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Article: NYY 2, MIN 1: Garcia, Yankees Bullpen Dominate T...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:15 AM
The Twins pitching staff, led by starter Ervin Santana, had a solid game Monday night at Yankee Stadium, but the bats were uncharacterist...
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Fangraphs (and other national publications) on the Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:35 AM
I'm just going to post here whenever they do an article on the Twins.   Today, they have one on Trevor May (noting some changes in s...
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MIN 5, SDP 2: Don’t Need a Closer When You’ve Got Erv

Ervin Santana pitched his fifth complete game of the season and set a new season high with nine strikeouts. He also delivered at the dish, driving in a pair of runs. Word is he’s also going to prepare a five course meal for the entire team, fly the jet back to Minneapolis and serve as a one-man grounds crew to prepare Target Field for tomorrow’s game.

Ok, those last three things weren’t true, but it seems like the guy can do it all.
Image courtesy of Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: WinEx82.png
What a performance. Santana gave up two runs on four hits and a walk. He lived in the strike zone all game, throwing 82 of his 110 pitches on the day for strikes. But that wasn’t all.

Santana also did something that has been seemingly impossible for the regular lineup to do. He got a hit with two outs and the bases loaded. With the game scoreless in the top of the second inning, Ervin chopped a two-run single past the first baseman.

That gives Santana five RBI on the season, which is the most by an AL pitcher since the debut of interleague play. Miguel Sano also had a great day, going 2-for-4 with his 25th home run of the season, tying his career high. It took him 116 games to hit that mark last season, and just 98 this year.

With Brian Dozier getting a rare day off, Joe Mauer hit out of the leadoff spot, and it was a good look. Mauer was 2-for-3 with a walk. Eduardo Escobar got the start at second base, and he provided a two-RBI single. Jorge Polanco was the shortstop, and recorded a double. It was his first extra-base hit since July 3.

Of course, it wasn't all sunshine and butterflies for the Twins. Mauer led off the game with a double, which was followed by Escobar laying down a sacrifice bunt ... to make the very first out of the ballgame ... just to move Mauer to third.

You may be thinking, "Well hey, you never know, he could score from third on a passed ball. Can't do that from second." Well, that's exactly what Mauer tried to do ... but instead he made the third out at home ... with Sano in the batter's box.

The Twins got bunt happy again in the sixth inning. Rosario reached on an error to lead it off. Already on second base, and with the Twins up 5-2, Byron Buxton bunted Rosie over to third. It didn't stop there. With a 2-1 count, one out in the inning and Rosario on third, Polanco showed bunt. He took the pitch, but Rosario was caught too far off third, got in a rundown and eventually was tagged out.

We're wandering way out into nit-pick city now, but another thing you won't see in the box score is a couple of misreads, albeit followed by great recoveries, by Rosario in left field.

The first one of those was hit right on the screws and right at him. Those are always difficult to read. The second, it seemed like he either didn't have a great feel for how far that ball was going to travel or where the wall was. Again, a couple of fine adjustments to make those plays, but Rosario isn't having his best season out in left.

And last night, Max Kepler let a ball fall in for a double out in right that I think he'd catch more often than not. I wonder if there's been any thought of flip-flopping those two. I wouldn't usually endorse that kind of tinkering, but now would be the perfect time to give it a try.

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: Pen82.png
Looking Ahead
Thursday: Twins (Adalberto Mejia) vs. Texas (A.J. Griffin), 7:10 pm CT

Griffin will be making his first start off the DL. His last outing was May 27. He’s been recovering from an intercostal strain. The right-hander has only made eight starts in 2017, posting a 5.77 ERA. He’s served up an eye-popping 12 home runs over just 39.0 innings (2.8 HR/9).

You’d usually expect a 24-year-old rookie to be inconsistent, but Mejia hasn’t given up more than four runs in eight straight starts. In five starts during July, Big Bert had a 3.49 ERA and 2.75 K:BB ratio. He still hasn’t found that Ervin-like knack for pitching deep into games (to be fair, who has?), but if that’s our biggest concern, that’s a pretty great situation to be in.

