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Hypothetical rule change: remove DH when pitcher is removed

Other Baseball Today, 02:51 PM
I just read this potential rule change on Twitter and I am intrigued:   https://twitter.com/...4091739136?s=20     For th...
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Fangraphs Top 50 Free Agents

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:23 AM
Here is the link to their Top 50 Free Agent List with player write ups, community estimated contracts and Fangraphs estimated contracts....
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White Sox make changes

Other Baseball Today, 02:51 PM
Both Manager Rick Rentaria and pitching coach Don Cooper were let go.     Was a bit surprised by this, because the White S...
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What can Morton be had for?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:55 PM
https://www.thescore...lb/news/2045846
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What to do with Lewis Thorpe?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:51 PM
Lewis Thorpe is out of options. The Twins either need to keep him on the MLB team as their 5th starter or as a reliever out of the bullpe...
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Kirilloff In, Donaldson Out - Twins Wild Card Series Roster

We have wondered if there would be any surprise additions to the Twins playoff roster. Well, were you expecting to see OF Alex Kirilloffon it? And, who isn’t on the roster, making room for Kirilloff? The answer, unfortunately, is that Josh Donaldson will not be on the Twins roster for this series.

Jake Odorizzi and Willians Astudillo are also on the Twins playoff roster for this series while Rich Hill and Jorge Alcala are not.
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker, USA Today
The Twins won the AL Central Division title on Sunday. In that moment, they knew they had the #3 seed in the American League playoffs and will take on the Houston Astros in the Wild Card round starting on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, the Twins announced their 28-man roster for the Wild Card round. Game time is 1:00 central time today.

Catchers (4): Alex Avila, Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers, Willians Astudillo

The Twins are going with four catchers. That said, Astudillo’s ability to play some third base and pinch hit likely make him viable for this series.

Infielders (5): Miguel Sano, Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Ehire Adrianza, Marwin Gonzalez

Obviously the big news here is that Josh Donaldson is not on the Twins roster for this series. Hopefully his calf heals up and he could be ready for a potential ALDS series.

When trying to predict the roster, we assumed (and maybe just hoped) that Luis Arraez would be on the roster. Fortunately, he was activated from the Injury List on Saturday and played in two games. The fact that he returned with four hits on Saturday should make fans feel very comfortable.

Outfielders/DH (6): Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave, Alex Kirilloff, Nelson Cruz

Clearly the surprise here is seeing Alex Kirilloff on the playoff roster. The Twins top pick in the 2016 draft has been working at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul and had recently been added to the team’s 40-man playoff pool. It is good to see that Byron Buxton is on the Wild Card roster. Buxton was suffering from mild concussions symptoms since being hit by a pitch in in the helmet on Friday night, but he has been cleared to play in this series.

Starting Pitchers (3): Kenta Maeda (Game 1), Jose Berrios (Game 2), Michael Pineda (Game 3)

We have really known the three starters for several days now, and it comes as no surprise. The nice thing to know is that Rich Hill pitched well down the stretch and had to have at least made that Game 3 starter decision interesting.

Long Reliever Options (2): Jake Odorizzi, Randy Dobnak

The Twins (and all teams) simply need to have at least one pitcher who could eat multiple innings and save the bullpen for the next day. Jake Odorizzi returns from the Injured List and is on the roster and can fill that role. Also, Randy Dobnak gets a roster spot for this series. Rich Hill, having pitched on Sunday would not be able to pitch until, maybe, Game 3 on Thursday, so he is not on the roster.

Bullpen (8): Taylor Rogers, Sergio Romo, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Tyler Clippard, Matt Wisler, Caleb Thielbar, Cody Stashak.

I think the surprise omission from this list is Jorge Alcala who has been pitching quite well out of the Twins bullpen. The rest of the bullpen is as expected.

Also of note, Sean Poppen was DFAd to make room for Alex Kirilloff on the 40-man roster.

So there it is, the Twins roster that will attempt to top the Houston Astros over the next few days.

Taxi Squad:
Pitchers; Jorge Alcala, Edwar Colina, Jhoan Duran, Rich Hill, Juan Minaya, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe
Infielders: Travis Blankenhorn, Josh Donaldson,
Outfielders: LaMonte Wade, Jr.

Here is the Game 1 lineup:


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48 Comments

Was hoping for a Tortuga-free postseason. Thanks, Josh.

    • h2oface and KFEY93 like this
Am weirded out by the Astudillo addition instead of blankenhorn or Wade but whatever
    • h2oface, jun, mikelink45 and 3 others like this
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TouchEmAllGuy
Sep 29 2020 09:24 AM

Why Avila?

    • mikelink45, SF Twins Fan and umterp23 like this
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SF Twins Fan
Sep 29 2020 09:28 AM

I don't understand why Avila is on the roster. There is zero reason to carry 4 catchers for a 3 game series even if Tortuga is mainly going to be used at other positions. Both Garver and Jeffers are solid behind the plate and infinitely better than Avila batting. 

