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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/19): Red Wings Storm Back

    Thirty-year old Yohan Pino made his Major League debut on Thursday night, after nearly ten full years pitching in the Minor Leagues. Pino pitched well, yielding just two runs over seven innings to go along with seven strike outs. Like Andrew Albers before him, Pino will have to prove he has staying power after a strong initial outing. He received a no-decision. In the 8th, the Twins scored two runs and Glen Perkins recorded the save

    Transactions

    A day after the Ft. Myers Miracle clinched their playoff berth with a first-half title, there were several transactions in the organization.

    Jairo Rodriguez went from New Britain to Ft. Myers. Jason Wheeler and Stephen Wickens were both promoted from the Miracle to the Rock Cats. The Miracle also added Max Kepler and Nate Roberts off of their disabled list. Alex Swim went from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Dallas Gallant was sent to the Kernels. Michael Quesada was placed on the Kernels DL while Josue Montanez was sent back to Elizabethton.

    Red Wings Report
    Rochester 8, Pawtucket 6
    Box

    The Red Wings were down 6-0 headed to the bottom of the seventh inning before they exploded for eight runs in the next two frames to steal a victory from the Pawtucket Red Sox.

    Clay Buchholz was making a rehab start for the Red Sox, and pitched six scoreless innings of two hit baseball, but once he turned the game over to his bullpen the Red Wings went to work. In the bottom of the seventh Chris Colabello singled, Daniel Ortiz and pinch hitter Brad Nelson both worked walks, and then, with two outs, James Beresford hits a bases clearing double, his twelfth of the year. Still down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth, the Red Wings loaded to bases again, following a Chris Herrmann double and Josmil Pinto and Chris Colabello walks. Daniel Ortiz stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam to right field to give the Red Wings a 7-6 lead. Doug Bernier followed that up with another double, and he later scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of James Beresford. Daniel Ortiz led the way with that grand slam, finishing the night 2-3 with a walk.

    On the bump it was a tough night for Logan Darnell (who was a candidate to start for the Twins on Thursday), he gave up five earned runs by the end of the third inning, but then hung on to pitch into the sixth without any more damage. He struck out one, walked four, and surendered eight hits to go along with those five earned runs in 5.1 innings. Deolis Guerra gave up a run on a solo home run, but gave up no other hits. He struck out three of the six batters he faced. Michael Tonkin picked up the win with a scoreless top of the eighth, and Aaron Thompson earned the save.

    Rock Cats Review
    New Britain 13, Harrisburg 5
    Box

    The Rock Cats scored multiple runs in the second, third, fourth and eighth innings to cruise to a 13-5 victory against Harrisburg. Despite all of the run scoring, Aaron Hicks, starting his rehab assignment and leading off for the Rock Cats, was 0-3 before being lifted for pinch hitter Brad Boyer. Maybe the Rock Cats were looking to limit Hicks to just three at bats, but being lifted for a light hitting second basemen is not a great confidence boost for a guy looking to find his way with the bat. Nate Hanson (4-6), Kennys Vargas (2-6) and Reynaldo Rodriguez (3-5) all hit home runs for New Britain and Eddie Rosario (1-6) and Tony Thomas (1-4) added extra base hits of their own as part of a 19 hit slug fest for the Rock Cats.

    The Rock Cats pitching staff, buoyed by that offensive outburst, managed to pitch around twelve hits, including eight from starter Pat Dean, who picked up the win with a six inning three run (four earned) outing. Dean struck out four and scattered eight hits. Adrian Salcedo, Mark Hamburger and Cole Johnson each pitched an inning in relief to finish the game.

    Miracle Matters
    Fort Myers 4, St. Lucie 7
    Box

    B.J. Hermsen struggled in his first start of the season, giving up four runs in the third inning, before being lifted for Alex Wimmers who pitched three innings of long relief, giving up three runs of his own. Down 7-1 headed to the seventh, Mason Melotakis and Steven Gruber each pitched a scoreless inning to end a tough night for the Miracle.

