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  1. Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Blayne Enlow struck out six batters and did not issue a walk in 3 2/3 innings for Wichita in his Double-A debut. He recently returned from rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Tonight's video also includes highlights of Devin Smeltzer, Gio Urshela, Spencer Steer, Austin Martin, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Anthony Prato and more.
  2. Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Blayne Enlow struck out six batters and did not issue a walk in 3 2/3 innings for Wichita in his Double-A debut. He recently returned from rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Tonight's video also includes highlights of Devin Smeltzer, Gio Urshela, Spencer Steer, Austin Martin, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Anthony Prato and more. View full video
  3. TRANSACTIONS Twins placed OF Trevor Larnach on the IL (right adductor strain) Twins recalled C Jose Godoy. OF Jake Cave was activated from the temporarily inactive list. C Roy Morales activated from the Development List and promoted to the Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 10 Box Score SP: Cole Sands - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: David Banuelos (2) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 2B, RBI (17), 2 K) The Saints played the final game of their 12-game homestead on Sunday with the conclusion of their series against the Iowa Cubs. On Saturday, the Saints crushed the Cubs in a 9-2 victory. On Sunday, they received the other end of the stick. The Cubs got to the Saints early in the top of the second scoring four runs on five hits and a walk off of starter Cole Sands. Sands had a better go in both the first and third innings giving up only one hit in each of those innings. The high number of strikeouts and a tiring second inning had Sands at 71 pitches through three innings, and six Saints relievers came in to finish out the game. At the plate, many of the Saints bats went cold aside from Mark Contreras who had two doubles and an RBI for the Saints on Sunday. The Saints lineup also featured the return of Jake Cave from the temporarily inactive list leading off for St. Paul and going 1-for-4 with a double and RBI. One of the newest additions to the Saints roster, second baseman Kevin Merrell, spoke on adjusting to the new clubhouse after his promotion from Wichita and which players he has gravitated to as mentors with the Saints. “There are so many guys in there with a ton of experience, and I just need to watch closely and see what I can pick up. It’s been an easy transition, there’s a lot of phenomenal dudes on this team,” said Merrell. Merrell is a former first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2017 and went 33rd overall in the draft. Merrell has already found a teammate on the Saints he wants to learn as much as possible from, that teammate being Saints infielder Elliot Soto. Merrell explained, “He can talk to anybody. He’s super encouraging, and he’s very confident in what he does. I think that’s contagious for a lot of us. He’s played for a long time. He’s 32 or so, has a lot of experience, and I would say he stands out the most for me.” The Saints will start a two-week road trip on Tuesday with two different stops, the first being in Columbus, Ohio for a week-long match-up with the Clippers. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1 Wichita 4, Tulsa 7 Box Score Game 1 SP: Chris Vallimont - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Game 2 Wichita 5, Tulsa 6 Box Score Game 2 SP: Casey Legumina - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K HR: Austin Martin (1), Michael Helman (4) Multi-hit games: Martin (2-4, R, HR, RBI (8)), Edouard Julien (2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10), K) The Wind Surge entered Sunday afternoon riding an eight-game win streak and had a doubleheader scheduled with the Tulsa Drillers to finish out their five-game series. Unfortunately for the WInd Surge, they were swept in the doubleheader. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his sixth start of the season. Vallimont had a strong first inning recovering from a leadoff triple to Drillers shortstop Jacob Amaya. Amaya scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice groundout. Vallimont continued to cool off in the second with a 1-2-3 inning, but the Drillers picked up three more runs in the third off of Vallimont which later knocked him out of the game. The Wind Surge bats were cold throughout Game 1 and although they tallied seven hits, no Wind Surge player was able to tally more than one hit. Wind Surge third baseman Spencer Steer managed to drive in two of their four runs in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------- Game 2 brought a better hitting game for the Wind Surge, but they still fell short in another loss against the Drillers. Game 2 was started by Casey Legumina who made his first start for the Wind Surge after three starts with Cedar Rapids to start 2022. Legumina gave up two walks in the top of the first inning but left the runners on base to get out of a jam. He continued that success in the second and retired the minimum in order. The third inning was where Legumina struggled the most, walking four batters and giving up two hits including a home run to Drillers left fielder James Outman. Austin Martin fans were able to rejoice at least in Game 2 as he hit his first home run of the season. Third baseman Michael Helman also had a home run in the sixth inning that brought Wichita within one run. The Wind Surge were unable to score more runs in the bottom of the seventh in order to tie the game and force it into extras. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road against Northwest Arkansas Tuesday morning for another six-game series with the Naturals. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jair Camargo (2-5, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the River Bandits on Sunday taking a win to complete a 4-2 series victory of Quad Cities. The 2-1 victory for the Kernels was the smallest scoring game of the series as Anthony Prato and Wander Javier drove in the only two runs. Javier hit into a force out in the bottom of the 8th inning to score Aaron Sabato with the game-tying run. They went to extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Javier was on third base when Anthony Prato his a fly ball to right field, deep enough to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long had his best start of the season on Sunday. He had season highs in the start with innings pitched (5 1/3) and strikeouts (6). He also did not give up any runs or walks in the game. The Kernels will be on the road in Peoria to play another six-game series against the Chiefs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score SP: Steve Hajjar 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6)), Mikey Perez (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI (7), 2 BB), Kyle Schmidt (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI (13), 2 BB, 2 K), Daniel Ozoria (2-4, R) The Mighty Mussels completed their series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers with a lopsided 9-1 victory which brought about a series split. The Mighty Mussels pitching was dominated by Steve Hajjar and Marco Raya. Hajjar started the game and threw three no-hit innings, walking four and striking out eight out of the nine outs. Raya came into the game in the top of the fifth. Although Raya gave up a home run in the top of the sixth, he only allowed one other base runner on a hit and struck out four to earn the win. The Mussels offense lit up all afternoon scoring nine runs on 11 hits without the help of a home run. Mussels third baseman Jake Rucker led the offense with a three-hit game. The Mussels will begin their next series at home on Tuesday night against Palm Beach for another six-game series against the Cardinals Low-A affiliate. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Jake Rucker (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (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: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-3 #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-2, R, 2 BB Game 2, 2-4, R, HR, SB, RBI #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-4, R, 2B, RBI (3) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, R, 2 BB #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI (6), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game 1, 1-4, SB, 2 RBI (20) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, SB, BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-3, BB, K Game 2, 2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 10. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CST) - Ronny Henriquez Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (11:05 AM CST) - Ben Gross Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (5:30 PM CST) - David Festa Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  4. The Twins completed a sweep of the Oakland A’s at home on Sunday to bring their record to 18-11 on the season. The Minor League affiliates had a busy schedule on Sunday as the Saints and Mighty Mussles saw lopsided scores, the Wind Surge played a double header, the Kernels had a low scoring victory that saw their stater’s best performance of the season. TRANSACTIONS Twins placed OF Trevor Larnach on the IL (right adductor strain) Twins recalled C Jose Godoy. OF Jake Cave was activated from the temporarily inactive list. C Roy Morales activated from the Development List and promoted to the Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 10 Box Score SP: Cole Sands - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: David Banuelos (2) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 2B, RBI (17), 2 K) The Saints played the final game of their 12-game homestead on Sunday with the conclusion of their series against the Iowa Cubs. On Saturday, the Saints crushed the Cubs in a 9-2 victory. On Sunday, they received the other end of the stick. The Cubs got to the Saints early in the top of the second scoring four runs on five hits and a walk off of starter Cole Sands. Sands had a better go in both the first and third innings giving up only one hit in each of those innings. The high number of strikeouts and a tiring second inning had Sands at 71 pitches through three innings, and six Saints relievers came in to finish out the game. At the plate, many of the Saints bats went cold aside from Mark Contreras who had two doubles and an RBI for the Saints on Sunday. The Saints lineup also featured the return of Jake Cave from the temporarily inactive list leading off for St. Paul and going 1-for-4 with a double and RBI. One of the newest additions to the Saints roster, second baseman Kevin Merrell, spoke on adjusting to the new clubhouse after his promotion from Wichita and which players he has gravitated to as mentors with the Saints. “There are so many guys in there with a ton of experience, and I just need to watch closely and see what I can pick up. It’s been an easy transition, there’s a lot of phenomenal dudes on this team,” said Merrell. Merrell is a former first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2017 and went 33rd overall in the draft. Merrell has already found a teammate on the Saints he wants to learn as much as possible from, that teammate being Saints infielder Elliot Soto. Merrell explained, “He can talk to anybody. He’s super encouraging, and he’s very confident in what he does. I think that’s contagious for a lot of us. He’s played for a long time. He’s 32 or so, has a lot of experience, and I would say he stands out the most for me.” The Saints will start a two-week road trip on Tuesday with two different stops, the first being in Columbus, Ohio for a week-long match-up with the Clippers. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1 Wichita 4, Tulsa 7 Box Score Game 1 SP: Chris Vallimont - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Game 2 Wichita 5, Tulsa 6 Box Score Game 2 SP: Casey Legumina - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K HR: Austin Martin (1), Michael Helman (4) Multi-hit games: Martin (2-4, R, HR, RBI (8)), Edouard Julien (2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10), K) The Wind Surge entered Sunday afternoon riding an eight-game win streak and had a doubleheader scheduled with the Tulsa Drillers to finish out their five-game series. Unfortunately for the WInd Surge, they were swept in the doubleheader. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his sixth start of the season. Vallimont had a strong first inning recovering from a leadoff triple to Drillers shortstop Jacob Amaya. Amaya scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice groundout. Vallimont continued to cool off in the second with a 1-2-3 inning, but the Drillers picked up three more runs in the third off of Vallimont which later knocked him out of the game. The Wind Surge bats were cold throughout Game 1 and although they tallied seven hits, no Wind Surge player was able to tally more than one hit. Wind Surge third baseman Spencer Steer managed to drive in two of their four runs in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------- Game 2 brought a better hitting game for the Wind Surge, but they still fell short in another loss against the Drillers. Game 2 was started by Casey Legumina who made his first start for the Wind Surge after three starts with Cedar Rapids to start 2022. Legumina gave up two walks in the top of the first inning but left the runners on base to get out of a jam. He continued that success in the second and retired the minimum in order. The third inning was where Legumina struggled the most, walking four batters and giving up two hits including a home run to Drillers left fielder James Outman. Austin Martin fans were able to rejoice at least in Game 2 as he hit his first home run of the season. Third baseman Michael Helman also had a home run in the sixth inning that brought Wichita within one run. The Wind Surge were unable to score more runs in the bottom of the seventh in order to tie the game and force it into extras. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road against Northwest Arkansas Tuesday morning for another six-game series with the Naturals. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jair Camargo (2-5, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the River Bandits on Sunday taking a win to complete a 4-2 series victory of Quad Cities. The 2-1 victory for the Kernels was the smallest scoring game of the series as Anthony Prato and Wander Javier drove in the only two runs. Javier hit into a force out in the bottom of the 8th inning to score Aaron Sabato with the game-tying run. They went to extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Javier was on third base when Anthony Prato his a fly ball to right field, deep enough to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long had his best start of the season on Sunday. He had season highs in the start with innings pitched (5 1/3) and strikeouts (6). He also did not give up any runs or walks in the game. The Kernels will be on the road in Peoria to play another six-game series against the Chiefs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score SP: Steve Hajjar 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6)), Mikey Perez (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI (7), 2 BB), Kyle Schmidt (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI (13), 2 BB, 2 K), Daniel Ozoria (2-4, R) The Mighty Mussels completed their series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers with a lopsided 9-1 victory which brought about a series split. The Mighty Mussels pitching was dominated by Steve Hajjar and Marco Raya. Hajjar started the game and threw three no-hit innings, walking four and striking out eight out of the nine outs. Raya came into the game in the top of the fifth. Although Raya gave up a home run in the top of the sixth, he only allowed one other base runner on a hit and struck out four to earn the win. The Mussels offense lit up all afternoon scoring nine runs on 11 hits without the help of a home run. Mussels third baseman Jake Rucker led the offense with a three-hit game. The Mussels will begin their next series at home on Tuesday night against Palm Beach for another six-game series against the Cardinals Low-A affiliate. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Jake Rucker (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (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: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-3 #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-2, R, 2 BB Game 2, 2-4, R, HR, SB, RBI #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-4, R, 2B, RBI (3) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, R, 2 BB #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI (6), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game 1, 1-4, SB, 2 RBI (20) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, SB, BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-3, BB, K Game 2, 2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 10. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CST) - Ronny Henriquez Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (11:05 AM CST) - Ben Gross Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (5:30 PM CST) - David Festa Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games. View full article
  5. The Minnesota Twins beat the A's 4-3 to earn the sweep, as Jorge Polanco delivered what ended up as the go-ahead two-run hit in the third inning. Starter Chris Paddack had to exit early due to injury but the bullpen stepped up and provided 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Other players featured in tonight's recap include Jose Miranda, Royce Lewis, Gilberto Celestino, Yennier Cano, Austin Martin, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Anthony Prato and more.
