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Twins instructional league roster, schedule

MLB.com

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

Instructional league rosters

Here's a look at the Twins' roster, with the players' rank in the team's Top 30 Prospects' list in parentheses:

PITCHERS: None

CATCHERS: David Banuelos; Trevor Casanova; Andrew Cosgrove; Michael Davis; Yeremi De La Cruz; Taylor Grzelakowski; Caleb Hamilton; Ryan Jeffers; Mitchell Kranson; Brian Navarreto; Yeison Perez; Ben Rodriguez; Ben Rortvedt (No. 24); Kidany Salva; Laron Smith; Janigson Villalobos; Chris Williams

INFIELDERS: Luis Arraez (No. 15); Andrew Bechtold (No. 27); Travis Blankenhorn (No. 18); Ryan Costello; Ricky De La Torre; Yeltsin Encarnacion; Michael Helman; Royce Lewis (No. 1); Charlie Mack; Jose Miranda (No. 29); Brent Rooker (No. 7); Yunior Severino (No. 21); Gabe Snyder; Victor Tademo; Zander Wiel

OUTFIELDERS: Jared Akins; Jean Carlos Arias; Akil Baddoo (No. 12); Trey Cabbage; Shane Carrier; Gilberto Celestino (No. 14); Ernie De La Trinidad; Tanner English; Joe Garry; Dashawn Keirsey; Alex Kirilloff (No. 2); Trevor Larnach (No. 6); Gabriel Maciel (No. 17); Alberoni Nunez; Jacob Pearson (No. 25); Erick Rivera; Albee Weiss; Aaron Whitefield

SCHEDULE:
Sun., Sept. 23 - Report date
Mon., Sept. 24 - First workout
Sat., Oct. 6 - Last workout

Minnesota Twins

Twins bolster roster with trio from Triple-A

De Jong, Curtiss joining bullpen; infielder Petit adds depth
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- With Triple-A Rochester's season coming to an end on Monday, the Twins announced their second wave of September callups, as right-handers Chase De Jong and John Curtiss will be recalled and infielder Gregorio Petit will have his contract selected on Tuesday.

Additionally, the Twins moved designated hitter Logan Morrison to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Minnesota has added eight players since rosters expanded on Saturday, and more callups or activations could come over the next few days.

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HOUSTON -- With Triple-A Rochester's season coming to an end on Monday, the Twins announced their second wave of September callups, as right-handers Chase De Jong and John Curtiss will be recalled and infielder Gregorio Petit will have his contract selected on Tuesday.

Additionally, the Twins moved designated hitter Logan Morrison to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Minnesota has added eight players since rosters expanded on Saturday, and more callups or activations could come over the next few days.

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De Jong, acquired in the trade that sent Zach Duke to Seattle on July 31, posted a 3.41 ERA in 34 1/3 innings with Rochester after the trade, striking out 27 and walking 11 in six appearances (four starts). The 24-year-old had a 6.35 ERA in 28 1/3 innings with the Mariners last year.

"He'll get a chance to pitch," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We talked about different people that will be in the mix in the six-man [rotation], whether he gets a chance to come in as a primary or piggyback somewhere along the line with somebody. We have a couple things we are looking at on how we want to get him into games."

Curtiss, 25, will join the Twins for a second time this year after giving up three runs while recording two outs in two appearances. He recorded a 2.48 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 31 walks in 54 1/3 innings at Triple-A. He is ranked as the Twins' No. 26 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Petit, 33, also saw time with Minnesota earlier this year, hitting .308/.400/.308 in 12 games in May and June. He batted .268/.313/.327 in 79 games with Rochester while seeing time at first, second, short and third.

Worth noting
The Twins are not expected to add right-handed relievers Jake Reed or Nick Anderson to the 40-man roster. Reed, 25, had a 1.89 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings at Rochester, while the 28-year-old Anderson posted a 3.30 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 60 innings. Both will have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason or be eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.

"There were some other pitching people we talked about," Molitor said. "It was like, how far do you want to take it, in terms of having too many people. We're pretty well protected from the right side out there. Those guys have done well, they have had good years."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, John Curtiss, Chase De Jong, Gregorio Petit

Buxton not among Twins' first Sept. callups

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Center fielder Byron Buxton is not among Minnesota's first round of September callups, as the Twins announced that outfielder Johnny Field, catcher Chris Gimenez and relievers Tyler Duffey, Andrew Vasquez and Matt Belisle will join the club with rosters expanding on Saturday.

Field and Duffey will both be recalled from Triple-A Rochester, Gimenez and Vasquez had their contracts purchased, while Belisle will be activated from the 10-day disabled list. Gimenez was acquired in a trade with the Cubs for Bobby Wilson on Thursday, while Belisle had been out since Aug. 6, dealing with sore cartilage in his right knee.

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ARLINGTON -- Center fielder Byron Buxton is not among Minnesota's first round of September callups, as the Twins announced that outfielder Johnny Field, catcher Chris Gimenez and relievers Tyler Duffey, Andrew Vasquez and Matt Belisle will join the club with rosters expanding on Saturday.

Field and Duffey will both be recalled from Triple-A Rochester, Gimenez and Vasquez had their contracts purchased, while Belisle will be activated from the 10-day disabled list. Gimenez was acquired in a trade with the Cubs for Bobby Wilson on Thursday, while Belisle had been out since Aug. 6, dealing with sore cartilage in his right knee.

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With Eddie Rosario expected to be out roughly a week with a right quad strain, the Twins needed another outfielder, but went with Field over Buxton. Buxton, though, could still be recalled on Tuesday after Triple-A Rochester's season ends on Monday, although general manager Thad Levine was non-committal when asked if Buxton will be recalled.

"I think at this stage we want to keep the conversations about the five guys we're going to call up tomorrow," Levine said. "We'll definitely cover additional players as this series unfolds."

Levine said Buxton is still dealing with a sprained left wrist suffered in mid-July and that they're still working on who else will be brought up.

"I think he's been swinging the bat better clearly over the last couple of games," Levine said. "He's performed well down there. From a health standpoint, I think he's still progressing toward being healthy. But to his credit he's playing through it right now."

Gimenez gives the Twins a third catcher and a veteran clubhouse presence, as Gimenez and Belisle both played key roles as leaders on last year's team that made a run to the American League Wild Card game.

"I think it'll be helpful to keep everyone pushing even as the stakes have changed, if you will," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. 

Duffey, Belisle and Vasquez provide relief depth for the Twins with more help coming over the next few days. Right-hander Zack Littell is a candidate to be recalled and could even see action on Sunday as a starter or long reliever if they want to implement "the opener" strategy.

