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Article: MIL 5, MIN 4: Jake Cave Homers in MLB Debut

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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 09:36 PM

With every new injury comes an opportunity for another player to emerge. Joe Mauer was placed on the DL, opening the door for outfielder Jake Cave to make his major league debut Saturday night. He hit a two-run home run, and fellow fill-in Bobby Wilson had a big two-run double, but the Twins fell to Milwaukee 5-4.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Download attachment: Snapshot519.png Download attachment: WinEx519.png
The Twins acquired Cave this offseason from the Yankees, where he figured to have very little opportunity to break in at the major league level. Well, taking a look at the Twins’ depth chart and considering the fact he’s a lefty, it didn’t appear there was going to be much of an avenue for him to contribute here, either.

Good thing for him baseball happens.

Mauer will take some time off to recover from a neck strain, meaning Logan Morrison will be manning first base and Robbie Grossman will get some work as the DH. That opened the door for another outfielder to enter the fold, and Zack Granite just recently returned from an injury of his own, creating the perfect storm for Cave to enter the picture.

Cave took advantage of his first opportunity, destroying a pitch for a round tripper. According to Matt Kelly of MLB.com/Statcast, Cave’s exit velocity of 111.4 mph is the second-highest of any Twins homer this year, trailing only Miguel Sano. Heck of a way to make an impression on your first hit.

Maybe this means people will know his name. FanGraphs had him listed as “A Cave” in their box score. Not sure if they thought the Twins were just going to literally put a cave in centerfield tonight, or what.
Download attachment: ACave.png
Anyway, as I noted earlier Bobby Wilson drove in the other two runs, meaning all the damage tonight came from a couple of guys who aren’t even really supposed to be here. That had to have felt good, considering Milwaukee’s first run of the game scored after Wilson committed a throwing error in the first inning.

Wilson spent all last year in Triple A and even considered retiring at the end of spring training. With Jason Castro out for the year, it sure is a good thing the Twins talked him into going to Rochester.

The Twins picked up only three more hits outside of those contributions from Cave and Wilson, one of which was a leadoff double from Morrison. Bad news: He ended up being picked off at second base.

The best way I could describe Minnesota’s performance tonight would be flat. The Brewers, on the other hand, played with energy and passion. Unfortunately, both teams’ fan bases also matched the energy of the teams they were rooting for. I’m sure there were more Twins fans in the crowd at Target Field, but it sure didn’t sound like it.

Fernando Romero had his worst start, plummeting his ERA to 1.66. Oh wait, that’s actually still really good. Romero gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits and two walks over five innings. He only managed to strike out two batters.

The bullpen basically had to be perfect. They were not, as Addison Reed gave up a go-ahead homer to Christian Yelich in the eighth inning.

Hindsight’s always 20/20, of course, but Ryan Pressly had only thrown eight pitches while recording the final two outs of the seventh. Can’t help but wonder what might have happened if he stayed out there, though you can’t fault Paul Molitor for going to Reed.

The Brewers’ bullpen basically had to be perfect … and they pretty much were. Dan Jennings (1.2 IP) Jeremy Jeffress (1.0 IP) and Josh Hader (2.1 IP) held the Twins scoreless for six innings and racked up nine strikeouts while only giving up a pair of hits.

Postgame With Molitor

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Download attachment: Bullpen519.png
Next Three Games
Sun vs. MIL, 1:10 pm CT
Mon vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT
Tue vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT

Last Three Games
MIL 8, MIN 3: Gibson Falters, Mauer Exits Due to Neck Injury
MIN 4, STL 1: Berrios is Back
STL 7, MIN 5: Lynn with a Dud Again

More From Twins Daily
Twins Minor League Report (5/19): Jaye with a Great Start, Jay with a Poor Finish
2018 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospect: 31-40
Buy Your "Picnic With The Saints" Tickets NOW
The Evolution of Jose Berrios

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#2 bluechipper

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 09:45 PM

All 4 runs produced by Jake Cave and Bobby Wilson. That is just sad. I hate this offense so much right now.

 

And when was the last time you saw someone actually get picked off at 2nd base?