  6. The Minnesota Twins beat the A's 4-3 to earn the sweep, as Jorge Polanco delivered what ended up as the go-ahead two-run hit in the third inning. Starter Chris Paddack had to exit early due to injury but the bullpen stepped up and provided 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Other players featured in tonight's recap include Jose Miranda, Royce Lewis, Gilberto Celestino, Yennier Cano, Austin Martin, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Anthony Prato and more. View full video
  7. Fort Myers' gamers were washed out and St. Paul's game was cut short due to rain. Cedar Rapids' loss was delayed for over and hour due to rain. It also rained in Arkansas, but Wichita was able to pick up the win. TRANSACTIONS RHP Cole Sands promoted to Minnesota Twins RHP John Stankiewicz promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids C Chance Sisco placed on IL (left knee strain) SAINTS SENTINEL Game 1: Nashville 7, St. Paul 3 Game 2: Nashville 12, St. Paul 3 (Final, 5 innings) Game 1 Box Score Game 2 Box Score The Saints wrapped up the game from the previous evening and got demolished through five innings of the one scheduled for Saturday before the rain mercifully ended their misery. The Sounds launched four home runs off the St. Paul pitching staff, who surrendered 19 total runs—all of them earned. The only member of the Saints with a notable performance at the plate was top prospect Royce Lewis. Across the two games, Lewis walked five times, stole his fifth base of the season, and drilled his third home run to raise his slash line to .320/.441/.587 with a 6:5 K:BB ratio in 21 games. With Lewis’s sustained elite performance out of the gate, the conversation now turns from “Is he still good?” to “When will he be called up?” While his play has certainly warranted said conversation, the fact of the matter is that he likely won’t appear in a Twins uniform any time soon. There are a few reasons for this, the most important being that the Twins likely want him to get as many reps as possible. Prior to the season, Lewis had not appeared in a game since he dominated the Arizona Fall League in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a torn ACL. He’s accumulated only 93 plate appearances thus far since his return, which is a miniscule amount in the grand scheme. Additionally, the Twins—who have won eight of their last nine contests—would have no place to play him regularly. Lewis has only appeared at shortstop and designated hitter for St. Paul and the Twins currently have those positions locked up by Carlos Correa and a bevy of hitters. Lewis could theoretically play in any of the three outfield positions—though he has only ever played six games in the outfield, all in center, during his minor league and fall league career—but as of this writing Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler are crushing baseballs, Alex Kirilloff is on the verge of returning from the IL, and Byron Buxton is the best baseball player on the planet. There just isn’t room for Lewis on the soon-to-be 26-man roster at the moment. Lewis will get his time in the sun, just don’t expect it to be anytime soon, barring catastrophe. Let him rip, let him get comfortable, he’ll be a Major Leaguer soon enough. TJ White hit his fifth homer of the young season. Corey Ray and Mark Mathias each hit their first home runs for Nashville. Brice Turang added a double. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 9, Arkansas 4 Box Score The Wind Surge scored five runs in the first inning to propel them to victory over the Travelers. Matt Wallner smashed two home runs and drove in three runs to lead Wichita offensively. The Forrest Lake native began the season on a freezing cold 3-for-42 streak, but has 10 hits in his last 19 at-bats with three home runs and nine RBI. Wallner possesses the most raw power in the Twins system having hit 27 home runs in 150 minor league games. He’s likely destined to be a designated hitter at the MLB level should he reach that point as his defense in right field remains suspect at best; in many respects, he profiles similar to that of former Twin Brent Rooker. Alex Isola (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) and DaShawn Keirsey (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) were the only other Wichita athletes to convert extra base hits. Ben Gross started on the bump for the Wind Surge but was knocked out after three innings. He surrendered four runs—three earned—and issued four walks. Luckily for Wichita, Kody Funderburk, Bryan Sammons, Steven Cruz, and Austin Schulfer shut down the Arkansas offense, striking out 10 and allowing only six runners to reach base. KERNELS NUGGETS Beloit 7, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score The Kernel’s hot offense was quieted and their pitching was hit relatively hard Saturday night as Cedar Rapids fell convincingly to the Sky Carp. Sawyer Gipson-Long got the start for the Kernels and while he wasn’t at his sharpest, he did perform better than his rather pedestrian stat line (4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). The Beloit batters had a difficult time making hard contact against Gipson-Long’s fastball-slider mix with only a handful of balls reaching the outfield. Gipson-Long—one of the most underrated pitching prospects in the Twins system—has posted a 20:3 K:BB ratio to go along with a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings this spring. Aaron Rozek came on in relief for Gipson-Long and pitched uncharacteristically poorly, serving up two home runs in 2 2/3 innings and issuing only his second walk of the season. Tyler Palm pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and allowed only one hit and run. Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4) and Seth Gray (2-for-4) were the lone Kernels to register multiple hits. Wander Javier (1-for-4, 2B, R) provided the team’s sole extra-base knock. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers vs. Clearwater, Rained Out x2 While the Mighty Mussels games were canceled on Saturday, that didn’t stop the team from announcing some good news. Jordan Balazovic will be making a rehab start for the team on Sunday. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids): 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – RF Matt Wallner (Wichita): 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-5, R #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, HR, RBI, 5 BB, SB #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-6, 2B, RBI #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL (Will pitch Sunday for Fort Myers) #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson - Did Not Pitch #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, BB, R #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5 #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Nashville ( PM CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (1-0, 0.77 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (1:35 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (0-2, 12.19 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (1-0, 0.93 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Clearwater (1:00 PM CST) - RHPs Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic will be making rehab starts. View full article
  8. TRANSACTIONS RHP Cole Sands promoted to Minnesota Twins RHP John Stankiewicz promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids C Chance Sisco placed on IL (left knee strain) SAINTS SENTINEL Game 1: Nashville 7, St. Paul 3 Game 2: Nashville 12, St. Paul 3 (Final, 5 innings) Game 1 Box Score Game 2 Box Score The Saints wrapped up the game from the previous evening and got demolished through five innings of the one scheduled for Saturday before the rain mercifully ended their misery. The Sounds launched four home runs off the St. Paul pitching staff, who surrendered 19 total runs—all of them earned. The only member of the Saints with a notable performance at the plate was top prospect Royce Lewis. Across the two games, Lewis walked five times, stole his fifth base of the season, and drilled his third home run to raise his slash line to .320/.441/.587 with a 6:5 K:BB ratio in 21 games. With Lewis’s sustained elite performance out of the gate, the conversation now turns from “Is he still good?” to “When will he be called up?” While his play has certainly warranted said conversation, the fact of the matter is that he likely won’t appear in a Twins uniform any time soon. There are a few reasons for this, the most important being that the Twins likely want him to get as many reps as possible. Prior to the season, Lewis had not appeared in a game since he dominated the Arizona Fall League in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a torn ACL. He’s accumulated only 93 plate appearances thus far since his return, which is a miniscule amount in the grand scheme. Additionally, the Twins—who have won eight of their last nine contests—would have no place to play him regularly. Lewis has only appeared at shortstop and designated hitter for St. Paul and the Twins currently have those positions locked up by Carlos Correa and a bevy of hitters. Lewis could theoretically play in any of the three outfield positions—though he has only ever played six games in the outfield, all in center, during his minor league and fall league career—but as of this writing Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler are crushing baseballs, Alex Kirilloff is on the verge of returning from the IL, and Byron Buxton is the best baseball player on the planet. There just isn’t room for Lewis on the soon-to-be 26-man roster at the moment. Lewis will get his time in the sun, just don’t expect it to be anytime soon, barring catastrophe. Let him rip, let him get comfortable, he’ll be a Major Leaguer soon enough. TJ White hit his fifth homer of the young season. Corey Ray and Mark Mathias each hit their first home runs for Nashville. Brice Turang added a double. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 9, Arkansas 4 Box Score The Wind Surge scored five runs in the first inning to propel them to victory over the Travelers. Matt Wallner smashed two home runs and drove in three runs to lead Wichita offensively. The Forrest Lake native began the season on a freezing cold 3-for-42 streak, but has 10 hits in his last 19 at-bats with three home runs and nine RBI. Wallner possesses the most raw power in the Twins system having hit 27 home runs in 150 minor league games. He’s likely destined to be a designated hitter at the MLB level should he reach that point as his defense in right field remains suspect at best; in many respects, he profiles similar to that of former Twin Brent Rooker. Alex Isola (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) and DaShawn Keirsey (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) were the only other Wichita athletes to convert extra base hits. Ben Gross started on the bump for the Wind Surge but was knocked out after three innings. He surrendered four runs—three earned—and issued four walks. Luckily for Wichita, Kody Funderburk, Bryan Sammons, Steven Cruz, and Austin Schulfer shut down the Arkansas offense, striking out 10 and allowing only six runners to reach base. KERNELS NUGGETS Beloit 7, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score The Kernel’s hot offense was quieted and their pitching was hit relatively hard Saturday night as Cedar Rapids fell convincingly to the Sky Carp. Sawyer Gipson-Long got the start for the Kernels and while he wasn’t at his sharpest, he did perform better than his rather pedestrian stat line (4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). The Beloit batters had a difficult time making hard contact against Gipson-Long’s fastball-slider mix with only a handful of balls reaching the outfield. Gipson-Long—one of the most underrated pitching prospects in the Twins system—has posted a 20:3 K:BB ratio to go along with a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings this spring. Aaron Rozek came on in relief for Gipson-Long and pitched uncharacteristically poorly, serving up two home runs in 2 2/3 innings and issuing only his second walk of the season. Tyler Palm pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and allowed only one hit and run. Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4) and Seth Gray (2-for-4) were the lone Kernels to register multiple hits. Wander Javier (1-for-4, 2B, R) provided the team’s sole extra-base knock. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers vs. Clearwater, Rained Out x2 While the Mighty Mussels games were canceled on Saturday, that didn’t stop the team from announcing some good news. Jordan Balazovic will be making a rehab start for the team on Sunday. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids): 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – RF Matt Wallner (Wichita): 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-5, R #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, HR, RBI, 5 BB, SB #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-6, 2B, RBI #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL (Will pitch Sunday for Fort Myers) #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson - Did Not Pitch #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, BB, R #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5 #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Nashville ( PM CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (1-0, 0.77 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (1:35 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (0-2, 12.19 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (1-0, 0.93 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Clearwater (1:00 PM CST) - RHPs Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic will be making rehab starts.
