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2019/2020 Twins Minor League Coaching Changes

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Front Page: Should the Twins Look to Add to the Bullpen?

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Twins Game Recap (8/15): Pineda Solid While Offense Provides Plenty

The Twins offense was due. It had been over a week since the Twins put up double -digit runs, and with Pedro Payano on the mound for the Rangers, tonight's result was somewhat predictable. Michael Pineda provided five solid innings and despite a rough outing from Devin Smeltzer out of the bullpen the Twins came out on top 13-6.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Pineda: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 63.9% strikes (55 of 86 pitches)
Bullpen (Smeltzer): 4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Home Runs: Arraez (3), Sano (22), Rosario (27)
Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (3-for-5), Cave (2-for-3), Gonzalez (4-for-5), Polanco (2-for-6)

Top 3 WPA: Arraez (.170), Pineda (.115), Cave (.111)

Twins Offense Strikes Early and Often
The scouting report on right-handed pitcher Payano showed two things: 1) He has reverse splits with more success against left-handed batters, and 2) He struggles commanding the strike zone. That explains Sano batting second for the first time in his career as well as the five-run second inning where he was missing his spots badly after a quick first inning.

Luis Arraez started the party with a home run, which seemed about as likely as Kenny Wu joining the Bash Brothers, what with Payano’s success against lefties. All Mighty Duck references aside, Arraez got it started again in the third with a two-out double down the right field line followed by a Marwin Gonzalez single to drive him in. After two full-count walks in the fourth, Payano’s night was over after just 3 1/3 innings although that didn’t mean much to the Twins hitters. The offense would go on to score 13 runs on 14 hits including three home runs.



Pineda Looks Good in Return to Rotation
Michael Pineda’s didn’t miss a beat after suffering a triceps strain during his August 1 start against the Marlins. If you haven’t been tracking him closely Pineda has been the Twins best pitcher (in terms of fWAR) since June 1 and he looked all the part tonight. It wasn’t until the fourth inning with two outs that the Rangers were able to get their first hit and at that point they were down by 10, which definitely made things easier for Pineda. With a home run to start the inning by Willie Calhoun followed by back-to-back singles, the Rangers scored their second run of the game on Jorge Polanco’s fourth error in his last three games.

After a total of five hits, two earned runs, and 30 pitches Pineda would get through the fifth and give way to Devin Smeltzer out of the Twins bullpen. Throughout the night, Pineda was pinpointing his fastball and slider to the tune of six strikeouts and just one walk.

The Twins will look to stay hot tomorrow against Mike Minor who’s having the best year of his career. Meanwhile, Odorizzi will take the bump for the Twins and look to continue pitching well after he’s given up one run or less in his last three starts.

Postgame With Baldelli


Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.

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50 Comments

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terrydactyls1947
Aug 15 2019 09:45 PM

Yesterday was Thursday, August 15.It was the 121st game of the year putting the Twins 75% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 3 home runs upping their record-breaking season total to 236 home runs.They are now only 31 home runs behind the single-season MLB record.

    • glunn, Jerr, MN_ExPat and 3 others like this
Arreaz again. Very good ABs by Cave. Marwin is a winner.
    • Oldgoat_MN, howieramone2, Aerodeliria and 1 other like this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 15 2019 10:42 PM

Jake Cave might be buying Max Kepler lunch and carrying his bags around tomorrow.

    • glunn, JW24 and JDubs like this
This team could really use an extended hot streak by Marwin. He’s seems to be dialed in right now.
    • glunn and JDubs like this

This unwritten rule stuff is just tiresome. Why not swing on 3-0? Still likely to make an out which would speed up the ending to a lopsided game.If I was the pitcher I would want him to swing on 3-0 rather than throw more pitches to walk him.Maybe a very little tacky but hardly worth a retaliation bean ball pitch which I don't care where it is placed has the potential to seriously injure someone. . I didn't see the game but don't know if I would call Smelzer's outing a rough one. He pitched one fewer innings than Pineda and gave up the same number of runs but with a pretty big lead. He walked one guy but otherwise threw strikes which is what I want from a long relief guy with a large lead.

    • glunn, Cap'n Piranha, twinstalker and 10 others like this
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3balls2strikes
Aug 15 2019 11:43 PM

The article author needs to check the box score for this game at MLB.com. Twins players listed with multi hit games in this article are wrong other than Arraez. Also, the box score shows all three runs given up by Pineda were earned. 

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twinstalker
Aug 16 2019 04:19 AM

 

Also, the box score shows all three runs given up by Pineda were earned. 

They were.Guy scored from third on an error (on DP turn, so couldn't assume an out), then a hit came thereafter, so guy who would have been on 3rd if not for the error would have scored anyway.

 

The article author needs to check the box score for this game at MLB.com. Twins players listed with multi hit games in this article are wrong other than Arraez. Also, the box score shows all three runs given up by Pineda were earned. 

