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  1. Plenty of offensive firepower was on display tonight throughout the Twins farm system. Both the Wind Surge and Kernels put up double-digits with multi players having gaudy stat lines. Aaron Rozek was the standout arm and Cedar Rapids continued its torrid start to the season. Transactions: RHP Cole Sands added to Minnesota as 27th man OF Kennie Taylor promoted to Double-A Wichita OF Kyle Fedko promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids OF Luis Baez transferred to Single-A Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 4 Box Score Jacob Faria made the start for the afternoon tilt today. St. Paul got four innings of work from their starter and Faria allowed three runs, only one earned, on five hits while striking out four and walking one. Down early after a three-run 2nd inning for the Clippers, St. Paul knotted things in the 5th inning. Caleb Hamilton scored on an Ernie Yake ground out before Elliot Soto singled in both Yake and Jermaine Palacios. Giving a run back immediately in the bottom half of the 5th inning, the Saints saw the gap widen to four before answering with a run of their own in the 9th inning. Roy Morales drove in Kevin Merrell with a single, but that’s all the rally amounted to. Palacios was the lone Saints hitter to record two hits on the day, one of which was his fifth double. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, NW Arkansas 0 Box Score Following the fun outing against his brother last time out, Louie Varland was back for a more normal contest. He cruised through the first few innings before running into trouble in the 5th inning. In total, Varland worked six innings allowing seven hits and four runs. He picked up seven strikeouts and walked no one. Scoreless through the first two frames, the Wind Surge got their first run following a steal of third base by DaShawn Keirsey. With the ball getting away on the throw, he was able to move up ninety feet for the game’s first run. Matt Wallner then continued his hot stretch with a laced double to right scoring both Edouard Julien and Spencer Steer. Although Austin Martin hasn’t hit for Wichita this season, middle infielder Spencer Steer absolutely has. Crushing a solo blast in the 5th inning, Steer picked up his fifth of the season. Watching their lead be wiped out by the 6th inning, the Wind Surge got back to adding. In the 7th inning Alex Isola drove in Julien with a single before Andrew Bechtold added a double to plate Isola. Dennis Ortega followed with a double of his own to drive in Wallner and Bechtold, and then Leobaldo Cabrera cleared the bases with his second dinger of the season. Steven Cruz was great in relief of Varland giving the Wind Surge two scoreless innings allowing just one hit and picking up three strikeouts. Isola, Wallner, Cabrera, and Kerisey all had two hits tonight for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 13, Peoria 1 Box Score It was Aaron Rozek on the bump tonight for the Kernels and he turned in nothing short of a dominant outing. Working five scoreless innings, Rozek allowed just three hits and no runs or walks while picking up nine punchouts. Backing up their starter, the Cedar Rapids bats put up a crooked number early. Seth Gray roped his fifth double of the season in the top of the 4th inning to plate Jeferson Morales and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Wander Javier then lifted a single to right field scoring Gray on the play. Adding again in a big way, the 5th inning featured another Kernels outburst and this one was a home run party. Gray clobbered his second of the season before Jair Camargo hit his fifth, and Javier launched his second. Then Encarnacion-Strand decided he’d keep the ball in the park, driving a single to bring home both Will Holland and Anthony Prato. Cedar Rapids picked up another run in the 8th inning with Holland scoring on a wild pitch. They did give that one back on a solo shot in the bottom half. It didn’t matter much however, as the 9th inning saw a four-run explosion in the form of a Camargo single to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Javier’s second homer of the night. Javier lifted a three-run shot and what was a big league became a laugher. The Kernels recorded 14 hits in this one and got multi-hit efforts from Prato, Encarnacion-Strand, Gray, Camargo, and Javier. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Fort Myers’ game against Palm Beach was postponed on Thursday night. It will be made up as a double-header tomorrow afternoon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR(3) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - #2 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 0-4, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 K #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR(5), 2 BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Postponed FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (3:30PM CST) - TBD/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  2. Transactions: RHP Cole Sands added to Minnesota as 27th man OF Kennie Taylor promoted to Double-A Wichita OF Kyle Fedko promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids OF Luis Baez transferred to Single-A Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 4 Box Score Jacob Faria made the start for the afternoon tilt today. St. Paul got four innings of work from their starter and Faria allowed three runs, only one earned, on five hits while striking out four and walking one. Down early after a three-run 2nd inning for the Clippers, St. Paul knotted things in the 5th inning. Caleb Hamilton scored on an Ernie Yake ground out before Elliot Soto singled in both Yake and Jermaine Palacios. Giving a run back immediately in the bottom half of the 5th inning, the Saints saw the gap widen to four before answering with a run of their own in the 9th inning. Roy Morales drove in Kevin Merrell with a single, but that’s all the rally amounted to. Palacios was the lone Saints hitter to record two hits on the day, one of which was his fifth double. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, NW Arkansas 0 Box Score Following the fun outing against his brother last time out, Louie Varland was back for a more normal contest. He cruised through the first few innings before running into trouble in the 5th inning. In total, Varland worked six innings allowing seven hits and four runs. He picked up seven strikeouts and walked no one. Scoreless through the first two frames, the Wind Surge got their first run following a steal of third base by DaShawn Keirsey. With the ball getting away on the throw, he was able to move up ninety feet for the game’s first run. Matt Wallner then continued his hot stretch with a laced double to right scoring both Edouard Julien and Spencer Steer. Although Austin Martin hasn’t hit for Wichita this season, middle infielder Spencer Steer absolutely has. Crushing a solo blast in the 5th inning, Steer picked up his fifth of the season. Watching their lead be wiped out by the 6th inning, the Wind Surge got back to adding. In the 7th inning Alex Isola drove in Julien with a single before Andrew Bechtold added a double to plate Isola. Dennis Ortega followed with a double of his own to drive in Wallner and Bechtold, and then Leobaldo Cabrera cleared the bases with his second dinger of the season. Steven Cruz was great in relief of Varland giving the Wind Surge two scoreless innings allowing just one hit and picking up three strikeouts. Isola, Wallner, Cabrera, and Kerisey all had two hits tonight for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 13, Peoria 1 Box Score It was Aaron Rozek on the bump tonight for the Kernels and he turned in nothing short of a dominant outing. Working five scoreless innings, Rozek allowed just three hits and no runs or walks while picking up nine punchouts. Backing up their starter, the Cedar Rapids bats put up a crooked number early. Seth Gray roped his fifth double of the season in the top of the 4th inning to plate Jeferson Morales and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Wander Javier then lifted a single to right field scoring Gray on the play. Adding again in a big way, the 5th inning featured another Kernels outburst and this one was a home run party. Gray clobbered his second of the season before Jair Camargo hit his fifth, and Javier launched his second. Then Encarnacion-Strand decided he’d keep the ball in the park, driving a single to bring home both Will Holland and Anthony Prato. Cedar Rapids picked up another run in the 8th inning with Holland scoring on a wild pitch. They did give that one back on a solo shot in the bottom half. It didn’t matter much however, as the 9th inning saw a four-run explosion in the form of a Camargo single to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Javier’s second homer of the night. Javier lifted a three-run shot and what was a big league became a laugher. The Kernels recorded 14 hits in this one and got multi-hit efforts from Prato, Encarnacion-Strand, Gray, Camargo, and Javier. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Fort Myers’ game against Palm Beach was postponed on Thursday night. It will be made up as a double-header tomorrow afternoon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR(3) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - #2 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 0-4, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 K #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR(5), 2 BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Postponed FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (3:30PM CST) - TBD/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  3. The Twins were able to avoid a rainout being in Tampa (in large part due to Tropicana Field being a dome), but the same could not be said for the Saints and Mighty Mussels as one game was postponed and the other suspended due to rain. The Wind Surge and Kernels did not have weather stop their games today and the teams had opposite results for their games on Sunday. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced Sunday morning that pitchers Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic were assigned to Low-A affiliate Fort Myers for rehab assignments and are available to pitch Sunday. In addition, Marco Raya was activated by Ft. Myers. he is scheduled to start on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul and Nashville were postponed due to Weather. The Saints were unable to play their series finale against the Nashville Sounds on Sunday due to wet grounds at CHS Field. The makeup game has yet to be rescheduled for a later date. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Arkansas 3 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont - 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Cole Sturgeon (3), Alex Isola (3) Multi-hit games: Isola (3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) The Wind Surge completed their series victory over the Travelers Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 victory that gave the Wind Surge a 5-1 series win. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his fifth start of the season for the Wind Surge. Vallimont had a strong first inning but struggled in the second and third giving up two runs in the second on a bases-clearing double by Travelers catcher Jake Anchia. Vallimont allowed the Travelers third and final run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third. Vallimont cooled off in the fourth inning but was taken out for the day afterward. Alex Isola carried the Wind Surge lineup to victory with his 3-for-4 performance at the plate coming a triple short of the cycle. Isola also hit the game-winning home run in the top of the sixth that gave the Wind Surge their 4-3 lead. Cole Sturgeon hit his third home run of the season in the fifth inning against Travelers starter George Kirby. The Wind Surge will be returning home for their next series starting Tuesday against the Tulsa Drillers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 13 Box Score SP: Cade Povich 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (2), Jeferson Morales (1) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-3, R, 2B, RBI (14) 2 BB), Jair Camargo (2-4, R, BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Beloit Sky Carp with a loss that split the six-game series between the two teams. The 13-6 loss is the largest for the Kernels on the season so far. Kernels starter Cade Povich made his third start of the season but was roughed up over 4 1/3 innings pitched. The Sky Carp scored three runs against him in the second and three more to knock him out in the fifth inning. Povich still did have three strong innings. throwing scoreless first, third, and fourth innings. The Kernels offense did their best to keep up but fell short in the later innings as the Sky Carp tagged on three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the bottom of the eighth. Kernels left fielder Anthony Prato and catcher Jair Camargo both had strong games at the plate, but it was first baseman Aaron Sabato’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth that brought the Kernels back into the game. Even though they fell short and lost 13-6 The Kernels will be returning home for their next series against the Quad City River Bandits which will be their second series against them for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Clearwater 4: Suspended in the top of the 11th Box Score SP: Sonny Gray 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi hit games: Noah Miller (2-3, R, BB), Kyler Fedko (2-4, R, RBI (14), BB, K) The Mighty Mussels game against the Clearwater Threshers was suspended in the top of the 11th due to rain. The suspended game will resume during the Mighty Mussels next match up against the Threshers the week of May 16. Both Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic pitched for the Mighty Mussels during Sunday’s game. Gray made his rehab start and nearly three perfect innings for Fort Myers save for a fielding error in the top of the first and a single in the top of the second. Gray did not allow any walks and struck out five in his appearance. Balazovic came into the game right after Gray for two innings. Balazovic did not have as strong a performance as Gray as he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in his first appearance for the 2022 season. He has been rehabbing a knee injury. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Cardinals Single-A affiliate, the Palm Beach Cardinals. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sonny Gray (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (Wichita) - 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 2B, K #5 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers, Rehab) - 2 IP 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (1st career MLB Win) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, R, BB #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, R, BB #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, RBI (24), BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 3. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded. View full article
  4. Josh Winder was magnificent in his first career start as the Minnesota Twins beat the Rays 9-3 to take the series. Cole Sands also made his Major League debut in today's game, pitching the final two frames. Highlights of those two plus Byron Buxton, Cade Povich, Jair Camargo, Jeferson Morales, Austin Martin, Alex Isola and rehab update on Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic.