  9. Kyle Garlick hit two home runs off lefty Shane McClanahan as the Twins picked up a victory over the Rays. Chris Archer returned to the Trop and Jhoan Duran helped with an impressive day for the bullpen. Also featured in this video are Royce lewis, Matt Wallner, Alex Isola, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more.
  10. Kyle Garlick hit two home runs off lefty Shane McClanahan as the Twins picked up a victory over the Rays. Chris Archer returned to the Trop and Jhoan Duran helped with an impressive day for the bullpen. Also featured in this video are Royce lewis, Matt Wallner, Alex Isola, Sawyer Gipson-Long and more. View full video
  11. The hitters across the farm system enjoyed fruitful days at the plate. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS LHP Lewis Thorpe added to AAA St. Paul from Development List Saints Sentinel St. Paul 16, Indianapolis 13 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 1 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Derek Fisher (2), Curtis Terry (3), Jermaine Palacios (1) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B), Royce Lewis (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B), Curtis Terry (2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR), Jermaine Palacios (4-for-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR) The Saints won a crazy game on Saturday. Lewis Thorpe took the bump for St. Paul; the recently outrighted left-hander was looking to impress in his first official start of the season. Things did not go well. Thorpe was tagged for a solo shot in the first inning, but the second inning proved to be most damaging as seven runners crossed home plate for Indianapolis. J.C. Ramirez had to be called in to end the madness. Down eight runs early, the Saints' bats remained unphased. Derek Fisher answered back with a two-run homer to cut the lead to six, while a Jose Miranda single knocked down the deficit to within one-hand-counting distance. But the team was not done yet. In the third inning, St. Paul harassed Jerad Eickhoff and southpaw-Frenchman, Cam Vieaux to the tune of five runs—just enough to knot the game at eight. The game remained a slugfest until the bell rung in the ninth inning. Indianapolis would take a three-run lead, Curtis Terry would erase it; Indianapolis jumped ahead later, then Miranda and Royce Lewis negated it. Eventually, Jermaine Palacios yelled enough and blasted a two-run homer that cemented the Saints’ lead for good. Royce Lewis, once again, was the star of the show. He unleashed three crucial extra-base hits from the DH spot that either ignited a rally or stoked the flames of one. It would be difficult to have a better start to the season (although Christian Encarnacion-Strand is making a case). Jermaine Palacios’ 4-for-4 performance should not be ignored either. The 25-year-old started at left field instead of shortstop like usual and showed no discomfort by reaching base all five times he walked up to the plate. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 6, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score Chris Vallimont: 2 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Spencer Steer (2-for-5), Dennis Ortega (2-for-5, 2 RBI), Michael Helman (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-5, R), Kevin Merrell (3-for-5, RBI) Wichita won an extra-inning affair on Saturday. Chris Vallimont was handed the ball to start the game and did not have his best stuff. The righty struggles with command, walking five hitters before his day ended partway through the third inning. Hopefully, he can rebound in his next start. The offense kept the game within reach, however. Dennis Ortega brought home the first run of the game with a two-run single in the 5th inning, while Wichita drew the game even closer when Austin Martin scored in the 7th inning when the Naturals' defense threw the ball around the field. Martin later knotted the game with a clutch RBI single in the 8th inning. The game moved into extra innings, where the Wind Surge took advantage of the Manfred runner to plate two runs thanks to an Alex Isola sacrifice fly and a single from Kevin Merrell. Steven Klimek was shaky to close the game. He allowed a runner to score, and ultimately loaded the bases before inducing the final outs to end the game in favor of Wichita. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Quad Cities 2 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K HR: Aaron Sabato (1), Jair Camargo (2, 3) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-6, 2 R), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, 2B, HR), Jair Camargo (4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR), Will Holland (2-for-5, R, 2B) The Kernels demolished their opponent on Saturday. Sawyer Gipson-Long set the tone on the mound with five masterful innings. The righty scattered three hits across his start while punching out an impressive nine batters in just 60 pitches. Talk about efficiency. Gipson-Long found a groove late last year, and he has continued to melt faces with the Kernels; he’ll certainly be in Wichita sooner than later. But that’s enough about pitching. Cedar Rapids’ bats were explosive early and often on Saturday. Aaron Sabato smacked a three-run homer in the first inning, Jair Camargo sent a solo shot over the wall in the second, Jeferson Morales tripled home a run in the third, Camargo hit another homer in the fourth, and, well, you get the idea. In total, the Kernels bopped seven extra-base hits in the game with a fairly even distribution of damage amongst all hitters. Derek Molina concluded the game with two shutout innings and four strikeouts. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 6 Box Score David Festa: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (3-for-3, R, RBI, 2B) The Mighty Mussels lost a rain-shortened game on Saturday. David Festa took the mound for the second Saturday in a row, and much like the previous week, he flashed dominant ability with eight strikeouts over five efficient innings. Tom Froemming notes that he topped out at 97.2 MPH with his fastball. Offensively, the game was a struggle for the Fort Myers bats. Thanks to RBI doubles from Kyler Fedko and Kala’i Rosario, the Mighty Mussels took a quick lead, but those would prove to be the only two runs of the day for the team. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had enough of Fort Myers’ winning streak, and the higher powers convened to snap the team’s seven-game run in the 6th inning. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios/Jair Camargo PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K #2 – Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B, #3 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 5 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-5, 2 K #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, 2 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-5, K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Jake Faria Wichita @ NW Arkansas (2:05 PM) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:00 PM) - LHP Aaron Rozek Jupiter @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Travis Adams View full article
  12. TRANSACTIONS LHP Lewis Thorpe added to AAA St. Paul from Development List Saints Sentinel St. Paul 16, Indianapolis 13 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 1 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Derek Fisher (2), Curtis Terry (3), Jermaine Palacios (1) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B), Royce Lewis (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B), Curtis Terry (2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR), Jermaine Palacios (4-for-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR) The Saints won a crazy game on Saturday. Lewis Thorpe took the bump for St. Paul; the recently outrighted left-hander was looking to impress in his first official start of the season. Things did not go well. Thorpe was tagged for a solo shot in the first inning, but the second inning proved to be most damaging as seven runners crossed home plate for Indianapolis. J.C. Ramirez had to be called in to end the madness. Down eight runs early, the Saints' bats remained unphased. Derek Fisher answered back with a two-run homer to cut the lead to six, while a Jose Miranda single knocked down the deficit to within one-hand-counting distance. But the team was not done yet. In the third inning, St. Paul harassed Jerad Eickhoff and southpaw-Frenchman, Cam Vieaux to the tune of five runs—just enough to knot the game at eight. The game remained a slugfest until the bell rung in the ninth inning. Indianapolis would take a three-run lead, Curtis Terry would erase it; Indianapolis jumped ahead later, then Miranda and Royce Lewis negated it. Eventually, Jermaine Palacios yelled enough and blasted a two-run homer that cemented the Saints’ lead for good. Royce Lewis, once again, was the star of the show. He unleashed three crucial extra-base hits from the DH spot that either ignited a rally or stoked the flames of one. It would be difficult to have a better start to the season (although Christian Encarnacion-Strand is making a case). Jermaine Palacios’ 4-for-4 performance should not be ignored either. The 25-year-old started at left field instead of shortstop like usual and showed no discomfort by reaching base all five times he walked up to the plate. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 6, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score Chris Vallimont: 2 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Spencer Steer (2-for-5), Dennis Ortega (2-for-5, 2 RBI), Michael Helman (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-5, R), Kevin Merrell (3-for-5, RBI) Wichita won an extra-inning affair on Saturday. Chris Vallimont was handed the ball to start the game and did not have his best stuff. The righty struggles with command, walking five hitters before his day ended partway through the third inning. Hopefully, he can rebound in his next start. The offense kept the game within reach, however. Dennis Ortega brought home the first run of the game with a two-run single in the 5th inning, while Wichita drew the game even closer when Austin Martin scored in the 7th inning when the Naturals' defense threw the ball around the field. Martin later knotted the game with a clutch RBI single in the 8th inning. The game moved into extra innings, where the Wind Surge took advantage of the Manfred runner to plate two runs thanks to an Alex Isola sacrifice fly and a single from Kevin Merrell. Steven Klimek was shaky to close the game. He allowed a runner to score, and ultimately loaded the bases before inducing the final outs to end the game in favor of Wichita. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Quad Cities 2 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K HR: Aaron Sabato (1), Jair Camargo (2, 3) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-6, 2 R), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, 2B, HR), Jair Camargo (4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR), Will Holland (2-for-5, R, 2B) The Kernels demolished their opponent on Saturday. Sawyer Gipson-Long set the tone on the mound with five masterful innings. The righty scattered three hits across his start while punching out an impressive nine batters in just 60 pitches. Talk about efficiency. Gipson-Long found a groove late last year, and he has continued to melt faces with the Kernels; he’ll certainly be in Wichita sooner than later. But that’s enough about pitching. Cedar Rapids’ bats were explosive early and often on Saturday. Aaron Sabato smacked a three-run homer in the first inning, Jair Camargo sent a solo shot over the wall in the second, Jeferson Morales tripled home a run in the third, Camargo hit another homer in the fourth, and, well, you get the idea. In total, the Kernels bopped seven extra-base hits in the game with a fairly even distribution of damage amongst all hitters. Derek Molina concluded the game with two shutout innings and four strikeouts. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 6 Box Score David Festa: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (3-for-3, R, RBI, 2B) The Mighty Mussels lost a rain-shortened game on Saturday. David Festa took the mound for the second Saturday in a row, and much like the previous week, he flashed dominant ability with eight strikeouts over five efficient innings. Tom Froemming notes that he topped out at 97.2 MPH with his fastball. Offensively, the game was a struggle for the Fort Myers bats. Thanks to RBI doubles from Kyler Fedko and Kala’i Rosario, the Mighty Mussels took a quick lead, but those would prove to be the only two runs of the day for the team. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had enough of Fort Myers’ winning streak, and the higher powers convened to snap the team’s seven-game run in the 6th inning. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios/Jair Camargo PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K #2 – Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B, 3B, #3 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 5 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-5, 2 K #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, 2 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-5, K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Jake Faria Wichita @ NW Arkansas (2:05 PM) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:00 PM) - LHP Aaron Rozek Jupiter @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Travis Adams
