Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Front Page: Twins Trade Targets: 4 Potential Starting Pit...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:53 AM
The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract....
Full topic ›

2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

Other Baseball Today, 12:11 AM
With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Award: Pitcher of the Year

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:03 PM
For most of the past decade, the Minnesota Twins have had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Pick a meaningful statistic for p...
Full topic ›

JOB OPENING: TC Bear

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:30 PM
Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
Full topic ›

Front Page: Twins AFL Report - Week 4: Lewis Named Fall S...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 08:48 PM
Week four of the AFL season was likely the most interesting to the casual prospect follower, as it featured the circuit’s all-star showca...
Full topic ›

Twins at Risk of Sinking to New Low with October Woes

This was going to be different. So insisted everyone involved with these 2019 Twins, who entered the postseason looking to upend an October narrative that's haunted the franchise for 15 years.

So far, they're right. It has been different. It's been worse.
Image courtesy of Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Losing against the Yankees in the playoffs is a painfully familiar experience for Twins fans, but this is as bad as we've seen it. While Minnesota entered this ALDS on a 13-game postseason losing streak, none of those losses were as lopsided or all-around uninspiring as the two duds we just witnessed in the Bronx.

None of the Twins' 13 consecutive playoff losses dating back to 2004 were by a margin of more than five runs. Each of the first two drubbings in this ALDS have been by six. The Yankees have dismantled, outsmarted, and dominated at almost every turn. Few observers truly expected the Twins to win this series but for the club to be so woefully uncompetitive is beyond disheartening.

It starts with the pitching staff, of course. In two games at Yankee Stadium, the Twins gave up 18 runs on 18 hits and 16 walks. Previously reliable arms imploded. No one had any answers for the patience and power of New York's lineup. Multiple defensive mistakes contributed to the meltdown.

Bafflingly, the Twins allowed all of this damage without three of their best relievers even taking the mound. Trevor May and Sergio Romo didn't appear until Game 2 was already well out of hand. Taylor Rogers, Minnesota's most valuable reliever all year long, still hasn't pitched. Meanwhile, the Yankees have gone to their top guys in every important spot and it has paid off; their bullpen – which was arguably at a slight disadvantage on paper – has allowed only two runs on four hits over 8 1/3 innings.

And while it's always easy to second-guess managerial bullpen moves in retrospect, that's the nature of a playoff series, and rookie skipper Rocco Baldelli has made some especially questionable calls that have gone about as poorly as possible. He pulled strings as if operating in regular-season mode, saving bullets for late-game opportunities that never materialized.

Why was Zack Littell the first man out of the bullpen on Friday night, in the fifth inning of a 3-3 tie? As effective as Littell has been, he's a rookie who rarely threw in high-leverage spots all year. And on Saturday, why was Tyler Duffey called into an intensely stressful situation, one day after throwing 25 pitches in Game 1? Rogers, May and Romo were all completely fresh. Duffey had a 7.45 ERA and 1.56 WHIP when pitching on zero days rest this season, and he never once made such an appearance after throwing as many pitches as he did on Friday.

Baldelli has had a commendable first year at the helm but his decision-making in this series – and particularly those choices, with their utterly disastrous results – will be rightfully scrutinized for some time.

At the end of the day, though, the biggest letdown for the Twins in this heralded slugging showdown has been their largely absent offense. Six runs on 13 hits in 18 innings, against a vulnerable pitching staff in one of baseball's most hitter-friendly yards. Completely inadequate and underwhelming.

Now, the Twins return home with their backs against the wall. Win or it's over. Given the total breakdowns we've seen in every phase thus far, there's not much cause for confidence, but Monday is a new day, in a new ballpark, in front of a packed home crowd.

This team is almost out of chances to not just put an end to the longest stretch of postseason futility against a single opponent in MLB history, but to avoid imprinting 2019 as the new low point in this languishing legacy of losing when it matters most.

Coming home, down 0-2, with elimination feeling almost like a forgone conclusion. We've been here before. Will this time be different?

  • nclahammer likes this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

146 Comments

 

Cleveland seems to do some pretty incredible stuff with their starting staff internally. Word on the street is the guy who do the heavy lifting setting up their system is now setting up the Twins system.

