Jump to content

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

The Forums

Spring Training 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:27 AM
No matter what kind of patch work 2020 season MLB comes up with, if anything at this point, it will amount to no more than a glorified pr...
Full topic ›

Take Landis Name off the MVP Award

Other Baseball Today, 01:48 AM
Barry Larkin, former MVP, has been calling for removing the Kenesaw Mountain Landis name from MVP awards.Personally, until I read the art...
Full topic ›

Virtual Twins Baseball Megathread

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 04:56 PM
Moving forward this will house every game-thread in the comments below until real baseball hopefully comes back. I should have done this...
Full topic ›

Neal: Twins Radio Broadcast Team Will Not Travel

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:36 AM
https://www.startrib...ason/571529672/   LaVelle Neal also wrote that the Twins radio broadcast crew (including Cory Provus and Dan...
Full topic ›

Miguel Sano Denies Kidnapping Allegation, States He's...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 04:53 PM
William Aish, sports editor for El Nuevo Diario, Tweeted last night about a complicated situation involving Miguel Sano. Here's Hect...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


Twins Game Recap (8/20): Cruz Leads Twins Offensive Explosion

Monday night was a bit of a come down to earth for the Minnesota Twins, who cruised their way to a four-game sweep against the Texas Rangers over the weekend. However, the Twins jumped right back on the gas pedal last night again, putting up 14 runs on 10 extra-base hits against the Chicago White Sox. In New York, the Mets took care of business, beating the Cleveland Indians by a score of 9 to 2, which helped the Twins extend their lead in the division back up to three games.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Pineda: 7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 79.5% strikes (70 of 88 pitches)
Home Runs: Kepler (34), Cruz (33), Polanco (19)
Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2 for 5, 2B, HR), Cruz (4 for 5, 3 2B, HR), Rosario (2 for 5)
WPA of +0.1: Cruz .347, Kepler .176
WPA of -0.1: None

The pitchers were in control of this game in its early stages, as they both breezed through the first couple of innings, facing just one more batter than the minimum between the two pitchers. However, that narrative took a 180 in the third inning, when both teams found their bats. In the top of the third, Michael Pineda was one out away from another quick inning, leaving just a runner on first. That all changed when Tim Anderson roped a double down the first-base line that ricocheted off the side wall, and away from Jake Cave, allowing Yolmer Sanchez to score from first. Jose Abreu followed that up with another third-inning home run, putting the White Sox 3-0.

Mitch Garver led off the bottom of the third with a double into the right-center field gap, for the Twins first baserunner of the game. Garver advanced to third on a Marwin Gonzalez groundout, but was still standing there with two outs, after Jake Cave struck out. No worries though, as Max Kepler, who was back in the lineup after missing last night’s game as a result of the heat exhaustion he suffered over the weekend in Texas, came through with a two-out, two-run home run to cut the White Sox lead down to one.



After a strong showing in his return from the injured list last night, Nelson Cruz showed everyone that the ruptured tendon in his left wrist wasn’t going to slow him down, as he took Reynaldo Lopez deep to left field, to tie the game at three.



After tying the game up in the bottom of the fourth, Nelson Cruz gave the Twins their first lead of the game, just an inning later. A lead they would not look back from. The inning didn’t look like it was going to be anything much after Mitch Garver and Marwin Gonzalez both grounded out to leadoff the inning. Jake Cave then followed that up with an opposite field single, extending his modest hit streak to eight games. Max Kepler then nubbed the ball two feet in front of home plate, but the inning was kept alive when Jose Abreu inexplicably missed the catch on the throw to first. Jorge Polanco kept the inning going when he was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Nelson Cruz, who promptly delivered with a two-run double off the wall in right. On the very next pitch, Eddie Rosario followed that up with a base hit, bringing in both Polanco and Cruz to extend the Twins lead to four.

Tim Anderson led off the top of the sixth inning with a home run, which was the fourth earned run allowed by Michael Pineda on the night. That marks just the second start for Pineda since the beginning of May, when he has allowed more than three earned runs.

The Twins busted the game wide open with a seven-run inning in the bottom of the eighth. The inning was highlighted by two doubles from Nelson Cruz, a bases clearing double from C.J. Cron, RBI-doubles from both Miguel Sano and Max Kepler, and a two-run home run by Jorge Polanco.





Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

Next Three Games
Wed vs CHW, 12:10 pm CT (Giolito-Odorizzi)
Fri vs DET, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
Sat vs DET, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

Last Game
Twins Game Recap (8/19): Twins Unable to Mount Comeback, Drop Series Opener 6-4

  • ToddlerHarmon likes this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

87 Comments

Trout is a great player. But I'd still go with Willie Mays in his prime. Power and average to compare with Trout, but with more speed, defense, and throwing arm.

