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  1. Minnesota’s current front office regime has tended to rely on internal options to bolster the bullpen. Will any of these prospects join the big-league squad as relievers in 2023? Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports In recent years, the front office has shied away from investing in bullpen options. Joe Smith was the team’s lone free agent signing last winter, and he wasn’t on the club by the season’s end. Minnesota also traded away Taylor Rogers on the eve of Opening Day for Emilio Pagan and Chris Paddack. Jhoan Duran became the team’s top reliever after being a former top prospect. Can any of these players follow in Duran’s footsteps in 2023? Triple-A: Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022), Austin Schulfer (ETA: 2023), Evan Sisk (ETA: 2023) Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the club may still utilize him as a starter in 2023. He split time between both roles at Triple-A last season, and all his big-league innings came as a reliever. As a 22-year-old, there is still time for development, and the Twins hope he can continue to stick as a starter. Schulfer dominated Double-A last season before running into some trouble at Triple-A. He only allowed one earned run in 15 appearances before his promotion. In a six-game span at Triple-A, he allowed nine earned runs and a .982 OPS in 6 2/3 innings to inflate his overall numbers. The 26-year-old struck out nearly ten batters per nine innings for the season and had a 1.04 WHIP. Sisk was one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in the Twins organization last season. The 25-year-old made 50 appearances between Double- and Triple-A with a 1.57 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He posted a 10.9 K/9 and held lefties to a .286 OPS in over 106 at-bats. Surprisingly, he didn’t get an opportunity during the 2022 season, but he should fit into the team’s plans during 2023. Double-A: Denny Bentley (ETA: 2023), Steven Cruz (ETA: 2024), Osiris German (ETA: 2024), Francis Peguero (ETA: 2024) Bentley spent time at High- and Double-A last season while posting a 3.56 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings, so the Twins sent him to the AFL to build off his solid season. Unfortunately, the AFL is a very hitter-friendly environment, and Bentley has struggled with command. The 24-year-old has walked 14 batters in 11 1/3 innings, but it is a small sample size. Cruz (23yo) and German (24yo) were a year and a half younger than the competition at Double-A this season, and both were given the opportunity to pitch in late-inning situations. In his final 34 appearances (50 innings), Cruz had a 3.35 ERA and 51 strikeouts while holding batters to a .680 OPS. German posted a 3.02 ERA with 9.9 K/9 in 43 appearances. Both players should get more time at Double-A before moving up the ladder. Minnesota acquired Peguero from the Reds as part of the Sonny Gray trade. Injuries limited him to 17 appearances at Double-A in 2022, so the team sent him to the AFL. In 11 innings, he has posted a 2.45 ERA with a 1.64 WHIP and 7.4 K/9. High-A: Hunter McMahon (ETA: 2024) Minnesota acquired McMahon back in 2020 from the Nationals for Ryne Harper. As a 24-year-old, he broke out and pitched at three different levels last season. He pitched 70 innings (39 appearances), between Low- and High-A, with a 1.67 ERA with batters hitting .171/.219/.296 (.515) against him. He struggled in a brief taste of Double-A by allowing multiple earned runs in three of his four appearances. To be even more successful, McMahon needs to see his strikeout totals continue to improve. Obviously, there are plenty of relievers throughout the Twins system that aren’t mentioned above. Other starting pitching prospects might shift to bullpen roles if they can’t improve as starters. Some of the best relievers in franchise history (Joe Nathan, Glen Perkins, Taylor Rogers ) were failed starters that shifted to the bullpen and found their eventual ticket to the big leagues. Duran was used primarily as a starter throughout his professional career before dominating as a reliever last season. Overall, it can be tough to project an organization’s depth at reliever, especially as the role of the pitcher continues to evolve. How many of these relievers will get an opportunity in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  2. In recent years, the front office has shied away from investing in bullpen options. Joe Smith was the team’s lone free agent signing last winter, and he wasn’t on the club by the season’s end. Minnesota also traded away Taylor Rogers on the eve of Opening Day for Emilio Pagan and Chris Paddack. Jhoan Duran became the team’s top reliever after being a former top prospect. Can any of these players follow in Duran’s footsteps in 2023? Triple-A: Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022), Austin Schulfer (ETA: 2023), Evan Sisk (ETA: 2023) Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the club may still utilize him as a starter in 2023. He split time between both roles at Triple-A last season, and all his big-league innings came as a reliever. As a 22-year-old, there is still time for development, and the Twins hope he can continue to stick as a starter. Schulfer dominated Double-A last season before running into some trouble at Triple-A. He only allowed one earned run in 15 appearances before his promotion. In a six-game span at Triple-A, he allowed nine earned runs and a .982 OPS in 6 2/3 innings to inflate his overall numbers. The 26-year-old struck out nearly ten batters per nine innings for the season and had a 1.04 WHIP. Sisk was one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in the Twins organization last season. The 25-year-old made 50 appearances between Double- and Triple-A with a 1.57 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He posted a 10.9 K/9 and held lefties to a .286 OPS in over 106 at-bats. Surprisingly, he didn’t get an opportunity during the 2022 season, but he should fit into the team’s plans during 2023. Double-A: Denny Bentley (ETA: 2023), Steven Cruz (ETA: 2024), Osiris German (ETA: 2024), Francis Peguero (ETA: 2024) Bentley spent time at High- and Double-A last season while posting a 3.56 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings, so the Twins sent him to the AFL to build off his solid season. Unfortunately, the AFL is a very hitter-friendly environment, and Bentley has struggled with command. The 24-year-old has walked 14 batters in 11 1/3 innings, but it is a small sample size. Cruz (23yo) and German (24yo) were a year and a half younger than the competition at Double-A this season, and both were given the opportunity to pitch in late-inning situations. In his final 34 appearances (50 innings), Cruz had a 3.35 ERA and 51 strikeouts while holding batters to a .680 OPS. German posted a 3.02 ERA with 9.9 K/9 in 43 appearances. Both players should get more time at Double-A before moving up the ladder. Minnesota acquired Peguero from the Reds as part of the Sonny Gray trade. Injuries limited him to 17 appearances at Double-A in 2022, so the team sent him to the AFL. In 11 innings, he has posted a 2.45 ERA with a 1.64 WHIP and 7.4 K/9. High-A: Hunter McMahon (ETA: 2024) Minnesota acquired McMahon back in 2020 from the Nationals for Ryne Harper. As a 24-year-old, he broke out and pitched at three different levels last season. He pitched 70 innings (39 appearances), between Low- and High-A, with a 1.67 ERA with batters hitting .171/.219/.296 (.515) against him. He struggled in a brief taste of Double-A by allowing multiple earned runs in three of his four appearances. To be even more successful, McMahon needs to see his strikeout totals continue to improve. Obviously, there are plenty of relievers throughout the Twins system that aren’t mentioned above. Other starting pitching prospects might shift to bullpen roles if they can’t improve as starters. Some of the best relievers in franchise history (Joe Nathan, Glen Perkins, Taylor Rogers ) were failed starters that shifted to the bullpen and found their eventual ticket to the big leagues. Duran was used primarily as a starter throughout his professional career before dominating as a reliever last season. Overall, it can be tough to project an organization’s depth at reliever, especially as the role of the pitcher continues to evolve. How many of these relievers will get an opportunity in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  3. The Twins had a handful starting pitching prospects that made brief appearances in the big leagues during the 2022 season. Three of these pitchers, Louie Varland, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Josh Winder, are likely to make appearances for the Twins during the 2023 season. Which of these three is most likely to spend the most time in the Twins' starting rotation? Image courtesy of Lon Horwedel, USA Today Sports Louie Varland, Simeon Woods Richardson, and Josh Winder all made their MLB debuts during the 2022 season. Winder was the only one of the trio to exceed his rookie status this season. Right now, the Twins projected 2023 Opening Day rotation is made up of Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober, dependent largely on health. There is the possibility the Twins could roll out a six-man rotation as they did this season, but it is too early to tell if that will be the case for 2023. All three of these pitchers will likely make starts for the Twins during the 2023 season whether by earning a spot in the rotation or filling in for an injured starter. Based on what was seen from these pitchers during the 2022 season, here is my ranking of who will make the most starts. 1. Louie Varland The Twins two-time Minor League Pitcher of the Year showed great promise in his five late-season starts in September. Varland posted a 3.81 ERA in 26 innings and earned his first big-league win on the season's final day. Earning the Minor League Pitcher of the Year award will also help Varland’s case to start the season with the Twins either as the Twins fifth/sixth starter or long reliever. If Varland is not in the back end of the Twins' starting rotation for Opening Day, he will surely be the first guy to be added in for another due to injury. Varland made 23 minor-league starts between Double-A and Triple-A. He remained healthy and made the most starts of any pitcher on this list. With how many injuries the 2022 Twins suffered, it would not be a surprise if the front office gives the North St. Paul native a similar role as Bailey Ober/Chris Paddack had as the team’s sixth starter to start the season. To put an estimation on how many starts Twins fans could expect from Varland in 2023, it’s safe to guess he will take anywhere from 10-15 starts along with a few appearances out of the bullpen. 