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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/19): Twins Unable to Moun...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:45 PM
After completing a four-game sweep in Texas, the Twins returned home to start a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. With the...
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Front Page: How Miguel Sano Turned His Season Around

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:59 AM
In late June, Miguel Sano’s 2019 season felt like it was on the brink of collapse.From his delayed start in May through the end of June,...
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Front Page: Nelson Cruz and the Unlikely Quest for 400 Ho...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:54 AM
Nelson Cruz was back in the Twins line-up on Monday, but he was never supposed to be to this point in his career. To call Cruz a late blo...
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4th OF Discussion with Hamilton now DFA'd

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:48 AM
With Billy Hamilton DFA'd by KC today should we claim him to be our 4th OF/ speed off the bench?This would allow our OF defense to be at...
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Front Page: Twins Minor League Report (8/19): Red Wings G...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:48 AM
It was a night full of intrigue in the Twins minor leagues on Monday night. First, there were several interesting transactions. Pensacola...
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MIN 4, CLE 3: Astudillo Gets First Homer, Mauer Scores 1,000th Run

Willians Astudillo hit his first career home run, Joe Mauer notched the 1,000th run scored of his career, Robbie Grossman delivered a huge go-ahead hit with two outs and Eddie Rosario tallied three hits of his own. It was a mini breakout of the slump the Twins’ lineup had been enduring of late. Kohl Stewart was shaky but the bullpen was outstanding as the Twins earned a one-run victory at Cleveland Wednesday night.
Image courtesy of © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Starting Pitcher: 45 Game Score, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB, 59.6% strikes (56 of 94 pitches)
Home Runs: Astudillo (1)
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3-for-5, 2B), Grossman (2-for-3, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Grossman .356, Rogers .261, Hildenberger .216, Rosario .171
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Adrianza -.115, Stewart -.124, Cave -.126
Attached Image: WinChart829.png
Astudillo, 26, has played 638 minor league games since debuting in 2009 as a 17-year-old in the now defunct Venezuelan Summer League. He bounced from the Phillies to the Braves to the Diamondbacks before landing with the Twins this offseason. All those years and he had never hit more than four home runs in a season.

Astudillo broke out this year with 12 homers for Rochester, that combined with some good luck resulted in him getting the opportunity to finally reach the majors. Now he has his first big league home run.

Stuff like this is why we continue to pay attention.

Joe Mauer scored the first run of his career in his major league debut back on April 5, 2004. Astudillo was 12-years-old at the time. Kohl Stewart was nine. Joe is just the third player in Twins history to score 1,000 runs, joining Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew.

Stewart gave up a pair of runs in the first, but appeared to settle in. From there, he held Cleveland scoreless for the next three innings, and even retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth. Jose Ramirez singled, Edwin Encarnacion drove him in on a double and Stewart was bounced from the game after 94 pitches with the Twins down 3-2.

Trevor May got the final out of the fifth and followed that up with a scoreless sixth inning, keeping the Twins in this one. In the top of the seventh, the Twins strung together a two-out rally that was capped off by a Robbie Grossman go-ahead single. Taylor Rogers followed that up with two scoreless innings of his own. May’s ERA is down to 2.08 and this was Rogers’ 16th straight scoreless appearance.

The Twins had a great chance to tack on an insurance run, getting their first two batters aboard in the ninth, but could not score. Luckily that didn’t matter, as Trevor Hildenberger slammed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his fifth save.

Jorge Polanco was on the bench for the second straight night due to tightness in his left leg.

Postgame With Molitor

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen829.png
Next Three Games
Thu at CLE, 12:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Mike Clevinger
Fri at TEX, 7:05 pm CT: TBD
Sat at TEX, 7:05 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
CLE 8, MIN 1: Where Did the Runs Go?
OAK 6, MIN 2: Austin Goes Deep Twice in Loss
OAK 6, MIN 2: Gonsalves Gets Burned on Mistake Pitch

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27 Comments

Still haven't gotten even 5 out of Kohl or Stephen ... There will be lots of opportunities for innings on the back end, if a six man rotation is used.