Conversations about "best baseball player of all time" begin and end with Babe Ruth.

And it's not even close.
    • Mr. Brooks, Don Walcott and Bandit34 like this
Photo
Don Walcott
Aug 21 2019 08:33 AM

 

Conversations about "best baseball player of all time" begin and end with Babe Ruth.

And it's not even close.

So is this the beginning or the end of the conversation?

 

Edit: Obvious Chief setup.

    • USAFChief and wabene like this
Chief, as you are the only one on the forum likely to have watched him play I will concede.
    • USAFChief, Dantes929, Danchat and 4 others like this

So is this the beginning or the end of the conversation?

Edit: Obvious Chief setup.

no.

Hat tip.
    • Don Walcott likes this
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Aug 21 2019 08:47 AM

 

Conversations about "best baseball player of all time" begin and end with Babe Ruth.

And it's not even close.

It depends how you view the question: contextual to the player's time or pure athleticism.

 

Contextual to his time? Ruth, and it's not close.

 

Best overall athlete? Trout, and it's not close.

 

There is no wrong answer, only how you view the question.

    • Dantes929 and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
Aerodeliria
Aug 21 2019 08:50 AM

The 1973 Braves had Hank Aaron, Darrell Evans and Davey Johnson at 40, 41, and 43 homers respectfully. They also finished 5th at 76-85. Homers good, pitching not so much.


Oddly, I remember that team well because that is the year I asked for the APBA Baseball game for Christmas and received it (I'm curious if anyone remembers that game.) They could hit home runs right and left, but they hit a ton of solo shots because no one was on base (at least in my game). They also couldn't pitch and were the slowest team on the planet, except for one their outfielders who was super fast but not a very good hitter (the name slips my mind,)

 

 

Fish man is not even good at baseball, but simply unreal.  

 

Polanco quietly coming out of his....well, I won't call it a "slump", but you know what I mean. Smalley remarked that he had shortened up his swing a bit over the past week. Looks very quick.

 

We are pretty spoiled seeing games like this frequently over the season. Just a drubbing, once again in double-digits. Absolutely need to take this series with a win today (Wednesday) and it was nice to see the bats warm up. Giolito has had a good year, should be an interesting game.

 

Jorge is so HUGE for this team when he is hitting.He went into a prolonged slump for most of the summer and in the last 11 games or so it finally, hopefully, looks like he has snapped out of it and is hitting like he was at the beginning of the season.More impressively, he hi that HR as a right handed hitter last night.

    • bighat and wabene like this

 

All of this adds up to what suddenly looks like a career-best season for Cruz at the plate, which is an absurd thing to say about a 39-year-old who’s already put together a long list of impressive seasons, the majority of which have come in the second half of his career. His wRC+ is 10 points better than any other season he’s ever put up, but he’s also tying his career-high in walk rate while blowing past his career-high ISO by nearly 100 points. 

 

Cruz is looking very much like David Ortiz did at age 39, let's hope he follows through with a similar age-40 season!

 

Ortiz put up .273/.360/.913 as a 39 year old with 37 doubles and 37 HR, and he followed that up with .315/.401/1.021 with a league-leading 48 doubles and 38 HR at age 40!

 

Cruz is currently at .296/.385/1.031 with 19 doubles and 32 HR...

    • MN_ExPat and wabene like this

 

Oy. Mauer was close to the leader in WAR that season and probably got a bump because he's a catcher and catchers aren't supposed to do what he did that season. Joe was within a single win of being the league leader, while also catching most of his games (pretty hard to complain about a catcher worth eight wins taking the MVP award).

 

Meanwhile, Trout is on his merry way to a 10 win season (again) and we're talking about Cruz maybe crossing four wins.

 

Totally the same argument.

 

I do not understand why people refuse to accept that Mike Trout should win every MVP award until he stops being Mike Trout at the plate and on the field. He's literally the best baseball player that has ever stepped onto a diamond.

 

Appreciate greatness when you see it, folks. It doesn't come along that often.

If that is so, then they need to change the title of the award to AL Best Player of the Year award or something like that. As far as MVP is concerned, Cruz has turned this lineup/this team into a wrecking ball that I have never witnessed in my entire life!!! When we faced the Angels, was I afraid? No. If we had to face a lineup like the Twins would I be afraid? Yeppers! Cruz is not the only reason but he is the number one reason for this franchise completely turning around. If we don't re-sign him or exercise the option or whatever it would be a crime against humanity. Definitely, I would say Cruz should be MVP, in my opinion! 

