Jump to content

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

The Forums

Front Page: Twins Game Recap (9/19): Nelson Cruz Crushes...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:25 PM
That’s more like it. The Twins averaged nearly six runs a game through August, but entered Thursday averaging just 4.4 runs per game so f...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Should Eddie Rosario Be Benched for Not Hustl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:08 PM
Eddie Rosario is one of five Twins hitters to hit 30 home runs or more this season to help the team set a new standard at the big-league...
Full topic ›

Front Page: The Underappreciated, Hard-Luck Legacy of Kyl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:25 PM
From the very beginning, Kyle Gibson's career was defined by injury and disappointment. Coming out of the University of Missouri in 2009,...
Full topic ›

Magic Number Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:08 PM
Why no magic number thread?     Why can't I post pictures?      BYTO was fun.    
Full topic ›

Game Thread: Twins vs KC 4:40 PM PST (6:40 PM CDT) 9/19/19

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:30 PM
The Twins took two steps forward toward the goal of winning the division during the series of games against the Sox. Unfortunately, after...
Full topic ›

Building for Primetime

By the end of next week, the Minnesota Twins will be more than a third of the way through their 2019 schedule. After completing a dominant sweep in Anaheim, they have the best record and second-best run differential in baseball. Their lead in the AL Central has ballooned to eight games.

We're still a week away from June, but it is not by any means too early to start thinking big.
Image courtesy of David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
It's been a long time since Twins fans last had the luxury of contemplating things like pennant races and playoff rotations and jockeying for home field advantage. I can't remember ever having any such thoughts before the end of May. But we're at a point where talking about the Twins as likely postseason entrants and World Series contenders is not fanciful. It's almost obligatory.

Throughout the entirety of a drawn-out rebuilding process that began with a 99-loss season in 2011, Minnesota has been future-focused. At their best (in 2015 and '17), they straddled the line, scrapping for an unlikely postseason berth while keeping their eyes trained on a championship window to come. Here in 2019, if perhaps slightly ahead of schedule, the window has been thrust open. The future is now.

There is nothing fluky or superficial about the stunning success of this Twins team. Finding weaknesses is tough. The lineup continues to reaffirm that its unparalleled 1-through-9 power and run-scoring prowess are for real. The rotation has no blatant holes. (Michael Pineda gets some flack, but all his numbers outside of a bloated HR rate – and correspondingly high ERA – are quite good for a fifth starter.)

And the bullpen has, thus far, been beyond respectable. As Matt Braun concluded in a blog entry here on Thursday, "These guys have actually been pretty good, so lay off them for now." He makes many fair points, noting that the unit rates well in key categories like FIP and leverage metrics. There's no doubt Twins relievers have performed extraordinarily well thus far.

But as I view the Twins through this new, unfamiliar lens – sudden division favorites with legitimate championship aspirations – the bullpen does weigh on me. It's almost inconceivable at this point, given how absurdly consistent they've been since Day 1, but eventually this team will hit some turbulence. The bats will go through some quieter periods, and the starters will experience downspells or injuries. In the dog days of the summer, we will really see this bullpen tested. As much as this team has surpassed my every expectation, even the most optimistic side of me can't see it grading out too well in those moments.

And when it comes to matching up against the other kingpins in the American League? Houston, New York and Boston have deep pens custom-built for October. Tampa Bay, as usual, has a vast assortment of incredibly effective relievers that no one's ever heard of – in fact, they have the game's best bullpen ERA.

I guess you could put the Twins in the same boat as the Rays, a club they seemingly modeled their approach after. Like Minnesota, Tampa has opportunistically traded away good relievers, filling the vacancies through internal pipeline or low-wattage additions. Both teams have mostly eschewed free agency; as you watch Addison Reed get cut loose with his millions in dead money, while Blake Parker and Ryne Harper continually deliver, it grows a lot tougher to question that strategy.

