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Article: Twins Being Forced into Good Decisions

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It’s the middle of July and the Minnesota Twins own a healthy six game lead atop the AL Central Division. Rocco Baldelli’s club is fresh...
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KC 6, MIN 1: Bad Inning Spoils Awesome Uniforms

On a day in which both teams paid homage to the Negro Leagues by wearing throwback Negro League uniforms, one bad inning sunk Michael Pineda and the Minnesota Twins. They lost in Kansas City, splitting the four-game series, primarily due to a five-run third inning for the Royals.
Image courtesy of © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Starter: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 69.6% strikes (64 of 92 pitches)
Bullpen: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Home Runs: Eddie Rosario (20)
Multi-Hit Games: Luis Arraez (4-for-4, 2B), Max Kepler (2-for-5, 2B), Jorge Polanco (2-for-5)

WPA of +0.1: None
WPA of -0.1: Pineda -.231
Attached Image: Win623.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Crooked Number Cooks Pineda
Michael Pineda has pitched well over his last seven starts, dating back to May 11. Over that time he has gone 2-0 3.67 ERA 0.91 WHIP. Of those previous seven starts, five were quality starts. Overall, very solid production from the back end of your rotation.

Pineda did not necessarily pitch badly but he had one bad inning that hurt him. That rough inning came in the third, in which he gave up five earned runs, including one three-run home run to Hunter Dozier.

Prior to giving up the home run, Pineda surrendered three singles to the Royals Nos. 9, 1 and 2 hitters and then a double to Alex Gordon. After allowing the home run, Big Mike settled in and threw two more scoreless innings, keeping the team in the game.

Stay Hot, Luis Arraez
This kid continues to flat-out hit. His bat-to-ball skills and knowledge of the strike zone are fun to watch. Luis added four more hits today and improved his season slash line to .436/.521/.590, relatively small sample size but impressive nonetheless.

Rosario Goes Deep but Offense Falls Short
Eddie Rosario registered his 20th bomba of the season when he launched a solo home run to right field in the fourth inning.



Minnesota did not have many scoring chances throughout the game but they wasted a good once in the seventh innings when Rosario was unable to deliver with the bases loaded and two outs.

Postgame With Baldelli


Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Pen623.png


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63 Comments

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LA VIkes Fan
Jun 23 2019 03:45 PM
Is there a roster spot for Arraez is when everybody comes back? Sure seems like we should keep this guy up in the Bigs. I would hate to see him get optioned or even worse, get traded. Looks like a guy we need to keep as insurance if Schoop doesn’t resign and possibly as a player in his own right.
    • jimbo92107, Danchat, mikelink45 and 4 others like this

Cleveland picks up three games in the standing.

 

Before the break Indians have 6 games with Royals, 3 with Orioles and 2 with Reds. Twins have 3 each with White Sox (playing better), Rangers, A's and Tampa Bay. 

 

Suddenly an 8-game leda doesn't look like roses!

 

Who will sell quality needs to the Twins?

    • brvama, Tomj14 and Carlos Figueroa like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 23 2019 04:21 PM

Is there a roster spot for Arraez is when everybody comes back? Sure seems like we should keep this guy up in the Bigs. I would hate to see him get optioned or even worse, get traded. Looks like a guy we need to keep as insurance if Schoop doesn’t resign and possibly as a player in his own right.

He’ll likely be sent back down and that’s fine, really.

Having a great ~50 intro PAs is great but it’s not enough to displace a starter yet. Arraez is under control for a long time and while I don’t want to see him traded, I’m not ready to move other roster spots to make space for him quite yet. I may feel differently if he had more positional flexibility.
    • brvama, DocBauer, Tomj14 and 1 other like this

I would much rather have Arraez on the 25 man roster than Astudillo. Astudillo may be versatile, but his fielding is sub par at all positions. 

    • Cap'n Piranha, mikelink45, adorduan and 4 others like this
The Indians are just going to keep getting better. They’ll get Kluber and Clevinger back. Lindor will keep getting better as he returns from injury. Things can only get better for Ramirez. They’re getting a number of quality prospects up from the minors.

