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Article: Series Preview: Messing with the Mets

minnesota twins new york mets pete alonso
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 07:01 AM

The Minnesota Twins return home for their first series of the second half at Target Field. This one is a quick two-gamer welcoming the National League New York squad. Mickey Callaway’s Mets were supposed to be piloting a significantly different season, but as they limp in to Minnesota their season hangs in the balance.Brief Overview:

Agent-turned-general manager Brodie Van Wagenen pulled off a blockbuster trade this offseason acquiring Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano from the Seattle Mariners. The expectation is that New York would challenge the Phillies, Braves, and Nationals in a competitive NL East. Unfortunately, they’ve fallen short of expectations and the trade now looks even worse than it did immediately.

It’s near certain the Mets will be sellers at the trade deadline, and Minnesota putting them more than 10 games below .500 would seem to cement that notion. The Twins will avoid both Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom in this set, and their four-five tandem of Pineda and Perez have held things down just fine on their own.

What They Do Well:

In short, the Mets are the embodiment of mediocrity. 15th in both hitting and pitching across baseball, they find themselves smack dab in the middle. Looking for a silver lining we can separate the hurlers into starters and relievers. Callaway’s crew led by deGrom and Syndergaard have the fifth best rotation in baseball (one spot behind Minnesota).

The group has compiled a 4.46 ERA with a 9.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. Obviously the two arms at the top are plenty impressive on their own, but the step forward from Zack Wheeler and the surprise performance of Jason Vargas has been helpful. Leading into what hasn’t gone right, it’s notable that the New York staff has both a FIP and xFIP below the surface numbers.

What They Do Not Do Well:

There are two key areas that New York is far less than Amazin’. First and foremost, the relief corps has been the worst in baseball. They give up a handful of walks, own a 5.55 ERA, and have been a revolving door of futility. Like the Twins of a few years ago, warm bodies have been cycled through at a rampant pace. 21 different arms have come out of the pen for Callaway.

The most glaring issue for New York has unquestionably been their defense. Ranking dead last in baseball this group has posted a -64 DRS mark. Certainly that’s bad on its own, but they have taken futility to new heights. Joined only by the Orioles and Mariners at -60 DRS or below, the 27th ranked Rangers are at -35 DRS. Chief among the problems has been Amed Rosario at shortstop (-14), Wilson Ramos behind the dish (-8), and Robinson Cano at second base (-6).

Individuals Of Note:

Given the pitching matchups for the two-game series, the notable offensive player here is a rookie first basemen. Pete Alonso is a 24-year-old former second-round pick from the University of Florida. In 92 games this season he’s posted a .987 OPS with 30 longballs. Right now, he’s tracking towards breaking Yankees Aaron Judge rookie record for homers, and he’d do so with a Home Run Derby title under his belt as well.

Alonso has played an above-average first base and owns a 3.5 fWAR on the season. His .403 wOBA, 156 wRC+, and .343 ISO are all elite numbers. Although the 44.4% hard hit rate doesn’t jump off the page there’s no sacrifice coming from a soft hit rate sitting at just 14.6%. Understanding the power of elevation, Alonso owns a ridiculous 30.9% HR/FB which is third in baseball behind just Christian Yelich and Franmil Reyes.

Recent History:

These two clubs played earlier this year at Citi Field splitting the two game set. Minnesota last hosted New York in 2013 but couldn’t take any of those games. They’ve never won a game against them at Target Field.

Ending Thoughts:

Rocco Baldelli’s club is coming off quite an emotional series against the Cleveland Indians. The Twins need to show up for this one mentally and not take a lackluster opponent lightly. Facing some stout opponents at home over the next week, the Mets provide the best opportunity for a sweep. If Minnesota can handle business here, they’ll set themselves up well for tilts against Oakland and the Yankees.

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#2 JW24

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 07:10 AM

 

These two clubs haven’t played each other since 2016

 

The Twins and Mets played 2 games at Citi Field earlier this season. The Twins knocked deGrom around in the first game and had a comeback come up short in the second game when they faced Syndergaard.

 

From those April 9-10 games, these teams have really gone in opposite directions. Looking forward to the Twins hopefully feasting off a bad Mets squad.

