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2018 MLB Postseason Discussion Thread

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Were We Possibly This Wrong?

The Minnesota Twins lost 7-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Target Field. It was the team's tenth loss in their last 11 games, and it dropped their season record to just 9-16. As the calendar flips from April to May, many Twins fans are likely asking themselves if they could have possibly been this wrong about the Twins.

We were possibly this wrong about the 2018 Minnesota Twins?
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA Today
Simply put, there isn't a member of the Minnesota Twins organization, players, coaches or front office, who is happy with the Twins 9-15 record. Even more than the simple record, no one could be happy with the way that the team is playing. Most important maybe to the ownership, fans are already frustrated with the results.

To this point, an oversimplified summary of the Twins season would include: poor starting pitching, poor relief pitching, poor hitting and poor defense. There are some positives, to be sure, but overall, April was a rough month for the Twins.

There have been excuses given for the team. Some are legitimate. Others just aren't really appropriate. Here is a quick look at some of the excuses or reasons often given for the Twins awful first month of the season.

The Weather

The weather was awful during the first half of the month, through the season's first three weeks. The Twins had a number of scheduled off days, and then there was an unusual amount of snow that fell on Minneapolis (and many other MLB cities). This certainly could not have been easy, but frankly, the Twins were 8-5 during the spotty part of the schedule.

We mostly assumed that the team would benefit from playing every day. Hitters could get into a routine, and pitchers could get into their normal patterns between starts. That, in theory, should create some sort of consistency.

Instead, since things returned to normal, the twins have gone 1-10.

The Front Office Did Nothing

I hear this a lot, and it's one that is hard to fathom. The Twins were one of the busiest teams during the offseason. The Cubs signed Yu Darvish, who the Twins clearly targeted heavily.

In the offseason, the Twins signed relievers Fernando Rodney, Zack Duke and Addison Reed. They traded A-ball shortstop Jermaine Palacios for veteran Jake Odorizzi. These were solid moves.

Many assumed that the money that was not spent on Darvish would just go unspent money. Instead, the front office played the free agent market wisely. The Twins signed Logan Morrison, who hit 38 home runs last year for Tampa Bay, for $6.5 million and an option. Then they signed Lance Lynn, a pitcher who was projected to make $80 million or more in free agency, for one year and $12 million.

That was the point where many Twins fans nodded and thought, OK, now we can really get excited. Now the Twins have accumulated a roster that could possibly compete with Cleveland for an AL Central title.

Since the season has started, the front office, unfortunately, has again had to reach down to AAA, and reach out via the waiver wire, to address pitching issues.

Judging any of those moves after one month would be very short-sighted, whether positively or negatively. Fernando Rodney has not been good. Zack Duke, after struggling early, has been pretty good the last seven outings. Odorizzi has an ERA below four.

Logan Morrison got off to a very slow start. It will take him some time to make his numbers look presentable. Lance Lynn, frankly, has had five starts that look very similar to the two starts Phil Hughes has had, which pushed Hughes to the bullpen. To attempt to summarize Lynn to this point, he has had no command.

The Twins Have Missed Byron Buxton

While his batting average when he went on the disabled list was just shy of .200, the Twins have won just two games since Byron Buxton went down with migraines... and then a fractured toe.

While Max Kepler can play a solid, adequate centerfield, the loss of Buxton comes in the form of replacing Buxton with Kepler and Kepler with Robbie Grossman. In other words, the defense is weakened in two spots.

Likewise, it's nice to have Eduardo Escobar's bat in the lineup, but the team also misses Jorge Polanco who will not be able to play for another two months due to his 80-game PED suspension. Now Miguel Sano has a hamstring injury, and the team's infield depth is being stretched.

Players Gotta Play

If we're being honest, it's almost completely on the players at this point. Max Kepler is really punishing the baseball. Eduardo Escobar continues to be very good with the bat. Joe Mauer continues to be an on-base machine. Ryan Pressly has seemingly taken a next step. Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios have been solid pitchers most times out. Addison Reed has been quite good. As Mitch Garver has played more of late, his bat has heated up.

