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SD Buhr/Jim Crikket

  1. Hu's on first? No, he's pitching (for the Kernels)

    The merry-go-round that is a minor league team's roster continued to spin over the weekend in Cedar Rapids as the Kernels saw two pitchers promoted to high-A Fort Myers, one infielder put on the 7-Day Disabled list and two new pitchers arrive from Elizabethton.

    The new pitchers, right handed starting pitcher Chih-Wei Hu and righty bullpen arm Jake Reed, were in uniform for Tuesday night's series opener with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, won by the Kernels, 15-5.

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  2. From Kernel to Twin: Jorge Polanco

    A little over a year ago, I sat in the Cedar Rapids Kernels dugout before a Sunday game and did an interview with then-Kernels infielder Jorge Polanco - the same Jorge Polanco that just spent the past weekend wearing number 11 for the Minnesota Twins.

    I’d been told that, of the Kernels’ Latin American players, Polanco was one of those most familiar with the English language. Since the only familiarization I have with a foreign language comes from the two years of high school French ...

    Updated 07-01-2014 at 11:24 AM by SD Buhr

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  3. Few Silver Linings for Kernels

    June has not been kind to the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

    As a team, they’ve lost a dozen games this month and won just six. The first half of the season mercifully drew to a close a week ago, but the Kernels started off their second half season by dropping three of four road games to the Midwest League’s Western Division champions, the Kane County Cougars.

    Silver linings are a little difficult to come by for a team that most people expected to be led by their pitching when the ...
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  4. Twins Prez Interested in Move From CR to St. Paul?

    In September of 2012, the Minnesota Twins announced a four-year affiliation agreement with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, with the Twins’ then-Senior Director of Minor Leagues Jim Rantz telling the media, “We are confident that this relationship will grow into one of the strongest affiliations in minor league baseball.”

    Less than two years later, the Twins organization appears to be flirting with another minor league ownership group with an eye toward moving their ...

    Updated 06-18-2014 at 11:29 AM by SD Buhr

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  5. Kernels' Jason Kanzler Keeps Proving Himself

    Go ahead and underestimate Cedar Rapids Kernels outfielder Jason Kanzler. He’s used to it. Having to show people they’re wrong about him is nothing new.

    ”I think I’ve done that my whole life, pretty much,” Kanzler said. “I was never really at the top on anyone’s priority list. I wasn’t recruited out of high school. I tried to walk on at Northeastern University and I was cut after two weeks.

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  6. Kohl Stewart's Abbreviated Start, His Velocity, and Strikeouts

    On Saturday, the Twins' 2013 first round draft pick, Kohl Stewart, had his last start of the first half of the season for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

    He was originally scheduled to pitch on Sunday, but had his start moved up a day so that he'd have two days of rest before Tuesday's Midwest League All-Star game.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Kohl Stewart

    Stewart completed four shutout innings, throwing 69 pitches at Burlington hitters before calling ...
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  7. Thorpe, Romero Make Kernels Debuts

    As the Cedar Rapids Kernels wrap up the final stretch of the first half of their 2014 Midwest League season, the parent Minnesota Twins sent them some needed starting pitching help in the form of two teenage pitching prospects.

    Australian 18-year old lefty Lewis Thorpe and right-hander Fernando Romero, a 19-year old out of the Dominican Republic joined the Kernels from extended spring training last week and both were immediately inserted in to the starting rotation by manager ...
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  8. Interview with Twins GM Terry Ryan - Part 2

    Minnesota Twins General Manager Terry Ryan had surgery for squamous cell carcinoma in February and has undergone radiation treatment as well. In the meantime, Assistant General Manager Rob Antony has filled in as the interim GM for the Twins, though Ryan has been in regular contact with Antony and others in the Twins front office.

    During the past Cedar Rapids Kernels homestand, Ryan was in town observing the Twins’ young Class A prospects and sat down Sunday for an interview that covered ...
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  9. Interview with Twins GM Terry Ryan - Part 1

    During a routine physical exam early this year, Minnesota Twins General Manager Terry Ryan asked his doctor to take a look at a lump on his neck. Testing found Ryan to have squamous cell carcinoma.

    Ryan had surgery in February and has undergone radiation treatment as well. In the meantime, Assistant General Manager Rob Antony has filled in as the interim GM for the Twins, though Ryan has been in regular contact with Antony and others in the Twins front office.

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  10. Kohl Stewart Reflects on the Draft & His First Year as a Professional

    The 2014 MLB First Year Amateur Player Draft is right around the corner and hundreds of high school and college ballplayers are counting the hours before the Houston Astros go on the clock with the first pick of the draft on Thursday, June 5.

    One year ago, Kohl Stewart was an 18 year-old pitcher anxiously awaiting the draft. Today, Stewart, who was selected by the Minnesota Twins with the fourth overall pick of the first round, is a couple of months in to his first full year of ...

    Updated 05-27-2014 at 03:20 PM by SD Buhr

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  11. A Kernels Day in Photos

    I'm traveling for work the first half of this week, so I won't really have an opportunity to write a regular weekly update on the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Perhaps it's just as well, though, because the Twins' Midwest League affiliate did not have a real good week.

    The Kernels dropped from the second spot in the MWL Western Division standings all the way to the cellar, as they endured an eight-game losing streak.

    That losing streak ended Sunday in Burlington, however. Cedar ...

    Updated 05-20-2014 at 09:11 PM by SD Buhr

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  12. When baseball gods get angry

    Everyone who has ever played the game knows you simply do not anger the baseball gods.

    The baseball gods are a vengeful lot. Any kind of slight, whether real or perceived, can cause them to rain down bad karma on players, coaches, teams and even, apparently, entire organizations.

    Someone in the Minnesota Twins organization must have really ticked off those baseball gods back during spring training, because the Twins have had one calamity after another since March. That’s ...

    Updated 05-13-2014 at 11:03 PM by SD Buhr

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  13. 'ZONING' with Kernels Pitching Coach Ivan Arteaga

    Ivan Arteaga is in his first year serving as the Cedar Rapids Kernels pitching coach, but he’s far from being a rookie when it comes to working with young pitchers in the Twins organization.

    After bouncing around the minor leagues for much of the 1990s with the Expos, Rockies and Mets organizations, the Venezuela native began coaching young pitchers for the Twins organization in 2001 and he’s been helping to develop the organization’s young arms ever since.

    Arteaga ...
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  14. Kernels Report: Aaron Slegers is Standing Tall

    The Cedar Rapids Kernels brought a highly heralded group of pitchers north out of spring training. The opening day pitching staff was littered with highly rated prospects obtained with high draft picks and big-money international free agency signings.

    Even among top prospects, however, you’re never sure what kind of start you’ll get in a Midwest League season. Some of these pitchers are still teenagers. Some are a long way away from home for the first time. Some have seldom, ...
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