• Twins Minor League Report (5/14): Lee, Walker Propel Kernels

    Overall, it was not a good day for the Minnesota Twins’ minor league affiliates. However, you’ll want to see what the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ most productive and most exciting hitters did on Tuesday.

    Kyle Gibson was back on the mound for the first time since his complete game shutout. How did the Red Wings right-hander follow up his strong performance? Antoan Richardson performed the duties of leadoff hitter very well. Cedar Rapids also made several transactions.

    Check out what happened in the Twins farm system on Tuesday:

    Rochester Red Wings 4, Durham Bulls 7

    Box Score

    In his previous start, Kyle Gibson threw a complete game shutout against the offensively-challenged Toledo Mud Hens. He threw 114 pitches, so his next start was pushed back a day. On Tuesday night, he faced the good offense of the Durham Bulls. It didn’t go so well. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in just three innings. Tyler Robertson came on and worked two innings. He gave up a run on one hit and one walk, striking out two. Dan Turpen came on and gave up two runs on three hits in two innings; he walked one and struck out one. Luis Perdomo came on and gave up one hit over two innings.

    Antoan Richardson went 3-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Ray Olmedo went 2-4 with a walk. Chris Colabello was 2-5.

    On Wednesday, Cole De Vries will make his third rehab start, first with the Red Wings.

    New Britain Rock Cats 2, Bowie Baysox 8

    Box Score

    BJ Hermsen made his longest start of the season. He worked six innings. He gave up four unearned runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out four. Edgar Ibarra pitched a scoreless seventh inning, walking one and striking out one. Bobby Lanigan pitched the eighth inning and gave up four runs on four hits.

    The Rock Cat bats managed just four hits. Danny Ortiz hit his 11th double. Jason Christian hit his second triple.

    Pat Dean will make the start on Wednesday for New Britain.

    Ft. Myers Miracle 3, Dunedin Blue Jays 9

    Box Score

    It wasn’t a good night for the Miracle. Matt Summers started and gave up three runs on five hits. In 5.2 innings he walked three and struck out five. Chad Rodgers came on and gave up four unearned runs on four hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Dakota Watts pitched the final two innings and gave up two runs on four hits.

    Levi Michael went 2-4 with his fifth double and the lone Miracle error. Aderlin Mejia was also 2-4. The two combined for four of the team’s six hits.

    On Wednesday, Tom Stuifbergen will make the start for the Miracle.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 5, Burlington Bees 4

    Box Score

    The Kernels may have only had four hits in this game, but they got a pretty big hit from a pretty big guy who has been a pretty big, productive performer all year. Adam Walker came to the plate in the 6th inning of a tied game. For the third time this season he hit a grand slam. On the year, Walker is now hitting .309/.356/.655 with ten doubles, four triples, ten home runs and 44 RBI in 35 games. 24 of his 43 hits have gone for extra bases. This home run went over the batter’s eye in center field, a monstrous blast. As Jeff Johnson of The Gazette (Cedar Rapids) tweeted, “Cover Kernels since ’99, seen vast majority of games in new ballpark, see 2 balls hit over batter’s eye previously. 2 this year.” Dalton Hicks hit one over the eye earlier this season, and Kennys Vargas did it once last year in a Beloit uniform. Jim Crikket was at the game and tweeted, “Walker is now 5-for-6 with the bases loaded this season. 3 of those hits are grand slams.”


    The Kernels added an important insurance run an inning later. Byron Buxton hit a routine fly ball to centerfield. The centerfielder dropped the ball and kicked it around a bit. In the meantime, Buxton raced all the way around the bases. I’m sure Mr. Crikket will read this (maybe?) and be able to tell us more, but I envision a guy running around the bases really, really quickly.

