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Article: Week in Review: Crisis of Leadership

brian dozier byron buxton miguel sano logan morrison
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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:38 PM

Last year, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton ranked first and second among Twins players in WAR. They were driving forces in the team's playoff push and, with a better supporting cast in place, expected to help propel another step forward for Minnesota in 2018.

Instead, they've become poster children for a disappointing club that cannot stop tripping over itself at every turn. The past week brought another maddening series of lapses and letdowns.

Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 5/14 through Sun, 5/20

***

Record Last Week: 2-4 (Overall: 19-23)

Run Differential Last Week: -4 (Overall: -21)

Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (2.5 GB)

Before we dive into the usual highlights, lowlights, storylines and minor-league updates, let's just get this out there: the Twins are in disarray, and it is the guys who are supposed to be leading that are in fact dragging them down.

Prior to the season, my bold and optimistic prediction was that Dozier and Buxton would both be Top 5 finishers in the American League MVP voting:



Call it homerish or pollyannaish if you please, but the take wasn't without solid founding. Dozier and Buxton were among the league's most impactful players in the latter portion of 2017, each earning down-ballot MVP votes.

This year, circumstances favored big seasons for both: Dozier in a walk year staring down free agency; Buxton with 1,000 MLB plate appearances in the bank, appearing to have legitimately turned a corner with his approach.

Instead, both players have fallen back into their most frustrating patterns at the plate – Dozier skidding through lengthy stretches of unproductivity with an exploitable swing, Buxton resembling an overwhelmed A-baller trying to fend off peak Pedro Martinez in pretty much every AB.

Over the past week, the two combined to go 3-for-37 with 13 strikeouts. Dozier is batting .175 in 26 games since the start of the Yankees series. Buxton's OPS is teetering around .400.

Meanwhile, other top contributors from 2017 who were hoped to be integral cogs in a contending effort – Miguel Sano, Ervin Santana, Jorge Polanco – have been either mostly or entirely absent. And now another is sidelined with Joe Mauer hitting the disabled list this week following an ominous return of concussion symptoms.

Granted, you can't plan for all the injuries and attrition; I'm sure no one foresaw the Twins with Jake Cave, Ehire Adrianza and Bobby Wilson comprising one-third of their lineup for an important Saturday night game in mid-May. But times like this are when you need your leaders to step up. Right now Dozier and Buxton keep falling down.

Since moving to 8-5 with an extra-inning victory over Cleveland in Puerto Rico, the Twins have gone 11-18 over the past calendar month. They've been outscored by 31 runs. That's an extended run of performance suggesting this team just isn't very good, which is distressing at a time of such ripe opportunity.

More than a dozen clubs are actively trying to tank. The Twins conversely have pushed their payroll past historical thresholds in an effort to contend, and they're coming up empty, being outpaced by acknowledged non-factors.

The good news is there's a lot of season left. The ripeness of this opportunity won't go away too soon. Cleveland has yet to take off, and Minnesota still has plenty of games remaining against the division's dregs to help fuel a rapid climb.

But before we can even re-enter discussions about their merits as a contender, the Twins actually must first prove they're a quality team. Right now it's very much in question, and urgency is building if they're to prove these aren't their true colors.

It's time for the leaders to stop lagging and start leading.

HIGHLIGHTS

Because he endured such a prolonged slump to open the campaign, it's going to be a while before Logan Morrison's overall numbers broadcast on the Target Field scoreboard look any good. But over the past month he has quietly transformed into the powerful offensive infusion we all hoped he would be.

Morrison's low point came in April's 16-inning marathon against the Indians, when he went 0-for-7 to drop his average to .068, his OPS to .271. The next game, in Tampa, brought the slugger's first home run as a Twin, and that sparked a healthy uptick. Since going hitless in Puerto Rico, Morrison is slashing .281/.385/.517 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 27 games. Over the last week he went 6-for-17 and delivered key hits in both victories, a rare bright spot for this sputtering offense.

