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Front Page: Quick Hitter: New Rules for 2020

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During the 2019 offseason MLB and the MLBPA agreed on various rule changes. Some of these rule changes went into effect in 2019, but ther...
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Front Page: Multiple Teams Are Interested in Kyle Gibson....

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There’s no question Kyle Gibson struggled this season. However, those struggles might be attributed to him trying to fight through ulcera...
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Will There Be Another Great Knuckleball Pitcher in the MLB?

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:37 PM
Just a general question as we pass time in the offseason. I've always been a fan of the pitch, and in this day of high velocity, I would...
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Front Page: Offseason Blueprint: Hooking a Big Fish

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:43 PM
There’s no denying that the Minnesota Twins greatest need this offseason is pitching. The front office has stated their focus will be on...
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Front Page: Bumgarner V. Wheeler: Who Should the Twins Pu...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:18 PM
Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler headline the second tier of the starting pitching free agent class, representing realistic Twins targe...
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Eddie Rosario Continued to Trend Downward in 2019

Eddie Rosario has been the most discussed Twins player this offseason, with the discussion focusing on the potential of trading him for pitching. But is he is worth trading? Fans seem to think he’s either too good to be traded, or not good enough to get anything substantial. Let's discuss his trade value.
Image courtesy of © Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Rosario just experienced his worst season over the last three years. Don’t be fooled by home runs and RBI

Eddie Rosario was the primary cleanup hitter in the 2019 Twins lineup. It didn’t seem Rocco Baldelli ever considered changing that, despite Rosario ranking ninth in OPS on the Twins.
While a lot of fans may have just looked at the career highs in home runs and RBIs with 32 and 109 respectively, those stats don’t hold much weight compared to some others. In a season where the home run record in the league was broken by 671, Rosario's 32 home runs puts him at 44th in baseball. Rosario tallied a career high in runs batted in because he was hitting fourth. He had more opportunities to drive in runs than anyone else. Here are some fun rankings among all Twins hitters.
  • Most pitches seen with RISP
  • Second-most pitches seen with anyone on base
  • Most pitches seen with go-ahead run on base
A lot of players would drive in 100+ runs when hitting behind Kepler, Polanco, and Cruz every day.

Back to home runs, the best way to measure if a hitter would have hit as many as he did without help from the altered baseball is to look at the exit velocity and launch angle. Rosario finished 175th among all hitters with an 89.1 MPH average exit velocity and an average launch angle of 16.7 degrees. The average home run was hit 103.5 MPH with a launch angle of 28 degrees. Rosario’s home runs were hit 102.1 MPH at a 29 degree launch angle. It’s a safe bet to say the home run numbers will drop next season.

Rosario continued to trend downward in 2019

The way Eddie Rosario's stats have trended over the past three seasons would make you think he is leaving his prime age, not entering it. The 28-year-old peaked in 2017 and ever since has slowly been declining statistically despite being seen by some as the face of the franchise. This chart exemplifies his drop since 2017:
Statistics glossary

Attached Image: hitting chart.png

The slugging is definitely solid, but his on-base percentage is extremely underwhelming, the seventh-worst in baseball among qualified hitters. His wRC+ was close to being exactly 100, which is league average.

Plate discipline is the key problem

Now that MLB pitchers have adjusted and realized Eddie simply can’t help himself from swinging, they have stopped throwing strikes. This graph is just shocking at how little adjustment Rosario had.

Attached Image: rosario swing%.png

If he gets that under control, he could be the dangerous hitter many people perceive him to be. The problem is that he has not shown that he can change.

Fielding took a major step backward

Back in early August, Andrew Thares of Twins Daily pointed out something has happened to Eddie Rosario’s defense. The main stat to note is outs above average. Rosario finished with -17 outs above average. That was the worst in baseball by four runs. This came after -2 in 2017 and -3 in 2018.

Andrew also used an excellent chart to show why he regressed so far down that I will basically just be updating with Rosario’s end-of-season numbers:

Attached Image: fielding chart.png

The feet/second feet gained being multiplied by two is also explained in the original fielding post so go check it out.

Does he have any trade value?

