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Article: Series Preview: Bronx Bombers Come Knocking

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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:02 AM

Fresh off a series split against the Oakland Athletics the Minnesota Twins welcome the New York Yankees to Target Field. If there’s a franchise that has had the Twins number over the years it’s been New York, but producing a winner year in and year out generally should lead to that type of dominance. Looking to make it through the end of July gauntlet, Baldelli’s club has another tough test ahead of them.Brief Overview:

New York took two of three against Minnesota earlier this season in the Bronx, but the run differential separated the clubs by only two. The Yankees are the only American League team with a run differential better than the Twins (+138) and Aaron Boone’s savages have done the majority of their damage without the help of their biggest names.

What They Do Well:

As you’d expect with any good team, there’s very little that New York doesn’t do at an above average clip. The have a top 10 offense across baseball, and own a pitching staff that slots in right behind the Twins at 5th overall. Boone’s club has plenty of bombers, and while they are well behind the Minnesota tally in dingers they round out the top five.

The Yankees are a patient group and that’s evident in their 4th best walk rate across Major League Baseball. On top of being able to drive the ball deep and score at a high clip, they’ll make pitchers work and settle for free passes.

No team in baseball is better getting out of jams than the Yankees. A 76.8% strand rate is indicative of a team that can handle high-pressure situations, and routinely tilts the scales in their favor. Touting the best bullpen in the game by a wide margin, your best bet is to get ahead early and not give up a lead.

What They Do Not Do Well:

Similar to the New York club that visited from the National League, this Yankees club is not a defensive stalwart. They rank 22nd in baseball from a defensive metric standpoint, and they bring up the rear in shift runs saved. Virtually every team in baseball (save for three this season) is at 0 or better when it comes to shift runs. The idea of shifting is to cut down would be base hits, and in general, the practice serves its purpose. At -6 rTS this season, New York has managed to be completely inept when moving defenders around the diamond.

The Yankees employ a strong defensive outfield, headlined by former Twins centerfielder Aaron Hicks. It’s on the dirt that they are essentially terrible all over the place. Luke Voit is well below average at first base, and Gleyber Torres is negative at second. D.J. LeMahieu is a strong player with the glove, but breakout third basemen Gio Urshella rates poorly and Gary Sanchez is consistently among the worst backstops in baseball. If there was ever an opportunity to reverse course against a bad defensive team after the Mets letdown, this is it for the Twins.

Individuals Of Note:

It’s Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton that typically draw headlines for this squad, but one has missed significant time and the other is still on the Injured List. After leaving Coors Field in free agency a slide was expected for former Rockies second basemen D.J. LeMahieu. Instead he’s having a career year and paces the Yankees in fWAR.

Every year it looks like Brett Gardner may be the old man squeezed out of a spot on the roster, and each season he rises to the challenge. He’s putting up great numbers in 2019 and doing so at the age of 35. Gleyber Torres was the second Yankee considered by most in the AL Rookie of the Year voting a season ago, but arguably had the better campaign. He’s back it up by becoming an All Star in year two and looks the part of a cornerstone for years to come.

The rotation is where New York is a bit soft but big time trade acquisition James Paxton has been plenty strong. He’s been somewhat outshined by youngster Domingo German, but Boone still has more than a few arms he’s comfortable turning the ball loose with.

Recent History:

These two clubs played in the beginning of May with New York taking the series. The Yankees won each of their games by three runs while Minnesota took the middle game by a score of 7-3.

Recent Trajectories:

After sending Oakland out with a split the Twins are just 4-6 over their last ten, and they have lost their last two home series. New York comes in winning seven of their last ten, but dropping their last road series. In 2018 Minnesota took the final series from the Bombers winning two of three at Target Field in September.
Ending Thoughts:

Right now the largest problem for the Twins has been a consistent offensive output. While starter have gone short and the bullpen is both taxed and undermanned, it’s the bats that carried Minnesota this far. Beating the Yankees isn’t likely going to happen late so Baldelli will need his squad to hop on opposing starters early and often. Byron Buxton could be back, and his presence would be a welcomed one both in the lineup and the outfield.

