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Max Kepler: Trade or Keep?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:51 PM
Kepler was a popular trade piece in our hypothetical offers to acquire better talent over the last year or so. People in the industry lik...
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Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Biggest Off-Season Need

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:39 PM
Twins Daily Roundtable is a weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond i...
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Each MLB team's best rookie in 2018

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:24 PM
I see no less than 3 former Twin farmhands listed as top rookies (perhaps there are more) in 2018 - Niko Goodrum, Daniel Palka, and Derec...
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Twins stuff from around the Web (Fangraphs, Twitter, Athl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:15 PM
Per request.....new thread! this seems like a really odd post to start with, which makes sense for a thread about the Twins and Internet....
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Luis Arraez - 2018

Adopt A Prospect 2018 Today, 11:44 AM
Luis Sangel Arraez Born San Felipe, Venezuela 4/9/97 (20) Signed Nov. 5th 2013  2nd Basemen Bat: L Throw: R Ht: 5' 10" W...
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MIN 6, BOS 2: Bats Get to Boston Bullpen

Chris Sale was his usual amazing self, but Jose Berrios kept the Twins in the game and Eduardo Escobar worked his Fogo magic once again. This one was scoreless through five, and Boston actually struck first. Things were tied up at 2-2 before the Twins broke out with a four-run bottom of the eighth inning.
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Starting Pitcher: 59 Game Score, 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 K, 3 BB, 58.1% strikes
Bullpen: 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB
Lineup: 3-for-9 w/RISP, 3 LOB
Top three per WPA: Escobar .491, Berrios .193, LaMarre .112
Attached Image: WinEx619.png
The Red Sox are one of only three teams averaging more than five runs per game (along with the Yankees and Astros). Most of that feasting has been done against right-handed pitching. Not tonight.

This wasn’t the best start of Berrios’ young career, but the way he continued to work out of trouble against a great offense was impressive. He walked the leadoff hitter in two separate innings. He gave up back-to-back singles in the fourth. It didn’t matter. The only run Boston got off Jose was a solo homer by Rafael Devers in the sixth inning.

Escobar is simply unbelievable. Right after the Red Sox took that 1-0 lead, Escobar hit a two-run double (of course) to put the Twins on top. That was Eduardo’s 31st double. Boston managed to tie the game again in the eighth, but Esky was there to set things straight once again.

Ryan LaMarre drew a leadoff walk and Joe Mauer was hit by a pitch. After Eddie Rosario flew out, Escobar hit a single* to center. An error allowed both LaMarre and Mauer to score and Eduardo hustled all the way around to third base. Robbie Grossman followed with an RBI triple to put this game away.

*The official scorer’s ruling has been changed to a double. That seems a little generous to me, but hey it gives Double E 32 two-baggers on the year. That’s a pretty solid season total! While they're at it, maybe the official scorers should also credit Escobar with the victory :)

The biggest two outs of this game may have been the two Trevor Hildenberger was able to record. Berrios was lifted after he hit a batter with one out in the seventh. Hildy came in and walked the first batter he faced, then he got Xander Bogaerts to ground out. The Twins were holding a one-run lead at that point, and with two down and runners at second and third the call was to let Hildenberger pitch to J.D. Martinez. He struck him out.

Zach Duke gave up the game-tying run in the eighth, but he’ll end up being credited with the win thanks to the big comeback. Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.

Postgame With Molitor

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen619.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 39-33
DET 36-28 (-4)
MIN 32-37 (-5.5)
CHW (24-48 (-15)
KC 22-51 (-17.5)

Next Three Games
Wed at BOS, 7:10 pm CT - Lance Lynn vs. David Price
Thu at BOS, 12:10 pm CT - Kyle Gibson vs. Rick Porcello
Fri vs. TEX, 7:10 pm CT - TBD

Last Three Games
CLE 4, MIN 1: Lots of Traffic, Just One Run
MIN 9, CLE 3: That’s Our Eddie
MIN 6, CLE 3: Anything is Possible

On a Personal Note
I’ve done a series of tests on Twitter and have confirmed that I am officially a jinx. I’m not certain what I may have done to upset the Baseball Gods, but it’s crystal clear they do not want me to enjoy my favorite team playing well.

I had some other things keep me from tuning into this game for the first few innings. Then I just decided I wasn’t going to turn this one on until Chris Sale was out of the ballgame because I wasn’t going to like what I saw.