Vasquez, a lefty, posted a 1.30 ERA with 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings in the Minors this year, throwing his slider more than his fastball.

"I think he's had a tremendous season," Levine said. "He has really developed. The strikeout-to-walk ratio has been exceptional and what he has worked on this season has been being effective against righties as well as lefties."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Byron Buxton, Tyler Duffey, Johnny Field, Chris Gimenez

Twins homers can't lift rookie Stewart vs. Tigers

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's clear right-hander Kohl Stewart still has plenty to work on to remain a Major League starter.

Stewart, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 Draft and the Twins' No. 28 prospect per MLB Pipeline, made his second career start on Saturday and struggled in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers in his Target Field debut. Stewart couldn't get out of a jam in the third inning, and allowed three runs on three hits and four walks over 2 2/3 innings in a no-decision.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- It's clear right-hander Kohl Stewart still has plenty to work on to remain a Major League starter.

Stewart, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 Draft and the Twins' No. 28 prospect per MLB Pipeline, made his second career start on Saturday and struggled in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers in his Target Field debut. Stewart couldn't get out of a jam in the third inning, and allowed three runs on three hits and four walks over 2 2/3 innings in a no-decision.

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"You just can't fall behind guys like that, can't walk guys," said Stewart, who is expected to get another start. "I've got to give my team a better chance to win. It was not acceptable. I just wasn't getting ahead, wasn't executing pitches. I was one pitch away there in the third, and tried to do too much and got myself in trouble."

Video: DET@MIN: Molitor on Stewart's tough outing in loss

It was Stewart's second consecutive outing against Detroit, as he allowed three runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings to take the loss in his debut. This time, it was his command that was off, as he couldn't locate his fastball, especially during the three-run third.

Stewart issued a single and consecutive walks to load the bases with one out before hitting Mikie Mahtook with a 1-2 fastball to force in a run. Ronny Rodriguez then jumped on a first-pitch fastball for a two-run double that knocked Stewart from the game.

"It's a learning experience. I just talked to him about, it's not so much executing [or] what you're throwing, it's, 'What are you feeling?'" Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You've got to really be able to seize the moment in terms of controlling your emotions, and do what you do. And it just seemed like it got a little fast."

Right-hander Tyler Duffey, making his fourth relief appearance since his recall from Triple-A Rochester, came in and got out of the inning, but he allowed the decisive blow in the fifth, surrendering a go-ahead three-run homer to Mahtook.

"[Duffey] got the first guy, and that was big," Molitor said. "Obviously, he was not trying to throw a breaking ball where he threw it. Had him set up for it, just didn't get it where he needed to."

It spoiled homers from Joe Mauer, Tyler Austin, Miguel Sano and Mitch Garver. Mauer, who clubbed a pinch-hit, game-winning three-run home run on Friday, hit his first career leadoff shot in the first, while Austin also went deep for a second consecutive game with a solo homer in the second. Sano went deep in the third, his fourth homer since returning from a six-week stint in the Minors.

Video: DET@MIN: Garver launches a 2-run long ball to left

Mauer finished 3-for-5 and fell a triple shy of the cycle. Austin finished 3-for-4, but the offense couldn't get much going after the third until Garver hit a two-run homer in the eighth off reliever Joe Jimenez. Mauer nearly tied it with a deep drive to center in a 12-pitch at-bat later in the inning, but Victor Reyes made the catch at the warning track for the second out.

"[Mauer] really had just a tremendous night," Molitor said. "Even the last at-bat, where he put together a really good fight and drove one out to the track."

Video: DET@MIN: Jimenez retires Mauer in 12-pitch at-bat

Morris honored at Target Field for HOF career

SOUND SMART
Mauer homered in consecutive games for the first time since homering in three straight in Seattle from May 27-29, 2006. He also homered in back-to-back at-bats for the first time since July 24, 2009, when he homered in consecutive plate appearances against the Angels' John Lackey. Saturday marked his 142nd career homer.

Video: DET@MIN: Mauer drills a leadoff homer to left-center

HE SAID IT
"My four-seam command was there, but my sinker command was not. It's one of those things as the game goes on, you kind of figure out what you've got that day. You can move from there. That pitch to Mahtook, that can't happen. That's a miss by 3 feet with my best pitch. We'll get back after it; we'll get back on it in the bullpen and get the stuff done we need to get done. It's just frustrating, you know? I had Mahtook 0-2 there, and could have gotten out of that inning -- as bad as it was -- if I execute that one pitch. You know what I mean? That's the kind of [stuff] that keeps you up at night." -- Stewart

FIELD OPTIONED
After going 0-for-2 to fall to 1-for-16 in eight games with the Twins, outfielder Johnny Field was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the game. Fellow outfielder Robbie Grossman, who is on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring and on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester, appears likely to be activated.

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (5-7, 4.44 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins in the series finale against the Tigers on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Odorizzi is coming off a solid outing, allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts against the Pirates. Jacob Turner will get the start for Detroit.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Kohl Stewart

Stewart set to make Major League debut today

Former No. 4 overall pick will face Tigers in first start
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, is in Detroit and will make his Major League debut Sunday when he starts against the Tigers.

Stewart was at a breakfast restaurant with his visiting parents in Rochester, N.Y., where he's been playing with the Triple-A Red Wings since the beginning of July, when he got a phone call from a number with an Ohio area code.

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DETROIT -- Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, is in Detroit and will make his Major League debut Sunday when he starts against the Tigers.

Stewart was at a breakfast restaurant with his visiting parents in Rochester, N.Y., where he's been playing with the Triple-A Red Wings since the beginning of July, when he got a phone call from a number with an Ohio area code.

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"I knew [Triple-A manager Joel Skinner] was from Ohio, and I was like, I think that's Skins," Stewart recalled Saturday. "So, I called him right back. We were all sitting in a booth, and he said, 'You're going to the big leagues.' A lot of emotions overtook everybody."

The Twins have not made the official roster move yet. Adalberto Mejia would have taken his turn in the rotation Sunday, but was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left wrist strain.

Stewart's road to the Majors has been an unsteady one. He dealt with a shoulder injury two years ago and had left knee tendinitis that was "killing me" last season. Between the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Stewart made four trips to the disabled list.

"I never felt like myself, and I couldn't figure it out," said Stewart, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Twins' No. 28 prospect. "I was trying to pitch through it and maybe made some mistakes there. But some of those things you can't control, and sometimes you probably have to look at the way you're training, and I had to make some changes and give myself an opportunity to stay healthy for a full season."