2. Simeon Woods Richardson Twins fans were fortunate to see one start from Woods Richardson before the regular season ended. He had five innings of work in his start against the Detroit Tigers and allowed two earned runs. Woods Richardson also missed time last year due to COVID-19. He made 22 minor-league starts prior to his one with the Twins. His best stretch came during his stint in St. Paul, where he made seven starts and posted a 2.21 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, striking out 38 batters in 36 2/3 IP. Woods Richardson turned 22 on September 27, meaning age is on his side to start his 2023 season at Triple-A St. Paul. His best chance of making the Opening Day roster appears to depend on the health of others. It is likely he will make anywhere between eight and 12 starts this upcoming season, maybe more.. 3. Josh Winder Josh Winder struggled the most out of these three pitchers this season as he was just one of the many Twins who missed time due to injury. He exceeded his rookie status with his 67 big-league innings pitched. As a starter, Winder struggled at both the major league and minor league levels. He posted a 4.79 ERA across 50 2/3 IP in his 11 starts with the Twins. In the minors, he posted a 5.00 ERA across six starts (one rehab in Ft. Myers) with the Saints. Winder’s injuries affected his performance this season and given his workload and results, it’s possible the Twins could convert him into a full-time long reliever. They would likely make him a long relief man with the opportunity to turn into a high leverage reliever as Griffin Jax was this season for the Twins. Winder’s pitch usage is also similar to that of Jax’s during the 2021 season as both were throwing mostly fastballs, 40.1% for Winder in 2022 compared to 45.9% for Jax in 2021. With the slider as their go-to breaking ball, 33.3% for Winder in '22 compared to 31.1% for Jax in '21, Jax turned his slider into his go-to pitch throwing it 48.4% of the time this year according to FanGraphs. The Twins may have a second reclamation project with a former top prospect in Winder as they did in Jax this year. If the Twins opt for this route, then don’t expect any starts from Winder, but since that is only speculation as of now, expect five or fewer starts from Winder in 2023. Three Other Options Three young pitchers to keep an eye on to possibly be added into the Twins rotation at some point in the season are Jordan Balazovic, Ronny Henriquez, and Cole Sands. However, given the depth ahead of them on this list, it is looking unlikely they serve more than relief roles if and when they pitch for the 2022 Twins. Balazovic struggled mightily throughout the 2022 season with the Saints and only began to see success toward the end of the year after battling a nagging knee injury all year. He will surely start his 2023 season with the Saints. Both Henriquez and Sands saw time with the Twins this year, mainly as long relievers. Sands had a stretch of three starts for the Twins from May 31 to June 12, but pitched much more effectively as a reliever. Henriquez only pitched out of the bullpen in three relief appearances for the Twins. He made 14 starts with the Saints over the summer but was found to be more effective piggybacking with the starter. Balazovic is the most likely to make a start for the Twins next season. If the Twins see great success in either Henriquez or Sands, they will be given another chance as a starter. However, it is more likely that if those two are making starts, the rotation depth is in dire straits. Conclusion All three of these young pitchers will play more important roles with the Twins pitching staff in 2023 than they did in 2022. Twins fans can expect to see them all at different points of the season. And hopefully, when Varland, Winder, and Woods Richardson arrive on the Twins roster, it is because of their earning a spot rather than constantly replacing an injured teammate. View full article
  4. Louie Varland, Simeon Woods Richardson, and Josh Winder all made their MLB debuts during the 2022 season. Winder was the only one of the trio to exceed his rookie status this season. Right now, the Twins projected 2023 Opening Day rotation is made up of Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober, dependent largely on health. There is the possibility the Twins could roll out a six-man rotation as they did this season, but it is too early to tell if that will be the case for 2023. All three of these pitchers will likely make starts for the Twins during the 2023 season whether by earning a spot in the rotation or filling in for an injured starter. Based on what was seen from these pitchers during the 2022 season, here is my ranking of who will make the most starts. 1. Louie Varland The Twins two-time Minor League Pitcher of the Year showed great promise in his five late-season starts in September. Varland posted a 3.81 ERA in 26 innings and earned his first big-league win on the season's final day. Earning the Minor League Pitcher of the Year award will also help Varland’s case to start the season with the Twins either as the Twins fifth/sixth starter or long reliever. If Varland is not in the back end of the Twins' starting rotation for Opening Day, he will surely be the first guy to be added in for another due to injury. Varland made 23 minor-league starts between Double-A and Triple-A. He remained healthy and made the most starts of any pitcher on this list. With how many injuries the 2022 Twins suffered, it would not be a surprise if the front office gives the North St. Paul native a similar role as Bailey Ober/Chris Paddack had as the team’s sixth starter to start the season. To put an estimation on how many starts Twins fans could expect from Varland in 2023, it’s safe to guess he will take anywhere from 10-15 starts along with a few appearances out of the bullpen. 2. Simeon Woods Richardson Twins fans were fortunate to see one start from Woods Richardson before the regular season ended. He had five innings of work in his start against the Detroit Tigers and allowed two earned runs. Woods Richardson also missed time last year due to COVID-19. He made 22 minor-league starts prior to his one with the Twins. His best stretch came during his stint in St. Paul, where he made seven starts and posted a 2.21 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, striking out 38 batters in 36 2/3 IP. Woods Richardson turned 22 on September 27, meaning age is on his side to start his 2023 season at Triple-A St. Paul. His best chance of making the Opening Day roster appears to depend on the health of others. It is likely he will make anywhere between eight and 12 starts this upcoming season, maybe more.. 3. Josh Winder Josh Winder struggled the most out of these three pitchers this season as he was just one of the many Twins who missed time due to injury. He exceeded his rookie status with his 67 big-league innings pitched. As a starter, Winder struggled at both the major league and minor league levels. He posted a 4.79 ERA across 50 2/3 IP in his 11 starts with the Twins. In the minors, he posted a 5.00 ERA across six starts (one rehab in Ft. Myers) with the Saints. Winder’s injuries affected his performance this season and given his workload and results, it’s possible the Twins could convert him into a full-time long reliever. They would likely make him a long relief man with the opportunity to turn into a high leverage reliever as Griffin Jax was this season for the Twins. Winder’s pitch usage is also similar to that of Jax’s during the 2021 season as both were throwing mostly fastballs, 40.1% for Winder in 2022 compared to 45.9% for Jax in 2021. With the slider as their go-to breaking ball, 33.3% for Winder in '22 compared to 31.1% for Jax in '21, Jax turned his slider into his go-to pitch throwing it 48.4% of the time this year according to FanGraphs. The Twins may have a second reclamation project with a former top prospect in Winder as they did in Jax this year. If the Twins opt for this route, then don’t expect any starts from Winder, but since that is only speculation as of now, expect five or fewer starts from Winder in 2023. Three Other Options Three young pitchers to keep an eye on to possibly be added into the Twins rotation at some point in the season are Jordan Balazovic, Ronny Henriquez, and Cole Sands. However, given the depth ahead of them on this list, it is looking unlikely they serve more than relief roles if and when they pitch for the 2022 Twins. Balazovic struggled mightily throughout the 2022 season with the Saints and only began to see success toward the end of the year after battling a nagging knee injury all year. He will surely start his 2023 season with the Saints. Both Henriquez and Sands saw time with the Twins this year, mainly as long relievers. Sands had a stretch of three starts for the Twins from May 31 to June 12, but pitched much more effectively as a reliever. Henriquez only pitched out of the bullpen in three relief appearances for the Twins. He made 14 starts with the Saints over the summer but was found to be more effective piggybacking with the starter. Balazovic is the most likely to make a start for the Twins next season. If the Twins see great success in either Henriquez or Sands, they will be given another chance as a starter. However, it is more likely that if those two are making starts, the rotation depth is in dire straits. Conclusion All three of these young pitchers will play more important roles with the Twins pitching staff in 2023 than they did in 2022. Twins fans can expect to see them all at different points of the season. And hopefully, when Varland, Winder, and Woods Richardson arrive on the Twins roster, it is because of their earning a spot rather than constantly replacing an injured teammate.
  5. Derek Falvey was touted for his pitching pipeline in Cleveland. Can the Twins start seeing results from their own pitching pipeline? Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints At the onset of the 2022 season, Minnesota's front office put a vote of confidence in the pitching pipeline by not signing a frontline starting pitcher. Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer were the team's two free-agent acquisitions, and neither performed exceptionally well. Unfortunately, Minnesota's pitching pipeline also struggled, but signs point to a potential turnaround in 2023. Here are how the team's top pitching prospects performed in 2022. Triple-A: Jordan Balazovic (ETA: 2023), Simeon Woods Richardson (ETA: 2022), Louie Varland (ETA: 2022), Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022) Woods Richardson and Varland are the two highlights of this group, as they both started the year at Double-A and finished it in the Twins rotation. By many accounts, Woods Richardson is still considered the better prospect, but Varland has now won back-to-back awards as the organization's minor league pitcher of the year. Woods Richardson posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP across 23 appearances. Varland made 24 appearances with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Next year, both arms project to start in the Saints rotation, but they will be needed at the big-league level at some point in 2023. The Twins acquired Henriquez as part of the Mitch Garver trade with Texas. He is an intriguing prospect to watch as the club must decide at some point in the future if he is a starter or reliever moving forward. Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the organization will likely allow him to start again in 2023. As a 22-year-old, he was very young for Triple-A and posted a 5.66 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP in 95 1/3 innings. Henriquez wasn't the only prospect to see a poor performance at Triple-A. Balazovic struggled to start 2022, but he finished the season on a positive note. Entering the 2022 season, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus had him in their top-100 prospects. In 23 appearances, Balazovic had a 7.68 ERA with a 1.97 WHIP. He has been one of the team's top pitching prospects for multiple seasons, and his development is key to the organization's pitching pipeline. Henriquez and Balazovic should be at Triple-A to start 2023. Double-A: Blayne Enlow (ETA: 2023), Brent Headrick (ETA: 2024) Minnesota added Enlow to the 40-man roster last winter even though he was expected to miss most of 2022 due to Tommy John surgery. Enlow was used as a starter and reliever and posted a 4.73 ERA with a 1.63 WHIP in 59 innings. It will be interesting to see if he sticks on the 40-man roster because the Twins have a lot of clean-up this winter. He will likely need to start 2022 at Double-A because he is continuing to build up his arm strength following surgery. Varland has received most of the attention, but Headrick was in the same draft class and has performed well. He split time between High-A and Double-A with a 3.32 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP in 108 innings. He struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings, and his strikeout numbers improved after being promoted to Double-A. Headrick will start next season at Double-A, but he will have the opportunity to move to Triple-A in the second half. High-A: David Festa (ETA: 2024), Sean Mooney (ETA: 2024), Jaylen Nowlin (ETA: 2024) The Twins took Festa in the 13th round in 2019, but he has seen his prospect stock rise since that point. In 2022, he made starts at Low- and High-A with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He dominated in Fort Myers with a 12.4 K/9, but that total dipped to 8.5 K/9 after his promotion. Festa was a little young for the Midwest League, so he can start 2023 at that level before moving up the organizational ladder. Mooney is an intriguing pitching prospect, averaging 13.5 K/9 during his first two professional seasons. Unfortunately, injuries have been part of his career which has limited him to just over 100 innings pitched since 2021. Since he turns 25 in January, the team may need to push him to Double-A during the 2023 season. Nowlin was a 19th round pick in 2021 and he made it all the way to High-A last in 2022. He posted video-game strikeout numbers in his first full season with 14.1 K/9 in 71 innings. He throws hard and is left-handed, which may help his prospect status entering 2023. He only made three starts at High-A to end 2022, so he likely starts next season in Cedar Rapids. Low-A: Marco Raya (ERA: 2025) In recent memory, Raya is one of the Twins' most exciting pitching prospects. He missed most of 2021 with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marked his professional debut. In 19 games (65 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and a 76-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He will be 20 years old for most of the 2023 season, so it will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with his promotions. It seems likely for the club to keep him in Fort Myers for the cold months to start the year and promote him to Cedar Rapids later in the year. The names above are just some of the organization's starting pitching options in the years ahead. Connor Prielipp, a 2022 second-round pick, is arguably the Twins' best pitching prospect, and he has yet to make a professional appearance. Matt Canterino has been dominant on the mound, but health was an issue, and now he will miss 2023 following Tommy John surgery. Brayan Medina is a name to watch in the rookie leagues, as MLB.com already ranks him as the team's 17th-best prospect. This group needs to start producing if Falvey wants to recreate Cleveland's pitching success. Will the Twins' pitching pipeline emerge in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  6. At the onset of the 2022 season, Minnesota's front office put a vote of confidence in the pitching pipeline by not signing a frontline starting pitcher. Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer were the team's two free-agent acquisitions, and neither performed exceptionally well. Unfortunately, Minnesota's pitching pipeline also struggled, but signs point to a potential turnaround in 2023. Here are how the team's top pitching prospects performed in 2022. Triple-A: Jordan Balazovic (ETA: 2023), Simeon Woods Richardson (ETA: 2022), Louie Varland (ETA: 2022), Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022) Woods Richardson and Varland are the two highlights of this group, as they both started the year at Double-A and finished it in the Twins rotation. By many accounts, Woods Richardson is still considered the better prospect, but Varland has now won back-to-back awards as the organization's minor league pitcher of the year. Woods Richardson posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP across 23 appearances. Varland made 24 appearances with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Next year, both arms project to start in the Saints rotation, but they will be needed at the big-league level at some point in 2023. The Twins acquired Henriquez as part of the Mitch Garver trade with Texas. He is an intriguing prospect to watch as the club must decide at some point in the future if he is a starter or reliever moving forward. Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the organization will likely allow him to start again in 2023. As a 22-year-old, he was very young for Triple-A and posted a 5.66 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP in 95 1/3 innings. Henriquez wasn't the only prospect to see a poor performance at Triple-A. Balazovic struggled to start 2022, but he finished the season on a positive note. Entering the 2022 season, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus had him in their top-100 prospects. In 23 appearances, Balazovic had a 7.68 ERA with a 1.97 WHIP. He has been one of the team's top pitching prospects for multiple seasons, and his development is key to the organization's pitching pipeline. Henriquez and Balazovic should be at Triple-A to start 2023. Double-A: Blayne Enlow (ETA: 2023), Brent Headrick (ETA: 2024) Minnesota added Enlow to the 40-man roster last winter even though he was expected to miss most of 2022 due to Tommy John surgery. Enlow was used as a starter and reliever and posted a 4.73 ERA with a 1.63 WHIP in 59 innings. It will be interesting to see if he sticks on the 40-man roster because the Twins have a lot of clean-up this winter. He will likely need to start 2022 at Double-A because he is continuing to build up his arm strength following surgery. Varland has received most of the attention, but Headrick was in the same draft class and has performed well. He split time between High-A and Double-A with a 3.32 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP in 108 innings. He struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings, and his strikeout numbers improved after being promoted to Double-A. Headrick will start next season at Double-A, but he will have the opportunity to move to Triple-A in the second half. High-A: David Festa (ETA: 2024), Sean Mooney (ETA: 2024), Jaylen Nowlin (ETA: 2024) The Twins took Festa in the 13th round in 2019, but he has seen his prospect stock rise since that point. In 2022, he made starts at Low- and High-A with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He dominated in Fort Myers with a 12.4 K/9, but that total dipped to 8.5 K/9 after his promotion. Festa was a little young for the Midwest League, so he can start 2023 at that level before moving up the organizational ladder. Mooney is an intriguing pitching prospect, averaging 13.5 K/9 during his first two professional seasons. Unfortunately, injuries have been part of his career which has limited him to just over 100 innings pitched since 2021. Since he turns 25 in January, the team may need to push him to Double-A during the 2023 season. Nowlin was a 19th round pick in 2021 and he made it all the way to High-A last in 2022. He posted video-game strikeout numbers in his first full season with 14.1 K/9 in 71 innings. He throws hard and is left-handed, which may help his prospect status entering 2023. He only made three starts at High-A to end 2022, so he likely starts next season in Cedar Rapids. Low-A: Marco Raya (ERA: 2025) In recent memory, Raya is one of the Twins' most exciting pitching prospects. He missed most of 2021 with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marked his professional debut. In 19 games (65 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and a 76-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He will be 20 years old for most of the 2023 season, so it will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with his promotions. It seems likely for the club to keep him in Fort Myers for the cold months to start the year and promote him to Cedar Rapids later in the year. The names above are just some of the organization's starting pitching options in the years ahead. Connor Prielipp, a 2022 second-round pick, is arguably the Twins' best pitching prospect, and he has yet to make a professional appearance. Matt Canterino has been dominant on the mound, but health was an issue, and now he will miss 2023 following Tommy John surgery. Brayan Medina is a name to watch in the rookie leagues, as MLB.com already ranks him as the team's 17th-best prospect. This group needs to start producing if Falvey wants to recreate Cleveland's pitching success. Will the Twins' pitching pipeline emerge in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  7. Minnesota’s front office planned on the pitching pipeline providing value at the big-league level during the 2022 season. Here’s a look at the rookie pitchers who debuted in 2022. Image courtesy of Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports It was clear that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine planned for the pitching pipeline to start producing big-league talent in 2022. There have been some breakthrough performances, but some question marks remain heading into the offseason. Look back at the seven pitchers that made their debut this year. Consider how they may fit into the team's plan in 2023 and beyond. Jhoan Duran 2022 Stats (57 G): 1.86 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 89 K, 16 BB, 67 2/3 IP Duran has been unbelievable for the entire season. He quickly evolved into one of baseball’s most dominant bullpen weapons. It can be easy to forget that he wasn’t used as a reliever until spring training this season. Duran is also going to set the rookie record for most Win Probability Added (WPA) by a Twins pitcher since 1990, which puts him in elite company. There aren’t enough words to describe what Duran has meant to the Twins bullpen this season, and he is a vital part of the team’s long-term plans. MLB Debut (April 8): 2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 K, 1 BB Josh Winder 2022 Stats (14 G): 4.31 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 45 K, 17 BB, 64 2/3 IP Minnesota’s rotation was full to start the 2022 season, but the team decided it needed Winder on the big-league roster. He pitched well to start the season with a 1.61 ERA while holding batters to a .464 OPS in his first five appearances. Unfortunately, shoulder issues started bothering him again, and he was limited to three big-league appearances from May 18 through September 10. He’s made four September starts where he has allowed 12 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings. It’s nice that he has been able to prove he is healthy before the season ends. MLB Debut (April 12): 1 IP, 1 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 2 BB Cole Sands 2022 Stats (11 G): 5.87 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 28 K, 13 BB, 30 2/3 IP Sands didn’t make the Opening Day roster, but the Twins needed him at the big-league level by the beginning of May. During the 2021 season, he was terrific at Double-A with a 2.46 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 19 appearances. That performance hasn’t followed him to the 2022 campaign as his ERA rose by over three runs in sporadic opportunities at Triple-A. Sands missed time this season with a right elbow contusion after taking a line drive off the bat of Yuli Gurriel. Sands is only 24 years old, and the Twins hope he can see more of his 2021 performance in the future. MLB Debut (May 1): 2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB Yennier Cano 2022 Stats (10 G): 9.22 ERA, 2.05 WHIP, 14 K, 11 BB, 13 2/3 IP Cano’s path to the big leagues was unique. He signed as a 25-year-old from Cuba in 2019. This season, he pitched well in the minors with a 1.90 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP in St. Paul. His first taste of the big leagues hasn’t gone perfectly as he has allowed 21 earned runs in 11 appearances. Minnesota included Cano as part of the package to acquire Jorge Lopez at the trade deadline. MLB Debut (May 11): 2 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB Louie Varland 2022 Stats (5 G): 3.81 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 21 K, 6 BB, 26 IP Varland has dominated the minor leagues over the last two seasons as he was recently named the TD Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. Minnesota put him in a tough spot for his big-league debut. He took the mound at Yankee Stadium. He performed well as he pitched into the sixth inning and held the Yankees' line-up to two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts. There have been a few hiccups in his other starts as he has allowed four home runs, including two homers by the Angels. Varland has inserted himself into Minnesota’s long-term pitching plans even with these blemishes. MLB Debut (September 7): 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 7 K, 1 BB Ronny Henriquez 2022 Stats (3 G): 2.31 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9 K, 3 BB, 11 2/3 IP Henriquez can sometimes be one of the forgotten players from Minnesota’s flurry of trades this past winter. The Twins acquired Henriquez as part of the Mitch Garver trade because he was an intriguing pitching prospect. At Triple-A this season, he split time as a starter and reliever with a 5.66 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He is only 22 years old and is considered one of the team’s top 30 prospects. This season was his first pitching over 100 innings. The club will need to decide if he is a starter or reliever, but with his youth, they don't need to decide that for a while. MLB Debut (September 19): 4 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB Simeon Woods Richardson 2022 Stats (1 G): 3.