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Take Landis Name off the MVP Award

Other Baseball Today, 01:09 PM
Barry Larkin, former MVP, has been calling for removing the Kenesaw Mountain Landis name from MVP awards.Personally, until I read the art...

Gleeman: "There will be a game Twins fans can watch v...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:48 PM
  What does this mean, any guesses? Going to see a simulated live game? Twins going to go 9-on-9 tonight?

And then there is the case of the Blue Jays to consider

Other Baseball Today, 12:20 PM
https://www.sportsne...measures-place/ Here we are, theoretically two weeks away from Opening Day. The Blue Jays aren’t yet certain where...

The #5 pitcher on the 1965 Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:27 PM
Tim Flattery had a conversation with Dwight Siebler, who was the 5th start on the 1965 Twins World Series team (the Sandy Koufax series)....

Twins Take to Target Field's Concourses

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:59 AM
Dan Hayes of The Athletic wrote an article about and included some pictures of how the Twins are trying to take advantage of Target Field...

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Emergence of Arms

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 22 August 2018 · 2,194 views

minnesota twins taylor rogers trevor may
The Minnesota Twins went the route of signing multiple veterans on one year deals to supplement their relief corps for 2018. Now that the season has taken a different turn, all of those players have been shipped out to greener pastures. For 2019 and beyond, a goal of the organization has to be finding the next Trevor Hildenberger or Ryan Pressly. As things stand currently, there's a duo of dandies that have begun to stand above the rest.

Whether or not the Twins have a proven closer going into 2019 isn't of much worry to me. More importantly, does the club have a handful of guys capable of pitching in high leverage situations. Despite his stumbles at times down the stretch, Trevor Hildenberger has rounded out into exactly that type of player. Addison Reed will return for year two, and the hope is that he'd rebound to look more like his former self. The Twins should be feeling that they can turn to the likes of Trevor May and Taylor Rogers in those situations as well.

Rogers was an 11th round pick back in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. He's now 27 years old and in his third major league season. Despite posting a 3.44 ERA (which is higher than the 3.07 mark from 2017), his secondary numbers are outstanding. The 2.41 FIP is a career low and comes in 15th among all qualified big league relievers. His 10.3 K/9 is a full strikeout higher than his career average, and his 2.2 BB/9 is a new career best as well.

As a lefty Rogers has proved serviceable against hitters from both sides of the plate. Left-handed hitters have zero chance, owning just a .422 OPS, but the .781 OPS to righties isn't awful either. He's giving up both the fewest hits and homers of his career, and it's hard to be anything less than excited about his outlook.

Owning just 93.8 mph average velocity on his fastball, it's not that Rogers is much of a flamethrower. With his long and lanky stature, he has a good bit of deception working in his favor. The arm slot hides the ball well, and he can get in on hitters in a hurry. I'd prefer not to see Minnesota tab Rogers solely for a 9th inning role, but he's far more than a standard LOOGY as well. Deploying him in a role similar to Ryan Pressly, just a fireman to get guys out, should yield plenty positive results.

From the other side of the glove, the recently rehabbed Trevor May has been fantastic. It's just been 9.2 IP over the course of 9 appearances, but May is laying waste to opposing hitters. An 11.2 K/9 is enticing, but the 1.9 BB/9 is a new career best that really jumps off the page. Working solely as a reliever in 2016 prior to Tommy John surgery, May's profile had a lot to like. The strikeouts were there, and the FIP suggested the 5.27 ERA wasn't entirely his fault. That said, he was giving up too many walks (3.6 BB/9) and the 1.5 HR/9 was a problem.

There's reason to like May's profile as a starter, but it's hard to ignore what he can provide out of the bullpen. On the season, he's generating whiffs nearly 20% of the time, and hitters are chasing his pitches just under 40% of the time. He's shaved 10% off of his allowed contact rate (63%) and the nearly 95 mph fastball velocity matches up with where he was prior to surgery.

