Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Twins Minor League Report (8/2): Walker Homers, Plouffe Rehabs

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas, USA Today Sports
Not every prospect is going to make it to their ultimate goal. That's the nature of baseball. However, last year's Southern League MVP Max Kepler is sure making hitting at the big league level look pretty easy.

A night after becoming the fifth Twins player with three home runs in a game, Kepler cranked another one out in Cleveland. His 13 home runs since June 26 are the most in the American League (two ahead of Brian Dozier). Minnesota's 49 home runs are the most during that same stretch.

Are any players following in Kepler's footsteps? Read on to find out.

Rochester 6, Pawtucket 3
Box Score

With Monday's trade deadline passing, there were a flurry of roster moves that impacted the Rochester roster. Newly acquired pitchers Adalberto Mejia and Pat Light were both assigned to the Red Wings. Trevor Plouffe also joined Rochester as part of his rehab assignment. 

On Tuesday, Jason Wheeler didn't have his best stuff but he was still able to put the Red Wings in position to come out on top. While pitching into the sixth frame, he gave up three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and a walk. DJ Baxendale, Sean Burnett, and JT Chargois put up zeros the rest of the way to close out the win. Chargois allowed two base runners in the ninth but still earned his ninth save.

Trevor Plouffe helped get things started for Rochester as he singled to start the second frame. Adam Brett Walker followed with his 21st home run. Things kept moving with Logan Schafer singling before stealing second base. Wilfredo Tovar doubled in Schafer and John Ryan Murphy capped the four run inning with an RBI single. 

Schafer reached base in all four plate appearances including a three hit night. He also threw out a runner for his fourth outfield assist. Plouffe finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. Daniel Palka and Byung Ho Park each added a double as part of the Triple-P (Palka, Park, Plouffe) middle of the line-up.

Chattanooga --, Mobile -- (Postponed- Rain)

After being rained out on Tuesday, the Lookouts sit at 56-51 on the season and 20-17 in the second half. Kohl Stewart was a tough luck loser as he threw six innings and allowed one earned run but still took the loss. Monday's trade deadline impacted the Chattanooga roster as Alan Busenitz, the minor league player included with Hector Santiago, was assigned to the Lookouts. 

Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 11
Box Score
The Kernels tied things up in the top of the seventh inning at 5-5 but the bullpen imploded in the bottom part of the frame. Kuo Hua Lo allowed nine runs, six earned, on eight hits including two home runs. Sam Gibbons started and scattered six hits while limiting the Bees to two earned runs. He struck out two and walked three. Tom Hackimer pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to end the game.

Even in victory, the Bees couldn't get Luiz Arraez out in this game. Arraez finished with a career-high five hits along with two RBI. He is hitting .335 with the Kernels this year. JJ Fernandez collected his 22nd double as part of a two hit effort. Chris Ibarra also had a double and those were the only extra-base hits for Cedar Rapids.

Elizabethton 6, Princeton 12
Box Score
The E-Twins offense had plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position but the club went 2-for-16 in those situations and left nine runners on base. Shane Carrier led the way offensively by going 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and two RBI. Alex Kirilloff, Amaurys Minier, and Travis Blankenhorn all went 2-for-5 with each player adding a double. It was Kirilloff's eighth double and he's up to 21 RBI.

Blankenhorn had a very rough night in the field as he was charged with three errors, one fielding and two throwing. Add in an Ariel Montesino throwing error and there were seven unearned runs scored against the E-Twins pitching staff. 

Tyler Wells couldn't make it through four innings and allowed six earned runs on eight hits. Alex Robinson pitched 2.1 innings and limited the Rays to one run on a solo home run. Austin Tribby was asked to get a few extra outs as four unearned runs were scored with him on the mound. Quin Grogan finished the game with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work. 

GCL Twins 6, GCL Orioles 1
Box Score

Huascar Ynoa put the GCL Twins in a great position to win after hurling five shutout frames. He limited the Rays to one hit with five strikeouts and one walk. Onas Fanfar kept the shutout going with three scoreless frames while striking out three. Moises Gomez ran into a little trouble in the ninth by giving up a run on two hits and two walks. Garrett Kelly finished off the final frame for his second save. 

Every Twins hitter reached base at least once but the club didn't manage a single extra-base hit. Gorge Munoz drove in two runs as part of a two hit effort. He also stole his fifth base. Aaron Whitefield scored three runs out of the the lead-off spot. The win moves the GCL Twins to two games over .500 and the team is in the midst of a three game winning streak. 

Pitcher of the Day – Huascar Ynoa, GCL Twins
Hitter of the Day – Shane Carrier, Elizabethton Twins

Rochester vs Pawtucket (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean (4-6, 5.29 ERA)
Chattanooga @ Mobile (5:05 CST) - TBD (Rain delay could alter rotation)

Chattanooga @ Mobile (Game 2) - TBD
Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) -LHP Randy Rosario (6-6, 3.60 ERA)
Cedar Rapids vs Clinton (6:35 CST) - TBD
GCL Twins vs GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) - TBD

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.

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