Jump to content

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

The Forums

Article: Minnesota’s Managerial Candidates: External Cand...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:28 PM
Earlier in the week, I looked at the top internal candidates for the Twins open managerial job. Since Tom Kelly was hired in the 1980’s,...
Full topic ›

Damning article in the Washington Post re: Pressly / Anal...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:20 PM
Very damning article for the (now former) coaching/analytics staff. Pressly is used an example of how the Astros use analytics & coac...
Full topic ›

NBA Offseason 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves Talk Today, 01:16 PM
This is going to be an offseason that will be probably even more entertaining that the whole season of basketball that preceded it. So, w...
Full topic ›

Article: Offseason Primer: Can Minnesota Mimic Milwaukee...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:12 PM
There are more things tying the Twins and Brewers together than geographic proximity.Both are mid-market teams with finite resources. Bot...
Full topic ›

Article: Offseason Primer: Twins Should Stick With Jorge...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:10 PM
It used to be that baseball teams would seek strength up the middle defensively, but in today’s age is it more important that a team has...
Full topic ›

Week in Review: Offense Takes Flight

RUNS!!!

They've been an all-too-precious commodity for the Twins this year, but were plentiful last week as Minnesota showed the kind of fierceness and resilience that had been missing for much of the first two months.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA Today

Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 5/28 through Sun, 6/3

***

Record Last Week: 4-3 (Overall: 25-30)

Run Differential Last Week: +9 (Overall: -11)

Standing: 3rd Place in AL Central (3.5 GB)


HIGHLIGHTS

The offense finally woke up. Minnesota had scored more than six runs in a game only seven times all season, and only twice in the last calendar month, before doing so six times in seven games this past week.

Unfortunately, in the one contest where the bats came up empty, they wasted a brilliant effort from Kyle Gibson and the bullpen. And on two occasions the Twins scored eight runs and lost, due to previously reliable starters unraveling and creating early deficits that couldn't be surmounted.

It's been that kind of year.

Still, this was a winning week that ended on a dazzling high note. On Friday morning the Twins were reeling, 6.5 games out of first place in the wake of three straight gut-wrenching losses. By Sunday evening, they were back within 3.5 games, looking reinvigorated as they celebrated a huge walk-off win.

Eddie Rosario was rightfully at the center of that celebrating, as his third home run of the day (and fourth of the weekend) clinched the series victory. Rosario is in beast mode again, jumping on whatever you've got, inside or outside the zone, and driving it. His confidence level right now is off the charts.



But there was something notably different and deeply encouraging about his week, beyond the four homers and 10 RBIs. During Rosario's last red-hot stretch, back in early May, I offered the following caution:

"Eventually he'll cool off and stop obliterating every pitch he fancies. At that point we'll find out if Rosario can re-incorporate some of the disciplinary improvements we saw in the latter portion of 2017. Swinging at more than 40% of pitches outside the zone just won't cut it long-term."

The ultra-aggressive approach continued for the next two weeks, and he went without a home run. But over this past week, while going 13-for-30, he also drew six walks (four unintentional). He had drawn only five unintentional walks in 48 games heading in.

When he adds a modicum of selectiveness to his aggressive and explosive approach at the plate, Rosario is an unstoppable force with staying power. Hopefully this week was only a sign of things to come for Minnesota's probable All Star rep.

Rosie wasn't the only source of power. Miguel Sano shook off his rust and turned back into a run-producing difference-maker at the heart of the order, driving in 10 runs in six games with two home runs and two doubles.

It makes a big difference when he's a legit threat, and right now he's showing off his strength by mashing mistakes.

There's still no sign that Sano has shaken his problematic discipline issues at the plate. We saw him strike out 12 times with one walk in 29 plate appearances last week, frequently swinging at breaking balls way outside the zone. Until that changes, he'll continue to be a feast-or-famine type yielding far too much of the latter.

