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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:24 PM
This year's Rule 5 draft we lost Akil Baddo and Tyler Wells. So I thought I'd check to see how they were doing. 1st I checked on Baddo, h...
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Why isn't Buxton on MLB OPS leaders list?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:55 PM
Buxton is listed only on the MLB HR leaders list. Not on OPS or AVG or SLG or OBP. He should be the leader in several of these. He has as...
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2021 Regular Season Game Threads

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:40 PM
Welcome to the 2021 edition of Twins' Baseball. Twins Daily plans to have a game thread during the regular season for every game (one thr...
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Morneau

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:58 PM
I thought he was was really good last year. Maybe I'm on an opening day high (Not high) but he is so good.Who would have thought he would...
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Fun with Numbers 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:27 PM
Nelson Cruz is on pace to hit over 150 home runs if he gets 500 at bats.   Josh Donaldson slash line:1.000/1.000/2.000/3.000
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Notebook: Arraez to LF?

Luis Arraez is reportedly healthy and maybe looking at a new position in 2021. Ian Hamilton cleared waivers, and Twins Twitter can't decide if they thought the offseason was good or great.
Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn - USA Today Sports
Today, Luis Arraez had his first availability for Twin Cities media ahead of spring training. Arraez may have given a hint of the Twins initial plans for his position in his opening press Zoom call.



With Alex Kirilloff likely starting the year in the minors to suppress service time, Arraez may see time in left field, along with Jake Cave, and Brent Rooker. This is hardly surprising, the Twins will look to get a bat projected to win the AL batting title into the lineup at every opportunity.

Additionally, Arraez indicated that he is fully healthy after struggling with knee issues in 2020.



What do you think of Arraez in left field?

Hamilton Clear Waivers
The Twins sneaked Ian Hamilton through waivers Tuesday, and have now added Brandon Waddell and Hamilton as additional upside relief depth. Hamilton will remain with the team as a non-roster invite to spring training. I’d expect to see him in St. Paul and Minneapolis this summer. It’s an interesting strategy to add organizational depth after exhausting payroll budget. While these moves may seem insignificant now, depth is clearly a point of emphasis in all aspects of the roster and organization after a shortened 2020 season.



Twins Twitter Rages over Offseason Efficacy
On an otherwise slow news day, Twins twitter debated the quality of the Twins offseason.



At best I think it’s hard to convincingly argue that the Twins roster has taken a step back from last year. The 2020 squad was decimated by injuries. As a result, the 2021 squad is deeper. The front office has produced another playoff caliber team. How the team takes advantage of that, or not, is why we watch the games.



Where do you land on the Twins offseason, assuming they’ve wrapped up major moves. Do you think they improved, held serve, or regressed? What does the roster still lack?

Transactions
Here’s a roundup of transactions from around the league on Tuesday:

The Mets signed Kevin Pillar to a deal worth $3.6 MM this year and a complex combination of player and club options.
The Brewers signed Brett Anderson to a 1 year, $2.5 MM deal
The Pirates signed Tyler Anderson to a 1 year, $2,5 MM deal.
The Dodgers traded RHP Josh Sborz to the Rangers for RHP Jhan Zambrano
The Nationals signed T.J. McFarland to a MiLB deal.
The Reds signed Cam Bedrosian to a MiLB deal.
The Dodgers signed Matt Davidson to a MiLB deal.
The Phillies signed Jeff Mathis to a MiLB deal
The Yankees signed Robinson Chirinos to a MiLB deal

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60 Comments

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Nine of twelve
Feb 16 2021 09:08 PM

With the possible exception of pitcher, left field is the least important position in terms of fielding.

    • Jamie Cameron and JoshDungan1 like this

A truly deadened baseball for 2021 could produce more possible base hits to track down in the outfield. Outfield range might become more important than recently needed.

    • Dman, Jamie Cameron, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this
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Jamie Cameron
Feb 16 2021 09:22 PM

Yeah, I gotta think Arraez can at least play average-ish LF.

With the possible exception of pitcher, left field is the least important position in terms of fielding.

 

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Jamie Cameron
Feb 16 2021 09:23 PM

Interesting point for sure. I think LF would only be Arraez' until Kirilloff is promoted a few weeks into the season, so maybe moot.

A truly deadened baseball for 2021 could produce more possible base hits to track down in the outfield. Outfield range might become more important than recently needed.

 

Araez will get some at bats playing 2nd and 3rd early in the season as well but I think he will get the majority in LF. You want his bat in the lineup and that is the best spot to get him consistent ABs.
Also there will be injuries and he will fill in for those where needed. The game isn’t played on paper there will be at bats to go around as the season progresses. Makes sense early to keep Kiriloff in the minors and save the service time and give Cave, Arraez and Rooker the LF at bats in April.
    • Dman likes this

That fWAR twit bit is a little swayed. If you are going to add Cruz, you first must mark him as a loss, too. Take his 2.4 out that shouldn't really be added, and you have lost 6.4, added, 5.9, for a net loss of .5. That is more representative of the difference.

