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Twins demote Romero

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:22 PM
A NINTH bullpen arm is necessary despite an off day on Monday.
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Article: TEX 9, MIN 6: Odorizzi Lays an Egg

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:11 PM
Jake Odorizzi didn’t survive the second inning, as the Rangers got to him for six runs, and the Twins couldn’t recover. They did manage t...
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Ex-Twins in the Box Scores

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:51 PM
Baseball games are being played again! I know it's only spring training, but I'm a box score junkie and once again I can get my daily fix...
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Bobby Wilson

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:12 PM
How much longer is the team going to continue to trot out a 35 year old catcher hitting .138?It makes zero sense and I get that there is...
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Week in Review: Status Quo

'Pretty much status quo,' was Paul Molitor's response Saturday when asked for an update on Joe Mauer. That's also a pretty apt description of his team, which turned in another uninspiring week that saw them further fade in a division race that represents their only real shot at reaching the postseason.

On Sunday we learned that Mauer is headed for a rehab assignment. Things are hopefully headed in the right direction for him.

Tougher to feel that way about the Twins in general.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA Today

Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 6/4 through Sun, 6/10

***

Record Last Week: 3-4 (Overall: 28-34)

Run Differential Last Week: 0 (Overall: -11)

Standing: 3rd Place in AL Central (5.5 GB)


HIGHLIGHTS

While a few crucial players have failed to deliver on offense for the Twins this year, others have stepped up in a big way. Namely, I'm talking about Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar.

The continued growth of these two at the plate is invigorating to behold. Rosario and Escobar have not only been among the best power bats on the team, but in the league.

Escobar had a monster week, collecting multiple hits in five of seven games and pushing his XBH total on the season to 39, tied for the major-league lead. Esco's late three-run homer in Tuesday's first game salvaged a victory and he added three more hits in the nightcap. He's slugging .895 this month and suddenly finds himself on track for the best power-hitting season in Twins history:



At this point we should just call them Esc-tra base hits. Right?

Rosario, meanwhile, stayed in the zone after capping last week with a three-homer game. He delivered four multi-hit games and one big home run. I mentioned last time that the most deeply encouraging part of his progression was the enhanced plate discipline. That continued as he drew three walks against three strikeouts.

HIs improvements in this regard over the course of the year have been evident, and have bolstered his overall production:



The rotation also saw some notably strong performances last week, with Jose Berrios picking up a complete-game victory on Thursday, Lance Lynn turning in his fourth consecutive quality start on Friday, and Kyle Gibson firing seven strong innings on Saturday.

LOWLIGHTS

On days like Thursday, it's easy to dream on this squad and the kind of run they're capable of putting together. Berrios cruised through nine, Escobar and Rosario powered the offense with five RBIs, and Minnesota enjoyed a comfortable lopsided victory.

But those types of games have been few and far between. Much more often, the Twins have been entangled in close battles, and they've usually come out on the losing end, as illustrated by a 3-13 record in one-run contests.

Bullpen lapses have played their role of late, with Ryan Pressly suddenly getting clobbered and Addison Reed continually giving up gopher balls in key spots.

But the biggest culprit is a punchless offense, which went back in the tank after seemingly breaking out the previous week. The Twins lineup was more or less shut down by every starter it faced other than James Shields and Nick Tropeano. Minnesota scored more than four times only twice in seven games, all played in their home park.

Unless the Eds are doing heroic things, or someone like Jake Cave puts together a random outburst, it seems this offense can't muster much of anything. That kind of isolated production is the opposite of what we hoped to see from a unit that, late last year, was spectacular in its depth and relentlessness.

While no one other than Rosario and Escobar is hitting much, the flabbergasting futility of Miguel Sano is most conspicuous and upsetting.

As Sano came out of the gates this year striking out an egregious 40%+ rate, it stood to reason that he'd eventually shake off the rust and rein it in. The big man has always been K-prone – an acceptable consequence of swinging as hard as he does – but he's mostly kept it within reason.

