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Article: Don't Give Up On These Twins Quite Yet

byron buxton joe mauer jorge polanco
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#41 LeatherAntenna


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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:18 PM

I guess this is kind of the point I'm driving at though. On June 11th, 2006, when they were 28-34, was anyone looking at those Twins as a 96-win team? 
Right now this team isn't clicking. If that changes, I don't see them as being all that comparatively inferior. 
No, they don't have a star catcher. But they have a second baseman in Dozier whose impact over the last two years (according to WAR) has been on par with that version of Mauer.
They don't have an MVP first baseman but they have a potentially top-tier slugger in Sano.
They have a Gold Glove CF who hit last year. 
They don't have Johan or Liriano but Berrios and Romero are nothing to scoff at (nor Gibson) and this rotation is easily deeper than the '06 one.
If a majority of these guys start playing up to their ability or close, I don't think it's ridiculous to say this can/should be a team capable of 95 wins.

agreed on Dozier. The last two years his production has been vastly superior to 06 Mauer. And I am not taking away from Mauer’s 2006 last game performance in winning the batting title-he did that well. Potentially top tier slugger in Sano? He appears washed up as a top tier slugger to me. Hope I am wrong about him, I will be happy if I am. Buxton is an X factor. If he is healthy and hitting like at the end of last year, then the dream season could happen again.

#42 frightwig



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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:46 PM


They don't have Johan or Liriano but Berrios and Romero are nothing to scoff at (nor Gibson) and this rotation is easily deeper than the '06 one.


About the pitching: it's been fine, better than what we're used to seeing for quite a long time, yes, but over the past month the Twins staff still rates just 8th-AL in ERA, 7th in FIP, and tied for 5th in xFIP. On the season, the staff is in the middle of the league--the rotation is 8th-AL in FIP, the bullpen is 13th (albeit 9th in ERA and xFIP).


Trailing teams that they're trying to chase down, mostly.


On an individual level, some possible red flags:


In his last 5 starts, Romero has a 6.20 ERA, 1.46 WHIP with a modest 6.9 K/9.


In his last 5 starts before today, Odorizzi has a 4.91 ERA, 4.47 FIP with a 77% flyball rate and 1.75 HR/9. On the season, he's been skating on a favorable BABIP and high LOB%, but lately those have regressed. As he gets into the summer weather, all of those flyballs sailing through the hot air could get ugly.


In his last 5 starts, Gibson has a 3.48 ERA, but a 4.78 FIP with a 1.74 HR/9 and 24% HR/FB. Being a groundball pitcher should help him control the longball damage to some extent, but those HR rates are something to watch as he goes through the summer, too.


In his last 5 starts, Lynn has improved his line, but thanks a lot to a high LOB%. He's been pitching around trouble, caused largely by his ongoing control problems; he still has a 4.88 BB/9 in the last month. And even if he continues to improve, if the Twins don't tear off a hot streak over the next few weeks, Lynn should be one of the first guys traded in July.


Meanwhile, two of the mainstays of the bullpen, Pressly and Reed, seem to be wearing down lately.


It's a decent pitching staff, possibly an average pitching staff if those red flags don't actually spell much trouble down the stretch. Is that good enough to drive them to a 62-38 record or better over the final 100 games? Unless the hitters suddenly challenge the Yankees for best offense in the league, probably not.



#43 LeatherAntenna


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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:49 PM

After almost 10 years of mediocre to bad baseball its difficult to get ecited about what might happen. They had a good month last year and a good one in 2016. Anything other than that is hard to remember. Yep they may trade some people next month or get some guys off the injured list or pigs may fly, but I've seen too much of this kind of baseball. Judging by the crowd sizes at the games so have alot of other people.

. It’s not been 10 years. More like 7 and 1/2 years but I agree with you that it has been too long not playing consistent playoff achieving baseball. Especially with the potentially best outfield the Twins have ever had if Buxton can appear again. Something is amiss within this organization. If the Twins don’t finish strong this year and that does look doubtful then singing players to contract extensions, if that is an organization desire, might get harder with this outfield seeing a more appealing move to a free agency market where the player can sign with a winning team becoming a factor.

#44 Kelly Vance

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 08:57 PM

Those who think of themselves as ex-players and coaches, be it baseball or softball, look at baseball as a pennant race the same as others who didn't play. But they know that you just have to stay positive. The season doesn't go away just because you hit a bad patch and lost a few games.  In the Twins case way too many 1 run games. But that is what you kinda expect with a young team. Still, I am glad to see articles looking at the positive side.  


