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Article: MIN 5, DET 1: Behind Castro, Colon Twins Cap Off Regular Season With Victory

jason castro bartolo colon brian dozier gabriel moya chris gimenez
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:25 PM

Jason Castro hit a go-ahead two-run single and his 10th home run of the season and Bartolo Colon held Detroit to one run over 6.1 innings to lead the Twins to victory in their final game of the regular season. This was the 85th victory of the year for the Twins. On to the Big Apple ...Snapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Download attachment: Snapshot101.png
Jason Castro quietly had a very nice season for the Twins, but he was overshadowed by many of his teammates. He had the second-best season of his career at the plate, surpassing the numbers he had posted the previous three years. He also played a role in turning the pitching staff from having the worst ERA in the league in 2016 to 20th this season.

Castro was the only significant addition the Twins made this offseason, which makes their turnaround from 103 losses to the postseason all the more impressive. It was the guys who were already in place who really led this team out of the basement.

Guys like Brian Dozier, who was 2-for-2 with his 30th double, 78th walk and scored his 106th run. Chris Gimenez hit a pinch-hit homer, his seventh of the season and Joe Mauer had an RBI double. Joe closes out the regular season with a .305 batting average and an .810 OPS. That's the first time he's hit those marks since 2013. Byron Buxton stole his 29th base of the season. The only time he was thrown out stealing all year was when he overslid the bag.

Miguel Sano was 0-for-3 with a strikeout, and did not look especially comfortable the two times he had to run to first base. Paul Molitor has until Tuesday morning to submit his roster for the Wild Card game. It seems likely Sano will be present, but the Twins skipper will have a difficult decision to make as to whether or not to start Sano or turn to him as a pinch hitter.

It was nice to see Colon’s season end on a high note, especially after he struggled in September. The game ended with Gabriel Moya, who entered the game in the eighth inning with the score 4-1, picking up his first career save. He struck out two batters over 1.2 perfect innings.

So that does it for the regular season. Next up: The Wild Card game in New York. I'm already stressed out just thinking about it. This is gonna be awesome.

Final AL Central Standings
Cleveland 102-60
Minnesota 85-77 (-17)
Kansas City 80-82 (-22)
Chicago 67-95 (-35)
Detroit 64-98 (-38)

Final AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 91-71 (+6)
WC2: Minnesota 85-77
Kansas City 80-82 (-5)
Angels 80-82 (-5)
Tampa Bay 80-82 (-5)

Postgame With Molitor

Pitcher Usage
Doing something different for the finale. Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the staff over the course of the entire season:
Download attachment: Pitching101.png
Looking Ahead
Mon: OFF
Tue: Twins (Ervin Santana) at Yankees (Luis Severino), 6:00 pm CT
Wed: OFF
Thu: Twins (TBD) at Cleveland (TBD) … book it.

Looking Back
DET 3, MIN 2: Twins Lose In Romine Sideshow Game
MIN 6, DET 3: Dozier, Escobar Lead Offense To Victory
CLE 5, MIN 2: Ervin Caps Banner Year With 5 Shutout Innings

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#2 SQUIRREL

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:41 PM

Another great post-game write up, Tom!

I'm really not sure about Sano and his role in the WC game. He did not look ready to me.
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#3 Craig Arko

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:43 PM

Another great post-game write up, Tom!
I'm really not sure about Sano and his role in the WC game. He did not look ready to me.


I’d take him off the bench in preference to Goodrum.
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Update your priors.


#4 SQUIRREL

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:45 PM

I’d take him off the bench in preference to Goodrum.


Well, Goodrum wouldn't be on my roster at all, so that's not a change up I'd need. If Sano is on the WC roster it would be to pinch hit. But I'm not sure his timing and recognition is there yet, and if it's not, he's not going to be good at the one thing we'd need him to be good at.
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#5 Broker

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:06 PM

Tuesday's roster is only good for the WC game. It can be targeted specifically for the Yankees. Does the divisional roster stay the same through the rest of the playoffs or can it change for the WS?

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#6 Blake

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:25 PM

 

Another great post-game write up, Tom!

I'm really not sure about Sano and his role in the WC game. He did not look ready to me.

Agreed.


#7 SQUIRREL

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:27 PM

Tuesday's roster is only good for the WC game. It can be targeted specifically for the Yankees. Does the divisional roster stay the same through the rest of the playoffs or can it change for the WS?


Can change after each series.
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#8 Tom Froemming

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:44 PM

I'd start Sano at DH, but I don't feel super strongly about that opinion. Either way, I know the Twins will have more info on Sano than anybody and will make a very informed decision on what to do with him. 

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#9 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:44 PM

Sano vs. Robertson on Tuesday?