    The Miracle managed ten hits, but could not overcome their early deficit. Max Kepler was 2-4 and hit a two-run homer in the seventh as the Miracle tried to make a late charge, but a timely pitching change from St. Lucie put an end to the Fort Myers rally. Adam Brett Walker (1-3) and Aderlin Mejia (2-4) had the other two Miracle RBIs.

    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 0, Kane County 7
    Box

    Kane County's Duary Torrez shut out the Kernels and held them to just three hits in a rain shortened five inning game (the game was actually suspended with two outs in the bottom of the fifth). Chad Christensen, Mitch Garver and Jason Kanzler all picked up singles, but that was the extent of the Kernels offensive output, they did not have an extra base hit or a walk.

    Aaron Slegers earned the loss in Kane County, giving up seven runs, all earned, in just three innings. He struck out one batter and gave up a home run. Dallas Gallant pitched an inning and two thirds in relief, giving up just a single hit before the rains came. The Kernels were probably glad that this one was quickly washed away from their memory.

    E-Town Twins Takes
    Elizabethton 11, Greenville 3
    Box

    In their first game of the season, the Elizabethton Twins slugged 13 hits, and took advantage of three Greeneville errors to plate eleven runs. Twins' first round draft pick Nick Gordon played shortstop and hit second in the E-Town lineup. He was 4-5 with a double, two runs scored, and a walk. He was also perfect in the field in five chances. Talk about a great way to make his professional debut! Trey Vavra, son of Twins coach Joe Vavra, was 2-5 with four RBIs, hitting in the eight-hole.

    The Twins used four pitchers, and starter Stephen Gonsalves pitched four innings. He struck out four, walked one, gave up three hits and two runs. Kuo Hua Lo gave up an unearned run in his only inning of relief, and Cameron Booser and Randy LeBlanc both pitched two scoreless innings to complete the E-Town victory.

    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Nick Gordon, Elizabethton Twins
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Pat Dean, New Britain Rock Cats


    Friday's Probable Starters
    Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05pm Central) Kris Johnson (Listen)
    Reading @ New Britain (6:35pm Central) Taylor Rogers (Listen)
    Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30pm Central) Tim Shbuya (Listen)
    Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30pm Central) Lewis Thorpe (Listen)
    Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00pm Central) - Sam Gibbons (Listen)
    GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (11:00am Central) - TBD
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. Boone's Avatar
      Boone -
      Pretty impressive that Gordon started on opening day for Elizabethton. Not only does this indicate how quickly he signed but our most recent top picks--Buxton and Stewart-- made their debuts in the GCL. If he has a good season, it could really accelerate his development.
    1. kdrupp09's Avatar
      kdrupp09 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
      Pretty impressive that Gordon started on opening day for Elizabethton. Not only does this indicate how quickly he signed but our most recent top picks--Buxton and Stewart-- made their debuts in the GCL. If he has a good season, it could really accelerate his development.
      Not only is it impressive that he started, but how well he played certainly looks nice too! Hopefully he will develop quickly!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      What's impressive is that the team pushed him to E-Town. I haven't officially researched, but I think the last time a high school hitter from the draft went right to Elizabethton was Trevor Plouffe in 2004. That year, Plouffe got 264 plate appearances in 60 games. He hit .283/.340/.380 with seven doubles, two triples and four home runs.

      In 2001, Joe Mauer signed later and got 130 plate appearances in 32 games. He hit .400/.492/.491 with six doubles and two triples. He walked 19 times while striking out just 10 times.

      Paul Kelly (2005), Joe Benson (2006), Chris Parmelee (2006) all played in the GCl after signing, but when the GCL season was done, they spent 5-11 games in Beloit.

      Ben Revere and Aaron Hicks each played in the GCL and then jumped to Beloit the next season.

      In 2011, Travis Harrison was drafted, but he didn't sign. So in 2012, he began in Elizabethton, but that wasn't in the same season. 2002 top pick Denard Span also signed late and began his career in 2003 at Elizabethton.
    1. TKGuy's Avatar
      TKGuy -
      Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the day in your professional debut! He'll always remember that
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Nice start for Gordon... hoping for a Buxton like start to his career.