    • dgwills and bighat like this

Magic Number Update:

 

Division: 44

 

Wild Card: 47

 

Cleveland stuck 18

    • ashbury, USAFChief and SwainZag like this
Photo
SF Twins Fan
Aug 29 2018 08:45 PM
I don’t like how Molitor pulled Stewart with two outs. This is a lost season and Stewart was pitching better than he had in any other start. Let him try and get out of the inning.
    • DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this

I don't know whether or not to get excited about the May-Rogers-Hildenberger Lockdown tonight.  On the one hand, I'd be excited if these guys grew into the role and gave us half a bullpen to look forward to next year.  On the other hand, its only half a bullpen, which in pitching depth terms is really only a quarter of a bullpen.

 

Anyway, I'm thrilled with the win.  I guess absence makes the heart grow fond.

    • mikelink45, SF Twins Fan and MN_ExPat like this
Nice game, nice win. Great HR for Astudillo! Congrats! I would never wish an injury on anyone, but with Wilson out, Astudillo is exactly the kind of player we should be looking at. He's a still young 26yo catcher with some stick potential and surprising ability to play other positions. (By all reports). Couldn't he end up being a nice 25th man maybe? Who knows what Stewart's future holds but pleased they are taking a shot with him. Same with Gonsalves, though I think his potential is very good. But isn't this the perfect time to get their feet wet and to learn and grow?
    • beckmt, big dog, mikelink45 and 4 others like this

I don't know whether or not to get excited about the May-Rogers-Hildenberger Lockdown tonight.  On the one hand, I'd be excited if these guys grew into the role and gave us half a bullpen to look forward to next year.  On the other hand, its only half a bullpen, which in pitching depth terms is really only a quarter of a bullpen.
 
Anyway, I'm thrilled with the win.  I guess absence makes the heart grow fond.


The bullpen needs work, no doubt about it. Seems crazy to me to say this, considering our bullpen history vs rotation, but I'm more worried about the pen than the rotation for 2019. I am, however, encouraged and excited for May, Rogers and Hildenberger. I'm even more encouraged if Reed bounces back. He's a given to be back, of course. And we all know the relative volatility of the life of a reliever. A lot of innings the last couple of years, possible/probable over use from Molitor the first half this season, maybe it was just his season to be down. Let's hope so. But healthy and ready to go in 2019, we'd have a nice 4 to start with.

So very disappointed that Mejia is out for the rest of this year, he was looking good. He still deserves a shot at starting next season. But he's not going anywhere in 2019 but the pen, if not the rotation. Can Moya continue to improve? What about Busentiz, Curtiss and Reed getting a real shot? If just ONE of them can do what Hildenberger has done...that is, take his opportunity and run with it...i start to feel that much better.

But make no mistake, through FA and/or trade, we need to add TWO quality arms to join May, Rogers and Hildenberger. You give me that 5, hopefully a rebounded veteran Reed, I think we can find the other 2 missing pieces.
    • mikelink45, SF Twins Fan, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this
Off topic comment, but I have really, really enjoyed Thome on the broadcasts the past few days, though I haven't been able to watch a full game. Maybe I'm a homer, but I truly enjoy Gladden on the radio, forever unpolished, but that's just him and I like it. I also like Bert. Smalley may talk to much, but his knowledge is good. I like different things about Hawkins and Hunter, and enjoy listening to Jack and his candor. But TV, radio or both, I'd really like Thome to become a more regular contributor. I think he has a real future in broadcasting if he wants it.
    • Circus Boy likes this

Yeah.........I don't think Stewart is going to make it as a mlb pitcher. Doesn't hurt to give him his shot this year though.

    • Danchat and bighat like this

 

Yeah.........I don't think Stewart is going to make it as a mlb pitcher. Doesn't hurt to give him his shot this year though.

 

Agreed. That first inning was brutal, but all too familiar. Not one of his outings have been remotely good. You can tell by the stats we're trying to stretch, aka: "Stewart is the only rookie pitcher in MLB with blood type AB Negative to have thrown 6 off-speed pitches for strikes, and he leads the league in foul balls hit to section 314".

