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Updated: August 17th, 2013 8:07pm
GM Ryan on Kohl Stewart's promotion: 'Full steam ahead'

GM Ryan on Kohl Stewart's promotion: 'Full steam ahead'

by Brandon Warne
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan said it's "full steam ahead" for first-round pick Kohl Stewart, who has been promoted to Elizabethton (Rookie ball, Appalachian League).

Stewart missed two-and-a-half weeks with a cut on his foot sustained while walking the beach on an off-day. The injury, combined with a light workload means that Ryan and his staff don't plan to back off the right-hander.

Stewart only threw 40 innings with St. Piux X (Houston, TX) this spring, and had just 16 with the Gulf Coast League Twins before his call-up.

Those 16 innings have been nothing short of outstanding, however, as Stewart has a 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and exactly as many strikeouts as innings pitched.

With the call-up, Stewart will join fellow draftee Stephen Gonsalves, who just finished recuperating from a low body injury of his own. Gonsalves tweaked a hamstring running in the outfield almost immediately after he was promoted to Elizabethton, but has since resumed pitching and has done a nice job.

Despite his lower draft status, Gonsalves' numbers rival those of Stewart, as the gangly left-hander has allowed just 19 baserunners in 19.1 innings pitched (0.98 WHIP), with a 0.93 ERA and eye-popping 11.6 strikeouts per 9 innings.

One pitcher the Twins have moved a bit more slowly is Aaron Slegers, the 6-foot-10 right-hander from Indiana University. Ryan said a big reason for this is that Slegers worked more than 100 innings at IU before the Twins took him in the fifth round, and he hadn't worked much between his senior year of high school and this spring due to a litany of arm woes.

As a result, Slegers has worked out of the bullpen at Elizabethton, where he was assigned immediately after signing. Slegers carries a 0.60 ERA through 15 innings (7 appearances), with 9.0 strikeouts per 9 and a solid 0.87 WHIP.

Ryan said the team will monitor his workload going forward, but seemed to hint that Slegers would be a starter going forward in the spring.

Brandon Warne covers the Minnesota Twins for 1500ESPN.com. He has also contributed as a baseball analyst for Fangraphs.com and BaseballProspectus.com
Email Brandon | @Brandon_Warne
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