The Twins are finding ways to extract the most out of their talent. Pitching coaches Wes Johnson and Jeremy Hefner are clearly getting through with good info. Rocco Baldelli's decision-making and usage patterns have been strong, from my view, and he places a clear focus on taking care of his players. All these factors help elevate a group toward its true potential.

Still, unless some sort of supernatural enchantment is at play (and it's getting a little harder to rule that out with each passing day), no objective onlooker can view this bullpen with great confidence going forward.

Taylor Rogers is clearly awesome. I'm willing to buy into Parker, although his 1.10/3.87 split in ERA/FIP points to a clear luck element to his ridiculously good results thus far. After those two, the Twins have:
  • Trevor May. Sadly not anywhere near the same guy he was last year. His swinging strike rate is down to single digits (from an elite 15.4% last year), because his stuff isn't compelling people to swing outside the zone, which is also leading to too many walks. May's throwing as hard as ever and it isn't hard to envision him turning that corner, but so far he hasn't.
  • Ryne Harper. There's no knocking his splendid performance up to this point. But he's a 30-year-old MLB rookie whose fastball sits in the high-80s. He's going to need to keep doing it for quite a while longer before lifting all shrouds of doubt.
  • Matt Magill. The Twins were believers. They had him in their bullpen plans before an injury sidelined him to start the year, and since joining the team in late April, Magill has validated their faith. He might be one of the least intimidating-looking pitchers in baseball but his spectacular velocity – 95 and 88 on average with the fastball and slider – belie his aesthetic. He has ridden that stuff to copious strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA. This is clearly a higher-caliber pitcher than we saw last year, but everyone recalls the way his hot start turned ice cold in 2018.
  • Mike Morin. He has thrown strikes and gotten people out. (8.1 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 1 ER). What more could you ask? But it's only nine appearances. He's also a 28-year-old who has thrown 24 MLB innings over the past two years, and owns a 3.99 career ERA in Triple-A.
  • Austin Adams. Can't help but be impressed by his arm out of the gates. He throws even harder than Magill, and looked dominant in two outings before getting blown up by the Angels on Thursday. His nightmare outing in Anaheim (0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 ER) will set his numbers back for a while. And it served as a reminder: As good as some of these relievers look at times, and as much as the Twins might be optimizing their repertoires and usage, these are still pitchers signed to minor-league contracts, drawing zero demand from the league at large. Him, Magill, Morin, Harper. And the next guy can more or less be placed in the same group.
  • Tyler Duffey. He almost certainly would've been waived from the 40-man roster during the offseason, if not for holding an option that allowed the Twins to stash him at Triple-A. Now he's in the Minnesota bullpen and looking very much like the dominant reliever we all dreamed he could be. Duffey is finally showing some bite on his heater, and in combination with his ever-vexing curveball, it's piling up strikeouts.
So after Parker and Rogers, you have May and then five guys that are more or less veteran Triple-A pitchers thrust into MLB action. With the exception of Adams' implosion, they've all handled it beautifully. All are awesome individual stories, and given the substance behind each of these performances, it isn't that hard to see any one of them sustaining. But... all of them? That feels like too tall an ask, even in this possibly enchanted season.

Depth is of the essence. And that's where the pressing concerns emerge. The front office was planning around Trevor Hildenberger and Fernando Romero (and maybe Reed) as key late-inning contributors, but at present both are struggling as part of a GHASTLY bullpen at Rochester:



The Triple-A rotation hasn't been so hot either. There's no credible help at the highest level of the minors. Double-A is a little more interesting, and on Thursday, Brusdar Graterol's presence in Minneapolis raised considerable intrigue among the fan base. It sounds like Graterol was here for evaluation, but the idea of a call-up wasn't that far-fetched, which says quite a lot for 20-year-old pitcher (and for the Twins' underlying need). He's been absurdly dominant in Double-A. Alas, the right-hander recently dealt with a trapezius issue and the Twins will smartly place his welfare ahead of the team's.

