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Twins Developments Worth Watching

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 01 October 2018 · 1,607 views

minnesota twins kyle gibson eddie rosario jake cave taylor rogers
There's no denying that the 2018 Minnesota Twins fell short of expectations. This club came into the year having played in the Postseason a season ago, and they were looking to target the Cleveland Indians at the top of the AL Central division. Winning just 78 games, that didn't happen, but there was plenty for this group to hang their hats on.

Obviously a season in which we saw Paul Molitor's squad take a step backwards, there's a few key areas needing improvement. Before getting into those narratives however, we need to take a look at which positive launching points could loom large for the offseason and year ahead.

Kyle Gibson

Mid-way through the 2017 Major League Baseball regular season, it looked as though the former 1st round draft pick would be a non-tender candidate at the end of the year. Then things clicked, and he posted a 3.76 ERA over his final 13 starts. What's only made it look better, is that Gibson has carried the strong performance into 2018.

He wrapped up the year trailing only Jose Berrios in terms of fWAR among Twins pitchers, and his 3.62 ERA was easily a career best. The FIP and xFIP numbers suggest there's some room for regression, but it isn't too worrisome. Another key development is that Gibson showed a heightened ability to get batters out on his own. With a career high 8.2 K/9, his strikeout numbers were notable for the first time in his career. Thanks to the emergence of Gibson, and presence of both Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, the Twins rotation is in a good place.

Jake Cave

In baseball, you are rarely afforded multiple significant opportunities to make an impact. After being pulled from the Yankees glut of outfielders, the Twins afforded Cave an opportunity and he ran with it. As a 25 year-old rookie, he's a bit past the typical prospect shine. That said, he posted a more than enticing .797 OPS and showed plenty of power potential.

Right now, he's locked in as nothing lower than the 4th outfielder for the Twins going into 2019. Cave took the run likely tabbed for Zack Granite coming into the season, and he could very well push Robbie Grossman out of the organization as well. If there's an area to focus on when it comes to development, it's easily plate discipline. A 102/18 K/BB ratio leaves plenty of room for a higher level of on-base prowess to rear its head.

Taylor Rogers

Losing a bullpen piece like Ryan Pressly was going to create opportunity for another arm to step up, and Rogers did in a big way. Leading the Twins in fWAR out of the pen, Taylor posted a career best 2.63 ERA. It was the third straight season in which he's lowered his ERA, and he finished with a career best 9.9 K/9. Although velocity isn't his game, he gets pitches by batters, and doesn't give up free passes.

On top of being dominant as a whole, Rogers wasn't simply a LOOGY either. Sure, he nuked lefties to the tune of a .428 OPS, but he only allowed righties to post a .643 OPS against him in the process. Across over 68 innings this season, he only allowed three longballs, and he pitched his way to the back of the Minnesota pen.

Eddie Rosario

Spanning the group of exciting prospects that rose the Twins ranks together, it's probably a bit surprising that Rosario has emerged the most. That said, we're absolutely at that point in their collective development. After an .836 OPS season in 2017, Rosario solidified his ability by performing at an All-Star level in 2018.

From where I sit, I don't think there's much more to the ceiling of the Minnesota left fielder, but the floor shouldn't be significantly lower either. A guy that has a cannon in the outfield, and can hit as a middle-of-the-order threat, he's going to be a guy that makes sense for a long term extension. Rosario can be a star for the Twins, and that came somewhat out of nowhere.

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  • Platoon, nclahammer, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this



Paul Molitor.

 

Is he Good for the Twins? Is he Bad for the Twins? Manager of the Year in 2017. Second place finish in 2018 with...this team. Two more years on his contract.

 

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ChrisKnutson
Oct 02 2018 05:28 AM

Paul Molitor.
 
Is he Good for the Twins? Is he Bad for the Twins? Manager of the Year in 2017. Second place finish in 2018 with...this team. Two more years on his contract.


Bad. Sure Mollie ‘might’ not be a horrible manager or even leader at that, but I see no chemistry between him and the players, which believe or not is actually a very important component when it comes to the concept of leadership.

Personally, I feel there’s a whole lotta lack of communication going on between Mollie and the players, I don’t know if that’s because of Mollie’s awkwardness or that no one dares to question a HOF’er, but I firmly believe that of the amount of team or 1v1 discussions that take place, a majority of them are one-sided where no feels comfortable enough to speak out.. If so, this explains why a lot of the players lean on Rudy and Rowson so much...
Interesting take. Molitor could be criticized for several things: using washed up veterans like Belisle, seldom trying to steal a base or hit and run, etc. But please explain how you ascertained the lack of communication and chemistry between Molitor and the players. It seems like you’d have to be around the team on a day to day basis to draw that conclusion. Are you LaVelle E. Neil using an alias?
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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 03 2018 12:07 PM

 

But please explain how you ascertained the lack of communication and chemistry between Molitor and the players. It seems like you’d have to be around the team on a day to day basis to draw that conclusion. Are you LaVelle E. Neil using an alias?

I'm not sure where I indicated that in this article? However, I do think there was a lack of chemistry, and that's been hinter at in a few pressers with the FO. Bringing in veterans to help bridge the gap further cements that notion.

Curious to see who is added to the 40-man. Twins page made reference to Brian Navaretto, Zander Wiel, Luis Arraez, Nick Gordon, LaMonte Wade, Nick Anderson, Jake Reed and Tyler Jay. Navaretto may be a minors free agent. Amderson and Reed performed well. Nick Gordon is a top prospect. I really don;t see any of the others being grabbed and staying on a major league roster for three months.