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Why Are You Going to Watch Twins Games in April?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:39 PM
Or will you choose not to?  For me, the only reasons to care is following Sano, Polanco, and Buxton's progression, watch Mejia make...
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Article: The Twins Bullpen Is Set (And You’re Not Going T...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:34 PM
The Twins made their final bullpen roster moves today, reassigning Nick Tepesch and Alex Wimmers to minor league camp. While the official...
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Article: Surprises Mark Twins Opening Day Roster

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:32 PM
Reports out of Ft. Myers tell us that the Twins have made their final roster cuts and we know the - at least tentative - Opening Day rost...
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Article: 2017 Twins Player Predictions: Miguel Sano

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:18 PM
Might Sano set a record for the Twins in 2016. His 178 strikeouts broke Brian Dozier’s one-year-old record of 148 punchouts in 2015. It w...
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Article: 2017 Twins Player Predictions: Brian Dozier

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:01 PM
After an offseason of rumors, Brian Dozier is still with the Twins. The second baseman gives the team a reliable bat in their lineup. He...
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Latest News


281

Surprises Mark Twins Opening Day Roster

Reports out of Ft. Myers tell us that the Twins have made their final roster cuts and we know the - at least tentative - Opening Day roster. (Please note that the Twins have not made these moves official yet, so it is subject to some editing if we learn anything more.)
  • Adalberto Mejia is the 5th starter.
  • Tyler Duffey will pitch out of the bullpen.
  • Chris Gimenez will be added to the 40-man roster and be the backup catcher.
  • John Ryan Murphy was optioned.
  • Byungho Park was reassigned to minor league camp. (as were JB Shuck, Matt Hague, Bengie Gonzalez, Ben Paulsen, and Eddy Rodriguez)
  • It is not yet known whether Kennys Vargas has been optioned or whether he'll start the season on the Disabled List.
What does it all mean?

11

2017 Twins Player Predictions: Eddie Rosario

Confidence is something that Eddie Rosario has never really lacked, especially on the baseball field. As Paul Molitor said earlier this spring after Rosario had a three-hit night for Puerto Rico in the WBC “we all know it, Rosie loves the big lights.” That goes back to his days in Elizabethton where he and Miguel Sano put on an incredible power display and Rosario was named Appy League MVP.

Rosario moved up the ranks quickly until his 50-game suspension before the 2014 season. However, he was called up early in 2015 and finished 6th in the American League Rookie of the Year voting and had double-digits in many offensive and defensive categories. However, early in 2016, Rosario was sent down to Rochester for a month, needing to reclaim his game. He came back and was better.

He was a star on the Puerto Rican WBC team, performing well both offensively and defensively. He hit for power, provided a game-winning RBI in the semi-finals game in extra innings, and showed off his rocket arm. Twins fans knew of Rosario, but the WBC made him a household name.

5

2017 Twins Player Predictions: Jorge Polanco

When people talked about the Minnesota Twins top prospects in recent years, the names Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Jose Berrios. All the while, Jorge Polanco continued to rise and succeed (and often found his name in the bottom quarter of national Top 100 prospect rankings). In fact, he was the first of the group to get to the big leagues when he was promoted to the big leagues from Ft. Myers in 2014.

That was a cup of coffee, and the same thing happened in 2015. It wasn’t until Eduardo Nunez was traded in July that Polanco came up and was handed the keys to a starting job. After coming through the system playing both shortstop and second base, his struggles at shortstop caused the team to move him to second base last year in spring training. However, his opportunity with the Twins came at shortstop. He struggled, so that will be a big story for Polanco and the Twins in 2017.

145

The Twins Bullpen Is Set (And You’re Not Going To Love It)

The Twins made their final bullpen roster moves today, reassigning Nick Tepesch and Alex Wimmers to minor league camp. While the official roster is not set, those moves clarify the likely bullpen. It is not an impressive group.

Brandon Kintzler will return as a closer. The 32-year-old took over the closer job for the Twins last year when Glen Perkins was injured and saved 17 games. He also struck out 5.8 guys per nine innings pitched, which puts him well below the average strikeout rate of a major league pitcher (which is 8.1 K/9), let alone a major league closer.

33

2017 Twins Player Predictions: Miguel Sano

Might Sano set a record for the Twins in 2016. His 178 strikeouts broke Brian Dozier’s one-year-old record of 148 punchouts in 2015. It was an impressive feat considering he missed the month of June on the Disabled List. Sano enters 2017 knowing he will be back at his more natural position, third base, after last year’s erstwhile attempt in right field.

While most consider Sano’s 2016 a down season, he still had 25 home runs. However, after such a strong showing in the final three months of 2015, expectations were very high. Still just 23-years-old, Sano has a ton of potential. His power remains legit, but he’ll need to find a way to put the ball in play more often.

