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STL 7, MIN 5: Lynn with a Dud Again

Lance Lynn had been struggling, but this was his chance at sweet, sweet revenge against his former team who showed no interest in bringing him back for 2018. He responded to the occasion by … throwing another clunker.
Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot Info
Record: 18-21
Lynn: Game Score 38, 56.1 Strike%, 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
Bullpen: 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 IR, 1 IS, 5 K, 2 BB
Hitters: 3-for-8 w/RISP, 7 LOB, 6 K, 5 BB
Top 3 per WPA: Morrison .230, Rosario .173, Grossman .078

Win Expectancy Chart (via FanGraphs)
Attached Image: chart.png
Lynn only lasted three innings and it took him 82 pitches just to get that far. He walked another four batters. His ERA on the year ticked up to 7.47. Ick.

The bullpen also ran into some trouble. Taylor Rogers gave up a run while recording five outs, Ryan Pressly was charged with two earned runs in his inning of work, though one of those scored while Zach Duke was on the bump, and Phil Hughes gave up a home run to the first batter he faced. The only members of the bullpen who didn’t appear in this one were Trevor Hildenberger and Fernando Rodney. Good thing the Twins are off tomorrow.

Despite the shaky performance from the pitching staff, the Twins still had the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth inning. Logan Morrison was 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run, which was the only extra-base hit for the Twins today. Eddie Rosario was 3-for-4 with a walk and Joe Mauer picked up a pair of hits.

There was a lot of traffic on the bases in this one. The teams combined for 23 hits, 11 walks and left a total of 17 runners on base.

Next Three Games
Thu OFF
Fri vs. MIL, 7:10 pm CT
Sat vs. MIL, 6:10 pm CT
Sun vs. MIL, 1:10 pm CT

Last Three Games
MIN 4, STL 1: Berrios is Back
SEA 1, MIN 0: Twins Get LeBlanc’ed
LAA 2, MIN 1: Ohtani Excellent as Angels Walk Off Twins

More From Twins Daily
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53 Comments

Thank goodness Lynn IS a one-year contract. Something will have to give when May and Santana return. It better not be Romero or Berrios.

 

Lynn starts vs. equal starts by, say, Slegers or Mejia. Wonder if the Twins would be better off. Of course, wo won't ever know.

 

$14 million disappointment, combined with the $26 million taking up space in the bullpen. Sure, fine to have that 8th pitcher and a short bench, I guess.

 

We can't complain that the Twins don't spend money on free agents. It can be hit and miss. But they sure seem unlucky, in some ways...and shades of Joe Mays and Nick Blackburn on long-term contracts after one generous season.

 

 

    • bighat likes this
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IndianaTwin
May 16 2018 10:09 PM
Why not use Hughes in long relief? How about, “because that’s not his role.” When Lynn got pulled, it wasn’t a 5-0 game where you say, “Here, Phil, pitch until your arm falls off.” It was a 3-2 game, and Molitor was probably looking for the most likely candidate to get him 2-3 scoreless innings. Based on the last 16 months, Rogers was probably a better shot than Hughes.

But sorry, I’m not ready to give up on Hughes.

He’s retired 10 of 12 in his four one-inning stints in the pen, and thrown the vast majority of his pitches for strikes after less than 60 percent for strikes as a starter. Two strikeouts and no walks. The first two games were the ninth inning in blowouts, but Monday was the first time he was tested in a game that was still in the balance. He succeeded, getting three outs on nine pitches with the team down just 1-0 in the ninth. He had a strikeout and two weakly hit balls.

It’s true that the two batters he hasn’t retired in relief have each hit homers. But they were each solo, because he hadn’t allowed any other runners. Overall, I think he was probably able to leave each of the four outings with a sense that he had taken at least a small step forward.

Those are the incremental steps toward getting the confidence of your manager. I think he’ll get a few more outings in low-leverage situations, but if he is able to continue progressing, I could see him moving into the mix.
    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

why not give up on him? Slegers or Gonsalves literally can't be worse than unwinnable as starters. Why not cut him and move on? He's shown no improvement all year. If not now, how many more starts like this until you would move on?

The reason to not give up on him is that he has a career track record of being better and he is striking out over 9/9 innings. I would give him quite a few more starts but if you read my post closely you would see that I would want those starts to be in the minors.  I would love for him and Gonsalves to switch places. What are you losing by having him try to right himself in the minors?  The guy had very nice career numbers, had good numbers last year and still has strikeout stuff.   Don't you think there is a possible upside if he just stops walking guys? Twins didn't give up on Crain or Liriano back in the day when they had control issues and were sent to the minors and were rewarded for it. If he can't earn his way back to the Twins so be it but what will we have lost by giving him the chance? Its in his best interest also.  If he does well in the minors and then comes up and does well for us it will be a big plus for him on the free agent market next year.Continuing to do what he is doing at the big league level now is doing neither him nor the Twins any favors.