  5. Josh Winder was magnificent in his first career start as the Minnesota Twins beat the Rays 9-3 to take the series. Cole Sands also made his Major League debut in today's game, pitching the final two frames. Highlights of those two plus Byron Buxton, Cade Povich, Jair Camargo, Jeferson Morales, Austin Martin, Alex Isola and rehab update on Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic. View full video
  6. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced Sunday morning that pitchers Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic were assigned to Low-A affiliate Fort Myers for rehab assignments and are available to pitch Sunday. In addition, Marco Raya was activated by Ft. Myers. he is scheduled to start on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul and Nashville were postponed due to Weather. The Saints were unable to play their series finale against the Nashville Sounds on Sunday due to wet grounds at CHS Field. The makeup game has yet to be rescheduled for a later date. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Arkansas 3 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont - 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Cole Sturgeon (3), Alex Isola (3) Multi-hit games: Isola (3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) The Wind Surge completed their series victory over the Travelers Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 victory that gave the Wind Surge a 5-1 series win. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his fifth start of the season for the Wind Surge. Vallimont had a strong first inning but struggled in the second and third giving up two runs in the second on a bases-clearing double by Travelers catcher Jake Anchia. Vallimont allowed the Travelers third and final run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third. Vallimont cooled off in the fourth inning but was taken out for the day afterward. Alex Isola carried the Wind Surge lineup to victory with his 3-for-4 performance at the plate coming a triple short of the cycle. Isola also hit the game-winning home run in the top of the sixth that gave the Wind Surge their 4-3 lead. Cole Sturgeon hit his third home run of the season in the fifth inning against Travelers starter George Kirby. The Wind Surge will be returning home for their next series starting Tuesday against the Tulsa Drillers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 13 Box Score SP: Cade Povich 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (2), Jeferson Morales (1) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-3, R, 2B, RBI (14) 2 BB), Jair Camargo (2-4, R, BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Beloit Sky Carp with a loss that split the six-game series between the two teams. The 13-6 loss is the largest for the Kernels on the season so far. Kernels starter Cade Povich made his third start of the season but was roughed up over 4 1/3 innings pitched. The Sky Carp scored three runs against him in the second and three more to knock him out in the fifth inning. Povich still did have three strong innings. throwing scoreless first, third, and fourth innings. The Kernels offense did their best to keep up but fell short in the later innings as the Sky Carp tagged on three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the bottom of the eighth. Kernels left fielder Anthony Prato and catcher Jair Camargo both had strong games at the plate, but it was first baseman Aaron Sabato’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth that brought the Kernels back into the game. Even though they fell short and lost 13-6 The Kernels will be returning home for their next series against the Quad City River Bandits which will be their second series against them for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Clearwater 4: Suspended in the top of the 11th Box Score SP: Sonny Gray 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi hit games: Noah Miller (2-3, R, BB), Kyler Fedko (2-4, R, RBI (14), BB, K) The Mighty Mussels game against the Clearwater Threshers was suspended in the top of the 11th due to rain. The suspended game will resume during the Mighty Mussels next match up against the Threshers the week of May 16. Both Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic pitched for the Mighty Mussels during Sunday’s game. Gray made his rehab start and nearly three perfect innings for Fort Myers save for a fielding error in the top of the first and a single in the top of the second. Gray did not allow any walks and struck out five in his appearance. Balazovic came into the game right after Gray for two innings. Balazovic did not have as strong a performance as Gray as he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in his first appearance for the 2022 season. He has been rehabbing a knee injury. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Cardinals Single-A affiliate, the Palm Beach Cardinals. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sonny Gray (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (Wichita) - 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 2B, K #5 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers, Rehab) - 2 IP 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (1st career MLB Win) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, R, BB #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, R, BB #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, RBI (24), BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 3. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded.
  7. Seth chats with catcher Jair Camargo about growing up and playing ball in Colombia, getting traded to the Twins, why he enjoys catching, and hitting, learning English and much more.
  8. Seth chats with catcher Jair Camargo about growing up and playing ball in Colombia, getting traded to the Twins, why he enjoys catching, and hitting, learning English and much more. View full video
  9. Although the St. Paul Saints didn't get a win tonight Devin Smeltzer looked like a star on the mound for the Twins Triple-A club. The Kernels walked it off twice and the Wichita Wind Surge put up runs in droves. It was an exciting night on the farm. TRANSACTIONS RHP Jharel Cotton cleared waivers and was assigned to the St. Paul Saints LHP Lewis Thorpe was released from the organization. SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 2, St. Paul 1 Box Score Playing the fastest game in St. Paul Saints franchise history, lasting just two hours and seven minutes, the good guys lost by a 2-1 tally. Devin Smeltzer drew the start and was again good in this one. He went five innings allowing just two runs on five hits while punching out eight and walking one. His ERA on the season sits at 1.29. After getting behind 2-0 in the third inning, St. Paul answered with a run in the 4th inning. Derek Fisher hit into a force out but allowed Jake Cave to score, cutting the lead in half. Unfortunately, that’s where the production ended and a four-hit night for the Saints produced nothing else on the scoreboard. Fisher was the lone Saints batter to record two hits on the evening. Both Royce Lewis and Curtis Terry drew two walks to reach base a handful of times. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 15, Midland 1 Box Score Chris Vallimont drew the start tonight for Wichita and worked four innings of one-run ball. He gave up three hits while walking three and striking out six. With Wichita plating six runs in the first two innings, that one run of opposing production didn’t much factor into the equation. Dennis Ortega began the scoring with a line-drive single plating Austin Martin and Cole Sturgeon. A Michael Helman at-bat complete with a throwing error then allowed Spencer Steer to score in the first inning as well. Doubling up the score in the second inning was accomplished on a Martin double that scored Andrew Bechtold, a wild pitch to score Martin, and an Ortega double that drove in Steer. The fifth inning saw another outburst for the Wind Surge in which they were able to double their early-inning tally. Kevin Merrell launched his second homer of the season before Martin drove in Bechtold on a single. Steer then ripped his 7th double, this one clearing loaded bases, and pushing the score to 11-1. Ortega then drove in Steer with a single and the blowout was fully on. Bechtold had contributed plenty on his own this evening and a sixth-inning solo blast for his second dinger of the season made it 13-1. Still supplying pressure, Sturgeon singled in the eighth inning driving in Bechtold and DaShawn Keirsey to extend the lead further making it 15-1. A whole handful of Wind Surge batters had multi-hit nights including Martin (3), Sturgeon (3), Steer (2), Ortega (3), and Bechtold (2, plus three walks). KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1: Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 2 (F/8) Box Score Tonight’s twin bill saw Sean Mooney start game one. He went five strong innings and allowed just one run on four hits while walking and striking out two. Cedar Rapids opened up the scoring in the first inning when Seth Gray singled to drive in Jeferson Morales. After giving back the lead, Cedar Rapids jumped ahead in the eighth inning. Hot-hitting Christian Encarnacion-Strand beat out a fielder’s choice to drive in Willie Joe Garry Jr. Morales then lofted a sacrifice fly to center deep enough to score Anthony Prato and the Kernels walked it off in game one. Morales and Gray were the lone hitters to record double-digit efforts in the front half of the evening. Game 2: Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 (F/8) Box Score Casey Legumina started game two tonight for the Kernels and he worked 4 2/3 innings allowing just two runs on five hits. Legumina also punched out three batters while walking one. As a whole, it was a strong bounce-back start. After getting down 2-0 in the fifth inning Cedar Rapids rallied. Morales grounded out but drove in Prato to halve the deficit in the 6th inning. The next at-bats saw Garry Jr. drive in Will Holland allowing the home team to knot things at two. Headed to extras, Cedar Rapids watched Peoria push across a run in the top half of the 8th inning but this one was far from over. Encarnacion-Strand was standing on first base after a single, and a Morales ball back up the middle resulted in a force out at second base. Prato started the inning at second base and went to third on the play, but then scored on an errant throw by the second basemen. Camargo then launched one off the base of the right field wall and Morales scored the winning run coming around from first base. For the second time on the night, Cedar Rapids walked off Peoria. MUSSEL MATTERS Dunedin 5, Fort Myers 2 Box Score The Mighty Mussels turned to Pierson Ohl this evening and he gave them four innings of work while allowing just two runs, one earned. Despite five hits, Ohl walked just one and punched out four batters on the night. After getting down 1-0, Fort Myers responded with a two-spot in the fourth inning. Mikey Perez drove in Kyler Fedko with a single before a Ernie Yake sacrifice fly scored Jesus Feliz. The lead wouldn’t last however as Dunedin knotted things in the bottom half of the inning. Unfortunately, that’s where the production ended for Fort Myers and two runs were all they could muster in this contest. Seven of nine starters recorded a base hit while everyone reached base, but no one put up a multi-hit effort. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 3 BB PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-2, 2 BB, 2K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-4, 2B, BB #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-5, 4 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, K #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (Development List) - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (47 pitches, 28 strikes) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 3 BB FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) - RHP JC Ramirez Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  10. TRANSACTIONS RHP Jharel Cotton cleared waivers and was assigned to the St. Paul Saints LHP Lewis Thorpe was released from the organization. SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 2, St. Paul 1 Box Score Playing the fastest game in St. Paul Saints franchise history, lasting just two hours and seven minutes, the good guys lost by a 2-1 tally. Devin Smeltzer drew the start and was again good in this one. He went five innings allowing just two runs on five hits while punching out eight and walking one. His ERA on the season sits at 1.29. After getting behind 2-0 in the third inning, St. Paul answered with a run in the 4th inning. Derek Fisher hit into a force out but allowed Jake Cave to score, cutting the lead in half. Unfortunately, that’s where the production ended and a four-hit night for the Saints produced nothing else on the scoreboard. Fisher was the lone Saints batter to record two hits on the evening. Both Royce Lewis and Curtis Terry drew two walks to reach base a handful of times. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 15, Midland 1 Box Score Chris Vallimont drew the start tonight for Wichita and worked four innings of one-run ball. He gave up three hits while walking three and striking out six. With Wichita plating six runs in the first two innings, that one run of opposing production didn’t much factor into the equation. Dennis Ortega began the scoring with a line-drive single plating Austin Martin and Cole Sturgeon. A Michael Helman at-bat complete with a throwing error then allowed Spencer Steer to score in the first inning as well. Doubling up the score in the second inning was accomplished on a Martin double that scored Andrew Bechtold, a wild pitch to score Martin, and an Ortega double that drove in Steer. The fifth inning saw another outburst for the Wind Surge in which they were able to double their early-inning tally. Kevin Merrell launched his second homer of the season before Martin drove in Bechtold on a single. Steer then ripped his 7th double, this one clearing loaded bases, and pushing the score to 11-1. Ortega then drove in Steer with a single and the blowout was fully on. Bechtold had contributed plenty on his own this evening and a sixth-inning solo blast for his second dinger of the season made it 13-1. Still supplying pressure, Sturgeon singled in the eighth inning driving in Bechtold and DaShawn Keirsey to extend the lead further making it 15-1. A whole handful of Wind Surge batters had multi-hit nights including Martin (3), Sturgeon (3), Steer (2), Ortega (3), and Bechtold (2, plus three walks). KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1: Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 2 (F/8) Box Score Tonight’s twin bill saw Sean Mooney start game one. He went five strong innings and allowed just one run on four hits while walking and striking out two. Cedar Rapids opened up the scoring in the first inning when Seth Gray singled to drive in Jeferson Morales. After giving back the lead, Cedar Rapids jumped ahead in the eighth inning. Hot-hitting Christian Encarnacion-Strand beat out a fielder’s choice to drive in Willie Joe Garry Jr. Morales then lofted a sacrifice fly to center deep enough to score Anthony Prato and the Kernels walked it off in game one. Morales and Gray were the lone hitters to record double-digit efforts in the front half of the evening. Game 2: Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 (F/8) Box Score Casey Legumina started game two tonight for the Kernels and he worked 4 2/3 innings allowing just two runs on five hits. Legumina also punched out three batters while walking one. As a whole, it was a strong bounce-back start. After getting down 2-0 in the fifth inning Cedar Rapids rallied. Morales grounded out but drove in Prato to halve the deficit in the 6th inning. The next at-bats saw Garry Jr. drive in Will Holland allowing the home team to knot things at two. Headed to extras, Cedar Rapids watched Peoria push across a run in the top half of the 8th inning but this one was far from over. Encarnacion-Strand was standing on first base after a single, and a Morales ball back up the middle resulted in a force out at second base. Prato started the inning at second base and went to third on the play, but then scored on an errant throw by the second basemen. Camargo then launched one off the base of the right field wall and Morales scored the winning run coming around from first base. For the second time on the night, Cedar Rapids walked off Peoria. MUSSEL MATTERS Dunedin 5, Fort Myers 2 Box Score The Mighty Mussels turned to Pierson Ohl this evening and he gave them four innings of work while allowing just two runs, one earned. Despite five hits, Ohl walked just one and punched out four batters on the night. After getting down 1-0, Fort Myers responded with a two-spot in the fourth inning. Mikey Perez drove in Kyler Fedko with a single before a Ernie Yake sacrifice fly scored Jesus Feliz. The lead wouldn’t last however as Dunedin knotted things in the bottom half of the inning. Unfortunately, that’s where the production ended for Fort Myers and two runs were all they could muster in this contest. Seven of nine starters recorded a base hit while everyone reached base, but no one put up a multi-hit effort. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 3 BB PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-2, 2 BB, 2K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-4, 2B, BB #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-5, 4 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, K #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (Development List) - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (47 pitches, 28 strikes) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 3 BB FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) - RHP JC Ramirez Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  11. The Minnesota Twins farm system is replete with talent. But even so, some names haven't gotten the attention they deserve. Here are a few such names. Jair Camargo, C High-A Cedar Rapids stats: 28 PA, .333/.357/.741, 3 HR, 2 2B, .407 iso, .429 BABIP, 32.1% K-BB% Camargo is a stocky catching prospect who was originally obtained by the Twins in February 2020 along with Kenta Maeda as part of the deal that sent Brusdar Graterol to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seen as simply a throw-in at the time, he has grown from a light-hitting teenager to a 22-year-old with legitimate pop. Prior to joining the Twins system, Camargo smacked 18 doubles in 79 games with the Dodgers Single-A affiliate in 2019, suggesting he had some power to unlock with appropriate tweaks to his swing. Well, unlock some power he has as 16 of his 27 career minor league home runs have come over his last 78 games, including three in his first seven games this season. (Note: Camargo, like all minor league athletes, did not play games during the 2020 season due to the pandemic.) His numbers are bolstered at the moment by small sample sizes and an unsustainably high BABIP, but the evolution he has displayed since joining the Twins is encouraging and suggestive of changes that will stick. However, Camargo’s game is not without its faults. His 35.7% strikeout rate is exceedingly high for the low minor leagues and his microscopic 3.6% walk rate is not only suggestive of poor discipline overall but has also prevented him from ever posting an OPS over .719. Additionally, he provides little to write home about defensively behind the plate. But among the Twins’ catching prospects, Camargo’s bat is perhaps the most exciting. Cedar Rapids Starting Pitchers LHP Aaron Rozek: 10 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 13 K LHP Cade Povich: 9 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 17 K RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 K LHP Brent Headrick: 9 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 16 K The Kernels starting rotation has eviscerated opponents through each of their first two starts this season. They own a combined 1.19 ERA with a 15:1 K:BB ratio and have surrendered only a single home run. And only one of them—former Nebraska Cornhusker and 2021 third round pick Cade Povich—is universally considered a top prospect. At this time last season, Rozek was pitching in Indy ball. Headrick was selected in the ninth round in 2019 out of Illinois State. Gipson-Long—who, full disclosure, I voted as the TwinsDaily preseason Minor League Pitcher of the Year—was taken in the sixth round of the same draft. The Twins minor league coaching staff has developed all four into legitimate threats to appear at Target Field one day, which is a great accomplishment for all parties involved. John Stankiewicz, RHP Low-A Fort Myers stats: 11 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 19 K Stankiewicz signed with the Twins as an undrafted free agent during the summer of 2020 and all he has done since is strike batters out. In 36 1/3 minor league innings, the former Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year has struck out 49 batters—he has a 47.5% K rate through his first two starts this spring—and owns a 2.48 ERA. According to Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs, Stankiewicz owns two pitches that could play at the MLB-level. His fastball sits in the low-90s while his slider is, get this, considered a plus offering. For an undrafted free agent, Stankiewicz has already exceeded expectations. Though, if he continues to progress at his current pace, he may just blow them out of the water. Anthony Prato, INF High-A Cedar Rapids stats: 47 PA, .351/.468/.514, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 3B, .162 iso, .480 BABIP, 6.4 K-BB% Prato’s bat doesn’t have pop. Defensively, he doesn’t necessarily do anything that stands out. However, what the 2019 7th round pick does exceptionally well is get on base and steal bases. Since beginning his minor league career, Prato has never posted an OBP below .370 and has successfully stolen 15 bases in 19 attempts. In a sense, Prato is the free version of Edouard Julien, a fellow 2019 Twins draftee who rocketed up prospect boards last summer due to his uncanny ability to reach base. Julien has more power—18 home runs and 28 doubles in his career compared to Prato’s three and 14, respectively—is a more prolific base stealer (35 steals in 40 attempts), and is a sounder glove in the field. However, Prato could act as a capable facsimile in the right situation. What are your thoughts on these unheralded prospects. Are there other Twins minor leaguers who are not getting as much attention as they should? Leave your COMMENTS below. View full article
  12. Jair Camargo, C High-A Cedar Rapids stats: 28 PA, .333/.357/.741, 3 HR, 2 2B, .407 iso, .429 BABIP, 32.1% K-BB% Camargo is a stocky catching prospect who was originally obtained by the Twins in February 2020 along with Kenta Maeda as part of the deal that sent Brusdar Graterol to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seen as simply a throw-in at the time, he has grown from a light-hitting teenager to a 22-year-old with legitimate pop. Prior to joining the Twins system, Camargo smacked 18 doubles in 79 games with the Dodgers Single-A affiliate in 2019, suggesting he had some power to unlock with appropriate tweaks to his swing. Well, unlock some power he has as 16 of his 27 career minor league home runs have come over his last 78 games, including three in his first seven games this season. (Note: Camargo, like all minor league athletes, did not play games during the 2020 season due to the pandemic.) His numbers are bolstered at the moment by small sample sizes and an unsustainably high BABIP, but the evolution he has displayed since joining the Twins is encouraging and suggestive of changes that will stick. However, Camargo’s game is not without its faults. His 35.7% strikeout rate is exceedingly high for the low minor leagues and his microscopic 3.6% walk rate is not only suggestive of poor discipline overall but has also prevented him from ever posting an OPS over .719. Additionally, he provides little to write home about defensively behind the plate. But among the Twins’ catching prospects, Camargo’s bat is perhaps the most exciting. Cedar Rapids Starting Pitchers LHP Aaron Rozek: 10 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 13 K LHP Cade Povich: 9 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 17 K RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 K LHP Brent Headrick: 9 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 16 K The Kernels starting rotation has eviscerated opponents through each of their first two starts this season. They own a combined 1.19 ERA with a 15:1 K:BB ratio and have surrendered only a single home run. And only one of them—former Nebraska Cornhusker and 2021 third round pick Cade Povich—is universally considered a top prospect. At this time last season, Rozek was pitching in Indy ball. Headrick was selected in the ninth round in 2019 out of Illinois State. Gipson-Long—who, full disclosure, I voted as the TwinsDaily preseason Minor League Pitcher of the Year—was taken in the sixth round of the same draft. The Twins minor league coaching staff has developed all four into legitimate threats to appear at Target Field one day, which is a great accomplishment for all parties involved. John Stankiewicz, RHP Low-A Fort Myers stats: 11 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 19 K Stankiewicz signed with the Twins as an undrafted free agent during the summer of 2020 and all he has done since is strike batters out. In 36 1/3 minor league innings, the former Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year has struck out 49 batters—he has a 47.5% K rate through his first two starts this spring—and owns a 2.48 ERA. According to Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs, Stankiewicz owns two pitches that could play at the MLB-level. His fastball sits in the low-90s while his slider is, get this, considered a plus offering. For an undrafted free agent, Stankiewicz has already exceeded expectations. Though, if he continues to progress at his current pace, he may just blow them out of the water. Anthony Prato, INF High-A Cedar Rapids stats: 47 PA, .351/.468/.514, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 3B, .162 iso, .480 BABIP, 6.4 K-BB% Prato’s bat doesn’t have pop. Defensively, he doesn’t necessarily do anything that stands out. However, what the 2019 7th round pick does exceptionally well is get on base and steal bases. Since beginning his minor league career, Prato has never posted an OBP below .370 and has successfully stolen 15 bases in 19 attempts. In a sense, Prato is the free version of Edouard Julien, a fellow 2019 Twins draftee who rocketed up prospect boards last summer due to his uncanny ability to reach base. Julien has more power—18 home runs and 28 doubles in his career compared to Prato’s three and 14, respectively—is a more prolific base stealer (35 steals in 40 attempts), and is a sounder glove in the field. However, Prato could act as a capable facsimile in the right situation. What are your thoughts on these unheralded prospects. Are there other Twins minor leaguers who are not getting as much attention as they should? Leave your COMMENTS below.