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#3 rghrbek

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:51 PM

LoMo hitting slightly better and taking walks but continues not to do the little things, which is a big deal.

 

This is a bad lineup as currently constructed.  Winnable game yet again we are on the wrong end

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#4 bighat

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:36 AM

 

LoMo hitting slightly better and taking walks but continues not to do the little things, which is a big deal.

 

This is a bad lineup as currently constructed.  Winnable game yet again we are on the wrong end

 

Agreed. Not sure where or when this "Lomo is fine now" mantra started being pounded out on keyboards in Twins-land. He's not playing well at all, he's maybe playing slightly below average and all of a sudden we're supposed to be happy about it. Heckuva start for Cave.

 

Bad offense. Interesting that Cave replaces Buxton and in his first MLB game he hits the ball. Maybe Buxton needs this "oh crap" moment to spurn some productivity. At this point Escobar and Rosario have to continue to do the heavy lifting or the Twins will lose. Simple as that, really.

 

Life goes on. Still, life is better starting mornings with Twins chatter after a victory.


#5 mikelink45

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:49 AM

With Mauer out Dozier is back in lead off and the veteran leader on the club.Do we have to wait until the second half for his good bat to appear again?Morrison and Grossman continue to play okay ball which means they are fine on a bad team, but not good for a good team.Adrianza continues to prove he is a bench player while some guy named Gordon languishes in the minors. Hurray for Escobar, Kepler, Rosario.And now Cave is our new LaMarre.  

 

If Buxton was hitting, if Sano was slugging, and Polanco was back it would change the dynamics, but all teams lose players and find a way.Will our FO start finding a way?

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#6 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:53 AM

We have been hanging on the Buxton "will he ever hit?" meme for years, and sadly, there may never be an answer to that.

 

Without Cleveland's mediocrity, the Twins awfulness would be so much clearer.

 

They have some pieces, to be sure, but they are scattered like a broken urn and not even Humpty Dumpty can put them together at this point.

 

 

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#7 mikelink45

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:06 AM

More Twins news from yesterday:

Anyone catch the Aaron Hicks inside the park HR, his second of the year? Or Daniel Palka's triple? Or J. T. Chargois' 4th Hold?Finally some Twins to cheer for.  

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#8 Doctor Wu

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:54 AM

 

More Twins news from yesterday:

Anyone catch the Aaron Hicks inside the park HR, his second of the year? Or Daniel Palka's triple? Or J. T. Chargois' 4th Hold?Finally some Twins to cheer for.  

I saw the video of the Palka triple, but I missed the other ones. And did you see Pedro Florimon's home run for the Phillies? Two in one week for him!


#9 Doctor Wu

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:55 AM

Was there a reason that Buxton didn't start yesterday, other than the fact that he can't buy a hit this month?


#10 Tommygun921

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:01 AM

Makes almost no sense that they called up Cave. He's another left handed hitting outfielder and Lamarre has done nothing but hit since he became part of the Twins organization. Buxton has done nothing but play defense and Lamarre has done both. The past about it all is based off of that Buxton SHOULD be doing this... And Lamarre SHOULDN'T be doing this. But they both are or aren't.
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#11 TwinsCD

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:24 AM

I'm not the biggest fan of Pressly but if it takes him 8 pitches to get 2 outs and out of an inning, why not trot him back out for the beginning of the next one?You know what kind of effectiveness he has, you don't know what someone new may or may not have.Add that to the fact that the fastest runner is on 1st as the tying run with 0 out and NOTHING is done to attempt an advance (steal, bunt), I wonder just what goes through Molitor's head in clutch situations.  

 

This franchise is cursed by mediocrity over the last 6-7 years and it continues to appear that last year was just an aberration.40+ games in and I can't imagine boat anchors like Lynn, Reed, and Duke turning their ships 180 degrees to the positive.  


#12 USAFChief

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:41 AM

Agreed. Not sure where or when this "Lomo is fine now" mantra started being pounded out on keyboards in Twins-land. He's not playing well at all, he's maybe playing slightly below average and all of a sudden we're supposed to be happy about it. Heckuva start for Cave.
 