Rosario is trending down both in the field and at the plate. He is currently 28-years-old and ZiPS projections expect him to continue to decline in AVG, SLG, OPS, wRC+, WAR, and really any stat except OBP because it’s hard to be worse than he was in that area. He is under team control for only two more seasons before he becomes a free agent in 2022. I don’t think teams will be willing to part with a number three starter for an average hitter and quite frankly a bottom three fielder this last season.

Final thoughts

Eddie Rosario is a serviceable left fielder that is good enough to be in most playoff lineups. He is not a top four hitter that many have thought of him to be and he never will be unless he can fix his plate discipline. The Twins will likely shop him around this offseason, but he will not be the centerpiece of a trade for a starter. If he is traded for a middle of the rotation arm, the trade will be headlined by a Twins prospect.

For more trade talk about Rosario and pitchers the Twins could acquire check out these links:

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59 Comments

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Battle ur tail off
Oct 30 2019 03:40 PM

He definitely is frustrating to watch hit. The swinging at everything no matter where it is, what the count is, what the sitation, etc gets old. 

 

That said, if he is worth NOTHING in a trade like you say he is, then there is no reason to move him. Milk out his last couple years of controllable baseball and let him walk. Giving away someone like him for a lottery pick doesn't sit well with me. 

 

Now, if he can be packaged up with prospect to bring in real, high end pitching, then I am all for moving him. I don't move him just for the sake of it though or to make room for guys in our minor leagues until they can prove they can handle the big leagues. Most of these young guys take a couple years in order to start producing. Let's not put ourselves in a hole during a time when we are contending in order to pickup another project prospect. 

    • Twins33, wavedog, mikelink45 and 3 others like this
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Major League Ready
Oct 30 2019 03:56 PM

I could see trading him for prospects if we are fortunate enough to land enough FA pitching that it would become necessary to save on other expenditures. If not, keep him until Kirilloff or Larnach is ready to step in.

    • birdwatcher likes this

Man... Twins fans want the team to trade Rosario for some quality pitching (prospects or current)... and then everything yo read, from Twins fans, online is how terrible he is... Teams are going to read all this from Twins fans and really want to trade for him now!!

 

Also, I think we need to stop bashing 32 and 109.. and an .800 OPS. I've seen way too many Twins teams where we dreamed of having a guy or two with an .800 OPS. Obviously it needs to be taken with context but still. I'll take that any year... 

    • SQUIRREL, birdwatcher, scottz and 10 others like this
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birdwatcher
Oct 30 2019 04:21 PM

The overseers must be having a debate about two things:

 

First, is there any realistic hope that Rosario has the mental and emotional capacity to face up to and correct his undisciplined approach without flatlining him? He's clearly egoistic. Is this what causes his lapses? Is this what inspires those big moments? What does the team sports psychologist have to say? 

 

Second, is he in his current form more valuable to the Twins in 2020 than whatever return would be managed? I'd hope they are factoring in a projected timetable for when one of the internal alternatives might fairly assuredly produce more than Rosario. Unless Kirilloff, Larnach, Rooker, or someone else is immediately better, assuming no FA or trade scenario is in the works that brings us an outside upgrade, I'd hope they'd hang onto him to start 2020. Once someone else is an upgrade, then he fetches what he fetches.

 

Just don't pull another Aaron Hicks type trade.

    • mikelink45 and Vanimal46 like this

I love the heart and hustle of Eddie Rosario.

 

I get it, sometimes he lets his emotions get to him or he has a mental slip because he goes about his work with a nonchalant mentality, but he has the way of having fun while being productive.

 

Baseball is meant to be fun and Eddie makes it fun to be a fan.

 

That all being said, I think he can make some more adjustments to make pitchers make better pitches to him. He swings wildly often selling out when we all know his hands can catch up to pretty much anything. If he and Buck continue to work at their craft our outfield will be the best in the league.

 

Extend Eddie!

    • SQUIRREL, birdwatcher, Musk21 and 4 others like this

Second, is he in his current form more valuable to the Twins in 2020 than whatever return would be managed? I'd hope they are factoring in a projected timetable for when one of the internal alternatives might fairly assuredly produce more than Rosario. Unless Kirilloff, Larnach, Rooker, or someone else is immediately better, assuming no FA or trade scenario is in the works that brings us an outside upgrade, I'd hope they'd hang onto him to start 2020. Once someone else is an upgrade, then he fetches what he fetches.

Just don't pull another Aaron Hicks type trade.


