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MLB.com report on instructional league prospects

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In case you haven't seen it, mlb.com has published an article on the prospects at instructional league camp and their progress.   ht...
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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

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Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
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MLB Sees Local TV And Streaming Viewership Up Over 4% For...

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Twins local viewership up 9%.   Link to the article at Forbes:   https://www.forbes.c...0/#36bd03b33dac
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Re-Load vs. Re-Tool vs. Re-Build for 2021

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The Twins certainly have options this winter now that the core has been here long enough to make some tough calls. Which is the best rout...
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MIN 8, CHC 1: Big Inning Sparks Twins Win

The Minnesota Twins were in need of a big inning and a comfortable victory. They checked both boxes Saturday night at Wrigley Field. This was another nail-biter until the Twins tallied five runs in the seventh inning, then cruised to a victory that clinched a spot in the playoffs.
Image courtesy of Chart via FanGraphs
Box Score
Pineda: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Home Runs: Rosario (12), Sanó (13), Donaldson (6)
Top 3 WPA: Rosario .196, Pineda .180, Sanó .093
*win probability chart above (via FanGraphs)

Your Minnesota Twins are going back to the postseason after an 8-1 win over the Cubs Saturday.

Michael Pineda started and gave the Twins five strong innings, allowing only four hits and one run with no walks. Pineda struggled with his command early but was helped by stellar plays from his defense. Ehire Adrianza, with two outs and runners on second and third in the second inning, threw out Nico Hoerner on a bunt attempt. The Cubs got a hit-by-pitch, a single and a double but were only able to score one run in the frame. Pineda now has a 3.18 ERA through four starts.

Eddie Rosario got the offense going with a solo blast in the first inning.



With a 1-0 Cubs victory last night, the two teams combined to score three runs through the first 14 innings of the series. Recognizing this, manager Rocco Baldelli pulled strings to manufacture a run following a leadoff walk from Alex Avila in the sixth. Avila moved to second on a swinging bunt from LaMonte Wade Jr., who squared up to actually bunt on the first pitch, fouling it off. With both Ryan Jeffers and Mitch Garver available to catch, Baldelli sent out Cave to pinch run for Avila. It paid off.



Seemingly to Pineda’s dismay, the Twins opted to hand Tyler Duffey the ball for the sixth with a 2-1 lead. He pitched a tidy 1-2-3 frame, dicing up the heart of the Cubs’ order in Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber.

Then came the boom. Leading off the seventh, Miguel Sanó hit a ball to Waveland Avenue.



Max Kepler followed up the homer with a double into the Ivy in left field. The Twins then went single, hit-by-pitch, fielder’s choice (no out), single, flyout, single for four more runs. Perhaps the most encouraging, Mitch Garver pinch hit with the bases loaded and ripped a full count liner to left to score two runs. The Twins opened up a 7-1 lead, pounding the Cubs away.



Matt Wisler threw two outstanding innings, striking out six and allowing just a single. Wisler, who was acquired this offseason off waivers, brought his season ERA down to 1.11. What a find.

Josh Donaldson blasted an opposite field home run in the ninth to up his OPS to .863 on the year.



The Twins played a strong all-around game, flashing their much-improved defense and getting clutch hits. They’ll go for the series tomorrow night against Yu Darvish, who owns a sterling 1.86 ERA.

Ticket = punched.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png

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13 Comments

Maybe it's just that the Cubs lineup is flat right now, but giving up 2 runs against them in these two games is really impressive, and that's without Maeda or Berrios starting. Getting Pineda back has been very important, even if he only went 5 innings.

    • mikelink45, DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and 5 others like this

Hopefully against the Yankees it's:

 

Game 1 - Maeda

Game 2 - Pineda 

Game 3 (if necessary) - Hill/Odorizzi 

 

I don't trust Berrios in a big game vs the yanks

 

Hopefully against the Yankees it's:

 

Game 1 - Maeda

Game 2 - Pineda 

Game 3 (if necessary) - Hill/Odorizzi 

 

I don't trust Berrios in a big game vs the yanks

I do like Maeda leading off the playoffs but Berrios has to be next up.

 

2020 is honestly a glorified exhibition season, an extended Spring Training, if you will. There's no better time to roll the dice with Berrios in Yankee Stadium in Game 1 against Cole. Twins really don't have all that much to lose.

 

I'm pretty sure Berrios will be the Twins Game 1 starter no matter what.

    • mikelink45 and JoshDungan1 like this
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Doctor Gast
Sep 20 2020 07:37 AM

As far as offense goes it`s either feast or famine, wish they could maintain a steady flow.

    • mikelink45 and wabene like this

Well, that's better.

