On the Pond Daily (6/25): Kvasnicka and Kepler Go Yard


On Tuesday, June 25th, the Twins system went an even 4-4. Several noteworthy debuts took place in the minors but didn’t generate much in the way of results. Yet again, the quality of the starting pitching across the board was lacking.

Thomas and Arcia did their part on Tuesday night. (Photo Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports)

Minnesota Twins (34-39): 4-2 loss to Miami (26-50)

RHP Kevin Correia (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) was steady as usual but it wasn’t enough keep pace with Marlins phenom Jose Fernandez who was better in his 5.0 innings of work. Miami also came out on top in the battle of the bullpens.

Joe Mauer and Oswaldo Arcia were both 2-4 in the game and accounted for half of the Twins 8 hits. The only extra-base hit for the team, a double, came off the bat of Clete Thomas.

Rochester Red Wings (39-41): 3-5 loss to Indianapolis (53-27)

LHP Logan Darnell (2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 2 SO) was making his first start in Triple-A but was forced to leave the game early due to a blister problem.

CF Aaron Hicks kicked off his rehab assignment with a 3-4 game that included a double and an RBI.

New Britain Rock Cats (37-40): 9-2 win over Altoona (34-42) [game completed Wednesday 6/26]

RHP Matthew Summers (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO) made his Eastern League debut and looked to be in fine form but a lengthy rain delay cut his start short.

3B Miguel Sano (1-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB, SO) hit his 3rd HR with New Britain in the top of the 9th and in doing so put and end to the 0-12 rut he was in.

DH Curt Smith (3-4, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI) hit a 3-run HR in the 2nd inning to give Rock Cats pitching all the run support they would need. His 4th homer of the season was the decisive blow but he tacked on two additional hits and was far and away the offensive MVP of the game.

Fort Myers Miracle (48-25): 5-4 loss to Palm Beach (32-42)

On the mound, LHP Jason Wheeler (4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 2 SO) struggled for the second straight outing after being remarkably consistent prior to that.

The headline event on Tuesday was the FSL debut of Byron Buxton (1-5, RBI, SO, CS) and all things considered he’s off to a good start. However I’m keeping my eye on RF Mike Kvasnicka (2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SO) who continues to surge. He’s hit three HR in his last four games and is now up to 0.304/.396/.587 in 46 AB this year.

Cedar Rapids Kernels (45-28): 6-4 win over Burlington (27-43)

LHP Mason Melotakis (6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO) continues to turn in decent but not spectacular starts on a regular basis. He’s given up 3 or more walks in four straight starts but has managed to limit the damage in most of them.

With a 2-4 performance, CF Max Kepler was responsible for one third of the team’s 6 hits and both went for extra bases. He drove in two, score twice and hit his 4th double of the season but of greater importance was the HR – his first since joining Cedar Rapids.

Elizabethton Twins (5-1): 8-4 win over Greeneville (1-5)

RHP Tanner Mendonca, Minnesota’s 17th round pick in the 2013 draft, made his professional debut and threw 3.0 shutout innings. He allowed 2 hits, 3 walks and struck out 3.

Seven of nine of the E-Twins that came to the plate got a hit and five of the seven had multi-hit games. As a team they went 13-40 with 3 doubles and 2 triples. Of the players with multiple hits, Mitchell Garver (2-5) hit a double and triple but it was CF Zack Granite that had the best day of them all. As the team’s leadoff hitter he went 2-3 with a triple, scored twice, stole a base, drove in a run and coaxed a walk.

GCL Twins (2-2): 6-5 win over the GCL Rays (2-2)

RHP Chih-Wei Hu (4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO)

1B Joel Polanco (2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI, SO) had the best day of the bunch. The GCL Twins went 10-34 in the game but also struck out 13 times as a team. With 4 Ks, DH Amaurys Minier was the primary contributor to the baker’s dozen though he did avoid the goose egg with a 6th inning line drive single..

DSL Twins (10-9): 4-1 loss to the DSL White Sox (12-8)

RHP Ramses Herrera (3.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) has already established a pattern through four appearances this season. In his odd numbered outings he’s been outstanding (7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) but his even numbered starts have been clunkers (5.2 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO).

Venezuelan righty Alexis Tapia followed Herrera and was fantastic. He allowed 2 hits in 4.1 innings of shutout baseball with 1 strikeout.

On offense the DSL Twins managed just 3 hits in the game. 1B Carlos Martinez went 1-3 with a triple and walk and also score the team’s only run.


RHP Madison Boer assigned to Cedar Rapids (from Fort Myers).

RHP Kyle Gibson officially called up to Minnesota (from Rochester) as planned.