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Why isn't Buxton on MLB OPS leaders list?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:17 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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Morneau

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:17 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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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:52 PM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...
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New Target field policy...no bags of any kind

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:27 PM
Thankfully we went before gates opened and were warned by a friendly security guy in advance that this year there are no bags of any kind...
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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:58 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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Notebook: King Kenta Returns; Lou Gehrig Day

While it wasn’t a two-touchdown beatdown, the Twins dropped their third consecutive spring training loss on Thursday. Still, there were moments of sunshine for the club on a busy day across the league.
Image courtesy of Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive miscues and stranded baserunners plagued the Twins Thursday afternoon as the ball club dropped a 5-2 contest to Tampa Bay. Even though both teams recorded three errors, the Twins’ share just happened to occur accordingly with Rays’ runners in scoring position. In addition, Minnesota left a total of 12 men on base, including nine in scoring position.

FINAL: Rays 5, Twins 2 (7 innings)
Box Score | Baseball Savant

Twins Takeaways
Mountains and Valley’s of Pitching
The Twins saw both bright and dark spots on the pitching spot on Thursday afternoon at the Fort. Ace Kenta Maeda made his 2021 debut and was nothing short of stellar. The righty was perfect, tossing two scoreless innings with zero hits and three strikeouts. It will be interesting to see if King Kenta’s stupendous 2020 season translates to a full 162-game 2021 season. Nonetheless, Maeda started 2021 out with a bang and there’s nothing to indicate that his dominance is stopping soon.

On the other hand, Hansel Robles had a rough outing in his second spring training appearance. The 30-year-old gave up three runs on four hits in the third innings of the game. The heat-hurler has yet to strike out a batter in his young career with the Twins. However, not all of the blame can be placed on Robles, as the last of his three runs was due to a throwing error by Ryan Jeffers in which nobody covered second base on a stolen base attempt. Still, the new Twin has been south of impressive and hopefully, he will be able to hit his stride down the road in Fort Myers.

Young Alex
Highly-touted Twins prospect (if we can still call him that) Alex Kirilloff did not disappoint in his third spring training game of the season. Kirilloff smacked two hits on Thursday, included a double to right field in the second inning (to Red Wing, Minn. native Ryan Bolt). The Plum, Pa. native has a greater chance to start the year on the grass of Target Field given the recent announcement that minor league play has been suspended a month. Today’s performance doesn’t hurt that cause, to say the least.

Getting the Call Up
With the bases loaded and Keon Broxton at the plate with a chance to tie the game, Twins skipper Rocco Baldelli made an interesting yet delightful move. Second base occupant Alex Kirilloff was removed from the game for pinch runner Frankie Padulo, one of the Twins’ advanced scouts. Nothing came to fruition, as Broxton grounded out to end the game. Yet the move was a fun reminder of how unique baseball can be. Padulo played college ball at Cornell and fulfilled the role with perfection. The Los Alamitos, Calif. native made sure his jersey was tucked in, got a solid secondary lead, and didn’t get picked off. Not a bad MLB debut!


In all seriousness, what a cool moment for someone who has dedicated his life to growing the game of baseball. Spring training may not have the intensity and significance of regular season baseball, but it sure creates an opportunity for some life-changing moments!

Around the League
Thursday was a monumental day for the league more so off the field than on. Major League Baseball announced that going forth, June 2 will be recognized as Lou Gehrig day. One of the greatest to play the game, Gehrig suffered and passed away from ALS in 1941 at the age of 40. The “Iron Man” join the ranks of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente as the only players to have a day of the season dedicated to them and the impact they had on the game.

How does this pertain to the Twins? Twins president Dave St. Peter was one of the trailblazers of the league who helped make the milestone possible. St. Peter sent an email this past fall to all teams who hadn’t already jumped on board the cause.

The email included the following quote.

