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Why isn't Buxton on MLB OPS leaders list?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:17 PM
Buxton is listed only on the MLB HR leaders list. Not on OPS or AVG or SLG or OBP. He should be the leader in several of these. He has as...
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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:17 PM
I thought he was was really good last year. Maybe I'm on an opening day high (Not high) but he is so good.Who would have thought he would...
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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:52 PM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...
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New Target field policy...no bags of any kind

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:27 PM
Thankfully we went before gates opened and were warned by a friendly security guy in advance that this year there are no bags of any kind...
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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:58 PM
This year's Rule 5 draft we lost Akil Baddo and Tyler Wells. So I thought I'd check to see how they were doing. 1st I checked on Baddo, h...
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Who's the Twins 2021 Fireman?

Some bullpens are starting to informally appoint a “fireman” who can pitch at any point in the game, typically against the best part of the lineup whether they’re right or left handed. Who could be the Twins fireman in 2021?
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
The Twins have some great options that they could use in a shutdown role rather than pitting them in the ninth inning. They now have an option in Alex Colomé for the back end of games who has closing experience and will likely be counted on fairly regularly to get the final three outs. This leaves them with some interesting candidates they can deploy at any point in the game.

Taylor Rogers
Rogers in 2019 is a perfect example of a successful fireman. He still notched plenty of saves, sometimes of the multi-inning variety depending on the score of the game and what part of the lineup was due up.

Rogers has the typical dominant splits against lefties that you’d expect but also has no issues getting right handed hitters out which makes him a great candidate to reclaim this role. His struggles in 2020 looked to be more of a result of a weird season rather than a skills regression. His repertoire consisting of a sinker, four-seam, curveball, and slider as well as his prior experience in this role could find him right back in it.

Hansel Robles
Robles of course had a 10+ ERA in 2020 which made him available for the low price of $2 million. The impact he could make in the bullpen shouldn’t be overlooked however. Robles is far from just a flamethrower with his upper 90s fastball, as he has what many would consider a starting pitcher’s repertoire with a four-seam, sinker, slider and changeup.

The Twins can likely put some work in on his slider which allowed a slugging % over .500 in 2020 to make him more effective against righties. Robles already uses his devastating changeup almost 40% of the time and can use it to equalize left handed hitters. If you mix those two effective pitches in with that power fastball, Robles could find himself stepping up against the heart of the order regularly this season.

Jorge Alcala
Alcala had a great 2020 and could be a sleeper for this role in 2021. His 28.7% K rate was fantastic and he got by with his 8.5% BB rate. The issue with Alcala lies in his splits. For as nasty as he was with his fastball/slider combo against righties, lefties posted an OPS north of 1.000 against Alcala in 2020.

Where Alcala goes from here has a lot to do with his changeup which he periodically sprinkled in last season. His high octane stuff just isn’t enough to get lefties out as is, but one more pitch in his arsenal could make him the best arm in the Twins bullpen. He was also formerly a starter which means he’d slot into a multi inning role nicely as the opportunity arises. Keep an eye on Alcala’s changeup this spring and early in the season.

While admittedly counting on some bouncebacks, the Twins have a bullpen full of arms that could contribute in big ways. Someone will likely settle in as the “fireman” this year, who do you think it could be?

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I think it will change over the year with Rogers getting the first shot, but I bet on Colome  

Mar 06 2021 11:13 PM
    • TopGunn#22, Otwins, DocBauer and 1 other like this
Mar 07 2021 01:12 AM
TFFL got it in one. Duffey is the fireman already, according to Geek's LI articles
Nine of twelve
Mar 07 2021 05:33 AM

I think the decision about how this role should be filled should be made in the same way any other bullpen decision is made. Take into account the opposing lineup, how many batters the pitcher would be facing, who in the bullpen is fresh, who in the bullpen has or has not been pitching well recently, the game situation, the projected needs for the rest of that game and upcoming games, who is ready and available to be called up from St. Paul, etc. etc. etc. 

    • DocBauer, wabene and GNess like this
Mar 07 2021 07:20 AM
I think to be successful, teams need several to try to fill this role. Amongst Rogers, Duffey, Colome, Robles, Stashak, Alcala, the Twins look to have some decent options.
    • DocBauer, wabene and Nine of twelve like this

Will agree with those above wondering why Duffey wasn't mentioned. He could be the best of all.


Also wondering who the new guy will be this year, someone like Alcala last year, Graterol the year before?

Alcala definitely needs another pitch. Depending on the 3 batters due up in a tight game regardless of 7th 8th or 9th inning, I would be colome' gets at least half the fireman innings. Beyond that, I'm loving the depth of our pen aswell as the diversity of styles and approaches.

Will agree with those above wondering why Duffey wasn't mentioned. He could be the best of all.
Also wondering who the new guy will be this year, someone like Alcala last year, Graterol the year before?

Agree on Duffey. I would say Colina is the next fireballer up!
    • Otwins and DocBauer like this