Minnesota Twins MLB The Show August Simulation: Can the Twins Catch Cleveland?
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsToday’s post will feature how the Twins did in July. Check out the previous editions of this series: April, May, June, July.
Roster moves throughout the month:
- 8/21: Alex Kirilloff called up. Michael Pineda placed on 15-day IL.
- 8/30: Lewis Thorpe called up. Randy Dobnak sent down.
- Indians: 87-50
- Twins: 85-53 (2.5 GB)
- White Sox: 66-71 (21.0 GB)
- Royals 59-78 (28.0 GB)
- Tigers 53-84 (34.0 GB)
- Buxton: .207/.277/.335 (.613), 8 HR, 40 RBI, 1.2 WAR
- Arraez: .305/.382/.425 (.807), 10 HR, 49 RBI, 1.9 WAR
- Kepler: .347/.434/.656 (1.090), 22 HR, 55 RBI, 5.4 WAR
- Sano: .272/.368/.608(.976), 37 HR, 94 RBI, 4.0 WAR
- Cruz: .302/.382/.555 (.938), 29 HR, 83 RBI, 3.4 WAR
- Garver: .264/.340/.500 (.840), 24 HR, 61 RBI, 4.3 WAR
- Polanco: .292/.369/.473 (.842), 15 HR, 55 RBI, 4.4 WAR
- Rosario: .267/.292/.493 (.785), 27 HR, 80 RBI, 1.0 WAR
- Donaldson: .245/.343/.416 (.758), 17 HR, 56 RBI 3.4 WAR
The four players on the bench to finish the month were Alex Avila, Ehire Adrianza, Alex Kirilloff, and Marwin Gonzalez. Kirilloff replaced a struggling Astudillo but suffered a day-to-day injury and will see his first AB in September. All four produced as expected with averages around .250 to .280 at the end of August.
August rotation with end of the month statistics:
- Jose Berrios: 11-9, 3.80 ERA, 8.46 K/9, 3.11 BB/9, 2.9 WAR
- Kenta Maeda: 10-5, 3.05 ERA, 8.25 K/9, 2.26 BB/9, 3.4 WAR
- Jake Odorizzi: 8-10, 5.02 ERA, 8.94 K/9, 3.61 BB/9, 0.7 WAR
- Jon Gray: 14-6, 2.69 ERA, 8.73 K/9, 2.79 BB/9, 4.2 WAR
- Rich Hill: 9-7, 3.72 ERA, 9.68 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, 2.0 WAR
The bullpen at the end of August consisted of Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Sergio Romo, Zack Littell, Homer Bailey, and Lewis Thorpe. Everyone is performing well, especially Rogers, Duffey, Romo, and Bailey. Hill was temporarily moved back into the rotation until Pineda is recovered from injury in about 4 days. Pineda currently holds a 2.93 ERA.
August summary for the Twins:
Finally another great month! After two months of mediocre play, the Twins went 19-8 in August to remain one of the best teams in baseball. Sadly the Indians are playing like the best team in baseball, so the Twins are stuck in the wild card. The Astros are leading the Twins in home runs 218-214 after August.
This was a great month offensively for the team and it showed just how impactful the Kepler injury was. While he was hurt the Twins were about a .500 team, but with him around they have been the best team in baseball. He is 8th in AL WAR despite only playing in 87 of the 138 games so far.
On the pitching side, the addition of Jon Gray is already showing how necessary it was. Berrios and Odorizzi both are struggling a bit, Pineda got hurt, and Maeda was the only other great starting pitcher.
Around MLB: Division leaders
- ALC: Indians (87-50)
- ALW: Astros (82-55)
- ALE: Red Sox (88-50)
- ALWC: Twins (85-53), Yankees (82-55)
- NLC: Cubs (77-61)
- NLW: Dodgers (87-52)
- NLE: MARLINS (78-60)
- NLWC: Nationals (75-63), Brewers (74-63)
- AVG AL/NL: Bogaerts (.356), Blackmon (.331)
- OBP AL/NL: Bogaerts (.435), Goldschmidt (.423)
- SLG AL/NL: Bogaerts (.712), Freeman (.590)
- HR AL/NL: F. Reyes (43), Freeman (43)
- ERA AL/NL: Morton (2.63), Hendricks (1.76)
- SO AL/NL: Cole (229), Scherzer (228)
- SP Randy Dobnak: 3.21 ERA with the Twins in 2020.
- SS/2B Nick Gordon: .271 AVG with 17 HR and 58 RBIs in AAA.
So the Twins will begin September 2.5 out of first place in the division while holding a 4.5 game lead on the first wild card spot. A playoff spot seems likely, but will it be in the division, or will it be in the wild card? Can the Twins avoid the Yankees who are 5.5 back in the east and also 2.0 ahead of the Rays in the wild card? The Twins play Cleveland six times in September (Sep 1-3 and Sep 8-10) and I plan to keep you updated. The full September post will go up on Sunday, but head over to my Twitter account @Carlson_MnTwins to see updates on those two series.
Any questions about what’s going on in the league so far? Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to answer whether it's about a certain player, team, or anything else! What are your thoughts on this series I am putting together?
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