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MIN 6, DET 1: Stewart Impresses, Rosario Exits Due to Injury

Kohl Stewart not only had his best outing so far with the Twins, but one of the better performances of any Twins rookie pitcher this season. Over his six innings of work, Stewart only gave up an unearned run on three hits and three walks. He recorded five strikeouts.

Eddie Rosario was forced to leave this game after aggravating the quad injury he suffered in late August.
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Stewart: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 59.3% strikes (51 of 86 pitches)
Home Runs: Rosario (24), Polanco (6)
Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4, HR), Grossman (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Stewart .230
WPA of -0.1 or lower: None
Attached Image: WinChart917.png
Gabriel Moya served as the opener for tonight’s game. He held the Tigers scoreless, giving up one hit while striking out a batter in the first. The last time Moya opened, he covered the first two innings, but this time it was only the first frame.

That’s where Stewart took over. He could have afforded to throw more strikes, though on the other hand, he did successfully keep Tigers hitters off balance. As is the norm, he relied heavily on his sinker and did a very nice job at limiting the damage. To my eyes, he also just looked really comfortable on the mound compared to some of his other outings.

The highlight of the game came from Jake Cave, who made another tremendous diving catch.

That play ended the third inning, the Twins responded with a four-run top of the fourth that included an RBI single from Cave.

It was station-to-station baseball that inning. Robbie Grossman led things off with a double, which was followed by the Cave single. Logan Forsythe and Ehire Adrianza added a couple more singles, bringing Cave around to score, then Willians Astudillo hit into a run-scoring ground out. Joe Mauer capped it all off with an RBI single of his own.

Rosario homered in the first inning and played the outfield for the first time since Sept. 7. It’ll probably be awhile before he’s out there again. Rosie slipped while fielding a ball and aggravated the quad injury he’s been dealing with since the end of August.

It looked pretty gruesome at first, he couldn’t get back up to throw the ball back to the infield, but after gathering himself, Eddie was able to walk off the field under his own power.

Postgame With Stewart

Next Three Games
Tue at DET, 6:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Daniel Norris
Wed at DET, 12:10 pm CT: TBD vs. Spencer Turnbull
Thu: Off
Fri at OAK, 9:05 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
MIN 9, KC 6: Twins Swat Four Homers, Avoid Sweep
KC 10, MIN 3: It’s a Hard Road
KC 8, MIN 4: OH THE HUMANITY!!!

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70 Comments

Cave is a keeper. NOT going to annoit Stewart anything at this point, but he shows enough to get his rapid rise thjs season. And he has looked just a little bit better each time out it seems. And he was pretty good tonight. You can say "it's just Detroit", but it was a road game against a ML team. I don't know his ceiling, or whether he should start or relieve, but I think he's protected and brought back for 2019. BTW...tip of the cap to Polanco. I still think his long foul ball was a HR. So he just goofs the next pitch to the seats! Awesome!
    • glunn, Jerr, diehardtwinsfan and 10 others like this
How do you evaluate a primary pitcher like Stewart? There's a reason why they use an opener for him right? Is the hope he can be an actual starting pitcher next season?

Someone tell me how I'm supposed to feel.
    • mngopherguy likes this

 

How do you evaluate a primary pitcher like Stewart? There's a reason why they use an opener for him right? Is the hope he can be an actual starting pitcher next season?

Someone tell me how I'm supposed to feel.

I believe confused describes it.Imagine the first Opener to be named to the HOF!

    • Dantes929, Vanimal46 and SF Twins Fan like this

Someone tell me how I'm supposed to feel.


Attached Image: EA355E83-584A-4327-B839-2396C22F0BFE.jpeg
    • ashburyjohn, glunn, mikelink45 and 6 others like this

How do you evaluate a primary pitcher like Stewart? There's a reason why they use an opener for him right? Is the hope he can be an actual starting pitcher next season?

Someone tell me how I'm supposed to feel.

He pitched six innings and htave up one unearthed run, and you don't know how to feel?
    • beckmt, h2oface, bluechipper and 3 others like this

Just keep letting Stewart pitch. I think he can be a solid ML pitcher for us but he'll have some growing pains.

