• Twins Minor League Report (9/5): Kernels Kaput

    On Wednesday night, the Ft. Myers Miracle were swept out of the Florida State League playoffs by Charlotte. On Thursday night, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the best team in the Midwest League in 2013, lost to the Quad Cities River Bandits for the second straight night to end their season. Such is the randomness of a best of three playoff series after a 140 game season.

    Rochester also lost on Pawtucket on Thursday night. The loss evened the series at a game a piece. That turns a best of five series into a best of three series. Unfortunately, after playing the first two games at home, the Red Wings will now head to Rhode Island for the rest of the series.

    Rochester Red Wings 2, Pawtucket Red Sox 7
    Box Score

    The game started with two scoreless innings. However, Pawtucket got to PJ Walters for two runs in the third inning. That was followed by three unearned runs in the fourth inning. Logan Darnell came in and got the final out of the fourth inning, and then in the fifth inning gave up two unearned runs, though the error was his own.

    Walters was charged with the five runs (2 earned) in 3.2 innings. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out two. Darnell gave up the two unearned runs on two hits in 2.1 innings. He didn't walk anyone and struck out four. Edgar Ibarra came on and gave up just one hit over two shutout innings. Shairon Martis struck out one in a 1-2-3 inning.

    Offensively, the Red Wings did little. They did score two runs off rehabbing starter Clay Buchholz. In fact, they had four hits and walked twice against the Red Sox starter. Unfortunately that was about it. They managed just three more hits the rest of the game.

    The Red Wings had seven hits in the game. Ray Olmedo had three of, and Eduardo Escobar had two more.

    What's Next? Lefty Pat Dean will take the mound in Pawtucket on Friday night opposite Steven Wright in Game 3.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 2, Quad Cities River Bandits 4
    Box Score

    Four batters into this game, things could not have been going any better for the Kernels. Right-hander Tim Shibuya struck out the side in the top of the 1st inning. Then, Jonathan Murphy led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a solo home run. It was all downhill from there, and the Kernels' season ended with an 88-52 record after being swept by the River Bandits.

    Photo by SD Buhr

    Shibuya went the first six innings, but he was chanrged with four runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out five. Mason Melotakis came on and threw two scoreless innings. Brian Gilbert threw a perfect ninth.

    Unfortunately, the Kernels were able to muster only four hits. Murphy's home run was one. The Kernels also had three doubles, one each by Michael Gonzales, Joel Licon and Jorge Polanco. Polanco scored the second run on a ground out by Max Kepler.

    The game wasn't without controversy. With a runner on in the 4th inning, Adam Walker blasted a ball down the left field line. The ball was called foul, though onlookers (including SD Buhr) are convinced the ball was well fair. A two-run homer in this two-run game proved pretty large!


    For at least two more days, we will have a Minor League Report. As long as the Rochester Red Wings are in the playoffs, we'll continue to post updates. When they're done, a lot of minor league coverage will be set into motion, so be sure to continue checking out Twins Daily for much more Twins minor league coverage throughout the offseason.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (9/5): Kernels Kaput started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. Rick Niedermann's Avatar
      Rick Niedermann -
      Also in Cedar Rapids, Terry Ryan was in the crowd scouting the game. Mike Gonzales looked to have a 400 ft homer that was knocked down by a wind coming in from center. He had a couple of gafs in the field that hurt Shibuya. Adam Brett Walkers ball looked foul to me. But more frustrating was the inconsistent strike calls of the home plate umpire. Mason Melatokis sure looks like the real deal. I think he will see Minnesota in a couple of years. Houston's-Quad Cities Corriea looks like a future star. Big for a shortstop though. It was a great year in Cedar Rapids. So good to have a Twins affiliate in Iowa.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Correa is legit. He is a Top 10 prospect. Houston chose to get Correa and McCullers and Ruiz instead of getting Buxton. Buxton's the top prospect in baseball, but Correa's Top ten. McCullers throws 100. Ruiz has all kinds of power. Don't forget that Quad Cities shut down Mark Appel. He could be on this roster too now.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      I heard the guys on the radio say (last night) that they thought Walker was their MVP for Kernels because of the full season he played in CR. They also complimented the Kernels on playing to a better record in the 2nd half of the season. I couldn't agree with them more. It was an amazing season despite the end results. Best of wishes to ALL the Kernels as the embark on their future MLB careers. Great season. Shout out to Seth and all the Twins Daily writers as they made this my morning / afternoon / and evening read with coffee and / or nightcap. Great Work.
    1. Otwins's Avatar
      Otwins -
      Thanks Seth for the daily updates. I don't think there was one I did not enjoy.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      its a big shame that Berrios didn't pitch this series.

