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  1. Current First Baseman: Miguel Sano Last winter, the Twins locked up Miguel Sano to a three-year, $30 million contract extension that includes a $14 million team option for 2023 or a $2.75 million buyout. Sano struggled early in the 2020 season as he missed most of Summer Camp after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Through his first 13 games, he went 5-for-45 (.111 BA) with 23 strikeouts and a .504 OPS. He led all of baseball with 90 strikeouts, but he was able to hit double digit home runs for the sixth consecutive season. Sano’s defensive transition had its ups and downs as one would expect. There were games where it was a little more obvious that his footwork and approach were lacking at first base, but that can certainly be expected at a position where he lacked familiarity. According to SABR’s Defensive Index, only two AL first baseman had a lower SDI total. Sano can move to DH depending on what the Twins decide with Nelson Cruz. 40-Man Options Besides Sano, the Twins have other 40-man roster options to play first base. Two of the team’s top prospects, Alex Kirilloff and Brent Rooker, made their debuts last season. During the 2019 campaign, Kirilloff hit .283/.343/.413 with 29 extra-base hits in 94 games while playing nearly 42% of his defensive innings at first base. This came on the heels of a tremendous 2018 campaign where he posted a .970 OPS and was named MiLB’s Breakout Player of the Year. Minnesota’s front office has a lot of trust in him and he seems like a likely candidate to take over for Eddie Rosario in the outfield. Rooker got off to a tremendous start last season before suffering a fractured forearm that ended his season. In seven games, he hit .316/.381/.579 with three extra-base hits and five RBI. Back in 2019, he made his Triple-A debut and hit .282/.399/.530 with 30 extra-base hits, but he was limited to 67 games while dealing with a wrist injury and a groin injury. Rooker should be ready for season’s start and there are multiple roles he can fill on the 2021 Twins. On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other first base options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Minnesota took Gabe Snyder with their 21st round pick back in 2018 after he spent four years at Wright State. His 2019 campaign was spent entirely at Low-A where he hit .259/.338/.462 with 44 extra-base hits in 114 games. With his college experience, he has been old for each level he has played at during his professional career. Snyder turns 26 in March and the team should push him to Double-A. In the 2020 MLB Draft, Minnesota took Aaron Sabato with the 27th overall pick after two impressive seasons at the University of North Carolina. Sabato was known as a slugger after hitting .332/.459/.698 (1.158) with 57 extra-base hits in 83 games. The jury is still out on if he will have the defensive skills to play a position in the big-leagues or if he will be limited to playing DH. Weiss was the Twins 23rd round pick in 2018 out of Cal State-Northridge. He played at three different levels in 2019 with High-A being the highest level he reached. Weiss was also older than the competition at every stop in his professional career. Phillips is roughly a year behind Weiss as he was taken out of college in 2019. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with these two players following the absence of a 2020 minor league season. What do you think about the future of first base in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES -Shortstop -Third Base MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Biloxi 2 (Biloxi leads best of five series 2-1) Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) HR: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Costello Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR) Facing elimination tonight, Pensacola turned to a pair of pitchers making their Double-A debuts. The element of surprise paid off. Jordan Balazovic struck out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1170147185297678336 Dakota Chalmers finished off the fifth inning for Balazovic and ended up pitching 3 1/3 no-hit innings while striking out four batters. Quite the first impressions in Pensacola for Balazovic and Chalmers. https://twitter.com/matthew_btwins/status/1170146789753647104 ALex Kirilloff opened the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning, his third homer in as many postseason games for the Blue Wahoos. https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline/status/1170135891937046534 Ryan Costello added a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning. Biloxi tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Travis Blankenhorn delivered a key two-out, go-ahead single that plated Royce Lewis and would prove to be the difference in this game. Anthony Vizcaya struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn the save and keep the Blue Wahoo’s 2019 season alive. They still trail in the series 2-1, so they’ll have to win the next two games in order to advance. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 (Cedar Rapids wins series 2-1) Box Score Josh Winder: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 71.4% strikes (55 of 77 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2B), Wander Javier (2-for-4, 3B), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 2B) Behind big efforts from familiar faces, the Kernels won Friday night to advance in the Midwest League playoffs. Starting pitcher Josh Winder and first baseman Gabe Snyder set the tone in this game. Winder provided Cedar Rapids with six shutout innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. This is the fourth time in 2019 Winder has gone at least six innings and surrendered zero runs. Winder was pitching with a lead the entire night thanks to Snyder’s home run in the top of the first inning. He added a double in the fourth inning and came around to score on a Chris Williams hit. Winder led the Kernels in virtually every pitching stat while Snyder was the top dog on the team in nearly every hitting stat, so it seemed fitting those two were the catalysts who pushed Cedar Rapids' season into the next round. Wander Javier had a two-hit night that included a triple and an RBI single. DaShawn Kerisey led off the top of the ninth inning with a double and scored a huge insurance run on a Tyler Webb RBI single. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, R, K, E (fielding) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, K, E (fielding) 6. Jordan Balazovic (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-4 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-4, 3 K 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  3. They’re alive! Both Pensacola and Cedar Rapids were facing elimination tonight, but both Twins affiliates managed to survive. A couple of new faces shined in their Double-A debuts for the Blue Wahoos to force a game 4 in the Southern League semifinals. Meanwhile, a few familiar faces pushed the Kernels ahead to clinch a series victory in the Midwest League Quarterfinals.BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Biloxi 2 (Biloxi leads best of five series 2-1) Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) HR: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Costello Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR) Facing elimination tonight, Pensacola turned to a pair of pitchers making their Double-A debuts. The element of surprise paid off. Jordan Balazovic struck out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits. Ryan Costello added a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning. Biloxi tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Travis Blankenhorn delivered a key two-out, go-ahead single that plated Royce Lewis and would prove to be the difference in this game. Anthony Vizcaya struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn the save and keep the Blue Wahoo’s 2019 season alive. They still trail in the series 2-1, so they’ll have to win the next two games in order to advance. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 (Cedar Rapids wins series 2-1) Box Score Josh Winder: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 71.4% strikes (55 of 77 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2B), Wander Javier (2-for-4, 3B), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 2B) Behind big efforts from familiar faces, the Kernels won Friday night to advance in the Midwest League playoffs. Starting pitcher Josh Winder and first baseman Gabe Snyder set the tone in this game. Winder provided Cedar Rapids with six shutout innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. This is the fourth time in 2019 Winder has gone at least six innings and surrendered zero runs. Winder was pitching with a lead the entire night thanks to Snyder’s home run in the top of the first inning. He added a double in the fourth inning and came around to score on a Chris Williams hit. Winder led the Kernels in virtually every pitching stat while Snyder was the top dog on the team in nearly every hitting stat, so it seemed fitting those two were the catalysts who pushed Cedar Rapids' season into the next round. Wander Javier had a two-hit night that included a triple and an RBI single. DaShawn Kerisey led off the top of the ninth inning with a double and scored a huge insurance run on a Tyler Webb RBI single. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, R, K, E (fielding) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, K, E (fielding) 6. Jordan Balazovic (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-4 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-4, 3 K 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  4. With Hurricane Dorian looming, the Florida State League made the decision to cancel the rest of the regular season, and even the playoffs. Trevor Larnach was named the Florida State League Player of the Year this afternoon, then hit another home run for Pensacola this evening. Come see what else happened across the system Thursday night.TRANSACTIONS Cedar Rapids activated LHP J.T. Perez from the seven-day IL. IF Jake Hirabayashi assigned to the GCL roster from Cedar Rapids. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7, Buffalo 6 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 70.5% strikes (31 of 44 pitches) HR: Willians Astudillo (5), Zander Wiel (23) Multi-hit games: Alejandro De Aza (3-for-4, 3B, BB), Tomas Telis (3-for-5), Astudillo (2-for-4, HR, HBP), Ian Miller (2-for-5), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-5) The Red Wings pulled out a victory to even their season record to 68-68 in a game in which many hopeful September callups shined. Lewis Thorpe was excellent in a brief start, striking out six batters while giving up one run over three innings. Willians Astudillo hit his fourth home run in just the 13th game of his rehab assignment. Fernando Romero was perfect over the final two innings, protecting a one-run lead to earn the save. Rochester entered the top of the eighth trailing, but Zander Wiel blasted his 23rd home run of the season, a two-run shot, to put the Wings up for good. Alejandro De Aza was 3-for-4 with a triple and a walk, boosting his OPS to 1.059 since signing with the Twins. BLUE WAHOO BITES Montgomery 5, Pensacola 2 Box Score Jhoan Duran: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 70.8% strikes (51 of 72 pitches) HR: Trevor Larnach (7) Multi-hit games: Larnach (3-for-5, HR), Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, 2B, BB), Ryan Costello (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-5, 2B) How’s that for a day at the office? Trevor Larnach was named the Florida State League Player of the Year, then went 3-for-5 with his seventh home run since being promoted up to Pensacola. In just 39 games, Larnach has already posted more homers in the Southern League than he had in 84 games in the FSL. That homer put the Blue Wahoos up 2-1, but it was all Biscuits from there. Jhoan Duran turned in another encouraging start for Pensacola, striking out six batters over five innings of one-run ball. He’s managed to lower his Southern League ERA from 7.13 to 4.86 over his last two outings. Marcos Diplan surrendered the game-tying run in the sixth inning before Andrew Vasquez gave up the lead in the eighth. MIRACLE MATTERS Dunedin 3, Fort Myers 0 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 60.5% strikes (46 of 76 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Blayne Enlow was cruising along, pitching a shutout through the first four innings, but was unable to pitch around a leadoff triple in the fifth inning. That runner eventually came around to score, Enlow was lifted in that inning and two of his runners who were inherited also scored. That was it for the scoring in this one. The Miracle were only able to muster three hits in this game, a triple from Jacob Pearson and singles from Trey Cabbage and Yeltsin Encarnacion. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 3, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Tyler Palm: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 0 K, 55.3% strikes (47 of 85 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder 2 (18) Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-3, 2 HR, BB) Gabe Snyder was a one-man wrecking crew, but unfortunately the rest of the Kernels struggled to provide any additional support. Snyder hit his 17th and 18th home runs of the season and also drew a walk. Tyler Palm gave up three runs over the first five innings, but the Cedar Rapids bullpen was lights out from there. Austin Schulfer struck out three batters over two shutout innings before Rickey Ramirez finished things out with a pair of clean innings of his own. The Kernels got a leadoff walk from Albee Weiss to open the eight inning, ended up loading the bases with two outs, but Wander Javier struck out swinging to end the threat. Matt Wallner then led off the ninth inning with a walk of his own, but was immediately erased by a double play. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jhoan Duran, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 0-for-5, K, E (fielding) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, 2B, BB, E (throw) 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 3-for-5, HR, OF assist 5. Wander Javier (CR): 0-for-4, K 9. Jhoan Duran (PNS): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 70.8% strikes (51 of 72 pitches) 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 60.5% strikes (46 of 76 pitches) 11. Lewis Thorpe (ROC): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 70.5% strikes (31 of 44 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-5, 2 K 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-5, 2B FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Syracuse, 6:05 pm CT (Devin Smeltzer) Pensacola at Montgomery, 6:35 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities, 6:35 pm CT (Andrew Cabezas) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  5. TRANSACTIONS Cedar Rapids activated LHP J.T. Perez from the seven-day IL. IF Jake Hirabayashi assigned to the GCL roster from Cedar Rapids. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7, Buffalo 6 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 70.5% strikes (31 of 44 pitches) HR: Willians Astudillo (5), Zander Wiel (23) Multi-hit games: Alejandro De Aza (3-for-4, 3B, BB), Tomas Telis (3-for-5), Astudillo (2-for-4, HR, HBP), Ian Miller (2-for-5), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-5) The Red Wings pulled out a victory to even their season record to 68-68 in a game in which many hopeful September callups shined. Lewis Thorpe was excellent in a brief start, striking out six batters while giving up one run over three innings. Willians Astudillo hit his fourth home run in just the 13th game of his rehab assignment. Fernando Romero was perfect over the final two innings, protecting a one-run lead to earn the save. Rochester entered the top of the eighth trailing, but Zander Wiel blasted his 23rd home run of the season, a two-run shot, to put the Wings up for good. Alejandro De Aza was 3-for-4 with a triple and a walk, boosting his OPS to 1.059 since signing with the Twins. BLUE WAHOO BITES Montgomery 5, Pensacola 2 Box Score Jhoan Duran: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 70.8% strikes (51 of 72 pitches) HR: Trevor Larnach (7) Multi-hit games: Larnach (3-for-5, HR), Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, 2B, BB), Ryan Costello (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-5, 2B) How’s that for a day at the office? Trevor Larnach was named the Florida State League Player of the Year, then went 3-for-5 with his seventh home run since being promoted up to Pensacola. In just 39 games, Larnach has already posted more homers in the Southern League than he had in 84 games in the FSL. That homer put the Blue Wahoos up 2-1, but it was all Biscuits from there. Jhoan Duran turned in another encouraging start for Pensacola, striking out six batters over five innings of one-run ball. He’s managed to lower his Southern League ERA from 7.13 to 4.86 over his last two outings. Marcos Diplan surrendered the game-tying run in the sixth inning before Andrew Vasquez gave up the lead in the eighth. MIRACLE MATTERS Dunedin 3, Fort Myers 0 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 60.5% strikes (46 of 76 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Blayne Enlow was cruising along, pitching a shutout through the first four innings, but was unable to pitch around a leadoff triple in the fifth inning. That runner eventually came around to score, Enlow was lifted in that inning and two of his runners who were inherited also scored. That was it for the scoring in this one. The Miracle were only able to muster three hits in this game, a triple from Jacob Pearson and singles from Trey Cabbage and Yeltsin Encarnacion. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 3, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Tyler Palm: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 0 K, 55.3% strikes (47 of 85 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder 2 (18) Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-3, 2 HR, BB) Gabe Snyder was a one-man wrecking crew, but unfortunately the rest of the Kernels struggled to provide any additional support. Snyder hit his 17th and 18th home runs of the season and also drew a walk. Tyler Palm gave up three runs over the first five innings, but the Cedar Rapids bullpen was lights out from there. Austin Schulfer struck out three batters over two shutout innings before Rickey Ramirez finished things out with a pair of clean innings of his own. The Kernels got a leadoff walk from Albee Weiss to open the eight inning, ended up loading the bases with two outs, but Wander Javier struck out swinging to end the threat. Matt Wallner then led off the ninth inning with a walk of his own, but was immediately erased by a double play. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jhoan Duran, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 0-for-5, K, E (fielding) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, 2B, BB, E (throw) 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 3-for-5, HR, OF assist 5. Wander Javier (CR): 0-for-4, K 9. Jhoan Duran (PNS): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 70.8% strikes (51 of 72 pitches) 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 60.5% strikes (46 of 76 pitches) 11. Lewis Thorpe (ROC): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 70.5% strikes (31 of 44 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-5, 2 K 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-5, 2B FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Syracuse, 6:05 pm CT (Devin Smeltzer) Pensacola at Montgomery, 6:35 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities, 6:35 pm CT (Andrew Cabezas) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  6. The winner of the day in the Twins minor league system was the rain. Well, Rochester and Pensacola had scheduled off days. Rains in southwest Florida caused postponements in the Gulf Coast League and for the Ft. Myers Miracle. However, the Twins beat the Yankees… in the Appalachian League thanks to a great start and a big inning. And there was a great, late inning rally in Cedar Rapids.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers put RHP Blayne Enlow on the 7-Day IL (hamstring).The Miracle activated RHPs Cole Sands and Johan Quezada.RHP Owen Griffith was activated by the Elizabethton Twins.RED WINGS REPORTRochester Box Score No Game Scheduled. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola Box Score No game scheduled. Bailey Ober is scheduled to make his AA debut on Tuesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , St. Lucie Box Score Game was rained out. Doubleheader on Tuesday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 4 Box Score Josh Winder started for the Kernels. He gave up one run on five hits over the first five innings. He walked one and struck out three batters. In the sixth inning, Alex Schick came in and gave up two runs on two hits. Ricky Ramirez took over in the seventh inning and threw two perfect innings. Down 3-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Kernels made their comeback. With Daniel Ozoria on base, Gilberto Celestino’s 24th double drove in the team’s first run. Gabe Snyder followed with his 16th home run to tie the game. Ramirez went back out for the ninth inning. With one out, he gave up back-to-back singles. With runners on the corners, he got a ground ball to third, but they were unable to turn the double play and the go-ahead run scored. Ramirez got the third out. The Kernels got an Ozoria single in the bottom of the ninth inning, but that was it and they fell 4-3. Ozoria led the offense as he went 3-for-4. Snyder went 2-for-4 with the home run. Jared Akins went 2-for-4 with his eighth double. Kyle Schmidt recorded his first double with the Kernels. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 4, Pulaski 2 Box Score Andriu Marin signed with the Twins way back in November of 2014 out of Venezuela. After three seasons in the DSL, he came to the States and pitched in the GCL last year. He’s been in the E-Twins rotation all season, and on Monday night he put together the best start of his season. He gave up an unearned run in the first inning. However, that was the only run he allowed over six innings. Marin gave up just four hits, walked none and struck out 11. Owen Griffith returned from the IL to work a perfect seventh inning. Frandy Torres got the eighth inning and gave up a run on two hits. He then worked a perfect ninth inning to record his second save. The Twins offense all came in the fourth inning when they put up a four- spot. With two runners on, Matt Wallner knocked his Appy League-leading 17th double to drive in the first run. With two on now, Parker Phillips drilled his fifth home run since joining the Twins, a three-run blast. Charles Mack and Max Smith each had two hits in the game. It’s always fun to beat the Yankees! GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins, GCL Rays Box Score The GCL Twins were postponed by rain… again. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Andriu Marin, Elizabethton Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 3K #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(17), R, RBI, K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-4, BB TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 4.68 ERA) Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Bailiey Ober (First Blue Wahoos start) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD (2-4, 4.66 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled. Pulaski @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - LHP Cody Laweryson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (DH @ 0:00 CST) - TBD, TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  7. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers put RHP Blayne Enlow on the 7-Day IL (hamstring). The Miracle activated RHPs Cole Sands and Johan Quezada. RHP Owen Griffith was activated by the Elizabethton Twins. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score No Game Scheduled. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola Box Score No game scheduled. Bailey Ober is scheduled to make his AA debut on Tuesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , St. Lucie Box Score Game was rained out. Doubleheader on Tuesday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 4 Box Score Josh Winder started for the Kernels. He gave up one run on five hits over the first five innings. He walked one and struck out three batters. In the sixth inning, Alex Schick came in and gave up two runs on two hits. Ricky Ramirez took over in the seventh inning and threw two perfect innings. Down 3-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Kernels made their comeback. With Daniel Ozoria on base, Gilberto Celestino’s 24th double drove in the team’s first run. Gabe Snyder followed with his 16th home run to tie the game. Ramirez went back out for the ninth inning. With one out, he gave up back-to-back singles. With runners on the corners, he got a ground ball to third, but they were unable to turn the double play and the go-ahead run scored. Ramirez got the third out. The Kernels got an Ozoria single in the bottom of the ninth inning, but that was it and they fell 4-3. Ozoria led the offense as he went 3-for-4. Snyder went 2-for-4 with the home run. Jared Akins went 2-for-4 with his eighth double. Kyle Schmidt recorded his first double with the Kernels. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 4, Pulaski 2 Box Score Andriu Marin signed with the Twins way back in November of 2014 out of Venezuela. After three seasons in the DSL, he came to the States and pitched in the GCL last year. He’s been in the E-Twins rotation all season, and on Monday night he put together the best start of his season. He gave up an unearned run in the first inning. However, that was the only run he allowed over six innings. Marin gave up just four hits, walked none and struck out 11. Owen Griffith returned from the IL to work a perfect seventh inning. Frandy Torres got the eighth inning and gave up a run on two hits. He then worked a perfect ninth inning to record his second save. The Twins offense all came in the fourth inning when they put up a four- spot. With two runners on, Matt Wallner knocked his Appy League-leading 17th double to drive in the first run. With two on now, Parker Phillips drilled his fifth home run since joining the Twins, a three-run blast. Charles Mack and Max Smith each had two hits in the game. It’s always fun to beat the Yankees! GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins, GCL Rays Box Score The GCL Twins were postponed by rain… again. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Andriu Marin, Elizabethton Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 3K #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(17), R, RBI, K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-4, BB TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 4.68 ERA) Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Bailiey Ober (First Blue Wahoos start) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD (2-4, 4.66 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled. Pulaski @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - LHP Cody Laweryson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (DH @ 0:00 CST) - TBD, TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  8. It was a rough weekend for the big-league club as the Twin lost three of four against Cleveland to see their division lead disappear. That being said, there are plenty of minor league teams still in position to make playoff runs in the weeks ahead. Would anyone help their cause on Sunday? Read on to find out…TRANSACTIONS LHP Erik Cha promoted to Cedar Rapids from Elizabethton. RHP Brian Rapp placed on IL (left groin strain). AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week: Hitter of the Week: Trevor Larnach, PensacolaIn five games for the Blue Wahoos, Larnach hit .412 (7-for-17) with two home runs, five RBIs, four walks and a 1.289 OPS. The 22-year-old was selected by the Twins 20th overall in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Oregon State UniversityPitcher of the Week: Jordan Balazovic, Fort MyersBalazovic made the start on Thursday vs. Jupiter, pitching 5.0 shutout innings with two hits allowed, one walk and nine strikeouts. The 20-year-old was selected by the Twins in the fifth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Martin SS in Mississauga, Ontario. The righty pitched 1.0 perfect inning at the SiriusXM Futures Game this July at Progressive Field. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Louisville 5 Box Score Kohl Stewart started for Rochester and didn’t give up any runs in four innings. In fact, he held Louisville to one hit to go along with four strikeouts and two walks. Sam Clay would be charged with the loss after allowing two earned runs on five hits in 1- 2/3 innings. It was the first time he had allowed multiple earned runs since April 26th. Rochester scored runs in the seventh and eighth innings. With two outs in the seventh, Mike Miller drew a walk and he moved to second on a passed ball. Ivan De Jesus drove him home with a single. To start the eighth, Ramon Flores doubled before Alejandro De Aza collected an RBI-single. Jake Reed pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings and added in a pair of strikeouts. Ryan Eades surrendered two runs, both on solo home runs, in his two innings of work. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola --, Mobile – (Cancelled) Pensacola’s game versus Mobile was cancelled on Sunday due to heavy rain. The game will not be resumed since the two teams do not play again this season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Jupiter 1 (7 Innings- Rain) Box Score Lachlan Wells went six innings without allowing an earned run to pick up his second High-A win of the season. He limited Jupiter to three hits with one strikeout and a pair of walks. Moises Gomez added one scoreless inning by striking out two and walking one. In seven of his last 10 appearances, he hasn’t allowed an earned run. Fort Myers answered right back after Jupiter scored the first run of the game in the top of the fifth. With one out, Chris Williams, Michael Davis and Gabriel Maciel all drew walks to load the bases. Jacob Pearson drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. Jose Miranda followed with his 21st double of the season for what turned out to be the game-winning run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 2 Box Score Gabe Snyder and Gilberto Celestino made the difference in this game as both players added solo home runs. Andrew Cabezas had a quality start on the mound with Erik Cha earning the save in his Midwest League debut. Beloit struck first by plating two runs against Cebezas in the second inning. Luckily, those were the only runs he allowed in six innings of work. He limited Beloit to three hits, and he struck out four without allowing a walk. Cha pitched three scoreless frames with one strikeout and two hits allowed. The Kernels started their comeback in the third inning. Daniel Ozoria reached base on a fielding error before Celestino added in his 23rd double to drive in a run. With two outs in the inning, Wander Javier drew a walk before Yunior Severion was able to drive in Celestino for the second run of the frame. Snyder’s home run came in the fifth and Celesino’s home run came in the sixth. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 4, Pulaski 7 Box Score Elizabethton was in an early hole and it became tough to find their way out. Pulaski scored four first-inning runs against Ben Gross and that wouldn’t be the end of the damage he allowed. Gross made it through four innings and allowed five earned runs on six hits. He struck out five, but he surrendered four walks. Steven Cruz didn’t fare much better as he walked three batters and was charged with two earned runs even though he could only record one out. Elizabethton tried to answer back in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Matt Wallner walked before Parker Phillips collected his fourth home run of the season. This cut the lead to 4-2. Charles Mack drove in a pair of runs in the fifth inning on his fifth double. Osiris German and Benjamin Dum combined for 4 2/3 shutout innings to end the game. German was asked to get eight outs and he recorded five strikeouts. Dum was equally strong as he struck out three. The two pitchers limited Pulaski to three hits. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Lachlan Wells, Fort Myers (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Gilberto Celestino, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-2, 2 BB, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) – No scheduled game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Did not play #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) – 2-3, 2 RBI, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 1-3, 2 BB, R. K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Game cancelled MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – Scheduled Off-Day Pensacola – Scheduled Off-Day Fort Myers @ St. Lucie – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST) – RHP Josh Winder (6-2, 2.86 ERA) Elizabethton vs. Pulaski (5:30 CST) – RHP Andrui Marin (1-2, 6.27 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games. Click here to view the article