For this question, I don't see how the return could help the Twins in 2020 more than Rosario can. MLB player for MLB player trades are rare, and my assumption is whatever pitcher the Twins receive back in a hypothetical trade will also have warts to fix.

I'm not the biggest Rosario fan out there, but they need to think what's going to help win the most games in 2020. Rosario will still provide more positive value than someone like Larnach or Kirilloff learning on the job... At least from late March until June. After that, reconvene and see what you got.
    • birdwatcher, scottz, diehardtwinsfan and 6 others like this
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Matthew Lenz
Oct 30 2019 05:11 PM

 

Man... Twins fans want the team to trade Rosario for some quality pitching (prospects or current)... and then everything yo read, from Twins fans, online is how terrible he is... Teams are going to read all this from Twins fans and really want to trade for him now!!

 

Also, I think we need to stop bashing 32 and 109.. and an .800 OPS. I've seen way too many Twins teams where we dreamed of having a guy or two with an .800 OPS. Obviously it needs to be taken with context but still. I'll take that any year... 

I think Eddie gets so much hate because of where he batted in the order, which obviously isn't his fault. But putting him 4th, with his approach, was frustrating to watch for much of the second half.

    • mikelink45 likes this
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Cooper Carlson
Oct 30 2019 05:56 PM

 

I could see trading him for prospects if we are fortunate enough to land enough FA pitching that it would become necessary to save on other expenditures. If not, keep him until Kirilloff or Larnach is ready to step in.

That could easily be as soon as this season.

    • TopGunn#22 likes this
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Cooper Carlson
Oct 30 2019 06:02 PM

 

Man... Twins fans want the team to trade Rosario for some quality pitching (prospects or current)... and then everything yo read, from Twins fans, online is how terrible he is... Teams are going to read all this from Twins fans and really want to trade for him now!!

 

Also, I think we need to stop bashing 32 and 109.. and an .800 OPS. I've seen way too many Twins teams where we dreamed of having a guy or two with an .800 OPS. Obviously it needs to be taken with context but still. I'll take that any year... 

I think a lot of the bashing is more about the process than the results. We watch him consistently swing at pitches a foot out of the zone and his fielding certainly doesn't help. Also, the .800 OPS is going down every season.

Poor fielding free swinging outfielders can be had pretty easily on the Free Agent market or via trade. So we got 1 in Eddie. If anyone has been watching the World Series you'll notice that there isn't anyone on either lineup that is like Eddie. Good teams eliminate the weaknesses on their teams or they just end up NOT being good enough. Eddie is currently one of them whether you want to admit it or not. 

Buxton is the best fielder on the team, problem is he's not on the field enough. Kepler is solid at CF or RF. Sano is a liability at 3B. Polanco has limited range at SS. Arraez will be average at best at 2B. Who knows who'll play 1B. Sounds like the Twins got their work cut out for them. Might want to work on fielding over the winter.

    • beckmt, mikelink45 and Dave The Dastardly like this
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stringer bell
Oct 30 2019 06:28 PM

Perhaps it is true of Rosario as it was of Sanó, that unrealistic expectations are being placed on the player. IMHO, Rosario was more frustrating as the season moved along and his remaining in the cleanup spot exacerbated the frustration. I don't think Eddie is a cornerstone of the franchise.

 

The defense has certainly suffered in the past couple of years. There weren't many great catches and a lot of catchable balls were not caught. Teams have learned their lesson about running on Eddie's arm, so his outfield assists which somewhat canceled out his less-than-stellar results tracking down fly balls have become more scarce. 

 

If the Twins can't get value in trading Rosario, it makes sense to keep him. Paying him big money the next two years may or may not make sense and the progress of other hitters who can play the corner outfield will probably determine how long #20 is wearing a Twins uni.

    • birdwatcher likes this
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theBOMisthebomb
Oct 30 2019 06:33 PM

I love the heart and hustle of Eddie Rosario.
 
I get it, sometimes he lets his emotions get to him or he has a mental slip because he goes about his work with a nonchalant mentality, but he has the way of having fun while being productive.
 
Baseball is meant to be fun and Eddie makes it fun to be a fan.
 
That all being said, I think he can make some more adjustments to make pitchers make better pitches to him. He swings wildly often selling out when we all know his hands can catch up to pretty much anything. If he and Buck continue to work at their craft our outfield will be the best in the league.
 
