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    by 06-19-2013, 10:44 PM

    The Cedar Rapids Kernels are in the midst of their All-Star break so they were again out of action Wednesday night. This didn't stop the Twins from announcing that one of their top prospects, Max Kepler, would be joining that club. He had been at extended spring training working to recover from an elbow injury. The power hitting outfielder will take over a corner outfield spot since Byron Buxton is manning center field in Cedar Rapids.
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    by 06-19-2013, 12:51 AM
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    On Tuesday morning, we woke up to the news that the Elizabethton team bus driving from Ft. Myers to Elizabethton was involved in a fatal, head-on accident. Fortunately, none of the Elizabethton players or personnel were injured. The driver of the other vehicle, driving on the wrong side of the road, died. We should be seeing rosters for the E-Twins and the GCL Twins shortly.

    On Tuesday night, eight Kernels played in the Midwest League All-Star game. We should also hear about any player promotions on Wednesday. There were a couple great performances on Tuesday night, so check out what happened below.
    Byron Buxton speeds down the first base line
    by 06-19-2013, 12:45 AM
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    Stop me if you have heard this before but Byron Buxton is doing stupid good stuff on the baseball field.

    Already Buxton has proven that he is far and above the level of the competition in the Midwest League. He is leading the league in on-base percentage (.431), slugging (.561), runs scored (65) and weighted on-base average (.422). More conventionally, he is second in batting average (.344) and triples (8), and third in walks (40). That doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of his defensive capabilities and baserunning prowess. Buxton is having the best performance by an outfielder in Iowa since Shoeless Joe Jackson came waltzing through the cornfield (or at least since Mike Trout anyways).
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    by 06-18-2013, 10:18 PM
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    * The Marlins announced this week that they've demoted Kevin Slowey to the bullpen to make room in their rotation for Nathan Eovaldi. Twins fans will recall how splendidly the last attempt to convert Slowey to a reliever turned out.

    On some level, unless you're one of the many local scribes who openly despises him, you've got to feel for Slowey. He has actually been pitching reasonably well this year; at least, as well as could be expected of him. He's had a few clunkers, especially lately, but his 4.10 ERA is respectable and his 64-to-14 K/BB ratio in 79 innings is rather impressive. Even with a 5.40 ERA over his last four starts, he has still managed 27 strikeouts with
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    by 06-18-2013, 03:01 PM
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    Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Mason Melotakis and first baseman Dalton (DJ) Hicks are roommates this summer, sharing the same host family during their stay in Cedar Rapids. Both players played major roles as the team qualified for the Midwest League Playoffs by finishing second in the league’s Western Division during the first half of the season. Both could be candidates for promotion at some point this summer.

    Melotakis leads the Kernels pitching staff in wins with six and innings pitched with 64 2/3. Those six wins are good for fourth spot among Midwest League pitchers. The lefty has been perhaps the most consistently reliable member of the Kernels’ rotation in recent weeks.
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    by 06-18-2013, 12:52 PM
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    This is the 3rd story in "Those Damn Yankees" series, stories about Twins-Yankees rivalry by some of our favorite Twins Daily writers, leading up to the Bombers visit July 1st to the 4th.

    Psst. You there. Yeah, you in the Twins hat and Joe Mauer shirsey. Put down that plush TC bear, I have a secret that I can't hold in any longer. This is very hard for me to say. I've been thinking about it for a long time and I've felt this way even longer. I can't hold it in; I need to confess to someone. I'm trusting you to keep my secret, but it won't be easy. Are you ready?

    I don't hate the Yankees.
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    by 06-18-2013, 07:04 AM
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    Last week, I was in the right place at the right time: the AA debuts of top Twins' prospect Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario. One big takeaway from Sano's and Rosario's first couple AA games was that their reputations preceded them; in other words, pitchers knew who these guys were. Take a look at the (grainy amateur) video I shot of some early at-bats -- the pitches weren't even close. As a result, Sano and Rosario, but Sano especially, seemed to only get maybe 1 pitch per at-bat in his wheelhouse. I suspect this is a problem that has plagued him his entire career, and probably won't stop until he he has someone equally or more talented hitting behind him.
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    by 06-18-2013, 06:52 AM
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    It’s hard to ignore the numbers. They are pretty glaring. Overall this year, Minnesota Twins starter Mike Pelfrey is 3-6 with a 6.12 ERA in his first 13 starts. He’s allowing over 1.6 base runners per inning. It has been a tough go. In April, he posted a 7.66 ERA. In May, that number dropped to 5.90. Through two Quality Starts in June, he has posted a 4.05 ERA.