  9. TRANSACTIONS LHP Erik Cha promoted to Cedar Rapids from Elizabethton. RHP Brian Rapp placed on IL (left groin strain). AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week: Hitter of the Week: Trevor Larnach, Pensacola In five games for the Blue Wahoos, Larnach hit .412 (7-for-17) with two home runs, five RBIs, four walks and a 1.289 OPS. The 22-year-old was selected by the Twins 20th overall in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Oregon State University Pitcher of the Week: Jordan Balazovic, Fort Myers Balazovic made the start on Thursday vs. Jupiter, pitching 5.0 shutout innings with two hits allowed, one walk and nine strikeouts. The 20-year-old was selected by the Twins in the fifth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Martin SS in Mississauga, Ontario. The righty pitched 1.0 perfect inning at the SiriusXM Futures Game this July at Progressive Field. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Louisville 5 Box Score Kohl Stewart started for Rochester and didn’t give up any runs in four innings. In fact, he held Louisville to one hit to go along with four strikeouts and two walks. Sam Clay would be charged with the loss after allowing two earned runs on five hits in 1- 2/3 innings. It was the first time he had allowed multiple earned runs since April 26th. Rochester scored runs in the seventh and eighth innings. With two outs in the seventh, Mike Miller drew a walk and he moved to second on a passed ball. Ivan De Jesus drove him home with a single. To start the eighth, Ramon Flores doubled before Alejandro De Aza collected an RBI-single. Jake Reed pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings and added in a pair of strikeouts. Ryan Eades surrendered two runs, both on solo home runs, in his two innings of work. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola --, Mobile – (Cancelled) Pensacola’s game versus Mobile was cancelled on Sunday due to heavy rain. The game will not be resumed since the two teams do not play again this season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Jupiter 1 (7 Innings- Rain) Box Score Lachlan Wells went six innings without allowing an earned run to pick up his second High-A win of the season. He limited Jupiter to three hits with one strikeout and a pair of walks. Moises Gomez added one scoreless inning by striking out two and walking one. In seven of his last 10 appearances, he hasn’t allowed an earned run. Fort Myers answered right back after Jupiter scored the first run of the game in the top of the fifth. With one out, Chris Williams, Michael Davis and Gabriel Maciel all drew walks to load the bases. Jacob Pearson drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. Jose Miranda followed with his 21st double of the season for what turned out to be the game-winning run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 2 Box Score Gabe Snyder and Gilberto Celestino made the difference in this game as both players added solo home runs. Andrew Cabezas had a quality start on the mound with Erik Cha earning the save in his Midwest League debut. Beloit struck first by plating two runs against Cebezas in the second inning. Luckily, those were the only runs he allowed in six innings of work. He limited Beloit to three hits, and he struck out four without allowing a walk. Cha pitched three scoreless frames with one strikeout and two hits allowed. The Kernels started their comeback in the third inning. Daniel Ozoria reached base on a fielding error before Celestino added in his 23rd double to drive in a run. With two outs in the inning, Wander Javier drew a walk before Yunior Severion was able to drive in Celestino for the second run of the frame. Snyder’s home run came in the fifth and Celesino’s home run came in the sixth. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 4, Pulaski 7 Box Score Elizabethton was in an early hole and it became tough to find their way out. Pulaski scored four first-inning runs against Ben Gross and that wouldn’t be the end of the damage he allowed. Gross made it through four innings and allowed five earned runs on six hits. He struck out five, but he surrendered four walks. Steven Cruz didn’t fare much better as he walked three batters and was charged with two earned runs even though he could only record one out. Elizabethton tried to answer back in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Matt Wallner walked before Parker Phillips collected his fourth home run of the season. This cut the lead to 4-2. Charles Mack drove in a pair of runs in the fifth inning on his fifth double. Osiris German and Benjamin Dum combined for 4 2/3 shutout innings to end the game. German was asked to get eight outs and he recorded five strikeouts. Dum was equally strong as he struck out three. The two pitchers limited Pulaski to three hits. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Lachlan Wells, Fort Myers (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Gilberto Celestino, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-2, 2 BB, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) – No scheduled game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Did not play #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) – 2-3, 2 RBI, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 1-3, 2 BB, R. K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Game cancelled #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Game cancelled MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – Scheduled Off-Day Pensacola – Scheduled Off-Day Fort Myers @ St. Lucie – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST) – RHP Josh Winder (6-2, 2.86 ERA) Elizabethton vs. Pulaski (5:30 CST) – RHP Andrui Marin (1-2, 6.27 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  10. The last thirty or so days have been interesting for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, to say the least. As the Minnesota Twins’ Class A affiliate entered the final weekend of the first half of their Midwest League season, they needed to win every game and needed to see the Burlington Bees drop a game or two in order for the Kernels to nab the runner-up spot in the league’s Western Division and guarantee themselves a postseason slot. And that’s exactly what happened.Cedar Rapids topped Clinton on Friday night, then saw their Saturday tilt against the Lumber Kings suspended due to rain. The next day, they swept the suspended game and the regularly scheduled contest against the Clinton. When Burlington fell to Peoria on that final day of the first half, the Kernels had qualified for the postseason. 2019 is the seventh consecutive season that the Kernels will participate in the MWL playoffs. That’s every season since the Kernels and Twins affiliation began with the 2013 season. It took a major comeback from a very slow start to the season for Cedar Rapids to even be within shouting distance of a playoff spot by mid-June. “We were scuffling a little bit, not playing our best baseball,” recalled manager Brian Dinkelman, this week. “A lot of new players in their first year of pro ball, so getting their feet wet. It was still cold. “Then guys started playing better, it warmed up a little bit. Guys got comfortable. Hitters started swinging the bat a lot better there, the middle of May, finally. They helped out our pitching staff a little bit. Yeah, the last few weeks we made a run. The boys competed well there at the very end. I think they had a sense that they were getting closer, they had a chance to possibly make a playoff spot, so that helped drive them.” The Kernels started the second half of the season a little sluggish, dropping six of the ten games played through the rest of June. But once July rolled in, the Kernels started rolling, as well. They won eight straight games to start the month before suffering a three-game series sweep to Great Lakes. The Kernels’ pitching has been solid to very good all season long and the hitting has started to show signs of coming alive this month. Of course, this being minor league baseball, as soon as a player starts showing he can be consistently successful at this level, he’s getting a ticket to the next level up in the organizational ladder. Four of the Kernels’ top hitters on the season, measured by OPS, have been promoted out of of Cedar Rapids. Only first catcher/first baseman Chris Williams (.836) and baseman Gabe Snyder (.789) remain of the seven position players that put up better than a .650 OPS in a Kernels uniform this season (minimum 10 games with Cedar Rapids). “It’s my fourth year here (in Cedar Rapids) and every year it’s the same,” said Dinkelman. “The guys who do well in the first half usually stick around for all of the first half, then right after the All-Star break, head down to Fort Myers and join the Miracle. That’s the way the game is and it’s good for the players who do well here to move on to the next level and challenge themselves a little bit more and get closer to the big leagues.” Josh Winder put together a string of seven consecutive quality starts. Andrew Cabezas followed up a strong June with a complete game one-hit shutout in his first start of July. Luis Rijo, Tyler Palm, Kai-Wei Teng and Austin Schulfer have all put up quality starts in each of their two July starts. Out of the bullpen, Moises Gomez has had three one-inning scoreless outings, while striking out seven batters. In addition to Snyder’s .341 BA and .962 OPS in July and Williams’ .897 July OPS (despite just a .211 BA for the month), Gilberto Celestino has contributed a .297 BA and .840 OPS during the month. Mauer Inducted into Hall of Fame No, not that Mauer and, no, not that HOF. Though that day may certainly come. On Wednesday night, former Kernels manager Jake Mauer was inducted, along with three others, into the Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame. Mauer managed the Kernels for four seasons, beginning with 2013, the inaugural season of the Twins/Kernels affiliation. He led Cedar Rapids to four consecutive postseason berths, including a trip to the MWL Championship series in 2015. Interviewed during the game that night and after the on-field ceremony, his comments were absolutely Mauer-esque. “It’s pretty cool coming into here, seeing the lights,” he said, concerning his family’s arrival back in Cedar Rapids for the first time since the end of the 2016 season. “The kids remembered it right away. It’s pretty neat.” Mauer, now working in the family’s Twin Cities auto dealerships and coaching his kids’ softball and baseball teams, seems content with his decision to leave the grind of minor league professional baseball. “I miss the guys. I miss being around, being around the boys, competing and games and that stuff,” he admitted,. “But there was so much more that I was missing back home with those kids growing up that now I get to be a part of.” Baseball is still in the blood, though. Asked if he’d consider an opportunity, if offered, to return to pro ball, he certainly didn’t rule it out. “I would say if the situation was right, I would. For sure, yeah. The travel, that’d be tough. Tough to do bus rides and all that, but if the situation was right and made sense professionally and with the kids and the wife, too, I would definitely get back in.” Watkins Returns On his staff for several of those seasons was Tommy Watkins, who now coaches first base for the Twins. Watkins, in Cedar Rapids over the MLB All-Star break, was in attendance the night Mauer was honored at the ballpark. As the Twins’ first base/outfield coach, Watkins has had a first-hand view of the incredible start to a Twins’ 2019 season that has them sitting atop the American League Central Division race by several games over the Cleveland Indians. Did he see this kind of success on the horizon when he was working with the team in spring training? “I tell you what, when you leave spring training, I think you always think you have a chance to compete for something and leaving spring training, I felt like we had a good chance to play for something,” Watkins said. “The group of guys that we have are amazing. Everybody. They’re all talented. At each position, they all can hit. I think we’ve got like ten guys with double-digit homers right now. That’s crazy. So, it’s been fun to watch.” Of course, spring training is still just spring training and you hesitate to put too much stock in what happens down in Florida during February and March. “You do,” Watkins concurred. “And you just saw in spring training, I guess we didn’t have the whole lineup playing together every day, but every day you had somebody in the lineup that can hurt you with the long ball. You would hope it would carry over (to the regular season).” Click here to view the article
  11. Cedar Rapids topped Clinton on Friday night, then saw their Saturday tilt against the Lumber Kings suspended due to rain. The next day, they swept the suspended game and the regularly scheduled contest against the Clinton. When Burlington fell to Peoria on that final day of the first half, the Kernels had qualified for the postseason. 2019 is the seventh consecutive season that the Kernels will participate in the MWL playoffs. That’s every season since the Kernels and Twins affiliation began with the 2013 season. It took a major comeback from a very slow start to the season for Cedar Rapids to even be within shouting distance of a playoff spot by mid-June. “We were scuffling a little bit, not playing our best baseball,” recalled manager Brian Dinkelman, this week. “A lot of new players in their first year of pro ball, so getting their feet wet. It was still cold. “Then guys started playing better, it warmed up a little bit. Guys got comfortable. Hitters started swinging the bat a lot better there, the middle of May, finally. They helped out our pitching staff a little bit. Yeah, the last few weeks we made a run. The boys competed well there at the very end. I think they had a sense that they were getting closer, they had a chance to possibly make a playoff spot, so that helped drive them.” The Kernels started the second half of the season a little sluggish, dropping six of the ten games played through the rest of June. But once July rolled in, the Kernels started rolling, as well. They won eight straight games to start the month before suffering a three-game series sweep to Great Lakes. The Kernels’ pitching has been solid to very good all season long and the hitting has started to show signs of coming alive this month. Of course, this being minor league baseball, as soon as a player starts showing he can be consistently successful at this level, he’s getting a ticket to the next level up in the organizational ladder. Four of the Kernels’ top hitters on the season, measured by OPS, have been promoted out of of Cedar Rapids. Only first catcher/first baseman Chris Williams (.836) and baseman Gabe Snyder (.789) remain of the seven position players that put up better than a .650 OPS in a Kernels uniform this season (minimum 10 games with Cedar Rapids). “It’s my fourth year here (in Cedar Rapids) and every year it’s the same,” said Dinkelman. “The guys who do well in the first half usually stick around for all of the first half, then right after the All-Star break, head down to Fort Myers and join the Miracle. That’s the way the game is and it’s good for the players who do well here to move on to the next level and challenge themselves a little bit more and get closer to the big leagues.” Josh Winder put together a string of seven consecutive quality starts. Andrew Cabezas followed up a strong June with a complete game one-hit shutout in his first start of July. Luis Rijo, Tyler Palm, Kai-Wei Teng and Austin Schulfer have all put up quality starts in each of their two July starts. Out of the bullpen, Moises Gomez has had three one-inning scoreless outings, while striking out seven batters. In addition to Snyder’s .341 BA and .962 OPS in July and Williams’ .897 July OPS (despite just a .211 BA for the month), Gilberto Celestino has contributed a .297 BA and .840 OPS during the month. Mauer Inducted into Hall of Fame No, not that Mauer and, no, not that HOF. Though that day may certainly come. On Wednesday night, former Kernels manager Jake Mauer was inducted, along with three others, into the Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame. Mauer managed the Kernels for four seasons, beginning with 2013, the inaugural season of the Twins/Kernels affiliation. He led Cedar Rapids to four consecutive postseason berths, including a trip to the MWL Championship series in 2015. Interviewed during the game that night and after the on-field ceremony, his comments were absolutely Mauer-esque. “It’s pretty cool coming into here, seeing the lights,” he said, concerning his family’s arrival back in Cedar Rapids for the first time since the end of the 2016 season. “The kids remembered it right away. It’s pretty neat.” Mauer, now working in the family’s Twin Cities auto dealerships and coaching his kids’ softball and baseball teams, seems content with his decision to leave the grind of minor league professional baseball. “I miss the guys. I miss being around, being around the boys, competing and games and that stuff,” he admitted,. “But there was so much more that I was missing back home with those kids growing up that now I get to be a part of.” Baseball is still in the blood, though. Asked if he’d consider an opportunity, if offered, to return to pro ball, he certainly didn’t rule it out. “I would say if the situation was right, I would. For sure, yeah. The travel, that’d be tough. Tough to do bus rides and all that, but if the situation was right and made sense professionally and with the kids and the wife, too, I would definitely get back in.” Watkins Returns On his staff for several of those seasons was Tommy Watkins, who now coaches first base for the Twins. Watkins, in Cedar Rapids over the MLB All-Star break, was in attendance the night Mauer was honored at the ballpark. As the Twins’ first base/outfield coach, Watkins has had a first-hand view of the incredible start to a Twins’ 2019 season that has them sitting atop the American League Central Division race by several games over the Cleveland Indians. Did he see this kind of success on the horizon when he was working with the team in spring training? “I tell you what, when you leave spring training, I think you always think you have a chance to compete for something and leaving spring training, I felt like we had a good chance to play for something,” Watkins said. “The group of guys that we have are amazing. Everybody. They’re all talented. At each position, they all can hit. I think we’ve got like ten guys with double-digit homers right now. That’s crazy. So, it’s been fun to watch.” Of course, spring training is still just spring training and you hesitate to put too much stock in what happens down in Florida during February and March. “You do,” Watkins concurred. “And you just saw in spring training, I guess we didn’t have the whole lineup playing together every day, but every day you had somebody in the lineup that can hurt you with the long ball. You would hope it would carry over (to the regular season).”