Photo
Cap'n Piranha
Aug 21 2019 09:30 AM

You could argue that in a macro sense, Mike Trout is the least valuable player in baseball.The Angels are currently 63-66; subtract Trout's 8.4 WAR, and that drops to 55-74.In other words, Mike Trout single-handedly drags the Angels to mediocrity, ensuring they don't get access to the premier talent at the top of the draft, or the larger bonus pool needed to get talent in the second and third round.The Angels can't enter a full-scale rebuild, dumping veterans to buttress the farm system, and throwing their own prospects out to see who sticks.

 

Over the past 7 full seasons, the Angels are 584-550 (average of 83-79).Take out Mike Trout's 64.2 WAR, and they're now 520-614 (average of 74-88); to put that in perspective, over the same timeframe, the Twins have been 507-627 (average of 72-90).

 

Further, while there is no other player the Angels could get to replace Mike Trout, his large salary (along with Pujols and Upton), prevent the Angels from getting immediate help.Put another way, Kepler and Polanco have combined for 7.4 WAR this year (88% of Trout), but at 25% of the cost, leaving the Twins $26M free to play with.

 

Is Mike Trout the best player in baseball?Currently there is no doubt that he is, and perhaps the best ever.Is he the most valuable?At least in my opinion, no.

    • 70charger, h2oface, Dave The Dastardly and 4 others like this

Can't remember the last time we had that many balls bouncing off the fences for doubles! fun to watch, especially after the frustrating early hole.

 

I am amazed at the Nelson Cruz power show. Fantastic signing (especially since we have him locked in for next year), rather reminiscent of the Jim Thome acquisition in 2010. About the only thing stopping Cruz from having his best season as a pro in his age 38 season is...health. Unlikely that he'll clear 120 games.

 

And no, he's not an MVP candidate. he's a fantastic hitter and having a wonderful season but health and defense matter too. Alex Bregman is having a fantastic season and he's still a distant second to Trout IMHO. Trout is an amazing player and I'm not going to penalize him for being on a mediocre team; without him they'd stink. Not his fault they can't put a decent lineup around him or swing a competent pitching staff: I mean, you try carrying the corpse of Albert Pujols for 3-4 seasons.

 

Polanco was the Twins closest chance for an MVP candidate, but he cooled off for a while at the plate and is struggling defensively. Kepler's eased back a bit as well, Cruz adds no defensively value, Garver doesn't play enough (and is no longer nuking the world just hitting very very well)...and it's ok. The twins are doing it with depth. Trout would trade the MVP in a heartbeat to have guys like Kepler, Sano, Garver, etc around him...

    • MN_ExPat, wabene and Bandit34 like this
So, which player wouldn't you trade one for one for Mike Trout? Because I can't think of one at all I'd rather have on my roster.
    • Dantes929 and SwainZag like this

I personally don't see any reason for the fuss about Cruz's age being 39 and putting up these numbers. Has Cruz ever hit in a lineup like this in his career? I don't even have to look at all of his years in Baseball to know that the answer to that question is no! This lineup is perhaps one of the greatest lineups ever constructed. I really don't believe that is an exaggeration. 

    • wabene likes this
Photo
Cap'n Piranha
Aug 21 2019 09:45 AM

 

So, which player wouldn't you trade one for one for Mike Trout? Because I can't think of one at all I'd rather have on my roster.

 

In a vacuum?There is no player I wouldn't trade straight up for Trout.In the real world?I'd rather have Acuna.

 

Acuna will cost the Braves a maximum of $123M for the next 9 years--a time period in which he will probably post more WAR than Trout who will have cost a minimum of $329M.What do you think you might be able to do with an average of $22.9M every year for the next 9 years?

 

 

    • Danchat likes this

In a vacuum? There is no player I wouldn't trade straight up for Trout. In the real world? I'd rather have Acuna.

Acuna will cost the Braves a maximum of $123M for the next 9 years--a time period in which he will probably post more WAR than Trout who will have cost a minimum of $329M. What do you think you might be able to do with an average of $22.9M every year for the next 9 years?


I should have added ignoring contracts, because the MVP has nothing to do with that. He can't help it Acuna has the worst agent in the history of sports....
    • Dantes929, SF Twins Fan and wabene like this

Your post highlights some really fun possibilities I see in this project. Putting such a microscope on the pitching and tracking things day-to-day could sprout some really fun, different ways of looking at things.

I definitely agree with you that ERA isn't a very good metric to value relievers by. I think FIP/xFIP/SIERA do a much better job. Here's where Taylor Rogers ranks among relievers in all those metrics, for example:

ERA 22nd | FIP 12th | xFIP 14th | SIERA 12th

But, I also feel the same way as you about there being a problem with full-season stats for relief pitchers in general. I love WPA, but even that has it's blind spots. The other day I was trying to drum up a sort of game score metric that could be used for relievers, but couldn't come up with anything that was satisfying.

