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Twins Notebook 8/20: Pair of Aces in Different Directions

minnesota twins jose berrios brandon woodruff milwaukee brewers
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 12:01 PM

In the rubber match of this three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota will turn to Opening Day starter Jose Berrios. He’s had a poor 2020 to say the least thus far and turning things around as the calendar is quickly turning to September would be a big boost for Rocco Baldelli’s club. This could be circled as his most important start of the season.YESTERDAY’S GAME RECAP
MIL 9, MIN 3: Hill Follows Maeda's Gem With a Clunker

Milwaukee @ Minnesota, 6:10 PM CT
Betting Lines: Minnesota -115, O/U 9.0

Twins Starter: Jose Berrios, RHP (1-3, 5.92 ERA)
To say Jose Berrios has been scuffling in 2020 would be putting it lightly. He’s been relatively ineffective, and ultimately inefficient. He’s failed to make it past four innings in two of his five starts, and his longest outing was six innings of one-run ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates. For a staff ace and an Opening Day starter, you need better.

There’s been plenty written about what may be going wrong thus far. One thing of note is that Berrios has actually experience a career high spike in velocity with his fastball averaging 94.9 mph. His 11.1% whiff rate is near a career high, but the chase rate is down four percent from 2019. He’s dipped five percent on his first pitch strike rate, working from behind nearly 40% of the time. His hard-hit rate is where things are really going awry however, as the Puerto Rican is seeing the ball launched a whopping 49% of the time (33% is his career average).

Download attachment: Berrios.PNG

While watching him pitch it’s almost as if the mental makeup has taken a step backwards. Berrios has nibbled the strike zone often in outings, and it looks like he’s unaware of an option to miss bats. The homer has always been somewhat of a bugaboo, and if he’s going to pitch trying not to make mistakes, he’s already behind before the batter steps in. This is a guy the Twins are counting on, and a bulldog performance tonight would go a long ways.

Brewers Starter: Brandon Woodruff, RHP (1-1, 3.16 ERA)
Brandon Woodruff is a former top prospect that broke out in a big way during 2019. The Brewers Opening Day starter owned a 3.62 ERA across 121 innings and made his first All-Star team. So far in 2020, he’s followed it up with an encore that remain right on par.

Through five turns Woodruff is still sitting down over 10 per nine innings, and he’s stingy on walks allowing just 2.5 per nine. His 1.052 WHIP is currently a career best, and his FIP of 3.26 is essentially in line. He’s been a bit more beatable in his last two outings, failing to make it through the fifth inning in either. On the year, his worst start was a three-run outing against the Cubs last time he took the ball.

Download attachment: Woodruff.PNG

Milwaukee’s ace has a heavy fastball that’s currently averaging a career best 97.1 mph. Coincidentally he’s using it a career low 30% of the time while turning to his sinker and changeup more often. Right now, he’s one of the best arms in baseball and Minnesota will need to solve him early to come out on top in this one.



Other Notes:
  • Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brenammen made a horrific and abhorrent comment on air last night during the Royals game. While presumably thinking he was off air, a hot mic picked him up using a homophobic slur. He has been suspended by the organization. (Twins Daily forum)
  • The Padres continue to slam the Rangers, and while this one wasn't on a 3-0 count, I'd assume Chris Woodward isn't any more thrilled with the result. San Diego is making noise in the National League.
  • We made it just one day where every team was in action for the first time since June 26, Opening Weekend.

Around the AL Central:
KCR 4, CIN 0 (F/7 G1)
CIN 5, KCR 0 (F/7 G2)
CLE 6, PIT 1
CWS 5, DET 3

MIN 16-9 (+33 run differential)
CLE 15-9 (+29)
CWS 14-11 (+10)
DET 9-13 (-25)
KCR 101-5 (-11)

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- Ted Schwerzler
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#2 Aggies7


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Posted 20 August 2020 - 02:58 PM

buxton on the DL, a summer tradition like no other

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#3 Diesel


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Posted 20 August 2020 - 03:12 PM


#4 stringer bell

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 03:59 PM

Really bad news about Buxton. What happened? Ugh.

#5 T_J


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Posted 20 August 2020 - 04:19 PM

I wonder if it was the slide into home the other day that banged up Buxtons shoulder. The frequency of his injuries are getting old.

#6 Darius


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Posted 20 August 2020 - 04:54 PM

We got an Ace to replace Berrios tonight?

#7 4twinsJA


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Posted 20 August 2020 - 05:52 PM

Glad to see Jeffers, looks good catching, 

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