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Week four of the AFL season was likely the most interesting to the casual prospect follower, as it featured the circuit’s all-star showca...
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The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract....
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JOB OPENING: TC Bear

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Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
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Front Page: Handing a Qualifying Offer to Michael Pineda

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The Minnesota Twins are going to be looking at filling a starting rotation that has just one guaranteed arm for 2020. A top-tier talent o...
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Falvey: "...We're going to target impact pitching...

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Make it rain up in here, Derek.   http://www.startribu...rket/562665252/
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Series Preview: Southside Special

After what was arguably the most impactful series of the year thus far, the Minnesota Twins have now put the AL Central Division on ice. With a magic number at nine, and 13 games left against the divisional doldrums, all eyes are on October. The first opponent of the final homestand in 2019 is none other than the Chicago White Sox. Doubling up on them thus far, Rocco Baldelli’s club gets their final three cracks at Rick Renteria’s squad.
Image courtesy of © Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Brief Overview:

When you play any team 19 times in one season you’re going to get to know them quite well. Chicago knows the Twins are what they aspire to be (in a few years), and Minnesota is familiar with the up-and-coming names on the White Sox. Luis Robert did not garner a September look, so this is the same squad we’ve grown accustomed to.

What They Do Well:

At 65-84 it’s not shocking that there’s very little the White Sox do well. These two teams last played against each other on August 29th so it’s worth trying to isolate the numbers since that point.

Over the past few weeks the White Sox own the 10th best offense in baseball. That’s actually superior to the Twins, which isn’t surprising given what Minnesota has had to run out there. There isn’t a specific category that truly jumps off the page for Chicago in that time, but they have done a great job hitting for average. With a .272 batting average they have the fifth best tally dating back to the 30th.

What They Do Not Do Well:

Pitching has been pretty middle of the road for Chicago since the end of August. Lucas Giolito has continued to look the part of a staff ace and that’s helped to anchor a group that’s definitely lacking as a whole. Where Chicago really falls off, as has been the case most of the year, is in the field.

You can’t isolate defensive metrics over a sample size so small, but the White Sox have been 25th in fielding over the course of the season. They have a whopping -59 defensive runs saved and have a whole collection of guys that struggle to provide any range. It’s a dated stat, but only the Seattle Mariners have made more errors than Chicago’s 111, and that many miscues is hardly a positive.

Individuals Of Note:

The same names you’ve gotten to know all year are worth mentioning again in this space. Eloy Jimenez is the big-bat prospect that Chicago is pinning its future hopes on. Lucas Giolito is that late-blooming arm that has developed into a staff ace, and now looks like one of the best starters in baseball. Tim Anderson has electrified the sport and provided plenty of excitement all year long.

If there’re two guys that have flown a bit under the radar in terms of recognition, it’s James McCann and Yoan Moncada. The former was an All-Star (because Mitch Garver wasn’t on the ballot), and has fallen off in the second half, but he’s having a career year. The latter is a former superstar prospect that has finally met expectations and looks the part of a franchise cornerstone. McCann will need to substantiate the 2019 results, and Moncada will also, but it’s Yoan that can be a guy you build around.

Recent History:

Minnesota swept Chicago at the end of August on the road but dropped two of three the week before at Target Field. On the season, the Twins have gone 11-5 against the White Sox and they own a healthy +59 run differential.

Recent Trajectories:

The Twins wrapped up their last difficult stretch of the season going 6-6 against the Red Sox, Nationals, and Indians. Chicago is 4-6 across their last ten and have been losers in each of their last two.

Pitching Matchups:

Monday: Berrios vs Lopez
Tuesday: Perez vs Giolito Giolito now done for the year with a lat strain
Wednesday: Odorizzi vs Covey

Ending Thoughts:
There’s no denying that Minnesota should have a healthy amount of wins awaiting them in this final 13 game stretch, but the reality is they still need to play the games and compete. The Twins bumped Jose Berrios to get another day of rest, and they should prioritize getting ready for October. They’ll get solid tests against Lopez and Giolito though, so dropping the series is something they should be keyed in on avoiding. I don’t see a sweep, but Minnesota needs to assert some home dominance against bottom feeders the rest of the way. Take two and call it good.

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14 Comments

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birdwatcher
Sep 16 2019 08:42 AM

Thanks for tempering expectations a bit regarding this series, as apparently a lot of people think this team is a complete pushover. All it would take is for Lopez to throw shutout innings like I believe he did in his last start while Berrios reverts to his struggling form, for Perez to look pathetic against Giolito, and for someone like Jiminez or Moncada to light Odo up while the light bulb goes on for Covey, and presto, we end up losing a couple/three of these games. Not predicting this.

 

This Twins squad is still limping along, let's not fool ourselves too much. Thankfully, we have incredible depth, so unlike Chicago, KC, and Detroit, we're not inserting bona fide AAA talent into four spots in the order every day. The main difference between us and them is the number of lousy players they have to use. Like we did just last season.

    • Dantes929, SF Twins Fan and bighat like this

Tuesday game will be difficult.Hopefully we will bomba the other two starters and collect 2 - 3 wins here.

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SpicyGarvSauce
Sep 16 2019 09:47 AM

Sounds like Marwin might be back tonight...?

 

Need another good start out of Berrios.

    • Bomba2026 likes this

If pen can keep pitching like they have, at least top pen pitchers that is, we should get 2 of 3.For whatever reason the Twins have struggled at home most of the season.Not sure why that is, but hopefully they can turn it around soon.We had big wins in Cleveland, lets not lay an egg against Chicago. 

    • mrtwinsfan likes this
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MMMordabito
Sep 16 2019 10:17 AM

Jose Abreu = Chopped Liver?

    • birdwatcher likes this

Still gotta win the games!

"The Central Division is on ice" - what? Are you TRYING to jinx this team? You know we have Martin Perez going this series...correct? Against power-hitting Jose Abreu the league-leading RBI machine.

 

Cleveland is home against the worst team in baseball to start the week, BTW. Ain't nothing "on ice" until the magic number is 0, IMO.

    • LA VIkes Fan and rkevin like this
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Halsey Hall
Sep 16 2019 11:40 AM

Berrios with an extra day of rest.Jim Kaat stated an extra day was worse than one day less of rest so we shall see.There's nothing on ice yet.

The fact that we beat that $@%#!?& Clevinger made my weekend! Bombas only good in a win! And I think the Dobber has been doing a good job for a newbie. Go Twins Let's win the rest of our games and hit over 300 Bombas!

Sitting in the campfire light, with the ghost of old Gene Mauch....

 

Sounds like Marwin might be back tonight...?

 

Need another good start out of Berrios.

Looks like he (Gonzalez) is in the line-up

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SpicyGarvSauce
Sep 16 2019 03:16 PM

 

Berrios with an extra day of rest.Jim Kaat stated an extra day was worse than one day less of rest so we shall see.There's nothing on ice yet.

For some guys, sure. It is all relative.

 

I especially liked the idea of sinker ballers sinking more when they were pitching on shorter rest (would hear this often when guys like Blackburn, SIlva, etc.) were heeling the rubber.

Sitting in the campfire light, with the ghost of old Gene Mauch....


1964 Phillies.
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theBOMisthebomb
Sep 16 2019 05:14 PM
This is Minnesota. There is nothing on ice until it is in the record books.

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