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  1. High-caliber starting pitchers are flourishing within the Twins' farm system. Yet perhaps the organization's finest-kept secret is a reliever from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, with a knack for strikeouts and a changeup that christens nostalgia from the days of Johan Santana. Relief pitchers often don't get the love, recognition, or credit that their colleagues at the front end of the pitching staff receive. Yet it's impossible to not love a guy with a 2.41 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and arguably the best changeup that the Twins' organization has seen since the days of franchise hall of famer Johan Santana. Meet southpaw reliever Jovani Moran. Drafted by the Twins in 2015 out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, the 24-year-old has teetered with dominance since joining the organization nearly seven years ago. After starting six games in the GCL Twins' rotation in 2015 Moran was transitioned to the bullpen and has excelled since. After a rough rookie season Moran posted a 2.38 ERA in 71 appearances (a majority from the bullpen) between 2017-2019. That's good, but Moran has been great in 2021. For that, he's our Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Despite his young age, Moran played the role of a rising journeyman this season, bouncing from club to club. Twenty of his 35 appearances came at Double-A Wichita, where he started the season. The Surge relied heavily on Moran through the months of May and June. Between the two months Moran appeared in 16 games and 28 2/3 innings, tossing 47 strikeouts, allowing only 11 hits and six earned runs, and touting a stellar 2.04 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. In that span opposing hitters hit a meager .118 when facing Moran. After a strong start, the month of July was just as fruitful for Moran. After four appearances that consisted of nine innings and 17 strikeouts Moran was promoted to Triple-A St. Paul. While his Triple-A stats weren't as eye-opening as his numbers with the Surge, they were still pretty darn good, especially for a guy pitching at that level for the first time. In 15 appearances and 29 2/3 innings, Moran posted a 3.03 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with opposing batters mustering a .140 average when facing him. Moran's success isn't attributed to a triple-digit fastball or 12-6 curveball. In fact, his fastball rarely surpasses 92-94 MPH. Yet similar to Caleb Thielbar, Moran's success can be attributed to the massive contrast between his fastball and breaking pitches. As mentioned, the changeup is Moran's off-speed weapon of choice, a pitch that he often uses as a strikeout dagger. The secret? Moran's arm delivery on the pitch resembles that of his fastball yet is 10-12 MPH slower. It is, perhaps, the largest reason why he touted a 41.8% strikeout rate in the minors this season. Twins Daily writer Lucas Seehafer broke down Moran's pitch arsenal earlier this season, check it out here. After finding success in Lowertown, Moran was called up by the Twins on September 11th. MLB competition hasn't been the flowers and roses for Moran like it was prior to his big league debut. Don't fret though. Moran will continue to grow and learn as he gets more repetitions at the big league level. Don't be surprised if he starts next season at Triple-A. However, his time will come given the dominance that he's shown over the past five months. Top Three In addition to Moran, Jordan Gore and Zach Featherstone also had outstanding seasons. Check out some of the accomplishments of this years' runner ups! 1. LHP Jovani Moran, Wichita/St. Paul (35 G, 2.41 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 67.1 IP, 28 H, 32 BB, 109 K) Check out this analysis of Moran and Jordan Gore made by Tom Froemming! 2. RHP Jordon Gore, Cedar Rapids/Wichita (39 G, 2.39 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 67.2 IP, 36 H, 28 BB, 88 K) A shortstop-turned-pitcher, 2021 presented Gore with his first full season on the bump. The 2017 draft pick did not disappoint, holding opposing hitters to just a .155 batting average through May and June in Cedar Rapids. Just three games into July, Gore was promoted to Double-A Wichita. Gore didn't tally as many innings with the Surge but was just as effective, posting a 1.61 ERA in 28 innings (20 games) with 30 strikeouts and six saves. It's unclear what Gore's long-term identity will be as a relief pitcher. All we know is that he has excelled in all corners of the bullpen and has done it consistently all season. That's pretty darn impressive for a guy that had only pitched in four professional baseball games prior to this season. 3. LHP Zach Featherstone, Cedar Rapids (40 G, 2.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 55 IP, 28 H, 42 BB, 93 K) Similar to Gore, Featherstone isn't a pitcher by trade, he's an outfielder. That didn't stop him from having an outstanding year on the hill for Cedar Rapids. After a rocky month of May, Featherstone was nearly perfect in June, surrendering zero earned runs, five hits, and ten walks while striking out 28 batters in 15 innings over nine appearances. That's right, a PERFECT earned run average for an entire month! Featherstone continued his dominance as the season continued, posting a 3.95 ERA in July, 2.31 ERA in August, and another perfect 0.00 ERA in September. Featherstone has a bit more pitching experience than Gore, but this was still his first full season pitching. He transitioned to the mound in 2017, had Tommy John surgery, rehabbed, and as he was ready to come back, COVID arrived. It's a great story, but he's also become a solid, hard-throwing lefty reliever. Kudos to him on an excellent year. HONORABLE MENTION LHP Denny Bentley, Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids (36 G, 2.78 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 51.1 IP, 50 H, 33 BB, 87 K) RHP Ryan Mason, Wichita/St. Paul (38 G, 2.67 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 54 IP, 45 H, 28 BB, 63 K) RHP Ian Hamilton, St. Paul (37 G, 4.08 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 57.1 IP, 45 H, 38 BB, 83 K) RHP Osiris German, Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids (38 G, 3.34 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 59.1 IP, 47 H, 24 BB, 90 K) RHP Hector Lujan, Wichita (18 G, 3.62 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 32.1 IP, 25 H, 9 BB, 33 K) RHP Melvi Acosta, Cedar Rapids/Wichita (38 G, 3.67 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 61.1 IP, 55 H, 18 BB, 69 K) RHP Derek Molina, Cedar Rapids (32 G, 4.65 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 62 IP, 51 H, 26 BB, 81 K) LHP Aaron Rozek, FCL Twins/Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids/Wichita (16 G, 2.40 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 56.1 IP, 42 H, 7 BB, 74 K) Past Winners of the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year Award 2019: Anthony Vizcaya 2018: Andrew Vasquez 2017: John Curtiss 2015 & 2016: Trevor Hildenberger Congrats to all of our 2021 Minor League Award winners! 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  2. Relief pitchers often don't get the love, recognition, or credit that their colleagues at the front end of the pitching staff receive. Yet it's impossible to not love a guy with a 2.41 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and arguably the best changeup that the Twins' organization has seen since the days of franchise hall of famer Johan Santana. Meet southpaw reliever Jovani Moran. Drafted by the Twins in 2015 out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, the 24-year-old has teetered with dominance since joining the organization nearly seven years ago. After starting six games in the GCL Twins' rotation in 2015 Moran was transitioned to the bullpen and has excelled since. After a rough rookie season Moran posted a 2.38 ERA in 71 appearances (a majority from the bullpen) between 2017-2019. That's good, but Moran has been great in 2021. For that, he's our Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Despite his young age, Moran played the role of a rising journeyman this season, bouncing from club to club. Twenty of his 35 appearances came at Double-A Wichita, where he started the season. The Surge relied heavily on Moran through the months of May and June. Between the two months Moran appeared in 16 games and 28 2/3 innings, tossing 47 strikeouts, allowing only 11 hits and six earned runs, and touting a stellar 2.04 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. In that span opposing hitters hit a meager .118 when facing Moran. After a strong start, the month of July was just as fruitful for Moran. After four appearances that consisted of nine innings and 17 strikeouts Moran was promoted to Triple-A St. Paul. While his Triple-A stats weren't as eye-opening as his numbers with the Surge, they were still pretty darn good, especially for a guy pitching at that level for the first time. In 15 appearances and 29 2/3 innings, Moran posted a 3.03 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with opposing batters mustering a .140 average when facing him. Moran's success isn't attributed to a triple-digit fastball or 12-6 curveball. In fact, his fastball rarely surpasses 92-94 MPH. Yet similar to Caleb Thielbar, Moran's success can be attributed to the massive contrast between his fastball and breaking pitches. As mentioned, the changeup is Moran's off-speed weapon of choice, a pitch that he often uses as a strikeout dagger. The secret? Moran's arm delivery on the pitch resembles that of his fastball yet is 10-12 MPH slower. It is, perhaps, the largest reason why he touted a 41.8% strikeout rate in the minors this season. Twins Daily writer Lucas Seehafer broke down Moran's pitch arsenal earlier this season, check it out here. After finding success in Lowertown, Moran was called up by the Twins on September 11th. MLB competition hasn't been the flowers and roses for Moran like it was prior to his big league debut. Don't fret though. Moran will continue to grow and learn as he gets more repetitions at the big league level. Don't be surprised if he starts next season at Triple-A. However, his time will come given the dominance that he's shown over the past five months. Top Three In addition to Moran, Jordan Gore and Zach Featherstone also had outstanding seasons. Check out some of the accomplishments of this years' runner ups! 1. LHP Jovani Moran, Wichita/St. Paul (35 G, 2.41 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 67.1 IP, 28 H, 32 BB, 109 K) Check out this analysis of Moran and Jordan Gore made by Tom Froemming! 2. RHP Jordon Gore, Cedar Rapids/Wichita (39 G, 2.39 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 67.2 IP, 36 H, 28 BB, 88 K) A shortstop-turned-pitcher, 2021 presented Gore with his first full season on the bump. The 2017 draft pick did not disappoint, holding opposing hitters to just a .155 batting average through May and June in Cedar Rapids. Just three games into July, Gore was promoted to Double-A Wichita. Gore didn't tally as many innings with the Surge but was just as effective, posting a 1.61 ERA in 28 innings (20 games) with 30 strikeouts and six saves. It's unclear what Gore's long-term identity will be as a relief pitcher. All we know is that he has excelled in all corners of the bullpen and has done it consistently all season. That's pretty darn impressive for a guy that had only pitched in four professional baseball games prior to this season. 3. LHP Zach Featherstone, Cedar Rapids (40 G, 2.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 55 IP, 28 H, 42 BB, 93 K) Similar to Gore, Featherstone isn't a pitcher by trade, he's an outfielder. That didn't stop him from having an outstanding year on the hill for Cedar Rapids. After a rocky month of May, Featherstone was nearly perfect in June, surrendering zero earned runs, five hits, and ten walks while striking out 28 batters in 15 innings over nine appearances. That's right, a PERFECT earned run average for an entire month! Featherstone continued his dominance as the season continued, posting a 3.95 ERA in July, 2.31 ERA in August, and another perfect 0.00 ERA in September. Featherstone has a bit more pitching experience than Gore, but this was still his first full season pitching. He transitioned to the mound in 2017, had Tommy John surgery, rehabbed, and as he was ready to come back, COVID arrived. It's a great story, but he's also become a solid, hard-throwing lefty reliever. Kudos to him on an excellent year. HONORABLE MENTION LHP Denny Bentley, Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids (36 G, 2.78 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 51.1 IP, 50 H, 33 BB, 87 K) RHP Ryan Mason, Wichita/St. Paul (38 G, 2.67 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 54 IP, 45 H, 28 BB, 63 K) RHP Ian Hamilton, St. Paul (37 G, 4.08 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 57.1 IP, 45 H, 38 BB, 83 K) RHP Osiris German, Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids (38 G, 3.34 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 59.1 IP, 47 H, 24 BB, 90 K) RHP Hector Lujan, Wichita (18 G, 3.62 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 32.1 IP, 25 H, 9 BB, 33 K) RHP Melvi Acosta, Cedar Rapids/Wichita (38 G, 3.67 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 61.1 IP, 55 H, 18 BB, 69 K) RHP Derek Molina, Cedar Rapids (32 G, 4.65 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 62 IP, 51 H, 26 BB, 81 K) LHP Aaron Rozek, FCL Twins/Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids/Wichita (16 G, 2.40 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 56.1 IP, 42 H, 7 BB, 74 K) Past Winners of the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year Award 2019: Anthony Vizcaya 2018: Andrew Vasquez 2017: John Curtiss 2015 & 2016: Trevor Hildenberger Congrats to all of our 2021 Minor League Award winners!