  12. Every day at Twins Daily, prospects take center stage every in our Minor League Reports. However, Sunday’s MLB Futures Game allows some of the top talent in the organization to get recognized on the national stage. For some, Royce Lewis was one of the most impressive bats during batting practice. He was also wore a microphone during the game so that provided some additional entertainment. Lewis went 1-for-2 in the game and had a shot to win it in the seventh. Jordan Balazovic might not be as well known as Lewis, but he is rising on prospect lists. The right-handed pitcher out of Canada is quickly moving up prospect lists. Even MilB.com did a story on his journey. In his first appearance in any All-Star Game, he pitched a perfect frame.TRANSACTIONS OF Jake Cave recalled by Minnesota from Rochester. LHP Devin Smeltzer recalled by Minnesota from Rochester. INF Wilin Rosario reinstated from the IL with Rochester. AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week: Hitter of the Week: Jaylin Davis, RochesterIn eight games including a Friday doubleheader, Davis hit .364 (12-for-33) with three doubles, four home runs, eight RBI, two walks and a 1.128 OPS. Davis, 25, was a 25th-round pick by the Twins in 2015 and has hit .284 (81-for-285) with 15 doubles, 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 77 games between Double-A Pensacola and Rochester.Pitcher of the Week: Luis Rijo, Cedar RapidsRijo made the start on Thursday vs. Burlington, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with one hit allowed, no walks and 10 strikeouts. The 20-year-old Venezuela native was acquired by the Twins in 2018 from New York-AL, in exchange for right-handed pitcher and current Ranger Lance Lynn RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Scranton/WB 7 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score Yeltsin Encarnacion tried to carry the Red Wings offense all by himself in this one. He finished the day 3-for-3 with a run scored. Brent Rooker knocked his 14th home run of the year, while Jimmy Kerrigan collected his first Triple-A home run. Unfortunately, it was not enough. In a bullpen game, Preston Guilmet started and pitched three scoreless frames. He struck out three and limited batters to three hits. Jake Reed ran into some trouble in the fourth. He allowed four earned runs on three hits. Ryan Eades took the loss after allowing two earned runs on three hits in one inning. DJ Baxendale took the final frame and allowed a solo home run. Rochester 3, Scranton/WB 6 (Game 2 - 7 Innings) Box Score Rochester pitchers allowed six runs in the first three innings and the offense couldn’t recover. In only his fourth start for Rochester, Drew Hutchison took the brunt of the damage. He was charged with six runs on eight hits in five innings. This included three home runs. Gabriel Moya made it through a scoreless innings with a strikeout and two hits allowed. Fresh off his Player of the Week honors, Jaylin Davis clocked his eighth home run. It was a two run-shot and it briefly put Rochester on top. Ronald Torreyes and Wilin Rosario both went 2-for-3. Zander Wiel collected his 22nd double. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Birmingham 6 (10 Innings) Box Score Pensacola scored three runs over the final two innings, but it wouldn’t be enough as the bullpen faltered in extra frames. Charlie Barnes allowed his most earned runs in over a month, but he was able to keep the Blue Wahoos in the game. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits with six strike outs. Alex Phillips and Hector Lujan combined for four shutout innings to hold serve while the offense recovered. Zack Weiss allowed the final two runs of the game and was stuck with the loss. Offensively, four batters had multiple hits and the Blue Wahoos combined for eleven total hits. Unfortunately, the team went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Alex Kirilloff knocked his fourth home run. Lewin Diaz went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 12 Box Score Fort Myers had won six straight, but all good things must come to an end. Fort Myers was limited to eight hits including two extra-base hits. Jose Miranda went 1-for-4 with his 17th double. Michael Davis went 2-for-2 with a double. In a blowout loss, Cody Allen might have provided a positive light. Allen was used as an opener and pitched a perfect inning. According to reports, he was sitting in the low 90s with his fastball and he threw 83% of his pitches for strikes. Since joining Fort Myers, he has thrown four scoreless innings. There weren’t many other positives for the pitching staff as every pitcher that threw at least one inning allowed a minimum of one run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids earned their seventh win in a row, a season high. Kai-Wei Teng also extended the Kernel’s quality start streak to nine straight games. He pitched seven innings and the only run scored with him on the mound was unearned. He struck out four and didn’t walk any as his season ERA dipped to 1.85. Cedar Rapids is 6-0 when he takes the mound. Moises Gomez earned his sixth save after striking out the side in the ninth. Gabe Snyder had a role in two of the biggest moments of the day. His first inning solo home run gave Cedar Rapids an early lead. In the sixth, he coaxed a two out walk and scored from first on a double from Jared Akins. Chris Williams followed with a double of his own to stretch the lead to 3-1. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 7, Kingsport 3 Box Score Elizabethton was out-hit six to nine, but it didn’t factor into the outcome of this game. Prelander Berroa did well to pitch five innings for the second consecutive start. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits for his first victory. In relief, Osiris German was very strong. He limited the Cardinals to one hit over three innings. He struck out four and walked a pair. Nate Hadley pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. Matt Wallner drove in a pair of runs with a home run in the first inning. It was his second professional home run. Charles Mack went 2-for-4 and added his third home run. Seth Gray reached base twice and scored a pair of runs to help the cause. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Kai-Wei Teng, Cedar Rapids (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 0 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (AL Futures Game) – 1-2, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, K, BB #6 - Jordan Balazovic (AL Futures Game) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did not play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 1-7, HR, RBI, R, 2 K #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-8, 2 K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – Did not play #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 1-5 #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-5, 2 K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 2-5, RBI MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester- Scheduled Off-Day Pensacola @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) – RHP Jorge Alcala (5-5, 6.69 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Daytona (6:00 CST) – RHP Cole Sands (4-2, 2.47 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35 CST) – RHP Austin Schulfer (6-4, 2.40 ERA) Elizabethton Twins @ Johnson City (5:30 CST)- LHP Ryley Widell (0-3, 10.38 ERA) GCL Twins vs. GCL Pirates (11:00 am CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games. Click here to view the article
  13. TRANSACTIONS OF Jake Cave recalled by Minnesota from Rochester. LHP Devin Smeltzer recalled by Minnesota from Rochester. INF Wilin Rosario reinstated from the IL with Rochester. AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week: Hitter of the Week: Jaylin Davis, Rochester In eight games including a Friday doubleheader, Davis hit .364 (12-for-33) with three doubles, four home runs, eight RBI, two walks and a 1.128 OPS. Davis, 25, was a 25th-round pick by the Twins in 2015 and has hit .284 (81-for-285) with 15 doubles, 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 77 games between Double-A Pensacola and Rochester. Pitcher of the Week: Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Rijo made the start on Thursday vs. Burlington, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with one hit allowed, no walks and 10 strikeouts. The 20-year-old Venezuela native was acquired by the Twins in 2018 from New York-AL, in exchange for right-handed pitcher and current Ranger Lance Lynn RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Scranton/WB 7 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score Yeltsin Encarnacion tried to carry the Red Wings offense all by himself in this one. He finished the day 3-for-3 with a run scored. Brent Rooker knocked his 14th home run of the year, while Jimmy Kerrigan collected his first Triple-A home run. Unfortunately, it was not enough. In a bullpen game, Preston Guilmet started and pitched three scoreless frames. He struck out three and limited batters to three hits. Jake Reed ran into some trouble in the fourth. He allowed four earned runs on three hits. Ryan Eades took the loss after allowing two earned runs on three hits in one inning. DJ Baxendale took the final frame and allowed a solo home run. Rochester 3, Scranton/WB 6 (Game 2 - 7 Innings) Box Score Rochester pitchers allowed six runs in the first three innings and the offense couldn’t recover. In only his fourth start for Rochester, Drew Hutchison took the brunt of the damage. He was charged with six runs on eight hits in five innings. This included three home runs. Gabriel Moya made it through a scoreless innings with a strikeout and two hits allowed. Fresh off his Player of the Week honors, Jaylin Davis clocked his eighth home run. It was a two run-shot and it briefly put Rochester on top. Ronald Torreyes and Wilin Rosario both went 2-for-3. Zander Wiel collected his 22nd double. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Birmingham 6 (10 Innings) Box Score Pensacola scored three runs over the final two innings, but it wouldn’t be enough as the bullpen faltered in extra frames. Charlie Barnes allowed his most earned runs in over a month, but he was able to keep the Blue Wahoos in the game. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits with six strike outs. Alex Phillips and Hector Lujan combined for four shutout innings to hold serve while the offense recovered. Zack Weiss allowed the final two runs of the game and was stuck with the loss. Offensively, four batters had multiple hits and the Blue Wahoos combined for eleven total hits. Unfortunately, the team went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Alex Kirilloff knocked his fourth home run. Lewin Diaz went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 12 Box Score Fort Myers had won six straight, but all good things must come to an end. Fort Myers was limited to eight hits including two extra-base hits. Jose Miranda went 1-for-4 with his 17th double. Michael Davis went 2-for-2 with a double. In a blowout loss, Cody Allen might have provided a positive light. Allen was used as an opener and pitched a perfect inning. According to reports, he was sitting in the low 90s with his fastball and he threw 83% of his pitches for strikes. Since joining Fort Myers, he has thrown four scoreless innings. There weren’t many other positives for the pitching staff as every pitcher that threw at least one inning allowed a minimum of one run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids earned their seventh win in a row, a season high. Kai-Wei Teng also extended the Kernel’s quality start streak to nine straight games. He pitched seven innings and the only run scored with him on the mound was unearned. He struck out four and didn’t walk any as his season ERA dipped to 1.85. Cedar Rapids is 6-0 when he takes the mound. Moises Gomez earned his sixth save after striking out the side in the ninth. Gabe Snyder had a role in two of the biggest moments of the day. His first inning solo home run gave Cedar Rapids an early lead. In the sixth, he coaxed a two out walk and scored from first on a double from Jared Akins. Chris Williams followed with a double of his own to stretch the lead to 3-1. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 7, Kingsport 3 Box Score Elizabethton was out-hit six to nine, but it didn’t factor into the outcome of this game. Prelander Berroa did well to pitch five innings for the second consecutive start. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits for his first victory. In relief, Osiris German was very strong. He limited the Cardinals to one hit over three innings. He struck out four and walked a pair. Nate Hadley pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. Matt Wallner drove in a pair of runs with a home run in the first inning. It was his second professional home run. Charles Mack went 2-for-4 and added his third home run. Seth Gray reached base twice and scored a pair of runs to help the cause. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Kai-Wei Teng, Cedar Rapids (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 0 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (AL Futures Game) – 1-2, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, K, BB #6 - Jordan Balazovic (AL Futures Game) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did not play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 1-7, HR, RBI, R, 2 K #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-8, 2 K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – Did not play #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 1-5 #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-5, 2 K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 2-5, RBI MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester- Scheduled Off-Day Pensacola @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) – RHP Jorge Alcala (5-5, 6.69 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Daytona (6:00 CST) – RHP Cole Sands (4-2, 2.47 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35 CST) – RHP Austin Schulfer (6-4, 2.40 ERA) Elizabethton Twins @ Johnson City (5:30 CST)- LHP Ryley Widell (0-3, 10.38 ERA) GCL Twins vs. GCL Pirates (11:00 am CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  14. In the years of writing the minor league report, one message has remained true: A winning tradition starts in an organization’s minor leagues. Twins fans are seeing the results of a winning tradition at the big-league level. Multiple players on the big-league roster were parts of winning clubs on their way to Target Field. That winning tradition continued Tuesday night.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Columbus 3 Box Score On Sunday night, I wrote about Willians Astudillo not wanting to be in Rochester. He has been trying to hit his way back to Minnesota. He’s had 11 at-bats in Rochester so far and he has collected eight hits. I’ll let that sink in a little. Tonight, he clocked the go-ahead home run in the sixth inning. Talk about Turtle Power! Jake Cave also continued his hot hitting ways. He reached base three times including his 12th double along with scoring a run. Nick Gordon got the scoring started early with a first inning solo home run. Brent Rooker reached base three times including his ninth double. On the mound, Devin Smeltzer went five strong innings, striking out seven and walking one. He allowed three runs, all of which came off two home runs. Rochester’s bullpen picked up the slack as they allowed one hit in the final four innings. Cody Stashak struck out three in two shutout innings. Gabriel Moya and Fernando Romero combined to strikeout three over the final two innings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Biloxi 6 Box Score The Blue Wahoos struggled to find any offense in this game. Travis Blankenhorn and Taylor Grzelakowski had the team’s only hits and both players reached base two times. Pensacola struck out 16 time against Shuckers pitchers. Overall, the club went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Andro Cutura started and pitched five innings. He allowed four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. His seven strikeouts were a season high. Adam Bray took over for Cutura and he tried to make it through the rest of the game. He ran into some trouble in the bottom of the eighth as two men crossed the plate. He lasted 2 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking one. Jordan Gore recorded the last out and allowed one hit. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Tampa 1 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score With the first-half division title on the line, Ryan Jeffers and Giancarlo Stanton got into a home run battle. Spoiler alert… Jeffers comes out on top. In Game 1 of the double-header, Jeffers cracked a pair of two-run home runs to help the Miracle. Trevor Larnach also helped the cause as he went 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Michael Helman added a two-run double to help stretch the lead. Tyler Watson pitched into the fifth inning and held Tampa to one earned run, a home run to Stanton. He struck out four and walked one in 4 2/3 innings. Joe Record pitched 2 1/3 scoreless frames to put the Miracle in position to clinch a first-half title. He struck out two and limited the Tarpons to one hit. Ft. Myers 7, Tampa 2 (Game 2- 7 Innings) Box Score Royce Lewis got things started in the first inning as he singled and moved to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Lewin Diaz moved him to third on a groundout before a wild pitch allowed Lewis to scamper home. Fort Myers kept it going in the second as the first four batters reached base. Mark Contreras singled and Trey Cabbage followed with a walk. Ernie De La Trinidad singled to load the bases and then Ryan Costello stepped to the plate. His sixth double of the season scored two runs to put the Miracle up 3-0. That would be more than enough for Melvi Acosta. He started for the Miracle and tossed five shutout innings. He limited Tampa to four hits while adding three strikeouts. It was his first time making it through five innings since May 5. Alex Phillips allowed two runs during the final two innings, but Fort Myers had more than enough to clinch the first half title. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Wisconsin 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids waited until the fifth inning to get their bats going, but the club was able to push across runs in three consecutive frames to come out on top. Austin Schulfer was in control on the mound. He limited Wisconsin to one hit over six innings. He struck out eight and walked two on the way to his first win since May 22. Carlos Suniaga earned his first hold as he struck out the side in the seventh inning. Derek Molina picked up his eighth save and like many of his other appearances this year, he was asked to get more than three outs. Over two innings, he didn’t allow a hit, struck out two, and walked one. Gabe Snyder provided most of the offensive punch. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs. His three RBIs were the difference in the game. Jared Akins added his seventh home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Austin Schulfer, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 8 K, 3 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Jeffers, Fort Myers (2-for-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 3-8, R, RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Injured list #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Injured list (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 4-7, 2 R #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4 #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 1-2, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Injured list (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 2-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4 #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-3, RBI, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-3 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Columbus (6:05 CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-3, 5.95 ERA) Pensacola vs. Tennessee (6:35 CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (4-1, 2.29 ERA) Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Wisconsin (12:05 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games. Click here to view the article
  15. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Columbus 3 Box Score On Sunday night, I wrote about Willians Astudillo not wanting to be in Rochester. He has been trying to hit his way back to Minnesota. He’s had 11 at-bats in Rochester so far and he has collected eight hits. I’ll let that sink in a little. Tonight, he clocked the go-ahead home run in the sixth inning. Talk about Turtle Power! https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1138608925715156992 Jake Cave also continued his hot hitting ways. He reached base three times including his 12th double along with scoring a run. Nick Gordon got the scoring started early with a first inning solo home run. Brent Rooker reached base three times including his ninth double. On the mound, Devin Smeltzer went five strong innings, striking out seven and walking one. He allowed three runs, all of which came off two home runs. Rochester’s bullpen picked up the slack as they allowed one hit in the final four innings. Cody Stashak struck out three in two shutout innings. Gabriel Moya and Fernando Romero combined to strikeout three over the final two innings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Biloxi 6 Box Score The Blue Wahoos struggled to find any offense in this game. Travis Blankenhorn and Taylor Grzelakowski had the team’s only hits and both players reached base two times. Pensacola struck out 16 time against Shuckers pitchers. Overall, the club went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Andro Cutura started and pitched five innings. He allowed four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. His seven strikeouts were a season high. Adam Bray took over for Cutura and he tried to make it through the rest of the game. He ran into some trouble in the bottom of the eighth as two men crossed the plate. He lasted 2 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking one. Jordan Gore recorded the last out and allowed one hit. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Tampa 1 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score With the first-half division title on the line, Ryan Jeffers and Giancarlo Stanton got into a home run battle. Spoiler alert… Jeffers comes out on top. In Game 1 of the double-header, Jeffers cracked a pair of two-run home runs to help the Miracle. Trevor Larnach also helped the cause as he went 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Michael Helman added a two-run double to help stretch the lead. Tyler Watson pitched into the fifth inning and held Tampa to one earned run, a home run to Stanton. He struck out four and walked one in 4 2/3 innings. Joe Record pitched 2 1/3 scoreless frames to put the Miracle in position to clinch a first-half title. He struck out two and limited the Tarpons to one hit. Ft. Myers 7, Tampa 2 (Game 2- 7 Innings) Box Score Royce Lewis got things started in the first inning as he singled and moved to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Lewin Diaz moved him to third on a groundout before a wild pitch allowed Lewis to scamper home. Fort Myers kept it going in the second as the first four batters reached base. Mark Contreras singled and Trey Cabbage followed with a walk. Ernie De La Trinidad singled to load the bases and then Ryan Costello stepped to the plate. His sixth double of the season scored two runs to put the Miracle up 3-0. That would be more than enough for Melvi Acosta. He started for the Miracle and tossed five shutout innings. He limited Tampa to four hits while adding three strikeouts. It was his first time making it through five innings since May 5. Alex Phillips allowed two runs during the final two innings, but Fort Myers had more than enough to clinch the first half title. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1138636425929383936 https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1138639378983636992 KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Wisconsin 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids waited until the fifth inning to get their bats going, but the club was able to push across runs in three consecutive frames to come out on top. Austin Schulfer was in control on the mound. He limited Wisconsin to one hit over six innings. He struck out eight and walked two on the way to his first win since May 22. Carlos Suniaga earned his first hold as he struck out the side in the seventh inning. Derek Molina picked up his eighth save and like many of his other appearances this year, he was asked to get more than three outs. Over two innings, he didn’t allow a hit, struck out two, and walked one. Gabe Snyder provided most of the offensive punch. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs. His three RBIs were the difference in the game. Jared Akins added his seventh home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Austin Schulfer, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 8 K, 3 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Jeffers, Fort Myers (2-for-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 3-8, R, RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Injured list #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Injured list (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 4-7, 2 R #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4 #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 1-2, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Injured list (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 2-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4 #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-3, RBI, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-3 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Columbus (6:05 CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-3, 5.95 ERA) Pensacola vs. Tennessee (6:35 CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (4-1, 2.29 ERA) Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Wisconsin (12:05 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.
