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Article: Previous Postseasons the Story for Minnesota

minnesota twins new york yankees madison bumgarner derek falvey
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 04:00 PM

As we put a ribbon on the first half of the 2019 Major League Baseball season, the Minnesota Twins are in first place of the AL Central Division standings. One of the most prolific lineups in baseball, this team has done significant damage to the opposition. With eyes set on the postseason it’s worth wondering what the uncharted history ahead can glean from what has gone before.By the end of the All-Star break Minnesota will have all eyes focused on what reinforcements can be brought in to help the big league club. Derek Falvey faces just one trade deadline this season, July 31. All goals from here on out will be related to improving the length of time spent playing October baseball. Although the Twins did grab a one-game cup of coffee two seasons ago, this level of expectation is largely unprecedented for the current collective.

When it comes to those big games in October there have been to consistent story lines drawing repeated dialogue in 2019. How will the Twins handle the Yankees and is Madison Bumgarner the guy for the Minnesota?

The former is a question rooted in a deep spell of futility. New York has had the number of this organization for years. During the Ron Gardenhire run of division titles there was no ability to get beyond The Evil Empire. New York had their way with Minnesota and the 2-12 record says as much. There’s no way to paint a pretty picture on those results, but it’s hardly relevant today.

For the 2017 Wild Card game only five of the starting players still remain in a Minnesota uniform. Pitching in relief of starter Ervin Santana that game were names like Hildenberger, Busenitz and Belisle. As the new regime has transformed the roster, and in 2018 purged ineffectiveness, this current crop of Twins likely could care less how the “last time” played out.

Right now the New York Yankees are one of the best teams in baseball and that is an accurate reflection of how they’ve played this season. If and when Minnesota sees them in the opposite dugout during the postseason it will be a dogfight because of that reality as opposed to any hardship the local franchise has previously experienced.

On the opposite end of this same discussion Minnesota could use pitching help. While it’s the bullpen that’s a focus, a starting arm slotting in behind Jose Berrios would be welcomed. Madison Bumgarner will be available and his name carries significant weight but will the opposition truly worry about a guy because of his track record in 2014?

When talking up the Giants starter you often hear of his World Series and postseason dominance. Those exploits are nearly a decade old, his last go-round in 2016 was hardly as effective, and he’s dealt with major injury and declining effectiveness since that point.

Past experience will certainly afford the thought of Bumgarner in a Twins uniform a calming aura, but it’s hardly relevant and intellectually dishonest to suggest that his previous World Series experiences trump the pitcher he is today. His ERA is in the land of mediocrity, and similar WHIP, H/9, and FIP numbers back that. He’ll leave the easiest park to pitch in, but bring a heightened velocity and strikeout rate.

At the end of the day the Twins will need to ask themselves if the juice is worth the squeeze. Bumgarner is not the same pitcher that twirled innings during the 2014 World Series. He’s a serviceable veteran that could be had to improve the overall strength down the stretch. Going all in on a move with the Giants hoping that the previous postseason success plays a trump card is quite the foolhardy gamble.

Following the well-deserved All-Star rest Rocco Baldelli will have a refocused Twins team keyed in on making waves when it matters most. The front office will work to bring in reinforcements that can help put this club in a better position. When the dust settles and October begins, you can bet that this team isn’t going to be worried about the failures of yesteryear, and they shouldn’t be holding out hope to capture performances based on history either.

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- Ted Schwerzler
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#2 DocBauer


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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:28 PM

Bumgarner's career and success are not to be debated. But the miles on his arm and recent seasons are to be.

At 29yo, and with vast experience at his disposal, he is young enough to be a candidate to re-invent himself. On a much different level, he could be a Perez type who changes his mix, tweaks his delivery, and finds another 2-4yrs of quality success as a top of the rotation SP, even if not as dominant.

The ultimate example, is Greg Maddux who graduated from power arm to tremendous pitcher. I am not saying Bumgarner can or can not do something similar.

But I find it interesting, and a bit discouraging, frankly, that so many just EXPECT that would happen were the Twins to trade for him.

Is the older Greinke an answer? Rumors have it Washington has no interest in trading Scherzer. (And his contract could make that a mess anyway).

So where is the answer?

And that's an honest question I'm asking. Currently, the Twins have a solid rotation, and the best one they have had in years. I dare say they have one of the better overall rotations in MLB.

