• Twins Minor League Report: Miracle Win Again, Kernels Win Twice, Rock Cats Walk Off

    The Twins got a second win against the Angels on Tuesday night. Joe Mauer got four hits for the second straight game. Brian Dozier was forced into the leadoff spot at the last minute and got on base three times. He was leading off because Aaron Hicks was moved down in the order, and then Darin Mastroianniís ankle flared up on him again.

    Following the game, Mastroianni was put on the Disabled List and Oswaldo Arcia as again recalled from Rochester to take his place. In other roster moves, Bruce Pugh was sent from Rochester to New Britain. Aaron Thompson was added to the New Britain roster with Nelvin Fuentes being send down to Ft. Myers. According to Jeff Johnson of The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, the word is that J.O. Berrios will be with the Kernels by Thursday.

    Rochester Red Wings 0, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1

    Box Score

    Kyle Gibson loaded the bases in the first inning but survived by giving up just one run. Unfortunately, that one run was enough to give him, and the Red Wings, another loss to fall to 2-10. Gibson settled in very nicely after the first frame. He went six innings and gave up the one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out five. Caleb Thielbar came on and gave up three hits but no runs in 2.2 scoreless innings. Luis Perdomo came in and walked a batter before getting the final out.

    Oswaldo Arcia was back in the Red Wings lineup on Tuesday night after starting for the Twins on Monday night (and now heading back to Minneapolis). He went 1-4 and stole his second base. Eric Farris went 1-3 with a walk and his first double. Eric Fryer was 2-3.

    New Britain Rock Cats 7, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6

    Box Score

    The Rock Cats were able to pull out another win in the bottom of the ninth on this night. James Beresford scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch.



    Beresford has been hot of late. On this night, he went 3-4 with his second double. He was also hit by a pitch. Curt Smith was 2-3 with a walk. Danny Santana was 2-5 with his first double. Nate Hanson was 1-2 and he also walked three times. Josmil Pinto and Danny Ortiz each doubled.

    Trevor May was back on the mound. The hard-throwing righty gave up two runs on six hits. In 5.1 innings, he walked four and struckout eight. Jose Gonzalez got the final two outs of the sixth inning but not before giving up four runs on five hits. Edgar Ibarra was perfect for two innings, striking out two. Michael Tonkin got the win. He walked one and struckout one in the ninth inning.

    Ft. Myers Miracle 7, Palm Beach Cardinals 4

    Box Score

    Another day, another win for the Ft. Myers Miracle. This one came in dramatic fashion. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Miracle loaded the bases to bring up Miguel Sano. On the first pitch, Sano launched a long, towering home run. The grand slam was his fourth homer of the season and gave the Miracle their 7-4 lead, a lead they would maintain over the final innings.

    Sano went 2-3 with a walk. Early in the game, he extended his hitting streak to ten games. Eddie Rosario extended his hitting streak to nine games with an early single. He was 2-4. Jhon Goncalves went 2-3 with a walk and a double. Matt Koch was 2-4 with a double. Stephen Wickens had a triple. AJ Pettersen hit his second double.

    Jason Wheeler made the start. The lefty gave up three runs on five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out four. Tim Wood made his first rehab appearance. He gave up one run on three hits. Cole Johnson picked up the save with two shutout innings. He struck out two.

    Game 1 - Cedar Rapids Kernels 3, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 0

    Box Score

    The Kernels remain quite busy. It was their third doubleheader in four days (7 games in 4 days). Brett Lee finally go to make his first start. The left-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up six hits, walked none and struck out three. Tyler Jones came on for the final inning to record his second save of the season.

    Jorge Polanco went 2-3 with an RBI. Travis Harrison went 1-2 with a walk. Niko Goodrum went 1-2 with a walk. Adam Walker went 0-1 with two walks.

    Game 2 - Cedar Rapids Kernels 9, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 1

    Box Score

    Byron Buxton did not play in the first game, the first game of the season he has missed. He had been hit in the elbow on Monday night. He had it checked out, and it was fine. In the first inning of the second game he returned to the lineup with a single. Later, in the same inning, he doubled in a couple of runs. The Kernels bats scored eight runs in the first inning and maintained that lead with a 9-1 win.