(Of course, as things are going, even Morrison couldn't escape the infectious jinx plaguing the team; he was picked off at second after a leadoff double on Saturday night, an absolutely critical error.)

Now that he's playing up to his ability, we can appreciate the 30-year-old's addition for the majorly impactful move it was by the front office. With Dozier dragging along, Sano absent, and now Mauer gone, Morrison's bat has been life-saving for the lineup.

This is especially true when you consider Kennys Vargas, who'd have been counted on for the same role if not for LoMo's spring training sign-on, is batting .213 at Triple-A.

LOWLIGHTS

While Morrison has come around, another late-offseason free agent addition continues to flounder.

What is the freaking deal with Lance Lynn?? After a horrendous month of April the veteran righty appeared to be finally getting on track with his first start of May, picking up his first win on six innings of two-run ball against the White Sox. Most notably, he issued zero walks and threw 73% strikes.

But Lynn regressed in his next start, and further unraveled in his latest effort, lasting only three innings against St. Louis on Wednesday while issuing four walks and throwing only 46 of his egregious 82 pitches in the zone.

There's a school of thought suggesting the starter's struggles can be attributed to his late start in spring training, and I was sympathetic to that notion for a time, but at this point it's out the window. We're now seven weeks into the season and Lynn has made eight starts. Plus, he came out of the gates firing in his first Grapefruit start, making it clear he was taking care of things on his end while waiting to sign a contract.

It's possible, maybe even probable, that being thrown out of his routine contributed to Lynn stumbling out of the gates this year. But this no longer qualifies as a viable excuse. With each successive inexplicably erratic dud, it's becoming easier to see why he was forced to settle for a one-year contract in mid-March, despite his impressive career numbers.

At least to some extent, the league saw this coming.

Another thing that wasn't too hard to see coming: Jason Castro's absence, like those of so many Twins players to go down with injuries this season, extending beyond than the team's initial timeline. In this case, however, the news is especially bad: upon going under the knife last week, it was determined that Castro needed more extensive surgery than anticipated, and he'll miss the rest of the season.

This is a bigger loss for the pitching staff than the lineup, but it's a painful one on that front. Castro brought excellent framing skills along with a good arm, and had developed trust and rapport with the staff. Now, the Twins are forced to rely on still-unproven Mitch Garver and 35-year-old minor-league journeyman Bobby Wilson. Not a situation that inspires a lot of confidence.

TRENDING STORYLINE

It seems the best hope for the Twins right now is Sano returning to provide a serious jolt that electrifies this sleepwalking lineup. He's on the rehab trail, having played at Rochester on Saturday and Sunday. In those games, Sano went a combined 0-for-4 with three walks and two strikeouts. He committed an error on one of his three chances in the field.

Rust is understandably a factor, particularly since Sano wasn't looking very sharp before the injury. But as long as that hamstring is sound, the Twins need to get him back in the fold ASAP to try and ignite something, anything, for the offense.

It sounds like the plan is to take it slow with Sano, who will be in Triple-A at least through Wednesday. Ideally he'll show promising signs in LeHigh Valley early this week, then join the Twins in Seattle next weekend when they kick off a six-game road trip.

Meanwhile, Trevor May is almost back. The righty stretched out to 58 pitches in a solid four-inning start at Rochester on Thursday. He'll likely work up to ~80 pitches this week and should basically be ready to start in the majors on May 28th, when he's eligible to come off the disabled list. Incidentally, that date (next Monday) coincides exactly with Lynn's turn in the rotation.

DOWN ON THE FARM

Things are happening in Cedar Rapids. While the most imminent wave of high-caliber young talent is either in the majors (Fernando Romero) or soon to arrive (Stephen Gonsalves, Nick Gordon), the slightly more distant group terrorizing the Midwest League should have Twins fans licking their chops.

Right-hander Brusdar Graterol is the most exciting pitcher in the system right now and one of the most exciting in baseball. He dazzled everyone in attendance last Monday with 5 2/3 innings of shutout, two-hit ball. Unleashing numerous 100-MPH heaters, he racked up 10 strikeouts on 21 batters faced.