 

Alcala deserves to be on the playoff roster. 

    • jun, mikelink45, JoshDungan1 and 3 others like this

 

Am weirded out by the Astudillo addition instead of blankenhorn or Wade but whatever

Sometimes you just need a weak, 2-out sac fly to right to get your offense off of the field. Who better than the Tortuga to softly fly out?

    • ashbury and KFEY93 like this
I’d love to see a scenario where Kirilloff pinch hits for Marwin and they slide Sano over to 3B.
    • mikelink45, JoshDungan1 and Andrew Thares like this
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whosafraidofluigirussolo
Sep 29 2020 09:40 AM

I suppose it's possible that if Donaldson were healthy, neither Astudillo nor Kirilloff would be on this series roster and they might have had a spot for another pitcher? They're sort of replacing Donaldson with both players - Astudillo for the ability to play 3B (mainly as a depth option if Marwin has to start there) and Kirilloff theoretically to replace some pop on the roster.

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SoDakTwinsFan4
Sep 29 2020 09:55 AM
That big off-season free agent signing...not even able to play in the first round of the playoffs. What a disappointment
    • spanman2, mikelink45, Dman and 4 others like this

 

That big off-season free agent signing...not even able to play in the first round of the playoffs. What a disappointment

Yep. Plus he barely played this season and made the bonehead play of the year by getting tossed in the Twins' biggest game of the season. I like the guy's energy and still think the Twins needed this type of player on the team but it hasn't worked out so far.

 

Other MLB teams have to be extremely relieved they didn't sign Donaldson. A great player but his injury issues are indeed a major problem. Initial grade on the signing has to be a D+ at best.

    • mikelink45 and SoDakTwinsFan4 like this

Looks like we should expect some pinch-hitting for catchers? Although we don't have a lot of pinch-hitting options -- Kirilloff obviously, Cave maybe (but probably need to keep him available in case you need him in the outfield, or pinch-running?).

    • blindeke likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 29 2020 10:05 AM
Thanks for the update Seth!

I’m a little worried about Kirilloff actually making an appearance, but Mondesi made his MLB debut for K.C. during the World Series so I like the creative thinking.
    • mikelink45 likes this

What a weird roster. While the off-season moves were mostly excellent IMHO, the in-season stuff has sometimes seemed bizarre.

 

No Rich Hill - really? Didn't we sign him partially for his post season experience? 

Four catchers? Four catchers? FOUR CATCHERS? 

Kiriloff making his MLB debut in the playoffs? That's foolish. Anyone else remember Rivera vs. a rooke Jason Kubel many years back? I don't like it. 

Alcala left off? I'd rather see him on the roster than either Dobnak or Odorizzi at this point. 

 

That said, very glad to see Arraez healthy & a (presumably) recovered Buxton on the roster!

    • notoriousgod71 and Battle ur tail off like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Sep 29 2020 10:11 AM

I like the lineup with Arraez leading off. Not sure I'd hit Buxton 2nd with his strikeout tendencies - I'd go with Polanco - and I might switch Rosario and Kepler around but overall seems like a good mix given that we have to go without Doanldson. I'd go, Arraez, Polanco, Rosario, Cruz, Kepler, Buxton, Sano, Jeffers, Gonzalez. 

Astudillo is clearly there for utility purpose and not necessarily as a catcher. I would be shocked to see him behind the plate at all. But it does make one wonder why they kept Avilla in this scenario.

Surprised but not shocked that both Odorizzi and Dobnak are on the roster. But really disappointed Alcala isn't there in place of someone. Again, maybe in place of Avilla.

I just don't get Kirilloff over Wade this late in the season. If he gets an opportunity I hope he does well and I look forward to seeing him excel as a Twin for years to come. But a rookie debuting for a playoff game? I just don't get it.
    • whosafraidofluigirussolo, mikelink45, Bamboo Bat and 1 other like this

 

pinch-running

No need to save Cave for that ...

 

EssentialRepentantIberianmidwifetoad-max

    • woolywoolhouse, blindeke, DocBauer and 4 others like this

Prediction: Astudillo - Game-winning pinch-hit single off of Pressly. It could happen.

    • woolywoolhouse, Doctor Gast, BeatTheRich and 1 other like this

 

I’m a little worried about Kirilloff actually making an appearance, but Mondesi made his MLB debut for K.C. during the World Series so I like the creative thinking.

Mondesi had potential usage a pinch-runner. Although he ultimately only made one appearance: a strikeout pinch-hitting for the pitcher in an eventual 9-3 loss, after the Royals already took a 2-0 series lead (on their way to a 4-1 series win).

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notoriousgod71
Sep 29 2020 10:31 AM

 

What a weird roster. While the off-season moves were mostly excellent IMHO, the in-season stuff has sometimes seemed bizarre.