    Buxton went 3-4 with his second double and two RBI. He is now hitting .474 on the season. Jorge Polanco went 2-4 with his third double and two RBI. Travis Harrison hit his second home run, a two run shot.

    Steven Gruver also made his first start of the season. The lefty gave up two hits in four shutout innings. He walked none and struck out six. Tim Atherton got the win. He went the final three innings and gave up one run on two hits. He struck out two.

    Please feel free to comment or ask questions.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report: Miracle Win Again, Kernels Win Twice, Rock Cats Walk Off started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Cedar Rapids pitching has been on fire this year!
      Will Berrios be pitching on Thursday?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      They say he'll be arriving on Thursday... No word on if he will start right away, or what his timeline and role will be.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      If he starts will they go to a 7 man rotation?
      Is someone moving up?
    1. Larsbars08's Avatar
      Larsbars08 -
      Could anyone have imagined a better start for the Twins top prospects?
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Thanks for this report. What a great day for the Twins system, except Rochester, and even Rochester provided good news with Gibson's performance.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Seth-

      Brett Lee continues to impress, now as a Starter.

      Is it soon time to upgrade his prospect status? Any idea how the Twins plan to use him?... and what does his promotion timetable looks like?

      For the record, he might be a little old for this group at age 22, but his control and power are impeccable thus far in his career, he's now walked only 12 in 51+ innings and struck out 55! What's he throwing? (Lots of dead weight SPs in the upper-tier minor league teams)
    1. zenser's Avatar
      zenser -
      Any word on what happened in the 8th inning in the Rochester game? I see both managers and Rochester's hitting coach were ejected.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Still trying to learn what they'll do, but they won't go with a 7-man rotation, for sure.

      Brett Lee is a good prospect. He must be. I think he was drafted two previous times before signing with the Twins as a 11th or 12th rounder. He looks solid. I just saw him strikeout the side in a relief appearance in CR, so I don't have much to go off of. He's a decent prospect. He's left-handed and throws fairly hard (90-92). I don't think he's a top prospect, but he's certainly worth watching as a future reliever. And, if he continues to throw strikes, maybe he can be a rotation guy.

      But, let's see how he does over a little more extended time in the full seasons.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers are a combined 21-3. Impressive.
    1. SurroundedByTigers's Avatar
      SurroundedByTigers -
      This is shaping up as a beautiful spring, even if the weather is crappy. Who woulda thunk the Twins take two from Angels, and the franchise's minor league teams are on fire (except Rochester). Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Larsbars08 View Post
      Could anyone have imagined a better start for the Twins top prospects?
      No. Outside of Hicks in MLB, it's seriously been insane.

      Combined 2013 MiLB hitting stats for Twins prospects that made Top 100 Lists (Buxton, Sano, Rosario, Arcia):
      45 G, 166 AB, 39 R, 69 H, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 114 TB, 17BB, 7 SB, .474 OBP, .687 SLG, .416 AVG, 1.102 OPS.

      And that's not to mention similarly great starts by Hicks, Polanco, Ortiz, Pinto, and Colabello.
    1. James's Avatar
      James -
      Quote Originally Posted by Larsbars08 View Post
      Could anyone have imagined a better start for the Twins top prospects?
      If you would have predicted that they would be doing this well before the season started, I would have told you to be a little more realistic with your numbers. That being said, they are off to a great start and this is definitely making for an exciting April.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Larsbars08 View Post
      Could anyone have imagined a better start for the Twins top prospects?
      *sigh* Joe Benson, my adopt-a-prospect for 2013, is no longer a top prospect. C'mon Joe.
    1. Dance with Disco Dan's Avatar
      Dance with Disco Dan -
      The unbelievably strong starts of Arcia, Sano, Buxton, and Rosario have done wonders for my prospect loving heart which has barely survived Hicks looking unbearably over-matched. I mean who was he hitting in spring training? Were they all AA pitchers? Anyway, dropping him down in the line up might help things and it seems to have cleared Mauer's mind. I think Joe was going up to the plate just feeling plain old bad for Hicks and was swinging and missing in sympathy.

