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Front Page: Quick Hitter: Should the Twins Claim LHP Matt Hall from Detroit?

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#1 Matthew Lenz

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 07:00 PM

The Minnesota Twins ended the 2019 season with a few needs that have yet to be addressed in the 2020 offseason. One of those needs was, and still is, an additional left-handed arm to come out of the bullpen. On Monday, the Detroit Tigers designated left-handed reliever Matt Hall for assignment.As of now, the Twins have just four lefties on their active roster and three of them (Rich Hill, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe) will be entering spring training looking to fight over the fourth and fifth starting spots in the rotation. This leaves Taylor Rogers as the lone lefty that is currently locked into the bullpen. This article will take a look at Matt Hall as a possible candidate to fight for a bullpen spot in 2020.

The Good
Matt Hall is a former sixth-round draft pick out of Missouri State who led the NCAA in strikeouts in 2015. At just 26-years-old and two years of team control plus three years of arbitration ahead of him, he still has up to five years of control at a reasonable price. The strikeout rate has carried over to his professional career as his minor league strikeout per nine (K/9) is 9.9 over 500.1 innings and is 9.2 in just 31.1 big league innings. Per Statcast, he has an great spin rate on his curveball and an above average spin rate on his fastball which are indicators that he has the stuff to be successful at the major league level.

The Bad
Well, he was designated for a reason. Walks have been a major issue for him dating back to his collegiate days. In his limited time in the big leagues he has a walk rate of 5.2 which is well past FanGraphs rating of “awful”, although his collegiate and minor league rate sit at 3.5 which is still considered “poor”. For reference, Trevor May, who most considered to have a very good 2019 season, had a walk rate of 3.64 so this isn’t necessarily the “be-all end-all”. Hall’s fastball tops out in the low 90’s which is not good when you have troubles hitting the zone. This will likely be a project that doesn’t make an impact right away but could be great in the future, and possibly, by the latter part of this season. With that said, much of the fan base will likely rip the move as another “cheap” alternative to a true impact arm.

To be clear, the Twins would be claiming Matt Hall as a project who could become an impact arm down the road. In recent years, they have developed the likes of Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, and Trevor May, going from mediocre relievers to some of the best in baseball. At such a low cost, I think it really makes sense for the Twins to give Hall a shot in 2020.

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#2 sampleSizeOfOne


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:06 PM

How's our 40 man look?

We got room? Or is there an obvious person to drop to make room ie. a pitcher he is better than?

#3 Linus


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:11 PM

Wow. Our pitching plan is now to pick up Detroit’s castoffs?
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#4 twins_89


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:12 PM


How's our 40 man look?

We got room? Or is there an obvious person to drop to make room ie. a pitcher he is better than?


I believe the Twins are at 41 (since Pineda doesn't count until his suspension is over). We'll already have to drop somebody to add Donaldson (my guess is Harper), so I'm doubtful that Hall is interesting enough to drop a second player.

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#5 Patrick Wozniak

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:16 PM

Don't forget Tyler Clippard. His reverse splits make him essentially another lefty.

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#6 Bamboo Bat

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:20 PM

Guys like this are a dime a dozen. Nope.


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#7 specialiststeve


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:43 PM

Minor league deal fine... otherwise ... pass....

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#8 DocBauer


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 11:23 PM

Absolutely and completely understand the sentiment. Young, LH, controllable and SO ability. Honestly have to question why Detroit, devoid and desperate for talent, would give up on him. He would be behind Smeltzer and Thorpe, SP who could also find a role in the pen if the rotation doesn't work out. Or, as temporary moves. They have also signed a couple of so so fliers who could, maybe, surprise and help. And, as mentioned, Clippard is practically a LH RP himself. Milb contract and an invite.
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#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 11:40 PM

For me it would come down to who would the Twins have to drop from their 40-man roster in order to claim him. 


With the Donaldson signing, I assume that they will drop Ryne Harper. They have to drop someone.


So, whoever who does that leave?


Matt Wisler - he got a guaranteed $700K deal before arbitration, and he's intriguing yet, but he's out of options.


Sean Poppen - I keep hearing his name, but I think he's got real talent, 97 mph fastball with movement and a sharp slider. While he could probably start, I think he can dominate out of the bullpen. No way I'd DFA him.


Nick Gordon - with the signing of Donaldson, it's hard to imagine his path to the Twins minus a couple of infield errors in 2020. I'd rather have Gordon than this guy.


So, for me, no thanks. 

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#10 Richard Swerdlick

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 04:43 AM

Sounds good to me. Maybe if we need room on the 40 man we can sneak him thru waivers. It is not clear to me if he was out of options or if Detroit simply gave up on him.

#11 Doctor Gast

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 06:28 AM

I agree it seems a little crowded. But we a need another impact pitcher, in that case we need to trade off some of our prospects like Gordon which don`t have a clear future here. In that case there would be room for him. To me he has a lot of low cost upside which could offset a salary which we need to pay an impact arm. Detroit has a lot of ML ready prospects

#12 beterday


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Posted 15 January 2020 - 07:14 AM

A list that no longer includes Ryne Harper can only be an improvement, but that happened with Donaldson.The last vestige of having a Nick Punto on the team.

#13 Steve Lein

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 08:19 AM

No thanks. He's DFA'd from a bad team. 


I'd have no problem with an MiLB deal, but he's not close to cracking this 40-man roster.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)

#14 old nurse

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 08:25 AM

Even is coaching got a couple more mph on the FB it would still be mediocre.

#15 Doctor Gast

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 10:20 AM

To add to what I said earlier. On the other hand, Fernando Romero was a high prospect a little over 2yrs. ago but he has control problems hopefully he can find himself but like Matt there`s no guarantees

#16 mikelink45


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Posted 15 January 2020 - 02:45 PM

When we start picking up Detroit cast offs something is wrong - next it will be the Orioles and Royals.

#17 Cody Pirkl

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 05:35 PM

Clippard will probably function as a lefty in the bullpen and I doubt another lefty is a big goal for the front office. Wisler is already a flawed project pitcher and while he's not a lefty, I can't imagine them taking on another similar project unless it's at his expense.

I also don't often compare 40 man's between teams because its apples and oranges, but if he Detroit didn't have space, I can't imagine the Twins being able to trim a guy off to fit him in.