Byron Buxton hits a home run and Stephen Gonsalves pitches five shutout innings. Omar Bencomo has a rare bad outing. Luis Arraez and Alex Kirilloff stay hot as Miguel Sano does not. Another good game for Bailey Ober. No one can get Ryan Jeffers out. Felix Jorge looks good in a rehab assignment. The DSL Twins get blown out late.
A solid game for Zack Littell. A better game for Lewis Thorpe. Charlie Barnes pitches well, too. Ben Rodriguez hits an inside-the-park homer to lead the Kernels. Lots of batters off to good starts for the E-Twins. Anthony Escobar has the best game of them all.
Adalberto Mejia has a strong game. Not much offense for Fort Myers. Lots of offense for Elizabethton. Janigson Villalobos has the key hit for the GCL Twins. The DSL Twins keep scoring runs.
Byron Buxton gets off to a slow start on his rehab, but the Red Wings win anyway. A big comeback for the Miracle. Pedro Garcia and Moises Gomez lead the E-Twins to a victory. Yeremi De La Cruz drives in nine runs to lead the GCL Twins. A couple of big innings carry the DSL Twins.
The last of the short-season leagues, the Appalachian League, starts tonight. Here's a little basic information about the league.
There are ten teams, divided into two divisions. They play a sixty-eight game schedule. Teams take the names of their parent clubs, but are also listed by towns. The top two teams in each division go to the playoffs. Each playoff series is best-of-three.
The Elizabethton Twins are once again managed by Ray Smith. Jeff Reed remains the batting coach and Luis Ramirez is the pitching coach. Takashi Miyoshi is also a coach. The play in Joe O'Brien field. They won the Appalachian League championship last year and have won the championship seven times since 2000.
I'm not going to go through the roster, but there are two things about it that caught my eye. One is a pitcher named Kody Funderburk. I was not quickly able to find out if he's related to '80s Twin Mark Funderburk, but it seems at least possible. The other is that Colton Waltner is listed as a designated hitter. My guess is that it's a bad sign for your career when you're in the Appalachian League and they've already given up on you as a fielder.
Miguel Sano has a successful Fort Myers debut, but Luis Arraez was better. Yeltsin Encarnacion has a big day as the GCL Twins win their opener. Unearned runs sink the DSL Twins.
The Gulf Coast League begins play today. Here's a little basic information.
There are eighteen teams in the Gulf Coast League, divided into four divisions: East, Northeast, Northwest, and South. Teams take the names of their parent clubs: GCL Twins, GCL Nationals, etc. There are three major league clubs that have two teams in the GCL: the Phillies, the Tigers, and the Yankees. In each of these cases, the teams are differentiated geographically: GCL Tigers East and GCL Tigers West, for example. The GCL Twins are in the South Division.
The teams play a fifty-six game schedule. The four division winners make the playoffs. The first round is a one-game playoff, and the championship series is best-of-three.
Rosters have thirty-five players, at least ten of whom must be pitchers. I assume that's not a problem for anyone--I would think they'd probably have quite a few more than ten. The Twins, for example, have fifteen pitchers listed, although I don't think that's their final roster. No player may have three or more years of minor league service.
The Twins are managed by Dan Ramsey. Batting coaches are Luis Antonio Rodriguez and Matt Borgschulte, so if length of name makes you a good batting coach the Twins should have a tremendous offense. The pitching coach is Virgil Vasquez.
It's a low rung, but it's the first step up the ladder. We'll have fun following them during the 2018 season!
Aaron Slegers struggles with his control. It's time for Alex Kirilloff to move up.
Stephen Gonsalves and Nick Gordon lead the Red Wings to victory. A big day for James Ramsey. The Kernels blow it in the ninth. Anthony Escobar leads the DSL Twins to their sixth straight win.
A Red Wings comeback falls short. Kohl Stewart does better in a loss. Travis Blankenhorn wins the FSL Home Run Derby. An offensive explosion for the Kernels. Wander Valdez leads the DSL Twins.