With that in mind, who's going to help this bullpen? The internal reinforcement slate at present is not inspiring. The MLB Draft is suddenly less than two weeks away, meaning that Craig Kimbrel is about to be freed from his burdensome compensation pick tether. That'll fire up the discussions around him again, which is fair. But I maintain that the trade market is a superior avenue. That's how the Astros acquired the best reliever in baseball (from the Twins, unfortunately) and it's a big part of how Tampa constructed its bullpen.

The Twins are sneakily well positioned. Their relief corps has performed well, so no trade partner is going to be able to leverage it as an urgent weakness against them. At the same time, the Twins are more motivated to be proactive than other big-market contenders, who are largely flush with high-paid, established options.

Will this press them to make a hard push for Kimbrel on the other side of the draft? Or to be aggressive early in the trade market and snatch a big arm? I'll be interested to find out.

Most of all, I'm just giddy to be be in a position to think about such things.

  • Mike Frasier Law, brvama, Oldgoat_MN and 7 others like this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

38 Comments

Photo
John Bonnes
May 23 2019 08:46 PM
One other point in favor if acquiring a relief arm sooner rather than later: they control his usage and don’t need to worry bout him being overused.
    • Mike Frasier Law, PseudoSABR, LA VIkes Fan and 8 others like this

I saw Morin get a perfect - fielders gone crazy inning that had nothing to do with good pitching, tonight Adams demonstrated his value and his double digit era is the proof.Pineda should be in the pen and a better pitcher should be in the rotation. Those are my downers on this magnificent season.  

It is the stretch run we need to think about - can Harper and the other AAAA arms do the job?AAA does not have the talent.But Graterol in the rotation and Pineda in the pen seem like good options to upgrade everything. 

I disagree that Minnesota has been future focused. But the rest of the article is absolutely spot on. 

 

This team deserves support and I'd be shocked if the front office doesn't provide it. 

 

We are all seeing what depth with the lineup provides. Garver and Cruz down... no problem. They are not even missing a beat and those are two large bats that would cripple most teams. 

 

Now the front office has to look at the mound and look at it hard. Don't get cocky thinking you've built it. The baseball Gods love to mess around with those sitting around admiring their handiwork. 

 

Imagine what would happen if Taylor Rogers gets knocked out for the year. That one loss out of the bullpen would be huge. 

 

In the rotation, what happens if Berrios, or Odorizzi or Gibson or Perez or Pineda goes down. What if two of them go down? 

 

You can prepare for it... you don't have to go down with the ship if the unthinkable happens.  

 

They need to find arms they can count on immediately out of their own system and they need to start adding arms via trade once June hits.

 

If the starter price is too high, then you got to load that bullpen up in preparation for some bullpen games. Kimbrel would be awesome but it doesn't have to be Kimbrel... They just need to build a fierce pen that will shut down opponents when our OFFENSE provides a cushion and bullpen arms are always available at the trade deadline.

 

Stay away from the Gregerson and Belisle types. We don't need crafty and experienced... we need destroy all hope rockets.  

    • ScrapTheNickname, nicksaviking, brvama and 18 others like this

Agree 100% with all.

 

Concern about the bullpen in the postseason will also cause the relatively young and inexperienced line up to press too hard which can oft lead to problems

    • tarheeltwinsfan, bighat and Aerodeliria like this
Photo
Old Twins Cap
May 23 2019 09:09 PM

No panic. Twins are winning and slugging and pitching well.

 

F.O. will add relief at some point.

 

But, for now, with a lot of games coming up against the Whities, the Royals, the Tigres and the Indians, no need to jump into something rash.

 

The next move is the big move, so make sure it is the right move.

    • brvama, DiscGolfer, PseudoSABR and 11 others like this

25 year old Cody Stashak's numbers at AA:2.05 ERA, 0.727 WHIP, 14.3 K/9, 0.8 BB/9.He should replace Mr Adams tomorrow, however I think that this 28 year old teammate of his is next in line (ignore the inaccuracies in that write up.)