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 K, 2 BB, 5 IP Woods Richardson made his much-anticipated debut last weekend and performed admirably even with some poor defense behind him. After struggling at Double-A in 2022, he dominated in the upper minors this season. He posted a 2.77 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP, including 115 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings. Only Varland finished ahead of Woods Richardson in the TD Minor League Pitcher of the Year balloting. Many rankings have Woods Richardson as a higher-rated prospect than Varland, so it will be fun to track their development in the years ahead. MLB Debut (October 2): 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 K, 2 BB Which pitching prospect are you most excited about moving forward? Who has the highest ceiling? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  8. It was clear that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine planned for the pitching pipeline to start producing big-league talent in 2022. There have been some breakthrough performances, but some question marks remain heading into the offseason. Look back at the seven pitchers that made their debut this year. Consider how they may fit into the team's plan in 2023 and beyond. Jhoan Duran 2022 Stats (57 G): 1.86 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 89 K, 16 BB, 67 2/3 IP Duran has been unbelievable for the entire season. He quickly evolved into one of baseball’s most dominant bullpen weapons. It can be easy to forget that he wasn’t used as a reliever until spring training this season. Duran is also going to set the rookie record for most Win Probability Added (WPA) by a Twins pitcher since 1990, which puts him in elite company. There aren’t enough words to describe what Duran has meant to the Twins bullpen this season, and he is a vital part of the team’s long-term plans. MLB Debut (April 8): 2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 K, 1 BB Josh Winder 2022 Stats (14 G): 4.31 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 45 K, 17 BB, 64 2/3 IP Minnesota’s rotation was full to start the 2022 season, but the team decided it needed Winder on the big-league roster. He pitched well to start the season with a 1.61 ERA while holding batters to a .464 OPS in his first five appearances. Unfortunately, shoulder issues started bothering him again, and he was limited to three big-league appearances from May 18 through September 10. He’s made four September starts where he has allowed 12 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings. It’s nice that he has been able to prove he is healthy before the season ends. MLB Debut (April 12): 1 IP, 1 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 2 BB Cole Sands 2022 Stats (11 G): 5.87 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 28 K, 13 BB, 30 2/3 IP Sands didn’t make the Opening Day roster, but the Twins needed him at the big-league level by the beginning of May. During the 2021 season, he was terrific at Double-A with a 2.46 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 19 appearances. That performance hasn’t followed him to the 2022 campaign as his ERA rose by over three runs in sporadic opportunities at Triple-A. Sands missed time this season with a right elbow contusion after taking a line drive off the bat of Yuli Gurriel. Sands is only 24 years old, and the Twins hope he can see more of his 2021 performance in the future. MLB Debut (May 1): 2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB Yennier Cano 2022 Stats (10 G): 9.22 ERA, 2.05 WHIP, 14 K, 11 BB, 13 2/3 IP Cano’s path to the big leagues was unique. He signed as a 25-year-old from Cuba in 2019. This season, he pitched well in the minors with a 1.90 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP in St. Paul. His first taste of the big leagues hasn’t gone perfectly as he has allowed 21 earned runs in 11 appearances. Minnesota included Cano as part of the package to acquire Jorge Lopez at the trade deadline. MLB Debut (May 11): 2 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB Louie Varland 2022 Stats (5 G): 3.81 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 21 K, 6 BB, 26 IP Varland has dominated the minor leagues over the last two seasons as he was recently named the TD Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. Minnesota put him in a tough spot for his big-league debut. He took the mound at Yankee Stadium. He performed well as he pitched into the sixth inning and held the Yankees' line-up to two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts. There have been a few hiccups in his other starts as he has allowed four home runs, including two homers by the Angels. Varland has inserted himself into Minnesota’s long-term pitching plans even with these blemishes. MLB Debut (September 7): 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 7 K, 1 BB Ronny Henriquez 2022 Stats (3 G): 2.31 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9 K, 3 BB, 11 2/3 IP Henriquez can sometimes be one of the forgotten players from Minnesota’s flurry of trades this past winter. The Twins acquired Henriquez as part of the Mitch Garver trade because he was an intriguing pitching prospect. At Triple-A this season, he split time as a starter and reliever with a 5.66 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He is only 22 years old and is considered one of the team’s top 30 prospects. This season was his first pitching over 100 innings. The club will need to decide if he is a starter or reliever, but with his youth, they don't need to decide that for a while. MLB Debut (September 19): 4 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB Simeon Woods Richardson 2022 Stats (1 G): 3.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 K, 2 BB, 5 IP Woods Richardson made his much-anticipated debut last weekend and performed admirably even with some poor defense behind him. After struggling at Double-A in 2022, he dominated in the upper minors this season. He posted a 2.77 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP, including 115 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings. Only Varland finished ahead of Woods Richardson in the TD Minor League Pitcher of the Year balloting. Many rankings have Woods Richardson as a higher-rated prospect than Varland, so it will be fun to track their development in the years ahead. MLB Debut (October 2): 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 K, 2 BB Which pitching prospect are you most excited about moving forward? Who has the highest ceiling? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  9. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 53 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Mark Contreras (3) Top 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (0.132), Gilberto Celestino (0.98), Jake Cave (0.54) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Tigers took advantage of Dylan Bundy early and the Twins' defense scoring a run in the first. Matt Wallner was charged with an error when a bounding single from Riley Greene got past him and turned into a single two-base error. The Tigers struck first blood and got a run on the board in the first inning. The Twins shut out the Tigers on Friday night and Saturday's game continued to trend. The two teams battled back and forth through the first few innings. Detroit pitcher Drew Hutchison ran up 72 pitches by the time Gary Sanchez came to bat in the fourth. Jake Cave led the fourth inning off with a single, and as Hutchinson labored through the line-up, a grounder from Sanchez killed the inning with a double-play, and Matt Wallner struck out swinging. The Twins batting with Runners in Scoring Position this season has been frustrating. Leaving Nothing on the Field Both teams are out of the postseason chase. For Carlos Correa, it is the first time since 2016 that he hasn't played in the playoffs. Gio Urshela is another player missing the post-season but, has been a huge asset in the Twins' clubhouse and on the field throughout the season. The best thing about this club is that there is depth and options for next season. The Twins were plagued with injuries throughout the season, but many replacements who came up stepped up. Manager Rocco Baldelli stepped in when the Twins came up against rough games or bad calls. Baldelli spent a lot of time challenging plays this season and in this game, that was no exception. Gary Sanchez, who isn't fast, rocketed to first base on a fielder's choice. Detroit shortstop Ryan Kreidler flipped to second to get Cave out and the throw to first base appeared to get Sanchez out. Baldelli challenged the play, the call was overturned, and Sanchez was safe. Jose Miranda has been another player putting on quite the clinic during his time with the club. Miranda leads the club with 66 RBIs and has been one of the hottest rookies in MLB this season. Dick Bremer mentioned that Miranda will be spending with Correa in Houston in the off-season, which certainly will give Miranda an education. A Fight to the End (of the Night) Bundy gave up his 24th home run of the season when Eric Haase hit his eighth home run to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. That changed when Mark Contreas came up to bat in the top of the fifth frame and hit a bomb into the right field stands just inside the foul pole, Luis Arraez started the night 0-for-2 and ripped a ball into right field for a single. Arraez grabbed at his hamstring as he approached first base, but he remained in the game. During a Detroit pitching change, Arraez walked over to third base coach Tommy Watkins and was still out on second after the commercial break. Urshela came up to bat and hit a single to left, and Arraez took off; not without a grimace and a slight hobble, but he dug deep, found speed, and made it home to tie the game at two! The season may be over for the Twins, but Arraez is still contending for the American League batting title. Hitting .315, he is just edging out Aaron Judge, who is striving for the MVP and a Yankees home run record. The race for the batting title potentially could keep Judge from achieving the Triple Crown. During an earlier interview, Baldelli said, "There is a new calm with Arraez over the past few days." Arraez has stated that he's enjoying the race but wants to win. While everyone loves a good contention, no one deserves the AL batting title more than Luis Arraez (at least in the mind of Twins fans... right?). The Tigers changed their pitcher, and the Twins had bases loaded and two outs with Sanchez up to bat. Sanchez was due for a hit, and with a .323 average with RISP, it would have been beautiful to see a grand slam. Instead, Jose Cisnero saw an opportunity out of the corner of his eye and picked off Urshela at second base to end the inning. Finishing out the Night Ronny Henriquez came in to pitch in the sixth inning. Henriquez came to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade in spring training and has had two appearances with the Twins. In his previous games, he has posted a 3.12 ERA with seven hits, three earned runs, and six strike-outs. He gave up an unearned run on an error by Arraez on a chopper from Harold Castro. The Tigers held the lead, but the Twins loaded the bases in the eighth inning. Instead of Wallner coming to the plate, the Twins pulled Ryan Jeffers off the bench as a pinch hitter. A smart decision by Baldelli when All-Star lefty Gregory Soto came in. Jeffers had an 0-2 count and hit a hard groundball that was destined for centerfield, but Soto deflected it with his glove and it went right to the shortstop who turned a double play to end the inning and another rally for the Twins. The Twins were only down a run going into the ninth and quickly got the tying run on a single from Arraez. Correa came up to bat and hit a fly-out (liner) to right field, but with two outs and the Twins history of late-inning rallies, the dream was still alive. The rally fell short when Nick Gordon, who had two hits earlier in the game, struck out swinging. Pitching for tomorrow’s game: Thursday 11:10 am CST: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (MLB Debut, as reported on Friday by Twins Daily) v. LHP Joey Wentz (2-2, 3.54 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  10. Dylan Bundy stepped onto the mound for the final