Friday: Twins (Bartolo Colon) vs. Texas (Martin Perez)
Saturday: Twins (TBD) vs. Texas (Cole Hamels)
Sunday: Twins (TBD) vs. Texas (Nick Martinez)
Next Series: Twins host the Brewers in a two-game series before heading to Milwaukee for two games.

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31 Comments

At this point I do not understand why Bartolo Colon is taking starts away from potential starting pitchers for this team. It makes no sense, even if rookies from AAA and AA are not as effective as the cagey old veteran. You still need to get some rookie feet wet by pouring coffee on them. Who cares if Colon can fool hitters for three innings with an amazing drifting two-seamer, then get pounded after that? I want to see if Slegers can get a few big league hitters out. I want to see Gonsalves, Romero, Garver, etc. 

 

Bring on the kiddie parade!

    • Mike Sixel, Oldgoat_MN, adorduan and 7 others like this
After his outstanding start to the season, Santana ran in to some inconsistent performances. But over the course of most season's, most guys, even top pitchers/players, will some hiccups. Even while going through this inconsistent period, he threw a couple of gems he didn't get the win in. And now today. There is just nothing here to say he's done or that his arm is going to fall off. I sure hope there is no trade forthcoming and he's part of the rotation for 2018. He, Berrios and Mejia is a positive start. Add one more quality ML arm and you're looking at open auditions for the 5th spot. I'd be happy with that!
    • Oldgoat_MN, bluechipper, jun and 2 others like this

Excellent headline(s) for the last two days.  You gotta love Erv.  For some reason it was really refreshing to see a different lead off hitter.  Does Dozier have the record for lead off homers yet?  Can we move on from that?

    • Oldgoat_MN, Danchat, bluechipper and 5 others like this

At this point I do not understand why Bartolo Colon is taking starts away from potential starting pitchers for this team. It makes no sense, even if rookies from AAA and AA are not as effective as the cagey old veteran. You still need to get some rookie feet wet by pouring coffee on them. Who cares if Colon can fool hitters for three innings with an amazing drifting two-seamer, then get pounded after that? I want to see if Slegers can get a few big league hitters out. I want to see Gonsalves, Romero, Garver, etc. 
 
Bring on the kiddie parade!


Absolutely! Some of Slegers numbers are pedestrian, some are solid. The run he is on the last 8 games should have people screaming for a chance...or two...or three...etc. he's still 24 for a month, in his first season of AAA ball and performing well. He is not a journeyman picked up on the waiver wire. (No offense to anyone). 12-4 at AAA with 85 SO in 118 IP. You have to take a look don't you?
    • jun, adorduan, laloesch and 2 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 02 2017 07:48 PM

 

Excellent headline(s) for the last two days. 

I'm going to see how long this can last. My prediction for tomorrow: Don't Need a Closer When You Hit 5 HRs :)

    • Han Joelo, Mike Sixel, nicksaviking and 9 others like this

 

Absolutely! Some of Slegers numbers are pedestrian, some are solid. The run he is on the last 8 games should have people screaming for a chance...or two...or three...etc. he's still 24 for a month, in his first season of AAA ball and performing well. He is not a journeyman picked up on the waiver wire. (No offense to anyone). 12-4 at AAA with 85 SO in 118 IP. You have to take a look don't you?

In a word, yes.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

More Mauer leading off please, less Dozier solo homers. Thank you.

    • USAFChief, Jerr, Mike Sixel and 11 others like this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 02 2017 08:26 PM

Excellent headline(s) for the last two days. You gotta love Erv. For some reason it was really refreshing to see a different lead off hitter. Does Dozier have the record for lead off homers yet? Can we move on from that?


I think he has the Twins record. I think he's about 50 behind Rickey's all time record.
It seems we have some players playing out of position. Santana should be our DH and our back up catcher in the pen....
    • Jerr, Oldgoat_MN, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Aug 03 2017 05:38 AM

Only thing I'm not liking about it in that preparing for next year, they didn't give someone a shot to close. To me, this was a perfect opportunity for a guy like Hildenberger.

Do you suppose there are a few contending teams out there thinking to themselves 'maybe we should have met the Twins asking price for Erv?'

    • Jerr and Taildragger8791 like this

Hard to say. One has to wonder, at least a tiny bit, if the Twins were reluctant to part with Santana due to his team control and that drove up any potential asking price.

