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Front Page: The Twins Need Berrios to Step Up Now More Than Ever

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#1 Cooper Carlson

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 07:30 PM

The Twins are basically guaranteed to be playing playoff baseball this season, and that will likely start in the divisional round. With players seemingly dropping like flies including the ever consistent Michael Pineda, do the Twins have the players to make a postseason run? It may all depend on the success of Jose Berrios.The Twins and their fans have enjoyed one of the best seasons in team history and everyone knows it has largely been due to the historically good lineup. The lineup will be the Twins greatest weapon when October comes, and the Twins really will just be asking for a quality start from their pitchers in order to get a win. The problem with that theory which shouldn’t be that difficult, is that it has not been easy for the starting pitchers to go six innings lately.

I’m sure you’ve heard everything there is to hear about how the Twins rotation has struggled, but there hasn’t really been much to worry about until the Pineda suspension was announced. With Pineda done for the year, the Twins are down to one consistent starter in Jake Odorizzi. If the Twins enter a playoff series against Houston or New York, having only one starting pitcher who can get the job done isn’t ideal. That is why I believe moving on to the second round of the playoffs relies heavily on how Jose Berrios performs.

Of course the MLB playoffs are always extremely random. No one team has won consecutive World Series titles since the Yankees in 1999 and 2000 and that is why the baseball playoffs are more fun than watching the Warriors or Patriots win it every year in those other weird sports. Even with the random outcomes that will happen, I don’t like the Twins chances with Jake Odorizzi as their best pitcher.

The Twins will need the first half Jose Berrios who posted a 3.00 ERA, 4.50 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP and .671 OPS to come back around to finish off the division and take on James Paxton, Gerrit Cole or Justin Verlander and match them pitch for pitch. If they get the second half version with his 5.37 ERA and .807 OPS against the Yankees or Astros then it might not be so fun to watch.

Luckily there has been good news in his most recent starts regarding the velocity that seemingly disappeared on his fastball in August. It has gone back up to a 93.5 MPH average which is just a tick above his best month this season. In June when his velocity was this high, he posted an elite 2.06 ERA and earned himself a trip to the All-Star Game.

Download attachment: JBChart.jpeg

Hopefully Berrios is working his way back to being the ace we all know and love because the playoff outlook completely changes if we get All-Star Berrios in game one. With a first place team surrounded by the negativity of the season-ending injury to Buxton, the Pineda suspension, and a flurry of other injuries, we hope Berrios can bring positive vibes back to Twins Territory.

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#2 Patrick Wozniak

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 07:45 PM

It was also really nice to see Berrios get his command back against Washington. August is his month to fall apart and September is his his time to bounce back! Nice article.
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#3 Cooper Carlson

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:11 PM

 

It was also really nice to see Berrios get his command back against Washington. August is his month to fall apart and September is his his time to bounce back! Nice article.

Definitely. It makes writing a post like this a lot more fun when Berrios performs like the ace he can be.

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#4 DesertTwinsFan

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:04 PM

I definitely agree that the Twins will need Berrios in top form every start if they are to go anywhere. But watching them lose 2 of 3 to Cleveland and again tonight the the Nats, I'm starting to fear them missing the playoffs entirely. Cleveland has a tougher last 12 games then the Twins, but if they win their next 4 (sweep the Twins), I could see them beating the Twins out around the last day or two, while the Rays and A's pass the Twins as well. That would be one of the worst cases of Minnesota losing out ever, and we have a few bad ones.

 

Sorry to be a downer.


#5 Cooper Carlson

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:19 PM

 

I definitely agree that the Twins will need Berrios in top form every start if they are to go anywhere. But watching them lose 2 of 3 to Cleveland and again tonight the the Nats, I'm starting to fear them missing the playoffs entirely. Cleveland has a tougher last 12 games then the Twins, but if they win their next 4 (sweep the Twins), I could see them beating the Twins out around the last day or two, while the Rays and A's pass the Twins as well. That would be one of the worst cases of Minnesota losing out ever, and we have a few bad ones.

 

Sorry to be a downer.

Statistically, that will not happen. Fangraphs puts us at 99.6% to make the playoffs and 97.2% to win the division. Twins are four games ahead of the Indians and they have the easiest schedule remaining of any MLB playoff contender. 

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#6 jkcarew

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:33 PM

Statistically, that will not happen. Fangraphs puts us at 99.6% to make the playoffs and 97.2% to win the division. Twins are four games ahead of the Indians and they have the easiest schedule remaining of any MLB playoff contender.


