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Jeremy Nygaard

Twins Minor League Report (8/18): Pitchers Get It Done

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The Twins remain in the 7th slot for the 2014 MLB Draft if the season ended today. It will be an interesting six weeks as only four games separate the 4th pick from the 15th pick. The Twins are currently 1.5 games ahead of the Cubs (who would pick 4th) and only 2.5 games behind Colorado (who would pick 15th).

The Red Wings announced this morning that OF Antoan Richardson would be activated and UTIL Brian Dinkelman would be placed on the DL with a quad strain.

This afternoon, the Kernels announced that 2B Jorge Polanco was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring. The assumption is that this opens up a spot for the team to activate Jose Berrios to start Thursday's game.

Let's look at the action on the field.

ROCHESTER RED WINGS 1, LOUISVILLE BATS 0
Box Score

Logan Darnell stepped up and made his best start in AAA. He completed eight strong, shutout innings. He struck out six and only allowed five hits and a walk. (Could he be next year's Andrew Albers?)
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Michael Tonkin earned the save with a 1-2-3, two-strikeout 9th inning.

Obviously in a 1-0 win, there wasn't a lot of offense. The lone run scored on a James Beresford RBI single that plated Chris Colabello.

Darrin Mastroianni and Eric Farris added hits for the Red Wings.

Liam Hendriks starts tomorrow's tilt at 7:05 ET.

The Red Wings need to keep their foot on the gas as they compete in a the tightest division in the league; only three games separate them from being out of the playoffs completely.

NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS 5, BINGHAMTON METS 3
Box Score

A couple big swings and another good pitching performance was enough to seal the deal for the RockCats today.

Both Reynaldo Rodriguez and Nate Hanson connected on the two-run HRs in the 5th inning to give New Britain all the offense they'd need.

Five of the other starters - including Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario - were able to contribute hits today as well. It should be noted that Rosario, battling a mini-slump, was dropped to sixth in the order.

D.J. Baxendale hasn't had the same success in AA that he had in Fort Myers but we got to see a glimpse of that pitcher today as he struck out eight batters in six innings. He allowed six hits and a walk that resulted in three runs, but improved his AA record to 5-6. Despite his performance as a RockCat being less dominating, I still believe that Baxendale can become a Scott Baker-ish contributor to the rotation in 2015.

The bullpen trio of Matt Hauser, Dan Sattler and Dakota Watts kept the door closed as they only allowed two hits combined while striking out three.

While tomorrow's scheduled starter for the 7:05 ET game is TBD, it would appear to be B.J. Hermsen's spot. Hermsen has really struggled in AA this year - in both a starting and relieving role, so who makes this start is anyone's guess.

FORT MYERS MIRACLE vs BRADENTON MARAUDERS
Box Score

This game was suspended in the 3rd inning with Bradenton leading 2-0. David Hurlbut had got touched up early, but had already struck out four batters.

In true Byron Buxton form, he had already recorded a single and a stolen base before the rain came.

This game will be completed on August 29.

The Miracle are off tomorrow.

CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS 3, PEORIA CHIEFS 1
Box Score

Josue Montanez only gave up one run over 7.2 innings, but the Kernels were also aided by four Peoria errors.

Montanez didn't give up a run until the 8th inning and then had to be relieved by Brian Gilbert to retire the side. Montanez finished with four strikeouts, a walk and seven hits allowed. Gilbert picked up the save by collecting the last four outs. It was Gilbert's fourth save since his promotion. The Kernels are very high on Gilbert, it will be interesting to see if he is given an opportunity to start next season.

Michael Gonzales has now hit safely in all three games since his return from the disabled list. Tonight's hit was a home run that led off the scoring.

The Kernels picked up two insurance runs in the seven thanks to a hit batter and two fielding errors. Joel Licon and Jonathan Murphy both had hits that scored runners (though Licon didn't get credit for an RBI).

Tim Shibuya will start tomorrow at 6:30 CT for the Kernels. Shibuya has had a trying time since being named the Appy League Pitcher of the Year in 2011.

ELIZABETHTON TWINS 5, GREENEVILLE ASTROS 2 (8 Innings)
Box Score

The draft pick that has stolen the show - at least in the early results - was on the mound for the E-Twins today. That guy, of course, being Stephen Gonsalves. Gonsalves pitched four shutout innings today and struck out five. It wasn't all great though: two walks, a wild pitch, a balk, a throwing error and three hits allowed. That being said, he's exceeding early expectations.

Ryan Eades, the Twins top college draft choice, struggled throwing it over the plate. In two innings, he walked four and hit a batter.

Austin Malinowski picked up the win for this late-game work, but mostly for being the pitcher of record when the E-Twins ripped off four 7th-inning runs to take the lead.

Unlike previous versions of this team, this year's squad is winning (when they do) by stringing hits together and not hitting a lot of home runs.

Tanner Vavra had two hits, including a double, driving in two. Zach Granite also had two RBI and Bryan Haar added a double.

Hein Robb in tomorrow's (7pm ET) scheduled starter.

GCL TWINS - Day off

It sounds as though Alex Meyer will be pitching in this game and potentially moving up the ladder if all goes well. The goal is to get him back to New Britain before the end of the regular season before sending him to the Arizona Fall League.

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