I was fearful they would do anything to justify keeping Lynn in the rotation when Santana comes back, even if it meant sending Romero back or Berrios out to "find his curveball". But he's been so awful they will have no choice. Cut Hughes and put Lynn in the long role. It's probably only 2 more starts until Santana is back, so they'll probably give him those two. 

I'd much rather have Phil Hughes starting than Lance Lynn right now. And that's not necessarily a compliment for Phil Hughes.

 

I think this has to be the beginning of the end for the Lynn experiment. The Twins aren't a rebuilding team that can throw out a Mike Pelfrey every 5th day. The division is sitting there on a platter. Heck, Detroit might even take it if nobody else wants it. The Twins have Slegers, Gonsalves, Mejia all available to pitch and all are better than Lynn. Why not have give one of them an extended audition until Santana comes back? There's nothing to lose at this point because Lynn is a proven train wreck.

 

Big Erv's injury really had a terrible domino effect on this team.

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Original Whizzinator
May 17 2018 06:51 AM
This is why you want rotation depth. At last one guy is either going to struggle or get hurt. A good team takes no prisoners. Send Lynn down next guy up

Like Ron Gardenhire, I know nothing about pitching. In Lynn's case he obviously can'r hit the broad side of a barn so why does he try to hit the barn door? He has a lot of movement on all of his pitches so just aim for the middle of the plate and let the ball take care of the rest. If he gets pounded so be it but nothing is worse than a major league pitcher who can't find the strike zone. And I mean nothing on this planet is worse than that.

On top of that he had the demeanor of someone who wished he was any place else other than where he was. Then the ground ball was just out of Morrison's reach with Dozier playing behind the bag in one of those crazy shifts. Stop reading spread sheets and just play ball PLEASE.

    • Puckett34 likes this

 

I'm trying to find a recent Twins comp. for a starting pitcher who was been worse than Lynn thus far.

 

[possibly] Worse: Trevor May 2014 (7.88 ERA, 9 starts), Vance Worley 2013 (7.21 ERA, only 5.1 K/9 in 10 starts), 2012 Nick Blackburn (7.39 ERA, 3.8 K/9, 19 starts).

 

Better: Ricky Nolasco (all years), Yohan Pino, Pedro Hernandez, P. J. Walters, Andrew Albers, Sam Deduno, Scott Diamond (at his worst), Liam Hendriks, Cole De Vries

 

Yuck. The best comparison was rookie Trevor May, when he was getting strikeouts (8.7 K/9) but walking too much (4.3 BB/9) and giving too many hits. For a veteran comparison, Lynn is pitching similarly to Vance Worley, who was basically batting practice with few strikeouts.

 

Bleh. Maybe the Twins should stop going after NL starters... Nolasco, Worley, and Lynn have all been flops.

 

You are forgetting the unforgettable Marquis.

 

I was gonna say that you're both forgetting Livan Hernandez in the aforementioned list but his 5.48 ERA in 2008 wasn't thaaaaaaaaaat bad. Still pretty bad. Kevin Slowey was pretty bad in his final season in 2011 as well.  Sporting a 6.67 ERA

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puckstopper1
May 17 2018 07:50 AM

May is starting today in Rochester. 

 

Hopefully he or Erwin gets back soon so they (or one of the younger arms) can bump BOTH Lynn and Hughes off the rosters.  

 

Wishful thinking, I know...

    • nicksaviking likes this

 

The reason to not give up on him is that he has a career track record of being better and he is striking out over 9/9 innings. I would give him quite a few more starts but if you read my post closely you would see that I would want those starts to be in the minors.  I would love for him and Gonsalves to switch places. What are you losing by having him try to right himself in the minors?  The guy had very nice career numbers, had good numbers last year and still has strikeout stuff.   Don't you think there is a possible upside if he just stops walking guys? Twins didn't give up on Crain or Liriano back in the day when they had control issues and were sent to the minors and were rewarded for it. If he can't earn his way back to the Twins so be it but what will we have lost by giving him the chance? Its in his best interest also.  If he does well in the minors and then comes up and does well for us it will be a big plus for him on the free agent market next year.Continuing to do what he is doing at the big league level now is doing neither him nor the Twins any favors.

 

Can you move him to the minors? He can't have any more options. He'd have to pretend to be injured and make rehab starts.

    • Dantes929 likes this
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lukeduke1980
May 17 2018 08:22 AM

Lynn's leash is getting shorter at 3 innings.I'm sure he'll keep starting but it'd be nice to have slegers or may there as long man after Lynn's starts get down to 1 2/3.

