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Article: Standing Pat as a Strategy

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:21 PM
'As we speak cruel time is fleeing. Seize the day, believing as little as possible in the morrow.' – HoraceBy all appearances, this is go...
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Kyler Murray

Other Baseball Today, 12:20 PM
This kid is quite the athlete. He went 42-0 in high school and won multiple Texas state championships. After agreeing with the A's to pla...
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Article: Official Rule 5 Draft Day Thread

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:10 PM
The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas have been fairly quiet against in 2018. Certainly there are meetings, but there haven't been a lot of si...
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Article: Rundown: Cruz, Cahill, Soria and Ramos

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:54 AM
FanCred's Jon Heyman reported Monday that the Twins were in the mix for Nelson Cruz. New Twins beat writer for MLB.com Do-Hyoung Park con...
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Buxton: "Pissed" at Twins for No Call-Up Decision...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:45 AM
According to the Star Tribune, Byron Buxton is displeased with the Twins after not being called up in September of 2018. According to Byr...
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OAK 3, MIN 2: Willians Astudillo Collects Three More Hits

Sometimes you just have to cling to the happy things in life like butterflies, rainbows and Willians Astudillo.

The Twins’ rookie sensation was 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, lifting his batting average up to .338 and his OPS to .877. From minor league free agent to your new favorite player, Astudillo has been a joy to watch.

What about the rest of tonight’s game? What did you not understand about butterflies and rainbows?
Image courtesy of © D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
De Jong: 42 Game Score, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 63.8% strikes (37 of 58 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Astudillo (3-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Astudillo .268, Duffey .169,
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Cave -.105, Polanco -.115, Austing -.119, Hildenberger -.362
Attached Image: WinChart922.png
Chase De Jong pitched well for the Twins, only giving up a two-run homer over his 4 1/3 innings of work. Paul Molitor went to the bullpen to get through the rest of the fifth before turning things over to Zack Littell. Littell retired the first six men he faced in order before giving up a pair of hits to open the eighth.

The Twins played some excellent defense in the infield tonight. They turned a pair of great double plays and Jorge Polanco and Joe Mauer combined for a web gem that helped strand the go-ahead run at third base the eighth inning.

The Twins headed into the bottom of the ninth inning with the game knotted up, thanks in large part to Astudillo’s game-tying RBI single in the seventh inning and the solid work from the bullpen.

Tie game, bottom of the ninth? Oakland had the Twins right where they wanted them.

Polanco failed to cleanly field a ball in the ninth that could have resulted in an out at third base but instead went down as his 13th error of the season. That turned out to be a critical mistake, as the game-winning run came in to score on a two-out wild pitch by Trevor Hildenberger.

This was the 15th walk-off loss for the Twins, tying a franchise record. Things ended very poorly tonight. Polanco's error and Hildenberger's wild pitch both stung, but the bottom line is it's really hard to win if you only score two runs.

De Jong now has a 3.97 ERA in 11 1/3 innings with the Twins and Littell has a 4.38 mark in the 12 1/3 innings he’s pitched since his ugly MLB debut. Andrew Vasquez made his sixth appearance for the Twins, hitting the only batter he faced on the foot. He’s faced just 13 men in those six appearances.

Oliver Drake faced three hitters tonight and struck out two of them while issuing a walk to the other. His ERA is down to 2.60 with the Twins and he has 17 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings pitched. Tyler Duffey induced a huge double play and Taylor Rogers extended his scoreless appearance streak, retiring the only batter he faced.

Butterflies, rainbows and Willians Astudillo.

Postgame With Molitor

Next Three Games
Sun at OAK, 3:05 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Trevor Cahill
Mon: Off
Tue vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT: TBD vs. Spencer Turnbull
Wed vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Matthew Boyd

Last Three Games
OAK 7, MIN 6: Khrush Davis Walks Off Twins
MIN 8, DET 2: Gonsalves Stymies Tigers
MIN 5, DET 3: Odorizzi Turns In Another Quality Start

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19 Comments

Hildy just isn't a closer type of pitcher. I think he's a great change of pace type of pitcher that can come in in the 7th and fool some guys, but that doesn't seem to be working in the 9th??
    • Danchat, mikelink45 and bighat like this

Hildenberger is a very good set-up man or middle reliever. He's not a closer. His stuff doesn't miss bats enough. He doesn't throw enough strikes, either. A closer has to attack attack attack with relentless, whiffable strikes. Hildy isn't quite that dominant.

 

Actually, of the guys on the current staff, Taylor Rogers has the best "closer" stuff. 

    • mikelink45 likes this
Why is it that our management and FO are always seemingly the last people to figure out things that don't work... like Hildenberger closing?
Seems the front office is making sure we get a top 10 pick with Hildy trying to close games.
I'll say again- I have no earthly idea what MoY's BWilson fixation was about all year long, but dang, I sure would have loved seeing Stu in the batter's box for most, if not all, of Bobby's turns.
Would it have made a difference in the season? Not much. But at least this club would have looked like they were trying...
    • Riverbrian, Danchat, mikelink45 and 3 others like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Sep 23 2018 05:30 AM
The little stud might is building quite a case to get a serious look next spring and to receive a legitimate chance to make the club.
    • Monkeypaws, mikelink45, DocBauer and 1 other like this
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notoriousgod71
Sep 23 2018 06:23 AM

 

Hildy just isn't a closer type of pitcher. I think he's a great change of pace type of pitcher that can come in in the 7th and fool some guys, but that doesn't seem to be working in the 9th??