It's a strange state of affairs when I trust Rosario's strike zone judgement more than Sano's but here we are. At least Miggy is back and hitting baseballs incredibly hard.

Speaking of hard hits, Eduardo Escobar also had plenty in a week that saw his bat reheat following a lengthy slump. Heading into play on Monday, Escobar had batted just .200 with three extra-base hits (all doubles) and three RBIs in his previous 15 games. His skid worsened in Kansas City as he went 0-for-9 on Monday and Tuesday, but Esco finished that series with a two-hit game and then opened a power tear at Target Field, belting three homers and driving in six runs against Cleveland.

This is the Twins offense we were hoping to see from the start: highly dangerous, and capable of ruining a good opposing starter's day even when he's on his game (as they did to Trevor Bauer on Saturday).

LOWLIGHTS

We've seen a lot of strong performances from the rotation this year, but the trend has been that when things go awry, they really run off the rails.

We saw it when Jose Berrios' early-season stretch of dominance gave way to a string of total duds. We've seen plenty of volatility from Lance Lynn.

I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the exemplary runs of Fernando Romero and Jake Odorizzi met their ends in flagrant fashion.

On Wednesday, Romero gave up almost twice as many earned runs (8) in 1 2/3 innings as he had over 28 2/3 innings in his first five starts (5). It was utterly baffling to see a pitcher with a .194 BAA allow nine hits to 15 batters against one of the league's weakest offenses. His ERA shot from 1.88 to 4.15.

The next day, Odorizzi surrendered seven earned runs, one fewer than he'd allowed total in his first five starts of May. The right-hander had become one of Minnesota's steadiest starters, completing 5+ IP with three or fewer earned runs in six straight turns. However, his clunker was a little less surprising than Romero's, given his ongoing struggles keeping the ball in the yard; he has now coughed up 14 homers in 12 starts.

If the Twins are giving any consideration to reinforcements for the rotation, those might not be as close as they'd hoped.

Ervin Santana is revisiting his finger surgeon after experiencing continued discomfort while battling command and velocity issues in rehab. There's no timetable for his return but it's reasonable to expect he'll be out until July at least.

Meanwhile, Trevor May's rehab stint has taken a discouraging turn. He had a rocky start last Sunday, allowing six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings, and made his next appearance in relief on Saturday. May allowed only one hit while cleanly handling the seventh through ninth, picking up a three-inning save, but he induced just two swinging strikes on 37 pitches.

The most troubling setbacks, however, were on the position-player side. Joe Mauer appeared to be on the verge of coming off the disabled list late in the week before concussion symptoms started creeping in again as he revved up – a grim development. Luckily, Mauer reported feeling better in the ensuing days, but this is going to be a touch-and-go situation for a while.

Meanwhile, Byron Buxton and the Twins finally came to terms with the fact that having him play through a broken toe was doing nobody any good. The center fielder was placed on the disabled list and will now presumably be given several weeks to let it heal.

TRENDING STORYLINE

Even though they've finally started scoring some runs, the Twins will take whatever offensive help they can get as they try to string together wins and battle back into the division race. To that end, there are two situations in particular worth keeping an eye on.

At the start of last week, the Twins claimed Taylor Motter off waivers from Seattle. He's a versatile defender who can play shortstop, and he has occasionally shown some hitting ability. That ought to make Ehire Adrianza nervous. Sure enough, Adrianza had his best week at the plate all season, with a pair of multi-hit games and his first home run. (Although he AGAIN got thrown out on the bases Sunday after mysteriously pinch-running for Robbie Grossman, who is actually faster than him.)

While Motter looms in Rochester, another potential plug returned to action last week in Chattanooga. LaMonte Wade had gone on the disabled list in mid-May after colliding with an outfield wall, but was activated by the Lookouts on Tuesday. He has become the on-base king in the Twins system, with a .403 career OBP in the minors and an amazingly good eye at the plate.