  3. The Wichita Wind Surge came from behind to win in extra innings and the Fort Myers Might Mussels won one of two. The other games didn't go so hot. TRANSACTIONS St. Paul Saints place OF Trevor Larnach (left-hand contusion) on the 7-day injured list RHP Carlos Suniaga was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids C Kyle Schmidt was sent from Triple-A St. Paul to High-A Cedar Rapids C Caleb Hamilton was promoted from Double-A Wichita to Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 6 Box Score The Saints dropped yet another game to the Clippers on Friday evening due in large part to poor pitching. Drew Strotman started on the bump for St. Paul and while his overall numbers weren’t great — five innings, five runs, seven hits, six strikeouts — he was *this close* to producing a truly great start. Strotman’s lack of command has been his biggest bugaboo since arriving in the Twins’ farm system. However, Friday night was his second start all season in which he did not walk anyone. (The other came on May 18 when he struck out eight batters in six innings.) His command still wasn’t great — when he missed, he missed pretty badly; more on that in a second — but allowing zero walks in five innings is a step in the right direction. Of Strotman’s misses, at least four were left in the exact spot a pitcher never wants to miss: middle-middle. Three misplaced fastballs were launched for two doubles and a home run and an errant curveball was blasted well over 400-feet to dead center for another round-tripper. If he places those pitches elsewhere, there’s a good chance that he and the Saints would have walked away with the win. Strotman’s future role and success are predicated on improving his command. He has the raw stuff and number of pitches to be a starter long-term, but he will likely be relegated to a bullpen role if he is unable to hone his ability to spot his offerings. Reliever Jovani Moran took the loss after he walked in the deciding run in the bottom of the ninth. He finished the night with one earned run in 1 1/3 innings to go along with two walks and two strikeouts. Moran is an exciting relief prospect who will likely find his way onto the Twins’ roster before the end of the season. He possesses the best changeup in the system — perhaps the team’s best since Johan Santana — and racks up the strikeouts. However, his biggest wart at this time is his walk rate. Entering Friday night, Moran owned a 4.78 BB/9, which translates to a 13.2% BB%. As long as his walks remain at their current level, Moran will always be susceptible to nights like Friday, though his overall dominance more than outweighs that risk. Luke Farrell and Nick Vincent also made appearances for St. Paul and combined to allow one earned run over their two innings. Drew Maggi was the Saints’ primary contributor offensively as he went 2-for-4 with four RBI at the plate, with one of his hits being his 14th home run of the season. Maggi owns a .848 OPS this season and provides some versatility defensively. At 32, he likely isn’t long for the franchise, but it would be nice to see the Twins reward his strong play, particularly as of late, with a promotion. Jose Miranda went 1-for-4 with a walk, while Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan drove in the team’s two other runs. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Arkansas 5, F/10 Box Score The Wind Surge came from behind to win an exciting affair in Arkansas on Friday evening despite picking up only four hits. Recent addition Stevie Berman — whom the Twins acquired from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Andrew Vasquez — pulled a grand slam to left field to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh inning. However, the tie was short-lived as the Travelers reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Aaron Whitefield knotted the game up at 5 with a sacrifice fly in the ninth before Spencer Steer drove in the game-winning run in the 10th with a sac fly of his own. D.J. Burt and Berman each contributed two hits. On the mound, the Wind Surge were led by potential future Twins Ben Gross and Jordan Gore, who combined to throw six innings in the relief. The two struck out 11 batters, walked three, and surrendered only a single run. Austin Schulfer started and struck out five in four innings of work. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 9, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score The good news is that the Kernels pitching staff — Sean Mooney, Osiris German, and Andrew Cabezas — struck out 10 batters and only issued a single walk during the game’s nine innings. The bad news is that the River Bandits roughed them up for nine runs, five doubles, and a home run. At the plate, Seth Gray led the way by going 2-for-3 with a double, triple, and three runs scored. Daniel Ozoria registered his first home run — a two-run shot — in a Cedar Rapids uniform out of the nine-hole, and Jeferson Morales drove in two runs on 3-for-4 hitting; the catcher is hitting .323 with a .922 OPS since being promoted to the Kernels in early August. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Daytona 1 (completion of game from Thursday) Daytona 5, Fort Myers 2, F/7 Box score 1 Box score 2 The Mighty Mussels and Tortugas began their evening of ball by wrapping up the game that was suspended on Thursday due to rain. Fort Myers — who led 3-1 at the time of suspension — added two more runs in the fifth inning and did not surrender any en route to picking up the win. Casey Legumina earned the win after tossing 5 2/3 shutout innings. He struck out five, walked one, and surrendered three hits, two of which were doubles. Bradley Hanner threw the final innings, striking out one and setting the side down in order. Alerick Soularie went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Jesus Feliz each contributed three hits. Patrick Winkel went 2-for-5 with a double. Fort Myers followed their win with a loss in seven innings. The Mighty Mussels bats did not wake up until the top of the seventh when they scored both of their runs. Encarnacion-Strand and Misael Urbina contributed doubles and Will Holland added a triple. In total, Fort Myers was only able to muster four hits. Miguel Rodriguez, Juan Pichardo, and Logan Campbell combined to throw seven innings for the Mighty Mussels, striking out nine and walking five. FCL COMPLEX REPORT FCL Twins vs. FCL Red Sox postponed due to rain TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day — Casey Legumina, Fort Myers: 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day — Drew Maggi, St. Paul: 2-for-4, 2B, HR (14), 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, BB #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 4 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4 #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-for-3, 2B #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, game-winning RBI SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (3:05 PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-3, 5.98 ERA) St. Paul @ Columbus (approx. 7:05 PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Arkansas (6:10 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 6.14 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (Debut) Feel free to ask questions and discuss. 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  4. TRANSACTIONS St. Paul Saints place OF Trevor Larnach (left-hand contusion) on the 7-day injured list RHP Carlos Suniaga was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids C Kyle Schmidt was sent from Triple-A St. Paul to High-A Cedar Rapids C Caleb Hamilton was promoted from Double-A Wichita to Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 6 Box Score The Saints dropped yet another game to the Clippers on Friday evening due in large part to poor pitching. Drew Strotman started on the bump for St. Paul and while his overall numbers weren’t great — five innings, five runs, seven hits, six strikeouts — he was *this close* to producing a truly great start. Strotman’s lack of command has been his biggest bugaboo since arriving in the Twins’ farm system. However, Friday night was his second start all season in which he did not walk anyone. (The other came on May 18 when he struck out eight batters in six innings.) His command still wasn’t great — when he missed, he missed pretty badly; more on that in a second — but allowing zero walks in five innings is a step in the right direction. Of Strotman’s misses, at least four were left in the exact spot a pitcher never wants to miss: middle-middle. Three misplaced fastballs were launched for two doubles and a home run and an errant curveball was blasted well over 400-feet to dead center for another round-tripper. If he places those pitches elsewhere, there’s a good chance that he and the Saints would have walked away with the win. Strotman’s future role and success are predicated on improving his command. He has the raw stuff and number of pitches to be a starter long-term, but he will likely be relegated to a bullpen role if he is unable to hone his ability to spot his offerings. Reliever Jovani Moran took the loss after he walked in the deciding run in the bottom of the ninth. He finished the night with one earned run in 1 1/3 innings to go along with two walks and two strikeouts. Moran is an exciting relief prospect who will likely find his way onto the Twins’ roster before the end of the season. He possesses the best changeup in the system — perhaps the team’s best since Johan Santana — and racks up the strikeouts. However, his biggest wart at this time is his walk rate. Entering Friday night, Moran owned a 4.78 BB/9, which translates to a 13.2% BB%. As long as his walks remain at their current level, Moran will always be susceptible to nights like Friday, though his overall dominance more than outweighs that risk. Luke Farrell and Nick Vincent also made appearances for St. Paul and combined to allow one earned run over their two innings. Drew Maggi was the Saints’ primary contributor offensively as he went 2-for-4 with four RBI at the plate, with one of his hits being his 14th home run of the season. Maggi owns a .848 OPS this season and provides some versatility defensively. At 32, he likely isn’t long for the franchise, but it would be nice to see the Twins reward his strong play, particularly as of late, with a promotion. Jose Miranda went 1-for-4 with a walk, while Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan drove in the team’s two other runs. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Arkansas 5, F/10 Box Score The Wind Surge came from behind to win an exciting affair in Arkansas on Friday evening despite picking up only four hits. Recent addition Stevie Berman — whom the Twins acquired from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Andrew Vasquez — pulled a grand slam to left field to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh inning. However, the tie was short-lived as the Travelers reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Aaron Whitefield knotted the game up at 5 with a sacrifice fly in the ninth before Spencer Steer drove in the game-winning run in the 10th with a sac fly of his own. D.J. Burt and Berman each contributed two hits. On the mound, the Wind Surge were led by potential future Twins Ben Gross and Jordan Gore, who combined to throw six innings in the relief. The two struck out 11 batters, walked three, and surrendered only a single run. Austin Schulfer started and struck out five in four innings of work. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 9, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score The good news is that the Kernels pitching staff — Sean Mooney, Osiris German, and Andrew Cabezas — struck out 10 batters and only issued a single walk during the game’s nine innings. The bad news is that the River Bandits roughed them up for nine runs, five doubles, and a home run. At the plate, Seth Gray led the way by going 2-for-3 with a double, triple, and three runs scored. Daniel Ozoria registered his first home run — a two-run shot — in a Cedar Rapids uniform out of the nine-hole, and Jeferson Morales drove in two runs on 3-for-4 hitting; the catcher is hitting .323 with a .922 OPS since being promoted to the Kernels in early August. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Daytona 1 (completion of game from Thursday) Daytona 5, Fort Myers 2, F/7 Box score 1 Box score 2 The Mighty Mussels and Tortugas began their evening of ball by wrapping up the game that was suspended on Thursday due to rain. Fort Myers — who led 3-1 at the time of suspension — added two more runs in the fifth inning and did not surrender any en route to picking up the win. Casey Legumina earned the win after tossing 5 2/3 shutout innings. He struck out five, walked one, and surrendered three hits, two of which were doubles. Bradley Hanner threw the final innings, striking out one and setting the side down in order. Alerick Soularie went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Jesus Feliz each contributed three hits. Patrick Winkel went 2-for-5 with a double. Fort Myers followed their win with a loss in seven innings. The Mighty Mussels bats did not wake up until the top of the seventh when they scored both of their runs. Encarnacion-Strand and Misael Urbina contributed doubles and Will Holland added a triple. In total, Fort Myers was only able to muster four hits. Miguel Rodriguez, Juan Pichardo, and Logan Campbell combined to throw seven innings for the Mighty Mussels, striking out nine and walking five. FCL COMPLEX REPORT FCL Twins vs. FCL Red Sox postponed due to rain TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day — Casey Legumina, Fort Myers: 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day — Drew Maggi, St. Paul: 2-for-4, 2B, HR (14), 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, BB #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 4 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4 #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-for-3, 2B #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, game-winning RBI SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (3:05 PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-3, 5.98 ERA) St. Paul @ Columbus (approx. 7:05 PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Arkansas (6:10 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 6.14 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (Debut) Feel free to ask questions and discuss.
  5. Twins Daily concludes our Minor League Player of the Month series by naming a much-deserving athlete Relief Pitcher of the Month. Before diving into the relievers, here are links to the Twins Minor League Hitter and Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month articles. HONORABLE MENTIONS RHP Kyle Barraclough, St. Paul Saints: 9 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K, 0.00 ERA LHP Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints: 16 2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 24 K, 3.24 ERA LHP Aaron Rozek, Ft. Myers/Cedar Rapids: 18 1/3 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 27 K, 2.95 ERA RHP Melvi Acosta, Cedar Rapids Kernels: 14 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 2.51 ERA The month of August saw a number of the more well-known relief arms in the Twins' farm system struggle or simply not perform to the level we've become accustomed. However, the four listed above, headlined by sure-fire future big leaguer Jovani Moran, just missed being considered for a spot in the top three. Each had at least one stat that prevented them from reaching the podium. Kyle Barraclough didn't throw enough innings (largely due to spending a week in the big leagues); Jovani Moran walked too many; and Aaron Rozek's and Melvi Acosta's ERA were higher than those above them. 3. RHP Jordan Gore, Wichita Wind Surge Stats: 13 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 16 K, 1.32 ERA This isn't the first time Gore's name has appeared on this list, and it likely won't be the last. The lefty's rise from a marginal infielder to one of the Twins' best minor league bullpen arms has been fun to watch and at no point has it appeared as though he's slowing down. Gore owns the farm system's fifth-best ERA (2.54) among pitchers who have tossed at least 40 innings, and his 82 strikeouts — in only 60 2/3 innings — comes in ninth; only Jovani Moran has struck out more batters (105) in a comparable amount of innings (64). Don't be surprised if he finds his way to Target Field at some point next season. 2. RHP Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 12 2/3 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K, 0.00 ERA On the surface, Palm's numbers are arguably better than anyone else's on this list. His 8:1 K:BB ratio was topped only by Kyle Barraclough's 15:1 ratio in fewer innings and Aaron Rozek's 9:1 ratio, which accompanied a much higher ERA. However, what's keeping Palm from claiming the top spot in this month's rankings were his slightly higher number of hits and runs allowed (even if unearned) as well as four hit-by-pitches. It's nitpicking to a degree, sure, but the top guy performed infinitesimally better, and, therefore, he earned the nod. 1. RHP Ryan Shreve, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 13 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 0.69 ERA Shreve has been quietly one of the stronger bullpen arms in the Twins' farm system this season. Among Twins-affiliated minor league pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings this summer, Shreve ranks fifth in K% at 34.8% as well as in K%-BB% at 24.9%, which places him alongside the likes of Rozek (32.9%), Moran (31.4%), Sawyer Gipson-Long (26.4%), and Louie Varland (25.1%). After excelling as a starter for Pacific University, Shreve was the Twins' 16th round pick during the 2019 draft. In late May, he was promoted from Low-A to High-A, putting him on track for a potential call to the big leagues next season. What are your thoughts? Who would get your vote? Congratulations to Kernels' reliever Ryan Shreve. 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
  6. Before diving into the relievers, here are links to the Twins Minor League Hitter and Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month articles. HONORABLE MENTIONS RHP Kyle Barraclough, St. Paul Saints: 9 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K, 0.00 ERA LHP Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints: 16 2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 24 K, 3.24 ERA LHP Aaron Rozek, Ft. Myers/Cedar Rapids: 18 1/3 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 27 K, 2.95 ERA RHP Melvi Acosta, Cedar Rapids Kernels: 14 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 2.51 ERA The month of August saw a number of the more well-known relief arms in the Twins' farm system struggle or simply not perform to the level we've become accustomed. However, the four listed above, headlined by sure-fire future big leaguer Jovani Moran, just missed being considered for a spot in the top three. Each had at least one stat that prevented them from reaching the podium. Kyle Barraclough didn't throw enough innings (largely due to spending a week in the big leagues); Jovani Moran walked too many; and Aaron Rozek's and Melvi Acosta's ERA were higher than those above them. 3. RHP Jordan Gore, Wichita Wind Surge Stats: 13 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 16 K, 1.32 ERA This isn't the first time Gore's name has appeared on this list, and it likely won't be the last. The lefty's rise from a marginal infielder to one of the Twins' best minor league bullpen arms has been fun to watch and at no point has it appeared as though he's slowing down. Gore owns the farm system's fifth-best ERA (2.54) among pitchers who have tossed at least 40 innings, and his 82 strikeouts — in only 60 2/3 innings — comes in ninth; only Jovani Moran has struck out more batters (105) in a comparable amount of innings (64). Don't be surprised if he finds his way to Target Field at some point next season. 2. RHP Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 12 2/3 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K, 0.00 ERA On the surface, Palm's numbers are arguably better than anyone else's on this list. His 8:1 K:BB ratio was topped only by Kyle Barraclough's 15:1 ratio in fewer innings and Aaron Rozek's 9:1 ratio, which accompanied a much higher ERA. However, what's keeping Palm from claiming the top spot in this month's rankings were his slightly higher number of hits and runs allowed (even if unearned) as well as four hit-by-pitches. It's nitpicking to a degree, sure, but the top guy performed infinitesimally better, and, therefore, he earned the nod. 1. RHP Ryan Shreve, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 13 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 0.69 ERA Shreve has been quietly one of the stronger bullpen arms in the Twins' farm system this season. Among Twins-affiliated minor league pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings this summer, Shreve ranks fifth in K% at 34.8% as well as in K%-BB% at 24.9%, which places him alongside the likes of Rozek (32.9%), Moran (31.4%), Sawyer Gipson-Long (26.4%), and Louie Varland (25.1%). After excelling as a starter for Pacific University, Shreve was the Twins' 16th round pick during the 2019 draft. In late May, he was promoted from Low-A to High-A, putting him on track for a potential call to the big leagues next season. What are your thoughts? Who would get your vote? Congratulations to Kernels' reliever Ryan Shreve. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. Yet another week of minor league baseball is in the books and it was yet another week in which I spent time breaking down video of some of the more intriguing arms in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system. Below are some takeaways on the performance and film of three pitchers that caught my eye in particular. Louie Varland (High-A Cedar Rapids) Twins Daily Ranking: Honorable Mention MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Varland made his well-earned High-A debut earlier this week after putting up some stellar numbers in Low-A. His 14.45 K/9 rate and 4.75 K:BB ratio in 47 ⅓ innings for the Mighty Mussels were not only among the best on the team, but the Twins’ system in general, which is not something that many expected for the team’s 15th-round pick in 2019. Varland owns a compact windup with repeatable mechanics and a three-quarter arm slot. Although he has primarily been utilized as a starter both in college - at NCAA Division II Concordia University, St. Paul - as well as in the minors, his pitch mix primarily consists of a fastball and curveball, which is typically better suited out of the bullpen. The fastball, which sits in the mid-90s, plays best up in the zone where it stays flat with a little bit of tailing action. However, as he moves it lower in the zone, the amount of sink increases and, along with it, a diminished command. The curveball has potential to be a plus second pitch if he can refine his command. While he unleashes it frequently to miss bats, his feel for the pitch is fairly average, highlighted by often leaving it hanging middle-middle, which is something he can get away with in A-ball but will get slapped around at higher levels. However, when he locates it low, it’s a very difficult ball to square up, especially when piggybacking off a fastball up in the zone. Varland’s lack of a third pitch, whether that be another off-speed offering or improved command of his fastball down, will likely limit him to a relief role should he make it to the majors. Regardless, his performance to date should get his name placed on the major Twins prospect ranking lists come the end of the season. Chris Vallimont (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: No. 20 MLB Pipeline Ranking: No. 18 FanGraphs Ranking: No. 18 Weekly Stats: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K Chris Vallimont looks every bit the part of a major league pitcher. Standing at 6-foot-5-inches tall with an athletic frame and a left arm full of tattoos, Vallimont was acquired along with former Twin Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league slugger Lewin Diaz. He shot up the Twins prospect rankings due in large part to his projectability and solid fastball/curve repertoire; he’ll also mix in the occasional changeup and slider, though his command, which isn’t necessarily anything to write home about to begin with, of the latter two pitches is pretty poor. However, since joining the system, he has been a bit of an enigma. Vallimont has always boasted huge strikeout numbers and that has continued this season. He currently is cutting down batters at an impressive 14.57 K/9 clip, which translates to 68 strikeouts in 42 innings at the Double-A level. However, the sheen of these numbers are muted a bit due to his propensity to dish out free passes (5.36 BB/9) and hard contact (9.1% HR:FB ratio). Making things even more murky is the fact that Vallimont’s standard and advanced statistics largely paint two distinct pictures. His 4.71 ERA is ugly, but his 3.24 FIP is much prettier, for example. He also is getting BABIP’d to death (.402), which is unsustainable. Basically, the beauty of Vallimont’s future is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, though as of now, he’s more likely to end up as a reliever than a starter in the long-term. Jordan Gore (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: N/a MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K The success of Jordan Gore is simply a good story. Taken in the 19th round of the 2017 draft as an infielder, Gore converted to relief pitching full-time this season after serving as a two-way player for the previous two. In 46 career innings across rookie ball, A-ball, and Double-A, Gore has struck out 62, walked 24, and allowed only two home runs. Much like the two other pitchers discussed above, Gore is a right-hander who primarily relies on his fastball and curveball. The fastball won’t necessarily blow anyone away, but the curve plays well off of it. If he continues to perform as he has to this point, he may find himself in the Twins’ bullpen at some point next summer. 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
  8. Louie Varland (High-A Cedar Rapids) Twins Daily Ranking: Honorable Mention MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Varland made his well-earned High-A debut earlier this week after putting up some stellar numbers in Low-A. His 14.45 K/9 rate and 4.75 K:BB ratio in 47 ⅓ innings for the Mighty Mussels were not only among the best on the team, but the Twins’ system in general, which is not something that many expected for the team’s 15th-round pick in 2019. Varland owns a compact windup with repeatable mechanics and a three-quarter arm slot. Although he has primarily been utilized as a starter both in college - at NCAA Division II Concordia University, St. Paul - as well as in the minors, his pitch mix primarily consists of a fastball and curveball, which is typically better suited out of the bullpen. The fastball, which sits in the mid-90s, plays best up in the zone where it stays flat with a little bit of tailing action. However, as he moves it lower in the zone, the amount of sink increases and, along with it, a diminished command. The curveball has potential to be a plus second pitch if he can refine his command. While he unleashes it frequently to miss bats, his feel for the pitch is fairly average, highlighted by often leaving it hanging middle-middle, which is something he can get away with in A-ball but will get slapped around at higher levels. However, when he locates it low, it’s a very difficult ball to square up, especially when piggybacking off a fastball up in the zone. Varland’s lack of a third pitch, whether that be another off-speed offering or improved command of his fastball down, will likely limit him to a relief role should he make it to the majors. Regardless, his performance to date should get his name placed on the major Twins prospect ranking lists come the end of the season. Chris Vallimont (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: No. 20 MLB Pipeline Ranking: No. 18 FanGraphs Ranking: No. 18 Weekly Stats: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K Chris Vallimont looks every bit the part of a major league pitcher. Standing at 6-foot-5-inches tall with an athletic frame and a left arm full of tattoos, Vallimont was acquired along with former Twin Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league slugger Lewin Diaz. He shot up the Twins prospect rankings due in large part to his projectability and solid fastball/curve repertoire; he’ll also mix in the occasional changeup and slider, though his command, which isn’t necessarily anything to write home about to begin with, of the latter two pitches is pretty poor. However, since joining the system, he has been a bit of an enigma. Vallimont has always boasted huge strikeout numbers and that has continued this season. He currently is cutting down batters at an impressive 14.57 K/9 clip, which translates to 68 strikeouts in 42 innings at the Double-A level. However, the sheen of these numbers are muted a bit due to his propensity to dish out free passes (5.36 BB/9) and hard contact (9.1% HR:FB ratio). Making things even more murky is the fact that Vallimont’s standard and advanced statistics largely paint two distinct pictures. His 4.71 ERA is ugly, but his 3.24 FIP is much prettier, for example. He also is getting BABIP’d to death (.402), which is unsustainable. Basically, the beauty of Vallimont’s future is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, though as of now, he’s more likely to end up as a reliever than a starter in the long-term. Jordan Gore (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: N/a MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K The success of Jordan Gore is simply a good story. Taken in the 19th round of the 2017 draft as an infielder, Gore converted to relief pitching full-time this season after serving as a two-way player for the previous two. In 46 career innings across rookie ball, A-ball, and Double-A, Gore has struck out 62, walked 24, and allowed only two home runs. Much like the two other pitchers discussed above, Gore is a right-hander who primarily relies on his fastball and curveball. The fastball won’t necessarily blow anyone away, but the curve plays well off of it. If he continues to perform as he has to this point, he may find himself in the Twins’ bullpen at some point next summer. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  9. In May, many, if not most, of the pitchers in the system were piggybacking, so it was hard to distinguish ‘starters’ from ‘relievers,’ and that made sense. In June, there were a few more pitchers who were used more consistently out of the bullpen and a few really distinguished this month. Here are four relief pitchers who were great in June, but let’s start with some Honorable Mentions: RHP Steven Cruz, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 hits, 5 walks, 22 strikeouts. RHP Matthew Swain, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 8 G, 1.93 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 4 walks, 19 strikeouts. LHP Zach Neff, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 1.98 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 9 hits, 2 walks, 20 strikeouts. LHP Jovani Moran, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 2.51 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 5 hits, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts. LHP Andrew Vasquez, St. Paul Saints - 9 G, 3.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 7 walks, 25 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Jordan Gore - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 6 H, 9 BB, 27 K You know the story. Gore was the Twins 19th round pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina… as a shortstop. In fact, in 2019, he was the main starting shortstop until late in the season when Royce Lewis was called up. However, it was also at that time that Gore and the Twins started the conversation about moving to the mound. That transition started at the end of that season, but with the pandemic, he hasn’t been able to show off in his new position until this year. It took a little bit. In May, he struck out 22 batters in 13 2/3 innings, but he had a 4.61 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. In June, he was fantastic. He worked a lot. 20 innings for a reliever in the minors is a lot. He kept his strikeout rate over 12 per nine. Opponents hit just .098 off of him! As impressive as the numbers, his stuff has come along quickly. Yes, he throws a mid-90s fastball, but he knows he needs more than that. If you watch him throw, he throws a lot of changeups and sliders, and both appear to have some potential. #3 - LHP Zach Featherstone - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 5 H, 10 BB, 25 K Featherstone was the Twins 12th round pick in 2016 out of community college. Like Gore, he was a position player. After one season splitting time between first base and the outfield, he moved to the mound. He pitched in 12 games in the GCL in 2017. In 2018, he got hurt, and when the GCL season started, he worked in three games to see how he was progressing. It was determined that he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2019 season. He was ready to work some in the GCL late in the season, but a hurricane ended that season early. 2020 pandemic meant another season lost. So this spring when he finally got the chance to pitch again, he was very excited. In fact, in his first inning with the Kernels, he threw one pitch at 97 mph. Again, it took him some time to get into a groove. In May, he posted a 5.40 ERA and a 2.40 WHIP in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 11 but walked nine. In June, he found the strike zone and showed dominance. Batters hit just .106 off of him. He throws into the mid-90s and has a sharp slider. He’s left-handed and certainly is worth watching. #2 - RHP Osiris German - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 22 K. German signed with the Twins back in 2016 from San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic. The 22-year-old has worked slowly up the ladder. He spent parts of 2017 and 2018 in the DSL. He ended the 2018 season in the GCL. In 2019, he posted a 3.11 ERA over 37 2/3 innings. He struck out 47. After missing the 2020 season, he made the move to the full season with the Mighty Mussels. In May, he posted a 6.55 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP over 11 innings. In June, he put up incredible numbers, several of them were zero, including the number of runs allowed. I mean, he gave up just two hits over the full month. Opponents hit just .053 against him. One report told me that he has a “Devin Williams-like changeup that is a plus-plus pitch.” That certainly is intriguing too. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: LHP Denny Bentley - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 7 G, 1.35 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 25 K Denny Bentley was the Twins 33rd round draft pick in 2018 out of Howard College in Texas. He posted a 2.60 ERA over 17 1/3 innings. He struck out 21. In 2019, he moved up to Elizabethton and had some ups and downs. In 19 games, he went 2-3 with two saves. He had a 4.38 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. When the E-Twins season ended, the Triple-A Red Wings needed some help on the final weekend. Bentley got that opportunity and made the best of it. He tossed two scoreless innings and gave up only a walk. He also struck out two batters. He also pitched for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the playoffs. Like the others, Bentley did not pitch in 2020. As you might expect, it took Bentley a little while to get things going. In May, he posted a 7.15 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP over 11 1/3 innings. While he struck out 18 batters, he gave up 15 hits and 11 walks. However, it was night-and-day and Bentley earned the top spot on this list. Along with giving up just seven base runners over 13 1/3 innings, he was dominant striking out 25 batters (16.9 K/9). Opponents hit just .095/.184/.143 (.327). His control and command greatly and quickly improved. Also, his stuff just got much sharper. As you can see, there were several solid relief pitcher performances in June. These guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers. Congratulations to Denny Bentley, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2021.
  10. The last couple of days, we announced our choices for the JuneTwins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Jose Miranda) and Starting Pitcher of the Month (Josh Winder). Today, we will discuss the relief pitchers who pitched well and dominated in the season’s second month. In May, many, if not most, of the pitchers in the system were piggybacking, so it was hard to distinguish ‘starters’ from ‘relievers,’ and that made sense. In June, there were a few more pitchers who were used more consistently out of the bullpen and a few really distinguished this month. Here are four relief pitchers who were great in June, but let’s start with some Honorable Mentions: RHP Steven Cruz, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 hits, 5 walks, 22 strikeouts. RHP Matthew Swain, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 8 G, 1.93 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 4 walks, 19 strikeouts. LHP Zach Neff, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 1.98 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 9 hits, 2 walks, 20 strikeouts. LHP Jovani Moran, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 2.51 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 5 hits, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts. LHP Andrew Vasquez, St. Paul Saints - 9 G, 3.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 7 walks, 25 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Jordan Gore - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 6 H, 9 BB, 27 K You know the story. Gore was the Twins 19th round pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina… as a shortstop. In fact, in 2019, he was the main starting shortstop until late in the season when Royce Lewis was called up. However, it was also at that time that Gore and the Twins started the conversation about moving to the mound. That transition started at the end of that season, but with the pandemic, he hasn’t been able to show off in his new position until this year. It took a little bit. In May, he struck out 22 batters in 13 2/3 innings, but he had a 4.61 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. In June, he was fantastic. He worked a lot. 20 innings for a reliever in the minors is a lot. He kept his strikeout rate over 12 per nine. Opponents hit just .098 off of him! As impressive as the numbers, his stuff has come along quickly. Yes, he throws a mid-90s fastball, but he knows he needs more than that. If you watch him throw, he throws a lot of changeups and sliders, and both appear to have some potential. #3 - LHP Zach Featherstone - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 5 H, 10 BB, 25 K Featherstone was the Twins 12th round pick in 2016 out of community college. Like Gore, he was a position player. After one season splitting time between first base and the outfield, he moved to the mound. He pitched in 12 games in the GCL in 2017. In 2018, he got hurt, and when the GCL season started, he worked in three games to see how he was progressing. It was determined that he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2019 season. He was ready to work some in the GCL late in the season, but a hurricane ended that season early. 2020 pandemic meant another season lost. So this spring when he finally got the chance to pitch again, he was very excited. In fact, in his first inning with the Kernels, he threw one pitch at 97 mph. Again, it took him some time to get into a groove. In May, he posted a 5.40 ERA and a 2.40 WHIP in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 11 but walked nine. In June, he found the strike zone and showed dominance. Batters hit just .106 off of him. He throws into the mid-90s and has a sharp slider. He’s left-handed and certainly is worth watching. #2 - RHP Osiris German - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 22 K. German signed with the Twins back in 2016 from San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic. The 22-year-old has worked slowly up the ladder. He spent parts of 2017 and 2018 in the DSL. He ended the 2018 season in the GCL. In 2019, he posted a 3.11 ERA over 37 2/3 innings. He struck out 47. After missing the 2020 season, he made the move to the full season with the Mighty Mussels. In May, he posted a 6.55 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP over 11 innings. In June, he put up incredible numbers, several of them were zero, including the number of runs allowed. I mean, he gave up just two hits over the full month. Opponents hit just .053 against him. One report told me that he has a “Devin Williams-like changeup that is a plus-plus pitch.” That certainly is intriguing too. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: LHP Denny Bentley - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 7 G, 1.35 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 25 K Denny Bentley was the Twins 33rd round draft pick in 2018 out of Howard College in Texas. He posted a 2.60 ERA over 17 1/3 innings. He struck out 21. In 2019, he moved up to Elizabethton and had some ups and downs. In 19 games, he went 2-3 with two saves. He had a 4.38 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. When the E-Twins season ended, the Triple-A Red Wings needed some help on the final weekend. Bentley got that opportunity and made the best of it. He tossed two scoreless innings and gave up only a walk. He also struck out two batters. He also pitched for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the playoffs. Like the others, Bentley did not pitch in 2020. As you might expect, it took Bentley a little while to get things going. In May, he posted a 7.15 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP over 11 1/3 innings. While he struck out 18 batters, he gave up 15 hits and 11 walks. However, it was night-and-day and Bentley earned the top spot on this list. Along with giving up just seven base runners over 13 1/3 innings, he was dominant striking out 25 batters (16.9 K/9). Opponents hit just .095/.184/.143 (.327). His control and command greatly and quickly improved. Also, his stuff just got much sharper. As you can see, there were several solid relief pitcher performances in June. These guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers. Congratulations to Denny Bentley, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2021. View full article