 

Molitor had a quote in the STRIB yesterday that Hildy has shown he isn't intimidated by the ninth inning. I would say the exact opposite as he has been terrible since taking over closing duties.

 

I fear if Molly is around next season that Hildy will be our closer.

    • mikelink45 likes this

The little stud might is building quite a case to get a serious look next spring and to receive a legitimate chance to make the club.


Astudillo was the only person in Twins lineup last night with an OPS greater than 800. In contrast, the A’s had 6 players at that level. Fangraphs has an interesting statement attributing his 9 years of minor league performance without any MLB call up to “he doesn’t look like a baseball player”. His sprint speed is 24.7 ft/s. Only Bobby Wilson had a slower sprint speed for the Twins. He has made the most of his opportunity. I will also be rooting for him to make the team next year.
    • Danchat, Monkeypaws, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
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Winston Smith
Sep 23 2018 08:01 AM

Hildy is a borderline ML pitcher I don't get why he is being put in this situation. His overall numbers are not very good. Any decent bullpen he'd be a mop up guy, imo.

    • USAFChief likes this

Don't forget about the unicorns too.

Hildenberger is a very good set-up man or middle reliever. He's not a closer. His stuff doesn't miss bats enough. He doesn't throw enough strikes, either. A closer has to attack attack attack with relentless, whiffable strikes. Hildy isn't quite that dominant.

Actually, of the guys on the current staff, Taylor Rogers has the best "closer" stuff.

Hildy is “a very good set-up man or middle reliever?”

How?

If his stuff doesn’t miss bats enough, and he doesn’t throw enough strikes, those are problems no matter which inning he pitches.
    • ashburyjohn, h2oface, GCTF and 1 other like this

I am frustrated that Vasquez did not get to pitch to a few batters and get over his jitters.Don't they want him to succeed and have some confidence?Astudillo is a wonderful energy guy and we need energy.

 

Polanco continues to prove he should be at 2B.He is just not consistent enough in the field to be SS.

 

Hildenberger has been among my frustrated posts for the last few weeks.He might not be intimidated in the ninth, but he also is no good in the ninth.

The more I dig into the numbers, the more I think the Twins and Joe Mauer may need to face reality. As much as I love Joe Mauer, it might be time to move forward.

 

Joe has not been an above league-average hitter (in terms of wRC+) in any month besides April. Since May 1, he has a .689 OPS, a wRC+ of 84, & and OBP of just .315. His defensive metrics have fallen of a bit since last year, also. All things put together, his fWAR sits at 0.8 with 8 games left to play. 

 

If Joe wants to play in 2019, he will probably be brought back. If he is back, though, he probably is just a rotational player, and the Twins need to add some depth to their corner infield.

    • Minny505 likes this

Trevor -Hindenberg, Blows up again, How can Moliter honestly think he is a good option,No offense Trev but you might be the worst in baseball at keeping a runner from stealing with that windup, How does MOY - not see this???????????

MOY, square pegs in round holes. Hildy is not a closer, Polanco is not a SS.

 

I am frustrated that Vasquez did not get to pitch to a few batters and get over his jitters.Don't they want him to succeed and have some confidence?Astudillo is a wonderful energy guy and we need energy.

 

Polanco continues to prove he should be at 2B.He is just not consistent enough in the field to be SS.

 

Hildenberger has been among my frustrated posts for the last few weeks.He might not be intimidated in the ninth, but he also is no good in the ninth.

 

I know it isn't true, but that is what it appears like sometime.During a frustrating, losing season why hasn't this front office committed to the long term? Even if a guy like Astudillio or Vasquez fails, you find that out now instead of later,But they would prefer to roll with guys like Belisle and Bobby Wilson than get the answer to the important question of whether a young(ish) players can contribute.

 

I don't know if Willians is a good enough player or good enough at anything to be in the major leagues.But, on the other hand, maybe the sum of his versatility is enough he should be a contributor, someone that gives you tactical options during the game and a guy that I think the PR department can utilize in a way that Benchwarmer Bob was. I do think it is apparent (and I live out of town so I don't even know if I have seen him play) he has enough bat speed to generate a reasonable AAA-MLB average and slugging pct, without perhaps the selectivity of drawing walks.He isn't going to steal many bases, but somehow he has enough to step in most positions and at least represent a defensive threat.

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Channing1964
Sep 24 2018 12:00 AM
What a sad, Sad state of affairs this has become. Are we actually pinning our hopes on this rag tag group. I would quit if I were Joe Mauer too! At least most of his career he knew going into spring training there was a fighting chance. Thanks once again for taking away our 2019,20, and 21 hopes away Falvine. I sure hope it advances your careers in all the ways you had hoped...... NOT
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Channing1964
Sep 24 2018 12:13 AM
logic is no longer a factor in the personnel decisions of the Minnesota Twins. The only thing that matters is the image of Derek Falvey, and Thad Levine that they are the next coming if Theo Epstein, Sandy Alderson, and Branch Rickey rolled into two. With TC the bear running the FO we wouldnt be this much of a joke.

All this time, the Twins should've been auditioning Trevor May fulltime to be the new...closer,

 

And get Willians a tighter helmet! Of course, it is good that he is running the bases. Means he gets on base and sometimes scores!

 

Hilde is being overused. With ALL the pitchers on the staff all season, no need to be dragging some guys out every other game, especially for a losing team. Regulate the innings pitched and situations faced better.

 


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