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  1. The Red Sox ended their spring training today while the Twins will play an intrasquad game on Sunday before the teams break camp. The players already know where they are going and are going stir crazy to get out of camp. I did learn that the local Seminole Casino here in town is a hot spot for many of the bonus baby prospects (Twins and Red Sox) and spent more in an hour at the blackjack table than I gamble in a year. RHP Fernando Romero pitching 4IP, 2H, 2BB, 4K, 44K/67TOT, 95-99 FB avg 97, 86-88 SL, 84-85 CH. Fernando started off a little wild but reigned it back in after the first, he got thru most of the game with his FB/SL mix, the changeup is still progressing slowly. Talked with a few of the Red Sox players who were impressed with the amount of backspin on his slider. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku7iISWMGu8 Recent pickup RHP Paul Clemens pitching in AA game, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 KK. 94-96 mph FB. Clemens has a chip on his shoulder and he's going to pitch like it, he talked of being cut by the Padres and how he was pitching thru tendonitis as he thought his job was safe with the club. His velo was down to 88-90 mph before the Padres cut him loose. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdk1_QhfkDE Minnesota Twins prospect LHP Stephen Gonsalves pitching 4/1/2017 vs. Boston Red Sox AA team. 3 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 86 - 90 mph FB (avg 88), 72-74 mph CV, 78 - 81 mph CH, , 83 -85 mph SL, 6 balls, 27 strikes, 33 pitches. Gonsalves has two more starts in extended spring 4/6 And 4/11 before joining his teammates in Chattanooga. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF3PeMpaz54 Nick Gordon played 2B in the game while Vielma manned SS, look for that quite a bit at Chattanooga this season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3TBKLRkbp0 Byung Ho Park got into the AAA in the 5th inning, drew a walk in his at bat. Kennys Vargas was playing as well and looked good at the plate showing no ill effects of the injury. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PFE_FjWoQY And I can't remember who asked but here is some video of LaMonte Wade at the plate for the Chattanooga club. He'll start the season there which is fairly aggressive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxUgaSsuhNI
  2. One of my favorite shows of all-time is Family Guy. At least, the first five seasons of Family Guy are some of my favorite. There are so many quotes from those seasons that I still instill in my everyday conversations, even if those I'm having a conversation with don't know where the quote is hailing from. One of the staples of these shows is the flashbacks that show a time in life the character references. One of my favorite is when Stewie describes his time in Nebraska. Stewie is at a diner in the state and is trying to strike up a conversation with several of the other patrons. All the topics he bring up fall on deaf ears. Until, that is, he brings up corn. Corn, being the state's calling card, brings out several reactions from those around him. The reactions, all positive, blend together, minus the last statement. That is when you hear a patron finish with, "Corn is always interesting."This is exactly how I feel about Minnesota Twins baseball. That feeling is never stronger for a team than when pitchers and catchers report. The latter took place on February 13th for the Twin Cities nine. While those who make up the pitchers and catchers are particularly exciting, unless you're a Jason Castro fan, it is still a great feeling whenever the group arrives in Fort Myers, Florida. Optimism will likely be hard to come by for the fan base. A record-setting 103 losses will do that. That'll also happen when last season's biggest off-season signing had a slash line of .191/.275/.409. What exactly could be interesting about the Twins this year? Especially something so interesting that I should start paying attention to the team in mid-February? For starters, the making of the roster. A large part of who will make up the 25-man roster on Opening Day is decided in February and March. We know that Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano each have a spot. We're not entirely sure who will back up catch Jason Castro. We also want to know if Kennys Vargas will beat out Byung Ho Park for the DH spot. There's the filling out of the starting rotation and the bullpen. For me, I want to see if Jose Berrios will show up as a mainstay of the rotation. (Twins Daily's Cody Christie breaks down the early headlines brilliantly.) That's the biggest spring training story line I'll be watching as the Twins roster gets shaped and ready for April 3. Opening Day for the Twins. That would be 50 more days. Fifty more days that will be filled with intrigue for Twins fans. This team may not always be good but they are, at the very least, interesting. Click here to view the article
  3. This is exactly how I feel about Minnesota Twins baseball. That feeling is never stronger for a team than when pitchers and catchers report. The latter took place on February 13th for the Twin Cities nine. While those who make up the pitchers and catchers are particularly exciting, unless you're a Jason Castro fan, it is still a great feeling whenever the group arrives in Fort Myers, Florida. Optimism will likely be hard to come by for the fan base. A record-setting 103 losses will do that. That'll also happen when last season's biggest off-season signing had a slash line of .191/.275/.409. What exactly could be interesting about the Twins this year? Especially something so interesting that I should start paying attention to the team in mid-February? For starters, the making of the roster. A large part of who will make up the 25-man roster on Opening Day is decided in February and March. We know that Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano each have a spot. We're not entirely sure who will back up catch Jason Castro. We also want to know if Kennys Vargas will beat out Byung Ho Park for the DH spot. There's the filling out of the starting rotation and the bullpen. For me, I want to see if Jose Berrios will show up as a mainstay of the rotation. (Twins Daily's Cody Christie breaks down the early headlines brilliantly.) That's the biggest spring training story line I'll be watching as the Twins roster gets shaped and ready for April 3. Opening Day for the Twins. That would be 50 more days. Fifty more days that will be filled with intrigue for Twins fans. This team may not always be good but they are, at the very least, interesting.
  4. * Byung Ho Park passed through waivers so he will be among the non-roster invites in camp. Ostensibly he'll be competing with Kennys Vargas and others for the DH job, but it would seem that Park will have a tough hill to climb. When we were recording a podcast shortly after the new front office leadership was installed, I recall Parker making a point about how this regime will view certain players very differently from the last one. They didn't scout and acquire any of these assets, so Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have minimal personal investment.' Park appears to be a clear case of this. Last offseason, the Twins were so high on the Korean star they coughed up a $12.8 million posting fee, made a four-year contractual commitment, and ultimately pigeonholed one of their best young players out of position to make room for him. Now, after one season in the States, Park has evidently lost all luster in the eyes of team decision-makers. When the Twins signed veteran reliever Matt Belisle, they could have designated Michael Tonkin or Danny Santana, either of whom will be exposed to waivers at the end of March if they don't make the roster. Instead, they chose Park. If he were claimed it would have taken $9 million off the books, but also would have meant chalking up the $15 million upfront investment as a complete loss. That doesn't sound like something Terry Ryan would do, especially if he harbored a belief that Park's disappointing rookie season was hindered by a wrist injury that eventually required surgery. But we're not in Terry Ryan territory anymore. And Park passed through waivers, indicating that the rest of the league's teams share a similar view to Falvey and Levine. One wonders what the 30-year-old would need to do this spring to change it. * Rehabbing from last June's shoulder surgery, Glen Perkins was playing catch in Ft. Myers by January and hoped to take another important step last week: throwing from a mound. One day before the planned bullpen session, though, he and his trainers decided to push it back, citing renewed soreness. This development is not encouraging, but also not surprising. Labrum surgery can generally carry a lengthy recovery window of nine months or more; Perkins is a 33-year-old whose operation was more extensive than most. Bumps in the road are to be expected, and the southpaw himself acknowledges that. He'll give it a go on Tuesday and could generate some nice early-spring positivity if it goes well. On another note, whenever Perkins hangs up the cleats, he might have a future in writing. His foreword for the Baseball Prospectus 2017 Annual was an excellent read. The book also includes a Twins feature from Parker, and was all put together by our friend Aaron Gleeman, so I definitely recommend grabbing a copy to prep yourself for the coming season. * Speaking of strong writing, over the weekend the imitable Phil Miller had a great piece in the Star Tribune examining the odd dynamic between an aging lame duck manager and a fresh, young executive duo that is transparently future-focused. For Molitor, winning in 2017 is vital. For Falvey and Levine, this year is nothing but a step to where they want to get. It's a learning experience and an opportunity to actively assess all that they've inherited. One of those things is a manager on a one-year contract. When a team that, on paper, looks perfectly capable of competing and playing .500 ball goes on to lose 103 games... well, Molitor says it best in the story: "That doesn't reflect very well on the manager." But the truth is, it doesn't reflect well on anyone. And while some are flummoxed by Jim Pohlad's continuing allegiance to the Hall of Famer, I will say I'm glad that he and Falvey will have a chance to overlap. You can take issue with Molitor's managing from up close or afar, but if you spend any time talking to the man you will not doubt his intuition for the game. Pairing him with an analytical mind like Falvey on day-to-day operations – especially at a time where Molitor will necessarily be very open to new approaches – could yield fruitful results. I'm curious to see how it plays out. * Our 2017 Minnesota Twins Top Prospect series kicked off last week with my profiles of our choices for 16 through 20 and Seth's takes on 11 through 15. Today, Parker kicks off our one-by-one countdown of the Top 10 with a look at 20-year-old Dominican slugger Lewin Diaz. Make sure to give it a read, and tune in each day over the next two weeks to learn all about the organization's brightest upcoming talents. * For a fifth straight year, Twins Daily will be providing on-site coverage of Minnesota Twins spring training from Fort Myers, FL throughout the month of March. Parker, Seth, John and myself will alternately be on hand to cover games, snap photos/videos, and chat with players and personnel. Unrestrained by column inches or any concept of what is too minute or trivial to print, we promise to deliver the deepest and most comprehensive reporting from Twins camp that you will find anywhere. With temperatures rising and snow melting in Minnesota, it looks like Mother Nature is taking her cue from the baseball calendar. Spring is coming.
  5. Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report Day! It's an annual holiday on the baseball calendar, marking the official onset of this seven-week ramp-up to the regular season. On Monday, all Minnesota Twins battery members will check into camp, if they haven't already. On Tuesday, they will hold their first workouts. Then, this weekend, position players will join the fray and next Sunday will mark the first full team workout. Grapefruit League games commence in 11 days. As things get underway, let's run through some of the latest team news, with an eye to sizing up the most compelling early spring storylines.* Byung Ho Park passed through waivers so he will be among the non-roster invites in camp. Ostensibly he'll be competing with Kennys Vargas and others for the DH job, but it would seem that Park will have a tough hill to climb. When we were recording a podcast shortly after the new front office leadership was installed, I recall Parker making a point about how this regime will view certain players very differently from the last one. They didn't scout and acquire any of these assets, so Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have minimal personal investment.' Park appears to be a clear case of this. Last offseason, the Twins were so high on the Korean star they coughed up a $12.8 million posting fee, made a four-year contractual commitment, and ultimately pigeonholed one of their best young players out of position to make room for him. Now, after one season in the States, Park has evidently lost all luster in the eyes of team decision-makers. When the Twins signed veteran reliever Matt Belisle, they could have designated Michael Tonkin or Danny Santana, either of whom will be exposed to waivers at the end of March if they don't make the roster. Instead, they chose Park. If he were claimed it would have taken $9 million off the books, but also would have meant chalking up the $15 million upfront investment as a complete loss. That doesn't sound like something Terry Ryan would do, especially if he harbored a belief that Park's disappointing rookie season was hindered by a wrist injury that eventually required surgery. But we're not in Terry Ryan territory anymore. And Park passed through waivers, indicating that the rest of the league's teams share a similar view to Falvey and Levine. One wonders what the 30-year-old would need to do this spring to change it. * Rehabbing from last June's shoulder surgery, Glen Perkins was playing catch in Ft. Myers by January and hoped to take another important step last week: throwing from a mound. One day before the planned bullpen session, though, he and his trainers decided to push it back, citing renewed soreness. This development is not encouraging, but also not surprising. Labrum surgery can generally carry a lengthy recovery window of nine months or more; Perkins is a 33-year-old whose operation was more extensive than most. Bumps in the road are to be expected, and the southpaw himself acknowledges that. He'll give it a go on Tuesday and could generate some nice early-spring positivity if it goes well. On another note, whenever Perkins hangs up the cleats, he might have a future in writing. His foreword for the Baseball Prospectus 2017 Annual was an excellent read. The book also includes a Twins feature from Parker, and was all put together by our friend Aaron Gleeman, so I definitely recommend grabbing a copy to prep yourself for the coming season. * Speaking of strong writing, over the weekend the imitable Phil Miller had a great piece in the Star Tribune examining the odd dynamic between an aging lame duck manager and a fresh, young executive duo that is transparently future-focused. For Molitor, winning in 2017 is vital. For Falvey and Levine, this year is nothing but a step to where they want to get. It's a learning experience and an opportunity to actively assess all that they've inherited. One of those things is a manager on a one-year contract. When a team that, on paper, looks perfectly capable of competing and playing .500 ball goes on to lose 103 games... well, Molitor says it best in the story: "That doesn't reflect very well on the manager." But the truth is, it doesn't reflect well on anyone. And while some are flummoxed by Jim Pohlad's continuing allegiance to the Hall of Famer, I will say I'm glad that he and Falvey will have a chance to overlap. You can take issue with Molitor's managing from up close or afar, but if you spend any time talking to the man you will not doubt his intuition for the game. Pairing him with an analytical mind like Falvey on day-to-day operations – especially at a time where Molitor will necessarily be very open to new approaches – could yield fruitful results. I'm curious to see how it plays out. * Our 2017 Minnesota Twins Top Prospect series kicked off last week with my profiles of our choices for 16 through 20 and Seth's takes on 11 through 15. Today, Parker kicks off our one-by-one countdown of the Top 10 with a look at 20-year-old Dominican slugger Lewin Diaz. Make sure to give it a read, and tune in each day over the next two weeks to learn all about the organization's brightest upcoming talents. * For a fifth straight year, Twins Daily will be providing on-site coverage of Minnesota Twins spring training from Fort Myers, FL throughout the month of March. Parker, Seth, John and myself will alternately be on hand to cover games, snap photos/videos, and chat with players and personnel. Unrestrained by column inches or any concept of what is too minute or trivial to print, we promise to deliver the deepest and most comprehensive reporting from Twins camp that you will find anywhere. With temperatures rising and snow melting in Minnesota, it looks like Mother Nature is taking her cue from the baseball calendar. Spring is coming. Click here to view the article
