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Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Cade Povich among those traded Tuesday
He’s one of 3 guys who spent much of this season here who were included in deals that helped the parent Minnesota Twins at the big-league level
CEDAR RAPIDS — Tuesday afternoon’s Major League Baseball trading deadline hit home in a sense. Really hit home.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels lost a player from their active roster and had two others who have played here this Midwest League season moved to other teams as the parent Minnesota Twins made three deadline deals in an attempt to fortify their pitching staff and hang on to first place in the American League’s Central Division.
The current (now former Kernel) involved was pitcher Cade Povich, the centerpiece in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles for big-league closer Jorge Lopez. The left-hander from the University of Nebraska went 6-8 with a 4.46 earned run average in 16 starts with Cedar Rapids.
An advanced college pitcher who’s still just 22 years old, Povich struck out 107 in 78 2/3 innings.
“My first year, I’ve definitely learned a lot about minor league ball and about myself,” Povich said. “I think I’ve definitely become a better pitcher and a better person from it.”
Povich said he learned he had been traded when he got a phone call from the Twins at 10 a.m. Tuesday. He was in the Kernels home clubhouse about an hour before Tuesday night’s game against the Beloit Sky Carp to say goodbye to C.R. Manager Brian Dinkelman and co-pitching coach Richard Salazar, among others.
He’ll join Aberdeen, Baltimore’s high-Class A affiliate in the next couple of days.
“I’ve calmed down a little bit,” he said. “When I first got the call, it was obviously a lot (to take in). Mostly nerves just because it’s something different. You hear about it all the time growing up and being around it. But actually to have it happen to you, it’s kind of like a shock for a second.
“For a team to want you and trade an all-star for you, that’s obviously a big deal. So I’m just excited for a new opportunity. I’ll see where it takes me.”
Third baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand was involved in a trade to the Cincinnati Reds that netted the Twins starting pitcher Tyler Mahle. Encarnacion-Strand played 74 games this season with the Kernels before being promoted a couple of weeks ago to Double-A.
Encarnacion-Strand hit .296 here with 23 doubles, 20 home runs and 68 RBIs and was raking for Double-A Wichita, hitting .333 in 13 games with five homers. Also going to the Reds was infielder Spencer Steer, who played with the Kernels at the end of 2019 season and beginning of last season.
Yet another 2022 Kernel dealt Tuesday was starting pitcher Sawyer Gipson-Long, who was shipped to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for reliever Michal Fulmer. Gipson-Long had a 5-2 record and 1.99 ERA in 10 starts for Cedar Rapids, though his ERA was 7.17 at Double-A.
The Kernels were blasted by Beloit in the first game of this six-game series, 11-6, as the Sky Carp peppered a handful of C.R. pitchers with 15 hits. That included a grand slam from Marcus Chiu.
Yunior Severino and Jake Rucker had two-run homers for the Kernels (59-38, 16-15 second half). For Severino, that was his sixth longball in his last nine games.
The teams play again Wednesday at noon.
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