 

Also, I will really be surprised if Kimbrel is not a Twin in 2 weeks and a day or two (after the draft.)

 

Trevor May is clearly my biggest disappointment in the pen this season.I thought that he broke though last season. 

 

They also need an ace to be relevant during the post-season, but that will have to come in a trade.

    • nicksaviking likes this

 

No panic. Twins are winning and slugging and pitching well.

 

F.O. will add relief at some point.

 

But, for now, with a lot of games coming up against the Whities, the Royals, the Tigres and the Indians, no need to jump into something rash.

 

The next move is the big move, so make sure it is the right move.

Couldnt have said it better myself. 

    • LA VIkes Fan, tarheeltwinsfan, bighat and 2 others like this

If this team keeps this up through the all-star break the front office has to go for it? I mean they would be absolutely crazy not to try and solidify the pen with another arm or two and try and possibly swing a deal for another starter.

 

I saw Morin get a perfect - fielders gone crazy inning that had nothing to do with good pitching, tonight Adams demonstrated his value and his double digit era is the proof.Pineda should be in the pen and a better pitcher should be in the rotation. Those are my downers on this magnificent season.  

It is the stretch run we need to think about - can Harper and the other AAAA arms do the job?AAA does not have the talent.But Graterol in the rotation and Pineda in the pen seem like good options to upgrade everything. 

 

I'm willing to let Pineda work the rust off at the back end of the rotation for now. I've seen enough Yankees games on the YES network to know that when he's on he's a 8+ strikeout per 9 inning pitcher and most teams would kill to have a guy like that as a #5 starter. When he's on he can do some serious damage to opposing lineups. I remember quite a few Yankee fans telling me that Twins fans will like what they see if he gets healthy and can work out the kinks.  

    • Kelly Vance, Danchat, bighat and 2 others like this

I got kind of dunked on but also got my article sponsored so I guess it evens out 

    • ashbury, Puckett34, Oldgoat_MN and 3 others like this
Photo
ToddlerHarmon
May 23 2019 11:15 PM

 

25 year old Cody Stashak's numbers at AA:2.05 ERA, 0.727 WHIP, 14.3 K/9, 0.8 BB/9.He should replace Mr Adams tomorrow, however I think that this 28 year old teammate of his is next in line (ignore the inaccuracies in that write up.)

 

 

 

Dusten Knight was released by Pensacola three weeks ago, and is now in the Mexican League. I don't know why.

 

    • Thrylos, h2oface and Danchat like this

I found this. Still not much info. Maybe the minor league write ups will tell us more?

 

    • ToddlerHarmon and Aerodeliria like this

And something I missed right here on TD...

 

http://twinsdaily.co...n-debuts/page-2

 

From the Strib article link:

 

"The Twins have released righthander Dusten Knight for a violation of team policy. Knight was a hit on social media this season because he liked to do back flips after notching saves; in seven games, he had posted a 1.59 ERA and three saves. Knight, 28, was selected by the Twins in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft last December from the Giants organization."

 

So what did he violate? It pushed him to Mexico?

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
May 24 2019 05:18 AM

They definitely should be targeting a reliever now. I do like the idea of signing Kimbrel in a couple weeks, but I would still want to acquire at least one more arm via trade. I agree with Thrylos that Stashak deservers a shot. At the very least, get the kid to AAA... It's not like there's a wealth of relievers blocking him.

 

As for starting, that's not as urgent, but if that lead is well into the double digits by the end of June, I could still see trying to get an ace to help with the playoffs. Not quite sure what to do with Pineda. I suppose if no one gets hurt, he can get flipped for a prospect to a team in desperate need of a 5th starter to hang on. Not sure I want him and his elevated HR rates in the pen.

 

No panic. Twins are winning and slugging and pitching well.

 

F.O. will add relief at some point.

 

But, for now, with a lot of games coming up against the Whities, the Royals, the Tigres and the Indians, no need to jump into something rash.

