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Blake Snell a trade target or not

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I would personally be happy to offer up Kirilloff and a few other prospects for him!!! What do you guys think he would cost and would you...
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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

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Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

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Comments on 41 MLB baseball I visited with 5 to go

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I've been to 41 MLB parks with 40 since 1993. I missed 5 or 6 starting in the early 1990s when I landed my first computer job and then jo...
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Twins Blogosphere


Ain't Their First Rodeo: The Perfect Storm of Seasoned Playoff Veterans

While the Twins aren’t known in the baseball world as perennial contenders there are few teams in Major League Baseball that have the playoff experience that some of the Twins’ veteran players have. That could prove to be more valuable than ever this postseason.
Image courtesy of David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
It was a sight that no baseball fan wants to see. Highly-touted prospect Edwar Colina had just exited his major league debut in a tight game against the Cincinnati Reds; and it wasn’t pretty. Recording just one out, Colina surrendered three runs on four hits and walked two, putting the nail in the coffin for a Reds win.

As the camera panned to a discouraged Colina in the Twins dugout a heartwarming sight prevailed. 40-year old veteran Rich Hill sat beside Colina and talked through the outing, probably offered advice, and without a doubt gave support that only a player who has seen it all like Rich Hill could offer.


Veteran leadership has been no stranger to the Twins this season. Whether it be Nelson Cruz strengthening the culture of the clubhouse through his contagious personality or Josh Donaldson boosting team morale with the investment of team robes (soon to come on Sotastick.com), the 2020 Twins have benefited on and off the field from having seasoned players on their team.

If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with having veterans on the roster, it’s playoff experience. One could argue that’s one of the biggest reasons why the Twins have acquired names like Hill, Romo, Cruz, Maeda and Donaldson. Each one of these individuals carries a backpack full of experiences, successes and defeats that will be crucial for the Twins success in a postseason that has never been seen before.

Rich Hill
As previously mentioned, the veteran left handed pitcher hailing from Boston has seen it all in his 16 year MLB career. Hill has played on nine different squads in his career, but is known by most for his rock solid performances in the Dodgers rotation and bullpen, specifically in 2018.

Hill has faced adversity on the field many times but the toughest challenge in his MLB tenure came in 2014 when he and his wife Caitlin lost their 2 month old son Brooks. Hill scripted a beautiful piece in the Players Tribune last year about his sonand started the ‘Field of Genes’ campaign with Caitlin to raise money for research on rare diseases.

Hill’s mental strength and experience will be valuable for the Twins as they enter fall baseball. As we saw with Colina, Hill has the opportunity to play a mentor role for young Twins pitchers who haven’t previously seen the high pressure postseason situations that he has.

Nelson Cruz
It would be flat out wrong to not include Nelson Cruz on a list of veteran Twins who have the ability to be game changers. Cruz has played 44 career playoff baseball games. That is a big number. Cruz’s postseason numbers include a .287 AVG with 15 HR and 35 RBI.

There’s no doubt that Cruz is the Twins’ guy to come up with a game-changing late inning hit in the postseason. And while his postseason numbers are impressive, Cruz’s presence in the dugout is equally as valuable. Similar to Hill, Nelly has been around the game long enough to handle the mental side of baseball very well. We’ve seen him be a clubhouse leader for the Twins since he came to the organization last year and that continued leadership will be needed this fall.

Sergio Romo
A certified winner, Romo doesn’t just have one World Series ring, he has three. Romo was a bullpen warrior on the 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants. He’s appeared in 29 total postseason games, posting a 3.55 ERA in 25.1 innings. He wasn’t perfect by any means in last year’s ALDS matchup against the Yankees but his experience will be especially valuable with this year’s postseason format.

And if his postseason experience isn’t enough, Romo’s energy and intensity is a game changer for any team. Sergio is one of those guys who you love to have on your team but hate playing against. On a team that is arguably one of the nicest and most stoic in the league (we’ll forget about Donaldson’s incident last week), Romo provides a nice spark plug for the Twins.

Deep Breath in, Deep Breath Out
Baseball is a unique game. On one side it is arguably the most analytical game in professional sports, with stats and shifts dictating how managers craft their lineup and how teams play the game. On the other hand, baseball is pure and simple; put more runs across the plate in nine innings than the other team and your team comes out victorious.

Yet when the postseason rolls around a third dimension of the game becomes more apparent than ever; the mental side of the baseball. Postseason baseball causes players to get tight, refrain from playing loose, and make mistakes that they often would not make in an everyday game.

That’s where having a roster with seasoned playoff veterans truly shines. Not only have guys like Cruz and Hill been in big time pressure situations, they have the knowledge and strategy to help younger, less experienced players cope with the pressure and nerves of postseason baseball.

Good baseball teams get hot at the right time. Given the presence of seasoned veterans sprinkled amongst a group of younger key players the 2020 Twins may have the perfect storm to make a deep run in the playoffs.