The Twins took the lead shortly thereafter.

I finally put the game on in the top of the eighth. The Red Sox tied it up. After the bottom half of the inning got off to a great start, I decided to perform a little experiment.

The next time I turned the game on, the Twins were up 6-2. The good news is Andrew is going to be handling the game recap tomorrow, so put all your money on the Twins :)

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57 Comments

Wow, doubles just keep coming for Escobar, he was credited for another double instead of single! Good for him! Hard work pays off. Go Escobar!

Addison Reed in the eighth inning experiment as always eight inning guy can end please.
    • jun likes this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 20 2018 12:44 AM

A great win for the Twins....really. The game seemed destined to be a repeat of about a dozen other games where the Twins have coughed up the lead and then lost in the eighth or ninth or extras.

 

BTW, Bradley doubled up Grossman on Adrianza's fly out in the 8th, but wasn't the obstruction play in order on that attempted tag up? Clearly, Leon used his foot to block Grossman's slide. I am just wondering if I understand the rule. I thought it was any attempt to hinder access to the plate and then obstruction would be called.

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yarnivek1972
Jun 20 2018 04:16 AM

A great win for the Twins....really. The game seemed destined to be a repeat of about a dozen other games where the Twins have coughed up the lead and then lost in the eighth or ninth or extras.

BTW, Bradley doubled up Grossman on Adrianza's fly out in the 8th, but wasn't the obstruction play in order on that attempted tag up? Clearly, Leon used his foot to block Grossman's slide. I am just wondering if I understand the rule. I thought it was any attempt to hinder access to the plate and then obstruction would be called.


Not if he has the ball.
    • Steve Lein and wsnydes like this
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yarnivek1972
Jun 20 2018 04:19 AM

Addison Reed in the eighth inning experiment as always eight inning guy can end please.


He hasn’t pitched at all in a week (since June 13) He essentially has been DL’ed.
    • bighat likes this
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theBOMisthebomb
Jun 20 2018 05:18 AM

 
BTW, Bradley doubled up Grossman on Adrianza's fly out in the 8th, but wasn't the obstruction play in order on that attempted tag up? Clearly, Leon used his foot to block Grossman's slide. I am just wondering if I understand the rule. I thought it was any attempt to hinder access to the plate and then obstruction would be called.


You have the rule down right. They looked at it via replay and determined it was not obstruction. Dick & Bert said replay was looking for obstruction and those guys are never wrong.

Escobar continues to simply amaze, he and Rosario are simply carrying this team. Can you imagine if Dozier, Sano, Buxton, and Morrison were even having average seasons next to those two? It would be a much different look in the standings. Unfortunately we just have to hope and wait.

 

Great win, especially nice to see some fire from this team. Hope this gets contagious.

 

Duke could use a 1-2-3 inning for a change. Hildy has the hot arm in the 'pen. Hope he doesn't fall victim to overuse.

    • mikelink45, DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this

 

 

Addison Reed in the eighth inning experiment as always eight inning guy can end please.

 

Duke pitched the 8th and he blew the lead.

    • Shaitan likes this
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Tommygun921
Jun 20 2018 06:32 AM
If Escobar keeps up his play at even 80% of his current play....there's no reason he shouldn't win the MVP. Even if they don't make the playoffs. Pitching has kept us in more games than not and Escobar along with Rosario have kept the offense rolling seemingly by themselves for most of the year. Pretty crazy.
    • mikelink45 and bighat like this

Told my son last night when Berrios came out in the 7th, that he would be pulled as soon as somebody got on base, and you could see on Berrios face he knew he was out when he hit the guy.

IMO, how do these pitchers ever learn to pitch deeper into games if they aren't ever given a chance unless they are perfect?

I will also say the Red Sox did the Twins a favor taking Sale out after 7, with LaMarre, Mauer and Rosario (he looked lost against him last night)up.

 

Tom, for the greater good of Twins Territory, please make the personal sacrifice to the Baseball Gods. Ill buy you a beer (or a few) sometime. Thank you.

 

PS love the recaps, keep up the good work.

 

https://tenor.com/vi...ood-gif-5283257

 

    • Circus Boy likes this

Extend Escobar, now.

 

And I thought Berrios was getting squeezed by the ump in the early innings.Don't recall the inning, but saw three pitches to back-to-back hitters that were almost entirely inside the FSN Box, just touching the line.All were called balls.  

