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Article: What if This is the Max for Kepler?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:19 AM
At the end of the 2018 Major League Baseball season the Minnesota Twins had a trio of main narratives. First and foremost, this was a tea...
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Article: Offseason Primer: Who Needs a First Baseman Anyw...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:16 AM
The Twins are still waiting for the official word from Joe Mauer on whether or not he’d like to continue his playing career, but anybody...
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Article: Minnesota’s Managerial Candidates: External Cand...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:08 AM
Earlier in the week, I looked at the top internal candidates for the Twins open managerial job. Since Tom Kelly was hired in the 1980’s,...
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2018 Vikings In Season Thread

Minnesota Vikings Talk Today, 11:07 AM
This is correct, they would lose cap room next year. He's going to stay on the team, the question is what role should he have. I'd li...
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Article: Offseason Primer: The Core Seven (?)

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:47 AM
At the All Star break in 2017, I wrote up an article discussing the Twins Core Four. During the Twins recent poor seasons, there was a lo...
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Twins Weekly for Feb. 2-8: Prospect Prognosticating

For baseball fans, February is all about looking ahead to the future. Pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training soon, and before we know it baseball games are going to be played. Here at Twins Daily, we’re also looking a little further ahead. The site’s top 20 prospect countdown started Tuesday and will continue over the next week ahead.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s take a quick look back at all the articles from the front page in the order they were published. This edition of Twins Weekly covers Friday, Feb. 2 to Thursday, Feb. 8.

2018 Twins Super (Bowl) Predictions | Seth Stohs
MLB Shift Driving Market Realities | Ted Schwerzler
1961: Welcome to the Big Leagues | mikelink45
The Twins Almanac for February 4–10 | Matt Johnson
To the Victor Go the Spoils (and Special Sections) | Tom Froemming
The Best Twins Team That Ever Was(n't) | Matthew Lenz
Top 10 Twins World Series Performances Per WPA | Tom Froemming
Top 10 Minnesota Twins Commercials | Tom Froemming
Free Agent Starters By The Numbers Part II: WAR and Projections | Greg Logan
Adalberto Mejia: High Floor or More? | Jamie Cameron
The Secret to Ervin Santana’s Success | Andrew Thares
In The Zone: Twins Among Best At Avoiding Bad Pitches | Cody Christie
Seth's Twins On Deck Podcast (Episode 5) | Seth Stohs
Twins Daily 2018 Top 20 Prospect Countdown: 16-20 | Seth Stohs
Gleeman & The Geek, Ep 354: Super Bowl And PECOTA | John Bonnes
Can The Twins Better Their Bench? | Ted Schwerzler
No Such Thing as Too Much Pitching, Right? | Tom Froemming
Twins Daily 2018 Top 20 Prospect Countdown: 11-15 | Nick Nelson
Twins Daily 2018 Top Prospects: #10 Akil Baddoo | Cody Christie
Darvish Down To The Studs | Ted Schwerzler
Twins Daily 2018 Top Prospects: #9 Brusdar Graterol | Tom Froemming

Calling All Bloggers
You may have noticed some less familiar names on the rundown for this week. Well, those are all writers who’ve been active in the blog section over the past month or so. Reminder: Anyone can start a blog at Twins Daily. If you're interested in being a regular writer for the site, the blog section is how you get your foot in the door. The only reason you're reading my words right now is because I started my own blog at Twins Daily.

Other Links
With Ervin Santana's injury, the Twins' need for Yu Darvish is even more clear
By Dan Hayes of The Athletic

In his most recent ZiPS projection, Szymborski said the Twins currently are projected for 84 wins and have roughly a 48 percent chance to reach the postseason. But adding Darvish — who is likely to earn between $20-25 million over at least five seasons — would increase the team’s chances of making the playoffs to nearly 66 percent while also helping them survive the early part of the season with Santana sidelined.


The Twins Really, Really Need Starting Pitching
By Craig Edwards of FanGraphs


There’s good news and bad news for the Twins. The bad is obvious. If the season started today, the Twins would have one of the worse rotations in baseball. When Santana got back, they would improve from a bottom-three rotation to merely a bottom-third. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this problem is pretty fixable — and, in the event that the club can fix it, they will have greatly increased their chances for returning to the playoffs this season.


MLB free agency: Where the eight elite unsigned players will land
By Bob Nightengale of USA Today


Darvish has several teams who have offered five-year deals, and he would like to at least get the six-year, $130 million contract that Johnny Cueto received two years ago with the San Francisco Giants.


Three teams badly need him - the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers - but he continues to wait to see if the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers can move some contracts to make it work.


Jose Berrios should be full-fledged ace for Twins this year
By Evan Davis of FanRag Sports


Berrios has good building blocks on which to grow, and has demonstrated that he can mature with time. He couldn’t control his offerings in his first pass through the majors, and then he dropped his walk rate nearly five points to beat the league average. He began to trade four-seam fastballs for sinkers, and now he splits his usage between the two pitches. It was a smart choice. Berrios threw his four-seamer half the time in 2016 and was consistently shelled. Adding the sinker allowed him to change eye levels without constantly relying on the breaking ball, and the results followed. Berrios was able to increase his curveball usage, since he was no longer used it exclusively as an out pitch to play off the four-seamer. Berrios, in other words, adapted.


Elizabethton Twins City Council set to approve one-year extension
By John Thompson of the Johnson City Press


City Manager Jerome Kitchens said “both the city of Elizabethton and the Minnesota Twins will continue their efforts to work towards a long-term solution to keep Minor League Baseball in Elizabethton.”

