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Article: Questions About Miguel Sanó's Return

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:57 AM
Miguel Sanó is nearing his return to full-time activity. After going through so much since being named an All-Star, I don’t think there’s...
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Game Thread: Twins vs Tigers, 4/18 @ 12:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:15 AM
Since I have too much time on my hands of late, I thought I'd get this game thread started early. Once there's a lineup, it's game thread...
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Article: TOR 7, MIN 4: Rosario Homers Twice as Twins Drop...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:54 PM
After three encouraging starts to open the season, Michael Pineda was pounded in his fourth start today. He gave up as many runs in the f...
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So....Time to make a call to Kimbrel?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:34 PM
I know it’s being discussed in the game thread but figured why not give it one of its own. Prety sure there haven’t been any prior thread...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (4/16): Graterol Shine...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 10:05 PM
A Triple A doubleheader added an extra game to a full slate of action on Tuesday night, and if not for a hit parade from Cedar Rapids, pi...
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MIN 6, DET 4: Berrios Figures It Out, Bullpen Barely Hangs On

This may have been Mitch Garver’s best overall game as a Twin. He was doing his thing at the plate, hitting a pair of hard doubles to go with a walk, but it was also impressive how he and Jose Berrios worked through an afternoon in which the Twins’ ace didn’t have his best command. Those two haven’t had much success together to this point, but they figured it out today.
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Berrios: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 67.3% strikes
Home Runs: Cron (1), Rosario (3)
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R), Polanco (2-for-4), Cruz (2-for-4, R), Garver (2-for-3, 2 2B, BB, R), Buxton (2-for-4, 2B, RBI)
WPA of +0.1: Hildenberger .283, Rogers .172, Cron .153, Berrios .142, Rosario .131, Buxton .103
WPA of -0.1: Schoop -.111, May -.175, Parker -.204
Attached Image: Win414.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Berrios pitched to Jason Castro in all three of his previous starts coming into today. That combo seemed to make a lot of sense, as Berrios entered today’s game with a 4.56 ERA in 71 innings pitched to Garver, a full run higher than his ERA with Castro (he’s only pitched 18 2/3 innings to Willians Astudillo).

The Berrios-Garver duo got off to a bit of a rocky start, but there was no harm done. It took Berrios 27 pitches to get through the first inning, but the Tigers were held scoreless. They weren’t as lucky in the second, as Berrios gave up a double to Ronny Rodriguez, then a two-run homer to Gordon Beckham.

Regardless of any pitch calling or receiving elements, Berrios just didn’t look especially sharp early on after having six days off. His command of his offspeed pitches was nowhere near as good as it had been in his previous starts so far this season. He had been using his curveball a ton, increasing his usage of that offering from 30.4% last year to 42.9% so far this year, but that pitch wasn’t worthy of being featured as such today.

That lack of command didn’t show up in the box score, as his control was good enough to where he only walked one batter and hit another, but he was not spotting those offspeed pitches. But they figured it out.

Berrios (and Garver) decreased the dependency on that curveball and instead went to more sinkers today. Jose had been throwing that pitch 16.4% of the time so far this year, but threw the sinker 26 times today among his 98 pitches.

The result seemed to be that Berrios’ four-seam fastball really played up. Berrios got 14 swinging strikes, nine of which came on the four-seamer. That’s very unusual, as Berrios typically gets a much higher percentage of swings and misses on his offspeed offerings.

Berrios didn’t get a single swinging strike on a four-seam fastball in his last start against the Phillies, he got just one in his start before that at Kansas City and three on Opening Day against Cleveland. Add it all up, and Berrios had just four swinging strikes on 87 four-seam fastballs heading into today (4.6%). He had nine on just 35 four-seamers this afternoon (25.7%).

Assessing what’s working, what isn’t and making proper adjustments is typically a collaboration between the pitcher and the catcher. You may have some input from coaches between innings, but all the adjustments made on the fly are between those two guys on the field. It’s still very much worth monitoring how Berrios and Garver work together going forward, as I think we all expect those two to be playing together for quite some time, but it was a very encouraging afternoon.