Wade made a very good impression at spring training and is now slashing .300/.392/.460 in Double-A. With Buxton looking to be sidelined for a while, and Ryan LaMarre's chops as a capable MLB regular in question, Wade could be very useful to the club.

His patience is all the more appealing if Mauer will be facing an extended absence. This lineup has really been missing the first baseman's proclivity for getting aboard.

DOWN ON THE FARM

If there was one quibble to be had with the extremely impressive work being done by an 18-year-old Royce Lewis in Cedar Rapids here in the first half, it was a lack of power. He batted .299 with 13 steals in his first 35 games, but 34 of his 41 hits were singles, resulting in a .365 slugging percentage.

Well, Lewis busted out with a two-homer game last Sunday, and followed up with five doubles in five games over the past week. He now has as many extra-base hits in his past seven games (7) as he did in his first 35.

It always seemed like a matter of when, not if, Lewis would add strength and start driving the ball more. Now, with his 19th birthday just days away, we're already seeing it to some extent.

One scout offered some eye-poppingly high praise for the top prospect, as relayed by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:



On another note, you've gotta feel a little bit for Alan Busenitz. The reliever performed very well during his time with the Twins last season, but was an odd man out with the team signing three free agent relievers in the offseason. He received a brief chance with Minnesota in April, but has since been stuck in Rochester, where he's been unbelievably good.

In five weeks since returning to the minors, Busenitz hasn't allowed a run, or even an extra-base hit. He has a 23-to-4 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings. In seven of his 10 appearances during that span he has recorded more than three outs.

Based on merit, Busenitz should absolutely be in the majors, but right now he's a victim of circumstance. Soon enough his chance will come, and Twins fans should feel good about having such a weapon waiting on deck.

LOOKING AHEAD

These are the kinds of opportunities that Minnesota needs to capitalize on. The cellar-dwelling White Sox are coming to town for a four-game series, which kicks off with a double-header on Tuesday. You'd love to see the Twins take all four of those games and build some momentum heading into a tougher weekend series against the Angels.

TUESDAY, 6/5 (1): WHITE SOX @ TWINS – RHP Reynaldo Lopez v. RHP Fernando Romero
TUESDAY, 6/5 (2): WHITE SOX @ TWINS – RHP Lucas Giloito v. RHP Zack Littell
WEDNESDAY, 6/6: WHITE SOX @ TWINS – LHP Hector Santiago v. RHP Jake Odorizzi
THURSDAY, 6/7: WHITE SOX @ TWINS – LHP James Shields v. RHP Jose Berrios
FRIDAY, 6/8: ANGELS @ TWINS – RHP Jaime Barria v. RHP Lance Lynn
SATURDAY, 6/9: ANGELS @ TWINS – RHP Garrett Richards v. RHP Kyle Gibson
SUNDAY, 6/10: ANGELS @ TWINS – LHP Tyler Skaggs v. RHP Fernando Romero

Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps
More on Twins Daily
  • The MLB Draft gets underway on Monday. Last week Andrew Thares profiled his top 10 draft prospects. You can find links to the rest of his top 50 within. I recommend catching up with his lists; it's highly likely the Twins first-rounder is in there somewhere.
  • On that note, Seth Stohs listed draft candidates with Minnesota connections.
  • Which Twins prospects are outclassing their current levels in the minors? Jonathon Zenk called out five who should be promoted.
  • SD Buhr chatted hitting with former Twin (and current Cedar Rapids coach) Brian Dinkelman.

  • Oldgoat_MN, h2oface, nclahammer and 1 other like this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

21 Comments

Photo
Old Twins Cap
Jun 03 2018 08:59 PM

Busenitz, between last year and his latest stint at AAA, has earned another chance.

 

Magill has held his own, Reed, Rodney and Duke are safe, Hildenberger has been good, Pressly has been their best reliever, can't give up on Rogers, though he has options. 

 

In other words, there's no place for a very solid reliever.

 

What's a Twins fan to do?