If he continued to fan at the same rate he did in 2017, Sano was probably going to lead the league in K% this year, and very possibly set the all-time record for strikeouts in a season. But you live with it, because all those whiffs were to be accompanied by lots of walks and thunderous power.

Instead, his K-rate has climbed, maintaining at 40% after 11 strikeouts in 24 plate appearances last week. He drew one walk and has only seven on the season. Sano has lost any semblance of pitch recognition, lacking either the will or ability to lay off two-strike breaking balls well out of the zone. He has become remarkably easy to pitch to.

This is a nightmarish situation with no clear solution. The Twins could justifiably send Sano down to Rochester, as he has two options remaining, but it'd be to send a message more than anything. Maybe that's necessary at this point. But he isn't going to learn to read MLB-caliber spin while facing inferior pitchers at Triple-A.

Sano needs to wake up and get it together. It's hard to feel like this stagnation isn't stemming in some way from a lack of commitment on his part. Rust is no longer a credible excuse. Lingering hamstring tenderness wouldn't explain the consistently subpar quality of his at-bats.

This is a 25-year-old at a crossroad in his career and life. Sadly the "what ifs" are louder now than ever before.

TRENDING STORYLINE

The Twins need to get more out of the catcher position. Bobby Wilson is playing like you'd expect from a 35-year-old journeyman who's never been able to find sustained work in the majors. Mitch Garver is batting .215 with five extra-base hits in 89 PA since Jason Castro went down, and hasn't been impressive defensively.

Early last week, the Twins signed Cameron Rupp after he opted out of his minor-league deal with the Rangers. The 29-year-old backstop has a fair amount of experience in the majors, and was hitting very well in Class-AAA Round Rock with an .886 OPS. If he produces like that in Rochester it won't be long before he gets a chance in Minnesota.

Of particular interest is Rupp's penchant for mashing left-handed pitching. He has at an .879 career OPS vs. southpaws in the big leagues, and was at 1.304 in Triple-A this year before coming over. The Twins are slugging just .381 against lefties as a team.

DOWN ON THE FARM

It's safe to say that Brent Rooker made a very strong impression on the crew here at Twins Daily. Coming into this season, we had him ranked as the No. 7 prospect in a fairly stacked system, which he'd only been part of for a few months after being drafted last June.

Sure, he's a big powerful hitter who posted strong numbers in his pro debut. But what really stood out about Rooker was his studious mindset when it comes to hitting – his deep commitment to understanding and mastering the craft. It felt like whatever hurdles the Mississippi State University product encountered, he'd find a way to overcome them.

His 2018 season has been a perfect demonstration of what makes Rooker so exciting. The Twins sent him to Double-A to open the year – a fairly aggressive assignment, but one the organization clearly thought he could handle. And they were right.

Rooker endured his struggles in the early going, posting a brutal .213/.234/.320 line with 25 strikeouts and one walk. But, exactly as you'd hope, he started making gradual adjustments and getting things on track. Over his next 20 games he would hit .256/.300/.427. And now, after turning in a spectacular past week for the Lookouts (10 hits and 10 walks in 28 PA) he's at .342/.437/.698 over his past 19.

Just as we hoped, Rooker is establishing himself as a potential late-season reinforcement for the Twins offense. If he keeps raking they way he has recently, his potent right-handed bat will begin to look very appealing around August – especially if Mauer has setbacks and/or Logan Morrison never finds a prolonged groove.

Capable of making a more immediate impact, perhaps, is LaMonte Wade, who was promoted to Rochester over the weekend after hitting .298/.393/.444 over 46 games in Chattanooga. That those numbers very closely match his career line in the minors (.296/.402/.438) speaks to the consistency with which Wade has produced since joining the Twins as a ninth-round draft pick in 2015.

He's a high-OBP, low-power corner outfielder in the mold of Robbie Grossman, which might not make him the sexiest prospect, but it's a nice piece to have around on the cheap.