The team needs better starting pitching. The team needs better relief pitching. The team needs better hitting overall, but they more specifically need to be better with runners in scoring position.

Reasons for Optimism
It might be difficult right now to imagine a scenario where the Twins turn this around and make a playoff push. The team will need to start playing well soon, but there are some things that we do need to remember.

First, the Twins still are scheduled to play another 138 games. To end the season with 87 wins, the team would need to go 78-60. That means that they would need to win about 56% of their remaining games. That's not an easy task, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility if things change soon.

The team has played just one game in the American League Central to this point. That means they have another 56 games against the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox. If they go 37-19 in those 56 games, that would mean that they needed to go .500 in their other 82 remaining games to reach that 87 win mark. I don't know if winning 2/3 of their games against those three AL Central teams is realistic, but those games will be very important to the Twins.

I still believe that the Twins have a good combination of veterans and younger players. Veterans will typically find a way to reach their typical numbers by season's end. Logan Morrison and Lance Lynn can only get better. Fernando Rodney should get better. Taylor Rogers and Trevor Hildenberger will get better.

The front office has shown they're not going to be afraid to make moves, particularly with the final 25- and 40-man roster spots. Tyler Kinley got some time, and now has been DFAd. They added David Hale. He pitched once, and they DFAd him. They are trying Matt Magill. Gabriel Moya made the Opening Day roster, Alan Busenitz has been up, Tyler Duffey got another shot and now he's been sent back, and John Curtiss is up.

And finally, the exciting news from Monday was the announcement that Fernando Romero, the team's top pitching prospect, will be called up on Wednesday to make the start for the Twins. It isn't likely to be a one-time spot start as Phil Hughes has been moved to the bullpen. Hughes got two starts upon his return and the club saw enough. And to replace him, they didn't just call up anyone. They called up their top prospect.

Is Fernando Romero ready? Probably not quite. But he's close, and his stuff can be electric. He's got the upper-90s fastball to go with a slider. He'll need to be more consistent with control and command, and his third pitch (a changeup) is still a work-in progress. But it's the kind of move that tells the organization, we aren't settling and we're going to give this key part of our future a shot.

If Lance Lynn doesn't soon make some adjustments, he may need a three-week DL stint with some sort of "injury" and someone like Stephen Gonsalves - who will make his first AAA start of 2018 on Tuesday - could get an opportunity.

If Miguel Sano can't play in the next couple of days, could the Twins decide to promote another highly-touted prospect, Nick Gordon, directly from Double A? Is he big-league ready? Probably not, there are still questions about him and he could use more development time, but that would be a big move. If they feel he's close, which he might be, that would be the possible move.

So, were we wrong?

I don't know what everyone who reads this thinks the 2018 Twins team would do or should do. I do think most believed that this team can, should and will compete for a playoff spot. I'm not sure how many thought that the team had made up the 20 win distance between the Twins and Cleveland from last year, but on paper, the team had improved. They had added some solid veterans, and they still had young players capable of getting better and better.

I am not at the point yet in giving up on the 2018 season. It's FAR too early for that. I still believe that there is too much talent on this roster and that they should turn it around quickly. Getting Byron Buxton back would be huge. Having a healthy Miguel Sano, and preferably one that strikes out less than 40% of the time, would be helpful. Having Lance Lynn show what he's been capable of through his years with the Cardinals would be nice. Logan Morrison figuring out a way to hit five or six home runs a month the rest of the way would be good. A higher percentage of competitive at-bats would be a good start. Eddie Rosario remembering not to swing at pitches he can't drive would be great. Jason Castro performing as he did in 2017 would be good. The bullpen finding its way will be crucial, and obviously the most important thing will be for the starting staff to throw some quality starts onto their stat lines.


There is reason for hope and optimism. That should not be gone for Twins fans. But right now, little is going right, and they will need to turn things around quickly to encourage fans to show up to Target Field.

  • Blake, Cory Engelhardt, Oldgoat_MN and 6 others like this

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79 Comments

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TwinsWonWithHunter
May 01 2018 02:52 AM

I think that what is setting in for most readers on this site is that we are just not a very good baseball team, and that we may have been fooled but what is now looking like last year's false positive.