time this season against the Detroit Tigers and the Twins last Saturday night of the baseball season. Image courtesy of David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 53 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Mark Contreras (3) Top 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (0.132), Gilberto Celestino (0.98), Jake Cave (0.54) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Tigers took advantage of Dylan Bundy early and the Twins' defense scoring a run in the first. Matt Wallner was charged with an error when a bounding single from Riley Greene got past him and turned into a single two-base error. The Tigers struck first blood and got a run on the board in the first inning. The Twins shut out the Tigers on Friday night and Saturday's game continued to trend. The two teams battled back and forth through the first few innings. Detroit pitcher Drew Hutchison ran up 72 pitches by the time Gary Sanchez came to bat in the fourth. Jake Cave led the fourth inning off with a single, and as Hutchinson labored through the line-up, a grounder from Sanchez killed the inning with a double-play, and Matt Wallner struck out swinging. The Twins batting with Runners in Scoring Position this season has been frustrating. Leaving Nothing on the Field Both teams are out of the postseason chase. For Carlos Correa, it is the first time since 2016 that he hasn't played in the playoffs. Gio Urshela is another player missing the post-season but, has been a huge asset in the Twins' clubhouse and on the field throughout the season. The best thing about this club is that there is depth and options for next season. The Twins were plagued with injuries throughout the season, but many replacements who came up stepped up. Manager Rocco Baldelli stepped in when the Twins came up against rough games or bad calls. Baldelli spent a lot of time challenging plays this season and in this game, that was no exception. Gary Sanchez, who isn't fast, rocketed to first base on a fielder's choice. Detroit shortstop Ryan Kreidler flipped to second to get Cave out and the throw to first base appeared to get Sanchez out. Baldelli challenged the play, the call was overturned, and Sanchez was safe. Jose Miranda has been another player putting on quite the clinic during his time with the club. Miranda leads the club with 66 RBIs and has been one of the hottest rookies in MLB this season. Dick Bremer mentioned that Miranda will be spending with Correa in Houston in the off-season, which certainly will give Miranda an education. A Fight to the End (of the Night) Bundy gave up his 24th home run of the season when Eric Haase hit his eighth home run to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. That changed when Mark Contreas came up to bat in the top of the fifth frame and hit a bomb into the right field stands just inside the foul pole, Luis Arraez started the night 0-for-2 and ripped a ball into right field for a single. Arraez grabbed at his hamstring as he approached first base, but he remained in the game. During a Detroit pitching change, Arraez walked over to third base coach Tommy Watkins and was still out on second after the commercial break. Urshela came up to bat and hit a single to left, and Arraez took off; not without a grimace and a slight hobble, but he dug deep, found speed, and made it home to tie the game at two! The season may be over for the Twins, but Arraez is still contending for the American League batting title. Hitting .315, he is just edging out Aaron Judge, who is striving for the MVP and a Yankees home run record. The race for the batting title potentially could keep Judge from achieving the Triple Crown. During an earlier interview, Baldelli said, "There is a new calm with Arraez over the past few days." Arraez has stated that he's enjoying the race but wants to win. While everyone loves a good contention, no one deserves the AL batting title more than Luis Arraez (at least in the mind of Twins fans... right?). The Tigers changed their pitcher, and the Twins had bases loaded and two outs with Sanchez up to bat. Sanchez was due for a hit, and with a .323 average with RISP, it would have been beautiful to see a grand slam. Instead, Jose Cisnero saw an opportunity out of the corner of his eye and picked off Urshela at second base to end the inning. Finishing out the Night Ronny Henriquez came in to pitch in the sixth inning. Henriquez came to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade in spring training and has had two appearances with the Twins. In his previous games, he has posted a 3.12 ERA with seven hits, three earned runs, and six strike-outs. He gave up an unearned run on an error by Arraez on a chopper from Harold Castro. The Tigers held the lead, but the Twins loaded the bases in the eighth inning. Instead of Wallner coming to the plate, the Twins pulled Ryan Jeffers off the bench as a pinch hitter. A smart decision by Baldelli when All-Star lefty Gregory Soto came in. Jeffers had an 0-2 count and hit a hard groundball that was destined for centerfield, but Soto deflected it with his glove and it went right to the shortstop who turned a double play to end the inning and another rally for the Twins. The Twins were only down a run going into the ninth and quickly got the tying run on a single from Arraez. Correa came up to bat and hit a fly-out (liner) to right field, but with two outs and the Twins history of late-inning rallies, the dream was still alive. The rally fell short when Nick Gordon, who had two hits earlier in the game, struck out swinging. Pitching for tomorrow’s game: Thursday 11:10 am CST: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (MLB Debut, as reported on Friday by Twins Daily) v. LHP Joey Wentz (2-2, 3.54 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  11. The Wichita Wind Surge, Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, got blown out in the first game of the Texas League championship series. Yunior Severino blasted his 20th home run of the season. Jair Camargo and Brooks Lee each had a pair of hits in the 11-3 loss. Ronny Henriquez delivered 4 2/3 shutout innings of work for the Twins and Caleb Hamilton recorded his first-career hit, a home run. An ugly ninth inning with Trevor Megill on the mound resulted in the Twins losing to the Angels 10-3.
  12. The Wichita Wind Surge, Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, got blown out in the first game of the Texas League championship series. Yunior Severino blasted his 20th home run of the season. Jair Camargo and Brooks Lee each had a pair of hits in the 11-3 loss. Ronny Henriquez delivered 4 2/3 shutout innings of work for the Twins and Caleb Hamilton recorded his first-career hit, a home run. An ugly ninth inning with Trevor Megill on the mound resulted in the Twins losing to the Angels 10-3. View full video
  13. The Twins played their final game Sunday home game of the season to wrap up their series with the Los Angeles Angels. With Dylan Bundy on the mound and the lineup still depleted of everyday players, could the Twins get their first series victory since sweeping the Royals two weeks prior? Or do Twins Fans need to sleep off the remainder of September with another loss on hand? Image courtesy of Matt Krohn, USA Today Sports Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy 3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (84 pitches, 57 strikes (67.8 strike %)) Home Runs: Caleb Hamilton (1) Top 3 or Bottom 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy -.388, Jake Cave -.124, Trevor Megill -.067 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The end for Bundy? Dylan Bundy had the start for the Twins Sunday afternoon and continued not to look his sharpest on the mound. Bundy’s control of his breaking ball pitches, specifically the curve ball. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani both hit well off of Bundy combing to go 3-4 in their plate appearances against him with Trout having a solo home run in the top of the third to make it 3-1 Angels. Bundy’s afternoon ended in the top of the fourth after giving up three singles and two runs to give the Angels a 5-2 lead. After a strong month of August where Bundy had a 2.63 ERA in five starts across 24 innings. Bundy’s September month has been the opposite, having a 7.48 ERA in five starts across 21.1 innings of work. The short struggles of Bundy’s Sunday performance skyrocketed his ERA from 6.38 to 7.48. With only nine games left in the season for the Twins, it is quite possible Twins fans have seen the end of Bundy’s time in a Twins uniform. Henriquez Pick Me Up After Bundy’s crumble of an outing, Ronny Henriquez came into the game making his second career appearance in the Majors. Henriquez had a couple of hiccups in his 4.2 innings of work with three hits and a walk but he kept all those Angel base runners from scoring and the Twins within three runs when he exited. Henriquez also had four strikeouts in his appearance while his fastest pitch topped out at 94.6 MPH against Michael Stefanic in the eighth. Henriquez’s longevity in the remainder of the game gave most of the Twins bullpen arms the chance to rest and fight for second place against the White Sox come Tuesday. Trevor Megill was in for the ninth facing Trout to start the inning. Trout had a lead-off double and Ohtani followed up with an RBI single to make it a 6-3 Angels game. That wouldn’t be the end for Megill as he surrendered a two-run double to Max Stassi putting the Angels up 8-3. The Stassi double was followed by another one from Livan Soto putting them up 10-3. Jovani Moran came into the game to get the Twins out of the jam. Moran successfully retired the last two batters adverting any further damage. Correa Leads the Offense Still not Enough for Win The Twins bats kept themselves from being completely shut out Sunday afternoon and many thanks to Carlos Correa. Correa went 2-4 with a double and scored the Twins' first run in the first inning. Alongside Correa with multi-hit games were Jose Miranda (2-4) and Gilberto Celestino (2-4, 2B). Even with nine hits on the day the Twins failed to get runners in scoring position home after the third inning going 0-2 in those opportunities. The bottom of the seventh was starting to look like one of those opportunities for the cold bats to break. A leadoff single from Miranda and from Gio Urshela was followed by Gary Sanchez being hit by a pitch. Nick Gordon came to the plate with an opportunity to tie the game with the bases-loaded. Unfortunately, that was not the case as Gordon struck out as well as Celestino to end the inning. Fortunately, the Twins did not stop scoring after the fiasco seventh as Caleb Hamilton finally scratched off his first big league hit with a solo home run to bring the Twins within a run of the Angels. Wake Twins Fans Up When September Ends? The Twins fall further down an abysmal hole that is September baseball as they dropped to a 7-17 record with Sunday’s loss. The Twins have also allowed 119 runs to opponents while only scoring 80 for themselves, their worse runs scored/runs allowed ratio on the season for a month. Only four games remain for the Twins this month with three at home against the White Sox and one in Detroit. At best, they’ll be 11-17, at worse 7-21. Either way, Twins fans may need to follow the words of Green Day and wait to wake up until September ends. What’s Next? Twins are off Monday with the final home series of the season to start Tuesday night against the White Sox at 6:40 p.m. Former Twin Lance Lynn is set to go against current Twin Bailey Ober for Tuesday night’s game. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Sheet View full article
