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GAME THREAD 8/9/2020: Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royal...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:34 PM
Is it time to panic yet?   Of course not! Honestly, after the last three games, I am just as confident in this team being a contende...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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Option C(astellanos)

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 02:33 PM
We missed out on our big money aces. A big impact 3B will either cost age/money (Donaldson) or top prospects and money (Arenado/Bryant)....
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Future Roster Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:41 AM
Jake Odorizzi gets activated today to face the Royals, filling out the 28-man active roster which will include 16 (!) pitchers. The way t...
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The Show Must Go On: Simulated 2020 Season Recap

With the baseball season delayed, we spent the past few months simulating it – in its originally imagined form – on MLB the Show 20, to see how things might've gone for the Twins.

Happily, we won the AL Central. Sadly, we lost in the ALDS (again). Let's wrap this thing up by taking a look at the final postseason outcomes and reflecting on takeaways from our simulated Twins results.
Image courtesy of MLB The Show 20, Sony
To get caught up on what we're doing here, you can check out the introductory post in the series for an explanation of the premise and setup. But the quick version is this: We played a progressive simulated Twins season on MLB The Show 20 on PS4, and y'all helped guide the ship.


Although the Twins beat Cleveland in a walk-off Game 163 thriller, it was the Indians who got the last laugh. After edging into the ALDS with a Wild Card Game win against Boston, Cleveland swept the Angels and advanced to face Tampa in the ALCS. (The Rays, of course, had knocked out our Twins 3-1 in the other ALDS matchup.)

Cleveland won the ALCS in six games and moved onto the World Series, where they faced off against Washington, after the Nats topped LA in an NLCS repeat from 2019.

In seven games, the Cleveland Indians defeated the Washington Nationals to become 2020 (virtual) World Series champs.

Attached Image: playoffbracketfinal.jpeg

Francisco Lindor was named World Series MVP after batting .348 in the seven games. Domingo Santana was the top overall performer in Cleveland's postseason run, batting .375 with four homers and 11 RBIs. Here are some of the other award-winners from the simulated 2020 season:

AL MVP: J.D. Martinez, BOS (.299/.381/.590, 48 HR, 127 RBI)
NL MVP: Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL (.294/.367/.607, 44 HR, 123 RBI)

AL Cy Young: Chris Sale, BOS (18-5, 2.90 ERA, 283 K)
NL Cy Young: Patrick Corbin, WAS (18-9, 3.65 ERA, 237 K)

AL Batting Title: Mike Trout, LAA (.347)
NL Batting Title: Wilson Ramos, NYM (.332)

AL Reliever of the Year: Nick Goody, TEX (44 saves, 0.58 ERA)
NL Reliever of the Year: Sean Doolittle, WAS (53 saves, 2.02 ERA)

AL Rookie of the Year: Anderson Miller – OF, KC (.265/.309/.464, 14 HR, 58 RBI)
NL Rookie of the Year: Dom Thompson-Williams – OF, MIL (.215/.261/.391, 10 HR, 33 RBI)

AL Gold Gloves
  • P - Hector Velasquez, BOS
  • C - Jason Castro, LAA
  • 1B - Ji-Man Choi, TB
  • 2B - Ramon Urias, BAL
  • 3B - Hanser Alberto, BAL
  • SS - Elvis Andrus, TEX
  • LF - Andrew Benintendi, BOS
  • CF - Kevin Kiermaier, TB
  • RF - Aaron Judge, NYY
NL Gold Gloves
  • P - Kyle Hendricks, CHC
  • C - Kurt Suzuki, WAS
  • 1B - Freddie Freeman, ATL
  • 2B - Kolton Wong, STL
  • 3B - Nolan Arenado, COL
  • SS - Miguel Rojas, MIA
  • LF - David Peralta, ARI
  • CF - Bryan Reynolds, PIT
  • RF - Bryce Harper, PHI
As to why the Red Sox did so well in the award voting despite finishing second in the AL East, and as to why those two mediocre rookie seasons were deemed award-worthy, I do not know. I'm simply relaying the info here. On that note, let's run through the final results for our simulated Twins.


