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Article: MIN 8, CHW 1: Gibby Sizzles Over 7 Solid Innings

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:44 PM
All this team does is win. Kyle Gibson was spectacular, completing seven innings for the second time this season, and the lineup stayed h...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:39 PM
I had fun with the "Ex-Twins in the Box Scores" post last year. I know, it's too early for any games at this point in the year, but I hav...
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Article: Twins Top Pitcher Prospect Brusdar Graterol At T...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 04:44 PM
Note the question mark in that headline (for now) but Brusdar Graterol, the Minnesota Twins' top pitching prospect, posted several pictur...
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Souhan: Mauer is Twins 2019 Most Valuable Pensioner

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:26 PM
http://www.startribu...team/510360372/     Surprised to see this wasn't posted here yet.   I have to agree. Letting Mauer...
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Game Thread: Twins vs White Sox 5/25/19 1:10 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:20 PM
No Altarations If You Please       Okay, I’m going to throw myself at the foot of the High Altar of Analytics and b...
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HOU 7, MIN 1: Foregone Conclusion

Kohl Stewart vs. Justin Verlander. C’mon, what did you realistically expect?

The Twins dropped the rubber game of their three-game series at Houston, but it was a postponement during their series at Baltimore that set in motion the events that led to Stewart being needed for a cameo. Not that the Verlander-led Astros are ever easy to beat, but tonight was a complete mismatch.
Image courtesy of © Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Stewart: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 57.1% strikes (60 of 105 pitches)
Home Runs: Polanco (5)
Multi-Hit Games: None
WPA of +0.1: None
WPA of -0.1: Stewart -.267
Attached Image: Win424.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

The Astros are really good. They can make even good pitchers look pretty bad. But when you leave as many pitches over the meat of the plate as Stewart did tonight, well, you’re just making it way too easy for them. Here’s the location on all of Houston’s hits off Stewart:
Attached Image: Stewart.png
Again, facing the Astros is a very tough assignment, but Stewart also had a difficult time throwing strikes. He walked three batters, threw a pair of wild pitches and his strike percentage was just 57.1. While falling behind got him into some other trouble, it is ironic that both the homers Stewart surrendered (a solo shot to Carlos Correa and a two-run homer to Michael Brantley) were on the first pitch of an at bat.

On the positive side, at least Stewart managed to pitch sixth innings and the Twins won’t need to rely on him again in the foreseeable future. Stewart was optioned back to Rochester at the end of this game. No offense intended, there still seems to be some untapped potential in Stewart, but he wasn’t even pitching very well down in the minors. It would be nice to see him get on a roll down in Triple A prior to his next opportunity with the Twins.

Speaking of guys who hadn’t exactly been lighting it up in Triple A, Fernando Romero came in to pitch the final two innings of this game. He pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, but gave up a two-run homer to Josh Reddick in the eighth. Romero struck out a pair of batters and threw four pitches in excess of 98 mph, so there certainly seems to be something there.

Again, considering the Twins pinned Stewart against Verlander, it shouldn’t really be any surprise they lost this game. I’m not saying they should have moved anyone else up to start this game, it just is what it is. Verlander was his usual excellent self, holding the Twins to one run on four hits over eight innings while striking out eight.

Rocco Baldelli decided to give a couple of his regulars the day off against a tough right-hander, though Verlander has never had big platoon splits. Both Byron Buxton and Jonathan Schoop came into tonight with a six-game hitting streak, yet both were on the bench even with an offday on the schedule tomorrow. Willians Astudillo made his first MLB start in the outfield, filling in out in right field while Max Kepler swung over to center.

I thought it was interesting that was the call as opposed to putting Willians at third base and having Marwin Gonzalez play right. Now that Jake Cave has been sent down, the Twins are really going to need to lean on their versatility. Marwin has played all but four innings at third base this season and has yet to appear in the outfield.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen424.png
Next Three Games
Thu OFF
Fri vs. BAL, 7:10 pm CT (Perez-Cobb)
Sat vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT (Berrios-Straily)
Sun vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT (Gibson-Bundy)

Last Game
HOU 10, MIN 4: Springer and Bregman and Altuve... Oh My!

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81 Comments

It is like this game was played and managed to not compete from the get go. I hate that. If anybody needed to sit out it was Gonzalez. And a turtle in right field? Not holes, but 3 craters in the lineup with Adrianza, Gonzalez and Castro. Casto not so bad.... OBP and OPS not bad, I guess. I hate games like this. They all matter. 

