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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/29): Strong Starting Pitching and Burdi's Debut

    The Minnesota Twins were able to end their 10-game road losing streak against the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon, behind a solid bounce-back effort from starter Kyle Gibson and clutch hitting from Kendrys Morales and unexpected spark plug Jorge Polanco. Gibson went eight efficient innings, allowing just two runs on ninety-five pitches (69 for strikes). Morales provided the winning RBI with a ninth inning double down the line to left to score Sam Fuld. Glen Perkins closed out the ninth by striking out the side to pick up his 20th save of the year.

    Down in the minors, the Twins affiliates received strong starting performances from all their pitchers (including that Berrios guy), but were only 1-3 on the day.

    Second-round draft pick Nick Burdi also made his professional debut for the Cedar Rapids Kernels with Seth Stohs in attendance.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Norfolk 1, Rochester 8
    Box score

    The story of the game for the Red Wings was starter Logan Darnell. He pitched his first AAA complete game, scattering nine hits and one walk, with three strikeouts. He helped himself by inducing four double plays, which is a season high for the Red Wings defense. Darnell is now 3-1 with 2.29 ERA in 39.1 IP in front of the home crowd at Frontier Field. The lone run was the result of a home run off the bat of Michael Almanzar in the fifth inning.

    The offense put five runs on the board in the third inning to provide all the offensive support Darnell would need. James Beresford led off the inning with a single, and scored when Danny Ortiz hit his fourth home run of the season. Four consecutive hitters reached base after this, with Doug Bernier (single), Deibinson Romero (walk), Chris Colabello (double, RBI), and Chris Herrmann (double, 2 RBI) providing the three other runs. Rochester added a run in the seventh and two in the eighth to reach their final tally.

    James Beresford (3-4, 2 Rs) and Eric Farris (2-5, RBI) were the only batters to collect multiple hits, but every player in the lineup except Nate Hanson reached base.

    ROCK CATS REVIEW
    New Britain 2, New Hampshire 3
    Box Score

    Starter Pat Dean was able to give the Rock Cats a quality start, but there was not enough offense to secure him a victory, as the lineup collected only five hits and three walks on the night and batted 1-7 with runners in scoring position.

    Tony Thomas and Mike Kvasnicka each hit a double, while Aaron Hicks was 1-2 with two walks and a run scored. Kennys Vargas and Stephen Wickens had the other two hits.

    Dean pitched 6.1 innings, but was chased in the seventh inning after giving up five consecutive singles to start the frame. If not for an outfield assist at home on the last of those, Dean would have surrendered at least one more run. He was relieved by Cole Johnson who retired the final two batters of the inning and finished the game with 1.2 innings, one hit allowed and two Ks.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Palm Beach 5, Fort Myers 2
    Box Score

    The story was much the same for the Miracle offense in Fort Myers, as they were only able to push two runs across the plate in support of staff ace Jose Berrios, who took only his third loss of the season. As a team, they were 2-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.

    Berrios continued his dominance in this one, again pitching at least six innings, allowing two or fewer earned runs and striking out seven or more for his ninth straight start. In this one, he went seven innings, allowing just five hits and one walk, while striking out seven. He did surrender just his fourth home run of the year in the first inning, but also retired the final eight batters of his outing, finishing his game with a K.

    For the offense, Lance Ray was 2-5 with an RBI (in thirteen games this season so far, he is sporting a .979 OPS with 8 doubles and 1 HR), Dalton hicks clubbed a double and Tyler Grimes was 1-1 with a double and three walks. Niko Goodrum was 1-5 with a run scored and stole his 16th base of the year. Nate Roberts was 0-3, but walked twice, continuing to display his keen on-base abilities after a long period of injury recovery.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 4
    Box score

    Twins Dailys Seth Stohs was again in attendance at the Kernels game this afternoon, and saw a great game right until the end. He was able to chat with many of the players and coaches after the game, providing the insight here.