We’re not going to run away with this thing. I’d make the bet that the Indians will cut this lead to less than 5 games by the end of July. The way things are going right now, it’ll be by the end of June....and it’s far from a guarantee that the Central will get a wildcard spot.

If this front office doesn’t get proactive now (aka, make some moves in the next couple of weeks), it’s going to be too late. This pitching staff, with the exception of Berrios, is awful and it’s going the wrong direction. If this team misses the playoffs, it’s one of the most epic collapses in the history of baseball. People should be fired if it happens.
    • mikelink45, Carlos Figueroa, D.C Twins and 1 other like this
Suddenly, every opposing starting pitcher is Cy Young. Guess, a slump was inevitable. Arreaz really is valuable, a keeper.
    • bluechipper, mikelink45, DocBauer and 4 others like this

I would much rather have Arraez on the 25 man roster than Astudillo. Astudillo may be versatile, but his fielding is sub par at all positions.

Agree. Astudillo has gotten so overrated by many twins fans. His slugging percentage is abysmal. He’s not particularly hard to get out in a jam (just make him chase). We’ve already seen him drop fly balls in the outfield in key situations.

I’ll take Arraez 10 time out of 10. He’s the better player. It looks sustainable. It clearly never was with Astudillos hot start.
    • h2oface, Tomj14 and jz7233 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 23 2019 04:38 PM

 

Is there a roster spot for Arraez is when everybody comes back? Sure seems like we should keep this guy up in the Bigs. I would hate to see him get optioned or even worse, get traded. Looks like a guy we need to keep as insurance if Schoop doesn’t resign and possibly as a player in his own right.

 

My gut feel is that Sano (if things don't change) is the one going down when Marwin comes back.

    • mikelink45, Vanimal46, Original Whizzinator and 1 other like this
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Nine of twelve
Jun 23 2019 04:47 PM

 

He’ll likely be sent back down and that’s fine, really.

Having a great ~50 intro PAs is great but it’s not enough...

In 2013 I thought our catcher of the future was Josmil Pinto.

    • DocBauer, David HK, Shaitan and 2 others like this
Who knows what the future holds for Arraez. But at this point you gotta keep putting him in the lineup.
    • h2oface, DocBauer, D.C Twins and 1 other like this

For some reason KC is a tough match up for the Twins. It seems odd because the Twins are 23 games ahead of them in the standings, but all 9 games with them have been tough. The Twins have won 6 of the 9, however, KC has actually outscored them 42 to 40. I think the most telling stat is the errors, 12 errors for the Twins and only 3 for the Royals. 

 

I think this may have something to do with the difference in style between the two teams. The Twins emphasize power and extra base hits on offense, while on defense they are willing to live with weaker defenders on the infield while the Royals emphasize putting the ball in play, stealing bases, and pressuring the defense to make plays. I think over the long haul the Twins strategy is better, but I think the Royals can give teams with weaker defenders a lot of problems. Also the fact that Buxton only really played one full game out of the 9 can't be ignored. 

    • DocBauer, David HK and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Is there a roster spot for Arraez is when everybody comes back? Sure seems like we should keep this guy up in the Bigs. I would hate to see him get optioned or even worse, get traded. Looks like a guy we need to keep as insurance if Schoop doesn’t resign and possibly as a player in his own right.

I have no interest in seeing Schoop next season, Arraez certainly can take his spot. Astudillo can take Castro's spot next season. Astudillo should stay as a catcher.

    • jimbo92107, mikelink45, adorduan and 3 others like this

 

I would much rather have Arraez on the 25 man roster than Astudillo. Astudillo may be versatile, but his fielding is sub par at all positions. 

Arraez is a passable 2B but is considered to be subpar at all other positions as well - Astudillo can catch and hit a lot of singles, which is something most backup catchers can't do. But thankfully Astudillo has options and we can afford to move him up and down.

