Minnesota Twins MiLB Weekly: Cedar Rapids Leads Division
The Minnesota Twins minor league affiliates have all improved record wise. In Cedar Rapids, the Kernels lead its division.
All the Minnesota Twins minor league affiliates records have improved as of late. Chattanooga, after a slow start, is almost back to .500. Rochester and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre are tied for the lead in the International League North division while Cedar Rapids hold a two game lead in the Midwest League Western Division. Almost two months into the season, here’s where each team stands.
Rochester Red Wings (30-24)
Jason Wheeler made four starts with the Chattanooga Lookouts before being called up April 27 to Rochester. In his four starts with the Lookouts, he had a 1.88 ERA. He struckout 22 in 24 innings. Wheeler kept baserunners to a minimum as his WHIP was less than 1.00.
Since being called up to the Red Wings he’s pitched even better. A 1.54 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 46 2-3 innings make Wheeler a lock in the triple-A rotation. It is a vast improvement from his previous appearance in Rochester. In 2015, he started 15 games and had a 7.96 ERA. He gave up 57 earned runs in 78 innings. Not pretty.
This season is by far Wheeler’s best overall. He isn’t on the 40 man roster. it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he was called upon to make some starts down the rod for the Twins. Pat Dean, who has been consistently just below average in his minor league career has found a bit of success with the Twins. This bodes well for Wheeler.
He is a pleasant surprise, one that could continue to surprise with his breakout season. The Twins starters have experienced problems this season. In the later months, Wheeler could prove to be a good addition.
Chattanooga Lookouts (25-28)
Daniel Palka was covered in a previous Twins MiLB weekly report. His power was on display this week again. He has four home runs in his last two games and five home runs in his last six games. He has 12 RBI in his last eight games. Clearly, Palka is in a grove.
He leads the Lookouts with 11 home runs and 37 RBI. In fact he leads the Southern League in home runs and is tied for second in RBI. But for all the power, he tends to strikeout a lot.
Strikeouts aside, Palka displays something the Twins have few of. He is known to be a free swinger, but his swings are powerful. When he makes contact with the ball, it is always hit hard. Think Oswaldo Arcia here. Palka has no trouble walking and getting on base as his OBP is .351. Here’s to wondering what he can do in Triple A.
Next: Double A and Single A