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

The reason to not give up on him is that he has a career track record of being better and he is striking out over 9/9 innings. I would give him quite a few more starts but if you read my post closely you would see that I would want those starts to be in the minors. I would love for him and Gonsalves to switch places. What are you losing by having him try to right himself in the minors? The guy had very nice career numbers, had good numbers last year and still has strikeout stuff. Don't you think there is a possible upside if he just stops walking guys? Twins didn't give up on Crain or Liriano back in the day when they had control issues and were sent to the minors and were rewarded for it. If he can't earn his way back to the Twins so be it but what will we have lost by giving him the chance? Its in his best interest also. If he does well in the minors and then comes up and does well for us it will be a big plus for him on the free agent market next year. Continuing to do what he is doing at the big league level now is doing neither him nor the Twins any favors.


Of course I'd keep him if he agreed to go down. I don't know if that is realistic.
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nicksaviking
May 17 2018 08:59 AM

 

The reason to not give up on him is that he has a career track record of being better and he is striking out over 9/9 innings. I would give him quite a few more starts but if you read my post closely you would see that I would want those starts to be in the minors.  I would love for him and Gonsalves to switch places. What are you losing by having him try to right himself in the minors?  

 

You can't put Lynn in the minors, he's long out of options I'm sure.

 

His track record also shows a troubling over-reliance on fastballs and issues with conditioning. Those are issues that are as concerning as his control and likely part of the contributing factors for his lack of it.

 

He needs a full off-season with a club and he needs to dramatically change his approach and his repertoire. The Twins are just throwing away starts if they think what ails Lance Lynn can be fixed on the fly mid-season.

 

He should move to the pen, that's going to be his final destination anyway, just as everyone was saying from the day he was called up his rookie year.

Can you move him to the minors? He can't have any more options. He'd have to pretend to be injured and make rehab starts.


Or agree to go down.

For someone who was seeking a $50 million contract in the off-season, he can't use the excuse that he wasn't in shape to start the season.

 

No explanation for all the walks.

 

There is still a chance that ALL he guys who will be hungry free-agents come season's end will produce BIG: Mauer, Dozier, Santana, Lynn, Gibson, Escobar, Rodney and a few more bullpen arms. Otherwise, finding a decent payday in 2019 will be slim...or none. Especially if the team you play for is a .500 team (or worse).

 

 

Can you move him to the minors? He can't have any more options. He'd have to pretend to be injured and make rehab starts.

Great question. I think they can do it with his consent.Without his consent he may have to clear waivers in which case if a team claims him then Mike's wish comes true anyway. Pretending injury could work. I just remember Crain and Liriano both telling Gardy they had no idea where there fastball was going and they both got "fixed" at the lower level, whether it was because of a lower stress environment or because of instruction they got there, I don't know. I just don't want to keep trotting him out there to walk a guy per inning and I don't see how bullpen work can help him either.Mike and I are on the same page there. If its possible to have him in the minors I would do it rather than just release him.

Great question. I think they can do it with his consent. Without his consent he may have to clear waivers in which case if a team claims him then Mike's wish comes true anyway. Pretending injury could work. I just remember Crain and Liriano both telling Gardy they had no idea where there fastball was going and they both got "fixed" at the lower level, whether it was because of a lower stress environment or because of instruction they got there, I don't know. I just don't want to keep trotting him out there to walk a guy per inning and I don't see how bullpen work can help him either. Mike and I are on the same page there. If its possible to have him in the minors I would do it rather than just release him.


It's not my wish. My wish is he's great.

Most players turn down trips to the minors, if they can. I think my realistic scenario is he says no, and difficult decisions need to be made.

These are hard decisions, no doubt. But, I can't see a path where he is suddenly good. So, I agree, if he'd go to the minors, I'd do that. If not, I'd let him walk and take my chances on Santana and Gonsalves and Slegers being better.

 

You can't put Lynn in the minors, he's long out of options I'm sure.

 

His track record also shows a troubling over-reliance on fastballs and issues with conditioning. Those are issues that are as concerning as his control and likely part of the contributing factors for his lack of it.

 

He needs a full off-season with a club and he needs to dramatically change his approach and his repertoire. The Twins are just throwing away starts if they think what ails Lance Lynn can be fixed on the fly mid-season.

 

He should move to the pen, that's going to be his final destination anyway, just as everyone was saying from the day he was called up his rookie year.

If what ails him can't be fixed on the fly mid-season then I don't want him in the pen either.We've already got a guy that we don't trust with any kind of high level innings and I don't care to add another. His career says 3.5 ERA and it is not SSS.I like comparing things to my golf game.When I am bad, just doing the same thing over and over just makes me worse.Every once in a while someone might say something or I might try something different and it just clicks. After it clicks a couple range sessions and I am back to decent. My point is it is possible to correct things in mid season. Maybe its a grip ro a shoulder turn or foot work. I just want him to work on it somewhere else other than a Twins game for the time being.