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7 Comments

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ToddlerHarmon
Sep 27 2020 03:19 PM
The perfect time to call this out. It can't be an accident that this many veteran acquisitions have deep postseason experience. It clearly is something the FO has shopped for.

Another name not often mentioned is Tyler Clippard. He has also been through the wars and come out on top. I'm hoping Rocco has a more significant bullpen role in mind for him.
    • DocBauer likes this

Nice bench, but please keep Romo on the bench - I do not trust him

 

Lately Cruz's contributions have been with the players, on the bench, not in the field. His body of work cannot be denied, but darn this is a terrible time to completely lose his stroke at the plate. And it isn't just a game or 3...it has been a few weeks.

 

Romo...a ''former' proven winner. He sure isn't one now. I wouldn't trust him with a 10 run lead. He has 'earned' his spot way down the line...maybe not even in the line.

 

Hill--It wouldn't be that far-fetched to give him a start in the playoffs. He is one veteran who is currently earning his keep.

 

Clippard--on and off.

 

Its hard, right now, to hand out bouquets after several less than stellar performances by the team. they have the talent to get to the WS, when everyone is on board. Right now, maybe half are there..while so many others just look like they have played 162 games. This season has been a grind for sure. So I tip my cap to all who have given it their best. The team that wants it the most will prevail. And that team may not be one of the high seeds.

This is another thing I like about what the FO has done the last couple of years. Basically everyone they've spent good money or prospects on since the 2018-2019 offseason has significant postseason experience.

 

On the hitting side, Marwin, Donaldson, Avila and Cruz have all played in at least 30 playoff games. 

 

On the pitching side, Maeda, Hill, Romo and Clippard have all pitched in at least 13 playoff games. 

 

All of those guys except Donaldson also played in the World Series. This team will know what it takes to win

 

The only exceptions were Cron, Schoop, and Homer Bailey, who filled holes, but even they all had at least a little experience. 

    • spanman2 likes this
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MileHighTwinsFan
Sep 28 2020 02:14 PM

This may not be a very popular take, but I wonder why Hill did not get the nod over Berrios in the Houston series?Berrios' is a very talented, but extremely inconsistent starter.Meanwhile, as the story points out, Hill brings a depth of experience and frankly has been pitching better than Berrios of late.Berrios' two previous playoff starts were unsuccessful and his high walk percentage could spell trouble in a high stakes game 2.I know that Berrios has been the face of the rotation ever since he joined the big club and at times he has looked every bit the #1 starter we hoped for - but in a very short series, it seems like Hill would have been a safer option.  

 

If the thought is that Hill would be the first option in the event of an extremely early exit for either Berrios or Pineda, I can understand having someone with his experience right the ship.On the other hand, having a veteran starting pitcher with an injury history having to quickly warm up is probably not ideal.I suspect Hill's pregame routine is part of his success and the short amount of time available to warm up could be a problem.Conversely, the much younger Berrios would likely be able to get ready faster.  

 

I know this is all a moot point given that Hill pitched yesterday. Let's hope Berrios brings his "A" game on Wednesday and make this comment worthy of derision by Twins' Daily nation. 

 

 

 

This may not be a very popular take, but I wonder why Hill did not get the nod over Berrios in the Houston series? 

It's going to be a long postseason, so they'll need both eventually if they're going to be successful. Given Hill's age and health history, it looks like he might be able to handle a longer layoff better (and may even benefit from the extra rest), while Berrios might need the regular work more. And while neither has much recent work out of the pen, Hill worked predominantly out of the pen from 2010-2015 so he might be better suited for that assignment than Berrios too.

I really like Hill as well. He is savvy and lately he seems to be in total control of his pitches. Not flashy....not blazing speed but great location and mix of his pitches. He probably won't get a start in this series, but surely if the Twins advance (they are going to) he may get a start and he certainly deserves one.

 

The FO has done a decent job obtaining the right mix of talent. And they seem to jell well in the dugout too. Despite the poor showing yesterday they clinched a division title...but you probably noticed they all exited the field and dugout looking pretty miserable. They weren't happy with their performance and hopefully the fire will ignite tomorrow when it really counts.

 

There is nothing scientific about momentum in sports. However one thing does seem to happen a lot....winning begets winning and losing also does the same thing. when you are 'on a roll' you just seem to win games you probably shouldn't win...and when you are in the dumpster, you find ways to lose games that you should be winning. That does happen a lot in every sport. Trying to figure out the anatomy of winning streaks and losing streaks is an interesting endeavor.Same with batting streaks and slumps.

 

The beauty of sports and one of the things I have loved about baseball since the late '50's...you play everyday so you can quickly forget about a bad game or you just can't wait to get back out there and play again. No other sport is like baseball. for a myriad of reasons.

 

Bring on the Cheaters! And send them home.