    • pbrezeasap, Cap'n Piranha, mikelink45 and 3 others like this

Tonight's game felt like a sacrifice before it even started. Adrianza, Castro, etc.

 

To Adrianza's credit, dude got a hit off Verlander.

 

I think at some point the Twins are going to have to start putting Astudillo in at 3B or Catcher at least 5 times per week. That means Gonzalez and Castro lose playing time. They don't deserve it.

 

Here's hoping Sano is just practicing that swing like crazy and eating heart-healthy lettuce wraps every night. He comes back healthy, Gonzalez goes into a true backup role and gets 2-3 starts per week max.

 

Might as well have rested Buxton, since the game was a forfeit anyway. I'm headed back to the Twin Cities next week, think I'll be able to see the Astros in person at Target Field on Monday or Tuesday!

    • pbrezeasap, h2oface, Dman and 1 other like this
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KirbyDome89
Apr 24 2019 10:24 PM

I at least expected this team to compete I guess. They rolled over last night and didn't bother to show up to tonights game. 

 

There has to be a missing persons out on Marwin at this point...

    • mikelink45 and bighat like this

 

It is like this game was played and managed to not compete from the get go. I hate that. If anybody needed to sit out it was Gonzalez. And a turtle in right field? Not holes, but 3 craters in the lineup with Adrianza, Gonzalez and Castro. Casto not so bad.... OBP and OPS not bad, I guess. I hate games like this. They all matter. 

 

I have no problem with Buxton and Verlander getting scheduled days off against the slider of Verlander. None whatsoever. Adrianza got a hit off Verlander. And the bench guys need to play. 

 

Castro came into the game with a .414 On-Base Percentage and an .830ish OPS. That's better than "Not Bad" plus maybe there was hope his work behind the plate could help Stewart. 

 

Stewart had to start because of the rain day. No much can be done about that. To get six innings out of him was very encouraging, especially considering he had no command. I think that's pretty much what they could have asked. 

 

But to think that they didn't try is silly, if not offensive. They could have played Buxton, Schoop, Garver, Mauer, Mays, Mantle and still potentially lost to Verlander. 

    • luckylager, REPETE, howieramone2 and 3 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Apr 24 2019 10:51 PM

I saw the lineup and I thought it is all on the back of Stewart (code phrase for Adrianza with Castro starting--and yes, Adrianza got a meaningless hit off Verlander after striking out twice along with Castro striking out twice). For Stewart to get a win, I knew he would need to pitch one of those games for the ages. Instead, I suppose Rocco started filling out the lineup card for Friday by the third inning.

 

As it seemed to be a throw-away game, as soon as Correa launched his homer, I became disinterested--at least it wasn't a gut punch game. I checked back later and Stewart was still pitching and five runs had already crossed, so I knew his job was just to eat up as many innings as possible.

 

I hope the next time it is Thorpe!!!

    • h2oface, bighat and DannySD like this

 

Tonight's game felt like a sacrifice before it even started. Adrianza, Castro, etc.

 

To Adrianza's credit, dude got a hit off Verlander.

 

I think at some point the Twins are going to have to start putting Astudillo in at 3B or Catcher at least 5 times per week. That means Gonzalez and Castro lose playing time. They don't deserve it.

 

Here's hoping Sano is just practicing that swing like crazy and eating heart-healthy lettuce wraps every night. He comes back healthy, Gonzalez goes into a true backup role and gets 2-3 starts per week max.

 

Might as well have rested Buxton, since the game was a forfeit anyway. I'm headed back to the Twin Cities next week, think I'll be able to see the Astros in person at Target Field on Monday or Tuesday!

 

They didn't pay Gonzalez to play him 2-3 times per week. By season's end, he'll play 135-145 games and post an OPS between .690 and .760, like he has in four of the last five years. Won't make much out of 19 games.

    • howieramone2 likes this

 

I have no problem with Buxton and Verlander getting scheduled days off against the slider of Verlander. None whatsoever. Adrianza got a hit off Verlander. And the bench guys need to play. 

 

Castro came into the game with a .414 On-Base Percentage and an .830ish OPS. That's better than "Not Bad" plus maybe there was hope his work behind the plate could help Stewart. 