LOOKING AHEAD

It's not over yet. If the Twins are able to put together a good week on the road, winning their series in Detroit and Cleveland, they'll be in much better position than they currently find themselves.

I wish they'd done anything to make us confident that is going to happen.

TUESDAY, 6/12: TWINS @ TIGERS – RHP Jake Odorizzi v. LHP Blaine Hardy
WEDNESDAY, 6/13: TWINS @ TIGERS – RHP Jose Berrios v. LHP Matthew Boyd
THURSDAY, 6/14: TWINS @ TIGERS – RHP Lance Lynn v. RHP Michael Fulmer
FRIDAY, 6/15: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Kyle Gibson v. RHP Corey Kluber
SATURDAY, 6/16: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Fernando Romero v. RHP Carlos Carrasco
SUNDAY, 6/17: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Jake Odorizzi vs RHP Adam Plutko

Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps

More on Twins Daily
  • The MLB Draft took place last week, and Andrew Thares covered it beautifully here at Twins Daily. Check out his Twins 2018 Draft recap, and find links to his write-ups on the top two picks and more within.
  • In Cody Christie's latest roundtable piece, many TD contributors weighed in with a diverse range of opinions on which player contracts the Twins should be focused on extending.
  • I took a look at the some potentially available targets and called out three potential catcher upgrades on the trade market.

  • Cory Engelhardt, mikelink45 and Platoon like this

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32 Comments

 

Grossman and Garver aren’t supposed to be starters. The starting CF is on the DL. And plenty has been said about his lack of productivity. Plenty has been said about Morrison as well. The fill ins are just that. Fill ins.


Sano is hitting about .150 OPS below his career mark. His HR rate is down 1% of his career avg. his K rate is 5 % higher than career avg and BB rate is 3% lower than career rate. This is a player in his 4th season who is supposed to be the cornerstone of the offense. He should be PROgressing not REgressing at this stage of his development.

If he doesn’t develop into an all star caliber hitter rapidly, this franchise will be back at square one offensively by mid 2019.

Unfairly singled out? No. Sano not hitting is simply THAT big of an impact to this team. That’s the price that comes with the hype that this organization has fed us for the last half decade.

Sano needing to be treated like a Superstar is a symptom of attitude problems that has been discussed here, but no one has an answer and there seems to be a real issue that is being worked around.

Attitude has a big impact - think of Torii Hunter coming back - and it can also be a tremendous burden on the team.Miquel is a big boy in many ways and he has been in the majors long enough to be treated like a major leaguer.  

If his feelings have been hurt, too bad.Confront him, help him grow up.Do something because what we have right now despite any metric you can put up is not good.And if we are pampering him out of fear that he will not like what he hears than we need a veteran who gets in his face.

 

Something has to be done if we really wanthim and the Twins to reach potential.

I think when it comes to "makeup" (not the kind you put on a pig) Sano and Buxton have their own, different issues, but in both cases the effect is the same--lack of production.  In Buxton's case, he overthinks, and Sano might just be the opposite.  Those are very broad generalizations.  I have faith both can become productive players, in time, but I am not counting on either to suddenly start producing--especially because one of them is on the DL currently.  Going out on a speculative limb, and not armed with quotes, it seems like the Twins have emphasized makeup in a lot of their more recent draft picks; and that might be in part a response to what we've seen with the B and S show.

 

I don't want to be seen as overly disparaging of either guy.  Each has seen formidable hurdles pop up in the last year.  I personally don't underestimate the psychological toll that injuries, off-the-field legal issues, and the weight of high expectations can have.  

 

I think the thing that I hope for, that could happen right now, is for Dozier and Morrison to go on a tear (along with the cylinders that are already hitting.). 

 

How about Buxton and his hitting?Or there was no hype surrounding the top overall prospect in baseball according to many? You never hear anyone many questioning his abilities and/or motivation, like they do Sano's. 