    On the mound for the Kernels was Ethan Mildren, and he put together arguably his best start of the season. He blanked the LumberKings for seven innings, allowing just four hits, one walk and he racked up six Ks. Asked to describe his outing, Mildren said I was getting ahead with my fastball well and establishing in and out, and getting good movement on my two-seamer in on righties. Coach Jake Mauer added He was outstanding. He was phenomenal. Indeed!

    SP Ethan Mildren

    Cedar Rapids struck for two runs in the first inning after Zack Granite led off the inning with a walk and was moved to third on an Engelb Vielma double. The bases were loaded after Chad Christensen was hit with a pitch, and a second HBP to Jason Kanzler scored the first run of the game. An Alex Swim groundout scored Vielma for run number two.

    The scored stayed the same until the eighth inning, when the Kernels added two insurance runs on a Bryan Haar home run after Christensen hit his fourth triple of the year in front of him. Haars blast was his third in two days.

    What came next was the professional debut of the Twins 2014 second round pick, hard-throwing closer Nick Burdi out of Louisville, who had been in the College World Series.

    It didnt go well, as he himself would admit. Burdi faced just four hitters in the top of the ninth, and walked all of them, with the first of his four earned runs given up scoring on a wild pitch.

    Burdi explained, [I was] a little rusty but I still walked four guys. Thats not an excuse but Ive got to come back next time and be sharper. He added: It happens. Its baseball. Have to move on and Ive got to be better.

    Jake Mauer also talked about his new pitcher, explaining We dont know a lot about him. He was the closer at Louisville. He was the closer at a big time program. Hell get another chance. No doubt about it.

    Burdi was replaced by Jared Wilson, who gave up a run-scoring single to the first batter he faced, then walked in another run to make the score 4-3. The final blow came when Christian Carmichael hit a grand slam to plate the final four for the LumberKings. Wilson's line for one inning included four hits, one walk, three earned runs and was charged with the blown save and loss.

    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Bristol 0, Elizabethton 0 (suspended in the bottom of the first inning)
    Box Score

    The E-Twins didnt get to play much baseball on Sunday, as rain stopped play with only one out in the bottom of the first inning. On the mound for Elizabethton was Derrick Penilla, who gave up a double to start the game, but escaped the first with no damage and picked up a strikeout.

    The game will be finished before the regularly scheduled tilt tomorrow.

    GCL TWINS TAKES

    Just like every Sunday during the Gulf Coast League season, there were no games scheduled. The GCL Twins return to action tomorrow at 11:00 AM CST against the GCL Rays at home in Fort Myers.

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher TRIPLE PLAY!!! Logan Darnell, Rochester Red Wings (9IP, CG, 9 Hs, BB, 1 ER, 3 Ks); Jose Berrios, Fort Myers Miracle (7 IP, 5 Hs, BB, 2 ERs, 7 Ks); Ethan Mildren, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 4 Hs, BB, 0 Rs, 6 Ks)
    Hitter Danny Ortiz, Rochester Red Wings (1-3, BB, 2 Rs, HR, 2 RBI)

    MONDAYS PROBABLE STARTERS
    Norfolk @ Rochester TBD 6:05PM CST
    Binghamton @ New Britain TBD 6:05 CST
    Palm Beach @ Fort Myers D.J. Baxendale (1-1, 5.23 ERA) 6:05PM CST
    Clinton @ Cedar Rapids Kohl Stewart (1-4, 2.53 ERA) 12:05PM CST
    Bristol @ Elizabethton (regularly scheduled game) Michael Cederoth 6:00PM CST
    GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox TBD 11:00AM CST

    Twins ended their losing streak yesterday so celebrate with a half-price L or XL pizza from PapaJohns.com by using the promo code 'TWINSWIN'!
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. drock2190's Avatar
      drock2190 -
      Nick Burdi...

      Bringing back the memories of Shooter Hunt
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      One game, people... worry if this happens his next 2-3 times out.

