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GAME THREAD 8/9/2020: Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royal...

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Is it time to panic yet?   Of course not! Honestly, after the last three games, I am just as confident in this team being a contende...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:34 AM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:34 AM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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Option C(astellanos)

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 02:33 PM
We missed out on our big money aces. A big impact 3B will either cost age/money (Donaldson) or top prospects and money (Arenado/Bryant)....
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Future Roster Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:41 AM
Jake Odorizzi gets activated today to face the Royals, filling out the 28-man active roster which will include 16 (!) pitchers. The way t...
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Central Intelligence 2.0: Detroit Tigers

In a shortened 60-game season, each AL Central opponent will account for nearly 20% of the Twins' schedule. As such, I thought it'd make sense to take a closer look at each division rival as we count down to Opening Day 2.0.

We kick things off with a breakdown of the Tigers.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT TIGERS AT A GLANCE


2019 Record: 47-114, 5th Place
2019 fWAR Leader (Offense): Niko Goodrum, UTIL - 1.9
2019 fWAR Leader (Pitching): Matthew Boyd, LHP - 3.3

Key Offseason Additions: C.J. Cron (1B), Jonathan Schoop (2B), Ivan Nova (SP), Austin Romine ©
Key Offseason Losses: Blaine Hardy (RP), John Hicks ©, Daniel Stump (RP)

2020 Over/Under: 22.0


TEAM OVERVIEW


It's fair to think of the 2020 Detroit Tigers as the "Twins Rejects." They are led by manager Ron Gardenhire, fired by the Twins in 2014 after four straight 90-loss seasons. (He has now run that streak to six straight in Detroit.) Their most valuable position player last year, per fWAR, was Niko Goodrum – a middling prospect with the Twins before they let him go in 2017.

He's now joined in the lineup by C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop, crowded out of the picture in Minnesota by better players and now probably the two best hitters in Detroit's lineup. Says a lot, doesn't it?

STRENGTHS


You have to look pretty hard to find them. This is a blatantly bad team that was likely on its way to another 100-loss season. That said, they do figure to be a bit better than last year. Cron and Schoop are clear upgrades, bringing legitimate pop to a lineup that was led by Brandon Dixon's 15 homers a year ago.

Another bright spot for Detroit is that Michael Fulmer, who missed all of last year with Tommy John surgery and was expected to miss the start of 2020, should now be ready to go from the jump. The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year could pair with Matthew Boyd to give Detroit's rotation a decent 1-2 punch.

WEAKNESSES


Even with Boyd and Fulmer healthy, it's a bad pitching staff. They allowed 915 runs last year, more than any AL team sans Baltimore, and their biggest offseason move to address the unit was signing Ivan Nova off the scrap heap. The arms won't get much help from the gloves behind them; Detroit rated as one of the league's worst defensive teams last year, although Schoop and Cron should improve them modestly.

I expect this to be one of the worst-hitting, worst-pitching and worst-fielding teams in baseball. The Twins went 14-5 against the Tigers last year, and playing to the same level against Detroit would yield a 7-3 record in their 10 matchups.

WILD CARD


The Tigers do have a pair of top pitching prospects who could potentially make a difference for their rotation in 2020. Casey Mize was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2018, and has since developed into one of the game's premier young pitchers, ranking as MLB.com's No. 7 prospect coming into the season. He's 23 and had a successful run at Double-A last season, so it's not unthinkable he could be up sometime in August to ruffle feathers.

Keep an eye out also for Matt Manning, a 6-foot-6 righty who is neck-and-neck with Mize for top prospect status in the system. He spent all of last year in Double-A. If these two get called up and catch on quick they can give the powerful Twins lineup some problems.

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11 Comments

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Channing1964
Jul 15 2020 11:53 PM
maybe Cameron Maybin is a significant upgrade out in the outfield but....meh....

I think their trio of rookie pitchers might make your take look bad.No they will not pass the Twins or compete for a 500 season, but in 60 games if they steal and extra 2 -3 wins from us that hurts.  

 

Good for Niko - he may have been a middling prospect, but he has taken advantage of his opportunity and as for Gardy - I like him.Who wouldn't have all those 90 loss seasons with the teams he has had each of those seasons. 

https://www.petoskey...b33ac685b3.html

    • Melissa likes this

My biggest question regarding the Tigers is how the new rule that you must stay 6' away from the umpire is going to affect Ron Gardenhire's ability to argue? Where would you put the number, Nick, at how many games Gardy will get ejected from this year? Considering the shortened season, I put it at 2.

    • mikelink45 and SkyBlueWaters like this

 

My biggest question regarding the Tigers is how the new rule that you must stay 6' away from the umpire is going to affect Ron Gardenhire's ability to argue? Where would you put the number, Nick, at how many games Gardy will get ejected from this year? Considering the shortened season, I put it at 2.

It depends on how many games Joe West umpires.There is not a single series that I can think of where Joe West umpired that Gardy was not ejected at least 1 time, sometimes more than that.Joe West goes out of his way to eject people.I get he is crew chief but I have seen him waddle across the whole field to do it. 

    • mikelink45, rdehring and SkyBlueWaters like this

In a short season any team can be a thorn for anyone.A single hot streak for hitters in short series or run of hot pitching may swing this whole season for anyone.I would not take any team light.Detroit will be a terrible team still, but they started out hot last year, it is possible they do it again. 

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Doctor Gast
Jul 16 2020 08:23 AM

Likethose Twins rejects especiallyGardy! wish them well when they`re not playing the Twins.

 

It depends on how many games Joe West umpires.There is not a single series that I can think of where Joe West umpired that Gardy was not ejected at least 1 time, sometimes more than that.Joe West goes out of his way to eject people.I get he is crew chief but I have seen him waddle across the whole field to do it. 

So true Trov. Seems I don't often get to laugh of late, thanks!

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SkyBlueWaters
Jul 16 2020 10:37 AM

Good notes about Mize & Manning. 

 

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birdwatcher
Jul 16 2020 10:50 AM

If Gardy had, or has, his way, the Tigers will rush along its group of elite pitching prospects. It would not be at all surprising to see Boyd and Fulmer followed in the rotation by Mize, Manning, and Skubal, all of whom are or might be more highly regarded than, say, Thorpe or Balazovic. They also have Faedo and Burrows close to the majors, and a couple of bullpen arms as well. Although they'll still be pathetic on offense most likely, they could be at least a little better if Daz Cameron and Paredes make the lineup. So I agree with others who think the Tigers might be a tougher opponent than we'd like. That said, I would be disappointed if the Twins lost more than four games to them. 

 

Winning the division is not necessarily going be a cakewalk, given that Detroit represents the easiest division challenge.

    • mikelink45 likes this
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John Kelsey
Jul 16 2020 10:56 AM

Mize, Manning, and Skubal are fun, the Tigers at least have some hope there, unlike the Royals. 

    • birdwatcher and mikelink45 like this
This thread will probably die quickly, but just wanted to state I always thought letting Goodrum go was a mistake. And I'm very happy he found a home and is enjoying a degree of success. And when you look at the Twins, as currently constructed, you'd have to wonder if there would be any room for him at this point. Maybe in 2018, not so sure about 2019 or now. But kinda stinks to see a solid, versatile and fairly productive Twins home grown player doing well for someone else.
    • mikelink45 likes this