Below you can see all the balls and called strikes for Berrios. We’ve had some fun analyzing and discussing these charts, which come from MLB’s StatCast data via Baseball Savant. It’s sort of like a work of art in that not everyone will see the same thing, and I always like to point out the top and bottom of the strike zone isn’t the same for every batter, but to my eyes Garver had a very good afternoon, especially by his standards. He also smothered several balls in the dirt with runners on in the eighth and ninth innings.
Attached Image: GarverChart.png
Garver was a force at the plate once again, something you’d have to figure the pitching staff also appreciates. He was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk. That puts him up to 11-for-22 on the season with three home runs and three doubles.

Garver, C.J. Cron and Byron Buxton all hit two balls in excess of 105 mph. Altogether, the Twins combined for nine balls hit at a 105 mph exit velocity or harder. Cron’s first homer as a Twin was an absolute laser beam.

The Twins also played excellent defense today. Jorge Polanco made a web gem and Cron had several beautiful scoops, but nothing beats this great catch made by Buxton as he crashed into the wall.

The Twins led 6-2 heading into the eighth inning, but things got a little hairy with the bullpen. Trevor May ran into trouble, the Tigers managed to score two runs in the eighth, but Taylor Rogers ended up pitching out of a jam, leaving the bases loaded.

Blake Parker came out for the ninth to attempt to record his fourth save as a Twin. He had a bit of an adventure in picking up the save on Saturday and his career ERA on zero days rest is 5.18, so there was plenty of reason for anxiety.

Parker gave up a leadoff infield single on a hot grounder Polanco couldn’t quite handle. Parker walked the next batter, putting the game-tying run on base with no outs for Miguel Cabrera. Anxiety level rising.

Parker fell behind Cabrera 3-1 — teetering on a panic attack now — but battled back to strike him out. A nine-pitch battle with Christin Stewart followed, Parker walked him and was done for the day after needing 29 pitches to record one out.

Trevor Hildenberger came in and struck out the next two batters to strand the bases loaded and earn his first save of the season, the ninth of his career. After inheriting 25 runners in 73 appearances last year, Hildenberger has already inherited 14 runners in just eight games this season. His resurgence has been invaluable to the Twins’ bullpen thus far.

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: Bullpen414.png
Next Three Games
Mon vs. TOR, 6:40 pm CT (Perez-Shoemaker)
Tue vs. TOR, 6:40 pm CT (Gibson-Sanchez)
Wed vs. TOR, 6:40 pm CT (Odorizzi-Thornton)

Last Game
MIN 4, DET 3: Bats Quiet, Bullpen Hangs On

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31 Comments

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Tom Froemming
Apr 15 2019 07:01 AM

 

Another example how Lady Luck can overcome players that choke in the clutch and a manager who hasn't a clue.
Inning #1 - Kepler on @B ZERO out.
No sacrifice to move Kepler to 3B to score on a sac fly
Polanco looks slow and strikes out looking on a Fastball that was inches away from the previous curve ball.
Missed opportunity. Bailed out by Cruz and Rosario.
Same inning Rosario on 2B, Two out.
Gonzalez bounces a low and away Curve to 1B for the final out
Inning #2 - Garver on 2B, ZERO Out.
No sacrifice by Schoop. He pops out to 1B. Wasted at bat.
Buxton picks up the slack and plates Garver
With one out, both Kepler and Polanco choke and fly out.
ATTN: MANAGER, BENCH COACH, HITTING COACH = 5 players saw a total of 9 pitches.
What's up with that - in the second inning?????
INNING #3 - ONE out, Gonzalez on 2B, Garver on 1B.
Schoop chokes and grounds a low and away curve ball into an inning ending double play.
Missed scoring opportunity.
ATTN: MANAGER, BENCH COACH, HITTING COACH = 5 players saw a total of 10 pitches.
Not including Garver who saw 5 pitches himself - and walked.
What's up with that - in the third inning?????
INNING #4 - Buxton on 1B ZERO out.
NO sacrifice, no attempt to steal 2B
Kepler chokes and grounds into a double play.
The DP is followed by 2 singles, before Rosario pops out to SS n a low and away Fast ball.
INNING #5 Garver on 2B, TWO OUT.
A hit means a run and Schoop grounds out to 3B on the first pitch he sees, a slider inside.
INNING #6 - Polanco on 2B via single and wild pitch. Two Out.
Cruz whiffs on a low inside slider on his 9th pitch of the at bat.
INNING #7 - Cron on 1B ZERO out.
No sacrifice, runner is not advanced.
Gonzalez flys to LF, Garver hits a DP to 2B.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

Sorry to break it to you, but you're going to have to get over it. This is built to be an aggressive lineup and the personnel isn't there to play small ball. Which is a good thing. 

