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Game Thread "Odysseus" Twins vs Royals 1:10pm cdt...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:11 PM
5 things to think about... 1. I got a friend who closed on a house earlier this week. So please forgive me if i have a one track mind. 2....
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Front Page: Randy Dobnak Should Be the Twins Game 2 Starter

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:54 AM
I know what you are probably thinking “Whoa whoa whoa, hold on, if there is one thing that is set about the Minnesota Twins starting rota...
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Collapse?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:05 PM
That nice 6.5 game lead is down to 4 and the Twins face good pitching in their next four scheduled games. I do believe it is very possibl...
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Magic Number Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:39 AM
Why no magic number thread?     Why can't I post pictures?      BYTO was fun.    
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Okay, so let's poll the postseason

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:39 AM
Personally, I'd prefer to face the... I hate to say it... Yankees...   Yes, I know they're unbeatable. But they're not. They're basi...
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Week in Review: Back on Top

Ever so briefly, the Cleveland Indians overtook the American League Central. Following their triumphant series at Target Field, which moved them into a first-place tie, the Indians defeated the Red Sox on Monday to pull ahead of Minnesota in the standings.

By week's end, the hot-hitting Twins had moved back into the lead with a bit of breathing room, and they're poised to keep adding in the days ahead.
Image courtesy of Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 8/12 through Sun, 8/18

***

Record Last Week: 5-1 (Overall: 76-48)

Run Differential Last Week: +17 (Overall: +144)

Standing: 1st Place in AL Central (2.5 GA)

Willians Watch: ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL


It's been nearly two months since our guy Willians Astudillo played in a game for the Twins. But finally, the Tortuga Drought is nearing its end.

Astudillo opened up a minor-league rehab stint at Pensacola on Thursday, and naturally, he homered in his first at-bat. This was vintage Willians in every way; on a 1-0 count, he hammered the first pitch in the strike zone deep to left, and proceeded to jog around the bases with his poorly tucked jersey hanging out the back of his pants. In other words, it was a thing of beauty:



Following his splashy debut, in which he also drew a walk (!), Astudillo went 4-for-8 with a homer, double and three RBIs on Friday and Saturday.

Aside from the fun factor, there are more practical reasons to be excited about Astudillo's pending return. Namely, his presence as a third catcher will make it easier for Rocco Baldelli to use Mitch Garver at other positions, or to pinch-hit Garver for Jason Castro late in a game. However, while La Tortuga has wasted no time showing he's ready to go, Minnesota's roster situation may impede his arrival. It's very possible – likely, even – that the Twins will wait until rosters expand in September to recall the beloved backstop.

In other roster moves for the week:
  • The Twins activated Sam Dyson, who looked vastly better after a 10-day spell, tossing four scoreless innings while allowing just one run. Granted, that run did hurt – a game-tying solo shot in Texas – but the offense quickly picked him up. To make room for Dyson, Cody Stashak was optioned to Triple-A.
  • Randy Dobnak headed back to Triple-A with Michael Pineda coming off the injured list on Thursday. Pineda was solid in his first start back but seemed to run out of gas quickly. He got through five innings with three runs allowed, and gave way to Devin Smeltzer who covered the final four frames. Smeltzer was quickly swapped out for Lewis Thorpe, who arrived on Friday. By rotating arms through that final spot in the bullpen, the Twins are managing to keep a fresh long-relief option available pretty much at all times, which is savvy.
  • Ryan Eades was claimed off waivers by Baltimore. With Eades out, Minnesota's 40-man roster stands at 39, leaving one conspicuously open spot...
HIGHLIGHTS

When the Twins added him as an unexpected splash very late in the offseason. Marwin Gonzalez was viewed as something of an extra luxury – he fixed a problem that did not yet exist, as John aptly put it at the time. But here in the late stages of the summer, he's proving himself to be essential.

With his team facing its most critical remaining stretch of the schedule, minus Byron Buxton and Nelson Cruz, Gonzalez has stepped up in a massive way. Following a big series in Cleveland the prior week, where he was 6-for-15 with several clutch hits, Gonzalez absolutely torched the Brewers and Rangers in their home parks, collecting 13 hits in 26 at-bats with nine RBIs while starting all six games.