"This disease chose baseball. When you think about it, I think we have a responsibility and an obligation to continue to pay it forward. I can't imagine there's a franchise in the game that hasn't been touched by ALS. For us, it's personal. Other teams share that view. Certainly, we all share the connection to Lou Gehrig and what he stood for and represented. Finding a way to celebrate his legacy and the class and dignity he found in his darkest hours is something that's truly worthwhile."



Bravo Dave. St. Peter’s efforts prove another example of why the Twins have some of the finest leadership in baseball, both on and off the field.

JBJ to ‘Sconnie
Former Red Sox standout Jackie Bradley Jr. has found his next home. The slugger and stellar outfielder signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Brewers on Thursday.


Bradley is a career .239/.321/.412 hitter who had a stellar 2020 season. Brewers’ skipper Craig Counsel stated that Lorenzo Cain will remain the club’s CF. Yet there’s no doubt that the addition of Bradley Jr. as a corner outfielder will beef up the Brew Crew as they look to knock the Cardinals off the NL Central pedestal.

SEE ALSO
What if Alex Kirilloff is THE One?
Max Kepler Has to Get Aggressive Early
Celestino Looking to Impress this Spring, Debut this Summer(?)

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10 Comments

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Tom Froemming
Mar 04 2021 10:07 PM

The Twins were rough around the edges in a lot of ways this afternoon, but here's a look at Jorge Polanco's day at second base. It's a work in progress, of course.

 

    • glunn likes this
NOT going to freak out about Robles at this point. Just a veteran getting stretched out and working on a few things. We should all know this by now. Deliberately not going to debate AK at this point. His future is BRIGHT! Frankly, tired of talking about him. Can't we just let things play out? I don't care it was some B.S. appearance in a ST game, Padulo will NEVER forget the time he got to be on base. KUDOS to Rocco for that!
    • CUtomorrownight and MN_ExPat like this

The Polanco played today I would much rather have Arraez back in that spot.I know it is just one game and spring training but he really looked bad out there in this game.For someone who plays baseball for a living it was shockingly bad.Well tomorrows another day but they probably should play him more this spring if he is that rusty at 2nd.

 

 

 

NOT going to freak out about Robles at this point. Just a veteran getting stretched out and working on a few things. We should all know this by now. Deliberately not going to debate AK at this point. His future is BRIGHT! Frankly, tired of talking about him. Can't we just let things play out? I don't care it was some B.S. appearance in a ST game, Padulo will NEVER forget the time he got to be on base. KUDOS to Rocco for that!

Agreed, I never take stock in spring training numbers.When I was younger I used too, but after seeing so many do well in spring only to fall flat on face in April, and vice versa.

    • DocBauer likes this
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terrydactyls1947
Mar 05 2021 08:59 AM

NOT going to freak out about Robles at this point. Just a veteran getting stretched out and working on a few things. We should all know this by now.

Deliberately not going to debate AK at this point. His future is BRIGHT! Frankly, tired of talking about him. Can't we just let things play out?

I don't care it was some B.S. appearance in a ST game, Padulo will NEVER forget the time he got to be on base. KUDOS to Rocco for that!


Wasn't Hansel Robles one of the male supermodels in Zoolander?
    • glunn and DocBauer like this
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Aerodeliria
Mar 05 2021 10:16 AM
I have the same concern as Dman. I'm not concerned about his arm strength but his throwing position. I was watching sumo a couple of years ago and the color commentator made this poignant point following a loss by the second week leader (sumo tournaments are 15 matches in 15 days). "He was demonstrating great technique in the first week and a half, but in his case, bad habits seem to reappear at the worst times."
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tony&rodney
Mar 05 2021 03:43 PM

It is Spring Training, but the clips serve as a reminder of exactly how good Joe Mauer was at 1B. Each of those plays was totally routine without any effort displayed when Mauer was at the bag. This is not a dig at Sano, but a reminder of how talented and valuable Mauer was to the Twins.