  6. It was a shock to see the Twins elect to designate Byungho Park for assignment. There was plenty of speculation over who would be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Matt Belisle, but nobody suggested it would be Park, who was just signed last winter.Looking at some of the other moves made under Derek Falvey, maybe we should have known better. It's becoming clear a goal of this offseason has been to eliminate redundancies. Last offseason, the Twins were faced with the challenge of figuring out what to do with Miguel Sano, thanks in large part to the assumption Park would take over at DH. The team could have been faced with a similar situation this year, but among Falvey's first moves was to non-tender Trevor Plouffe. Boom, problem solved. For better or worse, the team is now firmly committed to Sano at third base, his natural position. It appears, for now at least, the same could be said in regard to Kennys Vargas at DH. It remains to be seen whether or not the team signs a veteran slugger such as Mike Napoli, but it's clear now they have made the decision to prioritize Vargas over Park. There was really no reason to make that call this early, especially since Vargas has another option year. But the previous regime was criticized for dragging its feet in regard to making a decision on Plouffe's future, so it's difficult to argue with this move. As unnecessary as it seems, it does provides clarity. Of course, it's entirely possible Park remains in the Twins organization. But at that point he will no longer be on the 40-man roster, creating an even greater obstacle for him to return to Target Field. Regardless of any unforeseen additions, Vargas will not have that same issue. There have been a couple of other, minor moves this offseason in which Falvey and Co. have made tough decisions on similarly skilled players. It was unlikely both Adam Brett Walker and Daniel Palka were ever going to coexist, given their similarities. Walker had a crazy ride on the waiver/DFA roller coaster before landing with the Braves. That leaves Palka as the team's lone young slugging outfielder in Triple A. Behind the plate, the careers of Mitch Garver and Stuart Turner were intertwined, but much like with Walker/Palka, it was clear at some point the team would have to pick between the two. Turner was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the Reds and will compete for the backup catcher spot in spring training. Turner has a realistic opportunity to break camp with the Reds, but if he's returned to the Twins it's more clear now than ever that he's behind Garver in the catching pecking order. Given the team's new depth behind the dish, Turner may even have to go back to Double A if he's returned to the organization. It never seems to be a good thing when an organization loses a player and receives nothing in return, which could be the case with Park. But sometimes such a departure can create huge opportunities just by opening up playing time for other guys in the org. So, looking ahead, what could be next for the Twins' roster makeover? Overshadowed by the Park DFA was the news that Trevor May is going to be given every opportunity to be a starting pitcher this season. With May in the mix, the Twins have no shortage of starting pitching options. Somebody will more than likely be pushed to the bullpen (Tyler Duffey?). With the addition of Belisle, however, things are looking very competitive among the reliever corps, as well. Some time between now and Opening Day, it's entirely possible we'll see another surprise move or two by the front office in order to provide clarity on the pitching staff. Click here to view the article
  7. Looking at some of the other moves made under Derek Falvey, maybe we should have known better. It's becoming clear a goal of this offseason has been to eliminate redundancies. Last offseason, the Twins were faced with the challenge of figuring out what to do with Miguel Sano, thanks in large part to the assumption Park would take over at DH. The team could have been faced with a similar situation this year, but among Falvey's first moves was to non-tender Trevor Plouffe. Boom, problem solved. For better or worse, the team is now firmly committed to Sano at third base, his natural position. It appears, for now at least, the same could be said in regard to Kennys Vargas at DH. It remains to be seen whether or not the team signs a veteran slugger such as Mike Napoli, but it's clear now they have made the decision to prioritize Vargas over Park. There was really no reason to make that call this early, especially since Vargas has another option year. But the previous regime was criticized for dragging its feet in regard to making a decision on Plouffe's future, so it's difficult to argue with this move. As unnecessary as it seems, it does provides clarity. Of course, it's entirely possible Park remains in the Twins organization. But at that point he will no longer be on the 40-man roster, creating an even greater obstacle for him to return to Target Field. Regardless of any unforeseen additions, Vargas will not have that same issue. There have been a couple of other, minor moves this offseason in which Falvey and Co. have made tough decisions on similarly skilled players. It was unlikely both Adam Brett Walker and Daniel Palka were ever going to coexist, given their similarities. Walker had a crazy ride on the waiver/DFA roller coaster before landing with the Braves. That leaves Palka as the team's lone young slugging outfielder in Triple A. Behind the plate, the careers of Mitch Garver and Stuart Turner were intertwined, but much like with Walker/Palka, it was clear at some point the team would have to pick between the two. Turner was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the Reds and will compete for the backup catcher spot in spring training. Turner has a realistic opportunity to break camp with the Reds, but if he's returned to the Twins it's more clear now than ever that he's behind Garver in the catching pecking order. Given the team's new depth behind the dish, Turner may even have to go back to Double A if he's returned to the organization. It never seems to be a good thing when an organization loses a player and receives nothing in return, which could be the case with Park. But sometimes such a departure can create huge opportunities just by opening up playing time for other guys in the org. So, looking ahead, what could be next for the Twins' roster makeover? Overshadowed by the Park DFA was the news that Trevor May is going to be given every opportunity to be a starting pitcher this season. With May in the mix, the Twins have no shortage of starting pitching options. Somebody will more than likely be pushed to the bullpen (Tyler Duffey?). With the addition of Belisle, however, things are looking very competitive among the reliever corps, as well. Some time between now and Opening Day, it's entirely possible we'll see another surprise move or two by the front office in order to provide clarity on the pitching staff.
  8. We'll start our case-by-case review of the 2016 Twins with a look at the infield. Each player who accrued at least 50 plate appearances, and remains in the organization currently, gets a write-up below. Brian Dozier, 2B 2016 Stats: 691 PA, .268/.340/.546, 42 HR, 99 RBI, 104 R, 5.9 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2018 for $15 million Dozier easily had the best season of any Twin, and in fact his performance measures as one of the best in franchise history. He was a one-man wrecking crew, piling up 82 extra-base hits (tied with Colorado's Nolan Arenado for third-most in the majors) while swiping 18 bases on 20 attempts. He filled the stat sheet and single-handedly produced offense in a way we've rarely seen. For this elite power to come from a middle infield position, along with steady and occasionally spectacular glove work at second base, only increases the relative value of Dozier's output. In a sea of disappointing performances, the veteran clubhouse leader delivered one for the ages – which sadly would do little to stem the tide for an historically inept team. 2016 Grade: A+ 2017 Outlook: If he's still here, Dozier will enter 2017 as the featured centerpiece in a powerful lineup. Will he continue to bat leadoff, as he did for every game in August and September, or move to a more traditional run-producing spot at the heart of the order? Eduardo Escobar, SS 2016 Stats: 377 PA, .236/.280/.338, 6 HR, 37 RBI, 32 R, -0.6 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2017 for $2.6 million It was a rough year for Escobar. Just when it appeared he had found a home at shortstop, overtaking the position in 2015 and earning an Opening Day nod this past spring, he was derailed by middling production, injuries, and the emergence of an exciting rookie who captured the manager's favor. By season's end, he had fallen back into his familiar old utility role. In September and October, only two of his 19 starts came at shortstop, and he dragged across the finish line offensively with a brutal .348 OPS. The 27-year-old bottomed out at the exact wrong time, reflected by a meager $500,000 raise this offseason. 2016 Grade: D- 2017 Outlook: Escobar is undoubtedly as motivated as ever to bounce back and prove himself next year, but as things stand he will be heading to camp as a backup, capable of filling in around the diamond. Joe Mauer, 1B 2016 Stats: 576 PA, .261/.363/.389, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 68 R, 1.0 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2018 for $46 million In some ways, Mauer revived hope in his ability to be a solid contributor. Following a 2015 season that was the worst of his career, he raised his OPS back to a respectable level while matching his highest home run total (11) since the MVP campaign in 2009. His walk rate rebounded to 13.7 percent, placing him among the league leaders, and as a result he led all Twins regulars with a .363 OBP. In other ways, though, 2016 was a reaffirmation of Mauer's diminished ability. The three-time batting champion saw his batting average drop for a third straight year, sinking to a career-low .261. His characteristically pedestrian home run total was accompanied by only 22 doubles, his fewest in a full season. Defensively he was nothing special. 2016 Grade: C 2017 Outlook: Turning 34 next March, Mauer remains entrenched at first base by virtue of his contract and reputation, but reduced playing time will be a very real possibility if his bat shows little life in the early part of the season. John Ryan Murphy, C 2016 Stats: 82 PA, .146/.193/.220, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, -0.5 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 With Kurt Suzuki and Juan Centeno moving on, Murphy is the only member of the 2016 Minnesota catching group set to return. Unfortunately, he was also the worst performer. After starting his Twins career with a 3-for-40 slump, Murphy was demoted to Triple-A, where he continued to hit poorly. He posted a .609 OPS in Rochester, then returned to the majors as a September call-up, collecting three hits in his triumphant return and then finishing out 6-for-38. It was, from any perspective, a disastrous first year for a player whose offensive capabilities were always more hypothetical than material. Defensively he is above-average, with strong athleticism behind the plate, but he doesn't shine enough there to offset the staggering lack of production we've seen since his acquisition. Not even close. 2016 Grade: F 2017 Outlook: Barring further moves, Murphy figures to slot in as the backup to Jason Castro. Most of his starts will hopefully come against lefties. If the bat doesn't turn around quickly, then I'd expect Falvey and Levine (who of course played no part in trading for Murphy) to move on quickly. Byung Ho Park, 1B 2016 Stats: 244 PA, .191/.275/.409, 12 HR, 24 RBI, 28 R, 0.1 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2019 for $9.25 million Along with Murphy, Park was Minnesota's biggest offseason splash a year ago. The fact that both players spent large chunks of the season in Triple-A certainly glares as an indictment of Terry Ryan and his efforts to bolster an 83-win team. Park, though, was not quite as discouraging a case. The vaunted power was there, clearly. There were some memorable, mammoth shots among the dozen that the South Korean slugger sent over the fence during his time with the Twins. But he was generally overmatched by MLB pitching, and his average sagged until it dropped below .200 and he was demoted in early July. In Triple-A, the story was much the same – great power accompanied by little else – until he underwent season-ending hand surgery. The ailment that placed him under the knife – a damaged tendon in his right hand – bothered him in addition to wrist tendinitis, and certainly might help explain his difficulties swinging the stick. He was also acclimating to a new league, a new country and a new culture. And consider this: if Park exchanged 10 strikeouts for 10 singles during his time in Minnesota, his line turns to .237/.316/.456. That's the kind of production you can live with from a DH. 2016 Grade: D 2017 Outlook: Park will likely be ticketed for Triple-A initially next spring, but it would be no shock if a big showing earns him the DH job with Minnesota. Generating more contact will be the decisive factor. Jorge Polanco, SS 2016 Stats: 270 PA, .282/.332/.424, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 24 R, -0.1 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 Finally breaking through after cups of coffee in 2014 and 2015, Polanco enjoyed a very successful rookie season. He consistently made contact, put up strong numbers, and operated as the everyday shortstop in the final months. There is plenty to like about the 23-year-old's offensive profile. He swings from both sides, makes plenty of contact and sprays line drives. But his ceiling at the plate is limited, and his proper home in the infield is very much in question. Polanco's aptitude at shortstop, a position he had mostly stopped playing in the minors, was iffy at best. 2016 Grade: B 2017 Outlook: He has arrived, no doubt about that. Based on the demonstrated preferences of Paul Molitor, Polanco is the favorite to start at shortstop for now. But with the team focusing intensely on run prevention, the wisdom of plugging in a blatant defensive liability at the infield's most important position is suspect. Of course, a Dozier trade would open up Polanco's ideal spot. Miguel Sano, RF/3B 2016 Stats: 495 PA, .236/.319/.462, 25 HR, 66 RBI, 57 R, 1.3 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 It was a disappointing sophomore season for Sano, but only in the shadow of his prodigious talent and the incredibly high bar he set as a rookie. Without that context, a .781 OPS and 25 jacks from a 23-year-old who fell just short of 500 plate appearances due to injury ain't bad at all. Sano started the year miscast as an outfielder, and spent the second half alternating between DH and third base, where he managed to commit 15 errors in 42 starts. Cleaning up his defense, and lowering his egregious 36 percent K-rate, will be critical in taking the step to stardom. 2016 Grade: B- 2017 Outlook: The decision to release Trevor Plouffe was an indication that the Twins are ready to move forward with Sano at the hot corner, despite his mistake-prone showing in 2016. Lessons learned from the trials he faced should lead to greater resolve and focus moving forward. He remains an MVP-caliber talent at the dish. Kennys Vargas, 1B 2016 Stats: 177 PA, .230/.333/.500, 10 HR, 20 RBI, 27 R, 0.6 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 It's been quite the rollercoaster ride for Vargas. He burst onto the scene with a prolific MLB debut as a September call-up in 2014, then opened as designated hitter the following season. He nearly played his way out of the team's plans during the ensuing summer, with an embarrassing demotion to Double-A speaking loudly. He opened 2016 in Rochester and started slow, then heated up in May and June, earning his way back to the majors. Upon returning, he tore it up for six weeks, got demoted due to a roster crunch, then came back in September and slumped. With all the ups and downs, it's tough to know what to make of Vargas. But this much is evident: he's a big switch-hitter with immense raw power, whose walk rate (13.6%) and Isolated Power (.270) would have both ranked near the top of the league if had he qualified. His uneven performance carried many positive signs, but time is running out for the 26-year-old. As a guy whose sole value proposition is mashing the ball, he needs to start doing so with a lot more consistency. 2016 Grade: B 2017 Outlook: Having been optioned to the minors three times already, Vargas would typically be in a position next spring where he'd need to head north with the Twins or be exposed to waivers. But the club successfully petitioned for a fourth option year (per Mike Berardino) so sending him back to Triple-A is on the table. The door is open for signing a plug-in at DH; otherwise, it might come down to a Grapefruit League competition between Vargas and Park.