 

The next move is the big move, so make sure it is the right move.

 

 

They definitely should be targeting a reliever now. I do like the idea of signing Kimbrel in a couple weeks, but I would still want to acquire at least one more arm via trade. I agree with Thrylos that Stashak deservers a shot. At the very least, get the kid to AAA... It's not like there's a wealth of relievers blocking him.

 

As for starting, that's not as urgent, but if that lead is well into the double digits by the end of June, I could still see trying to get an ace to help with the playoffs. Not quite sure what to do with Pineda. I suppose if no one gets hurt, he can get flipped for a prospect to a team in desperate need of a 5th starter to hang on. Not sure I want him and his elevated HR rates in the pen.

 

I'm not sure if panic is the right word or if urgent is the right description. 

 

It's really hard to panic or think urgently in such great times. 

 

However... I am absolutely sure that if he we lost a starter and had to rely on the bullpen more to cover for the loss of the starter.  

 

Panic and Urgent will be closer to the right word. 

    • MN_ExPat and Original Whizzinator like this

 

 Not quite sure what to do with Pineda. I suppose if no one gets hurt, he can get flipped for a prospect to a team in desperate need of a 5th starter to hang on. Not sure I want him and his elevated HR rates in the pen.

 

I don't think the Twins are going to be sending Pineda to another contender at the deadline. With his 1-year contract there will likely be zero trade partners for him. He could be "dumped" as part of a deal (ie: Marlins give us Sergio Romo in exchange for Nick Gordon but they must take Pineda as part of the deal, etc).

Kind of like the Twins last year with Logan Forsythe. Twins didn't want him, he just came in the same box as Luke Raley and we didn't have a choice.

 

I don't think he's THAT bad. Way too early to give up on Pineda, he's actually thrown back-to-back quality starts, not sure why we'd panic just yet. Give him 2 more months before we pull any kind of trigger on Big Mike.

    • brvama, Kelly Vance, Danchat and 3 others like this
Enough with the pitty party for Kimbrel, "freed from pick compensation" stuff. Him and his agent overvalued his worth to teams and turned down multiple 3 year deals just under $20m. The Red Sox wouldn't even let him close out the World Series. There are enough flags to not be mad if he goes elsewhere.
    • luckylager, Danchat, LA VIkes Fan and 4 others like this
Photo
iowadutchman
May 24 2019 07:09 AM

I think the Twins can get by with Pineda all season as a fifth starter.Then he flips to the pen for postseason if needed or could be off the playoff roster in favor of a position player or another reliever.I still have hope for Mejia. His stuff seems better than many of these guys, but he needs control and confidence and conditioning.Another lefty in the pen would be nice even though Rocco seems less concerned about match ups.Having the luxury of games with big leads definitely allows him to use the pen differently than if the games were 1-3 runs.

    • DocBauer and Original Whizzinator like this
Photo
segagenesisgenius
May 24 2019 07:46 AM

 

Imagine what would happen if Taylor Rogers gets knocked out for the year. That one loss out of the bullpen would be huge. 

 

In the rotation, what happens if Berrios, or Odorizzi or Gibson or Perez or Pineda goes down. What if two of them go down? 

 

 

I agree with this, but then this is true for all teams.If Aroldis Chapman goes down, the Yankees playoff odds would take a massive hit. I'm not sure the Bosox would have won the World Series last year without Kimbrel.The Astos would probably have a few more losses if it weren't for Pressly.

 

Otherwise, in general, when I looked this up before, playoff teams on average need around 30 starts from outside of their top 5 pitchers.Basically, they need to plan for functionally a full season's worth of starts going to another pitcher.Another way to look at that is that if you need MORE than one season's worth of starts outside of your top five, you are statistically very unlikely to make it into the playoffs.I mean, what team can withstand trying to replace two of their opening day rotation pitchers?

 

As such, my priority is for the twins to patch their current holes, have a contingency plan or two for key positions, and then plan for health, because if you aren't healthy you aren't winning it all anyway. 

