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Twins fire Dougie Baseball

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:15 AM
http://m.startribune...?section=sports   Bummer. He sounds pretty pissed about it. Best of luck to him in the future.
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Article: NYY 5, MIN 2: Tough Night For Berrios, Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:13 AM
The Twins led early but surrendered four unanswered runs and Jose Berrios lasted just 3.1 innings. Outside of Joe Mauer, this is an entir...
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Baseball is Good

Other Baseball Today, 06:27 AM
I've started a baseball-centric podcast. It touches on twins topics often, but otherwise it is more about the sport and life of baseball....
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It's Never Too Early for Magic Number

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:10 AM
Just a little Spreadsheet fun for those interested in knowing how many wins/losses the Twins need to clinch a playoff spot  ...
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Mauer 2000 hit countdown

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:10 AM
Three hits today brings him up to 1974, which was a very good year. How many of those 26 hits will he get in 2017? Can he get two hits...
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Twins Walk Their Way To 3-0

Turns out all the Twins had to do to get off to a good start was not swing. Of course it's not that simple. The Twins have done a lot of things well en route to their 3-0 start, but one thing that sticks out in particular is the number of walks they've been able to pile up.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA Today
Twins hitters tallied 23 walks in the opening series against the Royals, while the pitching staff issued just nine free passes. To put that into perspective, last season the Twins didn't draw their 23rd walk until the eighth game of the season.

Not surprisingly, all those walks did in the Royals, as they were outscored 21-5. The Twins had some great timely hitting, the bullpen has been excellent and even the defense has been solid, but anytime you get that many walks, good things are going to happen.

So, what does this mean? Well, in such a small sample we can't be sure. Maybe it means the Royals pitching staff is going to stink. Or maybe they just got off on a bad foot.

But, maybe it means we'll see a more patient approach from the Twins this season.

With new leadership comes new philosophies and new and different things that are stressed. Maybe patience is especially being preached this season. Or maybe Twins hitters are just more comfortable taking what comes during an at-bat, as opposed to trying to make something happen.

One of the things I've really admired about new hitting coach James Rowson's style is he seems to put a big focus on getting hitters confident and comfortable. MikeBerardino of the Pioneer Press did a great feature on how Rowson was trying to help Miguel Sano take the next step in which Rowson said “You look at [Sano] and you realize he doesn’t need anyone’s help to be good. He’s a good player right now.”

What an outstanding message to send to a young player like Sano. Late last season, the team was threatening to send its young slugger down to the minors. Quite a difference a few months makes.

Free agent addition Jason Castro leads the team with six walks, but Sano has three, which is tied for second with Robbie Grossman. Maybe the thing that sticks out the most is the pair of walks Eddie Rosario drew in Thursday's 5-3 win. The free-swinging Rosario entered the season averaging one walk for every 30 plate appearances.

Is it possible we're seeing these younger Twins hitters coming into their own? Could this be the year they get comfortable instead of constantly worrying about being sent to the bench, or back to Rochester, after a few bad games?

Well, right now it looks just about as possible as the Royals just having a rotten pitching staff. Only time will tell.

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42 Comments

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Rhino and Compass
Apr 06 2017 08:01 PM

Rosario drew the second at about the time a Pegasus soared past with a shirtless Nick Punto standing on its back.

 

Rosario doesn't walk a lot is what I'm saying

    • Steve Lein, glunn, Mike Sixel and 19 others like this
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Deduno Abides
Apr 06 2017 08:46 PM
Tom, I really like your comments about Sano and Rowson and agree completely.
    • nytwinsfan, HitInAPinch, CUtomorrownight and 3 others like this

4-0 tomorrow night baby!

    • glunn, tarheeltwinsfan, d-mac and 2 others like this
Hey! We cannot get to 162-0 unless we first get to 3-0. Only 159 to go,
    • glunn, Dantes929, goulik and 2 others like this

A lot of encouraging signs, especially from the hitters. Polanco sure does look like a major league ballplayer, doesn't he? Skills and smarts. Sano is showing much better plate discipline, as is everybody except Buxton. Even Eager Eddie has taken a couple walks. Kepler looks like he's starting to hit the ball square on the screws...last season that was prelude to a power display a couple games later. Dozier hasn't gotten hot yet, but he could bust out anytime. Everybody is hitting except...Buxton, and strangely enough, I'm not worried about Buxton. He'll hit as soon as he realizes that he's the cat, and the pitcher is the mouse. 

