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Game Thread: Twins @ Pale Hose, 8/1 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:26 PM
Game-time forecast: Partly cloudy with a 50-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Temperature aro...
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Article: Should the Twins Consider a Six-Man Rotation?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:19 PM
The following question is asked in jest. Well, maybe in jest. Alright, maybe it is a legitimate question. Is the AAA Rochester starting r...
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Price To Detroit For Smiley And Jackson

More Baseball Today, 07:13 PM
was watching the wsox-detroit game this afternoon  (being the lowlife sox fan i am) when in the top of the 7th inning  (i thin...
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Aaron Hicks quietly posting good numbers in New Britain

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:09 PM
Given his flirtation with giving up switch-hitting (and baffling return to it a few weeks later), I wanted to dig a bit further into his...
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Article: Five Things To Know About Tommy Milone

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:19 PM
On the morning of Thursday's trade deadline, the Twins announced that they've acquired left-hander Tommy Milone from the Oakland Athletic...
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The Store

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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