Photo
segagenesisgenius
May 24 2019 07:49 AM

"After completing a dominant sweep in Anaheim, they have the best record and second-best run differential in baseball."

 

After the full night's action and the Astros surprising loss, the Twins are actually currently tied for the best run differential in baseball!

 

Darn Austin Adams, ruining our chances at independently having the best run differential in baseball....

Photo
Alex Schieferdecker
May 24 2019 08:00 AM

What I've enjoyed seeing from the Twins is that they are showing a lot of trust in guys who few other teams would've trusted—and it's paying off. 

 

Harper, whose first outing was a shaky appearance with a big lead against Cleveland, has settled in and has gotten consistently more important assignments. Same with Magill, May, and Morin, who have all been worked in very nicely. I expect we'll see the same for Duffey in the coming weeks, as he has aced his early tests.

 

Add to those five the reliable work of Rogers and Parker, and the Twins seem to have seven guys who have earned the trust of the manager. As you write, depth is essential now, and that's really the one thing we haven't had, because for every pleasant surprise like Harper, Morin, or Duffey, we've had a guy we were hoping to count on go bad, like Hildenberger, Reed, or Moya. Who are the eighth, ninth, and tenth guys?

    • Riverbrian, Carneal&Gordon and Aerodeliria like this
Photo
nicksaviking
May 24 2019 08:11 AM

 

25 year old Cody Stashak's numbers at AA:2.05 ERA, 0.727 WHIP, 14.3 K/9, 0.8 BB/9.He should replace Mr Adams tomorrow, however I think that this 28 year old teammate of his is next in line (ignore the inaccuracies in that write up.)

 

Also, I will really be surprised if Kimbrel is not a Twin in 2 weeks and a day or two (after the draft.)

 

Trevor May is clearly my biggest disappointment in the pen this season.I thought that he broke though last season. 

 

They also need an ace to be relevant during the post-season, but that will have to come in a trade.

 

Yup, Cody Stashak's my guy, and he's being groomed as a multi-inning guy too. He shouldn't be in AA right now

 

Going externally, I think my top priority would be a starter over a reliever (though I'd take some of both). Mostly because I think Pineda's 4-seam/slider combo might play pretty good in the bullpen and shaving his outings down to 1 or 2 innings, he might end up being a better bullpen upgrade than what's available in trade.

    • Don Walcott likes this

This is why I read your postings, Nick.You are a realist and support your arguments with facts rather than just opinions!As you noted, the window is wide open, Twins' fans are giddy and yet there is cause for concern, especially if we take the leap of faith that this is a playoff-bound team.No, this is not a slam dunk, but the not-so-surprising "collapse" by Cleveland(I for one wouldn't be surprised to see the Sox replace the Indians as the Twins principal competitor the rest of the season) and an 8 game lead certainly gives even the most ardent naysayers plenty of room for optimism.

 

Based on results to date, we would certainly expect the FO to cast at least one eye towards the playoffs.With this thought in mind(hopefully), and with a paucity of reliable backend relievers(two at most as of now), is it too much to ask for the FO to recognize this need if they are to surpass the Ryan-led playoff teams in playoff success?Two late-inning shutdown relievers are a must if we are to have any success going deep into October.Kimbrel is a given, yet I personally don't think Falvine will outbid what is sure to be a list of suitors after the draft.Hope I'm wrong, but this still remains in my eyes a risk-averse group.Yes, they have done well this past offseason on the offensive side, and the rotation is certainly better than expected, but they have been derelict in their duties for counting on a bunch of castoffs and AAAA players to fill a bullpen.The window is wide open, the organizational depth gives them sufficient tradable assets and if they refuse to bid high on Kimbrel, they must get creative in the trading market.There is no dearth of good relievers on teams that have no chance of competing this year.Yes, it might be more difficult in May/June than nearer the deadline, but now is when they should be agressive in going after two difference makers to solidify a still questionnable pen.

