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Twins Trade Targets—Blue Jays?

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Article: Twins Prospect Spotlight Series: Ben Rortvedt

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Jack Morris Elected to Hall of Fame

Other Baseball Today, 09:21 PM
Along with Alan Trammel.Congrats to them both.
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MIN 8, KC 5: Rosario Drives in 4, Hildenberger Holds it Together

For a moment it appeared the Twins bullpen might falter Friday night against the Royals, but Trevor Hildenberger, some nifty infield defense and key insurance hits from Robbie Grossman and Joe Mauer boosted the Twins to their third straight win. Both the Eds -- Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar -- had big nights, and Byron Buxton amazed once again with his speed and defense.
Image courtesy of Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: Snapshot98.png
The Twins had built an early 5-1 lead but saw that advantage slip. Ervin Santana wasn’t in top form, giving up four runs over five innings, but Hildenberger got this game back on track.

Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers made a bit of a mess in the seventh inning, combining to give up three straight singles to open that frame. Hildenberger entered with runners on first and second, no outs and the Twins clinging to a one-run lead. He got the first batter he faced to ground into a double play and put Lorenzo Cain away to end the threat.

Up 6-5 in the top of the eighth, the Twins got a big RBI triple from Grossman and a run-scoring double from Mauer to open up some breathing room again. Hildenberger stayed in and delivered another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Belisle pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to earn his seventh save.

Eddie Rosario played a huge role for the Twins in building up their early lead. He ended the night 2-for-4 with his 21st homer of the season, a stolen base and four RBI. Eduardo Escobar also homered, his 16th of the year, and was a triple shy of the cycle. Jorge Polanco drew three walks.

Oh, and Byron Buxton did some things. In the third inning, he unsuccessfully tried to bunt his way on. Why was that noteable? Well, per StatCast, his home-to-first base time was the fastest they ever recorded for a right-handed hitter.

Pretty cool, right? Well, so was this:

Buxton was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts at the plate, but who knows what might have happened in this one if he hadn’t reeled in that catch. Fine play in a big spot. That’s what ended Ervin’s night.

Standings
At the conclusion of this game, the Twins trailed the Yankees by just 1.5 games for the top wild card and led the Angels by 1.5 game for the second spot. New York lost to Texas Friday and Anaheim was still in progress, but losing to the Mariners.

Postgame With Hildenberger

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen98.png
Looking Ahead
Sat: Twins (Jose Berrios) at Kansas City (Jake Junis), 6:15 pm CT
Sun: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Kansas City (Jason Vargas), 1:15 pm CT
Mon: Off

Looking Back
MIN 4, KC 2: Comeback Complete
MIN 10, TB 6: Twins Prevail Thanks to Big Error
TB 2, MIN 0: Too Little, Too Late

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23 Comments

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bluechipper
Sep 08 2017 10:22 PM

Trevor Hildenberger for MVP. I love watching him pitch, and he should be the guy that comes in whenever there's a tough spot. Hopefully Molitor has finally seen that Taylor Rogers is not a setup guy at this point.

    • glunn and Danchat like this
He also threw only eighteen pitches through two innings! I doubt they use him tomorrow but we should have him for Sunday
    • glunn, bluechipper and Original Whizzinator like this
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walt-o-meal
Sep 08 2017 10:32 PM

I have 2 comments:

 

I like to watch Byron Buxton catch baseballs.

 

I hereby purchase a beer for Trevor Hildenberger (his choice; I recommend Stone IPA) and and grant him a day off tomorrow*.

 

* days off subject to approval of Twins management

    • SwainZag, bluechipper, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this
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Don Walcott
Sep 08 2017 10:37 PM
I'm hoping our boys are thinking more about catching the Yankees than holding off the rest of the pack.

It was a great run for this Royals team. Let's end it for them.
    • glunn, gunnarthor, Dantes929 and 7 others like this
I love prospect rankings from all sources. There is a validity to them for reasons. But how amazing is it that Hildenberger and Busentiz have become top relievers for this won't quit team over several top, albeit injured, much higher ranked prospects.
    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN, bluechipper and 8 others like this
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ScooterDance
Sep 09 2017 12:00 AM

In addition to the Twins having a really soft schedule to close out the season, a lot of the teams that are chasing us play each other. So the number of teams realistically in the race will dwindle just on account of - only one team can win those games.

 

21 to go, 2 game lead. After losing 103 last year (nevermind the heater we ended the season on - winning 3 of 4!!).

 

Crazy game, this baseballing is.

    • USAFChief, glunn, birdwatcher and 6 others like this
Not to be negative after a great win, but Duffy has been such a disappointment this year. I know his ER tonight came from Rodger's, but clean outings are few and far between for him. At this point is he even guaranteed a spot on the 2018 roster? I'm not sure.
    • mikelink45 likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 09 2017 03:25 AM
Split the final two games and KC is cooked.
    • Blake and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
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Bill Brown69
Sep 09 2017 03:56 AM

Simple, take 6 of the next 8 for 80 wins, sweep the Yanks, 83 wins, and then go 5-5 for 88 wins.

 

Don't know about anyone else but I LOVE the fact that we are most likely to play the Yanks in the playoffs(if we make it) Get that monkey off my back and beat down to the tune of a big time blowout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • tarheeltwinsfan, Don Walcott and Original Whizzinator like this

Don't know about anyone else but I LOVE the fact that we are most likely to play the Yanks in the playoffs(if we make it) Get that monkey off my back and beat down to the tune of a big time blowout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


At the same time, though, elimination at the hands of the Yankees again would sting even more...