In Twins Daily's profile on Graterol when we ranked him as the organization's No. 9 prospect before the season, Tom Froemming laid it out like this: "Graterol is one of the highest ceiling/lowest floor prospects in all of baseball, let alone the Twins’ system. He definitely has true ace potential, already possessing two plus pitches."

We're seeing the ceiling early on from the 19-year-old flamethrower, and it is towering. We saw the floor a little bit in his fourth start on Sunday, when Graterol issued five walks in five innings, but nonetheless he has a 0.93 ERA and 27-to-6 K/BB ratio through 19 1/3 frames.

On the same day of Graterol's 10-K masterpiece, Alex Kirilloff was firing up another big week at the plate with a two-hit game. He went on to collect 13 hits in 30 at-bats, and on the season he's batting .324 with seven home runs and a system-leading 34 RBI. Much like Graterol, Kirilloff is finding his stride quickly after losing major time to injury, quickly reaffirming his status as one of the farm's elite talents.

LOOKING AHEAD

We'll get our first look at Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers to start the week, then it's off to Seattle for late-night West Coast baseball on Memorial Day Weekend. Afterward, the Twins will head to Kansas City for three games before returning home to face Cleveland four times. That has the potential to be a pivotal mid-season series. Will the Twins be within striking distance by the time it arrives? Not if they keep playing the way they have.

MONDAY, 5/21: TIGERS @ TWINS – LHP Blaine Hardy v. RHP Jose Berrios
TUESDAY, 5/22: TIGERS @ TWINS – LHP Matthew Boyd v. RHP Lance Lynn
WEDNESDAY, 5/23: TIGERS @ TWINS – RHP Michael Fulmer v. RHP Kyle Gibson
FRIDAY, 5/25: TWINS @ MARINERS – RHP Fernando Romero v. LHP James Paxton
SATURDAY, 5/26: TWINS @ MARINERS – RHP Jake Odorizzi v. LHP Wade LeBlanc
SUNDAY, 5/27: TWINS @ MARINERS – RHP Jose Berrios v. RHP Mike Leake

Catch Up On Twins Daily Game RecapsMore on Twins Daily


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#2 mikelink45

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:49 PM

Somehow despite this well written essay, I am not feeling positive.We still have Lynn in the rotation, we still have Adrianza, Grossman, Cave, and, despite your optimism, Morrison in the lineup.Buxton is still wondering how far it is to 200 and Dozier's veteran leadership is still in the box waiting to be opened.  

 

Can you imagine a championship team with Escobar at clean up?He has done well, but still - clean up!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

​Castro is down, but what was he doing before that?  

 

Please - Gordon and Gonsalves, just because we need something to hope for.

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#3 Mike Sixel

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:55 PM

Which thirteen teams are actively tanking?

Gordon isn't arriving soon, at least there is no evidence of that. Polanco will be back, why would they call up Gordon this year, after waiting all this time? Then, they will keep him down for service time reasons to start next year, I'd guess.

This team's fortunes ride on Sano and Buxton being stars. They don't have any hitting stars, other than maybe Dozier, even around the majors. Until those two produce, I don't think they have much chance to be a good team. Mediocre? Sure. Good? Not without those two producing, imo
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There's always next year, or the next, or maybe by the time I'm Chief's age, I guess....


#4 rv78

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:01 PM

While the pitching has been shaky at times it has been the hitting that has been the most disappointing. Are we to believe the lineup is just in a funk or was the end of the 2017 season just a fluke? Injuries and cold weather aside this lineup has been anything but productive. Kepler has been solid. Morrison might finally be coming around. Rosario and Escobar can only carry a team for so long. Mauer is NOT a run producer. He can get on base but rarely drives in runs. Dozier can carry a team when he's hot, but when he's not, he stinks. Sano can't stay in the lineup, period. Buxton still looks overmatched. I've seen enough of Grossman, Adrianza and whoever is catching that I wish they'd all just go away. So far this season they are 11-6 when they score 5 or more runs and 8-17 when they score 4 or less. Pretty obvious they need to crank up the bats.