  14. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy 3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (84 pitches, 57 strikes (67.8 strike %)) Home Runs: Caleb Hamilton (1) Top 3 or Bottom 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy -.388, Jake Cave -.124, Trevor Megill -.067 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The end for Bundy? Dylan Bundy had the start for the Twins Sunday afternoon and continued not to look his sharpest on the mound. Bundy’s control of his breaking ball pitches, specifically the curve ball. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani both hit well off of Bundy combing to go 3-4 in their plate appearances against him with Trout having a solo home run in the top of the third to make it 3-1 Angels. Bundy’s afternoon ended in the top of the fourth after giving up three singles and two runs to give the Angels a 5-2 lead. After a strong month of August where Bundy had a 2.63 ERA in five starts across 24 innings. Bundy’s September month has been the opposite, having a 7.48 ERA in five starts across 21.1 innings of work. The short struggles of Bundy’s Sunday performance skyrocketed his ERA from 6.38 to 7.48. With only nine games left in the season for the Twins, it is quite possible Twins fans have seen the end of Bundy’s time in a Twins uniform. Henriquez Pick Me Up After Bundy’s crumble of an outing, Ronny Henriquez came into the game making his second career appearance in the Majors. Henriquez had a couple of hiccups in his 4.2 innings of work with three hits and a walk but he kept all those Angel base runners from scoring and the Twins within three runs when he exited. Henriquez also had four strikeouts in his appearance while his fastest pitch topped out at 94.6 MPH against Michael Stefanic in the eighth. Henriquez’s longevity in the remainder of the game gave most of the Twins bullpen arms the chance to rest and fight for second place against the White Sox come Tuesday. Trevor Megill was in for the ninth facing Trout to start the inning. Trout had a lead-off double and Ohtani followed up with an RBI single to make it a 6-3 Angels game. That wouldn’t be the end for Megill as he surrendered a two-run double to Max Stassi putting the Angels up 8-3. The Stassi double was followed by another one from Livan Soto putting them up 10-3. Jovani Moran came into the game to get the Twins out of the jam. Moran successfully retired the last two batters adverting any further damage. Correa Leads the Offense Still not Enough for Win The Twins bats kept themselves from being completely shut out Sunday afternoon and many thanks to Carlos Correa. Correa went 2-4 with a double and scored the Twins' first run in the first inning. Alongside Correa with multi-hit games were Jose Miranda (2-4) and Gilberto Celestino (2-4, 2B). Even with nine hits on the day the Twins failed to get runners in scoring position home after the third inning going 0-2 in those opportunities. The bottom of the seventh was starting to look like one of those opportunities for the cold bats to break. A leadoff single from Miranda and from Gio Urshela was followed by Gary Sanchez being hit by a pitch. Nick Gordon came to the plate with an opportunity to tie the game with the bases-loaded. Unfortunately, that was not the case as Gordon struck out as well as Celestino to end the inning. Fortunately, the Twins did not stop scoring after the fiasco seventh as Caleb Hamilton finally scratched off his first big league hit with a solo home run to bring the Twins within a run of the Angels. Wake Twins Fans Up When September Ends? The Twins fall further down an abysmal hole that is September baseball as they dropped to a 7-17 record with Sunday’s loss. The Twins have also allowed 119 runs to opponents while only scoring 80 for themselves, their worse runs scored/runs allowed ratio on the season for a month. Only four games remain for the Twins this month with three at home against the White Sox and one in Detroit. At best, they’ll be 11-17, at worse 7-21. Either way, Twins fans may need to follow the words of Green Day and wait to wake up until September ends. What’s Next? Twins are off Monday with the final home series of the season to start Tuesday night against the White Sox at 6:40 p.m. Former Twin Lance Lynn is set to go against current Twin Bailey Ober for Tuesday night’s game. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Sheet
  15. As the season winds down, many teams will give prospects their first shot at the big-league level. Ronny Henriquez was part of a significant trade this winter and made his debut earlier this week. Image courtesy of Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports The Texas Rangers signed Ronny Henriquez as a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic. He was given a $10,000 signing bonus, which can be seen as a bargain on the international market. His small stature likely drove down his value as he was 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds back in 2017. The Rangers waited until the 2018 season for Henriquez to make his professional debut. In the 2018 Dominican Summer League, Henriquez showed why the Rangers were impressed with him. In 11 starts (58 innings), he posted a 1.55 ERA with a 0.78 WHIP and a 79-to-8 strikeout to walk ratio. He dominated opposing hitters as he held batters to a .466 OPS while striking out in nearly 38% of their at-bats. He’d need to prove those numbers weren’t a fluke as the team moved him stateside for 2019. At Low-A, Henriquez struggled for the first time in his professional career, but it would be tough for any pitcher to live up to his professional debut. In 21 appearances, he posted a 4.50 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP and 10.9 K/9. He allowed three runs or fewer in 18 of his 21 appearances. Henriquez was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition at his level, with all but 10 of his at-bats coming against older batters. Henriquez spent the 2020 COVID season living at the Rangers village dorm in Arizona, which provided access to the team’s spring training facilities. He was allowed to work out with protocols in place, but like many prospects, he didn’t have formal workouts until the team’s fall development camp. Henriquez must have impressed during camp because Texas continued to be aggressive with him in 2021. With a new minor league season, Henriquez began the year at High-A, where he posted a 3.75 ERA in five starts. Then he was promoted to Double-A, where he was 3.7 years younger than the average age of the competition. In 16 appearances (11 starts), he posted a 5.04 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP. He continued to strike out more than ten batters per nine innings, but home runs became an issue as he allowed 1.9 HR/9 after his promotion. There were areas for improvement, but he’d shown enough to be added to the Rangers’ 40-man roster. One of Minnesota’s targets for the 2022 offseason was acquiring a starting shortstop. The Twins dealt Mitch Garver to the Rangers for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Henriquez. During his age-22 season, Henriquez was five years younger than Triple-A competition. He made 14 starts and ten relief appearances with a 5.66 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He only faced a younger batter in one plate appearance this season, but he continued to have 10 K/9. Many consider Henriquez a top-20 prospect in the Twins organization. He has three above-average pitches that he can use to get outs. His fastball can hit in the upper 90s and has high spin rates that help him miss bats up in the zone. Henriquez also uses a slider and a changeup that has improved as he has climbed the minor league ladder. He will likely need to repeat Triple-A next season as the team decides whether or not he can be a starter. What have been your initial impressions of Henriquez? Do you think he fits into the team’s long-term plans? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  16. The Texas Rangers signed Ronny Henriquez as a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic. He was given a $10,000 signing bonus, which can be seen as a bargain on the international market. His small stature likely drove down his value as he was 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds back in 2017. The Rangers waited until the 2018 season for Henriquez to make his professional debut. In the 2018 Dominican Summer League, Henriquez showed why the Rangers were impressed with him. In 11 starts (58 innings), he posted a 1.55 ERA with a 0.78 WHIP and a 79-to-8 strikeout to walk ratio. He dominated opposing hitters as he held batters to a .466 OPS while striking out in nearly 38% of their at-bats. He’d need to prove those numbers weren’t a fluke as the team moved him stateside for 2019. At Low-A, Henriquez struggled for the first time in his professional career, but it would be tough for any pitcher to live up to his professional debut. In 21 appearances, he posted a 4.50 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP and 10.9 K/9. He allowed three runs or fewer in 18 of his 21 appearances. Henriquez was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition at his level, with all but 10 of his at-bats coming against older batters. Henriquez spent the 2020 COVID season living at the Rangers village dorm in Arizona, which provided access to the team’s spring training facilities. He was allowed to work out with protocols in place, but like many prospects, he didn’t have formal workouts until the team’s fall development camp. Henriquez must have impressed during camp because Texas continued to be aggressive with him in 2021. With a new minor league season, Henriquez began the year at High-A, where he posted a 3.75 ERA in five starts. Then he was promoted to Double-A, where he was 3.7 years younger than the average age of the competition. In 16 appearances (11 starts), he posted a 5.04 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP. He continued to strike out more than ten batters per nine innings, but home runs became an issue as he allowed 1.9 HR/9 after his promotion. There were areas for improvement, but he’d shown enough to be added to the Rangers’ 40-man roster. One of Minnesota’s targets for the 2022 offseason was acquiring a starting shortstop. The Twins dealt Mitch Garver to the Rangers for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Henriquez. During his age-22 season, Henriquez was five years younger than Triple-A competition. He made 14 starts and ten relief appearances with a 5.66 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He only faced a younger batter in one plate appearance this season, but he continued to have 10 K/9. Many consider Henriquez a top-20 prospect in the Twins organization. He has three above-average pitches that he can use to get outs. His fastball can hit in the upper 90s and has high spin rates that help him miss bats up in the zone. Henriquez also uses a slider and a changeup that has improved as he has climbed the minor league ladder. He will likely need to repeat Triple-A next season as the team decides whether or not he can be a starter. What have been your initial impressions of Henriquez? Do you think he fits into the team’s long-term plans? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  17. The Minnesota Twins continued to be a magnet of bad news Monday afternoon. Starter Sonny Gray left early after re-injuring his hamstring and the Guardians dominated the Twins by scoring eleven runs. Image courtesy of Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Sonny Gray: 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (44 pitches, 26 strikes (59.1%) Home Runs: Nick Gordon (9) Bottom 3 WPA: Sonny Gray (-.281), Mark Contreras (-.243), Ronny Henriquez (-.121) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Guardians grab lead early The Guardians wasted no time in putting runs on the board Monday afternoon. Quickly Amed Rosario and Jose Ramirez found themselves in scoring position. It didn’t matter where they were on the base paths as Josh Naylor got a hold of a Sonny Gray curveball and launched it into the right field seats giving the Guardians an early 3-0 lead. Gray exits after second Not only were the Twins behind early 3-0, but there were other signs that Gray's outing was going poorly. The radar gun showed that his average fastball speed was down about two miles per hour. We later learned what was ailing Gray was a return of the hamstring tightness that recently plagued him. Henriquez debuts With Gray out, Ronny Henriquez came into pitch, making his major league debut. Early on, his stuff was on display. The movement that the 22-year-old pitcher creates is impressive. Henriquez even flashed his glove as he was welcomed to the big leagues by a screaming Ramirez liner right back at him. The gloves behind him could have been a bit more sound as they helped create a bases-loaded situation that Henriquez was able to escape without allowing any runs to score. Henriquez is currently ranked as Twins Daily’s #16 prospect in the Twins system after coming over to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade with the Texas Rangers. Since the trade, there has been an eye on