 

Because let's be candid: 9-15 is a horrible month. If we keep up that clip all year, we will go 61-101. And it won't do to count on feasting on the dregs of the division. It may well be that we are also one of the dregs.

 

There is just no way to sugarcoat 9-15. This team looks so much like the 2016 squad--uninspired play/no fire, horrible starting pitching, no ability to hit with RISP, inept fielding, bad bullpen, and a front office flipping pitchers on and off the waiver wire, or up and down from AAA, pretty well daily.

 

This is looking more and more like Total System Failure II.

 

And if that assessment is thought to be premature, or overly dramatic, then when can we reasonably make that claim -- May 15, June 1? How much more of this do we have to watch before we call it like we see it?

 

We've all seen A LOT of bad baseball since 2011 (and from 1993 to 2000). We know what it looks like, and this year, 2018, is bad. 

    • Carole Keller, Jerr, jokin and 2 others like this
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KirbyDome89
May 01 2018 03:10 AM

1. I griped about MN passing on Darvish and going the quantity route over quality. You're right that it's too early to bury some of these guys but Rodney, Lynn, Duke, and Odorizzi all had serious question marks when they were signed or traded for, and so far only Odorizzi has performed as expected. There's a reason Lynn was still hanging around unsigned during ST. There's also a reason he eventually sold his services for only 1 yr/12M. Duke was coming off major surgery and threw less than 20 innings the previous season. Everybody knew the dangers of Rodney, and if they didn't they're well acquainted now. I thought Morrison, while a decent gamble, was redundant and an overpay for the type of production the Twins were likely to get. 

 

These guys certainly added depth to the roster, that isn't really debatable. Odorizzi, Berrios, Gibson, Lynn, ? is a better opening rotation than Berrios, Gibson, Hughes, Mejia, ? In the same way, adding Rodney and Duke to the bullpen shouldn't have hurt. The question at the time the FAs were signed though, was whether their contribution would be greater than the opportunity cost of not making a serious offer to Darvish.

 

It wouldn't shock me to see Rodney improve and not be as terrible as he has been. I have no idea what to think of Duke. The guy records outs but I don't think even he knows where the ball is going half the time. It isn't a stretch to think he could be effective for the rest of the season. I think Lynn resembling anything close to his good years in St. Louis is a pipe dream. I can see Morrison hitting 5-6 homers in a single month, but I was very skeptical of him reaching 25+ to start the year, and given his start that number might realistically be closer to the mid to low teens. 

 

Kudos to the FO for snagging Reed, he was a great signing. Even if he was tanking like the rest of the FA group, I couldn't get down on bringing him in. If the Twins have a chance to bring in a proven talent like him on a team friendly deal they should do so every time. 

 

The FO certainly didn't sit back and do nothing like last offseason, but they made the conscious effort to bring in a handful of small parts rather than one big piece. When you add some of the other questionable roster decisions I think it's fair to say they share a portion of the blame for the rough start. 

 

2. Obviously I want to see this team make the postseason, and I'll be as excited as anyone to watch the WC game. That said, what does it really say if the Twins play under .500 for April, .500 the rest of the way against non-divisional opponents, and then beat the hell out of bad divisional teams to sneak in? I'm not sure if that really shows any improvement from last year.  

    • Oldgoat_MN and Platoon like this
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killertwinfan
May 01 2018 03:37 AM

My reason for hope and optimism was to compete for the playoffs and show we were an improved team over last year, even if it wasn't fully reflected in the W/L record.Instead, we have seen a team tighten up in clutch moments producing bad at bats, mental errors and poor pitching control.Sure, I can deal with one-off clunkers but we have really strung together a series of games that makes me think this team is not what we thought it was and is unlikely to rise out of this quagmire to compete for post season play.The positive is that the time I as planning to spend on watching the Twins, will be better utilized working on my golf game.  