  16. How do you define success? When the subject is a minor league baseball team, that can sometimes be a thorny question. By most traditional measurements, you’d have to twist yourself into a few knots to come up with a way to describe the first six weeks of the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ 2019 campaign as a success.As the Kernels begin a four-game commuter series against the Clinton Lumberkings on Thursday night, they’re pretty well entrenched deep into the lower half of the Midwest League’s eight-team Western Division standings with a 17-22 record. They sit in seventh place, eight games behind Division-leading Quad Cities and six games behind second place Burlington, which is important because the top two finishers in each division during the league’s first half will qualify for the postseason. The Kernels have won just three of the season’s first 13 series and none since they won back-to-back series against Beloit and Wisconsin in mid-April. Their .219 team batting average and .654 OPS place them 14th in each of those offensive categories among the 16 teams in the MWL. There isn’t much in those numbers that shouts “success,” with just over four weeks remaining in the season’s first-half race and, to be sure, Kernels fans and the local front office would love to start seeing more productivity on the field and, frankly, more wins. But when you’re talking about the Class-A minor league level, success is as much, if not more, about developing young ballplayers and preparing them for the challenges awaiting them at the next rung on the professional baseball organizational ladder. And that’s one area where manager Brian Dinkelman and his coaching staff can take justifiable pride in their squad’s success this year. “You like to keep guys here as long as possible to try to win games,” Dinkelman said earlier this week, “but once they’re developed and feel like they’re ready for the next level, then that’s the thing for them to get up to the next level and get them closer to the big leagues.” Already this year, five of the players who came north out of spring training as part of the Kernels’ Opening Day roster have been promoted. Shortstop Joe Cronin is now playing Class Double-A ball with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, while outfielder Trey Cabbage, relief pitcher Joe Record and starting pitcher Jordan Balazovic are all playing key roles with Class High-A Fort Myers. The most recent promotion was catcher David Banuelos, who got his plane ticket to Fort Myers earlier this week after doing excellent work behind the plate for the Kernels and showing some power with seven extra-base hits on his stat line. Banuelos had one hit in four at-bats in his first game with the Miracle. Cronin is still trying to find his groove at the plate in Pensacola after putting up a 1.106 OPS for Cedar Rapids, but all three of the other players the Kernels have sent to the Miracle in Fort Myers have immediately become among their new team’s statistical leaders. In Cedar Rapids, Cabbage was hitting .313 with an OPS of 1.029 and six home runs (which is still good enough to tie him for fourth place in the Midwest League, a full two weeks after his departure from the Kernels) when he was promoted. In his nine games with the Miracle, he’s hit .344 with an OPS of .964. He’s yet to go yard for the Miracle, but he’s knocked four doubles and a triple. “I was happy for Trey,” Dinkelman said. “He’d been (in Cedar Rapids) a couple of years and he got off to a great start for us, was hitting the ball well. We knew it was time for him to move on up there and see what he can do at the next level.” Joe Record didn’t allow even one earned run during his seven appearances out of the Kernels’ bullpen, while notching five saves as the club’s closer and striking out almost two batters per inning pitched. While he can’t boast the same perfect 0.00 ERA in Fort Myers, he’s kept his WHIP down to just 0.95, while continuing to strike out just under one batter per inning. And then there’s Jordan Balazovic. The 6’ 4” 20-year-old pitched well in his four pre-promotion starts for Cedar Rapids, notching a 2.18 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, holding hitters to a .195 batting average and striking out 33 batters in his 20 2/3 innings. All he did in his Miracle debut was throw seven perfect innings. His second outing only lasted five innings and he gave up a pair of earned runs, but he also struck out 12 batters. Those performances impressed his former manager. If he keeps having performances like he had his first two outings, he may not be (in Fort Myers) long,” a smiling Dinkelman said of Balazovic. “Ten strikeouts and 12 strikeouts, something like that. It’s good to see those guys go up there and play well.” And it’s unlikely the flow of talent through the Cedar Rapids-to-Fort Myers pipeline is going to stop any time soon. Their record may not show it, but there are still several individual success stories being written in Cedar Rapids. First baseman Gabe Snyder wasn’t on the Kernels’ Opening Day roster this year, but he arrived just a week into the season and he’s hit .319 with a dozen extra-base hits, including three home runs. The Cedar Rapids rotation misses Balazovic, obviously, but other members of that group have continued to keep the Kernels in games through the first several innings, anyway. “I feel like our starting pitching is giving us a chance,” Dinkelman said. “Now they’re going five or six innings a game, keeping us in the ballgame, giving our offense a chance to put some runs on the board. Starting pitching in baseball is the key. If you can get a starter to go out there and give you six, seven strong innings, keep your team in the game, give you a chance to win, that’s all you can ask for.” Dinkelman is getting that kind of result from several of his starting pitchers. Cole Sands has a 2.59 ERA through six starts, striking out 36 batters in 31 1/3 innings. He has yet to surrender a home run this season. Josh Winder has a 2.97 ERA, also through six starts. He’s notched a 1.05 WHIP while striking out 32 batters in 36 1/3 innings. Andrew Cabezas’ 1-3 record belies his actual performance. His 1.10 WHIP and 30 strikeouts through 32 2/3 innings are among the team’s leaders. His most recent performance, in a start on Wednesday against division-leading Quad Cities, was his best of the year. In seven shutout innings, he surrendered just one hit and issued no walks while striking out nine. Blayne Enlow is the lone top-10 rated organizational prospect in the Kernels roster and, while he’s had a couple of tough outings among his six starts, he’s also shown glimpses of the talent that scouts have been impressed with. In his most recent start on May 9, he struck out six over six innings of work, without surrendering an earned run. (He is scheduled to start Thursday night’s game in Clinton.) It won’t be easy for the Kernels to catch up to the division leaders in time to lock up a postseason berth during the season’s first half, but that’s the beauty of the minor league split-season format. They get to start over on June 20. The locals are hoping that uber-prospect Wander Javier will prove himself healthy enough to provide some spark to the Kernels’ lineup well before that date. So far, however, the young shortstop has not been able to stay on the field long enough for the Twins to feel comfortable sending him to Cedar Rapids. In the end, regardless of what we see in the standings, we can be certain there will be plenty of individual success stories coming through Cedar Rapids during the summer. Kernels Notes Hitting: Gabe Snyder leads all qualifying hitters in the MWL in OPS (.957), is tied for 4th in BA (.319), 2nd in SLG (.542), 5th in OBP (.414)Yeltsin Encarnacion had a 7-game hitting streak snapped on Wednesday.Pitching: (We covered the starting pitching pretty thoroughly in the article, but there are a couple of relief arms that are also performing well this month.)Derek Molina has not surrendered an earned run since April 15. In his last 8 appearances, totaling 10 IP, while not giving up an earned run, he has struck out 14 and walked 3.Zach Neff has surrendered just 1 earned run in his last 5 appearances out of the bullpen covering 8 2/3 innings, striking out 14 while walking just 1 in that stretch.Want to read more about the Kernels? Click on these links for stories from The Gazette’s Kernels beat reporter, Jeff Johnson. Kernels coach and former Twins infielder Luis Rodriguez is thinking about Venezuela.RHP Cole Sands was impressive in earning his first professional win.RHP Andrew Cabezas keep hitters off balance with a variety of windups. (This article from JJ includes an imbedded video of one of Cabezas’ most interesting windups this season.) Click here to view the article
  17. As the Kernels begin a four-game commuter series against the Clinton Lumberkings on Thursday night, they’re pretty well entrenched deep into the lower half of the Midwest League’s eight-team Western Division standings with a 17-22 record. They sit in seventh place, eight games behind Division-leading Quad Cities and six games behind second place Burlington, which is important because the top two finishers in each division during the league’s first half will qualify for the postseason. The Kernels have won just three of the season’s first 13 series and none since they won back-to-back series against Beloit and Wisconsin in mid-April. Their .219 team batting average and .654 OPS place them 14th in each of those offensive categories among the 16 teams in the MWL. There isn’t much in those numbers that shouts “success,” with just over four weeks remaining in the season’s first-half race and, to be sure, Kernels fans and the local front office would love to start seeing more productivity on the field and, frankly, more wins. But when you’re talking about the Class-A minor league level, success is as much, if not more, about developing young ballplayers and preparing them for the challenges awaiting them at the next rung on the professional baseball organizational ladder. And that’s one area where manager Brian Dinkelman and his coaching staff can take justifiable pride in their squad’s success this year. “You like to keep guys here as long as possible to try to win games,” Dinkelman said earlier this week, “but once they’re developed and feel like they’re ready for the next level, then that’s the thing for them to get up to the next level and get them closer to the big leagues.” Already this year, five of the players who came north out of spring training as part of the Kernels’ Opening Day roster have been promoted. Shortstop Joe Cronin is now playing Class Double-A ball with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, while outfielder Trey Cabbage, relief pitcher Joe Record and starting pitcher Jordan Balazovic are all playing key roles with Class High-A Fort Myers. The most recent promotion was catcher David Banuelos, who got his plane ticket to Fort Myers earlier this week after doing excellent work behind the plate for the Kernels and showing some power with seven extra-base hits on his stat line. Banuelos had one hit in four at-bats in his first game with the Miracle. Cronin is still trying to find his groove at the plate in Pensacola after putting up a 1.106 OPS for Cedar Rapids, but all three of the other players the Kernels have sent to the Miracle in Fort Myers have immediately become among their new team’s statistical leaders. In Cedar Rapids, Cabbage was hitting .313 with an OPS of 1.029 and six home runs (which is still good enough to tie him for fourth place in the Midwest League, a full two weeks after his departure from the Kernels) when he was promoted. In his nine games with the Miracle, he’s hit .344 with an OPS of .964. He’s yet to go yard for the Miracle, but he’s knocked four doubles and a triple. “I was happy for Trey,” Dinkelman said. “He’d been (in Cedar Rapids) a couple of years and he got off to a great start for us, was hitting the ball well. We knew it was time for him to move on up there and see what he can do at the next level.” Joe Record didn’t allow even one earned run during his seven appearances out of the Kernels’ bullpen, while notching five saves as the club’s closer and striking out almost two batters per inning pitched. While he can’t boast the same perfect 0.00 ERA in Fort Myers, he’s kept his WHIP down to just 0.95, while continuing to strike out just under one batter per inning. And then there’s Jordan Balazovic. The 6’ 4” 20-year-old pitched well in his four pre-promotion starts for Cedar Rapids, notching a 2.18 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, holding hitters to a .195 batting average and striking out 33 batters in his 20 2/3 innings. All he did in his Miracle debut was throw seven perfect innings. His second outing only lasted five innings and he gave up a pair of earned runs, but he also struck out 12 batters. Those performances impressed his former manager. If he keeps having performances like he had his first two outings, he may not be (in Fort Myers) long,” a smiling Dinkelman said of Balazovic. “Ten strikeouts and 12 strikeouts, something like that. It’s good to see those guys go up there and play well.” And it’s unlikely the flow of talent through the Cedar Rapids-to-Fort Myers pipeline is going to stop any time soon. Their record may not show it, but there are still several individual success stories being written in Cedar Rapids. First baseman Gabe Snyder wasn’t on the Kernels’ Opening Day roster this year, but he arrived just a week into the season and he’s hit .319 with a dozen extra-base hits, including three home runs. The Cedar Rapids rotation misses Balazovic, obviously, but other members of that group have continued to keep the Kernels in games through the first several innings, anyway. “I feel like our starting pitching is giving us a chance,” Dinkelman said. “Now they’re going five or six innings a game, keeping us in the ballgame, giving our offense a chance to put some runs on the board. Starting pitching in baseball is the key. If you can get a starter to go out there and give you six, seven strong innings, keep your team in the game, give you a chance to win, that’s all you can ask for.” Dinkelman is getting that kind of result from several of his starting pitchers. Cole Sands has a 2.59 ERA through six starts, striking out 36 batters in 31 1/3 innings. He has yet to surrender a home run this season. Josh Winder has a 2.97 ERA, also through six starts. He’s notched a 1.05 WHIP while striking out 32 batters in 36 1/3 innings. Andrew Cabezas’ 1-3 record belies his actual performance. His 1.10 WHIP and 30 strikeouts through 32 2/3 innings are among the team’s leaders. His most recent performance, in a start on Wednesday against division-leading Quad Cities, was his best of the year. In seven shutout innings, he surrendered just one hit and issued no walks while striking out nine. Blayne Enlow is the lone top-10 rated organizational prospect in the Kernels roster and, while he’s had a couple of tough outings among his six starts, he’s also shown glimpses of the talent that scouts have been impressed with. In his most recent start on May 9, he struck out six over six innings of work, without surrendering an earned run. (He is scheduled to start Thursday night’s game in Clinton.) It won’t be easy for the Kernels to catch up to the division leaders in time to lock up a postseason berth during the season’s first half, but that’s the beauty of the minor league split-season format. They get to start over on June 20. The locals are hoping that uber-prospect Wander Javier will prove himself healthy enough to provide some spark to the Kernels’ lineup well before that date. So far, however, the young shortstop has not been able to stay on the field long enough for the Twins to feel comfortable sending him to Cedar Rapids. In the end, regardless of what we see in the standings, we can be certain there will be plenty of individual success stories coming through Cedar Rapids during the summer. Kernels Notes Hitting: Gabe Snyder leads all qualifying hitters in the MWL in OPS (.957), is tied for 4th in BA (.319), 2nd in SLG (.542), 5th in OBP (.414) Yeltsin Encarnacion had a 7-game hitting streak snapped on Wednesday. Pitching: (We covered the starting pitching pretty thoroughly in the article, but there are a couple of relief arms that are also performing well this month.) Derek Molina has not surrendered an earned run since April 15. In his last 8 appearances, totaling 10 IP, while not giving up an earned run, he has struck out 14 and walked 3. Zach Neff has surrendered just 1 earned run in his last 5 appearances out of the bullpen covering 8 2/3 innings, striking out 14 while walking just 1 in that stretch. Want to read more about the Kernels? Click on these links for stories from The Gazette’s Kernels beat reporter, Jeff Johnson. Kernels coach and former Twins infielder Luis Rodriguez is thinking about Venezuela. RHP Cole Sands was impressive in earning his first professional win. RHP Andrew Cabezas keep hitters off balance with a variety of windups. (This article from JJ includes an imbedded video of one of Cabezas’ most interesting windups this season.)
