Notebook 7/29: Rich Hill Debut for Twins Against Cardinals
Image courtesy of © Brad Mills-USA TODAY SportsLAST GAME RECAP
MIN 6, STL 3: Donaldson Breaks Out, Early Offense Leads to Another Twins Win
QUESTION OF THE DAY
What has been your favorite Player’s Weekend nickname?
Cardinals at Twins, 7:10 pm CT
Betting Lines: MIN -1.5, -185, 10.0 O/U
Twins: Rich Hill, LHP (info below via Baseball Savant)
As you can see from the data provided by Baseball Savant, there’s a lot of things Rich Hill does at an elite level and really only one where he comes up short. This is a guy that hasn’t averaged over 90 mph on his fastball in a season since 2016. He doesn’t use velocity to blow it by you, and his bender gets tossed roughly 45% of the time.
Hill’s bugaboo has always been health, but he’s made at least 12 starts in each season dating back to 2015. He’s with the Twins in hopes of winning a World Series, and with over 50 innings of Postseason work under his belt the experience is absolutely there.
Although velocity has become king in recent years Hill lulls batters to sleep with his off-speed stuff. He doesn’t generate a ton of whiffs, but the soft contact keeps him ahead and last season he posted a career best 49% ground ball rate. Keeping the opposition off balance allows him to slip an 89-mph fastball by, and it’s more than apparent this is a veteran who knows his stuff and how to get the most from it.
Cardinals: Daniel Ponce de Leon, RHP (info below via Baseball Savant)
Thrust into the rotation Ponce de Leon will make his first Start since September 1 of last season. He's worked in a hybrid role for the Cardinals each of the past two seasons both starting and relieving, but has posted just 48 and 33 innings respectively.
Without a ton of velocity, Ponce de Leon does generate his fair share of strikeouts. His bugaboo since debuting in the majors has the inability to avoid free passes and last year that resulted in a 4.8 BB/9. He's also susceptible to the longball, and that obviously is more problematic against power hitting lineups.
NEWS & NOTES
— More positive tests came down the pipeline for the Marlins. They have now had 17 positive tests, or more than half of their 30-man roster. They were already trying to find ways to supplement their active players and now will be facing an even larger uphill battle.
— A ton of schedule shuffling took place today as the Marlins were put on a suspended timetable as they await a cleaner bill of health. No other teams found new tests, and Major League Baseball will push on for now.
— We’re already dealing with a season of unprecedented proportions and changing on the fly is something MLB did on Opening Day with the Postseason. Buster Olney brought forward a strong suggestion recently in regards to organization of record credibility. There’s going to be games cancelled and postponed. With a shortened timeframe to actually get them in, trying to make them all up is probably a losing proposition.
— Today's scheduled starter for the Cardinals goes on the shelf needing surgery on his right elbow. St. Louis is apparently looking at external options to fill their rotation as well.
AROUND THE AL CENTRAL
CLE 4, CWS 3 (Gm 1)
CLE 5, CWS 3 (Gm 2)
DET 4, KC 3
1. CLE 4-1
2. MIN 3-1
3. DET 3-2
4. KCR 2-3
5. CHW 1-4
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