The versatile veteran came through with big hit after big hit all week, leading the charge for an offense that was on its game in averaging 7.8 runs and making up for some shortcomings on pitching and defense. Also contributing to the potent productivity:
  • Rookie sparkplug Luis Arraez amazingly shows no signs of slowing down. You'd think that, with simple regression to the mean, his batting average and OBP would start to sink, but he just keeps taking excellent ABs and getting rewarded for them. Last week he was 6-for-22 with his third homer, two walks and two strikeouts, leaving his line for the season at .342/.412/.447.
  • Once again, Miguel Sano's plate appearances are turning into appointment viewing. The complete contrast from two months ago, when watching him flail was more of a "peek through your fingers" experience, is incredible. Sano and his hitting coaches deserve all the credit in the world. Last week he went 7-for-23 with three home runs and seven walks – par for the course of late. He makes pitchers sweat and preys on the slightest mistakes, harkening back to his glory days as a rookie and a 2017 All-Star. If this dominant Sano is back for good, the heart of the Twins lineup is in great shape.
  • Sano's turnaround should remind us all that baseball seasons are long, slumps come and go, and long-term track records matter. We're seeing a similar case, albeit to a lesser extent, in Jake Cave. The vitriol I was seeing from fans toward this guy, after he struggled through 100 sporadic plate appearances with the Twins, was kinda dumbfounding to me given what he did last year in Minnesota, and this year at Triple-A. Naturally he's coming around – after sitting in Milwaukee, Cave went 6-for-12 while starting three times in the Texas series, and is batting .429 in August. Patience, people!
  • Speaking of patience, Eddie Rosario has rediscovered a semblance of it. After going from June 16th through August 11th without drawing a single unintentional walk, he drew one in each of his first three games last week. Incidentally, he also hit a pair of home runs on the week. It's true that Rosario is capable of producing with the swing-at-everything approach (he did bat .329 over the aforementioned walkless stretch) but I believe he'll be in better position long-term – especially in those high-leverage spotlights he loves so dearly – if he's forcing opposing pitchers to come to him. Even though he had a somewhat quiet week, I see the walks as a very promising sign.
  • Finally, how about a round of applause for Ehire Adrianza? His emergence this year feels like sort of an "icing on the cake" nicety but should not be overlooked. The slick-fielding utilityman has put it all together at the plate, in a way I hoped he might last spring when the starting shortstop was suspended. Adrianza has always shown glimmers of power along with a decent plate approach, and this year at age 29 his skills have come to fruition. He only started twice last week but got into five games and made the most of every chance, going 6-for-12 with zero strikeouts. Since the start of June he's hitting .333/.410/.471.
As a final note on the offense, we've gotta give props to Jonathan Schoop. He's seen his playing time fall off a cliff in the second half, both because Arraez has been unreal and because Schoop has been perpetually unable to come through in key moments. He finally bucked that trend on Friday in Texas, with a huge two-run homer late in the game that proved decisive.

Schoop made two starts on the week, and has been in the lineup for only five of Minnesota's 14 August games. He's essentially a backup at this point. But he's a dang good one as far as depth and pinch-hitting options go. Hopefully he'll feel a little more confident after that redemptive moment in Arlington.

Redemption was the banner headline of the week for the bullpen. We mentioned earlier Dyson's bounce back off the IL. Trevor May was also in pristine form, allowing zero hits and a walk while striking out three over two appearances. Outside of an (admittedly painful) solo homer allowed in the opener against Cleveland, May's been nearly perfect in August, allowing zero runs and only one hit with nine strikeouts and a 15% swinging strike rate.

Overall, Twins relievers allowed 11 runs (9 ER) in 22 innings of work, with three of the scores coming on a single swing of the bat in Milwaukee. When Sergio Romo allowed that bomb, it was certainly a low point, but was set up by a bad defensive miscue (see below), and Romo was lights-out in his three other appearances.

With Romo and Dyson in the mix, May rolling again, and Zack Littell quietly excelling (he has a 0.96 ERA in 17 appearances dating back to the start of June), this unit suddenly looks pretty strong heading into the final stretch. I'll be curious to see what Thorpe can do as the second lefty if they give him some real opportunities to assert himself. The looming presence of fellow southpaw Ryan O'Rourke, who's allowed one run over six innings at Triple-A since joining up on a minor-league contract, is also intriguing.