  18. TRANSACTIONS INF Miguel Sanó transferred from AA to AAA for his MLB rehab assignment RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota RHP Tyler Duffey recalled by Minnesota (26th man for the DH) Update: Following the game, Stewart and Fernando Romero were optioned to Rochester. Martine Perez was actvated from the paternity list. Willians Astudillo will be activated from the Injured List on Sunday morning. Also, as the 26th man, Tyler Duffey was sent back to Rochester, as well. RED WINGS REPORT Red Wings 0, Durham 1 Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 68% strikes (68 of 100 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None The talk so far about AAA has been the offensive explosion that seems to have come as a result of the MLB ball being implemented at the AAA level. Evidently, no one told Devin Smeltzer that this is an offense-heavy environment because he fired off eight impressive shutout innings to continue his absolute tear through the minors to start the season. So far, he has surrendered just two earned runs through his forty-five innings of work at AA and AAA combined. He may be at the majors sooner rather than later if this keeps up. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, the Bulls pitching was just as good and were able to hold the Red Wings to two hits on the day. Old friend Oliver Drake served as the opener for Durham (they are the affiliate for the Rays after all, they have to get crafty somewhere) and in total, all but two outs thrown by the Bulls came from pitchers with major league experience. Miguel Sanó went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts in his first AAA rehab game but played some nifty defense in the process. https://twitter.com/MorrieSilver8/status/1127366401805770753 https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1127324773602795525 BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Chattanooga 5 (5 innings, ended due to rain) Box Score Sean Poppen: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 49.2% strikes (29 of 59 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None While the Miracle had to finish game that started the day before due to rain, the Blue Wahoos saw their game cut short for the same reason. Someone needs to find whatever voodoo doll or prayer would finally allow the teams to play games without unnecessary comments from Mother Nature. No Blue Wahoos hitter reached base twice, but Jordan Gore was the only one who saw more than two plate appearances in the game. Despite only playing five innings, the basepaths were an active highway as there were five stolen base attempts combined in the game. The Blue Wahoos only attempt was unsuccessful while the Lookouts were successful on three with a single caught stealing. MIRACLE MATTERS Game one: Ft. Myers 2, Tampa 5 (continued from yesterday, 7 innings) Box Score Tyler Watson: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 61.7% strikes (58 of 94 pitches) HR: Lewin Diaz (3), Ryan Costello (4) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (2-for-4), Royce Lewis (2-for-4, 2B) This game was suspended yesterday due to heavy rain because Mother Nature’s wrath on the Twins minor league teams refuses to end. Because of this, they started in the bottom of the fifth inning and would play until the end of the seventh. Fort Myers flexed their muscles as Lewin Diaz launched another home run and Ryan Costello decided to join in on the fun and hit his own homer in the fifth. Royce Lewis added another multi-hit game to his season total, a good sign as he struggled to start the year but appears to be turning it around. More strong hitting performances will punch his ticket to Pensacola eventually. There were no runs scored today after play was resumed and despite out hitting the Tarpons, the Miracle eventually lost. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1126956368462741505 https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1126951322794778624 Game two: Ft. Myers 3, Tampa 4 (7 innings) Box Score Charlie Barnes: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 53.3% strikes (8 of 15 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games:Jose Miranda (2-for-4, RBI), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-3, R, BB), Trey Cabbage (2-for-3, 2B, RBI) The second game of the doubleheader proved to be quite the match as it came down to the wire in the bottom of the seventh. The Miracle were able to put up some runs in the sixth thanks to an RBI double from Trey Cabbage and some wild pitch shenanigans. A Jose Miranda single in the seventh plated Royce Lewis and brought the game within a run, but Lewin Diaz and Ryan Jeffers both flew out to end the game. The Miracle ran with somewhat of a bullpen game as Charlie Barnes only went for an inning before Hector Lujan, Joe Record, and Johan Quezada combined afterwards to end the game. Trey Cabbage continued to sting the ball as his 2-for-3 effort raised his A+ average to .350 and his OPS to .909 (that’s high-A average to be clear, but a .350 is also worth an A plus so I guess it works). The Miracle out-hit the Tarpons again but the team went 2-for-14 with RISP and that proved to be part of their downfall for the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, West Michigan 7 Box Score Cole Sands: 5 ⅓ IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 65.0% strikes (63 of 97 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder (2) Multi-hit games: Gabe Snyder (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Yeltsin Encarnacion (2-for-4, RBI) A game that was played in full without any rain interference? I didn’t know that was allowed. Anyways, despite getting hit for four runs in his start, Cole Sands was encouraging by punching out eight hitters while only walking a single batter, some better luck will result in a cleaner line eventually. Gabe Snyder hit his second homer of the season and is now holding an OPS of .930 at A ball. Some more games like the one today will put his name in the conversation for a promotion. The Kernels as a whole struck out fourteen Whitecaps despite only throwing eight innings today, an impressive total indeed. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-8, 2 2B, R, 2 K (2 games) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-for-2 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2B, 3 BB (2 games) #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Season has not started #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-3, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-7, BB, 3 K (2 games) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-3, R, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3 #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, R, BB #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-for-4, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-6, RBI, K (2 games) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Durham @ Rochester (12:05 P.M.) - Pensacola @ Chattanooga (1:15 P.M.) - RHP Jorge Alcala (The other leagues are off for Mother’s Day, which is in fact tomorrow) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  19. Unfortunately, there were no wins to be had in the Twins minor league system this Saturday but that does not mean that there was nothing to be excited about. Specifically, there was quite the start from a young left hander who could be on the major league team very soon. Read all about it and more as I take you through this journey.TRANSACTIONS INF Miguel Sanó transferred from AA to AAA for his MLB rehab assignment RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota RHP Tyler Duffey recalled by Minnesota (26th man for the DH) Update: Following the game, Stewart and Fernando Romero were optioned to Rochester. Martine Perez was actvated from the paternity list. Willians Astudillo will be activated from the Injured List on Sunday morning. Also, as the 26th man, Tyler Duffey was sent back to Rochester, as well. RED WINGS REPORT Red Wings 0, Durham 1 Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 68% strikes (68 of 100 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None The talk so far about AAA has been the offensive explosion that seems to have come as a result of the MLB ball being implemented at the AAA level. Evidently, no one told Devin Smeltzer that this is an offense-heavy environment because he fired off eight impressive shutout innings to continue his absolute tear through the minors to start the season. So far, he has surrendered just two earned runs through his forty-five innings of work at AA and AAA combined. He may be at the majors sooner rather than later if this keeps up. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, the Bulls pitching was just as good and were able to hold the Red Wings to two hits on the day. Old friend Oliver Drake served as the opener for Durham (they are the affiliate for the Rays after all, they have to get crafty somewhere) and in total, all but two outs thrown by the Bulls came from pitchers with major league experience. Miguel Sanó went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts in his first AAA rehab game but played some nifty defense in the process. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Chattanooga 5 (5 innings, ended due to rain) Box Score Sean Poppen: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 49.2% strikes (29 of 59 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None While the Miracle had to finish game that started the day before due to rain, the Blue Wahoos saw their game cut short for the same reason. Someone needs to find whatever voodoo doll or prayer would finally allow the teams to play games without unnecessary comments from Mother Nature. No Blue Wahoos hitter reached base twice, but Jordan Gore was the only one who saw more than two plate appearances in the game. Despite only playing five innings, the basepaths were an active highway as there were five stolen base attempts combined in the game. The Blue Wahoos only attempt was unsuccessful while the Lookouts were successful on three with a single caught stealing. MIRACLE MATTERS Game one: Ft. Myers 2, Tampa 5 (continued from yesterday, 7 innings) Box Score Tyler Watson: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 61.7% strikes (58 of 94 pitches) HR: Lewin Diaz (3), Ryan Costello (4) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (2-for-4), Royce Lewis (2-for-4, 2B) This game was suspended yesterday due to heavy rain because Mother Nature’s wrath on the Twins minor league teams refuses to end. Because of this, they started in the bottom of the fifth inning and would play until the end of the seventh. Fort Myers flexed their muscles as Lewin Diaz launched another home run and Ryan Costello decided to join in on the fun and hit his own homer in the fifth. Royce Lewis added another multi-hit game to his season total, a good sign as he struggled to start the year but appears to be turning it around. More strong hitting performances will punch his ticket to Pensacola eventually. There were no runs scored today after play was resumed and despite out hitting the Tarpons, the Miracle eventually lost. Game two: Ft. Myers 3, Tampa 4 (7 innings) Box Score Charlie Barnes: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 53.3% strikes (8 of 15 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games:Jose Miranda (2-for-4, RBI), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-3, R, BB), Trey Cabbage (2-for-3, 2B, RBI) The second game of the doubleheader proved to be quite the match as it came down to the wire in the bottom of the seventh. The Miracle were able to put up some runs in the sixth thanks to an RBI double from Trey Cabbage and some wild pitch shenanigans. A Jose Miranda single in the seventh plated Royce Lewis and brought the game within a run, but Lewin Diaz and Ryan Jeffers both flew out to end the game. The Miracle ran with somewhat of a bullpen game as Charlie Barnes only went for an inning before Hector Lujan, Joe Record, and Johan Quezada combined afterwards to end the game. Trey Cabbage continued to sting the ball as his 2-for-3 effort raised his A+ average to .350 and his OPS to .909 (that’s high-A average to be clear, but a .350 is also worth an A plus so I guess it works). The Miracle out-hit the Tarpons again but the team went 2-for-14 with RISP and that proved to be part of their downfall for the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, West Michigan 7 Box Score Cole Sands: 5 ⅓ IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 65.0% strikes (63 of 97 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder (2) Multi-hit games: Gabe Snyder (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Yeltsin Encarnacion (2-for-4, RBI) A game that was played in full without any rain interference? I didn’t know that was allowed. Anyways, despite getting hit for four runs in his start, Cole Sands was encouraging by punching out eight hitters while only walking a single batter, some better luck will result in a cleaner line eventually. Gabe Snyder hit his second homer of the season and is now holding an OPS of .930 at A ball. Some more games like the one today will put his name in the conversation for a promotion. The Kernels as a whole struck out fourteen Whitecaps despite only throwing eight innings today, an impressive total indeed. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-8, 2 2B, R, 2 K (2 games) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-for-2 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2B, 3 BB (2 games) #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Season has not started #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-3, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-7, BB, 3 K (2 games) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-3, R, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3 #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, R, BB #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-for-4, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-6, RBI, K (2 games) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Durham @ Rochester (12:05 P.M.) - Pensacola @ Chattanooga (1:15 P.M.) - RHP Jorge Alcala (The other leagues are off for Mother’s Day, which is in fact tomorrow) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  20. As Minnesota is experiencing another cold stretch, it’s hard to believe that April is complete. The good news is that it is time to highlight some of the top minor league performers during the month of April. We will get to the pitchers over the next couple of days, but today we start with the top hitters for the month.Let’s take a look at the Top 4 hitters for the month of April, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention. HONORABLE MENTION 1B Gabe Snyder - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 17-52, .327/400/.558 (.958) with three doubles, three triples and a home run.1B/C Chris Williams - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 13-51, .285/.406/.529 (.936) with two doubles, four homers and 10 RBI.3B Brian Schales - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 14-58, .241/.405/.500 (.905) with four doubles, a triple, three homers and 13 RBI.C Tomas Telis - Rochester Red Wings - .15-53, .283/.328/.528 (.856) with four doubles, three homers and seven RBI.OF Jaylin Davis - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 22-70, .314/.342/.500 (.842) with four doubles, three homers and nine RBI.C Ben Rortvedt - Ft. Myers Miracle - 15-60, .250/.375/.467 (.842) with five doubles, one triple, two homers and nine RBI.2B/3B Luis Arraez - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 30-95, .316/.404/.358 (.762) with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI.THE TOP FOUR HITTERS Number 4 – Pensacola Blue Wahoos - C/IF Caleb Hamilton - .283/.403/.500 (.903). 17-60 with five doubles, one triple, two home runs and nine RBI. Hamilton was the Twins 23rd round pick in 2016 out of Oregon State. Following that season, He had been an infielder in college, but following his pro debut, the Twins moved him behind the plate. He has become a trusted catcher in the organization. He has greatly improved his game calling, blocking and is a good pitch receiver. He got off to a strong start in his Double-A debut month, enough that he has received additional at-bats playing at first base and third base. Hamilton is strong and compact. He has a strong arm, and he has some power. Number 3 - Rochester Red Wings – 3B Randy Cesar - .316/.366/.566 (.932), 24-76 with 10 doubles, three homers and 18 RBI. Cesar signed a minor league contract with the Twins this spring after pending seven seasons in the Houston Astros organization. He gained some notoriety last year when he had a 42-game hitting streak. At 6-4 and 240 pounds, Cesar has a lot of power potential, though he has never hit more than the ten homers he hit last year at AA Corpus Christi. The 24-year-old is off to a fast start with the Red Wings, hitting for average and power. This is an award for hitting, so there’s really no need to mention that he has eight errors in 12 games at third base already this year. Number 2 - Rochester Red Wings – 1B Zander Wiel - .253/.313/.600 (.913), 19-75 with four doubles, two triples, six homers and 14 RBI. Wiel came to the Twins as their 12th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt. He has moved up one level each year, though he ended 2018 with a handful of games with the Red Wings. While Wiel has spent time the last couple of seasons, and in spring training, in left field, he played exclusively at first base. Wiel strikes out a fair share of the time, but he has always been an extra-base hitting machine. The 26-year-old ended the month strong with multi-hit games in three of the month’s last four games. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle – OF Trey Cabbage - .300/.395/.600 (.995), 21-70 with one double, one triple and six homers and 16 RBI. Trey Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He spent that summer in the GCL. In 2016, he played at Elizabethton. That’s where he started 2017 as well before playing the final two months in Cedar Rapids. That’s where he spent all of 2018 as well. Cabbage was likely a bit disappointed to learn that he would start 2019 with the Kernels, but he handled it just as you would hope. Instead of worrying about things like results and promotions, he trusted the process. On the field, he got off to a fast start and carried it through the month. In fact, his final game of April came for the Ft. Myers Miracle. For the month, the powerful first baseman/outfielder led the Twins minor leagues in OPS, slugging percentage and home runs. Still just 21 years old for a couple more days, Cabbage should have an opportunity for playing time with the Miracle. While he has played mostly right field this year, he can play left field, first base and possibly third base. We would like to congratulate Trey Cabbage, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for April 2019. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions. Click here to view the article
