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Article: MIL 8, MIN 3: Gibson Falters, Mauer Exits Due to Neck Injury

kyle gisbon joe mauer max kepler eduardo escobar
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:30 PM

The Twins lost in an ugly fashion Friday night, but more importantly, they lost another player due to injury, at least temporarily. Joe Mauer was forced to exit the game with neck tightness and is day-to-day. Hopefully his absence is brief, but this lineup is already in shambles.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Download attachment: Snapshot518.png Download attachment: WinEx518.png
The details surrounding Mauer’s exit and the time it took to relay the news of what actually happened are strange. Joe was out in the on-deck circle in the fifth inning when Paul Molitor emerged from the dugout. Suddenly Mauer was gone and Logan Morrison was stepping up to the plate.

As if that wasn’t odd enough, it took ages for the team to relay the news of what happened. This, of course, led to all kinds of speculation ranging form Mauer was being traded to he was abducted by aliens (Ok, that one was just me goofing off).

Here’s hoping Mauer has a speedy recovery because this team can ill afford to be without yet another regular.

What about the game? Ugh.

Kyle Gibson had a rough start, giving up five runs over 5 1/3 innings, and the bullpen also struggled (three more runs over 3 2/3 innings). But, as has been the case often so far this season, Max Kepler and Eduardo Escobar were pluses.

Kepler was particularly impressive. Lefty Brent Suter did a great job of keeping the Twins off balance, but Kepler had a double, a walk and sacrifice fly against him. Considering the Twins only got five hits and just the one run and one walk off Suter, that’s yet another really impressive showing from Max against a southpaw.

And, oh by the way, Kepler also hit a two-run homer off reliever Boone Logan, another lefty.

Escobar was 3-for-4, raising his average to .292 and his OPS to .891. On the down side, Brian Dozier was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and Byron Buxton was 0-for-4 with a pair of Ks and left four men on base.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:Download attachment: Bullpen518.png

Next Three Games
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#2 Danchat

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 10:50 PM

I like that Kepler eats lefties for lunch now... but that's about it for positive things. I'm not even that mad at Gibson for having a bad outing, it's going to happen every once in a while. The Brewers lineup seems to know what they're doing... and we're throwing out Adrianza, Wilson, awful Buxton, and the crew at MLB pitching staffs. Yuck.

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#3 rghrbek

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 11:39 PM

As a person who is skeptical about Gibbs's success, I am willing to give him a break as the Brew Crew feels like they are more like us last year than we are.  Good young hitting team.

 

Hopefully our bats can wake up, its been a stretch where only a few players have been consistent.  

I am worried about Buck

 

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#4 jokin

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 11:56 PM

Suter's stuff was not only less than impressive, it's less than unimpressive.

 

What was the Twins' game plan against him? I saw little deception by a guy who came in with a 5.14 ERA, 4.57 FIP and ZERO Quality Starts. When he left the game, he looked like a kid who just got an unexpected pony for his birthday present. His 87 MPH FBs should have been sprayed all over the park. Suter was throwing them by Dozier right up in his favorite homer wheelhouse. And Suter's 73 MPH change-ups looked like BP pitches, but he still had guys like Buxton completely flummoxed vs. the type of stuff Buck absolutely crushed back in his minor league days.

 

With the obvious exception of Esco and Kepler, a very disappointing hitting performance by the good guys (Kepler was absolutely in the zone, sitting on practically every pitch coming his way. What an amazing improvement vs. lefties!).

 

Regardless of that...Something Has to Change Fast.

 

-The Twins are 3-5 in their last 8, and are only averaging 3.3 runs per game in that span, but were only outscored by 3.75-3.3/gm. Twins pitching has been decent enough- weather conditions as an excuse is no longer viable.

 

-The Twins averaged 5.03 runs per game in 2017, only 4.25 rpg after 40 games this year, 3.3 rpg in the last 8- the trend is not their friend.

 

-Mauer's OBP is now out for an indefinite amount of time with another mystery injury. Do you bring back LaMarre and his .395 OBP as a temporarily stopgap via a Mauer DL trip? 

 

-How soon can Sano head out to rehab? If the answer is still "indefinitely", then you've got a problem that needs to be addressed.

 

-Having guys as in the zone vs. lefties as Kepler is right now, actually squaring up to bunt tonight with a man on base borders on dereliction of sabremetric discipline.

 

-How soon does the GM hit the panic button and look to trade for a bat and/or bring up the farm guys like LaMarre in AAA and Gordon and Wade in AA?

 

-Rosario, Esco and Morrison are currently pulling their weight, Kepler is up and down- but could break out with more men on base in front of him and a threatening bat hitting behind him, plus he's now a legit threat vs. LHP- but everywhere else you look in the lineup it's a team of "flailure." Is it time to reconstruct the batting order to reflect the hotter bats?

 

-How about whomever the current hottest bat might be always hitting behind Dozier to get him more pitches to hit? Or do you bite the bullet and move him down the order until he finally gets things going? He's killing the Twins at this point.