Video of the Week
The recent flare up of labor issues has brought back some painful memories from the disputes in 2002 that nearly resulted in a strike, but one fan shared a positive Twins-related experience from that time. Liz Melahn, who must be a Rockies fan based on her Twitter handle (@rockieslizard), shared a handwritten letter she received from Twins player rep at the time, Denny Hocking.

What was so special about the letter? Melahn, a 15-year-old at the time, wrote a letter to every team in baseball. The only response she got was from Hocking. Here’s the original Tweet:

So, in honor of Denny Hocking, this week’s video is of the final out of the 2002 ALDS. Hocking, playing second base, hauled in a foul pop-up to set off a memorable celebration. A.J. Pierzynski hit a massive home run in the top of the ninth of that game, but Eddie Guardado gave up a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make things interesting. The go-ahead run got on base with two outs, so tensions were high when Ray Durham stepped to the plate.


Item of the Week
Valentine’s Days is Wednesday, and if you’re looking for something that’ll put a smile on the face of your favorite Twins fan, the team has you covered. There are 10 different Valentine’s Day cards available to print up for free at the team’s site. My personal favorites are from Joe Mauer and Jorge Polanco:
Attached Image: TwinsValenties.png
That does it for Twins Weekly, have an excellent weekend everybody.

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7 Comments

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Nick Nelson
Feb 09 2018 12:27 PM

Was that celebration the one where Hocking got pretty badly spiked by someone, and was (understandably) real bitter about it? I seem to have some vague recollection of that.

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Tom Froemming
Feb 09 2018 12:34 PM

 

Was that celebration the one where Hocking got pretty badly spiked by someone, and was (understandably) real bitter about it? I seem to have some vague recollection of that.

OMG I forgot about that! Per his Wikipedia page:

 

"Hocking broke his hand in the ensuing celebration. Hocking caught the final out of Game 5 and players piled on top of him. A player he believed to be teammate Jacque Jones stepped on the middle finger of his right hand and split the nail in two places.[2] This injury forced Hocking to miss the entire 2002 American League Championship Series."

 

 

Love that response from Hocking... very detailed. Very nice!

    • MN_ExPat likes this

I've always been a big advocate of using the young guys in the minors.Sure, I'd love to sign Darvish, but I don't want him to ruin the team for the next five year either, with to big a contract, leaving nothing for Berrios,Sano,Kepler,Buxton etc.With the way the schedule is early in April and the amount of young guy on the Roster, I say give them a shot.I see no problem early in the year testing some of the young guys and giving them a chance to succeed. Look at how many times Berrios went up and down.It;s time some of these guys got their feet wet. If they Suck we have Duffey and Hughes to throw the Mid innings.

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ashburyjohn
Feb 10 2018 08:28 AM

but I don't want him to ruin the team for the next five year either,

He won't.

with to big a contract, leaving nothing for Berrios,Sano,Kepler,Buxton etc. 

Sano and Buxton are under team control through 2021, Kepler and Berrios through 2022. By the time any of these are pulling down $20M a year or greater, Mauer and ESan contracts will be distant memories. Also I don't know of an "etc" who will be needing contracts of the magnitude to worry about in 2022; you named all the high-end young guys, with Rosario and Polanco likely a tier down in salary. Moreover, the Twin Cities are capable of supporting a $150M payroll if the team is winning; and if the players we're thinking about are able to demand the salaries you're worrying about, the team will indeed win.

 

Dozier's probably the only outlier in this. If extending his contract requires $20M a year in 2022 and beyond, I favor trading him, or else giving him a qualifying offer and letting him walk, in favor of our young infielders.

 

Sure, management has to worry about the negative "what-ifs", but they also need to plan for success. If the success doesn't materialize, then the plan at 2022 will be to pivot to some other strategy. That's why FalVine get the big bucks.

 

With years of team control for the key players, and the few current high-ticket contracts coming off the books, it can't be possible for a 5-year Darvish contract now to be an insurmountable obstacle to anything.

I've always been a big advocate of using the young guys in the minors. Sure, I'd love to sign Darvish, but I don't want him to ruin the team for the next five year either, with to big a contract, leaving nothing for Berrios,Sano,Kepler,Buxton etc. With the way the schedule is early in April and the amount of young guy on the Roster, I say give them a shot. I see no problem early in the year testing some of the young guys and giving them a chance to succeed. Look at how many times Berrios went up and down. It;s time some of these guys got their feet wet. If they Suck we have Duffey and Hughes to throw the Mid innings.


I don't think anyone will disagree that you build your foundation through your milb system. But, I think for the most part, that foundation is pretty well set. Could probably see one more starting pitcher emerge this year, but there is room in the rotation, Darvish won't be blocking that player.

At some point, you also need to add walls, and a roof. Otherwise, no matter how impeccable your foundation is, it's still just a big hole in the ground.

Do you have any examples of recent WS champions who were solely built from within? I'd venture that most, if not all, eventually added a big time piece or two to put them over the top.

One might argue that they are still a year away from really needing that piece. And, typically I might agree.
This isn't a typical off-season, though.
With many of the big players seemingly sitting this one out, to reset the luxury tax for Harper and Machado next year, this might be the only legitimately reasonable chance that the Twins will have to add the best FA available.

I know most of these young guys are a couple year out on the big contract, but I'd like to see the Twins start signing them longterm now before they become F.O.'s.I'm more of the Trade Sano type and sign someone next year with Joe's $$$$ freed up.As, far as the ruin the team comment. How did it work out when we signed Joe to the Big contract. Morneau gone, Cuddyer gone, Nathan gone, Kubel gone. Nothing was left.I might be off but that's how I remember it.We have some time, I'm looking more long term with the money. 


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