    • diehardtwinsfan, beckmt, bluechipper and 7 others like this
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Channing1964
Sep 18 2018 04:32 AM
Oh my god Kohl Stewart for Cy Young 2019. L.M.M.F.A.O.
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Channing1964
Sep 18 2018 04:35 AM
did i actually see someone call Detroit a major league team? If that were true then you'd have to assume the Twins were that too Is anyone really that naive?
    • mikelink45 and lukeduke1980 like this

 

did i actually see someone call Detroit a major league team? If that were true then you'd have to assume the Twins were that too Is anyone really that naive?

La Tigres did just take two of three at Cleveland, so they had that going for them.

    • blindeke and Original Whizzinator like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 18 2018 06:21 AM

 

How do you evaluate a primary pitcher like Stewart? There's a reason why they use an opener for him right? Is the hope he can be an actual starting pitcher next season?

Someone tell me how I'm supposed to feel.

encouraged? Considering that everyone had written him off...

 

If you want something that says that the new FO has changed development practices with Stewart, look at his progression. He actually started striking people out this year.

 

Now that said, I'm not sure they should count on him. He's got 3 options, I'd plan on using one next year and see if he continue to improve. Either that, or perhaps he's trade bait at some point. He's showing that he's probably ready to be a serviceable back end starter with some upside. Perhaps someone with a blocked player at one of our needy positions might flip him to fill one of theirs?

    • ashburyjohn, LA VIkes Fan, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this

 

He pitched six innings and htave up one unearthed run, and you don't know how to feel?

Unearthed Run??? Did he change his name to Indiana Stewart the famed archeologist? ;)

    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, PDX Twin and 5 others like this

 

did i actually see someone call Detroit a major league team? If that were true then you'd have to assume the Twins were that too Is anyone really that naive?

Snark much?? ;)

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

 

encouraged? Considering that everyone had written him off...

 

If you want something that says that the new FO has changed development practices with Stewart, look at his progression. He actually started striking people out this year.

Pretty good point diehard.

 

I have spent more and more of my time in recent years around pitchers and pitching coaches. The single biggest development point that I have discovered...?? Repeatability of mechanics. "Stuff" can only carry you so far (although freakish spin rates can help :)).  

 

The pitchers who stick around and those who especially thrive all have one major thing in common, and that is they repeat their delivery time and again.

With Stewart, I believe we are starting to see that consistency. He's got the "stuff" to pitch (no, I do not care about what # starter he is... only that he can pitch) and we are starting to see the early fruits of that labor I think.

    • ashburyjohn, birdwatcher, diehardtwinsfan and 3 others like this
Well he's not any # of starter in the rotation because he's a primary pitcher....
Photo
SF Twins Fan
Sep 18 2018 07:02 AM

I'm glad to see he is progressing even if it's against Detroilet. I don't care if he's a regular starter, a "primary" starter or a future piece of the bullpen. All that matters to me is that he's able to get hitters out and having some success.

    • TiberTwins, brvama, beckmt and 3 others like this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Sep 18 2018 07:03 AM

Well he's not any # of starter in the rotation because he's a primary pitcher....

If you want to make an issue of the Opener versus Starter topic, let me point out that this game worked almost perfectly as a way to squeeze an extra inning out of a nominal starter. Moya pitched the first inning, then Stewart came in and faced the #5 batter in the lineup to start the second inning. He faced the lineup twice, then saw the #5 through #9 batters a third time. That #9 batter made the third out of the seventh inning. So Kohl Stewart achieved his first 6-inning appearance in the majors.

 

You need more than one game to prove anything, and you need a better opponent than the 2018 Tiggers. I'm skeptical that games can be routinely choreographed to this level of detail. But, if someone asks you what the idea is behind the Opener strategy, this game is the example you might point to.

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, brvama and 15 others like this

 

I'm glad to see he is progressing even if it's against Detroilet. I don't care if he's a regular starter, a "primary" starter or a future piece of the bullpen. All that matters to me is that he's able to get hitters out and having some success.

This

    • birdwatcher, TiberTwins, bighat and 1 other like this

Next spring is going to be interesting.Assuming the Twins don't sign any starters over the winter, their Top 4 starters next spring will likely be Berrios-Gibson-Odorizzi-Pineda.That leaves one opening for Mejia, Slegers, Stewart, DeJong, Romero, Littell and Thorpe.Doubt Thorpe will be ready and will start at Rochester.That leaves six others battling for one spot.Mejia is out of options, so all the others except one will be the eligible to be starters for the Red Wings.