    • Dantes929, Oldgoat_MN, Dman and 2 others like this
Great article as usual, Nick, but you really mean Robbie Grossman is actually faster than Adrianza? I highly doubt that!
Photo
Nick Nelson
Jun 03 2018 10:31 PM

 

Great article as usual, Nick, but you really mean Robbie Grossman is actually faster than Adrianza? I highly doubt that!

I can't blame you for being skeptical, but according to StatCast, Grossman's sprint speed is 27.8 ft/sec compared to Adrianza at 26.7, and Grossman has in fact registered higher in all past seasons. 

 

For the player profile he fulfills, Adrianza is stunningly slow. Grossman's speed is also a little underrated, I think.

    • Dantes929, ThejacKmp, Oldgoat_MN and 5 others like this
I also feel bad for Busentiz, but there's just no room for him right now. And that's actually a good thing.

Adrianza has not been the player he was last season. But both his offense and defense have been better as of late. Can/will it continue? Hopefully. But if anyone moves out, it would seem to be Petit, and not Adrianza.

I get the clamor for Wade. And I think he's very interesting. But is AA OF, who recently came off a DL stint an answer? Maybe he is. I wouldn't mind seeing him! But LaMarre is also interesting, at least in the short term. He seems to have the defensive chops. He supposedly had a new approach at the plate when he came to ST. Yeah...right! Then he played his way in the team, continued to hit when sent down to Rochester, and has been doing OK since his recall. He's nothing special, of course. But did we maybe find a late blooming 4th OF? For right now, he's doing an OK job. In a very SSS, Cave looked competent and has performed quite well at Rochester. Both may have overtaken Granite at this point.

If I had told you that come June 1st the team wouldn't be missing Santana you would have thought I was nuts! Justifiably so! And yet, with Lynn finding himself, that's where we are. I absolutely want Erv back! And I have faith he will be back at some point. Not worried, at this point about a bad game each for Odorizzi and Romero. They happen. And did anyone actually expect Romero not to have a bump or two in the road?

There has always been way too much talent and potential for this offense to perform as they have been. It seems as though they are gelling and coming to life. Buxton and Mauer out, along with Polanco and Castro, are not good things. But there is still so much talent here that the recent output should not be considered abnormal. (Though CF and backup catcher, long term, could be an issue. Of course, a healthy Buxton can help with one of those.)

Lots to like! Keep fighting guy, just like you did last year!
    • Dantes929 likes this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Jun 04 2018 06:37 AM
At various times the last two years people have wanted to drum Gibson and Rosario out of town. Maybe we should learn to just appreciate team control a bit with talented players.
    • Oldgoat_MN and dbminn like this

 

Adrianza has not been the player he was last season. But both his offense and defense have been better as of late. Can/will it continue? Hopefully. But if anyone moves out, it would seem to be Petit, and not Adrianza.

 

Adrianza's days seem numbered though. When Mauer, Buxton and Polanco are back, three guys have to go. LaMarre and Petit are two of them but Adrianza is the obvious choice for the third (likely when Polanco is activated).

    • Nine of twelve likes this

Not Adrianza's fault he got thrown out on that one. That was Gene Glynn making a terrible call to send with one out in the eighth.

    • ashburyjohn, Twins33, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

Why are the Twins and White Sox doing a DH tomorrow? They’re both off today and both were at home yesterday. Seems strange they didn’t schedule the game for tonight. Is this just the team thinking it’s fun to do a doubleheader?

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

Truly amazing that Twins lose 3 straight, fall behind 9-0 against Indians in game 1 and the entire season was looking very bleak. So what happens? They almost come back and win that game and then proceed to win the next 3 against the first place team. The easiest million ever made would have been to lay down 100 bucks on that happening at 10000-1 odds.Rosario and Escobar did their jobs plus some as team offensive leaders and Lynn's ability to hang in there was possibly the key looking ahead.

No way to begin to predict what will happen next but tomorrow's double header will hopefully get them started back to the .500 mark.

