Jump to content

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

The Forums

Molitor, does he actually "get it"?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:53 AM
This game was as poorly managed as I have ever seen, guy hasn't improved at all. Baring a playoff berth he better be gone at seasons end.
Full topic ›

Benching Sano two days in a row

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:06 AM
Seriously? Good lord, every time Molitor takes a step forward he takes 3 steps back. Benching your best player back to back games bc of a...
Full topic ›

Game Thread: Twins v Rays, 5/28 @ 1:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:03 PM
My ten years as a stringer – a freelance sportswriter for The Associated Press – spanned two distinct baseball eras. During the first, 19...
Full topic ›

Gimenez vs Garver

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:00 PM
Personally, IMHO, part of the overall success and quality play of our beloved Twins this season has been the addition of Castro and Gimin...
Full topic ›

J.O. 2.0: Will Adjustments Pay Off For Berrios?

After a month of non-stop struggles with the Twins, Kyle Gibson reported to Rochester and finally produced his first quality start of the season on Tuesday. Pounding the strike zone and inducing tons of whiffs and grounders, suddenly everything was going exactly to plan for the veteran right-hander who could hardly have looked more out of sorts through six starts in Minnesota.

It's so much easier in Triple-A. Nobody knows that better than Jose Berrios, who will get another shot at translating his game to the big leagues on Saturday.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today
Berrios has, of course, proven his mastery of the minors beyond any shadow of doubt. That has been more true than ever in the early portion of 2017 as the right-hander has eviscerated International League lineups while registering a 1.13 ERA in six starts.

On paper, he has checked every box. If the directive was "trust your stuff and and attack," then the numbers tell us he has answered it to a tee. Berrios has traded in strikeouts for weak contact. The K-rate is down slightly but so are the walks, and he has been remarkably efficient.

Twice in his six turns he has completed eight innings. He did so while needing fewer than 100 pitches on both occasions. Only once has he failed to get through six. Opponents are batting .169 with a .471 OPS.

It's hard to dominate much more than that, but of course, Berrios has always dominated at Triple-A. His ugly MLB stints last year, between sterling stretches with the Red Wings, made it clear that certain issues afflicting him don't necessarily manifest against minor-league lineups.

Asking a guy to tweak those issues while they're not manifesting is a tall order. Berrios can do his best to follow the specific blueprint that Twins officials have laid out for him, but how could he really negatively assess his progress while routinely shutting down opponents and winning games?

For what it's worth, there are some signs he's making a few adjustments that could help alleviate his troubles at the highest level. In particular, there is this: in his last two starts with Rochester, Berrios allowed only one run on eight hits in 14 2/3 innings. Across the two turns he got 44 called strikes against just 14 swinging.

That's not a guy who is getting outs by nibbling around the edges or inducing chases out of the zone. He's succeeding by throwing it over the plate, early in counts, which is precisely what the Twins want to see him do at the next level.

The only way for the 22-year-old to get over the hump is to be thrown into the fire, and now he will. We saw the benefit of this approach with Byron Buxton, who hung in there through weeks of maddening results at the plate before turning things around. Granted, in his case, showing patience was a little easier given all that he was chipping on on the defensive side. But the Twins have managed to stay around .500 thus far even with Gibson delivering clunkers every fifth day and without any real contribution from a fifth starter. They can live through further growing pains from Berrios.

Hopefully, they won't need to. He had a plan that he executed over four weeks at Triple-A; there's really not much to criticize in his performance if unless you're nitpicking. If he can shake off the nerves and execute that same plan on Saturday afternoon in Cleveland, it'll be a first pitch strike to open his return to the majors.

A year ago at this time the already irrelevant Twins were wrapping up an eight-game losing streak and Berrios was wrapping up the first of multiple disappointing attempts in Minnesota. Now he'll join a team that's looking very competitive, and he's bringing more momentum than ever.

Here's to new beginnings.

  • enge0280, CUtomorrownight and ToddlerHarmon like this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

60 Comments

Photo
ChiTownTwinsFan
May 11 2017 11:07 PM
Finally! Yay!
    • glunn, Blake, Bark's Lounge and 6 others like this
Photo
TheLeviathan
May 11 2017 11:24 PM

Clearly he's advanced a lot since.....ah the hell with it. Glad he's up, it's about time, we don't have to hear any more stupid reasoning for why he's down there, and now we get to see this kid pitch.

 

Let's hope it's the last time he sees AAA for a long, long time.  (If ever)

    • glunn, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 16 others like this
Photo
Bark's Lounge
May 11 2017 11:33 PM

This team has been a pleasant surprise this year so far. Because of reasons we all know, we will need Berrios, and a few of the relievers in the minors to make a positive impact on the big club in order for this to continue through the summer. I hope it does and fingers crossed.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 9 others like this
Photo
HitInAPinch
May 12 2017 02:35 AM

So, Nick, sounds to me that Berrios has made a transition from a thrower to a pitcher. Sound about right?  

 

This is what I've been preaching about Berrios:  The first will get you great numbers against MiLB hitters.  The 2nd will get you MLB success.  Very Greg Maddux-like...

 

Looking forward to his 1st MLB start of the season!

    • gunnarthor and CUtomorrownight like this

I noticed that in his last outing he had no walks. His K rate is down, but his K/BB rate is up.

Looking forward to this game!

    • CUtomorrownight likes this

Woohoo!  Twins win a nail-biter and Berrios books his flight, great way to start the morning. 

    • big dog, tarheeltwinsfan, Vanimal46 and 2 others like this

Psychologically, he's not riding in alone on his horse to lead the Twins out of a disastrous season, like last year.  Instead, he's a new cast member of the "Mediocre Seven," and his job is to replace a guy who was sitting in a rocking chair and got shot in the chest with an arrow and when he did he tipped over backward and his shotgun went off and shot a hole in the roof.  On the roof was a different guy, and that guy fell through the hole in the roof and landed on a fork.

