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Twins postseason game times, TV

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:36 PM
Dust off that antenna, folks: the Twins 2020 postseason debut is over the air on ABC (albeit at 1 PM on a Tuesday, pre-empting some soap...
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The Perfect Length of a Baseball Season?

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So Twitter got me thinking... What's the perfect length of baseball season? And then what's the perfect playoffs to be paired with that s...
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My thoughts on Tyler Duffey..

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First of all, congratulations to the entire Twins organization, fans and friends for winning the AL Central!This was a tough division in...
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A (pretty accurate) look at the seedings

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Going into the final weekend of the season, the eight-team AL field is nearly set, though no team is locked into its seed. Here's what I...
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Twins developed starting pitching history since Bert

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Using my Cards as an example: The only major miss of the Cards trading young developed starters since trading both Jerry Reuss and Steve...
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Twins Need to Make a Trade with St. Paul

The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone in 2020 with the Minnesota Twins having stood pat. No moves were made, and I’m not sure that’s the worst thing in the world. The worst thing in the world may be not making a move with the St. Paul based alternate options, and the time is now.
Image courtesy of © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
In a traditional season I expected Minnesota to look for an arm, preferably of the starting category. I wrote about how Trevor Bauer made sense if the Reds made him available, but that would have been a high-risk rental. The only reason I like him is that it was a clear upgrade on their current options. It turned out the only arm of that ilk to move was the Indians Mike Clevinger, and a team-controlled asset from within the division would have come with an astronomical price tag.

The fact that the Twins didn’t go get a bat, or even another relief arm, is defensible. Byron Buxton returns September 1, with Josh Donaldson set to follow him the next day. Cody Stashak is hopefully around the corner, and maybe even Zack Littell will make his way back. There are big league assets currently on the Injured List that have tickets for September and should still play a key part.
If there’s an indefensible situation though, it’s not addressing the elephant in the outfield, a right-handed bat.

Minnesota has one of those ready and waiting in St. Paul, and it’s been past time Brent Rooker was given a shot. Rooker was a 1st round pick back in 2017 and entered pro ball at 22. He’s now 25 and will be 26 this calendar year. He’s not a young prospect by any means, and having played over 250 games on the farm, he isn’t too green anymore either. Rooker spent 65 games with Triple-A Rochester in 2019, and while he missed time due to injury, he posted a .933 OPS. The Twins selected him based on his power bat profile and his 54 minor league home runs have brought the belief to fruition.

While fans could be clamoring for top 100 prospect Alex Kirilloff, there’s two key differentiators at play with Rooker. First and foremost, he bats right-handed. Minnesota’s outfield is exclusively left-handed without Byron Buxton, and the duo of Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade are more than redundant. Adding to the lineup flexibility, it’s plenty clear a righty is necessary.

Then there’s also the idea of playing time colliding with development. Kirilloff is a very high ceiling prospect but is just 22 and has yet to play above Double-A (94 games where he had just a .756 OPS). Making sure his bat is completely ready before throwing him to the wolves at the highest level is a must. Kirilloff is also transitioning to more of a first base role and continuing to work through all types of developmental skills is imperative for his long-term success.

I don’t put any stock in the notion of a guy needing consistent playing time during 2020. Despite the fact that Rooker can spell both corners and routinely see three games per week, the reality is nothing taking place at MLB alternate sites constitutes “real” game action anyways. It’s not as though Rooker or Kirilloff can’t get the same level of drill work in at Target Field. At bats may be a bit more sporadic and travel is thrown in, but opportunity remains relatively consistent.

There’s no telling whether or not Brent Rooker being promoted would immediately result in a rejuvenation of the Twins run scoring prowess. What he does do is give Rocco Baldelli a righty in the outfield that he’s been hamstrung without, and an opportunity for Minnesota’s front office to tag in a high-level prospect that you’re worried substantially less about a falling floor.

Soon there will be a time for Alex Kirilloff, but right now is Brent Rooker’s turn. I’ll defend the front office over trusting in their internal talent at the deadline. There’s no defense for failing to utilize it after that. Let the Bulldog out.

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24 Comments

Actually it is time for both - Wade and Cave are not moving the bar.We need to kick start this season and Rooker/Kiriloff are the answers. And if Donaldson goes down again it is Blankenship and before there is another BP game it is Duran and Chalmers. 

