Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Morneau

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:52 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...
Full topic ›

New Target field policy...no bags of any kind

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:44 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...
Full topic ›

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...
Full topic ›

Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:48 AM
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...
Full topic ›

Why isn't Buxton on MLB OPS leaders list?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 04:36 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...
Full topic ›

Report from The Fort: Lewis Thorpe’s Hype Train Stays on Track

PORT CHARLOTTE - The Twins defeated the Rays 6-5 in a road game that featured a number of Twins’ players’ 2021 debuts. We saw Lewis Thorpe (and maybe as importantly, Lewis Thorpe’s velocity), Luis Arraez and Brent Rooker for the first time this spring. The results were encouraging.
Image courtesy of © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Lewis Thorpe
Thorpe didn’t have the cleanest first inning – he walked his first batter and hit another in the head - but the pitches that we’ve heard about this spring were all on display. Most noticeably, the velocity that had deserted him last year has returned, as he was consistently throwing his fastball at least 90 mph, reaching 93 mph on occasion. Asked about the variation, he explained “Sometimes I just try to groove [the slower version] in there and if I really want to let one rip, the 93 is in the back of the tank somewhere.”

His offspeed stuff was similarly impressive. He relied several times on a mid-70s curveball that he threw as a first-pitch-looking strikes to batters. His slider was a little less reliable, but good enough to strikeout the last batter he faced in an efficient second inning. He finished with two strikeouts and no runs over two innings.



He even made a couple of plays in the field, including tangoing with catcher Ryan Jeffers on a high pop fly that came down two feet in front of home plate. Jeffers ended up on the ground, but on his way there, he watched Thorpe catch the ball over Jeffers’ shoulder.

It was another encouraging step for the Thorpe. The southpaw still has an uphill climb to the majors as a member of the rotation. He’s certainly behind the five veterans in camp, and maybe also be behind Randy Dobnak and Devin Smeltzer. But it’s clear the team is gaining confidence in him.

As is Thorpe. “It's fantastic,” he exclaimed after. “To come back with the way I'm throwing the ball right now, it's such a positive leading up to my first outing after that live BP. To be able to pound the zone and get some swings and misses, and know my stuff belongs here, it's a relief, that's for sure.”

Luis Arraez
Luis Arraez not only made his debut, but also hit lead off, lacing a line drive off of Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow, he of the 97 mph fastball. That drive found a diving center fielder’s glove, but Arraez had an even more impressive at-bat in the second inning.

Glasnow was clearly tiring, but the bases were loaded with two outs. Arraez fell behind in the count 0-2 on two foul balls, but worked the count back to 3-2 and three pitches later worked a walk to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. He was the last batter Glasnow faced.



What was striking about the at-bat is there was never a point, even down 0-2, that it felt like Arraez was in any kind of trouble. “Luis is not intimidated by really anyone,” mused manager Rocco Baldelli after the game.

Arraez also made a great running catch ranging into right field, but it left his manager holding his breath:



Brent Rooker
Rooker started in left field and batted cleanup. Last year, his season ended shortly after he was called up to the Twins last when he suffered a broken arm after being hit by a pitch. With the Twins having an abundance of left-handed hitting corner outfielders, the right-handed hitting Rooker looks like a valuable piece to have on the 26-man roster this year.

He certainly didn’t show any ill effects from the injury in his first at-bat of the season. Facing Glasnow he drilled a home run to right-center field to give the Twins and early 1-0 lead.



Odd and Ends

Or should I say “an odd end?” We had heard all games would be seven innings, but following the fifth inning, an announcement was made that the game would only be one more inning long. So we got a six inning game.

The Rays’ stadium was practicing the same type of pandemic crowd control that Hammond Stadium did on Sunday, but the American League’s defending champs’ crowd was so light, there was little reason for concern. Seats were spread out, and I never say any line at a concession stand or for the restroom. There was plenty of distance between the fans.



Tuesday the Twins will be playing the Braves on the road, and if you would like to follow along, follow @TwinsDaily on Twitter.

  • Dman, DocBauer, dbminn and 2 others like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

12 Comments

Sparse crowds or not, I am SO.

FREAKING.