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#3 rdehring

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:45 AM

Not looking at this as one series, rather looking at the entire 9 game homestand versus the Mets, A's and Yankees.Will be happy if we have a winning homestand, 5-4, then move on to August and a playoff run.

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#4 Trov

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:01 AM

These are games the Twins need to play well.If we lose not a big deal, but if we play poorly that could be an issue heading into tougher competition later in home stand. 


#5 Dr. Beanpole

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:27 AM

 

Not looking at this as one series, rather looking at the entire 9 game homestand versus the Mets, A's and Yankees.Will be happy if we have a winning homestand, 5-4, then move on to August and a playoff run.

Yup, this is the thing. The schedule is pretty tough through the end of July, and then in August and September it gets noticeably easier. If they can at least play .500 ball until the trade deadline, they should get to 100 wins and an AL Central title relatively easy. Just have to avoid a massive skid right now and it should be pretty smooth sailing until the playoffs.


#6 rdehring

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:09 AM

Speaking of this stretch, they will be helped if Buxton is healthy and both Rosario and Cron come off the IL by tonight...or before the A's for Cron.  

 

My question is who is going down when that happens?Expect Cave goes when Rosario is activated.But who goes when Cron comes back?If it comes down to sending Arraez down or getting rid of Adrianza, I don't see them DFA'ing Adrianza for 5 weeks of Arraez.I also don't see them sending Arraez down as he has been playing too bloddy well.Do they cut back to 12 pitchers for a few weeks?If so, the low man of the totem pole, experience wise, is Littell and he has pitched better than several others.Will there be a trade in the next few days involving someone from the 25-man roster?  

 

Strap on your stirrups, it is gonna be one fun ride for the next couple weeks...both on the field and off!

Edited by rdehring, 16 July 2019 - 10:10 AM.

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#7 jorgenswest

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:36 AM

Assuming everyone is healthy and I question whether Buxton is healthy, I would drop back to 12 pitchers and DFA Morin.

I think the Indian series made clear that Magill and Morin are the last two in the pen right now. It is a matter of time before they are moved. I am also confident that there are pitchers in AAA who can take that spot in the pen if needed.
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#8 MMMordabito

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:02 AM

 

I think the Indian series made clear that Magill and Morin are the last two in the pen right now. It is a matter of time before they are moved. I am also confident that there are pitchers in AAA who can take that spot in the pen if needed.

 

cough ... Stashak, cough, cough


#9 JW24

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:08 AM

 

Assuming everyone is healthy and I question whether Buxton is healthy, I would drop back to 12 pitchers and DFA Morin.

I think the Indian series made clear that Magill and Morin are the last two in the pen right now. It is a matter of time before they are moved. I am also confident that there are pitchers in AAA who can take that spot in the pen if needed.

 

Completely agree. Trevor May and Tyler Duffey have both looked more reliable as of late, and Littell has been fantastic in transitioning to the pen. Morin is probably the guy most expendable at this point, unfortunately for him as he has really pitched quite well this season. It is encouraging the Twins are in this dilemma with their bullpen prior to making any moves.


#10 TouchEmAllGuy

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:09 AM

Played the Mets this year already.


#11 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:16 AM

 

The Twins and Mets played 2 games at Citi Field earlier this season. The Twins knocked deGrom around in the first game and had a comeback come up short in the second game when they faced Syndergaard.

 

From those April 9-10 games, these teams have really gone in opposite directions. Looking forward to the Twins hopefully feasting off a bad Mets squad.

I think I got caught looking for the last Target Field matchup or something and glanced over that. Thanks for catching it!

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- Ted Schwerzler
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#12 yarnivek1972

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 01:54 PM

I said a couple days ago that Morin and Magill can both be dismissed in favor of a revolving long man with Smeltzer, Lewis, and maybe even Stewart or Poppen taking turns.

The Twins don’t need two mop up guys if they have one that can give them 3 innings plus if needed.

And then if some outside additions are made to the pen, Duffey and Littell can join the shuttle.

Edited by yarnivek1972, 16 July 2019 - 01:56 PM.


#13 mikelink45

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 07:29 PM

 

These are games the Twins need to play well.If we lose not a big deal, but if we play poorly that could be an issue heading into tougher competition later in home stand. 

I think that if we lose it is a big deal.It will create a narrative that will take a few weeks to erase and that is not good for a team that is just finding its way to the heights.

 




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