 

Oh, and thank goodness for Jason Castro. All he's done is stabilize the catcher position, take a ton of walks and knock in key runs. 

    • Brock Beauchamp, Jerr, Dantes929 and 9 others like this

Winning 3 while getting next to nothing offensively from Mauer, Buxton, and Grossman is encouraging. I'll be even more excited if Hughes looks like he can still be a legitimate starting pitcher.

    • Jerr, spanman2, tarheeltwinsfan and 2 others like this
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ScrapTheNickname
Apr 07 2017 12:18 AM

By the same token, Buxton has got off to an awful start at the plate. If this continues long enough, the management may well have to send him down to the minors. Calling him good, and batting him third can only do so much; the player has to do the rest.

    • Oldgoat_MN, adorduan, JaleelWhite FanClub and 2 others like this
The article should be titled "Walk This Way"
    • Oldgoat_MN, woolywoolhouse, d-mac and 1 other like this
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HitInAPinch
Apr 07 2017 01:36 AM

 

A lot of encouraging signs, especially from the hitters. Polanco sure does look like a major league ballplayer, doesn't he? Skills and smarts. Sano is showing much better plate discipline, as is everybody except Buxton. Even Eager Eddie has taken a couple walks. Kepler looks like he's starting to hit the ball square on the screws...last season that was prelude to a power display a couple games later. Dozier hasn't gotten hot yet, but he could bust out anytime. Everybody is hitting except...Buxton, and strangely enough, I'm not worried about Buxton. He'll hit as soon as he realizes that he's the cat, and the pitcher is the mouse. 

 

Oh, and thank goodness for Jason Castro. All he's done is stabilize the catcher position, take a ton of walks and knock in key runs. 

Buxton just needs to calm down.Last year, the entire team needed to calm down and never did.When Buxton came to the plate with men on, you could practically see it in his eye's.Rowson seems to be a great choice for working with young hitters.Sano: an opposite field single?? Who woulda thunk it last year?

 

Like I've said about Castro in other posts:I like the way he moves around the plate.

    • Han Joelo, jimbo92107, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this
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HitInAPinch
Apr 07 2017 01:42 AM

Oh, and I like the lineup nuevo configuration.Dozier is only a leadoff hitter once a game.Having speedy player bunched at the bottom of the order is a great idea.A few more walks would be great.Baby steps.

 

So is the new usage of RP's:don't drain 1-2 guys in one game and have them not available in the next series.Run 'em out for 1 inning or less and keep them fresh.

online-communities-webinar-why-should-co

    • Tom Froemming likes this

 

The article should be titled "Walk This Way"

 

    • Jerr and Tom Froemming like this
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Tom Froemming
Apr 07 2017 05:45 AM

 

A lot of encouraging signs, especially from the hitters. Polanco sure does look like a major league ballplayer, doesn't he? Skills and smarts. 

My favorite play of the series was yesterday when Polanco ranged to his right, made a nice pick, avoided Sano and fired to end the seventh inning. Here's a link to that highlight.

 

By the same token, Buxton has got off to an awful start at the plate. If this continues long enough, the management may well have to send him down to the minors. Calling him good, and batting him third can only do so much; the player has to do the rest.

This is true, but I like the fact that Molitor is going to keep putting him in the three spot, at least for the time being. If you think Buxton is your third hitter on Opening Day, why let 15 plate appearances change your mind?

 

If Byron has the peace of mind that even if he has a bad series, or a bad few weeks, he's still going to be in there everyday I think we're going to see some very good things happen for him this season.

    • Han Joelo, Mike Sixel, Deduno Abides and 7 others like this


Good call. Makes me think back to how revolutionary this song was when it came out.

We'll start to see with the weekend series in Chicago if the walks were just KC having poor pitchers or a change from the Twins hitters.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

Nice article, great start.  But series one, 159 games to go.  I really hope these trends continue.  Two weeks is what I need to feel like we can really analyze.  My only quick reaction is to Buxton.  Too many ks.  Where is the sense of fun and relaxation that he needs.  I hope it comes in the next series. 

    • Tom Froemming likes this

Thanks for the link to the Polanco play.  Nice play, especially with that small-moon size asteroid that was also going for the ball.  I am no judge of arm strength, but that looked legit to me.