 

And looking ahead to October, does anyone truly feel comfortable with Berrios as our Game 1 starter?I sure don't; in fact, right now Odorizzi is steadier, but is he going to maintain this pace in the playoffs?He could, but I'd hate to count on that happening.The FO shouldn't either, which is why landing a playoff-experienced pitcher should be second on their wish list.Not necessarily now, but as we approach 7/31, some studs will likely be available, e.g., Baumgartner, maybe Greinke, or even Thor(unlikely).  

 

Summing up, Falvine should not be complacent here if their goal is the World Series. This is not an unreasonable goal given what we've seen, but there are some obvious holes to fill if those expectations are to be met.Let us hope the FO is as realistic as Nick and is at this moment burning up the trade wires.Chances like this occur very infrequently.Good managment should do everything possible to capitalize.

    • Nick Nelson, Riverbrian, KidBro and 1 other like this
Photo
LA VIkes Fan
May 24 2019 09:17 AM

We're all saying the same thing - the risk issue with this Twins team is the lack of pitching depth. Who's the 6th, 7th and 8th starters? Stewart, Smeltzer and Mejia? A little scary. Who are the 8th, 9th and 10threlievers? Ahhh, Stashak, um ,well there's..., no not him, hmmmm, not him either...Add the fact that what we really need is a 3rd and 4th reliever, that's REALLY scary. 

 

Who can/should we get? Look to San Francisco. They stink, need younger position players, and have some decent bullpen arms. Offer Cave, Raley, Rooker, Gordon, Wade, Littel, etc. - some combination of minor leaguers ready for MLB action and development that doesn't include Lewis, Kiriloff, Arreaz, Graterol, Alcala or Smeltzer. Target Will Smith, Trevor Gott, or Sam Dyson.Hell, even the aged Mark Meloncon or Tony Watson could help. I'd even think about a decent prospect for Nick Vincent. The fantasy is one of these guys plus Baumgarner but I don't see that happening - MadBum wants a big long term contract, is in his last year on the one he has, and is beginning to decline. He would just be the least attractive kind of a rental - a guy you have no chance of keeping that will have a big prospect cost. 

 

Who else is there? Anyone good in the Miami, Baltimore, Cincinnati or Washington bullpen? Those teams are already all but out of it and need to start a rebuild or add to one in progress and might be interested in our now surplus positions players. Kimbrel? Love the fantasy but he wants length - 5 years or more. He's waited this long to get past the compensatory pick deadline and he isn't going to settle for a 2 or 3 year deal now.Too much long term risk for a guy that Boston didn't want. 

 

I'll end on a question or two. What would you have called today's Cave, Gordon, Wade, Romero and Littel on the Twins 5 year ago roster? Starters playing every day or in the rotation. What do you call them on this team? MiLB depth we can trade without regret for talent that helps now. Isn't that fun to contemplate?

    • DocBauer, caninatl04 and rdehring like this

Perhaps the most beautiful words you have ever written, Nick:"The future is now."

 

But like everyone, I am hopeful the bullpen will be stronger come July than it is today.  

 

A strength of this team seems to be its chemistry.Expect the FO will have to be very careful when adding a reliever, whether via trade or Kimbrel, by asking how they fit?  

 

I am hopeful, however, that part of the solution is already in the organization.Could it be someone already in the pen who takes that next step to dominance, perhaps May or Duffey?Or someone from the minors that comes up and provides that spark.On that front two possibilities are Romero and Graterol, should he be moved to the pen.Could that have been part of the reason for his appearance at Target Field yesterday?Then there is Hildenberger, who has been very good over the past couple years.  

    • ashbury and Aerodeliria like this

Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , 16 Sep 2019
Photo


by Nate Palmer , 16 Sep 2019
Photo


by Nate Palmer , 14 Sep 2019
Photo


by Nash Walker , 14 Sep 2019
Photo


by Patrick Wozniak , 13 Sep 2019
Photo