Photo
Carole Keller
Jun 04 2018 08:14 AM

 

Why are the Twins and White Sox doing a DH tomorrow? They’re both off today and both were at home yesterday. Seems strange they didn’t schedule the game for tonight. Is this just the team thinking it’s fun to do a doubleheader?

I would assume that both teams approve when they play the make up games? After today the White Sox play 20 in a row with no days off (unless I misread their schedule.) My guess is they wanted that day? And the Twins have just played 10 in a row without a day?

    • tarheeltwinsfan and whatyouknowtwinsfan like this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jun 04 2018 08:17 AM

Why are the Twins and White Sox doing a DH tomorrow? They’re both off today and both were at home yesterday. Seems strange they didn’t schedule the game for tonight. Is this just the team thinking it’s fun to do a doubleheader?


probably related to the clause in the CBA preventing them from playing so many days in a row without an off day.
    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, ThejacKmp and 2 others like this
Photo
Nick Nelson
Jun 04 2018 08:18 AM

 

I would assume that both teams approve when they play the make up games? After today the White Sox play 20 in a row with no days off (unless I misread their schedule.) My guess is they wanted that day? And the Twins have just played 10 in a row without a day?

Yeah, there are also rules in the CBA about how many games you can schedule in a row without an off day. Not 100% sure about the specifics. 

    • Carole Keller, ashburyjohn, diehardtwinsfan and 3 others like this
Photo
Parker Hageman
Jun 04 2018 08:50 AM

 

Not Adrianza's fault he got thrown out on that one. That was Gene Glynn making a terrible call to send with one out in the eighth.

 

You can assign some blame to both on that play.

 

Adrianza was slowing down to check into to third when Glynn suddenly gave him the go sign. You see Adrianza have to restart and then stutter-step into third base, which is why you see him stumble around the bag. Glynn was watching the play in left field so he wasn't watch what Adrianza was doing as he approached third. 

 

I don't mind pressing a defense at times. When Glynn started to give the wheel, the left fielder had just picked up the ball and, had Adrianza been running full steam like he was going to round it initially, they may have had a shot (but probably not). Maybe you force a bad throw or a misplay at the plate. Cleveland executed it perfectly. 

 

The safe play obviously would have been to hold everyone. With runners on 2nd/3rd and one out, Cleveland may have chosen to walk Bobby Wilson to fill the bases and set up the double play. At that point you have potentially two chances with Dozier and Rosario to drive in a run. Or, if they didn't load the bases, Wilson had a pretty decent day at the plate up to that point, possibly being able to lift a fly ball deep enough to score Adrianza anyway.

 

It's fun how much info you have to try to keep in your head as a third base coach and you have a split second to make a decision. 

 

 

    • Sconnie and Tom Froemming like this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Jun 04 2018 10:52 AM

I see that as 100% on Glynn with his momentary indecision turning into a belated windmill that had no chance of working. Even without the stumble, by that point it no longer required a perfect play by the defense, merely a competent one.

 

The only situational indicator, in favor of sending, was who was on deck: Bobby Wilson. But the standard advice not to make the second out at home was probably the stronger indicator, namely to hold up as planned.

    • Twins33 and Nine of twelve like this
Photo
Parker Hageman
Jun 04 2018 11:20 AM
I see that as 100% on Glynn with his momentary indecision turning into a belated windmill that had no chance of working. Even without the stumble, by that point it no longer required a perfect play by the defense, merely a competent one.

 

 

If somebody bobbled it or misfired, it would look genius in retrospect. 

 

Again, the runner should be going hard to round the bag unless instructed otherwise. It's possible that Glynn gave Adrianza some other signal to check into third prior to the replay clip. Obviously it wasn't Adrianza's decision to make the turn but it's not entirely on Glynn (95/5). 

 

I also wonder if Glynn thought he saw the left fielder bobble it when he decided to send him. 