  13. The hitters across the farm system enjoyed fruitful days at the plate. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS LHP Lewis Thorpe added to AAA St. Paul from Development List Saints Sentinel St. Paul 16, Indianapolis 13 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 1 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Derek Fisher (2), Curtis Terry (3), Jermaine Palacios (1) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B), Royce Lewis (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B), Curtis Terry (2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR), Jermaine Palacios (4-for-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR) The Saints won a crazy game on Saturday. Lewis Thorpe took the bump for St. Paul; the recently outrighted left-hander was looking to impress in his first official start of the season. Things did not go well. Thorpe was tagged for a solo shot in the first inning, but the second inning proved to be most damaging as seven runners crossed home plate for Indianapolis. J.C. Ramirez had to be called in to end the madness. Down eight runs early, the Saints' bats remained unphased. Derek Fisher answered back with a two-run homer to cut the lead to six, while a Jose Miranda single knocked down the deficit to within one-hand-counting distance. But the team was not done yet. In the third inning, St. Paul harassed Jerad Eickhoff and southpaw-Frenchman, Cam Vieaux to the tune of five runs—just enough to knot the game at eight. The game remained a slugfest until the bell rung in the ninth inning. Indianapolis would take a three-run lead, Curtis Terry would erase it; Indianapolis jumped ahead later, then Miranda and Royce Lewis negated it. Eventually, Jermaine Palacios yelled enough and blasted a two-run homer that cemented the Saints’ lead for good. Royce Lewis, once again, was the star of the show. He unleashed three crucial extra-base hits from the DH spot that either ignited a rally or stoked the flames of one. It would be difficult to have a better start to the season (although Christian Encarnacion-Strand is making a case). Jermaine Palacios’ 4-for-4 performance should not be ignored either. The 25-year-old started at left field instead of shortstop like usual and showed no discomfort by reaching base all five times he walked up to the plate. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 6, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score Chris Vallimont: 2 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Spencer Steer (2-for-5), Dennis Ortega (2-for-5, 2 RBI), Michael Helman (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-5, R), Kevin Merrell (3-for-5, RBI) Wichita won an extra-inning affair on Saturday. Chris Vallimont was handed the ball to start the game and did not have his best stuff. The righty struggles with command, walking five hitters before his day ended partway through the third inning. Hopefully, he can rebound in his next start. The offense kept the game within reach, however. Dennis Ortega brought home the first run of the game with a two-run single in the 5th inning, while Wichita drew the game even closer when Austin Martin scored in the 7th inning when the Naturals' defense threw the ball around the field. Martin later knotted the game with a clutch RBI single in the 8th inning. The game moved into extra innings, where the Wind Surge took advantage of the Manfred runner to plate two runs thanks to an Alex Isola sacrifice fly and a single from Kevin Merrell. Steven Klimek was shaky to close the game. He allowed a runner to score, and ultimately loaded the bases before inducing the final outs to end the game in favor of Wichita. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Quad Cities 2 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K HR: Aaron Sabato (1), Jair Camargo (2, 3) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-6, 2 R), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, 2B, HR), Jair Camargo (4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR), Will Holland (2-for-5, R, 2B) The Kernels demolished their opponent on Saturday. Sawyer Gipson-Long set the tone on the mound with five masterful innings. The righty scattered three hits across his start while punching out an impressive nine batters in just 60 pitches. Talk about efficiency. Gipson-Long found a groove late last year, and he has continued to melt faces with the Kernels; he’ll certainly be in Wichita sooner than later. But that’s enough about pitching. Cedar Rapids’ bats were explosive early and often on Saturday. Aaron Sabato smacked a three-run homer in the first inning, Jair Camargo sent a solo shot over the wall in the second, Jeferson Morales tripled home a run in the third, Camargo hit another homer in the fourth, and, well, you get the idea. In total, the Kernels bopped seven extra-base hits in the game with a fairly even distribution of damage amongst all hitters. Derek Molina concluded the game with two shutout innings and four strikeouts. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 6 Box Score David Festa: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (3-for-3, R, RBI, 2B) The Mighty Mussels lost a rain-shortened game on Saturday. David Festa took the mound for the second Saturday in a row, and much like the previous week, he flashed dominant ability with eight strikeouts over five efficient innings. Tom Froemming notes that he topped out at 97.2 MPH with his fastball. Offensively, the game was a struggle for the Fort Myers bats. Thanks to RBI doubles from Kyler Fedko and Kala’i Rosario, the Mighty Mussels took a quick lead, but those would prove to be the only two runs of the day for the team. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had enough of Fort Myers’ winning streak, and the higher powers convened to snap the team’s seven-game run in the 6th inning. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios/Jair Camargo PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K #2 – Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B, #3 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 5 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-5, 2 K #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, 2 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-5, K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Jake Faria Wichita @ NW Arkansas (2:05 PM) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:00 PM) - LHP Aaron Rozek Jupiter @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Travis Adams View full article
  14. TRANSACTIONS LHP Lewis Thorpe added to AAA St. Paul from Development List Saints Sentinel St. Paul 16, Indianapolis 13 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 1 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Derek Fisher (2), Curtis Terry (3), Jermaine Palacios (1) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B), Royce Lewis (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B), Curtis Terry (2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR), Jermaine Palacios (4-for-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR) The Saints won a crazy game on Saturday. Lewis Thorpe took the bump for St. Paul; the recently outrighted left-hander was looking to impress in his first official start of the season. Things did not go well. Thorpe was tagged for a solo shot in the first inning, but the second inning proved to be most damaging as seven runners crossed home plate for Indianapolis. J.C. Ramirez had to be called in to end the madness. Down eight runs early, the Saints' bats remained unphased. Derek Fisher answered back with a two-run homer to cut the lead to six, while a Jose Miranda single knocked down the deficit to within one-hand-counting distance. But the team was not done yet. In the third inning, St. Paul harassed Jerad Eickhoff and southpaw-Frenchman, Cam Vieaux to the tune of five runs—just enough to knot the game at eight. The game remained a slugfest until the bell rung in the ninth inning. Indianapolis would take a three-run lead, Curtis Terry would erase it; Indianapolis jumped ahead later, then Miranda and Royce Lewis negated it. Eventually, Jermaine Palacios yelled enough and blasted a two-run homer that cemented the Saints’ lead for good. Royce Lewis, once again, was the star of the show. He unleashed three crucial extra-base hits from the DH spot that either ignited a rally or stoked the flames of one. It would be difficult to have a better start to the season (although Christian Encarnacion-Strand is making a case). Jermaine Palacios’ 4-for-4 performance should not be ignored either. The 25-year-old started at left field instead of shortstop like usual and showed no discomfort by reaching base all five times he walked up to the plate. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 6, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score Chris Vallimont: 2 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Spencer Steer (2-for-5), Dennis Ortega (2-for-5, 2 RBI), Michael Helman (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-5, R), Kevin Merrell (3-for-5, RBI) Wichita won an extra-inning affair on Saturday. Chris Vallimont was handed the ball to start the game and did not have his best stuff. The righty struggles with command, walking five hitters before his day ended partway through the third inning. Hopefully, he can rebound in his next start. The offense kept the game within reach, however. Dennis Ortega brought home the first run of the game with a two-run single in the 5th inning, while Wichita drew the game even closer when Austin Martin scored in the 7th inning when the Naturals' defense threw the ball around the field. Martin later knotted the game with a clutch RBI single in the 8th inning. The game moved into extra innings, where the Wind Surge took advantage of the Manfred runner to plate two runs thanks to an Alex Isola sacrifice fly and a single from Kevin Merrell. Steven Klimek was shaky to close the game. He allowed a runner to score, and ultimately loaded the bases before inducing the final outs to end the game in favor of Wichita. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Quad Cities 2 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K HR: Aaron Sabato (1), Jair Camargo (2, 3) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-6, 2 R), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, 2B, HR), Jair Camargo (4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR), Will Holland (2-for-5, R, 2B) The Kernels demolished their opponent on Saturday. Sawyer Gipson-Long set the tone on the mound with five masterful innings. The righty scattered three hits across his start while punching out an impressive nine batters in just 60 pitches. Talk about efficiency. Gipson-Long found a groove late last year, and he has continued to melt faces with the Kernels; he’ll certainly be in Wichita sooner than later. But that’s enough about pitching. Cedar Rapids’ bats were explosive early and often on Saturday. Aaron Sabato smacked a three-run homer in the first inning, Jair Camargo sent a solo shot over the wall in the second, Jeferson Morales tripled home a run in the third, Camargo hit another homer in the fourth, and, well, you get the idea. In total, the Kernels bopped seven extra-base hits in the game with a fairly even distribution of damage amongst all hitters. Derek Molina concluded the game with two shutout innings and four strikeouts. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 6 Box Score David Festa: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (3-for-3, R, RBI, 2B) The Mighty Mussels lost a rain-shortened game on Saturday. David Festa took the mound for the second Saturday in a row, and much like the previous week, he flashed dominant ability with eight strikeouts over five efficient innings. Tom Froemming notes that he topped out at 97.2 MPH with his fastball. Offensively, the game was a struggle for the Fort Myers bats. Thanks to RBI doubles from Kyler Fedko and Kala’i Rosario, the Mighty Mussels took a quick lead, but those would prove to be the only two runs of the day for the team. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had enough of Fort Myers’ winning streak, and the higher powers convened to snap the team’s seven-game run in the 6th inning. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios/Jair Camargo PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K #2 – Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B, #3 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 5 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-5, 2 K #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, 2 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-5, K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Jake Faria Wichita @ NW Arkansas (2:05 PM) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:00 PM) - LHP Aaron Rozek Jupiter @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Travis Adams
  15. The Minnesota Twins lost at Boston 4-0 Saturday but there were a couple bright spots form young guys. After Sonny Gray exited with a hamstring injury in the second inning, Josh Winder took over and was solid in emergency relief. Also, Trevor Larnach collected three hits, all of them to the opposite field. Also featured in this video are Royce Lewis, José Miranda, Austin Martin, Aaron Sabato, Jair Camargo, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more.
