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Article: Wednesday Notes: More Cuts, Pinto Power And Lineup Changes

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:29 AM

With today's move has the Twins' pitching staff been finalized? How did Josmil Pinto feel about his second game back from the concussion? Read about these and more at today's Report From The Fort.Twins Option Caleb Thielbar To AAA

The Twins announced on Wednesday morning that left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar has been optioned to Rochester. The 28-year-old Randolph, MN native had pitched in 103 games for the Twins over the past two seasons, amassing a 5-3 record, 2.59 ERA and a 74/30 K/BB ratio over 93.2 innings.

READ: Which Righty Relievers Can Get Lefties Out?

Thielbar’s spring was spotty, as he allowed 19 hits over 11 innings which led to seven earned runs. Was the March performance the reason he was optioned?

"There were other people performing," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said before Wednesday's game against the Red Sox. "Some different people that came in. There are other people still here who haven't performed quite as well as he did."

A day after optioning left-hander Aaron Thompson to Rochester, the Twins continue to purge southpaws from the bullpen, leaving Brian Duensing and Glen Perkins as the left-handed arms. Yesterday, Ryan said that Thompson’s camp was decent and that he along with pitchers like Thielbar could be back in Minnesota quickly.

“He threw OK. He came up last September and did OK. We tried to encourage him to keep his head up, it was a disappointing day for him. It should be. But I can see him surfacing with us. He’s left-handed,” said Ryan. “He’ll be down in AAA just a phone call away with a few others down there.”

For now, the Twins have their pitching staff that they will begin the season with but Ryan acknowledged that things do change.

"You could always adjust whether it is this week or its in the middle of April or as you go through the spring or summer. Right now, this is the way we are headed."

Will The Twins Bring The Heat?

When asked if hard-throwers like Jake Reed and Nick Burdi will be ready this year, Ryan left that answer up to the players.

"That's up to them," Ryan said of the pair of relievers who combined to strike out 77 in 51.1 innings in 2015. "We got people who are farther ahead than those two guys. Those two guys haven't even had a year of pro ball."

Josmil Pinto Happy With Performance

On Tuesday, catcher Josmil Pinto played five innings of a minor league game at the Twins’ complex. After his first game back where his swing was described as “late” by Terry Ryan, Pinto had a better time of it, finishing the day 1-for-3 with an impressive home run. When asked if he got all of it, Pinto smiled and said “Oh yes.”

The Twins are still concerned over his ability to be ready for opening day in Detroit.

“He started out with that hamstring and he was doing fine after that,” Ryan said. “Now’s he’s gotten into those concussion symptoms. So he had to sit nine days for that. So it’s been a little bit of an inconsistent, sketchy look. Not that we don’t know him, we do. So we’ll see how he feels after today and we’ll make a decision after tomorrow.”

Pinto will play four of five innings in Wednesday's minor league game but will not catch.

Clubhouse Sickness

Pitcher Kyle Gibson said he felt significantly better after battling a stomach bug that caused him to miss his last start against Boston. The Twins said he will maintain his current schedule and pitch again on Saturday.

While Gibson was recovering, the Twins had to make a quick lineup change before Wednesday’s game. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was slated to play against the Red Sox but was replaced with Eduardo Escobar in left field as Arcia was reportedly ill.

Escobar has hit safely in 12 of 16 games this spring and launched his fourth home run of the spring off of Yankees’ starter Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday. There’s no question that Escobar has had a great spring and Ryan knows his offense will have him playing on a consistent basis in the regular season.

“We value his contributions here highly and I know Paul [Molitor] is very interested in make sure he gets his due in terms of at-bats.”

The swirling sickness in the clubhouse which crippled numerous players and manager Paul Molitor raised questions regarding the cleanliness of the facilities. Ryan was quick to dispel any notion that the sanitation of the clubhouse played any role in the sickness.

“We’re very sensitive about locker room cleanliness and issues that would come about in the locker room. And we do that and we’re very protective of that locker room. Unfortunately we have had a lot of guys who have had flu symptoms this spring. I’m not so sure it is out of the ordinary.”

Minor League Coach Riccardo Ingram Passes

Long-time minor league coach Riccardo Ingram, 48, passed away in Atlanta, Georgia after a prolonged battle with brain cancer.