 

SO. It's guaranteed.

 

Same with Betances and Chapman and Kahnle.

 

And he can't run.

 

Twins made this run without him.For better or worse, let's face this without the Sano-man.

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#10 Tom Froemming

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:01 PM

 

Twins made this run without him.For better or worse, let's face this without the Sano-man.

So you're just going to throw out the 114 games he played and the fact that he's the single most dangerous hitter on the team? Also, it looks like the Twins went 21-17 while Sano was out with this injury. Of those 21 wins, just two came against teams with winning records and 11 came against 90-loss teams. They would've cleaned up even more down the stretch had Sano been in the lineup.

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#11 jorgenswest

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:13 PM

Easy decision to put Sano on the roster for the wild card game. Would you have more confidence pinch hitting Garver or Vargas for Castro late in the game? They probably should take all 3. If they need more than 10 pitchers, it won't matter if Sano is on the bench. There is a spot for everyone but Goodrum.
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#12 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:18 PM

Sorry, I start Sano. I don't get the PH. If he's not ready now, he won't be ready for the ALCS by sitting on the bench. He needs to get his timing back, and that's going to take facing major league pitching. Perhaps we can draft a guy like Slegers (who I assume won't be on the roster) to throw 30-50 full and off speed pitches to him tomorrow, but ultimately, he needs to face MLB pitching.


#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:43 PM

Roll the dice. If Sano can stand at the plate and run to first without serious danger of injury, you put him at DH.

 

Sure, he might be terrible. But all you need is for the big man to make contact once in the game for it to make all the difference in the world.

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#14 Linus

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:43 PM

I don't get the Castro love. He's thoroughly mediocre and Giminez is worse. The slight improvement in the Twins pitching had NOTHING to do with them.
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#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:46 PM

 

I don't get the Castro love. He's thoroughly mediocre and Giminez is worse. The slight improvement in the Twins pitching had NOTHING to do with them.

BP has Castro 9 fielding runs above average on the season, good for 11th in baseball.

 

So they certainly believe he had something to do with the improved pitching staff.

 

FTR, Suzuki was at -1.0 FRAA, 67th in baseball.

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#16 Han Joelo

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:00 PM

Fun to see the season pitch totals.  Not sure what to take away from it, other than Santiago sure threw a lot of pitches for as little as he seemed to be around.


#17 Dantes929

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:01 PM

 

So you're just going to throw out the 114 games he played and the fact that he's the single most dangerous hitter on the team? Also, it looks like the Twins went 21-17 while Sano was out with this injury. Of those 21 wins, just two came against teams with winning records and 11 came against 90-loss teams. They would've cleaned up even more down the stretch had Sano been in the lineup.

These things don't happen in a vacuum though so you never know.Escobar had a .902 OPS the last month which is better than Sano's year to date. Sano stays healthy and Escobar probably doesn't get the same playing time.Maybe he splits time with Polanco and neither one of them get on a roll and I know Sano being good isn't going to make up for two decent players being hot. Side note, Sano had an awesome first month. His numbers since then don't come close to matching Doziers last couple months so IMO he is not the most dangerous hitter. In fact, Buxton and maybe others can lay claim to more dangerous the last several months. This is a good thing.None of this is to take away from Sano but without any meaningful proof that he is as good as he was when he got hurt what with the injury and the lack of timing from being off so long I'm not sure he is more dangerous that almost any one right now. If he plays I sure hope I am wrong but I am not just going to assume it. 

BTW, on a some what unrelated side note, if everything else played out the same way the Twins only needed to finish 81-81 to get the 2nd wild card. Who'd a thunk?

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#18 Dantes929

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:06 PM

 

Sorry, I start Sano. I don't get the PH. If he's not ready now, he won't be ready for the ALCS by sitting on the bench. He needs to get his timing back, and that's going to take facing major league pitching. Perhaps we can draft a guy like Slegers (who I assume won't be on the roster) to throw 30-50 full and off speed pitches to him tomorrow, but ultimately, he needs to face MLB pitching.

Honestly, I don't have a ton of confidence that Sano should be back. I have more confidence in Grossman giving us good at bats than Sano and if he is not ready he would be like an anchor in the middle of a lineup that has been going pretty good. I do like your idea having him face a lot of live quality pitching. I don't start him in New York but who knows?I have been wrong before.

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#19 snepp

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:33 PM

If he hits a ball over the fence he doesn't even have to run to first. I start him at DH.

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#20 DocBauer

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:44 PM

I also have him on the roster and starting at DH. I probably bat him 5th or 6th or 7th...but I trust the talent and the one big hit potential. He's just too good not to.
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