  9. As the newly installed Minnesota Twins leadership navigates its first offseason, the challenge is twofold: evaluating the personnel already in place, while supplementing and improving the existing core. As we await more movement on the latter front, let's review the roster that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are inheriting, and how it fared in the most recent season.We'll start our case-by-case review of the 2016 Twins with a look at the infield. Each player who accrued at least 50 plate appearances, and remains in the organization currently, gets a write-up below. Brian Dozier, 2B 2016 Stats: 691 PA, .268/.340/.546, 42 HR, 99 RBI, 104 R, 5.9 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2018 for $15 million Dozier easily had the best season of any Twin, and in fact his performance measures as one of the best in franchise history. He was a one-man wrecking crew, piling up 82 extra-base hits (tied with Colorado's Nolan Arenado for third-most in the majors) while swiping 18 bases on 20 attempts. He filled the stat sheet and single-handedly produced offense in a way we've rarely seen. For this elite power to come from a middle infield position, along with steady and occasionally spectacular glove work at second base, only increases the relative value of Dozier's output. In a sea of disappointing performances, the veteran clubhouse leader delivered one for the ages – which sadly would do little to stem the tide for an historically inept team. 2016 Grade: A+ 2017 Outlook: If he's still here, Dozier will enter 2017 as the featured centerpiece in a powerful lineup. Will he continue to bat leadoff, as he did for every game in August and September, or move to a more traditional run-producing spot at the heart of the order? Eduardo Escobar, SS 2016 Stats: 377 PA, .236/.280/.338, 6 HR, 37 RBI, 32 R, -0.6 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2017 for $2.6 million It was a rough year for Escobar. Just when it appeared he had found a home at shortstop, overtaking the position in 2015 and earning an Opening Day nod this past spring, he was derailed by middling production, injuries, and the emergence of an exciting rookie who captured the manager's favor. By season's end, he had fallen back into his familiar old utility role. In September and October, only two of his 19 starts came at shortstop, and he dragged across the finish line offensively with a brutal .348 OPS. The 27-year-old bottomed out at the exact wrong time, reflected by a meager $500,000 raise this offseason. 2016 Grade: D- 2017 Outlook: Escobar is undoubtedly as motivated as ever to bounce back and prove himself next year, but as things stand he will be heading to camp as a backup, capable of filling in around the diamond. Joe Mauer, 1B 2016 Stats: 576 PA, .261/.363/.389, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 68 R, 1.0 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2018 for $46 million In some ways, Mauer revived hope in his ability to be a solid contributor. Following a 2015 season that was the worst of his career, he raised his OPS back to a respectable level while matching his highest home run total (11) since the MVP campaign in 2009. His walk rate rebounded to 13.7 percent, placing him among the league leaders, and as a result he led all Twins regulars with a .363 OBP. In other ways, though, 2016 was a reaffirmation of Mauer's diminished ability. The three-time batting champion saw his batting average drop for a third straight year, sinking to a career-low .261. His characteristically pedestrian home run total was accompanied by only 22 doubles, his fewest in a full season. Defensively he was nothing special. 2016 Grade: C 2017 Outlook: Turning 34 next March, Mauer remains entrenched at first base by virtue of his contract and reputation, but reduced playing time will be a very real possibility if his bat shows little life in the early part of the season. John Ryan Murphy, C 2016 Stats: 82 PA, .146/.193/.220, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, -0.5 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 With Kurt Suzuki and Juan Centeno moving on, Murphy is the only member of the 2016 Minnesota catching group set to return. Unfortunately, he was also the worst performer. After starting his Twins career with a 3-for-40 slump, Murphy was demoted to Triple-A, where he continued to hit poorly. He posted a .609 OPS in Rochester, then returned to the majors as a September call-up, collecting three hits in his triumphant return and then finishing out 6-for-38. It was, from any perspective, a disastrous first year for a player whose offensive capabilities were always more hypothetical than material. Defensively he is above-average, with strong athleticism behind the plate, but he doesn't shine enough there to offset the staggering lack of production we've seen since his acquisition. Not even close. 2016 Grade: F 2017 Outlook: Barring further moves, Murphy figures to slot in as the backup to Jason Castro. Most of his starts will hopefully come against lefties. If the bat doesn't turn around quickly, then I'd expect Falvey and Levine (who of course played no part in trading for Murphy) to move on quickly. Byung Ho Park, 1B 2016 Stats: 244 PA, .191/.275/.409, 12 HR, 24 RBI, 28 R, 0.1 WAR Contract Status: Signed through 2019 for $9.25 million Along with Murphy, Park was Minnesota's biggest offseason splash a year ago. The fact that both players spent large chunks of the season in Triple-A certainly glares as an indictment of Terry Ryan and his efforts to bolster an 83-win team. Park, though, was not quite as discouraging a case. The vaunted power was there, clearly. There were some memorable, mammoth shots among the dozen that the South Korean slugger sent over the fence during his time with the Twins. But he was generally overmatched by MLB pitching, and his average sagged until it dropped below .200 and he was demoted in early July. In Triple-A, the story was much the same – great power accompanied by little else – until he underwent season-ending hand surgery. The ailment that placed him under the knife – a damaged tendon in his right hand – bothered him in addition to wrist tendinitis, and certainly might help explain his difficulties swinging the stick. He was also acclimating to a new league, a new country and a new culture. And consider this: if Park exchanged 10 strikeouts for 10 singles during his time in Minnesota, his line turns to .237/.316/.456. That's the kind of production you can live with from a DH. 2016 Grade: D 2017 Outlook: Park will likely be ticketed for Triple-A initially next spring, but it would be no shock if a big showing earns him the DH job with Minnesota. Generating more contact will be the decisive factor. Jorge Polanco, SS 2016 Stats: 270 PA, .282/.332/.424, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 24 R, -0.1 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 Finally breaking through after cups of coffee in 2014 and 2015, Polanco enjoyed a very successful rookie season. He consistently made contact, put up strong numbers, and operated as the everyday shortstop in the final months. There is plenty to like about the 23-year-old's offensive profile. He swings from both sides, makes plenty of contact and sprays line drives. But his ceiling at the plate is limited, and his proper home in the infield is very much in question. Polanco's aptitude at shortstop, a position he had mostly stopped playing in the minors, was iffy at best. 2016 Grade: B 2017 Outlook: He has arrived, no doubt about that. Based on the demonstrated preferences of Paul Molitor, Polanco is the favorite to start at shortstop for now. But with the team focusing intensely on run prevention, the wisdom of plugging in a blatant defensive liability at the infield's most important position is suspect. Of course, a Dozier trade would open up Polanco's ideal spot. Miguel Sano, RF/3B 2016 Stats: 495 PA, .236/.319/.462, 25 HR, 66 RBI, 57 R, 1.3 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 It was a disappointing sophomore season for Sano, but only in the shadow of his prodigious talent and the incredibly high bar he set as a rookie. Without that context, a .781 OPS and 25 jacks from a 23-year-old who fell just short of 500 plate appearances due to injury ain't bad at all. Sano started the year miscast as an outfielder, and spent the second half alternating between DH and third base, where he managed to commit 15 errors in 42 starts. Cleaning up his defense, and lowering his egregious 36 percent K-rate, will be critical in taking the step to stardom. 2016 Grade: B- 2017 Outlook: The decision to release Trevor Plouffe was an indication that the Twins are ready to move forward with Sano at the hot corner, despite his mistake-prone showing in 2016. Lessons learned from the trials he faced should lead to greater resolve and focus moving forward. He remains an MVP-caliber talent at the dish. Kennys Vargas, 1B 2016 Stats: 177 PA, .230/.333/.500, 10 HR, 20 RBI, 27 R, 0.6 WAR Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control for ~$550K in 2017 It's been quite the rollercoaster ride for Vargas. He burst onto the scene with a prolific MLB debut as a September call-up in 2014, then opened as designated hitter the following season. He nearly played his way out of the team's plans during the ensuing summer, with an embarrassing demotion to Double-A speaking loudly. He opened 2016 in Rochester and started slow, then heated up in May and June, earning his way back to the majors. Upon returning, he tore it up for six weeks, got demoted due to a roster crunch, then came back in September and slumped. With all the ups and downs, it's tough to know what to make of Vargas. But this much is evident: he's a big switch-hitter with immense raw power, whose walk rate (13.6%) and Isolated Power (.270) would have both ranked near the top of the league if had he qualified. His uneven performance carried many positive signs, but time is running out for the 26-year-old. As a guy whose sole value proposition is mashing the ball, he needs to start doing so with a lot more consistency. 2016 Grade: B 2017 Outlook: Having been optioned to the minors three times already, Vargas would typically be in a position next spring where he'd need to head north with the Twins or be exposed to waivers. But the club successfully petitioned for a fourth option year (per Mike Berardino) so sending him back to Triple-A is on the table. The door is open for signing a plug-in at DH; otherwise, it might come down to a Grapefruit League competition between Vargas and Park. Click here to view the article
  10. Each player offers a different skill set so the new general manager will likely have some tough decisions to make in regard to each of these players. Joe Mauer, 1B Contract Status: Signed thru 2018 Mauer is in year six of his eight-year deal and this season is his third since being forced to move out from behind the plate. He has been one of the best defensive first baseman in the American League. His offensive numbers have lagged as he transitioned to first base but there have been flashes of the old Mauer this season as he has posted a .382 OBP and a .795 OPS. Mauer isn't going anywhere so he will be part of the big picture next season. Trevor Plouffe, 3B Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible 2017, Free Agent 2018 Plouffe's days in Minnesota seemed to be numbered and he might have already been traded if he were healthy leading into this year's trade deadline. Plouffe became serviceable at third base after working hard on his defense but those skills seem to be declining now that he is in his 30s. He's hit 14 or more home runs in each of the last four seasons and has a career OPS over .720. With younger and cheaper options already on the roster, this might be Plouffe's last season in Minnesota. Miguel Sano, 3B/DH Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible 2019, Free Agent 2022 There was probably little chance of Sano putting up the number he did during his 80 game rookie campaign. Things were going to come back down to earth. Minnesota's attempt to turn him into an outfielder was a massive failure and now he has struggled as he transitions back to third base. He currently ranks fifth on the team in fWAR and his 18 home runs are four behind Brian Dozier for the team lead. Even with the rumblings out the Twin Cities that Sano might not be working hard enough, he's still on track to be one of baseball's best power hitters. Kennys Vargas, 1B/DH Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible 2018, Free Agent 2022 Vargas has been up and down during his big league tenure. He showed some promising signs as a rookie back in 2014 with nine home runs and a .772 OPS across 53 games. Last year wasn't nearly as good as he struggled to hit over .240 and his slugging percentage dipped to .349. Since being recalled this season, Vargas has been one of the team's best hitters. Vargas is hitting .278/.404/.569 with 13 extra-base hits in 21 games. If he continues on this pace, Minnesota might have to consider him for the full-time DH role in 2017. Byung-Ho Park, 1B/DH Contract Status: Signed thru 2019, Team Option for 2020 Park held his own during the first month of the season with a .848 OPS and six home runs. Things took a nosedive from there as he hit .136/.224/.303 for the month of June. In 26 games since being demoted to Triple-A, he has hit nine home runs and compiled a .862 OPS. However, his batting average is .234 and he's only getting on base 31% of the time. With other players doing well in front of him, there doesn't look to be a spot for Mr. Park. His story line will be an interesting one to follow in the coming months. Even with this list of players, there are others making their way to Target Field that could be better suited for a designated hitter role. Adam Brett Walker continues to mash home runs at every level. Daniel Palka has been powerful during his first season in the organization and could be added to the 40-man roster in the off-season. Where do both of these players fit into the team's long-term plans? Minnesota's offense seems to be clicking so maybe having lots of power hitting options is a positive. This still leaves the new general manager with an interesting corner to paint himself out of during the offseason. Time will tell which players will make their marks for 2017 and beyond. If you are the GM, what corner infield options will be on your roster? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  11. Something had to change. MLB rosters are limited to 25 active players each day and someone wasn't going to be around when Trevor Plouffe returned from injury. Paul Molitor discussed the possibility of demoting Miguel Sano before his big weekend in Tampa Bay. Sano stayed and Byron Buxton was expendable as he continues to struggle at baseball's highest level. This recent roster shake-up brought to the forefront a glaring roster issue. Minnesota currently has a plethora of options when it comes to corner infielders and designated hitters. There are also more alternatives playing well in the minor leagues. It's important to have plenty of hitting options but the Twins 40-man roster is overloaded and something is going to have to change moving in 2017.Each player offers a different skill set so the new general manager will likely have some tough decisions to make in regard to each of these players. Joe Mauer, 1B Contract Status: Signed thru 2018 Mauer is in year six of his eight-year deal and this season is his third since being forced to move out from behind the plate. He has been one of the best defensive first baseman in the American League. His offensive numbers have lagged as he transitioned to first base but there have been flashes of the old Mauer this season as he has posted a .382 OBP and a .795 OPS. Mauer isn't going anywhere so he will be part of the big picture next season. Trevor Plouffe, 3B Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible 2017, Free Agent 2018 Plouffe's days in Minnesota seemed to be numbered and he might have already been traded if he were healthy leading into this year's trade deadline. Plouffe became serviceable at third base after working hard on his defense but those skills seem to be declining now that he is in his 30s. He's hit 14 or more home runs in each of the last four seasons and has a career OPS over .720. With younger and cheaper options already on the roster, this might be Plouffe's last season in Minnesota. Miguel Sano, 3B/DH Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible 2019, Free Agent 2022 There was probably little chance of Sano putting up the number he did during his 80 game rookie campaign. Things were going to come back down to earth. Minnesota's attempt to turn him into an outfielder was a massive failure and now he has struggled as he transitions back to third base. He currently ranks fifth on the team in fWAR and his 18 home runs are four behind Brian Dozier for the team lead. Even with the rumblings out the Twin Cities that Sano might not be working hard enough, he's still on track to be one of baseball's best power hitters. Kennys Vargas, 1B/DH Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible 2018, Free Agent 2022 Vargas has been up and down during his big league tenure. He showed some promising signs as a rookie back in 2014 with nine home runs and a .772 OPS across 53 games. Last year wasn't nearly as good as he struggled to hit over .240 and his slugging percentage dipped to .349. Since being recalled this season, Vargas has been one of the team's best hitters. Vargas is hitting .278/.404/.569 with 13 extra-base hits in 21 games. If he continues on this pace, Minnesota might have to consider him for the full-time DH role in 2017. Byung-Ho Park, 1B/DH Contract Status: Signed thru 2019, Team Option for 2020 Park held his own during the first month of the season with a .848 OPS and six home runs. Things took a nosedive from there as he hit .136/.224/.303 for the month of June. In 26 games since being demoted to Triple-A, he has hit nine home runs and compiled a .862 OPS. However, his batting average is .234 and he's only getting on base 31% of the time. With other players doing well in front of him, there doesn't look to be a spot for Mr. Park. His story line will be an interesting one to follow in the coming months. Even with this list of players, there are others making their way to Target Field that could be better suited for a designated hitter role. Adam Brett Walker continues to mash home runs at every level. Daniel Palka has been powerful during his first season in the organization and could be added to the 40-man roster in the off-season. Where do both of these players fit into the team's long-term plans? Minnesota's offense seems to be clicking so maybe having lots of power hitting options is a positive. This still leaves the new general manager with an interesting corner to paint himself out of during the offseason. Time will tell which players will make their marks for 2017 and beyond. If you are the GM, what corner infield options will be on your roster? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Click here to view the article