    • Mike Sixel, diehardtwinsfan, Twins33 and 14 others like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Feb 17 2021 01:07 AM
I see Arraez as the opening day LF in a platoon with Rooker, a gets a day or two a week in the IF. Cave gets his ABs spelling Buxton and Kepler. Kiriloff comes up in May and either replaces Rooker or whoever isn't hitting, or Cave gets traded. Having Arraez in the everyday lineup is a great thing.
    • DocBauer likes this
Bringing Kiriloff up later is a freaking joke. If he's good enough for the post season he's good enough for opening day! Bring the best team north!!!
    • Mike Sixel, mikelink45, jud6312 and 1 other like this
It’s not hard to convincingly argue that the roster has taken a step back from last year. In fact, it’s really easy. The injury issues aren’t just going away. Cruz isn’t going to OPS 1.000 again. Maeda isn’t going to be Cy Young runner up. The starting rotation took a step back, talent-wise (Rich Hill and Odorizzi are better than Shoemaker and Happ). The bullpen took a step back (anyone see Robles’ numbers last year?).

The Twins’ don’t need to improve, according to Nick. Is that the hill we’re going to make our stand on now? We haven’t been remotely competitive in the playoffs, including last year. The White Sox will be better.

That list of additions/losses is so purposefully misleading that it should be flagged by Twitter. That one takes the heavyweight championship belt.
    • Mike Sixel, Twins33, mikelink45 and 1 other like this
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Doctor Gast
Feb 17 2021 07:05 AM
IMO 1B is the best place for Arraez, I'd like Sano transition back to 3B whenever needed because he's our best option. They should play Arraez in LF only when absolutely necessary, because there is a lot of ground to cover.

I agree that that addition and subtraction of WAR is misleading. The subtraction of Rosario's WAR will be supplemented by Kiriloff and the addition of Simmons will increase the WAR of many players and pitchers. Although I'm not a fan of the addition to the rotation. I believe they are counting on and want to somewhere down the line figure in Duran and Balazovic. And the BP I believe is much better than last year.
The way to look at it is, have they upgraded where needed? Have they plugged the holes? Have they met the budget? I believe in the most part is yes
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LylesCrocodiles
Feb 17 2021 07:44 AM
I like Arraez. But if he plays more than 30-40 games in left field the Twins will have been crippled by injuries. I’m hoping he’s used much like Marwin the last 2 years. 5 starts per week at different positions.
    • Twins33 and DocBauer like this

Arreaz at first base? How tall is he? What's his catch radius?

 

You've got to be kidding me ... 

    • SgtSchmidt11 and jud6312 like this

 

That list of additions/losses is so purposefully misleading that it should be flagged by Twitter. That one takes the heavyweight championship belt.

While I can understand feeling like Cruz should be a wash the fact is he was a Free Agent. If the Twins were unable to sign him then he wouldn't be on the team and then whatever player they signed would be there instead of Cruz.The Twins chose to sign him instead of player X thus the inclusion. 

 

It is a bit misleading to not include him in the lose column as well but technically he wasn't lost.The only issue I see is that you cannot have more WAR just by resigning your own player back onto the team and that is what his calculation does.

 

You can argue that having the same player doesn't make the team "better" but losing him certainly could have made the team worse.The better the team gets the harder it becomes to improve.

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Major League Ready
Feb 17 2021 08:29 AM

 

It’s not hard to convincingly argue that the roster has taken a step back from last year. In fact, it’s really easy. The injury issues aren’t just going away. Cruz isn’t going to OPS 1.000 again. Maeda isn’t going to be Cy Young runner up. The starting rotation took a step back, talent-wise (Rich Hill and Odorizzi are better than Shoemaker and Happ). The bullpen took a step back (anyone see Robles’ numbers last year?).

The Twins’ don’t need to improve, according to Nick. Is that the hill we’re going to make our stand on now? We haven’t been remotely competitive in the playoffs, including last year. The White Sox will be better.

That list of additions/losses is so purposefully misleading that it should be flagged by Twitter. That one takes the heavyweight championship belt.

 

I agree that Maeda and Cruz are not likely to be as good as they were last year. What about the guys who are likely to be be more productive. Donaldson played very little and Buxton missed what was the equivalent to 1/3 of the season. Sano and Garver were beasts in 2019 but really struggled in the short season. Polanco had a wRC+ of 80. We should definitely expect better in 2021. .