    • Platoon and bighat like this
We were not wrong just too high of expectations
Didn’t expect to win last year, then won
Expect to win this year, have not won enough...yet
Nice article. I did notice though that Molitor seems to get a pass? It's not that I would fire him now, but I wouldn't have extended him either. Currently this team seems to have no interest in playing baseball, properly. Examples from just last nights game: Rosario drops a fly ball. Mauer chases a ground ball far far to his right. Garver doesn't pick up a fair ball for an easy force/tag. Kepler gets hung out in no mans land on a ball to RF. Eddie Escobar misses a foul pop. Garver backhands a short hop pitch with the bases loaded. No block attempt. But does catch it. Dozier makes a sloppy tag. Garver passes a ball for a run. Dozier kicks a GB. A catchable ball sails over Grossman's head. And the night before wasn't any better. The injuries have hurt, no doubt. Santana's is likely the most significant, but we knew about that all winter and tried to address it. And frankly while he is our #1, he is basically a #3 on a contender. Sano, in his current state is not missed. He should be, but not the way he has played so far this spring. Polancos bat is definitely missed, as is Buxtons overall presence. But none of this explains the dismal efforts put forth on the field lately. There is a lot made in metrics about not giving away outs on offense. But giving them away on defense is just as bad. And we are giving them back to other teams far too easily.
    • Carole Keller, Blake, Jerr and 6 others like this
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LeatherAntenna
May 01 2018 06:04 AM
Just watching Lynn and his pitch count shoot up reminded me that this year will be another long one. 88 pitches through 4 innings. We wonder then about lackluster fielding? Only 10 pitches in the 5th, the Toronto batters were either feeling compassion for Lynn or the players were just getting tired of taking batting practice and probably wanted to face a different pitcher.
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Old Twins Cap
May 01 2018 06:23 AM

At least the Twins turn things around.

 

Look at Tampa Bay. They were awful, and we went into their stadium and started them on an 8-game win streak. Now they have credibility and a spot in the standings.

 

And, the Yankees. They were middle of the road, and Twins get in there, basically give them four games of feel-good baseball, and turn them around. Now they are a monster.

 

And the Reds, Twins throw them a lifeline. Now Toronto. Before all this, they helped Seattle get going.

 

I'm telling you, we can turn this whole league around.

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terrydactyls1947
May 01 2018 06:36 AM

1. I griped about MN passing on Darvish and going the quantity route over quality. You're right that it's too early to bury some of these guys but Rodney, Lynn, Duke, and Odorizzi all had serious question marks when they were signed or traded for, and so far only Odorizzi has performed as expected. There's a reason Lynn was still hanging around unsigned during ST. There's also a reason he eventually sold his services for only 1 yr/12M. Duke was coming off major surgery and threw less than 20 innings the previous season. Everybody knew the dangers of Rodney, and if they didn't they're well acquainted now. I thought Morrison, while a decent gamble, was redundant and an overpay for the type of production the Twins were likely to get. 
 
These guys certainly added depth to the roster, that isn't really debatable. Odorizzi, Berrios, Gibson, Lynn, ? is a better opening rotation than Berrios, Gibson, Hughes, Mejia, ? In the same way, adding Rodney and Duke to the bullpen shouldn't have hurt. The question at the time the FAs were signed though, was whether their contribution would be greater than the opportunity cost of not making a serious offer to Darvish.
 
It wouldn't shock me to see Rodney improve and not be as terrible as he has been. I have no idea what to think of Duke. The guy records outs but I don't think even he knows where the ball is going half the time. It isn't a stretch to think he could be effective for the rest of the season. I think Lynn resembling anything close to his good years in St. Louis is a pipe dream. I can see Morrison hitting 5-6 homers in a single month, but I was very skeptical of him reaching 25+ to start the year, and given his start that number might realistically be closer to the mid to low teens. 
 
Kudos to the FO for snagging Reed, he was a great signing. Even if he was tanking like the rest of the FA group, I couldn't get down on bringing him in. If the Twins have a chance to bring in a proven talent like him on a team friendly deal they should do so every time. 
 
The FO certainly didn't sit back and do nothing like last offseason, but they made the conscious effort to bring in a handful of small parts rather than one big piece. When you add some of the other questionable roster decisions I think it's fair to say they share a portion of the blame for the rough start. 
 