 

 

    • Mike Sixel, Oldgoat_MN, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this

Here's the Ringer's obituary for the KC Bullpen:

 

https://theringer.co...es-1b50f082f464

 

 

    • Oldgoat_MN and ToddlerHarmon like this
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stringer bell
Apr 07 2017 06:55 AM

Didn't the Twins draw a lot more walks in 2015, particularly when they had that incredible hot month of May? Things do go in cycles, but I'm sure they'll normalize. On Rosario--I don't mind a guy that doesn't walk much (Kirby for example) as long as they don't constantly get themselves out by chasing. If Rosario is more disciplined at what he swings at, he may walk a few more times, but the real benefit will be in getting much better pitches to hit.

    • Oldgoat_MN, woolywoolhouse, CUtomorrownight and 2 others like this
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woolywoolhouse
Apr 07 2017 07:08 AM

 

Didn't the Twins draw a lot more walks in 2015, particularly when they had that incredible hot month of May? Things do go in cycles, but I'm sure they'll normalize. On Rosario--I don't mind a guy that doesn't walk much (Kirby for example) as long as they don't constantly get themselves out by chasing. If Rosario is more disciplined at what he swings at, he may walk a few more times, but the real benefit will be in getting much better pitches to hit.

 

That is the issue facing Buxton now (which was the issue that faced Buxton, Sano, and Rosario during the Twins' dreadful April '16): he is swinging and missing at garbage, so all he is getting is garbage. Lay off the down and away curves and sliders, and eventually they'll have to throw a fastball middle-in.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

Of course we won't walk this much going forward but the willingness to take a walk is important.  If the scouting report is "except for Mauer and Grossman these guys will swing at anything" the pitchers will continue to nibble at edges and expand the strike zone until the Twins prove differently.  If the report is "these guys walk a lot and don;t chase much" then the Twins will get better pitches to hit.  

    • Oldgoat_MN, bluechipper, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this
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Tom Froemming
Apr 07 2017 07:11 AM

 

Didn't the Twins draw a lot more walks in 2015, particularly when they had that incredible hot month of May? Things do go in cycles, but I'm sure they'll normalize. On Rosario--I don't mind a guy that doesn't walk much (Kirby for example) as long as they don't constantly get themselves out by chasing. If Rosario is more disciplined at what he swings at, he may walk a few more times, but the real benefit will be in getting much better pitches to hit.

Oddly enough, in 2015 the team had its worst walk rate during that excellent month of May.

 

March/April: 7.1 BB%

May: 6.1

June: 7.0

July: 7.0

Aug.: 7.0

Sept./Oct.: 9.2

 

And last year's gawd awful team drew significantly more walks than that 2015 squad, 513-439.

    • Oldgoat_MN and ToddlerHarmon like this

Hate to be the skeptic, but I'm pretty sure this is just a case of the Royals' pitching being unable to locate the strike zone. I'd love to be proven wrong, though.

    • Danchat and chpettit19 like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Apr 07 2017 08:01 AM

 

Of course we won't walk this much going forward but the willingness to take a walk is important.  If the scouting report is "except for Mauer and Grossman these guys will swing at anything" the pitchers will continue to nibble at edges and expand the strike zone until the Twins prove differently.  If the report is "these guys walk a lot and don;t chase much" then the Twins will get better pitches to hit.  

If managers use that book on this team, I think they'll get burned and change that plan in a hurry.

 

Kepler doesn't swing at everything and will likely swing at less going forward (career .074 isoD).

 

Sano doesn't swing at everything, he just misses a lot when he does swing (career .098 isoD).

 

I think people continually underrate Polanco's patience and I expect him to be one of the pleasant surprises of the season (career .059 isoD).

 

Dozier certainly isn't afraid to take a pitch (.074 isoD).

 

Castro has always been a relatively patient hitter. It's one of his few offensive pluses (.078 isoD).

 

When you get down to it, two guys in the everyday lineup have bad discipline (Buxton and Rosario). And I expect Rosario to take a small step forward in that regard, though he'll never be patient. As for Buxton, he's a complete wildcard. I have no idea what to expect from the guy.

 

Overall, this lineup is pretty patient across the board.

    • bluechipper, d-mac, Tom Froemming and 2 others like this

It was nice to "see" on gameday. 

 

I really like the quote about Sano, I always felt the previous regime was publicly questioning some players, rather than publicly encouraging some players.

    • USAFChief, d-mac and Tom Froemming like this
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Halsey Hall
Apr 07 2017 08:29 AM

Overall, this lineup is pretty patient across the board.

 

Right, and they feed off each other. Last year with the terrible start everyone was trying to do to much. This year it's more like just let it happen. And things have been having a way of happening. So much better to watch so far, it could be a fun season.

    • Oldgoat_MN and Tom Froemming like this

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