The multi-hit games list is fixed.

    • Tom Froemming and 3balls2strikes like this
Sweet. Hopefully the: “we’ll be fine because of the soft schedule” attitude is coming to fruition.
    • Jerr likes this

 

Jake Cave might be buying Max Kepler lunch and carrying his bags around tomorrow.

Shawn Kelley should be embarrassed by hitting Kepler. Nothing about that makes him look tough. I would be willing to bet no one in the Rangers dugout was impressed with that.

 

Even if Cave knew it was 3-0 (which, based on the video, he didn't), he should be swinging away. The guy is playing for a roster spot on a big league team next year, either with the Twins or elsewhere. Show off what you can do, help your numbers in the chances you get.

    • Jerr, Cap'n Piranha, brvama and 12 others like this

Shawn Kelley should be embarrassed by hitting Kepler. Nothing about that makes him look tough. I would be willing to bet no one in the Rangers dugout was impressed with that.

Even if Cave knew it was 3-0 (which, based on the video, he didn't), he should be swinging away. The guy is playing for a roster spot on a big league team next year, either with the Twins or elsewhere. Show off what you can do, help your numbers in the chances you get.


This may be the dumbest unwritten rule I've seen in a long time. Jake Cave, or any other player in baseball, shouldn't have to apologize for putting the ball in play. No matter the count, no matter the score. These are professional players fighting for playing time.
    • Cap'n Piranha, brvama, wavedog and 13 others like this
despite a rough outing from Devin Smeltzer

 

 

I dunno, he was handed a gigantic lead and most likely told it was his job to finish the game. He could have given up several more runs and it would be fine by me -- he did his job giving the rest of the bullpen a night off while still making the game enough of a laugher that no one else had to get up and none of us had to sit on the edge of our seats. I'd say that's a good outing for what he was asked to do.

    • Cap'n Piranha, brvama, Dantes929 and 9 others like this
Since when did it become an unwritten rule that you can't swing on 3-0?
    • Steve Lein, Cap'n Piranha, brvama and 5 others like this

 

Jake Cave might be buying Max Kepler lunch and carrying his bags around tomorrow.

 

Honestly man, what kind of BS is that? The Twins have been struggling, Cave has been struggling....what's he supposed to do in a 3-0 count? Take a strike? Why? The pitcher should have thrown strikes earlier in the count and he wouldn't be in that situation.

 

Just moments before Cave's AB, Bryce Harper had just homered to complete a 6-run 9th inning comeback by the Phillies to beat the Cubs. With the Twins pitching staff, no lead is safe. I see nothing wrong with Jake padding his stats there, nor is there anything wrong with the Twins running up the score.

 

That beaning of Kepler was really bush league.

    • Cap'n Piranha, brvama, Dantes929 and 9 others like this

 

Jake Cave might be buying Max Kepler lunch and carrying his bags around tomorrow.

I was watching the Rangers broadcast and they did not mention anything so I totally missed this but did think Kepler getting hit was a little strange.I wasn't aware swinging on a 3-0 pitch was an offense - some of these unwritten rules seem like they were made up by 8 year olds. I wonder what the combination of runs your behind and inning violates the "rule" . Maybe like the no pitch intentional walk - baseball can come up with a"you violated an unwritten rule and offended our team" indication or sign so the batter can just take first base without taking one in the ribs or shoulder.  

    • Dantes929, 70charger, Danchat and 4 others like this

 

I was watching the Rangers broadcast and they did not mention anything so I totally missed this but did think Kepler getting hit was a little strange.I wasn't aware swinging on a 3-0 pitch was an offense - some of these unwritten rules seem like they were made up by 8 year olds. I wonder what the combination of runs your behind and inning violates the "rule" . Maybe like the no pitch intentional walk - baseball can come up with a"you violated an unwritten rule and offended our team" indication or sign so the batter can just take first base without taking one in the ribs or shoulder.  

 

I think swinging 3-0 is fine - unless you're up by 7 runs in the 9th inning (or so the rule goes).

 

That said, as I mentioned, the Phillies dropped 6 runs in the 9th against the Cubs and beat them. In today's game, no lead is safe.

    • blindeke and Minny505 like this
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Matthew Lenz
Aug 16 2019 07:31 AM

 

The article author needs to check the box score for this game at MLB.com. Twins players listed with multi hit games in this article are wrong other than Arraez. 

Thank you for catching that.I'm not sure how I screwed that up so badly!

 

 

I dunno, he was handed a gigantic lead and most likely told it was his job to finish the game. He could have given up several more runs and it would be fine by me -- he did his job giving the rest of the bullpen a night off while still making the game enough of a laugher that no one else had to get up and none of us had to sit on the edge of our seats. I'd say that's a good outing for what he was asked to do.