Along with getting healthy, Stewart made some adjustments on the mound. He talked with the staff during Spring Training, and they decided to transition from a two-seam to a one-seam grip on his fastball. They also determined he needed to dial back on his fastball usage. The difference is not only in Stewart's confidence, but in the numbers. His groundout-to-flyout rate, for example, was a career-best 2.22 in the Minors this season.

"I try not to look too far into things like that, but there are obviously some answers in there," Stewart said. "I'm not as smart as some of the people they have looking at those things. When they do come to me with something and tell me to make some adjustments, I'm gonna trust what they have to say."

Manager Paul Molitor said Stewart had been on their radar in the past, but his up-and-down performance kept him out of the Majors. Molitor said the consistency is finally there now, and Stewart agreed.

"I didn't ever feel like I was really ready to do it until some starts this year where I was feeling like I was getting more confident," Stewart said. " … I feel like I'm more ready now than I ever have been."

Injury updates

• Unless there is a setback, Byron Buxton is expected to play Tuesday when the Twins start a two-game set against the Pirates, Molitor said. Buxton was placed on the 10-day DL with a left big toe fracture on May 30. Since then, he's been sent to rehab with Triple-A Rochester, but has been placed on the DL twice with a left wrist strain.

Video: MIN@SEA: Buxton crashes into wall, exits the game

Robbie Grossman will hit in the cage Sunday in Detroit and then continue his work on Monday's off-day, according to Molitor. From there, Grossman will take batting practice on the field Tuesday. Grossman has been on the 10-day DL since Monday with a right hamstring strain. Molitor said they're being cautious with Grossman because of how delicate hamstring injuries can be.

"There have been so many times when hamstrings have reoccurred because you feel you're on a good track, you're practicing well, and then the game is a different animal," Molitor said. "So, you have to be careful."

• Mejia will undergo more tests in the next couple days, Molitor said after the Twins' 4-3 win over the Tigers on Saturday. Molitor also mentioned that Mejia has a nerve traction injury and that he's been having discomfort in his forearm and up to his biceps.

"I think most of it is around a nerve injury, and that's why we had such a large area that was being affected," Molitor said, adding that he does not believe it's the ulnar nerve. " … I think it's probably above the elbow, not below."

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Minnesota Twins

Magill rejoins Twins after birth of son

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Right-handed reliever Matt Magill rejoined the Twins on Tuesday after missing three games to attend the birth of his son, Maverick, on Saturday. To make room for him on the roster, fellow right-handed reliever Matt Belisle was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee chondromalacia, which is also known as runner's knee.

Magill, who was reinstated from the paternity list, left Minneapolis on Friday to arrive in time for the birth of his son in San Diego on Saturday. It was the first child for him and his wife, Melissa. He flew on a red-eye flight through Detroit to get to Cleveland, and he has enough adrenaline he doesn't feel tired.

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CLEVELAND -- Right-handed reliever Matt Magill rejoined the Twins on Tuesday after missing three games to attend the birth of his son, Maverick, on Saturday. To make room for him on the roster, fellow right-handed reliever Matt Belisle was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee chondromalacia, which is also known as runner's knee.

Magill, who was reinstated from the paternity list, left Minneapolis on Friday to arrive in time for the birth of his son in San Diego on Saturday. It was the first child for him and his wife, Melissa. He flew on a red-eye flight through Detroit to get to Cleveland, and he has enough adrenaline he doesn't feel tired.

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"It went great," Magill said. "He's doing great and Mom is, too. It couldn't have gone any smoother."

Magill, 28, has been solid in relief for the Twins this season, posting a 3.86 ERA with 39 strikeouts and eight walks in 39 2/3 innings. But he's going to see a prominent role down the stretch after the Twins traded away both right-hander Ryan Pressly and left-hander Zach Duke. He's essentially going to take Pressly's former role, according to Twins manager Paul Molitor.

"I think it's time to see what he can do in those type of situations," Molitor said. "The trust has grown throughout the year. As we've lost some people, I've talked to him about using him in higher-leverage situations. He's a right-hander who hopefully gets us big outs, whether it's the sixth or seventh inning. Somewhere along the way."

Magill, who was signed as a Minor League free agent before the season, had previously pitched with the Dodgers in 2013 and the Reds in '16. He spent last season at the Padres' Triple-A affiliate, but was used mostly as a starter before converting full-time to relief this season. He's shown good velocity with his fastball averaging 94.4 mph, while he's mixed in more sliders to go with his curveball and occasional changeup.

"I think the way he's improved his breaking ball is what has elevated his effectiveness against both righties and lefties," Molitor said. "He had that cutter-slider early, but he's kind of added more depth. Basically, it's almost like two different breaking balls now and they seem to be playing better with the combination of velocity that he has."

Video: CIN@MIN: Magill picks up first strikeout of season

Belisle, meanwhile, has dealt with this knee issue in the past and will rest his knee after feeling discomfort while pitching against the Indians on Monday. Belisle gave up four runs, including two homers, over two innings in the 10-0 loss. The 15-year veteran has made 19 appearances with the Twins, posting a 9.15 ERA.

"Just a little inflammation," Molitor said. "Gets that hot spot in the knee. I think the outing and the length last night added to the irritation. We talked about it some last night. We're just in a position where we can back you off for a little bit and get you feeling a little bit better so hopefully you finish the season strongly."

Larnach promoted
Outfielder Trevor Larnach, the No. 20 overall pick in this year's Draft, was promoted to Class A Cedar Rapids on Tuesday. Larnach, 21, hit .300/.405/.467 with two homers, four doubles and 15 RBIs in 17 games with Rookie-level Elizabethton. The Oregon State product is Minnesota's No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Diaz undergoes successful surgery
First baseman Lewin Diaz, the club's No. 16 prospect per MLB Pipeline, underwent successful surgery on his right thumb. He's expected to be cleared to swing the bat in six to eight weeks. The 21-year-old was hitting .224/.255/.344 with six homers, 11 doubles, three triples and 35 RBIs in 79 games with Class A Advanced Fort Myers prior to the injury that saw him get placed on the Minor League disabled list with a right thumb fracture on July 24.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Matt Belisle, Matt Magill

Twins deal Dozier to LA for Forsythe, prospects

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins made their fifth and final deal before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending second baseman Brian Dozier to the Dodgers for veteran second baseman Logan Forsythe and prospects Devin Smeltzer and Luke Raley.