    • TopGunn#22, JoshDungan1 and KFEY93 like this

If the Twins send down both Cave/Wade and only use Gonzalez at 2B/3B then there is plenty of opportunity for both Kirilloff and Rooker. I could see Kirilloff playing most days while giving Buxton/Rosario/Kepler/Sano a rest with Rooker starting against lefties (and being a right handed bat off the bench).

    • TopGunn#22 and mikelink45 like this
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Crackedfungo
Sep 01 2020 08:09 PM

IT is time.At least one of AK and BR.Also, add JD as a SP and EC as a reliever.Time to energize this team along with the returning players.Also, time to clean out the chafe - they aren't cutting it on a team that has aspirations

    • TopGunn#22 likes this

Sounds good!

You could have and should have done a "ditto" for Larnach in reference to Kirilloff.

I think disappointment leads to speculation and hope that one of these guys could somehow replace Kepler or Rosario. Come on!

But the Rooker opinion is smart and right on. He has to be added to the 40 man after this season. Isn't there some move available to do so now? I hate his age discussion! Not everyone is a 21-23yo prospect ready to come up and kill it. There are a plethora of guys who are 24-25 when they are ready and do well. And as stated, he adjusted to AAA after a few weeks...which has been his constant...and did well before injury.

No offense to Wade, who is "struggling" for opportunity/consistency, but he is behind Cave. Rooker should absolutely get a shot as a RH bat at this point.

I don't think Vargas was a bad cash acquisition. I don't think he is a bad ballplayer. He might even have a future here. But I would say that with Arraez fighting through a bad knee, even with Donaldson coming back, maybe it's time for Blankenhorn to get his shot. He's already on the 40 man, has shown flashes, and can fill in at several spots.
    • TopGunn#22, Danchat, mikelink45 and 3 others like this

Well stated and surprising Twins haven't moved Wade or Cave down. 

    • TopGunn#22 and Ted Schwerzler like this

 

Well stated and surprising Twins haven't moved Wade or Cave down. 

Wade was demoted to get Buxton on the roster.

    • Ted Schwerzler likes this

I think the author makes a good point that Rooker should come up before Kiriloff or Larnach.

 

For one thing, he's more likely to be ready; a .933 OPS at AAA shows more readiness to contribute than a .756 OPS at AA.Also, you don't need to worry about wasting an option year. He's too old to worry about using up his options. And you need to put him on the 40 man roster anyway. Why wait?

 

Promoting Kiriloff, on the other hand, would start his service time before he was ready, sacrificing control of later years at his peak. Let him develop and bring him up when he's ready to be a star. 

 

I'm not categorically against promoting Kiriloff or Larnach early. If they give the Twins the best chance to win, do it. But unless they are clearly better than Rooker, right now, I'd promote Rooker first. 

    • TopGunn#22, Danchat, DocBauer and 2 others like this

Great points about adding a right handed power bat to the outfield. Yet the Twins haven't done it. Is Rooker that much of a defensive liability? 

 

Great points about adding a right handed power bat to the outfield. Yet the Twins haven't done it. Is Rooker that much of a defensive liability? 

Rooker is no gazelle in the OF, but he can't be worse than eddie was last year with the bad wheels. If the Twins do bring Rooker up and he gets his confidence going, you're gonna see some balls fly.

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BrianBuchanan
Sep 02 2020 07:10 AM

I couldn't agree more with this post.We need a right-handed corner outfielder that can hit for power.Rooker is tailor-made for that role.

I am not opposed to Rooker, but my question is how bad is his defense?He has been touted for hitting but his defense has been stated as an issue.I get offense is struggling, but how many more runs will he let in with poor defense.Eddie has been good from what I have seen on defense, and he is so streaky at any point he could carry the team for a week.Max, despite his terrible play the other night, is a good defender.I would be all for Rooker in games against lefties, but that is about it.As long as Buck is healthy they could drop Cave and bring in Rooker.  

Yeah, I agree.It's time to get Rooker up to the Big Club.  

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Ted Schwerzler
Sep 02 2020 08:12 AM

 

I think the author makes a good point that Rooker should come up before Kiriloff or Larnach.