LOWLIGHTS

The defensive performance of Jorge Polanco at shortstop has been a never-ending roller coaster. At times, he goes through stretches where he looks completely serviceable, even mixing in a few flashy plays to resemble something of an asset. And then, there are the downswings where he looks totally unviable. Lately he's been in the latter mode, and it's a stark reminder of just how much sloppy play at the infield's most critical position can hurt you.

Polanco committed five errors on the week, running his total to seven in the month of August after he was charged with just nine total through the first four months. All his gaffes last week came on fairly routine plays. The most egregious came when he inexplicably dropped a force-out at second base, delivered right into his glove, but the most damaging was a bounced throw to first that set up Milwaukee's go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) homer on Wednesday.

If this is anything like his defensive slumps of the past, Polanco will shake this off eventually and get back to playing at an acceptable level. But his medley of miscues serves to reinforce the narrative that his days at shortstop are numbered, with a move to another position needing to come sooner rather than later.

It would be nice if Polanco were offsetting his struggles in the field with impactful performance at the plate, but that hasn't been the case. He did come through with an enormously clutch three-run triple on Sunday, breaking a late tie, but the big bops have been few and far between.

Dating back to the start of June he's slashing a mediocre .263/.317/.411, with deteriorating discipline. Given the aforementioned offensive rise from Adrianza, and his clear defensive edge, it'd make sense for the Twins to mix him in more at shortstop over the next few weeks. Not to send a statement to Polanco, but simply to rest up the All-Star and get him right for the stretch run.

Speaking of offensive non-factors, C.J. Cron has been in that category for quite a while now. Although his two-run homer on Saturday was a nice sight, it was Cron's first long ball in two weeks, and he's been unable to contribute much in other ways. He went 3-for-19 last week and has been plain-old ineffective since returning from his latest IL stint, with a .656 OPS and zero extra-base hits outside the homers. On Sunday he came up in a crucial spot in the eighth, with runners on the corners, one out, and a contact play in motion. He grounded meekly to short and got the go-ahead run cut down at home. (Thankfully, Polanco came through two ABs later.)

Cron has been scuffling for a long time while battling through an inflamed thumb that is pretty clearly still affecting him. Getting him some extra time off, along with Polanco, would seem prudent. Patrick Wozniak had a good piece here over the weekend outlining a platoon scenario for Cron. Would the Twins consider placing him on IL to make room for Astudillo until the end of August, or to make room for Cruz's impending return?

While the situations surrounding Polanco and Cron are somewhat concerning, the most troubling lowlight of last week was probably Jose Berrios's start on Saturday. Coughing up seven runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings, he ran his ERA up to 8.44 in three August starts. One wonders if he himself could use a little breather – it'd be an affordable luxury for Minnesota with a soft spot in the schedule ahead. The Twins absolutely need him pitching like an ace into the postseason in order to have a chance.

The bright side for Berrios was that his sagging velocity rebounded and he actually induced 16 swinging strikes, his highest total in two months. So maybe we just chalk this one up to hot bats in the Texas heat.

TRENDING STORYLINE

After working as a starter for the first six weeks, before going on the shelf with a shoulder impingement, Brusdar Graterol has been working in relief since his return. On Wednesday, in his second appearance back for Pensacola, he entered in the eighth and picked up the final four outs, notching the save in a 9-7 victory. He followed on Saturday with two perfect relief frames for the Blue Wahoos, mixing in a strikeout with five grounders. Then, on Sunday, the Twins promoted Graterol to Triple-A, perhaps for one last test-run ahead of a big-league debut. About that open 40-man spot...



This is exciting stuff and we'll be tracking it very closely. Graterol, still only 20 and touching nearly 104 MPH on the gun as a reliever, has the potential to be a real difference-maker in the Twins bullpen for September and (hopefully) beyond.

DOWN ON THE FARM

As the Twins continue to search for answers in the late innings, last summer's Ryan Pressly trade is haunting them like a walk in the Metrodome. Minnesota gave up control of a reliever who now ranks among the league's very best, while their bullpen suffers. Not only that, but Pressly is doing it for a chief rival in the American League. It's not all bleak, though. There have been positive recent developments with the prospects who came back in exchange for Pressly.