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#5 Kelly Vance

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:41 PM


#6 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:01 PM

Don't worry about predicting Buxton would be in the MVP conversation. He'll figure it out. 

 

The foul ball off his toe set him back; he should have traveled with the team during his migraines or met up with the team in New York instead of going on that rehab, and I said as much at the time. It would be nice if Buxton was superhuman, unfortunately he's just human. 

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#7 Kelly Vance

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:03 PM

Last year, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton ranked first and second among Twins players in WAR. They were driving forces in the team's playoff push and, with a better supporting cast in place, expected to help propel another step forward for Minnesota in 2018.

Instead, they've become posterchildren for a disappointing club that cannot stop tripping over itself at every turn.

 

--------

Nick, that is an undeserved cheap shot. 

 

Dozier is a team leader, Buck has been hurt. And as for leadership... Nobody wrote about a crisis when the team won 7 of 8. As for leadership, the "Leader" won manager of the year just a few months ago. And nobody can say Dozier or Buck is playing lazy. So pullleeeze. This is the reason some of us get surly when we read gloom and doom pieces. Doze and Buck are playing hard and unless you got a story about them being paycheck players alluvasudden, don't say they ain't leaders. You aren't there. You don't really know. You think you do, but you don't know.  

 

 Twins will be fine. .500 is well achievable before the All Star break and they can get hot like anybody else. Lighten up Francis. 

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#8 Craig Arko

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:06 PM

You know, it’s okay to be wrong.
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#9 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:16 PM

It's ok to be pollyannaish as long as you're also willing to eat the crow later.I'm not sure you need to yet, but there is no question that Buxton's continued inability to build his profile as a hitter is very alarming.

 

And injuries are not an excuse - they're part of the problem.  

 

I'm not writing them off yet, this team is capable of playing better baseball.But the big dogs have to start barking or it won't matter and Nick is spot-on about that.

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#10 DocBauer

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:30 PM

A well thought out and well written article Nick, but personally, I feel a bit pessimistic. Yes, the Twins are only 19-23 and absolutely missing opportunities and performing inconsistently at times, I'll be the dead horse beater yet again, but I predicted they'd be around .500 the first couple of months before taking off and playing much better ball. My theory was based on 2 factors:

1] Still so many key players 26yo and younger. All players will be hot and cold at times. And I'm not making excuses, but to be real, most of those guys have 2- 2 1/2 full season's or less of ML service time. 2] Rosters take time to gel, in any sport. Even veterans sometimes need to adjust to new cities, coaches, teammates, usage, etc.

We all know the weird spring weather affected a great many teams. So no excuse there, right? Sorry, but not so sure. Not only did the Twins play in awful conditions for the first few weeks of the season, but it was so bad they couldn't even get in fielding drill workouts or batting practice. Puerto Rico was fun and very cool, but also a weird blip on the travel schedule.

What frustrates me is the games lost due to mistakes and missed opportunities! Bad weather, bad plays, bad hops, etc, this team is so close to being .500 right now.

What encourages me is a 10-8 record in May after that disastrous stretch to end April. And even in the losses, most of them, the games have been close.

A few direct responses:

Buxton: Anyone who wants to give up on him or write him off is foolish. Slow start followed by injury with no rehab. Just give this supremely talented 23yo some time.

Sano: Yes, for health sake, he should WANT to be in better overall shape. Man do I hope he gets it! But don't tell me his recovery and unfortunate off the field distractions didn't affect him at least somewhat. Biggest problem is between his ears. He doesn't need to crush a 450' HR every time when 415' will suffice. And sometimes a BB or good solid hit will be just fine.

Morisson: Good signing. He IS hitting much, much better.

Dozier: We've seen the slow starts before, and he makes adjustments and kills it. Should we be shocked? Loved him hitting behind Mauer, but now that's an issue.

