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Game Thread: Twins @ Milwaukee, 8/12/2020, 6:10PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:32 PM
      Good evening and welcome back to the always fun Twins Daily Game Thread! Get ready for some exciting baseball actio...
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Ump Jerry Meals is Unstoppable!

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:20 PM
I figured the star of the show last night deserved some special attention.  
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:20 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:11 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Marlins: 14 positive Covid cases, home opener cancelled...

Other Baseball Today, 02:25 PM
Before the season started, I was wondering about what would happen if the virus started spreading like wildfire in a clubhouse. Well here...
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Trevor May and the Next Adjustment

The Twins’ co-setup man is an obsessive tinkerer. That label is often unwelcome for a pitcher, but in the age of big data and with the kind of arm Trevor May has, it’s a good thing.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
May has always been a cerebral hurler, as interested in the craft and the theory of pitching as in the sheer force of his fastball or the filthiness of his changeup. Through a career interrupted repeatedly by injuries, May fought to find the best possible blend of pitches to suit his talents, including his body. It was well-intentioned, but like former teammate Phil Hughes, May sometimes got criticized for spending too much time making changes and too little time perfecting what he already did.

Like Hughes, though, May was undeterred by outside opinions. Last spring, he made a potentially big realization: his high arm slot didn’t need to stop him from throwing an effective slider. Long a fastball-changeup guy in a perpetual search for a more workable breaking ball, May ditched the cutter-style slider he had previously tried, opting instead for a harder variant of his curveball. He achieved more depth with the pitch, increased its spin rate, and knew he had the makings of an important fix.

However, as May reflected at the time, the change had little immediate utility, because he lacked the command to maximize it. He could throw the “ball-to-strike” version of the pitch, dropping it into the zone for called strikes when batters weren’t expecting it, and he could bury it in the dirt to induce chases from extremely anxious hitters when ahead in the count, but he didn’t develop feel for the “strike-to-ball” version of the pitch—the one hitters would see as a fastball with plenty of the zone out of the hand, only to dip toward their ankles and miss their bats.

That’s why, late last season, May put his breaking ball project on the shelf and threw his fastball at a career-high frequency, dominating with sheer power. In the long run, though, it was clear he would need to make another adjustment in order to take the next step toward becoming a true relief ace. (The secret is, even for pitchers who don’t realize it, the need for another adjustment is always right around the corner.)

Through two appearances, it’s already clear that the tinkerer has been tinkering again, and that he’s done his homework. May’s slider has now wholly replaced his curveball, at least so far, and it’s for the best. The slider he’s throwing now has the best of his last two versions: it’s about two miles per hour harder than it was last season, but still has the vertical movement he found after making the grip change. More importantly, though, he has full command of this version. He threw the “strike-to-ball” slider a handful of times against St. Louis Tuesday night, leading to two of his strikeouts.

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May’s changeup is also back in the mix, more than it had been late in 2019. He’s throwing it without the armside run that allowed hitters to differentiate it from his fastball, and thus, he’s fooling them better even without a big movement differential. If he can continue using both the slider and the changeup as this season progresses, May will hit free agency as a full-fledged relief ace with big earning potential, and the Twins will have a pitcher finally comfortable enough with his full arsenal to stop tinkering.

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4 Comments

Let's pray he stays healthy.

I hope the Twins resign him.I wonder how much it would cost?

    • PDX Twin and wabene like this

Twins bullpen stacked. Really like May, hope Twins able to keep him next year.

    • wabene likes this

I hope the Twins resign him. I wonder how much it would cost?


I'm not going to pretend I have an answer here, but speculation and reflection might help? Reed got $8M per and was an established RP with some closing experience. May is younger and has better pure stuff but lacks the history. So I'm saying that would be a ceiling.

But the good news/bad news situation is Covid in regard to contracts. Teams are going to lose money and I think most of agree the market is going to go flat for the next couple of seasons except for cream of the crop FA.

So that makes May, and others, more affordable. Odorizzi the same way. But then again, the Twins are probably losing money as well, so what can their budget afford?

A lot of ying/yang in regard to next off season.
    • Aichiman likes this