It seems to me a difference maker in the rotation would be much more difficult to define, recognize and add vs a couple quality bullpen pieces that could make a real difference.
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#3 yarnivek1972



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Posted 05 July 2019 - 06:33 PM

A top of the line starter is more likely to remain a top of the line starter than a good reliever is to remain good. But I’m not sure a top of the line starter controllable beyond 2019 will even be available.
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#4 DocBauer


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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:04 PM

A top of the line starter is more likely to remain a top of the line starter than a good reliever is to remain good. But I’m not sure a top of the line starter controllable beyond 2019 will even be available.

And isn't that the crux of the debate? It's rather easy to state: "All prospects should be included in a trade for a top of the line #1 SP with at least 1yr of control beyond 2019".

There are 4-5 kids I really, really don't want to move. But I'm OK if a couple of them are if said veteran top of the rotation is available. But someone tell me that might realistically might be?

Meanwhile, we have a pair of All Stars leading our rotation with the very good Gibson as our #3. Perez started hot, hit a funk, looked good last time out, and Pineda has largely been improving. The pen has simply not been the firestorm many want to state it as being, and is easily the best way to improve the STAFF as a whole.
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"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

--Lou Brown

#5 ChrisKnutson


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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:18 PM

If someone doesn’t step up soon I’d definitely be looking into acquiring another starter, and while I’d prefer a controllable arm like Stroman, it shouldn’t matter if we acquire a rental instead, and it shouldn’t matter if it’s not MadBum either since I believe that there are other rentals like Roark and (especially) Wheeler that have the potential to be effective postseason starters as well.

Having said all that, the bullpen still remains our biggest need, so maybe instead of pursuing a starter, we could instead pursue deals for both Vazquez and Iglesias. Sure, both deals would likely gut our system, but if we could somehow manage to retain Lewis, Kirilloff, Graterol, Balazovic, and Duran in doing so, it’d be well worth the investment.

#6 terrydactyls1947


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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:11 AM

The Twins have five OFs on the 40-man roster (along with Gonzales, Adriana's, Astudillo, and even Arraez in a pinch) along with nine OFs on the top 40 prospects list. There is a similar of jam at the MI positions. Add in the rule 5 problem coming up this winter and I think some "gutting" of the system would not be a major problem.
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#7 mike8791


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Posted 06 July 2019 - 12:04 PM

This is arguably the best twins team since the 2006 team that got swept by the A's in the first round.Mauer and Morneau had MVP-type years, with a very good supporting cast in Tori, Cuddy, Bartlett and Castillo.That team had a bona fide ace in Santana, with a not so great Radke and Bonser as #2 & #3 starters, but a very good bullpen. 

One of the frustrations of the Ryan years was his inability/unwillingness to reinforce his division winning teams of the aughts by trading prospects for veterans by the July 31st deadline.His lack of activity still rankles!


For Falvey to sit on his hands this month would be just as unforgivable.The inadequacies in the bullpen have been demonstrated fully, especially for a playoff run where shutdown relievers can make all the difference.Rogers is the only reliever who even approaches this level of competency.Would you want any of Harper, Parker, Duffy or McGill coming into a precarious situation late in a playoff game?Most on TD are pleading for not one, but two closer-types to be added to this over-achieving bullpen.You can't win in the playoffs with smoke and mirrors, Mr. Falvey.


And while this is probably the best overall Twins' rotation in many years, there is no Johan Santana among this bunch.Not even close.Berrios has to be considered our "ace" but who believes he could go int Yankee Stadium or Houston and think he can shut down those two teams?Neither he nor Odorizzi have proven themselves in such pressure situations.You need a proven ace to have a solid chance in advancing in October.The Twins have the prospects, the depth and the payroll flexibility to acquire the likes of Greinke, Baumgartner, Thor or Wheeler, any of whom would likely start playoff game #1.What Falvine so far have lacked in their 3 years of managment is the cajones to pull the trigger on any meaningful trades.The window is wide open for this team but I'm afraid past disappointments will continue unless they pull the trigger, pay the price and bring in the best possible reinforcements available.Who knows when such an opportunity will again present itself?It is 27 years and counting.Twins fans deserve an all-out effort now! We had enough Ryan-like excuses for inaction to last a lifetime.  

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#8 Dennesey55347


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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:01 AM

Madbum's October experience would definitely be a welcome sight to a club whose dominated most everyone but post-season-caliber teams. He seems like the type of guy who wouldn't let our offense bow to the big dogs. Obviously, he'd show the pitching staff what an aggressive approach looks like as well. While our current cast has been pretty steady overall, we lack that starter who throws strikes no matter the hitter. Having said that, I'd only include 1 of our top 5 minor leaguers max in that trade. 

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