      What's with the Twins drafting all of Vavra's kids? How many more does he have?
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Why do they continue to give Hermsen innings? Back at High A after two seasons in AA. I'm sure he's a nice kid and all but...
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      talent trumps age and injuries. Give Hermsen a proper chance
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Vargas now has 57rbi, leading the MN minors, Walker with 53.
      Vargas SLG now .551

      NB on a roll.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Why do they continue to give Hermsen innings? Back at High A after two seasons in AA. I'm sure he's a nice kid and all but...
      I imagine the Twins see Hermsen's future, assuming he has one, as a reliever at this point, but the Miracle need to have arms to fill their rotation. I imagine the Twins expected someone in CR such as Slegers or Eades (or both) to be ready for promotion by now and that has not happened.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Interesting to see Wheeler promoted and not Berrios.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
      I imagine the Twins see Hermsen's future, assuming he has one, as a reliever at this point, but the Miracle need to have arms to fill their rotation. I imagine the Twins expected someone in CR such as Slegers or Eades (or both) to be ready for promotion by now and that has not happened.
      Glad you mentioned the latter two, JC. I haven't seen alot written about Eades and Slegers falling off the ledge, as it were. Any simple explanation for why this is happening?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
      Vargas now has 57rbi, leading the MN minors, Walker with 53.
      Vargas SLG now .551

      NB on a roll.
      And how! New Britain has won 10 of 11 since Eddie Rosario has hit the lineup. I guess his buddy, Kennys Vargas, is happiest of all in having him back. In those 11 games, Vargas is slashing .391/.420/.826/1.246 with 6 HR. En Fuego much?
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      I was at the game last night to see Yohan Pino's debut. Looked like maybe 10k or so fans. Pino doesn't strike me as a flash in the pan. Unlike Albers, I didn't get the feeling that I was witnessing an heroic, one-off performance as he battled the White Sox. Pino spots his 88mph heater around the edges, and he varies his arm angle along with everything else. He's got a sharp breaking curve and a very deceptive change-up, both of which he can throw for strikes away from the middle. The result of mixing in such good off-speed pitches was that opposing hitters were late on his mediocre heater. And if they sit on his heater, they get the change-up.

      Seven K's, one BB, 2 runs over seven innings. I think he really could keep doing that. I'd leave him at fifth starter until somebody better comes along.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Glad you mentioned the latter two, JC. I haven't seen alot written about Eades and Slegers falling off the ledge, as it were. Any simple explanation for why this is happening?
      Hey if I knew why it was happening, I'd be a pitching coach!


      They've both had a few pretty decent starts, but there have been too many real clunkers, as well.

      The thing I have to keep reminding myself about is that there's a very real difference between the approach you take to "working on things" at Class A than at the Big League level (or even higher minor league, I suspect).

      Kernels SPs have 2 bullpen sessions between starts where they are working with their pitching coach on various things. Maybe it's a new grip on a pitch, maybe it's something in their mechanics, or whatever.

      You may tweak things at high levels, too, but I think you just work on things in your pen sessions and then go out and and just pitch when you get in games.

      At this level, the games are part of the instructional aspect. They're expected to go out during their starts and put in to practice the things they've been working on in pens, possibly much sooner than they would if winning games was the be all and end all of things.

      Not saying they don't care about the results. These guys really do. They hate losing. Most of them aren't used to losing. But they have to balance that with also working on whatever improvements their coaches are trying to help them make so they can be even better in the long run.
    1. zwiefz's Avatar
      zwiefz -
      One more Vavra kid coming up yet. I believe he is a senior in high school this year(or was).Joe is from my hometown and before getting hired by the Twins my wife worked for him while she was in college at a family fun center type place where he gave batting lessons. We actually bought our dog from him.

      Not sure if any of his sons will end up in the Majors, but they seem to at least have enough talent to justify their draft spots. Sometimes people gripe about the Twins being too loyal, but in this case it seems that loyalty and talent have merged themselves nicely.
    1. SurroundedByTigers's Avatar
      SurroundedByTigers -
      Hicks has to be depressed. He puts up and O-fer(3), and gets pulled from the game on a night when the RockCats get 19 hits. Snap judgment: I don't see him back in Minnesota this year. Rosario and Vargas maybe, and both of them at Target Field before Hicks.
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