 

JEALOUS.

    • Twins33, DocBauer and wabene like this
Repeating a couple things I posted in other threads this evening:

Thorpe: Very encouraging news about him physically as well as mentally/emotionally coming in to the season. Always been a supporter and fan of his. Yes, because he's LH and Australlian, lol. But LH pitchers who can top 90 and get K's don't grow on trees. Despite his aweful 2020, personally and professionally, the Twins stuck with him. Why? Because of what I just stated but also because despite losing two full milb seasons the kid just turned 25yo this past November. And his milb numbers since coming back were very encouraging and pretty matched what he had done previously. His final ML numbers in 2019, SSS were nothing great. But if you actually watched his appearances you saw flashes. In fact, there were a couple appearances where he looked pretty good before being extended to "take one for the team " that helped skew his numbers negatively.

We don't really know what happened to him in 2020 and we may never know. But does it matter in the long run? If we never saw him in 2020, how many would be talking about his milb career, his toughness to overcome injury and illness and his mediocre 2019 but showing potential? But he and his potential should be defined by 2020? Please!

Now, it's up to him to continue this rebound and growth in 2021 and accept a demotion to St Paul, because it's going to happen at some point. But right now, you couldn't ask for a better rebound to reclaim his status as a prospect than what we are seeing.

At worst, the kid has a chance to be a very good bullpen option if the rotation never works out.

Rooker: What has he done to NOT get a shot at playing time? Kirilloff is going to a STUD IMO, but still hasn't played above AA except for 1 playoff game last year. But letting Rooker, Arraez and even Cave open 2021 playing LF and letting the Twins keep an extra infielder for depth and protection is a mistake or some obvious attempt the manipulate service time? How?

If Kirilloff has an amazing ST, then let him have the job. But here's a question, if he starts slow and gets sent down, is that the Twins manipulating his service time? Or is that just playing with the roster?

Rooker and Kirilloff can BOTH make the roster if they only have Arraez as infield depth. OR, they could keep another bench option and keep just one of their young OF to start the season. So if they keep Rooker to give him a shot they are suddenly playing games? Once again...PLEASE!

They are trying to have what they believe as the best 26 man roster to begin the season knowing it will change during the year.
    • James Rivah Twins Fan, Dman, rdehring and 1 other like this
Left handed and breathing. Better give him a chance.

Rooker got a sniff of the big leagues last summer. Seems like he is going to take that experience and run with it. Don't know where he will play in the lineup this year or next, but will be surprised if he isn't on the roster and playing a lot.

I have always been high on Thorpe and hope he can bounce back.I know last year was a hard year for him.It sounds like he took what was told to him to heart on how to be back in the conversation.Even if he never makes starting role lefties out of pen that can get right handers out now are always welcome.  

 

Arraez will always give you good at bats.He does not give them away and makes pitchers work.I love watching him hit.Sure he does not have the power or the speed, but he knows how to hit where they are not.When healthy I think he can compete for batting titles each year because he will hit was is given and will work the holes in the field. He does not walk a ton, but he also hardly strikes out either.  

 

I feel sorry for Rooker being stuck here.He is getting too old to be a prospect, and really has no room here.He should be DH mainly and think many teams would be happy with him there.However, unless Twins trade him or release, he is here until he is 31 I believe. 

Photo
Major League Ready
Mar 02 2021 09:53 AM

  

 

I feel sorry for Rooker being stuck here.He is getting too old to be a prospect, and really has no room here.He should be DH mainly and think many teams would be happy with him there.However, unless Twins trade him or release, he is here until he is 31 I believe. 

 

Justin Turner was 26 the 1st year he had more than 25ABs at the ML level. The first year he had an OPS+ over 100 he was 29.He went on to an average OPS+ of 140 over the next 7 years. 

 

Justin Turner was 26 the 1st year he had more than 25ABs at the ML level. The first year he had an OPS+ over 100 he was 29.He went on to an average OPS+ of 140 over the next 7 years. 

Players like Turner and Cruz are the exception to the norm that their prime is 27 to 30.Can Rooker buck the trend like them, sure, but he will need to get his chance and Twins are very deep in the areas Rooker would get time. 