Unlikely that the Twins miss the playoffs, but not nearly that unlikely. Those probabilities don’t account for the lineups the Twins are currently trotting out there.
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#7 USAFChief

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:41 PM

Unlikely that the Twins miss the playoffs, but not nearly that unlikely. Those probabilities don’t account for the lineups the Twins are currently trotting out there.

concur.
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#8 Cooper Carlson

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:43 PM

Unlikely that the Twins miss the playoffs, but not nearly that unlikely. Those probabilities don’t account for the lineups the Twins are currently trotting out there.

Ok I’m still putting it at 93-95% that the Twins are in the playoffs. The royals, White Sox and Tigers are putting worse lineups out there and the twins get to face them.
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#9 jkcarew

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 10:07 PM

Ok I’m still putting it at 93-95% that the Twins are in the playoffs. The royals, White Sox and Tigers are putting worse lineups out there and the twins get to face them.


I’d have to look at the Tampa/Oakland schedules. Twins have a 4-game lead on Cleveland, have a difficult matchup tomorrow, then 3 games against Cleveland (to whom they’re lost 5 of the last 7)...and are very clearly limping to the finish line both in terms of health and performance. Meanwhile, Chicago, at least, has proven capable of winning a series against the Twins. And that was when the Twins were much healthier than they are now.
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#10 USAFChief

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 10:15 PM

I'm much more interested in Berrios' next start than pondering playoff scenarios.

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#11 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 05:30 AM

I definitely agree that the Twins will need Berrios in top form every start if they are to go anywhere. But watching them lose 2 of 3 to Cleveland and again tonight the the Nats, I'm starting to fear them missing the playoffs entirely. Cleveland has a tougher last 12 games then the Twins, but if they win their next 4 (sweep the Twins), I could see them beating the Twins out around the last day or two, while the Rays and A's pass the Twins as well. That would be one of the worst cases of Minnesota losing out ever, and we have a few bad ones.
 
Sorry to be a downer.

Your scenario isn't completely crazy. That's why Thursday night against the Nats (if they play) is almost a must win for our Twins. If they can win Thursday, then just take 1 of 3 in Cleveland then the division lead is 3 games after the Cleveland set. They can't really miss the playoffs entirely, right? If they did, I might go into crisis mode and consider if it's worth the time and effort invested in the Twins. Even a wild card loss would bring those same thoughts.

#12 DesertTwinsFan

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:50 AM

Cooper - I have seen too many misses. It makes me expect the worst, although I think you are basically correct. But I really agree with Rochester that those Fangraphs (and in-game) odds are pretty bogus. I would love to see an analysis of how accurate they are. That said, odds are in the Twins' favor, and they control their destiny.

 


#13 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:07 AM

While it is more likely than not that the Twins win the division, it's far from settled. Let's not be slaves to the odds set by the Gods at Fangraphs. We are essentially down our entire starting OF with Rosario pretty obviously hurting and in a huge slump, and down our 4th and 5th OFs with Gonzalez and Cave unavailable. Cruz is not the same guy since blowing out his wrist - not a huge surprise - and Sano is watching from the bench. Let's be real here, the middle of the lineup is basically a wasteland unless Garver is playing. Thank goodness (see, I am originally from Minnesota) for Arraez and Polanco and most of all, for Garver. Without them we would be losing almost every night and most nights even to Detroit, KC and Chicago. 

 

Maybe I'm superstitious, but less talk on how we set up for the playoffs and more talk about how we find a way to GET to the playoffs seems like the order of the day. It's great that Berrios is re-finding himself. I'm more interested with how he'll match up with Cleveland Sunday, KC on the 20th and Detroit on the 26th or 27th than how he'll match up in the playoffs. Plenty of time to talk about that later.

 

I'm an optimist. I think we win the Division and clinch by the end of next week. We ain't there yet, though. 

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#14 birddog

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:15 AM

We definitely needed Berrios' last outing in which he finally showed ace stuff and velocity that had been missing for too long. Hard to believe with his workout regime that he could wear out in the season, but that is what has happened. Is it mental or physical?

 

Pretty tough to see us matching up well against the Astros with Verlander and Cole, but we have to remember how bad we were a year ago and how much better we are now. I do think we have a shot against the Yankees this year though. Kudos to the front office for the changes they made to create one of the most memorable seasons ever. Really wish they had made a major move to upgrade our starting pitching at the deadline, but hopefully that is done in the off-season. Let's get healthy for the playoffs when anything can happen in a short series.


#15 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 04:36 PM

We definitely needed Berrios' last outing in which he finally showed ace stuff and velocity that had been missing for too long. Hard to believe with his workout regime that he could wear out in the season, but that is what has happened. Is it mental or physical?

From what I've read here Berrios has slumped in August but rebounded in September. Gotta love it baby! Just a little drama then Bam, October!!