Dozier, perhaps the club's most popular player over the last five seasons, had become one of the faces of the franchise, along with Joe Mauer, after developing into a power-hitting All-Star second baseman and a clubhouse leader. But he will become a free agent after the season, and the Twins weren't going to re-sign him, so they decided to move him to the Dodgers, who had been linked to Dozier before the '17 season.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins made their fifth and final deal before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending second baseman Brian Dozier to the Dodgers for veteran second baseman Logan Forsythe and prospects Devin Smeltzer and Luke Raley.

Dozier, perhaps the club's most popular player over the last five seasons, had become one of the faces of the franchise, along with Joe Mauer, after developing into a power-hitting All-Star second baseman and a clubhouse leader. But he will become a free agent after the season, and the Twins weren't going to re-sign him, so they decided to move him to the Dodgers, who had been linked to Dozier before the '17 season.

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"It's a very difficult day on a lot of fronts," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. "Brian has been a meaningful part of this franchise. This an opportunity for him to go to a winning ballclub that was in the World Series last year and with their roster is looking to maybe finish it off this time. We just felt like for us as an organization, this was the right time to make this decision. We were able to acquire some talent we feel can help us build toward a championship future."

Dozier joins Eduardo Escobar (D-backs), Ryan Pressly (Astros), Zach Duke (Mariners) and Lance Lynn (Yankees) as those traded by Minnesota prior to the Trade Deadline, bringing back 11 prospects and Forsythe. Pressly was under contract through next year, but the rest were all going to be free agents after the season. The Twins hung onto closer Fernando Rodney, as they have a $4.25 million club option on him for next season, and right-hander Kyle Gibson, who remains under team control through next year.

• Twins add 4 prospects in Duke, Lynn trades

Video: Twins improve their system with recent trades

"It's been tough," said Mauer, who was never asked to waiver his no-trade clause. "We've lost some really good people, some really good players and really close friends. It's disappointing on a lot of levels. But I understand. It's a business, and I don't like to say that, but it really is when things like this happen. But I try not to worry about things I can't control. "

Dozier, an eighth-round Draft pick in 2009, was a success story in Minnesota, winning the organization's Minor League Player of the Year Award in 2012 before unexpectedly becoming a power hitter in the Majors and a fan favorite. He participated in the Home Run Derby in '14, was an All-Star in '15, hit a career-high 42 homers in '16 and won a Gold Glove Award in '17. He had expressed interest in signing an extension prior to this season, but the front office never approached him or his agent about a potential new contract.

"I think the reality of it always stings a little bit more than as you think about it potentially going down," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Dozier. "Kind of like with Esco, you've got a guy who's just meant a lot to this organization. He's been here since '09, I believe when we drafted him, and just been an integral part of what the Twins have been about here at least the last handful of years."

Tweet from @Twins: Thanks for everything you���ve done for the #MNTwins organization over the years, Doz! Best of luck on the West Coast. pic.twitter.com/TbPsfQxIqW

Raley, 23, is the headliner for the Twins, as he ranked as the Dodgers' No. 19 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The left-handed-hitting first baseman/outfielder is having a solid year at Double-A Tulsa, hitting .275/.345/.477 with 17 homers, 17 doubles and 53 RBIs in 93 games. He's expected to move into an outfield role with Double-A Chattanooga.

"I think he's really developed into that power, the last year-plus," Falvey said. "He's somebody we think going to Double-A is not unlike a Brent Rooker. He really gives us a chance to add some power to our lineup."

Smeltzer, 22, has posted a 4.73 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 19 walks in 83 2/3 innings at Double-A. He had been starting early in the season but moved to relief in July.

Forsythe, 31, was included in the deal because he's making the same salary as Dozier this season ($9 million) and the Dodgers wanted to avoid going over the luxury tax. He also gives the Twins a veteran infielder for the second half, but he's hitting .207/.270/.290 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 70 games this season. He's expected the join the roster on Wednesday.

"He's going to get plenty of chances to play, I would imagine, in the short term," Molitor said. "I'll have an opportunity to get a chance to look at some different people in different roles."

While Forsythe couldn't join the roster in time for Tuesday's game, reliever Trevor May was called up from Triple-A Rochester to take the place of Duke. It marked May's return to the Majors after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2017. He had a 4.00 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 16 walks in 27 innings at Triple-A Rochester.

"It's been a long road for me, just personally, and it doesn't always work out this way," May said. "So it's good to get the opportunity again. I made a pact with myself to get out of my own way, and I'm going to give myself every opportunity to earn a spot and keep it for a long, long time."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Brian Dozier, Logan Forsythe

Twins add 4 prospects in Duke, Lynn trades

Haul includes 1B Austin from Yankees, RHP De Jong from Mariners
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins continued to sell on Monday, trading lefty reliever Zach Duke to the Mariners and right-hander Lance Lynn to the Yankees, receiving prospects Chase De Jong and Ryan Costello from Seattle and Tyler Austin and Luis Rojo from New York. Reliever Addison Reed was activated from the 10-day disabled list to take Duke's spot on the roster, but there was no replacement for Lynn in time for Monday's game against the Indians.

After trading infielder Eduardo Escobar and reliever Ryan Pressly on Friday, Duke was the first to get dealt on Monday, with news breaking as the club was getting ready to take batting practice at Target Field. Lynn was dealt roughly 45 minutes prior to first pitch.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins continued to sell on Monday, trading lefty reliever Zach Duke to the Mariners and right-hander Lance Lynn to the Yankees, receiving prospects Chase De Jong and Ryan Costello from Seattle and Tyler Austin and Luis Rojo from New York. Reliever Addison Reed was activated from the 10-day disabled list to take Duke's spot on the roster, but there was no replacement for Lynn in time for Monday's game against the Indians.

After trading infielder Eduardo Escobar and reliever Ryan Pressly on Friday, Duke was the first to get dealt on Monday, with news breaking as the club was getting ready to take batting practice at Target Field. Lynn was dealt roughly 45 minutes prior to first pitch.

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De Jong, a 24-year-old right-hander, was ranked as Seattle's No. 28 prospect by MLB Pipeline, while the 22-year-old Costello is a corner infielder who was not ranked among the Mariners' Top 30. Austin, a 26-year-old first baseman with power, has played a combined 85 games in the Majors over the past three seasons, while Rijo, a 19-year-old right-hander, wasn't among the Yankees' Top 30.

"We lost Zach today," Twins manager Paul Molitor said before Monday's 5-4 win over the Indians. "Just very complimentary to what he brought professionally. Personality, leadership, he took the ball -- all those kinds of things. A guy who can do what he can do is going to be sought out by a lot of teams, and he was."