2. Obviously I want to see this team make the postseason, and I'll be as excited as anyone to watch the WC game. That said, what does it really say if the Twins play under .500 for April, .500 the rest of the way against non-divisional opponents, and then beat the hell out of bad divisional teams to sneak in? I'm not sure if that really shows any improvement from last year.


Yu Darvish is 0-2 with a 5.26 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. I think if he were on the Twins with those statistics, these columns would be filled with negative comments. It's time to forget about Darvish. It didn't happen and probably never would have happened. Let's deal with reality. I am glad to see Romero given a chance and I hope he's allowed to make several starts before any decisions are made. Curtiss might be the anti-Rodney we need closing games. And I like the idea that Gordon and Gonsalves might also be given an opportunity at the major league level soon.
    • Blake, beckmt, bluechipper and 7 others like this

They just look so uptight and need to relax. I think getting Santana back, even if he isn't as good as last year and I don't expect him to be, will bring in a calming. He seems to just go out and have a good time. He seems to just have that chill demeanor that can radiate the clubhouse.

 

They just need to gel and string some things together. 

    • bighat likes this

I loved the Twins' offseason. So did most observers. I'd still rather have an offseason in which the Twins spend their money on multiple pieces, rather than one big piece like Darvish.

 

But, at the same time, Sano was injured. Then Santana had surgery. And then Polanco was suspended. Add Buxton's injury, ineffectiveness by Lance Lynn, Fernando Rodney and Logan Morrison and you have a recipe for a pretty bad month. For the Twins to overcome those other issues, they need those guys to turn it around. 

 

Personally, I'd like to see the Twins put Sano on the DL and call up Nick Gordon. Put Gordon at short and move Escobar to third. That would shake things up a bit just like putting Romero in the rotation should.

 

    • mikelink45, Luke Albrecht, Minny505 and 1 other like this

They just look so uptight and need to relax. I think getting Santana back, even if he isn't as good as last year and I don't expect him to be, will bring in a calming. He seems to just go out and have a good time. He seems to just have that chill demeanor that can radiate the clubhouse.

They just need to gel and string some things together.


Doesn't sound like that's happening for another month, if not more.
    • Danchat and bighat like this

 

I think that what is setting in for most readers on this site is that we are just not a very good baseball team, and that we may have been fooled but what is now looking like last year's false positive.

 

Because let's be candid: 9-15 is a horrible month. If we keep up that clip all year, we will go 61-101. And it won't do to count on feasting on the dregs of the division. It may well be that we are also one of the dregs.

 

There is just no way to sugarcoat 9-15. This team looks so much like the 2016 squad--uninspired play/no fire, horrible starting pitching, no ability to hit with RISP, inept fielding, bad bullpen, and a front office flipping pitchers on and off the waiver wire, or up and down from AAA, pretty well daily.

 

This is looking more and more like Total System Failure II.

 

And if that assessment is thought to be premature, or overly dramatic, then when can we reasonably make that claim -- May 15, June 1? How much more of this do we have to watch before we call it like we see it?

  

I don't know the tipping point but it is certainly longer than May 1st.This team has been bad. Doesn't mean it has to continue to be bad. That is up to them. Twins as well as scores of other teams in other seasons have overcome bad starts.Sometimes it is trading for Shannon Stewart that provides the spark, sometimes it is calling up Liriano.Hopefully, in this case it is calling up Romero and getting Santana, Buxton and Sano back. Maybe it won't happen at all but May 1st is too early to wave the white flag. 

    • Minny505 likes this

 

They just look so uptight and need to relax. I think getting Santana back, even if he isn't as good as last year and I don't expect him to be, will bring in a calming. He seems to just go out and have a good time. He seems to just have that chill demeanor that can radiate the clubhouse.

 

They just need to gel and string some things together. 

 

I agree. Problem is, by the time Santana comes back it's going to be too late. No one player is going to turn around a season on June 1 if the Twins are 20 games below .500 at this point.

 

Last night was the first time I thought: hmm, I wonder what the Twins are going to get for Dozier at the trade deadline?