  13. The first week of the Saints season and first weekend series for all other Twins affiliates concluded with impressive wins and a hard loss for Wichita. Read about it in today’s Minor League Report. TRANSACTIONS Catcher Jose Godoy cleared waivers and was outrighted to St. Paul. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 15, Louisville 6 Box Score SP: Jake Faria - 3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K HR: Curtis Terry (1), Kyle Garlick (1), Mark Contreras (2), Daniel Robertson (1) Multi hit games: Robertson (2-5 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Garlick (2-5 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Terry (2-3 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB), Contreras (3-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-5 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI), Chance Sisco (3-5 2 R, 2 2B, RBI) The Saints finished their series in Louisville with a bang as six Saints hitters tallied multiple hits in their 15-6 victory over the Bats. The offense was balanced for the Saints with everyone except Derek Fisher getting a hit and top prospects Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda being the only ones without multiple hits. This gave an opportunity for all the other hitters in the Saints lineup a chance to shine, especially the likes of Sisco and Contreras who tallied two doubles each in their three-hit games. Louisville starter Ben Lively struggled with his control in this game as he hit three batters, one to Miranda and two to Lewis. Fortunately for both Miranda and Lewis the pitches they took did not result in any serious injuries that removed them from the game. Jake Faria struggled in his first two innings but recovered during his final inning and a third on the mound. Coming in to replace Faria was Chi Chi Gonzlaez, who had a notoriously bad spring training with the Twins posting an 18.69 ERA in just 4 1/3 innings pitched. A bad spring training did not carry over into Gonzalez’s Saints debut as he gave up two earned runs on three hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings pitched. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Tulsa 7 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-4) The Wind Surge took the only loss for the Twins minor league affiliates on Sunday. Chris Vallimont couldn’t find his way out of the first inning in his 2022 season debut. The Drillers tallied five runs off of him to knock him out early. Following Vallimont’s struggles, Kody Funderburk came in from the bullpen to stop the bleeding. Funderburk only surrendered one run in three innings of relief. The Wind Surge were able to get a run back in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to a Spencer Steer double that drove in Austin Martin. But the Drillers were able to keep the Wind Surge scoreless until the seventh inning when they scored two more runs. All nine Wind Surge hitters were able to get on base this game but still did not have enough juice in the bats to pull together a win. Wichita has yet to win a game this season, falling to 0-3. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 0 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Christian Encarnacion-Strand had been the star of the Kernels first two games but his bat cooled off just a little bit in Sunday’s game going 1-for-4 with an RBI double. However, the pitching stepped up in a big way on Sunday. The Kernels had five pitchers work on Sunday afternoon, and they combined to shutout the Sky Carp in a 2-0 victory. The starter for the Kernels was Sawyer Gipson-Long who hurled four scoreless innings and gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out five batters. Following Gipson-Long from the bullpen were Bobby Milacki, Melvi Acosta, Denny Bentley, and Osiris German. They combined for five innings pitched of no-hit baseball giving up only two walks and striking out four Sky Carp batters. German earned the save for the Kernels. The Kernels were able to pull off the sweep of the Sky Carp on only three hits thanks to the master class pitching from their rotation on Sunday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 3 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Noah Cardenas (1) Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (2-3 1 R, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, K) The Mighty Mussels completed their sweep of the Clearwater Threshers on Sunday bringing them to a 3-0 record to start the season. Mussels starter Travis Adams contributed a strong first outing of the season keeping Clearwater to one run in his five innings pitched. Jaylen Nowlin came into the game after Adams and surrendered the Threshers two runs, but the rest of the Fort Myers bullpen kept the game scoreless. Jackson Hicks pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Juan Mendez came on and recorded his first save of the season. Kyler Fedko had the big hit of the game for Fort Myers. Fedko smacked a bases-clearing triple in the top of the seventh that gave the Mussels the lead making it a 6-3 game. Mussels catcher Noah Cardenas also had a big hit getting his first home run of the season in the second inning. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-4, 2B (3), 2 R, 2 K, RBI, CS, 2-HBP #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, K, RBI (4), HBP #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, 3 K, CS (1) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, K, CS (1) #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, 2 BB, SB (1) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), RBI #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-4, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 12. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). The Saints and Mighty Muscles will be hosting their home openers on Tuesday. Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - RHP Daniel Gossett (0-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (first professional start) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the first weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded. View full article
  14. Minor League Baseball is underway! The Twins’ affiliates kicked offseasons that will be filled with breakouts, wins, and box score hawking. On the whole, the system went 11-4. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (@ Louisville) 5-1 (5-1 overall) It was an awesome opening week for the Saints. The team scored 47 runs and won five of their six games. Royce Lewis is off to a great start, going 7-for-21 with three doubles and a homer. Lewis stole three bases and reached base in 48% of his plate appearances. He also made numerous strong plays at shortstop. Mark Contreras picked up right where he left off in 2021, going 6-for-17 with two doubles and two homers. The player of the week, though, was Jake Cave, who went 9-for-19 with three doubles and a triple. Cave posted a 1.320 OPS and is undoubtedly itching to join the Twins in Minneapolis. On the pitching front, Cole Sands dazzled with five scoreless innings in Thursday’s loss. Sands struck out seven, walked none, and allowed one hit. He’s a key part of what the Twins hope will be adequate starting pitching depth this season. Several Saints relievers had strong weeks, including Wladimir Pinto (4 IP, 0 ER), Juan Minaya (3 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 K), and Yennier Cano (3 IP, 0 ER, 4 K). Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (vs. Tulsa) 0-3 (0-3 overall) The Surge had a rough first go at the plate, hitting .167/.264/.250 with one homer in 110 plate appearances. Austin Martin went 2-for-13 with multiple errors and Matt Wallner went 1-for-9 with five strikeouts. Spencer Steer had a nice weekend with three hits, including two doubles and two RBI. Matt Canterino started the opener and battled through a tenuous first inning. The second was much better, but with the Twins monitoring his workload closely, Canterino lasted two innings and 45 pitches. Twins’ 2021 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Louie Varland made his debut in relief, walking five in a rough 4 2/3 innings. Simeon Woods Richardson pitched very well in his season debut, striking out five and walking two in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. SWR threw 46 of 66 pitches for strikes, an awesome sign after command issues last year. Austin Schulfer, Steven Cruz, and the Surge bullpen was fairly solid all weekend. The bats were the issue. High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (vs. Beloit) 3-0 (3-0 overall) What an insane week for Twins’ 2021 fourth-round pick Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He went 10-for-14 with two doubles, three homers, and 15 RBI. Those 15 RBI are four more than the next high total for all minor leaguers despite Triple-A teams having played six games instead of three. It is six more than anyone below Triple-A. Sawyer Gipson-Long quietly had a solid season in 2021, striking out 32% of hitters across both A-levels. He is off to a nice start this year, pitching four scoreless innings with five strikeouts in his season debut. Brent Headrick and Aaron Rozek also turned in solid starts. Outscoring Beloit 23-8, the Kernels could have a potent offense with Encarnacion-Strand, Alerick Soularie, and Aaron Sabato in the heart of the order. The bullpen was also fantastic, headlined by Osiris German, Cody Laweryson, and Bradley Hanner. Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: (@ Clearwater) 3-0 (3-0 overall) Emmanuel Rodríguez will be a must-follow prospect all summer long. The 19-year-old showed elite plate discipline and power in his 2021 debut. Rodríguez walked six times over his first three games this weekend, adding a homer and a double. He also stole a base in Sunday’s win. Rodríguez could move quickly. Outfielder Kyler Fedko, the Twins’ 12th round pick in 2021, is off and running with a double, triple, and four RBI. Kala’i Rosario went 2-for-8 with a triple and Keoni Cavaco had a monster Opening Day, going 3-for-5 with a double. Cavaco walked twice Saturday and once more Sunday, but he struck out six times in 15 plate appearances. Starters David Festa, Travis Adams, and John Stankiewicz combined to allow three runs in 15 innings. They struck out 16 and walked only two. The Mighty Mussels lead the league with a 3.00 ERA after the first weekend. They led the Florida State League with a 3.96 ERA and tied for first with 1,288 strikeouts in 2021. Complex League FCL Twins: 2021 Regular Season (21-38) The FCL Twins start their season in Mid-June. Players not currently on a full-season affiliate's roster are in Ft. Myers at the complex for what amounts to Extended Spring Training. Several of those players will move back and forth between the Complex roster and the Mighty Mussels roster, or even the other rosters depending on need. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-13, 2 2B #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 7-for-21, 3 2B, 4 BB, 3 SB #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5-for-25, HR #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP (70 pitches, 42 strikes) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K (45 pitches, 26 strikes) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (31 pitches, 22 strikes) #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 ⅔ IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K (66 pitches, 46 strikes) #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 4-for-14, SB #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - Did Not Play. #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-9, 3 BB #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 4 K, (86 pitches, 49 strikes) #15 - Emmanuel Rodríguez (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-9, 2B, HR, SB #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (Development List) - DNP #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-11, 2 2B #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3-for-11, BB #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch Feel free to discuss the teams or players, and ask questions in the COMMENTS below. View full article