That’s the question at the plate. Meanwhile, there are lingering questions about how well he will be able to play third base defensively too.

29

2017 Twins Player Predictions: Brian Dozier

After an offseason of rumors, Brian Dozier is still with the Twins. The second baseman gives the team a reliable bat in their lineup. He put up a career high in batting average and became the only Minnesota Twins player not named Harmon Killebrew to hit over 40 home runs in a season. 2016 was an historic season for Brian Dozier. What will he do for an encore in 2017?

Brian Dozier was the Twins 8th round pick in 2009. He was drafted as a senior. Many said he was “too old for his level of competition” to be a prospect. He came up the first time at age 24 and really struggled as a shortstop. He was moved to second base, the defense was sound, and suddenly he started displaying remarkable power.

After two very slow months to start 2016. After May 22nd, Dozier was hitting just .199/.284/.318 (.602). Paul Molitor didn’t start him for two straight games, allowing him to clear his head. Over his final 115 games, Dozier hit .291/.356/.621 (.977) with a remarkable 38 home runs.

42

The Age Of Analytics Arrives In Minnesota

... Finally

For more than a decade, Minnesota Twins fans have been clamoring for a more analytical approach from the front office. Those cries have now been answered.

The pivot from legendary scout Terry Ryan to relatively unknown young executive Derek Falvey at the head of baseball operations represents just about the starkest move in that direction possible, and we're already seeing evidence of it.

16

Report From The Fort: Living In The Present

The big purge has been delayed for at least one more day, leading to a day of anticipation or anxiety or purgatory or … living in the present, maybe? After all, it sounds like the decisions have been made. Tomorrow isn’t getting here any faster. There is a baseball game in the sunshine. Let’s travel the zen path and soak in what is in front of us today.

53

2017 Twins Player Predictions: Joe Mauer

When Joe Mauer makes a start next Monday for the Twins at Target Field, it will be his 13th Opening Day start for the Twins. That will tie Harmon Killebrew for the most in team history. In 2004, Mauer debuted as a 20-year-old kid in 2004. Late next week, Mauer will turn 34 and that will make many of us feel even older than we are.

Twins fans are all aware of the date August 19, 2013. The Twins played a make up, interleague game against the Mets. Joe Mauer went 2-4 to raise his stat line to .324/.404/.476 (.880), numbers that would rank as one of the best in his career. Unfortunately, that was the day he took a foul tip to the face mask and suffered a concussion that would alter the rest of his career. The last three seasons he has hit .277, .265 and .261.

Obviously there is a large sector of Twins fans that don’t care about any of that. Others will tell you that he was hitting .284/.384/.417 (.801) on August 16th last year. In that game, he strained his quadriceps (both of them) which affected him the rest of the season. Had he just shut it down at that time, that .801 OPS would have been good, something to build some excitement about. Instead, he toughed it out and kept playing through the injury. Over the season’s final six weeks, he barely hit over .100 and his OPS dropped by almost 50 points.

36

2017 Twins Player Predictions: Jason Castro

The Minnesota Twins offseason is generally considered to have been very quiet. It would be difficult to dispute that too much. However, the Twins new front office was very aggressive in their pursuit of one free agent. By mid-November, just weeks after the new regime began, it was clear that the Twins were a serious player in negotiations for catcher Jason Castro. By the end of the month, Castro had signed a three year, $24.5 million deal with the Twins.

As has been written about, ad nauseum, much of Castro’s value comes from the his work behind the plate. No need to go over there much here, but Castro has great pitch framing stats. He presents the ball well, but he’s also touted for working well with pitchers and calling a good game. His numbers indicate that he is average at controlling the running game. He also seems to give up a fair number of passed balls.

58

Tyler Jay and Baseball's Evolving Bullpen

Twins fans were recently hit with the news that former first round pick Tyler Jay will be moved to the bullpen. This is disappointing news for many as the team used a high draft pick on a player they hoped could be become a strong starting pitcher.

Even with Jay shifting away from starting pitching, there might be a small ray of light at the end of the tunnel. Baseball's use of relief pitchers has begun to shift in recent years. During last year's postseason fans saw the importance of dominant relief pitchers like Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman.

41

Report From The Fort: Decisions And Divides

Pop quiz, hot shot: When the rubber meets the road, what makes everything move forward?
Answer: Friction.

For a team that was supposedly going through an overhaul, the Twins offseason has been one giant Kumbaya singing chorus. The new organizational leaders, CBO Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine, have emphasized relationships, including the one with incumbent manager Paul Molitor. But the season is starting up, and that is when relationships get tested. It usually starts with roster cuts.