The News-Press’s David Dorsey wrote an article this week detailing how Ingram would be renewing his battle with cancer which first sidelined him from the game for 12 months from July 2009 to 2010. After coaching and managing at various levels in the organization, Ingram spent the last three seasons as a hitting instructor in Triple-A and Double-A.

"It'd be very difficult for me to find a person who didn't have good things to say about Ingram," Ryan said of the news. "He's one of those guys who has a lot of charisma. He can tell a story."





Ingram leaves behind his wife, Allison, and daughters, Kacey and Kristen.

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"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#2 savvyspy

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:58 AM

Nothing screams that you are committed to a rebuild more than stockpiling 30+ year old national league castoffs with ERAs north of 4.50 in your bullpen. Eye roll....

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#3 dxpavelka

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 11:36 AM

 

Nothing screams that you are committed to a rebuild more than stockpiling 30+ year old national league castoffs with ERAs north of 4.50 in your bullpen. Eye roll....

If they can get guys out when the real bullets start flying I could care less about where they came from and what they did before they got here.I guess we'll find out soon enough.That's why they play the games.

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#4 ashburyjohn

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 11:45 AM

I didn't get that close to any of the players, but I seem to have come home from Ft Myers with some kind of virus myself. Bleh.

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I'm in big trouble at home. I used one of the couch pillows AS A PILLOW.


#5 James

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:11 PM

 

I didn't get that close to any of the players, but I seem to have come home from Ft Myers with some kind of virus myself. Bleh.

I think I got what is going around down there too.  I had some flu like symptoms when I got home about a week ago.  Something is definitely in the air down there.

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You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.


#6 ashburyjohn

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:27 PM

 

Something is definitely in the air down there.

It's Florida. The drainage ditches get that way, sometimes.

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I'm in big trouble at home. I used one of the couch pillows AS A PILLOW.


#7 Parker Hageman

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:31 PM

Bottle flu?

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"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#8 troyhobbs

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:38 PM

 

Nothing screams that you are committed to a rebuild more than stockpiling 30+ year old national league castoffs with ERAs north of 4.50 in your bullpen. Eye roll....

I have to think that many veterans on the roster are on their last leg w/ the team and if they don't produce they're gone and we can finally start the youth movement in full swing. If that's the case, no worries, if the new faces don't arrive early and often this season I'll probably be receiving some moderator's notes for my bashing of the organization.


#9 amjgt

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:38 PM

"Those two guys haven't even had a year of pro ball."

 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#10 jokin

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 02:12 PM

 

"Those two guys haven't even had a year of pro ball."

 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

That quote was the most disturbing and deserved it's own mention in the article headline.  It sure seems like he's set the bar needlessly high for flame-balling college RPs.  Check with how other teams do this, Terry.

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Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#11 Lazarus

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 03:10 PM

I want to see both Burdi and Reed in AA - if they succeed, I think they'll find space on a Delta flight to MSP. Probably have to connect through Atlanta though...so they'd be up the next day after.


#12 SD Buhr

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 04:03 PM

The more I see and hear about current Twins relievers, the more confident I am that Burdi and Reed will be Minnesota Twins sooner than I expected (and much sooner than the Twins FO would likely prefer). 

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#13 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 04:47 PM

Bottle flu?


I think that's called a hangover... at least for those of you with inferior genetics :)
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#14 jokin

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 05:11 PM

 

The more I see and hear about current Twins relievers, the more confident I am that Burdi and Reed will be Minnesota Twins sooner than I expected (and much sooner than the Twins FO would likely prefer). 

 

Yeah, the pitching situation has been a disappointment, but knowing and not being much surprised by the Twins to come to the personnel conclusions they did, it kept me from making a final W-L prediction until we knew the final roster coming out of ST.  I am lowering my expectations from my preliminary assessment more towards the Vegas oddsmakers over/under of 68.  Even though last years' experiment with "more veteraniness" can only be considered a failure, they took that concept to the next level, spent more on the premium end of veteran continuum- but without the other commensurate upgrade in the other areas of weakness to make that big investment have a better chance of bringing in dividends.  The bullpen, as currently constructed, projects to somehow be worse than last season. Besides all of the regression candidates in the positional lineup, Escobar's emergingly-decent bat (wRC+ of 102 in 2014- tied for 5th among all MLB qualifying SS) has essentially been semi-benched in favor of three guys (counting Hicks) that are in the bottom ten in wRC+ for all MLB OFers from 2012-14-  

 

Robinson 76

Schafer  75

Hicks  71

 

It's pretty universally agreed that the other teams in the division made more improvements in their roster.  With the ALC-heavy schedule going well into the second week of May, the Twins could very well already be out of first place by double-digits come May 15.