 

I wouldn't be angry if the Twins were just hanging around .500, dropping a game here and there, etc. But to see them spiral out of control like this is just infuriating to watch. So early. We were all so excited and waited all off season, only to see the season go into the tank by May 1?We fans didn't sign up for this.

 

We just had a "lost season" in 2016. That type of total system failure should be a once-per-decade experience. To have this dismal 2018 come just 2 years after the infamous 2016 collapse is too much to bear.

    • Oldgoat_MN, Blackjack and mikelink45 like this
Another year of this core wasted. Window potentially closing. Dozier will be gone, Escobar and Gibson likely traded. Santana and Mauer past effectiveness. Buxton and Sano are in actual danger of busting. Ouch.
    • bighat likes this

I have been highly critical of the way that the Twins management, both the previous administration and the current, have developed this team.I get that the 2018 Twins have had some bad luck with injury after inury, but as I stated last season putting a push to a one game wild card appearance over development was a mistake.  

 

Coming off a 103 loss season the priority should have been getting young players into positions to play and develop at the major league level.Romero and Gonsalves should have made their major league debuts LAST season and started with the big league team as starters this season.Trevor Hildenberger should have been kept, and John Curtiss, Luke Bard, and several other pitchers been cycled through trying to get the core of the rotation and relief staff established.  

 

But we got some wins and made it to the wild card playoff game so then we thought we were a contender and signed a bunch of mediocre veterans that have not panned out to date, and now we are almost 1/5 through the season and we are again on pace for 100 losses, many of our top prospects have not been tested, and most of our good young players are on the IR.What does that mean?We have a lot more "rebuilding" ahead of us.

 

I am a Twins fan and teams have turned it around duing the season.I hope they do and we have a great season. There still is time and teams have turned around worse starts to the season.I just think we have botched the rebuilding path going on a 8 years now.

    • mikelink45 and bighat like this

I think overall it is way too easy for this team to accept losing; just show up and play and see what happens. Mauer gets another free pass... big deal. Molitor stares at the lineup card as the other team circles the bases. Where we goin to dinner after the game, boys? Last year's big August happened after the team fired itself up when ownership had given up.Since then, same old Minnesota Twins of the past decade or so. Losing has become embedded in the team's culture and it starts with ownership/management/over paid vets who don't produce and show no spark whatsoever and no example for younger players. Good luck tonight Gibson.Don't pitch too well or Molitor will probably yank you after 5.

One weird stat is that the Twins starting pitchers' batting average against on balls in play is an oddly low .278 while the Twins bullpen's BABIP is an abnomally high .348.

 

Normally this number ends up close to .300 for teams and leagues and nearly all pitchers not named Kershaw or Sherzer. (Last year it was .299 for Twins starters and .296 for Twins relievers) I don't know what to make of that, exactly. If it was attributable to bad alignment on defense - or something controllable like that - it should affect the starters, too, but it hasn't. They seem blessed with some better-than-usual luck. Considering Berrios, Orodizzi and Gibson still all have ERAs under 4 with the battering the Twins have taken, this doesn't seem outside the realm of rational thought. 

 

Once the relievers' BABIPs start regressing toward the inevitable .300, things should stabilize - providing thestaff can keep the controllables - HRs and walks - reasonable.

    • Blake, Dantes929, Oldgoat_MN and 2 others like this
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Tom Froemming
May 01 2018 07:58 AM

It's a long season, thank goodness.

 

Last year's team had some rough stretches too. They went 8-14 from May 28-June 18 and then 7-15 from July 8-Aug. 5. Hopefully we're just watching the worst stretch of the 2018 Twins season right now. They need to get pointed in the right direction, but it's too early to throw in the towel. 

    • Seth Stohs, Blake, Dantes929 and 4 others like this
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Halsey Hall
May 01 2018 08:02 AM

Forget the playoffs, I'd just like to see the team go .500 the rest of the way. Otherwise it's going to be a long summer with much of my entertainment gone.

    • bighat likes this
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Taildragger8791
May 01 2018 08:03 AM

 

One weird stat is that the Twins starting pitchers' batting average against on balls in play is an oddly low .278 while the Twins bullpen's BABIP is an abnomally high .348.