In the off season the front office talked a lot about veteran leadership for the young guys to look at. I think that Santana is providing that. When Berrios is in the dugout between innings he is almos always sitting with Santana. I haven't noted if that's the pattern with Mejia but will be paying attention tonight. That plus a relatively team friendly contract with 2 years of control and the fact that they absolutely know what Santana brings to the clubhouse is going to make the asking price for him quite high since they probably aren't looking to move him, just listening to offers. Unless they get a team changing package in the off season I'd expect that he starts next season as the #1 starter.
    • Bill Brown69 likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Aug 03 2017 07:16 AM

 

Hard to say. One has to wonder, at least a tiny bit, if the Twins were reluctant to part with Santana due to his team control and that drove up any potential asking price.

 

It should. Pitching isn't a point of strength in the org. I'm sure they will listen on Santana, but they have every right to have a high asking price as Santana will likely help them in 2018, and most prospects they get back would not.

 

This trade deadline did make one thing clear, they are not punting on 2018. That is why only Kintzler, Murphy, and Garcia were moved.

    • MN_ExPat likes this

Molitor looks really stressed to me, wonder if, he knows something......

Great performance by ESan. I remain hopeful he can be good next year, but I wouldn't bet my franchise on it...

I still think it's amazing that Santana has more complete games than any other team in baseball.

    • ThejacKmp likes this

Can Santana win 20 games this year?

And if he does, will we still insult with him "Oh, he's just a #3" threads?

    • Blackjack likes this

 

Can Santana win 20 games this year?

And if he does, will we still insult with him "Oh, he's just a #3" threads?

 

wins? really?

 

teams win. 

    • Taildragger8791 likes this

 

Can Santana win 20 games this year?

And if he does, will we still insult with him "Oh, he's just a #3" threads?

 

He has 11 starts left. Hard to see him getting a win in 8 of them, especially with the dicey (to put it mildly) bullpen. Don't see a complete game every time out.

"And last night, Max Kepler let a ball fall in for a double out in right that I think he'd catch more often than not. I wonder if there's been any thought of flip-flopping those two. I wouldn't usually endorse that kind of tinkering, but now would be the perfect time to give it a try."

 

I've been saying they should do that since Kepler came up. Eddie's got the better arm and I think Kepler is the better defender of the two. It's a logical swap.

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Taildragger8791
Aug 03 2017 10:03 AM

 

Can Santana win 20 games this year?

And if he does, will we still insult with him "Oh, he's just a #3" threads?

 

Going to be tough when he already has 7 losses and has a pattern of crapping the bed every 2nd or 3rd start. I'd peg him around 17 wins. Still very good but not a #1 for a contender if that's what you're implying. He plays up to that level at times but the differentiator is consistency. There's a reason his FIP is 4.81 and career ERA is 4.08. He's a very solid #3 that can play up and pass as a #2 for stretches. If the league saw him as more than that then he'd have had a much hotter trade market. Teams would kill to get a true #1/#2 pitcher for only $14 million per year.

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Bill Brown69
Aug 03 2017 11:11 AM

If he gets to 20 wins can we complain about him getting hosed if he doesn't get the Cy Young if Chris Sale wins it with a mere 16 wins?

 

I hope Ervin makes it a little tough on the voters by pitching 2 more complete games and getting the 20 wins.

    • Doomtints likes this

 

Does Dozier have the record for lead off homers yet?  Can we move on from that?

 

I tried looking this up out of curiosity, but I couldn't find the full list.

 

However, I did find out one thing... Paul Molitor has 33 career leadoff HRs, good for 12th place on the all-time list.

    • Mike Sixel likes this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 03 2017 01:28 PM

Going to be tough when he already has 7 losses and has a pattern of crapping the bed every 2nd or 3rd start. I'd peg him around 17 wins. Still very good but not a #1 for a contender if that's what you're implying. He plays up to that level at times but the differentiator is consistency. There's a reason his FIP is 4.81 and career ERA is 4.08. He's a very solid #3 that can play up and pass as a #2 for stretches. If the league saw him as more than that then he'd have had a much hotter trade market. Teams would kill to get a true #1/#2 pitcher for only $14 million per year.


17 wins will probably be the 3rd or 4th highest total in mlb this year.

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