Six games below .500 in mid June is nothing.



#45 RatherBeGolfing


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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:26 AM


Yeah, it is still June. 


Both New York and Boston are going to win 100 games or close to it. Second place in the west essentially has to play only 500 ball the rest of the way to get the second wild card spot. I mean, yes it's still June but the wild card race for the Twins is over. It's the central or nothing.

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#46 beckmt


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Posted 13 June 2018 - 11:24 AM

You have to be realistic.With the large number of sellers, the buyers should be able to pay less than market value for assets.The better teams are only going to get better at the trade deadline.My issue is how the sellers will opperate.If sellers sell controlable assets to maximize the return, some of these teams are in a position to get very scary good for the next five years. (Yankees and Houston come to mind with great farm systems to buy the assets and there may be more teams in that group).Twins will have to make a realistic assessment of assets and may have to both buy and sell to position themselves for the future.Good luck to the FO for planning that mission.

Failure means that the Twins could be looking at 2 - 3 superteams when our window is open.That is a big task.

#47 ewen21


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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:03 PM

Nick, as always, excellent work.THere is one thing, however, that I have comment on with regards to this offense.This article didn't say go there, but other articles recently have with regard to the negative affect the Buxton and Mauer injuries have had on the lineup.


Thus far this year these two players have given the Twins 228 at bats and have produced a COMBINED 12 extra base hits.Buxton has given us at .158 average and an OPS of .383.When these guys come back Joe is going to need to do more than just walk, hits singles and bat around .280 and Buxton is going to need to hit the reset button back to zero, pretend this is a new start, and get his act straightened out.Talk about his speed and defense all day long, but if he can't .200 in his first 15 or 20 games back I am done waiting. A demotion has to be in order.There needs to be accountability on the Twins end

#48 LeatherAntenna


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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:29 PM

Well another disappointing loss and with this thread the Twins are that much farther away from a 2006 mirror season since in that year the Twins at this same time were starting a long winning streak as opposed to tonight’s continuing loss tendencies. Reed actually looked good tonight but he is still got spanked and his night pretty much sums up this season.

#49 spycake


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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:45 PM

I absolutely think we could repeat 2006. The 2018 Twins can catch the 2018 Tigers on the last day of the season!
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#50 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:03 PM

Yep, I don't think it's going to happen. When one thing goes right, the other fails each game. That's the sign of an incosistent, marginal team. If they can finish the season at .500, I guess that would be good. That said, I thought this year would be a step forward. Instead, it's been a step back and now we are worrying that the 2 hyped up "chosen ones" are just that - hype. 


Let's hope not, if those 2 can't carry us, it's gonna be another pretty long stretch of bad Twins teams. 


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#51 Number3


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Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:03 PM

10 hits combined in 2 losses to the Tigers. Take out Adrianza's slam in game one and what have you got?

Maybe they will sweep the Indians. Maybe not.

Where in the Sam Hill is Miguel Sano? Does he need to rest every 2 games? Please don't say he can't play against right handed pitching. Are they afraid his average will slip below the Mendoza line?

Molitor has to go as the only option.

#52 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:21 PM

Sorry guys, but it's time to face facts. I was on the "it's early, don't panic" bandwagon for a long time but it's time to admit defeat and realize this is nothing more than yet another development year. I really thought that the 11 game home stand plus these 6 road games would tell the tale - win 10 or more and there's a chance. With this turd burger the Twins are now 7-7 in the first 14 of the 17 and the chances of sweeping Cleveland are zero, especially with Kluber pitching Friday. Even worse, there are no reinforcements at AAA to really speak of for this horrific offense. Yes Mauer and Polanco coming back will help but we're too far down to even smell a WC and have very little hlep of a Division title unless Cleveland craters completely and I see that as very unlikely as long as Francona is their manager. Time to sell of the spare parts that won't be around next year, extend the ones we want, get some young talent to replenish the minors and help next year or in 2020, and bring up the kids for development.


Open Forum - what do we do; buy, extend, sell, DFA, fire? Here's what I do. All trades are for MiLB talent that could at least be at AAA at some point next year, but no expectation of anyone ready to contribute much this year. We don't have the parts to trade that will get MLB ready talent.


Extend or sell if can't extend - Lynn and Escobar. Both worth keeping if we can, Both worth something if we put them up for trade.


Sell for whatever we can get, just make sure they're gone and not blocking others - Dozier, Grossman, Morrison.


Sell, but only for a good return - Odorizzi, Duke, Reed, Rodney.