      I think Parmelee better wake up before the All-Star game or I am personally driving Arcia from Rochester to the Twins Cities and dropping him at Ryan's door step.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dance with Disco Dan View Post
      The unbelievably strong starts of Arcia, Sano, Buxton, and Rosario have done wonders for my prospect loving heart which has barely survived Hicks looking unbearably over-matched. I mean who was he hitting in spring training? Were they all AA pitchers? Anyway, dropping him down in the line up might help things and it seems to have cleared Mauer's mind. I think Joe was going up to the plate just feeling plain old bad for Hicks and was swinging and missing in sympathy.

      I think Parmelee better wake up before the All-Star game or I am personally driving Arcia from Rochester to the Twins Cities and dropping him at Ryan's door step.
      Baseball Reference kept ST stats and graded out the average level of competitin faced during the Spring. Those stats appear to be gone now, but I seem to remember that Hicks's level of pitching competition was in the "8s" on a scale meaning "9" was major league experienced. So it does suggest that this is more of a "adjusting to the pressure" thing than an inability to "adjust to the Major League pitcher" thing. He has struggled initially at each level of promotion, it's to be expected that he will have his struggles, especially since he's jumped TWO levels.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
      Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers are a combined 21-3. Impressive.
      It's fun to agree with you birdwatcher- and it's fun to track these phenoms on a daily basis. A special hats off to the manager down in Ft Myers, the "Minty Fresh", "Eye Chart" man, Doug Mientkiewicz. This appears to be a hire that the Twins FO got right. He went to high school with A-Rod, so he is aware of what it's like to be a superstar in the making, coupled with Dougie-Fresh's fundamentally-sound approach to the game, he might be one to watch for- his own star may also be on the rise.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      *sigh* Joe Benson, my adopt-a-prospect for 2013, is no longer a top prospect. C'mon Joe.
      I still believe in him!!! Not completely certain that all with the organization do, but I do... for what that's worth (which isn't much!).
    1. Dance with Disco Dan's Avatar
      Dance with Disco Dan -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Baseball Reference kept ST stats and graded out the average level of competitin faced during the Spring. Those stats appear to be gone now, but I seem to remember that Hicks's level of pitching competition was in the "8s" on a scale meaning "9" was major league experienced. So it does suggest that this is more of a "adjusting to the pressure" thing than an inability to "adjust to the Major League pitcher" thing. He has struggled initially at each level of promotion, it's to be expected that he will have his struggles, especially since he's jumped TWO levels.
      Jokin, thanks for your post. I didn't realize Baseball-Reference had this type of information. Another cyber rabbit-hole for me to waste a weekend surfing.

      I know Hicks struggled early at each move up and that this is a 2-level leap. Although I was in the minority on this site (in my strong preference for sending Hicks to AAA at least until Super-2 status was avoided), I was still looking forward to seeing Hicks excel and thought he might after a strong spring. Sadly, my hopes for his at-bats have gone from "hit it hard, big guy" to "oh, for all that's holy, please put it in play before your psyche is crushed beyond repair."
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Baseball Reference kept ST stats and graded out the average level of competitin faced during the Spring. Those stats appear to be gone now, but I seem to remember that Hicks's level of pitching competition was in the "8s" on a scale meaning "9" was major league experienced. So it does suggest that this is more of a "adjusting to the pressure" thing than an inability to "adjust to the Major League pitcher" thing. He has struggled initially at each level of promotion, it's to be expected that he will have his struggles, especially since he's jumped TWO levels.
      Some of this is just a good old fashioned slump. He was smokin' hot in spring training. Stayed on the ball really well. He had several hits the opposite way.

      Now he's cold and pulling off the ball. E,g, the pop-up last night. He was out in front of an outside change-up and his head was actually pointed toward first base when he made contact.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Some of this is just a good old fashioned slump. He was smokin' hot in spring training. Stayed on the ball really well. He had several hits the opposite way.

      Now he's cold and pulling off the ball. E,g, the pop-up last night. He was out in front of an outside change-up and his head was actually pointed toward first base when he made contact.
      Possibly. But I think Disco Dan spelled it out exactly right. This slump is so epically bad, there is real danger of full-fetal-position long-term damage if some tweaking isn't done here to change the situation, and possibly short-term, the environment.
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