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Recent Baseball America Milb Organization Rankings

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 09:33 PM
Since I'm not giving everything away, assuming it's OK to just mention the Twins here. BA ranks the Twins 8th going in to the 2020 season...
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Good Cuts.

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:13 PM
Mark Salas blocked the heck outta that plate.  
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Athletic article on the 2019 postseason baseball

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:11 AM
For those who have a subscription to the Athletic, there is a very interesting article I saw that was a deep dive into the 2019 postseaso...
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Get to know each other

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:48 PM
I did this once about 2-3 years ago, but it was during the offseason and well, it's been a long time ago... Let's get to know each other...
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VIDEO: Opposing Pitchers Getting Wasted By The Bomba Squad

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:51 PM
Here's an entire highlight reel of just pitchers reacting to Twins bombas. Enjoy.  
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The Show Must Go On: 10 Games In, 6 Games Back

We've gone through two turns of the rotation in our interactive simulated Twins season on MLB The Show 20. The club has been okay through 10 games, but it's a scorching hot start from the top division rival that has us on our heels out of the gate.

Read on for updates, and more decisions to be made.
Image courtesy of MLB The Show 20, Sony
To get caught up on what we're doing here, you can check out the first post from Monday for an explanation of the premise and setup. But the quick version is this: We're playing a progressive simulated Twins season on MLB The Show 20 on PS4, and y'all are helping guide the ship. In each installment I'll update you on what's happened since the last, and put at least one key decision up for vote.

Date In Game: 4/6/20
Team Record: 4-6
Leading OPS: Max Kepler (1.030 in 40 AB)
Leading ERA: Homer Bailey (1.29 in 14 IP)

RESULTS

Gm 1, @ OAK: L 1-0 (Berrios 8 IP, 1 ER, L)
Gm 2, @ OAK: W 4-2 (Cruz solo HR)
Gm 3: @ OAK: W 6-1 (Odorizzi 7 IP, 1 ER, 12 K, W)
Gm 4: @ OAK L 8-5 (Hill 5.1 IP, 6 ER, L)
Gm 5: @ SEA W 16-2 (Donaldson 2 HR, 6 RBI)
Gm 6: @ SEA L 4-3 (Rogers BS)
Gm 7: @ SEA L 6-1 (Odorizzi 3.2 IP, 6 ER, L)
Gm 8: vs OAK L 4-3 (Duffey 1 IP, 2 ER, L)
Gm 9: vs OAK W 5-4 (Bailey 8 IP, 1 ER)
Gm 10: vs OAK L 10-4 (Hill 3.1 IP, 7 ER, L)

THE RUNDOWN

The vote was unanimous on our first group decision of the year. Oddly-available free agent Jordan Balazovic was signed to a one-year contract, replacing Devin Smeltzer as a long reliever in the Twins' bullpen. The 21-year-old rookie joined an Opening Day roster that kicked things off in Oakland on March 26th, against Sean Manaea and the Athletics.

The opener was a hard-fought battle. Manaea struck out Mitch Garver in the season's first at-bat, then exited with an injury. He was replaced by Mike Fiers, and the Twins offense had no answer for him, nor Yusmeiro Petit or Liam Hendriks. In a clash of contrasting strengths, the Oakland arms managed to shut out Minnesota's potent lineup on Opening Day. Max Kepler had Minnesota's only extra-base hit, a double.

Attached Image: od_box_offense.jpeg


For his part, Jose Berrios was outstanding, going toe to toe with the A's staff through seven innings. Unfortunately, a solo homer by Khris Davis in the eighth proved decisive, and Berrios was tagged with a complete-game loss. He basically got the other end of what happened to Corey Kluber on Opening Day 2019.

Attached Image: od_box_pitching.jpeg


Our Twins bounced back with victories in the next two contests. Jake Odorizzi was dazzling in his first start of the year, fanning 12 over seven innings of one-run ball in Game 3. But we dropped the fourth to split the series in Oakland.

Then, it was off to Seattle, where the first game was quite reminiscent of last year's trip to T-Mobile Park. Minnesota teed off for 16 runs against an overwhelmed Mariners staff, with the top of the lineup leading the charge. Kepler delivered four hits and five RBIs, while Josh Donaldson followed him with two homers and six RBIs. The Twins piled up 14 hits and nine walks. With a huge lead, Balazovic got his debut in this one, tossing two innings with one run allowed.

Unfortunately, Minnesota seemed to use up all its magic. The next night, Taylor Rogers blew a save in the ninth and Sergio Romo gave up a walk-off in the 10th. The offense again failed to show up in the series finale, a 6-1 loss.

We struggled in our home-opening series at Target Field, dropping two of three against the A's and narrowly avoiding a sweep with an 11th-inning walk-off.

So, through 10 games, we're 4-6. Okay. Not where we wanted to be, but certainly not disastrous. So why am I alarmed? Well, I don't wanna blow this out of proportion, but...