 

These guys were hitting the tar out of the ball yesterday, so personally the last thing I want to see is them giving away outs on sacrifice bunts. The Twins current offensive ranks:

 

BA: 3rd

OBP: 7th

SLG: 3rd

wOBA: 4th

wRC+: 4th

 

And they've done this by being very aggressive. That being the case, I think it makes a ton of sense to let these guys swing away and try to make things happen. Of course things won't work out more often than not, that's the way baseball works, the best hitters still fail the majority of the time, but it's also not automatic that a player can get a bunt down or deliver a sacrifice fly. The pitchers are professionals too.

    • Carole Keller, USAFChief, luckylager and 6 others like this

jacksson said "Another example how Lady Luck can overcome players that choke in the clutch and a manager who hasn't a clue." followed by a list of less than perfect events in a game that the TWINS WON.

 

Evidently, it is unacceptable to make an out and the Twins should still be in the bottom of the first in the home opener against Cleveland ahead 6000-0.

 

earth to jacksson

Who is in first place in the AL Central?

Name a game in which being successful one third of the time is considered to be excellent.

 

    • pbrezeasap likes this

 

Another example how Lady Luck can overcome players that choke in the clutch and a manager who hasn't a clue.
Inning #1 - Kepler on @B ZERO out.
No sacrifice to move Kepler to 3B to score on a sac fly
Polanco looks slow and strikes out looking on a Fastball that was inches away from the previous curve ball.
Missed opportunity. Bailed out by Cruz and Rosario.

Same inning Rosario on 2B, Two out.
Gonzalez bounces a low and away Curve to 1B for the final out
Inning #2 - Garver on 2B, ZERO Out.
No sacrifice by Schoop. He pops out to 1B. Wasted at bat.
Buxton picks up the slack and plates Garver
With one out, both Kepler and Polanco choke and fly out.
ATTN: MANAGER, BENCH COACH, HITTING COACH = 5 players saw a total of 9 pitches.
What's up with that - in the second inning?????
INNING #3 - ONE out, Gonzalez on 2B, Garver on 1B.
Schoop chokes and grounds a low and away curve ball into an inning ending double play.
Missed scoring opportunity.
ATTN: MANAGER, BENCH COACH, HITTING COACH = 5 players saw a total of 10 pitches.
Not including Garver who saw 5 pitches himself - and walked.
What's up with that - in the third inning?????
INNING #4 - Buxton on 1B ZERO out.
NO sacrifice, no attempt to steal 2B
Kepler chokes and grounds into a double play.
The DP is followed by 2 singles, before Rosario pops out to SS n a low and away Fast ball.
INNING #5 Garver on 2B, TWO OUT.
A hit means a run and Schoop grounds out to 3B on the first pitch he sees, a slider inside.
INNING #6 - Polanco on 2B via single and wild pitch. Two Out.
Cruz whiffs on a low inside slider on his 9th pitch of the at bat.
INNING #7 - Cron on 1B ZERO out.
No sacrifice, runner is not advanced.
Gonzalez flys to LF, Garver hits a DP to 2B.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
ATTN MANAGER, BENCH COACH, PITCHING COACH, BULLPEN COACH:
Poor decision on bringing May in to face 1 batter in the 7th and then haul him out again to begin the 8th.
Poor decision on bringing in Parker to start the 9th, since he worked on Saturday.
FLAVINE => Get some arms Baldelli can trust, otherwise this is a repeat of Molitor's bullpen use.

You're right, the Twins missed an opportunity in the bottom of the first. If only Polanco had sacrificed Kepler to third, Kepler would have scored.

 

 

    • pbrezeasap and nicksaviking like this

If a team averages a 6-4 record over 10 games:

 

They will finish with 97 wins and probably win the division or at least secure a playoff spot while people sing their praises. 

 

If a team average a 5-5 Record over 10 games:

 

They will finish with 81 wins and probably not reach the playoffs and end up drafting somewhere in the upper teens while people are indifferent about the team and future. 

 

If a team averages a 4-6 record over 10 games:

 

They will finish with 65 wins... they will not make the playoffs and will be drafting in the top 5 for sure and people will be calling for the managers head.  

