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Article: Faltering Romero Exposes Flaw in Falvey's Of...

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Article: BREAKING: Harper, Austin, Astudillo Make Opening...

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Word came out of Twins camp today that Ryne Harper, Tyler Austin and Willians Astudillo will all be on the team's Opening Day roster. Wit...
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Article: Analyzing the Twins' 2019 Schedule

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Nine Innings With Seth

While there were no real big stories revolving around the Twins on Tuesday, there were several little stories of interest. A couple of Twins players hit big home runs in Winter League play. The Twins made some announcements about Joe Mauer. The Twins made another minor league hire.

Hopefully you will enjoy this format from time to time, a place to discuss these types of stories. Feel free to discuss any of them and ask questions.
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA Today
1st Inning - Miguel Sano homers



On Tuesday night, Miguel Sano played his first game in the Dominican Winter League of the year, and his first game in the DWL in over three years. He DHd and batted third. He went 1-for-3 with two walks and the three-run homer. The homer came off of right-hander Tristan Archer who spent most of 2018 in the Brewers’ AAA bullpen.

He seemed to enjoy his trek around the bases as well as watching it while walking down the first base line.



You can’t help but love seeing the passion of the players in the Dominican leagues.

2nd Inning - Willians Astudillo homers



It’s fair to say that Astudillo admired his work on that one. The Venezuelan Winter League MVP candidate homered to give his team a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth. That proved to be the final score. The homer came off of former Twins prospect Deolis Guerra. Astudillo went 2-for-4 in the game.

You have to love Deadspin referring to Astudillo as the “Beefy Baseball Hero.”




3rd Inning - New Minor League Hitting Coordinator

On Twitter, Peter Fatse announced that he has been hired by the Twins as their new Minor League Hitter Coordinator.



Fatse was drafted by the Brewers in the 2009 draft out of the University of Connecticut. He spent two years in their system, peaking at High-A. He played two seasons in independent leagues.

He founded Advanced Performance Academy in western Massachusetts. If you’re looking for a minor league hitting coordinator, having this on your website is a good thing, “Developing Hitters that have the ability to compete at their peak potential is what I aim to do.”

Fatse takes over the job vacated by Rick Eckstein earlier this offseason when he was named the hitting coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

4th Inning - Twins to Sign Telis?



According to Carlos Rodriguez, the Twins may be close to signing catcher Tomas Telis. I would assume (comfortably) that it would be a minor league contract with an invitation to Twins spring training. Admittedly, he is a player I had not heard of in the past which is strange because he has spent at least part of each of the past five seasons in the big leagues.

Telis was originally signed by the Texas Rangers - make your Thad Levine connection here - and played in that system from 2008 through the July 2015 trade deadline when he was traded to the Marlins. He was with Miami through the 2018 season. He has about one-and-a-half years of service time over the five years. In 122 major-league games, he has hit .230/.267/298 (.565).

My assumption is that his role will be that of fourth catcher. Jason Castro and Mitch Garver will be the Twins Opening Day catchers, assuming health. Willians Astudillo should be the top catcher in Rochester, and then Telis could be the next guy. Astudillo’s ability to play several positions will help him, and it will get Telis more time behind the plate. Telis also played quite a bit of first base for the Marlins the last couple of years.


5th Inning - Caesars Palace Puts Twins at 84 Wins



According to the above tweet, Caesars Palace placed the over-under of Twins wins at 84. In my opinion, that is a pretty good number. If guys like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton are healthy, and Max Kepler takes the next step, 84 could be low. If not, or other things go wrong, it could be under. But with the current roster, that feels like a good number. What do you think?

The 84 wins would place the Twins in second place according to Caesars. Their over-under for Cleveland is 91 ½. They have the White Sox in third place at 74 ½ wins. Kansas City’s over-under is listed at 69, and the Tigers are at 67.




6th Inning - Twins to Retire Mauer’s Number 7

The Twins announced last month that they would be retiring Joe Mauer’s number 7 at a ceremony sometime in 2019. On Tuesday morning, the Twins announced that the ceremony would be on June 15th.


