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Article: Twins Owe it to Themselves to Look at Existing T...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:19 PM
It’s been a much more enjoyable homestand for the Twins heading into the All-Star break. A 9-2 record against the inept Royals and Oriole...
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Bryce Harper and Manny Machado

Other Baseball Today, 01:19 PM
Harper is on pace for 1 bWAR this year. (WAR doesn't like his defense). Going into the season, he and Machado were going to be the darlin...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (7/18): Larnach Debuts...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:12 PM
The Minnesota Twins are still on their All Star Break, but the entire farm system was in action today. 1st round 2018 MLB draft pick Trev...
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Article: With Machado Gone, Eduardo Escobar Becomes The B...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:06 PM
The 2018 MLB trade deadline was always going to revolve around one player, and that was Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Among...
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Cleveland Gets Hand as Arm to Boost Bullpen

Other Baseball Today, 01:11 PM
Had to have a little fun with the headline on this one   Cleveland is acquiring Brad Hand from San Diego, per The Athletic. Here's...
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MIN 6, BAL 2: Jake Cave Is the Hero We Deserve

It was clear from the very first pitch of this ballgame that it was going to be the Twins’ night. Tim Beckham sent a shot to center but Jake Cave robbed him of a homer. The Twins tallied three runs in the bottom of the first and Lance Lynn settled in to lead the Twins to a relatively stress-free win.
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Lance Lynn: 60 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 2 BB, 59.0% strikes
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 K, 0 BB
Lineup: 3-for-7 w/RISP, 5 LOB
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Lynn .209, Dozier .135
WPA of -0.1 or lower: None
Attached Image: WinEx76.png
Jake Cave is the hero we deserve.

What a catch! It’s great to see the Twins giving Cave an opportunity for regular playing time. Hopefully we see the club continue to provide players like him a platform to put their skills on display. Players like, I dunno, Mitch Garver. He was 2-for-2 with a walk, called a good game and looked good behind the plate.

The Twins had two runs on the board before they even recorded an out. Joe Mauer, Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier opened things up with consecutive singles and Jorge Polanco added an RBI single of his own later in the inning.

Lynn got a home run-saving catch, and three runs from his offense in the first frame. That’s a pitcher’s dream, right? Lynn delivered six innings of one-run ball. He gave up six hits and walked a pair of batters while striking out three.

The Twins actually led this one 6-0 after four innings. Max Kepler hammered a two-run homer and Mauer tallied an RBI single in the fourth.

Playing the Orioles, who are now 24-63 on the season (a pace for 117 losses), so any Twins positivity from these last two games has to come with a grain of salt. OK, maybe an entire block of salt. Still, this lineup looks a lot more capable with Jorge Polanco back, Jake Cave rolling and Mitch Garver being not Bobby Wilson.

Poor opponent or not, it’s just been really nice to see the Twins do some things well the past couple contests. Even the one moment there was a bit of tension, when the O’s had two men on and one out with Manny Machado at the plate in the seventh, Eddie Rosario gunned down Beckham trying to score from second on a single.

If you happen to see Tim Beckham around, give that dude a hug. He needs one.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen76.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 49-27
MIN 37-48 (-11.5)
DET 39-51 (-12)
CHW 30-57 (-19.5)
KC 25-61 (-24)

Next Three Games
Sat vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Kevin Gausman
Sun vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Alex Cobb
Mon vs. KC, 7:10 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
MIN 5, BAL 2: Slegers, Cave Lift Twins Out of Slump
MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a Stone
MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts Galore

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30 Comments

 

Will there soon be a Cave vs Kepler discussion? Both are 25, athletic, can play corner and some center and seem to hit similarly.

Don't you mean Cave - Buxton?Buxton is the one Bombing.Kepler is still on the edge.But, yes, Cave could cover for either.

    • jkcarew likes this
Photo
yarnivek1972
Jul 07 2018 01:11 PM
Lot of posts here suggesting that Mauer in 2019 is a foregone conclusion. I think it is far more likely that he retires. He’s well aware that he isn’t an everyday player anymore. In this era of 13 man pitching staffs, you can’t roster a guy at a power position that you know will be unavailable for at least 1/4 of the games.
    • jkcarew likes this

Lot of posts here suggesting that Mauer in 2019 is a foregone conclusion. I think it is far more likely that he retires. He’s well aware that he isn’t an everyday player anymore. In this era of 13 man pitching staffs, you can’t roster a guy at a power position that you know will be unavailable for at least 1/4 of the games.


Not to mention OPS in the neighborhood of 700 for the other 3/4 of games.
Now, if he could catch....never mind.

Cave K's a lot more than Kepler. Kepler should have the productivity advantage, if he can ever manage a league average BABIP.


But why would we expect Kepler to turn into a league average BABIP guy? For some profiles (e.g. Dozier) it never normalizes to average, and Kepler shows every sign of being one of those guys. Never been even in shouting distance of league average...an easy target for aggressive shifts, rarely hits a ball hard to the left of center, etc. I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to think Cave couldn’t be in the same neighborhood OBP-wise as Kepler, with the difference being who consistently shows more SLG.
Photo
jorgenswest
Jul 08 2018 06:02 AM

Cave K's a lot more than Kepler. Kepler should have the productivity advantage, if he can ever manage a league average BABIP.


Yes. In addition, he doesn’t need a league average BABIP with his peripherals. He just needs to get back towards his norm which is much better than .239. He would have an OPS around .800 when he gets back to his norm.

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