    Lefty Brett Lee was very impressive on the mound. He threw six shutout innings before his own throwing error led to two unearned runs in the seventh inning. He gave up eight hits, but walked just one and struck out ten for the win. Coming into the game, he had 13 strikeouts in 24.2 innings. He now has 23 strikeouts (and seven walks) in 31.2 innings on the year. Manuel Soliman came on and threw a scoreless eighth before being charged with two in the ninth. David Hurlbut got the final two outs to record his third save.

    Hudson Boyd will make the start on Wednesday for the Kernels. On Tuesday, the Kernels made several transactions. Lefty Josue Montanez returns to the team. Michael Quesada was officially added to the roster after his 50 game suspension. Jeremias Pineda, who came to the Twins last August in the Danny Valencia trade, was promoted to Cedar Rapids as well. Romy Jimenez, on his birthday, was sent down to Extended Spring Training.

    Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (5/14): Lee, Walker Propel Kernels started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Whoever thinks Kyle Gibson is ready for the major should be hit on the head.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      In the interest of full disclosure, I believe the tweet concerning Walker's amazing productivity with bases loaded this season originated from the official Kernels Twitter account, which I retweeted. By the time of Walker's grand slam, I was working on my 3rd margarita of the night (since I wasn't actually working the game, just enjoying it from my seat behind the Kernels dugout), so I wouldn't have been able to put together those numbers so quickly!

      Walker's home run was the first of the "I can't believe what I just saw" moments. Those of us in the general area of where I was sitting all just kept asking one another if we really just saw the ball go over the batters eye in CF. The ball was not hit way up in the air, but more of a line drive that just kept rising, so it was a little hard to believe it carried over the batters eye.

      I've never seen a four-base error before. Bees CF (and 2012 Kernel) Chevy Clarke drifted back and appeared to simply misjudge Buxton's deep fly ball. It hit off his glove and ended up rolling to Clarke's left a ways. Buxton did have considerable elevation on the ball and it would have been out of the park anywhere but CF, but obviously Buxton didn't just stand in the batters box and admire his work. He was near 2B when Clarke muffed the catch and by the time Clarke chased the ball down and got it to the relay man, Buxton was coming around 3B. The relay throw to home was way wide up the 3B line and never had a chance.