 

-Mauer DL, Buxton DL, Adrianza DFA for LaMarre, Gordon and Wade? It would be radical, but is a transfusion of fresh blood soon a vital necessity and wake-up call for a team seemingly on offensive life support?

Edited by jokin, 19 May 2018 - 03:52 AM.

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#5 Mike Sixel

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 12:04 AM

Should have brought up Gordon by now...
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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#6 spycake

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 04:50 AM

-How soon can Sano head out to rehab? If the answer is still "indefinitely", then you've got a problem that needs to be addressed.


Just announced last night: "Miguel Sano heading out on rehab assignment for Triple-A Rochester"

https://www.twinciti...-affiliate/amp/
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#7 h2oface

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:05 AM

I just don't get it. The Twins' in the dugout were upset at Cain for trying to score (and he almost did) with his team up, 6-0. Just playing baseball. He is supposed to try to score. Should they be upset at Kepler for hitting a home run? Shouldn't he just give up by then, if Cain shouldn't try to score? I don't get it. This is baseball, not the NBA, where even in the playoffs, teams just basically quit if they get behind, and don't even try to win that game. I hope the players always do the best they can, no matter what the score. 

 

Buxton is even getting pinch hit for..... by Grossman! It is a sad state of affairs. 

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#8 jokin

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:24 AM

 

Just announced last night: "Miguel Sano heading out on rehab assignment for Triple-A Rochester"

https://www.twinciti...-affiliate/amp/

 

Hooray +100. That answers one of the most important questions. A healthy, rejuvenated and productive Sano might be the key to turning this mess around. With all that's happened with him, it's a much more problematic situation this time, though.

 

Hopefully he's back in the lineup before June 1?

Edited by jokin, 19 May 2018 - 05:34 AM.

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#9 jokin

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:31 AM

 

I just don't get it. The Twins' in the dugout were upset at Cain for trying to score (and he almost did) with his team up, 6-0. Just playing baseball. He is supposed to try to score. Should they be upset at Kepler for hitting a home run? Shouldn't he just give up by then, if Cain shouldn't try to score? I don't get it. This is baseball, not the NBA, where even in the playoffs, teams just basically quit if they get behind, and don't even try to win that game. I hope the players always do the best they can, no matter what the score. 

 

Buxton is even getting pinch hit for..... by Grossman! It is a sad state of affairs. 

 

Well said. That "unwritten rules' nonsense by the Twins really was off-putting (encouraged my rant, to be sure). You don't like losing, do something about it. 

 

Buxton's situation is a rerun we've seen before. Take him out of his misery and down to AAA ASAP to get him back on kilter before his career goes up in flames. Bad decision not to get him extensive rehab ABs.

Edited by jokin, 19 May 2018 - 05:37 AM.

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#10 jokin

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:39 AM

 

Should have brought up Gordon by now...

 

In this past frustrating week, I'm getting closer to your position.

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#11 yarnivek1972

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:46 AM

Well said. That "unwritten rules' nonsense by the Twins really was off-putting (encouraged my rant, to be sure). You don't like losing, do something about it.

Buxton's situation is a rerun we've seen before. Take him out of his misery and down to AAA ASAP to get him back on kilter before his career goes up in flames. Bad decision not to get him extensive rehab ABs.


Buxton is beyond AAA. He either has to sink or swim at the MLB level. It’s all on him and whether or not he is actually good enough to consistently hit MLB pitching.
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#12 jokin

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:03 AM

 

Buxton is beyond AAA. He either has to sink or swim at the MLB level. It’s all on him and whether or not he is actually good enough to consistently hit MLB pitching.

 

I agree that he's beyond AAA. But his presence in the lineup is killing the Twins, as witnessed last night. He looked completely overmatched by a junkballer. Sending him to AAA to "rehab" is one solution that has worked previously. 

 

Whatever good habits he had last August and September have simply vanished. 

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#13 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:23 AM

The details surrounding Mauer’s exit and the time it took to relay the news of what actually happened are strange. Joe was out in the on-deck circle in the fifth inning when Paul Molitor emerged from the dugout. Suddenly Mauer was gone and Logan Morrison was stepping up to the plate.

Is this true?

Update on Mauer from the Athletic:

Joe Mauer exited Friday’s game with a stiff neck, the result of a diving attempt at a foul ball last weekend in Anaheim. Mauer is listed as day-to-day but sounds iffy to play in Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers and could potentially miss Sunday, too.

...

“I landed pretty hard and had some whiplash,” Mauer said. “Just been coming in and getting treatment and trying to get out there every day, but (Friday) I got out there and it started to stiffen up and get a little worse. I talked to the trainers and coaches and they thought it was best if I got out of there before it got any worse.”

“I’d like to be in the lineup (Saturday), to be honest. It might take a day or two. Nothing more than that. I just think I need to let it calm down.”

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 19 May 2018 - 06:44 AM.