 

With the lineup cold right now, Baldelli needs to pencil Arraez into the lineup at an almost-everyday basis in my humble opinion. I wish he could play 3B better 'cause I'd certainly replace Sano with him for the time being.

    • NapoleonComplex, mikelink45, Aerodeliria and 1 other like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 23 2019 05:43 PM

Arraez is the kind of player the Twins need in their lineup--not hitting at the bottom but at the top. From top to bottom, we have a lot of players who can hit one out, but few players who are thinking about getting on base by taking walks or just slapping one through the infield. Arraez is like that, and (IMHO) that is what makes him so valuable. Sure it's a small sample, but we can afford to keep him in the lineup at the moment, so why don't we?

    • stringer bell, LA VIkes Fan, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
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terrydactyls1947
Jun 23 2019 05:44 PM

Today is Sunday, June 23 and it was the 77th game of the year.The Twins are now 48%of the way through the season.Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 22nd on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 309 home runs this season.

    • USAFChief, DiscGolfer, IndianaTwin and 1 other like this

 

He’ll likely be sent back down and that’s fine, really.

Having a great ~50 intro PAs is great but it’s not enough to displace a starter yet. Arraez is under control for a long time and while I don’t want to see him traded, I’m not ready to move other roster spots to make space for him quite yet. I may feel differently if he had more positional flexibility.

I am.He is just what we need - with he and Polanco getting on base the others can get the RBIs.I love the way he plays. 

    • Aerodeliria and jz7233 like this

 

Agree. Astudillo has gotten so overrated by many twins fans. His slugging percentage is abysmal. He’s not particularly hard to get out in a jam (just make him chase). We’ve already seen him drop fly balls in the outfield in key situations.

I’ll take Arraez 10 time out of 10. He’s the better player. It looks sustainable. It clearly never was with Astudillos hot start.

I am ready to keep Arraez, but I am not about to jump on the Astudillo is not an asset band wagon.I love both of them.

    • pbrezeasap, Dantes929, NapoleonComplex and 3 others like this

 

For some reason KC is a tough match up for the Twins. It seems odd because the Twins are 23 games ahead of them in the standings, but all 9 games with them have been tough. The Twins have won 6 of the 9, however, KC has actually outscored them 42 to 40. I think the most telling stat is the errors, 12 errors for the Twins and only 3 for the Royals. 

 

I think this may have something to do with the difference in style between the two teams. The Twins emphasize power and extra base hits on offense, while on defense they are willing to live with weaker defenders on the infield while the Royals emphasize putting the ball in play, stealing bases, and pressuring the defense to make plays. I think over the long haul the Twins strategy is better, but I think the Royals can give teams with weaker defenders a lot of problems. Also the fact that Buxton only really played one full game out of the 9 can't be ignored. 

I love the KC style.They lack pitching, but their hit and run style is fun and upsets teams that stand and swing. 

    • David HK, Aerodeliria and jz7233 like this

I am always mystified by the statements that a pitcher did really well except for one inning.That was a five run inning.Seldom do teams have many multi-run innings.That one inning was huge.Pineda has a 0.1 WAR and a 4.76 ERA.He is only replacement level.Which is alright at five, but the Twins need more. 

    • Dman, adorduan, puckstopper1 and 4 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 23 2019 06:09 PM

I have a question to those who have been a little closer to the professional game, and even though this is admittedly off-topic, I'll ask it here.

 

Coaches and managers often talk about pitchers having the same amount of rest in between their starts, but then, when there is an off-day or a rainout (or both), the number of off-days increases, meaning the pitcher will not be pitching on his scheduled day. This leads me to three queries:

 

1) If a pitcher has additional off-days in between starts, does that help the pitcher perform better or not? (I mean coaches and managers are always talking about making sure their pitching staff is well-rested, but is there such a thing as 'too much rest or over-rested (vs. overworked)?')

 

2) I know that some managers have tried using a six-man rotation, and I was wondering how that worked out or if it is always just considered a temporary measure...