 

Normally this number ends up close to .300 for teams and leagues and nearly all pitchers not named Kershaw or Sherzer. (Last year it was .299 for Twins starters and .296 for Twins relievers) I don't know what to make of that, exactly. If it was attributable to bad alignment on defense - or something controllable like that - it should affect the starters, too, but it hasn't. They seem blessed with some better-than-usual luck. Considering Berrios, Orodizzi and Gibson still all have ERAs under 4 with the battering the Twins have taken, this doesn't seem outside the realm of rational thought. 

 

Once the relievers' BABIPs start regressing toward the inevitable .300, things should stabilize - providing thestaff can keep the controllables - HRs and walks - reasonable.

 

So far they haven't shown an ability to kept the walks reasonable, seeing as they're 29th in the league in walk rate (and 21st in HR rate). So they're definitely self-inflicting a lot of the damage.

 

It's not surprise the bullpen BABIP is high, considering most of the arms out there haven't been very good and the defense has been booting balls all over the field. Over the last 14 days their BABIP is .395 so it's been getting worse instead of better, and now Hughes is going out there. It'll come down a little naturally, but it won't come all the way back to the earth until they separate out the chaff and tighten up the defense. I'm not sure we're on track to do that anytime soon.

 

Some of those early wins were fueled by the unusually low BAPIP from the starters, maybe due to early season hitting and the cold temps or maybe just good fortune. But over the last 14 days it has been right around .300 which means we're seeing the result of that regression already.

Another year of this core wasted. Window potentially closing. Dozier will be gone, Escobar and Gibson likely traded. Santana and Mauer past effectiveness. Buxton and Sano are in actual danger of busting. Ouch.


If Buxton and Sano bust, this core isn't good enough to win anyway. It was imperative during the rebuild that Buxton and Sano became stars. Kepler and Rosario are good, not great players. Berrios could be great. Without a true star leading the way, the rebuild led by the past regime is a bust.
    • USAFChief, Blake, gunnarthor and 8 others like this

I agree, it's too early to give up on this team and they have plenty of talent. But, as I mentioned in another thread, I do think some of these problems are on Molitor and the coaching staff. 

 

We have the talent but the ML coaches have to get the talent out of these guys. I'm flabbergasted that Lynn is this bad. I have no idea why. I know NL pitchers have trouble adjusting to the AL but this is ridiculous. Hopefully it's lack of ST and he gets going soon but, wow, he's been bad.

    • bighat likes this
I think we will turn it around. Instead of having a different hero win the game weve had a different goat. Weve had several winnable blown saves, a bad start from a starter or mid relievers melt down in different games where other areas are doing their job. Hildenburger and Duke are settling down, Logan is starting to hit, we will have Buxton back soon. I got nothin for Hughes, Lynn or Rodney though.
    • gunnarthor likes this
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TheLeviathan
May 01 2018 08:07 AM
Yeah, we could have been wrong.
    • Blake, Twins33, Blackjack and 1 other like this
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FormerMinnasotan
May 01 2018 08:18 AM
First off we are struggling because Buxton, Sano, and Rosario have failed to take the next steps in developing at the MLB level. Sano and Rosario don’t seem interested in improving their batting. It seems like they aren’t wanting to improve.

Mauer is Mauer. He’s a good-great player when the team around him is good (see last year), but if the team struggles offensively so to does Mauer. Instead of being the leader and the spark for the team Mauer is content to play his passive play not sparking the team offensively but getting hot when others are too.

We may be okay starting pitching wise even with a rotating 5th starter and a horrible Lance Lynn. If Gibson can stay aggressive he’ll be fine, Odorizzi isn’t great but at least average. Hopefully Berrios doesn’t get into some dumb mental funk. I worry Berrios doesn’t have the confident bulldog mentality needed to be great. His last start really concerns as he should have dominated a lesser team at home yet he got dominated by a lesser team and couldn’t even find the strike zone.

Most concerning is no where in this organization is there any accountability or anger directed at those who are responsible for this start.
    • bighat likes this

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