116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — One of the main Twin Cities newspaper beat writers for the Minnesota Twins has referred to him as 'Changeup Charlie,' which fits Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Charlie Barnes perfectly.
The left-hander didn't overpower any hitters Monday night in his first Midwest League start, but he showed he's got an idea of how to pitch, and he's definitely not afraid to throw his changeup in any count to anyone.
'It's kind of one of those things growing up that I didn't throw real hard, so I had to figure out other ways to get guys out,' Barnes said, following his new club's 2-0 win over Clinton at Veterans Memorial Stadium. 'So I just developed it, and it's a really good pitch for me. I use it a lot ... Try to get more sink on it, but it sinks and fades both.'
Barnes was a fourth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in June out of Clemson University and signed a contract with a slot bonus of $507,000. He didn't get taken that high or get that much money because of his fastball, as it's usually only in the 87 to 88-mile-per-hour range.
But, oh, that change.
'One thing you saw was he used that really well,' said Kernels Manager Tommy Watkins. 'He kept them off balance, so that was cool to see.'
Barnes threw four innings, gave up four hits, walked one and struck out four. He's being limited because of a long college season in which he pitched his first game in February.
Barnes and fellow southpaw Bryan Sammons arrived in town from Rookie-level Elizabethton on Sunday night.
'They told me Saturday that I was getting moved up and was going to start Monday, so I had an idea that I was going to get the ball. Didn't have to wait around too long,' Barnes said. 'I threw well, was in a little more trouble than I wanted to be, only had one clean inning. I think the third was my only clean inning, but I was overall happy. Obviously, any time you can get out of there without giving up a run, that's always nice.'
Patrick McGuff, Ryan Mason and Hector Lujan followed him out of the bullpen by putting up a combined five zeroes. McGuff (1-2) got the win, with Lujan earning his 11th save.
Jimmy Kerrigan, another newbie, provided the only offense in this one via a towering two-run home run to left against Clinton starter Danny Garcia in the sixth. He joined the team Saturday after being signed out of independent ball.
Cedar Rapids will receive yet another new guy Tuesday when pitcher Tyler Watson comes in. The Twins acquired him Monday at the MLB trade deadline from the Washington Nationals in exchange for major league reliever Brandon Kintzler.
Watson, 20, is yet another lefty.
'A lot of lefties, and I like that,' Watkins said.
The teams play the finale of their four-game series Tuesday night at 6:35.
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