      In college, he walked like 10 in 37 innings. He should be just fine.

      Here is the more exciting, bright side: https://twitter.com/SethTweets/statu...60676438491136

      Also, be sure to "Like" the Twins Daily facebook page where I posted a bunch of pictures throughout the weekend. Some even turned out well.

      https://www.facebook.com/TwinsDaily
    1. bradpolian's Avatar
      bradpolian -
      Great game in Cedar Rapids, too bad Burdi was wild, he throws so hard... You could see it right away
    1. Yossarian's Avatar
      Yossarian -
      Seth, was Burdi wild like Ankiel-wild, or just missing? What was his ball-strike ratio, please?
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
      Seth, was Burdi wild like Ankiel-wild, or just missing? What was his ball-strike ratio, please?
      He didn't hit the mascot, if that's what you're asking, so not Nuke LaLoosh wild.

      But he wasn't really close on many pitches either. He threw just 5 strikes to the four hitters he walked.

      Really not too concerned he's another Ankiel, though. When he finds at least enough control to make hitters swing and umpires give him the benefit of the doubt on corners, he will be a challenge to get around on.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      One game, people... worry if this happens his next 2-3 times out.

      In college, he walked like 10 in 37 innings. He should be just fine.

      Here is the more exciting, bright side: https://twitter.com/SethTweets/statu...60676438491136

      Also, be sure to "Like" the Twins Daily facebook page where I posted a bunch of pictures throughout the weekend. Some even turned out well.

      https://www.facebook.com/TwinsDaily
      Were these pitch velocities from the CR park gun, or were you looking at a scouting gun?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I'm not worried about Burdi. He's either going to be good, or not. But one outing means nothing at all, imo.
    1. Lakeside's Avatar
      Lakeside -
      Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
      He didn't hit the mascot, if that's what you're asking, so not Nuke LaLoosh wild.

      But he wasn't really close on many pitches either. He threw just 5 strikes to the four hitters he walked.

      Really not too concerned he's another Ankiel, though. When he finds at least enough control to make hitters swing and umpires give him the benefit of the doubt on corners, he will be a challenge to get around on.
      While Burdi ultimately has to prove himself, I question the field management of using Burdi in this situaton. A Save-like situation (up 4-0 I believe) for his first professional inning after joining a team in the middle of it's season.

      Many managers would give this type of player an inning in a mop-up role sometime before bringing him in in a somewhat pressure situation for his debut.

      After 30 years of coaching experience. . . just my thoughts.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
      He didn't hit the mascot, if that's what you're asking, so not Nuke LaLoosh wild.

      But he wasn't really close on many pitches either. He threw just 5 strikes to the four hitters he walked.

      Really not too concerned he's another Ankiel, though. When he finds at least enough control to make hitters swing and umpires give him the benefit of the doubt on corners, he will be a challenge to get around on.
      I can't believe this is a point of speculation. Burdi just last week pitched with the exact same stuff and exhibited command and control while on national television, numerous times, in pressure situations. He didn't just completely fall off the rails and become Alex Wimmers in his first professional appearance just one short week later. Can we let this play out and give the kid and the coaching staff an inkling of a chance- until at least the end of August? Again, he threw his out pitch, his slider, only twice in 21 pitches.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
      Were these pitch velocities from the CR park gun, or were you looking at a scouting gun?
      it was the stadium gun plus 2 miles per hour.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      it was the stadium gun plus 2 miles per hour.
      For the record, I sat behind the Kernels pitchers charting pitches today (Monday) and we talked some about the difference between the scoreboard and their radar gun readings.