  15. Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (@ Louisville) 5-1 (5-1 overall) It was an awesome opening week for the Saints. The team scored 47 runs and won five of their six games. Royce Lewis is off to a great start, going 7-for-21 with three doubles and a homer. Lewis stole three bases and reached base in 48% of his plate appearances. He also made numerous strong plays at shortstop. Mark Contreras picked up right where he left off in 2021, going 6-for-17 with two doubles and two homers. The player of the week, though, was Jake Cave, who went 9-for-19 with three doubles and a triple. Cave posted a 1.320 OPS and is undoubtedly itching to join the Twins in Minneapolis. On the pitching front, Cole Sands dazzled with five scoreless innings in Thursday’s loss. Sands struck out seven, walked none, and allowed one hit. He’s a key part of what the Twins hope will be adequate starting pitching depth this season. Several Saints relievers had strong weeks, including Wladimir Pinto (4 IP, 0 ER), Juan Minaya (3 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 K), and Yennier Cano (3 IP, 0 ER, 4 K). Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (vs. Tulsa) 0-3 (0-3 overall) The Surge had a rough first go at the plate, hitting .167/.264/.250 with one homer in 110 plate appearances. Austin Martin went 2-for-13 with multiple errors and Matt Wallner went 1-for-9 with five strikeouts. Spencer Steer had a nice weekend with three hits, including two doubles and two RBI. Matt Canterino started the opener and battled through a tenuous first inning. The second was much better, but with the Twins monitoring his workload closely, Canterino lasted two innings and 45 pitches. Twins’ 2021 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Louie Varland made his debut in relief, walking five in a rough 4 2/3 innings. Simeon Woods Richardson pitched very well in his season debut, striking out five and walking two in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. SWR threw 46 of 66 pitches for strikes, an awesome sign after command issues last year. Austin Schulfer, Steven Cruz, and the Surge bullpen was fairly solid all weekend. The bats were the issue. High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (vs. Beloit) 3-0 (3-0 overall) What an insane week for Twins’ 2021 fourth-round pick Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He went 10-for-14 with two doubles, three homers, and 15 RBI. Those 15 RBI are four more than the next high total for all minor leaguers despite Triple-A teams having played six games instead of three. It is six more than anyone below Triple-A. Sawyer Gipson-Long quietly had a solid season in 2021, striking out 32% of hitters across both A-levels. He is off to a nice start this year, pitching four scoreless innings with five strikeouts in his season debut. Brent Headrick and Aaron Rozek also turned in solid starts. Outscoring Beloit 23-8, the Kernels could have a potent offense with Encarnacion-Strand, Alerick Soularie, and Aaron Sabato in the heart of the order. The bullpen was also fantastic, headlined by Osiris German, Cody Laweryson, and Bradley Hanner. Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: (@ Clearwater) 3-0 (3-0 overall) Emmanuel Rodríguez will be a must-follow prospect all summer long. The 19-year-old showed elite plate discipline and power in his 2021 debut. Rodríguez walked six times over his first three games this weekend, adding a homer and a double. He also stole a base in Sunday’s win. Rodríguez could move quickly. Outfielder Kyler Fedko, the Twins’ 12th round pick in 2021, is off and running with a double, triple, and four RBI. Kala’i Rosario went 2-for-8 with a triple and Keoni Cavaco had a monster Opening Day, going 3-for-5 with a double. Cavaco walked twice Saturday and once more Sunday, but he struck out six times in 15 plate appearances. Starters David Festa, Travis Adams, and John Stankiewicz combined to allow three runs in 15 innings. They struck out 16 and walked only two. The Mighty Mussels lead the league with a 3.00 ERA after the first weekend. They led the Florida State League with a 3.96 ERA and tied for first with 1,288 strikeouts in 2021. Complex League FCL Twins: 2021 Regular Season (21-38) The FCL Twins start their season in Mid-June. Players not currently on a full-season affiliate's roster are in Ft. Myers at the complex for what amounts to Extended Spring Training. Several of those players will move back and forth between the Complex roster and the Mighty Mussels roster, or even the other rosters depending on need. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-13, 2 2B #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 7-for-21, 3 2B, 4 BB, 3 SB #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5-for-25, HR #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP (70 pitches, 42 strikes) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K (45 pitches, 26 strikes) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K (31 pitches, 22 strikes) #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 ⅔ IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K (66 pitches, 46 strikes) #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 4-for-14, SB #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - Did Not Play. #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-9, 3 BB #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 4 K, (86 pitches, 49 strikes) #15 - Emmanuel Rodríguez (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-9, 2B, HR, SB #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (Development List) - DNP #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-11, 2 2B #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3-for-11, BB #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch Feel free to discuss the teams or players, and ask questions in the COMMENTS below.
  16. Gary Sánchez hit a first-inning grand slam in a LOUD afternoon at Target Field. Byron Buxton hit a pair of home runs and Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Carlos Correa also went deep. Down in Cedar Rapids, Anthony Prato's legs helped deliver a 2-0 victory. I think he's still running. Also featured in this video are Royce Lewis, Mark Contreras, Austin Martin and Sawyer Gipson-Long. View full video
  17. Gary Sánchez hit a first-inning grand slam in a LOUD afternoon at Target Field. Byron Buxton hit a pair of home runs and Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Carlos Correa also went deep. Down in Cedar Rapids, Anthony Prato's legs helped deliver a 2-0 victory. I think he's still running. Also featured in this video are Royce Lewis, Mark Contreras, Austin Martin and Sawyer Gipson-Long.
  18. TRANSACTIONS Catcher Jose Godoy cleared waivers and was outrighted to St. Paul. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 15, Louisville 6 Box Score SP: Jake Faria - 3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K HR: Curtis Terry (1), Kyle Garlick (1), Mark Contreras (2), Daniel Robertson (1) Multi hit games: Robertson (2-5 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Garlick (2-5 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Terry (2-3 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB), Contreras (3-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-5 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI), Chance Sisco (3-5 2 R, 2 2B, RBI) The Saints finished their series in Louisville with a bang as six Saints hitters tallied multiple hits in their 15-6 victory over the Bats. The offense was balanced for the Saints with everyone except Derek Fisher getting a hit and top prospects Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda being the only ones without multiple hits. This gave an opportunity for all the other hitters in the Saints lineup a chance to shine, especially the likes of Sisco and Contreras who tallied two doubles each in their three-hit games. Louisville starter Ben Lively struggled with his control in this game as he hit three batters, one to Miranda and two to Lewis. Fortunately for both Miranda and Lewis the pitches they took did not result in any serious injuries that removed them from the game. Jake Faria struggled in his first two innings but recovered during his final inning and a third on the mound. Coming in to replace Faria was Chi Chi Gonzlaez, who had a notoriously bad spring training with the Twins posting an 18.69 ERA in just 4 1/3 innings pitched. A bad spring training did not carry over into Gonzalez’s Saints debut as he gave up two earned runs on three hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings pitched. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Tulsa 7 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-4) The Wind Surge took the only loss for the Twins minor league affiliates on Sunday. Chris Vallimont couldn’t find his way out of the first inning in his 2022 season debut. The Drillers tallied five runs off of him to knock him out early. Following Vallimont’s struggles, Kody Funderburk came in from the bullpen to stop the bleeding. Funderburk only surrendered one run in three innings of relief. The Wind Surge were able to get a run back in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to a Spencer Steer double that drove in Austin Martin. But the Drillers were able to keep the Wind Surge scoreless until the seventh inning when they scored two more runs. All nine Wind Surge hitters were able to get on base this game but still did not have enough juice in the bats to pull together a win. Wichita has yet to win a game this season, falling to 0-3. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 0 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Christian Encarnacion-Strand had been the star of the Kernels first two games but his bat cooled off just a little bit in Sunday’s game going 1-for-4 with an RBI double. However, the pitching stepped up in a big way on Sunday. The Kernels had five pitchers work on Sunday afternoon, and they combined to shutout the Sky Carp in a 2-0 victory. The starter for the Kernels was Sawyer Gipson-Long who hurled four scoreless innings and gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out five batters. Following Gipson-Long from the bullpen were Bobby Milacki, Melvi Acosta, Denny Bentley, and Osiris German. They combined for five innings pitched of no-hit baseball giving up only two walks and striking out four Sky Carp batters. German earned the save for the Kernels. The Kernels were able to pull off the sweep of the Sky Carp on only three hits thanks to the master class pitching from their rotation on Sunday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 3 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Noah Cardenas (1) Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (2-3 1 R, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, K) The Mighty Mussels completed their sweep of the Clearwater Threshers on Sunday bringing them to a 3-0 record to start the season. Mussels starter Travis Adams contributed a strong first outing of the season keeping Clearwater to one run in his five innings pitched. Jaylen Nowlin came into the game after Adams and surrendered the Threshers two runs, but the rest of the Fort Myers bullpen kept the game scoreless. Jackson Hicks pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Juan Mendez came on and recorded his first save of the season. Kyler Fedko had the big hit of the game for Fort Myers. Fedko smacked a bases-clearing triple in the top of the seventh that gave the Mussels the lead making it a 6-3 game. Mussels catcher Noah Cardenas also had a big hit getting his first home run of the season in the second inning. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-4, 2B (3), 2 R, 2 K, RBI, CS, 2-HBP #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, K, RBI (4), HBP #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, 3 K, CS (1) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, K, CS (1) #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, 2 BB, SB (1) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), RBI #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-4, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 12. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). The Saints and Mighty Muscles will be hosting their home openers on Tuesday. Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - RHP Daniel Gossett (0-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (first professional start) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the first weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded.