Worth mentioning: There already is a Shutdowns and Meltdowns metric that's based on WPA. You can read about it here and see how the Twins rank here (last two columns SD & MD). Even though that's some great stuff from FanGraphs, it would be nice if those were available as percentage of outings.


This is perfect and super illuminating!

For example, Dyson has the same ERA as Trevor May but 30 shutdowns and 6 meltdowns versus May with 15 shut downs and 9 melt downs. When Dyson melts downs he really melts down.

(His numbers with the Giants were wild 27 shut downs to 3 meltdowns. Comparatively, Rogers is at 27 and 6 for the whole year)
    • Tom Froemming and wabene like this

 

I should have added ignoring contracts, because the MVP has nothing to do with that. He can't help it Acuna has the worst agent in the history of sports....

Or maybe Acuna wanted to help his team out a bit and realized that the team could be really good for a long time if he didn't hamstring them with an absurd contract. If that is the case, I would rather have Acuna than Trout any day. 

    • Cap'n Piranha likes this

 

So, which player wouldn't you trade one for one for Mike Trout? Because I can't think of one at all I'd rather have on my roster.

Exactly. Forget salary, age and future seasons. Would you trade what Trout has produced for what Cruz has produced? Would you trade Cruz for Trout for just the rest of the season?I would in a heartbeat. Would you do that if you thought your Player was Most Valuable?While we are on the subject lets not just make it a foregone conclusion that Cruz is even the most valuable on the Twins. Statistically Polanco is a 4.9 WAR per BR. Cruz and Kepler are both at 3.7.Those are my top 3 and I am leaning toward Kepler.

    • wabene likes this
Photo
Cap'n Piranha
Aug 21 2019 09:58 AM

 

I should have added ignoring contracts, because the MVP has nothing to do with that. He can't help it Acuna has the worst agent in the history of sports....

 

That's why I answered twice.If my name is Jeff Bezos, and I just bought a team with the sole goal of winning a world series, no matter the cost, Trout.In literally any other scenario, Acuna is a vastly superior option.Also, while I'm sure voters don't take contracts into account for MVP consideration, they probably should.Bellinger on a rookie contract is massively more valuable than Trout on his contract.In fact, if a metric that divided WAR by salary existed, Trout is probably not one of the 25 most valuable players ion the league by that measure--he might not even be top 50.

Photo
Cap'n Piranha
Aug 21 2019 10:02 AM

 

Exactly. Forget salary, age and future seasons. Would you trade what Trout has produced for what Cruz has produced? Would you trade Cruz for Trout for just the rest of the season?I would in a heartbeat. Would you do that if you thought your Player was Most Valuable?While we are on the subject lets not just make it a foregone conclusion that Cruz is even the most valuable on the Twins. Statistically Polanco is a 4.9 WAR per BR. Cruz and Kepler are both at 3.7.Those are my top 3 and I am leaning toward Kepler.

 

Other than much of what determines a player's value to his organization comes from his salary, age, and future seasons.If you throw those things out, the Twins should clearly trade Lewis, Kiriloff, Graterol, Larnach, Sano, Garver, and Berrios for Trout.After all, by MLB WAR, Trout is better than all 7 of those players this year combined.

Other than much of what determines a player's value to his organization comes from his salary, age, and future seasons. If you throw those things out, the Twins should clearly trade Lewis, Kiriloff, Graterol, Larnach, Sano, Garver, and Berrios for Trout. After all, by MLB WAR, Trout is better than all 7 of those players this year combined.


MVP is not about the future... We are talking about the MVP vote ...

 

There is no wrong answer, only how you view the question.

 

I choose Nick Punto. Now just give me a few minutes while I frame the question.

    • Brock Beauchamp, USAFChief, Dantes929 and 2 others like this

 

Oddly, I remember that team well because that is the year I asked for the APBA Baseball game for Christmas and received it (I'm curious if anyone remembers that game.) They could hit home runs right and left, but they hit a ton of solo shots because no one was on base (at least in my game). They also couldn't pitch and were the slowest team on the planet, except for one their outfielders who was super fast but not a very good hitter (the name slips my mind,)

Ralph 'the roadrunner" Garr. Was pretty fast, stole some bases, got caught a bunch too, led the league in triples twice, kind of an adventure in the outfield. I liked him. He was a member of Bob Lemon's 1977 White Sox team that won 90 games by some mystery. Their defense was like swiss cheese, holes everywhere. Fun team. 1977 was a fun year for any of you re-players out there. That's the year Carew hit .388.

    • 70charger and Aerodeliria like this

Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , Yesterday, 12:53 PM
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 26 Jun 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 20 Jun 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 18 Jun 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 11 Jun 2020
Photo