    The numbers are bad, but it seemed to me from watching that things weren’t quite as bad as they seemed. For instance, in his final two starts in May, he was good through five innings. On May 26, he had given up just two runs through five innings before giving up three in the sixth, giving him a final line of five runs in 5+ innings. On May 31, he threw five shutout innings before giving up three runs in the sixth.
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    by 06-18-2013, 06:15 AM

    The middle of June has come and gone and there is no sign of Kyle Gibson in the Twin Cities.

    Teams like the Rays and the Mets are calling up top prospects like Wil Myers and Zack Wheeler because the deadline has passed for players to qualify for Super Two status. This means the Rays and Mets can control these high level players for a big chunk of the next decade.

    Gibson has a different story than other players. The former first round pick entered the Twins system with three years of college experience. In 2010, his allowed him to move through the organization at a fast pace. An elbow injury and Tommy John surgery were what slowed him on his way to the major leagues.
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    by 06-17-2013, 10:47 PM
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    It was a relatively slow day in the world of Twins Baseball with only two of the five ball clubs active, though that didn't keep us from hearing some pretty newsworthy things.

    Twins first round draft pick Kohl Stewart is en route to the Twin Cities. In fact, at 9:28 pm, he tweeted a photo of Target Field from the Twins dugout. He's obviously not yet signed, sealed and delivered. But he's well on the way. I'm holding out hope that the deal gets done by tomorrow afternoon and he throws out the first pitch tomorrow night.
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    by 06-17-2013, 08:37 PM
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    Looking to get back on track after a disappointing series against the Tigers, the Twins and White Sox square off in a three game battle royale for sole possession of the American League Central cellar.

    The Twins will miss Jake Peavy (15 Day DL) but get the chance to face Chris Sale in game two of the series. Sale has had a stellar season for the South Siders, striking out a batter per inning while keeping opponents' Batting Average under the Mendoza line for the season. Countering for the Twins are Pelfrey, Correia, and Diamond.

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    by 06-17-2013, 08:04 PM
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    "Those Damn Yankees" is a series about Twins-Yankees history by some of our favorite Twins Daily writers, leading up to the Bombers four-game visit July 1st to the 4th.

    For a large fraction of Minnesota Twins fans, the Yankees clearly represent three things: a franchise that has a bottomless pit for a budget, a team that the Twins have had to face every Twins-inclusive post-season, and the team the Twins lost to in each of those post-seasons. So the Yankees have been the proverbial thorn on the Twins' side and a major pain in their backside.

    For most fans, this relationship of the Twins-Yankees franchises is a recent one, but this cannot be further from the truth. The two franchises have a long, intertwining history that goes way back to the early,dark ages of baseball
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    by 06-17-2013, 08:33 AM

    Plouffe re-entered the Twins line-up this weekend with a bang. This was great to see from the former first round pick but one has to look at the future of Twins' baseball and wonder what his place will be. It seems as if the Twins are still a couple years away from contending and that could mean change for the 27-year-old Plouffe.

    Twins fans will best remember Plouffe for his Ruthian hot streak during the middle of last season. In a stretch of 14 games he hit .375/.397/.982 with 10 home runs and four doubles. It looked like the Twins had found their man at third base, but a hand injury slowed him down considerably.
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    by 06-17-2013, 08:23 AM

    The Twins dropped two of three from the Tigers this weekend, falling to 7.5 games out of a division that they were never going to win. While the Twins have played better in 2013, they still do not have the talent to match the Tigers over a full season. Yet, there were some positives from the weekend and I have some apologies to make as well.

    I apologize to Clete Thomas. Just one week ago, I accused a wild turkey of creating a lineup that featured Clete Thomas batting second.While I still feel that Thomas in the top half of an order is a move made out of desperation, it hasn't been a disaster because Thomas isn't as terrible as I made him out to be. He strikes out a lot and he doesn't walk, but he can hit the ball and he plays a solid center field. Clete, I don't despise you. Unless he takes at-bats from Aaron Hicks when Hicks is healthy. Then, I lose it.

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