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#14 mikelink45

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:27 AM

 

I just don't get it. The Twins' in the dugout were upset at Cain for trying to score (and he almost did) with his team up, 6-0. Just playing baseball. He is supposed to try to score. Should they be upset at Kepler for hitting a home run? Shouldn't he just give up by then, if Cain shouldn't try to score? I don't get it. This is baseball, not the NBA, where even in the playoffs, teams just basically quit if they get behind, and don't even try to win that game. I hope the players always do the best they can, no matter what the score. 

 

Buxton is even getting pinch hit for..... by Grossman! It is a sad state of affairs. 

I like your comment.Maybe if the Twins spent less time getting upset with the other team and how they play, they could concentrate on their own playing and perhaps start moving into a streak of winning.Play every pitch - the game is over after 9 innings.Their clubhouse leaders should speak up, but they were part of it.

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#15 mikelink45

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:34 AM

I am still questioning the FO.We cannot just look at the team, we have to look at the actions of this FO.Where are the tweaks, how long do they hold back prospects, how much do we look at the waiver wires instead of the minors?When do they cut their losses (and the Pohlads money) and get rid of high buck failures?  

 

We cannot afford to have 33 - 44% of the lineup nearly automatic outs.  

 

This is still a good team, but it needs an infusion - and I do not want to hear about June and super twos or any other future status.Get the team going!

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#16 bighat

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:51 AM

 

 


 

 

Buxton is even getting pinch hit for..... by Grossman! It is a sad state of affairs. 

 

It didn't happen last night, but yeah - that's a bad sign. Against the LAA the Twins PH for Buxton in the 8th inning of a close game, meaning his defense wasn't in there in the 9th to protect a small lead.

 

People talk about how many runs Buxton saves on defense. But at this point, if he doesn't make a run-saving catch on defense then the Twins essentially are giving that run back because he'll go 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts with men on base like he did last night. And if he's getting pinch-hit for, then his defense isn't worth much.

 

It's amazing how all the other guys with the "#1 prospect" label come right up and hit. Ronald Acuna of the Braves is 4 years younger than Buxton, he just got to The Show and he's already a threat in the batter's box. The Red Sox' Andrew Benintendi and the White Sox Yoan Moncada were last year's #1 and #2 prospects. They are hitting. Buxton's been up for 3 years now and still can't hit a curveball and when he's bad he's among the worst hitters in baseball.

 

I am sure Bux will turn it around at some point. Yes, I'm a huge Buxton fan and I wish only good things for him. But man this "have patience" mantra is wearing me down.

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#17 jokin

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:55 AM

 

Is this true?

Update on Mauer from the Athletic:

Joe Mauer exited Friday’s game with a stiff neck, the result of a diving attempt at a foul ball last weekend in Anaheim. Mauer is listed as day-to-day but sounds iffy to play in Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers and could potentially miss Sunday, too.

...

“I landed pretty hard and had some whiplash,” Mauer said. “Just been coming in and getting treatment and trying to get out there every day, but (Friday) I got out there and it started to stiffen up and get a little worse. I talked to the trainers and coaches and they thought it was best if I got out of there before it got any worse.”

“I’d like to be in the lineup (Saturday), to be honest. It might take a day or two. Nothing more than that. I just think I need to let it calm down.”

 

You just can't make it up any better (worse) than this.

 

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."


#18 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 07:14 AM

You just can't make it up any better (worse) than this.

Sounds legit, just unfortunate it couldn't have healed up over the two off days he just had. Deciding it's too bad to play with, while in the on deck circle, is a nice twist.

I have no idea which way this team is going to go this year.

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 19 May 2018 - 07:15 AM.

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#19 yarnivek1972

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 07:42 AM

I agree that he's beyond AAA. But his presence in the lineup is killing the Twins, as witnessed last night. He looked completely overmatched by a junkballer. Sending him to AAA to "rehab" is one solution that has worked previously.

Whatever good habits he had last August and September have simply vanished.


I think you (and others) need to stop acting like this is a team that can contend for a title. Sure, they can probably stay within spitting distance of the lead in the pathetic AL Central, but they are completely overmatched against the elite teams in the league.

Point being, sending Buxton down isn’t going to help the Twins win in 2018 and likely won’t help them beyond that. If he can’t figure it out with the MLB staff the Twins either need to get different MLB staff or cut bait with Byron Buxton.

#20 gil4

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 07:47 AM

 

Is this true?

Update on Mauer from the Athletic:

Joe Mauer exited Friday’s game with a stiff neck, the result of a diving attempt at a foul ball last weekend in Anaheim. Mauer is listed as day-to-day but sounds iffy to play in Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers and could potentially miss Sunday, too.

...

“I landed pretty hard and had some whiplash,” Mauer said. “Just been coming in and getting treatment and trying to get out there every day, but (Friday) I got out there and it started to stiffen up and get a little worse. I talked to the trainers and coaches and they thought it was best if I got out of there before it got any worse.”

“I’d like to be in the lineup (Saturday), to be honest. It might take a day or two. Nothing more than that. I just think I need to let it calm down.”

Sounds like bilateral neck soreness to me. (Someone had to say it.)

 

I love Mauer, but he gets the weirdest injuries.

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