WASHINGTON – Twins fans have heard plenty about Byron Buxton, last year’s No. 2 pick in the draft, who already has racked up 41 RBI, 26 stolen bases and a .435 on-base percentage for Class A Cedar Rapids. Now the Twins want their fans to see what they hope is a future Minnesota star.
Fox Sports North plans to televise Cedar Rapids’ game against Kane County, a Midwest League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, at noon Monday. Anthony Lapanta and Roy Smalley will anchor the telecast from the FSN studios in Minneapolis, while Marney Gellner reports from Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.
Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, a Twins special assistant who focuses on developing prospects, and Twins President Dave St. Peter also will join the broadcast.
In addition to Buxton, one of the top prospects in minor league baseball, the Kernels’ roster includes other top Twins prospects such as infielder Jorge Polanco, outfielder Adam Brett Walker, righthanded starter Jose Berrios and lefthander Mason Melotakis. Cedar Rapids entered Friday in first place in the Midwest League’s Western Division with a 37-20 record.
The Twins have played through some difficult baseball weather this season. But they were no match for tropical storm Andrea.
With Andrea’s rain falling steadily all morning and forecasts calling for little letup all day, the Twins’ first visit to Nationals Park was postponed until Sunday night. The game will be played at 6:05 p.m., a few hours after the completion of the regularly scheduled 12:35 p.m. day game.
Normally, no game can be televised opposite ESPN’s weekly “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast, but the Twins sought, and received, permission from Major League Baseball to televise both games of the Sunday doubleheader on Fox Sports North.
It’s the fifth postponement of the season so far for the Twins, who still have three makeup games to play later in the season.
Nationals take Robertson
Lefthanded reliever Tyler Robertson, designated for assignment by the Twins on Monday, was claimed off waivers Friday by the Nationals. It’s a reunion of sorts for the 25-year-old Californian, because his father, Jay, is a special assistant to Washington General Manager Mike Rizzo.
Robertson was 2-0 for Class AAA Rochester with a 3.05 ERA in 21 appearances and had not given up a home run for the Red Wings. But the Twins were concerned about the decline in his velocity, to the mid- to high 80s, and when they needed a spot on the 40-man roster in order to call up outfielder Clete Thomas to the Twins, the former third-round pick was designated for assignment.
Robertson initially made the Twins roster out of spring training but was sent down to Rochester on April 6 after giving up a grand slam to Baltimore’s Chris Davis. Washington assigned him to Class AAA Syracuse.
Annual tryout coming up
High school graduates and former college players are invited to take part in the Twins’ annual open tryout, to be held at the Metrodome on June 19. Each player will be tested and evaluated by Twins scouts, and the best will play a scrimmage in the team’s old home stadium.
Registration, limited to players eligible to be signed to a professional contract, will begin at 8:15 a.m. at Gate H.