 

Will the FO be comfortable going into the spring with that group?Or will they sign one veteran free agent just in case Pineda doesn't make it?With all those numbers, most likely scenario may be that we see a trade over the winter.

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht likes this

If you want to make an issue of the Opener versus Starter topic, let me point out that this game worked almost perfectly as a way to squeeze an extra inning out of a nominal starter. Moya pitched the first inning, then Stewart came in and faced the #5 batter in the lineup to start the second inning. He faced the lineup twice, then saw the #5 through #9 batters a third time. That #9 batter made the third out of the seventh inning. So Kohl Stewart achieved his first 6-inning appearance in the majors.

You need more than one game to prove anything, and you need a better opponent than the 2018 Tiggers. I'm skeptical that games can be routinely choreographed to this level of detail. But, if someone asks you what the idea is behind the Opener strategy, this game is the example you might point to.


The opener vs. starter topic is pretty cut and dry to me. Did Stewart start the game? Since the answer is no, he's not a starter. Did the strategy work out this particular game? Yes.

What does that mean going forward with Stewart's evaluation? Is he going to continue being a primary pitcher? Why don't all starting pitchers use an opener? I'm sure Berrios could benefit entering the game against the opponent's #5 or #6 batter too.
    • slash129 likes this

Kohl Stewart might become someone like Mike Torrrez in the 70's and 80's. Pitched from the middle of the rotation somewhere, made all his starts, ate innings, and generally gave his team a chance to win. Won a ring with the '77 Yankees (the Mr. October series against the Dodgers), winning 2 games. Won 20 games once. Had a couple of pretty rough seasons. Guys like this help solidify a starting rotation.

    • birdwatcher, beckmt, LA VIkes Fan and 3 others like this

 

If you want something that says that the new FO has changed development practices with Stewart, look at his progression. He actually started striking people out this year.

Perhaps. Still not sure how much of that was simply due to repeating the level (3rd year at AA), plus of course rising K rates all over pro baseball. Stewart's K rate was only average this year in his 3rd go-around at AA (23.1% vs league 23.0%), and it was well below average at AAA (17.5% vs 22.0%), and of course again in MLB (13.8% vs 22.2%).

    • birdwatcher and rghrbek like this

Is Stewart a minor league FA this year?

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ashburyjohn
Sep 18 2018 08:16 AM

The opener vs. starter topic is pretty cut and dry to me. Did Stewart start the game? Since the answer is no, he's not a starter. Did the strategy work out this particular game? Yes.

What does that mean going forward with Stewart's evaluation? Is he going to continue being a primary pitcher? Why don't all starting pitchers use an opener? I'm sure Berrios could benefit entering the game against the opponent's #5 or #6 batter too.

I think what motivates the strategy isn't "what's best for Kohl Stewart?" nor "what's best for Jose Berrios?", but "what's the best way to handle the top of the opponent's lineup?"

 

Facing batters a third time seems to be a defining mark for a multi-innings pitcher. If Berrios at a disadvantage the third time through is still better than a lesser pitcher who is fresh, then let him pitch inning #1. If Stewart needs all the help he can get, at this stage of his career perhaps, then let a specialist try to pave the way for him.

    • DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this

Spring training will be a tell. Pineda, because he didn't end the season pitching innings, can likely start in rehab in the minors...with the Twins fuming about the $$$ investment. Mejia will get the biggest opportunity, especially since he is a lefty. But the Red Wings rotation looks pretty solid right now...someone will not make it there!

 

 

Kohl Stewart might become someone like Mike Torrrez in the 70's and 80's. Pitched from the middle of the rotation somewhere, made all his starts, ate innings, and generally gave his team a chance to win.

Of course, Torrez had durability that Stewart has yet to demonstrate (and may not be able to, in the modern game). Torrez was top-14 for inning pitched in the AL for 5 straight seasons, reaching as high as 6th.

 

Without the durability, I'm not sure how valuable that performance would generally be. It might be more like Jake Odorizzi's 2017-2018 in the modern game in terms of value.


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