7th Inning - Mauer Four-Pack Bobblehead Series

The Twins also announced that they will be having four Joe Mauer bobblehead games during the 2019 season. By purchasing the “Mauer Bobblehead Four-Pack” package, fans can also get a fifth Mauer bobblehead. Below are the dates of the four bobblehead games and what the bobblehead will depict. (per team press release)
  • May 24 vs. Chicago White Sox – The first in the bobblehead series features Mauer’s signature swing, as depicted in the Cretin Derham Hall High School “Raiders” jersey in which he hit .567.
  • July 19 vs. Oakland – The second takes us back to April 5, 2004, when a 21-year-old Mauer was the Twins’ starting catcher in his major league debut, going 2-for-3 in a 7-4, Opening Day victory over Cleveland at the Metrodome.
  • Aug. 24 vs. Detroit – The third honors the legacy of Mauer’s sensational 2009 season, in which he captured the American League MVP, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards for the AL Central champion Twins.​
  • Sept. 7 vs. Cleveland – The last in the series commemorates the final game of Mauer’s career, Sept. 30, 2018 – a day that will forever be remembered in Twins lore.
Together, the base of the four gate giveaway bobbleheads form a number “7”.

For more information or to order tickets, click here.


8th Inning - Nelson Cruz on MLB Network

On Tuesday, new Twins DH Nelson Cruz appeared on MLB Network’s Hot Stove show with Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds. Cruz called in live from the Dominican Republic and talked about his preparation, his workouts, his routine and much, much more.

As interesting, he was just finished hitting, and you can see several 13-14 year old Domincan prospects working out. Maybe some guys that will sign in a couple of Julys.


9th Inning - Twins Birthdays

A new Twitter page, Twins Birthdays, started on New Years Day. Through the first week of the year, it has wished a Happy Birthday to Twins players from the past, the present and the future. For those on Twitter, it appears to be a good follow for Twins fans.






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23 Comments

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diehardtwinsfan
Jan 09 2019 07:42 AM

I know the sentiment here is negative, but A LOT went wrong last year.... I think 84 is a reasonable target with some regression to the mean with Sano and Buxton in particular. They've upgraded Dozier for Schoope, upgraded Morrison for Cruz, and upgraded some of the weaker slots in the pen with Parker. If I were a betting man, I'd wager on the over for this one, especially if they go out and get another RP.

    • nicksaviking, USNMCPO, bluechipper and 4 others like this
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Old Twins Cap
Jan 09 2019 08:01 AM

Nice looking swing by Sano.

 

Not sure all the talk about how much weight he's lost is accurate.

 

Still looking like a draft horse on the bases.

If the Twins don't keep Astudillo around, I hope some other team will grab him. Good ballplayer, and natural showman that belongs in MLB.

    • scottz, gil4, woolywoolhouse and 2 others like this

Enjoyed watching the HRs and the Nelson Cruz Facetime, thanks. The DR Round Robin is getting SERIOUS! Teams are pulling out the stops. https://www.oddsport...idom/standings/

    • Carole Keller likes this
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RatherBeGolfing
Jan 09 2019 08:27 AM

 

If the Twins don't keep Astudillo around, I hope some other team will grab him. Good ballplayer, and natural showman that belongs in MLB.

 

Astudillo should participate in every single one of those races sponsored by Target in the middle of the game this year

    • scottz, drbob524, Monkeypaws and 1 other like this

Maybe it is wishful thinking, but doesn't Sano look smaller than last spring?  

 

I expect you are right and Astudillo begins the year in Rochester.Is the #13 player in my book and expect the Twins will open the season with only 12 players.Will be good to be in Rochester where he can play every day.But I really hope we see a lot of him over the summer...could easily become one of my favorite Twins.

    • scottz, Oldgoat_MN, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Jan 09 2019 09:06 AM
Astudillo's bat is far too valuable not to be in the Twins line-up or as an off the bench pinch hitter. The guy just never strikes out....... or walks.
    • jorgenswest, ken and bighat like this

Not to get off topic, but how about that Brew Crew getting no respect (Hader hatin') at 5 - 5.5 wins behind their more popular division opponents.

"The Venezuelan Winter League MVP candidate homered to give his team a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth."

 

Interestingly enough (or surprising?!), one of his main competitors for this award, is...

 

Delmon Young.

 

(He has 19 HR's to lead the circuit, Astudillo is 2nd with 10)

    • bluechipper and bighat like this

 

Astudillo should participate in every single one of those races sponsored by Target in the middle of the game this year

 

Yep, still room for a Tortuga ... I'd be torn, as I always root for Skeeta (It's a superstition that, combined with Ben's 100%,I believe leads to me being bit less than others at outdoor summer gatherings)

 

Not to get off topic, but how about that Brew Crew getting no respect (Hader hatin') at 5 - 5.5 wins behind their more popular division opponents.

Their offseason has been slow so far. Cory Spangenberg, Bobby Wahl, and Ben Gamel have been their main additions.