 

For one thing, he's more likely to be ready; a .933 OPS at AAA shows more readiness to contribute than a .756 OPS at AA.Also, you don't need to worry about wasting an option year. He's too old to worry about using up his options. And you need to put him on the 40 man roster anyway. Why wait?

 

Promoting Kiriloff, on the other hand, would start his service time before he was ready, sacrificing control of later years at his peak. Let him develop and bring him up when he's ready to be a star. 

 

I'm not categorically against promoting Kiriloff or Larnach early. If they give the Twins the best chance to win, do it. But unless they are clearly better than Rooker, right now, I'd promote Rooker first. 

Thank you for further expanding my thought process! Appreciate it!

Good article that seems to make sense. Only one problem. With Buxton up yesterday and hopefully Donaldson today, there aren't any open spots for anyone. 

 

Agree, they may have missed their chance to see how he would have done during these past few weeks.

    • wabene likes this

 

Actually it is time for both - Wade and Cave are not moving the bar.We need to kick start this season and Rooker/Kiriloff are the answers. And if Donaldson goes down again it is Blankenship and before there is another BP game it is Duran and Chalmers. 

Blankenship? Are you a running fan? :) Ben Blankenship is a former gopher, sub 4 miler and pro 1500 meter runner. I can infer you mean Travis Blankenhorn. 

Yep, I agree with this. Gonzalez has also been getting a lot of play in the OF too. Maybe at this point in his career that's his best spot, but I would be a fan of giving those extra at bats to Rooker. Then move Gonzalez back to the IF. Yesterday, for example, Adrianza started at 3B, and Vargas started at 2B. I would MUCH rather have Gonzalez at 3B, and put either Adrianza or Vargas on the bench. Yes, Rooker may struggle at first, but his bat can't be much worse than Adrianza/Vargas/Cave/Wade right now, and his upside is substantially higher.

 

On an unrelated note, where is Gordon? I think he's not even in St. Paul now right? I imagine he has more upside at this point than Vargas/Adrianza too.

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twinbythebay
Sep 02 2020 11:57 AM

 

I think disappointment leads to speculation and hope that one of these guys could somehow replace Kepler or Rosario. Come on!

Totally agree with you on this. It's akin to the old saying about how the most popular guy on a football team is often the backup QB. A lot of people are clamoring for Kiriloff, Lewis, etc. to be called up, and it's possible that they would excel in the big leagues right now if given a chance, but they simply haven't proven enough yet to warrant such a big jump IMO. Rooker, on the other hand, seems to have a proven track record at AAA, so I would have no problem giving him a shot over Cave.

 

 

On an unrelated note, where is Gordon? I think he's not even in St. Paul now right? I imagine he has more upside at this point than Vargas/Adrianza too.

Gordon is still on the COVID list, as I believe he's had it since the start of the second spring training. I believe he's in the midst of recovering from it. I don't think he will play for the Twins this year.

    • twinbythebay likes this

Gordon is still on the COVID list, as I believe he's had it since the start of the second spring training. I believe he's in the midst of recovering from it. I don't think he will play for the Twins this year.


He was finally cleared from COVID the past week. He's at Fort Myers I believe working out. But no idea if he'll ever report to saint Paul this year.
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MMMordabito
Sep 02 2020 02:58 PM

 

Actually it is time for both - Wade and Cave are not moving the bar.We need to kick start this season and Rooker/Kiriloff are the answers. And if Donaldson goes down again it is Blankenship and before there is another BP game it is Duran and Chalmers. 

 

Are you looking to catch Chicago or Kansas City?

    • railmarshalljon likes this
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Doctor Gast
Sep 02 2020 03:57 PM

 

Good article that seems to make sense. Only one problem. With Buxton up yesterday and hopefully Donaldson today, there aren't any open spots for anyone. 

 

Agree, they may have missed their chance to see how he would have done during these past few weeks.

Rooker should`ve been called up a long time ago, even before Jeffers. Rooker isn`t replacing Buxton or Donaldson, he`ll be used to platoon Rosario or Kepler against LHP, which we still need to stack the line up against LHPs or PH

I couldn't agree more with this post. We need a right-handed corner outfielder that can hit for power. Rooker is tailor-made for that role.


And if we don’t call up Rooker for that role, the real Brian Buchanan is only 47 years old!
    • MMMordabito likes this
Why not try Yasiel Puig?...

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