Lynn: Come on, this was a good and smart signing. No excuses at this point, agreed, he's just not performing. It's like he doesn't trust himself and is nibbling. Time to dump Hughes...is there really any debate at this point?...move Lynn to the pen and bring up Slegers, Gonsalves, or May if he's ready before Santana. There ARE options here!

My own FO take:

I like the FO and most everything they've done, even if all moves haven't worked out. But there were 4 things I felt were an obvious MUST before the season began. They needed a middle INF for Rochester, at least, for depth to protect against Adrianza regression and to not rush Gordon. (This before the Polanco suspension but became heightened after.) They also needed the very best AAAA 3B they could find to protect Sano's recovery, and help free up Escobar. They needed a solid RH corner OF to challenge/compete with Grossman. (Didn't have to play CF with Rosario, Kepler and Granite around). And they needed a 3rd catcher who could play a bit once they parted ways with Giminez.

Wilson was an OK signing, but that was it. Inexcusable! We are hurting at SS and 4th OF right now. Maybe Cave can help. Still don't understand the use of LaMarre. Whoever and whatever he is, he was hitting and is still hitting at Rochester.

You can't tell me Slegers and Gonsalves would perform any worse then Lynn at this point in the rotation. At least until Santana or May are ready. Hughes brings nothing! I still dont know who Magill is, but in SSS he's at least performed. But if he's worth a roster spot, then USE HIM instead of overworking the guys you have! And if not, then rotate the young bullpen arms at Rochester until you see what sticks. Didn't we do that last season?

Off my soapbox. Sorry I got so long winded.
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#11 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:42 PM

It's ok to be pollyannaish as long as you're also willing to eat the crow later.I'm not sure you need to yet, but there is no question that Buxton's continued inability to build his profile as a hitter is very alarming.

What's wrong with just recognizing he's a slow starter?

#12 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:43 PM

I've been happy with the pitching. 

 

Some like to focus on Lynn but I like focusing on Romero, Odorizzi, Berrios and Gibson and I've been happy with those 4. 

 

The Bullpen has been decent so I've been happy with the pitching. 

 

Defense, baserunning and hitting is another story. It's looking like we are going to need better health and performance from the healthy. 

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#13 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:59 PM

 

Dozier is a team leader, Buck has been hurt. And as for leadership... Nobody wrote about a crisis when the team won 7 of 8. As for leadership, the "Leader" won manager of the year just a few months ago. And nobody can say Dozier or Buck is playing lazy. So pullleeeze. This is the reason some of us get surly when we read gloom and doom pieces. Doze and Buck are playing hard and unless you got a story about them being paycheck players alluvasudden, don't say they ain't leaders. You aren't there. You don't really know. You think you do, but you don't know.  

No one accused anyone of laziness or not trying. The fact is that this team is dramatically underperforming and its two best players have been at the root of that for a month now. Am I supposed to not call it out? That is THE story with this team. Dozier and Buxton combined for 8.5 WAR last year and they currently combine for 0.0 WAR. 

 

I'm not claiming to know (or care) what's going on in the clubhouse and this article wasn't about that. They're not leading the team with their performance on the field, which is all I'm concerned with. Buxton's a mess and these endless regressions at the plate are getting hard to tolerate. Dozier's been turning in a .275 OBP at the top of the order for the past month and his signature power's gone amiss. 

 

This is a weekly recap column and the Twins had a bad week. Their two most important players are in terrible ruts. I'm not sure what you're looking for other than 'doom and gloom.' I think I made clear in the piece that there's still plenty of time to right the ship, no? 

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#14 David HK

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:02 PM

 

A well thought out and well written article Nick, but personally, I feel a bit pessimistic. Yes, the Twins are only 19-23 and absolutely missing opportunities and performing inconsistently at times, I'll be the dead horse beater yet again, but I predicted they'd be around .500 the first couple of months before taking off and playing much better ball. My theory was based on 2 factors:

1] Still so many key players 26yo and younger. All players will be hot and cold at times. And I'm not making excuses, but to be real, most of those guys have 2- 2 1/2 full season's or less of ML service time. 2] Rosters take time to gel, in any sport. Even veterans sometimes need to adjust to new cities, coaches, teammates, usage, etc.