 

Yes he is singled out, which is status quo for certain people

I think there has been a lot written about Buxton.This week in review is not about him because he was not part of it.It is a separate topic.But Sano was part of it and I found it interesting to listen to the radio announcers talk about Sano.The impatience is not just with the fans.He currently has a -0.2 War and this is year four. 

It is not a sophomore slump.He has now accumulated 533 Ks - too many.He has 78 Hrs - not enough for his power.Danny Gladden was showing his frustration with Sano and his rally killing ability.

 

These are the top five batter comparisons from Baseball reference - Michael Conforto (960.5)

Wily Mo Pena (959.5)
Phil Plantier (958.5)
Jesse Barfield (954.6)
Pete Incaviglia (951.9)

 

Not great.Harmon Killebrew is number seven on the list, but remember that Harmon was on the big league team for 5 years with minimum playing because of the bonus rule for signing young players.No minors, just big league bench.The comparison does not hold up - sorry, wish Sano was Harmon. 

    • Sconnie likes this

Lots of frustration which means we still care, but this is one boring lineup to try and sell tickets. Blame can go to everyone who has made an appearance this season as well as coaches. How can we not look at Buxton and Sano as our biggest disappointments as I know for myself I expected huge numbers from them only to get nothing. I thought Buxton may get 50 steals, but he may not get on base 50 times. I thought Sano would give us huge production in HRs and RBIs, but he has only been huge.

 

Some form of leadership has to step up to put an end to the offensive futility. Dozier has called meetings, but he has to produce on the field to produce results from the clubhouse. Nothing has been mentioned of Morrison's ineptitude. Who would listen to anyone but Rosario and Escobar?

 

Like every hitter this season, Falvine stepped to the plate before the season and swung for the fences. We thought they had delivered two quality starting and relief pitchers, along with a power threat to hit behind Sano allowing him to see better pitches. As it turns out these moves did not bring the results we anticipated, but Falvine can not get gun shy. Leadership has to come from them and they need to bring up Gordon and Wade and let Pettit and Grossman go. We can't expect any trades yet because anyone we want to trade has no trade value--though Lynn is improving his stock lately. We no longer have the luxury of waiting for status quo to change by itself.

A lot of frustration posted here but nothing that winning 12 out of 15 wouldn't solve!!!

 

Go Twins!!

    • Thrylos likes this

Lots of frustration which means we still care, but this is one boring lineup to try and sell tickets. Blame can go to everyone who has made an appearance this season as well as coaches. How can we not look at Buxton and Sano as our biggest disappointments as I know for myself I expected huge numbers from them only to get nothing. I thought Buxton may get 50 steals, but he may not get on base 50 times. I thought Sano would give us huge production in HRs and RBIs, but he has only been huge.

Some form of leadership has to step up to put an end to the offensive futility. Dozier has called meetings, but he has to produce on the field to produce results from the clubhouse. Nothing has been mentioned of Morrison's ineptitude. Who would listen to anyone but Rosario and Escobar?

Like every hitter this season, Falvine stepped to the plate before the season and swung for the fences. We thought they had delivered two quality starting and relief pitchers, along with a power threat to hit behind Sano allowing him to see better pitches. As it turns out these moves did not bring the results we anticipated, but Falvine can not get gun shy. Leadership has to come from them and they need to bring up Gordon and Wade and let Pettit and Grossman go. We can't expect any trades yet because anyone we want to trade has no trade value--though Lynn is improving his stock lately. We no longer have the luxury of waiting for status quo to change by itself.

I think the pitching Falvine brought in was exactly as expected. This teams pitching went from worst to middle of the pack, a heroic feat.

Morrison hasn’t quite delivered, but for 1 year 6 mil, no biggie


It’s the players the Twins relied on last year that have not lived up to expectations. Mauer, Dozier, Sano, Polanco and Buxton. I’m not sure how Falvine is the cause of, or have predicted failure/injury with all of those players.

If nothing else at least we don't have to shudder and shake our heads when we look at who the Twins' starting pitcher is going to be.


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