At the same time, though, elimination at the hands of the Yankees again would sting even more...


No guts, no glory.
    • ashburyjohn, dbminn and Original Whizzinator like this
Hildenberger is a freaking stud. He's the only guy in the bullpen who has consistently gotten outs this year. He's the only guy who jogs out if the pen that I trust isn't going implode and give away a game.

6 outs while facing 5 batters in a game that big is pretty impressive.

Rosario got off the schneid (if you can call it that when he has 10 HR and 28 RBI in his last 30 games). Some fans wanted him DFA'd the day before. He only went in to drive in 4 runs in what was possibly the biggest game of the year.

The cherry was picking up a game on NY and LA.

Can you imagine this lineup with a hot Sano batting 4? Hopefully we get him back next week.
    • Danchat, bluechipper and Don Walcott like this
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Don Walcott
Sep 09 2017 06:38 AM
How about Belisle? I never thought he'd work as a closer. But he came in for the third straight day, struck out two, and got a one-pitch pop-out. I think he's already earned his salary this year.
    • birdwatcher, gunnarthor, brvama and 2 others like this

Hildenberger has been great, but when I look at the usage I am concerned.  Don't burn him out.  Curtiss, Turley, Gee, Busenitz, and Tonkin  have to be considered for use soon, what is the use of such a big bullpen otherwise.  Duffey has now given up runs in five straight relief appearances.  http://www.espn.com/...68/tyler-duffey

 

 

    • rghrbek likes this
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Halsey Hall
Sep 09 2017 08:05 AM

With all the arms in the pen, Duffey and Rogers need to sit a spell.We'll need them in top form the last week.

    • Danchat likes this

With all the arms in the pen, Duffey and Rogers need to sit a spell. We'll need them in top form the last week.


In the past month Duffey hasn't pitched on fewer than 3 days. Nkt sure what more rest will do.

Rogers was worked a little heavy the last week, but before that he was getting some decent rest between appearances.

They need wins now.
    • Vanimal46 likes this
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bluechipper
Sep 09 2017 08:26 AM

Not to be negative after a great win, but Duffy has been such a disappointment this year. I know his ER tonight came from Rodger's, but clean outings are few and far between for him. At this point is he even guaranteed a spot on the 2018 roster? I'm not sure.

Duffey is a lock for next year's roster. Even if he struggles in a setup role, he could transition into a long reliever role.
    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

Hildenberger has been great, but when I look at the usage I am concerned.  Don't burn him out.  Curtiss, Turley, Gee, Busenitz, and Tonkin  have to be considered for use soon, what is the use of such a big bullpen otherwise.  Duffey has now given up runs in five straight relief appearances.  http://www.espn.com/...68/tyler-duffey

Duffey could be suffering from some arm fatigue. Lately his stuff seems to be lacking movement, which is his forte. The curves aren't bending quite as sharply, the heater looks a little slower. His command isn't quite as sharp. Bad time for this to happen, but he might need a week off. Same with Rogers, actually. Molitor might need to use Tonkin in high-leverage situations. 

Hildenberger's saving grace is command. The arm action on his change is so good, hitters are waaaay ahead of it on a regular basis. Meanwhile, that curve has enough movement to make it very hard to square up. Add to that his modest low-side heater, which he keeps low in the zone, and his surprise 3/4 heater, which he can throw up to about 94. The combo of all that makes it very difficult for hitters to figure out what's coming next. I even saw him throw a change up from the 3/4 slot, which means you can't load up for the fastball when you see him go high. 

 

Clever approach to pitching, and it doesn't depend on raw velocity. Hildenberger could be a bullpen mainstay for a long time. 

    • Danchat, bluechipper, Dman and 1 other like this

Rogers, Duffey, Boshers, Perkins - not sure you can win a Wild Card spot with three guys like that waiting to give away the game night after night. High praise to the offense for once again busting it open late!

 

Glad the Twins keep finding ways to win! Would love to see J.O.Berrios go deep tonight, I predict 8 innings of 1-run ball. Hand it to Presley for the 9th, or give Perk a shot if we're up by 5 runs or more.

Where's Sano?

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yarnivek1972
Sep 09 2017 01:49 PM

Rogers, Duffey, Boshers, Perkins - not sure you can win a Wild Card spot with three guys like that waiting to give away the game night after night. High praise to the offense for once again busting it open late!

Glad the Twins keep finding ways to win! Would love to see J.O.Berrios go deep tonight, I predict 8 innings of 1-run ball. Hand it to Presley for the 9th, or give Perk a shot if we're up by 5 runs or more.
Where's Sano?


Rogers had a rough night but he's been one of the best lefty relievers in MLB this year. He certainly does not deserve to be lumped in with the others you named.
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drivlikejehu
Sep 09 2017 01:59 PM

 

Rogers had a rough night but he's been one of the best lefty relievers in MLB this year. He certainly does not deserve to be lumped in with the others you named.

 

I assume you mean against left-handed hitters? He's definitely not near the top among lefty relievers in general.

    • bighat likes this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Sep 09 2017 04:20 PM

 

At the same time, though, elimination at the hands of the Yankees again would sting even more...

Noooooooooo! Positive thoughts only. These thoughts soar through the air all the way to the  Twins' players' minds. I think I can, I think I can becomes I knew I could, I knew I could..

    • 70charger likes this

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