  12. In baseball, as in life, the only constant is change. The Terry Ryan Era has come to an end and with Rob Antony in charge, it will be an interesting couple of weeks until the trade deadline. In the short term, the change should not have any impact on the Twins Minor League organizations or day to day business with the affiliates, but when a new General Manager arrives later this year or during the offseason, expect to see a slew of changes.Transaction Report: Brandon Peterson promoted to Chattanooga Lookouts from Fort Myers Miracle, Brian Olson promoted to Fort Myers Miracle from Cedar Rapids Kernels, Brian Navarreto placed on the disabled list for the Fort Myers Miracle. Continue reading to find out more details about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Durham Bulls @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 after an inning, but came back to tie the game at 4-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-run single from Jorge Polanco. With one out and a man on first, the Wings had Daniel Palka up to bat and Adam Walker II on deck. They both struck out and play continued into the tenth inning, when manager Mike Quade was ejected and new pitcher Buddy Boshers gave up five runs, including a grand slam. Byung Ho Park was 3-5 with a double, a solo home run and a walk. Wilfredo Tovar also had a three-hit game, going 3-5 with a double. Jorge Polanco was 2-5 with a run scored, a solo home run, and the previously mentioned two-RBI single. Adam Walker was 2-5 with a solo home run and a walk. Jason Wheeler gave up four runs (one earned) on just five hits. He walked one and struck out seven. The Red Wings bullpen then went to work as D.J. Baxendale, Ryan O'Rourke and Alex Wimmers combined for 4.0 innings of scoreless ball. The trio of relievers struck out eight and gave up just three hits. And then Buddy Boshers came in and gave up five runs (all unearned), and was tagged with the loss. In 10 innings the Rochester staff struck out 17 batters and walked just 5. Final: Bulls 9, Red Wings 5 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mobile BayBears @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts didn't score until the bottom of the eighth inning, but they put 3 runs on the board which was enough to earn the win. Starter Stephen Gonsalves did not factor in the decision, but pitched a great game. He went 7.0 innings, gave up just a pair of hits, one run, walked two and he stuck out nine. Zack Jones earned the victory, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Trevor Hildenberger earned his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. The Lookouts were shut out for the first seven innings, and recorded just a handful of hits before that 3-run eight. Mitch Garver was 2-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the team. Edgar Corcino was 2-3 with a double and an RBI is of his own. Ryan Walker had the remaining RBI as part of an 0-3 night with 2 strike outs. Final: BayBears 1, Lookouts 3 MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers Box Score Down 5-2 after four innings of play, the Miracle made it as close as one run, but couldn't score late against the Flying Tigers' bullpen. Miracle Starter Miles Nordgren had a tough evening, giving up five runs (all earned) over 6.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two, struck out three, and gave up a pair of home runs. Luke Westphal gave up an eighth inning run, and Todd Van Steensel finished the game with 1.2 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out a pair along the way. T.J. White had HALF of the Miracle hits on Thursday night, 3-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and a pair of strike outs. Not much else going on for the Miracle, but Tanner Witt and Trey Vavra each picked up an RBI, and Chris Paul hit a double. Final: Flying Tigers 6, Miracle 4 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne TinCaps Box Score In Fort Wayne the Kernels were tied 2-2 after six innings, and needed an extra frame of baseball to pick up the victory. In the top of the 10th, Luis Arraez circled the bases with a triple down the right field line, advancing home on a throwing error. Williams Ramirez locked things down in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the lead, earning his fourth save of the season. Miracle starter Cody Stashak gave the Kernels a quality start with 6.0 innings. He gave up 6 hits, two earned runs, walked one and struck out two. Andrew Vasquez was phenomenal in relief, earning the victory thanks to 3.0 innings of one-hit baseball. Vasquez gave up just one hit and struck out six, before turning things over to Ramirez in the 10th. The Kernels struck out 13 times on the night and we just 1-7 with runners in scoring position, but a win is a win. Luis Arraez led the team with three hits, 3-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and a walk. Casey Scoggins, J.J. Fernandez, and Chris Ibarra also added two hits apiece. Final: Kernels 3, TinCaps 2 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Princeton Rays Box Score In an absolute slug-fest at Hunnicutt Field in West Virginia, the Twins crawled their way back to a one-run deficit at 9-10 before giving up six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Despite scoring nine runs, the Twins had zero extra-base hits. Mitchell Kranson led the team with four hits, 4-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Twins pitching struggled throughout, as you might expect. Starter Jose Martinez gave up six runs over 3.0 innings. Relievers Austin Tribby and Hector Lujan each pitched 2.0 innings, giving up four runs and six runs, respectively. Alex Robinson was the only pitcher, on either team, to leave the game unscathed, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Final: E-Twins 9, Rays 16 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins @ GCL Rays Box Score The Twins managed just six hits on the evening, two each from Jose Miranda (2-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk), and Gorge Munoz (2-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk). Starter Tyler Fox didn't make it out of the first inning, leaving the game after recording just one out. He was ultimately responsible for three runs, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out one. Taylor Clemensia came in and righted the ship, giving the Twins 3.2 innings of shutout baseball. He gave up no hits, walked one and struck out five. Clark Beeker gave up a pair of runs over 3.2 innings, and Onas Farfan recorded the final two outs of the game, one by strike out. Final: GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 5 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Cubs2 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early lead and were up 5-0 before the Cubs2 were on the board. The Twins scored all five runs on just six hits. Edgar Herrera led the team with two hits, part of a 2-4 night that included an RBI. The Twins pitching staff did not allow a single earned run on the evening. Starter Juan Mojica earned his second win of the season with 5.0 scoreless innings. Amilcar Cruz pitched 3.0 innings of relief and was charged with a pair of unearned runs. Fredderi Soto earned the save with a quick 1-2-3 ninth. Final: DSL Twins 5, GCL Cubs2 2 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Byung Ho Park, Rochester Pitcher of the Day - Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga TUESDAY'S PROBABLES Durham Bulls @ Rochester (6:05pm) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga - OFF Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Keaton Steele (4-8, 4.37) Cedar Rapids - OFF Kingsport Mets @ E-Twins (6:00pm) - Tyler Beardsley (0-0, 2.25) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD DSL Cubs 2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Monday games. Click here to view the article
  13. Transaction Report: Brandon Peterson promoted to Chattanooga Lookouts from Fort Myers Miracle, Brian Olson promoted to Fort Myers Miracle from Cedar Rapids Kernels, Brian Navarreto placed on the disabled list for the Fort Myers Miracle. Continue reading to find out more details about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Durham Bulls @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 after an inning, but came back to tie the game at 4-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-run single from Jorge Polanco. With one out and a man on first, the Wings had Daniel Palka up to bat and Adam Walker II on deck. They both struck out and play continued into the tenth inning, when manager Mike Quade was ejected and new pitcher Buddy Boshers gave up five runs, including a grand slam. Byung Ho Park was 3-5 with a double, a solo home run and a walk. Wilfredo Tovar also had a three-hit game, going 3-5 with a double. Jorge Polanco was 2-5 with a run scored, a solo home run, and the previously mentioned two-RBI single. Adam Walker was 2-5 with a solo home run and a walk. Jason Wheeler gave up four runs (one earned) on just five hits. He walked one and struck out seven. The Red Wings bullpen then went to work as D.J. Baxendale, Ryan O'Rourke and Alex Wimmers combined for 4.0 innings of scoreless ball. The trio of relievers struck out eight and gave up just three hits. And then Buddy Boshers came in and gave up five runs (all unearned), and was tagged with the loss. In 10 innings the Rochester staff struck out 17 batters and walked just 5. Final: Bulls 9, Red Wings 5 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mobile BayBears @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts didn't score until the bottom of the eighth inning, but they put 3 runs on the board which was enough to earn the win. Starter Stephen Gonsalves did not factor in the decision, but pitched a great game. He went 7.0 innings, gave up just a pair of hits, one run, walked two and he stuck out nine. Zack Jones earned the victory, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Trevor Hildenberger earned his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. The Lookouts were shut out for the first seven innings, and recorded just a handful of hits before that 3-run eight. Mitch Garver was 2-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the team. Edgar Corcino was 2-3 with a double and an RBI is of his own. Ryan Walker had the remaining RBI as part of an 0-3 night with 2 strike outs. Final: BayBears 1, Lookouts 3 MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers Box Score Down 5-2 after four innings of play, the Miracle made it as close as one run, but couldn't score late against the Flying Tigers' bullpen. Miracle Starter Miles Nordgren had a tough evening, giving up five runs (all earned) over 6.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two, struck out three, and gave up a pair of home runs. Luke Westphal gave up an eighth inning run, and Todd Van Steensel finished the game with 1.2 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out a pair along the way. T.J. White had HALF of the Miracle hits on Thursday night, 3-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and a pair of strike outs. Not much else going on for the Miracle, but Tanner Witt and Trey Vavra each picked up an RBI, and Chris Paul hit a double. Final: Flying Tigers 6, Miracle 4 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne TinCaps Box Score In Fort Wayne the Kernels were tied 2-2 after six innings, and needed an extra frame of baseball to pick up the victory. In the top of the 10th, Luis Arraez circled the bases with a triple down the right field line, advancing home on a throwing error. Williams Ramirez locked things down in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the lead, earning his fourth save of the season. Miracle starter Cody Stashak gave the Kernels a quality start with 6.0 innings. He gave up 6 hits, two earned runs, walked one and struck out two. Andrew Vasquez was phenomenal in relief, earning the victory thanks to 3.0 innings of one-hit baseball. Vasquez gave up just one hit and struck out six, before turning things over to Ramirez in the 10th. The Kernels struck out 13 times on the night and we just 1-7 with runners in scoring position, but a win is a win. Luis Arraez led the team with three hits, 3-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and a walk. Casey Scoggins, J.J. Fernandez, and Chris Ibarra also added two hits apiece. Final: Kernels 3, TinCaps 2 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Princeton Rays Box Score In an absolute slug-fest at Hunnicutt Field in West Virginia, the Twins crawled their way back to a one-run deficit at 9-10 before giving up six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Despite scoring nine runs, the Twins had zero extra-base hits. Mitchell Kranson led the team with four hits, 4-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Twins pitching struggled throughout, as you might expect. Starter Jose Martinez gave up six runs over 3.0 innings. Relievers Austin Tribby and Hector Lujan each pitched 2.0 innings, giving up four runs and six runs, respectively. Alex Robinson was the only pitcher, on either team, to leave the game unscathed, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Final: E-Twins 9, Rays 16 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins @ GCL Rays Box Score The Twins managed just six hits on the evening, two each from Jose Miranda (2-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk), and Gorge Munoz (2-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk). Starter Tyler Fox didn't make it out of the first inning, leaving the game after recording just one out. He was ultimately responsible for three runs, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out one. Taylor Clemensia came in and righted the ship, giving the Twins 3.2 innings of shutout baseball. He gave up no hits, walked one and struck out five. Clark Beeker gave up a pair of runs over 3.2 innings, and Onas Farfan recorded the final two outs of the game, one by strike out. Final: GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 5 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Cubs2 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early lead and were up 5-0 before the Cubs2 were on the board. The Twins scored all five runs on just six hits. Edgar Herrera led the team with two hits, part of a 2-4 night that included an RBI. The Twins pitching staff did not allow a single earned run on the evening. Starter Juan Mojica earned his second win of the season with 5.0 scoreless innings. Amilcar Cruz pitched 3.0 innings of relief and was charged with a pair of unearned runs. Fredderi Soto earned the save with a quick 1-2-3 ninth. Final: DSL Twins 5, GCL Cubs2 2 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Byung Ho Park, Rochester Pitcher of the Day - Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga TUESDAY'S PROBABLES Durham Bulls @ Rochester (6:05pm) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga - OFF Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Keaton Steele (4-8, 4.37) Cedar Rapids - OFF Kingsport Mets @ E-Twins (6:00pm) - Tyler Beardsley (0-0, 2.25) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD DSL Cubs 2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Monday games.