 

The margins are razor thin. 

 

So far... we started the first 10 games off at 6-4... (on pace). And we are up 2-0 on the 2nd ten games. 

 

We have a 4-4 record against teams that are expected to make the playoffs and a 4-0 record against teams that are not expected to make the playoffs. 

 

We are 4-3 on the Road and 4-1 at Home and 6-1 vs American League Central opponents. 
 

It's a great start... Hats off to the Minnesota Twins. Go Sweep the Blue Jays. 

 

 

 

 

    • USAFChief, Jerr, James and 4 others like this
Photo
LA VIkes Fan
Apr 15 2019 10:24 AM

Great series but the bullpen is starting to cause me concern. I'm afraid that Baldelli will wind up overusing a few relievers like Molitor did not because he is inflexible like Molitor was but because he lacks sufficient options. Hmmm, maybe that explains Molitor. It's hard when you take Saturday's game and get 3 scoreless innings from one set of guys in the bullpen and then go to Sunday's game and we give up 2 in 2.1 innings with the other set. Problem is that we don't have much we can trust after Rogers, Parker, and maybe May and Hildenberger. Mejia is inconsistent and trying to find himself and Vasquez was a disaster the first time out. Hard to trust him after that. Harper is the only one left and it sure looks like they don't trust him to do much more than be a blowout mop up man.I also read/hear that there isn't much in Rochester in the bullpen that would be immediate help other than "close your eyes and hope" or "could be good after further development" kind of guys. Not what you need if we want to contend. 

 

So, is the only solution wait for Magill, Moya and Reed to come back and hope they can be the answer?Anybody have other ideas?

 

 

Another example how Lady Luck can overcome players that choke in the clutch and a manager who hasn't a clue.
Inning #1 - Kepler on @B ZERO out.
No sacrifice to move Kepler to 3B to score on a sac fly
Polanco looks slow and strikes out looking on a Fastball that was inches away from the previous curve ball.
Missed opportunity. Bailed out by Cruz and Rosario.
Same inning Rosario on 2B, Two out.
Gonzalez bounces a low and away Curve to 1B for the final out
Inning #2 - Garver on 2B, ZERO Out.
No sacrifice by Schoop. He pops out to 1B. Wasted at bat.
Buxton picks up the slack and plates Garver
With one out, both Kepler and Polanco choke and fly out.
ATTN: MANAGER, BENCH COACH, HITTING COACH = 5 players saw a total of 9 pitches.
What's up with that - in the second inning?????
INNING #3 - ONE out, Gonzalez on 2B, Garver on 1B.
Schoop chokes and grounds a low and away curve ball into an inning ending double play.
Missed scoring opportunity.
ATTN: MANAGER, BENCH COACH, HITTING COACH = 5 players saw a total of 10 pitches.
Not including Garver who saw 5 pitches himself - and walked.
What's up with that - in the third inning?????
INNING #4 - Buxton on 1B ZERO out.
NO sacrifice, no attempt to steal 2B
Kepler chokes and grounds into a double play.
The DP is followed by 2 singles, before Rosario pops out to SS n a low and away Fast ball.
INNING #5 Garver on 2B, TWO OUT.
A hit means a run and Schoop grounds out to 3B on the first pitch he sees, a slider inside.
INNING #6 - Polanco on 2B via single and wild pitch. Two Out.
Cruz whiffs on a low inside slider on his 9th pitch of the at bat.
INNING #7 - Cron on 1B ZERO out.
No sacrifice, runner is not advanced.
Gonzalez flys to LF, Garver hits a DP to 2B.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
ATTN MANAGER, BENCH COACH, PITCHING COACH, BULLPEN COACH:
Poor decision on bringing May in to face 1 batter in the 7th and then haul him out again to begin the 8th.
Poor decision on bringing in Parker to start the 9th, since he worked on Saturday.
FLAVINE => Get some arms Baldelli can trust, otherwise this is a repeat of Molitor's bullpen use.

 

This is satire, right? Twins had 14 hits yesterday and half of them were for extra bases (5 doubles and 2 HRs). Guys were making lots of hard contact and it was paying off for them. 2 walks, only 4 Ks from the lineup with 6 runs on the board.

    • nicksaviking likes this

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