      I do think a guy really needs to just get in the habit of recording Buxton's and Walker's ABs on his phone every time they come up to the plate.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
      I do think a guy really needs to just get in the habit of recording Buxton's and Walker's ABs on his phone every time they come up to the plate.
      I know a guy who goes to a lot of the Kernels games... that guy really should do that!
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Walker and Buxton are both pushing to get promoted. When will Keplar be ready? With Pasada, that's two outfielders who can replace them.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I know a guy who goes to a lot of the Kernels games... that guy really should do that!
      Yeah, but he'd have to put down his beer or margarita long enough to point his phone/camera at the field and the guy you're talking about could find that to be problematic.
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      Who is starting game two in CR today?
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Good morning Seth, and thanks for these reports. Do you know if Jiminez is battling an injury or any other reason for his poor performance at the plate in Cedar Rapids? Or is this a first sign of the end of the road for a player who just turned 22 and is already a bit old for his first attempt at Low-A ball?
    1. chuchadoro's Avatar
      chuchadoro -
      Quote Originally Posted by jun View Post
      Whoever thinks Kyle Gibson is ready for the major should be hit on the head.
      Luckily for Gibson, he'd be joining a AAAA staff.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
      Good morning Seth, and thanks for these reports. Do you know if Jiminez is battling an injury or any other reason for his poor performance at the plate in Cedar Rapids? Or is this a first sign of the end of the road for a player who just turned 22 and is already a bit old for his first attempt at Low-A ball?
      Romy was lights out last year in ETown. He was hands down the leading MVP candidate for the league before his injury in July. He has the "it" for sure and just needs to find it. I wouldn't give up on him so quickly. He was leading the Appy league in almost every offensive category last year on a very talented ETown team. He just needs some one on one help with his mechanics or something.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
      Good morning Seth, and thanks for these reports. Do you know if Jiminez is battling an injury or any other reason for his poor performance at the plate in Cedar Rapids? Or is this a first sign of the end of the road for a player who just turned 22 and is already a bit old for his first attempt at Low-A ball?
      Jimenez did spend the entire offseason rehabbing from a knee surgery, so that could factor in, though I think he's at 100%
    1. Jeff A's Avatar
      Jeff A -
      Assuming DeVries is ready to come back to Minnesota, who goes out? Would they make any kind of move with Pelfrey or Vanimal, or would they just make the easy move and ship out Hernandez?
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Walker and Buxton are both pushing to get promoted. When will Keplar be ready? With Pasada, that's two outfielders who can replace them.
      We were told by a source in the organization about a week ago that Kepler was "not close" to being ready. He apparently saw game action in EST today as a DH, but it doesn't sound like he's being allowed to throw yet.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by tjsyam921 View Post
      Who is starting game two in CR today?
      Looks like they're going with Steve Gruver.
    1. Brodin4Calder's Avatar
      Brodin4Calder -
      Quote Originally Posted by jun View Post
      Whoever thinks Kyle Gibson is ready for the major should be hit on the head.
      Hes deserves to be on the team more than atleast 3 of the Twins starters. Arent you sick of seeing 88mph slowballs crushed? I know I am, so is the rest of MN.
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      Went to the Miracle game Tuesday night. Here are some observations: 1. Matt Summers has a nice lively fastball that sits between 91-93, touched 94 by the Hammonds field radar gun. His secondary pitches are average. But, his consistency melted in five innings and he certainly projects as a reliever and the Twins would be smart to move him to the bullpen fulltime as soon as possible. And, from there he should be rushed to the major league level to either swim, or sink and make way for some of the arms following him. 2. Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano need to work on patience at the plate. Rosario in particular I was disappointed in because he swung at some bad pitches early in the count (twice on the first pitch) and made easy outs. 3. On the other hand, I was impressed with Rosario in the field. He made an amazing running catch in short right field, handled a couple of pretty good plays at second, and made two very strong pivots on double plays. 4. Matt Koch had a decent looking swing. He made good contact in every at bat. 5. Was not impressed with Levi Michael, even though I think he ended up with 2 hits. The boot he made in the field was a routine ground ball and was a very costly error. 5. Of the players I saw, only Sano, Rosario, Vargas, Koch, and Summers warrant advancement to AA. But they are all young guys and I hope the best for all of them. The weather was beautiful, as perfect of a night as you can have, and it was Tuesday 2-1......and it was cool to see Molitor in the Miracle dougout wearing #4. My guess is he could have been put in the lineup and been the best player on the field.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      Quote Originally Posted by jun View Post
      Whoever thinks Kyle Gibson is ready for the major should be hit on the head.
      Never seen him pitch but he can't be any less ready than Hicks, Hernandez, Parmelee, Hendricks, etc. He deserves a shot at some point this year, I hope it's soon.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by chuchadoro View Post
      Luckily for Gibson, he'd be joining a AAAA staff.
      Deduno deserves the chance first and then De Vries. Gibson should be joining the rotation later this season.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by troyhobbs View Post
      Never seen him pitch but he can't be any less ready than Hicks, Hernandez, Parmelee, Hendricks, etc. He deserves a shot at some point this year, I hope it's soon.
      I think he is definitely better than Hendriks, Hernandez is really not that bad though (if we have enough quality arms in the rotation, he should be moved to the bullpen as a lefty specialist along with Duensing), Deduno should be the first to be promoted and then De Dries, Gibson should be right after De Vries.
    1. joeboo_22's Avatar
      joeboo_22 -
      The problem with Duduno other then him not being on the 40 man roster, is that he is not very efficient even when he is pitching well. He hasn't shown anything on being anything more then a 5th starter. The difference with him and Gibson is Gibson has talent to be a #2-#3 starter, add in the innings limit and I want to see what he can do at the major league level.
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