Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Cleveland MLB team reportedly considering name change

Other Baseball Today, 09:45 PM
This is an AP article I lifted from the StarTribune web site.   https://www.startrib...sure/571623572/
Full topic ›

Watch the Live Play-by-Play of the Virtual Twins Playoffs

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:07 PM
With the real Twins around the corner, I have elected to sim to the playoffs to try and tease how the real club will do this fall, and as...
Full topic ›

Bonus Twins Schedule Stat

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:13 PM
Didn't see this posted elswhere. From The Athletic
Full topic ›

The #5 pitcher on the 1965 Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:56 PM
Tim Flattery had a conversation with Dwight Siebler, who was the 5th start on the 1965 Twins World Series team (the Sandy Koufax series)....
Full topic ›

I think I miss baseball

Other Baseball Today, 07:27 PM
So I just picked up OOTP 21 on the Steam Summer Sale, and I played my first game.   It was a 21 inning game.I played it pitch by pit...
Full topic ›

Twins Stockpiled for a Crazy 2020 Season

Here’s the deal, we have no baseball right now and it’s not good. Eventually we will have baseball and it will be good. When we have baseball, it will probably be the goofiest season in Major League history. A shortened schedule probably hurts the Twins, but maybe a condensed version helps them.
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
On Sunday night I hopped on Leading Off the Podcast with fellow Twins Daily writers Matthew Braun and Cooper Carlson. During the course of our discussion the Twins bullpen got brought up. In this space previously I wrote about how Minnesota may have the best bullpen in baseball. That’s still crazy to think about given where we were entering 2019, but it’s a very real possibility. What’s also plausible is that their pitching depth could serve them extremely well in what may materialize this year.



When looking at the prospects of a shortened season it stands to reason that no division winner is better off. Their margin for error becomes less, and the nuance normally sorted out over the course of 162 games gets lost in the fray. If, however, Major League Baseball is set on increasing double-headers, lessening off days, and expanding rosters, well then Rocco Baldelli’s crew could be in luck.

As things stood at the time of play stoppage, Jhoulys Chacin was locked in a battle with Randy Dobnak for the 5th starter spot. The veteran had performed far worse over the course of Spring Training, but the ALDS game two starter has options remaining. Chacin was awful in 2019 but was great the year prior. With weeks remaining prior to the scheduled Opening Day, a decision was bound to force itself.

On top of figuring out who specifically would round out the rotation Minnesota would need to juggle things a little over one-month in, and then again mid-summer. Both Michael Pineda and Rich Hill have been expected to assume rotation spots although neither were destined to begin the year there. Given his exploits when healthy, and the impact prior to suspension in 2019, both Hill and Pineda respectively could be looked at as significantly impactful arms.

Before ever assessing who slides in where, we can then take a further look down the line. Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran, the Twins’ top two pitching prospects, were never likely to debut in the year ahead. However, both Devin Smeltzer and Lewis Thorpe had made strong contributions in 2019 and would be called upon to repeat those performances when the opportunity presented itself this season.



So far what the year ahead looks like remains little more than a guessing game. Any suggestion of a single-site operation in Arizona would have to get unexpected buy-in from players, and then also address the numerous staff and operations people necessary solely to produce a televised contest. It’s certainly a nice thought to dream on, but until we have more concrete answers as to where we’re at with things, the pieces remain moving parts in a hypothetical bubble.

No matter how the deployment of baseball in 2020 happens however, it should be fair to assume that the league will attempt to get in as many games as possible. Noted above, that likely includes significant condensation in the form of limited off days and doubleheaders. For an organization like the Twins, having something like 10-12 big league caliber starting arms on the 40-man roster suddenly becomes a substantial asset.

All offseason it was the goal of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to acquire an impact arm, someone capable of displacing Jose Berrios at the top of the staff. Now more than ever though, it may come down to their ability to assemble a stable that never begins the game as a significant underdog. A chief reason that a lesser schedule hurts the best teams is because the impact of the top players is felt less. Conversely that means that the ability of the floor, or the fringes of the roster, become that much more impactful.

Depth is the key to sustenance over time, and when you shrink time, being able to realistically rely on more contributors is a must. Baseball is going to get weird this season if it gets going at all. Maybe the Twins can grab a weird World Series along the way. Virtual parade or otherwise, we’ll celebrate just the same.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • Doctor Gast likes this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

11 Comments

The Arizona idea is impossible from a legal perspective. What does MLB do after a few ballplayers catch the virus and die during this scheme? Corporate lawyers will nix this.

Photo
Doctor Gast
Apr 08 2020 07:15 AM

I was thinking the same thing, Ted; how the condensed season could be an advantage for the Twins. When the proposed 2020 season start w/ many doubleheaders, we`ll need at least 10-12 pitchers who can give us quality starts, besides the 10 that we should have to fill out a rotation, we need pitchers to fill in (in caseof injuries, sickness or slumps). We are blessed w/ many MLB ready pitchers & we are in a better situation than most. Even though we have these pitchers, right now we have only Berrios, who we can count on to give us regularly 7 good innings. This could put huge strain on the BP & I wouldn`t want to see our BP fold again. Taylor Rogers is fantastic but he can`t be over worked! Here I`ll make my pitch again & suggest we trade for Chris Archer. Like I`ve stated before, especially w/ Wes Johnson`s supervision, he`s ready to breakout & he`ll give us regularly 7 good innings. As I always say we can`t have enough good pitching.