THE CLEVELAND INDIANS ARE OFF TO A 10-0 START. 10-0!

Granted, they opened with an extremely soft schedule (DET, CWS, DET), but the Indians took full advantage by winning every single game. Jose Ramirez is hitting .419 with 13 RBIs. Francisco Lindor has a 1.143 OPS. Mike Clevinger's 3.46 ERA is the rotation's highest. Whew.

That puts the Twins in a six-game hole already. Luckily, we'll have a chance to ding their early momentum and make some fast inroads, as a home series against Cleveland awaits on the docket.

Let's run through who's hot and who's not, then we'll hash out our next group decision ahead of this critical early showdown.

WHO'S HOT?

The Bringer of Rain is delivering thus far as a Twin. In nine games Donaldson is sporting an .842 OPS with three homers and nine RBIs. Kepler's batting .375/.405/.625 through 40 ABs. The rotation has mostly been strong: Berrios (1.93 ERA) and Maeda (1.46) are doing their thing, and Bailey (1.29) has been the early talk of the town.

Willians Astudillo's only been able to find 6 at-bats so far, but he's got four hits in them for a .667 average. I'd ask you guys if we should play him more but I assume that's a given.

WHO'S NOT?

Miguel Sano has 10 RBIs through nine games, in part because one of his two homers was a grand slam, but he's slashing .184/.238/.368 with only three walks. Byron Buxton is batting .200 with seven hits, though naturally five have been doubles.

The most conspicuous poor performer thus far is Hill, who has been battered for 13 earned runs and four homers through 8 2/3 innings. He's 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA and 2.19 WHIP through two turns. Which brings us to...

DECISION TIME: SHOULD WE DEMOTE RICH HILL FROM THE ROTATION?

Look, it's still very early and I'm not trying to overreact. Then again, why not? The fact is that Hill's doing nothing for us right now. He's been the worst pitcher on the team by a country mile and at his age it's tough to be too lenient. We've got Randy Dobnak and even Balazovic waiting for a shot on the big-league roster. Not to mention Smeltzer, Michael Pineda and Lewis Thorpe in the minors.

Then again, maybe Hill just needs a bit of time to get going. He does have 12 strikeouts in his 8 2/3 innings, for what it's worth. And he's rated higher than Bailey, who's been immaculate.

I'll let you all make the call by voting in the comments section.

COMING UP

4/6: vs. CLE
4/7: vs. CLE
4/8: vs. CLE
4/10: @ CWS
4/11: @ CWS
4/12 @ CWS


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11 Comments

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Nick Nelson
Mar 26 2020 09:30 PM

Option 1: Press "Like This" on this comment if you want us to stick with Rich Hill in the rotation. It's early. He's finding his rhythm.

    • glunn, twinsfanstreif, SoylentWill and 8 others like this
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Nick Nelson
Mar 26 2020 09:30 PM

Option 2: Press "Like This" on this comment if you want us to bump Rich Hill. Who's got time for this. We'll move him to long relief and replace him with another option (feel free to name your choice below).

    • ashbury and Doctor Gast like this
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Doctor Gast
Mar 27 2020 06:55 AM

I`d play Astudillo more for the time being & I`d play Hill less because we`ll need him going into the play off. There`s no reason to over play him in the start of the season especially if he`s not doing well.

You seem to do pretty well w/ the rotation otherwise, because their numbers are very surprising 

    • glunn likes this
Fire the manager! Such a horrendous start for a team built for the World Series
    • ashbury, Nick Nelson and glunn like this

Too early to kick Hill out of the rotation, gotta give him some more starts. 

 

How often do injuries happen here? Is there an injury slider? I wonder if pitchers are going to be more durable in this simulation (and you probably can't send guys to the DL for very minor reasons!).

    • glunn likes this
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Nick Nelson
Mar 27 2020 06:57 PM

 

Fire the manager! Such a horrendous start for a team built for the World Series

In my unbiased opinion, the management has been exceptional. It is the players who are blowing it!

    • ashbury, glunn and adorduan like this

Fire the fans! They didn't cheer loudly enough.

    • glunn and adorduan like this

This thread is a welcome taste of what we are missing.

Baldacci doesn't have any idea what he is doing. His pitching management is the worst.He's bringing the relievers in way too soon and leaving the starters in way too long.

    • Nick Nelson likes this

Baldacci doesn't have any idea what he is doing. 

I don't get it, unless the joke is that you don't have any idea who is the manager. :)
 

    • Dantes929 likes this

 

I don't get it, unless the joke is that you don't have any idea who is the manager. :)
 

I thought I was in midseason form by complaining about two things that logically contradict each other. For example you shouldn't complain that the starter who went 5 innings should have been pulled in the 3rd while also saying that the relievers shouldn't have been brought in until the 7th. The fact that I confused Baldelli with the author I am currently reading just proves I'm in mid season form.

    • ashbury likes this