    • Mike Sixel, Danchat and DocBauer like this
I like the moves made in the infield. Definitely think they are lacking pitching depth both in the rotation and bullpen and that concerns me. I think this years team will be much different in style. We will see if they are better.
    • Danchat and jud6312 like this
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Dave The Dastardly
Feb 17 2021 08:38 AM

 

It’s not hard to convincingly argue that the roster has taken a step back from last year. In fact, it’s really easy. The injury issues aren’t just going away. Cruz isn’t going to OPS 1.000 again. Maeda isn’t going to be Cy Young runner up. The starting rotation took a step back, talent-wise (Rich Hill and Odorizzi are better than Shoemaker and Happ). The bullpen took a step back (anyone see Robles’ numbers last year?).

The Twins’ don’t need to improve, according to Nick. Is that the hill we’re going to make our stand on now? We haven’t been remotely competitive in the playoffs, including last year. The White Sox will be better.

That list of additions/losses is so purposefully misleading that it should be flagged by Twitter. That one takes the heavyweight championship belt.

Sounds like your stein is half empty, but I hear you. However being a Twins fans requires we always remember that hope springs eternal. Or as true Minnesotans like to say; we eternally hope for spring. Me? I'm going to top off my stein, kick back and let the bloop hits fall where they may.

    • Otwins, woolywoolhouse, Dman and 2 others like this

Interesting column.Like many others the fact that Cruz was an addition, but not a loss too really skewed the WAR lists.Put him on both or remove him because his signing does not raise or lower the bar.

 

As for all the players who had down years last year - we need to hold back on rosy or negative reactions.In this strange time we are dealing with hope, not facts.  

 

I am not excited about Arraez as an everyday LF - I want Kiriloff up right away.I know service time - but we have two choices - extend or watch him go when arbitration gets too expensive like his predecessor in LF.That extra year means nothing.I love Arraez, but if he is the Marwin of 2021 then he has to move around and not take and block a position. 

 

I am still wondering who backs up Buxton if the injury plague continues?Cave, Arraez and Kepler are not good CF options.If we want defense they better have a good CF in St Paul to step in. 

    • Mike Sixel, Dman and jud6312 like this

Arraez will get a little time in LF but he is the only 2B/SS/3B option on the bench! All three starters have had chronic, nagging injuries the past two years. I'm surprised the Twins haven't added a 2nd utility player. Gonzalez and Adrianza were both needed in the IF many times the past two years.

 

    • Danchat, mikelink45, Dman and 2 others like this
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SgtSchmidt11
Feb 17 2021 09:21 AM

 

Arraez will get a little time in LF but he is the only 2B/SS/3B option on the bench! All three starters have had chronic, nagging injuries the past two years. I'm surprised the Twins haven't added a 2nd utility player. Gonzalez and Adrianza were both needed in the IF many times the past two years.

I suspect Nick Gordon is the answer to your riddle.

    • Otwins and Dman like this

 

That fWAR twit bit is a little swayed. If you are going to add Cruz, you first must mark him as a loss, too. Take his 2.4 out that shouldn't really be added, and you have lost 6.4, added, 5.9, for a net loss of .5. That is more representative of the difference.

 

Good point. Might Pineda be an add as he missed so much of last season? I think the Twins are also counting on a healthy Donaldson - fingers crossed.

    • puckstopper1 likes this

 

I suspect Nick Gordon is the answer to your riddle.

I hope so, or else we're going to be seeing Tzu-Wei Lin or JT Riddle on the 26 man roster, and that won't be ideal. I like Blankenhorn's bat, but he won't be playing SS in the majors.

If Arraez is going to play a lot of OF, I hope they work on his stride as he persues the baseball. Can't be taking those little baby steps trying to get to the ball. Cue up the Devon White video.

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Dodecahedron
Feb 17 2021 12:15 PM

LF was Arraez's primary position in 2019.

 

Metrics suggest he isn't very good out there, but it's a small sample size.

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Major League Ready
Feb 17 2021 01:10 PM

 

I hope so, or else we're going to be seeing Tzu-Wei Lin or JT Riddle on the 26 man roster, and that won't be ideal. I like Blankenhorn's bat, but he won't be playing SS in the majors.

 

If Simmons gets injured they are not going to use one of the AAAA guys. Their 1st move would be to put Polanco back at SS and use Arraez or Blankenhorn at 2B.

    • DocBauer likes this

 

If Simmons gets injured they are not going to use one of the AAAA guys. Their 1st move would be to put Polanco back at SS and use Arraez or Blankenhorn at 2B.

Right, but then once Polanco is at SS, you have no players on the team who can backup him up at SS, not to mention that Arraez is the primary backup 3B and he'd probably be a bottom-tier fielder there. I could see them going with a glove-first SS/3B on the bench, if Gordon can't be that guy.


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