Bad offense. Interesting that Cave replaces Buxton and in his first MLB game he hits the ball. Maybe Buxton needs this "oh crap" moment to spurn some productivity. At this point Escobar and Rosario have to continue to do the heavy lifting or the Twins will lose. Simple as that, really.
 
Life goes on. Still, life is better starting mornings with Twins chatter after a victory.


Over the last 28 days, Morrison has hit .282/.385/.513. An .897 OPS.

It’s higher over the last 14 days, and even higher over the last 7.

Logan Morrison is not a problem. He got off to a terrible start. And the pickoff last night was bad. But he is not one of the problems with this team.
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#13 spycake

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:46 AM

Makes almost no sense that they called up Cave. He's another left handed hitting outfielder and Lamarre has done nothing but hit since he became part of the Twins organization. Buxton has done nothing but play defense and Lamarre has done both. The past about it all is based off of that Buxton SHOULD be doing this... And Lamarre SHOULDN'T be doing this. But they both are or aren't.


Cave's bat has been heating up at AAA too. And he's 4 years younger than LaMarre, and has all of his option years remaining. I think they want to get a closer look at him before any roster crunches arise.
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#14 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:46 AM

 

Was there a reason that Buxton didn't start yesterday, other than the fact that he can't buy a hit this month?

 

I think that was the reason. 

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#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:01 AM

 

I get that it was a mistake for Morrison to get picked off, but that happens. It happens from time to time. Also, "we" knew what we were getting with Morrison. His value is based on offense. Not defense. Not running. Hitting. 

 

I think it's fair to say that he's been pretty good the last 20 games with the bat. 

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#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:03 AM

 

Was there a reason that Buxton didn't start yesterday, other than the fact that he can't buy a hit this month?

 

I think that's a pretty solid reason alone... but I also think it makes sense to get the new guy in right away rather than have him sit, especially with how well Cave had been hitting in Rochester.

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#17 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:16 AM

 

 

I get that it was a mistake for Morrison to get picked off, but that happens. It happens from time to time. Also, "we" knew what we were getting with Morrison. His value is based on offense. Not defense. Not running. Hitting. 

 

I think it's fair to say that he's been pretty good the last 20 games with the bat. 

 

He's been alright... He's been better. 

 

I'm hoping the next club added to his bag is better situational hitting. 

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#18 Shaitan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:30 AM

 

I'm not the biggest fan of Pressly but if it takes him 8 pitches to get 2 outs and out of an inning, why not trot him back out for the beginning of the next one?You know what kind of effectiveness he has, you don't know what someone new may or may not have.Add that to the fact that the fastest runner is on 1st as the tying run with 0 out and NOTHING is done to attempt an advance (steal, bunt), I wonder just what goes through Molitor's head in clutch situations.  

 

I'm usually baffled by Molitor's bullpen use, but in my non-scientific observation, Pressly is far more effective as a one-and-done pitcher. When he pitches multiple innings it seems like he falls apart.

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#19 Shaitan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:32 AM

7 RBI for Wilson seems pretty solid, considering he hits 90th and has like 50 AB. He's not a good hitter, but does this mean he's doing okay with RISP?


#20 Eris

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:36 AM

 

I saw the video of the Palka triple, but I missed the other ones. And did you see Pedro Florimon's home run for the Phillies? Two in one week for him!

 

More Twins news from yesterday:

Anyone catch the Aaron Hicks inside the park HR, his second of the year? Or Daniel Palka's triple? Or J. T. Chargois' 4th Hold?Finally some Twins to cheer for.  

 

 

If we are going to mention our favorites we should be more complete in our assessments.

Ave/OPS 

Hicks 0.240/0.757

 

Palka 0.271/0.837Palka is one of the worst defensive outfielders in MLB. He would be mostly a DH

 

JR Murphy 0.250/0.794He had a HR yesterday.While the Twins could use him now.His stats are similar to Mitch Garver (Garver is better defensively) while JR Murphy provides worse defense than Kurt Suzuki.Murphy's ISO is 0.268 so he is developing some power.




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