 

Stewart had to start because of the rain day. No much can be done about that. To get six innings out of him was very encouraging, especially considering he had no command. I think that's pretty much what they could have asked. 

 

But to think that they didn't try is silly, if not offensive. They could have played Buxton, Schoop, Garver, Mauer, Mays, Mantle and still potentially lost to Verlander. 

 

Hey I get it. I don't have to be as much of a homer though, but I have no problem with that.

 

I didn't say they didn't try. I considered all that you mentioned. All that started and played did the best they could. To compete we just need more that can do better, or play the ones that are doing better at the time. It could have been managed to compete. Whoopee. 6 innings. 6 innings of poor pitching that doesn't give his team a chance to win is encouraging? Not to me. To think I am being offensive, is just silly, if not offensive. I am lamenting.

    • Blake, pbrezeasap, NorthwestTwinsFan and 1 other like this
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NorthwestTwinsFan
Apr 24 2019 11:34 PM

 

They didn't pay Gonzalez to play him 2-3 times per week. By season's end, he'll play 135-145 games and post an OPS between .690 and .760, like he has in four of the last five years. Won't make much out of 19 games.

Why should it matter how much they paid Gonzales? If a player isn't producing, he shouldn't play more than the players who are. And if a .690 OPS is your goal for him this season, he definitely should not be an everyday third baseman.

    • Cap'n Piranha, bluechipper, adorduan and 1 other like this
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NorthwestTwinsFan
Apr 24 2019 11:42 PM

 

Hey I get it. I don't have to be as much of a homer though, but I have no problem with that.

 

I didn't say they didn't try. I considered all that you mentioned. All that started and played did the best they could. To compete we just need more that can do better, or play the ones that are doing better at the time. It could have been managed to compete. Whoopee. 6 innings. 6 innings of poor pitching that doesn't give his team a chance to win is encouraging? Not to me. To think I am being offensive, is just silly, if not offensive. I am lamenting.

Someone being encouraged by 5 runs over 6 innings tells us all we need to know about Kohl Stewart.

    • mikelink45 and MMMordabito like this

I'm beginning to get a bit concerned about the coaching at AAA. Virtually every pitcher at Rochester has been terrible so far, and every one called up has been a disaster for the Twins. A few pitchers at a level struggling is expected, but when it is the whole staff you have to wonder if there is a problem with the pitching coach. 

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Channing1964
Apr 25 2019 02:42 AM
It was a throw away game...they quit before they started. If this is the new era I am not a fan. To say there was nothing they could do is a cop out. Whatever happened to foresight. They announced the roster moves AFTER last nights game. Does that mean they could have done that last Friday and started a AAA guy against Baltimore in one of the double header games. For a management team that never wastes an opportunity to tell us how prepared they are then WHAT HAPPENED? Weak, bush league, and Lame. Why don't we just crown the Astros now? Apparently our leaders dont think we can compete with them.
    • Cap'n Piranha, mikelink45 and LeePinLee like this

 

Someone being encouraged by 5 runs over 6 innings tells us all we need to know about Kohl Stewart.

Does 18 words make up the entirety of a person?6 innings against one of the best offensive teams does not mean the entirety of what a player can be or is.

    • dbminn, howieramone2 and DannySD like this
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Don't Feed the Greed Guy
Apr 25 2019 04:26 AM
4-2 road trip. I don't mind the Stewart statt and makeshift lineup. Live to fight another day.
    • Blake, REPETE, Dman and 4 others like this
Against one of the best pitchers in baseball I would have liked to see them run out their A lineup instead of bench guys including Astudillo at third until Gonzales heats up. I understand Castro behind the plate to give Stewart the best chance but would have preferred Garver’s bat anyway.
I consider the strategy they went with disappointing despite the pitching mismatch the lineup they put forth did not give the team the best chance to win. Guys do need rest days, and bench guys do need to play, but rest your best players against other competition that the best team in baseball sending out there best pitcher. I’m glad that the game was blacked out on MLB TV(stupid blackout policies) where I live, it saved me a frustration filled evening.
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terrydactyls1947
Apr 25 2019 05:01 AM

I watched the last two innings on MLBTV (not blacked out where I live) after watching the conclusion of the Washington/Carolina double overtime 7th game.Yikes.What a contrast.Up and down the ice for 95 playing minutes, only one TV timeout per period in overtime, non-stop action until Carolina finally wins the series and moves on.And then the tedium of watching a blowout baseball game.It was really slow and painful to watch.My thoughts (if anyone cares):an off day for Buxton and Schoop is not an uncommon move, especially against a top-flight right handed pitcher.La Tortuga in right field?Why not?Keep his bat in the lineup.Maybe the inspiration might propel the Twins to victory!It didn't but it's only one game.Lighten up, folks.It's a long season.