    • ashburyjohn likes this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Jun 04 2018 11:22 AM

OK, I'll belabor it some more, by adding that perhaps neither choice was even 50-50 to wind up with a run scored. Send the runner, and he's likely out. Hold him up, and Wilson likely fails to bring the runner home with 1 out, and the next batter likewise makes the third out. So the point isn't to castigate Glynn for not tallying a run.

 

Still, it's Glynn's job to discern the 30% chance (Wilson and then Dozier) from the 20% (a bobble), and I don't think he succeeded there.

 

It looks to me like Glynn's hands were palms down, indicating hold up at third, and then suddenly he's windmilling like he saw the LFer drop the ball or something.

    • Nine of twelve likes this
Photo
Nine of twelve
Jun 04 2018 12:50 PM

 

It looks to me like Glynn's hands were palms down, indicating hold up at third, and then suddenly he's windmilling like he saw the LFer drop the ball or something.

I didn't notice that before. If the coach is not sure until the last minute whether he'll send the runner he should be wheeling the runner and then stopping him at the last minute, not the other way around.

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief and Dantes929 like this
My weekly summary is as follows: Eddie Rosario.

There is no way to take it easy on Glynn now this one. It was an awful, awful decisions on multiple levels, no matter the situation (on-deck hitter, score, number of outs, etc).

First, it was clear that he had no chance from the get go. Adrianza isn't fast, despite the stereotypes related to his role (diminutive utility guy). Just an opinion there.

Mainly, there is one out, and Wilson is on deck. Sure, that's not ideal. But, after that, Dozier is set to come up with two outs....and he's been on fire. If he's walked intentionally, the hottest hitter on planet earth is up with the bases loadedz

Instead, Dozier leads off the next inning with nobody on base. It ended up working out, but IMO it was a colossal misevaluation of the situation.

To be clear, it's not an easy thing. It's a decision made in a fraction of a second. But, when that's your job it comes with some expectation of excellence.
    • Nine of twelve likes this
Something else:

A coach of mine in college used to do something where he would verbally say "score" while giving the stop sign. Or "hold up" etc, while waving a person around.

We would discuss which cues to follow before the game. It's design was to try and get throw home, which could end up in error or allow a trailing runner to advance.

Not saying that's what happened here. But, you can't always pay attention to the physical cue.
    • ashburyjohn and Nine of twelve like this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Jun 04 2018 01:58 PM

There is no way to take it easy on Glynn now this one. It was an awful, awful decisions on multiple levels, no matter the situation (on-deck hitter, score, number of outs, etc).

As I said above, even though I disagree strongly with the coaching decision, it probably was a close call either way, and neither choice was odds-on to score a run in the end. Not awful.

 

But, I can't help it: another aspect was it being a tie game with the home field advantage. If this had happened in the top of the 8th in a tie game, I think I'd feel differently: you can't be satisfied with a tie, you want that lead run if you can possibly grab it. As the home team, I play it just a little more conservatively.

 

Geez, I hope I'm done dissecting this little play now. :)

    • Parker Hageman likes this
Photo
Parker Hageman
Jun 05 2018 08:19 AM

 

Something else:

A coach of mine in college used to do something where he would verbally say "score" while giving the stop sign. Or "hold up" etc, while waving a person around.

We would discuss which cues to follow before the game. It's design was to try and get throw home, which could end up in error or allow a trailing runner to advance.

Not saying that's what happened here. But, you can't always pay attention to the physical cue.

 

I've seen that before and, from a coaching perspective, I don't like it. Unless it's 100% ingrained in all the players (especially amateur) it leaves a ton of room for misinterpretation. At the professional level, you will not always be able to hear verbal cues. 

    • ashburyjohn likes this

Similar Articles


by Tom Froemming , 12 Oct 2018
Photo


by Cody Christie , 08 Oct 2018
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 07 Oct 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 06 Oct 2018
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 04 Oct 2018
Photo