We all know the weird spring weather affected a great many teams. So no excuse there, right? Sorry, but not so sure. Not only did the Twins play in awful conditions for the first few weeks of the season, but it was so bad they couldn't even get in fielding drill workouts or batting practice. Puerto Rico was fun and very cool, but also a weird blip on the travel schedule.

What frustrates me is the games lost due to mistakes and missed opportunities! Bad weather, bad plays, bad hops, etc, this team is so close to being .500 right now.

What encourages me is a 10-8 record in May after that disastrous stretch to end April. And even in the losses, most of them, the games have been close.

A few direct responses:

Buxton: Anyone who wants to give up on him or write him off is foolish. Slow start followed by injury with no rehab. Just give this supremely talented 23yo some time.

Sano: Yes, for health sake, he should WANT to be in better overall shape. Man do I hope he gets it! But don't tell me his recovery and unfortunate off the field distractions didn't affect him at least somewhat. Biggest problem is between his ears. He doesn't need to crush a 450' HR every time when 415' will suffice. And sometimes a BB or good solid hit will be just fine.

Morisson: Good signing. He IS hitting much, much better.

Dozier: We've seen the slow starts before, and he makes adjustments and kills it. Should we be shocked? Loved him hitting behind Mauer, but now that's an issue.

Lynn: Come on, this was a good and smart signing. No excuses at this point, agreed, he's just not performing. It's like he doesn't trust himself and is nibbling. Time to dump Hughes...is there really any debate at this point?...move Lynn to the pen and bring up Slegers, Gonsalves, or May if he's ready before Santana. There ARE options here!

My own FO take:

I like the FO and most everything they've done, even if all moves haven't worked out. But there were 4 things I felt were an obvious MUST before the season began. They needed a middle INF for Rochester, at least, for depth to protect against Adrianza regression and to not rush Gordon. (This before the Polanco suspension but became heightened after.) They also needed the very best AAAA 3B they could find to protect Sano's recovery, and help free up Escobar. They needed a solid RH corner OF to challenge/compete with Grossman. (Didn't have to play CF with Rosario, Kepler and Granite around). And they needed a 3rd catcher who could play a bit once they parted ways with Giminez.

Wilson was an OK signing, but that was it. Inexcusable! We are hurting at SS and 4th OF right now. Maybe Cave can help. Still don't understand the use of LaMarre. Whoever and whatever he is, he was hitting and is still hitting at Rochester.

You can't tell me Slegers and Gonsalves would perform any worse then Lynn at this point in the rotation. At least until Santana or May are ready. Hughes brings nothing! I still dont know who Magill is, but in SSS he's at least performed. But if he's worth a roster spot, then USE HIM instead of overworking the guys you have! And if not, then rotate the young bullpen arms at Rochester until you see what sticks. Didn't we do that last season?

Off my soapbox. Sorry I got so long winded.

I can ditto a lot of that, especially with the Mystery of LaMarre.Whyohwhyohwhyohwhy is Grossman still in the lineup nearly every day, and not producing?There have been multiple opportunities with LHP on the mound that LaMarre could have taken instead, but now he's back down in Roch, and Cave is up?  

Come on, I mean, just... come on, man!

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#15 Sconnie

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:08 PM

I've been happy with the pitching.

Some like to focus on Lynn but I like focusing on Romero, Odorizzi, Berrios and Gibson and I've been happy with those 4.

The Bullpen has been decent so I've been happy with the pitching.

Defense, baserunning and hitting is another story. It's looking like we are going to need better health and performance from the healthy.

you forgot the bullpen. Really shallow, and no one true ‘fireman’. Reed is close. All in all, the whole bullpen lets way too many inherited runners score.