 

With the increases in salary coming for the carry over guys spending the same as last year means they again won't be bringing in any big name free agent arms. You can let a few of the offensive guys go, but then you need your prospects to step up and replace them to continue to be a strong offense. But if we had traded those prospects for the big name guys like Grienke then you're now looking at not being able to keep all your guys and not having guys to replace them.

 

Building through the minors is how this team has to do things to stay competitive.

 

Letting Cron go gives them around 40-60 million to spend. Spend $5MM on a catcher. 

 

You now have 35-55 million to spend, just to get to this year's budget. To get to last year's, you need to spend 5-10MM more......

 

They aren't extending Rosario or Garver. No way Buxton signs a deal. That leaves Berrios and Sano? I don't see Sano signing an extension here, but I guess he might. 

 

Cleveland seems to do some pretty incredible stuff with their starting staff internally. Word on the street is the guy who do the heavy lifting setting up their system is now setting up the Twins system.

 

With the increases in salary coming for the carry over guys spending the same as last year means they again won't be bringing in any big name free agent arms. You can let a few of the offensive guys go, but then you need your prospects to step up and replace them to continue to be a strong offense. But if we had traded those prospects for the big name guys like Grienke then you're now looking at not being able to keep all your guys and not having guys to replace them.

 

Building through the minors is how this team has to do things to stay competitive.

 

No one is arguing with the last point.

 

If you believe the window is open, you can't go into next year with 5 internal options at SP. 

Photo
Aerodeliria
Oct 07 2019 08:13 PM

 

I don't know if it was that routine -- it was really in no-man's land:

 

attachicon.gifplay.png

 

If it had been high enough for Arraez to get under it, then Rosario probably has a better play on it anyway.

 

And in any case, that ball dropping doesn't matter if Cron catches a relatively routine throw from the second baseman. :)

Agreed! Although the throw was low, it wasn't even in the dirt. Cron is not adept at taking throws that are a bit off-target. It is why I preferred to have Gonzales at first and using Cron only as a pinch-hitter.

 

You're ignoring Verlander and Cole.

 

Find me a succesful team that developed all of it's pitching internally.

 

I'll wait.

As in hasn't signed a high priced free agent or traded for a high priced arm?

 

Tampa (unless you're counting Charlie Morton as big name/high priced at 15 mil)

Cleveland

Oakland

Atlanta (unless you're counting Keuchel as big name/high priced at 13 mil)

St Louis (unless you're counting Miller being bad for them as a key to their success)

Milwaukee

Dodgers

 

Just to name a few of the playoff teams this season. Internally doesn't mean draft and develop. Building through the minors doesn't mean only guys you drafted or signed internationally. It means not bringing in high priced guys from other teams. It means snagging an electric arm as a secondary piece for Sergio Romo. It means getting guys cheap and turning them into better arms with your system.

 

Yes, the Dodgers are able to re-sign their studs, but the guys they bring in from the outside aren't the $120,000,000 guys. But go ahead and cut them out if that makes you feel better. 6 other playoff teams this year have pitching staffs built almost exactly the same way as the Twins current staff.

 

Letting Cron go gives them around 40-60 million to spend. Spend $5MM on a catcher. 

 

You now have 35-55 million to spend, just to get to this year's budget. To get to last year's, you need to spend 5-10MM more......

 

They aren't extending Rosario or Garver. No way Buxton signs a deal. That leaves Berrios and Sano? I don't see Sano signing an extension here, but I guess he might. 

Rosario, Garver, Buxton, Berrios, and Sano will all get raises for next season. Every last one of them. No, they likely won't sign extensions, but that isn't the only way they make more money. Arbitration will ensure their price tags all go up. Rather significantly in a few cases.

 

No one is arguing with the last point.

 

If you believe the window is open, you can't go into next year with 5 internal options at SP. 

Odo, Berrios, Graterol is a pretty good start to a rotation. I'm not saying never sign outside guys I'm saying the elite arms you're always asking for don't bring enough to the table to offset the deficiencies they cause in the rest of the roster by not being able to afford good players at other positions. 

 

Part of our differences is that you want a super wide window and are more ok than I am with having that window only open for a short time as long as you make it open as far as possible. I want the window open more or less all the time without being as willing to risk having it completely closed for 10 years like we just experienced.

 

As in hasn't signed a high priced free agent or traded for a high priced arm?