Jorge Alcala, the headlining arm, has mostly been a disappointments since arriving, and owns a 5.87 ERA overall at Pensacola this year. But in late July, the Twins finally stopped trying to use him as a starter, shifting him to a more suitable bullpen role. He has since allowed only two runs on seven hits and two walks in 10 2/3 innings, with seven strikeouts. The Twins announced on Sunday he's moving up to Triple-A along with Graterol, so Alcala too has the potential to impact this pennant race with his high-powered arm.

And then there's Gilberto Celestino, a younger outfielder who came over alongside Alcala. He struggled mightily through the first two months at Cedar Rapids this year, putting up a fruitless .219/.299/.290 slash line, but has completely turned things around this summer. Since the start of June he's at .322/.389/.506, including .407/.467/.630 in his past 20 games. The 20-year-old brings standout speed and increasingly evident power. When you talk about "helium guys" in the Twins system, Celestino's near the top of the list.

LOOKING AHEAD

The good news is that Minnesota took advantage of its favorable schedule to re-stake a 2.5-game lead in the Central last week. The better news is that they're well positioned to build on this momentum in the week ahead.

You can't really ask for an easier slate than the White Sox and Tigers at home, although the Twins will have to deal with Lucas Giolito and Matthew Boyd. Meanwhile, Cleveland is heading into Citi Field to face Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and the Mets before returning home to welcome (with a huge sigh of relief) the Royals.

Oh, and by the way, Cruz is expected back on Monday.

MONDAY, 8/19: WHITE SOX @ TWINS – RHP Ivan Nova v. RHP Kyle Gibson
TUESDAY, 8/20: WHITE SOX @ TWINS – RHP Reynaldo Lopez v. RHP Michael Pineda
WEDNESDAY, 8/21: WHITE SOX @ TWINS – RHP Lucas Giolito v. RHP Jake Odorizzi
FRIDAY, 8/23: TIGERS @ TWINS – LHP Matthew Boyd v. RHP Jose Berrios
SATURDAY, 8/24: TIGERS @ TWINS – RHP Edwin Jackson v. LHP Martin Perez
SUNDAY, 8/25: TIGERS @ TWINS – RHP Spencer Turnbull v. RHP Kyle Gibson

Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps

Game 119 | MIN 7, MIL 5: Marwin Comes Up Clutch To Put the Twins Back in First Place
Game 120 | MIL 6, MIN 5: Twins Can’t Sweep, Polanco Commits Costly Error
Game 121 | MIN 13, TEX 6: Pineda Solid While Offense Provides Plenty
Game 122 | MIN 4, TEX 3: Twins Prevail Behind Clutch Schoop HR, Great Bullpen Performance
Game 123 | MIN 12, TEX 7: Twins Win Slugfest in Texas
Game 124 | MIN 6, TEX 3: Polanco Leads Twins Over Lynn in Texas

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21 Comments

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Aerodeliria
Aug 18 2019 06:10 PM

This a perfect summery summary! You touched on everything of import. Thank you!!

    • USAFChief, brvama, dbminn and 4 others like this
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Patrick Wozniak
Aug 18 2019 06:30 PM

103.8!!! Hope Graterol doesn't waste any time adjusting to the MLB balls at AAA!

    • Tom Froemming likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 18 2019 06:44 PM
That’s one hell of a write-up, Nick. I don’t think you missed a single thing of note this week.
    • USAFChief, Minny505, flags and 2 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 18 2019 07:30 PM

I really enjoyed this summary. Thanks.

    • USAFChief, Otwins, Minny505 and 2 others like this
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3balls2strikes
Aug 18 2019 07:51 PM

Saturday and Sunday, 24th and 25th, Twins play the Tigers, not the White Sox. Just sayin . . . 

 

Thanks, Nick. I like these weekly reviews ... perfect for being busy and having less time to read everything everywhere ... these are great.

    • diehardtwinsfan, Minny505, bighat and 1 other like this
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Kelly Vance
Aug 18 2019 09:30 PM

Nice job, Nick.  

 

Do you suppose the FO had these younguns in mind for September call ups and a dark horse WS shot?

 

Of course they did. 

