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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:44 AM
Why is it in baseball we have to wait for weeks on end for anything to happen in free agency? In other sports like football and basketbal...
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Article: Rundown: Mauer Being a Pain, Prospect Lists, Phi...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:21 AM
For as many words as there have been written and said about Joe Mauer, his legacy won’t truly be determined by what anybody outside the g...
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Non-Twins Off-season news, tidbits and transactions

Other Baseball Today, 06:53 AM
We had a thread for items around the baseball world that were worth sharing but not worth a thread of their own. Now that the 2018 season...
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Article: Offseason Handbook Now Available for Download

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:10 AM
The World Series has come to an end. The Boston Red Sox are celebrating. And now we all can celebrate the arrival of a new offseason with...
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FanGraphs: Mauer (and Utley) are Hall of Fame Worthy

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:55 PM
Jay Jaffe looked at the careers of recent retirees Joe Mauer and Chase Utley. He put them up against others at their positions according...
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A Tale Of Two Rookies: Fernando Romero and Shohei Ohtani

Fernando Romero and Shohei Ohtani have taken very different paths to the big leagues. Both players made their big league debuts during the age-23 season but Ohtani’s certainly came with a greater amount of hype. On Sunday, the two rookies will square off in Los Angeles with bragging rights on the line.

That being said, a mid-May game is hardly something to prove which player will have a better career. Both of these budding stars have the potential to be great and they have shown some similarities at this early juncture in their careers.
Image courtesy of Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Throwing Gas
For Twins fans, it’s no secret that Romero’s fastball has a lot of life. Ohtani is more of a mystery as this will be only his sixth start at the big league level. When it comes to rookie pitchers, Romero and Ohtani are two of the hardest throwing pitchers in the league.

Success at the big league level comes from mixing up pitches and both pitchers have tried to find a way to keep batters off-balance. Romero actually throws his sinker (39.7%) more often than his fastball (26.3%). Ohtani throws his fastball more frequently (45.6%) but his split finger and slider add a lot of movement for the batter to track.

Ohtani has allowed a home run in four of his five starts. In his third start of the year, he was pulled from the game with a blister on his throwing hand. Since returning from the blister, he’s pitched into the sixth inning in both starts but he has allowed six earned runs on 12 hits. He also has a 13 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio during that stretch.

(Stat)casting a Wide Net
Romero and Ohtani have a limited amount of combined starts at the big league level but their Statcast data is starting to paint a picture. Romero has thrown 194 pitches with only 25 batted balls. Out of those balls, only one batter has barreled up a ball against him and he is averaging an 87.4 exit velocity with a 1.6 launch angle.

Ohtani has a little bit larger sample size as he has thrown 445 pitches. Out of that total, there have been 63 batted balls and three balls have been barreled up. Ohtani has allowed some harder hit balls with an exit velocity of 87.7 and a launch angle of 17.8.

Other Statcast numbers also show the similarities between these two pitchers. Romero’s expected batting average (.237 XBA) is only 14 points higher than Ohtani (.223). Also, Romero has only allowed two extra-base hits, both doubles, so his expect slugging percentage (.331 XSLG) is over 50 points lower than Ohtani (.384 XSLG).

If both players stay healthy and continue to pitch well, there could be quite the race for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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9 Comments

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Dave The Dastardly
May 13 2018 01:35 PM

"What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon?"

 

I'd be looking forward to watching the game. Alas, MLB in its wisdom has informed me that since Fox Sports North is considered a "local" station, and since I live an hour south of the Twins' stadium the game in California is not available to me on MLBTV as its considered a "local" game for me.

 

Baffles me how MLB intends on building its fan base by not carrying games on network TV where current non-fans might be exposed to the game.

 

What's that old saying about cutting your nose off to spite your face?

    • Twinsoholic, Riverbrian, dgwills and 2 others like this

7 innings of shutout ball with the Twins bullpen > Angels bullpen.

Romero is a bit wild. He really needs to control his pitches better.

Romero looked great and has a wonderful start to his career.I just hope it is a long career with the Twins.No complaints about anything he has done so far.Ohtani is the player we read about.It is hard to believe that he can live up to all that hype.

    • Danchat, dbminn and Minny505 like this

Ohtani has the early edge for rookie of the year. His pitching alone would probably be enough. His hitting puts him over the top.

The kid is a treat to watch.

    • Minny505 likes this

 

"What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon?"

 

I'd be looking forward to watching the game. Alas, MLB in its wisdom has informed me that since Fox Sports North is considered a "local" station, and since I live an hour south of the Twins' stadium the game in California is not available to me on MLBTV as its considered a "local" game for me.

 

Baffles me how MLB intends on building its fan base by not carrying games on network TV where current non-fans might be exposed to the game.

 

What's that old saying about cutting your nose off to spite your face?

I would enjoy listening to the games when I am out of town. Unfortunately, I no longer subscribe to SM/Sirius sat radio and MLB will not stream radio broadcasts w/o an MLB subscription. I am hardly a millennial but it seems to me that one way to attract a younger audience would be to allow them to receive their broadcasts on the device of their choice.

Photo
IndyTwinsFan
May 14 2018 10:40 AM

 

"What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon?"

 

I'd be looking forward to watching the game. Alas, MLB in its wisdom has informed me that since Fox Sports North is considered a "local" station, and since I live an hour south of the Twins' stadium the game in California is not available to me on MLBTV as its considered a "local" game for me.

 

Baffles me how MLB intends on building its fan base by not carrying games on network TV where current non-fans might be exposed to the game.

 

What's that old saying about cutting your nose off to spite your face?

I get the same experience living just outside Indianapolis.Indy is considered to be in the baseball "home" viewership zone for both Chicago and Cincinnati. Therefore, I am never able to view any games against the White Sox/Cubs and also the Reds, even on the Extra Innings premium package on DirecTV. Very frustrating at times, but I've learned how to live with it.

This was a really fun game to watch.

Question -- Romero struggled with his command a little last night.Also one difference I noticed was that he was throwing a breaking ball that had a downward movement a lot more...was that his change-up or was his slider not moving east-west as much as it was in previous starts?He seemed to mostly use his fastball and something slower than that that moved mostly north and south...

 

 

Anyone have any further thoughts on this?


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