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Twins 6, Mariners 2: Berrios Cruises, Gimenez Bruises

Jose Berrios completed eight innings for the first time in his career, Chris Gimenez hit two home runs for the first time in his career and the Twins coasted to a victory Thursday afternoon.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Twins 6, Mariners 2
Box Score

Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: WE615.png
This one was a bit uneventful after the first inning, not that we’re going to complain. Thanks in large part to Gimenez’s three-run homer, the Twins jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first frame. Berrios settled in and ended up throwing a career-high 108 pitches. Jose eclipsed 95 mph on seven occasions, one of those coming on his 105th pitch of the game.

It didn’t seem like Berrios had his best command today, but he made up for that in aggressiveness, which is exactly what you want to see out of your starter when he’s spotted a big lead early. He walked just one batter. Here are all the pitches he threw after falling behind 1-0 in the count:
Attached Image: Berrios10.png
There was a bit of a scary moment when Byron Buxton flew into the center field wall attempting to catch a ball. He bounced right back up and finished the game.

Eduardo Escobar racked up another three hits, including a homer. He’s so hot right now there’s just no way Paul Molitor is going to put him back on the bench anytime soon. Escobar is now hitting .295 with an .823 OPS. Seattle left Minnesota thinking Escobar, Gimenez and Eddie Rosario should probably all participate in the Home Run Derby.

Here’s a look at Gimenez’s second homer, which he had to talk into staying fair (see postgame interview below):

Postgame With Gimenez

Postgame With Molitor


Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Pen615.png
Friday
Twins (Nik Turley, 9.00 ERA) vs. Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco, 3.36 ERA), 7:10 pm CT

Turley gets another shot after giving up four runs over four innings in his major league debut. Carrasco has been struggling a bit against lefties this year, giving up a .427 slugging percentage (.309 vs. RHB). Brian Dozier is only 4-for-21 off Carrasco, but three of those hits have been homers. Joe Mauer is an even .500 off him (11-for-22) with a home run and four doubles. Combined, the Twins have a .917 OPS in 101 plate appearances against Carrasco

AL Central Standings
Twins 34-29
Cleveland 32-31 (-2)
Detroit 30-34 (-4.5)
Kansas City 30-34 (-4.5)
Chicago 29-36 (-6)

It was announced that Adam Wilk will start one of the games of Saturday’s doubleheader. He’ll need to be added back onto the 40-man roster.

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45 Comments

I hope Buxton stops running into things.One of the catches he made in the last week or two where he stretched and landed on his back, the back of his head hit the ground pretty hard.

 

I want him to keep playing all out, I just hope he can stay uninjured.

    • jbissell, DocBauer and HitInAPinch like this
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HitInAPinch
Jun 15 2017 05:52 PM

 

I hope Buxton stops running into things.One of the catches he made in the last week or two where he stretched and landed on his back, the back of his head hit the ground pretty hard.

 

I want him to keep playing all out, I just hope he can stay uninjured.

Yeah.  Being able to see him play over the past few years, I don't know if Buxton has a read feel for where the outfield wall is.  In the video above, I don't see him even looking.

    • Original Whizzinator likes this
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HitInAPinch
Jun 15 2017 05:53 PM

Great seeing Berrios working his way through the game and pitching into the 8th.  Twins bullpen really needed a day off.

    • Jerr, snepp, DocBauer and 2 others like this
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Original Whizzinator
Jun 15 2017 06:07 PM
Yeah I don't see a lot of wall sense out of Buxton. Kepler was noticeably much more adept with the wall when he was in center. That would be Buxton's only defensive flaw.
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ashburyjohn
Jun 15 2017 06:35 PM

It would be easy to joke they should rebuild the warning track about 10 feet shallower because Buxton's so fast that he needs more warning. But he missed that ball, so I infer that he was aware of the fence - it looked barely catchable if there were no obstacle. He just seems to have a Plan B that he'll cushion the impact somehow. Somebody needs to explain to him that he's not indestructible.

    • Danchat likes this

Wilks?  No is my response - give one of our young guys a chance.  What is the love affair with waiver wire pitchers?

    • gil4 and DocBauer like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 15 2017 07:57 PM

Yeah. Being able to see him play over the past few years, I don't know if Buxton has a read feel for where the outfield wall is. In the video above, I don't see him even looking.