  16. The Minnesota Twins lost at Boston 4-0 Saturday but there were a couple bright spots form young guys. After Sonny Gray exited with a hamstring injury in the second inning, Josh Winder took over and was solid in emergency relief. Also, Trevor Larnach collected three hits, all of them to the opposite field. Also featured in this video are Royce Lewis, José Miranda, Austin Martin, Aaron Sabato, Jair Camargo, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more. View full video
  17. Thunderstorms wreaked even more havoc on the Saints on Tuesday than it did the Twins, resulting in their game being called after five innings. Elsewhere on the farm, Cedar Rapids got a tremendous start from a 2021 draftee, and in Fort Myers, there were extra innings. Were the Mighty Mussels able to walk it off at their home opener at Hammond Stadium? TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Griffin Jax to fill in for RHP Jorge Alcala, who was placed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation. IF Yunior Severino was played on the 7-day injured list with a left thumb contusion. In Fort Myers RHP Malik Barrington was assigned to the roster from the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 1, Indianapolis 5 (5 innings) Box Score While the Minnesota Twins played through the weather in Minneapolis, the Saints weren’t as lucky over in St. Paul for their home opener. The game was delayed after five innings were completed and eventually called. Daniel Gossett made his second start and was charged with the loss. He went three innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out one. Drew Strotman went the final two innings and gave up one run on two hits. He struck out three. Jose Miranda went 2-for-3 out of the leadoff spot with a pair of doubles. Jake Cave and Mark Contreras collected their other two hits. St. Paul’s lone run came in the second inning after Contreras got caught in a rundown on his single. Cave was able to scamper home from third when the first baseman dropped a throw. The Saints look to get back to their winning ways tomorrow with Cole Sands on the bump. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, NW Arkansas 8 Box Score The Wind Surge got put in a big hole early as the Naturals put eight runs on the board in the first inning. Wichita starting pitcher Brandon Lawson exited the game with an ERA of infinity as he was not able to record an out. He was charged with all eight runs (six earned) thanks to five hits and two walks. The Wind Surge finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth as they were able to take advantage of an extra out when strike three got away from the NW Arkansas catcher. The next two hitters drew walks to score their first run before DaShawn Keirsey delivered a two-RBI single to make it 8-3. They’d pull within two runs after five innings when they strung together four singles and a walk to score three more but was as close as they’d get for the rest of the game. Bryan Sammons, Steven Cruz, Austin Schulfer, and Argenis Angulo were fantastic in relief of Lawson, allowing no more runs to the Naturals the rest of the way. They combined for eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks between them, and striking out seven. Michael Helman finished the game 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. Edouard Julien left the game with an injury in the top of the first after drawing a walk (as he does) and stealing second base. As a team, they managed only six singles, were 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and left nine men on base for the game. Based on the video above, it appears that it may be a high ankle sprain. Looked painful initially, but he was able to walk off the field under his own power. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Quad Cities 1 Box Score Just three pitches into the game the Kernels took the lead and never looked back in this one. Anthony Prato led off the game with a triple, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand drove him in on the next pitch with a groundout to short for his 16th RBI. It took until the fourth inning for them to add any more, but did so in a big way. With the bases loaded, Seth Gray delivered a two-run double before Jair Camargo clubbed his first home run of the year, a three-run shot to make it 6-0 Kernels. The Twins 3rd round pick in the 2021 draft, left-hander Cade Povich, made the start for Cedar Rapids and was spectacular over five innings to pick up his first win of the year. He allowed just one hit, walked one, and struck out eight, retiring his last fourteen hitters in a row. Even more impressively, the last six of those came on strikeouts. It was also his 22nd birthday! Miguel Rodriguez came on for the sixth and went two innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks. He struck out one. Derek Molina pitched a scoreless eighth and Andrew Cabezas punctuated the win by striking out the side in the ninth. The Kernels added two more runs in the sixth thanks to three walks and three wild pitches, and finished the game with nine hits as a team. Jeferson Morales, Wander Javier, and Seth Gray each had two hits. MUSSEL MATTERS Jupiter 5, Fort Myers 6 Box Score Right-hander Marco Raya took the mound for his first professional game, and was solid through the first four innings. He had a pair of strikeouts in a one-two-three fourth before allowing a leadoff home run to start the fifth. The game was tied at three before his day was ended as the next four hitters all reached base. Hunter McMahon came on and escaped the inning without any further damage. In total, Raya went 4 1/3 innings in his debut, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four. The Mighty Mussels had three runs of their own by that point thanks to a home run from Emmanuel Rodriguez and two-run single from Kyle Schmidt in the fourth. They added a run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Ernie Yake to take a 4-3 lead. McMahon would get the Mighty Mussels through the seventh, allowing one run and striking out four in his 2 2/3 innings. With the score tied at four, Samuel Perez would get them to extra innings. With the extra runner on second base to start the tenth inning, the Hammerheads took a 5-4 lead after an error and sac fly, but it wouldn’t be enough. Perez finished with three innings pitched, allowing two hits and striking out five. In the bottom half the Mighty Mussels went the bunting route with Daniel Ozoria, and it turned into a run scoring error to tie the game with the winning run only 90 feet away. The next batter, Kala’i Rosario walked it off with a single to right field to send the fans home happy. As a team Fort Myers notched fourteen hits and were 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the game. Emmanuel Rodriguez (2-for-5, 2 R, HR), Keoni Cavaco (2-for-4, 2B, SB), Rosario (2-for-5, R, RBI), and Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, 2 R) each had multiple hits. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cade Povich, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 5 IP, H, BB, 8 K) Hitter of the Day - Seth Gray, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 2 K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-2 #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, 2 2B #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 0 H, ER, 2 BB, K (MLB debut) #10 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-5, K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-5, 4 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 2-for-5, 2 R, HR (2), RBI, 2 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-0, BB, SB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CDT) - RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Matt Canterino (0-1, 4.50 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, -.-- ERA) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CDT) - LHP Steve Hajjar (0-0, -.-- ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  18. TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Griffin Jax to fill in for RHP Jorge Alcala, who was placed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation. IF Yunior Severino was played on the 7-day injured list with a left thumb contusion. In Fort Myers RHP Malik Barrington was assigned to the roster from the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 1, Indianapolis 5 (5 innings) Box Score While the Minnesota Twins played through the weather in Minneapolis, the Saints weren’t as lucky over in St. Paul for their home opener. The game was delayed after five innings were completed and eventually called. Daniel Gossett made his second start and was charged with the loss. He went three innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out one. Drew Strotman went the final two innings and gave up one run on two hits. He struck out three. Jose Miranda went 2-for-3 out of the leadoff spot with a pair of doubles. Jake Cave and Mark Contreras collected their other two hits. St. Paul’s lone run came in the second inning after Contreras got caught in a rundown on his single. Cave was able to scamper home from third when the first baseman dropped a throw. The Saints look to get back to their winning ways tomorrow with Cole Sands on the bump. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, NW Arkansas 8 Box Score The Wind Surge got put in a big hole early as the Naturals put eight runs on the board in the first inning. Wichita starting pitcher Brandon Lawson exited the game with an ERA of infinity as he was not able to record an out. He was charged with all eight runs (six earned) thanks to five hits and two walks. The Wind Surge finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth as they were able to take advantage of an extra out when strike three got away from the NW Arkansas catcher. The next two hitters drew walks to score their first run before DaShawn Keirsey delivered a two-RBI single to make it 8-3. They’d pull within two runs after five innings when they strung together four singles and a walk to score three more but was as close as they’d get for the rest of the game. Bryan Sammons, Steven Cruz, Austin Schulfer, and Argenis Angulo were fantastic in relief of Lawson, allowing no more runs to the Naturals the rest of the way. They combined for eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks between them, and striking out seven. Michael Helman finished the game 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. Edouard Julien left the game with an injury in the top of the first after drawing a walk (as he does) and stealing second base. As a team, they managed only six singles, were 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and left nine men on base for the game. Based on the video above, it appears that it may be a high ankle sprain. Looked painful initially, but he was able to walk off the field under his own power. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Quad Cities 1 Box Score Just three pitches into the game the Kernels took the lead and never looked back in this one. Anthony Prato led off the game with a triple, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand drove him in on the next pitch with a groundout to short for his 16th RBI. It took until the fourth inning for them to add any more, but did so in a big way. With the bases loaded, Seth Gray delivered a two-run double before Jair Camargo clubbed his first home run of the year, a three-run shot to make it 6-0 Kernels. The Twins 3rd round pick in the 2021 draft, left-hander Cade Povich, made the start for Cedar Rapids and was spectacular over five innings to pick up his first win of the year. He allowed just one hit, walked one, and struck out eight, retiring his last fourteen hitters in a row. Even more impressively, the last six of those came on strikeouts. It was also his 22nd birthday! Miguel Rodriguez came on for the sixth and went two innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks. He struck out one. Derek Molina pitched a scoreless eighth and Andrew Cabezas punctuated the win by striking out the side in the ninth. The Kernels added two more runs in the sixth thanks to three walks and three wild pitches, and finished the game with nine hits as a team. Jeferson Morales, Wander Javier, and Seth Gray each had two hits. MUSSEL MATTERS Jupiter 5, Fort Myers 6 Box Score Right-hander Marco Raya took the mound for his first professional game, and was solid through the first four innings. He had a pair of strikeouts in a one-two-three fourth before allowing a leadoff home run to start the fifth. The game was tied at three before his day was ended as the next four hitters all reached base. Hunter McMahon came on and escaped the inning without any further damage. In total, Raya went 4 1/3 innings in his debut, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four. The Mighty Mussels had three runs of their own by that point thanks to a home run from Emmanuel Rodriguez and two-run single from Kyle Schmidt in the fourth. They added a run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Ernie Yake to take a 4-3 lead. McMahon would get the Mighty Mussels through the seventh, allowing one run and striking out four in his 2 2/3 innings. With the score tied at four, Samuel Perez would get them to extra innings. With the extra runner on second base to start the tenth inning, the Hammerheads took a 5-4 lead after an error and sac fly, but it wouldn’t be enough. Perez finished with three innings pitched, allowing two hits and striking out five. In the bottom half the Mighty Mussels went the bunting route with Daniel Ozoria, and it turned into a run scoring error to tie the game with the winning run only 90 feet away. The next batter, Kala’i Rosario walked it off with a single to right field to send the fans home happy. As a team Fort Myers notched fourteen hits and were 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the game. Emmanuel Rodriguez (2-for-5, 2 R, HR), Keoni Cavaco (2-for-4, 2B, SB), Rosario (2-for-5, R, RBI), and Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, 2 R) each had multiple hits. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cade Povich, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 5 IP, H, BB, 8 K) Hitter of the Day - Seth Gray, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 2 K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-2 #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, 2 2B #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 0 H, ER, 2 BB, K (MLB debut) #10 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-5, K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-5, 4 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 2-for-5, 2 R, HR (2), RBI, 2 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-0, BB, SB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CDT) - RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Matt Canterino (0-1, 4.50 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, -.-- ERA) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CDT) - LHP Steve Hajjar (0-0, -.-- ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  19. Yesterday, we jumped into the top 20 Twins pitching prospects, and today, we look at Twins hitting prospects that I've ranked 16th through 20th. Get to know just a little about five more Twins hitting prospects to watch. I can remember talking with a long-time Twins executive a long time ago. He used the phrase "catcher attrition," and I've never forgotten that. It is hard to develop catchers and get them to the big leagues. It is a tough position physically. Not only do they have to try to develop as a hitter, but they have to develop as a catcher. They need to work on improving their ability to block pitches, have good footwork and develop arm strength and accuracy. Now, a huge focus is on presenting pitches, which has a huge impact on plate appearances. It is a physically grueling position. Not only is catching tough on the knees, but foul tips can be incredibly painful. Now try to hit when you can't feel your legs. While the Twins have Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers and Ben Rortvedt with big league time, they also have some catchers to watch in High-A and Double-A (as well as a few in the lower levels too). This grouping of five hitting prospects includes three catching prospects who, in my opinion, do have the potential to be big leaguers in some role or capacity if things shake out right for them. In addition to three catchers, this group also contains a couple of high-ceiling hitters looking to find their position. They both could take big jumps up this list in 2022. Let's continue the countdown. #20 - C/OF Jeferson Morales 2021 STATS: .255/.370/.438, 24 2B, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 18.4 K%, 12.0 BB%, 12/15 SB Jeferson Morales may not be a household name among Twins fans, but he has been in the organization since signing out of Venezuela in October of 2016. He played in the DSL in 2018 and the GCL in 2019. Like others, he did not have a 2020 season. He began the 2021 season in Ft. Myers where he hit .237/.377/.407 (.783) with 19 doubles and seven homers. He finished by hitting .301/.350/.516 (.866) with five doubles and five homers in 25 games in Cedar Rapids. He also stole 12 bases. Morales is interesting. While he stands just 5-8 (in his spikes, probably), he has shown really good power. He’s got a good approach at the plate, willing to take his walks. He plays behind the plate where he is a good athlete but has a lot of room for improvement. He also played a lot in the outfield as well. He will turn 23 in May. He should start with the Kernels and hope to get to Double-A by season’s end. #19 - C/1B Alex Isola 2021 STATS: .243/.342/.425, 15 2B, 17 HR, 52 RBI, 21.3 K%, 12.7 BB%, 1/1 SB The Twins selected Alex Isola out of TCU in the 29th round of the 2019 draft. After signing, he played seven games at Elizabethton before moving up to Cedar Rapids. Like others, he missed the 2020 season, but he was invited to Twins spring training as a part of the depth camp in 2021. When the season began, he returned to Cedar Rapids, which of course was now the High-A affiliate. He is solid behind the plate, strong and athletic with a good, accurate arm (though he threw out just 8% of base stealers in 2021). His season started out slow in terms of batting average, but he was still getting on base. As it approached midseason, he put things together and started adding more and more power. He played a lot at first base just to keep his bat in the lineup most games. He should head back to big-league spring training before jumping up to Wichita to start the season. #18 - C Jair Camargo 2021 STATS: .236/.279/.418, 7 2B, 13 HR, 36 RBI, 37.9 K%, 4.3 BB%, 3/4 SB The Twins acquired Jair Camargo in the Brusdar Graterol/Kenta Maeda deal with the Dodgers. He had originally signed in July of 2015 out of Colombia. He moved up the Dodgers system slowly including playing in the Midwest League in 2019. He didn’t play in 2020, of course, but the Twins sent him to Cedar Rapids for the 2021 season. He played in 71 games, most behind the plate, but also a dozen games at first base. He fits the look of a catcher, compact and strong. He has room to improve behind the plate in all areas, but he is a good athlete and has a strong arm. He threw out 23% of base stealers. Camargo does have some real power. He hit 13 homers and several of them went to the opposite field. There isn’t a pitch that Camargo won’t swing at. In 316 plate appearances, he walked just 12 times! That may be the key to any future success he has moving forward. Camargo won’t turn 23 until July. #17 - 2B/OF Alerick Soularie 2021 STATS: .240/.367/.360, 4 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 24.7 K%, 15.3 BB%, 9/10 SB The Twins drafted Alerick Soularie in the second round of the 2020 draft after a powerful career at the University of Tennessee. In 76 games between 2019 and 2020, he hit .336/.448/.586 (1.034) with 15 doubles and 16 homers. He also stole ten bases in 11 attempts. 2021 was set to be his professional debut, but a foot injury in spring training meant that his professional debut was delayed until August. After about a week in the FCL to get some live game action, he moved up to the Mighty Mussels and played 28 games. While he didn’t hit for average, he showed patience and a good eye at the plate. He played a combined 22 games at second base and nine games in left field. If I were to guess, I think he’ll end up in the outfield, but of course having some flexibility won’t hurt at all. Soularie is 22 years old. He should spend most of 2022 in Cedar Rapids. #16 - 2B/3B Yunior Severino 2021 STATS: .273/.372/.430, 29 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 70 RBI, 29.4 K%, 12.2 BB%, 3/3 SB The 22-year-old Yunior Severino has already had an interesting career. He originally signed with Atlanta, but when they were caught for transgressions in their international scouting, he became a free agent and signed quickly with the Twins before the 2018 season. In 2019, he played just 22 games in Cedar Rapids because of a wrist injury. After a lost 2020, he began 2021 in Low-A Ft. Myers. While his overall numbers look solid, the splits are interesting. In 63 games in Ft. Myers, Severino hit just .245/.347/.393 (.740) with 17 doubles and five homers. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and in 35 games, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 12 doubles and three homers. His 29 doubles were behind only Jose Miranda in the Twins system. Reports are that he hit the ball hard in Ft. Myers, but that league can really hurt offensive output. If he can stay healthy, he could have a breakout season in 2022. I think this is a pretty interesting group of prospects. First, I think having depth of catchers is a good thing. All three are potentially strong offensively. Each has some defensive talent and some work to do yet. Severino and Soularie both present high-ceiling offensive potential, though each will need to find a defensive home or get better around the diamond. There is certainly talent in this group. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 View full article
  20. I can remember talking with a long-time Twins executive a long time ago. He used the phrase "catcher attrition," and I've never forgotten that. It is hard to develop catchers and get them to the big leagues. It is a tough position physically. Not only do they have to try to develop as a hitter, but they have to develop as a catcher. They need to work on improving their ability to block pitches, have good footwork and develop arm strength and accuracy. Now, a huge focus is on presenting pitches, which has a huge impact on plate appearances. It is a physically grueling position. Not only is catching tough on the knees, but foul tips can be incredibly painful. Now try to hit when you can't feel your legs. While the Twins have Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers and Ben Rortvedt with big league time, they also have some catchers to watch in High-A and Double-A (as well as a few in the lower levels too). This grouping of five hitting prospects includes three catching prospects who, in my opinion, do have the potential to be big leaguers in some role or capacity if things shake out right for them. In addition to three catchers, this group also contains a couple of high-ceiling hitters looking to find their position. They both could take big jumps up this list in 2022. Let's continue the countdown. #20 - C/OF Jeferson Morales 2021 STATS: .255/.370/.438, 24 2B, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 18.4 K%, 12.0 BB%, 12/15 SB Jeferson Morales may not be a household name among Twins fans, but he has been in the organization since signing out of Venezuela in October of 2016. He played in the DSL in 2018 and the GCL in 2019. Like others, he did not have a 2020 season. He began the 2021 season in Ft. Myers where he hit .237/.377/.407 (.783) with 19 doubles and seven homers. He finished by hitting .301/.350/.516 (.866) with five doubles and five homers in 25 games in Cedar Rapids. He also stole 12 bases. Morales is interesting. While he stands just 5-8 (in his spikes, probably), he has shown really good power. He’s got a good approach at the plate, willing to take his walks. He plays behind the plate where he is a good athlete but has a lot of room for improvement. He also played a lot in the outfield as well. He will turn 23 in May. He should start with the Kernels and hope to get to Double-A by season’s end. #19 - C/1B Alex Isola 2021 STATS: .243/.342/.425, 15 2B, 17 HR, 52 RBI, 21.3 K%, 12.7 BB%, 1/1 SB The Twins selected Alex Isola out