      I would've like to see what the kid with big time stuff could've done against a top tier line-up. It would've been good for his development and better for the organization.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by lightfoot789 View Post
      I heard the guys on the radio say (last night) that they thought Walker was their MVP for Kernels because of the full season he played in CR. They also complimented the Kernels on playing to a better record in the 2nd half of the season. I couldn't agree with them more. It was an amazing season despite the end results. Best of wishes to ALL the Kernels as the embark on their future MLB careers. Great season. Shout out to Seth and all the Twins Daily writers as they made this my morning / afternoon / and evening read with coffee and / or nightcap. Great Work.
      Buxton was named the League MVP despite playing just 3 games into the 2nd half. I agree that Adam Walker is absolutely the Kernels MVP. No question.

      We were all impressed when the Kernels won 40 games in the first half... they then won 48 games in the 2nd half. Very impressive season.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Otwins View Post
      Thanks Seth for the daily updates. I don't think there was one I did not enjoy.
      I appreciate that. Thankfully the Twins minor league affiliates gave us a lot to write about. It was a fun minor league season for the teams and a lot of great prospects continued to take strides. And, as I've said over and over, it's also about recognizing the players who don't get the national or even local people don't talk about.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Seth, I know how much work you have to meet every day's deadline. Yet, I also know how much you enjoy it.

      Thanks for a great year. Enjoy your off-season and just think, spring training is only a bit more than five months away!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
      Thanks for a great year. Enjoy your off-season and just think, spring training is only a bit more than five months away!
      Offseason? What Offseason??? We'll be here all winter with TONS of minor league content!
    1. chaderic20's Avatar
      chaderic20 -
      Hopefully these post season series losses will leave a bitter taste in these guys' mouths that they'll clearly remember when they're in MN in a few years.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      its a big shame that Berrios didn't pitch this series.

      I would've like to see what the kid with big time stuff could've done against a top tier line-up. It would've been good for his development and better for the organization.
      We saw what Berrios could do against the River Bandits line up 2 weeks ago. He lasted 4.2 IP and gave up 5 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. His next start, against a bad Kane County team, was even worse.

      Mauer and Lucas absolutely made the right call on pitching assignments.

      The problem the last two nights was not pitching, it was hitting (or rather a lack thereof).

      As for the fair/foul shot by Walker, even the QC third baseman said it was fair. It really wasn't all that close IMO. It's quite possible Walker hit the ball too hard/far. Based on where it landed and how far it had blown to the left by a pretty stiff breeze coming in from CF, he probably couldn't believe a ball that ended up that far left of the pole had been inside the pole when it went out of the ballpark. Possibly cost the Kernels more than just the 2 runs, as well. CR ended up with runners on the corners with 2 out, but without Walker's eventual K, they'd have been at the corners with 1 out.

      The umpire in question has been a thorn in the Kernels' side all season. He's just not very good at his job.

      Despite how things ended, though, it's been a fun year with this ballclub. Classy guys from staff through the roster. I wish every one of them all the best in the future.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      its a big shame that Berrios didn't pitch this series.

      I would've like to see what the kid with big time stuff could've done against a top tier line-up. It would've been good for his development and better for the organization.
      I have been following the Kernels closely--Berrios hit a wall a few weeks ago and pretty much struggled to the end of the season. I agree with JC (or SD) the pitching was OK in the playoffs--hard to win when you only get 4 hits in the game (what the Kernels got in game 1).
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      I join others in thanking Seth (and Jeremy) for these daily updates. I have never followed the minors like I did this year--really enjoyed it--as opposed to the routine the past few years of tuning out baseball sometime in June when it was obvious the Twins were done...
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
      We saw what Berrios could do against the River Bandits line up 2 weeks ago. He lasted 4.2 IP and gave up 5 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. His next start, against a bad Kane County team, was even worse.

      Mauer and Lucas absolutely made the right call on pitching assignments.

      The problem the last two nights was not pitching, it was hitting (or rather a lack thereof).

      As for the fair/foul shot by Walker, even the QC third baseman said it was fair. It really wasn't all that close IMO. It's quite possible Walker hit the ball too hard/far. Based on where it landed and how far it had blown to the left by a pretty stiff breeze coming in from CF, he probably couldn't believe a ball that ended up that far left of the pole had been inside the pole when it went out of the ballpark. Possibly cost the Kernels more than just the 2 runs, as well. CR ended up with runners on the corners with 2 out, but without Walker's eventual K, they'd have been at the corners with 1 out.

      The umpire in question has been a thorn in the Kernels' side all season. He's just not very good at his job.

      Despite how things ended, though, it's been a fun year with this ballclub. Classy guys from staff through the roster. I wish every one of them all the best in the future.
      Was it Phil Cuzzi incognito?
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      I'll also join the hat tipping to Seth for these updates.
      I don't see eye to eye with Seth on many of his opinions, but I can't dispute the excellent work he does with the minor league reports. By far the best thing going on this forum right now. (That is not a shot at the forum, just a compliment of how good these reports are)
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