 

No Rich Hill - really? Didn't we sign him partially for his post season experience? 

Four catchers? Four catchers? FOUR CATCHERS? 

Kiriloff making his MLB debut in the playoffs? That's foolish. Anyone else remember Rivera vs. a rooke Jason Kubel many years back? I don't like it. 

Alcala left off? I'd rather see him on the roster than either Dobnak or Odorizzi at this point. 

 

That said, very glad to see Arraez healthy & a (presumably) recovered Buxton on the roster!

Kubel vs Rivera is exactly what I thought off when I heard Kiriloff was on the roster.

 

Even though, to be fair, Kubel has a fair number of ABs in September.

    • Bamboo Bat likes this

 

I’d love to see a scenario where Kirilloff pinch hits for Marwin and they slide Sano over to 3B.

I wouldn't mind that if the Twins were up 13-1 in 8th inning. 

JcS

    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this
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twinbythebay
Sep 29 2020 10:40 AM

 

What a weird roster. While the off-season moves were mostly excellent IMHO, the in-season stuff has sometimes seemed bizarre.

 

No Rich Hill - really? Didn't we sign him partially for his post season experience? 

Four catchers? Four catchers? FOUR CATCHERS? 

Kiriloff making his MLB debut in the playoffs? That's foolish. Anyone else remember Rivera vs. a rooke Jason Kubel many years back? I don't like it. 

Alcala left off? I'd rather see him on the roster than either Dobnak or Odorizzi at this point. 

 

That said, very glad to see Arraez healthy & a (presumably) recovered Buxton on the roster!

Hill will most definitely be on the roster in the next round if they advance. What good would he be in this round given that he just started a game on Sunday? Also, just because Kirilloff is on the roster for this series doesn't mean he'll be getting any meaningful at-bats. It's possible he will, but to be honest, 28 players is way more than any team should feasibly need for a three game series anyway.

    • DocBauer likes this

 

Yep. Plus he barely played this season and made the bonehead play of the year by getting tossed in the Twins' biggest game of the season. I like the guy's energy and still think the Twins needed this type of player on the team but it hasn't worked out so far.

 

Other MLB teams have to be extremely relieved they didn't sign Donaldson. A great player but his injury issues are indeed a major problem. Initial grade on the signing has to be a D+ at best.

Harsh. He was the second best hitter on the team, behind Cruz. And the best defensive infielder on the team. Not really fair to ding him for the injuries when so many other guys were injured in this weird season. 

 

I'd grade the Odo signing at least as bad by your criteria. When he pitched, he wasn't good. At least when Donaldson played he was effective. 

    • blindeke, JoshDungan1, Bamboo Bat and 2 others like this

 

Astudillo is clearly there for utility purpose and not necessarily as a catcher. I would be shocked to see him behind the plate at all. But it does make one wonder why they kept Avilla in this scenario.

Surprised but not shocked that both Odorizzi and Dobnak are on the roster. But really disappointed Alcala isn't there in place of someone. Again, maybe in place of Avilla.

I just don't get Kirilloff over Wade this late in the season. If he gets an opportunity I hope he does well and I look forward to seeing him excel as a Twin for years to come. But a rookie debuting for a playoff game? I just don't get it.

I'm guessing, and only guessing, that the thinking is that Jeffers will be pulled for a pinch-hitter, and then later, the replacement catcher will also be pulled (maybe for a pinch runner). With Astudillo being able to play more than one spot (mind you, none with any great skill), I see why he is on the roster for this short series.  

JcS

    • DocBauer likes this

Does Kiriloff's inclusion on the playoff roster impact his service time clock in any significant way beyond what was accrued with his status on the taxi squad over the summer? 

 

I'm all for any longer-term benefit he might gain from an early playoff exposure - but hope a year of team control isn't lost in tradeoff?

Yikes. Thankful that Arraez is back, but we're still dangerously close to the .180 hitting Adrianza getting an AB. Assuming this means Marwin is at 3B.

 

I think a lot of these moves make sense. With Austudillo and Gonzalez on the bench, the team can PH for anyone and shift around positions.

 

I assume they're saving Alcala for the next series and planning for a couple bullpen games between now and WS where they'll utilize roster moves accordingly (though they gotta win first to get there).

 

I can't speak for what these rosters due to chemistry, but I wouldn't roster Avila 'til a longer series, but I doubt any of these moves are of the make-or-break variety.

 

 

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VivaBomboRivera!
Sep 29 2020 10:45 AM

Why Avila?

Ummm, let's see...

 - fine pitch taker and defensive catcher

 - fair bat

 - not a rookie

 

Seems you might want a guy like this around for late- or extra-inning lineup re-shuffles, and naturally in case someone (gods forbid) gets hurt.

    • TFRazor, KFEY93, twinbythebay and 1 other like this