Edited by jokin, 01 April 2015 - 05:13 PM.

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Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#15 Dr. Evil

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 06:06 PM

I imagine a meeting where ownership sits down with the gm and says, so we have been horrible for several years. Let's review what you did to improve the team this offseason. Defense, offense, starting pitchers, bullpen, coaching, etc.......... Now let's look at this position by position, catcher, center field etc.......... You would think ownership would be a little unimpressed.
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#16 jimmer

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 06:22 PM

Watching the Orioles/Pirates game on MLB Network and the announcers just got down saying, and I quote, 'We know that all of the Sabermetricians have put out numbers over the last few years showing how strike zones have continued to decrease in size'  

 

And then they said that maybe the umpires and league have read that info and decided to increase the zone.  

 

The announcers said they have talked about this all ST on their broadcasts.

 

Thing is, the SABR people have shown the exact opposite to be true.  That the zone has increased each year over the last 5 years.  And the league has come out and talked about decreasing the zone, not increasing it.

 

WOW!

Edited by jimmer, 01 April 2015 - 06:23 PM.


#17 youngpadawan

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:15 PM

I really don't like the comment about Burdi and Reed. When did we put a clock on everything and stop evaluating? Old baseball guys drive me nuts with this. If you are better than the other people you should leapfrog them. Number of years in the system does not meaN you are better than the new guys. I get the "let's be patient with guys who don't even have a year in pro ball" but to say there are guys in front of them makes it sound like an excuse to slow down their progress. I just don't get baseball sometimes.

Also, why has Santana not played a game in center This spring? It seems like that is the best way to get Escobar in the lineup and field the best team we can. I understand the defense issues in the corners but I don't see why he can't get a game or 2 a week in center.
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#18 Dr. Evil

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:24 PM

I really don't like the comment about Burdi and Reed. When did we put a clock on everything and stop evaluating? Old baseball guys drive me nuts with this. If you are better than the other people you should leapfrog them. Number of years in the system does not meaN you are better than the new guys. I get the "let's be patient with guys who don't even have a year in pro ball" but to say there are guys in front of them makes it sound like an excuse to slow down their progress. I just don't get baseball sometimes.
Also, why has Santana not played a game in center This spring? It seems like that is the best way to get Escobar in the lineup and field the best team we can. I understand the defense issues in the corners but I don't see why he can't get a game or 2 a week in center.

I like this post youngpadawan.
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#19 Kwak

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:49 PM

 

I really don't like the comment about Burdi and Reed. When did we put a clock on everything and stop evaluating? Old baseball guys drive me nuts with this. If you are better than the other people you should leapfrog them. Number of years in the system does not meaN you are better than the new guys. I get the "let's be patient with guys who don't even have a year in pro ball" but to say there are guys in front of them makes it sound like an excuse to slow down their progress. I just don't get baseball sometimes.

Also, why has Santana not played a game in center This spring? It seems like that is the best way to get Escobar in the lineup and field the best team we can. I understand the defense issues in the corners but I don't see why he can't get a game or 2 a week in center.

Answer is in two parts: Santana isn't a CF, and Escobar can be inserted in the lineup whenever Molitor wishes. I chose not to be a SA and say neither Plouffe, Dozier, or Mauer will play CF so Escobar can play when Molitor deems--but I'm trying to change my image.


#20 Oxtung

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 04:35 AM

Looking at the relievers that could be ahead of Reed and Burdi:

May,
Meyer,

Melotakis,
Wimmers,

Achter,
Oliveros,
Hamburger,
Pryor,
Tonkin,
Pressly,
Thielbar,
Thompson.

If May or Meyer get moved to the bullpen that makes sense for them to be ahead of the two 2014 draft picks. Everything we heard about Melotakis last year was dominating stuff but he just had TJ surgery so that will set him back. Everybody forgets about Wimmers but he had a really good season relieving last year in 49 IP he struck out 63 and walked 13.

After that I would be pretty disappointed if any of the other guys held Burdi or Reed back. One wild card is Zach Jones, depends on how he comes back from his surgery.



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