  11. You may not have heard as much about him as other Twins prospects, but Sean Poppen is making himself a pitching prospect to watch in the season’s second half. The 25-year-old from Harvard hits 96 and has a good three-pitch mix. Meanwhile, a Tommy John pitcher was activated by the Miracle. A Kernels starter was terrific in his return from the IL. So much going on in the Twins minor league system. Misael Urbina Update - On Thursday, he went 2-for-5 and is now hitting .313.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS The Twins have signed several of their 2019 draft picks. Keep up with those who signed here.Ryan Eades was optioned to Rochester with Fernando Romero called up to the Twins.Ft. Myers announced the RHP Cole Sands was placed on the Injured List (blister). Taking his spot on the Miracle roster was RHP Dakota Chalmers. He came to the Twins organization last August in exchange for RHP Fernando Rodney. Chalmers had Tommy John surgery last May.Cedar Rapids announced that RHP Luis Rijo was activated from the Injured List. LHP JT Perez was sent to extended spring training.Several players were released from EST as 2019 draft picks sign and the short-season leagues begin. Released on Thursday include RHP Jose Bermudez, Cristian Castro, 2B Hunter Lee, infielder Agustin Marte, and infielder Victor Tademo.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 6, Columbus 2 Box Score The Red Wings scored three runs in the first inning and added on all while getting another strong pitching performance from Sean Poppen. The right-hander from Harvard has been really good with the Red Wings. On this afternoon, he gave up two runs (one earned) over six innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out nine. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA. Preston Guilmet got the final three outs. Before him, Jake Reed struck out three over two scoreless innings. You will notice a change in Reed that might surprise you. Tom put Jake Reed under the Prospect Spotlight. Wilin Rosario led the offense. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs. Luis Arraez went 3-for-5 with his third double. Jake Cave went 2-for-4. Nick Gordon was 2-for-5. And your Willians Astudillo update… he went 2-or-4 with two RBIs. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Tennessee 4 (10 innings) Box Score Randy Dobnak made his return to the Blue Wahoos rotation. He gave up two runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five batters. Jeff Ames came on and tossed 2 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings. He struck out four. The game went to extra innings tied at two. Tyler Palm came on, making his first appearance since being promoted from EST. He gave up two runs (one earned, due to 10th inning starting with a runner on second base). In the bottom of the 10th inning, Jordan Gore singled in a run, but the comeback fell short. Gore went 3-for-3 in the game with two RBIs. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with his second double. Jimmy Kerrigan and Joe Cronin both went 1-for-3 with a walk. Kerrigan hit his fifth double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers, Tampa Box Score The game was cancelled due to rain. Ft. Myers begins its All-Star weekend. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Wisconsin 2 Box Score Luis Rijo returned to the mound and pitched very well. The right-hander went five scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. On-site reports tell us that he hit 96 on the radar gun. Alex Schick came on and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in the sixth inning. Zach Neff followed with two scoreless innings, and Carlos Suniaga pitched a scoreless ninth frame. Not much offense for the Kernels. They had just four hits. Gabe Snyder hit his 11th double. Yeltsin Encarnacion hit his third triple. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wilin Rosario, Rochester Red Wings PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 3 K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 1-3, R, BB, 2K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) -.Rained Out. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 2-5, R, 2K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2B(2), K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Did Not Play. #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Charlotte (6:05 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (5-3, 4.11 ERA) Tennessee @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Ft. Myers - No Game Scheduled (All Star Break) Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (4-1, 2.64 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  12. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS The Twins have signed several of their 2019 draft picks. Keep up with those who signed here. Ryan Eades was optioned to Rochester with Fernando Romero called up to the Twins. Ft. Myers announced the RHP Cole Sands was placed on the Injured List (blister). Taking his spot on the Miracle roster was RHP Dakota Chalmers. He came to the Twins organization last August in exchange for RHP Fernando Rodney. Chalmers had Tommy John surgery last May. Cedar Rapids announced that RHP Luis Rijo was activated from the Injured List. LHP JT Perez was sent to extended spring training. Several players were released from EST as 2019 draft picks sign and the short-season leagues begin. Released on Thursday include RHP Jose Bermudez, Cristian Castro, 2B Hunter Lee, infielder Agustin Marte, and infielder Victor Tademo. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Columbus 2 Box Score The Red Wings scored three runs in the first inning and added on all while getting another strong pitching performance from Sean Poppen. The right-hander from Harvard has been really good with the Red Wings. On this afternoon, he gave up two runs (one earned) over six innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out nine. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA. Preston Guilmet got the final three outs. Before him, Jake Reed struck out three over two scoreless innings. You will notice a change in Reed that might surprise you. Tom put Jake Reed under the Prospect Spotlight. Wilin Rosario led the offense. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs. Luis Arraez went 3-for-5 with his third double. Jake Cave went 2-for-4. Nick Gordon was 2-for-5. And your Willians Astudillo update… he went 2-or-4 with two RBIs. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Tennessee 4 (10 innings) Box Score Randy Dobnak made his return to the Blue Wahoos rotation. He gave up two runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five batters. Jeff Ames came on and tossed 2 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings. He struck out four. The game went to extra innings tied at two. Tyler Palm came on, making his first appearance since being promoted from EST. He gave up two runs (one earned, due to 10th inning starting with a runner on second base). In the bottom of the 10th inning, Jordan Gore singled in a run, but the comeback fell short. Gore went 3-for-3 in the game with two RBIs. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with his second double. Jimmy Kerrigan and Joe Cronin both went 1-for-3 with a walk. Kerrigan hit his fifth double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers, Tampa Box Score The game was cancelled due to rain. Ft. Myers begins its All-Star weekend. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Wisconsin 2 Box Score Luis Rijo returned to the mound and pitched very well. The right-hander went five scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. On-site reports tell us that he hit 96 on the radar gun. Alex Schick came on and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in the sixth inning. Zach Neff followed with two scoreless innings, and Carlos Suniaga pitched a scoreless ninth frame. Not much offense for the Kernels. They had just four hits. Gabe Snyder hit his 11th double. Yeltsin Encarnacion hit his third triple. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wilin Rosario, Rochester Red Wings PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 3 K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 1-3, R, BB, 2K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) -.Rained Out. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 2-5, R, 2K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2B(2), K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Did Not Play. #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Charlotte (6:05 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (5-3, 4.11 ERA) Tennessee @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (0-1, 3.86 ERA) Ft. Myers - No Game Scheduled (All Star Break) Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (4-1, 2.64 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  13. Relatively speaking, there was limited action on Tuesday as two affiliates enjoyed days off. One for travel and the other as their level continued their All-Star break. But there were still four games, and one of them included an offensive explosion led by three hitters each accomplishing a big first in their professional careers.To find out how all your favorite prospects fared on Tuesday night, keep reading and be sure to discuss in the comments! TRANSACTIONS Just one transaction today as the the Twins sent starter Ervin Santana on assignment to Chattanooga to continue his rehab, and he pitched his best game so far on the comeback trail for them on Tuesday. RED WINGS REPORT No Game – Triple-A All-Star Break The Red Wings continue to enjoy their midsummer break. The International League will face off against the Pacific Coast League in Columbus, OH on Wednesday night. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jacksonville 7 Box Score As mentioned, Ervin Santana got the rehab nod in this one and went the first five innings and 63 pitches (65.1% for strikes). He allowed two earned runs courtesy of a two-run home run in the fourth, but that would be it for the Jumbo Shrimp. He finished with just two hits allowed and struck out six. Five of those K’s came in the first two innings. Down 2-0 heading into the top of the fifth, the Lookouts tied the game with a two-run home run of their own. This came courtesy of Jordan Gore, his first in double-A. Sam Clay came on in the sixth and that’s when the game got away thanks to a couple of errors, including one on himself. All told he got two outs and allowed four runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks. Williams Ramirez finished the game with 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out three. Chattanooga had just two other hits besides Gore’s home run on the game, with Brent Rooker going 1-for-4 with three K’s, and Zander Wiel 1-for-4 with a triple. As a team they were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 14, Fort Myers 8 Box Score Down 8-3 at one point, the Miracle did storm back to tie this one heading into the ninth, but then it got away from them. Tom Hackimer was summoned from the bullpen to start the eighth inning and loaded the bases before escaping. Bringing him back out for the ninth after just tying the game was probably a bad idea. When it was done for Hackimer, utility man Joe Cronin was brought in to record the final two outs on the mound and six runs came around for the final score. Clark Beeker started for Fort Myers and was responsible for the Cardinals first five runs. In four innings he allowed those on two walks, eight hits including two homers, while striking out four. Alex Robinson allowed three runs on two hits and two walks in 2/3’s of an inning, striking out one. Hector Lujan settled things down for the next 2 1/3, allowing one hit and a walk along with two K’s. The initial comeback for the Miracle was sparked by a four-run seventh inning. Alex Kirilloff, Caleb Hamilton, and Taylor Grzelakowski all delivered RBI doubles in the frame. They tied it in the eighth thanks to a Cronin groundout after a walk from Aaron Whitefield to lead off the frame and a single from Travis Blankenhorn advanced him to third. Cronin finished the game as a batter with a run scored on two hits and two walks and drove in three. Lewin Diaz and Grzelakowski also collected multiple hits for the home team in the loss. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off It was a Midwest League travel day for The Kernels as they head back home to Cedar Rapids. They begin a six-game homestand on Wednesday against the Fort Wayne TinCaps, and finish against the Lake County Captains. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 15, Johnson City 1 Box Score Elizabethton took the early lead with two runs in the first, then piled it on from the fifth inning, blowing out their cross-county rival Johnson City in demoralizing fashion Tuesday night. 2018 second-round pick, Ryan Jeffers, got it started with a two-run home in the first inning, his first as a professional baseball player. In the fifth the Twins sent ten hitters into the batters box, and every possible one of them scored as they took control 9-1. The big hits included a two-RBI single from Michael Davis, a two-RBI double from Andrew Coscrove, and a solo home run from Albee Weiss. Three runs in the sixth came on a solo shot from Hunter Lee, also his first as a pro, and a two-run double from Alex Robles. To continue the theme, three more runs in the sixth came courtesy of another Weiss solo blast, and a two-run bomb from Davis that also marked his first since being drafted in the 24th round out of Texas Tech last month and in his first career game. On the pitching front Elizabethton got four innings from starter Pedro Garcia as he was a bit too wild to go any further. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and three walks. He struck out one. Blair Lakso went the three scoreless innings and picked up his third win. He allowed four hits and struck out two. Seth Pinkerton finished it off with two scoreless frames, hitting one batter with a pitch. Only one hitter in the lineup for the Twins didn’t collect a hit, and only two got on base less than twice. Their 18 hits included going 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position and they left only five men on base as they cashed in on almost all their scoring opportunities. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Rays 5 Box Score The Twins were down 3-1 after three, but scratched across runs in four straight innings to take the lead back and hold off the Rays. Andriu Marin got the start and went five innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk, along with picking up four K’s. The two unearned runs were courtesy of two errors in the third inning that allowed runs to score. They got a sac fly off the bat of Gabe Snyder in the first inning, and he got the comeback started in the fourth with his second home run of the year to lead it off. The Twins got an RBI groundout from Alberoni Nunez later in that inning that would tally single runs in each of the next three. Tyler Webb homered to lead off the fifth, Yeltsin Encarnacion delivered and RBI single in the sixth, and a sac fly from Nunez in the seventh accounted for a 6-3 lead. J.T. Perez was the first arm out of the bullpen, and despite two unearned runs, would end up with his second win of the year. In 1 1/3 innings, he walked one, gave up one hit, and struck out one. Frandy Torres came on with two runners in the seventh and they both would score to account for Perez’s runs, but would get out of the inning with the Twins still out front. Petru Balan began the eighth inning but after loading the bases with two walks and a single, Tanner Howell was brought on. He escaped the jam with a strikeout, ground ball force out to home, and another grounder to keep it 6-5. He finished the game with a scoreless ninth, working around two one-out hits for his third save. He struck out three in his two innings. The Twins totaled twelve hits on the game but weren’t as good as they could have been with runners on, as they were just 4-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left thirteen men on base. Edgar Herrera racked up four of those hits including a double and a run scored. Webb finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk in addition to his homer. Snyder also tacked on with multiple hits in a 2-for-4 game. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Tanner Howell, GCL Twins (Save (3), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Ryan Jeffers (2-for-3, 3 R, HR (1), 2 RBI, BB), Hunter Lee (4-for-5, 2 R, HR (1), 2 RBI, K), and Michael Davis (2-for-5, 3 R, HR (1), 3 RBI, BB); Elizabethton Twins (all hit their first career home runs after being drafted this year) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day off. 2. Fernando Romero (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 5. Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 1-for-5, R, 2B (3), RBI, 2 K 6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury. 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-for-4, 3 K 8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day off. 9. Brusdar Graterol (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day off. 11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 2-for-5, R, K 14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 0-for-2, BB 16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, R, BB, 2 K 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, RBI, BB 18. Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) – Did not play. 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – Did not pitch. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – Triple-A All-Star Game (6:00PM CST) Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (11:05AM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (0-2, 3.09 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (3-5, 3.00 ERA) Fort Wayne @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (2-3, 4.85 ERA) Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  14. To find out how all your favorite prospects fared on Tuesday night, keep reading and be sure to discuss in the comments! TRANSACTIONS Just one transaction today as the the Twins sent starter Ervin Santana on assignment to Chattanooga to continue his rehab, and he pitched his best game so far on the comeback trail for them on Tuesday. RED WINGS REPORT No Game – Triple-A All-Star Break The Red Wings continue to enjoy their midsummer break. The International League will face off against the Pacific Coast League in Columbus, OH on Wednesday night. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jacksonville 7 Box Score As mentioned, Ervin Santana got the rehab nod in this one and went the first five innings and 63 pitches (65.1% for strikes). He allowed two earned runs courtesy of a two-run home run in the fourth, but that would be it for the Jumbo Shrimp. He finished with just two hits allowed and struck out six. Five of those K’s came in the first two innings. Down 2-0 heading into the top of the fifth, the Lookouts tied the game with a two-run home run of their own. This came courtesy of Jordan Gore, his first in double-A. Sam Clay came on in the sixth and that’s when the game got away thanks to a couple of errors, including one on himself. All told he got two outs and allowed four runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks. Williams Ramirez finished the game with 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out three. Chattanooga had just two other hits besides Gore’s home run on the game, with Brent Rooker going 1-for-4 with three K’s, and Zander Wiel 1-for-4 with a triple. As a team they were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 14, Fort Myers 8 Box Score Down 8-3 at one point, the Miracle did storm back to tie this one heading into the ninth, but then it got away from them. Tom Hackimer was summoned from the bullpen to start the eighth inning and loaded the bases before escaping. Bringing him back out for the ninth after just tying the game was probably a bad idea. When it was done for Hackimer, utility man Joe Cronin was brought in to record the final two outs on the mound and six runs came around for the final score. Clark Beeker started for Fort Myers and was responsible for the Cardinals first five runs. In four innings he allowed those on two walks, eight hits including two homers, while striking out four. Alex Robinson allowed three runs on two hits and two walks in 2/3’s of an inning, striking out one. Hector Lujan settled things down for the next 2 1/3, allowing one hit and a walk along with two K’s. The initial comeback for the Miracle was sparked by a four-run seventh inning. Alex Kirilloff, Caleb Hamilton, and Taylor Grzelakowski all delivered RBI doubles in the frame. They tied it in the eighth thanks to a Cronin groundout after a walk from Aaron Whitefield to lead off the frame and a single from Travis Blankenhorn advanced him to third. Cronin finished the game as a batter with a run scored on two hits and two walks and drove in three. Lewin Diaz and Grzelakowski also collected multiple hits for the home team in the loss. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off It was a Midwest League travel day for The Kernels as they head back home to Cedar Rapids. They begin a six-game homestand on Wednesday against the Fort Wayne TinCaps, and finish against the Lake County Captains. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 15, Johnson City 1 Box Score Elizabethton took the early lead with two runs in the first, then piled it on from the fifth inning, blowing out their cross-county rival Johnson City in demoralizing fashion Tuesday night. 2018 second-round pick, Ryan Jeffers, got it started with a two-run home in the first inning, his first as a professional baseball player. In the fifth the Twins sent ten hitters into the batters box, and every possible one of them scored as they took control 9-1. The big hits included a two-RBI single from Michael Davis, a two-RBI double from Andrew Coscrove, and a solo home run from Albee Weiss. Three runs in the sixth came on a solo shot from Hunter Lee, also his first as a pro, and a two-run double from Alex Robles. To continue the theme, three more runs in the sixth came courtesy of another Weiss solo blast, and a two-run bomb from Davis that also marked his first since being drafted in the 24th round out of Texas Tech last month and in his first career game. On the pitching front Elizabethton got four innings from starter Pedro Garcia as he was a bit too wild to go any further. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and three walks. He struck out one. Blair Lakso went the three scoreless innings and picked up his third win. He allowed four hits and struck out two. Seth Pinkerton finished it off with two scoreless frames, hitting one batter with a pitch. Only one hitter in the lineup for the Twins didn’t collect a hit, and only two got on base less than twice. Their 18 hits included going 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position and they left only five men on base as they cashed in on almost all their scoring opportunities. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Rays 5 Box Score The Twins were down 3-1 after three, but scratched across runs in four straight innings to take the lead back and hold off the Rays. Andriu Marin got the start and went five innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk, along with picking up four K’s. The two unearned runs were courtesy of two errors in the third inning that allowed runs to score. They got a sac fly off the bat of Gabe Snyder in the first inning, and he got the comeback started in the fourth with his second home run of the year to lead it off. The Twins got an RBI groundout from Alberoni Nunez later in that inning that would tally single runs in each of the next three. Tyler Webb homered to lead off the fifth, Yeltsin Encarnacion delivered and RBI single in the sixth, and a sac fly from Nunez in the seventh accounted for a 6-3 lead. J.T. Perez was the first arm out of the bullpen, and despite two unearned runs, would end up with his second win of the year. In 1 1/3 innings, he walked one, gave up one hit, and struck out one. Frandy Torres came on with two runners in the seventh and they both would score to account for Perez’s runs, but would get out of the inning with the Twins still out front. Petru Balan began the eighth inning but after loading the bases with two walks and a single, Tanner Howell was brought on. He escaped the jam with a strikeout, ground ball force out to home, and another grounder to keep it 6-5. He finished the game with a scoreless ninth, working around two one-out hits for his third save. He struck out three in his two innings. The Twins totaled twelve hits on the game but weren’t as good as they could have been with runners on, as they were just 4-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left thirteen men on base. Edgar Herrera racked up four of those hits including a double and a run scored. Webb finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk in addition to his homer. Snyder also tacked on with multiple hits in a 2-for-4 game. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Tanner Howell, GCL Twins (Save (3), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Ryan Jeffers (2-for-3, 3 R, HR (1), 2 RBI, BB), Hunter Lee (4-for-5, 2 R, HR (1), 2 RBI, K), and Michael Davis (2-for-5, 3 R, HR (1), 3 RBI, BB); Elizabethton Twins (all hit their first career home runs after being drafted this year) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day off. 2. Fernando Romero (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 5. Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 1-for-5, R, 2B (3), RBI, 2 K 6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury. 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-for-4, 3 K 8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day off. 9. Brusdar Graterol (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day off. 11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 2-for-5, R, K 14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – Triple-A All-Star Break. 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 0-for-2, BB 16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, R, BB, 2 K 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, RBI, BB 18. Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) – Did not play. 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – Did not pitch. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – Triple-A All-Star Game (6:00PM CST) Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (11:05AM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (0-2, 3.09 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (3-5, 3.00 ERA) Fort Wayne @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (2-3, 4.85 ERA) Elizabethton @ Johnson City (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  15. After the Cedar Rapids Kernels finished batting practice on a warm, humid July 4 afternoon, two of the most productive players on their roster agreed to sit down and talk about the season. One, an infielder, has been hitting over .300 with an on-base percentage around .400 virtually all season. (And three days after the interview, his bags were packed for Chattanooga, where he’d been promoted to join former Kernels manager Tommy Watkins’ Lookouts.) The other, a starting pitcher, is 6-2 on the season and leads the Kernels in innings pitched.Unless you’re a pretty serious student of the Minnesota Twins’ minor league system or a Kernels season ticket holder, there’s a chance you’ve never heard of either of them. Jordan Gore was selected by the Twins out of Coastal Carolina in the 17th round of the 2017 draft and Randy Dobnak never got a post-draft call at all after completing his college career at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia. They made the most of their college days on and off the field, both making the Dean’s List regularly at their respective schools. Gore started his college career at South Carolina before transferring to Coastal Carolina in his hometown of Conway, SC, where he underwent Tommy John surgery and ended up sitting out the Chanticleers’ NCAA championship season in 2016. Having to sit out that championship season wasn’t as tough for Gore as one might think. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Gore062418a-600x400.jpg Jordan Gore (Photo by SD Buhr) “Honestly you can say so,” Gore said, “but I’ve said this time and time again. That was best group of guys that I’ve ever been around as far as pulling for each other, working hard, all around good personalities and good people. It was probably better for me to sit back and watch how they did it. They taught me a lot about how to play the game the right way. “I’ve got nothing but love for everybody at Coastal. I tell you what, it made me a lot better person and a player.” Dobnak pitched for Alderson Broadus University in Philippi, West Virginia, where he had a career 26-12 record and set a Great Midwest Athletic Conference record with 284 career strikeouts. You wouldn’t fault Gore, a shortstop by trade, if he had been more than a little troubled by the fact that he was drafted by an organization that also used the first overall pick of the 2017 draft to select a guy who plays the same position. But Gore says he wasn’t concerned at all at the prospect of trying to work his way up through the Twins farm system virtually in tandem with top prospect Royce Lewis. “Honestly, I was just happy to get the call because after my last (college) game it kind of hit me, man this could be the last time I lace my spikes up,” Gore said, concerning his draft position, “and Royce is a great guy. It’s great to be playing with him. It’s a lot of fun.” Gore didn’t exactly follow the draft moment by moment, waiting to hear his name called, but admits being relieved when it was over. “I tried to keep my mind off of it,” he recalled. “I tried to just stay away from thinking about it too much. When I finally did get the call, it was a lot off my shoulders because you can try not to think about it as much as you want, but it’s always going to be there.” While Gore had to be patient on draft day, Dobnak wasn’t all that surprised that he didn’t get a call when the draft had been completed. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Dobnak062718a-600x400.jpg Randy Dobnak (Photo by SD Buhr) “Being in the mountains of West Virginia, there were a few teams that were talking to me or my coaches,” he explained. “But when they’d try and come see me play, we’d get rained out, snowed out. too cold. So, I didn’t really know what to expect (on draft day).” Not being drafted didn’t mean Dobnak was ready to call it a career, however. He used a connection made in his freshman year of college to land a spot on the pitching staff of the Utica Unicorns, an independent minor league team in a four-team league about an hour outside Detroit, Michigan. “I played there for like a month. I had played with (the manager’s) son. He was my catcher my freshmen and sophomore year (of college). After a freshman year tournament, we were all out to eat and his dad was like, ‘I want you come play for my team once you graduate.’ Three years later, I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s do this thing.’” A few weeks later, he signed with the Twins and he spent the rest of last summer in Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. Dobnak put up a combined ERA of 2.43 and a WHIP of 0.96 in six appearances (four as a starter) at the two 2017 stops and has followed that up with a very solid first three months with the Kernels this summer. In 14 appearances (11 of them as a starter), he has a 3.74 ERA and has struck out 49 batters, while walking just 13. He has averaged seven innings of work in his last five starts for the Kernels. At the time of his promotion to Chattanooga on July 7, Gore was hitting .307 with a solid .770 OPS and had a .333 average and 1.044 OPS in the month of July. While splitting infield time with Royce Lewis, Andrew Bechtold and Jose Miranda, Gore has made 33 appearances at second base, 23 at shortstop, five at third base and even made one late-game mop up appearance on the mound for Cedar Rapids. On a team seemingly filled with very young talent, Gore and Dobnak have stood out as 23-year-olds and their manager, Toby Gardenhire, has appreciated the level of effort and leadership they’ve brough to the field, as well as the clubhouse. “He’s been great,” the manager said of Dobnak. “He grabs the ball and goes out there and does whatever you want him to do. He works really hard every day, shows up ready to go. He’s the epitome of the guy that you want on your team. He doesn’t say much, he just goes out there and does his job every day. “His skill level has been great, he’s done a great job, but the big thing for us is that he’s very professional with everything that he does. When you have this many young guys on a team like we do that you’re trying to teach how to be professionals, then you need guys like him where you can say, ‘Hey you see how Dobnak does this? You see what he does? You see how he goes about his business? That’s the way it needs to be. That’s how you have to act.’ “So, aside from the fact that he’s doing great, which is all credit to him and how hard he works, he’s just a great person. He’s a great leader for us.” Gardenhire offered a similar strong endorsement for Gore. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Gore070418a-600x400.jpg Jordan Gore (Photo by SD Buhr) “Gore’s the same way,” his manager said. “He’s ‘game on.’ He’s funny, but the way he goes about his business, the way he goes out and gets it every day – when you put him in the lineup, you know what you’re going to get from him. You’re going to get effort. Dives all over the place and will do anything to win baseball games. “You would think that with baseball players in professional baseball, you’re going to have a whole group of guys that just want to try to win games, that will do anything for the team, but it’s not always like that. That’s a taught trait. You either have something in you that says ‘Hey, I’ll do whatever it takes to win this game’ or you have to learn that. He’s one of those guys, he just has it. That’s what he wants. He wants to win and he’ll do anything. “I always call those guys dirtballs. He’s driving all over the place. You’re not going to see him with his uniform clean for very long in a game. That’s one of those things, again, when you have a whole bunch of young talented guys like we have, to have a guy like that who shows them the way. They see him diving all over the place. He’s mad when we lose and he gets fired up. They see that and it starts to kind of rub off on them. That’s what you want.” A couple of relatively unheralded players on a team stocked with highly-regarded younger prospects could be forgiven if they felt some pressure to perform well enough to get noticed by their front office, but neither Gore nor Dobnak sounded like that was the case for them. “I don’t think it’s pressure,” Gore said. “Speaking for myself, I come out here and want to work hard. This is fun for us! I mean it’s the best job in the world, right? “Yep,” concurred Dobnak. “I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want to come out here and work hard?” asked Gore, “because when you work hard, you tend to play well. It makes it a lot more fun.” Neither player is concerning himself too much with what’s going on with the Twins’ affiliates at the higher levels, however. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Dobnak070418a-400x600.jpg Randy Dobnak (Photo by SD Buhr) “I check out the scores and see how some of the guys I know are doing,” conceded Dobnak. “I just think if you prove to your coaches or front office that you’re good enough to move up, they’ll move you up. But all the guys, they work hard. They all work the same. You go out there and do whatever you’ve got to do. Compete.” “I try not to think about (promotions), I’ll be honest with you,” said Gore. “I’m around a great bunch of guys every day and it’s a lot of fun. It doesn’t really pop into your head much. We’re just out here trying to win and we’ve been doing that here lately.” Given that Gore earned a promotion three days after those comments, his approach obviously worked for him. One thing that comes through in virtually every conversation you have with any of this group of Kernels is how much they enjoy their teammates. It’s a close group, but even in the tightest of clubhouses, there will be differences. Gore and Dobnak are not completely in agreement in one aspect of the game. Dobnak’s Twitter profile includes a reference to the hashtag #BanTheDH. Gore doesn’t sound ready to give away the at-bats he gets on days he DHs. “Let the pitchers hit,” said Dobnak. And why? “Because it’s more fun for the pitchers. When you grow up, you pitch, you hit, you play the infield!” It’s all about the pitchers, right Jordan? “No offense to the pitchers out there, but you’re probably giving up an out every time,” a smiling Gore responded. “I’m just kidding,” the professional hitter in the conversation added. “We’ve got a lot of good athletes on the (pitching staff), I’m sure they could probably pick up a stick and hit it.” Click here to view the article
  16. Unless you’re a pretty serious student of the Minnesota Twins’ minor league system or a Kernels season ticket holder, there’s a chance you’ve never heard of either of them. Jordan Gore was selected by the Twins out of Coastal Carolina in the 17th round of the 2017 draft and Randy Dobnak never got a post-draft call at all after completing his college career at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia. They made the most of their college days on and off the field, both making the Dean’s List regularly at their respective schools. Gore started his college career at South Carolina before transferring to Coastal Carolina in his hometown of Conway, SC, where he underwent Tommy John surgery and ended up sitting out the Chanticleers’ NCAA championship season in 2016. Having to sit out that championship season wasn’t as tough for Gore as one might think. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Gore062418a-600x400.jpg Jordan Gore (Photo by SD Buhr) “Honestly you can say so,” Gore said, “but I’ve said this time and time again. That was best group of guys that I’ve ever been around as far as pulling for each other, working hard, all around good personalities and good people. It was probably better for me to sit back and watch how they did it. They taught me a lot about how to play the game the right way. “I’ve got nothing but love for everybody at Coastal. I tell you what, it made me a lot better person and a player.” Dobnak pitched for Alderson Broadus University in Philippi, West Virginia, where he had a career 26-12 record and set a Great Midwest Athletic Conference record with 284 career strikeouts. You wouldn’t fault Gore, a shortstop by trade, if he had been more than a little troubled by the fact that he was drafted by an organization that also used the first overall pick of the 2017 draft to select a guy who plays the same position. But Gore says he wasn’t concerned at all at the prospect of trying to work his way up through the Twins farm system virtually in tandem with top prospect Royce Lewis. “Honestly, I was just happy to get the call because after my last (college) game it kind of hit me, man this could be the last time I lace my spikes up,” Gore said, concerning his draft position, “and Royce is a great guy. It’s great to be playing with him. It’s a lot of fun.” Gore didn’t exactly follow the draft moment by moment, waiting to hear his name called, but admits being relieved when it was over. “I tried to keep my mind off of it,” he recalled. “I tried to just stay away from thinking about it too much. When I finally did get the call, it was a lot off my shoulders because you can try not to think about it as much as you want, but it’s always going to be there.” While Gore had to be patient on draft day, Dobnak wasn’t all that surprised that he didn’t get a call when the draft had been completed. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Dobnak062718a-600x400.jpg Randy Dobnak (Photo by SD Buhr) “Being in the mountains of West Virginia, there were a few teams that were talking to me or my coaches,” he explained. “But when they’d try and come see me play, we’d get rained out, snowed out. too cold. So, I didn’t really know what to expect (on draft day).” Not being drafted didn’t mean Dobnak was ready to call it a career, however. He used a connection made in his freshman year of college to land a spot on the pitching staff of the Utica Unicorns, an independent minor league team in a four-team league about an hour outside Detroit, Michigan. “I played there for like a month. I had played with (the manager’s) son. He was my catcher my freshmen and sophomore year (of college). After a freshman year tournament, we were all out to eat and his dad was like, ‘I want you come play for my team once you graduate.’ Three years later, I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s do this thing.’” A few weeks later, he signed with the Twins and he spent the rest of last summer in Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. Dobnak put up a combined ERA of 2.43 and a WHIP of 0.96 in six appearances (four as a starter) at the two 2017 stops and has followed that up with a very solid first three months with the Kernels this summer. In 14 appearances (11 of them as a starter), he has a 3.74 ERA and has struck out 49 batters, while walking just 13. He has averaged seven innings of work in his last five starts for the Kernels. At the time of his promotion to Chattanooga on July 7, Gore was hitting .307 with a solid .770 OPS and had a .333 average and 1.044 OPS in the month of July. While splitting infield time with Royce Lewis, Andrew Bechtold and Jose Miranda, Gore has made 33 appearances at second base, 23 at shortstop, five at third base and even made one late-game mop up appearance on the mound for Cedar Rapids. On a team seemingly filled with very young talent, Gore and Dobnak have stood out as 23-year-olds and their manager, Toby Gardenhire, has appreciated the level of effort and leadership they’ve brough to the field, as well as the clubhouse. “He’s been great,” the manager said of Dobnak. “He grabs the ball and goes out there and does whatever you want him to do. He works really hard every day, shows up ready to go. He’s the epitome of the guy that you want on your team. He doesn’t say much, he just goes out there and does his job every day. “His skill level has been great, he’s done a great job, but the big thing for us is that he’s very professional with everything that he does. When you have this many young guys on a team like we do that you’re trying to teach how to be professionals, then you need guys like him where you can say, ‘Hey you see how Dobnak does this? You see what he does? You see how he goes about his business? That’s the way it needs to be. That’s how you have to act.’ “So, aside from the fact that he’s doing great, which is all credit to him and how hard he works, he’s just a great person. He’s a great leader for us.” Gardenhire offered a similar strong endorsement for Gore. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Gore070418a-600x400.jpg Jordan Gore (Photo by SD Buhr) “Gore’s the same way,” his manager said. “He’s ‘game on.’ He’s funny, but the way he goes about his business, the way he goes out and gets it every day – when you put him in the lineup, you know what you’re going to get from him. You’re going to get effort. Dives all over the place and will do anything to win baseball games. “You would think that with baseball players in professional baseball, you’re going to have a whole group of guys that just want to try to win games, that will do anything for the team, but it’s not always like that. That’s a taught trait. You either have something in you that says ‘Hey, I’ll do whatever it takes to win this game’ or you have to learn that. He’s one of those guys, he just has it. That’s what he wants. He wants to win and he’ll do anything. “I always call those guys dirtballs. He’s driving all over the place. You’re not going to see him with his uniform clean for very long in a game. That’s one of those things, again, when you have a whole bunch of young talented guys like we have, to have a guy like that who shows them the way. They see him diving all over the place. He’s mad when we lose and he gets fired up. They see that and it starts to kind of rub off on them. That’s what you want.” A couple of relatively unheralded players on a team stocked with highly-regarded younger prospects could be forgiven if they felt some pressure to perform well enough to get noticed by their front office, but neither Gore nor Dobnak sounded like that was the case for them. “I don’t think it’s pressure,” Gore said. “Speaking for myself, I come out here and want to work hard. This is fun for us! I mean it’s the best job in the world, right? “Yep,” concurred Dobnak. “I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want to come out here and work hard?” asked Gore, “because when you work hard, you tend to play well. It makes it a lot more fun.” Neither player is concerning himself too much with what’s going on with the Twins’ affiliates at the higher levels, however. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Dobnak070418a-400x600.jpg Randy Dobnak (Photo by SD Buhr) “I check out the scores and see how some of the guys I know are doing,” conceded Dobnak. “I just think if you prove to your coaches or front office that you’re good enough to move up, they’ll move you up. But all the guys, they work hard. They all work the same. You go out there and do whatever you’ve got to do. Compete.” “I try not to think about (promotions), I’ll be honest with you,” said Gore. “I’m around a great bunch of guys every day and it’s a lot of fun. It doesn’t really pop into your head much. We’re just out here trying to win and we’ve been doing that here lately.” Given that Gore earned a promotion three days after those comments, his approach obviously worked for him. One thing that comes through in virtually every conversation you have with any of this group of Kernels is how much they enjoy their teammates. It’s a close group, but even in the tightest of clubhouses, there will be differences. Gore and Dobnak are not completely in agreement in one aspect of the game. Dobnak’s Twitter profile includes a reference to the hashtag #BanTheDH. Gore doesn’t sound ready to give away the at-bats he gets on days he DHs. “Let the pitchers hit,” said Dobnak. And why? “Because it’s more fun for the pitchers. When you grow up, you pitch, you hit, you play the infield!” It’s all about the pitchers, right Jordan? “No offense to the pitchers out there, but you’re probably giving up an out every time,” a smiling Gore responded. “I’m just kidding,” the professional hitter in the conversation added. “We’ve got a lot of good athletes on the (pitching staff), I’m sure they could probably pick up a stick and hit it.”