  19. On Monday, the Cedar Rapids Kernels announced their 2022 Opening Day Roster. The roster includes several intriguing prospects, big strikeout pitchers and hitters with power and athleticism. In 2021, the Cedar Rapids Kernels found their way back to the playoffs as they have each season since the Twins have been their big-league club in 2013. Brian Dinkelman returns for his fourth season as the Kernels manager, and several of his players return to the roster from last year. That said, there are some exciting prospects in this group at each position. The lineup should be strong, and the pitching staff could be really good. Here we will introduce you to the 2022 Cedar Rapids Kernels Opening Day roster with a tweet-length bio. For much more on each player, click the hyperlink with the name and see all of the Twins Daily stories in which each player is tagged. There are some terrific prospects on this roster, and there are some great stories as well. COACHING STAFF Manager: Brian Dinkelman Hitting Coach: Jairo Rodriguez, Shawn Schlechter Pitching Coaches: Mark Moriarity, Richard Salazar PITCHERS Melvi Acosta (26) - Veteran right-hander has worked a lot as both a starter and a relief pitcher. Likely fulfills that same role, eating innings. Split 2021 between Kernels and Wind Surge. Denny Bentley (23) - 33rd round pick in 2018, Bentley broke out with a strong showing in Ft. Myers in 2021. Had 68 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings. He had nine saves but often worked more than one inning. Andrew Cabezas (25) - Twins 18th round pick in 2018 from Miami, Cabezas spent 2021 with the Kernels working mostly as a long-reliever. Went 4-1 with a 3.57 ERA and had 82 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings. Osiris German (23) - signed back in 2016 out of the Dominican Republic, German impressed with the Mighty Mussels in 2021. He had 49 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids, struggled a bit, but also struck out 41 batters in 27 2/3 innings. Great changeup. Sawyer Gipson-Long (24) - Started 2021 slow, but after 14 starts in Ft. Myers and six starts in Cedar Rapids, the 2019 sixth-round pick had 134 strikeouts in 97 innings. Big, strong righty with a strong pitch mix. Bradley Hanner (23) - Hard-thrower, the 21st round pick from 2019 posted a 7.13 ERA in Ft. Myers last year. Had 49 strikeouts, but 34 walks, in 41 2/3 innings. Brent Headrick (24) - Ninth round pick in 2019, he made 14 starts in Ft. Myers in 2021 and posted a 3.82 ERA. The lefty had 86 strikeouts and 33 walks in 61 1/3 innings. Missed some time with a shoulder issue. Cody Laweryson (23) - Twins 14th round pick in 2019, he joined the Kernels last season and struck out 73 batters, with just 19 walks, in 58 2/3 innings. The Maine native pitched in the Arizona Fall League after the season and participated in the Fall Stars game. Casey Legumina (24) - He was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2019 after having Tommy John surgery early in the 2019 college season. He made his pro debut in 2021. He went 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 14 games (8 starts) with the Mighty Mussels. 56 strikeouts, and 14 walks) in 44 2/3 innings. Made one start for Kernels at the end of the season. Definitely, he is one to watch. Bobby Milacki (25) - After being drafted by the Nationals, the Twins signed Milacki in 2021 out of independent ball. For Ft. Myers, he posted a 3.86 ERA in 42 innings. He throws mid-90s fastballs and struck out a batter per inning while walking just seven. Derek Molina (24) - 14th round pick in 2017 out of Merced College where he played shortstop and pitched out of the bullpen. A great athlete, he went 7-1 with a 4.65 ERA last year with the Kernels, but he had 81 strikeouts in 62 innings. Sean Mooney - Twins 12th round pick in 2019, he also had Tommy John surgery that year, so he spent 2020 rehabbing. They were cautious with his innings last year, but with Ft. Myers, he posted a 1.24 ERA and in 29 innings, he struck out 52 batters. He then made three starts in Cedar Rapids and struck out 19 batters in 13 innings. Matt Mullenbach (25) - The Twins signed Mullenbach out of the independent Frontier League early last year. He jumped all over, pitching nine games in the FCL, seven games with the Mighty Mussels, and even one game at Triple-A St. Paul. Jon Olsen (24) - The Twins selected him from UCLA in the 12th round in 2018. He also had Tommy John surgery early that year. He’s had some other surgeries since, and in 2021, he finally was able to make his pro debut. In 16 games with the Kernels (13 starts), he posted a 4.03 ERA in 67 innings. Tyler Palm (27) - signed out of the USPBL in 2018, the 6-9 Palm spent the 2021 season in the Kernels bullpen after making 17 starts for them in 2019. Cade Povich (21) - Povich was the Twins' 3rd round pick in 2021 from Nebraska. Not a Twins Daily top 20 prospects, he ranks 12th in my personal rankings. In three games with the Mussels last year, he gave up one earned run in eight innings. He walked two and struck out 16 batters. The southpaw impressed at Instructs, touching 97 at times, and he’s got a good slider and changeup too. Miguel Rodriguez (23) - signed from Venezuela in 2017, he spent a year each in the DSL and GCL before missing the 2020 season. Last year in Ft. Myers, he went 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA. In 52 innings, he struck out 58 batters but also walked 26. Aaron Rozek (26) - Burnsville native went to Minnesota State, Mankato, and has bounced around independent leagues in recent years. The Twins signed him early in the year, and he pitched in the FCL, for Ft. Myers, for Cedar Rapids, and even made a start in Wichita. He doesn’t throw hard, but he can mix things up and eat a lot of innings. CATCHERS Jair Camargo (22) - Colombia native spent the 2021 season with the Kernels, often hitting in the cleanup spot. In 71 games, he hit .236/.279/.418 (697) with seven doubles and 13 homers. Charles Mack (22) - Twins sixth-round pick in 2018 out of high school in western New York, he has moved up one level each year. During the lost 2020 season, he was transitioning to being a catcher. Last year with the Mighty Mussels, he hit .229/.370/.368 (.738) with seven doubles and seven home runs. His defense also came along nicely. Jeferson Morales (22) - Morales signed with the Twins in 2016 out of Venezuela. He began 2021 with 71 games in Ft. Myers where he hit .237/.377/.407 (.784) with 19 doubles and seven homers. In 25 games with the Kernels, he hit .301/.350/.516 (.866) with five doubles and five homers. Will also play in the outfield. INFIELDERS Christian Encarnacion-Strand (22) - Twins 4th round pick last year from Oklahoma State where he learned from Robin Ventura and Matt Holliday. He hit in 21 of 22 games with the Mussels after signing. He hit .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with two doubles, two triples, and four homers. Can play both corner infield spots. Seth Gray (23) - 4th round pick in 2019 from Wright State, Gray hit .212/.321/.333 (.655) with 13 doubles and 11 home runs in 113 games with the Kernels last year. Has played both corner infield positions. Will Holland (23) - Twins 5th round pick in 2019 from Auburn, he is one of the fastest players in the organization. He hit .214/.336/.401 (.736) with 15 doubles and 10 home runs in 76 games with Ft. Myers last year. He also stole 19 bases. Has played both shortstop and second base, as well as center field. Wander Javier (23) - Big year for Javier who will become a free agent at the end of the year if not added to the 40-man roster. He is a plus-defensive shortstop, but in 96 games with the Kernels last year, he hit .225/.280/.413 (.693) with 15 doubles, ten triples, and 12 home runs last year. Anthony Prato (23) - 7th rounder in 2019, he started last season with 28 games in Ft. Myers. After missing over two months with a broken hamate, he moved up to Cedar Rapids and finished the season with 14 games. Posted a .774 OPS with the Kernels. Aaron Sabato (22) - The Twins drafted the burly first baseman with the 27th overall pick in 2020. He began his career by hitting .189/.365/.357 (.722) over 85 games in Ft. Myers. He did have 15 doubles and 11 homers. But after a few good games, he moved up to Cedar Rapids where, in 22 games, he hit .253/.402/.613 (1.015) with three doubles and eight homers. Yunior Severino (22) - Severino joined the Twins organization after the 2017 season. In 2021, he played 63 games in Ft. Myers and hit .245/.347/.393 (.740) with 17 doubles and five homers. In 35 games with the Kernels, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 12 doubles and three homers. OUTFIELDERS Willie Joe Garry, Jr. (21) - Twins ninth-round pick in 2018 out of high school, Garry spent 2021 with the Mighty Mussels. In 95 games, he hit .197/.298/.303 (.601) with seven doubles, six triples, and four homers. He also stole 24 bases. A strong defensive outfielder, Garry is a great athlete with a ton of talent. He just needs to keep playing. Alerick Soularie (22) - Soularie was the Twins 2nd round pick in 2020 out of Tennessee where he hit .336/.448/.586 (1.034) with 14 doubles and 16 homers in 76 games over two seasons. Last spring, he had all kinds of foot problems. He ended the season with 28 games in Ft. Myers and hit .219/.344/.324 (.668) with three doubles and two homers. He stole nine bags. Can play second base as well. Kennie Taylor (25) - He was the 14th round pick of the Mets in 2019 from Duke. In 2021, he played in the Mariners system last year, mostly at High-A, but 13 games in Triple-A. He signed with the Twins before spring training. Overall last year, he hit .277/.350/.400 (.750) with 10 doubles and four homers. A few themes appear on this roster. First, the Twins aren’t afraid to draft pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery. Second, they certainly like strikeouts from their pitchers and this staff can rack them up. As for position players, there are a lot of players who can play multiple positions. Also, you can see that What are your thoughts on this roster? Who will move up quickly? Who will jump up the prospect rankings? View full article
  20. In 2021, the Cedar Rapids Kernels found their way back to the playoffs as they have each season since the Twins have been their big-league club in 2013. Brian Dinkelman returns for his fourth season as the Kernels manager, and several of his players return to the roster from last year. That said, there are some exciting prospects in this group at each position. The lineup should be strong, and the pitching staff could be really good. Here we will introduce you to the 2022 Cedar Rapids Kernels Opening Day roster with a tweet-length bio. For much more on each player, click the hyperlink with the name and see all of the Twins Daily stories in which each player is tagged. There are some terrific prospects on this roster, and there are some great stories as well. COACHING STAFF Manager: Brian Dinkelman Hitting Coach: Jairo Rodriguez, Shawn Schlechter Pitching Coaches: Mark Moriarity, Richard Salazar PITCHERS Melvi Acosta (26) - Veteran right-hander has worked a lot as both a starter and a relief pitcher. Likely fulfills that same role, eating innings. Split 2021 between Kernels and Wind Surge. Denny Bentley (23) - 33rd round pick in 2018, Bentley broke out with a strong showing in Ft. Myers in 2021. Had 68 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings. He had nine saves but often worked more than one inning. Andrew Cabezas (25) - Twins 18th round pick in 2018 from Miami, Cabezas spent 2021 with the Kernels working mostly as a long-reliever. Went 4-1 with a 3.57 ERA and had 82 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings. Osiris German (23) - signed back in 2016 out of the Dominican Republic, German impressed with the Mighty Mussels in 2021. He had 49 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids, struggled a bit, but also struck out 41 batters in 27 2/3 innings. Great changeup. Sawyer Gipson-Long (24) - Started 2021 slow, but after 14 starts in Ft. Myers and six starts in Cedar Rapids, the 2019 sixth-round pick had 134 strikeouts in 97 innings. Big, strong righty with a strong pitch mix. Bradley Hanner (23) - Hard-thrower, the 21st round pick from 2019 posted a 7.13 ERA in Ft. Myers last year. Had 49 strikeouts, but 34 walks, in 41 2/3 innings. Brent Headrick (24) - Ninth round pick in 2019, he made 14 starts in Ft. Myers in 2021 and posted a 3.82 ERA. The lefty had 86 strikeouts and 33 walks in 61 1/3 innings. Missed some time with a shoulder issue. Cody Laweryson (23) - Twins 14th round pick in 2019, he joined the Kernels last season and struck out 73 batters, with just 19 walks, in 58 2/3 innings. The Maine native pitched in the Arizona Fall League after the season and participated in the Fall Stars game. Casey Legumina (24) - He was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2019 after having Tommy John surgery early in the 2019 college season. He made his pro debut in 2021. He went 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 14 games (8 starts) with the Mighty Mussels. 