I think he has a feel for it, he simply doesn't care. I hate to see him do it but damn, it's fun to watch a fearless defender.
    • jbissell, Tibs and bizaff like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 15 2017 07:59 PM

Wilks? No is my response - give one of our young guys a chance. What is the love affair with waiver wire pitchers?

Unfortunately, there aren't any young starters. Gonsalves is probably next in line but he hasn't been going deep into games and he's not on the 40 man.
    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Unfortunately, there aren't any young starters. Gonsalves is probably next in line but he hasn't been going deep into games and he's not on the 40 man.

Wilk isn't on the 40 man either.

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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 15 2017 08:22 PM

 

Wilk isn't on the 40 man either.

Yeah, but he's entirely disposable. Gonsalves is not.

 

If Gonsalves was ready, I don't think we'd be seeing Wilk right now.

    • diehardtwinsfan, ThejacKmp and howieramone2 like this
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bluechipper
Jun 15 2017 09:20 PM

 

Unfortunately, there aren't any young starters. Gonsalves is probably next in line but he hasn't been going deep into games and he's not on the 40 man.

The days don't line up for a regular start, but how unusual would it be to call a guy like Fernando Romero up for just the doubleheader? It would seem like a win win, especially when the alternative is Adam Wilk, who you can't expect a whole lot from anyway.

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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 15 2017 09:32 PM

The days don't line up for a regular start, but how unusual would it be to call a guy like Fernando Romero up for just the doubleheader? It would seem like a win win, especially when the alternative is Adam Wilk, who you can't expect a whole lot from anyway.

I hated when the Twins did it to Polanco so I'm not going to advocate they do it to Romero. Call the guy when he's ready, don't disrupt his development for a game or two of play.
    • bluechipper, DocBauer and howieramone2 like this

Tom, I know this has been said in all of your recaps, but I think it deserves repeating.

 

These write-ups are beyond fantastic, doubly so for anyone that couldn't partake in the game itself.

 

 

Thank you.

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, diehardtwinsfan, wavedog and 6 others like this

 

I hated when the Twins did it to Polanco so I'm not going to advocate they do it to Romero. Call the guy when he's ready, don't disrupt his development for a game or two of play.

 

I see the "disruption" a little differently for a starting pitcher versus a position player. A position player who gets called up and sits for 6 days with only a pinch hitting appearance or an 8th inning substitution definitely seems like he's being disrupted. A starting pitcher who gets called up for a start or two, knowing that he's going to go back down? That doesn't seem all that disruptive, even if he doesn't make it through the 3rd inning.

Of course, if a pitcher is called up and then doesn't get used for 12 days like what happened last year...that also would seem to qualify as disruptive.

I see the "disruption" a little differently for a starting pitcher versus a position player. A position player who gets called up and sits for 6 days with only a pinch hitting appearance or an 8th inning substitution definitely seems like he's being disrupted. A starting pitcher who gets called up for a start or two, knowing that he's going to go back down? That doesn't seem all that disruptive, even if he doesn't make it through the 3rd inning.

Of course, if a pitcher is called up and then doesn't get used for 12 days like what happened last year...that also would seem to qualify as disruptive.


I agree with this.

But I wonder if Brock wasn't referring to putting someone on the 40 man before they're useful.

I agree with this.

But I wonder if Brock wasn't referring to putting someone on the 40 man before they're useful.


Romero is already on the 40-man (was required for Rule 5 protection last winter). Same for Polanco when he first came up to Minnesota.
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Bill Brown69
Jun 16 2017 06:17 AM

I am pretty sure he was talking about using 2 option years for Polonco to play in about 6 games.

    • USAFChief, ThejacKmp and howieramone2 like this
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Tom Froemming
Jun 16 2017 07:24 AM

 

Tom, I know this has been said in all of your recaps, but I think it deserves repeating.

 

These write-ups are beyond fantastic, doubly so for anyone that couldn't partake in the game itself.

 

 

Thank you.

Thank you. These have been fun to put together, I'm happy people are enjoying them. This is gonna sound like I'm just blowing smoke up everybody's backsides, but I'm just honored to have the opportunity to contribute to such a great site and in front of such a great community. I am on cloud nine right now.