Duke had posted a 3.62 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 15 walks in 37 1/3 innings this season. Notably, he hasn't allowed a homer in 45 appearances this year. The 35-year-old was signed to a one-year, $2.15 million deal before the season. The Twins sent $75,000 to the Mariners as part of the deal, while Seattle will pay the rest, which is roughly $600,000.

"It's an exciting chapter -- I truly enjoyed my time here," Duke said. "Love the guys in this room and I'm going to miss them. But I'm looking very forward to being out there in a pennant race."

Lynn, 31, went 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA in 20 starts with the Twins, striking out 100, walking 62 and allowing 12 homers in 102 1/3 innings. He was signed to a one-year, $12 million deal in Spring Training. Minnesota will pick up half of the roughly $4.5 million he's still owed. He was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Indians. Instead, lefty Adalberto Mejia will make the start.

"It happened fairly close to pregame," Molitor said of the Lynn trade. "Lance did a nice job of recovering his season after a rough start. Speculatively, I think it had to do with things that happened this winter with his late start. It took a little while until he got on track but we got a glimpse who he can be."

"I've never been through this before," Lynn said. "I really enjoyed my time here and I wish it had gotten off to a better start. But I really enjoyed it here; they were great to me. Great people, great organization. I see a lot of good things in the future here, and I wish them all the best and thank them for the opportunity."

The Twins could make more moves before Tuesday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline, with second baseman Brian Dozier and closer Fernando Rodney also pending free agents. Molitor, though, said he's going to operate normally despite the chance of additional trades.

"I don't think 'expect' is the right word," Molitor said. "Just kind of holding steady until something else comes across. We're talking and obviously teams are out there trying to make acquisitions. So I wouldn't say it's an expectation. I'm like everybody else. I don't know which way it's going to go and who teams might pick off and who might be available."

Austin could immediately join the Twins, as he's a career .230/.287/.459 hitter with 15 homers and 43 RBIs in 85 games with the Yankees. He's split time between Triple-A and the Majors this season, hitting .223/.280/.471 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 34 games with New York. He's under team control through 2022 and fills a need for the Twins, who didn't have any first-base prospects close to the Majors.

Rijo, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound Venezuela native, has pitched well at three levels this season, posting a combined 2.77 ERA with 32 strikeouts and three walks in 39 innings between Rookie-level Pulaski, Class A Staten Island and Class A Advanced Tampa.

De Jong has Major League experience, going 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in seven appearances (four starts) with the Mariners last year. This season, he's posted a 3.80 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 34 walks in 120 2/3 innings at Double-A Arkansas.

Costello, a 31st-round pick in the 2017 Draft, was hitting .266/.360/.486 with 16 homers, 24 doubles and 70 RBIs in 101 games at Class A Clinton. At 22 he's a tad old for the level, but he's a career .285/.381/.529 hitter in two seasons in the Minors, while seeing time at first base and third base.

Reed, meanwhile, had been on the DL since July 11 with right triceps tightness. He made two rehab appearances with Triple-A Rochester over the weekend, giving up one run over two innings. He's struggled with a 4.83 ERA in 41 appearances this season, but Molitor said Reed worked on his mechanics once he got healthy enough to throw again.

"He got people out for the most part," Molitor said of Reed's rehab outings. "His velocity was topping out about 90 mph. But I think he was able to do some of the things he worked on during his down time. Specifically, he tried to get back to a few things he did better that he got away from. He felt comfortable trying those things. We had thought about waiting another day after pitching yesterday, but after Zach was traded, he was activated today."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Tyler Austin, Chase De Jong

Trades add more depth to Twins' rich system

MLB.com

BOSTON -- With the trades of Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly on Friday, an already deep Twins farm system added five Minor Leaguers, including four who immediately were ranked among Minnesota's Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.

Escobar was sent to the D-backs for Class A prospects Gabriel Maciel, Jhoan Duran and Ernie De La Trinidad, while Pressly was traded to the Astros for prospects Jorge Alcala (Double-A) and Gilberto Celestino (Class A). Alcala is the top-ranked prospect among the group, checking as the club's No. 11 prospect, while Celestino (No. 14), Maciel (No. 17) and Duran (No. 22) rank among the Top 30.

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BOSTON -- With the trades of Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly on Friday, an already deep Twins farm system added five Minor Leaguers, including four who immediately were ranked among Minnesota's Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.

Escobar was sent to the D-backs for Class A prospects Gabriel Maciel, Jhoan Duran and Ernie De La Trinidad, while Pressly was traded to the Astros for prospects Jorge Alcala (Double-A) and Gilberto Celestino (Class A). Alcala is the top-ranked prospect among the group, checking as the club's No. 11 prospect, while Celestino (No. 14), Maciel (No. 17) and Duran (No. 22) rank among the Top 30.

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"For us, that's very exciting," Twins general manager Thad Levine said. "By and large, we hadn't seen a lot of these players play first hand -- so we're relying heavily on the scouts and some of our [research and development] folks. The players that we got back have a chance to climb the ladder for us. We have what we believe to be a good farm system. I believe four of the top five will go right into our Top 30 prospects, and I think that's meaningful."

MLB Pipeline also updated its Top 100 list and re-ranked each club's Top 30 prospects this week, with four Twins prospects among the new Top 100. Shortstop Royce Lewis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft, leads the way as the No. 10 overall prospect, while the system also boasts fast-rising outfielder Alex Kirilloff (No. 31), near-Major League-ready middle infielder Nick Gordon (No. 76), and flame-throwing right-hander Brusdar Graterol (No. 81).

Outfielder Trevor Larnach, the No. 20 overall pick in this year's Draft, isn't among the Top 100, but ranks as Minnesota's No. 6 prospect -- just behind left-hander Stephen Gonsalves (No. 5) and ahead of outfielder Brent Rooker (No. 7). Shortstop Wander Javier, out for the year with Tommy John surgery, right-hander Blayne Enlow and left-hander Lewis Thorpe round out the Top 10.

Video: Top Prospects: Trevor Larnach, OF, Twins

Alcala, 23, is the most advanced of the newly-added prospects and is expected to remain a starter. The hard-throwing Dominican Republic native posted a combined 3.29 ERA with 82 strikeouts and 35 walks in 79 1/3 innings between Class A Advanced Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi. He's joined Double-A Chattanooga's roster.