  21. Let’s take a look at the Top 4 hitters for the month of April, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention. HONORABLE MENTION 1B Gabe Snyder - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 17-52, .327/400/.558 (.958) with three doubles, three triples and a home run. 1B/C Chris Williams - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 13-51, .285/.406/.529 (.936) with two doubles, four homers and 10 RBI. 3B Brian Schales - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 14-58, .241/.405/.500 (.905) with four doubles, a triple, three homers and 13 RBI. C Tomas Telis - Rochester Red Wings - .15-53, .283/.328/.528 (.856) with four doubles, three homers and seven RBI. OF Jaylin Davis - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 22-70, .314/.342/.500 (.842) with four doubles, three homers and nine RBI. C Ben Rortvedt - Ft. Myers Miracle - 15-60, .250/.375/.467 (.842) with five doubles, one triple, two homers and nine RBI. 2B/3B Luis Arraez - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 30-95, .316/.404/.358 (.762) with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI. THE TOP FOUR HITTERS Number 4 – Pensacola Blue Wahoos - C/IF Caleb Hamilton - .283/.403/.500 (.903). 17-60 with five doubles, one triple, two home runs and nine RBI. Hamilton was the Twins 23rd round pick in 2016 out of Oregon State. Following that season, He had been an infielder in college, but following his pro debut, the Twins moved him behind the plate. He has become a trusted catcher in the organization. He has greatly improved his game calling, blocking and is a good pitch receiver. He got off to a strong start in his Double-A debut month, enough that he has received additional at-bats playing at first base and third base. Hamilton is strong and compact. He has a strong arm, and he has some power. Number 3 - Rochester Red Wings – 3B Randy Cesar - .316/.366/.566 (.932), 24-76 with 10 doubles, three homers and 18 RBI. Cesar signed a minor league contract with the Twins this spring after pending seven seasons in the Houston Astros organization. He gained some notoriety last year when he had a 42-game hitting streak. At 6-4 and 240 pounds, Cesar has a lot of power potential, though he has never hit more than the ten homers he hit last year at AA Corpus Christi. The 24-year-old is off to a fast start with the Red Wings, hitting for average and power. This is an award for hitting, so there’s really no need to mention that he has eight errors in 12 games at third base already this year. Number 2 - Rochester Red Wings – 1B Zander Wiel - .253/.313/.600 (.913), 19-75 with four doubles, two triples, six homers and 14 RBI. Wiel came to the Twins as their 12th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt. He has moved up one level each year, though he ended 2018 with a handful of games with the Red Wings. While Wiel has spent time the last couple of seasons, and in spring training, in left field, he played exclusively at first base. Wiel strikes out a fair share of the time, but he has always been an extra-base hitting machine. The 26-year-old ended the month strong with multi-hit games in three of the month’s last four games. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle – OF Trey Cabbage - .300/.395/.600 (.995), 21-70 with one double, one triple and six homers and 16 RBI. Trey Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He spent that summer in the GCL. In 2016, he played at Elizabethton. That’s where he started 2017 as well before playing the final two months in Cedar Rapids. That’s where he spent all of 2018 as well. Cabbage was likely a bit disappointed to learn that he would start 2019 with the Kernels, but he handled it just as you would hope. Instead of worrying about things like results and promotions, he trusted the process. On the field, he got off to a fast start and carried it through the month. In fact, his final game of April came for the Ft. Myers Miracle. For the month, the powerful first baseman/outfielder led the Twins minor leagues in OPS, slugging percentage and home runs. Still just 21 years old for a couple more days, Cabbage should have an opportunity for playing time with the Miracle. While he has played mostly right field this year, he can play left field, first base and possibly third base. We would like to congratulate Trey Cabbage, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for April 2019. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions.
  22. The Minnesota Twins selected Cabbage with their fourth-round pick in the Amateur Draft in June, 2015, out of Grainger High School in Rutledge, Tennessee, and, like most high school draftees, they assigned him to their Gulf Coast League affiliate in Fort Myers. Also like most high school draftees, Cabbage found playing ball professionally, even at the lowest US-based levels, was nothing like high school. In his first four summers of pro ball, starting with that first summer with the GCL Twins and followed by about a season and a half each with Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids, Cabbage hit just .236 while striking out in almost one-third of his plate appearances. Of course, a propensity for strikeouts is something most organizations accept for their power hitters. The problem, for Cabbage, was that his eight home runs for the Kernels in 2018 constituted a career high in round trippers, which certainly threatened to disqualify him from membership in the “power hitter” club. While still just 21 years old, the 2019 season suddenly loomed as a critical year for Cabbage. Something had to change. Though this season is still less than a month old, it’s becoming clear that something has indeed changed for Cabbage. Maybe a couple of somethings. First, and most discernible to the casual observer, he’s up to 224 pounds and none of it is in places it shouldn’t be. If you’re one of those people who like to shake a player’s hand when you ask for his autograph, you might want to just settle for his signature. His handshake could affect your ability to sign your own name for a couple of days if you aren’t prepared for it. Even with the additional strength, though, it turns out the “something” that’s changed the most is the one square foot of space between Cabbage’s ears. photo by Steve Buhr Through Wednesday, he’s sporting a .364/.417./.705 (1.121 OPS) slash line that’s unlike anything the Twins have seen from him before. It takes more than additional strength to make that kind of turnaround, even if the season is less than a month old. Ironically, perhaps, the primary reason for his statistical turnaround may be a new personal disregard for the numbers. “Working with Pete Fatse, our hitting coordinator, and Ryan Smith, our hitting coach here, I’ve got more of a process-oriented mindset instead of a numbers mindset,” Cabbage explained this week. “Because if you’re worried about trying to get hits for the numbers, then you’re going to start manipulating your swing and that’s going to cause you to start overthinking and swinging at bad pitches. At least it does for me.” His manager, Brian Dinkelman, agrees and has seen the difference in Cabbage already. “I think the mental thing is probably the big thing for him. Just not trying to overthink things or change up too much all the time,” Dinkelman said. “Stick to what his plan is and swinging at strikes, that’s the main thing for him. Nobody hits really when they expand the zone. If you’re swinging at pitches in the zone, then you can do some damage. Once he makes contact with the ball, he usually hits it pretty hard.” Which brings us back to the subject of those strikeouts. Through Wednesday, Cabbage has been striking out just over one time every four plate appearances. Not a major reduction from the one-in-three rate previously, perhaps, especially considering the small sample size reflected in 11 games worth of plate appearances, but arguably a step in the right direction. Cabbage isn’t doing any one thing in particular to focus on reducing his strikeout rate but feels his new mental approach to hitting will take care of that. “I think with the mindset of doing more damage, the big thing was to zone up and not try to cover all 17 inches of the plate at all times,” he explained. “When you’re in an offensive count, there’s no need to be fighting off a pitch on the outer black – fighting off the nasty slider or change up that they’re throwing when you’re in an offensive count. You should look for pitches you can do damage. “So, (hitting coach Ryan Smith) was telling me to zone up and doing that has allowed me to have more of a clear vision of what I’m looking for. Not just be like, ‘Alright that looks like it could be a strike, let’s take a hack at it.’ That’s what I’ve done in the past and I was having too broad of a zone when I was ahead in the count.” photo by Steve Buhr Having suited up for the Kernels for 47 games in 2017 and the entire 2018 season, nobody could blame Cabbage for not wanting to spend any more time back in Cedar Rapids this season than is absolutely necessary. After all, the goal of every minor league player is to get promoted to the next level and, while he’s still close to the average age for a player at the Class A level, this is still his third calendar year with the Kernels. While Cedar Rapids understandably wasn’t his preferred destination to start the current season, Cabbage took the re-assignment to the Kernels in stride. “I was with the Fort Myers (Class High-A) group through most of spring training and I was busting my hind end trying to stay on that roster as long as I could and of course I wanted to start the season there,” he admitted. “But that’s out of my hands and all I can do is just go out and take care of my work and whatever happens, happens. “I won’t lie to you, I wanted to be there really bad, but there are a lot worse places to be than Cedar Rapids. I still have a job and I’m still playing.” photo by Steve Buhr He’s also not letting himself get distracted by thoughts of a potential promotion, even with his hot start. “If I was wishing, ‘Oh, I should be there, I’m out-playing somebody,’ that’s just bad karma, it doesn’t help anybody,” he said. “Then you start saying, ‘oh, well he got two hits, I’ve got to go get two hits.’ Then you press and overdo things. “I’m just trying to go out and play day by day and take care of myself. That’s how you got to the level where you’re at. You’ve got to take it one pitch at a time and make sure you beat the (pitcher) on every pitch that you see.” For those who have watched his on-deck circle routine for a couple of years (which always begins with a ‘Happy Gilmore’ hop-skip-swing), it’s natural to wonder if Cabbage is attributing any of his success to new routines, but that’s not really the case. Not too much, anyway. “I feel good at the plate right now. I’ve always been a routine-based guy, so I know what’s going on right now feels good, so I’m not thinking, ‘OK well this is good, if I do a little bit more, I can make it a little bit better,’ he explained. “I’m only a little ‘stitious,’ I’m not ‘SUPERstitious.’ So, I like to keep the same routine, but I’m not in a panic mode if something doesn’t go exactly right. It’s just coming in and getting the work in every day. Not trying to overdo it. Not trying to overthink it. And then when the game (starts), you go out and play. You’re not overthinking or over critiquing yourself pitch by pitch.” Other Kernels Notes Cedar Rapids’ record is just 5-8, tied for last place in the Midwest League’s Western Division currently. Cabbage has been the brightest spot in the Kernels’ lineup thus far, but others may be starting to step up and carry their share of the load.Michael Davis is now hitting .314 with an .862 OPS. Gabe Snyder, who joined the team last week, is slashing .455/.500/.773 (1.273 OPS) through his first six games in CR. Gabriel Maciel recently arrived and promptly went 3 for 5 in his first game with the Kernels. [*]On the pitching side, most of the rotation has had a start that didn’t go particularly well and at least one other that went much better. Blayne Enlow has given up just one earned run, in total, over his last two starts. Jordan Balazovic struck out nine batters in each of his two starts this season. Josh Winder struck out nine batters over five innings pitched in his last start. Reliever Brian Rapp has a 0.78 WHIP and a 1.00 ERA over his first nine innings of relief work. Tyler Palm has a 0.86 WHIP and a 1.29 ERA over seven innings of relief. Zach Neff and Carlos Suniaga have each struck out nine batters over their first six innings out of the bullpen. Joe Record has yet to give up an earned run while striking out seven over 2.2 Innings Pitched over three relief appearances. Looking for more information on the Kernels? Check out these stories from the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s beat reporter, Jeff Johnson: Reliever Joe Record Looking Forward to First Pro Outing, Two Years in the Making Reliever Tyler Palm Takes the Road Less Traveled to Affiliated Ball Gabe Snyder Makes Good Early Impression for Kernels