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- Ted Schwerzler
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@tlschwerz

#2 Dman

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:51 AM

The way I feel about the Twins right now I predict the Yankee's sweep.Sometimes a team just has your number.The Yankees are the Twins Kryptonite. Fair balls called foul, no lead is safe even in the 9th inning.Anyone on their team can knock it our the park at anytime.The Twins can't even get lucky with men in scoring position against lessor teams so I doubt they change that trend against the team that always finds a way to beat us.Here's to hoping the Indians lose a few.

 

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#3 Aerodeliria

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:45 AM

What I fear the most against the Yankees is the BBs and falling behind in the count. If Twins pitchers don't come after the Yankees, they're in for a long series.

With that said, if the pitching staff comes after the Yankees, I think they'll do just fine.
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#4 ashbury

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 09:20 AM

We find out, perhaps, who the real Bombas are.

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So, in conclusion, what was your question again?


#5 nokomismod

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 09:42 AM

Great weather and it should be an exciting series. I would like to see some return of the scoring and I think taking the series would do wonders for the confidence of this team.

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#6 KFEY93

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 10:07 AM

 

We find out, perhaps, who the real Bombas are.

Spoiler Alert: its not us. 3 game sweep incoming 


#7 gocgo

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 10:20 AM

I'm curious how many right field warning track balls will be hit by the Bombers being used to the short right field fence.

Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.


#8 howeda7

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 10:54 AM

I'll gladly take 1 win in this series and a 2 game lead on Thursday morning.

Edited by howeda7, 22 July 2019 - 10:54 AM.

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#9 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:06 AM

The Bronx Bombers vs. Los Minneapolis Bombas. I'm expecting the baseballs to to be flying out of Target Field tonight. 


#10 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:15 AM

This article title reminds me of a song by Little Richard: "I hear you knocking, but you can't come in".

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#11 gocgo

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:20 AM

Curious what Trevor May's role will be going forward.Pretty tough to trust him at the moment, but it should make it clear to the FO that the need to bolster the bullpen is even greater now.

Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.


#12 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:34 AM

I am sure there are a thousand reasons not to do this - but given the analysis in this piece, I would love to see the Twins mix up their lineup a bit and shift their gameplan to be a little more dynamic than get on base and hope for a Bomba. 

 

To me one of the reasons the offense has been stagnant is that our two best baserunners - Rosario and Buxton have been on the shelf. Given that the infield is the NYY weakness and the dominance of the bullpen - I would love to see them work to get runs on the board early by putting pressure on the infield and Sanchez.I know he is still questionable - but I would love to get Buxton more at bats early in the game.Why not put Polanco, Buxton and Rosario 1-3 in the lineup - and do what we can to try to use our legs to get an early run or two.  

 

Flail away.

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#13 David HK

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 12:08 PM

Moider dem Yanks!

 

Moider 'em, I say!


#14 woolywoolhouse

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 12:12 PM

I'd like to see Luis Arreaz get a shot in the 1 or 2 hole int he batting lineup tonight. He's the one batter who consistently takes a ton of pitches. Let him work the count and get Polanco, Cruz, Rosario, Kepler, and Sano a chance to see all the pitches before they bat. 

 

And moving Kepler down against righties gives him the chance to do more damage with runners on-base. 

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#15 David HK

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 12:38 PM

 

I'd like to see Luis Arreaz get a shot in the 1 or 2 hole int he batting lineup tonight. He's the one batter who consistently takes a ton of pitches. Let him work the count and get Polanco, Cruz, Rosario, Kepler, and Sano a chance to see all the pitches before they bat. 

 

And moving Kepler down against righties gives him the chance to do more damage with runners on-base. 

Agreed.Arraez and Polanco should have been flipped in the order at least a couple of weeks ago.Jorge looks completely fatigued lately, and his BA is in free fall.


#16 VivaBomboRivera!

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 01:10 AM

 

Spoiler Alert: its not us. 3 game sweep incoming 

Happily proven wrong today.


#17 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 07:31 AM

 

The Bronx Bombers vs. Los Minneapolis Bombas. I'm expecting the baseballs to to be flying out of Target Field tonight. 

5 HR by the little engine that could..