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terrydactyls1947
Mar 06 2021 10:35 AM

The Twins were rough around the edges in a lot of ways this afternoon, but here's a look at Jorge Polanco's day at second base. It's a work in progress, of course.
 


After looking at these three plays numerous times, my perception is that, although the throws weren't perfect, a lot of the blame should be placed on the first baseman. Let me clarify before you bring out the pitchforks and torches. I played first base for many years, in an era most of you think of as prehistoric. We were taught a completely different method of preparing for throws from our infielders that is used today. And I'm still convinced it is a far more versatile method.

Today's first basemen are taught to plant an anchor foot on the infield side of the bag, squarely in the middle, and take a step towards the person about to make the throw. That works great when the throw is good. However, if the throw is off-line, the opportunity to adjust is compromised. You can see in the video that Sano has trouble adjusting on all three throws. The new style of play is not compatible with rapid adjustment. On the first play, because Sano has already made his stretch before seeing where the throw is going, he winds up catching the ball too far away from the baseline to tag the runner. On the second play, having again already done his stretch before the throw is made, he has to cross over his body to try to backhand the throw in the dirt and fails to do it. On the last play, he does the same awkward move but does manage to catch this throw.

Back in prehistoric times, we were taught to straddle first base with the heels of our feet in contact with the outer edges of the infield side of the bag. When the fielder catches the ball, we held our arms up and yelled to the fielder (what you yelled was a personal option - I usually just yelled their name) to give them a reference point. After the throw had been made, we would then adjust our feet with a simple slide step to the side of first base to which the throw was heading. For example, on the first throw in the video, I would have shuffled my feet so that my right heel was now in contact with the home plate side of the bag but still on the infield edge. I would have then stretched parallel to the baseline to see if I could catch the throw without losing touch with the bag. If not, I would step off to make the catch and still be close enough to the baseline to possibly tag the runner. On the next two video examples, I would have shuffled my feet the other way, placing my left heel on the outfield side of the base and stretching towards Polanco. On the throw Sano did not catch, this would have put my whole body behind my glove (and in Sano's case, that's a lot of body). That provides a way to block the ball in case I fail to make the clean pickup. The same is true for the last throw.

I would like to see any coaching staff perform the following simple experiment comparing the way I was taught and the "modern" method. Have a first baseman assume the position currently being used of one foot planted on the bag and the other in a minimal stretch towards second base (any base will suffice). Next, assume the throw is up the home plate side. Have the player make the furthest stretch he can towards home plate and mark the spot to which the end of his glove reaches. Repeat this experiment for a wide throw to the outfield side of first base. Next, do the same two experiments using the mystical methods of our ancestors. I am willing to bet that the ground covered is far greater using ancient folk lore. Try it. I double dog dare you.
    • ashbury likes this

After looking at these three plays numerous times, my perception is that, although the throws weren't perfect, a lot of the blame should be placed on the first baseman. Let me clarify before you bring out the pitchforks and torches. I played first base for many years, in an era most of you think of as prehistoric. ...

Excellent thought-provoking post, old-timer! Now Twins Daily staff, your challenge is before you: convince Tom Kelly to write a counter-point article for you. :)
 

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tony&rodney
Mar 06 2021 01:43 PM

Old timer is correct and the math checks out quite easily. Simple really. Anyone who spent any amount of time at 1B would have countless examples where using your foot on the edges of the bag on throws right or left would be familiar with the scenarios. Fifteen inches (the bag) doesn't seem like much unless you miss by a foot on a throw to the outfield side and your foot is on the infield (wrong) side of the bag. The common error of planting a foot in the middle of the bag costs just a few inches and will result in several throwing errors being charged to the infielders, because of a mistake at first base. 

The one that puzzles me is when we see the foot of a first baseman actually on top of the bag, in the middle, where the potential for injury is obvious. Hmm?

The nuances at 1B take some time and Sano is a work in progress. Miguel is athletic and accomplished at picking balls from playing on the right side of the infield. He did fine last year and I expect improvement this year.