 

3) If it is indeed helpful to have additional rest, I am wondering what the downside is to trying to employ a six-man rotation (besides the obvious inability to find six decent starters).

 

I'm sure someone here on the list has all of the answers, so please explicate. Thanks!!

    • Doctor Wu likes this

Luis Arraez looks like a young star to me. Reminds me of the feeling I got when I first saw Jorge Polanco. Guy just seems to have baseball in his blood. Same is true with Astudillo. I try to keep Torts and Arraez both. Might have to say bye to Adrianza's great fielding. 

 

If the Twins do send down Arraez, I hope they work his butt off at all the infield positions. At some point his glove will be good enough so that his bat wins the argument. Pretty much that's what Polanco did. 

    • Aerodeliria and jz7233 like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 23 2019 06:21 PM

 

I am.He is just what we need - with he and Polanco getting on base the others can get the RBIs.I love the way he plays. 

He looks good... but it's 50 PAs. Again, if Arraez had more positional flexibility, I'd keep him around but he plays second base, which is a dead-end position. You can put him at third or short but you'll regret the decision if it happens too frequently.

 

Between Astudillo and Arraez, I keep the catcher because catchers are super-useful, especially one that can man several other positions (albeit kinda badly). It gives a lot of flexibility to make moves in-game.

    • pbrezeasap, jimbo92107, NapoleonComplex and 1 other like this

 

He looks good... but it's 50 PAs. Again, if Arraez had more positional flexibility, I'd keep him around but he plays second base, which is a dead-end position. You can put him at third or short but you'll regret the decision if it happens too frequently.

 

Between Astudillo and Arraez, I keep the catcher because catchers are super-useful, especially one that can man several other positions (albeit kinda badly). It gives a lot of flexibility to make moves in-game.

Agreed for the moment, but things could change if Arraez gets better technique with his feet and glove. Tortuga's glove fails a bit too often to rely on him as your super-sub, and that includes at catcher, where I have seen him muff a few too many pitches in the dirt. 

 

A lot has been said about A-Stud's uncanny contact rate, but now we have seen the down side - repeated two-hoppers to SS, or easy fly balls to the outfield. Meanwhile, Arraez's bat seems to produce more genuine hits, and the guy is willing to take a walk, unlike El Cherubo. Which one will be the better hitter a year from now? Arraez. His plate discipline and his ability to aim the ball in holes will win the day. Astudillo will continue to entice with his streaky bat, but once Ben Rortvedt arrives, he and Garver will get the lion's share of catching duties. Unless A-Stud learns to aim his hits better, he'll remain strictly a bench option unless a catcher gets hurt. 

    • jz7233 likes this

 

I love the KC style.They lack pitching, but their hit and run style is fun and upsets teams that stand and swing. 

I don't know if I prefer watching one style over the other, but I do enjoy watching two teams with different styles of play squaring off. With analytics taking over the game a lot of teams are taking similar offensive approaches and it can be boring watching everyone strike out, walk, or hit a home run. I can appreciate the fact that KC has given the middle finger to the analytic approach to hitting and instead is committed to playing small ball. It hasn't worked out too well for them and in the era of the juiced ball I'm not sure what the ceiling is for that style of play, but sometimes if you zig when everyone else zags who knows?

    • David HK likes this

 

I don't know if I prefer watching one style over the other, but I do enjoy watching two teams with different styles of play squaring off. With analytics taking over the game a lot of teams are taking similar offensive approaches and it can be boring watching everyone strike out, walk, or hit a home run. I can appreciate the fact that KC has given the middle finger to the analytic approach to hitting and instead is committed to playing small ball. It hasn't worked out too well for them and in the era of the juiced ball I'm not sure what the ceiling is for that style of play, but sometimes if you zig when everyone else zags who knows?

Well, they just played the AL % leaders to a standoff this weekend (outscoring us, too), and could have had a sweep with a little better BP work.  

 

It was an enjoyable series from a baseball-watching perspective. But a worrying series from a Twins-Central-title one.

    • Dman and jz7233 like this

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