Unfiltered Access will be highlighting the stories of the Rochester Red Wings and their opponents on their journey this season. Unfiltered Access will be providing exclusive interviews, prospect updates, and a breakdown of the triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
While the fireworks may have been in full swing for fourth of July festivities the Rochester Red Wings have been anything but that this season. The Minnesota Twins affiliate has been treading around .500 all season long despite the little production they have gotten from their bats. As of July 5, the Red Wings are batting .228 as a team good for last in the International League to go along with 54 home runs, the third worst in the league.
Where the bats have remained quiet all season it has been the pitching staff that has been lighting it up. As a team, Rochester is tied for the league lead with a 3.31 era while giving up a league-low 293 runs on the season.
Leading the way for the pitching staff is Twins fourth-ranked prospect, Stephen Gonsalves. The big left-hander is 5-3 on the season with hitters batting .196 against him. At only 23-years-old Gonsalves is not only on the path to pitching on the big leagues this season, but the potential is a top of the line arm for years to come.
Where Gonsalves must improve is his first inning struggles, something he has faced recently. On Wednesday game the left-hander would allow a leadoff single followed by a base on balls putting him in a jam early. After the early struggles though Gonsalves was able to settle down, something that has become a theme for him on the mound.
— Samuel Berger (@UnfilteredSB) July 4, 2018
The tenth-ranked left-handed prospect in baseball understands that throwing balls won’t help him or his team win. “This is a really good team, once you realize it’s not all on you, you can kind of take some pressure off yourself and just pitch to contact,” explained Gonsalves.
The Red Wings ace would end his Fourth of July going 6 innings of shutout ball while striking out 6. The rest of the pitching staff would not perform so favorably as 5 runs given up by the Red Wings bullpen, including 4 in the 9th would waste a strong offensive showing by the Wings. Despite hitting two home runs at home for the first time since May 13 the Wings would lose 6-5 to the Pawtucket Pawsox.
“One of the teams had to lose and we lost the game, it wasn’t from a lack of effort,” explained Wings Manager Joel Skinner. “From that standpoint, we did a lot of good things, we just didn’t get that last out in the ninth.”
The Minnesota Twins have demoted Byron Buxton to the Rochester Red Wings. The former Gold Glove and Platinum Glove winner will be the centerfielder for the Wings for the foreseeable future.
— Unfiltered Access (@UnfilteredAXS) July 5, 2018
Minnesota has also optioned pitcher Trevor May to Rochester. His role with the team remains to be seen.
(Stats as of 7/5/18)
Nick Gordon, SS, Prospect Ranking: 2
.233 Avg., 1 HR, 11 RBI
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Prospect Ranking: 4
(5-3), 3.86 ERA, 58.1 IP, 60 SO
Lamonte Wade, OF, Prospect Ranking: 12
.263 Avg, 2 HR, 9 RBI
Zack Littell, RHP, Prospect Ranking: 14
(1-3), 3.00 ERA, 51. IP, 47 SO
John Curtiss, RHP, Prospect Ranking: 18
(2-2), 3.27 ERA, 33. IP, 44 SO
Jake Cave, OF, Prospect Ranking: 23
.265 Avg., 5 HR, 27 RBI
Zack Granite, CF, Prospect Ranking: 24
.211 Avg., 0 HR, 3 RBI
Unfiltered Access will continue to update information on the Red Wings as information emerges.