 

I'll gladly eat crow if I'm wrong.

    • mikelink45 likes this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Aug 30 2018 06:32 AM

I think it's a tad bit too soon to give up on Stewart. He's had what, 3 starts? He was largely considered a bust up until this year where he suddenly found some ability to get Ks again. I think some patience would be wise. Besides, lots of people are still high Mejia who had a very similar start to his career. Give him time. You all may be right that he's destined for the pen, but if we did that every time a rookie struggled when he started... well, we'd have no starters. 

    • USNMCPO, blindeke, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this

 

I think it's a tad bit too soon to give up on Stewart. He's had what, 3 starts? He was largely considered a bust up until this year where he suddenly found some ability to get Ks again. I think some patience would be wise. Besides, lots of people are still high Mejia who had a very similar start to his career. Give him time. You all may be right that he's destined for the pen, but if we did that every time a rookie struggled when he started... well, we'd have no starters. 

yeah, but overall it's not like he dominated the minors this year either. Not sure why he got promoted to AAA this season, honestly. I mean yeah, he Kd more and BBd less this year in AA than last year, but his WHIP was worse this year as was his ERA (don't see his FIP). One could argue that, overall, he did worse in AA this year than last year, but regardless. Not sure he earned a promotion to AAA much less the majors.

 

Edit:His FIP in AA was pretty darn good this year, but over 4 in AAA.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Is Kohl Stewart a potential Rule 5 draft candidate or do we have a roster decision to make?Are there other reasons for him to be in MLB.Like other postings I did not think he really stood out in MiLB this year.Or am I wrong and the team sees something that many of us are missing about his potential?

Does anyone else think that Astudillo's body and enthusiasm are reminiscent of Kirby Puckett?

Per Mauer's 1,000th run. That's $200K+ per run. What a deal. That is double 6 figures for simply crossing the plate playing a game. If this was Jeopardy, the question would be, What is wrong with pro sports today? Continuing to hype Mauer's career stats in light of what he has been paid is hilarious. Any product on the market with his price/performance ratio would have been discontinued due to lack of sales years ago.

On that challenge play at first base where the umpire called the runner safe because he bobbled the ball. What's the correct ruling? The first baseman didn't have full control before the runner touched the base, but the throw beat the runner (barely). Does the fielder have to control the ball in his glove before the runner gets to the base or just keep it in his glove?

Is Kohl Stewart a potential Rule 5 draft candidate or do we have a roster decision to make?

Any player in the majors is on the 40-man roster, so unless he is DFA'ed and passes through waivers he won't be subject to Rule 5. Of course a waiver claim would be less restrictive on the acquiring team than Rule 5 (they could just add him to their 40 but then use his 3 minor league options at will during succeeding seasons), so adding him to the 40 this month was a risk itself unless they 100% plan to keep him there over the winter.

    • USAFChief and mikelink45 like this

I don’t like how Molitor pulled Stewart with two outs. This is a lost season and Stewart was pitching better than he had in any other start. Let him try and get out of the inning.

This was discussed briefly during the Game Thread last night too. It was notable that this time Molitor let Stewart continue until the run scored, as opposed to previous times when he might have gone to the bullpen sooner. I, too, would have liked to go even further than that, and see if Stewart could get that next batter. But, I wasn't watching closely at that point, and maybe he physically was past his limit.

 

Agreed. That first inning was brutal, but all too familiar. Not one of his outings have been remotely good. You can tell by the stats we're trying to stretch, aka: "Stewart is the only rookie pitcher in MLB with blood type AB Negative to have thrown 6 off-speed pitches for strikes, and he leads the league in foul balls hit to section 314".

 

I'll gladly eat crow if I'm wrong.

The first inning was bad awful terrible. But how about the pair of 1-2-3 innings that came next, and the one after that where the double was followed by a strikeout and a groundout? Nothing there for a prospect to build on?

 

Maybe he's hopeless and maybe he's close. I think the results are still too mixed to decide either way. He had a streak of 8 batters retired, so there's something there. Command, and consistency, are going to tell his tale.