      They confirmed Burdi's first pitch was 99 on Sunday and that he was anywhere from 96-98 for the most part after that. So Seth, your "scoreboard +2" numbers were apparently pretty accurate.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I only do that because you guys told me that's the case... but it definitely seems accurate. Either way, he was throwing really hard.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      It's only one game. I guess Burdi will fit right in.
      Certainly an attitude that the mother team has become one to use. And the relief coming in and giving up 3 inherited runs fits right in too.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I only do that because you guys told me that's the case... but it definitely seems accurate. Either way, he was throwing really hard.
      Sorry, Seth, I didn't mean to make it sound like you just made up the +2 mph thing. Yes, that's sort of the local unofficial assumption and I use it as well when I report or Tweet pitch speeds from CR.

      Interestingly, however, I sat behind a couple of radar guns during Monday afternoon's game and the variances from the scoreboard were all over the place. The most frequent difference between gun and scoreboard was +2 mph, with +1 mph also being frequent. There would be a rare occurance when the readings matched exactly, but there were probably just as many instances where the readings were +3 and even +4 mph. (For some reason, for example, the gap widened to +3 an even a couple of +4s for Todd Van Steensel's fastball.)
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lakeside View Post
      While Burdi ultimately has to prove himself, I question the field management of using Burdi in this situaton. A Save-like situation (up 4-0 I believe) for his first professional inning after joining a team in the middle of it's season.

      Many managers would give this type of player an inning in a mop-up role sometime before bringing him in in a somewhat pressure situation for his debut.

      After 30 years of coaching experience. . . just my thoughts.
      Many managers (perhaps dictated by higher ups) would have had him pitch an inning or two at the start of the game just because they wanted to make sure he got to pitch. It seems to me the Twins have done this many times, though mostly with rehab assigments. Not that I care much about the decision or the results.

      But what's up with E-ton? Even if the weathermen in Tennessee are terrible, couldn't the umps just look up? It started raining four outs later after the first pitch! They must really think highly of their concession food if they were just trying to keep the fans in the gate to make some extra cash.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lakeside View Post
      While Burdi ultimately has to prove himself, I question the field management of using Burdi in this situaton. A Save-like situation (up 4-0 I believe) for his first professional inning after joining a team in the middle of it's season.

      Many managers would give this type of player an inning in a mop-up role sometime before bringing him in in a somewhat pressure situation for his debut.

      After 30 years of coaching experience. . . just my thoughts.
      This is a guy who was coming off being the closer for a team in the College World Series, in front of crowds much bigger than what there was in CR and you think putting him in to begin the 8th inning of a game you're leading 4-0 is too much pressure?

      Honestly, if you're a manager waiting for a late game situation with a run differential greater than four runs, you may not see him for a couple of weeks. He didn't pitch in either of the first two games with his new club and he was given a pretty mild assignment on Sunday.
    1. Lakeside's Avatar
      Lakeside -
      Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
      This is a guy who was coming off being the closer for a team in the College World Series, in front of crowds much bigger than what there was in CR and you think putting him in to begin the 8th inning of a game you're leading 4-0 is too much pressure?

      Honestly, if you're a manager waiting for a late game situation with a run differential greater than four runs, you may not see him for a couple of weeks. He didn't pitch in either of the first two games with his new club and he was given a pretty mild assignment on Sunday.
      Don't want to argue with you. . . just my opinion. . but I've been there with this type of situaton.

      Consider Burdi does not know his teammates, he's 21 years old, wanting to impress, has never pitched in pro ball, etc. I understand he closed in the CWS, but every experience is new for these kids.

      What you are trying to do, IMO, in this type of situation is build poise and confidence in your first outing. You see this many times, all the way from the American Legion level to the Major League level.

      A game when they are trailing is a great time to break in a new pitcher with a new squad. Putting in a new pitcher in this situation (save) can hinder the development in poise and confidence. I'm guessing that he will come back and pitch fine as the Ankiels, Wimmers, Hunts of the world are the exceptions not the rule.

      Just saying that my way would have been different. . . not that it is always better, just different.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      We'll agree to disagree. But for the record, a 4-0 game in the 8th is not a save situation, though even if it had been, I wouldn't have considered that an inappropriate use of this player. This is big boy baseball, even if it's minor leagues. He's a professional now.
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