 

They lost a bunch of guys to Free Agency (mostly the 1 year rentals they acquired mid season). If they get a couple of the players they have been linked to, like Dozier, Bumgarner, or Kuechel, they can recoup those losses.

 

Fangraphs has them at 78 wins and 5th place right now.I still think they are easily better than the Pirates and Reds but this is a decent division.I don't really see a clear favorite or great team between Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals. 

 

If the Twins don't keep Astudillo around, I hope some other team will grab him. Good ballplayer, and natural showman that belongs in MLB.

If the Twins don't keep him around I may just find another team. 

    • Monkeypaws and ken like this

The Twins need Astudillo on the 25-man in 2019. Don't know if I could justify it from a pure baseball standpoint. But I'd have him spend the season walking next to Sano. Makes Sano look like Kevin Garnett.

 

As a side benefit, Sano's HR routine would apparently never look in any way egregious, in the event that Astudillo were to hit one. :)

    • nicksaviking, Monkeypaws and DocBauer like this
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Canizaro's Ghost
Jan 09 2019 12:28 PM

 

Their offseason has been slow so far. Cory Spangenberg, Bobby Wahl, and Ben Gamel have been their main additions.

 

They lost a bunch of guys to Free Agency (mostly the 1 year rentals they acquired mid season). If they get a couple of the players they have been linked to, like Dozier, Bumgarner, or Kuechel, they can recoup those losses.

 

Fangraphs has them at 78 wins and 5th place right now.I still think they are easily better than the Pirates and Reds but this is a decent division.I don't really see a clear favorite or great team between Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals. 

For me, the numbers are more about what will get people to bet on a given team, not necessarily the exact number of wins they are predicting. (This makes more sense in my small brain than it does typed out). 

    • Minny505 likes this

Pavano's 2010 was the least interesting 17-win season of all time.

 

It was tthe relievers who got the Twins in the playoffs that year. The hitting and starters were all in fast decline. The relievers followed suit in 2011.

 

It's surprising we didn't see this at the time as it's obvious when you look at the numbers now.

I hope Astudillo makes the 25. I see him as being valuable on many levels. One of them being that he is fun.

I'm optimistic about the new coach having a positive effect on this young group. I like what is being said by him about having fun and playing loose. Should fit this group well.

The new additions to the roster seem better than Dozier, Morrison and name your DH of the day.

Pendida working out, Bux and Sano staying healthy would be pluses obviously.

There's enough "ifs" and I hope a few work out.
    • DocBauer and bighat like this
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clutterheart
Jan 09 2019 06:54 PM
Any ideas on why we dont see Sano listed here?
http://mlb.mlb.com/m.../org.jsp?id=min
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jorgenswest
Jan 09 2019 07:35 PM

Any ideas on why we dont see Sano listed here?
http://mlb.mlb.com/m.../org.jsp?id=min


Maybe it was his first game
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killertwinfan
Jan 10 2019 08:09 AM

I agree that things went really bad last year and we still got 78 wins.Following the trend of this team and the conscious aide of no expectations for this team 84 seems very reasonable.Where I disagree is that Schoop is an upgrade over Dozier and I doubt that Cruz will do much to change the win column at DH.We have lost some key guys to this team in Mauer, Grossman and Escobar.Our additions may outperform the previous incumbents, but success lies in our key guys to start playing and our pitching to step it up just a bit to cover the gap. 

I know the sentiment here is negative, but A LOT went wrong last year.... I think 84 is a reasonable target with some regression to the mean with Sano and Buxton in particular. They've upgraded Dozier for Schoope, upgraded Morrison for Cruz, and upgraded some of the weaker slots in the pen with Parker. If I were a betting man, I'd wager on the over for this one, especially if they go out and get another RP.

 

    • Carole Keller likes this
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killertwinfan
Jan 10 2019 08:12 AM

If Austudillo isn't around there better be a very good reason.Maybe I missed it, but we still haven't heard where Garver is with concussions.I think we need the depth and he provides a ton of flexibility. 

If the Twins don't keep Astudillo around, I hope some other team will grab him. Good ballplayer, and natural showman that belongs in MLB.

 

 

Any ideas on why we dont see Sano listed here?
http://mlb.mlb.com/m.../org.jsp?id=min

 

It was his first game, ,but also it's in the playoffs and generally playoff stats aren't showcased places. 

If the Twins don't keep Astudillo around, I hope some other team will grab him. Good ballplayer, and natural showman that belongs in MLB.


Astudillo has a minor league option remaining (I believe), so other teams will not be allowed to grab him.
I would wager the under. Because the Twins being Twins.

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