56 strikeouts, and 14 walks) in 44 2/3 innings. Made one start for Kernels at the end of the season. Definitely, he is one to watch. Bobby Milacki (25) - After being drafted by the Nationals, the Twins signed Milacki in 2021 out of independent ball. For Ft. Myers, he posted a 3.86 ERA in 42 innings. He throws mid-90s fastballs and struck out a batter per inning while walking just seven. Derek Molina (24) - 14th round pick in 2017 out of Merced College where he played shortstop and pitched out of the bullpen. A great athlete, he went 7-1 with a 4.65 ERA last year with the Kernels, but he had 81 strikeouts in 62 innings. Sean Mooney - Twins 12th round pick in 2019, he also had Tommy John surgery that year, so he spent 2020 rehabbing. They were cautious with his innings last year, but with Ft. Myers, he posted a 1.24 ERA and in 29 innings, he struck out 52 batters. He then made three starts in Cedar Rapids and struck out 19 batters in 13 innings. Matt Mullenbach (25) - The Twins signed Mullenbach out of the independent Frontier League early last year. He jumped all over, pitching nine games in the FCL, seven games with the Mighty Mussels, and even one game at Triple-A St. Paul. Jon Olsen (24) - The Twins selected him from UCLA in the 12th round in 2018. He also had Tommy John surgery early that year. He’s had some other surgeries since, and in 2021, he finally was able to make his pro debut. In 16 games with the Kernels (13 starts), he posted a 4.03 ERA in 67 innings. Tyler Palm (27) - signed out of the USPBL in 2018, the 6-9 Palm spent the 2021 season in the Kernels bullpen after making 17 starts for them in 2019. Cade Povich (21) - Povich was the Twins' 3rd round pick in 2021 from Nebraska. Not a Twins Daily top 20 prospects, he ranks 12th in my personal rankings. In three games with the Mussels last year, he gave up one earned run in eight innings. He walked two and struck out 16 batters. The southpaw impressed at Instructs, touching 97 at times, and he’s got a good slider and changeup too. Miguel Rodriguez (23) - signed from Venezuela in 2017, he spent a year each in the DSL and GCL before missing the 2020 season. Last year in Ft. Myers, he went 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA. In 52 innings, he struck out 58 batters but also walked 26. Aaron Rozek (26) - Burnsville native went to Minnesota State, Mankato, and has bounced around independent leagues in recent years. The Twins signed him early in the year, and he pitched in the FCL, for Ft. Myers, for Cedar Rapids, and even made a start in Wichita. He doesn’t throw hard, but he can mix things up and eat a lot of innings. CATCHERS Jair Camargo (22) - Colombia native spent the 2021 season with the Kernels, often hitting in the cleanup spot. In 71 games, he hit .236/.279/.418 (697) with seven doubles and 13 homers. Charles Mack (22) - Twins sixth-round pick in 2018 out of high school in western New York, he has moved up one level each year. During the lost 2020 season, he was transitioning to being a catcher. Last year with the Mighty Mussels, he hit .229/.370/.368 (.738) with seven doubles and seven home runs. His defense also came along nicely. Jeferson Morales (22) - Morales signed with the Twins in 2016 out of Venezuela. He began 2021 with 71 games in Ft. Myers where he hit .237/.377/.407 (.784) with 19 doubles and seven homers. In 25 games with the Kernels, he hit .301/.350/.516 (.866) with five doubles and five homers. Will also play in the outfield. INFIELDERS Christian Encarnacion-Strand (22) - Twins 4th round pick last year from Oklahoma State where he learned from Robin Ventura and Matt Holliday. He hit in 21 of 22 games with the Mussels after signing. He hit .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with two doubles, two triples, and four homers. Can play both corner infield spots. Seth Gray (23) - 4th round pick in 2019 from Wright State, Gray hit .212/.321/.333 (.655) with 13 doubles and 11 home runs in 113 games with the Kernels last year. Has played both corner infield positions. Will Holland (23) - Twins 5th round pick in 2019 from Auburn, he is one of the fastest players in the organization. He hit .214/.336/.401 (.736) with 15 doubles and 10 home runs in 76 games with Ft. Myers last year. He also stole 19 bases. Has played both shortstop and second base, as well as center field. Wander Javier (23) - Big year for Javier who will become a free agent at the end of the year if not added to the 40-man roster. He is a plus-defensive shortstop, but in 96 games with the Kernels last year, he hit .225/.280/.413 (.693) with 15 doubles, ten triples, and 12 home runs last year. Anthony Prato (23) - 7th rounder in 2019, he started last season with 28 games in Ft. Myers. After missing over two months with a broken hamate, he moved up to Cedar Rapids and finished the season with 14 games. Posted a .774 OPS with the Kernels. Aaron Sabato (22) - The Twins drafted the burly first baseman with the 27th overall pick in 2020. He began his career by hitting .189/.365/.357 (.722) over 85 games in Ft. Myers. He did have 15 doubles and 11 homers. But after a few good games, he moved up to Cedar Rapids where, in 22 games, he hit .253/.402/.613 (1.015) with three doubles and eight homers. Yunior Severino (22) - Severino joined the Twins organization after the 2017 season. In 2021, he played 63 games in Ft. Myers and hit .245/.347/.393 (.740) with 17 doubles and five homers. In 35 games with the Kernels, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 12 doubles and three homers. OUTFIELDERS Willie Joe Garry, Jr. (21) - Twins ninth-round pick in 2018 out of high school, Garry spent 2021 with the Mighty Mussels. In 95 games, he hit .197/.298/.303 (.601) with seven doubles, six triples, and four homers. He also stole 24 bases. A strong defensive outfielder, Garry is a great athlete with a ton of talent. He just needs to keep playing. Alerick Soularie (22) - Soularie was the Twins 2nd round pick in 2020 out of Tennessee where he hit .336/.448/.586 (1.034) with 14 doubles and 16 homers in 76 games over two seasons. Last spring, he had all kinds of foot problems. He ended the season with 28 games in Ft. Myers and hit .219/.344/.324 (.668) with three doubles and two homers. He stole nine bags. Can play second base as well. Kennie Taylor (25) - He was the 14th round pick of the Mets in 2019 from Duke. In 2021, he played in the Mariners system last year, mostly at High-A, but 13 games in Triple-A. He signed with the Twins before spring training. Overall last year, he hit .277/.350/.400 (.750) with 10 doubles and four homers. A few themes appear on this roster. First, the Twins aren’t afraid to draft pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery. Second, they certainly like strikeouts from their pitchers and this staff can rack them up. As for position players, there are a lot of players who can play multiple positions. Also, you can see that What are your thoughts on this roster? Who will move up quickly? Who will jump up the prospect rankings?
  21. As we continue to countdown the top Minnesota Twins pitching prospects, we have five pitchers with high ceilings and some question marks. When looking at starting pitchers, you would like to see a consistent third or fourth pitch. There are injuries and rehab. It's not easy to get to the big leagues as a pitcher, but I believe all five of these pitchers can be big leaguers. In today’s list of five Twins pitching prospects, you’ve got five pitchers that have big potential, high ceilings, but also may have a question mark or two. That may be the need to add a third (or fourth) pitch, gain better control or command, or return from injury and continue to improve. #15 - RHP Drew Strotman 2021 STATS: 3-3, 7.33 ERA, 12/12 G/GS, 1.76 WHIP, 42/30 K/BB, 54.0 IP Drew Strotman was the Rays fourth-round pick in 2017 out of St. Mary’s College (California). He had Tommy John surgery in June 2018. He returned to the mound with nine games and 24 innings. He got some extra time playing with Twins prospects in the Arizona Fall League after the season. The Rays added him to the 40-man roster after the season, but he didn’t pitch in a game in 2020. In 2021, he had been 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA for Triple-A Durham. Then in late July, he came to the Twins with Joe Ryan in the trade for Nelson Cruz. He struggled with the Saints. Overall on the season, he threw 112 1/3 innings> He struck out 104 but walked 63 batters. Obviously after Tommy John, he will need to regain control and command, but the velocity is certainly back. He was sitting in the mid-90s with the Saints and touched 99 mph with the fastball. He has secondary pitches that can be really good at times. He will be 25 throughout the 2022 season. If he can find control, he has a chance to be a big-league starter. But with his fastball and a good slider, he could be a big bullpen arm for a long time. #14 - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long 2021 STATS: 8-8, 4.55 ERA, 20/19 G/GS, 1.30 WHIP, 134/27 K/BB, 97.0 IP The Twins drafted Sawyer Gipson-Long in the 6th round of the 2019 draft out of Mercer University in his home state of Georgia.He made six starts that summer in Elizabethton. After the missed 2020 season, the Twins had him start with the Mighty Mussels. He made 13 starts and went 5-5 with a 4.54 ERA in 67 1/3 innings. He ended the season with six starts for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. And went 3-3 with a 4.55 ERA. Overall, he worked 97 innings. He walked just 27 and struck out 134 batters (12.4 K/9). Gipson-Long looks the part of a big-league pitcher, standing tall and strong. He’s got a really good fastball and as you can see, he has the ability to miss a lot of bats. Like all pitchers, there are areas he can keep improving upon and the big thing may be consistency with his secondary pitches. But if you’re looking for a breakout pitcher in the Twins system for 2022, just-turned-24-year-old Gipson-Long just might be it. #13 - RHP Cole Sands 2021 STATS: 4-2, 2.46 ERA, 19/18 G/GS, 1.17 WHIP, 96/35 K/BB, 80.1 IP In November, Cole Sands was added to the Twins 40-man roster, and it was likely an easy decision. In 19 games (18 starts) for Double-A Wichita, Sands was really good when he was on the mound. He has arguably the best curveball in the organization and his fastball is in the low-90s, touching 94-95 mph. Unfortunately, he missed time a couple of times on the Injured List for short stints. The 24-year-old spent three seasons playing in his hometown, for Florida State, before the Twins drafted him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. He made his professional debut in 2019 and pitched at Ft. Myers, Cedar Rapids and Double-A Pensacola. He didn’t pitch in 2020. #12 - RHP Louie Varland 2021 STATS: 10-4, 2.10 ERA, 20/18 G/GS, 1.09 WHIP, 142/30 K/BB, 103.0 IP Louie Varland, a North St. Paul High School grad, chose to join his older brother Gus at Concordia University in St. Paul. The two were on the team for two seasons before Gus was drafted by the A’s in 2018. A year later, Louie was the 15th round pick of the Twins. He made three appearances for Elizabethton that season and then did not pitch in 2020. So while most Twins that don’t