Extend Eddie!

I am an Eddie guy. I love the confidence, swagger, "heart", and not shrinking from the big moment. I even with the extend Eddie sentiment. The hustle comment I cannot agree with. Eddie dogs it in the field, at the plate, and on the basepaths.
    • brightside likes this

I am an Eddie guy. I love the confidence, swagger, "heart", and not shrinking from the big moment. I even with the extend Eddie sentiment. The hustle comment I cannot agree with. Eddie dogs it in the field, at the plate, and on the basepaths.

is that hustle, or is he just slow now? It’s hard to tell

He can play on my team.And no one who wasn't in the clubhouse every day knows what effect his injury had on his performance the last couple months.Watching Rosario run around the bases is like watching a deer run.Wasn't running like that after he returned from the ankle injury.What that did to his numbers, not a clue. 

Man... Twins fans want the team to trade Rosario for some quality pitching (prospects or current)... and then everything yo read, from Twins fans, online is how terrible he is... Teams are going to read all this from Twins fans and really want to trade for him now!!

Also, I think we need to stop bashing 32 and 109.. and an .800 OPS. I've seen way too many Twins teams where we dreamed of having a guy or two with an .800 OPS. Obviously it needs to be taken with context but still. I'll take that any year...


I'm guessing those fans are in different camps.... He's a below average corner OF who is getting expensive.

For this question, I don't see how the return could help the Twins in 2020 more than Rosario can. MLB player for MLB player trades are rare, and my assumption is whatever pitcher the Twins receive back in a hypothetical trade will also have warts to fix.

I'm not the biggest Rosario fan out there, but they need to think what's going to help win the most games in 2020. Rosario will still provide more positive value than someone like Larnach or Kirilloff learning on the job... At least from late March until June. After that, reconvene and see what you got.


Agreed, unless as was posted, they need the savings for three really good starting pitchers.
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Major League Ready
Oct 30 2019 07:50 PM

 

Man... Twins fans want the team to trade Rosario for some quality pitching (prospects or current)... and then everything yo read, from Twins fans, online is how terrible he is... Teams are going to read all this from Twins fans and really want to trade for him now!!

 

Also, I think we need to stop bashing 32 and 109.. and an .800 OPS. I've seen way too many Twins teams where we dreamed of having a guy or two with an .800 OPS. Obviously it needs to be taken with context but still. I'll take that any year... 

 

Rosario was 54th in OPS and 65th in wRC+. He is not all that hard to replace. Cave had an 805 OPS this year and 795 career OPS. I will take Cave and invest the $8M/yr difference in pitching.

    • Wizard11 and Cooper Carlson like this
I am a huge fan of Eddie, but I am not blind to his flaws. He sometimes takes bad routes, misplays a ball, or tests his arm when he shouldn't. He also is more of a free swinger than I'd like, to be certain.

But he also makes great plays and great throws. He comes up with a lot of big hits in big moments, sometimes on pitches that you can't believe anyone else would have connected with. And you smile, laugh, and say to yourself, "That's Eddie being Eddie."

One thing we know, and one thing we don't know:

1] With even a small bit of greater control/experience/maturity, he can be an even better defensive OF and a more dangerous hitter.

2] I don't think any of us can really know how much his ankle injury affected him for most of the last two months of the season.

I think it's a little too easy to say his .800 OPS and production should have been expected while hitting #4. The fact is he still put up numbers and produced. I think it's unfair to say anyone COULD have done that. So I'm with Seth on that one.

Rocco played his lineup the way he felt it worked best, including staggering opposite side and switch hitters. At the end of the day, it's pretty hard to argue with the results.

That being said, 2020 offers a different opportunity. It would not surprise me in the least if there was already a consideration of a change at the top where Arraez and Polanco could be the top 2, allowing Kepler to slide down to #3 or #4, depending on whether you then slot Cruz at #3 or #4. However it makes sense, those guys constitute your top 4. Sano and Rosario are now a very dangerous 5-6, followed by some combination of Cron, potentially, and Garver with Buxton again dangerous and turning over the lineup from the 9 hole.

