Twins Notebook 8/12: Kenta Maeda Looks to Continue Strong Start
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsYESTERDAY’S GAME RECAP
MIL 6, MIN 4: Another Loss for Rogers, Additional Missed Opportunities for Offense
Minnesota @ Milwaukee, 6:10 PM CT
Twins Starter: Kenta Maeda
2-1, 17 IP, 2.65 ERA, 0.65 WHIP
The Minnesota Twins will be trotting out the ever-steady Kenta Maeda for his 4th start of the young 2020 season. To this point, Maeda has been one of the two most reliable starting pitchers on the Twins staff. Thus far in the 2020 campaign, Maeda has a 2.65 ERA with a team-leading WHIP of 0.65 and a K% of 25.8, tops among all Twins’ starting pitchers. With a fastball that hovers around 92 MPH, Maeda doesn’t overpower hitters, but instead is adept at inducing weak contact and utilizing a slider that absolutely devastates right handed hitters. In his career, right handers own a .198 batting average against Maeda and in 2020 righties are hitting just .136. Outside of Christian Yelich, the Milwaukee Brewers are largely filled with right handed bats, which bodes well for Maeda and the Minnesota Twins.
Brewers Starter: Eric Lauer
0-1, 5.2 IP, 9.53 ERA, 1.77 WHIP
Opposite Maeda, the Milwaukee Brewers will bring Eric Lauer out to the bump tonight to face off against the Minnesota Twins’ batters. Lauer is just 25 years old, making his big league debut in 2018 with the San Diego Padres. Eric Lauer was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers last November in the deal that sent Trent Grisham to San Diego. Lauer hasn’t had a ton of success in the majors up to this point, boasting a career ERA of 4.51 ERA. Lauer is a soft tossing, left handed pitcher who allows about 40% of hits to go for fly balls. The Minnesota Twins bats have yet to completely break out, but Lauer’s left handedness and fly ball propensity present a perfect opportunity for them to do so.
2 Things to Watch For:
1. Garver and Sanó Breakout Game?
Mitch Garver and Miguel Sanó have both had dreadful starts to the 2020 campaign, posting batting averages of .111 and .125 respectively. Twins fans have been anxiously waiting for them to breakout and it has yet to happen. With left handed pitcher, Eric Lauer, on the mound, though, this might be as good of an opportunity for the righties to breakout as there has been up to this point. In 2019 against left-handed pitching, Garver and Sanó posted OPS of 1.170 and 1.007 respectively. Will tonight be the night?
2. Can Maeda go 6 Innings?
After burning through six of their best seven relievers last night, how Rocco utilizes his bullpen tonight will be something to monitor. Based on recent usage it would appear that Matt Wisler, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, and Taylor Rogers are all unavailable. This leaves Romo and Stashak from your high-leverage guys, along with several of the lower leverage arms available to pitch. Getting at least 6 innings out of Kenta Maeda tonight will be huge as the Twins won’t want to turn to Cory Gearrin or Caleb Thielbar in a tight, high-leverage spot.
- The latest round of COVID-19 testing for the St. Louis Cardinals reportedly went well with no positive results, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The Cardinals still have not played a game since they were swept by the Minnesota Twins on July 28 and 29. Their record stands at 2-3 on the season. They are slated to play next on Friday, August 14 against the Chicago White Sox.
- On Tuesday afternoon, Commissioner Rob Manfred laid down suspensions resulting from the benches clearing brawl in the Astros/Athletics game on August 9. Oakland outfielder, Ramon Laureano, received a six game suspension and Houston Astros hitting coach, Alex Cintron, received 20 for his actions in Sundays’ brawl.
- Writing for a Minnesota Twins website I don’t get much of a chance to talk about other teams in the Majors, but I want to take advantage of this opportunity to talk about my favorite non-Twins player in baseball right now, Fernando Tatis Jr. The 21-year old shortstop for the San Diego Padres is lighting up baseball right now with his .333 batting average, 8 home runs, and league-leading 1.7 fWAR. Tatis is the most exciting young player we have right now, and deserves all of the national attention that he’s getting. Whether it’s at the plate or in the field, Tatis has captivated the country with his elite play, exuberant personality, and love of the game of baseball.
Around the AL Central:
CWS 8, DET 4
CHC 7, CLE 1
CIN 6, KCR 5
MIN 11-7 (+23 run differential)
DET 9-6 (0)
CLE 10-8 (+16)
CWS 9-9 (-3)
KCR 7-11 (-6)
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Paving a Path, Women in Baseball: Vanessa Lambert
What are you watching for in tonight's game? What is your score prediction? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
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