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MLB.com report on instructional league prospects

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:30 AM
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

Other Baseball Today, 09:08 AM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
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Nelson Cruz wants 2 years

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:12 AM
https://www.mlbtrade...-year-deal.html
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MLB Sees Local TV And Streaming Viewership Up Over 4% For...

Other Baseball Yesterday, 09:08 PM
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

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:14 AM
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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Recent Blogs


Notebook 9/19: Time for Twins to Support Their Starters

The Twins have lost two in a row and four of their last five. They’ll look to get on track Saturday against the Cubs right-hander Alec Mills, who is coming off a no-hitter.
Yesterday's Game Recap
CHC 1, MIN 0 - The Professor Schools Twins

Today:
Twins (31-22) @ Cubs (31-20), 7:15 pm CDT

No offense, but the Twins’ has disappeared

Entering the White Sox series, the Twins were rolling.



Since then, they’ve hit .189 with a .646 OPS, scoring 11 total runs over their last five games. The pitching staff has posted a solid 3.29 ERA in that 41 inning span. As has been the case for much of 2020, the Twins’ losses aren’t due to poor pitching and defense. Can they turn it around Saturday?

No-hitters in Chi-Town

Lucas Giolito won’t be the only pitcher to face the Twins after throwing a no-no. Alec Mills struck out five and held the Brewers to zero knocks in his last start. Coming in to that game, Mills had a 4.74 ERA. The right-hander has given up eight home runs in 52 ⅔ innings.

Mills has extreme platoon splits through nine starts in 2020. Righties are hitting just .150 with a .487 OPS, while lefties are hitting .243 with a .771 OPS. Perhaps the Twins start three lefties in the outfield with Jake Cave giving Byron Buxton a day off in center. It’s also a good night for Alex Avila to start behind the plate.

Mills ranks below league average in expected ERA, expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, and expected wOBA. His no-hitter last Sunday was a great example of the difference in contact and results. Mills gave up 11 (!) hard-hit balls but didn’t allow a single hit. Maybe it’s unfair to call it luck but uh… he’s been lucky.

Big Mike goes back to work for Minnesota

Michael Pineda has been a stabilizing force for the Twins. He owns a 3.57 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 17 ⅔ innings. Pineda, a three-pitch pitcher, has thrown the heck out of his slider in 2020. Opponents are whiffing at over a 50% rate and hitting just .125 off it. Pineda is unleashing it much more against lefties than he did in 2019, a la Kenta Maeda. It’s working for both of them.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
  • The Cubs’ offense ranks 17th in wOBA (.315), 20th in wRC+ (95), and 18th in OPS (.722)
  • Pineda’s slider should match up very well with Kris Bryant and Javier Báez, who’ve struggled mightily against breaking balls this year.
  • Lefties Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber and switch-hitter Ian Happ will be the key outs.
  • Byron Buxton and Josh Donaldson have played in five straight games. Look for one or both to get a day off Saturday.
  • Only Caleb Thielbar pitched Friday (thanks to Rich Hill), so the Twins’ bullpen should be well rested.
  • If Buxton plays, will he lead off with Kepler back in the lineup?
Around the AL Central:

Chicago White Sox 33-18 (+74 run differential)
Minnesota Twins 31-22 (+44)
Cleveland Indians 28-23 (+37)
Detroit Tigers 21-29 (-64)
Kansas City Royals 21-30 (-27)

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3 Comments

No offense

None taken, where it's almost like none was intended. :)
 

    • Platoon likes this

 Teams based on hitting have always seemed more streaky than those based on defense and pitching, both of which are more easily replicated day to day. Hitting teams are like offensive basketball teams. When the hits (shots) fall in you win, when they don’t you lose. It’s that simple. As for those who think that last years Bomba assault was going to be a yearly occurrence? You just don’t get career years from that many players in one season. More all around teams can fall back on other aspects of the game. While I can’t define how many of the teams losses were defense related the recent White Sox series included one for sure. Regardless of a definitive number of losses tied to the glove, this isn’t a good defensive team at all. As for pitching, both starters and pen  have had moments, but really, 5 ish innings from starters just ain’t gonna cut it. 

Why do they need to give Donaldson and Buxton a day off?I am calling Cal Ripken.The constant need for rest is getting ridiculous.

    • Platoon likes this