Acquired as a top prospect years ago, Minnesota likely had visions of May being an impact starter. If he's capable of providing this profile in a more lengthy role that's one thing, but if he's a back end option I'd prefer to see him stick in relief. May has the repertoire and output of a guy who can close out games in the 9th, or be an upper echelon setup man. Again, this is a very small sample size thus far in 2018, but continuing through September would only give steam to the hype train.

Heading into 2019, the Twins will need to solidify a rotation that has more questions than answers once again. The bullpen has been an area needing improvement in recent years though, and seeing some internal arms step up and take command is more than encouraging. It hurt to lose quality pieces this year, but credit those who have stepped up and made the most of new found opportunity.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • howieramone2, nclahammer, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this



Reading this article made me look back 2 years ago when we dreamed of being on the verge of building a dominant bullpen from hard throwing minor league arms. That wave never arrived and we don't really seem to have a next wave of arms to build on.

 

Hopefully Moya, Busenitz and McGill can be regular contributors next year. I am not sure anyone will confuse this group with those you've named above to be a totally dominant pen.

It's weird, but I feel better about the rotation in 2019 than the pen. Berrios will only continue to get better. Gibson is quite good and solid. Early returns have me excited about a healthy and solid Pineda. Work beating 1-3? Nope. But solid, especially if Berrios takes the next step. Romero belongs, even with some ups and downs. He has the stuff to be better than Berrios, perhaps as early as sometime in 2019. I like Mejia, but I like the potential of Gonsalves even more. And I think Thorpe could be better than both of them, eventually. And there is some depth behind them coming up. Lewis could surprise, Littell could be solid, and Graterol could be the 2019 version of Romero.

I always thought May should get another shot in the rotation. But healthy again, his own suggestion to pitch out of the pen thjs season, and his returns thus far, I think he may have found a home.

Here's hoping Reed can find his stuff again. Despite some recent struggles, I believe in Hildenberger. And I agree Rogers is GOOD. that's a start. How about Moya? Could Mejia become a top RP?

We talk about the Rochester arms and getting auditions. Maybe they still will. But this pen needs at least one more big arm, especially with Pressly gone. I would love to see Odorizzi re-invent himself as a top set-up man or closer. Everything about his results scream to me he should be in the pen instead of pitching t innings and then falling flat the 3rd time through.
    • gil4, Kelly Vance and tarheeltwinsfan like this
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Kelly Vance
Aug 26 2018 11:15 AM

I would like to ask May whether he wants a shot at starter or a closer/setup man. I think he is strong enough to go 7 innings most nights. I also see him as a stud closer. I would like to see Romero come up more than Stephen. I just like his stuff better.  But the league seemed to solve Romero pretty darn quick. Curious to see if Stephen settles down. 

 

I'd like to see Jake Reed get a shot at a pen job. I mean, the guy is an Oregon Duck. What more do you want? But seriously, there are several AAA guys that I hope get the cup of Joe in September.  Maybe a couple will stick. 

 

I actually see 2019 optimistically. 

Berrios, Gibby, Pineda, Odo, Romero or May would seem to be a solid staff. Gonsalves on the bubble with Stew and Mejia.  Not bad for depth either. 

 

Buck and Sano back to normal. Polanco for a whole season. Eddie still solid, Keps improving. Cave as 4th OF/DH and Austin Joe and Sano on a 1b/DH rotation.  And I don't mind Forsythe. He seems to be in the middle of a lot of good innings.

 

But resign EE please

 

 

 

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Channing1964
Sep 03 2018 02:56 AM
It has happened once in Twins history i think. Rick Aguilera was traded to Boston and re-signed here for the next year. I think it all depends on how deep the D-Backs go in the playoffs.
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Channing1964
Sep 03 2018 02:56 AM
It has happened once in Twins history i think. Rick Aguilera was traded to Boston and re-signed here for the next year. I think it all depends on how deep the D-Backs go in the playoffs.