Buy - catching (Wilson Ramos, fantasy is Realmuto), RH hitting OF, any high upside AA or AAA prospect.


Promote if possible - Busnitz, Gonsalves, Littel, Gordon, maybe Curtiss - there isn't anybody else who deserves the shot right now. Keep Cave in the majors to see if he can hit consistently. LaMarre and Wilson go down to make room.


Promote for sure- Gordon, Busenitz.

Maybe promote depending on how the trades go: Gonsalves, Littel, Bard, Curtiss, May, Moya. It's sad that the only MiLB hitters that deserve a promotion are Cave (who we had to trade for) and Gordon. Wade is a year away IMO.


Majors or Minors? - Sano and Kepler. Probably keep them up for now but it may be time for one or both to go back and rediscover how to hit if they can.


Fire - Sadly, time for Molitor to go. Good guy, good manager if you want to contend. Probably not the guy to develop young talent.


Promote for sure- Gordon, Busenitz.


When the dust settles, let's assume we can extend and keep Escobar but Lynn wants too much $$ so we trade him to an NL team like the Dodgers. Roster for the second half:


1B Mauer/Sano
2B Escobar/Gordon
SS Polanco /Gordon
3B Sano/Gordon (5 IFs)
LF Rosario
CF Buxton
RF Kepler/Cave (4 OFs)
DH Sano/Mauer/Cave
C Garver/Ramos (2 Cs)
UTL: Adrianza (1 UTL)


SP: Berrios, Santana, Gibson, Odorizzi, Romero (Gonsalves or Littel if we can trade Odorizzi).

BP: Hildenberger, Reed, Busenitz, Magill, Rogers, Pressley, and 2 of the following 5: Bard, Belisle, Curtiss, Moya or May.


I'm assuming that we can trade Rodney and Duke for a reasonable MiLB return, that we can't get enough for Reed to make him worth trading (take 3 of the last 5 if we can), and that nobody wants Belisle so we either keep or DFA him. I'm on the fence about what to do with Belisle.


No more playing in the low end of the mediocre middle. We can't compete so let's use this year wisely to develop/audition guys for next year.



#53 ashbury


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Posted 14 June 2018 - 03:21 PM



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Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

#54 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 03:24 PM

You and me both, brother. 


#55 yarnivek1972


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Posted 14 June 2018 - 03:28 PM

The Twins have been 5 (or more) games below .500 more than twice as many days (24) as they have been above .500 (11).

They can’t blow it up fast enough IMO.

#56 h2oface


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Posted 14 June 2018 - 03:35 PM

This is now one horrible team. So totally disappointing. Can't even win a series against the Tigers. The Falvey/Levine coaches seem to have no inspiration or ability of right the ships either, and throughout the minors, too. So much for the change in leadership. For those of us that wanted to see Doug Mientkiewicz get the manager's job instead of Molitor, and stuck up for him when fired..... how is he doing?..... 39-25 for Detroit's AAA team. the Toledo Mud Hens. Still winning, inspiring his players who love to play for him, no matter where he is. But not good enough for this FO. Very telling.

Edited by h2oface, 14 June 2018 - 03:38 PM.

#57 Mike Sixel

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 04:43 PM

I really believe ownership picked the last manager....

It's IL now, btw, not DL.....

#58 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 10:16 AM

We all know what needs to happen - the lineup needs to get at least 2 bats longer, and that's if the 2 Eddies can keep up something close to this pace and Mauer hits. Those bats need to come from Morrison, Dozier, Kepler, Polanco and Buxton. Adrianza is what he is and is already outperforming expectations at the plate. The Catchers are a lost cause at the plate - Garver needs a year to get his feet wet and Wilson can't hit, period. A minor league call up could be a part of the answer until you look at who's there. Unless Cris Carter can still hit 40 HRs, there's nobody ready now. Sano? Who the H knows? Could be like getting a great trade in August or we could next see him at the MLB level in 2019. 


This team has 4-5 weeks to emerge. Polanco will be back around July 2 and Buxton will be be back around the same time. We can still contend if 2-3 of the non-producers start hitting well. If not, call up Gordon, Wade and Cave, trade Dozier, Lynn (unless you can re-sign him, he's a keeper) and Odorizzi, call up Gonsalves and Littel/Sleger, and Busenitz, DFA Wilson and Grossman, Call up Astudillo, and play for next year. My heart says we pick it up and contend, my brain says time to get value for veterans while we can and turn things over to the next generation. Hey, the two aren't mutually exclusive. We might have a better chance with the young guys than the vets. 





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