 

About the same time Sale threw several pitches that were nearly entirely outside the box, just touching it, that were called strikes.Late in the game, I didn't see Berrios getting squeezed.

    • adjacent, bluechipper, B Good and 2 others like this
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yarnivek1972
Jun 20 2018 07:12 AM

If Escobar keeps up his play at even 80% of his current play....there's no reason he shouldn't win the MVP. Even if they don't make the playoffs. Pitching has kept us in more games than not and Escobar along with Rosario have kept the offense rolling seemingly by themselves for most of the year. Pretty crazy.


I think the last MVP on a sub .500 team was A-Rod with the Rangers like 10-15 years ago. The voters tend to give the award to guys on contending teams. Speaking of which, the Indians have a pretty good third baseman as well.
    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

Duke pitched the 8th and he blew the lead.

 

I thought the moves around Duke vs. Leon were fascinating. Two outs and a switch hitter coming up. Leon has relatively wide splits (.637 OPS vs. RHP, .713 OPS vs. LHP) but is not a strong hitter. You'd think it would be smart to get Pressley, Reed (warming), or Rodney in there.

But if you do, maybe the Red Sox pinch-hit lefty Brock Holt, a much better hitter. And you have left-handed hitting Jackie Bradley up next so if Leon/Holt gets on you’ve either got to have Reed/Pressley/Rodney pitch to Bradley (who has struggled against lefties but been much better vs. righties this year) or burn one of those guys on one batter (in a tie game with a dearth of runs) to bring in Taylor Rogers vs. Bradley.

 

I know it didn’t work out but I thought Molly was smart to leave Duke in there. He deservedly gets some crap but sometimes it’s also about just trusting guys and not trying to get too smart.

    • Brock Beauchamp, Dman, tarheeltwinsfan and 3 others like this

 

If Escobar keeps up his play at even 80% of his current play....there's no reason he shouldn't win the MVP. Even if they don't make the playoffs. Pitching has kept us in more games than not and Escobar along with Rosario have kept the offense rolling seemingly by themselves for most of the year. Pretty crazy.

I love me some Escobar, but I think Trout might be having one of the best seasons ever. ESPN has Trout's WAR at 6.6 and Escobar's at 2.2.

Plus Trout's OPS is .217 higher at this time.

 

 

 

    • James, ThejacKmp, SwainZag and 5 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 20 2018 07:32 AM

Told my son last night when Berrios came out in the 7th, that he would be pulled as soon as somebody got on base, and you could see on Berrios face he knew he was out when he hit the guy.
IMO, how do these pitchers ever learn to pitch deeper into games if they aren't ever given a chance unless they are perfect?
I will also say the Red Sox did the Twins a favor taking Sale out after 7, with LaMarre, Mauer and Rosario (he looked lost against him last night) up.

Berrios has been allowed to go deep into games quite often and he didn’t have his best stuff last night, not even close. You thank the guy for his effort and let the bullpen take it from there.
    • benchwarmerjim, spycake, mikelink45 and 5 others like this

 

Told my son last night when Berrios came out in the 7th, that he would be pulled as soon as somebody got on base, and you could see on Berrios face he knew he was out when he hit the guy.

IMO, how do these pitchers ever learn to pitch deeper into games if they aren't ever given a chance unless they are perfect?

I will also say the Red Sox did the Twins a favor taking Sale out after 7, with LaMarre, Mauer and Rosario (he looked lost against him last night)up.

Or the Twins did a good job getting Sale up to 105 pitches through seven so the Red Sox would be foolish to bring him back out there?

Berrios was given a chance but once a guy gets on base, the odds of the tying run scoring go way up. At that point, you want a fresh arm throwing heat rather than giving the Red Sox lineup a 4th look at Berrios. I thought it was a great time to go get someone and a great spot for Hildy. He’s got a funky delivery that is a jarring transition from Berrios. He’s also young – Benintendi and Bogaerts had each only seen him once and Martinez had never seen him. That’s another nice advantage.

 

Thought giving Berrios a shot was great but realizing the leverage of the situation and the better bullpen option was smart.

    • spycake, Circus Boy, tarheeltwinsfan and 2 others like this

 

If Escobar keeps up his play at even 80% of his current play....there's no reason he shouldn't win the MVP.