 

I know there has been lots of talk about several Twins who just aren't hitting as we expected, Garver, Kepler, Polanco, Sano, Donaldson and others. When looking at the box score this morning, saw that the best average of the Cubs big trio of Baez, Rizzo and Bryant was .211. Certainly seems that the circumstances related to this year's weird schedule is affecting a lot of very good hitters in a negative manner. Seems like a good year to throw out the stats, at least as far as hitters are concerned. 

    • mikelink45, dbminn, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this
If only Rosario weren't so bad at baseball. A HR and clutch RBI single is no way to be productive. Anyone can do those things. [Sarcasm!]

But seriously, it was a team effort in this win. Bombas, walks, singles, etc. Also nice to see Rocco not just sit back and relax. If we had done some small ball Friday, who knows, might have actually scored a run and won the game.

What can you say about Wisler? I keep waiting for him to be revealed as something he's not like the Scooby Gang unmasking old man Withers, but he just keeps doing a great job.

We didn't lose any ground, but didn't gain any either. Sox have a tough end to their season and the Yankees can't win out can they? All we can control is ourselves, win, keep winning, get sharp, and see how it all turns out.
    • adorduan likes this

I was really happy to see Eddie jump on a fastball and send it over the fence. He's been struggling with that and if pitchers are able to throw him fastballs without fear, it's going to suck for him. This blast sure helped.

 

Really nice to see the Twins bunch up some hits and put up a crooked number. That's been missing way too much this year (and frankly has seemed strange). Maybe we're gonna get guys on track at the same time and the offense will start rolling into the playoffs?

 

Wisler was terrific. I didn't think much of the move at the time; it was one of those low leverage moves in my mind, and while I'm fine with taking some of these flyers on guys where you think your coaching staff can improve them or they bounce back to form, this has been the best example for how you should do it. They had a plan for Wisler, it wasn't guesswork, it wasn't pegged on hopes and prayers...and it's worked really well. It's moves like this why I trust in the Falvey/Levine braintrust to make the right calls for the franchise, short & long-term.

    • DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and wabene like this
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whosafraidofluigirussolo
Sep 20 2020 10:30 AM

This is not at all a criticism after a big win, but a curiosity. I was surprised that the 9th inning didn't go to a lower-leverage reliever, particularly Poppen—who has been on the training-camp shuttle and a lower-leverage pitcher this year, and who would have been warming up with a 6-run lead and then entering with a 7-run lead.

 

Maybe this tracks with Poppen being the one to come up when Odorizzi went back on the IL—considering that this put the Twins down a starter, and Dobnak would have been able to come up (exempt from the minimum minor-league option time) if he were replacing an injured player, but I don't think he can be recalled now. All of which makes me wonder if Poppen is getting the start, or the "bulk" innings in a bullpen game, in what would have been Odorizzi's next turn in the rotation.

All of which makes me wonder if Poppen is getting the start, or the "bulk" innings in a bullpen game, in what would have been Odorizzi's next turn in the rotation.

They have 2 off days next week, so they can actually skip Odorizzi’s spot.

Maybe he comes back for a few innings on the season’s final day, if they don’t want to pitch any of their top 4 postseason SP that day. We could also see Bailey activated for a few inning audition too, although we would need to clear a 40-man spot for him to return, in addition to a 28-man spot.
    • Danchat, JoshDungan1 and wabene like this
Related thought: I wonder if we don’t plan to use, say, Berrios on the season’s last weekend, if we could option him to open a spot for, say, Dobnak, but still put Berrios on the playoff roster and disregard the 10 day option rule. I suspect we can, but it is different than a normal season (you can’t option a player to a minor league team whose season is over, so normally you can’t option a player after mid-September — but obvious 2020 is anything but normal!).
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stringer bell
Sep 20 2020 12:17 PM

With the two days off in the coming week, there is no need to do a bullpen game, but in lining things up for the playoffs, I suppose they might. The playoffs start on Tuesday and there aren't any off days. The Twins did clear a 40-man spot when they outrighted Littell, so I think they can add Bailey if they want to.

With the two days off in the coming week, there is no need to do a bullpen game, but in lining things up for the playoffs, I suppose they might. The playoffs start on Tuesday and there aren't any off days. The Twins did clear a 40-man spot when they outrighted Littell, so I think they can add Bailey if they want to.


No off days within each round (until the World Series) but if we can make it through the first round, there are 3 days off before the division series starts in the bubble.

Best of 3 should make for some interesting roster decisions too — Berrios or Hill in the bullpen?

Well we are in again but it looks like we will play the Yankees again. The Yankees are getting healthy and will be dangerous and they have our number. Maybe we can get lucky and Toronto will sweep them this week but I doubt it. Hopefully we can have the home field edge to at least get last licks but I was hopeful that we won't have to meet them in round one.