    • Mike Sixel and Riverbrian like this

 

May is starting today in Rochester. 

 

Early game. Stat line:

 

Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Trevor May (L, 0-1) 4.0 3 1 1 2 5 0 2.25

60 pitches, 41 strikes

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yarnivek1972
May 17 2018 12:42 PM
The problem with a “pretend” injury is that the player has to sign off on it too, if I am not mistaken. What’s the upside of going on the DL for Lynn?

His only chance at cashing in this offseason is taking his turn every 5 days and doing well at the MLB level. Going on the DL and “rehabbing” isn’t going to help at all, even if he does well down there.

He doesn't have to pretend to be hurt....he can just accept an assignment to AAA. It's possible he can get right, no doubt. I'd rather have him trying to get right in AAA than MN right now. I still believe this team can make the playoffs, but throwing away every fifth start isn't going to cut it.

6 non-competitive starts out of 8. If the Twins haven't formed an opinion, there can't be too much more they need to see.

 

6 non-competitive starts out of 8. If the Twins haven't formed an opinion, there can't be too much more they need to see.

 

I'm pretty sure they have formed an opinion about those 8 starts.:)

    • Dantes929 likes this

I get the desire to just to toss him aside. Lynn hasn't been good. However... it happens and like Dantes said a few posts ago. It could be something mechanical. 

 

All in All, this type of stuff happens. 

 

Toronto is probably a little concerned about Marcus Stroman right now. 

Kansas City is bummed about Danny Duffy right now. 

The Dodgers are wondering about Rich Hill right now. 

The Giants are not in love with what Jeff Samardzija is doing right now. 

The Yankees were expecting a lot more out of Sonny Gray. 

Matt Moore in Texas, Lucas Giolito in Chicago, Mike Leake and King Felix in Seattle, Matt Harvey and Luis Castillo in Cincinnati, David Price in Boston and Jordan Zimmerman ever since he landed in Detroit. 

 

Plus a couple of guys that I would have loved to see the Twins acquire this off-season... Chris Archer and Yu Darvish. 

 

All of these above names had much higher expectations.  

 

It happens and it's happening to Lance Lynn Right now. The only one on the above list that was released was Matt Harvey and the Reds were quick to step up and trade for him. 

 

The Majority of above guys... if they were released based on current performance. We'd have some Twins Daily members saying "Pick Them Up" but because Lance Lynn is melting in front of our eyes and melting while competing for our team, we tend to get pissed and then we have some who want to release him pronto. 

 

It happens... Patience, keep working with him. There is a difference between fixable and broken beyond repair. If he is broken beyond repair... the Twins will say goodbye. 

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

 

I get the desire to just to toss him aside. Lynn hasn't been good. However... it happens and like Dantes said a few posts ago. It could be something mechanical. 

 

All in All, this type of stuff happens. 

 

Toronto is probably a little concerned about Marcus Stroman right now. 

Kansas City is bummed about Danny Duffy right now. 

The Dodgers are wondering about Rich Hill right now. 

The Giants are not in love with what Jeff Samardzija is doing right now. 

The Yankees were expecting a lot more out of Sonny Gray. 

Matt Moore in Texas, Lucas Giolito in Chicago, Mike Leake and King Felix in Seattle, Matt Harvey and Luis Castillo in Cincinnati, David Price in Boston and Jordan Zimmerman ever since he landed in Detroit. 

 

Plus a couple of guys that I would have loved to see the Twins acquire this off-season... Chris Archer and Yu Darvish. 

 

All of these above names had much higher expectations.  

 

It happens and it's happening to Lance Lynn Right now. The only one on the above list that was released was Matt Harvey and the Reds were quick to step up and trade for him. 

 

The Majority of above guys... if they were released based on current performance. We'd have some Twins Daily members saying "Pick Them Up" but because Lance Lynn is melting in front of our eyes and melting while competing for our team, we tend to get pissed and then we have some who want to release him pronto. 

 

It happens... Patience, keep working with him. There is a difference between fixable and broken beyond repair. If he is broken beyond repair... the Twins will say goodbye. 

 

How many more horrible starts would you keep him?

 

And, anyone that wants King Felix at this point is not paying attention the last few years. Most of those teams, though not all, are NOT playoff contendors, or if they are, are so good elsewhere they can take chances. 

 

Also, do those teams have Slegers and Gonsalves in AAA right now?

 

I might want 3-4 of those names, maybe, and not as starters right now. Some of them are inexperienced enough to have options, and can be sent down by their current teams....


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