 

Tampa (unless you're counting Charlie Morton as big name/high priced at 15 mil)

Cleveland

Oakland

Atlanta (unless you're counting Keuchel as big name/high priced at 13 mil)

St Louis (unless you're counting Miller being bad for them as a key to their success)

Milwaukee

Dodgers

 

Just to name a few of the playoff teams this season. Internally doesn't mean draft and develop. Building through the minors doesn't mean only guys you drafted or signed internationally. It means not bringing in high priced guys from other teams. It means snagging an electric arm as a secondary piece for Sergio Romo. It means getting guys cheap and turning them into better arms with your system.

 

Yes, the Dodgers are able to re-sign their studs, but the guys they bring in from the outside aren't the $120,000,000 guys. But go ahead and cut them out if that makes you feel better. 6 other playoff teams this year have pitching staffs built almost exactly the same way as the Twins current staff.

 

Dodgers brought in Greinke until they had enough internal options....

 

Odo, Berrios, Graterol is a pretty good start to a rotation. I'm not saying never sign outside guys I'm saying the elite arms you're always asking for don't bring enough to the table to offset the deficiencies they cause in the rest of the roster by not being able to afford good players at other positions. 

 

Part of our differences is that you want a super wide window and are more ok than I am with having that window only open for a short time as long as you make it open as far as possible. I want the window open more or less all the time without being as willing to risk having it completely closed for 10 years like we just experienced.

 

Odo is a free agent, who I hope they sign.

 

Gaterol is not likely to start the year in MN as a starter, but I could be wrong about that.

 

The window won't be open next year w/o adding pitching to the one guy they have right now. Adding Odo is a good start. Instead of spending money on Perez and Cron, they could have signed a better pitcher. A team on a budget can't afford to spend 5-8MM on mediocre/bad players. 

    • Sconnie likes this

 

Dodgers brought in Greinke until they had enough internal options....

That's fair. Still 6 other playoff teams that signed cheap FA, traded for minor leaguers or cheap veterans having good years, and developed their own guys. Like the Twins.

 

Odo is a free agent, who I hope they sign.

 

Gaterol is not likely to start the year in MN as a starter, but I could be wrong about that.

 

The window won't be open next year w/o adding pitching to the one guy they have right now. Adding Odo is a good start. Instead of spending money on Perez and Cron, they could have signed a better pitcher. A team on a budget can't afford to spend 5-8MM on mediocre/bad players. 

It is very hard to survive with having mediocre/bad players making 5-8 mil, yes. It is way harder having guys make 2,3,4, or 5 times that much and being mediocre/bad. Like every bullpen guy not named Ottavino that signed this last offseason for 10+ mil. It's easier (and in my opinion smarter) to sign 2 guys at 5-8 each than one guy for 10-16. Or sign 4 guys for 5-8 instead of 1 guy for 20-30. Those signings have to be done smartly and with clear ideas on how to get the guy you sign to improve and start putting up better numbers. Like Perez in the first month. Pitching staffs have become more about the number of options you have than relying on a few big priced guys. Especially bullpens.

 

 

It is very hard to survive with having mediocre/bad players making 5-8 mil, yes. It is way harder having guys make 2,3,4, or 5 times that much and being mediocre/bad. Like every bullpen guy not named Ottavino that signed this last offseason for 10+ mil. It's easier (and in my opinion smarter) to sign 2 guys at 5-8 each than one guy for 10-16. Or sign 4 guys for 5-8 instead of 1 guy for 20-30. Those signings have to be done smartly and with clear ideas on how to get the guy you sign to improve and start putting up better numbers. Like Perez in the first month. Pitching staffs have become more about the number of options you have than relying on a few big priced guys. Especially bullpens.

 

I agree with all of that. I preached all of last year that they should be bringing guys up and down from AAA for the pen. Instead, they brought in a bunch of guys that could not be optioned, and now Nick Anderson is very good. This year they didn't do that, and Gonsalves got hurt (though I think they would have used him as a starter) and Romero has forgotten how to pitch. I think they can pull a bullpen together, if they move some of the "meh" starters to the pen. They can't do that if they don't bring in outside starters until Gaterol and Blazovich and one other guy is ready.......