Celestino, 19, has seen some action at Double-A this year, but has mostly played at Class A -- hitting .317/.383/.476 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 33 games. He's earned frequent comparisons to Cubs center fielder Albert Almora and is considered a potential leadoff hitter of the future. He's temporarily on Rookie-level Elizabethton's roster, but is expected to move up soon.

Maciel, a switch-hitter from Brazil, has joined Class A Cedar Rapids' roster. The 19-year-old batted .287/.362/.333 with one homer, 10 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 68 games with Class A Kane County. Maciel is considered athletic enough to stick in center and has impressive on-base skills. But he's lacked power, with four career homers in 180 games.

Duran, who is also at Cedar Rapids, is a projectable 6-foot-5 right-hander with a power sinker that sits in the mid-90s, with a solid curveball and a developing changeup. He had a 4.73 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 28 walks in 64 2/3 innings with Kane County this season, as his results haven't matched up with his stuff.

De La Trinidad, 22, isn't among the club's Top 30, but the left fielder was immediately moved up to Class A Advanced Fort Myers, after hitting .311/.403/.442 with eight homers, 56 RBIs, 13 doubles and two triples in 91 games at Kane County.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Jorge Alcala, Gilberto Celestino

Twins sign first-round pick Larnach

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The past month of Trevor Larnach's summer has unfolded in storybook fashion. On Thursday, the 21-year-old outfielder and College World Series hero closed the book on his collegiate career and signed a professional contract with the Twins.

Minnesota announced Thursday afternoon that it had inked Larnach, whom the club selected with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 Draft, for a $2.55 million signing bonus. The slot for the pick was valued at $3.12 million.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The past month of Trevor Larnach's summer has unfolded in storybook fashion. On Thursday, the 21-year-old outfielder and College World Series hero closed the book on his collegiate career and signed a professional contract with the Twins.

Minnesota announced Thursday afternoon that it had inked Larnach, whom the club selected with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 Draft, for a $2.55 million signing bonus. The slot for the pick was valued at $3.12 million.

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"It's special for my parents and [me]," Larnach said. "We have waited a long time for this and to be able to sign the contract. The stadium and Minnesota, I've heard nothing but good things about the state, the people and the organization, so I'm ready to go."

Larnach was an integral part of Oregon State's recent College World Series title run. The Pleasant Hill, Calif., native hit in the No. 3 spot in a loaded Beavers lineup and delivered a dramatic, go-ahead home run in the ninth inning of a June 29 win over Arkansas to keep his team's championship hopes alive.

Video: Trevor Larnach discusses being drafted by the Twins

Oregon State's late run through the postseason delayed the signing of the Beavers' draftees, and Minnesota scouting director Sean Johnson joked that Larnach's late-game homer in Omaha helped ease the rush to sign him.

"We were actually watching it -- I was with [Twins vice president of player personnel] Mike Radcliff -- we were in Cary, N.C., in a Cheesecake Factory," Johnson said. "Twenty seconds before he hit the home run, I'm like, 'If he hits a home run here to give them the lead, we can wait another day.' Right on cue, he hit it. That was the first time I celebrated in a Cheesecake Factory. That was pretty cool."

Due to the heavy workload that came with battling a gaggle of elimination games late in the season, the Twins organization is giving Larnach some time to recover before he begins his professional career. The club announced on Thursday that he will begin his career at Rookie-Level Elizabethton of the Appalachian League. They haven't decided on a timeline yet for when that will happen.

"(Larnach) has played in a lot of high-leverage situations in the last month and he's played a lot of games and had a lot of at-bats," Johnson said. "We want to get him through the summer in one piece and give him some time to get his life back together and go home and see his family. I think the plan is maybe to get him to Fort Myers and get him established with our player development and get him to meet some coaches and get him revving back up. I'm not sure where he's going after that, but get him back on the field."

Johnson said the club plans to keep the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Larnach in right field. During the 2018 season with the Beavers, he hit .327 (70-for-214) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 65 RBI in 58 games. In the College World Series, he batted .417 (15-for-36) with five doubles, one triple, one home run, nine RBI and 10 runs scored in eight games.

"I would say it's probably the closest thing you are going to get to playing here in the big leagues," Larnach said of his experience at Omaha. "There are a lot of people at every game. You start playing some SEC teams and you start hearing them pretty well. It's all part of it. It's a wonderful experience, and I wish I could relive some of it, but you know, there are better times ahead."

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Twins

Twins to sign No. 3 international prospect Urbina

Sources: Minnesota, Venezuelan teen agree to deal for $2.75 million
MLB.com

The Twins have landed one of the most coveted prospects from Venezuela in this year's international class.

The Twins have landed one of the most coveted prospects from Venezuela in this year's international class.

:: 2018 International Signing Period ::

According to industry sources, Minnesota agreed to a $2.75 million bonus with outfielder Misael Urbina, No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list. There's also an additional $300,000 for college.

The club has not confirmed the deal.

On offense, the 16-year-old Urbina is a line-drive hitter with a high baseball IQ and projects to have plus speed and a plus hit tool. He has been clocked in the 6.5-6.6-second range in the 60-yard timed run. Urbina is already an advanced defender for his age and he's expected to improve. Scouts like his experience against high-level competition.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs -- like the Twins -- that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs received $4,983,500.

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins

Twins load up on catchers, RHPs in Draft

Day 3 sees selection of rejuvenated backstop Casanova
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins stuck to their strategy of taking the best player available with each pick Wednesday as they completed their 2018 class on the third and final day of the 2018 MLB Draft.

Minnesota has yet to reach agreements with any of their 39 selections, and will wait until the end of the collegiate season to negotiate with those still in postseason play. But head scouting director Sean Johnson said Minnesota is reasonably expecting to sign at least 32 of the players it selected over the last three days.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins stuck to their strategy of taking the best player available with each pick Wednesday as they completed their 2018 class on the third and final day of the 2018 MLB Draft.

Minnesota has yet to reach agreements with any of their 39 selections, and will wait until the end of the collegiate season to negotiate with those still in postseason play. But head scouting director Sean Johnson said Minnesota is reasonably expecting to sign at least 32 of the players it selected over the last three days.

Draft Tracker: Every Twins pick

"We feel confident that we'll sign the guys from the first 10 rounds," Johnson said.

Minnesota ended Day 3 with a large cluster of right-handed pitchers and college catchers. While Johnson said the club wasn't stockpiling on either position by design, he acknowledged that the Twins selected a large crop of backstops because they feel they have the personnel on their developmental staff to help those players.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

"That's one thing we thought about a lot in the Draft the last few days," Johnson said. "We haven't had a catching coordinator in many years, and now we do. Tanner Swanson, who has already cleaned up a lot of our guys in the Minor Leagues. … Pretty much everybody has taken a step forward in their pitch-catching and receiving. So Tanner's doing a great job."