Starting Lineup
  • Luis Arraez, 2B: .331/.419/.483, 14 HR, 78 RBI
  • Jorge Polanco, SS: .270/.352/.437, 18 HR, 64 RBI
  • Mitch Garver, C: .266/.362/.444, 20 HR, 46 RBI
  • Miguel Sano, 1B: .254/.359/.485, 36 HR, 100 RBI
  • Josh Donaldson, 3B: .259/.369/.475, 35 HR, 98 RBI
  • Max Kepler, RF: .285/.379/.464, 21 HR, 82 RBI
  • Nelson Cruz, DH: .267/.342/.473, 28 HR, 99 RBI
  • Marwin Gonzalez, LF: .281/.342/.480, 17 HR, 48 RBI
  • Byron Buxton, CF: .222/.294/.327, 6 HR, 26 RBI
  • Alex Avila, C: .245/.338/.480, 12 HR, 31 RBI
  • Willians Astudillo, C/UTIL: .291/.326/.384, 3 HR, 19 RBI
  • Jake Cave, OF, .295/.366/.468, 7 HR, 20 RBI
  • Brent Rooker, OF: .248/.313/.406, 4 HR, 14 RBI
  • Jose Berrios: 224.2 IP, 20-5, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 7.2 K/9, 2.6 BB/9
  • Blake Snell: 185 IP, 12-10, 3.75 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 10.7 K/9, 3.6 BB/9
  • Kenta Maeda: 188.1 IP, 18-8, 3.39 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 10.2 K/9, 4.0 BB/9
  • Jake Odorizzi: 192 IP, 15-10, 3.66 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 3.5 BB/9
  • Alex Wood: 178.2 IP, 8-7, 2.77 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9
  • Michael Pineda: 45.2 IP, 4-2, 3.35 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 5.0 K/9, 2.2 BB/9
  • Homer Bailey: 111 IP, 10-6, 5.43 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, 3.8 BB.9
  • Rich Hill: 25 IP, 1-2, 10.44 ERA, 2.12 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 6.5 BB/9
  • Randy Dobnak: 49.1 IP, 4.38 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 5.5 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
  • Taylor Rogers: 71.2, 43 SV (6 BS), 2.51 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 1.5 BB/9
  • Tyler Duffey: 69.2 IP, 1.94 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9
  • Trevor May: 64.2 IP, 3.06 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, 5.2 BB/9
  • Tyler Clippard: 66.1 IP, 2.71 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 4.1 BB/9
  • Sergio Romo: 60 IP, 4.13 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, 4.0 BB/9
  • Fernando Romero: 53.2 IP, 3.35 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 6.0 K/9, 4.7 BB/9
  • Zack Littell: 46. IP, 4.44 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
  • Cody Stashak: 9.2 IP, 8.38 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 1.9 BB/9
  • Devin Smeltzer: 5.1 IP, 8.44 ERA, 2.81 WHIP, 1.7 K/9, 8.4 BB/9

Our Twins used the Injured List zero times all season. This obviously is unrealistic and pretty glitchy. I'm not sure why it happened – there definitely are injuries in the game, and other teams had plenty – but it's not the worst bug in this case. Who wants to deal with the unpleasantness of injuries in a virtual season, while a health pandemic has wiped out all actual baseball? And besides, I think this exaggerated outcome does speak to a true strength of the Twins: they were (and are) quite healthy heading into the 2020 season, with a number of prime-aged athletes and a sophisticated medical/training operation.

Luis Arraez finished second in the AL in batting average (.331) and on-base percentage (.419). Arraez trailed only Mike Trout in both categories. He also batted .556 (10-for-18) in the ALDS. Arraez was just sensational in this simulation, leading the Twins in OPS. However ...

Arraez and Jorge Polanco combined to commit 39 errors. Polanco's 20 were not all that stunning (he committed 22 in 2019) but the 19 from Arraez at second base were brutal. Miguel Sano had 13 errors, and was the only other player in double-digits. This highlights one of the rare foreseeable shortcomings on the 2020 Twins roster: infield defense.

Josh Donaldson finished third in the AL in walks with 100. He trailed only Houston's Yordan Alvarez (112) and Boston's Xander Bogaerts (105). Although his overall production – .844 OPS, 35 HR, 98 RBI – was a bit light by his standards, Donaldson definitely delivered on this front, matching his 2019 total.