 

And it might even work. Meanwhile, they go back to being starters next year. 

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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 18 2019 09:35 PM

 

Do you suppose the FO had these younguns in mind for September call ups and a dark horse WS shot?

I'd be surprised if they're September call-ups. While you can play the injury shuffle and get a player into the postseason who was a September call-up, I think one of Graterol and Alcala will be up in August to avoid difficulty if the Twins *also* want to put a guy like Astudillo on the postseason roster (though unlikely).

 

I don't think both pitchers make the August roster, there's just not enough room and the bullpen is pretty solid right now, but there's certainly room to squeak one of them on by August 30th.

    • Aerodeliria likes this

Nick, always enjoy your summaries, especially when the Twins go 5-1.However, I should point out as a Chicago resident that the Sox, after a post all star swoon, are playing much better of late and are by no means a pushover anymore.

 

Nova, Lopez and Giolito have been pitching at least as well as the Twins top three starters recently against some pretty tough competition(Houston).The Twins have not been playing particularly well at home and I think they will have a tough series this week against the Sox.I would be happy taking 2 out of 3 from the Sox, but won't be surprised if this is reversed.

 

Just saying, Twinkies cannot afford to take any of these teams lightly and good pitching shuts down good hitting.

    • USAFChief, Dantes929, LA VIkes Fan and 6 others like this

As everyone's favorite announcer for the team the Twins are about to play used to say, "Don't stop now, boys.".

Twins finish out the entire month against White Sox and Tigers while Indians have 3 at Mets next and also have Rays in addition to Royals and Tigers. No reason not to put some more space ahead of Cleveland before September, the most exciting regular season month for the Twins in a long time.

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LA VIkes Fan
Aug 19 2019 09:36 AM

While I understand everybody's love for Astudillo to a point, there's no way he's worth a 25 man roster spot. Let's not forget that he hit .263 with a .282 OBP (aka, awful!) and a .665 OPS when he was here before the injury. He's also a so-so defensive Catcher and a mediocrity everywhere else in the filed. He's good enough to get by for a game or two but that's it. I could see bringing him up for that 3rd Catcher in September to give guys some rest, but there just isn't any way that he is an improvement as the 25th man over Adrianza or Schoop, who's probably the 25th man right now. That's assuming a 7 man bullpen after Cruz replaces one BP arm and Buxton replaces Cave. If we stay with an 8th BP arm after Cruz and Buxton come back, we won't even have enough spots for Gonzalez, Adrianza and Schoop to go with the 2nd Catcher. There simply isn't enough room at the inn for Astudillo. 

 

In a way, that's a good thing. For many years, the Twins would have not only kept Astudilllo on the roster, he would have been playing every day. Why? because the Twins weren't very good and needed the publicity shot in the arm. Now, he's one of the the 26th through 28th guys on the 40 man roster (depending on how one values Cave, Statshak, Thorpe, etc.). And that's a good thing.  

    • railmarshalljon likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 19 2019 10:37 AM

 

While I understand everybody's love for Astudillo to a point, there's no way he's worth a 25 man roster spot. Let's not forget that he hit .263 with a .282 OBP (aka, awful!) and a .665 OPS when he was here before the injury. He's also a so-so defensive Catcher and a mediocrity everywhere else in the filed. He's good enough to get by for a game or two but that's it. I could see bringing him up for that 3rd Catcher in September to give guys some rest, but there just isn't any way that he is an improvement as the 25th man over Adrianza or Schoop, who's probably the 25th man right now. That's assuming a 7 man bullpen after Cruz replaces one BP arm and Buxton replaces Cave. If we stay with an 8th BP arm after Cruz and Buxton come back, we won't even have enough spots for Gonzalez, Adrianza and Schoop to go with the 2nd Catcher. There simply isn't enough room at the inn for Astudillo. 

 

In a way, that's a good thing. For many years, the Twins would have not only kept Astudilllo on the roster, he would have been playing every day. Why? because the Twins weren't very good and needed the publicity shot in the arm. Now, he's one of the the 26th through 28th guys on the 40 man roster (depending on how one values Cave, Statshak, Thorpe, etc.). And that's a good thing.  