Henriquez as a possible bullpen arm for the Twins in 2022. Finally, here in September, he is getting his chance. The debut was promising through three innings as Henriquez was able to hold Cleveland scoreless. In his fourth inning of work, the opposing bats were able to get to him. Including the exclamation point of an Amed Rosario three-run home run. Twins find some runs in the fourth Carlos Correa led off the fourth inning with an opposite-field single. Jose Miranda followed up with a similar opposite field hit for a double, setting the Twins up with runners on second and third with no outs. In a game full of infield hits, it was two hits that stayed in the infield that would bring both Correa and Miranda in to score. Those two runs cut the Twins deficit down to two with a 4-2 tally on the scoreboard. Opportunity missed in the sixth With the Twins down 4-3, they had the perfect opportunity to take the lead. With the bases loaded and one out, the Twins chased Guardians starter Cal Quantrill from the game. Nick Sandlin took his place, and Mark Contreras came in as a pinch hitter for Caleb Hamilton to try and drive in some runs for the Twins. Instead, Contreras lined out to first baseman Naylor, and Matt Wallner was doubled off to end the inning and the scoring threat. In the end, Cleveland would score two more runs after Rosario hit his three-run home run, bringing the final score to 11-4. In a week following the "official" end to the Twins playoff chances, there wasn't much to be excited about. Nick Gordon hit his ninth home run, and the first three innings of Henriquez's debut were good to see. Beyond that, any Twins fans watching got another look at why the Guardians are poised to win the division, and the Twins are not. What’s Next? The Minnesota Twins will make their way to Kansas City to open up a three-game series against the Royals. Dylan Bundy will take the mound for the Twins, while the Royals will send veteran Zach Greinke to the mound. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Henriquez 0 0 0 0 0 73 73 López 0 0 0 32 0 34 66 Moran 40 0 0 15 5 0 60 Jax 0 18 22 13 0 0 53 Duran 0 19 16 0 17 0 52 Sanchez 0 0 0 49 0 0 49 Fulmer 0 21 11 17 0 0 49 Pagán 0 0 0 31 0 15 46 Thielbar 0 12 15 0 0 0 27 View full article
  18. Box Score SP: Sonny Gray: 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (44 pitches, 26 strikes (59.1%) Home Runs: Nick Gordon (9) Bottom 3 WPA: Sonny Gray (-.281), Mark Contreras (-.243), Ronny Henriquez (-.121) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Guardians grab lead early The Guardians wasted no time in putting runs on the board Monday afternoon. Quickly Amed Rosario and Jose Ramirez found themselves in scoring position. It didn’t matter where they were on the base paths as Josh Naylor got a hold of a Sonny Gray curveball and launched it into the right field seats giving the Guardians an early 3-0 lead. Gray exits after second Not only were the Twins behind early 3-0, but there were other signs that Gray's outing was going poorly. The radar gun showed that his average fastball speed was down about two miles per hour. We later learned what was ailing Gray was a return of the hamstring tightness that recently plagued him. Henriquez debuts With Gray out, Ronny Henriquez came into pitch, making his major league debut. Early on, his stuff was on display. The movement that the 22-year-old pitcher creates is impressive. Henriquez even flashed his glove as he was welcomed to the big leagues by a screaming Ramirez liner right back at him. The gloves behind him could have been a bit more sound as they helped create a bases-loaded situation that Henriquez was able to escape without allowing any runs to score. Henriquez is currently ranked as Twins Daily’s #16 prospect in the Twins system after coming over to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade with the Texas Rangers. Since the trade, there has been an eye on Henriquez as a possible bullpen arm for the Twins in 2022. Finally, here in September, he is getting his chance. The debut was promising through three innings as Henriquez was able to hold Cleveland scoreless. In his fourth inning of work, the opposing bats were able to get to him. Including the exclamation point of an Amed Rosario three-run home run. Twins find some runs in the fourth Carlos Correa led off the fourth inning with an opposite-field single. Jose Miranda followed up with a similar opposite field hit for a double, setting the Twins up with runners on second and third with no outs. In a game full of infield hits, it was two hits that stayed in the infield that would bring both Correa and Miranda in to score. Those two runs cut the Twins deficit down to two with a 4-2 tally on the scoreboard. Opportunity missed in the sixth With the Twins down 4-3, they had the perfect opportunity to take the lead. With the bases loaded and one out, the Twins chased Guardians starter Cal Quantrill from the game. Nick Sandlin took his place, and Mark Contreras came in as a pinch hitter for Caleb Hamilton to try and drive in some runs for the Twins. Instead, Contreras lined out to first baseman Naylor, and Matt Wallner was doubled off to end the inning and the scoring threat. In the end, Cleveland would score two more runs after Rosario hit his three-run home run, bringing the final score to 11-4. In a week following the "official" end to the Twins playoff chances, there wasn't much to be excited about. Nick Gordon hit his ninth home run, and the first three innings of Henriquez's debut were good to see. Beyond that, any Twins fans watching got another look at why the Guardians are poised to win the division, and the Twins are not. What’s Next? The Minnesota Twins will make their way to Kansas City to open up a three-game series against the Royals. Dylan Bundy will take the mound for the Twins, while the Royals will send veteran Zach Greinke to the mound. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Henriquez 0 0 0 0 0 73 73 López 0 0 0 32 0 34 66 Moran 40 0 0 15 5 0 60 Jax 0 18 22 13 0 0 53 Duran 0 19 16 0 17 0 52 Sanchez 0 0 0 49 0 0 49 Fulmer 0 21 11 17 0 0 49 Pagán 0 0 0 31 0 15 46 Thielbar 0 12 15 0 0 0 27
  19. Louie Varland pitched great in his debut for the Minnesota Twins, striking out five Yankee batters over 5 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up a pair of runs on three hits with one walk. Down on the farm, both Michael Helman and Mark Contreras had big games in support of Ronny Henriquez, who struck out nine batters while giving up a pair of runs in five innings. Check out those highlights plus a rundown of the other minor league action in tonight's system recap.
  20. Louie Varland pitched great in his debut for the Minnesota Twins, striking out five Yankee batters over 5 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up a pair of runs on three hits with one walk. Down on the farm, both Michael Helman and Mark Contreras had big games in support of Ronny Henriquez, who struck out nine batters while giving up a pair of runs in five innings. Check out those highlights plus a rundown of the other minor league action in tonight's system recap. View full video
  21. TRANSACTIONS RHP Louie Varland contract selected by Minnesota Twins RHP Jake Jewell designated for assignment SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Toledo 6 Box Score The Saints got to watch teammate Louie Varland deal in New York this afternoon before Ronny Henriquez took the mound in Toledo. Henriquez was great allowing just two runs on one hit. He walked one but struck out nine. St. Paul started off the scoring with a pair of first inning dingers. Michael Helman launched his 12th of the season before Mark Contreras hit his 14th. In the 2nd inning the good guys kept rolling. First, Andrew Bechtold got his first Triple-A double to drive in Cole Sturgeon, then Elliot Soto ripped a triple to bring home Bechtold. Matt Wallner wound up grounding out, but the ball being put in play allowed Soto to scamper home. Still looking to pile on, Helman grabbed his second hit of the day, a single this time and Soto scored for the second time. After giving back two on a 4th inning Mud Hens homer, the Saints answered a few innings later. Chris Williams grounded out with the baes loaded, but Toledo couldn’t roll a double play and David Banuelos scored. After the Mud Hens got a run back on an Austin Schulfer wild pitch in the 6th inning, Banuelos doubled to bring in Bechtold and wipe it off in the 7th inning. Toledo drew closer in the bottom half, but Contreras was able to smash his second blast of the game in the 8th inning, a two-run shot scoring Matt Wallner, and double up the Mud Hens 10-5. Five different St. Paul hitters had multi-hit nights, which isn’t surprising given the 13 total for the team. Contreras was the lone batter to reach three in the game, however. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 0 Box Score The Wind Surge turned to Kody Funderburk tonight. He was great going six strong allowing only four hits and a walk. The Wichita starter punched out seven batters. It took no time for Wichita to get runs for their starter. Aaron Sabato started things with his third Double-A two-bagger, this one with the bases loaded, bringing in Edouard Julien, Jair Camargo, and Yunior Severino. Anthony Prato then singled to bring Sabato home and make it 4-0 early. Quietly going about their business through the middle of this one, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. added an insurance run in the 8th inning to score Anthony Prato. Edouard Julien and Prato both recorded three-hit games, and the Wind Surge tallied a total of 14 runs tonight. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, South Bend 4 Box Score It was David Festa tonight for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. After getting behind early, Festa settled in and wound up working 6 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while also striking out three. After getting behind 1-0 after the 1st inning, the Kernels responded with a run of their own in the 3rd inning. Pat Winkel crushed his 9th double to drive in Brooks Lee and knot things up. Unfortunately the lead evaporated in the 5th inning when South Bend added two more. In the 6th inning Cedar Rapids began their comeback. Alerick Soularie drove in Mikey Perez on a ground out and the deficit was only one. After giving it back in the 7th inning, the Kernels erupted for six runs in the eighth inning. Charles Mack crushed his fifth homer of the season to draw back within one before a bases loaded walk of Dylan Neuse scored Seth Gray. Kyler Fedko then drove a single through the left side and watched both Perez and Wille Joe Garry Jr. cross the plate. Before the inning was done, Brooks Lee got into the action with his fourth double, plating both Neuse and Fedko. Both Fedko and Perez had two hits apiece, and six different Cedar Rapids batters combined to tally the eight hits. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Game postponed due to inclement weather. Fort Myers and St. Lucie will make it up tomorrow as part of a doubleheader. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR(15) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2B #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3 #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB #12 - Louie Varland (Minnesota) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K #13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3-4, R #16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K #19 - Alerick Soularie (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, RBI, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Aaron Rozek South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  22. It’s fair to suggest all of the excitement resonated from the St. Paul Saints today. Not only was Louie Varland making his Major League debut following a quick stop at Triple-A, but the Saints scored a bunch and Mark Contreras was the biggest bat. Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports TRANSACTIONS RHP Louie Varland contract selected by Minnesota Twins RHP Jake Jewell designated for assignment SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Toledo 6 Box Score The Saints got to watch teammate Louie Varland deal in New York this afternoon before Ronny Henriquez took the mound in Toledo. Henriquez was great allowing just two runs on one hit. He walked one but struck out nine. St. Paul started off the scoring with a pair of first inning dingers. Michael Helman launched his 12th of the season before Mark Contreras hit his 14th. In the 2nd inning the good guys kept rolling. First, Andrew Bechtold got his first Triple-A double to drive in Cole Sturgeon, then Elliot Soto ripped a triple to bring home Bechtold. Matt Wallner wound up grounding out, but the ball being put in play allowed Soto to scamper home. Still looking to pile on, Helman grabbed his second hit of the day, a single this time and Soto scored for the second time. After giving back two on a 4th inning Mud Hens homer, the Saints answered a few innings later. Chris Williams grounded out with the baes loaded, but Toledo couldn’t roll a double play and David Banuelos scored. After the Mud Hens got a run back on an Austin Schulfer wild pitch in the 6th inning, Banuelos doubled to bring in Bechtold and wipe it off in the 7th inning. Toledo drew closer in the bottom half, but Contreras was able to smash his second blast of the game in the 8th inning, a two-run shot scoring Matt Wallner, and double up the Mud Hens 10-5. Five different St. Paul hitters had multi-hit nights, which isn’t surprising given the 13 total for the team. Contreras was the lone batter to reach three in the game, however. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 0 Box Score The Wind Surge turned to Kody Funderburk tonight. He was great going six strong allowing only four hits and a walk. The Wichita starter punched out seven batters. It took no time for Wichita to get runs for their starter. Aaron Sabato started things with his third Double-A two-bagger, this one with the bases loaded, bringing in Edouard Julien, Jair Camargo, and Yunior Severino. Anthony Prato then singled to bring Sabato home and make it 4-0 early. Quietly going about their business through the middle of this one, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. added an insurance run in the 8th inning to score Anthony Prato. Edouard Julien and Prato both recorded three-hit games, and the Wind Surge tallied a total of 14 runs tonight. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, South Bend 4 Box Score It was David Festa tonight for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. After getting behind early, Festa settled in and wound up working 6 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while also striking out three. After getting behind 1-0 after the 1st inning, the Kernels responded with a run of their own in the 3rd inning. Pat Winkel crushed his 9th double to drive in Brooks Lee and knot things up. Unfortunately the lead evaporated in the 5th inning when South Bend added two more. In the 6th inning Cedar Rapids began their comeback. Alerick Soularie drove in Mikey Perez on a ground out and the deficit was only one. After giving it back in the 7th inning, the Kernels erupted for six runs in the eighth inning. Charles Mack crushed his fifth homer of the season to draw back within one before a bases loaded walk of Dylan Neuse scored Seth Gray. Kyler Fedko then drove a single through the left side and watched both Perez and Wille Joe Garry Jr. cross the plate. Before the inning was done, Brooks Lee got into the action with his fourth double, plating both Neuse and Fedko. Both Fedko and Perez had two hits apiece, and six different Cedar Rapids batters combined to tally the eight hits. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Game postponed due to inclement weather. Fort Myers and St. Lucie will make it up tomorrow as part of a doubleheader. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR(15) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2B #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3 #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB #12 - Louie Varland (Minnesota) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K #13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3-4, R #16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K #19 - Alerick Soularie (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, RBI, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Aaron Rozek South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  23. The Minnesota Twins snapped their losing streak by clobbering the Giants 9-0 Friday night at Target Field. Here are highlights of that game plus Ronny Henriquez, Matt Wallner, Kody Funderburk, Jair Camargo, Austin Martin and more.
  24. The Minnesota Twins snapped their losing streak by clobbering the Giants 9-0 Friday night at Target Field. Here are highlights of that game plus Ronny Henriquez, Matt Wallner, Kody Funderburk, Jair Camargo, Austin Martin and more. View full video
  25. First Round Pick Brooks Lee made his High-A debut and collected his first High-A hit. Second Rounder Tanner Schobel collected two hits for Low-A Fort Myers. Ronny Henriquez dominated in relief. Read about all of this and more in Wednesday’s Minor League Report! Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization. TRANSACTIONS The Twins signed RHP Ricky Mineo to a minor league contract The Twins signed RHP Jack Noble to a minor league contract The Twins signed SS Omari Daniel to a minor league contract The Twins signed LHP Jacob Edwards to a minor league contract The Twins signed RHP John Klein to a minor league contract St. Paul Saints (AAA) released 1B Curtis Terry RHP Daniel Gossett assigned to Wichita (AA) from St. Paul Wichita activated C Alex Isola from the 7-day IL SS Brooks Lee assigned to Cedar Rapids (High-A) from the FCL SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 1, Columbus 0 Box Score The St. Paul Saints won a pitchers’ duel on Wednesday. Dereck Rodriguez started for the Saints and threw three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out a pair. He has now allowed just two runs over his last 17 ⅔ innings. The Saints bullpen was phenomenal on Wednesday. Ronny Henriquez threw 3 2/3 hitless innings while striking out three in relief of Rodriguez. After Henriquez was pulled, Evan Sisk came in and got three outs, all strikeouts. He walked a batter but didn’t allow any hits or runs. Brad Peacock relieved Sisk with two outs in the eighth and collected the final four outs to pick up the save, his eighth of the year. The Saints got their lone run in the bottom of the fifth when John Andreoli socked his tenth homer of the season. This would prove to be the game-winning home run. Elliot Soto also picked up a couple of hits to help pace the offense. Twins Daily’s #9 prospect, Matt Wallner, had a tough day at the plate, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. He did potentially save a run or two, however, with an impressive sliding catch with two runners on base. The Saints improve to 52-53 on the season with the win. The Saints will send Jordan Balazovic to the mound on Thursday in hopes of getting to .500 on the season. WIND SURGE (AA) Wichita 0, Corpus Christi 3 Box Score Wichita dropped a tough pitchers’ duel to the Corpus Christi Hooks on Wednesday night. Wichita could only manage three hits in the loss. Cody Laweryson took the ball for Wichita and had a solid start, throwing three scoreless innings, scattering two hits, and striking out four. The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth when Osiris German allowed an RBI single to Joe Perez, putting Wichita in a 1-0 hole. The Hooks added another run off Blayne Enlow in the sixth to extend their lead to two. Wichita’s best offensive chances were all squandered. In the top of the second, when Jair Camargo and Cole Sturgeon walked to lead off the inning, three consecutive Wind Surge batters struck out to end the threat. In the fifth, Wichita had two guys on with back-to-back walks, but a double play ended the threat. In the sixth, Wichita got singles from Andrew Bechtold and Sturgeon but could not capitalize. With the loss, Wichita’s record drops to 56-47. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 6 Box Score One day after playing in the Field of Dreams game, Cedar Rapids played a tightly contested game with the Quad Cities River Bandits, in which they lost by a score of 6-5. 2022 first-round pick Brooks Lee made his High-A debut, and he played a solid game, going 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Jake Rucker started the game with a bang as he led off the game with a homer in the top of the first, his fourth homer of the year for Cedar Rapids (sixth between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers). The River Bandits responded with three runs (one earned) off of starter Orlando Rodriguez in three innings. Rodriguez gave up two hits and fanned four batters in the start. Cedar Rapids got a run back in the top of the fifth thanks to Dylan Neuse’s third homer of the year (fifth between CR and FM). After the River Bandits tacked on another run to make it 4-2, the Kernels took the lead in the sixth thanks to an RBI double from Kyler Fedko, an RBI groundout from Pat Winkel, and an RBI double from Mikey Perez. Quad Cities tied it up in the bottom of the sixth; from there, it was a battle of the bullpens. Bobby Milacki threw a scoreless seventh, Jon Olsen pitched a scoreless eighth, and Ryan Shreve threw a scoreless ninth for the Kernels. Cedar Rapids squandered their opportunity to begin the inning with a runner on second in the tenth, and Quad Cities did not, as Shreve walked in the winning run. Perez and Fedko had two doubles to lead the offense in the loss. Cedar Rapids drops to 61-42 with the loss. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) Fort Myers 5, Jupiter 9 Box Score Fort Myers played Jupiter tough but eventually faltered in the last few innings as they dropped the game 9-5. The Mighty Mussels were up 4-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning but allowed eight runs in the last four innings as their pitchers got hit around quite a bit. Fort Myers started the scoring in the top of the first when Keoni Cavaco hit a sac fly and reached on an error, scoring Noah Miller. However, they could not capitalize on having bases loaded and one out after that, as Rubel Cespedes and Kala’i Rosario each struck out swinging to end the threat. This gave Fort Myers starting pitcher Jordan Carr a 1-0 lead before he took the mound. Carr pitched two scoreless innings before giving up an inside-the-park homer. Marlins #12 prospect Yiddi Cappe hit a sinking line drive that Misael Urbina dove for and missed, and the ball rolled to the fence, allowing Cappe to score. Fort Myers put up three more runs in the top of the fourth thanks to a single from Carlos Aguiar, three walks, an error, two wild pitches, and a passed ball. Jupiter got those runs back on one swing in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to Chase Luttrell. After that inning, Carr’s day was done. He went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out a pair of Jupiter hitters. Cavaco gave Fort Myers the lead in the sixth when he doubled, scoring new Mighty Mussel Tanner Schobel. Regi Grace entered in the bottom of the sixth with a 5-4 lead, but the first two batters he faced hit a single and a homer, reclaiming the lead for the Hammerheads. This would give Jupiter the lead for good as they tacked on three insurance runs over the next three innings off of Grace and Samuel Perez. Schobel and Aguiar each had multi-hit games in the loss, and Noah Cardenas reached base four times thanks to a single and three walks. The loss drops Fort Myers’ record to 56-44 through their 100th game of the year. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Mikey Perez (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-3, 2 2B (2), BB, RBI, SB (6) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-5, R, K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, 4 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-2, 2 BB, K #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K #16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K #17 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) -2-for-4, R, BB, 2 K #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, R, BB, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Columbus @ St. Paul (7:07 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-5, 10.75 ERA) Corpus Christi @ Wichita (7:05 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams (0-1, 10.13 ERA) Fort Myers @ Jupiter (5:30 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! View full article
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