 

Luckily, Erv and Hector are doing a decent job of carrying the film so far, so Berrios can focus on being funny, or his K/BB, or whatever.

 

Ah, geez.  I just remembered we're playing the Indians.  

    • clutterheart, Oldgoat_MN, Joe A. Preusser and 3 others like this

This is great news - now J O - run with it. 

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 06:27 AM

So Berrios' first start will come on May 13th, 41 days after the season opener.

 

It's been a frustrating couple of weeks to get to this point but a little perspective is needed. It's not the middle of July.

    • Seth Stohs, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 8 others like this
Photo
OldFartAtPlay
May 12 2017 06:28 AM

Very good news for us all. Hopefully the lessons of the past month will carry over. And, honestly, I'm willing to give him the chance to struggle a bit more.

 

    • gil4 and CUtomorrownight like this

I think that his biggest issue in the majors last season was overthinking and trying to be perfect instead of doing what he knows what to do and go get them. Interesting to see how this will work this season, with a different set of catchers. Hope that the Castro/Gimenez duo helps him over that.

    • markos, bluechipper, big dog and 1 other like this
Photo
AlwaysinModeration
May 12 2017 06:51 AM
Santana-Berrios-Santiago lined up for the first place battle with Cleveland this weekend. Sano served his suspension, Dozier is back in the lineup. Let's go Twins, win at least a pair this weekend.
    • Thrylos, Jerr, Oldgoat_MN and 8 others like this

Ok... so who's our next #free_____

 

Burdi?

 

#freeBurdi has a nice ring to it.

    • Steve Lein, Mike Sixel, gunnarthor and 9 others like this
Any hint on the corresponding move yet? Tepesch DFA? Haley back to the DL? Wilk through waivers again?
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 07:19 AM

 

Ok... so who's our next #free_____

 

Burdi?

 

#freeBurdi has a nice ring to it.

Given how the rest of the relievers are performing, Burdi has to be at or near the top of the list.

    • nytwinsfan and tarheeltwinsfan like this
Photo
Minnesotahorn
May 12 2017 07:25 AM

Our long national nightmare is over.

    • Oldgoat_MN and tarheeltwinsfan like this

I'm really excited to see how a guy like Castro can help Berrios. Not just with pitch framing but keeping him settled and calm. I wish his first start wasn't against Cleveland, though. That's a pretty good team.

    • birdwatcher, Jerr, markos and 3 others like this
This is great and exciting news to be sure. Just get him to relax...throw...and don't send him down if it takes a few starts to get rolling. If you can give Gibson the starts he got, then you can afford to be equally patient with Berrios.

Now...another few weeks to a month...and Mejia joins in as the #5 starter...ahh...a fan can dream can't he?
    • Oldgoat_MN, Joe A. Preusser and Dave The Dastardly like this
Photo
twinsfanstreif
May 12 2017 07:41 AM

Ok... so who's our next #free_____
 
Burdi?
 
#freeBurdi has a nice ring to it.


I really hope he uses Free Bird as his walk out song
    • USAFChief, Joe A. Preusser, nytwinsfan and 1 other like this

Just want to be clear....

 

You used "JO" because it worked with 2.0, right? Not because we're calling him that now?

 

I had just gotten used to Jose and pronouncing BEAR-e-ose correctly. I can't handle going back to "JO" because I'd probably fall back on "Burr-EE-ose"

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
May 12 2017 07:47 AM

 

Ok... so who's our next #free_____

 

Burdi?

 

#freeBurdi has a nice ring to it.

 

I vote Hildenberger.Given how bad the pen is, I think there's wisdom in an early 40 man add for him and just letting him sit up here all season and learning at the major league level.  

    • Oldgoat_MN and DocBauer like this
Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
May 12 2017 07:47 AM

I'm really excited to see how a guy like Castro can help Berrios. Not just with pitch framing but keeping him settled and calm. I wish his first start wasn't against Cleveland, though. That's a pretty good team.

I agree. Castro has been a real difference-maker behind the plate. He's worth every penny of his $8,000,000 so far this year...even with his low BA. I give him a lot of credit for the Twins' pitchers improved numbers this year.
    • USAFChief, bluechipper, Joe A. Preusser and 2 others like this
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 07:53 AM

 

I agree. Castro has been a real difference-maker behind the plate. He's worth every penny of his $8,000,000 so far this year...even with his low BA. I give him a lot of credit for the Twins' pitchers improved numbers this year.

Given how people talk about Gimenez and how he handles a pitching staff, he should make that list as well.

    • USAFChief, Joe A. Preusser, tarheeltwinsfan and 2 others like this

This is good new indeed. Glad the FO decided he was now ready.

    • HitInAPinch and KirbyDome89 like this

Yay! I hope he's got better command of that 2-seamer. That's going to be the key to how well he does this time.

 

This is how he's done in his six starts (pitches)/(strikes)/(BB)/(K):

 

77 / 48 / 1 / 7

84 / 64 / 0 / 6

97 / 65 / 2 / 5

102 / 65 / 3 / 10

98 / 66 / 2 / 7

96 / 62 / 0 / 4

 

Basically exactly 2/3's of his pitches for strikes, which is encouraging. I have also watched quite a bit of video and he's been getting guys to chase out of the zone a lot on his K's. Hopefully that translates!

 

    • Willihammer likes this

Similar Articles


by Cody Christie , 24 May 2017
Photo


by John Bonnes , 21 May 2017
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 21 May 2017
Photo


by Off The Baggy , 19 May 2017
Photo


by Eric R Pleiss , 18 May 2017
Photo