Minnesota took 15 right-handed pitchers and just five left-handers. Johnson said this wasn't by design, either, and that the Twins were simply drafting the best arm with each pick. He said that the club does a pitching assessment on each prospect and evaluates a player they would consider drafting from a risk standpoint.

"Regi Grace is one of the same guys from that standpoint," Johnson said of Minnesota's 10th-round pick. "He's got a delivery foundation that we want to see in pitchers, and that kind of gave us some confidence to take those guys. … We have a few checkpoints that we think are historically important. We're still going to make mistakes on that, but we're trying to hedge our bets a little more. That's another thing [chief baseball officer Derek Falvey] brought over from Cleveland."

Cal State Northridge duo will begin pro careers together

Two years ago, this day seemed impossible to Trevor Casanova. The Cal State Northridge catcher, who was taken by the Twins in the 13th round with the 394th overall pick on Wednesday, was working in a furniture warehouse, ready to walk away from baseball and convinced that the steadiness of a regular job was what he needed.

In the summer of 2015, Casanova had just finished his freshman year at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, and decided a move back home to California was a better fit.

"I just didn't really like it in Oregon, to be honest," Casanova said. "It was rainy, it was cold. I just wanted to come back down to California. If I'm playing at the juco level, I wanted to play at home because then there's more exposure. I decided to come back."

But the move home wasn't the immediate solution he thought it would be. At the time, giving up the game he loved seemed like the quickest fix.

"Once I came back home, I don't know what happened," Casanova said. "I wanted to move out of my house and get a job and go live on my own. So I ended up quitting baseball because I wasn't getting paid going to school. I went and worked a nine-to-five.

For a little over half a year, Casanova dropped baseball enitirely and afternoons in the batting cage gave way to days at the warehouse of Jerome's Furniture in Southwest Los Angeles. That time was enough to make him believe that he had more to give to the game.

"It was tough, the same day over and over again," Casanova said. "I mean, I knew there was a future with baseball, so I decided to come back and see what I could make with it."

Casanova enrolled at El Camino College, where he posted eye-popping stats against stiff competition. His ability to hit the ball to all fields from the left side of the plate helped him soar up Draft boards, and the Mariners took him in the 14th round of the 2014 Draft. He opted instead to head to Cal State Northridge with hopes of further improving his Draft stock.

"[Casanova] will definitely stick at catcher," Johnson said. "He actually came to a pre-Draft workout. He's got a solid-average arm and he's one of the top hitters in the Big West."

Casanova slashed .345/.405/.480 this season for the Matadors and was named a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist while leading the Big West in doubles.

The day got even better for him and the Matadors on Wednesday when the Twins double-dipped on Cal State Northridge catchers and took Albee Weiss, who hit .290/.324.592 and led the conference with 20 homers. Weiss was the starting backstop for the Matadors in 2017, but spent most of the 2018 season in the outfield. Johnson said there is a possibility that Weiss sticks at catcher, but he could also end up at first base or a corner-outfield spot.

Casanova has played multiple positions throughout his collegiate career and only began catching full time once he got to El Camino. Weiss eliminated any possibility of a competition for the starting catcher spot this season when he elected to move to the outfield in order to help the team. Now, the power-hitting duo has become nearly inseparable, adopting the moniker "The Bash Brothers" with Weiss hitting behind Casanova in the lineup and sitting behind him on the bus on each road trip.

They hope that journey will continue through the Twins farm system.

"It's a dream come true," Weiss said. "Any time you can have one of your best friends out there to play ball with you. Starting a new journey like this, I'm very fortunate to have one of my great friends out there with me. It's a little added bonus to all this.

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Twins

Littell roughed up in debut as Twins split DH

Righty allows six runs in three-plus innings in nightcap
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Zack Littell's first Major League start didn't go as he envisioned it, but the 22-year-old stayed positive about his outing, focusing on things he can learn from the next time he gets a chance to start in the Majors.

The right-hander, called up from Triple-A Rochester to be the club's designated 26th man in the twin bill, gave up four runs in the first inning and lasted three-plus innings in the Twins' 6-3 loss, splitting their doubleheader against the White Sox on Tuesday night at Target Field. Littell was optioned back to Rochester after the game, but came away excited about making his debut.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Zack Littell's first Major League start didn't go as he envisioned it, but the 22-year-old stayed positive about his outing, focusing on things he can learn from the next time he gets a chance to start in the Majors.

The right-hander, called up from Triple-A Rochester to be the club's designated 26th man in the twin bill, gave up four runs in the first inning and lasted three-plus innings in the Twins' 6-3 loss, splitting their doubleheader against the White Sox on Tuesday night at Target Field. Littell was optioned back to Rochester after the game, but came away excited about making his debut.

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"Obviously, the results weren't there but it was one of the more fun nights of my life," Littell said. "I got to live out my dream. And that was awesome. I didn't pitch the way I wanted to, but the experience was incredible."

Video: CWS@MIN: Littell freezes Moncada for 1st career K

Littell, ranked as the club's No. 15 prospect by MLB Pipeline, struck out the first batter he faced, Yoan Moncada, looking on a 95 mph fastball, but it was downhill from there. He served up a double to Yolmer Sanchez before allowing a two-run blast to Jose Abreu on a first-pitch fastball. Kevan Smith and Adam Engel each added RBI hits with two outs.

"What got my attention was velocity right away," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It was up from what he had been throwing, whether it's adrenaline or trying to do too much too soon. Some of the things we had heard about what he's doing didn't really surface tonight. Part of it's just part of the experience of being up here. He'll learn, he'll be better."

Littell settled down a bit over the next two innings before walking the first two batters he faced in the fourth. Right-hander Matt Magill came in but promptly served up a two-run double to Sanchez with both runs being charged to Littell, who gave up six runs on six hits and four walks. Magill, though, didn't allow another hit and threw three innings to help the bullpen stay fresh despite the doubleheader.

Video: CWS@MIN: Escobar plates Grossman with a double in 8th

Offensively, much like the first game against starter Reynaldo Lopez, the Twins couldn't get much going against right-hander Lucas Giolito, who entered with a 7.53 ERA. He lasted six innings, giving up two runs in the third after a pair of walks to Gregorio Petit and Robbie Grossman.