  14. If the season started 10 games ago, the Twins would have the second best record in the American League. Too bad the twins have been terrible for the better part of four months. To make things worse, the Twins sent struggling Byron Buxton to Rochester to make room for Trevor Plouffe who is activated from the Disabled List. Continue reading to find out more detail about Saturday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Rochester @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs Box Score Byung Ho Park had another rough day, 0-4 with a strike out, as the Red Wings were rocked by the IronPigs. Buck Britton led the offensive charge, 2-4 with a double and a run scored. The pitching staff didn't fare much better, as starter Jason Wheeler gave up four earned runs over 6.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked four, struck out one and gave up a home run. Alex Wimmers had a terrible relief stint, managing just 0.2 innings, giving up five runs (three earned), via five hits. Sean Burnett finished the inning, striking out the only batter he faced. Neil Ramirez gave up a run in the bottom of the eighth to finish the game. Final: Red Wings 1, IronPigs 10 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Jacksonville Suns @ Chattanooga Box Score More Omar Bencomo, more of the time! Bencomo gave the Suns fits over 7.0 innings. Bencomo gave up just two hits. He walked one and struck out five. Raul Fernandez and Ryan Eades each gave the Lookouts an inning of scoreless relief to complete a 3-hit shutout. The Lookouts only tallied six hits of their own, but two of them were doubles, and two more of them went over the fence, so that was plenty. Ryan Walker led the way with a 2-3 night, with a double, a home run, two runs scored, two RBIs, and a walk. Nike Goodrum had a two-run dinger as part of his 1-4 night. Zach Granite had a nice night as well, 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Final: Suns 0, Lookouts 4 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ Charlotte Stone Crabs Box Score Fort Myers only gave up one hit, but they gave up TWO runs! To make matters worse, they only managed three hits of their own, scoring just one run, in a tough loss. Dereck Rodriguez was tagged with the loss in his Fort Myers debut, despite 7.0 innings of one hit ball. He gave up two runs, walked two, and struck out six. Cam Booser added a clean inning of relief, sending the Stone Crabs down 1-2-3. Tough night with the sticks for the Miracle, who teamed up for seven strike outs, two walks, and those same three hits. The Miracle scored their lone run on a solo home run from Chris Paul (1-4). Final: Miracle 1, Stone Crabs 2 KERNELS KORNER Peoria Chiefs @ Cedar Rapids Box Score The Chiefs put up three runs in the top of the first against Tyler Beardsley, and then had just one more hit the rest of the night. Beardsley pitched 5.0 innings, gave up three hits, three runs, walked four and struck out one. He was replaced by Williams Ramirez, who had a spectacular relief outing, going three full innings giving up just one hit. Max Cordy pitched the bottom of the ninth. He was a little rocky, walking two batters, but struck out two and kept the Chiefs off the board. Leadoff man Christian Ibarra led the way for the Kernels, he was 2-4 with a solo home run. Luis Arraez and Casey Scoggins each added two hits of their own. Final: Chiefs 3, Kernels 2 E-TWINS E-NOTES Danville Braves @ Elizabethton Postponed, rain. Will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Monday. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Ryan Walker - Chattanooga Pitcher of the Day - Omar Bencomo - Chattanooga MONDAY'S PROBABLES Rochester - OFF Chattanooga - David Hurlbut (7-6, 3.62) Fort Myers - Keaton Steele (5-9, 4.21) Cedar Rapids - Sam Gibbons (5-3, 5.00) E-Twins - Game 1 - Jose Martinez (1-3, 7.36) E-Twins - Game 2 - TBD GCL Twins - TBD DSL Twins - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Sunday games. -ERolf
  15. There will be quite the log jam set up when Trevor Plouffe comes off of the disabled list early next week. There was some talk of Miguel Sano being optioned to Rochester, but that’s not likely. Kennys Vargas has been better in this go-round with the Twins. Meanwhile, Byung Ho Park, Adam Brett Walker and Daniel Palka are providing a powerful punch in the middle of the Rochester lineup. It will be interesting to see what happens. Speaking of power in Rochester, how about the back-end of the bullpen with JT Chargois and Pat Light throwing gas?There were a couple of transactions of note on Friday as well: Brian Olson was sent from Ft. Myers to the GCL.Logan Lombana returned to the Miracle following his 80-game suspension.Miguel De Jesus was promoted from the GCL to Elizabethton.With that, let’s get to the Minor League Report for Friday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Lehigh Valley 2 Box Score The Red Wings didn’t score a lot, but they got the big hit that they needed near the end to pick up the win. Nick Greenwood made another start. The lefty gave up two runs (one earned) on eight hits over the first seven innings. He struck out two and walked none. Ryan O’Rourke continued to pitch well with a perfect inning including two strikeouts. Pat Light topped 100 a few times in his perfect ninth inning. He struck out one. Byung Ho Park played hero in this one. He went 2-4 and in the top of the 8th inning, his 10th Red Wings homer gave them the 3-2 lead. Trevor Plouffe continued his rehab. He went 1-4 with a double. Reynaldo Rodriguez and Logan Schafer each had a double. Adam Walker hit his 22nd home run of the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Jacksonville 7 Box Score Aaron Slegers took the loss as he was charged with four runs on six hits in five innings. However, all four runs were unearned. He struck out four without issuing a walk. Brandon Peterson came in and gave up two runs on one hit in two innings. He walked four and struck out four. Zack Jones gave up a run on three hits over his two innings. He struck out three. Former Twins prospect Chris Mazza started for Jacksonville and went the first five innings to earn his fourth win of the season. Ryan Walker led the offense. He went 3-4. Zack Granite went 2-3 with a walk. Niko Goodrum went 2-2 with two walks and his third home run. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Charlotte 1 Box Score Cody Stashak made his Miracle debut on Friday night and pitched well. He gave up one run on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out four and earned his first win. Mike Theofanopoulos go the next four outs, three of them on strikeouts (though he did give up a hit and walked two). Nick Anderson recorded his fourth save. He got the final five outs without allowing a run. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out one. Chris Paul provided the Miracle with their big blast. His first Miracle home run of the season was a three-run shot. He went 2-4. Tanner English returned to the Miracle after being on the disabled list for about three months. He hit his third double and first triple in his four at-bats. Nick Gordon was also 2-4. Joe Maloney went 2-3. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 7 (Completion of Suspended game) Box Score Lightning, wind and torrential rains caused Thursday night’s game to be suspended. On Friday they completed that game before playing the regularly-scheduled game. Eddie Del Rosario pitched the first four innings on Thursday. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Andrew Vasquez started on the mound when the game resumed. The lefty threw three shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, hit one and struck out five. Tom Hackimer came one and worked the eighth and ninth innings. He gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits, a walk and two hit batters to take the loss. Zander Wiel continued to hit. He went 2-4 with his 13th homer of the season. Chris Ibarra was 2-4 with his fourth double. Nelson Molina went 1-3 with his first home run of the year. Luis Arraez went 1-2 on Thursday and did not play due to injury on Friday night. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 7 (regularly-scheduled game) Box Score Miles Nordgren made his first start since his return to the Kernels. He gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out four. Michael Cederoth worked the final two innings. He gave up one hit and walked two but did not allow a run. He struck out three. Chris Ibarra hit his fifth and sixth doubles in four at-bats with an RBI. Rainis Silva went 2-3 with an RBI. Zander Wiel drove in the third run. Per Jeff Johnson, Luis Arraez has a bump/bruise on his right wrist. He will be meeting with doctors on Saturday. Also, Nelson Molina took a ground ball off of the nose but hopes to keep playing. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 14, Johnson City 1 Box Score Alex Schik was the beneficiary of a big night of offense to earn his third win of the year. In his 5.1 innings, he gave up one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out four. Domenick Carlini threw 2.2 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and struck out two. Johan Quezada walked two in a scoreless ninth inning. The Twins put up 14 runs on 17 hits. Eight of the nine starters reached base at least twice. Amaurys Minier, however, went 0-5 with four strikeouts. Here is the rest of the lineup: Brandon Lopez went 3-5 with a walk and his fifth double. Travis Blankenhorn was 3-6 with his seventh double and ninth home run. Alex Kirilloff went 2-6. Lewin Diaz was 3-6 with his 12th double. Shane Carrier went 2-4 with his fifth home run and three RBI. Minier batted sixth. Caleb Hamilton went 1-3, walked twice and hit his first triple. Trey Cabbage went 2-4 with a walk and his fourth double. Robert Molina added his first double of the season. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 2 Box Score Taylor Clemensia put together another solid start. The left-hander from the Netherlands went the first five innings and gave up just two runs. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out four. Tyler Fox came on in relief and worked the final three innings. He walked one, hit one and struck out one, but did not allow any runs. Aaron Whitefield continued to play well. He went 1-3 with a walk, his fourth double and his 20th stolen base. Jorge Munoz went 1-4 with his sixth double. He drove in Whitefield with the lone run for the Twins. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cody Stashak, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Elizabethton Twins SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Lehigh Valley (5:35 CST) - LHP Andrew Albers Jacksonville @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (9:00 am CST) - LHP Bo Hellquist Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games. Click here to view the article
  16. There were a couple of transactions of note on Friday as well: Brian Olson was sent from Ft. Myers to the GCL. Logan Lombana returned to the Miracle following his 80-game suspension. Miguel De Jesus was promoted from the GCL to Elizabethton. With that, let’s get to the Minor League Report for Friday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Lehigh Valley 2 Box Score The Red Wings didn’t score a lot, but they got the big hit that they needed near the end to pick up the win. Nick Greenwood made another start. The lefty gave up two runs (one earned) on eight hits over the first seven innings. He struck out two and walked none. Ryan O’Rourke continued to pitch well with a perfect inning including two strikeouts. Pat Light topped 100 a few times in his perfect ninth inning. He struck out one. Byung Ho Park played hero in this one. He went 2-4 and in the top of the 8th inning, his 10th Red Wings homer gave them the 3-2 lead. Trevor Plouffe continued his rehab. He went 1-4 with a double. Reynaldo Rodriguez and Logan Schafer each had a double. Adam Walker hit his 22nd home run of the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Jacksonville 7 Box Score Aaron Slegers took the loss as he was charged with four runs on six hits in five innings. However, all four runs were unearned. He struck out four without issuing a walk. Brandon Peterson came in and gave up two runs on one hit in two innings. He walked four and struck out four. Zack Jones gave up a run on three hits over his two innings. He struck out three. Former Twins prospect Chris Mazza started for Jacksonville and went the first five innings to earn his fourth win of the season. Ryan Walker led the offense. He went 3-4. Zack Granite went 2-3 with a walk. Niko Goodrum went 2-2 with two walks and his third home run. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Charlotte 1 Box Score Cody Stashak made his Miracle debut on Friday night and pitched well. He gave up one run on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out four and earned his first win. Mike Theofanopoulos go the next four outs, three of them on strikeouts (though he did give up a hit and walked two). Nick Anderson recorded his fourth save. He got the final five outs without allowing a run. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out one. Chris Paul provided the Miracle with their big blast. His first Miracle home run of the season was a three-run shot. He went 2-4. Tanner English returned to the Miracle after being on the disabled list for about three months. He hit his third double and first triple in his four at-bats. Nick Gordon was also 2-4. Joe Maloney went 2-3. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 7 (Completion of Suspended game) Box Score Lightning, wind and torrential rains caused Thursday night’s game to be suspended. On Friday they completed that game before playing the regularly-scheduled game. Eddie Del Rosario pitched the first four innings on Thursday. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Andrew Vasquez started on the mound when the game resumed. The lefty threw three shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, hit one and struck out five. Tom Hackimer came one and worked the eighth and ninth innings. He gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits, a walk and two hit batters to take the loss. Zander Wiel continued to hit. He went 2-4 with his 13th homer of the season. Chris Ibarra was 2-4 with his fourth double. Nelson Molina went 1-3 with his first home run of the year. Luis Arraez went 1-2 on Thursday and did not play due to injury on Friday night. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 7 (regularly-scheduled game) Box Score Miles Nordgren made his first start since his return to the Kernels. He gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out four. Michael Cederoth worked the final two innings. He gave up one hit and walked two but did not allow a run. He struck out three. Chris Ibarra hit his fifth and sixth doubles in four at-bats with an RBI. Rainis Silva went 2-3 with an RBI. Zander Wiel drove in the third run. Per Jeff Johnson, Luis Arraez has a bump/bruise on his right wrist. He will be meeting with doctors on Saturday. Also, Nelson Molina took a ground ball off of the nose but hopes to keep playing. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 14, Johnson City 1 Box Score Alex Schik was the beneficiary of a big night of offense to earn his third win of the year. In his 5.1 innings, he gave up one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out four. Domenick Carlini threw 2.2 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and struck out two. Johan Quezada walked two in a scoreless ninth inning. The Twins put up 14 runs on 17 hits. Eight of the nine starters reached base at least twice. Amaurys Minier, however, went 0-5 with four strikeouts. Here is the rest of the lineup: Brandon Lopez went 3-5 with a walk and his fifth double. Travis Blankenhorn was 3-6 with his seventh double and ninth home run. Alex Kirilloff went 2-6. Lewin Diaz was 3-6 with his 12th double. Shane Carrier went 2-4 with his fifth home run and three RBI. Minier batted sixth. Caleb Hamilton went 1-3, walked twice and hit his first triple. Trey Cabbage went 2-4 with a walk and his fourth double. Robert Molina added his first double of the season. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 2 Box Score Taylor Clemensia put together another solid start. The left-hander from the Netherlands went the first five innings and gave up just two runs. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out four. Tyler Fox came on in relief and worked the final three innings. He walked one, hit one and struck out one, but did not allow any runs. Aaron Whitefield continued to play well. He went 1-3 with a walk, his fourth double and his 20th stolen base. Jorge Munoz went 1-4 with his sixth double. He drove in Whitefield with the lone run for the Twins. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cody Stashak, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Elizabethton Twins SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Lehigh Valley (5:35 CST) - LHP Andrew Albers Jacksonville @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (9:00 am CST) - LHP Bo Hellquist Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games.