of TCU in the 29th round of the 2019 draft. After signing, he played seven games at Elizabethton before moving up to Cedar Rapids. Like others, he missed the 2020 season, but he was invited to Twins spring training as a part of the depth camp in 2021. When the season began, he returned to Cedar Rapids, which of course was now the High-A affiliate. He is solid behind the plate, strong and athletic with a good, accurate arm (though he threw out just 8% of base stealers in 2021). His season started out slow in terms of batting average, but he was still getting on base. As it approached midseason, he put things together and started adding more and more power. He played a lot at first base just to keep his bat in the lineup most games. He should head back to big-league spring training before jumping up to Wichita to start the season. #18 - C Jair Camargo 2021 STATS: .236/.279/.418, 7 2B, 13 HR, 36 RBI, 37.9 K%, 4.3 BB%, 3/4 SB The Twins acquired Jair Camargo in the Brusdar Graterol/Kenta Maeda deal with the Dodgers. He had originally signed in July of 2015 out of Colombia. He moved up the Dodgers system slowly including playing in the Midwest League in 2019. He didn’t play in 2020, of course, but the Twins sent him to Cedar Rapids for the 2021 season. He played in 71 games, most behind the plate, but also a dozen games at first base. He fits the look of a catcher, compact and strong. He has room to improve behind the plate in all areas, but he is a good athlete and has a strong arm. He threw out 23% of base stealers. Camargo does have some real power. He hit 13 homers and several of them went to the opposite field. There isn’t a pitch that Camargo won’t swing at. In 316 plate appearances, he walked just 12 times! That may be the key to any future success he has moving forward. Camargo won’t turn 23 until July. #17 - 2B/OF Alerick Soularie 2021 STATS: .240/.367/.360, 4 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 24.7 K%, 15.3 BB%, 9/10 SB The Twins drafted Alerick Soularie in the second round of the 2020 draft after a powerful career at the University of Tennessee. In 76 games between 2019 and 2020, he hit .336/.448/.586 (1.034) with 15 doubles and 16 homers. He also stole ten bases in 11 attempts. 2021 was set to be his professional debut, but a foot injury in spring training meant that his professional debut was delayed until August. After about a week in the FCL to get some live game action, he moved up to the Mighty Mussels and played 28 games. While he didn’t hit for average, he showed patience and a good eye at the plate. He played a combined 22 games at second base and nine games in left field. If I were to guess, I think he’ll end up in the outfield, but of course having some flexibility won’t hurt at all. Soularie is 22 years old. He should spend most of 2022 in Cedar Rapids. #16 - 2B/3B Yunior Severino 2021 STATS: .273/.372/.430, 29 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 70 RBI, 29.4 K%, 12.2 BB%, 3/3 SB The 22-year-old Yunior Severino has already had an interesting career. He originally signed with Atlanta, but when they were caught for transgressions in their international scouting, he became a free agent and signed quickly with the Twins before the 2018 season. In 2019, he played just 22 games in Cedar Rapids because of a wrist injury. After a lost 2020, he began 2021 in Low-A Ft. Myers. While his overall numbers look solid, the splits are interesting. In 63 games in Ft. Myers, Severino hit just .245/.347/.393 (.740) with 17 doubles and five homers. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and in 35 games, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 12 doubles and three homers. His 29 doubles were behind only Jose Miranda in the Twins system. Reports are that he hit the ball hard in Ft. Myers, but that league can really hurt offensive output. If he can stay healthy, he could have a breakout season in 2022. I think this is a pretty interesting group of prospects. First, I think having depth of catchers is a good thing. All three are potentially strong offensively. Each has some defensive talent and some work to do yet. Severino and Soularie both present high-ceiling offensive potential, though each will need to find a defensive home or get better around the diamond. There is certainly talent in this group. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20
  21. The Wichita Wind Surge and Cedar Rapids Kernels began their championship playoff series on Tuesday, each with their top pitcher Jordan Balazovic and Louie Varland taking the mound. Would either of them be able to lead their team to victory? Keep reading to find out! TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the system in advance of the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Wichita Wind Surge starting their league championship series on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL Scheduled Day Off The Saints got an extra day off on their schedule, as they begin the Final Stretch of games happening across the Triple-A level to end the season. They will play five games against the Iowa Cubs at home starting on Wednesday, and then five on the road against Toledo next week. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 7 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge had to feel good about themselves heading into game one against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, with top prospect Jordan Balazovic lined up to start. It didn’t go as well as they hoped, but was a back and forth affair throughout with several lead changes and big plays on both sides. Wichita had a two-out threat in the top of the first after singles from Roy Morales and Spencer Steer put runners on the corners, but Jermaine Palacios grounded out to keep them off the scoreboard in the opening frame. That changed in the second inning when Leobaldo Cabrera clubbed a home run to left field for a 1-0 lead. Balazovic got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame, but the Naturals struck back with a single followed by a triple to tie the game at one. In the third inning, it was a D.J. Burt homer that put the Wind Surge back out front, but another two-out rally from the Naturals brought in two runs of their own that made the score 3-2 after three innings. The fourth inning was much of the same as the teams again traded single runs, with Wichita getting an RBI double from Cabrera in the top half before the Naturals chased Balazovic in the bottom half after a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases. Melvi Acosta was summoned from the bullpen and issued a walk of his own that made the score 4-3 for Northwest Arkansas. The fifth inning was finally a scoreless frame on both sides, though the Wind Surge had a chance as Austin Martin doubled to lead off the inning, but he was stranded on third base. In the sixth inning, it was one swing of the bat from Palacios that again tied the game at four. With two outs in the top of the seventh and Spencer Steer at-bat, a pivotal play was made that may have finally swung the momentum of the game one way. Steer laced a 2-1 pitch deep into the gap in left-center, but the Naturals left fielder tracked it down at full speed before crashing hard into the wall, likely saving a run. That same fielder, Brewer Hicklen, of course was up the next inning, and with that adrenaline still running through his veins, took Erik Manoah Jr. deep to center for a 5-4 lead. The home team added two insurance runs in the eighth for a 7-4 lead that would turn out to be enough for the Naturals to take game one. Wichita threatened in the ninth with three singles that scored one run, but couldn’t get the big hit to bring them all the way back. On the pitching front, Balazovic went 3 2/3 innings in the start, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks while picking up three strikeouts. Acosta went the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs of his own on one hit and one walk. Kody Funderburk went 2/3 of an inning and allowed a hit and walk. Manoah Jr. was tagged with the loss by allowing the go-ahead home run in the seventh. He pitched one inning, allowed two hits, and struck out one. Evan Sisk and Adam Lau each recording two outs, with Sisk allowing two insurance runs on two hits while striking out one. Lau allowed one hit, walked two, and struck out one. The Wind Surge got multiple hits on the night from Martin (2-for-4, 2B, BB), Morales (2-for-5, RBI), Palacios (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K), and Cabrera (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR) and the team's three home runs on the night were not enough. Wichita will look to even the series at one with Cole Sands taking the hill tomorrow before heading back home to the ICT to finish off the series. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score The Kernels were able to fend off the teams on their heels to grab their league’s final playoff spot, and they sent a big reason why in Louie Varland to the mound in game one. He didn’t disappoint, though it looked shaky for a minute in the second inning. After picking up a groundout for the first out of the frame, Varland allowed a double and the game’s first run on a single that followed. He then walked a batter and surrendered another single to load the bases before a mound visit was in order to get him back in rhythm. After that, he got a grounder to first that forced the runner out at home, then a pop out to escape that jam. His lineup got that run back for him in the bottom of the inning, as consecutive two-out doubles from Jair Camargo and DaShawn Keirsey tied the game at one. That mound visit was definitely what the doctor ordered, as Varland was locked in from then on. He retired nine in a row from the third through the sixth inning, and gave up just two singles to bookend that streak. In all, he finished seven fantastic innings, tying his mark for longest outing of the season, and allowed just the one run on six total hits and one walk. He struck out four River Bandits in the outing and of his 98 pitches, 68 went for strikes (69.4%), along with getting 14 swinging strikes. Varland was matched, however, by the pitching staff of Quad Cities. The game remained tied while he was on the mound. The Kernels were unable to cash in any of their scoring chances, including a bases-loaded opportunity in the sixth. In the seventh inning, the Kernels struck out four times, but nonetheless had an opportunity as one of those K’s resulted in a wild pitch that allowed Edouard Julien to reach base. Another wild pitch moved him to second before the River Bandits played the percentages and intentionally walked Aaron Sabato to get the lefty-lefty matchup against Matt Wallner. It worked, as the pitcher got his fourth K of the inning and kept the game tied at 1-1. In the top of the eighth, the Kernels went to reliever Osiris German, and he delivered a one-two-three inning to bring his team back into the dugout looking to finally break through. Jair Camargo did just that, sending a two-out home run over the wall in right field to give the Kernels the lead. With the lead in hand, Cedar Rapids called on one of the best relievers in the system this year in Zach Featherstone to close out the game. He allowed a one-out single but like he had all season, also racked up the strikeouts, getting three of them to pick up the save and take game one for the Kernels. Camargo (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) was the only batter in the lineup with multiple hits on the night while Sabato and Julien each reached base twice. They were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position compared to 2-for-4 for the River Bandits, but it was enough behind Varland. It’s worth noting that the Kernels were just 7-17 against the River Bandits during the regular season, but that means nothing in a playoff series they now lead 1-0 with Sean Mooney taking the mound in game two tomorrow night. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day - Jair Camargo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1 (pinch hit appearance) #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 2.66 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (4-2, 2.46 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 6.23 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the playoff games from Tuesday! View full article