  17. A serious lack of hitting cost the Twins affiliates several winnable games, and only the Cedar Rapids Kernels managed more than two runs (and the Miracle played a doubleheader).TRANSACTIONS Cedar Rapids released Tanner Kiest, Rickey Ramirez promoted to Cedar Rapids from Elizabethton, Matt Albanese assigned to Elizabethton RED WINGS REPORT Pawtucket 0 @ Rochester 0 Box Score SUSPENDED - Rain CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Birmingham 3 @ Chattanooga 2 Box Score The Lookouts kept Birmingham off the scoreboard in every inning except the fifth, but they gave up a crooked number and could not rally to overcome the three-run fifth. Starter Dietrich Enns cruised into the fifth inning but did not finish, pitching 4.2 innings. Enns was charged with all three runs (two earned), he gave up six hits, did not issue any walks, and struck out eight. Sam Clay came in to close out the fifth and pitched the sixth as well, 1 1/3 IP. Clay did not allow any hits or runs. He walked two and struck out two. Williams Ramirez gave up a hit over two innings, striking out three and walking one. Cody Stashak gave up a hit in an otherwise clean 1 IP. The Lookouts had chances on Thursday night but were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding eight. Brent Rooker was the only hitter to have multiple hits, and the only hitter to have an extra-base hit. Rooker was 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. Zander Wiel stole second the lone time he was on base, going 1-for-4 with a strike out. MIRACLE MATTERS Dunedin 2 @ Fort Myers 1 – GAME 1 Box Score In game one of a double-header the Miracle managed just three hits and a run, falling to Dunedin and starter Patrick Murphy who pitched a complete game (seven IP). Alex Kirilloff and Miguel Sano were both 0-for-3. Travis Blankenhorn provided the lone run support in the first game, going 1-for-3 with a solo home run in the fourth inning. Ervin Santana, still rehabbing, was tagged with the loss, giving up three hits and two runs over 4 innings. He struck out two and gave up a home run. He was replaced by Adam Bay who held Dunedin scoreless over 3 innings. Bray struck out four and gave up a pair of hits. MIRACLE MATTERS Dunedin 1 @ Fort Myers 0 – GAME 2 Box Score It was not much better for the Miracle in the nightcap as they again managed three hits against Dunedin, but this time failing to score any runs. Miguel Sano picked up two of the three hits going 2-for-3 with a strike out. Alex Kirilloff was again held hitless, going 0-for-3. Charlie Barnes pitched well enough to win, taking a scoreless game into the seventh inning, but without any run support at all he was tagged with a loss to fall to 3-5. Barnes pitched 6 1/3 innings, scattered six hits, giving up just one run in the top of the seventh. He walked three and struck out three. Ryan Mason pitched the last 2/3 of an inning, giving up a pair of hits but keeping Dunedin off of the board. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 1 @ Cedar Rapids 8 Box Score 2,520 fans in Cedar Rapids were treated to an excellent start from Bailey Ober. Ober pitched 7.0 innings, gave up just three hits and one run while striking out TWELVE. Ober’s 12-strikeout game was the first for the Kernels in more than two years. Jared Finkel finished the game for Ober and the Kernels, pitching 2 innings of hitless baseball. Finkel walked one and struck out one. The Kernels scored eight runs on just seven hits and three walks thanks to some timely hitting with runners in scoring position. Jared Akins was 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs. Jordan Gore was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run. Royce Lewis was 1-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. Elizabethton Twins Talk Kingsport 7 @ Elizabethton 1 Box Score The E-Town Twins were clobbered by Kingsport 7-1 and managed just four hits. No Twins hitter had more than one hit, and Trevor Casanova had the team's only extra-base hit, a double, as part of his 1-for-4 night. Starter Andrew Cabezas was charged with the loss, falling to 0-2 with 4.0 innings of three-run baseball. Cabezas gave up three hits and struck out four. Carlos Suniaga pitched 4.0 innings of relief giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out four and walked one. Blair Lasko pitched 1 inning, giving up a pair of runs on three hits, a walk and a strike out. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 1 @ GCL Twins 2 Box Score The GCL Twins walked off the GCL Orioles with some good old-fashioned small ball. After Alberoni Nunez walked to lead off the inning, Agustin Marte bunted him over to second. The Orioles then intentionally walked Estamy Urena to keep the force out in play, and then accidentally walked Gabe Snyder to load the bases. Austin Hale was the hero, singling home the winning run! Hale was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a strikeout. No Twins player had multiple hits and there were no extra base hits. Before Hale’s ninth inning single with the bases loaded, the Twins were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 runners. The Twins used four pitchers to win a tight game on Thursday with starter Kai-Wei Teng going 5.0 innings, giving up just two hits and striking out seven. Zach Featherstone pitched a scoreless six, but walked the bases loaded and only escaped thanks to a couple of strikeouts. Erik Cha pitched 2.0 innings, gave up just a single unearned run on no hits and no walks. J.T. Perez earned the win thanks to that ninth inning run, he pitched 1 inning, gave up one hit and a walk, striking one out. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Bailey Ober, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brent Rooker, Chattanooga TOP 20 PROSPECT PERFORMANCE Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids – 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 KAlex Kirilloff, Fort Myers – 0-6, 2 KBrent Rooker, Chattanooga – 2-4, 1 2B, 1 KAkil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids – 1-4, 1 RLewin Diaz, Fort Myers – 1-6, 2 KBen Rortvedt, Fort Myers – 0-2, 1 KTravis Blankenhorn, Fort Myers – 1-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBIYunior Severino, Elizabethton – 1-4, 1 KFRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester (6:05pm) – Kohl Stewart (0-0, 7.50) Chattanooga (7:15pm) – Anthony Marzi (0-5, 7.27) Fort Myers (5:30pm) – TBD Cedar Rapids (6:30pm) – TBD Elizabethton (6:00pm) – Josh Winder (0-0, 0.00) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games. Click here to view the article
  18. TRANSACTIONS Cedar Rapids released Tanner Kiest, Rickey Ramirez promoted to Cedar Rapids from Elizabethton, Matt Albanese assigned to Elizabethton RED WINGS REPORT Pawtucket 0 @ Rochester 0 Box Score SUSPENDED - Rain CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Birmingham 3 @ Chattanooga 2 Box Score The Lookouts kept Birmingham off the scoreboard in every inning except the fifth, but they gave up a crooked number and could not rally to overcome the three-run fifth. Starter Dietrich Enns cruised into the fifth inning but did not finish, pitching 4.2 innings. Enns was charged with all three runs (two earned), he gave up six hits, did not issue any walks, and struck out eight. Sam Clay came in to close out the fifth and pitched the sixth as well, 1 1/3 IP. Clay did not allow any hits or runs. He walked two and struck out two. Williams Ramirez gave up a hit over two innings, striking out three and walking one. Cody Stashak gave up a hit in an otherwise clean 1 IP. The Lookouts had chances on Thursday night but were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding eight. Brent Rooker was the only hitter to have multiple hits, and the only hitter to have an extra-base hit. Rooker was 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. Zander Wiel stole second the lone time he was on base, going 1-for-4 with a strike out. MIRACLE MATTERS Dunedin 2 @ Fort Myers 1 – GAME 1 Box Score In game one of a double-header the Miracle managed just three hits and a run, falling to Dunedin and starter Patrick Murphy who pitched a complete game (seven IP). Alex Kirilloff and Miguel Sano were both 0-for-3. Travis Blankenhorn provided the lone run support in the first game, going 1-for-3 with a solo home run in the fourth inning. Ervin Santana, still rehabbing, was tagged with the loss, giving up three hits and two runs over 4 innings. He struck out two and gave up a home run. He was replaced by Adam Bay who held Dunedin scoreless over 3 innings. Bray struck out four and gave up a pair of hits. MIRACLE MATTERS Dunedin 1 @ Fort Myers 0 – GAME 2 Box Score It was not much better for the Miracle in the nightcap as they again managed three hits against Dunedin, but this time failing to score any runs. Miguel Sano picked up two of the three hits going 2-for-3 with a strike out. Alex Kirilloff was again held hitless, going 0-for-3. Charlie Barnes pitched well enough to win, taking a scoreless game into the seventh inning, but without any run support at all he was tagged with a loss to fall to 3-5. Barnes pitched 6 1/3 innings, scattered six hits, giving up just one run in the top of the seventh. He walked three and struck out three. Ryan Mason pitched the last 2/3 of an inning, giving up a pair of hits but keeping Dunedin off of the board. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 1 @ Cedar Rapids 8 Box Score 2,520 fans in Cedar Rapids were treated to an excellent start from Bailey Ober. Ober pitched 7.0 innings, gave up just three hits and one run while striking out TWELVE. Ober’s 12-strikeout game was the first for the Kernels in more than two years. Jared Finkel finished the game for Ober and the Kernels, pitching 2 innings of hitless baseball. Finkel walked one and struck out one. The Kernels scored eight runs on just seven hits and three walks thanks to some timely hitting with runners in scoring position. Jared Akins was 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs. Jordan Gore was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run. Royce Lewis was 1-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. Elizabethton Twins Talk Kingsport 7 @ Elizabethton 1 Box Score The E-Town Twins were clobbered by Kingsport 7-1 and managed just four hits. No Twins hitter had more than one hit, and Trevor Casanova had the team's only extra-base hit, a double, as part of his 1-for-4 night. Starter Andrew Cabezas was charged with the loss, falling to 0-2 with 4.0 innings of three-run baseball. Cabezas gave up three hits and struck out four. Carlos Suniaga pitched 4.0 innings of relief giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out four and walked one. Blair Lasko pitched 1 inning, giving up a pair of runs on three hits, a walk and a strike out. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 1 @ GCL Twins 2 Box Score The GCL Twins walked off the GCL Orioles with some good old-fashioned small ball. After Alberoni Nunez walked to lead off the inning, Agustin Marte bunted him over to second. The Orioles then intentionally walked Estamy Urena to keep the force out in play, and then accidentally walked Gabe Snyder to load the bases. Austin Hale was the hero, singling home the winning run! Hale was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a strikeout. No Twins player had multiple hits and there were no extra base hits. Before Hale’s ninth inning single with the bases loaded, the Twins were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 runners. The Twins used four pitchers to win a tight game on Thursday with starter Kai-Wei Teng going 5.0 innings, giving up just two hits and striking out seven. Zach Featherstone pitched a scoreless six, but walked the bases loaded and only escaped thanks to a couple of strikeouts. Erik Cha pitched 2.0 innings, gave up just a single unearned run on no hits and no walks. J.T. Perez earned the win thanks to that ninth inning run, he pitched 1 inning, gave up one hit and a walk, striking one out. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Bailey Ober, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brent Rooker, Chattanooga TOP 20 PROSPECT PERFORMANCE Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids – 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 K Alex Kirilloff, Fort Myers – 0-6, 2 K Brent Rooker, Chattanooga – 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids – 1-4, 1 R Lewin Diaz, Fort Myers – 1-6, 2 K Ben Rortvedt, Fort Myers – 0-2, 1 K Travis Blankenhorn, Fort Myers – 1-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI Yunior Severino, Elizabethton – 1-4, 1 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester (6:05pm) – Kohl Stewart (0-0, 7.50) Chattanooga (7:15pm) – Anthony Marzi (0-5, 7.27) Fort Myers (5:30pm) – TBD Cedar Rapids (6:30pm) – TBD Elizabethton (6:00pm) – Josh Winder (0-0, 0.00) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
  19. There was more than a full slate of action on Tuesday, as all six affiliates were in action, with one of them playing a doubleheader after their rain out yesterday. There were some solid pitching performances among them, as three games ended in shutouts for the good guys. There was also perhaps what I would call the most bizarre sequence of plays I’ve ever seen in a baseball game, but that’s only if I hadn’t played in, watched, and taken the scorebook for a ton of baseball in Minnesota’s amateur town ball league’s back in my day (bad, bad, defense and pitching). The good thing was, it was an epic collapse of the bad guys that led to a come-from-behind victory.To understand just how bad I’m talking about, you’re going to have to keep reading! You wouldn't even be able to read the notes on my scorebook (I'm going to let you try, though). Also be sure to discuss all the other performances in the system on Tuesday in the comments! TRANSACTIONS There were a some transactions before a few of the games, with the MLB team shuffling a few pitchers at Triple A: -The Red Wings activated catcher Jordan Pacheco from the seven-day disabled list, then had Zack Littell returned from the Twins while sending Gabriel Moya back up to the Minnesota Twins. -In the Appalachian League, left-handed pitcher and 2018 31st round draft choice out of Mississippe State, Zach Neff was assigned to Elizabethton. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtucket 1 Box Score After leading off yesterday’s game with a home run, Byron Buxton got this one started with a double. He scored on a Gregorio Petit single for a 1-0 lead. In the second inning Chris Carter led off with a double and later scored on an RBI single from Leonardo Reginatto. Fernando Romero took it from there and was effectively wild to keep the Red Sox off the scoreboard. In 5 2/3 innings he allowed just three hits but walked five. He also struck out eight, but after a single to load the bases in the sixth and him at 98 pitches, Tyler Duffey was summoned from the ‘pen. He escaped the jam and would finish two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and a walk while striking out one. Alan Busenitz came on for Duffey with two outs and two runners on in the eighth and also got the final out without a runner scoring. He remained in the game for the ninth and made it somewhat interesting by giving up a solo home run but got all three other hitters out, including a K, to pick up his fourth save of the year. Petit finished with three hits including a double in five trips to the plate, and Edgar Corcino (2-for-4, K) and Reginatto (2-for-4, RBI) also had multiple hits to pace the lineup. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Tennessee 5 Box Score This game was tied at three through six innings, but the Smokies were able to get to reliever Ryan Eades in the seventh, pushing two across for the game’s final score. The Lookouts got multiple hit efforts from Alex Perez (2-for-5, R), Brent Rooker (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K), and Mitchell Kranson (2-for-4, 2B, RBI). Rooker’s double in the third inning was of the two-RBIs variety and he has nine RBIs in his last ten games along with four homers as he continues coming on in AA. As a team Chattanooga was 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Omar Bencomo gets credit for a quality start, as he finished the first six innings and allowed three runs. Those came on nine hits and two walks and he struck out three along the way. Eades finished the game with a scoreless eighth, getting the next three hitters out including a pair of K’s after a leadoff double. He allowed four hits total and struck out three. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 0, Charlotte 1 Box Score The Miracle faced off against the Tampa Bay Rays ace on Tuesday night, with Chris Archer taking the hill in his first rehab start since going on the major league disabled list in early June. He held Fort Myers hitless through his four innings, walking only Luis Arreaz in the first while striking out seven. Fortunately for the good guys, Clark Beeker matched him in the run allowed column for those same innings. He allowed only an unearned run in 5 1/3 innings after an error in the fifth, and allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out one. Alex Robinson threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing a hit and walk with three strikeouts. Tom Hackimer got their final two outs, striking out both hitters he faced. Alex Kirilloff finally got a hit for Fort Myers in the seventh inning on a bloop single to center, but also got caught attempting to steal second. Caleb Hamilton added a single in the eighth and that was all the offense could muster. With the score still 1-0 in the top of the ninth, they went down one-two-three to fall to 35-45 on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Wisconsin 0 Box Score Cedar Rapids got a fantastic start from right-hander Randy Dobnak and used a three-run second inning to take control of the game in a shutout of Wisconsin. Dobnak went 7 2/3 innings to improve his record to 6-2 on the season. He allowed six hits (five singles), walked none, and struck out seven. Thanks to some help from his defense and Timber Rattlers base running, he had only faced the minimum through 17 hitters. At 90 pitches (66 for strikes) and after allowing a two-out single in the eighth, Jovani Moran came up for the final out of the inning and would also finish the game. Twins Daily’s MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month for June started off his July by striking out all four hitters he faced. In their three-run second inning, the Kernels got singles from Robby Rinn and Trey Cabbage, as well as doubles from Andrew Bechtold and Jordan Gore. Bechtold’s drove in one runner while Gore’s drove in two. They added an insurance run in the seventh on a sac fly from Jose Miranda. Royce Lewis (2-for-5, 2B), Rinn (3-for-4, R, 2 2B, K), and Gore (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) collected multiple hits for Cedar Rapids. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1: Elizabethton 4, Princeton 5 (7 innings) Box Score In game one of their doubleheader, the E-Twins squandered an early 3-1 lead and fell to Princeton 5-4 in seven innings. DaShawn Keirsey drew a walk to lead off the game and would score the game’s first run on a Ryan Jeffers single later for a 1-0 lead. They extended that to 3-1 after two thanks to a two-run from Colton Burns. Starter Kyle Funderbunk went the first 2 1/3 innings for Elizabethton, where he allowed one earned run on two hits and three walks while striking out two. Seth Pinkerton went the next 1 1/3 and was on the mound to start the fifth, but two home runs and a walk put the Twins behind 4-3 before he could record another out. Johan Quezada finished the final two innings, allowing the go-ahead run in the sixth after a double and two pitches that got by the catcher. In the top of the sixth Elizabethton tied the game at four on an RBI groundout from Alex Robles, but they would strand a runner on third via a double-play ball and couldn’t push a run across in the seventh. Trevor Casanova reached base every time he came up, finishing 2-for-2 with a double, run scored, and a walk. Game 2: Elizabethton 10, Princeton 6 (7 innings) Box Score In game two Elizabethton found themselves down 6-2 heading into the shortened game's final inning but would capitalize on pitching and defensive miscues galore to storm back and take this one in the seven innings. Pedro Garcia got the start for the Twins and went just two innings. He allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks while striking out three. Moises Gomez got them through the fifth, allowing one run on two hits along with picking up two K’s. Assigned after inking his pro contract, Zach Neff picked up the win with two scoreless frames to finish the game. He waked one and struck out two. In the top of the seventh, fourteen hitters stepped into the batter’s box for Elizabethton, and only one player produced any hits (two singles), but they still put up eight runs thanks to an epic collapse from the Rays defense and bullpen. Two walks led off the frame before DaShawn Keirsey singled to load the bases. The arm that came out of the Rays bullpen next had this sequence in your scorebook (bear with me, it’s ridiculous): HBP (RBI) SF-9, RBI, (1 out) WP-BB/PB (unearned run) K (2 out) K/WP/E-3 (unearned run) E-5 (unearned run) E-3/BB BB Since that’s hard to decipher but still doesn’t tell the whole story, here’s how bad that sequence was in words: Hit-by-pitch, RBI sac fly, wild pitch to advance a runner before the at-bat ended in a passed ball for ball four that allowed a run to score, strikeout, strikeout on a wild pitch combined with a missed catch error on the throw to the first baseman (would have been third out), error on ground ball to third, dropped ball error in foul territory on first baseman that ended as another walk, walk. Needless to say it was over after that, but after a new pitcher was sacrificed, Keirsey delivered his second hit of the inning that brought in two more. Unfortunately, they weren’t RBI’s, as this single was of the infield variety and included another error on the shortstop. Neff ended the Rays suffering with a double-play ball and strikeout in the bottom half of the seventh. The Twins had just five hits as a team, with Keirsey picking up three of them total (3-for-5, R, RBI). Ariel Montesino and Albee Weiss added doubles. Andrew Cosgrove drew three walks. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 0, GCL Twins 4 Box Score The Twins got some fantastic pitching throughout their staff on Tuesday, as four pitchers combined on a shutout, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. Andriu Marin picked up his second win in three starts by going the first five innings. He allowed only one hit and struck out five. Tanner Howell got the next two innings, allowing the other hit and striking out one. Petru Balan and Frandy Torres each pitched scoreless innings to close out the game. They each struck out one, with Balan giving up a walk and Torres having a runner reach on an error. On offense, the Twins racked up ten hits as a team led by Yeltsin Encarnacion who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a solo home run to lead off the game. Gabe Snyder had two hits in four trips and Augustin Marte drove in two with a single in the fifth. The Twins improve to 8-5 in Gulf Coast League play, tied for first in the South Division. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 7.2 IP, 6 H, 7 K) GS: 81 Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Yeltsin Encarnacion, GCL Twins (3-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, 2B (21) 2. Fernando Romero (Rochester) – (W, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 8 K) 3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-for-5, K 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 5. Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3 6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury. 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 2-for-4, 2 2B (20), 2 RBI, K 8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 9. Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-4, 2B (14), BB, 2 K 11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3 14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-for-4, 2 K 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – Did not play. 16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – Did not play. 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, 2 K 18. Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) – 0-for-3, RBI, K 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – Did not pitch. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves (5-3, 4.30 ERA) Chattanooga @ Birmingham (5:15PM CST) – TBD Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (3-4, 3.15 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (5:05PM CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (3-2, 3.24 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – RHP Tyler Palm (1-1, 11.57 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (9:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  20. To understand just how bad I’m talking about, you’re going to have to keep reading! You wouldn't even be able to read the notes on my scorebook (I'm going to let you try, though). Also be sure to discuss all the other performances in the system on Tuesday in the comments! TRANSACTIONS There were a some transactions before a few of the games, with the MLB team shuffling a few pitchers at Triple A: -The Red Wings activated catcher Jordan Pacheco from the seven-day disabled list, then had Zack Littell returned from the Twins while sending Gabriel Moya back up to the Minnesota Twins. -In the Appalachian League, left-handed pitcher and 2018 31st round draft choice out of Mississippe State, Zach Neff was assigned to Elizabethton. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtucket 1 Box Score After leading off yesterday’s game with a home run, Byron Buxton got this one started with a double. He scored on a Gregorio Petit single for a 1-0 lead. In the second inning Chris Carter led off with a double and later scored on an RBI single from Leonardo Reginatto. Fernando Romero took it from there and was effectively wild to keep the Red Sox off the scoreboard. In 5 2/3 innings he allowed just three hits but walked five. He also struck out eight, but after a single to load the bases in the sixth and him at 98 pitches, Tyler Duffey was summoned from the ‘pen. He escaped the jam and would finish two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and a walk while striking out one. Alan Busenitz came on for Duffey with two outs and two runners on in the eighth and also got the final out without a runner scoring. He remained in the game for the ninth and made it somewhat interesting by giving up a solo home run but got all three other hitters out, including a K, to pick up his fourth save of the year. Petit finished with three hits including a double in five trips to the plate, and Edgar Corcino (2-for-4, K) and Reginatto (2-for-4, RBI) also had multiple hits to pace the lineup. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Tennessee 5 Box Score This game was tied at three through six innings, but the Smokies were able to get to reliever Ryan Eades in the seventh, pushing two across for the game’s final score. The Lookouts got multiple hit efforts from Alex Perez (2-for-5, R), Brent Rooker (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K), and Mitchell Kranson (2-for-4, 2B, RBI). Rooker’s double in the third inning was of the two-RBIs variety and he has nine RBIs in his last ten games along with four homers as he continues coming on in AA. As a team Chattanooga was 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Omar Bencomo gets credit for a quality start, as he finished the first six innings and allowed three runs. Those came on nine hits and two walks and he struck out three along the way. Eades finished the game with a scoreless eighth, getting the next three hitters out including a pair of K’s after a leadoff double. He allowed four hits total and struck out three. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 0, Charlotte 1 Box Score The Miracle faced off against the Tampa Bay Rays ace on Tuesday night, with Chris Archer taking the hill in his first rehab start since going on the major league disabled list in early June. He held Fort Myers hitless through his four innings, walking only Luis Arreaz in the first while striking out seven. Fortunately for the good guys, Clark Beeker matched him in the run allowed column for those same innings. He allowed only an unearned run in 5 1/3 innings after an error in the fifth, and allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out one. Alex Robinson threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing a hit and walk with three strikeouts. Tom Hackimer got their final two outs, striking out both hitters he faced. Alex Kirilloff finally got a hit for Fort Myers in the seventh inning on a bloop single to center, but also got caught attempting to steal second. Caleb Hamilton added a single in the eighth and that was all the offense could muster. With the score still 1-0 in the top of the ninth, they went down one-two-three to fall to 35-45 on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Wisconsin 0 Box Score Cedar Rapids got a fantastic start from right-hander Randy Dobnak and used a three-run second inning to take control of the game in a shutout of Wisconsin. Dobnak went 7 2/3 innings to improve his record to 6-2 on the season. He allowed six hits (five singles), walked none, and struck out seven. Thanks to some help from his defense and Timber Rattlers base running, he had only faced the minimum through 17 hitters. At 90 pitches (66 for strikes) and after allowing a two-out single in the eighth, Jovani Moran came up for the final out of the inning and would also finish the game. Twins Daily’s MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month for June started off his July by striking out all four hitters he faced. In their three-run second inning, the Kernels got singles from Robby Rinn and Trey Cabbage, as well as doubles from Andrew Bechtold and Jordan Gore. Bechtold’s drove in one runner while Gore’s drove in two. They added an insurance run in the seventh on a sac fly from Jose Miranda. Royce Lewis (2-for-5, 2B), Rinn (3-for-4, R, 2 2B, K), and Gore (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) collected multiple hits for Cedar Rapids. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1: Elizabethton 4, Princeton 5 (7 innings) Box Score In game one of their doubleheader, the E-Twins squandered an early 3-1 lead and fell to Princeton 5-4 in seven innings. DaShawn Keirsey drew a walk to lead off the game and would score the game’s first run on a Ryan Jeffers single later for a 1-0 lead. They extended that to 3-1 after two thanks to a two-run from Colton Burns. Starter Kyle Funderbunk went the first 2 1/3 innings for Elizabethton, where he allowed one earned run on two hits and three walks while striking out two. Seth Pinkerton went the next 1 1/3 and was on the mound to start the fifth, but two home runs and a walk put the Twins behind 4-3 before he could record another out. Johan Quezada finished the final two innings, allowing the go-ahead run in the sixth after a double and two pitches that got by the catcher. In the top of the sixth Elizabethton tied the game at four on an RBI groundout from Alex Robles, but they would strand a runner on third via a double-play ball and couldn’t push a run across in the seventh. Trevor Casanova reached base every time he came up, finishing 2-for-2 with a double, run scored, and a walk. Game 2: Elizabethton 10, Princeton 6 (7 innings) Box Score In game two Elizabethton found themselves down 6-2 heading into the shortened game's final inning but would capitalize on pitching and defensive miscues galore to storm back and take this one in the seven innings. Pedro Garcia got the start for the Twins and went just two innings. He allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks while striking out three. Moises Gomez got them through the fifth, allowing one run on two hits along with picking up two K’s. Assigned after inking his pro contract, Zach Neff picked up the win with two scoreless frames to finish the game. He waked one and struck out two. In the top of the seventh, fourteen hitters stepped into the batter’s box for Elizabethton, and only one player produced any hits (two singles), but they still put up eight runs thanks to an epic collapse from the Rays defense and bullpen. Two walks led off the frame before DaShawn Keirsey singled to load the bases. The arm that came out of the Rays bullpen next had this sequence in your scorebook (bear with me, it’s ridiculous): HBP (RBI) SF-9, RBI, (1 out) WP-BB/PB (unearned run) K (2 out) K/WP/E-3 (unearned run) E-5 (unearned run) E-3/BB BB Since that’s hard to decipher but still doesn’t tell the whole story, here’s how bad that sequence was in words: Hit-by-pitch, RBI sac fly, wild pitch to advance a runner before the at-bat ended in a passed ball for ball four that allowed a run to score, strikeout, strikeout on a wild pitch combined with a missed catch error on the throw to the first baseman (would have been third out), error on ground ball to third, dropped ball error in foul territory on first baseman that ended as another walk, walk. Needless to say it was over after that, but after a new pitcher was sacrificed, Keirsey delivered his second hit of the inning that brought in two more. Unfortunately, they weren’t RBI’s, as this single was of the infield variety and included another error on the shortstop. Neff ended the Rays suffering with a double-play ball and strikeout in the bottom half of the seventh. The Twins had just five hits as a team, with Keirsey picking up three of them total (3-for-5, R, RBI). Ariel Montesino and Albee Weiss added doubles. Andrew Cosgrove drew three walks. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 0, GCL Twins 4 Box Score The Twins got some fantastic pitching throughout their staff on Tuesday, as four pitchers combined on a shutout, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. Andriu Marin picked up his second win in three starts by going the first five innings. He allowed only one hit and struck out five. Tanner Howell got the next two innings, allowing the other hit and striking out one. Petru Balan and Frandy Torres each pitched scoreless innings to close out the game. They each struck out one, with Balan giving up a walk and Torres having a runner reach on an error. On offense, the Twins racked up ten hits as a team led by Yeltsin Encarnacion who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a solo home run to lead off the game. Gabe Snyder had two hits in four trips and Augustin Marte drove in two with a single in the fifth. The Twins improve to 8-5 in Gulf Coast League play, tied for first in the South Division. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 7.2 IP, 6 H, 7 K) GS: 81 Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Yeltsin Encarnacion, GCL Twins (3-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, 2B (21) 2. Fernando Romero (Rochester) – (W, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 8 K) 3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-for-5, K 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 5. Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3 6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury. 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 2-for-4, 2 2B (20), 2 RBI, K 8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 9. Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch. 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-4, 2B (14), BB, 2 K 11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch. 12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3 14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-for-4, 2 K 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – Did not play. 16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – Did not play. 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, 2 K 18. Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) – 0-for-3, RBI, K 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch. 20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – Did not pitch. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves (5-3, 4.30 ERA) Chattanooga @ Birmingham (5:15PM CST) – TBD Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (3-4, 3.15 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (5:05PM CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (3-2, 3.24 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – RHP Tyler Palm (1-1, 11.57 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (9:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  21. Akil Baddoo has done a nice job as Cedar Rapids’ leadoff man throughout the year. While his batting average his not high, his on-base percentage has been on base between 35% and 40% through most of the season. Alex Kirilloff was promoted, but Royce Lewis is still around. Between the two Kernels on Friday, they went 10-16 with five doubles and a homer in the Kernels double-header sweep of Burlington.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Before the Twins game, they announced that utilityman Taylor Motter had been placed on the DL with concussion symptoms. To take his spot is 26-year-old catcher/third baseman/left fielder Willians Astudillo. To make room for Astudillo, the Twins DFAd RHP Felix Jorge who has made a few rehab appearances in the GCL this season. Following the Twins game, they announced that Adalberto Mejia was added to the roster with reliever Alan Busenitz again being shuttled back to Rochester. The Miracle announced that OF Shane Carrier was placed on the DL with a quad strain. Aaron Whitefield returns from the DL after missing two months with a broken hamate bone. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 2 (10 innings) Box Score Stephen Gonsalves started and gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He struck out seven, but he also walked five batters. He got a lot of help from his bullpen. Tyler Duffey struck out five batters in three perfect innings. Jake Reed pitched a scoreless ninth. But he did give up a run in the 10th inning, an unearned run due to the inning starting with a runner on second base. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. The Red Wings were unable to get much offense going. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-5 and drove in the team’s lone run. His single scored Chris Carter who was on with his sixth double. Of note, Byron Buxton went 1-for-5 with a double. He also threw out a runner at home. Jorge Polanco went 1-for-3 with a walk. The winning pitcher for Lehigh Valley was former Gophers LHP Tom WIndle. Trevor Plouffe went 0-2 with two walks and two strikeouts. Danny Ortiz was 0-4. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Tennessee 2 Box Score The Lookouts had help throughout the lineup and got strong pitching to win on Friday night. Jaylin Davis led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with his first double and drove in two runs. He was twice hit by a pitch. Brent Rooker was also hit by a pitch. He added a single and a walk and scored twice. Andy Wilkins provided some power with his fifth homer, a two-run shot. Alex Perez set the table with three walks. Sean Poppen started and went the first four innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out four batters. Ryan Eades struck out three over two scoreless relief innings. Sam Clay struck out four over two scoreless innings. Tyler Jay struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Lakeland 1 Box Score Tyler Wells has been very good most of the 2018 season for the Miracle. He was again on Friday night. In 6 2/3 innings he gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out eight batters to improve to 7-3 on the season. Tom Hackimer came on and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one. Miguel Sano had a good game with the bat. He went 3-for-4 and drove in tree runs. (He did have one throwing error on defense.) Aaron Whitefield returned to the Miracle lineup after missing nearly two months with a broken hamate bone. He had a single and a walk and scored twice. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-3 with a walk. Caleb Hamilton kept his hot streak going with an RBI double. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 7, Burlington 4 Box Score The Kernels got off to a quick start and held on in Game 1 of their doubleheader. They got offensive contributions from several players. Akil Baddoo went 3-for-5 with his tenth double. Royce Lewis was 2-for-2 with a walk and his 17th double. He also stole his 19th base. Robby Rinn went 2-for-2 with two walks and his sixth double. David Banuelos had two hits, including his eighth double. Jordan Gore was also 2-for-4. Outfielder Jared Akins made his Midwest League and Kernels debut at DH. He went 0-for-4. Bailey Ober was the beneficiary of the offensive support. He improved to 4-1 despite allowing four runs on six hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out five. Melvi Acosta picked up his second save with two scoreless innings. He struck out two. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 3 Box Score Akil Baddoo had a terrific day, and he got Game 2 started as well as anyone could hope for the Kernels. He launched his eighth homer of the year. He went 2-for-4 in the game. Royce Lewis hit three doubles in the second game, giving him four on the day and 20 on the season. Jean Carlos Arias hit his ninth double and fourth home run. Jordan Gore had two more hits. Ben Rodriguez hit his fifth homer, and Andrew Bechtold and Robby Rinn each contributed a double. Trey Cabbage added his third triple of the year. Blayne Enlow started the second game. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out three. Jared Finkel came on and worked the next 2 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on two hits, He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. He left with just one more out to get. Jose Martinez was successful and earned the one-out save. E-Twins E-Talk Elizabethton 5, Danville 6 Box Score The E-Twins had plenty of base runners, but on this night, it wasn’t enough. The team had nine hits and seven walks, but their five runs came up one short. Ryan Jeffers led the way. He went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Trevor Casanova was 2-for-4 with his third double. Chris Williams walked twice. Carlos Suniaga started and went the first 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out three. Andrew Cabezas came on and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks as well, but he struck just one out. Moises Gomez struck out six over three, one-hit, no-run innings. He walked two, but he made up for it somewhate by picking off two. Derek Molina struck out one in a scoreless final inning GCL Twins Talk GCL Twins , GCL Red Sox Box Score Game postponed by rain. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5-9, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5-7, BB, 4-2B, 3 R, 2 RBI) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Ft. Myers Miracle (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 5-7, BB, 4-2B(20), 3 R, 2 RBI, SF #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, K, SH #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, BB #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, BB, 2 R, K, SB(2), HBP #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 5-9, 2B(10), HR(8), 2 R, 2 RBI #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Did Not Play #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, began rehab on June 19. DFAd on Friday, June 29. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers (5-5, 3.36 ERA) Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:00 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi (0-4, 7.51 ERA) Lakeland @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Ervin Santana (Rehab) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (9:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  22. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Before the Twins game, they announced that utilityman Taylor Motter had been placed on the DL with concussion symptoms. To take his spot is 26-year-old catcher/third baseman/left fielder Willians Astudillo. To make room for Astudillo, the Twins DFAd RHP Felix Jorge who has made a few rehab appearances in the GCL this season. Following the Twins game, they announced that Adalberto Mejia was added to the roster with reliever Alan Busenitz again being shuttled back to Rochester. The Miracle announced that OF Shane Carrier was placed on the DL with a quad strain. Aaron Whitefield returns from the DL after missing two months with a broken hamate bone. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 2 (10 innings) Box Score Stephen Gonsalves started and gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He struck out seven, but he also walked five batters. He got a lot of help from his bullpen. Tyler Duffey struck out five batters in three perfect innings. Jake Reed pitched a scoreless ninth. But he did give up a run in the 10th inning, an unearned run due to the inning starting with a runner on second base. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. The Red Wings were unable to get much offense going. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-5 and drove in the team’s lone run. His single scored Chris Carter who was on with his sixth double. Of note, Byron Buxton went 1-for-5 with a double. He also threw out a runner at home. Jorge Polanco went 1-for-3 with a walk. The winning pitcher for Lehigh Valley was former Gophers LHP Tom WIndle. Trevor Plouffe went 0-2 with two walks and two strikeouts. Danny Ortiz was 0-4. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Tennessee 2 Box Score The Lookouts had help throughout the lineup and got strong pitching to win on Friday night. Jaylin Davis led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with his first double and drove in two runs. He was twice hit by a pitch. Brent Rooker was also hit by a pitch. He added a single and a walk and scored twice. Andy Wilkins provided some power with his fifth homer, a two-run shot. Alex Perez set the table with three walks. Sean Poppen started and went the first four innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out four batters. Ryan Eades struck out three over two scoreless relief innings. Sam Clay struck out four over two scoreless innings. Tyler Jay struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Lakeland 1 Box Score Tyler Wells has been very good most of the 2018 season for the Miracle. He was again on Friday night. In 6 2/3 innings he gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out eight batters to improve to 7-3 on the season. Tom Hackimer came on and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one. Miguel Sano had a good game with the bat. He went 3-for-4 and drove in tree runs. (He did have one throwing error on defense.) Aaron Whitefield returned to the Miracle lineup after missing nearly two months with a broken hamate bone. He had a single and a walk and scored twice. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-3 with a walk. Caleb Hamilton kept his hot streak going with an RBI double. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 7, Burlington 4 Box Score The Kernels got off to a quick start and held on in Game 1 of their doubleheader. They got offensive contributions from several players. Akil Baddoo went 3-for-5 with his tenth double. Royce Lewis was 2-for-2 with a walk and his 17th double. He also stole his 19th base. Robby Rinn went 2-for-2 with two walks and his sixth double. David Banuelos had two hits, including his eighth double. Jordan Gore was also 2-for-4. Outfielder Jared Akins made his Midwest League and Kernels debut at DH. He went 0-for-4. Bailey Ober was the beneficiary of the offensive support. He improved to 4-1 despite allowing four runs on six hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out five. Melvi Acosta picked up his second save with two scoreless innings. He struck out two. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 3 Box Score Akil Baddoo had a terrific day, and he got Game 2 started as well as anyone could hope for the Kernels. He launched his eighth homer of the year. He went 2-for-4 in the game. Royce Lewis hit three doubles in the second game, giving him four on the day and 20 on the season. Jean Carlos Arias hit his ninth double and fourth home run. Jordan Gore had two more hits. Ben Rodriguez hit his fifth homer, and Andrew Bechtold and Robby Rinn each contributed a double. Trey Cabbage added his third triple of the year. Blayne Enlow started the second game. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out three. Jared Finkel came on and worked the next 2 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on two hits, He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. He left with just one more out to get. Jose Martinez was successful and earned the one-out save. E-Twins E-Talk Elizabethton 5, Danville 6 Box Score The E-Twins had plenty of base runners, but on this night, it wasn’t enough. The team had nine hits and seven walks, but their five runs came up one short. Ryan Jeffers led the way. He went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Trevor Casanova was 2-for-4 with his third double. Chris Williams walked twice. Carlos Suniaga started and went the first 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out three. Andrew Cabezas came on and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks as well, but he struck just one out. Moises Gomez struck out six over three, one-hit, no-run innings. He walked two, but he made up for it somewhate by picking off two. Derek Molina struck out one in a scoreless final inning GCL Twins Talk GCL Twins , GCL Red Sox Box Score Game postponed by rain. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5-9, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5-7, BB, 4-2B, 3 R, 2 RBI) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Ft. Myers Miracle (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 5-7, BB, 4-2B(20), 3 R, 2 RBI, SF #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, K, SH #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, BB #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, BB, 2 R, K, SB(2), HBP #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 5-9, 2B(10), HR(8), 2 R, 2 RBI #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Did Not Play #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, began rehab on June 19. DFAd on Friday, June 29. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers (5-5, 3.36 ERA) Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:00 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi (0-4, 7.51 ERA) Lakeland @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Ervin Santana (Rehab) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (9:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  23. TRANSACTIONS Miguel Sano began his rehab assignment with the Red Wings. With Joe Mauer hitting the DL Jake Cave was promoted from Rochester up to the Twins. He homered in his major league debut. James Ramsey was reinstated from the DL and transferred to Chattanooga. LaMonte Wade was placed on the DL. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtuckett 1 Box Score W: Myles Jaye (7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) SV: Nick Anderson (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Wynston Sawyer, Taylor Featherston Miguel Sano was 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout in the first appearance of his rehab assignment. He was the designated hitter. Rochester scored both of its runs in the fourth inning. Jermaine Curtis got things going by getting hit by a pitch with one out. Catcher Wynston Sawyer added a two-out single before Taylor Featherston drove them both home with a triple. That’s all the offense the Red Wings would need thanks in large part to Myles Jaye. He held Pawtuckett to one hit, a solo home run, over seven innings of work. Jaye is on a roll, giving up just three earned runs on 13 hits over his last 18 innings pitched. Gabriel Moya worked a scoreless eighth before Nick Anderson struck out the side in the ninth for his second save. Old friend Justin Haley pitched a good game for the PawSox, striking out six batters over six innings of work, but was saddled with the loss. Dustin Pedroia, on a rehab assignment of his own, was held hitless in three plate appearances by the Red Wings’ pitching staff. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Biloxi 3, Chattanooga 2 (10 innings) Box Score SP: Omar Bencomo (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Zander Wiel, Chris Paul, Tanner English This one was tied at 1-1 heading into extra innings and Tanner English cashed in the Lookouts’ “bonus runner” in the 10th to take the lead. Tyler Jay came in to try and pick up the save in the bottom of the inning. Things did not go well. The inning started, with the runner already on second of course, with an infield single. That was followed by another single that scored the tying run. With runners on first and second with no outs, the next batter bunted. Brian Navarreto committed a throwing error that allowed the game-winning run to score. Ouch. Omar Bencomo pitched a gem (see above) and Cody Stashak added two perfect innings to go with three strikeouts. Nick Gordon had a single, a walk and stole his sixth base. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, St. Lucie 0 (Suspended in the top of the third inning) They tried to get this one in, but the Florida rain had other ideas. The start of this contest was delayed more than 40 minutes and the game ended up being suspended in the top of the third inning due to rain. They’ll pick up where they left off tomorrow afternoon. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 4 Box Score W: Jovani Moran (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) SP: Bryan Sammons (4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo, Jordan Gore, Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rodriguez, Jose Miranda It was a hit parade for the Kernels, but all 14 of their base knocks were singles. Akil Baddoo was a terror at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-4 with a walk and his 11th stolen base of the season. This game was tied at 2-2 heading into the seventh, but Cedar Rapids managed to manufacture the go-ahead run. With runners on the corners and one out, Jordan Gore stole second base and an error on the throw allowed a run to score. Gore also delivered a big two-run single in the eighth inning in what was a three-hit night for the Kernels’ second baseman. Jared Finkle pitched a perfect eighth and then retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth. Then things got a bit too interesting. He ended up surrendering a couple of runs, but righted the ship in time to secure the victory for Cedar Rapids. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Myles Jaye, Rochester Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis: 1-for-4, BB, 2 K 3. Nick Gordon: 1-for-4, BB, SB, E 5. Alex Kirilloff: 2-for-5, RBI, K 7. Brent Rooker: 0-for-5, K 10. Akil Baddoo: 3-for-4, BB, R, SB, K 19. Tyler Jay: 0.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Pawtucket, 12:05 pm CT (Aaron Slegers) Chattanooga at Biloxi, 2:05 pm CT (Randy LeBlanc) Fort Myers vs. St, Lucie, 12:0 pm CT (continuation of suspended game) Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie, Game 2 (Clark Beeker) Cedar Rapids at Clinton, 2:00 pm CT (Brusdar Graterol) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  24. Myles Jaye threw seven innings of one-hit ball to help lead Rochester to a 2-1 win. Meanwhile, Tyler Jay was on the mound in the bottom of the 10th while Chattanooga squandered its game away. Also, Akil Baddoo reached safely four times in a Cedar Rapids victory and Miguel Sano was in action for the Red Wings.TRANSACTIONS Miguel Sano began his rehab assignment with the Red Wings. With Joe Mauer hitting the DL Jake Cave was promoted from Rochester up to the Twins. He homered in his major league debut. James Ramsey was reinstated from the DL and transferred to Chattanooga. LaMonte Wade was placed on the DL. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtuckett 1 Box Score W: Myles Jaye (7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) SV: Nick Anderson (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Wynston Sawyer, Taylor Featherston Miguel Sano was 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout in the first appearance of his rehab assignment. He was the designated hitter. Rochester scored both of its runs in the fourth inning. Jermaine Curtis got things going by getting hit by a pitch with one out. Catcher Wynston Sawyer added a two-out single before Taylor Featherston drove them both home with a triple. That’s all the offense the Red Wings would need thanks in large part to Myles Jaye. He held Pawtuckett to one hit, a solo home run, over seven innings of work. Jaye is on a roll, giving up just three earned runs on 13 hits over his last 18 innings pitched. Gabriel Moya worked a scoreless eighth before Nick Anderson struck out the side in the ninth for his second save. Old friend Justin Haley pitched a good game for the PawSox, striking out six batters over six innings of work, but was saddled with the loss. Dustin Pedroia, on a rehab assignment of his own, was held hitless in three plate appearances by the Red Wings’ pitching staff. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Biloxi 3, Chattanooga 2 (10 innings) Box Score SP: Omar Bencomo (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Zander Wiel, Chris Paul, Tanner English This one was tied at 1-1 heading into extra innings and Tanner English cashed in the Lookouts’ “bonus runner” in the 10th to take the lead. Tyler Jay came in to try and pick up the save in the bottom of the inning. Things did not go well. The inning started, with the runner already on second of course, with an infield single. That was followed by another single that scored the tying run. With runners on first and second with no outs, the next batter bunted. Brian Navarreto committed a throwing error that allowed the game-winning run to score. Ouch. Omar Bencomo pitched a gem (see above) and Cody Stashak added two perfect innings to go with three strikeouts. Nick Gordon had a single, a walk and stole his sixth base. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, St. Lucie 0 (Suspended in the top of the third inning) They tried to get this one in, but the Florida rain had other ideas. The start of this contest was delayed more than 40 minutes and the game ended up being suspended in the top of the third inning due to rain. They’ll pick up where they left off tomorrow afternoon. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 4 Box Score W: Jovani Moran (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) SP: Bryan Sammons (4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo, Jordan Gore, Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rodriguez, Jose Miranda It was a hit parade for the Kernels, but all 14 of their base knocks were singles. Akil Baddoo was a terror at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-4 with a walk and his 11th stolen base of the season. This game was tied at 2-2 heading into the seventh, but Cedar Rapids managed to manufacture the go-ahead run. With runners on the corners and one out, Jordan Gore stole second base and an error on the throw allowed a run to score. Gore also delivered a big two-run single in the eighth inning in what was a three-hit night for the Kernels’ second baseman. Jared Finkle pitched a perfect eighth and then retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth. Then things got a bit too interesting. He ended up surrendering a couple of runs, but righted the ship in time to secure the victory for Cedar Rapids. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Myles Jaye, Rochester Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis: 1-for-4, BB, 2 K 3. Nick Gordon: 1-for-4, BB, SB, E 5. Alex Kirilloff: 2-for-5, RBI, K 7. Brent Rooker: 0-for-5, K 10. Akil Baddoo: 3-for-4, BB, R, SB, K 19. Tyler Jay: 0.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Pawtucket, 12:05 pm CT (Aaron Slegers) Chattanooga at Biloxi, 2:05 pm CT (Randy LeBlanc) Fort Myers vs. St, Lucie, 12:0 pm CT (continuation of suspended game) Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie, Game 2 (Clark Beeker) Cedar Rapids at Clinton, 2:00 pm CT (Brusdar Graterol) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  25. The Rochester Red Wings have one of the worst offenses in minor league baseball. So, how can they win? Well, how about pitching a shutout? That’s what they got on Saturday. Chattanooga had a big inning and the big blow came from the guy who has been doing it all month. The Miracle got behind early, tried to come back, but they fell short. The Kernels played two games, and got exactly what they needed in the first game. They had another pitcher in game two who made his Kernels debut.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Saturday. And as always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Following the Twins Friday night loss, they announced that RHP David Hale had been DFAd. On Saturday morning, they announced that RHP Matt Magill has been added to the roster. .Cedar Rapids sent RHP Moises Gomez down to extended spring training. 2017 draft pick Rickey Ramirez was promoted to the Kernels.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 2, Syracuse 0 Box Score The Red Wings offense has not been terribly good to start the 2017, so on Saturday afternoon, the Rochester pitching staff picked them up and provided a great game. Aaron Slegers made the start a day later than he was scheduled to because of his one day at Yankees Stadium with the Twins, but he was quite good. The right-hander gave up four hits and walked two over six shutout innings to drop his season ERA to 1.50. He struck out four. Brainerd High School’s Nick Anderson came on and threw two zeroes on the board. He walked one and struck out four. For the season, he now has given up just one run and on the season he has walked two and struck out 17 in 11 innings. Gabriel Moya gave up a hit and a walk, but kept the shutout intact as he recorded his first save of the season. Still not a lot of offense for the Red Wings, but it was enough. In the second inning, James Ramsey singled in Brock Stassi with the first run of the game. The second run came in the eighth inning when Bobby Wilson scored on a wild pitch. Wilson had doubled to reach base, the lone extra-base hit for the Red Wings. Ramsey, Stassi, Taylor Featherston and Jake Cave were all 1-for-3 with a walk. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 4 Box Score Down 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lookouts put together a big four-run inning. With the bases loaded, LaMonte Wade walked in a run. Brent Rooker then hit into a double play, but a run scored to tie the game. After a Nick Gordon walk, Zander Wiel came through again with a two-run double. Kohl Stewart made the start for the Lookouts. He gave up a first-inning run, but after that he settled in. He went five innings and gave up just the one run. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three. Ryan Eades came on to start the sixth inning, but he recorded just two outs. He was charged with three runs on four hits. Todd Van Steensel came on and got six outs. He walked two and struck out two. Williams Ramirez came on and got the final four outs, all on strikeouts for his fourth save of the year. Nick Gordon went 2-for-2 with a walk, a sacrifice fly and his fourth double. LaMonte Wade went 2-for-3 with a walk. Edgar Corcino went 1-for-3 with his second double and a sacrifice fly. Wiel’s double was his ninth of the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Daytona 7 Box Score The Miracle fell behind early. It just wasn’t the night for local product Brady Anderson. The right-hander gave up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits (including two home runs). He walked one and struck out three. Calvin Faucher came on and threw three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck two out. Hector Lujan worked the final three innings. He gave up no runs on two hits. He struck out three. The Miracle offense tried to make a comeback in the seventh, but they managed just three hits on the game. Their runs came on a bases-loaded walk and two RBI groundouts. Joe Cronin went 1-for-3 with a walk. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak went undrafted last year and was set to head to the USPBL. As he was headed there, the Twins called and he quickly signed with them. He’s been good in his pro career, and on Saturday, he gave the Kernels what they needed. Following a 13-inning game on Friday night, Dobnak provided seven innings, a complete game in a doubleheader, and the Kernels got a 2-1 win. The right-hander gave up one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out six in the win. 63 of his 100 pitches were strikes. Jordan Gore and Royce Lewis provided much of the Kernels offense. Gore, playing second base in game one, went 3-for-3 and is now hitting .385 on the season. Lewis drove in both runs. In the first, he scored Akil Baddoo with a groundout. His next at bat, he singled up the middle to score Gore. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 4 Box Score In the second game, right-hander Melvi Acosta made his first Midwest League start. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out two. Carlos Suniaga came on and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk and recorded just four outs. He struck out one. Finally, Rickey Ramirez made his first appearance for the Kernels. He got the final four outs and gave up only a walk. The Kernels managed just four hits in the game. Trey Cabbage’s third double of the year scored Jean Carlos Arias, who had tripled. Jordan Gore had a hit in two at-bats. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jordan Gore, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (or Aaron Slegers, Rochester, Red Wings) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-6, K, 2 RBI #3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 2-2, BB, 2B (4), SF, R, RBI #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3 #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, K #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, BB, R, 3 K #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R #14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 2-3, BB, R, RBI #15 - Mitch Garver (Minnesota) - 2-4, 2B, HR(2), RBI, 2 K #16 - Ben Rorvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (12:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (0-3, 5.79 ERA) Tennessee @ Chattanooga (DH @ 1:15 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 5.89 ERA), RHP Omar Bencomo Daytona @ Ft. Myers (3:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (0-1, 3.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:15 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (0-2, 3.95 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Saturday’s full schedule of games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
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