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Danny Salazar for the Twins?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:28 AM
He could be another buy low candidate that could be 2020's version of the Martin Perez signing. Health has been an issue with him for the...

Front Page: Quick Hitter: New Rules for 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:16 AM
During the 2019 offseason MLB and the MLBPA agreed on various rule changes. Some of these rule changes went into effect in 2019, but ther...

Front Page: Offseason Blueprint: Hooking a Big Fish

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:15 AM
There’s no denying that the Minnesota Twins greatest need this offseason is pitching. The front office has stated their focus will be on...

Front Page: Offseason Blueprint: Making Big Betts

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:09 AM
The Minnesota Twins are going to have money to spend and will need to spend to replenish the roster. What feels most Minnesotan is that t...

Front Page: Offseason Blueprint: Building a Bullpenner

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:08 AM
If we're being honest with ourselves, the Minnesota Twins probably aren't going to go out and sign Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg this...

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Nothing's gonna stop us now

Posted by GoGonzoJournal , 25 June 2017 · 3,009 views

chris gimenez ervin santana all-star break cleveland indians

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Nothing's gonna stop us now The Minnesota Twins started a catcher in left field on Saturday in Cleveland and walked out of the ballpark with a win and a chance to sweep the Indians. That catcher, Chris Gimenez, would later move to first base defensively and hit a mammoth home run in the ninth inning to pad the Twins' one-run lead by one more.

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On Saturday, Twins’ manager Paul Molitor had to scratch right fielder Max Kepler after fouling a ball off his right foot on Friday, and left fielder Eddie Rosario due to illness. And since Eduardo Escobar had to play third base for Miguel Sano (illness) for a second straight day, he couldn’t play left field for Rosario. Enter Gimenez, the Twins’ backup catcher, mop-up reliever and, now, fifth outfielder.

Despite liabilities in both corners of the outfield, Gibson walking four over four and two-thirds innings, and Kennys Vargas repeatedly getting in Brian Dozier’s way defensively, the Twins found a way -- like they have all season. Matt Belisle almost blew it for the Twins but battled after falling off the first base bag and missing a double-play throw that allowed the tying run to score. Dozier didn’t miss a big mistake on a fastball up and in and broke the 2-2 tie in the eighth inning, and Rosario came on to play left, moving Gimenez to first so the Twins wouldn’t lose their backup catcher for the rest of the game.

Brandon Kintzler, a closer averaging six strikeouts per nine innings, gave up a two-out double to Francisco Lindor before locking up the save. He’s tied for the league lead in saves at 20. The Twins bullpen, the worst in baseball, picked up Kyle Gibson, who failed to complete six innings for the tenth time in 13 starts. He also failed to complete five innings for the fourth time in his last 13 starts. Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey carried the bulk of the load again, and the Twins got their most unlikely and impressive win of the season to pull within a half game of Cleveland in the American League Central Division.

Then the Twins went to work on Sunday, taking an early 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run double by catcher Jason Castro. And with Ervin Santana finding his command and pounding the strike zone, the Twins completed the sweep of Cleveland and moved into first place in the AL Central with two weeks until the All-Star Break. It was the vintage Santana the Twins will need to remain competitive this season. He was getting swings and misses on sliders buried in the dirt and painting the corners with 95-mile-per-hour heat while walking no one and striking out seven over six shutout innings.

Twins fans keep awaiting the regression, and you feel it’s got to show itself over this stretch where the Twins face quality starter after quality starter everyday for over a week, all on the road. Luckily, the Twins can’t seem to lose on the road, winning over 70 percent of their road games. That’s better than everyone but the MLB-best Houston Astros.

The Twins play 21 games in 20 days entering the All-Star Break, with four of those games coming against the surging Kansas City Royals. They have 15 of those games to go, so if the Twins can hang around the .500 mark entering the All-Star Break, they’d not only be in contention, but potential buyers at the Trade Deadline.

Instead of searching for pitching prospects for the near future, Falvey might be forced to consider pitching rentals for this season. Maybe free-agent-to-be Jake Arrieta could be had for Eduardo Escobar now that Kyle Schwarber’s been demoted. San Diego’s Clayton Richard is also a free agent after the season, and with the Padres’ glaring needs in left field and at shortstop, Falvey could target Brad Hand as a relief pitcher to include with Richard. Hand won’t be easy to acquire, though, given his stellar K:BB ratio (4.25) and the fact he won’t be a free agent until 2020. I’d say only Nick Gordon and maybe Zach Granite are off the table if your Falvey, but it might take one of them to get Hand if Escobar, Polanco, Grossman or Rosario aren’t desired.

The Twins just got bullpen reinforcements in Dillon Gee and sidearmer Trevor Hildenberger, so they’ll get a sense of whether baseball’s worst bullpen is trending up entering the All-Star Break. Phil Hughes could even join the bullpen sometime soon, and while we don’t know what to expect of Hughes, just having another guy out there who can throw more than one inning would be a blessing for a starting rotation that rarely pitches six innings. Hughes has tossed two scoreless innings with AAA Rochester, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out one. Glen Perkins is still a long way from contributing to the Twins, but would be a welcomed addition come mid-July or early August.

One thing is clear -- the Twins’ rebuild is way ahead of schedule.

F@*k Dick and Bert will be trying something a little different on Monday, as Jose Berrios takes on Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park starting at 6 p.m. CST. We’re doing a webinar so you can get involved with the show. You can register for the webinar by following the link above and filling out the registration form. Then use the login form below it to join us for a drink, and we'll talk Twins baseball and real life.




Nice article.

I cannot get behind looking for a rental. This team needs pitching badly, but I would rather they look to gain a good starting pitcher by finding a team that is going into rebuild mode and eat the salary of their best pitcher. One who is signed for at least 2018 and hopefully 2019.

 

I agree that the Twins rebuild is ahead of schedule, but I would be annoyed if they handicapped their future for a one shot at the post season with this year's ball club.