Escobar is doing great, but he's on pace for ~5.5 WAR. Jose Ramirez already has 4.6 WAR, on pace of 10.4. Where do you think Cleveland would be without him? Then of course there's Trout, and Betts (whose team seemingly doesn't "need" him to compete, but whose exemplary play could very well be the difference avoiding the wild card game).

    • ThejacKmp and Nine of twelve like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 20 2018 07:33 AM

Or the Twins did a good job getting Sale up to 105 pitches through seven so the Red Sox would be foolish to bring him back out there?

Berrios was given a chance but once a guy gets on base, the odds of the tying run scoring go way up. At that point, you want a fresh arm throwing heat rather than giving the Red Sox lineup a 4th look at Berrios. I thought it was a great time to go get someone and a great spot for Hildy. He’s got a funky delivery that is a jarring transition from Berrios. He’s also young – Benintendi and Bogaerts had each only seen him once and Martinez had never seen him. That’s another nice advantage.

Thought giving Berrios a shot was great but realizing the leverage of the situation and the better bullpen option was smart.

Agreed. I’ve been as hard on Molitor over his bullpen usage as anybody but didn’t have a problem with how he managed the game last night.
    • spycake, tarheeltwinsfan, wsnydes and 1 other like this

 

Extend Escobar, now.

How much do you think it would cost, now?

    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

I love me some Escobar, but I think Trout might be having one of the best seasons ever. ESPN has Trout's WAR at 6.6 and Escobar's at 2.2.

Plus Trout's OPS is .217 higher at this time.

 

100% agreed. Escobar has been a great story and gives the Twins two very deserving All-Stars (with Rosario) but Trout is on another level.

 

Then again, Mike Trout should be looking for his 6th MVP but only has two so maybe Escobar has a shot:

 

• 2012 he had 3.4 more WAR than Cabrera with equivalent stats while playing a premier defensive position and leading the league in stolen bases. As a rookie.
• 2013 he had 1.7 more WAR than Cabrera with equivalent stats and again, better defense and base running.
• 2015 was closer but he had 0.9 more WAR than Donaldson, played a better position, hit the same number of home runs with more stolen bases. This is probably the closest but I’d still give it to him.

 

2017 is the only Mike Trout year where he shouldn’t be MVP and that’s only because he missed 50 games with injuries. He was on pace for another MVP season.

 

Ridiculous that we take team success into the MVP discussion and then base the HOF on things like MVPs. Trout’s teams have been bad but he has consistently been far-and-away the best player in baseball. He should be one behind Bonds for most MVPs – at age 26.

 

We should trade for him.

 

 

    • Dantes929, snepp, mikelink45 and 3 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 20 2018 07:45 AM

 

How much do you think it would cost, now?

Extending Escobar now is the literal definition of buying high.

 

It's unlikely he continues this torrid pace all season and you get to affix a QO to him if need be, which gives you negotiating leverage in November.

 

Just ride it out, see what happens.

    • Dantes929, ThejacKmp, benchwarmerjim and 8 others like this

 

A great win for the Twins....really. The game seemed destined to be a repeat of about a dozen other games where the Twins have coughed up the lead and then lost in the eighth or ninth or extras.

 

BTW, Bradley doubled up Grossman on Adrianza's fly out in the 8th, but wasn't the obstruction play in order on that attempted tag up? Clearly, Leon used his foot to block Grossman's slide. I am just wondering if I understand the rule. I thought it was any attempt to hinder access to the plate and then obstruction would be called.

 

He just has to leave him a path to the plate. If you look at Leon, he's out in front of the plate and Grossman has a clear path to the plate. Only after he catches it does he get into the base path. They called this 100% correct.

 

I don't think you can say Grossman was slow on this, it was a magnificent throw. I think you can say that he should not be running down the inside part of the line. If he's on the back half of the plate I think he's safe. It also would have been a great time for that Justin Morneau fall-away slide. He's got to react to where the catcher is a little bit better.

 

Addison Reed in the eighth inning experiment as always eight inning guy can end please.

 

See I want them to bring him back for the role. He's the Twins best reliever and now he's gotten five days off. Bring him back and maybe don't be so stuck to it? Use Hildy and Reed in the 8th and Pressley/Duke/Rogers/Magill in earlier innings. Molly just needs to expand his pen use.

    • Dantes929 likes this

 

How much do you think it would cost, now?

 

$1 million per double

    • Han Joelo likes this

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