    • Dman, adorduan, bighat and 1 other like this
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killertwinfan
Apr 25 2019 05:09 AM

Yep. I was happy we picked up one win.  

    • Dantes929 and howieramone2 like this

I got pretty much what I expected out of this game, it's just that some of the pieces involved were different. I didn't expect them to do much against Verlander even if the best pieces played. And I didn't expect Stewart to fair any better than he did. In fact, he went deeper than I had hoped. It kinda is what it is in my view.

 

Anyone heard who was recalled for Stewart's spot?

 

 

    • howieramone2 likes this
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yarnivek1972
Apr 25 2019 06:39 AM

They didn't pay Gonzalez to play him 2-3 times per week. By season's end, he'll play 135-145 games and post an OPS between .690 and .760, like he has in four of the last five years. Won't make much out of 19 games.


I kinda think they did. The positions he plays all have regulars manning them that probably don’t need more than a couple days per month off and project to hit well enough that one would hope they wouldn’t need to be benched for that purpose. Gonzalez is an insurance policy against injury. It isn’t a coincidence that he was signed after the Twins medical staff got their first looks at Sano’s foot.
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SgtSchmidt11
Apr 25 2019 06:49 AM

 

I have no problem with Buxton and Verlander getting scheduled days off against the slider of Verlander. None whatsoever. Adrianza got a hit off Verlander. And the bench guys need to play. 

I wish Verlander had gotten a scheduled day off yesterday... :)

    • Dantes929 and dbminn like this

Stewart had to start because of the rain day. No much can be done about that.


They could have started a AAA pitcher against Baltimore on Saturday instead.
    • AlwaysinModeration, mikelink45 and Channing1964 like this
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RatherBeGolfing
Apr 25 2019 07:02 AM

Well to be fair, we did need to rest a lot of guys because it's not like we had any off days coming up anyway...

 

*Checks the schedule, sees that the very day after this game is an off day*

    • spycake, Doctor Wu and Channing1964 like this

 

They could have started a AAA pitcher against Baltimore on Saturday instead.

Which makes more sense;

A)start a AAA pitcher against Baltimore, and lose a game against a terrible opponent, then use a good pitcher against Verlander, and lose 3-1, or:

B) Sweep Baltimore, and throw Stewart out there against Verlander?

 

The Orioles may be bad, but Stewart vs O's could've easily ended in the same result as Stewart vs Astros  

    • Dantes929, PDX Twin, howieramone2 and 2 others like this
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PharmerJack
Apr 25 2019 07:32 AM

It's a long season. I have no problem with resting some guys against Verlander and a hot Astros team on a rain-delay-shortened-schedule.

I get that watching them write off the game before it even starts is tough to get behind as a fan but given their options I think it was the right move. We'll see when we start this homestand anyway.

    • Dantes929, howieramone2 and Channing1964 like this

But to think that they didn't try is silly, if not offensive. They could have played Buxton, Schoop, Garver, Mauer, Mays, Mantle and still potentially lost to Verlander.


You know, your second sentence reads a little like a justification for not trying...

I won't go as far as to say they weren't trying, but I do see some questionable priorities if they are really trying their best to win. Beginning with, not starting a AAA pitcher in Baltimore, possibly because they wanted to give Stewart a hometown start... starting the ice cold Marwin all 3 games in his old town... benching the warm Buxton and Schoop the game before an off day for no discernable reason (I hope they were not simply trying to "protect" Buxton against a good pitcher as you implied).

Oh, and working in a start for bench player Adrianza... after he just started consecutive games 2 days ago.
    • Channing1964 likes this

Which makes more sense;
A) start a AAA pitcher against Baltimore, and lose a game against a terrible opponent, then use a good pitcher against Verlander, and lose 3-1, or:
B) Sweep Baltimore, and throw Stewart out there against Verlander?

The Orioles may be bad, but Stewart vs O's could've easily ended in the same result as Stewart vs Astros

Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but Stewart's odds of beating Baltimore were higher than beating Houston, and Gibson's odds of beating Houston were higher than Stewart's too.

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