Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A trip to Cedar Rapids: Travis Blankenhorn and Trey Cabbage

I get Travis Blankenhorn and Trey Cabbage confused.

They are both left-handed hitting infielders drafted by the Twins in the third and fourth rounds respectively in 2015. Both were described as third basemen on draft day. They both have first names that start with the same two letters.

Blankenhorn got to Cedar Rapids for the last month or so of the 2016 season and hit fairly well after crushing the Appy League. He played more second base than third, and DH'd more than he played second. He returned to Cedar Rapids for the 2017 season and has been a bit less productive at the plate while playing more in the field, splitting time between second and third with more time at third than at second.

Cabbage has been slower up the ladder and less productive. He spluttered last year at Elizabethton and improved some there this year before getting a late promotion to Cedar Rapids, and he's barely over the Mendoza line in less than 150 plate appearances in the Midwest League. He's played more outfield than third base for the Kernels.

On Friday, Blankenhorn was the DH and Cabbage started at third base. On Saturday, Cabbage was the DH and Blankenhorn second. On Sunday, Blankenhorn played second and Cabbage entered the game late at first base.

Cabbage drove in the winning run Friday with a sac fly. Blankenhorn homered on Saturday for the only run of the game for either side, and followed that up with a 4-for-5 game Sunday.

Somewhere in my brain, I have linked Blankenhorn and Cabbage to a 1970s Twins third baseman named Mike Cubbage (which is pretty close to Cabbage). Cubbage was a left-handed hitter who platooned at third base for Gene Mauch and occasionally played second. He finished his playing career with the Mets and went on to manage in the minors, coach in the majors and serve as in interim manager with the Mets in 1991. 

Cubbage's career might be Blankenhorn's future. Cabbage will have to find his bat to reach that high. 

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