2nd thing is we have many very good utility players in Gonzalez, Adrianza, Astudilo & hopefully soon Lewis to help us w/ the strain of doubleheaders. Outfield back up besides Gonzalez we have Cave, Wade, Kirilloff, Larnack, Rooker & Celestino. I like Cave but he can be traded

So many unknown's Ted, makes it hard to even speculate.

 

But I agree that if more games are played over a shorter period, the Twins pitching depth will be a factor.  

 

As for what the season ends up being, who knows.Wouldn't surprise me if spring training is consolidated in one place with the Phoenix area being the most logical or even only alternative.Expect that once the season begins, however, most teams will be playing at home with a few at some neutral site assuming there will still be some areas where the virus remains a major problem.  

    • DocBauer likes this
Photo
Doctor Gast
Apr 08 2020 09:27 AM

 

The Arizona idea is impossible from a legal perspective. What does MLB do after a few ballplayers catch the virus and die during this scheme? Corporate lawyers will nix this.

I respect your opinion but these planned games will be played by very healthy, low risk, controlled, quarantined players. If any player come down w/ the corona virus, especially w/ the treatment available, the odds of anyone dying is 0. High % of people have slight or no symptoms from the virus. Many people die each year from the common flu. I know the corona virus is much more serious that the common flu & needs to be taken seriously (I`d hate to see anyone suffer) but life needs to go on. Owners, players & fans want the 2020 season. Precautions need & are being taken, I assume any player or coach have the right not to play if he`s fearful to protect against any legal action.

    • rdehring likes this
Agreed that depth, period, much less pitching depth is in the Twins favor at this point for a more compressed schedule.

When you're not sure which good options make your final staff, but now you get to keep everyone due to a further expanded roster, that's a good thing.
    • rdehring likes this
Photo
Doctor Gast
Apr 08 2020 12:33 PM

I`ve heard people tell NFL & NBA don`t worry, things will go on as normal while a lot of people say there won`t be MLB. I`d beg to differ. 

#1 - I`m a die hard Twin fan while I like football. I can survive w/o NFL, NBA or NHL but not the Twins (I know my vote won`t count)

#2 - While there isn`t much info on corona flu, it`s still a flu which doesn`t spread much in warm weather outdoors which baseball is a summer outdoors sport. NFL, NBA & NHL are cool-cold weather, indoor sport making them more susceptible to the virus so they shouldn`t be given a pass while MLB may not be

 

I`ve heard people tell NFL & NBA don`t worry, things will go on as normal while a lot of people say there won`t be MLB. I`d beg to differ. 

#1 - I`m a die hard Twin fan while I like football. I can survive w/o NFL, NBA or NHL but not the Twins (I know my vote won`t count)

#2 - While there isn`t much info on corona flu, it`s still a flu which doesn`t spread much in warm weather outdoors which baseball is a summer outdoors sport. NFL, NBA & NHL are cool-cold weather, indoor sport making them more susceptible to the virus so they shouldn`t be given a pass while MLB may not be

Comparing to other sports got me thinking.Doesn't baseball have the least contact/closeness of all major sports?Should they opt to go with robo umps for balls and strikes would remove one of the three at home plate...I assume he could move a few steps back from the catcher.

 

So that would make the batter/catcher and base runner at first with the first baseman holding him on as the only ones who are real close.Add a few plays where there is some contact throwing out a runner at a base.Plus, unlike hockey and basketball, it is outdoors for most teams.

    • Doctor Gast likes this
Photo
theBOMisthebomb
Apr 08 2020 04:41 PM
Things could get really weird if they have the players wear masks. This might also be a nice way to get robo umps instituted, which is a positive in my book.

I`ve heard people tell NFL & NBA don`t worry, things will go on as normal while a lot of people say there won`t be MLB. I`d beg to differ. 
#1 - I`m a die hard Twin fan while I like football. I can survive w/o NFL, NBA or NHL but not the Twins (I know my vote won`t count)
#2 - While there isn`t much info on corona flu, it`s still a flu which doesn`t spread much in warm weather outdoors which baseball is a summer outdoors sport. NFL, NBA & NHL are cool-cold weather, indoor sport making them more susceptible to the virus so they shouldn`t be given a pass while MLB may not be


I posted in a different thread a couple weeks ago that afternoon sports talk radio here in Omaha had a local expert from UNMC speaking about the whole pandemic situation. While, of course, information and prognostication is ongoing and incomplete, and we all hope for a potential cure, 2 important points of hope/focus were:

1] This virus is very vulnerable to proper cleansing. In other words, it doesn't stand up to alcohol, bleach, etc.

2] Like every flu virus, there is hope/belief that as the calender turns warmer and more humid the virus will naturally begin to die out on its own.

FWIW.

I agree about the depth issue. Our second five are basically what our top five used to look like in a typical year, when we had to hope for some up-and-comers emerging and some veterans bouncing back to be competitive at all.

 

Another big advantage is that Hill and Pineda would be available for most of the season, instead of only half of it.

Photo
Doctor Gast
Apr 09 2020 08:36 AM

I saw Bruce Springstein misses baseball too. Hopes his vote count


Similar Articles


by Andrew Thares , 04 Jul 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 02 Jul 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 29 Jun 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 29 Jun 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 26 Jun 2020
Photo