  17. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 13, Pawtucket 5 Box Score Byung Ho Park has been on a tear of late. In Thursday morning’s game, he put on a show, and he wasn’t the only one. He went 3-5 and in his last three at bats, he hit home runs and drove in five runs. He now has hit eight home runs in the last ten games. Daniel Palka provided the early offense. He went 3-5 with his sixth double and fifth home run (26th overall) of the season. He drove in three runs. Jorge Polanco went 3-5 with two runs and two RBIs in what will hopefully be his final game with the Red Wings. John Ryan Murphy went 3-4. Logan Schafer was 2-5 with his third Red Wings homer. Jason Wheeler didn’t have his best start, but he did improve to 8-2 with an ERA of 2.70. The lefty went five innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. Marcus Walden came on and gave up one run on three hits over two innings. He struck out three. Alex Wimmers pitched the eighth inning. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out two. Sean Burnett worked a quiet ninth. The Red Wings are now 61-46 on the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 3 Box Score Tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Edgar Corcino led off with his second hit of the game. He advanced to second base on a bunt. A Levi Michael single pushed Corcino to third base. Zach Granite came to the plate and played hero when he singled in Corcino with the game-winning run. The Lookouts improved to 54-49. Levi Michael went 3-3 in the game. Corcino was 2-4 and stole his first base with the Lookouts. Ryan Walker went 2-4 with his seventh double. Mitch Garver was also 2-4. David Hurlbut started for Chattanooga. The lefty gave up two runs on four hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six batters. Mason Melotakis pitched the eighth inning. He gave up the game-tying run on one hit and one walk . Raul Fernandez got the win thanks to a perfect ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Box Score The Miracle enjoyed a rare off day. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 0 Box Score The Kernels put together a terrific pitching performance on Thursday night and were able to complete the shutout. They improve to 56-46 overall on the season. Australian Sam Gibbons recently returned to the rotation and appears to be showing some glimpses of what Kernels fans saw last year. He threw six shutout innings to improve to 5-3 on the year. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four. Kuo Hua Lo gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Anthony McIver threw two perfect innings, striking out two, to notch his sixth save. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk and an RBI double. He now has ten doubles on the year. The other run was driven in by a single from Sean Miller. Chris Ibarra went 2-3 with a walk. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1 - Elizabethton 2, Bristol 4 Box Score Ryan Mason provided the E-Twins with something of value. He pitched the complete game, but he fell to 0-2 on the season. The right-hander gave up four runs on seven hits in his six innings. He walked none and struck out four. Caleb Hamilton, a 2016 draft pick from Oregon State, knocked his first professional homer. He was 2-3 in the game. Brandon Lopez went 1-1, added a walk and a sacrifice fly drove in the second run for the Twins. He also stole his second base. There were supposed to be two games. The second game had barely started when the rains came. They postponed Game 2 and will play two seven inning games on Friday. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 5, GCL Orioles 0 Box Score It was a well-rounded game for the GCL Twins. Of course, it all starts with pitching. Florida Gulf Coast grad Brady Anderson made another strong start. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five to improve to 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA. Jordan Balazovic came on for his second appearance and recorded his first professional save. He worked the final three innings. He had two strikeouts and the other seven batters grounded out. Jose Miranda led the offense. He went 2-3 with his fourth double and two RBIs. Jorge Munoz went 2-4 with his fifth double. Heiker Meneses, still rehabbing, went 2-3. Aaron Whitefield went 1-3 with a walk and stole his 16th base. Roni Tapia has just three hits so far this season, but two of them are home runs. The second came in Thursday’s game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sam Gibbons, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Byung Ho Park, Rochester Red Wings FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Tennessee @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - LHP Sam Clay Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario Elizabethton @ Bristol (DH @ 5:00 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen & TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
  18. Rob Antony jumped into the trade market after Thursday night’s game by trading All-Star Eduardo Nunez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Triple-A left-handed pitcher Adalberto Mejia. Jorge Polanco was recalled from Rochester. Polanco and the Red Wings had a strong offensive output on Thursday including a huge game from Byung Ho Park. Find out what Park and his teammates did as well as the rest of the scores and highlights from the Twins affiliates on Thursday.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 13, Pawtucket 5 Box Score Byung Ho Park has been on a tear of late. In Thursday morning’s game, he put on a show, and he wasn’t the only one. He went 3-5 and in his last three at bats, he hit home runs and drove in five runs. He now has hit eight home runs in the last ten games. Daniel Palka provided the early offense. He went 3-5 with his sixth double and fifth home run (26th overall) of the season. He drove in three runs. Jorge Polanco went 3-5 with two runs and two RBIs in what will hopefully be his final game with the Red Wings. John Ryan Murphy went 3-4. Logan Schafer was 2-5 with his third Red Wings homer. Jason Wheeler didn’t have his best start, but he did improve to 8-2 with an ERA of 2.70. The lefty went five innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. Marcus Walden came on and gave up one run on three hits over two innings. He struck out three. Alex Wimmers pitched the eighth inning. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out two. Sean Burnett worked a quiet ninth. The Red Wings are now 61-46 on the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 3 Box Score Tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Edgar Corcino led off with his second hit of the game. He advanced to second base on a bunt. A Levi Michael single pushed Corcino to third base. Zach Granite came to the plate and played hero when he singled in Corcino with the game-winning run. The Lookouts improved to 54-49. Levi Michael went 3-3 in the game. Corcino was 2-4 and stole his first base with the Lookouts. Ryan Walker went 2-4 with his seventh double. Mitch Garver was also 2-4. David Hurlbut started for Chattanooga. The lefty gave up two runs on four hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six batters. Mason Melotakis pitched the eighth inning. He gave up the game-tying run on one hit and one walk . Raul Fernandez got the win thanks to a perfect ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Box Score The Miracle enjoyed a rare off day. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 0 Box Score The Kernels put together a terrific pitching performance on Thursday night and were able to complete the shutout. They improve to 56-46 overall on the season. Australian Sam Gibbons recently returned to the rotation and appears to be showing some glimpses of what Kernels fans saw last year. He threw six shutout innings to improve to 5-3 on the year. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four. Kuo Hua Lo gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Anthony McIver threw two perfect innings, striking out two, to notch his sixth save. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk and an RBI double. He now has ten doubles on the year. The other run was driven in by a single from Sean Miller. Chris Ibarra went 2-3 with a walk. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1 - Elizabethton 2, Bristol 4 Box Score Ryan Mason provided the E-Twins with something of value. He pitched the complete game, but he fell to 0-2 on the season. The right-hander gave up four runs on seven hits in his six innings. He walked none and struck out four. Caleb Hamilton, a 2016 draft pick from Oregon State, knocked his first professional homer. He was 2-3 in the game. Brandon Lopez went 1-1, added a walk and a sacrifice fly drove in the second run for the Twins. He also stole his second base. There were supposed to be two games. The second game had barely started when the rains came. They postponed Game 2 and will play two seven inning games on Friday. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 5, GCL Orioles 0 Box Score It was a well-rounded game for the GCL Twins. Of course, it all starts with pitching. Florida Gulf Coast grad Brady Anderson made another strong start. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five to improve to 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA. Jordan Balazovic came on for his second appearance and recorded his first professional save. He worked the final three innings. He had two strikeouts and the other seven batters grounded out. Jose Miranda led the offense. He went 2-3 with his fourth double and two RBIs. Jorge Munoz went 2-4 with his fifth double. Heiker Meneses, still rehabbing, went 2-3. Aaron Whitefield went 1-3 with a walk and stole his 16th base. Roni Tapia has just three hits so far this season, but two of them are home runs. The second came in Thursday’s game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sam Gibbons, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Byung Ho Park, Rochester Red Wings FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Tennessee @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - LHP Sam Clay Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario Elizabethton @ Bristol (DH @ 5:00 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen & TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games. Click here to view the article
  19. The Rochester Red Wings made the 90 mile drive east to Syracuse. The bus was full. They remembered their bats and their hitting shoes as they put together a tremendous offensive outburst. Not to be outshone, their pitchers put in a great night’s work too. The Miracle ended a streak thanks to a quality start from one of the organization’s top pitching prospects. It was one of four quality starts in the Twins system on the day. Without further adieu…For much more information on the scores and highlights from all six of the Twins minor league affiliates in the States, please continue reading. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 11, Syracuse 0 Box Score It was a big night for the Red Wings hitters, but I’ll always maintain that if a team throws a shutout, we’ll talk about the pitching first. Jason Wheeler improved to 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA with some fine pitching (and help from the offense). The left-hander threw 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out six. Neil Ramirez made his first Red Wings appearance since being outrighted earlier in the week. He gave up two hits, but he go four outs. Marcus Walden gave up one hit in his scoreless inning. Following the win, Red Wings fantastic radio voice Josh Whetzel noted on Twitter that the 11-0 win was the widest margin of victory for the Red Wings since June of 2013. Their 22 hits where the most by the team since August of 2004. All nine starters had at least one hit. James Beresford led the way with a 5-6 game. It was the first five-hit game by a Red Wings hitter in about two years, when Wilkin Ramirez did it (Again, per Whetzel). He is now hitting .285 on the season. Jorge Polanco went 3-6 with his 14th double. Daniel Palka went 3-6 with his fourth and fifth Red Wings doubles. Byung Ho Park went 3-5 with a walk and his fifth home run. It was the third straight game he has homered. Carlos Paulino went 2-3 with two walks. Darin Mastroianni and Wilfredo Tovar each had two hits. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Jackson 2 Box Score For the second straight game, the Lookouts fell to Jackson. For the second straight start, Felix Jorge was the tough-luck losing pitcher. In this game, he gave up two runs on three hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out three. 71 of his 98 pitches were strikes. Jake Reed struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. Shannon Wilkerson went 2-4. Engelb Vielma notched his fourth double. Dalton Hicks doubled for the 23rd time. Mitch Garver hit his 22nd double, and he also stole his first base. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 9, Clearwater 4 Box Score The Miracle offense came through, and the team was able to snap a five-game losing streak. Nick Gordon led the way. He went 2-5 with his third home run and four RBIs. TJ White went 2-6 with his 10th double. LaMonte Wade went 2-5 with his fifth double. Trey Vavra was 1-2 with two walks and was also hit by a pitch. Alex Perez went 2-4 with a walk. Fernando Romero was on the mound for the Miracle. He went the first seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Romero improved to 3-1 with an ERA of 2.50. John Curtiss struck out two in a perfect eighth. Luke Bard struck out two in the ninth, though he gave up one run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4 Dayton 6 (10 innings) Box Score Eduardo Del Rosario has certainly had his struggles in his nine starts. However, on Saturday night, he posted his second straight quality start. He gave up three runs on four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Williams Ramirez gave up the tying run in his two innings. He walked two and struck out three. Anthony McIver threw a scoreless ninth inning, but he was charged with two unearned runs in the tenth to take the loss. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-5 with his eighth double. Sean Miller hit his 15th RBI. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Johnson City 5 Box Score Lewin Diaz posted his second straight three-hit game. He went 3-5 with his 11th double and is hitting .338. Alex Kirilloff went 2-4 with his fourth home run. His average is now .367. Bryant Hayman went 2-4. Sean Poppen worked the first 5.2 innings. He gave up four runs (1 earned) on seven hits and a walk while strikeout out five. He got the win and went 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA. Austin Tribby gave up a run on three hits over the next 1.2 innings. He walked two. Patrick McGuff recorded the final five outs for his first professional save.. Three of them came on strikeouts. McGuff was the Twins 39th-round pick in June out of Morehead State. He began his pro career with 5.2 scoreless innings in the GCL (0 BB, 9 K). He was promoted to Elizabethton where he is yet to give up a run in five appearances as 7.2 innings. He has struck out 15. So a quick glimpse at his overall numbers as a professional: 13.1 innings, 0 runs, 24 strikeouts. That’s a pretty strong first impression. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 5 (12 innings, completion of Friday’s suspended game) Box Score Some of this will be a repeat from yesterday’s report but here is the game’s complete recap. The first nine innings of the game were played on Friday, but the rains came and caused the suspension of the game until Saturday. The game resumed, and they needed 12 innings but it was decided on an unearned run. Brady Anderson started the game and threw six shutout innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six. Jordan Balazovic made his professional debut with two innings on Friday. He gave up a hit and walked one but gave up no runs in an inning. He struck out one. Matz Schutte threw the ninth inning. He got just two outs and was charged with five runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks. Both of the outs he got came on strikeouts. Clark Beeker took over on Saturday and worked 2.1 innings. He gave up just the unearned run in the 12th inning. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three. Jorge Andrade wente 2-5 with a walk, his fifth double and his fifth stolen base. Aaron Whitefield went 2-6 and stole two bases. Jorge Munoz went 2-6 with his fifth double. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-4. Roni Tapia hit his second home run of the season. GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 7 (10 innings, regularly-scheduled game) Box Score Of course, the regularly-scheduled game needed extra innings too. Taylor Clemensia started. He gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out four. Daniel Martinez came in and gave up one run in his 2.1 innings. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out four. Callan Pearce gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in 1.2 innings. He struck out one. Matt Jones pitched the tenth inning. He gave up a run on two walks in the inning. Akil Baddoo went 1-3 with two walks and his first professional home run. He also stole his second and third stolen bases. Heiker Meneses played another rehab game. He went 1-3 with two walks. Aaron Whitefield went 2-4 with a walk. He stole three more bases. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – James Beresford, Rochester Red Wings SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (12:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (12:00 CST) - RHP Miles Nordgren Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Jose Martinez GCL Twins - No Sunday Games. Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games. Click here to view the article
  20. For much more information on the scores and highlights from all six of the Twins minor league affiliates in the States, please continue reading. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 11, Syracuse 0 Box Score It was a big night for the Red Wings hitters, but I’ll always maintain that if a team throws a shutout, we’ll talk about the pitching first. Jason Wheeler improved to 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA with some fine pitching (and help from the offense). The left-hander threw 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out six. Neil Ramirez made his first Red Wings appearance since being outrighted earlier in the week. He gave up two hits, but he go four outs. Marcus Walden gave up one hit in his scoreless inning. Following the win, Red Wings fantastic radio voice Josh Whetzel noted on Twitter that the 11-0 win was the widest margin of victory for the Red Wings since June of 2013. Their 22 hits where the most by the team since August of 2004. All nine starters had at least one hit. James Beresford led the way with a 5-6 game. It was the first five-hit game by a Red Wings hitter in about two years, when Wilkin Ramirez did it (Again, per Whetzel). He is now hitting .285 on the season. Jorge Polanco went 3-6 with his 14th double. Daniel Palka went 3-6 with his fourth and fifth Red Wings doubles. Byung Ho Park went 3-5 with a walk and his fifth home run. It was the third straight game he has homered. Carlos Paulino went 2-3 with two walks. Darin Mastroianni and Wilfredo Tovar each had two hits. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Jackson 2 Box Score For the second straight game, the Lookouts fell to Jackson. For the second straight start, Felix Jorge was the tough-luck losing pitcher. In this game, he gave up two runs on three hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out three. 71 of his 98 pitches were strikes. Jake Reed struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. Shannon Wilkerson went 2-4. Engelb Vielma notched his fourth double. Dalton Hicks doubled for the 23rd time. Mitch Garver hit his 22nd double, and he also stole his first base. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 9, Clearwater 4 Box Score The Miracle offense came through, and the team was able to snap a five-game losing streak. Nick Gordon led the way. He went 2-5 with his third home run and four RBIs. TJ White went 2-6 with his 10th double. LaMonte Wade went 2-5 with his fifth double. Trey Vavra was 1-2 with two walks and was also hit by a pitch. Alex Perez went 2-4 with a walk. Fernando Romero was on the mound for the Miracle. He went the first seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Romero improved to 3-1 with an ERA of 2.50. John Curtiss struck out two in a perfect eighth. Luke Bard struck out two in the ninth, though he gave up one run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4 Dayton 6 (10 innings) Box Score Eduardo Del Rosario has certainly had his struggles in his nine starts. However, on Saturday night, he posted his second straight quality start. He gave up three runs on four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Williams Ramirez gave up the tying run in his two innings. He walked two and struck out three. Anthony McIver threw a scoreless ninth inning, but he was charged with two unearned runs in the tenth to take the loss. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-5 with his eighth double. Sean Miller hit his 15th RBI. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Johnson City 5 Box Score Lewin Diaz posted his second straight three-hit game. He went 3-5 with his 11th double and is hitting .338. Alex Kirilloff went 2-4 with his fourth home run. His average is now .367. Bryant Hayman went 2-4. Sean Poppen worked the first 5.2 innings. He gave up four runs (1 earned) on seven hits and a walk while strikeout out five. He got the win and went 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA. Austin Tribby gave up a run on three hits over the next 1.2 innings. He walked two. Patrick McGuff recorded the final five outs for his first professional save.. Three of them came on strikeouts. McGuff was the Twins 39th-round pick in June out of Morehead State. He began his pro career with 5.2 scoreless innings in the GCL (0 BB, 9 K). He was promoted to Elizabethton where he is yet to give up a run in five appearances as 7.2 innings. He has struck out 15. So a quick glimpse at his overall numbers as a professional: 13.1 innings, 0 runs, 24 strikeouts. That’s a pretty strong first impression. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 5 (12 innings, completion of Friday’s suspended game) Box Score Some of this will be a repeat from yesterday’s report but here is the game’s complete recap. The first nine innings of the game were played on Friday, but the rains came and caused the suspension of the game until Saturday. The game resumed, and they needed 12 innings but it was decided on an unearned run. Brady Anderson started the game and threw six shutout innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six. Jordan Balazovic made his professional debut with two innings on Friday. He gave up a hit and walked one but gave up no runs in an inning. He struck out one. Matz Schutte threw the ninth inning. He got just two outs and was charged with five runs (four earned) on three hits and two walks. Both of the outs he got came on strikeouts. Clark Beeker took over on Saturday and worked 2.1 innings. He gave up just the unearned run in the 12th inning. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three. Jorge Andrade wente 2-5 with a walk, his fifth double and his fifth stolen base. Aaron Whitefield went 2-6 and stole two bases. Jorge Munoz went 2-6 with his fifth double. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-4. Roni Tapia hit his second home run of the season. GCL Twins 6, GCL Red Sox 7 (10 innings, regularly-scheduled game) Box Score Of course, the regularly-scheduled game needed extra innings too. Taylor Clemensia started. He gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out four. Daniel Martinez came in and gave up one run in his 2.1 innings. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out four. Callan Pearce gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in 1.2 innings. He struck out one. Matt Jones pitched the tenth inning. He gave up a run on two walks in the inning. Akil Baddoo went 1-3 with two walks and his first professional home run. He also stole his second and third stolen bases. Heiker Meneses played another rehab game. He went 1-3 with two walks. Aaron Whitefield went 2-4 with a walk. He stole three more bases. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – James Beresford, Rochester Red Wings SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (12:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (12:00 CST) - RHP Miles Nordgren Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Jose Martinez GCL Twins - No Sunday Games. Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games.