  22. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the system in advance of the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Wichita Wind Surge starting their league championship series on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL Scheduled Day Off The Saints got an extra day off on their schedule, as they begin the Final Stretch of games happening across the Triple-A level to end the season. They will play five games against the Iowa Cubs at home starting on Wednesday, and then five on the road against Toledo next week. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 7 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge had to feel good about themselves heading into game one against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, with top prospect Jordan Balazovic lined up to start. It didn’t go as well as they hoped, but was a back and forth affair throughout with several lead changes and big plays on both sides. Wichita had a two-out threat in the top of the first after singles from Roy Morales and Spencer Steer put runners on the corners, but Jermaine Palacios grounded out to keep them off the scoreboard in the opening frame. That changed in the second inning when Leobaldo Cabrera clubbed a home run to left field for a 1-0 lead. Balazovic got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame, but the Naturals struck back with a single followed by a triple to tie the game at one. In the third inning, it was a D.J. Burt homer that put the Wind Surge back out front, but another two-out rally from the Naturals brought in two runs of their own that made the score 3-2 after three innings. The fourth inning was much of the same as the teams again traded single runs, with Wichita getting an RBI double from Cabrera in the top half before the Naturals chased Balazovic in the bottom half after a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases. Melvi Acosta was summoned from the bullpen and issued a walk of his own that made the score 4-3 for Northwest Arkansas. The fifth inning was finally a scoreless frame on both sides, though the Wind Surge had a chance as Austin Martin doubled to lead off the inning, but he was stranded on third base. In the sixth inning, it was one swing of the bat from Palacios that again tied the game at four. With two outs in the top of the seventh and Spencer Steer at-bat, a pivotal play was made that may have finally swung the momentum of the game one way. Steer laced a 2-1 pitch deep into the gap in left-center, but the Naturals left fielder tracked it down at full speed before crashing hard into the wall, likely saving a run. That same fielder, Brewer Hicklen, of course was up the next inning, and with that adrenaline still running through his veins, took Erik Manoah Jr. deep to center for a 5-4 lead. The home team added two insurance runs in the eighth for a 7-4 lead that would turn out to be enough for the Naturals to take game one. Wichita threatened in the ninth with three singles that scored one run, but couldn’t get the big hit to bring them all the way back. On the pitching front, Balazovic went 3 2/3 innings in the start, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks while picking up three strikeouts. Acosta went the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs of his own on one hit and one walk. Kody Funderburk went 2/3 of an inning and allowed a hit and walk. Manoah Jr. was tagged with the loss by allowing the go-ahead home run in the seventh. He pitched one inning, allowed two hits, and struck out one. Evan Sisk and Adam Lau each recording two outs, with Sisk allowing two insurance runs on two hits while striking out one. Lau allowed one hit, walked two, and struck out one. The Wind Surge got multiple hits on the night from Martin (2-for-4, 2B, BB), Morales (2-for-5, RBI), Palacios (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K), and Cabrera (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR) and the team's three home runs on the night were not enough. Wichita will look to even the series at one with Cole Sands taking the hill tomorrow before heading back home to the ICT to finish off the series. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score The Kernels were able to fend off the teams on their heels to grab their league’s final playoff spot, and they sent a big reason why in Louie Varland to the mound in game one. He didn’t disappoint, though it looked shaky for a minute in the second inning. After picking up a groundout for the first out of the frame, Varland allowed a double and the game’s first run on a single that followed. He then walked a batter and surrendered another single to load the bases before a mound visit was in order to get him back in rhythm. After that, he got a grounder to first that forced the runner out at home, then a pop out to escape that jam. His lineup got that run back for him in the bottom of the inning, as consecutive two-out doubles from Jair Camargo and DaShawn Keirsey tied the game at one. That mound visit was definitely what the doctor ordered, as Varland was locked in from then on. He retired nine in a row from the third through the sixth inning, and gave up just two singles to bookend that streak. In all, he finished seven fantastic innings, tying his mark for longest outing of the season, and allowed just the one run on six total hits and one walk. He struck out four River Bandits in the outing and of his 98 pitches, 68 went for strikes (69.4%), along with getting 14 swinging strikes. Varland was matched, however, by the pitching staff of Quad Cities. The game remained tied while he was on the mound. The Kernels were unable to cash in any of their scoring chances, including a bases-loaded opportunity in the sixth. In the seventh inning, the Kernels struck out four times, but nonetheless had an opportunity as one of those K’s resulted in a wild pitch that allowed Edouard Julien to reach base. Another wild pitch moved him to second before the River Bandits played the percentages and intentionally walked Aaron Sabato to get the lefty-lefty matchup against Matt Wallner. It worked, as the pitcher got his fourth K of the inning and kept the game tied at 1-1. In the top of the eighth, the Kernels went to reliever Osiris German, and he delivered a one-two-three inning to bring his team back into the dugout looking to finally break through. Jair Camargo did just that, sending a two-out home run over the wall in right field to give the Kernels the lead. With the lead in hand, Cedar Rapids called on one of the best relievers in the system this year in Zach Featherstone to close out the game. He allowed a one-out single but like he had all season, also racked up the strikeouts, getting three of them to pick up the save and take game one for the Kernels. Camargo (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) was the only batter in the lineup with multiple hits on the night while Sabato and Julien each reached base twice. They were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position compared to 2-for-4 for the River Bandits, but it was enough behind Varland. It’s worth noting that the Kernels were just 7-17 against the River Bandits during the regular season, but that means nothing in a playoff series they now lead 1-0 with Sean Mooney taking the mound in game two tomorrow night. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day - Jair Camargo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1 (pinch hit appearance) #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 2.66 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (4-2, 2.46 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 6.23 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the playoff games from Tuesday!
  23. Minnesota Twins High-A minor league affiliate Cedar Rapids won Game 1 of their championship series 2-1. The Kernels benefitted from a strong start from Louie Varland and a late home run from Jair Camargo. Double-A Wichita lost their playoff game 7-5 as Jordan Balazovic had an underwhelming outing. Leobaldo Cabrera, D.J. Burt and Jermaine Palacios all hit home runs for the Wind Surge.
  24. Minnesota Twins High-A minor league affiliate Cedar Rapids won Game 1 of their championship series 2-1. The Kernels benefitted from a strong start from Louie Varland and a late home run from Jair Camargo. Double-A Wichita lost their playoff game 7-5 as Jordan Balazovic had an underwhelming outing. Leobaldo Cabrera, D.J. Burt and Jermaine Palacios all hit home runs for the Wind Surge. View full video
  25. Kenta Maeda is going under the knife today after a somewhat disappointing 2021 season. The extent of the injury will be known when the surgery is complete. (Editor's Update: Maeda had Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.) So, two seasons after the deal, can we answer yet which team won the Kenta Maeda trade? Minnesota had many reasons to be interested in trading for Kenta Maeda before the 2020 season. He had shown positive signs during his time in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers had an influx of starting pitching. He pitched over 125 innings in each of his first four big-league seasons, but the team tended to move him to a bullpen role as the season came to a close. Injury concerns might have been one of the reasons the Dodgers tried to limit Maeda’s innings. (At least that sounds better than trying to limit how much they had to pay him.) When he initially signed from Japan, his physical exam revealed “irregularities” in his right elbow. At the time, MLB.com said, “the strong suspicion is that he will need Tommy John reconstruction at some point.” This prognosis resulted in a very team-friendly eight-year contract which guaranteed Maeda a minimum of $25 million with a chance to be worth over $106 million. This gave the Dodgers some wiggle room if Maeda did go under the knife. He pitched over 600 innings for the Dodgers, and they went on multiple World Series runs, and his elbow wasn’t an issue. Team-controlled starting pitching is one of baseball’s most valuable assets, so Maeda was an easy target for the Twins. His team-friendly deal was a positive, and he hadn’t shown any injury concerns up to this point. Any team trading for a player gets access to their medical records, so there must not have been anything out of the ordinary regarding Maeda’s physical. Plus, the Twins saw their winning window was open, and Maeda helped make the team better. Maeda provided Minnesota with everything they wanted and more during his first season with the club. He finished runner-up for the Cy Young Award after a dominating season where he posted a 2.70 ERA and an MLB-leading 0.75 WHIP. He struck out 80 batters in 66 2/3 innings while only issuing ten walks. From the other perspective, Brusdar Graterol has pitched less than 50 innings for the Dodgers. He has posted a 3.50 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings. Graterol makes hitting triple-digits look easy, but he has yet to develop into a dominant late-inning reliever. He won’t be arbitration-eligible until 2023, and he can’t reach free agency until 2026, so there is plenty of time for the 22-year-old to develop. Two minor league players and a draft pick were also part of this trade. Luke Raley went back to LA after initially being part of the Brian Dozier trade. He has 30 big-league games under his belt, and he has hit .169/.246/.237 with two extra-base hits. He has mashed with a .982 OPS at Triple-A this season, and 29 extra-base hits in 58 games. The Dodger also received a 2020 competitive balance round pick (66th overall), which they used to select Clayton Beeter. He has been used in an opener style role this season while posting a 2.89 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP with 13.8 K/9. Minnesota received Jair Camargo, who has hit .233/.281/.452 with 21 extra-base hits at High-A Cedar Rapids this year. Maeda’s recent injury news means there is a good chance he misses all of the 2022 season, and that might be the season Minnesota needs him the most. Also, a missed season means the next time he steps on the mound will be during his age-35 campaign. So what do you think? Which team do you think won the trade, or is it still too early to judge? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
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