follow Twins Daily didn’t know about him before the season, he had a monster breakout season in 2021. He pitched in ten games for the Mighty Mussels and went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA. He moved up to Cedar Rapids in the second half and was 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA. In 103 innings, he struck out 142 batters (12.4 K/9) and walked just 30. He was the easy choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Varland made a name for himself last offseason when video of him hitting 100 mph on the radar gun surfaced on Twitter. In games, he generally sat between 94 and 96 mph with the fastball. He also has a slider that at times can be really, really sharp. The pitch that will determine his future is the changeup. At times this year, it was really good. I mean, look at his numbers. He was on all year, but that is his third pitch and one he will continue to develop. The next challenge for Varland will be Double-A in 2022. He will be 24-years-old throughout the season. #11 - RHP Blayne Enlow 2021 STATS: 1-1, 1.84 ERA, 3/3 G/GS, 1.30 WHIP, 23/6 K/BB, 14.2 IP Blayne Enlow has been in the Twins organization for a long-time already. He was the Twins third-round draft pick in 2017 out of high school in Louisiana. The Twins were able to meet his signing bonus request, and he gave up his scholarship to LSU. He slowly worked up the system, ending the 2019 season at High-A Ft. Myers. That is where he began the 2021 season, this time in Cedar Rapids. He made three starts for the Kernels and was throwing hard and missing a lot of bats. In those games, he worked 14 2/3 innings and struck out 23 batters. Unfortunately, in a between-starts bullpen session, he didn’t feel right. In June, he had Tommy John surgery. After some time off, he has been rehabbing in Ft. Myers. The Twins had a tough decision, but chose to add him to the 40-man roster because of his upside. Unfortunately, when the lockdown started, he was no longer able to work at the Twins complex or talk with people with the Twins. He has been working in Arizona and hopes to be ready for the start of the season. The Twins will be patient with such a talent. When healthy, Enlow was pitching in the mid-90s, having added velocity in the lost-2020 season. He’s always been known for his spin and throws both a curveball and a slider. He also had a much-improved changeup. Just as important, he is in a good frame of mind and has full confidence. In summary, this is a really exciting group of pitchers. They fit into the mold of this front office. These guys can spin the ball. Four of the five were drafted out of college. Each of them has had a big increase in velocity. And, each of them has a real chance to pitch in the big leagues. Feel free to discuss these pitchers and ask questions below. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15 View full article
  22. In today’s list of five Twins pitching prospects, you’ve got five pitchers that have big potential, high ceilings, but also may have a question mark or two. That may be the need to add a third (or fourth) pitch, gain better control or command, or return from injury and continue to improve. #15 - RHP Drew Strotman 2021 STATS: 3-3, 7.33 ERA, 12/12 G/GS, 1.76 WHIP, 42/30 K/BB, 54.0 IP Drew Strotman was the Rays fourth-round pick in 2017 out of St. Mary’s College (California). He had Tommy John surgery in June 2018. He returned to the mound with nine games and 24 innings. He got some extra time playing with Twins prospects in the Arizona Fall League after the season. The Rays added him to the 40-man roster after the season, but he didn’t pitch in a game in 2020. In 2021, he had been 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA for Triple-A Durham. Then in late July, he came to the Twins with Joe Ryan in the trade for Nelson Cruz. He struggled with the Saints. Overall on the season, he threw 112 1/3 innings> He struck out 104 but walked 63 batters. Obviously after Tommy John, he will need to regain control and command, but the velocity is certainly back. He was sitting in the mid-90s with the Saints and touched 99 mph with the fastball. He has secondary pitches that can be really good at times. He will be 25 throughout the 2022 season. If he can find control, he has a chance to be a big-league starter. But with his fastball and a good slider, he could be a big bullpen arm for a long time. #14 - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long 2021 STATS: 8-8, 4.55 ERA, 20/19 G/GS, 1.30 WHIP, 134/27 K/BB, 97.0 IP The Twins drafted Sawyer Gipson-Long in the 6th round of the 2019 draft out of Mercer University in his home state of Georgia.He made six starts that summer in Elizabethton. After the missed 2020 season, the Twins had him start with the Mighty Mussels. He made 13 starts and went 5-5 with a 4.54 ERA in 67 1/3 innings. He ended the season with six starts for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. And went 3-3 with a 4.55 ERA. Overall, he worked 97 innings. He walked just 27 and struck out 134 batters (12.4 K/9). Gipson-Long looks the part of a big-league pitcher, standing tall and strong. He’s got a really good fastball and as you can see, he has the ability to miss a lot of bats. Like all pitchers, there are areas he can keep improving upon and the big thing may be consistency with his secondary pitches. But if you’re looking for a breakout pitcher in the Twins system for 2022, just-turned-24-year-old Gipson-Long just might be it. #13 - RHP Cole Sands 2021 STATS: 4-2, 2.46 ERA, 19/18 G/GS, 1.17 WHIP, 96/35 K/BB, 80.1 IP In November, Cole Sands was added to the Twins 40-man roster, and it was likely an easy decision. In 19 games (18 starts) for Double-A Wichita, Sands was really good when he was on the mound. He has arguably the best curveball in the organization and his fastball is in the low-90s, touching 94-95 mph. Unfortunately, he missed time a couple of times on the Injured List for short stints. The 24-year-old spent three seasons playing in his hometown, for Florida State, before the Twins drafted him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. He made his professional debut in 2019 and pitched at Ft. Myers, Cedar Rapids and Double-A Pensacola. He didn’t pitch in 2020. #12 - RHP Louie Varland 2021 STATS: 10-4, 2.10 ERA, 20/18 G/GS, 1.09 WHIP, 142/30 K/BB, 103.0 IP Louie Varland, a North St. Paul High School grad, chose to join his older brother Gus at Concordia University in St. Paul. The two were on the team for two seasons before Gus was drafted by the A’s in 2018. A year later, Louie was the 15th round pick of the Twins. He made three appearances for Elizabethton that season and then did not pitch in 2020. So while most Twins that don’t follow Twins Daily didn’t know about him before the season, he had a monster breakout season in 2021. He pitched in ten games for the Mighty Mussels and went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA. He moved up to Cedar Rapids in the second half and was 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA. In 103 innings, he struck out 142 batters (12.4 K/9) and walked just 30. He was the easy choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Varland made a name for himself last offseason when video of him hitting 100 mph on the radar gun surfaced on Twitter. In games, he generally sat between 94 and 96 mph with the fastball. He also has a slider that at times can be really, really sharp. The pitch that will determine his future is the changeup. At times this year, it was really good. I mean, look at his numbers. He was on all year, but that is his third pitch and one he will continue to develop. The next challenge for Varland will be Double-A in 2022. He will be 24-years-old throughout the season. #11 - RHP Blayne Enlow 2021 STATS: 1-1, 1.84 ERA, 3/3 G/GS, 1.30 WHIP, 23/6 K/BB, 14.2 IP Blayne Enlow has been in the Twins organization for a long-time already. He was the Twins third-round draft pick in 2017 out of high school in Louisiana. The Twins were able to meet his signing bonus request, and he gave up his scholarship to LSU. He slowly worked up the system, ending the 2019 season at High-A Ft. Myers. That is where he began the 2021 season, this time in Cedar Rapids. He made three starts for the Kernels and was throwing hard and missing a lot of bats. In those games, he worked 14 2/3 innings and struck out 23 batters. Unfortunately, in a between-starts bullpen session, he didn’t feel right. In June, he had Tommy John surgery. After some time off, he has been rehabbing in Ft. Myers. The Twins had a tough decision, but chose to add him to the 40-man roster because of his upside. Unfortunately, when the lockdown started, he was no longer able to work at the Twins complex or talk with people with the Twins. He has been working in Arizona and hopes to be ready for the start of the season. The Twins will be patient with such a talent. When healthy, Enlow was pitching in the mid-90s, having added velocity in the lost-2020 season. He’s always been known for his spin and throws both a curveball and a slider. He also had a much-improved changeup. Just as important, he is in a good frame of mind and has full confidence. In summary, this is a really exciting group of pitchers. They fit into the mold of this front office. These guys can spin the ball. Four of the five were drafted out of college. Each of them has had a big increase in velocity. And, each of them has a real chance to pitch in the big leagues. Feel free to discuss these pitchers and ask questions below. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15
  23. Lucas discusses under-appreciated Twins pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long, who may be slated for a breakout 2022 campaign.
  24. Lucas discusses under-appreciated Twins pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long, who may be slated for a breakout 2022 campaign. View full video
  25. SAINTS SENTINEL Saints 4, Cubs 3 Box Score Drew Strotman: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Saints willed their way to victory Friday after being out-hit by the Iowa Cubs. St. Paul scored twice via hit-by-pitch, sandwiched between a Jimmy Kerrigan RBI single. The Saints recorded zero extra-base hits but walked four times and went 7-for-30 at the dish. Drew Strotman started and worked around eight hits and a walk en route to a quality start and win. It was Strotman’s second quality starts in his last three outings. Jason García, Chris Nunn and Vinny Nittoli combined for three scoreless innings and three strikeouts. St. Paul has a chance to take four-of-five from Iowa with a win Sunday. Andrew Albers will make the start. KERNELS NUGGETS River Bandits 2, Kernels 1 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K HR: Aaron Sabato (1) Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-5), Jair Camargo (2-for-4) This outstanding Championship Series continued with another tight ballgame Friday. The Kernels led this series 2-1 and had plenty of opportunities to pull away and win it all in Game Four. Sawyer Gipson-Long was absolutely fantastic, striking out nine and allowing just one run on an double in the fifth. Osiris German followed that up with five strikeouts in three innings of scoreless relief. The staff gave the Kernels every chance to win. Aaron Sabato blasted a solo homer to take a 1-0 lead, but the Kernels left 23 runners on base, failing to score more than the lone run. In the bottom of the ninth, Logan Porter hit a walk-off homer to left off Zach Featherstone to force a decisive game five Sunday. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Sawyer Gipson-Long (4 2/3 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K) Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (1-for-5, HR) PROSPECT SUMMARY #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R, BB #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R, BB #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - IN PROGRESS (0-for-2) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St.Paul (12:05 p.m.) - LHP Andrew Albers Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 p.m.) - TBD
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