Photo
Major League Ready
Mar 02 2021 04:27 PM

 

Players like Turner and Cruz are the exception to the norm that their prime is 27 to 30.Can Rooker buck the trend like them, sure, but he will need to get his chance and Twins are very deep in the areas Rooker would get time. 

 

Where I was going with this is that I don't see the point in getting too caught up in his age. How is it a problem that we have Rooker from age 25 (last season) through age 31? It's only a problem if it takes him 3 years to become accomplished at this level. It seems to be a lot of people are trying hard to find ways to discredit Rooker because they want to see Alex Kirilloff immediately. Maybe I am greedy but I would rather hope for great things from both players. 

    • Twins33 and DocBauer like this

Maybe I am greedy but I would rather hope for great things from both players. 

greed.jpg
 

    • Major League Ready and DocBauer like this

Where I was going with this is that I don't see the point in getting too caught up in his age. How is it a problem that we have Rooker from age 25 (last season) through age 31? It's only a problem if it takes him 3 years to become accomplished at this level. It seems to be a lot of people are trying hard to find ways to discredit Rooker because they want to see Alex Kirilloff immediately. Maybe I am greedy but I would rather hope for great things from both players.


100%!

There are a couple of late blooming/arriving players we could discuss by the names of Dozier and Cruz. Dozier arrived at 25yo. Rooker did the same. (Just turned 26 this past November). Except for 7 PA in 2005, Nellie didn't really debut until 2006 as a 26yo. His breakout season wasn't until 2009 when be was 29.

I am by no means directly comparing Rooker to those two by projecting any sort of similar career, but I find them an interesting comp because Cruz is still playing with the Twins and Dozier has been in the news as a former Twin announcing his retirement and is part of another front page OP currently.

What's wrong with Rooker AND Kirilloff being good, productive Twins? For that matter, toss in Larnach. There is a very good chance this will be Cruz's last season as a Twin. There is room to play all 3 of these young guys, plus Kepler and Sano, between 3 positions and the DH spot. Now, there could absolutely be a trade of someone at some point. But what's wrong with being greedy in this case.

Absolutely nothing.

 

Where I was going with this is that I don't see the point in getting too caught up in his age. How is it a problem that we have Rooker from age 25 (last season) through age 31? It's only a problem if it takes him 3 years to become accomplished at this level. It seems to be a lot of people are trying hard to find ways to discredit Rooker because they want to see Alex Kirilloff immediately. Maybe I am greedy but I would rather hope for great things from both players. 

I am not trying to discredit Rooker, I am saying I am sorry for him because if he does not get time to show what he can do, it will limit his earning potential.It is great for the Twins to have him for cheep during prime years.If Rooker does not get chance to play much maybe they trade or release him, but it limits his earning ability.That is what I was getting at.Of course when he gets his chance if he tears it up he will get paid, but right now that does not look like he will get that chance with Twins. 

Photo
Major League Ready
Mar 03 2021 10:08 AM

 

I am not trying to discredit Rooker, I am saying I am sorry for him because if he does not get time to show what he can do, it will limit his earning potential.It is great for the Twins to have him for cheep during prime years.If Rooker does not get chance to play much maybe they trade or release him, but it limits his earning ability.That is what I was getting at.Of course when he gets his chance if he tears it up he will get paid, but right now that does not look like he will get that chance with Twins. 

 

You are assuming the Twins don't value Rooker enough to give him a chance. I don't believe the Twins are going to abandon all else to insert Kirilloff. Of course, I don't know how the Twins see / evaluate Rooker so I could definitely be wrong. However, they have a much more logical option. Rooker is the more proven player at this point. Starting with Rooker / Cave in LF is not going to jeopardize the season. This approach allows them an opportunity to further evaluate Rooker. It also provides an opportunity for Kirilloff to prove he can excel above A+ which he has not. 

    • Twins33 likes this

Similar Articles


by Nick Nelson , 04 Apr 2021
Photo


by John Bonnes , 04 Apr 2021
Photo


by Cody Christie , 30 Mar 2021
Photo


by Cody Christie , 22 Mar 2021
Photo


by Cody Christie , 09 Mar 2021
Photo