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SERIES: Tom Talkin' Twins on YouTube

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:04 PM
Here are the topics I've covered so far ...   March 4: My Top 30 Prospects of 2017 (5:46)   March 12: Trevor May's in...
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Why is Sano a lineup lock?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:00 PM
As each starting day rolls around each year, I take interest in roster projections. There hasn’t been a great deal of different opinions...
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Behind the Fence: Lewis Thorpe on the mound 3/25/17

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:51 PM
On Saturday on the backfields, The High A and Low A squads took on the Boston Red Sox affiliates while the GCL played an intrasquad gam...
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Bullpen: Who you got at this point?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:43 PM
I would go: Kintzler Pressly Rogers Belisle Breslow Wimmers Haley
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Game Thread: ST Twins v Boston - 3/26@1:05 local time

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:15 PM
Decided at the last minute to come to the game. Likely won't be here the whole time but I'm here for now. Van, see anyone you like?...
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Latest News


Report From The Fort: Batting Order Time!

I’ve got good news for the batting order obsessed: it’s finally your time. With more regulars playing more games this week, it’s time to start paying attention to the Twins lineup. Molitor is clearly trying to find the right mix, and Friday he hinted that the batting order could look quite a bit different against right-handed and left-handed pitching.

The only thing he has committed to so far is that Byron Buxton will not hit leadoff. Sabremetric types likely concur, given Buxton’s .274 OBP in the majors so far. But I get the sense that Moltor’s decision is more about catering to Buxton’s mindset. Buxton has been at his best when he is aggressive, and the traditional leadoff role expects patience.


Central Intelligence: Chicago White Sox

Following an incident last summer where White Sox ace Chris Sale busted out a pair of scissors and cut up a uniform he didn't want to wear, he was suspended and fined. It appeared that the relationship between him and the team was reaching a perilous point.

They didn't fire Sale, but during the offseason they did trade him, setting off a roster fire sale that saw Chicago trade away its pitching and position WAR leaders for hefty prospect hauls while also making a managerial change.


Next "Write Of Spring" Newsletter: A Pitching Primer

Do your eyes kinda gloss over when people start talking about a slider versus a sinker versus a cutter? Mine do. So this spring I asked for help from the Twins pitching staff. The resulting cheat sheet will be in this week's Write Of Spring Newsletter. It's free, but you must sign up soon as it will come out Wednesday night. Sign up by giving us your email in the box at the bottom of this story or use the box on the upper right of the front page.


Report From The Fort: Ups And Downs

The Twins lost to the cross-city foes the Red Sox today. The damage was done late, which is both good news and bad news, depending on whether you are worried about the starting pitching or the bullpen.

Optimistic Outing
Kyle Gibson started against a Boston regular season lineup and kept them off-balance and in check for six innings, throwing only 78 pitches. By my count, 56 (72%) of them were strikes, so it’s not surprising that he also had no walks amid his four strikeouts. The first time through the lineup he relied primarily on his fastball, and the second there were a lot more offspeed pitches, but that wasn’t a conscious effort; Gibson said afterwards it was just how catcher Jason Castro called the game.


Report From The Fort: Returns And Concerns

The Twins lost to the Orioles last night 6-3, but most of the day’s drama came earlier. There was a 5th starter battle on the minor league fields and we learned that other 5th starter candidate, Jose Berrios, was optioned to the minors. We also got some important injury news and a glimpse of another top pitching prospect. Let’s cover the highlights:


Report From The Fort: Berrios Gone, Duffey v. Mejia

The place to be this morning for Twins baseball nerds was Boston’s minor league fields to see Tyler Duffey and Adalberto Mejia, both battling for a shot at the fifth starters role, pitched in AA and AAA games respectively. This afternoon, we learned that the matchup meant even more than we thought as leading fifth starter candidate, Jose Berrios, was optioned to the minors.


Report From The Fort: Pitching Focus

It should never come as a surprise when Twins news focuses on pitching, but even by that standard we have a lot. Today included a surprise demotion, the return of the Twins ace, a twist in the fifth starter competition and some news on Glen Perkins. Dig in.


SOLD OUT - Gleeman & The Geek's Tuesday Taproom Tour

We are very sorry (but also very excited) to announce that the Tuesday Taproom Tour is sold out. We promise, Twins Daily and Gleeman & The Geek will continue to work on more events. (Might want to keep July 14th open ... shhhh....)


At each event, participants will get our Gleeman and the Geek Tap Handle pint glasses (pictured), two craft beers at a local taproom, and prizes while watching a Twins road game with Aaron and John as they record a podcast in which you can participate. And all four events cost just $40. Your friends can also get in on the action at TuesdayTaproomTour.com. But there are only 85 tickets available, so get them now Here are the details:


Can Hector Santiago Elevate and Dominate?

Hector Santiago is a fascinating pitcher in that he defies all the advanced metrics. Taking into account all the best ERA predictors, it makes no sense that from 2012-15 he managed a 3.84 ERA, which is identical to Jon Lester's mark over that same span.

A big part of what made the difference for Santiago was that he was as tough as nails when pitching with runners in scoring position. His performance with runners on slipped last season, along with the majority of his other stats.

The sabermetric community appears to have taken the stance that Hector's luck finally ran out, but is it that simple? Does he not get any benefit of the doubt for being a solid starter for over 500 innings prior to last season?


Report From The Fort: Studying Santana

Ervin Santana was comparatively fantastic last year. His 3.38 ERA might not seem remarkable, until you realize that the rest of the Twins’ rotation’s combined ERA was 5.91.

Blink. Blink. That is such a stunning number, I’ll repeat it: the combined ERA of the starting staff last year, not including Ervin Santana, was close to 6.


Report From The Fort: Squeeze Play

Each spring training, teams reach a point when the supply/demand ratio regarding pitchers’ innings is reversed. That time has come.

Early on, pitch counts for the starters are kept low, leaving lots of innings in which to try out the Double-A prospect or the non-roster invitee. But eventually starters need to be stretched to 75 or 90 pitches, and managers want to see those final 20 pitches against major league competition, not in the bullpen.


Central Intelligence: Kansas City Royals

There was a time when Kansas City's .500 finish in 2016 would have felt like a commendable achievement. It's a modest threshold the franchise had failed to reach in nine consecutive seasons prior to 2013.

Of course, coming off two straight World Series appearances, the most recent of which they won, it felt like a let-down. More disappointment may be in store for 2017.