Eddie Rosario hit a long single off the base of the right-field wall to load the bases but Miguel Sano grounded into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play. Eduardo Escobar, who had the game-winning homer in Game 1 and went 3-for-4 in Game 2, laced an RBI double but was stranded when Max Kepler grounded out to first.

"I feel good," Escobar said. "For me, it's been about coming in and working hard every day. My swing right now is good, but it's about coming to field ready and trying to help the team win."

Video: CWS@MIN: Kepler fires to third to nab Abreu in 9th

Escobar kept up his impressive day with an RBI double to score Grossman in the eighth, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. But lefty Luis Avilan struck out Kepler and righty Joakim Soria struck out Mitch Garver to quell the potential rally.

The Twins made it interesting in the ninth against Soria, putting two runners on for Rosario with two outs, but Rosario grounded out to second to end the game.

"We had some opportunities," Molitor said. "Didn't capitalize when they came around. I'm a little disappointed we couldn't finish off the sweep."

MORRISON OUT WITH BACK INJURY
Twins first baseman/designated hitter Logan Morrison didn't see action in either game, as he's been dealing with back stiffness since Sunday. The Twins are hopeful it's a minor injury.

"We're just going to monitor it and see what it turns into," Molitor said. "I'm hoping it's a short-term deal, but he wasn't available today."

SOUND SMART
With a double in Game 1 and two more in Game 2, Escobar has 23 doubles this season, which is the most in the Majors. Abreu is second with 22. Escobar has already surpassed his total of 16 doubles last year, while his career high is 35 in '14.

"I think he knows where people try to work him," Molitor said. "Things he's more vulnerable to. He tries to make those adjustments. We talked about after the first game how he learns to shorten up when he needs to when the guy is trying to elevate velocity just so he can get to it. I just think he's gotten a better idea in how to use what skill set he brings up to the plate."

HE SAID IT
"There's no way to prepare for this, no matter what you do or who you talk to. There's just no way until you pitch in a Major League game. So I just need to continue to work on what I've been working on and stay with my consistency to get back up here again. I think the only way to get better is keep doing it and learn from it." -- Littell, who had 21 family members and friends at the game for his first start

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Twins were hurt by an overturned call in the seventh, when Ehire Adrianza hit a ground-rule double and was caught taking too big of a lead at second base. Adrianza was initially ruled safe on the pick-off attempt, but after a review, the call was overturned for the second out. Petit flied out to right to end the inning.

Video: CWS@MIN: Volstad nabs Adrianza as call overturned

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 4.14 ERA) is set to start for the Twins in the third game of the four-game set on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Odorizzi is coming off his worst start of the year, allowing seven runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Indians. Former Twins left-hander Hector Santiago (1-2, 5.10) starts for Chicago.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins

Twins take 3 RHPs in 7 picks on Draft Day 2

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins got started a bit later than most clubs on Tuesday, as they did not have a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. That went to the Cardinals as compensation after Lance Lynn rejected St. Louis' $17.4 million qualifying offer and instead signed with Minnesota.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Twins Draft pick

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins got started a bit later than most clubs on Tuesday, as they did not have a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. That went to the Cardinals as compensation after Lance Lynn rejected St. Louis' $17.4 million qualifying offer and instead signed with Minnesota.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Twins Draft pick

Still, Minnesota stuck to chief baseball officer Derek Falvey's plan and took whom they perceived as the best player available with each pick, instead of drafting for need. Minnesota selected seven players during Day 2 of the Draft, four from the college ranks and three out of high school. The Twins have yet to reach official agreements with any of their selections, and will wait until the end of the collegiate season to negotiate with those still in postseason play.

"At the end of the day yesterday, there was a scenario that unfolded where we [lost out on a pick] a couple of times -- right in front of us -- so some guys that we thought were going to make it fell short," Twins scouting director Sean Johnson said. "So today we had a few mental wins, I would say. We felt like we got some guys. With less than $6 million we still made a lot of our pool. We felt good walking out of there today, like we did last year, not the same volume, but we were able to get some guys that we really liked with some upside."

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Round 4: OF DaShawn Keirsey Jr., University of Utah
DaShawn Keirsey Jr. was a rising prospect during the 2017 season before sustaining a hip injury after running into the outfield wall in late May, derailing his season. He bounced back nicely in 2018, batting .386 with four home runs and 22 RBIs while playing standout defense in center field. Keirsey was a bit of a late bloomer as a high school baseball prospect and didn't play much summer ball because he was often involved in 7-on-7 football. He is a three-time First-Team All-Pac 12 selection and was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 144th best prospect in the Draft. Keirsey is from the same high school as Twins prospect Jake Reed, who is at Triple-A Rochester.

Round 5: RHP Cole Sands, Florida State University
The first pitcher the Twins selected in this year's Draft was Florida State starter Cole Sands. He is the brother of Cubs farmhand Carson Sands, whom Chicago selected with the 109th pick of the 2014 Draft. Cole Sands, 20, battled some bicep tendinitis in late May, but bounced back to finish the season. He went 7-4 this season with a 4.54 ERA while striking out 88 over 75 1/3 innings. He was drafted by the Astros in the 22nd round of the 2015 Draft out of high school, but did not sign.

"I kind of compare him to a gentlemen I had the pleasure of coaching when I was at the University of Oklahoma by the name of [Angels right-handed pitcher] Garrett Richards," Florida State associate head coach Mike Bell said. "Garrett was, I don't wanna say a late bloomer, but he was a guy who always had potential, always had the stuff. And really it wasn't until his junior year that he put the whole package together. I think you're gonna see Cole's career take off at the next level."

Round 6: SS Charles Mack, Williamsville East HS (NY).
Committed to Clemson, Mack was a standout prep shortstop in New York who might end up at third base. Ranked at No. 133 on MLB Pipeline's Top 200, Mack was named a 2018 Rawlings Perfect Game Third-Team All-American and Northeast All-Region First-Team pick. Mack was advanced enough at an early age that he played six years of varsity baseball at Williamsville East.

"There's a New York state law if you're in middle school where, if you can pass a test, you can play up with the varsity while you're still in middle school," Williamsville East HS head baseball caoch Jerry Gasz, who is in his 49th year coaching at the school, said. "So he played for me for six years and so did his brother. I had assigned one of my senior captains to keep an eye on him. But he didn't need that -- he was mature upon his years."

Round 7: RHP Josh Winder, Virginia Military Institute
The Twins added another college arm in Winder, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound righty who is the 31st player ever to be drafted out of VMI. He is the third-highest player to be selected out of the school. The 21-year-old Winder finished his junior season with a 5-6 record a