  21. In baseball, and in life, the only constant is change. The Terry Ryan era has come to an end and with Rob Antony in charge, it will be an interesting couple of weeks until the trade deadline. In the short term, the change should not have any impact on the Twins Minor League organizations or day to day business with the affiliates, but when a new General Manager arrives later this year or during the offseason, expect to see a slew of changes. Transaction Report: Brandon Peterson promoted to Chattanooga Lookouts from Fort Myers Miracle, Brian Olson promoted to Fort Myers Miracle from Cedar Rapids Kernels, Brian Navarreto placed on the disabled list for the Fort Myers Miracle. Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Durham Bulls @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 after an inning, but came back to tie the game at 4-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-run single from Jorge Polanco. With one out and a man on first, the Wings had Daniel Palka up to bat and Adam Walker II on deck. They both struck out and play continued into the tenth inning, where manager Mike Quade was ejected and new pitcher Buddy Boshers gave up five runs, including a grand slam. Byung Ho Park was 3-5 with a double, a solo home run, and a walk. Wilfredo Tovar also had a three-hit game, going 3-5 with a double. Jorge Polanco was 2-5 with a run scored, a solo home run, and the previously mentioned two-RBI single. Adam Walker was 2-5 with a solo home run and a walk. Jason Wheeler gave up four runs (one earned) on just five hits. He walked one and struck out seven. The Red Wings bullpen then went to work as D.J. Baxendale, Ryan O'Rourke and Alex Wimmers combined for 4.0 innings of scoreless ball. The trio of relievers struck out eight and gave up just three hits. And then Buddy Boshers came in and gave up five runs (all unearned), and was tagged with the loss. In 10 innings the Rochester staff struck out 17 batters and walked just 5. Final: Bulls 9, Red Wings 5 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mobile BayBears @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts didn't score until the bottom of the eighth inning, but they put 3 runs on the board which was enough to earn the win. Starter Stephen Gonsalves did not factor in the decision, but pitched a great game. He went 7.0 innings, gave up just a pair of hits, one run, walked two and he stuck out nine. Zack Jones earned the victory, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Trevor Hildenberger earned his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. The Lookouts were shut out for the first seven innings, and record just a handful of hits before that 3-run eight. Mitch Garer was 2-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the team. Edgar Corcino was 2-3 with a double and an RBI is of his own. Ryan Walker had the remaining RBI as part of an 0-3 night with 2 strike outs. Final: BayBears 1, Lookouts 3 MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers Box Score Down 5-2 after four innings of play, the Miracle made it as close as one run, but couldn't score late against the Flying Tigers' bullpen. Miracle Starter Miles Nordgren had a tough evening, giving up five runs (all earned) over 6.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two, struck out three, and gave up a pair of home runs. Luke Westphal gave up an eighth inning run, and Todd Van Steensel finished the game with 1.2 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out a pair along the way. Firstbasemen T.J. White had HALF of the Miracle hits on Thursday night, 3-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored, and a pair of strike outs. Not much else going on for the Miracle, but Tanner Witt, and Trey Vavra each picked up an RBI, and Chris Paul hit a double. Final: Flying Tigers 6, Miracle 4 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne TinCaps Box Score In Fort Wayne, the Kernels were tied 2-2 after six innings, and needed an extra frame of baseball to pick up the victory. In the top of the 10th, Luis Arraez circled the bases with a triple down the right field line, advancing home on a throwing error. Williams Ramirez locked things down in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the lead, earning his fourth save of the season. Miracle starter Cody Stashak gave the Kernels a quality start with 6.0 innings. He gave up 6 hits, two earned runs, walked one, and struck out two. Andrew Vasquez was phenomenal in relief, earning the victory thanks to 3.0 innings of one-hit baseball. Vasquez gave up just one hit and struck out 6, before turning things over to Ramirez in the 10th. The Kernels struck out 13 times on the night and we just 1-7 with runners in scoring position, but a win is a win. Luis Arraez led the team with 3 hits, 3-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and a walk. Casey Scoggins, J.J. Fernandez, and Chris Ibarra also added two hits apiece. Final: Kernels 3, TinCaps 2 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Princeton Rays Box Score In an absolute slug-fest at Hunnicutt Field in West Virginia, the Twins crawled their way back to a one-run deficit at 9-10 before giving up six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Despite scoring nine runs, the Twins had zero extra base hits. Mitchell Kranson led the team with four hits, 4-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Twins pitching struggled throughout, as you might expect. Starter Jose Martinez gave up six runs over 3.0 innings. Relievers Austin Tribby and Hector Lujan each pitched 2.0 innings, giving up four runs and six runs, respectively. Alex Robinson was the only pitcher, on either team, to leave the game unscathed, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Final: E-Twins 9, Rays 16 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins @ GCL Rays Box Score The Twins managed just six hits on the evening, two each from Jose Miranda (2-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk), and Gorge Munoz (2-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk). Starter Tyler Fox didn't make it out of the first inning, leaving the game after recording just one out. He was ultimately responsible for three runs, giving up four hits, walking one, and striking out one. Taylor Clemensia came in and righted the ship, giving the Twins 3.2 innings of shut out baseball. He gave up no hits, walked one, and struck out five. Clark Beeker gave up a pair of runs over 3.2 innings, and Onas Farfan recorded the final two outs of the game, one by strike out. Final: GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 5 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Cubs2 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early lead and were up 5-0 before the Cubs2 were on the board. The Twins scored all five runs on just six hits. Edgar Herrera led the team with two his, part of a 2-4 night that included an RBI. The Twins pitching staff did not allow a single earned run on the evening. Starter Juan Mojica earned his second win of the season with 5.0 scoreless innings. Amilcar Cruz pitched 3.0 innings of relief and was charged with a pair of unearned runs. Fredderi Soto earned the save with a quick 1-2-3 ninth. Final: DSL Twins 5, GCL Cubs2 2 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Byung Ho Park, Rochester Pitcher of the Day - Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Durham Bulls @ Rochester (6:05pm) - TBD Chattanooga - OFF Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Keaton Steele (4-8, 4.37) Cedar Rapids - OFF Kingsport Mets @ E-Twins (6:00pm) - Tyler Beardsley (0-0, 2.25) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD DSL Cubs 2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Monday games. -ERolf
  22. The All-Star festivities are all over and the big boys start playing baseball again on Friday night, but things are still busy in the Minor Leagues, with all of the affiliates in action on Thursday night. Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Norfolk Tide @ Rochester Red Wings Box Score Byung Ho Park had his first multi-hit night since Independence Day, going 2-4 with a home run, and 3 RBIs. He's still hitting just .241 in AAA, but the recent All-Star break hopefully gave his ailing hand some additional time to heal. The Red Wings also received multi-hit games from Darin Mastroianni (2-4 with a run scored), Jorge Polanco (2-4 with a double, run scored and an RBI), and Wilfredo Tovar (2-4 with a pair of doubles). As a team, the Red Wings struck out 11 times, including three each from Daniel Palka (0-4) and John Ryan Murphy (0-4). Murphy has continued to struggle, and as Pioneer Press beat reporter Mike Berardino shared, it looks pretty dismal for the once heir-apparent catcher over the past month. Pat Dean picked up his third win of the year to move to 3-5, with 5.0+ innings of two-run ball. He struck out seven, walked none, and gave up a home run and was lifted for D.J. Baxendale after he gave up a leadoff single in the sixth. Baxendale gave up a single to the first batter he faced, then struck out the next batter before giving up a run scoring single. He was lifted for Ryan O'Rourke who induced a Mike Yastrzemski pop out to foul territory to end the inning. The Frenchman J.T. Chargois pitched two scoreless innings, striking out two and giving up just one lone hit. Marcus Walden pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the victory for the Wings. Final: Tide 2, Red Wings 6 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mobile BayBears @ Chattanooga Lookouts Box Score In front of 3,049 fans at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, the Lookouts pulled off a come-from-behind victory to defeat the visiting BayBears. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Lookouts used a leadoff double from Leonardo Regginato and a run scoring single from Engelb Vielma to get one run back. In the bottom of the eighth, a Ryan Walker one-out walk led to the game winning run on a bases loaded walk from D.J. Hicks. The Lookouts had chances to break the game open, but managed just six hits on the night, with three coming from Leonardo Reginatto, 3-4 with a double, run scored, and an RBI. Left fielder Travis Harrison left the game in the eighth after being hit on the hand by a pitch. David Hurlbut pitched 6.0 innings of two-run ball. He struck out six, walked one, and gave up six hits but left the game behind 2-1 and did not factor in the decision. Pitching two innings of scoreless baseball, Raul Fernandez picked up his first win of the year (1-0). He struck out two and gave up two hits. Trevor Hildenberger earned his 14th save of the year with a scoreless ninth. He struck out two and gave up one hit. Final: BayBears 2, Lookouts 3 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers Miracle @ Tampa Yankees Box Score Sometimes you just get your butts kicked, right? After building a 3-run lead in the top of the first, miracle starter Randy Rosario gave up a four-spot in the bottom half of the inning, and things got worse for Rosario after that. All told, Rosario gave up 8 runs, 5 earned, on 9 hits in 3.0+ innings. He walked two and struck out one and was charged with the loss, falling to 5-6. Reliever Brandon Peterson entered the game in the fourth with runners on first and second with no one out. Both inherited runners, plus another one of his own would score, but with the Miracle now down 10-3, he was allowed to come back out for the fifth, and gave up another run. Todd Van Steensel pitched a scoreless sixth, but did give up a pair of hits and a walk to make things interesting. Luke Bard gave up a pair of runs on a hit and two walks in the seventh, and Yorman Landa gave up a hit but stranded the runner in the bottom of the eighth to put an end to the Miracle pitching woes. The Miracle bats were lead by Nick Gordon, 3-4 with a walk and 3 runs scored. LaMonte Wade also had a pair of his, 2-3 with 3 RBIs. Trey Vavra (1-3) had the lone extra base hit for the Miracle, a double. Final: Miracle 6, Yankees 13 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids Kernels @ Lake County Captains Box Score Cedar Rapids received strong performances from their whole squad against a tough Lake County team. Kernels' starter Lachlan Wells picked up his second win of the year for the Kernels (2-1) with six scoreless innings. Wells gave up four hits, walked none, and struck out eight. His ERA in A-ball is just 1.27. Wells was lifted for Max Cordy, who pitched three innings in relief, giving up one run on three hits, striking out four. He was rewarded with his first save of the year for his efforts. Meanwhile, the Kernels' bats put up a five spot in the third inning to give Cedar Rapids all the run support it would need, but then tacked on an additional run in the sixth, and two more in the top of the ninth for good measure. A balanced attack saw every Kernels hitter but one with a base hit, including a 3-5 night from Luis Arrez that included a double, an RBI and a run scored. Zander Wiel and Jaylin Davis each added a home run, a 3-run dinger for Wiel, and a solo homer for Davis. Final: Kernels 8, Captains 1 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton Twins @ Danville Braves Box Score Elizabethton took a slim 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth, but couldn't hold off the Braves in the bottom half of the inning and ultimately lost a winnable game. The Twins were 1-3 with runners in scoring position, but stranded a total of six runners. Andre Jernigan was the only Elizabethton hitter with multiple hits, a 2-4 night with a double. Starter Domenick Carlini dropped his third game of the year to fall to 1-3. He gave up six hits and three runs, walked none, and struck out three. Reliever Patrick McGuff managed the uncommon feat of striking out four batters in a single inning. McGuff struck out the first batter he faced on a wild pitch, putting a runner on first. A bunt single put a pair of runners on, and then a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases with no outs. McGuff struck out the next two hitters he faced, gave up a run-scoring walk, and then struck out his fourth batter of the inning to close things out. Griffin Jax pitched the final two innings of the game, gave up a pair of hits, a walk, and struck out one. Final: E-Twins 2, Braves 4 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles Box Score The GCL Twins used a strong pitching performance from Miguel De Jesus to capture a 2-1 victory over the Orioles. De Jesus pitched 6.0 innings, giving up just a pair of hits. He struck out five and walked two, improving to 3-1 on the season. Matz Schutte pitched two innings of 1-run baseball, giving up 3 hits, walking no one and striking out one. Zach Strecker pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save. GCL Twins thirdbaseman Joe Cronin was the only hitter with multiple hits, 2-3 with a run scored. The Twins had no walks and nine strike outs on the day. Final: GCL Twins 2, GCL Orioles 1 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Rojos Box Score A sixth inning 3-2 lead didn't hold for the Twins as the Rojos put up a 3-spot in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. Starter Edwar Colina was lifted after five, with the lead, but saw the victory slip away when reliever Fredderi Soto gave up four runs over the next two innings. Colina gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks, and he struck out six. Soto gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits, including a home run. The game was called with the DSL Rojos up 6-3 after seven and a half innings due to rain. Final: DSL Twins 3. DSL Rojos 6 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Byung Ho Park, Rochester Red Wings Pitcher of the Day - Lachlan Wells, Cedar Rapids Kernels FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Norfolk @ Rochester (5:05pm) - Logan Darnell (8-8, 3.31) Mobile @ Chattanooga (6:15pm) - David Hurlbut (7-4, 3.26) Fort Myers @ Tampa (6:00pm) - Randy LeBlanc (2-3, 3.71) Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (6:00pm) - Dereck Rodriguez (1-10, 6.27) E-Twins @ Danville (6:00pm) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD DSL Rojos @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games. -ERolf