  23. Go back through the minor league histories of most players who ultimately become big leaguers. You can often see a point in the career timelines where they went from just another young player trying to figure it all out to a legitimate professional ballplayer with a chance to make his dreams come true. A point at which a metaphorical switch was flipped. If Trey Cabbage’s dreams of playing Major League Baseball ultimately are realized, the spring of 2019 might just be the point in time that we identify his switch as having been flipped.The Minnesota Twins selected Cabbage with their fourth-round pick in the Amateur Draft in June, 2015, out of Grainger High School in Rutledge, Tennessee, and, like most high school draftees, they assigned him to their Gulf Coast League affiliate in Fort Myers. Also like most high school draftees, Cabbage found playing ball professionally, even at the lowest US-based levels, was nothing like high school. In his first four summers of pro ball, starting with that first summer with the GCL Twins and followed by about a season and a half each with Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids, Cabbage hit just .236 while striking out in almost one-third of his plate appearances. Of course, a propensity for strikeouts is something most organizations accept for their power hitters. The problem, for Cabbage, was that his eight home runs for the Kernels in 2018 constituted a career high in round trippers, which certainly threatened to disqualify him from membership in the “power hitter” club. While still just 21 years old, the 2019 season suddenly loomed as a critical year for Cabbage. Something had to change. Though this season is still less than a month old, it’s becoming clear that something has indeed changed for Cabbage. Maybe a couple of somethings. First, and most discernible to the casual observer, he’s up to 224 pounds and none of it is in places it shouldn’t be. If you’re one of those people who like to shake a player’s hand when you ask for his autograph, you might want to just settle for his signature. His handshake could affect your ability to sign your own name for a couple of days if you aren’t prepared for it. Even with the additional strength, though, it turns out the “something” that’s changed the most is the one square foot of space between Cabbage’s ears. photo by Steve Buhr Through Wednesday, he’s sporting a .364/.417./.705 (1.121 OPS) slash line that’s unlike anything the Twins have seen from him before. It takes more than additional strength to make that kind of turnaround, even if the season is less than a month old. Ironically, perhaps, the primary reason for his statistical turnaround may be a new personal disregard for the numbers. “Working with Pete Fatse, our hitting coordinator, and Ryan Smith, our hitting coach here, I’ve got more of a process-oriented mindset instead of a numbers mindset,” Cabbage explained this week. “Because if you’re worried about trying to get hits for the numbers, then you’re going to start manipulating your swing and that’s going to cause you to start overthinking and swinging at bad pitches. At least it does for me.” His manager, Brian Dinkelman, agrees and has seen the difference in Cabbage already. “I think the mental thing is probably the big thing for him. Just not trying to overthink things or change up too much all the time,” Dinkelman said. “Stick to what his plan is and swinging at strikes, that’s the main thing for him. Nobody hits really when they expand the zone. If you’re swinging at pitches in the zone, then you can do some damage. Once he makes contact with the ball, he usually hits it pretty hard.” Which brings us back to the subject of those strikeouts. Through Wednesday, Cabbage has been striking out just over one time every four plate appearances. Not a major reduction from the one-in-three rate previously, perhaps, especially considering the small sample size reflected in 11 games worth of plate appearances, but arguably a step in the right direction. Cabbage isn’t doing any one thing in particular to focus on reducing his strikeout rate but feels his new mental approach to hitting will take care of that. “I think with the mindset of doing more damage, the big thing was to zone up and not try to cover all 17 inches of the plate at all times,” he explained. “When you’re in an offensive count, there’s no need to be fighting off a pitch on the outer black – fighting off the nasty slider or change up that they’re throwing when you’re in an offensive count. You should look for pitches you can do damage. “So, (hitting coach Ryan Smith) was telling me to zone up and doing that has allowed me to have more of a clear vision of what I’m looking for. Not just be like, ‘Alright that looks like it could be a strike, let’s take a hack at it.’ That’s what I’ve done in the past and I was having too broad of a zone when I was ahead in the count.” photo by Steve Buhr Having suited up for the Kernels for 47 games in 2017 and the entire 2018 season, nobody could blame Cabbage for not wanting to spend any more time back in Cedar Rapids this season than is absolutely necessary. After all, the goal of every minor league player is to get promoted to the next level and, while he’s still close to the average age for a player at the Class A level, this is still his third calendar year with the Kernels. While Cedar Rapids understandably wasn’t his preferred destination to start the current season, Cabbage took the re-assignment to the Kernels in stride. “I was with the Fort Myers (Class High-A) group through most of spring training and I was busting my hind end trying to stay on that roster as long as I could and of course I wanted to start the season there,” he admitted. “But that’s out of my hands and all I can do is just go out and take care of my work and whatever happens, happens. “I won’t lie to you, I wanted to be there really bad, but there are a lot worse places to be than Cedar Rapids. I still have a job and I’m still playing.” photo by Steve Buhr He’s also not letting himself get distracted by thoughts of a potential promotion, even with his hot start. “If I was wishing, ‘Oh, I should be there, I’m out-playing somebody,’ that’s just bad karma, it doesn’t help anybody,” he said. “Then you start saying, ‘oh, well he got two hits, I’ve got to go get two hits.’ Then you press and overdo things. “I’m just trying to go out and play day by day and take care of myself. That’s how you got to the level where you’re at. You’ve got to take it one pitch at a time and make sure you beat the (pitcher) on every pitch that you see.” For those who have watched his on-deck circle routine for a couple of years (which always begins with a ‘Happy Gilmore’ hop-skip-swing), it’s natural to wonder if Cabbage is attributing any of his success to new routines, but that’s not really the case. Not too much, anyway. “I feel good at the plate right now. I’ve always been a routine-based guy, so I know what’s going on right now feels good, so I’m not thinking, ‘OK well this is good, if I do a little bit more, I can make it a little bit better,’ he explained. “I’m only a little ‘stitious,’ I’m not ‘SUPERstitious.’ So, I like to keep the same routine, but I’m not in a panic mode if something doesn’t go exactly right. It’s just coming in and getting the work in every day. Not trying to overdo it. Not trying to overthink it. And then when the game (starts), you go out and play. You’re not overthinking or over critiquing yourself pitch by pitch.” Other Kernels Notes Cedar Rapids’ record is just 5-8, tied for last place in the Midwest League’s Western Division currently.Cabbage has been the brightest spot in the Kernels’ lineup thus far, but others may be starting to step up and carry their share of the load.Michael Davis is now hitting .314 with an .862 OPS.Gabe Snyder, who joined the team last week, is slashing .455/.500/.773 (1.273 OPS) through his first six games in CR.Gabriel Maciel recently arrived and promptly went 3 for 5 in his first game with the Kernels.On the pitching side, most of the rotation has had a start that didn’t go particularly well and at least one other that went much better.Blayne Enlow has given up just one earned run, in total, over his last two starts.Jordan Balazovic struck out nine batters in each of his two starts this season.Josh Winder struck out nine batters over five innings pitched in his last start.Reliever Brian Rapp has a 0.78 WHIP and a 1.00 ERA over his first nine innings of relief work.Tyler Palm has a 0.86 WHIP and a 1.29 ERA over seven innings of relief.Zach Neff and Carlos Suniaga have each struck out nine batters over their first six innings out of the bullpen.Joe Record has yet to give up an earned run while striking out seven over 2.2 Innings Pitched over three relief appearances.Looking for more information on the Kernels? Check out these stories from the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s beat reporter, Jeff Johnson:Reliever Joe Record Looking Forward to First Pro Outing, Two Years in the MakingReliever Tyler Palm Takes the Road Less Traveled to Affiliated BallGabe Snyder Makes Good Early Impression for Kernels Click here to view the article
  24. TRANSACTIONS Yunior Severino was placed on the injured list with a left thumb fracture. Taking his spot on the Cedar Rapids roster is infielder Yeltsin Encarnacion. Also, Tanner English was activated from the Pensacola Injured List and RHP Jeff Ames was placed on the IL. RED WINGS REPORT Lehigh Valley 3, Rochester 0 Box Score Zack Littell: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 61.6% strikes (53 of 86 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None I put Littell’s line above, but it was actually Mike Morin who was the opener tonight. He pitched a clean inning before Littell took over. Tyler Duffey struck out five batters in his two innings of relief and Jake Reed also pitched a shutout inning, but none of that matters much when you can’t score any runs. The Red Wings mustered just two hits, a John Andreoli double and a single from LaMonte Wade. Their best scoring chance came in the seventh inning. After Wade’s single, Luke Raley drew a walk, putting a runner in scoring position with one out. Unfortunately, Wynston Sawyer grounded into an inning-ending double play. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 2, Jacksonville 0 Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 76.5% strikes (65 of 85 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Wow. Devin Smeltzer carried a shutout into the ninth inning tonight in an outing that followed an impressive 2019 season debut for Smeltzer. He’s now pitched 14 scoreless innings, has 17 strikeouts and has allowed just five hits and two walks. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1116906793584812037 Smeltzer was absolutely pounding the strike zone tonight, and needed just 85 pitches to complete 8 1/3 innings. Tanner English put a fun finish on Smeltzer’s night, making an outstanding diving catch to open the eighth inning. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1116877290892296192 It would have been fun to see Smeltzer try for the complete game shutout, but it is still very early in the season. He only threw 95 2/3 innings last season, as he was moved into the bullpen prior to being traded to the Twins in the deal that sent Brian Dozier to the Dodgers, so it makes sense that there would be a limit on how far he’d be allowed to go in just his second start. Cody Stashak came out of the bullpen for Pensacola and retired the only two batters he faced to secure the shutout. The Blue Wahoos scratched across runs in the first and second innings. Taylor Grzelakoski drove in a run on a groundout and English plated another on a single. There were a grand total of just seven hits in this game, all of them singles, and it took just under two hours to complete. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Clearwater 4 (12 innings) Box Score Tyler Watson: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER 1 BB, 5 K, 65.5% strikes (57 of 87 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Aaron Whitefield (2-for-5, 2B) Fort Myers trailed 1-0 heading into the top of the ninth inning, but Aaron Whitefield got things going with a lead off single, which was just Fort Myers’ second hit of the game. He advanced all the way to third base on a ground out to the second baseman, then scored on a Royce Lewis sacrifice fly. These two teams went blow-for-blow in extras. Fort Myers scratched across a run in the top of the 10th but Clearwater answered in the bottom of the inning. The Miracle took advantage of some sloppy play by the Threshers in the top of the 11th, scoring a pair of runs without the benefit of a hit. With the bonus runner on second base, the Miracle leadoff man struck out, but reached safely due to a wild pitch on strike 3. The next two batters also struck out, but then Lewis walked to load the bases and both Travis Blankenhorn and Jose Miranda walked to force in runs. At that point, Fort Myers had four runs on just two hits. So that’s gotta be it, right? Nope. Clearwater hit a leadoff two-run homer (yes, that’s right, minor league extra innings are weird) to tie the game. The Miracle managed to score another run in the top of the 12th, as Whitefield drove in Ryan Costello from third on a single. They stranded another runner at third base after two consecutive strikeouts ended the inning, setting up what seemed destined to be another answer inning. Alex Phillips took over on the mound for the Miracle and slammed the door. He snagged a comebacker and turned it into a leadoff double play (again, minor league extra innings are really weird). Phillips then induced a game-ended pop out. Tyler Watson gave up just one run over six innings and Tom Hackimer threw two more scoreless innings tonight, bringing him up to 4 2/3 clean innings so far. Hackimer has given up just one hit and has nine strikeouts. Great to see after 2018 was essentially a lost season for him. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Burlington 3 Box Score Cole Sands: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 53.2% strikes (48 of 74 pitches) HR: Jean Carlos Arias (1), Andrew Bechtold (1), Gabe Snyder (1) Multi-hit games: None Cole Sands followed up an impressive professional debut with a rough outing in which he struggled with his command. Austin Schulfer came in and did an excellent job at stabilizing this game. He gave up just one hit over four scoreless innings and struck out five batters. Cedar Rapids took the lead in the sixth inning by drawing four (!) bases-loaded walks. They scored another run in the eighth on a three-base error followed by a sac fly. At that point, the Kernels had seven runs on just three hits. What a weird day of offense across the system. Gilberto Celestino reached base safely three times and stole a pair of bases. Jean Carlos Arias and Andrew Bechtold hit their first home runs of the season while Gabe Snyder tallied his first Midwest League home run. Arias also drove in a run on a walk and hit a sacrifice fly. https://twitter.com/natejrazz/status/1116893749643231233 DaShawn Keirsey was removed from this game after the second inning. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Devin Smeltzer, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Jean Carlos Arias, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 0-for-3, 2 BB, RBI, SB (5), 2 K 6. Brent Rooker (ROC): 0-for-4, 2 K 10. Akil Baddoo (FM):0-for-6, 4 K 14. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-5, 2B, R 16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 1-for-3, 2 BB, R, 2 SB (3), 2 K 17. Zack Littell (ROC): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 61.6% strikes (53 of 86 pitches) 18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-for-3, BB 20. Jose Miranda (FM): 0-for-4, BB, RBI, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Lehigh Valley, 12:05 pm CT (Chase De Jong) Pensacola vs. Jacksonville, 6:05 pm CT (Griffin Jax) Fort Myers at Clearwater, 5:30 pm CT (Bailey Ober) Cedar Rapids vs. Burlington, 5:05 pm CT (Josh Winder) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  25. The Twins added quite the haul of prospects to the farm system at last year’s trade deadline. Devin Smeltzer was not among the names to receive the most attention at the time, but he’s off to as good a start as anybody in the entire system. Come check out what Smeltzer did, as well as everything else that happened across the minors Friday.TRANSACTIONS Yunior Severino was placed on the injured list with a left thumb fracture. Taking his spot on the Cedar Rapids roster is infielder Yeltsin Encarnacion. Also, Tanner English was activated from the Pensacola Injured List and RHP Jeff Ames was placed on the IL. RED WINGS REPORT Lehigh Valley 3, Rochester 0 Box Score Zack Littell: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 61.6% strikes (53 of 86 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None I put Littell’s line above, but it was actually Mike Morin who was the opener tonight. He pitched a clean inning before Littell took over. Tyler Duffey struck out five batters in his two innings of relief and Jake Reed also pitched a shutout inning, but none of that matters much when you can’t score any runs. The Red Wings mustered just two hits, a John Andreoli double and a single from LaMonte Wade. Their best scoring chance came in the seventh inning. After Wade’s single, Luke Raley drew a walk, putting a runner in scoring position with one out. Unfortunately, Wynston Sawyer grounded into an inning-ending double play. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 2, Jacksonville 0 Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 76.5% strikes (65 of 85 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Wow. Devin Smeltzer carried a shutout into the ninth inning tonight in an outing that followed an impressive 2019 season debut for Smeltzer. He’s now pitched 14 scoreless innings, has 17 strikeouts and has allowed just five hits and two walks. DaShawn Keirsey was removed from this game after the second inning. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Devin Smeltzer, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Jean Carlos Arias, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 0-for-3, 2 BB, RBI, SB (5), 2 K 6. Brent Rooker (ROC): 0-for-4, 2 K 10. Akil Baddoo (FM):0-for-6, 4 K 14. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-5, 2B, R 16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 1-for-3, 2 BB, R, 2 SB (3), 2 K 17. Zack Littell (ROC): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 61.6% strikes (53 of 86 pitches) 18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-for-3, BB 20. Jose Miranda (FM): 0-for-4, BB, RBI, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Lehigh Valley, 12:05 pm CT (Chase De Jong) Pensacola vs. Jacksonville, 6:05 pm CT (Griffin Jax) Fort Myers at Clearwater, 5:30 pm CT (Bailey Ober) Cedar Rapids vs. Burlington, 5:05 pm CT (Josh Winder) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
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