    • snepp likes this

 

I am pretty sure he was talking about using 2 option years for Polonco to play in about 6 games.

Polanco was already using those options -- he had to be added to the 40-man in November 2013 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, thus he had to be optioned to be sent to the minors out of spring training in 2014 and 2015 (and 2016) anyway.  Calling him up for a few days in those seasons did nothing to affect his option or contract status (other than give him a couple days service time).

 

Like Randy Rosario this year -- he was already on the 40-man, so the option was already used this spring.  So calling him up and sending him back down later this season was a "free move" as far as options are concerned.

    • Steve Lein and Tom Froemming like this

 

Yeah.  Being able to see him play over the past few years, I don't know if Buxton has a read feel for where the outfield wall is.  In the video above, I don't see him even looking.

 

This is my biggest concern with him. 

 

He makes a ton of awesome catches, we all know that.

 

But his landings...leave a lot to be desired.

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Tom Froemming
Jun 16 2017 07:49 AM

Regarding the Wilk decision, my guess is he's the guy they feel is mostly likely going to give them five innings. This doubleheader is creating a logistical nightmare for a team that can ill afford to wear down it's bullpen.

 

Turley is such a wild card, and as much as I like Mejia he's averaging less than five innings a start. I'd love to see one of the young guys too, but this maybe isn't the best time to throw somebody out there and see if they float. 

 

How crazy is it that the first three starters the Twins roll out there (Turley, Mejia, Wilk) have a combined 13 career starts? And none of them started a single game last season.

    • howieramone2 likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 16 2017 07:57 AM

 

Polanco was already using those options -- he had to be added to the 40-man in November 2013 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, thus he had to be optioned to be sent to the minors out of spring training in 2014 and 2015 (and 2016) anyway.  Calling him up for a few days in those seasons did nothing to affect his option or contract status (other than give him a couple days service time).

 

Like Randy Rosario this year -- he was already on the 40-man, so the option was already used this spring.  So calling him up and sending him back down later this season was a "free move" as far as options are concerned.

To collate a bunch of posts about my comment, yes and no.

 

Polanco was burning the options anyway but he often came to Minnesota, sat for a few weeks, and then was demoted again. That's not a useful development cycle, especially considering Polanco's age at the time.

 

It's slightly different with Romero because he won't be sitting but I still have some of the same problems with the idea: if a guy isn't ready, he isn't ready. Romero doesn't even have a lot of time at Chattanooga yet, only 12 starts. His numbers look pretty good but aren't eye-popping. He's still only 22 years old.

 

While one or two starts wouldn't likely kill the guy, things have a pretty high probability of getting ugly if he was facing MLB hitters. And while lots of prospects recover quickly and shrug off blatant failure, it can also set a guy back weeks or even months if the outings were truly disastrous.

 

I just don't see enough upside in him starting right now to risk that situation.

    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Yeah, but he's entirely disposable. Gonsalves is not.

 

If Gonsalves was ready, I don't think we'd be seeing Wilk right now.

 

he's not ready because he's not up? We don't know that. No one knows that. At least he should be in AAA, but this FO isn't promoting anyone right now. 

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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 16 2017 08:07 AM

 

he's not ready because he's not up? We don't know that. No one knows that. At least he should be in AAA, but this FO isn't promoting anyone right now. 

It's pretty commonplace under the new draft signing rules to keep your MiLB rosters largely in place until you begin inserting draftees into the system, forcing a bunch of players to slide up a level. I suspect we'll start seeing promotions in the next few weeks.

 

And it's not as if Gonsalves has been destroying Southern League hitting. He had a nice start last night but went only 5.0 innings his previous two starts.

 

Polanco was burning the options anyway but he often came to Minnesota, sat for a few weeks, and then was demoted again. That's not a useful development cycle, especially considering Polanco's age at the time.

Polanco never came up that long in 2014 or 2015.  He came up 4 separate times those seasons, for the following number of days each:

 

4
2
1
3

 

That's 10 days total over those 2 years.  And he started 4 MLB games during those 10 days too, plus 4 other appearances, so he wasn't completely parked on the bench.

 

April/May 2016 he spent more time on the MLB bench, as did Kepler. But not the previous two seasons.

    • Danchat likes this

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