  23. On May 13, in the opener of a three game series in Cleveland, Park had his first multi-homer game of his career and giving him nine on the season, pulling him within three of the AL pace-setting in Robinson Cano. He was tops among rookies in the junior circuit in home runs, and his overall numbers, while not otherworldly, were highly respectable. When the sun set on the Buckeye State that night, Park carried a .245/.324/.582 batting line. He had the shine of a legit Rookie Of The Year candidate. But just as meteoric as his rise, Park fell quickly back to earth. Over the next 33 games, he posted a measly batting line of .145/.233/.265. His exit velocity average dropped from 90.9 MPH to 87.2. His average fly ball distance went from 250 to 208. As a predominant fly ball hitter, these metrics were troubling. Pitchers confounded him as he reportedly obsessed with higher velocity. His confidence waned. Something was amiss. Park’s Korean Baseball Organization-honed upper-cut swing path has been perfect for mashing breaking balls: Of his 12 home runs, 8 were on curves or sliders. Only Colorado’s Trevor Story (10) and the Dodgers’ Corey Seager (9) hit more on those types of pitches. There was no doubt that Park could manhandle mistakes but he has been carved up when the sequences included fastballs with velocity 93 miles per hour or higher. In fact, Park’s struggles are so prolific, his .089 batting average against fastballs 93 MPH or higher was the lowest in baseball… with the exception of the Phillies’ Ryan Howard (.042). Was it truly the competition and the velocity in the major leagues that bested Park? On one hand, prior to his signing, scouts did express concern over his ability to catch up to inside fastballs. On the other, hitters who graduated from the Korean league have done quite well against these exact same type of fastballs. Pittsburgh’s Jung Ho Kang, Baltimore’s Hyun Soo Kim and Seattle Dae Ho Lee all had averages over .300 on fastballs over 93 MPH this year. Not being able to face elite velocity while developing in Korea certainly did not hinder their careers. Teams also adjusted to Park. While over a month of play seems like a crazytown amount of time to continue to throw middle-middle pitches to a guy who would obliterate them, it really took opponents that long to actively avoid that location. In short, he saw fewer mistakes. Another possible factor for Park’s dismal performance emerged during last night’s Rochester Red Wings’ broadcast. As Seth Stohs pointed out on Twitter last night, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs announcers, noting Park’s absence from the game, said that Park had been struggling with a hand injury -- one that had lingered since spring training -- and was unable to maintain proper contact with the bat. https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/751428998572285952 Per the broadcast: On Friday Brad Steil, the Twins' Director of Minor League Operations, dismissed the broadcast banter, writing in an email to Twins Daily that there is nothing accurate about that report. "Park does not have a hand injury and he didn't have a hand injury (or anything else) in spring training," Steil noted. "He does have some wrist soreness at the moment, but it’s not something that prevents him from playing. Players deal with bumps, bruises, soreness, and general fatigue throughout the course of a six month season, and we will occasionally give them days off to help manage those things." That kind of information seems noteworthy. It would appear, however, that there were no reports of Park’s condition mentioned anywhere dating back to spring training. To be sure, this would not be the first time a player has downplayed an injury in an effort to keep playing. While rest would be in their best interest, competitiveness and machismo drives them to play night after night in spite of falling numbers and aching body parts. In baseball, communicating with the coaching and medical staff the extent of an injury can be complicated and certainly a language barrier (even with a translator) can also add a wrinkle. Even so, if the team had knowledge of a hand injury dating back to spring training, the subsequent poor performance should have necessitated some time off rather than continuing to insert him into the lineup, further damaging his confidence. Park’s slump could be both an issue of confidence and a nagging injury. Teams did adjust and Park seemingly did not adjust with them. At the same time, the same balls he was hitting hard into play simply were not hit with as much vigor as of late and a hand injury would be one viable reason for that. Whether you view the hand injury as an excuse rather than an explanation for his performance is inconsequential. What does matter is his ability to hit again. Regardless of the current circumstance, Park needs confidence and rest and Rochester is an appropriate setting for both.
  24. When the Twins signed Byung Ho Park this offseason, they knew they were getting a strikeout-prone slugger who could regularly destroy baseballs. For about a month and half, he lived up to that billing. Midway through May that changed. He turned into a strikeout prone player who gently hit baseballs. Multiple explanations for this massive slump were offered. Teams finally adjusted to him. He focused too much on hard fastballs. His confidence was gone. As such, the Twins sent him to Rochester to regain his swing. If reports are accurate, however, it would appear that, in addition to the issues above, Park has also been playing through an injury.On May 13, in the opener of a three game series in Cleveland, Park had his first multi-homer game of his career and giving him nine on the season, pulling him within three of the AL pace-setting in Robinson Cano. He was tops among rookies in the junior circuit in home runs, and his overall numbers, while not otherworldly, were highly respectable. When the sun set on the Buckeye State that night, Park carried a .245/.324/.582 batting line. He had the shine of a legit Rookie Of The Year candidate. But just as meteoric as his rise, Park fell quickly back to earth. Over the next 33 games, he posted a measly batting line of .145/.233/.265. His exit velocity average dropped from 90.9 MPH to 87.2. His average fly ball distance went from 250 to 208. As a predominant fly ball hitter, these metrics were troubling. Pitchers confounded him as he reportedly obsessed with higher velocity. His confidence waned. Something was amiss. Park’s Korean Baseball Organization-honed upper-cut swing path has been perfect for mashing breaking balls: Of his 12 home runs, 8 were on curves or sliders. Only Colorado’s Trevor Story (10) and the Dodgers’ Corey Seager (9) hit more on those types of pitches. There was no doubt that Park could manhandle mistakes but he has been carved up when the sequences included fastballs with velocity 93 miles per hour or higher. In fact, Park’s struggles are so prolific, his .089 batting average against fastballs 93 MPH or higher was the lowest in baseball… with the exception of the Phillies’ Ryan Howard (.042). Was it truly the competition and the velocity in the major leagues that bested Park? On one hand, prior to his signing, scouts did express concern over his ability to catch up to inside fastballs. On the other, hitters who graduated from the Korean league have done quite well against these exact same type of fastballs. Pittsburgh’s Jung Ho Kang, Baltimore’s Hyun Soo Kim and Seattle Dae Ho Lee all had averages over .300 on fastballs over 93 MPH this year. Not being able to face elite velocity while developing in Korea certainly did not hinder their careers. Teams also adjusted to Park. While over a month of play seems like a crazytown amount of time to continue to throw middle-middle pitches to a guy who would obliterate them, it really took opponents that long to actively avoid that location. In short, he saw fewer mistakes. Download attachment: output_aTtQFn.gif Another possible factor for Park’s dismal performance emerged during last night’s Rochester Red Wings’ broadcast. As Seth Stohs pointed out on Twitter last night, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs announcers, noting Park’s absence from the game, said that Park had been struggling with a hand injury -- one that had lingered since spring training -- and was unable to maintain proper contact with the bat. Per the broadcast: On Friday Brad Steil, the Twins' Director of Minor League Operations, dismissed the broadcast banter, writing in an email to Twins Daily that there is nothing accurate about that report. "Park does not have a hand injury and he didn't have a hand injury (or anything else) in spring training," Steil noted. "He does have some wrist soreness at the moment, but it’s not something that prevents him from playing. Players deal with bumps, bruises, soreness, and general fatigue throughout the course of a six month season, and we will occasionally give them days off to help manage those things." That kind of information seems noteworthy. It would appear, however, that there were no reports of Park’s condition mentioned anywhere dating back to spring training. To be sure, this would not be the first time a player has downplayed an injury in an effort to keep playing. While rest would be in their best interest, competitiveness and machismo drives them to play night after night in spite of falling numbers and aching body parts. In baseball, communicating with the coaching and medical staff the extent of an injury can be complicated and certainly a language barrier (even with a translator) can also add a wrinkle. Even so, if the team had knowledge of a hand injury dating back to spring training, the subsequent poor performance should have necessitated some time off rather than continuing to insert him into the lineup, further damaging his confidence. Park’s slump could be both an issue of confidence and a nagging injury. Teams did adjust and Park seemingly did not adjust with them. At the same time, the same balls he was hitting hard into play simply were not hit with as much vigor as of late and a hand injury would be one viable reason for that. Whether you view the hand injury as an excuse rather than an explanation for his performance is inconsequential. What does matter is his ability to hit again. Regardless of the current circumstance, Park needs confidence and rest and Rochester is an appropriate setting for both. Click here to view the article
  25. Byung Ho Park, designated power hitter If you haven’t been paying attention and I told you that Byung Ho was on fire, you might think that I just ate some hot wings. And while you might not be wrong, that’s not what I’m talking about in this particular case. Over his last seven games, Park is batting 8-for-25 (.320) and has increased his batting average from .216 to a more respectable .250. More impressively, though, is that we’ve started to see more glimpses of the advertised power. In his first 15 games, Park had six extra-base hits (two doubles, four home runs) and a slugging percentage of .532 (which would still lead the team). But since April 26, Park has erupted for two more doubles, a triple and three more home runs. He’s now run his slugging percentage up to .605 which is good for sixth in all of the American League. And though you’ll typically get lots of strikeouts with power guys - and Park does have 25 - he has improved in that regard as well. In his first seven games, 13 strikeouts. In his last seven games, seven strikeouts. Park is proving to be a legitimate middle-of-the-order masher who has risen to the top - at least for the time being - of Twins contenders for American League Rookie of the Year. Fernando Abad, relief pitcher There’s not even a specific time period to talk about with Abad. He’s been a filthwad to hitters all season. As a lefty-on-lefty guy, Abad has retired 15 of the 16 hitters he’s faced… and the only batter who has reached was on a walk. Right-handed hitters are batting .231 off of him, but all of the hits have been singles . With Kevin Jepsen’s struggles and no return in sight for Glen Perkins, could Abad be the best internal option to fill the closer role? His ERA of 0.00 is backed strongly by a 1.47 FIP. His WHIP is 0.75 and his K/9 is over 9.0. In the beginning of a season filled with sour grapes, Abad has been one of the lone bright spots. The 30-year-old Abad will remain under team control for 2017 as well, eligible for his third and final year of arbitration. Juan Centeno, Rochester catcher Way back in early December of 2015, the Twins claimed John Hicks off waivers from Seattle and he immediately became the “depth” of the catching position. With options remaining, he’d be sent to Rochester and whenever the need for a catcher popped up, Hicks would be recalled and on the major league team. And then a funny thing happened. Despite batting over .300 (but having an OBP under .300) and outplaying the newly-acquired John Ryan Murphy, Hicks was sent to AAA and lost on waivers to the Tigers in late April in Retiregate. But no one panicked. And Centeno is a big reason for that. Centeno crushed it in spring training, batting .375 and demonstrating extra-base power. He wasn’t going to make the team, but he made a lasting impression. He’s continued to hit well after getting more regular playing time (.273 over his last ten games with a home run and three walks compared to two strikeouts) and could figure prominently into the Twins season if John Ryan Murphy continues to not hit a nine-year-old's weight let alone his own and/or Kurt Suzuki continues to get dinged and hits the disabled list. Let’s just hope that in the event the Twins clear a roster spot to add Centeno that he doesn’t instead decide to retire. Who’s impressed you?
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