#16 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:13 PM

 

you forgot the bullpen. Really shallow, and no one true ‘fireman’. Reed is close. All in all, the whole bullpen lets way too many inherited runners score.

 

It started rough but has been improving in my opinion. I have a reasonable amount of faith in all of the current members. 

 

This faith will probably be rollercoasteresque but my current thermometer reading is alright. 

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#17 D.C Twins

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:23 PM

The Washingon Nationals also have injuries....

 

But they chose to use it as an opportunity to bring up their young(er) talent (19 y/o)that was producing in AA (Hey Twinkies, sound familiar?)  

 

I'm not disappointed by that the Twins FO took a flyer on Lynn and the injuries are not their fault obviously.

 

They ARE responsible for how the react to problems, and that currently leaves A LOT to be desired. 

 

Let the young talent that will be part of the next championship push start getting reps (with all due respect to Grossman, Lynn, Petit, Adrianza, and Cave, they are definitely NOT part of that future push)

 

To Gordon, Wade (when healthy), and Gonslaves, welcome, we've been waiting. To Petit, Grossman, and Lynn, thank you for your service.

 

It's Time

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#18 DocBauer

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:26 PM

I've been happy with the pitching. 
 
Some like to focus on Lynn but I like focusing on Romero, Odorizzi, Berrios and Gibson and I've been happy with those 4. 
 
The Bullpen has been decent so I've been happy with the pitching. 
 
Defense, baserunning and hitting is another story. It's looking like we are going to need better health and performance from the healthy.


Agree with you 100%

Romero is looking like a phenom. Even in his first "poor" performance the other day he threw some good stuff. Shouldn't we expect a few bad days? Berrios will only be 24 in a couple of days. His stuff, ethic and mentality is terrific. How good can these two guys be when they actually figure stuff out? Odorizzi is flat out good, if not dominant at times. Despite a clunker the other day, there is no longer a SSS regarding Gibson. He has been a different pitcher since the second half of last season. A stud? Nope. But a really solid SP. Better late than never, right? Now....someone to replace Lynn. (Still a smart sign at the time). Where, or where can the Twins find a 5th SP between Slegers, Gonsalves, May or Santana?

I am encouraged and frustrated by the bullpen all at once. The weather has heated up, and so has Rodney. Surprise! Pressly has been, mostly, stellar. As has Reed. Hilgenberger has started to look like the guy we saw in 2017. Duke was Jekyl and Hyde but has started to round in to form. As has Rogers of late. But I'm still worried about over use due to Lynn and Hughes providing ZERO value. And if Magill is good enough to be here, then USE HIM. If not, rotate someone else up.

The offense, defense and base running all have to improve, absolutely! To my eye, the defense has been better the last week or so. But man, would I like to see Adrianza back in the bench right now.

Here's hoping June begins with no new injuries, Buxton getting a groove, (And he looked better today), and Sano back up doing what he does. A short DL for Mauer to put Grossman back on the bench, or other, would also be nice.
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"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#19 D.C Twins

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:33 PM

Also, I am VERY concerned that Mauer may have already played his last baseball game. 

 

When diving for a ground ball carries a risk of relapse (however small), he is likely going to take a (justified) long hard look at his future. 

 

Balance issues and sensitivity to light WAY more concerning than a refractory headaches and neck pain.

 

Very much hope that I'm overreacting

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#20 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:06 PM

"Minnesota still has plenty of games remaining against the division's dregs to help fuel a rapid climb."

 

If they're fighting for the last WC spot then sure, that's an advantage, but right now they're at the bottom of that group and honestly it's generous to even include them. IMO the division title is a long shot but if that's their only way into the postseason then the advantage of playing a poor divisional schedule is erased. 

 

I get that there's 3/4 of a season left to play, and I still think the WC is their best shot at getting in, but the hole they're digging is putting them in a position where they're forced to win the division. I'm not sure that the games left with KC, Det, and CHI are as much of a safety blanket as we thought they'd be. 

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