Tyler Duffey was ridiculous. You can see the final numbers above, but here are a couple other things to consider. First of all, he gave up only three home runs all year, in 57 appearances. And secondly, he allowed one-third of his runs for the season in a single outing: in August where he was charged with five earned runs while recording one out against Houston. (I suspected shady tactics by the opposing Astros.) Subtract that appearance, and he had a 1.30 ERA in 69 1/3 innings. This game believes in Duffey, and so do I.

Byron Buxton had a tough year at the plate. His was really the only disappointing outcome from all the simulated results. Buxton never found a rhythm offensively and batted just .222 with a 115-to-40 K/BB ratio in 511 plate appearances. On the bright side, he ranked second in the AL with 35 steals. Incidentally, I happen to think the real Buxton can be the Twins' most valuable player in this 60-game sprint.


Above all, I just wanna give major props to the team behind MLB The Show and its latest release. Clearly a lot of effort and thoughtfulness went into creating realistic player attributes and game dynamics, which is reflected in the (mostly) plausible outcomes in our sim.

I also wanna express my sincere gratitude to everyone who voted, commented, and engaged with this series. I wasn't too jazzed about contributing another simulation to the void, but felt like infusing an interactive aspect might make it more fun for me and everyone else – if people interacted. So many of you did, and it made this series a nice little routine diversion over the past few months.

With that said, I'm excited by the prospect of watching real baseball again. So if things proceed as planned and the 60-game season goes on without (catastrophic) incident, I probably won't be returning to this simulated team.

If those plans go awry, however? I hope y'all are down to join me in navigating the offseason and building a champ in 2021.


Part 1: We Can Build This Thing Together (0-0)
Part 2: 10 Games In, 6 Games Back (4-6)
Part 3: Roaring Back (11-9)
Part 4: Over the Hill (17-13)
Part 5: Checking In at the Quarter Point (23-17)
Part 6: Rising Power (30-20)
Part 7: First Place! (Barely) (34-26)
Part 8: Drafting and Dropping (38-32)
Part 9: Cruz Control (45-35)
Part 10: Pulling Ahead (52-38)
Part 11: Bashing into the All-Star Break (58-40)
Part 12: Deadline Decisions (62-46)
Part 13: Inauspicious Debuts (66-52)
Part 14: Treading Water as the Clock Ticks (71-57)
Part 15: Stretch Race & September Call-Ups (78-59)
Part 16: Dancing for the Division (84-63)
Part 17: Down to the Wire (90-66)
Part 18: Game 163 (94-68)
Part 19: Twins Walk Off Game 163 (95-68)
Part 20: ALDS Preview – Twins vs. Rays
Part 21: Eliminated


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And that is why games need to be played on the diamond and not on the computer.


    • DocBauer likes this

How did Rosario do for the full year after being traded?

How long does one simulated game take to complete?
Nick Nelson
Jul 13 2020 11:01 AM


How did Rosario do for the full year after being traded?

His final numbers for the season were: .281/.332/.489, 27 HR, 94 RBI. (Not including his 3-HR showing in the ALDS.) Pretty typical Rosie campaign.



How long does one simulated game take to complete?

Bout 5 minutes. Basically I just sim every AB in rapid-fire succession from a managerial dashboard screen. Although for a few of the bigger games (i.e. 163) I actually watched the whole sim play out, which takes more like 45 mins. 

Matthew Taylor
Jul 13 2020 11:06 AM

You did a really nice job with this Nick. I found myself getting way more invested in these updates and "decisions" than I should have. Which speaks to your writing and effort you put in!

    • DocBauer and thuuuuney like this
Nick, really appreciate your efforts, even though I, of course, didn't like the final outcome. Lol

FWIW, I actually thought the system was pretty true to final statistics. I have to say, hitting/production wise, I think Arraez was a little high and Kepler a little low. I also think the game penalized Buxton for time missed in the past vs his production when healthy. Buck's numbers just don't equate with me.

Pitching wise I really have only tiny quibbles that aren't worth mentioning, only to say a real season might have produced slightly better numbers here or there. But the game seemed to have a real built in prejudice against Hill. I assume that can only be related to coming off his surgery and whatever projection algorithm they used. If early reports are correct, and based on history, the game blew it's read on Hill.

It was a lot of fun and I thank you for all your work.