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Article: Depth Has Been Beneficial in Minnesota

minnesota twins luis arraez lamonte wade zack littel
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 11:17 AM

The Minnesota Twins own the best record in the American League and while they’ve been great in all phases of the game, it shouldn’t be overlooked how integral the replacements have been. Thankfully this club hasn’t seen a run of injuries, and outside of the outfield going down in tandem, a clean bill of health has generally been the case this season. When Rocco Baldelli has needed new faces to step up, he’s found willing and able contributors to the task.Willians Astudillo has been a fan favorite and although he’s produced a negative fWAR tally there’s value in what he’s brought to the table. His defensive flexibility is more happenstance than it is desired reality, and the approach offensively has gotten him in trouble, but Minnesota has been better off having him at their disposal.

After a strong debut season Jake Cave hasn’t seen the same success in 2019, but he’s been a necessary body for the Twins weathering a depleted outfield. LaMonte Wade is now up and awaiting his chance, and if more things make it necessary, Brent Rooker could join the fray as well.

Having hit for average across every level of the system, Luis Arraez is making his presence felt. He’s got 22 hits in 49 at bats and consistently puts together great plate appearances. With a similar profile to Astudillo it’s Arraez that takes it up a notch. He doesn’t swing and miss, he doesn’t chase, and the balls he does attack are ones that he can do something with.

If there’s an area of depth that hasn’t been tested it’s on the pitching side. From a starting perspective Minnesota has a few options that have been easy to turn to. Zack Littell has thrown big league innings, as has Kohl Stewart. Devin Smeltzer earned a shot and held his own through a couple of turns as well. None of these guys look like front of the rotation arms, but they’ve all allowed the Twins to stay in games that required someone to step up.

We’ve all but exhausted the bullpen possibilities, and that’s a direct reflection of players like Ian Kroll, Carlos Torres, and Cody Allen being brought into the fray. The front office obviously needs to make an impact move or two there, but the record has been compiled with players like Poppen, Eades, Morin and Duffey giving Wes Johnson serviceable innings.

There’s a real need for the Twins to make some moves. The 40-man roster is going to get tight this offseason and needing to make decisions ahead of time is a real thing. For now, though, the Twins front office has seen minor league guys come up and contribute amidst the team's overall success. Although the injury need hasn’t been significant, the call has been answered when opportunity has presented itself.

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#2 rdehring

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:22 PM

Like you indicated, I have been of the opinion that the Twins have been lucky this year and haven't had a lot of injuries.But I started thinking about it the other day and have changed my opinion.  

 

Going around the diamond, Mitch Garver had a stint on the IL of a couple weeks, or was it longer?Although not a first baseman, Nellie Cruz also was on the IL for more than a couple weeks.Adrianza and Gonalez have been on the IL for the past week or so and Buxton is now past his 10 days.If I haven't missed anyone that's five of 12 or 13 players with enough time off to be sent to the IL.

 

And that doesn't include the biggest loss, Miguel Sano.We keep forgetting about him because his injury is from the opening of spring training, but he missed about the first two months of the season.So half of the position players have been on the IL.  

 

Not the same as having three or four starters out for a long time, but still significant.Perhaps the wins and the replacements playing so well has clouded our memory...it certainly did for me.


#3 Channing1964

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:55 PM

ok seriously.....cave is a good player... he'd start for most mlb teams. Astudillo will always have a roster spot,....man we got great depth i lobbied for marwin and now he's hurt??? maybe Sano can thrive if he's not the "natural"

#4 Channing1964

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:56 PM

we gonna in the playoffs

#5 Channing1964

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:59 PM

true dat

#6 goulik

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:49 PM

We have had plenty of injuries but our depth and the lesser severity of those injuries has minimized how much we notice them. Besides those already mentioned, we have also had 2-3 relievers miss time. Those have received lesser notice because they were the end of our BP guys.

#7 Danchat

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 05:12 PM

 

We have had plenty of injuries but our depth and the lesser severity of those injuries has minimized how much we notice them. Besides those already mentioned, we have also had 2-3 relievers miss time. Those have received lesser notice because they were the end of our BP guys.

Compared to most teams, the Twins may have the healthiest pitching staff. Has anyone outside of Pineda and Mejia hit the IL this season?

Check out my work at Purple Pain, a Vikings forum: 

Analyzing the Past Decade of Vikings Offseasons


#8 goulik

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:57 PM

Compared to most teams, the Twins may have the healthiest pitching staff. Has anyone outside of Pineda and Mejia hit the IL this season?


Add McGill, Moya, and Reed to that list coming out of Spring training which has ended with 2 of those 3 off of the 40 man roster.

#9 ashbury

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 01:46 PM

we gonna in the playoffs

true dat

Difficult to disagree with something I can not parse. :)

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