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Game Thread: Twins @ Royals, 8/27 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:41 PM
Game-time forecast: Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Temperature around 80. TWINS: SP, Hughes Santana CF D...
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Liam Hendriks tomorrow

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:01 PM
Royals starter Ventura was scratched for tomorrow.  Instead, the Twins face ex-Twin Liam Hendriks, who has pitched well at the Royal...
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10,000th Homer

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:28 PM
With Hendriks going tonight, maybe, just maybe, a Twin will connect for Franchise Home Run #10,000.  Before it happens, let's get so...
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Having Issues With Sound In Ads? Screenshots Here, Please

Questions About MinnCentric Today, 06:53 PM
Okay, I'm tired of this happening. All the ad networks are pointing fingers at one another and nobody is taking responsibility for this a...
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Baseball prospectus scouting report on Kepler and Rosario

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:37 PM
BP highlighted both in their recent ten pack.     http://www.baseballp...articleid=24500   Rosario entered the season firm...
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The Store


Three-Bagger: Gibson's Growth, Worley's Wild Ride & NL Pitchers

Attached Image: gibsonthrow14.jpg * The Twins came into this season with a lot of intrigue surrounding the rotation. Between the newly signed free agents and the rising prospects with a chance to debut, there were going to be plenty of storylines to follow here in 2014.

The most important, though, was always going to be Kyle Gibson.

Coming off a rocky MLB debut last year, and entering his first season with no restrictions after Tommy John surgery, Gibson won a spot on the staff in camp, making this his big opportunity to establish himself as a bona fide big-leaguer and a long-term fixture in the rotation.

The 26-year-old right-hander was off-and-on over his first 11 starts, but has really come into his own in the last three, delivering seven scoreless innings on each occasion. Every outing has proven to be more impressive than the last.

First, he shut down the Astros at Target Field, though success at home was nothing new for him. Next, he went into Detroit and silenced the (then) first-place Tigers. And this week, he took the mound in Fenway -- one of the most intimidating and hitter-friendly parks in the game -- and threw the best game of his career, allowing only one hit and zero walks while striking out eight.

Gibson has been absolutely filthy against right-handed hitters this year (they're hitting .183/.256/.254 against him) so the Red Sox loaded their lineup with lefties, but it made no difference. Right now Gibson is pretty much untouchable, and getting better each time out.

* After a brutal run with the Twins, Vance Worley was designated for assignment and traded to the Pirates for cash toward the end of spring training this year. While in Ft. Myers, I witnessed what turned out to be his last outing in a Minnesota uniform, and it was about as ugly as could be.

In the locker room after that game, Worley seemed utterly flummoxed by his struggles. He claimed he was healthy and couldn't explain why his spring (and his Twins career in general) had been such a mess.

After taking a bit of time off to start the season, Worley went to Triple-A for the Pirates, where he posted a sterling 43-to-4 K/BB ratio with only three homers allowed in 46 innings. He was called up last week to replace an injured Francisco Liriano, and in his Pittsburgh debut he fired seven scoreless frames against a solid Marlins lineup in Miami.

In eight starts between the minors and majors this year, Worley has looked very much like the pitcher the Twins thought they were acquiring from the Phillies, and nothing like the pitcher they saw during his time here.

You certainly can't fault the Twins for letting him go; choosing Gibson over Worley (and Scott Diamond) was clearly the correct choice. But the Jekyll-and-Hyde act is pretty strange to see.

* Worley joins names like Jason Marquis, Mike Pelfrey and -- at least so far -- Ricky Nolasco in a line of pitchers who have come over to the Twins after experiencing some level of success in the National League only to get blasted by AL hitters.

Sure, the American League is a more difficult pitching environment. Injuries and other factors have also been in play at times (especially for Pelfrey). But does that fully explain the drastic difference in results for all these pitchers? Maybe it's just coincidence, but it's a striking trend.

The only one who's been able to buck it, oddly enough, is Kevin Correia, whose ERA in the AL (4.51) has been slightly better than it was in the NL (4.53), though he too has seen his hit rate rise substantially since coming over (from 9.5 H/9 to 10.9).

 [/HR]
Since the Twins topped the rival White Sox on Thursday night, your L or XL pizza from PapaJohns.com is half off on Friday with the promo code "TWINSWIN"


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