I ramble and offer up various possibilities. But I think Rosario fits very well somewhere, however it shakes out. And I think his value, for at least another season, is greater on the Twins than gone. With the likes of Kirilloff, Larnach, Rooker and Raley on the way, that could change by 2021.
    • luckylager, scottz, Musk21 and 5 others like this
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birdwatcher
Oct 30 2019 08:03 PM

 

For this question, I don't see how the return could help the Twins in 2020 more than Rosario can. MLB player for MLB player trades are rare, and my assumption is whatever pitcher the Twins receive back in a hypothetical trade will also have warts to fix.

I'm not the biggest Rosario fan out there, but they need to think what's going to help win the most games in 2020. Rosario will still provide more positive value than someone like Larnach or Kirilloff learning on the job... At least from late March until June. After that, reconvene and see what you got.

 

Concur.

I believe Rosie played through a hammy too, no?

Look at his first half. He was more selective. He frequently dials in and has better ABs when the v pressure's on.

If his wheels are shot, I'd like to see him try first or even third (again). A second half like his first would have him on MVP ballots.

In the end, I trust talent and skillsets. He's got a better chance of developing discipline than Sano has at developing contact.
    • birdwatcher and brightside like this

 

Rosario was 54th in OPS and 65th in wRC+. He is not all that hard to replace. Cave had an 805 OPS this year and 795 career OPS. I will take Cave and invest the $8M/yr difference in pitching.

 

I agree.. my point is that all Twins fans talk about is trading Rosario for pitching and how bad he is... so fans will be disappointed if the Twins trade him and don't get anything for him, but we're not helping by talking about how bad he is... it's a circle... 

    • SQUIRREL, Steve Lein and diehardtwinsfan like this

I agree.. my point is that all Twins fans talk about is trading Rosario for pitching and how bad he is... so fans will be disappointed if the Twins trade him and don't get anything for him, but we're not helping by talking about how bad he is... it's a circle...

opposing GMs are influenced in their evaluation of Rosario by chatter on TD forums?
    • ashbury, birdwatcher, Musk21 and 4 others like this

 

I agree.. my point is that all Twins fans talk about is trading Rosario for pitching and how bad he is... so fans will be disappointed if the Twins trade him and don't get anything for him, but we're not helping by talking about how bad he is... it's a circle... 

Rosario is now the new Duensing

    • DocBauer likes this
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Major League Ready
Oct 31 2019 05:48 AM

 

I agree.. my point is that all Twins fans talk about is trading Rosario for pitching and how bad he is... so fans will be disappointed if the Twins trade him and don't get anything for him, but we're not helping by talking about how bad he is... it's a circle... 

 

I agree completely with the point that fans here will likely be disappointed with the return for Rosario. No way does he return an established SP, especially anyone who could even remotely be considered an impact pitcher. I also agree with Chief that opposing GMs put absolutely no weight on what is written here and probably are not even aware of what is written here.

 

GMs are going to ask their scouting dept and analytics people for input. They will tell the GM Eddie is dangerous if you give him anything to hit. However, you don't have to give him anything to hit. He simply can not or will not apply any plate discipline. I could see the GM for a contender trading for a prospectand hoping they can convince him his future is dependent upon taking better ABs.

    • birdwatcher likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 31 2019 05:57 AM

Corner OFs are pretty cheap right now... so no, I dont' think Rosie brings back pitching... I also think people are being way to hard on him. Defensive metrics are pretty flawed, that's especially true of OFers when you have 2+ defenders, which we do when Buxton and Kepler are on the field. But Rosario has graded well when Buxton is off the field.. I'd add that the eye test doesn't back up that he's a bad defender either, so I'd probably toss all of that given the questionable nature of defensive metrics. His biggest flaw is the occasional boneheaded play, but even that has hardly been a consistent thing. 

 

As for the bat, yeah, he needs to be selective. I suspect that guys like him are also going to be more susceptible to "pressing" so to speak since he doesn't naturally lay off pitches, but good Lord when he's on, he's ON... and as others said 1st half Rosario was pretty good. We won't get much for him in a trade. I could be wrong there, and I'd trade him if he was bring back a top shelf starter, but I doubt he does. His replacements will not outperform him... not for now at least.

 

The goal is to improve on 101 wins and advance in the playoffs, not re-arrange the furniture. Rosario should stay. I don't think he's in the long term plans, but he should stay until we have a capable replacement. 

    • SQUIRREL, Steve Lein, birdwatcher and 3 others like this

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