortunately they also ended the inning with the bases loaded, unable to do any more damage. Right-hander Keaton Steele was on the mound for Fort Myers in his first start of the 2016 season and was fantastic through the first five innings. He retired the first eight hitters of the game before issuing a walk, and went 1-2-3 in each of the first, second and fifth innings. It was the sixth inning before the Marauders were able to muster any threats, and it came after Steele had retired the first two hitters of that inning. A single and double made the score 2-1 and Steele was lifted for Raul Fernandez who struck out the final hitter of the inning to keep the lead intact. Fort Myers went up 3-1 in the top of the seventh after a one-out bases-loaded walk to Chad Christensen, but a double-play ball ended their efforts. Fernandez remained in the game and allowed one run in the bottom half to make the score 3-2 heading into the eighth. The score remained 3-2 despite opportunities for the Miracle in each of their eighth and ninth inning at-bats, and the failure to capitalize again would come back to haunt them. Trevor Hildenberger was brought on for the save opportunity in the ninth, but a relay throw from Gordon into third on a triple sailed past the third baseman allowing the tying run to score and sent the game to extra innings. Hildenberger stayed in the game for the 10th, but another error from his defense put the game-winning run in scoring position and Bradenton did not fail with the opportunity they were handed. A single off the bat of Connor Joe brought home the come-from-behind,walk-off winner for the Marauders and evened each team’s record in the Florida State League at 2-2. Steele finished 5.2 innings in the game, allowing one earned run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. Yorman Landa pitched a scoreless inning of relief, allowing one hit and striking out two. The blown save and loss were Hildenberger’s first of each on the year. The Miracle offense got a standout game from top prospect Nick Gordon, who finished 4-6 with a run scored and three doubles. Real was 3-3 with 2 RBI and a walk. Ryan Walker also added two hits to the effort. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Quad City 2 Box Score Like their high-A brothers, Cedar Rapids went into the tenth inning on Sunday afternoon after blowing a late lead, and needed some heroics to remain undefeated on the season. The Kernels got a strong start from Sam Clay who finished six innings. He allowed one unearned run on five hits and two walks. He struck out seven including the side in the first inning. Cedar Rapids took the lead 1-0 in the top of the sixth when Rafael Valera led off the frame with a double. He scored on a single from Max Murphy. An error on a pick-off throw from Clay allowed the unearned run to score in the bottom half of the sixth and the game remained tied until the ninth as C.K. Irby pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts of his own. Two errors by the River Bandits defense brought in the go-ahead run for the Kernels in the top-half and Nick Anderson was summoned from the bullpen for the save opportunity. He was greeted by a triple that all but guaranteed free baseball. A batter later that guarantee was cashed in with a game-tying single. Anderson escaped with the game tied after a ground ball and two fly outs. In the top of the tenth, a Lamonte Wade walk and a Murphy hit-by-pitch put the go-ahead run in scoring position, and Chris Paul knocked it in with a two-out single to center field. Anderson stayed in the game looking to pick up the win, and after allowing two singles to start the inning got a double play ball for the first two outs and struck out the final batter with the tying run on third to preserve the zero in the loss column. Paul went 4-5 on the day with a run scored and an RBI, and Wade added two hits and two walks, including a triple to pace the Kernels offense. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jose Berrios, Rochester Red Wings (W, 5.0IP, 3 H’s, 1 ER, 4 BB’s, 9 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Fort Myers Miracle (4-6, R, 3 2B’s) MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:35PM CST) – LHP Logan Darnell (0-0, -.-- ERA) Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:40PM CST) – RHP Ryan Eades (0-0, -.-- ERA) Brevard County @ Fort Myers (6:05PM CST) – LHP Randy Rosario (0-0, -.-- ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 PM CST) – RHP Dereck Rodriguez (0-0, -.-- ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  25. When the Minnesota Twins acquired pitching prospect Alex Meyer in 2012, Twins general manager Terry Ryan made it clear what the expectations for Meyer’s role would be. “Starter, starter, starter, starter,” Ryan told reporters emphatically. At that time the Twins were desperate for any semblance of starting pitching to add to their depleted farm system. On paper Meyer -- who had touched triple digits and held steady around 96-to-98 miles per hour -- was exactly the type of pitcher that the Twins needed. In his first professional season in the Nationals’ organization he had struck out 129 in 139 innings. By comparison the Twins’ organization’s strikeout leader that season was Jason Wheeler with 115 strikeouts (Wheeler, however, needed 27 more innings than Meyer to reach his total). In theory, Meyer’s addition to the system would provide the Twins with a future front-of-the-rotation pitching talent. Three seasons later however his role is less crystallized then what Ryan had envisioned. Meyer’s inconsistency in his mechanics and command combined with his shoulder woes have pushed him toward the bullpen (where he thrived, mind you, holding hitters to a .254 average in relief versus .325 as a starter). Nevertheless, the uncertainty and the shift to the bullpen, as well as talent additions, have driven Meyer lower on the prospect list but make no mistake he still has the tools to be a solid contributor somewhere on the staff.Age: 26 (DOB: 1/3/90) 2015 Stats (AAA/MLB): 94.2 IP, 5.13 ERA, 103/51 K/BB ETA: 2015 2015 Ranking: 5 National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR | MLB: NR | BP: NR What's To Like The velocity, that’s for sure. Meyer was originally drafted by the Red Sox out of Greensburg High School (Ind.) in the 20th round of the 2008 draft but a reported $2 million bonus offer from Boston was not enough to convince the hard-throwing right-hander to bypass college in Kentucky. In 2011, after flashing triple-digits fastball for the Wildcats, the Nationals snagged him in the first round at 23rd overall. So far, the Twins have only received a brief sampling of the heat. In his two-outing stint with the Twins last year he wound up throwing the second hardest fastball among the staff at 98. Velocity matters because dating back to 2008, when hitters are facing 98+, they hit .205 with a slugging of .288. In comparison, when pitchers are sitting 90-to-95, hitters have posted a .274 average with a .428 slugging. According to ESPN/TruMedia the Twins have hit 98 or higher on the radar gun just 23 times (13 of which belonged to Juan Morillo) and was the lowest number among all teams in that eight year span. But Meyer is more than just a pretty fastball. After the 2014 season, Baseball America anointed Meyer’s breaking ball, a knuckle-curve, as the best in the International League. Like his fastball, at times Meyer has trouble commanding it but the hammer break has made it a very good complement to his fastball. What's Left To Work On Consistency has been Meyer’s main issue but if there is one thing Meyer has been consistent about it has been his release point dropping over the last few years. When Meyer made an appearance in the Futures Game in 2011, PitchF/X data said he was releasing the ball near 6.6 feet. However, by the time Meyer arrived with the Twins, his arm angle had lowered so much that he was releasing the ball a foot lower than before. Download attachment: Brooksbaseball-Chart.png Considering Meyer has had shoulder ailments in the past, it is no surprise to see this type of dip in release point. In 2013 he missed 83 days because of a strained shoulder and was shut down in August 2014 with inflammation. This last year was relatively injury free but he readily acknowledge in Rochester that he was focused on raising his release point as he struggled with his command. Opponents who faced him in 2014 and then again in 2015 noted that his fastball looked flat and lacked the same movement compared to the prior season. If he is able to correct this, Meyer could be a dangerous pitcher on the mound. What's Next Since the Twins’ rotation is at capacity (and still trying to find room for Jose Berrios), there could be room in the bullpen as the front office’s indifference toward free agents relievers suggests that they believe in their crop of young power arms - including Meyer. Despite the struggles, with two option years remaining, the Twins can be patient with him. With a few tweaks, Meyer has the weapons to be a shutdown reliever. So while Meyer likely won’t start the season in Minnesota, he will be on a short list of pitchers who will get the call when help is needed. Click here to view the article
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