 

I agree with all of that. I preached all of last year that they should be bringing guys up and down from AAA for the pen. Instead, they brought in a bunch of guys that could not be optioned, and now Nick Anderson is very good. This year they didn't do that, and Gonsalves got hurt (though I think they would have used him as a starter) and Romero has forgotten how to pitch. I think they can pull a bullpen together, if they move some of the "meh" starters to the pen. They can't do that if they don't bring in outside starters until Gaterol and Blazovich and one other guy is ready.......

Agreed.

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 09:08 PM

 

Gaterol is not likely to start the year in MN as a starter, but I could be wrong about that.

Graterol has looked pretty raw at times, is just 20 years old, and coming off a season where he pitched maybe 75 innings.

 

He's not starting 2020 in Minnesota. I hope he ends up there but he's not starting there, in my opinion.

    • USAFChief, Sconnie and David HK like this

 

I’m curious why almost no one has suggested that perhaps Odorizzi should have started game one.

It’s what I would have done. Odorizzi has pitched considerably better since the break than Berrios. Also, I just feel Berrios would have fed off the home crowd more than Odorizzi will.

Whether it was #1 or 2, no question he should have gotten the ball in NYC. He's the guy with the most experience pitching in that place, by far. (OK, well, other than Pineda, but that's kind of different. God, we could have used him in this series.)

 

Then we could have a BP game at home, where those guys are more comfortable and confident.

 

 

 

Graterol has looked pretty raw at times, is just 20 years old, and coming off a season where he pitched maybe 75 innings.

 

He's not starting 2020 in Minnesota. I hope he ends up there but he's not starting there, in my opinion.

I agree, he could use more seasoning. Really impressed with how he's handled himself up here so far, though.

 

But I really really really hope they stretch him out as a starter going forward.

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 09:34 PM

 

I agree, he could use more seasoning. Really impressed with how he's handled himself up here so far, though.

 

But I really really really hope they stretch him out as a starter going forward.

I'm pretty sure this front office views Graterol as a starter until he proves decisively he's not a starter.

I'm pretty sure this front office views Graterol as a starter until he proves decisively he's not a starter.


Agreed, but not too start next year. Dobnak is the only guy under contract other than Berrios likely to start the year as a starter.
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 09:44 PM

 

Agreed, but not too start next year. Dobnak is the only guy under contract other than Berrios likely to start the year as a starter.

Almost surely not. It'd be great if Graterol ends up contributing to the 2020 team in June or so but this front office needs to pretend he doesn't exist this offseason.

    • USAFChief likes this

 

That's fair. Still 6 other playoff teams that signed cheap FA, traded for minor leaguers or cheap veterans having good years, and developed their own guys. Like the Twins.

That's patently false.

 

The bulk of Atlanta's rotation is home grown. 

 

That's it. You have to do all of that stuff, AND add quality, to be successful. By the time the Twins minor league supplies the kind of pitching necessary to compete in the post season, if it ever does, much of the current roster won't be here any more. And then people will be saying just wait for the minor leagues to supply a lineup.

 

Go big, or go home.

    • Mike Sixel likes this
I was rooting for you guys to beat the Yankees. What a terrible series.

The AL Central is the worst division in baseball. If you get in the playoffs anything could happen. I doubt you would win 100 games in a stronger division, but, making the playoffs you had a chance to go all of the way. Good season.

Only one team wins the last game of the year. Hoping it is not mine though lots of better teams to overcome.
    • Sconnie likes this

 

That's patently false.

 

The bulk of Atlanta's rotation is home grown. 

 

That's it. You have to do all of that stuff, AND add quality, to be successful. By the time the Twins minor league supplies the kind of pitching necessary to compete in the post season, if it ever does, much of the current roster won't be here any more. And then people will be saying just wait for the minor leagues to supply a lineup.

 

Go big, or go home.

What part is false? Signing cheap free agents? Trading for minor leaguers or cheap vets having good years? Developing their own guys? 

 

What does "adding quality" mean? Signing cheap vets? Cuz that's what the 6 teams I listed did.

 

Milwaukee, Atlanta, Tampa, St Louis, Oakland, and Minnesota all made the post season without "going big." So again, what part is false?


Similar Articles


by Seth Stohs , Yesterday, 11:03 PM
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 15 Oct 2019
Photo


by Patrick Wozniak , 12 Oct 2019
Photo


by Matt Braun , 11 Oct 2019
Photo


by Matthew Trueblood , 09 Oct 2019
Photo