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Notebook 7/29: Rich Hill Debut for Twins Against Cardinals

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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 09:15 AM

On the heels of the home opener Rich Hill will take his talents to the mound for the first time this season. Originally slated to miss the beginning of the year, a global pandemic allowed him ample opportunity to be on the mound from the get-go.LAST GAME RECAP
MIN 6, STL 3: Donaldson Breaks Out, Early Offense Leads to Another Twins Win

QUESTION OF THE DAY
What has been your favorite Player’s Weekend nickname?

TODAY
Cardinals at Twins, 7:10 pm CT
Betting Lines: MIN -1.5, -185, 10.0 O/U

Twins: Rich Hill, LHP (info below via Baseball Savant)

Download attachment: Rich Hill.PNG

As you can see from the data provided by Baseball Savant, there’s a lot of things Rich Hill does at an elite level and really only one where he comes up short. This is a guy that hasn’t averaged over 90 mph on his fastball in a season since 2016. He doesn’t use velocity to blow it by you, and his bender gets tossed roughly 45% of the time.

Hill’s bugaboo has always been health, but he’s made at least 12 starts in each season dating back to 2015. He’s with the Twins in hopes of winning a World Series, and with over 50 innings of Postseason work under his belt the experience is absolutely there.

Although velocity has become king in recent years Hill lulls batters to sleep with his off-speed stuff. He doesn’t generate a ton of whiffs, but the soft contact keeps him ahead and last season he posted a career best 49% ground ball rate. Keeping the opposition off balance allows him to slip an 89-mph fastball by, and it’s more than apparent this is a veteran who knows his stuff and how to get the most from it.

Cardinals: Daniel Ponce de Leon, RHP (info below via Baseball Savant)

Download attachment: DPL.PNG

Thrust into the rotation Ponce de Leon will make his first Start since September 1 of last season. He's worked in a hybrid role for the Cardinals each of the past two seasons both starting and relieving, but has posted just 48 and 33 innings respectively.

Without a ton of velocity, Ponce de Leon does generate his fair share of strikeouts. His bugaboo since debuting in the majors has the inability to avoid free passes and last year that resulted in a 4.8 BB/9. He's also susceptible to the longball, and that obviously is more problematic against power hitting lineups.

LINEUP


NEWS & NOTES
— More positive tests came down the pipeline for the Marlins. They have now had 17 positive tests, or more than half of their 30-man roster. They were already trying to find ways to supplement their active players and now will be facing an even larger uphill battle.



— A ton of schedule shuffling took place today as the Marlins were put on a suspended timetable as they await a cleaner bill of health. No other teams found new tests, and Major League Baseball will push on for now.


— We’re already dealing with a season of unprecedented proportions and changing on the fly is something MLB did on Opening Day with the Postseason. Buster Olney brought forward a strong suggestion recently in regards to organization of record credibility. There’s going to be games cancelled and postponed. With a shortened timeframe to actually get them in, trying to make them all up is probably a losing proposition.



— Today's scheduled starter for the Cardinals goes on the shelf needing surgery on his right elbow. St. Louis is apparently looking at external options to fill their rotation as well.


AROUND THE AL CENTRAL
CLE 4, CWS 3 (Gm 1)
CLE 5, CWS 3 (Gm 2)
DET 4, KC 3

Standings
1. CLE 4-1
2. MIN 3-1
3. DET 3-2
4. KCR 2-3
5. CHW 1-4

SEE ALSO
9 Thoughts from 9 Innings of a Home-Opening Win
Paving a Path, Women in Baseball: Kate Townley
5 Reasons Nelson Cruz is a Good Bet to Win the AL MVP

Click here to view the article
- Ted Schwerzler
Off The Baggy
@tlschwerz

#2 dex8425

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 09:20 AM

White Sox and Rangers off to rough starts. Gibson looked pretty good for Tex though. 

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#3 Darius

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 10:09 AM

I’m excited for this one. Hill is fun to watch.
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#4 T_J

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 10:29 AM

I hope they stick with the same lineup. At bats is a huge currency this season for players to get right and they need to cherish each one as much as they cherish each out. I get bench players need reps too but let's get the main core right and going well and focus on the other parts later.
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#5 Dantes929

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 10:52 AM

"What has been your favorite Player’s Weekend nickname?"Ironically, the guy starting for us today had the winner last year.Dick Mountain.I do like Miles Mikolis with 5280's.

 

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#6 shortround81

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 12:19 PM

Most importantly: BABY BLUE UNIFORMS!

"I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball." -Pete Rose


#7 mikelink45

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 12:31 PM

Throw out the charts - Hill is a pitcher and he is good.I look forward to seeing him start today - with or without spin rates. 

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#8 bighat

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 02:56 PM

Arraez leading off today. Cool.

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#9 h2oface

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 03:52 PM

No finger blisters, please. It takes him out for a month each time, and they happen often in the past.


#10 dex8425

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 03:56 PM

Hmm. Buxton back out of the lineup. Interesting with Kepler also getting a day off.

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#11 bighat

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 04:07 PM

 

Hmm. Buxton back out of the lineup. Interesting with Kepler also getting a day off.

Possible that Baldelli's trying to make sure everyone gets some playing time? I can't imagine not seeing Rogers tonight.

 

Morneau mentioned this when Sano got a day off in Chicago last week: "It's hard to get your timing down when you're sitting on the bench". I have to agree, but he hit a double yesterday so maybe the rest did him good? It seems odd that Bux wouldn't at least play two in a row. Perhaps the ankle's barking?

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#12 stringer bell

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 04:17 PM

 

I hope they stick with the same lineup. At bats is a huge currency this season for players to get right and they need to cherish each one as much as they cherish each out. I get bench players need reps too but let's get the main core right and going well and focus on the other parts later.

It is nice to have a lot of options. With something like 34 games in 35 days, it probably makes sense to give everyone days off. Also, there are quality players available to fill in. 

 

I'm excited to see Hill pitch, as well. What are the chances that he stays heathy for the duration of this season?


#13 stringer bell

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Posted 29 July 2020 - 05:00 PM

You can continue the discussion of today's game on 7/29 Game Thread:

 

http://twinsdaily.co...dinals-710-cdt/




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