    • Dman, DocBauer, PDX Twin and 1 other like this
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Nine of twelve
Aug 30 2018 07:49 AM

 

I don’t like how Molitor pulled Stewart with two outs. This is a lost season and Stewart was pitching better than he had in any other start. Let him try and get out of the inning.

It's a fine line. The last run he gave up was not due to bad pitching but if he stays in the game and gives up 3-4 more hits it would be counterproductive to his confidence.

Photo
Nine of twelve
Aug 30 2018 07:50 AM

 

Yeah.........I don't think Stewart is going to make it as a mlb pitcher. Doesn't hurt to give him his shot this year though.

Dude is only 23 years old. Waaaay too early to be writing him off.

    • USNMCPO likes this
Photo
Nine of twelve
Aug 30 2018 07:52 AM

 

On that challenge play at first base where the umpire called the runner safe because he bobbled the ball. What's the correct ruling? The first baseman didn't have full control before the runner touched the base, but the throw beat the runner (barely). Does the fielder have to control the ball in his glove before the runner gets to the base or just keep it in his glove?

The fielder has to control the ball, but it's the umpire's discretion whether the ball is controlled.

    • ashbury likes this
Photo
SF Twins Fan
Aug 30 2018 07:55 AM

 

It's a fine line. The last run he gave up was not due to bad pitching but if he stays in the game and gives up 3-4 more hits it would be counterproductive to his confidence.

 

There was only one person on base and two outs. I could totally understand taking him out if Molitor was going to bring in a left to get the final out but he didn't. He brought in May who gave up a pretty hard hit out to center field. Zero reason to take Stewart out in that situation if you're going to bring in another righty. 

    • ashbury likes this

There was only one person on base and two outs. I could totally understand taking him out if Molitor was going to bring in a left to get the final out but he didn't. He brought in May who gave up a pretty hard hit out to center field. Zero reason to take Stewart out in that situation if you're going to bring in another righty. 

Unless Stewart was cooked by that point. I wasn't paying close enough attention to demeanor and radar gun numbers to say one way or the other, if that was the rationale to take him out.

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puckstopper1
Aug 30 2018 08:18 AM

Frankly I've seen enough of Sano for the year as well.After a little positive blip on his return, he has posted the following over the past week (or should I say weak).

 

STATS  
Last seven days

AB - 17

R - 1 

H - 2 

2B - 0 

3B - 0 

HR - 1 

RBI - 2 

BB - 3 

SO - 10 

Ave - .118

 

Still major questions as to if he can be relied on going forward.  

    • PDX Twin likes this

 

The bullpen needs work, no doubt about it. Seems crazy to me to say this, considering our bullpen history vs rotation, but I'm more worried about the pen than the rotation for 2019. I am, however, encouraged and excited for May, Rogers and Hildenberger. I'm even more encouraged if Reed bounces back. He's a given to be back, of course. And we all know the relative volatility of the life of a reliever. A lot of innings the last couple of years, possible/probable over use from Molitor the first half this season, maybe it was just his season to be down. Let's hope so. But healthy and ready to go in 2019, we'd have a nice 4 to start with. So very disappointed that Mejia is out for the rest of this year, he was looking good. He still deserves a shot at starting next season. But he's not going anywhere in 2019 but the pen, if not the rotation. Can Moya continue to improve? What about Busentiz, Curtiss and Reed getting a real shot? If just ONE of them can do what Hildenberger has done...that is, take his opportunity and run with it...i start to feel that much better. But make no mistake, through FA and/or trade, we need to add TWO quality arms to join May, Rogers and Hildenberger. You give me that 5, hopefully a rebounded veteran Reed, I think we can find the other 2 missing pieces.

Don't forget that Belisle will be available next year....looking for sarcasm font....

My limited observation of Stewart is that he needs to be more efficient. He's been better his last two outings, in spurts, but he's still hitting 100 pitches before he can get through 5. Whether he's gassed at that point or not, a pitcher needs to be ahead of that.

    • ashbury likes this