I don't care about the regular season but I kinda want Astudillo on the postseason roster for flexibility at catcher and the value of having a guy on the bench close and late when you absolutely need contact.

    • Battle ur tail off, Aerodeliria and bunt_vs_the_shift like this

This White Sox series worries me a little bit. Unfortunately we won't see Hector Santiago or Dylan Cease, and Nova, Giolito and Lopez have all been hot of late. Nova in his past 5 starts has pitched 37 innings and given up just 2 earned runs (0.49 ERA), holding opposing batters to a .437 OPS. Since we roughed up Giolito for 7 runs in 5 innings he has made 4 starts having a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings to go with 41 Ks. And even Lopez over his last 7 starts has a .660 OPS against with a 2.91 ERA. The back end of the bullpen with Colome and Bummer has been very good, but after that there's a pretty steep drop off, so I think working counts and get their pitch counts up will be key. Getting Cruz back for this one will also be big, he has terrorized the White Sox this year. All that said, I would be very, but presently surprised to see a sweep here, and I don't think losing 2 of 3 is out of the question either.

 

103.8!!! Hope Graterol doesn't waste any time adjusting to the MLB balls at AAA!

If these balls are juiced because they travel through the air with less resistance, like a golf ball, as some people have said, then theoretically shouldn't that mean pitch velocity should be increased a little as well? Maybe we'll see Graterol popping some 104-105 in Rochester!

 

I'd be surprised if they're September call-ups. While you can play the injury shuffle and get a player into the postseason who was a September call-up, I think one of Graterol and Alcala will be up in August to avoid difficulty if the Twins *also* want to put a guy like Astudillo on the postseason roster (though unlikely).

 

I don't think both pitchers make the August roster, there's just not enough room and the bullpen is pretty solid right now, but there's certainly room to squeak one of them on by August 30th.

All you need to do, to make them eligible for the postseason without any injury tricks, is get them on the 40-man roster before midnight August 31st.

 

You can even add them to the 40-man the evening of August 31st, and promote them to MLB the next morning (Sep. 1st) once rosters have expanded. Or let them stay down a couple days longer, if you want.

 

Either way, I'd still call that a "September call-up" and they'd be eligible for the postseason.

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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 19 2019 02:04 PM

 

All you need to do, to make them eligible for the postseason without any injury tricks, is get them on the 40-man roster before midnight August 31st.

 

You can even add them to the 40-man the evening of August 31st, and promote them to MLB the next morning (Sep. 1st) once rosters have expanded. Or let them stay down a couple days longer, if you want.

 

Either way, I'd still call that a "September call-up" and they'd be eligible for the postseason.

Good to know, thanks. I thought anyone not on the 25-man at the end of August had to be an injury replacement of some kind. I didn't know all it required was a 40-man spot.

 

Good to know, thanks. I thought anyone not on the 25-man at the end of August had to be an injury replacement of some kind. I didn't know all it required was a 40-man spot.

They changed it a few years ago, I think. Makes sense because you can actually change your 25 man roster between postseason series now too.

 

If you want to add a guy who was in your org, but not on the 40-man as of Aug. 31st, you need to get the injury exception thing.

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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 19 2019 02:15 PM

 

They changed it a few years ago, I think. Makes sense because you can actually change your 25 man roster between postseason series now too.

 

If you want to add a guy who was in your org, but not on the 40-man as of Aug. 31st, you need to get the injury exception thing.

Ahhh, there you go. So I was right, I simply didn't notice a rules change.

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diehardtwinsfan
Aug 19 2019 03:00 PM

 

I don't care about the regular season but I kinda want Astudillo on the postseason roster for flexibility at catcher and the value of having a guy on the bench close and late when you absolutely need contact.

Doesn't Arraez serve that same purpose?

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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 19 2019 03:03 PM

 

Doesn't Arraez serve that same purpose?

He'll be starting somewhere on the field, for sure, which means he can't come off the bench.

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Aerodeliria
Aug 19 2019 06:44 PM

 

Doesn't Arraez serve that same purpose?

Sure, but I think the assumption is that someone comes off the bench in a situation where contact is needed--say like in a WS game with the pitcher's spot coming to the plate and a man on 3rd with one or two outs. I am assuming that Arraez will be in the lineup and therefore only available when his turn comes up.


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