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Article: Game Thread: Twins v Rays, 5/26 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:22 AM
Our Twins return home carrying a four-game winning streak. It was a quick, three-win roadtrip to Baltimore and right back home to face th...
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25-Man Power Rankings

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:16 AM
I did power rankings for the current active roster:   http://zonecoverage....gs-version-1-o/   As always, thoughtful discussion...
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At what point do we start to believe in this year's T...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:13 AM
I must admit, what they did in Baltimore has started to get me a bit excited.    I'm still skeptical that they will finish .500...
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Article: Part 2: Seth's Midseason Top 40 Prospects (2...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 09:09 AM
Prospect rankings are meant to be fun, but they're also meant to recognize players that work hard throughout the season. I choose to upda...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/25): Jay Returns, T...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 09:08 AM
The Twins were off, but there was plenty of notable news to share across the minor league sytem from Thursday evening. Tyler Jay made his...
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Rough Day for Gutierrez

The Twins played their unofficial first game of the spring on Thursday -- a 'B' game against the Red Sox at Hammond Field. Obviously, you can't put much stock into what goes on during exhibition contests – particularly an informal affair such as this one – but one performance that stuck out to me was that of Carlos Gutierrez, who struggled through two-thirds of an inning and raised the ire of his manager.

Pitching in relief against a lineup filled with Boston backups, Gutierrez issued three walks and a two-run double, managing to record just two outs before the inning was cut short. Ron Gardenhire was none too pleased:
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

Gutierrez was misfiring, didn’t make any adjustments. Velocity’s good but you’ve got to make adjustments; you’ve got to step back and throw the ball over the plate. He stopped the game; I think we all saw that, and that’s what we don’t want. We don’t want people to stop the game.

First time out, maybe he’s a little nervous, but he’s better than that. He’s been pitching at the high levels here and he’s got to do a little better than that. He’s got to pick up the pace of the game and throw the ball over. He throws the s*** out of the ball. That was really the only hard part of the day. The rest of the guys threw pretty good; they went at it.


Gardenhire doesn't call players out this candidly in the media very often, but I've noticed that oftentimes he'll do it when he's frustrated and disappointed because his expectations weren't met. I think this is one such instant.

Gutierrez is a guy the Twins are looking at to carry weight in their patchwork bullpen this season. I listed him as one of four key players to watch in my Spring Training Preview last month. Drafted out of college in the first round four years ago, now is the time for him to be stepping up.

Attached Image: CarlosGutierrez.jpg
Yet, while he's got the stuff to profile as a solid reliever, his control continues to lag behind. Last year in Rochester, Gutierrez averaged a career-best 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings, but that came with 31 walks in 62 frames.

He's always given up a fair amount of hits, so it seems unlikely that Gutierrez will be a real asset in the bullpen unless he can significantly reduce the number of free passes. Thursday's outing doesn't provide a great deal of encouragement on that front, but it's still very early and hopefully Gardenhire was right when he said the erratic performance might have been attributable to nerves.


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