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GAME THREAD 8/9/2020: Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royal...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:18 AM
Is it time to panic yet?   Of course not! Honestly, after the last three games, I am just as confident in this team being a contende...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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Option C(astellanos)

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 02:33 PM
We missed out on our big money aces. A big impact 3B will either cost age/money (Donaldson) or top prospects and money (Arenado/Bryant)....
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Future Roster Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:41 AM
Jake Odorizzi gets activated today to face the Royals, filling out the 28-man active roster which will include 16 (!) pitchers. The way t...
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Which 3 Twins Have Started the Strongest?

The Twins are rolling into Saturday’s game with a 5-2 record and a +20 run differential. Mitch Garver, Josh Donaldson, and Miguel Sanó aren’t thriving, but plenty of Twins are impressing through the first week of 2020. Here are the top three:
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
3.) Alex Avila

Big Al is conforming to his role quickly. Jason Castro had a respectable 101 OPS+ and 13 homers in 79 games for the Twins last year. Avila looks to be another formidable backup for Garver. He is 3-for-9 with a homer and a massively important, 2-out RBI single in Wednesday’s win over St.Louis.

Avila is a quiet key to the Twins in 2020. He joins Jake Cave, Ehire Adrianza and Marwin González on the best bench in baseball. Baldelli has the luxury of plugging those guys in and barely missing a beat. Avila, with his great on-base skills and occasional pop, is going to be a plus. He’s off and running.

2.) Nelson Cruz

Last Sunday, Cruz became the first player in franchise history to tally 12 total bases and seven RBIs in one game. He went 7-for-13 with two doubles and three homers in the opening series. King Nelly now has 39 extra-base hits in 85 career games against the White Sox. Manager Rick Renteria called him an “animal” at the plate in 2019. Cruz has further tormented Chicago so far in 2020.

Boomstick has one hit (a double) and one walk in 15 plate appearances since that record-breaking weekend. Cruz is chasing more pitches than he did in 2019 as he continues to regain his mojo at the plate. Still, his expected slugging % is .630 and in the top 9% of the league. He is a menace.

1. “The deadly T’s” (Tyler Clippard, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May)

The Twins’ bullpen has been mostly tremendous thus far. “The deadly T’s” have amassed a 1.64 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 11 innings. Trevor May is averaging an electric 95.8 mph on 23 four-seamers. His lone “mistake” came on the Tommy Edman solo home run that deflected off Byron Buxton’s glove on Wednesday night. Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers look un-hittable and Tyler Clippard is stunning lefties, including Matt Carpenter, with his excellent changeup.

In a complete reversal from this time last year, we can feel entirely confident when the Twins are trying to hold leads. Sergio Romo is still death on righties, Cody Stashak has a 29:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors, and Randy Dobnak is excellent in any role.

Honorable mentions:

Homer Bailey - 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 K in Tuesday’s win over St.Louis
Rich Hill - 5 IP, 0 ER, 2 K in Wednesday’s win over St.Louis
Kenta Maeda - 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 K in Sunday’s win over Chicago
Jake Cave - Grand slam in Sunday’s win over Chicago
Luis Arráez - 7-for-21 (.333) with a .391 on-base percentage
Max Kepler - three home runs

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Avilla has been a great addition. Honestly, I was worried about letting Castro go. I wasn't worried about Garver, I was just worried about losing a veteran presence on the team that I think meant more than some people realize. But Avilla was the perfect replacement offensively and defensively, and maybe in the clubhouse as well.

Mitch has been off to a slow start. Duh! But he will be fine in a day or two. He's smart. He has a good bat, a good eye, a short, compact and powerful swing. But he has to make some adjustments because pitchers won't just throw him FB any longer. But I tell you he WILL make adjustments. Meantime, Avilla is doing great and was a nice addition.

Cruz is Cruz and a STUD. Enough said.

The "T's"? You said it all. A couple weird or mis-plays, which happen, would take away a couple runs from this group.

Strongest performance so far?

1] Cave. And not his offense, which we have seen glimpses of previously. (Still shocked how bad he was early 2019. Pressing?) But I have been impressed by his defense in CF so far. He has the range and glove and arm to be a decent CF option previously. But we've also seen a lack of recognition that has lead to some bad play. SOMETHING has clicked as he has looked solid in CF enough for Rocco to trust him there.

2] Polanco. More than a few of us stated repeatedly to just give him time to settle in, gain experience, and grow in to the position. I have no doubt that Donaldson will assist him and cover for any weakness. Except, I thought his weakness was charging balls and his arm? But even in SSS, so far, all I've seen is a great glove and accurate arm to make plays.
    • MN_ExPat likes this
Aug 02 2020 09:38 AM

Luis Arráez - 7-for-21 (.333) with a .391 on-base percentage.


That's great and all that...but he has to play better defense. I'm worried about Sano's "defense" at 1B as well. Both have been in the middle of some bizarre-looking defensive plays.


In a couple of years, if both have not settled into a "serviceable" form of defense - they will be traded or let go. 


For some reason, I have more faith in Sano raising his defense to a serviceable level than Arráez doing the same. But Sano's "mental lapses" with his hitting approach may get him in more trouble than his glove.