IMO, you can do your job and still not do it well, especially when you're handed a 9-run lead.Also, keep in mind, the Rangers made all three outs on the basepaths in the bottom of the 6th.That inning would have been a lot worse had they not helped him out there. 

    • USAFChief, scottz, KidBro and 5 others like this
Meanwhile in New York, ahead 14-4 Cleveland hits two home runs and scores 5 runs in the 8th against a position player.

I suppose somewhere there's an unwritten rule about that not being allowed.
    • Cap'n Piranha, wavedog, Dman and 4 others like this

 

Honestly man, what kind of BS is that? The Twins have been struggling, Cave has been struggling....what's he supposed to do in a 3-0 count? Take a strike? Why? The pitcher should have thrown strikes earlier in the count and he wouldn't be in that situation.

 

You could certainly say that Cave was struggling earlier in the year, but lately he's been hitting very well. In his 19 AB so far in August he is batting .421. Not bad at all!

    • howieramone2 and bighat like this

Arraez just keeps on rolling, huh? The dinger may have been a surprise but it's a pleasant one: if he can be a guy who hits 8-10 HRs along with 30+ doubles and a handful of triples he's going to be a much more complete player. He doesn't need a SLG% that's over .450 to be a terrific starting 2B, but he does need to keep it over .400 IMHO. A little extra pop on those occasional HRs helps a lot.

 

He's just become a really tough out. His BABiP is high, but not ludicrously so. The BB% is excellent for a guy who gets so many damn hits. he's doing a terrific job of controlling the strike zone: you can't strike him out often and you can't get him to chase much either. It's a really effective approach and he could be a terrific leadoff guy in the future.

 

I'm a little worried about Polanco right now. Maybe he's taking the slump at the plate out in the field with him? He's got to get those throws ironed out, because those free outs he's yielding can really haunt you. He probably needs a day or two off, and we've got the infielders up right now to do it, so hopefully Rocco gives him a day off and some infield instruction.

    • Dman, blindeke, cmoss84 and 2 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 16 2019 08:54 AM

 

Honestly man, what kind of BS is that? The Twins have been struggling, Cave has been struggling....what's he supposed to do in a 3-0 count? Take a strike? Why? The pitcher should have thrown strikes earlier in the count and he wouldn't be in that situation.

 

Just moments before Cave's AB, Bryce Harper had just homered to complete a 6-run 9th inning comeback by the Phillies to beat the Cubs. With the Twins pitching staff, no lead is safe. I see nothing wrong with Jake padding his stats there, nor is there anything wrong with the Twins running up the score.

 

That beaning of Kepler was really bush league.

I didn't say I endorsed the beaning, but the only reason Kepler got hit was because of Cave. I'm sure he feels awful about it.

    • ashbury, bighat and MN_ExPat like this
I'm amused by the outrage over Kepler getting hit.

Every player on both teams knew exactly what happened, and why, and none of them had a problem with it.

There are "unwritten rules" ("norms" if you prefer) in every job.
    • ashbury and MN_ExPat like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Aug 16 2019 09:10 AM

 

I'm amused by the outrage over Kepler getting hit.

Every player on both teams knew exactly what happened, and why, and none of them had a problem with it.

There are "unwritten rules" ("norms" if you prefer) in every job.

 

I don't know that outrage is the right word here.I think annoyance is a better term.If that ball slips a little bit when the pitcher throws it, maybe it hits Kepler in the head.Maybe it hits him in the wrist, breaks a bone, and Kepler is done for the year.Neither of those are implausible, and both would be ridiculous, given that the beaning was in retaliation for a hitter attempting to hit.If the Rangers don't want the Twins to try up 8 in the 9th, then forfeit.Otherwise shut up and play the damn game.

    • SQUIRREL, brvama, Dantes929 and 6 others like this

I always thought guys weren't supposed to swing at 3-0 pitches because the pitcher was showing they can't throw strikes and to just take the free base. Is it really because you're supposed to take at least one strike in order to make it more fair or something? Thats the first I've ever heard that, and pretty sad that these professional competitors agree thats the norm. Should teams roll out the b squad lineup when their ace is on the mound as well?

    • Dman likes this

 

I'm amused by the outrage over Kepler getting hit.

Every player on both teams knew exactly what happened, and why, and none of them had a problem with it.

There are "unwritten rules" ("norms" if you prefer) in every job.

There might have been more of a reaction by both teams had Kepler taken offense to getting hit and made a scene. At that point the dugouts have to clear and guys have to hold each other back and then return to their own dugouts.

 

Pitchers hitting batters purposefully is the absolute worst part of baseball because of some unwritten rule that was broken (or because the pitcher has thin skin), and quite frankly is something the commissioner should hand out more extreme punishments for to get rid of it. It is not tough, it is pathetic.

    • brvama, Danchat, Dman and 1 other like this

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